Saturday, June 29, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (6/29/13)


Time for another Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, where I share the books that I've added to my shelves this week.


Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2)Escape from Memory
  • Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins (ARC - Purchased Used) - This was an easy and fun paranormal series to read, so why not add the ARC (even without the final cover) to my collection?
  • Escape From Memory by Margaret Peterson Haddix (PBK - Purchased Used) - It sounded interesting, and at 50 cents, how could I not grab it?
So what books did you add to your shelves this week?

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Friday Review (6/28/13)

BREAKING NEWS: If you hadn't noticed, I reached 80 Followers!!! This may not seem like a big milestone to most, but I've been stuck at 78 for a while now so it is to me. I want to thank all you loyal and lovely Followers for your support and encouragement - I couldn't do this without you! :)

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Welcome to The Friday Review, a weekly segment where I share what I've been reading!

Altered (Altered, #1)School SpiritsWhat We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World

CURRENTLY READING:
Altered by Jennifer Rush (ARC)
I don't know how I didn't hear about this book before, but it is exactly my kind of book and I am devouring it like nobody's business.

JUST FINISHED:
School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins (ARC)
Rachel and her paranormal world keep getting better and better! A light, easy and super-fun read with a hint of romance and lots of wit. Raving review to come!

READING NEXT: 
What We Found In the Sofa and How It Saved the World by Henry Clark
(ARC - Releases 7/13)
Or should I say, finishing next - I hope. I'm in the middle of it right now and keep allowing myself to be distracted by other YA books when it gets too slow. But I plan to finish it!


So what are you reading this week?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: The Burning Sky

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:

The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1)


Title: The Burning Sky
Author: Sherry Thomas
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Summary (from Goodreads):

It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning…

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.

Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to revenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.

But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.


Why I'm Looking Forward To It: I haven't been much for fantasy as of late, but this one sounds like it's worth trying, and lots or reviewers are already singing its praises.



So what book are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2013


My first Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the BookishThis week's topic: 

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2013

Splintered (Splintered, #1)Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)Arclight (Arclight, #1)The Elite (The Selection, #2)The Art of WishingTransparentThe Testing (The Testing, #1)The Distance Between UsIndelible (The Twixt, #1)Reboot (Reboot, #1)


Yes, I know, that's 11, not 10. What can I say, I've had some pretty good reads this year!

So what are some of your favorite 2013 reads so far?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Transparent (Natalie Whipple)

Transparent
Title: Transparent
Series: originally standalone, now duology
Author: Natalie Whipple
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Alternate Reality Superhero
Content Rating: Teen (some swearing, minor violence and kissing)
Told: First Person (Fiona), Present Tense
Format Read: ARC (trade)
Find On: Goodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository
Summary:

Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.



*          *          *

Three Words: Fun. Quick. Mutants.

Cover: Colorful and bright - love it.

Writing: Light and fun. I breezed through it in under 48 hours.

Setting: The world as we know it, but with one big difference: an anti-radiation pill invented during the Cold War caused abnormalities down the generations, and now most everyone has some form of mutation, from the minute (pointy ears, smelling like roses) to the extreme (invisibility, telekinesis, flight). Think X-Men, but the mutants are a majority.

Story: Described as The Godfather meets X-Men - aka The Mob meets mutants - and rightly so. The story is a simple one, following Fiona's journey as she learns to trust others and finds her strength. This simplicity made it a refreshing and easy read that's perfect for lazy summer days, or when you need a break from more heady books. There was a small twist at the end that, while I unconsciously saw it coming, was still a bit of a surprise, and it's totally worth reading the book over again to look for all the foreshadowing. (You can take my word for it - I read it twice! ;)

Characters: Fiona was a girl struggling with her identity, not only because of her lack of one (she doesn't even know what she looks like!) but because of her controlling father who has dictated her entire life. Away from him, she is at a loss for what to do and who to believe, and her journey to find herself and discover what she wants was one I could relate to. Seth was aggravating and argumentative but eventually sweet and protective, so just like Fiona I couldn't stay mad at him for too long. Brady was a total teddy bear - gentle and cuddly, but threaten anyone he loved and he'd rip you apart (literally). Bea was an awesome gal friend, and The Pack rounded off the group nicely (although I think skin-crawling Carlos we could've done without).

Romantic Relationship: All the feels. I can't say who she ends up with in the end without ruining it a little, but I absolutely adored them together.

Conclusion: I'd been looking forward to this book for over a year, and it did not disappoint - a quick, fun and refreshing read that's perfect for summer! I can't wait to see what Natalie gives us next.

