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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

****"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.****

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Expected Publication Date: December 18th, 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Page Count: 488 pages
Add to Goodreads
When Ruby wakes up on her tenth birthday, something about her has changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that's killed most of America's children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she's on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her--East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
Why I Can't Wait: Strange abilities, disturbed children, deadly diseases? How could I NOT want to read this one?! And that cover! So mysterious and spooky! I'm hooked :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rebel Heart Blog Tour - Guest Post with Moira Young!

Rule of Three: Each Monday for three weeks, three sites will go live with unique content including guest posts from Moira, reviews/giveaways, and blogger-created fan features.


Rebel Heart (Dust Lands #2) by Moira Young

Expected Publication Date: October 30th, 2012
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Page Count: 432 pages
Nothing is certain and no one is safe in the second book in the highly praised Dust Lands trilogy, which MTV’s Hollywood Crush blog called “better than The Hunger Games.”

It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba’s world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh’s freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.

What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.
Destiny and Star Reading in the Dust Lands
by Moira Young

Everythin’s set. It’s all fixed.
It was all set in the stars the moment the world began.
If you know how to read the stars, you can read the story of people’s lives. The story of yer own life. What’s gone, what’s now an what’s still to come.
Back when Pa was a boy, he met up with a traveller, a man who knew many things. He learned Pa how to read the stars. Pa never says what he sees in the night sky but you can see it lays heavy on him. Becuz you cain’t change what’s written.

Here, as Blood Red Road begins, Saba is talking about fate: the idea that the events of our lives are outside our control, decided in advance by supernatural powers. In the post-scientific, post-rational Dust Lands, it’s hardly surprising that the prevailing world view is based on some form of astrology. Looking to the sky - the cosmos - for answers, explanations and guidance seems to be the default position of our species, having held sway for most of our evolution. Astrology still commands space in contemporary Western society, with horoscopes in newspapers, magazines, at the end of a phone, and online. Most people – including those who scorn astrology - know their star sign.

Fate and destiny form a thematic spine of Blood Red Road and Rebel Heart. You’ll note that I separate fate and destiny. I don’t believe – unlike my Compact Oxford English Dictionary – that they are the same. Fate is pre-ordained and has a strong whiff of death, of finality, about it: a fatal blow, a fatal accident, “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes a pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life” and so on.

Destiny implies promise. We talk of fulfilling our destiny. It speaks to me of a journey, a destination, travelling towards the time and place when we step into the light and become who we truly are. Saba is most certainly on a journey - a hero’s journey - towards her destiny.

Throughout that journey, Saba walks the sharp ridge between fate and destiny, in constant tension. Pa may be dead, but his fatalistic world view still exerts a powerful hold. In sharp contrast, her twin brother, Lugh, dismisses star reading with a visceral loathing.

Star readin’s a crock. Madmen an simpleton’s, that’s who believes in it. It’s all in his head. There ain’t nuthin written in the stars. There ain’t no great plan.

But the stars told Pa of the coming of the Tonton, the taking of Lugh and even his own death. His last words to Saba are opaque and prophetic:

My time’s nearly up. I dunno what happens after this. I could only see glimpses. But they’re gonna need you, Saba. Lugh an Emmi. An there’ll be others too. Many others. Don’t give in to fear. Be strong, like I know you are. An never give up. No matter what happens.

Pa’s words echo along the long, dangerous road that she travels to rescue Lugh. They haunt Saba as she struggles for her physical, emotional and mental survival. As she asks herself the big questions: Who am I? What do I believe? How can I make my life meaningful?

Who is right? Pa? Lugh? Both? Neither? The star reading shaman of Rebel Heart, Auriel Tai, is clear:

There are some people who have the power to change things. Through their actions, they can turn the tide of human affairs. We all got our part to play in this. Long before you was born, a train of events was set in motion.
You mean fate, I says. I don’t believe in it.
Not fate, she says. Destiny.

