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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Infinite by Jodi Meadows

Infinite (Newsoul #3) by Jodi Meadows
Expected Publication Date: JAnuary 28th, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Page Count: 432 pages
Goodreads | Books Inc.
DESTRUCTION The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

FLIGHT Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

CHOICE The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

With gorgeous romance and thrilling action, the final book in the Incarnate trilogy offers a brilliant conclusion to the compelling questions of this fascinating world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions.
Why I Can't Wait: I think we all know how much I love Jodi Meadows. Incarnate is by far one of my favorite books and this trilogy is one of the first that I really got into when I started blogging. I just can't WAIT to see how everything is going to end up!!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms #2) by Morgan Rhodes
Expected Publication Date: December 3rd, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count: 416 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads | Books Inc.
Love, power, and magic collide with war in the second book of the Falling Kingdoms series.

Auranos has fallen and the three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now united as one country called Mytica. But still, magic beckons, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the world...

When the evil King Gaius announces that a road is to be built into the Forbidden Mountains, formally linking all of Mytica together, he sets off a chain of events that will forever change the face of this land, forcing Cleo the dethroned princess, Magnus the reluctant heir, Lucia the haunted sorceress, and Jonas the desperate rebel to take steps they never could have imagined. 
Just like Falling Kingdoms was one of my favorite reads from last winter, Rebel Spring has become one of my favorite reads from this winter. Starting right where Falling Kingdoms left off, this sequel is just as packed with action and suspense as its predecessor. I like to think of Morgan Rhodes’ high fantasy series as Game of Thrones for teens. While it’s not as graphic as the hit series from George R. R. Martin, it’s definitely a toned down version. Violence, sex, political intrigue, and magic all combine for an awesome adventure. 

As Cleo continues to fight for her rightful title as Queen of Auranos, Magnus continues to answer to his father’s every wish. However, the veil begins to lift this time around, creating questions in Magnus’s mind as to what his father is really up to. Meanwhile, Jonas Agallon leads the rebellion against the Blood King, fighting for home and country against a corrupt ruler hell bent on destroying his own people as he quests for the lost Kindred. Even Princess Lucia is discovering some power of her own. And as mortals quibble, the Watchers watch from their magical kingdom, waiting for the return of their precious life-force and magical essence. 

The lives of many combine to offer a striking portrait of the tensions between kingdoms in the midst of a political and magical war. Morgan Rhodes continues with this amazing, high fantasy series and doesn’t fail to disappoint. I’m always looking for great high fantasy in YA and these books have to be some of the best around. Descriptive prose pairs with strong characters and an intensely real world to create an epic tale of betrayal, passion, and lust. If you’re a high fantasy junkie like myself, this is one you don’t want to miss! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Review: Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
Publication Date: September 17th, 2013 
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 114 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Work
Age Recommendation: 7+; but also perfect for reading aloud!
Goodreads | Books Inc.
"I bought the milk," said my father. "I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: T h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road."

"Hullo," I said to myself. "That's not something you see every day. And then something odd happened."

Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.

Have you ever told your parents a ridiculous, outrageous, completely unbelievable story about something that happened to you, only to have them look at you like you’re a crazy person? We all have. As kids, when our parents asked us what we were doing, we would tell them things like, “I’m flying in space with aliens, mom!” or “I’m a wizard practicing magic at Hogwarts with Harry, Ron, and Hermione!” or we’d spend the whole day at a friend’s house and come home and tell our parents that we were actually sailing the high seas with pirates and eventually discovered an unknown island on which dinosaurs still roam. 

When Mom goes out of town, it’s up to Dad to take care of the house. That means doing things like picking up the dry cleaning, taking the kids to school, paying a couple bills and, oh, getting some milk, because they are almost out. When the next day rolls around, the kids get up to have their morning cereal only to realize that there’s no milk left. Who wants to eat dry cereal? The idea of pouring orange juice on their Suagr-O’s doesn’t seem appealing either. Being the hero that he is, Dad pops out to pick some up only to be gone all day. The store is just down the street, maybe four minutes away, what could he be doing? Did he meet someone he knew at the shop? Did he stop to chat with the grocer? When Dad returns, disheveled, dirty, and wild-eyed (fortunately, still holding the milk) the kids are quite interested to hear his excuse. 