For Fans Of: The Curseworkers Series by Holly Black.

Scribble Rating
5 of 5 Scribbles

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (06/22/13)


Time for another Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, where I share the books that I've added to my shelves this week. After the epic haul last week, there is only a single book this week - it's feast or famine with me.


Starters (Starters and Enders, #1)
  • Starters by Lissa Price (ARC - Traded) - I put off acquiring this book for so long because I actually thought it was self-published due to the amateur (to me, anyway) cover. Low and behold I accidentally discovered it's supposed to be brilliant! Now I'm quite looking forward to it (still dislike the cover, though).
So what books did you add to your shelves this week?

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Friday Review (6/21/13)

Welcome to The Friday Review, a weekly segment where I share what I've been reading!

Tandem (Many-Worlds, #1)IndigoWhat We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World

CURRENTLY READING:
Tandem by Anna Jarzab (ARC - Releases 10/8/13)
Good but long, even though it only takes place over seven days. It has the feel of high fantasy because the parallel world is run by monarchies, but it is definitely more science fiction with its slightly advanced technology.

JUST FINISHED:
Indigo by Gina Linko (ARC - Releases 10/22/13)
DNF halfway through. The story was too much contemporary and too little supernatural for me. In addition, the plot was slow, the description overbearing, and the dialogue lacking. I'm sure many will like it, but I prefer my books with more going on.

READING NEXT: 
What We Found In the Sofa and How It Saved the World by Henry Clark
(ARC - Releases 7/13)
After the heavy feel of Tandem, I am desperate for something quick and fun, and what better way to fill the need than with Middle Grade? This sounds so absurd that I think I will like it.


So what are you reading this week?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Indelible Book Trailer!

The book trailer for Indelible by Dawn Metcalf went LIVE last week on her blog - check it out!!!



Inktastic!!! XD (Yes, I totally went there. ;)

Indelible releases July 30th from Harlequin Teen - expect my gushing review sometime next month (with a signed bookmark giveaway!), and be sure to add Indelible to your Goodreads shelves!

Waiting On Wednesday: Frozen

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:

Frozen (Heart of Dread, #1)

Title: Frozen (Heart of Dread, Book 1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz, Michael Johnston
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Summary (from Goodreads):

Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.

But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.


Why I'm Looking Forward To It: While it sounds a bit like the Under the Never Sky series with its mythical paradise land, the rest of the concept sounds original and awesome. Vegas, mercenaries, and  "sinister sorcery"? I am so there.


So what book are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Movie Review: Children Who Chase Lost Voices

Title: Children Who Chase Lost Voices (From Deep Below)
Writer/Director: Makoto Shinkai
Country of Origin: Japan
Language Chosen: Japanese with captions
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Rating: Teen (scary situations, thematic elements, violence)
Find It On: Amazon

SummaryWhen she hears a strange song from a crystal radio, Asuna tunes into more than just a magical stream of music. Soon, she is transported to a mysterious world where mythical beasts roam and brave warriors fight for their lives. Agartha is a land of breathtaking beauty and unimaginable danger-a place where, it is believed, even the dead can be brought back to life. But at what cost?

Three Words: Stunning. Sad. Sweet.

Writing: Heart-wrenching and beautiful. The characters were completely relatable, the pacing superb - the sweet nature of the main character and the stunning and magical setting lulls you into a false sense of security where all is normal and well and we are in a nice, calm place before MONSTER ATTACK!! Masterfully done.

Art: Detailed and lush. The designs (especially the characters) reminded me of Miyazaki, which is always a plus. Liquids were a bit too spurting for my tastes, but otherwise absolutely gorgeous.

Setting: We began in a quiet, rural town in Japan, beautiful in its rustic simplicity. When it is invaded by an otherworldly creature, we slowly slide into the mysterious until we enter Agartha, the breathtaking underground world of magic and monsters. Both were extremely well-crafted and stunning.

Story: Her father deceased and her mother always working, Asuna is a strong but lonely girl until she meets (and loses) a sweet boy named Shun who saves her from a monster. When his brother Shin comes to retrieve a mysterious crystal that Shun wore, Asuna and grief-stricken adult Morisaki-sensei follow the boy into the underground world of Agartha on a rumor that, in its depths, the dead can be brought back to life. It's a sweet, innocent and beautiful story about moving on after the loss of a loved one. I could tell it was a theme with a story built around it, which I usually dislike, but the story was so expertly executed that, while I felt the theme at the forefront, I became so thoroughly engrossed in the story that I didn't care. As for the end, where the Japanese tend to wrap up on the melancholy side of bittersweet, Children had a more uplifting feel that left me sad but content.

