Friday, January 31, 2014

The Friday Reads Review (1/31/14)




Welcome to The Friday Reads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own Friday Reads Review on your blog, and then leave the link in the Comments below!


>> CURRENTLY READING <<
Split Second (Pivot Point #2)
Split Second by Kasie West (ARC)
While I'm struggling a little because it leans heavily on the previous book (Pivot Point) and I can't recall that much of it, I'm really enjoying it! It is a Kasie book, after all. ;)


>> JUST FINISHED <<
Erased (Altered, #2)
Erased by Jennifer Rush (ARC)
A quick, thrilling read! I highly recommend the series. You can find my review here.


>> READING NEXT <<
The Unbound (The Archived, #2)
The Unbound by Victoria Schwab (Hbk)
A shiny new copy is waiting for me at the library! Looking forward to returning to this highly original and imaginative world.


So what are you reading this week?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: The Veiled Man's Goddess (Amy McNulty)

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

My pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection this week won't release for quite a while (2015, to be exact), but it'll be worth the wait! 



Title: The Veiled Man's Goddess
Author: Amy McNulty
Publisher: Month9Books
Release Date: April 2015
Summary

In a village of masked men, magic compels each man to love only one woman and to follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be alone forever. And a man must stay masked until his goddess returns his love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.

Where the rest of her village celebrates this mystery that binds men and women together, seventeen year old Noll is just done with it. She’s lost all her childhood friends as they’ve paired off, but the worst blow was when her closest companion, Jurij, finds his goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever loved her: she is in fact the goddess of the mysterious lord of the village, a Byronic man who refuses to let Noll have her right as a woman to spurn him and who has the power to fight the curse. Thus begins a dangerous game between the two: the choice of woman versus the magic of man. And the stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither Noll nor the veiled man is willing to lose. 


Why I'm Looking Forward To It: This book. THIS BOOK. The premise is so original and magical and different from anything I have ever come across - and it is EXACTLY my kind of story. I know it doesn't come out until next April (*sob*), but I wanted to put this book on everyone's radar now because I think it's going to be epic. So don't be surprised to see this book pop up on this blog again in the future (and be a repeat WoW pick when the cover releases ;).


So what book are you waiting on?

Monday, January 27, 2014

YA Review: Erased (Jennifer Rush)

Erased (Altered, #2)
Title: Erased
Series: Altered, Book 2
Author: Jennifer Rush
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Rating: Older Teen (some strong language, sensuality, violence, violent attack)
Told: First Person Singular (Anna), Past Tense
Format Read: ARC
Find It On: Goodreads

Summary:

They thought they had escaped. They were wrong.

After fleeing the Branch with Sam, Cas, and Nick, Anna is trying to make sense of the memories resurfacing from her old life. At the same time, she's learning how to survive in hiding, following Sam's rules: Don't draw attention to yourself. Always carry a weapon. Know your surroundings. Watch your back.


Then a figure from Anna's childhood reappears. Is it a Branch setup, or could it be the reunion Anna has hoped for? Uncertain of where her loyalties lie, Anna must fight to learn the truth -- before she is betrayed again. Ultimately, the answers hinge on one question: What was the real reason her memories were erased?


Jennifer Rush delivers a thrilling sequel to Altered in a novel packed with mysteries, lies, and surprises that are sure to keep readers guessing until the last page is turned.


Writing: Stark and action-packed. It read like a good television show: short and to the point, with not a word wasted - action scenes barely more than blow-by-blows. Overall, masterfully written - the story was easy to follow and visualize, and the book a very quick read.

Setting: As locations are throwaway to the characters, so are they to us - barely more than mere backdrops, with minimal description. But coupled with the stark writing style, it works perfectly.

Story: Still in hiding from the Branch, Anna and the boys try to find some semblance of normalcy while always looking over their shoulder, ready to bolt at the first glimpse of an agent. But when a family member of Anna's, thought to be long dead, suddenly turns up alive, Anna goes in search of the truth behind her family's involvement with the Altered program. What she uncovers, however, is more twisted than she could have ever imagined.

The story started kind of simple and quiet, but it built to an explosive second half that I couldn't put down. Where the mystery in Altered (Book 1) was a little too complicated for me, I found Erased's twists and turns - most of which I didn't see coming - easy and fun to follow.

