Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Chasing Power (Sarah Beth Durst)

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:


Chasing Power
Title: Chasing Power
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Summary (from Goodreads):

Sixteen-year-old Kayla was born with the ability to move things with her mind—things like credit cards and buttons on cash registers—and she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again . . . which would mean grave danger for them both. When she’s caught stealing by a boy named Daniel—a boy with the ability to teleport—he needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel’s kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family—and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive . . . or survive.


Why I'm Looking Forward To ItIndiana Jones meets Jumper? I'm game.


So what book are you waiting on?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: Fool Me Twice (Mandy Hubbard)

Fool Me Twice
Title: Fool Me Twice
Series: If Only, Book 1
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Told: First Person (Mack), Present Tense
Content Rating: Teen (sensuality, skinnydipping, mousetraps)
Format Read: ARC (publisher)
Find On: Goodreads
Summary:

Last summer, Mackenzie and Landon were the perfect couple. And then he dumped her and broke her heart. Fast forward a year and they’re back at their summer jobs at Serenity Ranch and Spa. And Mack and her best friend Bailey are spending their time fantasizing about making voodoo dolls and playing childish pranks on Landon.

Lucky for Mack, the perfect opportunity presents itself. Landon takes a nasty fall and suddenly he’s stuck in the past—literally. His most recent memory is of last summer, when they were together, so now he’s calling Mack pet names and hanging all over her.

The plan is simple: keep Landon at arm’s length, manipulate him so he’s the one falling in love, and then BAM, dump him in the most epic revenge plot in the history of everdom. There’s only one teensy problem: Mack can’t fall for Landon a second time.


*          *          *

Review copy provided by publisher for an honest review. Thank you, Bloomsbury!

Series: This is the first in the If Only "Series," a new teen romance line from Bloomsbury. They have announced at least three titles so far, each written about different characters and by different authors. I don't think they will have anything to do with each other, and therefore can't imagine they have to be read in any order.

Writing: The flow was a little off for me, some of the sentences kind of unstructured, but it was a quick read thanks to the simple plot. The description, especially when it came to the horses and ranch life, was very detailed, and the dialogue was fun and witty and very well done.

Setting: Serenity Ranch and Spa, located in the desert part of Washington State (I'm still reeling that my green heaven has a desert area). We spend most of the time in the ranch part, and I learned a lot about horses and rodeos and life on a ranch, which was interesting.

Story/Romantic Relationship: When ex-boyfriend Landon gets amnesia and thinks he and Mack are still dating, she and her best friend Bailey decide Mack should get him to fall in love with her and then dump him, thereby giving him a taste of his own medicine for the humiliating and painful way he dumped Mack the previous summer. Oh, and they decide to pull pranks on him too, since that will teach him, even though (A) he sometimes won't even know he's being pranked, and (B) he won't understand why they are pranking him. But as Mack spends more time with Landon, she gets to know him better than she ever did and ends up falling for him all over again. But is he in love with her? Or will this turn out to be a repeat of the previous summer?

This story had its fun moments, like some of the pointless pranks, but I just couldn't root for the romance. Landon dumped her in such a cruel way that I couldn't forgive and can't believe that she would, no matter how much they had in common. How she could trust him after that, especially with the whole ex-girlfriend thing at the end... (Sorry, no spoilers.) Through the entire story I wanted her to turn out to be strong, to stand up for herself, and not end up with him - but predictably she disappointed me. I was so glad it was such a quick read, otherwise I would've been upset for investing more than two days in the story.

Characters: Mack had no strong sense of self, which was probably how she so easily fell for and forgave Landon - he "defined" her or whatever. If they hadn't been going to the same college in the fall, I know she would've altered her life to attend his college so as not to be parted from him. She was a disappointing main character, and her lack of resistance to his hotness alone was embarrassing. I despised Landon from the moment of the dump scene description, and no matter what he did, no matter how hot he was or how cute he acted, I just couldn't trust him - and it floored me that Mack could (especially with the whole ex-girlfriend thing at the end!). Just...ugh. Bailey was a great friend and Mack's voice of reason ... until she got all sappy herself and let Mack wander off and get sucked back in. But I guess Mack had to learn how to live without a voice of reason sooner or later, why not now?

Conclusion: It sounded like such a fun and flirty premise, but once I found out how Landon dumped Mack I was rooting for them not to be together. Basically, the entire book. Sadly disappointed.

