Wednesday, March 1, 2017

WoW: Defy the Stars (Claudia Gray)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blogging event hosted by Breaking the Spine, in which one spotlights an upcoming release they are eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Defy the Stars
Title: Defy the Stars
Author: Claudia Gray
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown

Noemi Vidal is a teen soldier from the planet Genesis, once a colony of Earth that's now at war for its independence. The humans of Genesis have fought Earth's robotic "mech" armies for decades with no end in sight. 

After a surprise attack, Noemi finds herself stranded in space on an abandoned ship where she meets Abel, the most sophisticated mech prototype ever made. One who should be her enemy. But Abel's programming forces him to obey Noemi as his commander, which means he has to help her save Genesis--even though her plan to win the war will kill him. 

Together they embark on a daring voyage through the galaxy. Before long, Noemi begins to realize Abel may be more than a machine, and, for his part, Abel's devotion to Noemi is no longer just a matter of programming.

Why I'm Looking Forward To It: As my most anticipated read of 2017, you can imagine my shock when I discovered I'd yet to feature this! I really enjoyed Claudia's A Thousand Pieces of You (review) and couldn't have been more excited when this full-on Sci-fi was announced. It looks to be just my sort of read and I've heard nothing but amazing things, so needless to say I've been scrambling to get my hands on an ARC!

So what book are you waiting on?

Friday, February 17, 2017

The #FridayReads Review (2/17/17)

Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!

The Great Hunt (Eurona Duology, #1)
The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins (ARC)
Ever since I acquired the sequel I've been curious to give this duology a try. Although I'm not crazy about the multiple Third Person Limited POVs, it's interesting enough so far.

The Lost Property Office (Section 13, #1)#famous

The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal (ARC)
3 Stars. A fun and unique world concept with memorable characters and amazing magic, but the twists and clues and mishaps of the convoluted mystery story wound on some 150 pages too long, and the book was in desperate need of illustrations. The concept is interesting enough that I'm tempted to read the next one, but currently still on the fence if I want to invest that much time and brainpower again in a Middle Grade.

#famous by Jilly Gagnon (ARC)
2 Stars. A cliche and somewhat dispiriting #awkward contemporary romance about unexpected fame, bullying, and self-realization. Review to come.

(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
The Great Pursuit
The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins (ARC)
If all goes well with the first I plan to go straight into the second!

So what are you reading this week?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

WoW: Roar (Cora Carmack)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blogging event hosted by Breaking the Spine, in which one spotlights an upcoming release they are eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Roar (Stealing Storms, #1)
Title: Roar
Author: Cora Carmack
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. 

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough. 

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

Why I'm Looking Forward To It: Storm magic!!! Nuff said. 

So what book are you waiting on?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Paragraph Reviews: The Shadow Society (Marie Rutkoski) | Countdown (Michelle Rowen)

The Shadow Society  (The Shadow Society #1)
Title: The Shadow Society
Series: standalone
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Science Fiction
Told: First Person (Darcy), Past Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (violence, minor torture, some sensuality, a few words of language)
Format Read: ARC (trade)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

Darcy Jones doesn't remember anything before the day she was abandoned as a child outside a Chicago firehouse. She has never really belonged anywhere—but she couldn't have guessed that she comes from an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire didn't happen and deadly creatures called Shades terrorize the human population.

Memories begin to haunt Darcy when a new boy arrives at her high school, and he makes her feel both desire and desired in a way she hadn't thought possible. But Conn's interest in her is confusing. It doesn't line up with the way he first looked at her.

As if she were his enemy.

When Conn betrays Darcy, she realizes that she can't rely on anything—not herself, not the laws of nature, and certainly not him. Darcy decides to infiltrate the Shadow Society and uncover the Shades' latest terrorist plot. What she finds out will change her world forever . . .

In this smart, compulsively readable novel, master storyteller Marie Rutkoski has crafted an utterly original world, characters you won't soon forget, and a tale full of intrigue and suspense.

*          *          *

This book turned out to be nothing like what I expected going in. I hadn't been impressed with The Winner's Curse so I didn't expect much of this earlier work, but it was surprisingly quite good! Although it began with the extremely overused "girl who appears normal but has a dark secret is drawn to a new mysterious boy at school" opening, after some rather shocking violence and alternate world twists it turned out to be an exciting read with engaging intrigue and action and a really strong female lead. I even rather liked the romance - messy and somewhat intense with a lot of baggage though it was - which is rare for me. The writing wasn't too descriptive with good dialogue and banter, and while not particularly visual I didn't have much difficulty following the movement. If I think about it too hard the parallel universes and Shades didn't make complete sense - neither are explained in great detail, and what details we did get were vague and kind of waved off for the sake of the plot - but it was an interesting and unique idea. Recommend for Contemporary Science Fiction readers as long as they're willing to let the setting slide and just enjoy the story.

Scribble Rating
4 of 5 Scribbles


Title: Countdown
Series: standalone
Author: Michelle Rowen
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Thriller
Told: First Person (Kira), Past Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (violence, sensuality, some language, life/death situations)
Format Read: Paperback (purchase)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

3 seconds left to live. Once the countdown starts, it cannot be stopped. 

2 pawns thrown into a brutal underground reality game. 

Kira Jordan survived her family's murder and months on plague-devastated city streets with hard-won savvy and a low-level psi ability. She figures she can handle anything. Until she wakes up in a barren room, chained next to the notorious Rogan Ellis. 

1 reason Kira will never, ever trust Rogan. Even though both their lives depend on it. 

Their every move is controlled and televised for a vicious exclusive audience. And as Kira's psi skill unexpectedly grows and Rogan's secrets prove evermore deadly, Kira's only chance of survival is to risk trusting him as much as her instincts. Even if that means running head-on into the one trap she can't escape. 