Characters: Anna has grown stronger and smarter and now holds her own with and against the boys - she rarely needs help, or looking after. But she still has her vulnerable moments, and struggles with a desire to return to a more normal life. She was the perfect balance of strength and longing. Sam was Sam, the quiet but affectionate romantic interest and leader of the group. I actually didn't feel he played that big of a part in this book, though - even some of his leadership role seemed to have been taken over by Anna, although she usually bowed to his good judgment. Usually. Nick began this book the foul-mouthed nerve-grater that I came to know and loathe in Altered, but by the end of Erased his very rough edges softened a bit and he is now my favorite boy (although his mouth is still the same, unfortunately).

Series: This is Book 2 in the Altered series. The end felt like it actually wrapped up the entire series, but more was hinted at, and there will be a Book 3 to release in 2015. You can find my review of Book 1, Altered, here.

Conclusion: Better than Altered, and I can't recall ever saying that about a Book 2! Took a little while to fully get into, but by the middle I couldn't put it down and finished it in one day. A quick, thrilling read, and although it felt like it wrapped up at the end, I'm excited for another book!


Rating
4 1/2 out of 5 Scribbles

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Author Spotlight: Mindee Arnett (Avalon) (+ Poster Giveaway)

As promised at the end of my Avalon review (which you can find here), the amazing Mindee Arnett has graced me with an interview! Read on to discover the spark that created Avalon, what space location she would visit, her Avalon Love List, and three things we can look forward to in the Avalon sequel, Meridian!


THE AUTHOR
> Mindee Arnett <

Mindee Arnett lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space. She has far more dreams than nightmares. She debuted with The Nightmare Affair in March 2013 from Tor Teen; the sequel, The Nightmare Dilemma, releases March 2014. Avalon released January 21, 2014.

Website   Twitter   Goodreads   Facebook   Tumblr



THE BOOK
Avalon (Avalon, Book 1)

Avalon (Avalon, #1)A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.

Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly.

Again, you can find my review of this book here
and links to purchase Avalon are below!

Goodreads   Barnes & Noble   Amazon   Changing Hands


And now...
THE INTERVIEW!

1. Avalon in one sentence:

Firefly meets The Godfather.

2. What was the initial spark that created Avalon

A lot of my motivation for writing Avalon came out of my heartbreak over Firefly. The show was brilliant and cancelled way too soon. I’ll never get over it.

3. Who was your favorite character to write in Avalon, and why? 

Jeth. By default, the main character is always my favorite. I have to really want to discover their story to write the book in the first place. Second up is probably Jeth’s little sister Lizzie. She’s fun and spunky.

4. Avalon is told from a male point of view (Jeth Seagrave). As a female writer, were there any tricks you used to make Jeth's voice more authentic?

None at all, actually. I think that if I had tried to do anything to purposely give him a male voice that it would’ve sounded false. Instead, I chose to write the story in third person and just went with it.

5. What were some of the subjects you researched for Avalon

I did a little bit of research on pretty much everything, including Brain Machine Interfaces (BMIs), The Bermuda Triangle (the primary inspiration for the Belgrave Quadrant, an area of space Jeth and his crew travel to early in the book), coral reefs, and the nature of dimensions as examined in the novella Flatland.

6. If you could visit any location in space (real or fictional), where would it be, and why? 

At the risk of tooting my own horn, I would have to go with Empyria, which is a mythical planet in Avalon. It’s a gorgeous place, a bit like Pandora in Avatar, minus the deadly to human beings stuff, of course.

7. Avalon has a companion e-novella, Proxy. What is it about, and how does it connect to Avalon?

Proxy is a caper story that takes place about a year before the events in Avalon. In it, you get to see how the final member of Jeth’s crew joins the team. Even more than Avalon, the events in Proxy have an impact on the soon-to-be-named sequel.
(Check out Proxy here!) 

8. Mindee Arnett's Avalon Love List 

  • Avalon – I just love the spaceship. She’s everything I would want in a ship.
  • Jeth – He’s tough and brave and yet a big old sap at heart, willing to do anything to protect his family and crew
  • The Belgrave Quadrant – I love the idea of a Bermuda Triangle in space, and my favorite scene (also the scariest, most ghoulish one) takes place there.
  • Metatech - This is the technology that allows for humans to travel faster than the speed of light. What I love about it is that it’s a dimension that human beings can’t sense at all (hence the need for metatech) but which nevertheless exists.