Rating
2 out of 5 Scribbles

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Friday Reads Review (4/25/14)




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 <<
The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski (ARC)
I finally made time for this! And it's disappointing. I'm not big on her disjointed writing style, short half-scenes, and the romance that basically came from nowhere. I'm halfway through and struggling, but at least things are happening, finally.


>> JUST FINISHED <<
The Chapel Wars
The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Levitt (ARC)
While not the fun, upbeat story I was hoping for, and I really didn't buy the romance, it was okay, and I enjoyed the setting. Review to come.


>> READING NEXT <<
Searching for Sky

Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor (ARC)
After the disappointing reads I've had lately, I'm really hoping this one blows me away.


So what are you reading this week?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cover Reveal: Invisible (Dawn Metcalf)

Welcome to the the cover reveal for InvisibleBook 2 of Dawn Metcalf's unique and fantastical series, The Twixt! I loved Indelible (Book 1 - you can check out my review here), especially its beautiful yet chilling cover, so I am super-excited to be part of this reveal! 

Now without further ado, check out Invisible's gorgeous cover, and be sure to add it to your Goodreads to-read shelf and pre-order your copy! (links provided below) 

And so...the reveal!!




THE COVER

Release Date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Summary:

Some things lie beneath the surface.

Joy Malone wants it all: power, freedom and the boyfriend who loves her. Yet when an unstoppable assassin is hired to kill her, Joy learns that being the girl with the Sight comes with a price that might be too high to pay. Love will be tested, lives will be threatened, and everyone Joy knows and cares about will be affected by her decision to stand by Ink or to leave the Twixt forever.

Her choice is balanced on a scalpel's edge, and the consequences will be more shattering than anyone can know.

ADD TO GOODREADS

Pre-order your copy:

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     IndieBound


THE AUTHOR


Dawn Metcalf has always lived on the edge between reality and magic, which explains her current profession and love of fantasy books and games. Her passions include karate, fairy tales, Victoriana and dark chocolate, often combining one or more of them in unexpected ways. Currently, she lives with her husband and family in northern Connecticut. If they had a sign, it would be: Confounding the Neighbor Children Since 1999.

Website     Twitter     Facebook     Tumblr

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: The Young World (Chris Weitz)

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 Young World (The Young World Trilogy, #1)
Title: The Young World
Author: Chris Weitz
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown BYR
Summary (from Goodreads):

After a mysterious Sickness wipes out the rest of the population, the young survivors assemble into tightly run tribes. Jefferson, the reluctant leader of the Washington Square tribe, and Donna, the girl he's secretly in love with, have carved out a precarious existence among the chaos. But when another tribe member discovers a clue that may hold the cure to the Sickness, five teens set out on a life-altering road trip to save humankind.

The tribe exchanges gunfire with enemy gangs, escapes cults and militias, braves the wilds of the subway and Central Park...and discovers truths they could never have imagined.


Why I'm Looking Forward To ItA tribe of teens braving a detailed dystopian Manhattan? SOLD. (I think it's official: I can't get enough YA dystopian.)


So what book are you waiting on?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blog Tour: Gabriel Stone and the Wrath of the Solarians (Gabriel Stone #2) (Shannon Duffy)


Welcome to the Gabriel Stone and the Wrath of the Solarians blog tour! Check out this awesome April release from Month9Books and enter to win an ecopy!


Gabriel Stone and the Wrath of the Solarians

Title: Gabriel Stone and the Wrath of the Solarians
Series: Gabriel Stone #2
Author: Shannon Duffy
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books

Gabriel Stone is back from Valta, but the adventure is just beginning! His friend Tahlita is trapped in Willow Creek with no memory of Valta. Gabe, Piper, and Brent are determined to reunite Tahlita with her father. Yet even as they do, Prince Oliver arrives asking for their help. Menacing forces known as the Solarians have kidnapped the Empress and Princess and are threatening the lives of humans everywhere. Along with talking tracker monkey, Finley, the friends battle vampire mermaids and a living, blood-filled lake in their quest to save the Empress and Princess. Even with cool new powers, Gabe discovers their strongest weapon is their friendship as they battle the Solarians and rescue a cursed white witch—who may be the only one who can save Valta.