Not only is Fortunately, the Milk filled with adventure, action, humor, and wit, but it’s an ingenious twist on the classic tall-tale that kids are usually accused of telling. This book is laugh out loud funny, so much so that you might get strange looks from those around you when you find yourself busting up in the middle of the train, or in a coffee shop. I highly recommend this for kids and adults alike. It’s a fantastic read aloud for kids too young to read alone and perfect for that picky reader who just can’t get into anything. It’s also great as a stocking stuffer (Christmas is coming up!) With fantastic illustrations from Skottie Young, Fortunately, the Milk is one you do not want to miss! As my coworker Steven says, “It’s like Doctor Who meets Winnie the Pooh” in this epic new adventure from Neil Gaiman!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
Expected Publication Date: April 1st, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow
Page Count: 400 pages
Goodreads | Books Inc.
Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean, in this thrilling, surprising, and thought-provoking debut novel that will appeal to fans of Across the Universe, by Beth Revis, and The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood.
Why I Can't Wait: When I first saw the cover, I knew this was something that I had to get my hands on it. After reading the synopsis, I was hooked. I'm a huge fan of Margaret Atwood, so anything that's comparable to her has my interest. Also, I'm always looking for a great sci fi YA!

Monday, October 7, 2013

My Love/Hate Relationship with Blogging

Hello my lovelies! I know, I have been super absent lately, what with graduating, working full time, going through a break up and learning how to be single, and just being an adult for once. However, when cleaning out my room I found my Blogging Journal, where I keep all my reading notes and handwritten reviews and it made me realize how much I really missed the blogging world. Even in the last few months that I've been slacking off, I haven't been keeping up-to-date with new and hot releases and it's made me feel a little out of the loop. 

I also came to the realization that I haven't read much YA this year, since most of my time was spent reading school books and once I was done with classes I got really into reading graphic novels (holy shit, why has it taken me so long to get into Batman?!) But now all my friends are going back to school so I'm spending less time with them, and I'm finding myself with more time for reading and more time for writing. Also, I recently saw a pack of my local blogger buddies and realized I haven't been keeping in touch with them either and that makes me really sad. I haven't been attending as many author events and I haven't been finding as much time to just spend chatting about books outside of work.

The thing about blogging is that it's time consuming. It takes a lot of time to format a post, write a review, pick a WoW book, take photos of book hauls, and all that other stuff that goes into blogging. I wish I had unlimited time to just spend reading and writing, but unfortunately I don't. My job requires me to read a lot especially now that the holidays are approaching. I need to be informed and confident in my recommendations to parents and children and in order to do that I need to read a large quantity of books. These books range in age appropriateness as well. I need to know at least a few good books for children of all ages. Because of this, I've spent a lot of my free reading time reading for work and not for blogging. 

Don't get me wrong, I love having a job that basically requires me to read. I love coming home and reading until the wee hours of the morning and then coming into work the next day and being able to talk to kids about that book that kept me up all night. I love giving parents stacks of books to take home in hopes that their children will love them as much as I do. But it gets exhausting. While I may want to veg out on the couch for the evening, stuffing my face with popcorn and consuming junk TV like Awkward and Real House Wives of every town in the entire world, I just feel the obligation to read and read until my eyes burn. And some nights all I want to do is lay in bed and read until 3AM even when I have to work at 9AM the next day. Some nights I even want to sit down and write up a blog post.

That's my love/hate relationship with blogging. I love it. I really do. I love the blogging community. I love being surrounded by people who love YA lit just as much as I do. I love being around people who won't judge me for being a 23-year-old grown woman who loves to read books for teens. But what I don't love is the pressure. Sometimes I just want to do my own things and not worry about scheduling posts or writing reviews. Sometimes I'd rather spend my nights out with friends than in reading. Most days I don't have time to respond to every comment or traverse the blogosphere commenting on everyone's posts. I wish I did.

Blogging is hard work and I always scoff at those who think it will be easy. 

For those who think that blogging means free books, meeting cool authors, being besties with publishers, and all those other cool perks, it's not. Don't take it lightly. It's a commitment and if you let it, it will wear you down. I let it wear me down last year and now I'm paying for it.

But, I'm going to start making up for it. I'm going to find a nice middle ground where I can blog, read, and still have a fun social life. I hope you'll all bear with me while I get my act back together. Because as much as I may hate it sometimes, I really do love it.

What about you? What kind of relationship do you have with blogging? Do you find the stress of it to be too much sometimes? Do you find it to be the easiest thing ever? Are you somewhere in the middle?


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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 unless otherwise stated.
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