Later on, Saba has good reason to ponder Auriel’s words:

When I stand back an look at the strangeness of everythin – how one thing’s led to another an brought me here, almost like night followin day – it’s as if this whole thing was meant to be. An that brings to mind what Auriel said. How we all got our parts to play. How all my roads, every decision leads me to the same place in the end. Destiny. I hardly dare think the word in case Lugh hears me think it.

Where will Saba’s roads take her? Where will her decisions lead her? What is her destiny? Is it written in the stars?

Her hero’s journey continues.


Blood Red Road (Dust Lands #1)

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when four cloaked horsemen capture Lugh, Saba's world is shattered, and she embarks on a quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the outside world, Saba discovers she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba’s unrelenting search for Lugh stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetic writing style, and an epic love story—making Moira Young is one of the most exciting new voices in teen fiction.

Other Tour Stops Today:


Giveaway:

Could you survive the Dust Lands?
One Winner Will Receive:
A Dust Lands prize pack including a custom t-shirt, custom water bottle and copies of Blood Red Road and Rebel Heart!
- US ONLY
- Winner must be 13 or older to enter
- Enter through Rafflecopter!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stacking the Shelves - The one with REQUIEM!!!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews as a way to share all the books we've received this week!

I had a ridiculously amazing week this week. I went to a signing with Ingrid Paulson that my old Barnes and Noble set up and I also had my first day at Books Inc. I'm so excited to be working there guys!!! I managed to snag a few ARCs from Maggie of Not Your Mother's Book Club as I always tend to do when I visit her work. Just one more reason to shop at your local indie right?? 


From Maggie/Work
Splintered by A.G. Howard
Altered by Jennifer Rush
Period 8 by Chris Crutcher
The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer
Pivot Point by Kasie West
Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan
Pretty Girl 13 by Liz Coley
Mistle Child by Ari Berk
Requiem by Lauren Oliver 
The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

Purchased & Signed
Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson (x2!!)
Feast Island by Tamar Hela

Gifted
Shark Bait by Jenn Cooksey

For Review
Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine
London Eye by Tim Lebbon
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Wildwood by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis
Under Wildwood by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis
Starstruck by Lauren Conrad
Lauren Conrad Beauty by Lauren Conrad
Warriors Boxed Set 1-3 by Erin Hunter

Friday, October 26, 2012

Discussion: Working with Publishers and Getting Review Books

Approaching Publishers and Getting Review Books
How many publishers are sending you ARCs? Is it something you request, or did they just find you on the magic of the interwebs and start sendin' away?” - Maggie
In going through my list of discussion questions, this one was at the very top. I'd been avoiding it because at the time it was asked I had just done a post about publishers and ARCs, but I always like to do them again once I've gained more experience under my belt and had some time passes by. Since school began in late August I haven't been sending out as many review requests, unless I'm really really dying to get my hands on a book, but of course I'm still receiving books in the mail, unsolicited. At this point, I probably get an average of 2 or 3 books in the mail each week. I don't want to focus so much on ARCs with this post, because the majority of the books I get are finished copies, but the process is generally the same.

How many publishers are sending me books?
Honestly, I have no idea. There are only a few publishers that regularly send me books because I'm on their mailing list or I request from them frequently. I'd say I regularly get unsolicited books in the mail from 3 or 4 publishers; I send out requests to maybe 4 on a regular basis. I only ask for what I really really want and I limit my requests when I get overburdened with stacks of books to review.

How do I contact a publisher?
Creating a rapport with a publisher is hard work. It usually takes at least 6 months of blogging accompanied by 300+ followers before anyone will take you seriously. In my experience, the best way to get a publisher to notice you is to contact them yourself. Before I acquired my personal contacts, I set out regular emails to the general addresses that are listed on each publisher's site. I literally wrote one, incredibly detailed email that summed up who I was, what I did, and what I was looking for. I know, most bloggers will tell you that sending out a general email to all the publishers is horrible form, but in my experience it works.

My general email looks something like this:
Hello and thank you for your time,

Paragraph One:
Who are you? - Introduce yourself and your blog
Stats – How many followers do you have? Page views? Unique visitors? How long have you been blogging?
What are you looking for? - Do you want a catalog of review copies? Do you want to be on their mailing list? Why are you writing to them?