Add to Goodreads




Excerpt

Gabriel barely had a chance to notice Dane’s glistening eyes before one by one the streetlights on First Street popped, crackled, then exploded in a spray of light and shattering glass across the street.
When Gabriel turned around, he wasn’t prepared for what he saw next. It wasn’t just the electrical disaster that made his eyes grow wide.
A boy that looked about seventeen stood under the lone streetlight that hadn’t smashed. His arm was raised high into the air, his hand palm-up as if he was stopping the glass from crashing on top of him. Even though his face was turned away, he looked vaguely familiar and … out of place. His shaggy, long blond hair streamed down over a navy-blue, fitted vest and his white shirt. His free hand rested on the hilt of his sword and his pants were tucked into black boots. Gabriel gulped. He had a sword!
Piper gasped. Brent blinked, frozen in place.
“Is that—” Piper started, but clamped her jaw shut and stared at the boy.
A cold sweat broke out on Gabriel’s forehead as the realization of who it was suddenly hit him, but before he could move, Dane stepped forward.
“Prince Oliver,” Dane said. “To what do we owe this pleasure?”


~          ~          ~



Shannon Duffy grew up on the beautiful east coast of Canada, and now lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and son, Gabriel. She’s mom to one boy, and several pets. Shannon loves writing, reading, working out, soccer, and the sport of champions: shopping.





Giveaway
  • Four (4) winners will receive an ebook copy of Gabriel Stone and the Wrath of the Solarians by Shannon Duffy (INT)
  • One (1) winner will receive an ebook copy of Gabriel Stone and the Wrath of the Solarians by Shannon Duffy AND Gabriel Stone swag (US/CAN)
  • One (1) winner will receive an ebook copy of Gabriel Stone and the Wrath of the Solarians by Shannon Duffy AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)

OPEN INT. – Winner will be drawn May 9, 2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour 
April 14th through 27th! 
Go here for all the links!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: The Unbound (Victoria Schwab)

The Unbound (The Archived, #2)
Title: The Unbound
Series: The Archive, Book 2
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Toldmostly First Person (Mackenzie), Present Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (violence, heavy situations, mental unbalance, minor sensuality)
Format Read: Hardcover (library)
Find It On: Goodreads

Summary:

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she's struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn't easy -- not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she's really safe. 

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She's sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she'll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.


*          *          *

Series: This is Book 2 in The Archived duology. It starts right after and continues the story thread of Book 1, The Archived. You can find my review of The Archived here.

Writing: Different; a little disjointed at times. Everything always felt a little detached, as if we weren't getting the whole picture. I think this was because the description rarely dealt in more than the two main senses - sight and touch - so sometimes the story seemed to be taking place in a kind of partial white space. Still, it was an interesting style and I enjoyed it.

Setting: There are two worlds: the normal world, and The Archive, where the dead's Histories are stored and people like Mac look after them. There were two main settings in the normal world: the Coronado, where Mac lives, and Hyde School, where she attends high school. All major locations were vivid and unique and pretty easy to picture.

Story: The main focus of the story was Mac's recovery from the events of The Archived. Sure, there was a mystery that she had to solve, especially since she believed someone was trying to frame her, but this proved merely the means to an end of her mental anguish (most of it, anyway). Because it was mainly about Mac's recovery, it was a heavy read for me, and I honestly grew rather tired of her struggle. I went into it expecting something much different (more adventure, much less angst), and was a little disappointed. However, it was still a strong read that I never once considered giving up on. I wouldn't be interested in reading it again, though.

Characters: Mac was a haunted, brooding, broken mess that would've been fine for some of the book, but since her downward spiral into a sort of madness was the main focus of the story, I had a hard time liking her. Her obsession to do everything herself got on my nerves, especially when Wesley was the best thing that could happen to her (and the story) and she wouldn't let him in. Thank God for Wesley, because without him I wouldn't have been able to stand her. As for Wesley, he was sweet and strong and the shining star of the book for what little time he was allowed to shine. Even though they were a great team, Mac was so intent on solving everything on her own and not dragging him into her mess that he got left behind by her and the story. If she had let him in a bit more, this could've easily been a 5-Scribble read.

Romantic Relationship: I was definitely a fan of Mac + Wesley, and there simply wasn't enough Macsley for my liking. I think the book would've been much better if he'd been more involved in the story, and with her.

Conclusion: A strong read, but it focused too much on Mac's haunted, brooding mind for me. Doubt I'll read it again, but I might be interested in another book in the series - if Mac and Wesley become Crew.

Rating
3 1/2 out of 5 Scribbles

Friday, April 18, 2014

3rd Writer Blog Anniversary

For those who don't know, Skye's Scribblings began its life as Write or Die Trying, a writer blog.

The switch to "review & writer blog" happened two years ago this January (now the "official" blogoversary for this blog), and earlier this year we celebrated its second year with great fanfare and, of course, a giveaway.

But when April 18th rolls around, I always like to mention my writer blog anniversary as well, if only in passing.