Characters: Where most children in these types of stories long for adventure, that was not the case with Asuna. She really didn't know why she journeyed into Agartha, only that she knew she had to, and discovered much about herself that she needed to find. She had a magnificent strength but a sweet innocence that allowed her to delight in the little things despite her serious situation. I adored Shun, his gentleness and fierce heart, even if he was only around for a little while (he reminded me of Howl + Haku, which in my opinion is perfection personified). Shin was Shun's opposite - brash, violent, angry, but he was extremely brave and had a good heart, and grief was weighing him down. With Morisaki-sensei, it was interesting to have an adult along for a children's adventure who wasn't the bad guy - well, not totally bad (no spoilers ;). Sometimes kids can't continue on their own and need an adult to encourage them, and he was the adult there to keep Asuna going no matter what, despite his own heavy grief over the loss of his wife. As for the "cat" Mimi: all my love.

Conclusion: I'm usually not one for a story based on a theme, but if anyone is capable of pulling it off magnificently, it's the Japanese. This is a touching film about love and loss and letting go to be happy and move on with your life. If you know a child (grade school to middle school and possibly even high school) who is having a hard time letting go of a deceased loved one, this is definitely worth showing them.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (6/22/13)



Time for another Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, where I share the books that I've added to my shelves this week.

EPIC LIBRARIAN* HAUL:


*Epic Librarian (as she will now be known) is a local teen librarian who gives me the ARCs she has no time to read. I happily give them homes (either my own or others) and she gets the footspace under her desk back for periods of time, so we both win! :)

There are too many books to list here, but the ones I was immediately excited about were:
  • Premeditated by Josin McQuein - I normally avoid mysteries, but I loved Josin's Arclight so I'm actually excited for this one! It is on top of my TBR list.
  • Altered by Jennifer Rush - I hadn't given this a glance before, but holy heck this sounds like an epic book! Cannot wait to devour it.
  • Dualed by Elsie Chapman - Mixed reviews about it, but since I have a copy I'll give it a try.
  • Tandem by Anna Jarzab - Did not like the last parallel-worlds book I tried, so hoping this one (with its fantasy elements, which I desperately need right now) will redeem the genre.
  • Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger - I have been told time and again to read this book, so now that I have a pretty paperback copy it will get done. (Happy now, Ash?)
  • Scarlet by Marissa Meyer - I have yet to read Cinder, but I hear this series is good. I don't normally read out of order, but I've heard rumors that you can read Scarlet without having read Cinder - is this true? Because I might just do it... The "wild" me - embrace it. ;)
  • Ink by Amanda Sun - It had me at "set in Japan."
  • The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson - This one will either be epic or a yawn for me. I absolutely adored Brandon's Alcatraz series, but his adult books were just too technical to even finish, even if he is the master of magic.

OTHERS:

Miss Fortune CookieProxy (Proxy, #1)Legend (Legend, #1)
  • Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman (ARC - Traded) - Sounded cute so I'll give it a try.
  • Proxy by Alex London (ARC - Traded) - I've always been fascinated with the concept of a "whipping boy" - looking forward to this one.
  • Legend by Marie Lu (PBK - Purchased Used) - Like discovering a gem on a beach of pebbles, I found this beauty at a library Friends for $1.
So what books did you add to your shelves this week?

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Friday Review (6/14/13)

Welcome to The Friday Review, a weekly segment where I share what I've been reading!

IndigoThe Shambling Guide to New York CityPremeditated

CURRENTLY READING:
Indigo by Gina Linko (ARC)
It's slow and odd and rather a torture to read, really, but as not many have reviewed it I'm trying to finish. We'll see if I make it, though.

JUST FINISHED:
A rare adult book in my YA world. There was too much language and sex for my tastes, but it had a unique and interesting concept. Review to come.

READING NEXT: 
Premeditated by Josin McQuein (ARC)
Totally freaked out when I got this one yesterday! I normally wouldn't have even considered reading it (I'm not much for mysteries), but I absolutely loved Josin's Arclight so how could I not give her new book a try?


So what are you reading this week?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Steelheart

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:

Steelheart

Title: Steelheart
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Summary (from Goodreads):

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. 

Nobody fights the Epics... nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience. 

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.