Paragraph Two:
What about your blog makes you a good fit for them?
What kind of books do you review?
Only YA? Middle Grade? Adult?
What genres do you like?
Give them an idea of what books should be sent to you.

Paragraph Three: How often do you post?
How many posts do you average a week?
What kind of posts are you interested in doing? - Guest posts, interviews, book teasers, new releases, etc.
If they don't have review copies available, should they still contact you for blog tours?

Paragraph Four:
Where else do you post reviews?
Are you on Goodreads? - Link them to your review list so they can see how many books you've reviewed on that site alone. A lot of publishers want to see your previous work and by linking them to your reviews on Goodreads they can more easily navigate your writing.
Do you post on Amazon? Barnes and Noble? Would you be willing to if they asked?

Paragraph Five:
What kind of social media sites are you on?
Twitter – If you're not you should be. How many followers do you have?
Facebook – Does your blog have a facebook page? If so, link to it. How many “likes” does it have?
Anything else you're on?

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you,
Anna Billings
Literary Exploration
1234 Bookish Lane
Storybrook, CA 56789

Anna @ Literary Exploration
Twitter: @Lit_Explorer
Blog: www.literaryexploration.com
literaryexploration@yahoo.com

I know, that's really long right? That email goes against most everything people tell you to do. “Keep emails short and to the point” But. That email has all of the necessary information that publishers need to assess you and your blog, and decide whether or not you'd be a good fit for them. It's general, but it's informative. And when you look at each paragraph, it is short and to the point. Here are my stats. Here is what I like to read. Here are tons of links that show you I'm active on the internet.

This general email has been the most successful tool for me in getting publishers to notice me. I've gotten more out of sending this one email than sending dozens of single ARC requests. This generalized email lets publishers know that you want to work with them for a long time. Sending ARC requests is great, but it doesn't guarantee that publishers will send you books later on, only what you ask for.

How do publishers find me?
I always love when I get emails from publishers letting me know about upcoming titles and other goodies like that. I've actually had a few contact me about receiving books for review and what I would or would not be interested. I always just ask to be added to the mailing list to receive books regularly because that's easier for me.

But how do they find us? No idea. Probably the magic of the interwebs! Twitter? Remember when you wrote that review for Unnamed Book and tweeted it to the publisher? Well, they probably clicked on it. Then they checked our your blog. Then they went, “Oh hey, this girl is filled with wit and sarcasm and writes fantastic reviews! We should have her review more books for us!” I think social media has been a big way to get ourselves out there and noticed. Publishers are more active on sites like Twitter than most bloggers are. HarperCollins has @EpicReads @HarperTeen @PitchDarkBooks @HarperChildrens and so many more! Plus, when we utilize our SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and title our posts in a way that will get us the most traffic, we're easier to find.

Also, giveaways have something to do with it as well. Awhile back I entered to win some books through LibraryThing. I got my books, and then a month later I got more. Now I regularly get books from a certain publisher without ever having done anything other than enter a giveaway. I am assuming (I don't know) that publishers collect data at one point or another when they're updating or managing a mailing list. So somehow, I was added to that list.

Remember, books aren't free!
Don't start sending out requests to be added to mailing lists unless you're a serious blogger and you're willing to put in the hard work. If you can't commit to reviewing the books you'll receive then don't bother. I know it looks really awesome when bloggers receive stacks of books for review each week, but take some time to think about it. How many reviews do you post a week? Three? So three reviews posted each week, for four weeks means twelve reviews a month. You can effectively review twelve books in one month. If you send out six requests to be added to a mailing list and you receive six books a week, that means you'll have twice as many books to read. And what if you get twelve books in one week? They add up! It can be stressful when you have a pile of books that needs to be reviewed by the end of them!

I just got to the point where I've cleared out almost all of my requested review books and it's so nice. I can finally sift through the unsolicited ones and decide which I'll read first. I can finally read my own books again! I have shelves of unread books that are just sitting there because I'm focusing on review books. So take requesting and accepting seriously.