9. Avalon isn’t your first book – you debuted in March 2013 with The Nightmare Affair. Tells us about it!

The Nightmare Affair is murder mystery set at a magical school. My favorite description I’ve heard used about it is Harry Potter meets Scooby Doo.


(Check out The Nightmare Affair here!)

10. Avalon is the first book in a duology (2-book series). What are three things we can look forward to in Book 2, Meridian 
  1. It’s darker than Avalon and a little more metaphysical.
  2. Jeth’s story comes to a definite conclusion.
  3. However, there is a character I would love to do a spinoff about. We’ll see if that happens or not.

And there you have it! Major thanks to Ms. Arnett for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions!


THE GIVEAWAY


I have a signed poster of the Avalon cover to give away! Enter below for a chance to win this beauty - good luck!

(US only - apologies to my International Followers!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: The Nightmare Dilemma (Mindee Arnett)

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 Nightmare Dilemma (The Arkwell Academy, #2)
Title: The Nightmare Dilemma
Author: Mindee Arnett
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Summary (from Goodreads):

Dusty Everhart might be able to predict the future through the dreams of her crush, Eli Booker, but that doesn’t make her life even remotely easy. When one of her mermaid friends is viciously assaulted and left for dead, and the school’s jokester, Lance Rathbone, is accused of the crime, Dusty’s as shocked as everybody else. Lance needs Dusty to prove his innocence by finding the real attacker, but that’s easier asked than done. Eli’s dreams are no help, more nightmares than prophecies. 

To make matters worse, Dusty’s ex-boyfriend has just been acquitted of conspiracy and is now back at school, reminding Dusty of why she fell for him in the first place. The Magi Senate needs Dusty to get close to him, to discover his real motives. But this order infuriates Eli, who has started his own campaign for Dusty’s heart.

As Dusty takes on both cases, she begins to suspect they’re connected to something bigger. And there’s something very wrong with Eli’s dreams, signs that point to a darker plot than they could have ever imagined.


Why I'm Looking Forward To ItI'm usually not much for mysteries, but I devoured Book 1, The Nightmare Affair, (which I blame on Mindee's excellent storytelling. ;), and can't wait to return to this darkly fun world and its characters! 


So what book are you waiting on?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Book Launch: Avalon (Mindee Arnett) + Giveaway

Celebrate, YA Sci-Fi fans: Avalon has launched!! This is an epic Young Adult Science Fiction Thriller that I highly recommend (you can find my review here). If you've been living on some distant moon and haven't heard about Avalon, discover the book below and purchase a copy immediately using the links! And be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post for a chance to win a signed hardcover or a $50 gift card to the ebook retailer of your choice - good luck!


Avalon (Avalon, #1)

Title: Avalon
Author: Mindee Arnett

Summary:

A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.

Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly.



THE AUTHOR

Mindee Arnett is the author of one other book for teens, The Nightmare Affair, the sequel of which (The Nightmare Dilemma) releases in March from Tor Teen. She also has an prequel e-novella to Avalon, titled Proxy. She lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. Her dream home, though, is aboard a spaceship.

Website     Twitter     Facebook     Tumblr     Goodreads


Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Avalon (Mindee Arnett)

(Be sure not to miss the special announcement at the end of this review!)

Avalon (Avalon, #1)
Title: Avalon
Series: Avalon, Book 1
Author: Mindee Arnett
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date:  January 21, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Science Fiction
Content Rating: Older Teen (language, sensuality, violence, minor gore, minor torture, tense situations)
Told: Third Person Singular (Jeth), Past Tense
Format Read: ARC
Find On: Goodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository
Summary:

A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.



*          *          *

Three Words: Firefly but teenagers.

Writing: While the voice was technically Third Person Singular, meaning we kept strictly to Jeth, it read more Omniscient, giving us a more broad understanding of all the characters and scenes than one would usually get with a Singular perspective. It felt like the author was physically telling me the story - at times I swear I could almost hear her reading it aloud. For this reason, I believe it might "read" better in audiobook form - and a movie would be epic.