Why I'm Looking Forward To It: I am all about the superheroes right now, and I am totally getting a superheroes vibe from this. And as it's Sanderson, it will be superheroes but to the next power - cannot wait!


So what book are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Review: The Distance Between Us (Kasie West)

The Distance Between UsTitle: The Distance Between Us
Series: standalone
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Told: First Person (Caymen), Present Tense
Content Rating: Teen (sarcasm, kissing)
Format Read: ARC (trade)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository
Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.


*          *          *

Three Words: Snark. Prejudice. Fun.

Cover: I love the warm color scheme, and the title fonts show the fun, laid-back nature of the story.

Writing: Quick and easy with short chapters and a fun, consistent voice.

Setting: A small beach town where there are two types of people: the rich, and those who sell to them. There wasn't much to the town, but we travel to some interesting and unusual spots (graveyard, anyone?), and meet some interesting and unusual people.

Story: After purchasing a present in her mother's doll shop, rich boy Xander takes an interest in poor, snarky Caymen, and she has to fight her attraction to him as he basically whisks her off her feet. But what is the real motive behind his interest in her? It's billed as Pretty In Pink meets Pride and Prejudice, and while I've never seen Pretty In Pink, the Pride and Prejudice angle is spot-on - I felt this connection long before I read the billing. It's a very simple story that felt like not much of anything happened and yet I was thoroughly engrossed - another testament to the magnificent talent that is Ms. West. I was surprised that it felt a little heavier than I normally expect from a light contemporary romance like this, but overall everything about it was just right.

Characters: Caymen was sarcastic, insecure, prejudiced, and heavily self-absorbed even as she struggled to help her mother with their failing store. These may not sound like very pretty traits in a viewpoint character, but her life wasn't very pretty so you really couldn't blame her for how she reacted to it. Almost her entire life was spent doing something and being somewhere she didn't enjoy, and before Xander came along she didn't really have an escape from it. But as the story progressed she learned to be more adventurous and have fun, and her rough edges eventually smoothed out a bit. Xander was sweet and playful, but also rich and pushy - he grew up privileged and couldn't imagine another way of living. When he wanted to do something he found a way to do it, and couldn't understand when others couldn't. But he proved good for Caymen in many ways, helping her break out of the life she'd caged herself into and showing her she was allowed to have dreams of her own.

Relationships: Caymen and Xander's relationship was one wrought with misunderstandings and, on her end, heavy prejudice. Caymen's mother had bred into her a disdain for the rich, so she fought tooth and nail against her attraction to Xander, even as he proved time and again to be a sweet, lovable guy. Luckily, love will out.

Conclusion: I expected excellent writing and a fun, easy story, and Ms. West did not disappoint. I plan to read anything and everything written by her, and cannot recommend this book highly enough if you need a good light romance!

Scribble Rating
4.5 of 5 Scribbles

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (6/8/13)


I'm participating in the Insomnia blog tour! Check out my interview of the author, J.R. Johansson, and enter to win a 10-page critique HERE!


Time for another Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, where I share the books that I've added to my shelves this week.


Famous Last WordsThe OriginalsThe Boyfriend AppCold Fury (Cold Fury, #1)Skip Beat!, Vol. 31Blue Exorcist, Vol. 8Blue Exorcist, Vol. 9The Shambling Guide to New York City
  • Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski (ARC - Traded) - I'm a sucker for stories about writers, and this one sounds pretty good. The ARC has a different cover though and I highly approve of the final one (above) because the ARC one gives it a creepy feel.
  • The Originals by Cat Patrick (ARC - Traded) - Sounds interesting and different.
  • The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise (ARC - Traded) - Been looking forward to this one - it's supposed to be really fun.
  • Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein (ARC - Traded) - Jason Bourne meets The Sopranos. Yes, please.
  • Skip Beat Volume 31 by Yoshiki Nakamura (PBK - Purchased) - These release four/five months apart now, and the wait is torture. Tied as my favorite manga series with Kamisama Kiss.
  • Blue Exorcist Volumes 8 and 9 by Kazue Kato (PBK - Purchased) - Stopped collecting this series a while ago but then got on a manga kick this week and got back into it.
  • The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty (PBK - Library Borrowed) - I don't normally mention library books, but this one was worth noting. I have been looking forward to it since they announced it sold to the publisher over a year ago, and the fact that it came out in paperback has only further made my year. It's a rare day that I'm excited about an adult book, but I started reading this one the second I got it home.
So what books did you add to your shelves this week?