And remember, the information in this post merely represents my own thoughts and experiences. Anything I may say about publishers and their methods is simply speculation. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

[Giveaway] - Holders by Julianna Scott & Jewelry!!


Hey lovelies! I have a great giveaway for you today! Julianna Scott, author of Holders has offered up some AWESOME prizes to celebrate her book!!

Holders by Julianna Scott
Expected Publication Date:
Publisher:
Page Count:
Add to Goodreads
17-year-old Becca spent her whole life protecting her brother from, well, everything. The abandonment of their father, the so called 'experts' who insist that voices in his head are unnatural and must be dealt with, and the constant threat of being taken away to some hospital and studied like an animal. When two representatives appear claiming to have the answers to Ryland's perceived problem, Becca doesn't buy it for one second. That is until they seem to know things about Ryland and about Becca and Ryland's family, that forces Becca to concede that there may be more to these people than meets the eye. Though still highly skeptical, Becca agrees to do what's best for Ryland.

What they find at St. Brigid's is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together the information of their family's heritage, their estranged Father, and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they've been waiting for. However, they are all--especially Becca--in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.

She meets Alex, a Holder who is fiercely loyal to their race, and for some reason, Becca and Ryland. There's an attraction between Becca and Alex that can't be denied, but her true nature seems destined to keep them apart. However, certain destinies may not be as clear cut as everyone has always believed them to be.

Becca is lost, but found at the same time. Can she bring herself to leave Ryland now that he's settled and can clearly see his future? Will she be able to put the the feelings she has for Alex aside and head back to the US? And can Becca and Ryland ever forgive their father for what he's done?
Julianna is offering up:

1. An unbound galley of ger book for giveaway! 

"Is It is a bound version of the book, but it is legal paper size. There is an image on the cover in the second page, it also includes the translation page, but the acknowledgements and dedication as well as the publisher info are missing. It is the very first version of the book that is not copy-edited and has a page of notes just for the publisher"

I don't know about you, but that just sounds AWESOME. What a rarity!! I would love to get my hands on something this cool!

2. The winner will also get this GORGEOUS necklace and bracelet set that's based off the book: 


What pretties, right?! 

So here are the deets:
International!!
- Must be 13 or older to enter
- I am not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items
- Winner will have 48 hours to respond!
- Fill out the Rafflecopter form below


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

****"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.****

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Expected Publication Date: January 8th, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count: 368 pages
Add to Goodreads
The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.

With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.
Why I Can't Wait: Well, this just sounds creeptastic!! I think I need a copy NOW so I can read it for Halloween, right?! What are you waiting on this week??

Monday, October 22, 2012

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop - A Box of Spooky HarperTeen Titles!


Last year I wasn't aware of all the awesome giveaway hops that I Am A Reader, Not A Writer puts on, and I missed out on this one! But this year I am totally participating and I'm so excited to see what everyone has up for giveaway! I'll be giving away a whole box of HarperTeen titles that are incredibly spooky so keep your fingers crossed!

Here are all the books that are up for grabs:


One lucky winner will get an entire box filled with these goodies!!!

The Deets:
- Giveaway is US ONLY
- Must be 13 or older to enter
- I am not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items
- Giveaway runs from October 24th (23rd) to the 31st
- Fill out the Rafflecopter form

Make sure you visit the other giveaways!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Why You Should Shop at Your Local Bookstores!


Support Your Local Bookstores!!!!

Until recently, I had been working at my local Barnes and Noble. We just discovered that our store will be closing at the end of the year, along with another location that's less than 10 miles away. That's two Barnes and Noble stores going out of business and leaving 40 employees without jobs. That leaves us with one independent bookstore and a scattering of used bookstores left to purchase books at in the area. While I've already found another job at a Books Inc. in my area, bookstores in general are becoming scarce.