Setting: The future in the stars, where humans have moved to other planets and travel in spaceships via mysterious speed-of-light technology. It's space - enough said.

Story: If you love Firefly, Star Wars, and/or Cowboy Bebop, then you are going to love this action-packed science fiction thriller. To regain possession of his ship, Avalon, Jeth and his crew take a salvage job rescuing a crippled ship from the Belgrave, the Bermuda Triangle of space. Since Avalon is calibrated to handle the Belgrave's fluctuations, it seems like an easy job. But after discovering something unusual on the rescued ship, odd things begin to happen - and when the secret behind why everyone wants the ship comes to light, Jeth and his crew find themselves on the run not only for their lives, but their freedom.

This story is not for the faint of heart. Whatever the worst-case scenario was in any given situation, Jeth (and his family/crew, but mostly Jeth) got even worse. He couldn't seem to catch a break to save his life - ever. It got so bad near the end that I was ready to curl up in the fetal position and weep for him, and I was actually afraid to finish the book, knowing it was a series and therefore completely open to ending on a horrible note TO BE CONTINUED. Fortunately, some luck finally came Jeth's way in the end (but only some luck, mind you).

Characters: Jeth was a boy forced to be a man in order to protect and take care of his sister, his crew, and even his Uncle. He was still an inexperienced teenager, but he did the best he could, and he strove to put the others before himself. He was a good boy, if a little reckless, but who doesn't love a good bad boy? ;) The rest of the cast was an eclectic bunch of lovable rogues and seriously nasty villains. I did get Celeste/Sierra and Flynn/Shady mixed up a few times when they were all in a room together, but otherwise the crew was a fun bunch of characters.

Romantic Relationship: Something developed between Jeth and Sierra as the story progressed, but it was very minor, and aside for her being a constant distraction for him the romance had a very small part in this book.

Series: This is Book 1 in a duology (2-book series). While there was definitely a lot more to the bigger-picture story, Avalon had a complete arc and wrapped up at the end. Book 2, Meridian (update: now titled Polaris), currently has no publication date, but will probably release next January (update: releases 1/20/15).

Conclusion: An excellent YA Sci-Fi full of action and the wonders of space travel. The simple telling voice was a little different, but made for a quick read. I definitely look forward to more in the series!

For Fans Of: FireflyStar WarsCowboy Bebop


Scribble Rating
4 of 5 Scribbles


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Come back Thursday for an interview of the author, which will include a special giveaway!

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Friday Reads Review (1/17/14)




Welcome to The Friday Reads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own Friday Reads Review on your blog, and then leave the link in the Comments below!


>> CURRENTLY READING <<
Erased (Altered, #2)Jonathan Strange & Mr NorrellWriting Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft (8th Edition)

Erased by Jennifer Rush (ARC)
Reads like a television show, which means quick and action-packed with not a word wasted. Now awaiting the sudden but inevitable betrayal...

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (Pbk)
I've wanted to read this book since its release, but its daunting size always left it sitting on the shelf. So when it was a choice on my college class reading list, I decided it was finally time to give it a go! So far it's quite interesting, but if you eventually see me start reading The Book Thief, know I couldn't make it through the 850 pages.

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway (Pbk)
I got my first class reading assignment yesterday, so I officially begin reading the textbook! It's actually pretty good, although I don't agree with all of Ms. Burroway's opinions (we've already exchanged several insults).


>> JUST FINISHED <<
PandoraHearts, Vol. 19
Pandora Hearts Vol. 19 by Jun Mochizuki (Pbk)
Thank goodness Vol. 19 of this series was already released because if I'd had to wait four months after the nuclear bomb dropped at the end of Vol. 18 I may have gone all Mad Hatter up in here. Thankfully, the end of Vol. 19 treated me much better. Now awaiting Vol. 20 with great interest!


>> READING NEXT <<
Split Second (Pivot Point #2)
Split Second by Kasie West (ARC)
The sweet and wonderful @danasquare sent this lovely to me, and as Kasie is one of my favorite authors I can't wait to get started!!


So what are you reading this week?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Where the Rock Splits the Sky (Philip Webb)

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:


Where the Rock Splits the Sky
Title: Where the Rock Splits the Sky
Author: Philip Webb
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Summary (from Goodreads):

The moon has been split, and the Visitors have Earth in their alien grip. But the captive planet? That's not her problem. Megan just wants to track down her missing dad...