*          *          *

With its surprise Psi abilities, advanced AI, and dystopian world, this book was nothing like the straight thriller I anticipated. Middling characters and a subpar world left me wanting, and when the deadly game I was reading for ended with still over 100 pages to go I found what little interest I had floundering in too long a rest and romantics period before the teens headed off to "save the world." At Page 245 (of 367), after not picking the book up for almost a week I started a new book instead and pretty much threw in the towel, but after skimming the last chapter I gave it a few weeks distance and then decided I was curious enough to polish it off. Overall not quite engaging enough for my tastes, but lovers of teen dystopian thrillers might enjoy it as a guilty pleasure read.

Scribble Rating
2 of 5 Scribbles

Friday, February 10, 2017

The #FridayReads Review (2/10/17)

Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!

The Lost Property Office (Section 13, #1)
The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal (ARC)
After my last read (see below) I needed a romance break, so I naturally reached for a Middle Grade. But while the setting and magic are fun and amazing, the story has been way too long and convoluted and in desperate need of illustrations. At the halfway point I started despairing the remainder but decided to persevere, and am now thankfully only 50 pages away from the end. Hope to finish this weekend.

To Catch a Killer
To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough (ARC)
2 Stars. To a mystery show buff like me this was a disappointingly obvious mystery with an excess of movement that focused too much on romance and not enough on forensics. Review to come.

(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
By Your Side
By Your Side by Kasie West (PBK)
I am definitely going to need a light, uncomplicated story next - can't wait!!

So what are you reading this week?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

STARFALL Launch Blitz & Giveaway

I am so excited to be part of the launch blitz for STARFALL, the second and last book in Melissa Landers' Starflight duology from Disney-Hyperion, which finally hit shelves this Tuesday! STARFLIGHT was my favorite read of 2016 (see my review here) and I cannot recommend it highly enough, so if you haven't checked out this duology yet do so below and order yourself a copy of each (the first book is currently less than a dollar)! And don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end for a Starflight duology swag pack!


Starfall (Starflight #2)
Author: Melissa Landers
Release date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

When Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage, she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Now after two years hiding as a ship hand, she is finally returning to her beloved home, but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend...with occasional benefits.

Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee plan a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, Cassia isn't exactly in need of heroics—she's claimed her birthright as Eturia's queen, but has inherited a war-torn planet simmering with rebellion. Cassia must make alliances, and Kane, the bastard son of a merchant, isn't a choice that will earn her any friends. Kane knows he will never find someone to replace Cassia—and is certain she returns his feelings—but how can he throw away his own promising future waiting on a queen?

When the outer realm is threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew uncover a horrifying conspiracy that endangers the entire universe. In the face of unspeakable evil, Cassia must confront her own family's complicated legacy on Eturia and decide once and for all who her real family is.

Check out the first book!

Starflight (Starflight, #1)

Book 1: Starflight


Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information or just to say hello, visit her website.

Hi, booklovers!

I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m so excited to launch STARFALL, the second and final book in my Starflight duology! This story picks up shortly after the first book ends, but now Cassia and Kane are the main characters, with Doran, Solara, and the rest of the Banshee crew pitching in to help take down an intergalactic mafia. (You know, just an ordinary day in space.) And while saying goodbye to characters is never easy, I think I gave the crew a proper sendoff with plenty of humor, heart, and action. I hope you love STARFALL as much as I do!

Haven’t read the first book? You’re in luck, because for a limited time, Starflight is on sale for 99 cents in all e-formats. Now you can binge read the entire duology in one sitting!

Praise for Starflight:
“Smart, action-packed and utterly addictive!” –New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman 
“Starflight has the cinematic appeal, warp-speed action and unlikely heroes of Star Wars.” –Justine Magazine 
“A lively tale of romance, space pirates, conspiracy, and made (as opposed to genetic) families.” –Booklist 
“A great choice for fans of raw sci-fi action, reminiscent of the lawlessness presented in the television series Firefly.” –School Library Journal
If you love sci-fi adventure with a dash of romance, I hope you’ll pick up the Starflight duology today. Starflight and Starfall are both available in stores and online.

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a Starflight duology swag pack, complete with bookmarks and two signed mini posters! The giveaway is open internationally. Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

WoW: Tash Hearts Tolstoy (Kathryn Ormsbee)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blogging event hosted by Breaking the Spine, in which one spotlights an upcoming release they are eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Tash Hearts Tolstoy
Title: Tash Hearts Tolstoy
Author: Kathryn Ormsbee
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

From the author of Lucky Few comes a quirky teen novel about internet fame, peer pressure, and remembering not to step on the little people on your way to the top!

After a shout out from one of the internet’s most beloved personalities, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka has found herself and her amateur web series plucked from obscurity and thrust in the limelight. And who wouldn’t want fame and fortune?

But along with the 40,000 new subscribers, the gushing tweets, and flashing Tumblr gifs, comes the pressure to deliver the best web series ever. As Tash struggles to combat the critics and her own doubts, she finds herself butting heads with her family and friends—the ones that helped make her show, Unhappy Families (a modern adaption of Anna Karenina, written by Tash’s eternal love Leo Tolstoy), what it is today.

And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a prestigious award, Tash’s confusing cyber-flirtation with an Internet celeb suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell him that she’s a romantic asexual. But her new relationship creates tension with her friend Paul since he thought Tash wasn’t interested in relationships…ever.

All Tash wants to think about is the upcoming award ceremony in Orlando, even though she’ll have to face all the friends she steamrolled to get there. But isn’t that just the price you pay for success?

Why I'm Looking Forward To It: Asexual female main character ftw!!! Finally a romance I may be able to truly relate to!

What book are you waiting on this week?