I feel like most people don't understand the repercussions bookstores face when you choose to purchase your books online just so you can save a couple dollars. And I get it. I'm a broke college student who would much rather spend $11 on a brand new hardcover than $17. But when you think about it, how much fun comes from “browsing” books on the internet? What about that feeling you get when you walk into a bookstore and see rows upon rows of amazing titles? When you shop online, there's no way to actually hold the book in your hands and flip through its pages before purchasing. There's no way to “test” books out online, you just buy them, wait a week, and hope for the best. What if you don't like it? Sure, you can return them to the site, but then you have to pay for shipping to return it and wait another 2-3 weeks to get your refund. Doesn't that sound like a hassle?

And what about the people you meet? Sure, we've all had our experiences with cranky customer service people who don't really know what they're talking about, but there are always a few employees we come across who are more than happy to share great recommendations and help you find an awesome title, perhaps an obscure book you may have overlooked before. I'm not just talking about employees either. I've met so many people in bookstores, browsing the same shelves as me, only to end up in conversation about the latest and greatest novels we've picked up. Can you do that online? I think not.

I totally understand that there are some places where bookstores are basically nonexistent, or the closest one is like an hour away. In that case, I can accept that you would purchase your books online because that just makes way more sense. But for those of us that do have a bookstore 10 minutes away, why wouldn't you want to go there? If we don't spend our time in bookstores rather than online, then the bookstore 10 minutes away might close and the closest one will now be an hour away.

Don't you love going to author signings? I know you can't do that online. If we don't support local bookstores, there will be nowhere for authors to come and sign their books and chat with fans! I've been to countless book signings at different bookstores and I don't know what I would do if they all closed because they weren't making any money. Without bookstores, authors won't be able to have book launches and fun signings with cake and swag!

I love working in a bookstore because I get to learn about new and interesting books from customers and I get to meet incredibly interesting people with diverse opinions on the titles that fill our shelves every day. I'd much rather spend $17 on a book and have it in my hands that day, then spend $11 and have to wait 4 days. I'd much rather walk into a bookstore and browse the shelves for hours, feeling my way through the pages and smelling that “new book smell.” People take their local bookstores for granted, but didn't we learn anything from the closing of all Borders ever?

I know that for some people, saving money is really important. But if you're a lover of books, then shouldn't you be a lover of bookstores? Shouldn't you want to support the places that carry your precious (said like Gollum) and eagerly supply you with your current obsession? Shouldn't we want to encourage people to splurge on the latest J.K. Rowling novel at their local Barnes and Noble or Chapters? You can still save some money and still buy your books at the local bookstore. Just buy a couple at a time rather than splurging on a whole stack. I promise, it will be worth it in the end :)

Don't let bookstores become a thing of the past. Support them in every way you can. There's our own little slice of book lover heaven, a physical place we can go where a community of people are brought together over our shared love of literature. Bookstores are the Goodreads of our local communities, a place where we can discuss books with old and new friends. Bookstores provide us with the chance to meet our favorite authors and immerse ourselves in fantastic stories. Don't choose a $5 savings over that kind of magic, it's just not worth it.

*****
As always, I'd love to hear what you guys want to talk about! 

 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review: Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone



Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Publication Date: October 9th, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Page Count: 384 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher for Review
Add to Goodreads
Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, Time Between Us is a stunning, spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new voice in YA fiction.
When I first found out about Time Between Us I was so excited. Not only is the main character's name, Anna (like me!!), but time travel?! Yes please! I've even had the pleasure of meeting Tamara at a few local events, since she's a local author, so I was incredibly excited to dive in. Not only are the characters amazingly real, but the story itself is breathtaking. It definitely reminded me of The Time Traveler's Wife which is one of my most favorite books ever, and a little bit of The Lake House. Yes, two amazing stories that also involve romance and time travel. If you're a big fan of romance and time travel then you will definitely want to pick up a copy of Time Between Us!!