The world stopped turning long before Megan was born. Ever since the Visitors split the moon and stilled the Earth, permanent sunset is all anyone has known. But now, riding her trusty steed Cisco, joined by her posse, Kelly and Luis, Megan is on the run from her Texas hometown, journeying across the vast, dystopic American West to hunt down her father. To find him, she must face the Zone, a notorious landscape where the laws of nature do not apply. The desert can play deadly tricks on the mind, and the quest will push Megan past her limits. But to solve the mystery of not just her missing father but of the paralyzed planet itself, she must survive it--and an alien showdown.


Why I'm Looking Forward To It: This western dystopic sci-fi world sounds awesome, so I'm definitely up for an adventure across it!


So what book are you waiting on?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Top Ten 2014 Debuts I'm Excited For


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week's topic: 

Top Ten 2014 Debuts I'm Excited For

HungryThe Murder Complex (The Murder Complex, #1)IllusiveWildHexed (Hexed, #1)Wish You Were Italian: An If Only novelCruel BeautyBurn OutThe Art of LaineyLandry Park
  1. Hungry (H.A. Swain) - A future where people no longer have to eat, and the girl who suddenly gets hungry. There's just something about this book...I haven't stopped thinking about it since I discovered it.
  2. The Murder Complex (Lindsay Cummings) - Action-packed. Blood-soaked. Chilling. Dark. Compelling. NEED THIS NOW. 
  3. Illusive (Emily Lloyd-Jones) - X-Men meets Ocean's Eleven. Give me people with super powers and I will give you my undivided attention.
  4. Wild (Alex Mallory) - A YA retelling of Tarzan. Yes. Please.
  5. Hexed (Michelle Krys) - A witch mystery! Definitely interested in giving it a try.
  6. Wish You Were Italian (Kristin Rae) - Finding romance in a foreign city is my favorite premise!
  7. Cruel Beauty (Rosamund Hodge) - I'm a sucker for a Beauty and the Beast retelling, so of course this made the list.
  8. Burn Out (Kristi Helvig) - The main character has a gun for a pet. She and I are going to get along very well, methinks.
  9. The Art of Lainey (Paula Stokes) - Girl uses The Art of War to try and get her boyfriend back. How could this not sound like fun!
  10. Landry Park (Bethany Hagen) - They had me at Downton Abbey meets The Selection

Quite the odd mix, I know! But that's the way I read. ;)

So what 2014 debuts are you excited for?

Monday, January 13, 2014

First Blogoversary Celebration (+ Giveaway!)


I interrupt the regularly scheduled post to inform you that...


IT'S MY BLOGOVERSARY!!! 


Today marks the first blogoversary of Skye's Scribblings!! I can't believe it's been a whole year - it feels like only yesterday I was searching Google Images for "scribbles." But here I am, with almost 50 reviews on my Review Index and over 260 Followers (all of whom I love and cherish deeply *HUGS*).

But Skye, you say, didn't you celebrate your second blogoversary last April? And the answer to that question is...yes. Officially, I started this particular blog on April 18, 2011, back when it was known as Write or Die Trying, a writer's blog that was completely separate from my at the time anonymous review blog. But on January 13, 2013, I merged the two, and Skye's Scribblings was born! So while my technical blogoversary is in April, I'm moving the celebration to my switch-over blogoversary in January, and restarting the count.

So happy first blogoversary, Skye's Scribblings! You're a lot of work, but you've introduced me to some amazing people and allowed me to share my love of reading and passion for books. Here's wishing us another year of good reads and good reviews. Salute!


But enough reminiscing - as you've come to expect from me by now, yours truly is celebrating this special moment with a giveaway! The wonderful people at @this_is_teen sent me, in a Christmas giveaway win, an extra hardcover of Defy by Sara B. Larson (which released this month), with instructions to give it away to a friend. So of course I'm offering it to one of you, my wonderful Followers, because you're the best friends a book nerd like me could ever have! Thank you for all your support - I wouldn't be here without you. <3

Defy

RULES:
  • Must Follow this blog via GFC, Bloglovin, or Email (see sidebar for buttons)
  • Must be 13 years or older to enter
  • US only (apologies to my International Followers!)
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Sunday, January 12, 2014

YA Review: The Art of Wishing (Lindsay Ribar)

The Art of Wishing
Title: The Art of Wishing
Series: The Art of Wishing, Book 1
Author: Lindsay Ribar
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 21, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Rating: Older Teen (a few words of language, minor sensuality, two scenes of violent attack, scary situations)
Told: First Person (Margo), Past Tense
Format Read: ARC
Find It On: Goodreads

Summary:

He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life.