I absolutely loved the characters in this story. Anna is strong, independent, intelligent, and driven. There is definitely a point where Bennett and Anna are struggling to hold on to each other, but I loved how Anna didn't curl up into a ball in the woods and cry about it for months. She really shows how strong she's become throughout the story. And Bennett... oh my God Bennett... If there was every a swoon-tastic boy in a YA story it's Bennett. He's so caring and romantic and I loved getting to know all of his secrets at the same time as Anna. Their relationship is definitely not normal, considering he travels through time, but it's romantic and easy to relate to. We can all remember out first loves :)

The story itself is just fantastic. There are so many details that make this story so wonderful. Tamara's writing style is just gorgeous. She has a way with words that really helped paint a picture of certain settings. When Anna and Bennett go rock climbing, I seriously felt like I was scaling the mountain myself. Even the dialogue is great and so true to teenagers and the way they speak. There are even a couple plot twists that I had no idea were coming! By the end I was laughing and crying!

Overall, I absolutely loved Time Between Us. It's an amazing story of love, loss, and friendship and I loved every minute of it. The characters are all amazing and easy to relate to, and I loved their growth throughout the book. If you haven't already added Time Between Us to your TBR do so NOW. I'm not sure if this book is a standalone, but I'm really hoping Tamara will write more of Anna and Bennett's story because I just couldn't get enough!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Pivot Point by Kasie West

****"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.****

Pivot Point by Kasie West
Expected Publication Date: February 12th, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 320 pages
Add to Goodreads
Addison Coleman's life is one big "What if?" As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It's the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie's parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with–her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the "Norms," or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it's not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school–but she never wanted to be a quarterback's girlfriend. When Addie's father is asked to consult on a murder in the compound, she's unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she's willing to live through...and who she can't live without.
Why I Can't Wait: Time travel? Gorgeous cover!? Everyone's been getting this one lately and I'm so jealous!!! I'm dying to get my hands on this one, it sounds amazing!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson


Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
Expected Publication Date: October 9th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 352 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher for Review
Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there.

What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.
Oh. My. God. As well all know, after Starling by Lesley Livingston and now Valkyrie Rising, Norse mythology is on the rise in YA fiction. Say goodbye to the Greeks and say hello to those tall, blond Norse hotties! Alexander Skarsgard anyone? Valkyrie Rising definitely kept me on my toes and the characters were all incredibly real. I loved the lush setting of Norway and Paulson's amazing descriptions that had me feeling like I was right there. If you haven't already picked up a copy of Valkyrie Rising you need to get on that RIGHT NOW. Valkyrie Rising will have you on the edge of your seat and the ending will leave you begging for more!

Ellie is an amazing character. She's kind of weak and helpless at the beginning of the novel, but she really grows into her own by the end. I loved seeing her become such a strong and independent female. Ellie really developed as a character which was amazing to see. And Tucker, oh my God Tucker. He was so delicious and such an amazing love interest. There are so many scenes in which Ellie describes Tuck and how appetizing he is and I loved every minute! Even Graham, Ellie's brother, grows throughout the story. I loved all of the different characters for different reasons, but they were all so life-like that it was easy for me to fall in love with each of them.

The story itself is fantastic. I have a huge love for Norse mythology now that it's become so popular in YA fiction. I've even begun doing my own research on the topic just to understand the origins of some of the characters, and I can't wait to see what else is coming out. Paulson's take on the Valkyries was wonderful. I loved reading about these strong women who could easily take on anything and were so connected to each other that it physically hurt to be away from the rest of their kind. And there were so many plot twists and turns! I found myself gasping out loud on more than one occasion! As I said before, Paulson's writing is just fantastic and beautiful. She's incredibly descriptive to the point where you actually feel like you're in Norway, or even Valhalla, and I was completely immersed in the story.

Overall, I absolutely loved Valkyrie Rising. It's an amazing story about learning who you are and where you come from while staying strong and protecting those you love. The characters are fantastic and the writing style is gorgeous. I loved every minute of the story and it's hard to believe that this is Paulson's debut novel. The ending is definitely a bit of a cliff-hanger; some things weren't wrapped up so I'm really hoping there will be a second one! I just can't wait to see what she's coming out with next! If you're a fan of mythology and need something different and refreshing, Valkyrie Rising is one you won't want to miss out on!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stacking the Shelves - The one with creepy HarperTeen books!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews as a way to share all the books we've received this week!



For Review from HarperTeen
Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
The Turning by Francine Prose
Dark Eden: Eve of Destruction by Patrick Carman
Dark Eden by Patrick Carman
Feedback by Robison Wells
Fang Girl by Helen Keeble

For Review from PYR
The Steam Mole by Dave Freer

For Review from SimonTeen
Rebel Heart by Moira Young

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane

****"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.****

Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane
Expected Publication Date: December 18th, 2012
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Page Count: 304 pages
Add to Goodreads
Because of what you are, the Believers will hunt you down.

Voices told Lucas Darby to run. Voices no one else can hear. He’s warned his sister not to look for him, but Rayne refuses to let her troubled brother vanish on the streets of LA. In her desperate search, she meets Gabriel Stewart, a runaway with mysterious powers and far too many secrets. Rayne can’t explain her crazy need to trust the strange yet compelling boy—to touch him—to protect him even though he scares her.

A fanatical church secretly hunts psychic kids—gifted “Indigo” teens feared to be the next evolution of mankind—for reasons only “the Believers” know. Now Rayne’s only hope is Gabe, who is haunted by an awakening power—a force darker than either of them imagine—that could doom them all.
Why I Can't Wait: I read one of Jordan Dane's books awhile ago and I loved her writing style. Also, I'm a huge sucker for underground religious groups and werewolves. The cover makes me think werewolves will be involved. *crosses fingers*

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Time Between Us by Taram Ireland Stone
Expected Publication Date: October 9th, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion
Page Count: 384 pages
Add to Goodreads
Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, Time Between Us is a stunning, spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new voice in YA fiction.

"A beautifully written, unique love story." -- Melissa Marr, New York Times best-selling author of The Wicked Lovely series

“A warm, time-bending romance… [that] will have readers rooting for the couple that keeps daring fate.” -- Publishers Weekly

"Time Between Us is the very best kind of love story -- heart-pounding, intense, and unputdownable!" -- Elizabeth Scott, author of Bloom and Perfect You

"The story will hold readers with its twists and turns, present and future; its love, sadness, and anger; and especially, its surprising secrets." -- Booklist
My Teaser 
"Even from this distance I can see how young he looks. Younger than the first time I saw him. He and his friends have been skating around Lafayette Park for the last couple of hours and now they're sprawled across the grass, downing Gatorades and passing around a bag of Doritos." - ARC pg. 1

Monday, October 8, 2012

Review: Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate


Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate
Expected Publication Date: October 2nd, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Page Count: 304 pages
Format: ARC
Source: San Diego Comic-Con 2012
Sixteen-year-old Evening Spiker lives an affluent life in San Francisco with her mother, EmmaRose, a successful geneticist and owner of Spiker Biotech. Sure, Evening misses her father who died mysteriously, but she’s never really questioned it. Much like how she’s never stopped to think how off it is that she’s never been sick. That is, until she’s struck by a car and is exposed to extensive injuries. Injuries that seem to be healing faster than physically possible.

While recuperating in Spiker Biotech’s lush facilities, she meets Solo Plissken, a very attractive, if off-putting boy her age who spent his life at Spiker Biotech. Like Evening, he’s never questioned anything... until now. Solo drops hints to Evening that something isn’t right, and Emma-Rose may be behind it. Evening puts this out of her mind and begins her summer internship project: To simulate the creation of the perfect boy. With the help of Solo, Evening uncovers secrets so big they could change the world completely.
Going into this book I had a lot of doubts. I had heard from a number of people that it didn't live up to expectations, but I had heard from others that it was absolutely amazing. As you can imagine, I was quite skeptical about what I would be feeling by the time I finished it. I managed to pick up an ARC of Eve and Adam at Comic-Con over the summer and had it signed by the awesome Michael Grant, so I was really excited to finally dig into it. While there were some flaws that I found with the book, overall it was a really great story! It's incredibly fast paced, a super quick read, and has great characters who collectively made the book shine for me.