Margo McKenna has a plan for just about everything, from landing the lead in her high school play to getting into a good college. So when she finds herself in possession of a genie's ring and the chance to make three wishes, she doesn't know what to do. Why should she put her life into someone else's hands?

But Oliver is more than just a genie -- he's also a sophomore at Margo's high school, and he's on the run from a murderer. As he and Margo grow closer, she discovers that it will take more than three wishes to save him.

A whole lot more.


Writing: An easy and light read, despite a few scarier scenes. The description was highly engaging - I always felt like I was standing right in the middle of the action. The dialogue was witty and not afraid of being playfully realistic at times, and it was such fun to eavesdrop on Margo and Oliver's banter:

“Are you seriously telling me the truth about all this?" I asked.
"I seriously am," he replied. "I was also serious about stealing a fry.”

“...Oh god. I'm one of those girls."

"What girls?" he asked, perplexed.
"Those girls. The ones in all those books and TV shows. Some dumb high school girl falls in love with some supernatural guy, and he's all, 'Behold, I am five million years old!' and she's all, 'Oh my god, how can you ever love pathetic little me!' and he's like, 'Because of destiny!' or whatever. It's just so...ew. You know?”

Setting: The real world, but there are secret genies! The normality of the real world setting helped ground the fantastical elements, and made the whole scenario realistic.

Story: After losing her dream role in the school play to a girl she's never even heard of, Margo discovers there was magic afoot - or, in this case, a cute genie named Oliver. When Margo accidentally becomes his next master, she gets more than the three wishes she bargained for when an old master of Oliver's comes looking for him - and their final wish. And they won't let anything, or anyone, get in their way.

How I love this book so! I read it twice last year, and I loved it even more the second time. Instead of the genies of Aladdin, The Art of Wishing offers a more human face (that isn't blue) with more mysterious magic (that doesn't involve musical numbers - well, the magic doesn't, anyway). I actually read it a second time because Once Upon a Time in Wonderland went on hiatus and I needed another cute genie fix, and this definitely did the trick. If you're on the Alice/Cyrus ship, you will definitely want to take the Margo/Oliver cruise.

Characters: Margo was a smart girl who knew how to pick her fights, hold her tongue (mostly), and handle a genie - and his wishes. But she was also vulnerable, and her imperfections made her very relatable. I especially connected with her prudence - her level head and penchant for actually thinking things through grounded the story in reality when any mention of genies could have easily sent us into "a whole new world." As far as First Person viewpoints go, Margo was one of the most enjoyable I've ever read.

“A minute or so passed by--not long, but long enough to make me wonder whether Oliver was setting up mood lighting or hiding dead bodies. Or if someone was up there waiting to stab me again. Or if someone was up there waiting to hand me a crown and tell me I was the long-lost princess of Genovia. Or if I'd tumble into a pit of lava, only to get saved at the last second by a flying carpet.”

Oliver was sweet and gentle with a fun personality and a great outlook on life. He still found joy in his job, despite all the bad that had been done to him (and by him). I've never been one for book boyfriends, but if I was, Oliver would be mine, and now I check public bathroom windowsills for mysterious rings, just in case.

Romantic Relationship: Margo and Oliver's relationship was a sweet and relatively innocent one - which is just the way I like it. ;)

Series: This is the first book in a duology. The Art of Wishing has a complete story arc, and while I wouldn't necessarily call the ending a cliffhanger, there is certainly more to the story. Book 2, The Fourth Wish, releases July 31, 2014.

Conclusion: A highly engaging and entertaining read that I am glad to own, have already read twice, and plan to read again in the future. I seriously cannot wait for The Fourth Wish!

For Fans Of: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (television show)

Rating
4 1/2 out of 5 Scribbles
(Practically Perfection)



*All quotes were taken from the ARC, which is uncorrected proof. See the finished copy for exact wording.