Eve is a strong and intelligent girl who I liked from the very beginning. She's funny, witty, brave, and loyal to no end. When she's hit by a car in the very opening of the book it's amazing how calm she is about everything, and even throughout her experience in the hospital she's making sarcastic remarks about everything going on. Asilin, her bff is HILARIOUS. I'm not going to lie, I would love a book just about her. I'm not going to lie, I didn't like Solo at the beginning of the book. He reminded me of a younger version of Dr. Cooper from Nurse Jackie. He was always making comments about how into him Eve was and I just wanted to be like, "Get over yourself dude!" He redeemed himself in the end, though :)

The story itself is really unique. It's essentially a rewrite of the Bible, only woman creates man. Along with some help from genetics and science experiments. The plot is very quick, and I would say the entire book is definitely plot driven (at least it was for me). There are so many twists and turns throughout the story, you'll be surprised by a lot of what happens. Also, I'm usually not much of a fan of alternating POVs unless they're done really well, which this one was. I could easily tell the difference between Eve and Solo without even reading the names at the beginning of the chapters. Grant and Appelgate did a fantastic job collaborating on this one.

Overall, Eve and Adam is definitely a book you're going to want to get your hands on. It's a quick, fun read with plenty of plot twists and great characters. I definitely didn't care for Adam once I met him, but the idea that someone can create a human being is amazing. You'll definitely have a lot of questions by the end, but it'll be worth it! For a great, philosophical read that has an intense plot and fantastic characters pick up Eve and Adam!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Stacking the Shelves - The one with lots of Michael Grant and K.A. Applegate!!!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews as a way to share all the books we've received this week!



For Review
The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech (Thank you HarperCollins!!!)

Signed
Lies by Michael Grant
Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate
Plague by Michael Grant
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Hunger by Michael Grant


Make sure you leave a link and let me know what you added to your stack this week!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Blind Spot Trailer Premiere!!

The trailer for Blind Spot was produced by Vania Stoyanova at VLC Productions (http://www.vlcphoto.net/. Laura Ellen's 14-year-old son James composed and performed the music for the trailer with Steve 'Oz' Osburn http://www.ozmusic.com/steve_oz.html. It was recorded in Muruga Booker's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muruga_Booker Sage Court Studios.


What’s Your ‘Blind Spot’? Contest:

In Blind Spot, Roz has a visual impairment
that makes her feel insecure. As a result, she becomes so obsessed with proving she is 'normal' that she loses sight of everything else-- including
clues to a murder.
What's your blind spot? Was it getting on the cheer squad? Is it losing weight? Have you ever wanted something so bad that, like Roz, you lost or almost lost something or someone important to you?
Share it and you could win a signed hardcover of Blind Spot and the chance to have your 'blind spot' story posted on October 26th during Laura Ellen’s blog tour. Some of your favorite authors will be sharing their stories too!
To enter go to Laura Ellen’s website www.lauraellenbooks.com and fill out the contest form any time between October 2nd and midnight EST October 16, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fangs, Fur, and Fey Giveaway Hop!


Another great giveaway hop from I'm a Reader, Not a Writer to participate in! This time it's also being hosted by Reading Lark and there are a lot of really great prizes out there! Here at my blog you can win any book of your choice as long as it has FANGS, FUR, or FEY in it. Here are a few choices I would definitely recommend!




Of course, you're welcome to choose anything you'd like, as long as it involves FANGS, FUR, or FEY! All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below!

Giveaway will run from 10/2 - 10/8
Winner will have 48 hours to respond
US ONLY
Prize will be mailed through Amazon.com
* I am not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items *

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Disclaimer

According to FTC guidelines I must point out that all of the books that I review on my blog were either purchased by me or were given to me by the author/publisher. All words and opinions expressed are my own and I do not receive any monetary goods for writing reviews. I will state in my review which books I have received for review and which books I have purchased/borrowed. All images and synopsis are taken from Goodreads.com unless otherwise stated.
 
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