I initially created the writer blog because I wanted to put myself out there a little more and talk about my writing experiences and discoveries. Unfortunately, when it comes to most "creative non-fiction" writing, my thoughts become a jumbled mess that never comes out right, and no amount of editing makes it coherent enough to click "Publish." (This small post alone took me two days to write, and still almost didn't get published. *sigh*)

Eventually, I barely posted anything on the writer blog - but discovered that I rather enjoyed book reviewing, a type of creative non-fiction I was actually able to publish. I still wanted to keep the writer blog alive, but maintaining it and the review blog separately was too much trouble. So I decided to mash them together, giving myself the opportunity to talk about writing when I could but generating another type of bookish content when I couldn't. And so, "Skye's Scribblings: YA book review blog and ramblings of an aspiring novelist" was born.

While the blog currently focuses almost exclusively on books and reviews, I do hope to really give the "ramblings of an aspiring novelist" part more attention (and posts) someday. I am planning to do some serious writing this summer, so maybe that someday will be a lot sooner than it appears...

The Friday Reads Review (4/18/14)




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 <<
The Chapel Wars
The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Levitt (ARC)
Couldn't resist requesting this from the publisher - a Vegas wedding chapel sounds like the perfect setting for a YA novel! The author will be visiting in May for the First Loves Tour, along with Jillian Cantor (Searching for Sky) and Emery Lord (Open Road Summer). I have these galleys as well, so expect May to be the month of Bloomsbury reviews!


>> JUST FINISHED <<
The Boy on the PorchRebel Belle

The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech (ARC)
It made me cry! A heartwarming tale of the rewards of loving a child that is not your own (and foster care). But told from the adult couple's point of view, I'm confused how it's a children's book. Guess I just don't read them enough? *shrug* Review to come.

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins (Hbk)
Powered through this over the weekend to meet the author...and then never got to go. T-T Still, with a girl who can seriously kick butt, a cute boy who can (sort of) see the future, and lots of magic and Southern fun, Rachel Hawkins' latest book did not disappoint! Review to come.


>> READING NEXT <<
Got a few options up next to choose from...

Searching for SkyOpen Road SummerThe Program (The Program, #1)

Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor (ARC)
Another First Loves Tour author. This sounds a little out of my reading comfort zone, but that only excites me more to dive in!

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord (ARC)
The last of the First Loves Tour authors. I have heard nothing but AMAZING things about it, so I'm definitely read to dig in soon.

The Program by Suzanne Young (Hbk)
She'll be visiting in May with Aprilynne Pike (May is going to The Month of Authors!), so it's about time I got around to reading this apparently awesomesauce book.


So what are you reading this week?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Blackbird (Anna Carey)

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:


Blackbird
Title: Blackbird
Author: Anna Carey
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Summary (from Goodreads):

This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her. 

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined. 

The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists.


Why I'm Looking Forward To ItA 2nd Person thriller! So excited to see YA authors experimenting in this unusual tense.


So what book are you waiting on?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW Release!

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I'm happy to announce that:

House of Ivy & Sorrow
IS IN THE WILD!!! 

House of Ivy & Sorrow

Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves.

(Goodreads)
(My Review)

Natalie Whipple is one of my all-time favorite authors, so I'm extremely happy to be celebrating Natalie's latest release today - and encourage all of you to get your hands on this beautiful paperback original! (Purchase links below.) With its strong female lead and focus on family, I can't sing this book's praises enough. A refreshing, stunning and magical read I recommend to everyone!

So what are you waiting for?
Get House of Ivy & Sorrow today!

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     IndieBound


Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: Blindsided (Natalie Whipple)

Blindsided (Transparent, #2)
Title: Blindsided
Series: sequel to Transparent
Author: Natalie Whipple
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release Date: January 2, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Alternate Reality Superhero
Rating: Older Teen (language, sensuality, violence, minor torture)
Told: First Person (Fiona), Present Tense
Format: Paperback (early British edition)
Find It On: Goodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | TBD | Signed
Summary:

What price would you pay just to look in a mirror? It's junior year of high school, and Fiona has definitely had enough of being invisible. It's pretty hard to have a normal relationship when the only photos of her and Seth show him kissing thin air. On top of that, old Arizonan gang tensions are threatening to spill over at any minute, which could put them all in serious danger. So when Fiona realizes that she and her friends know something that could change everything, she has to decide whether working with the criminal syndicates is too high a price to finally be seen.

*          *          *

Three Words: Playful and tense.

Series: This is the sequel to Transparent, and you definitely have to read it before Blindsided to know how the characters came to be where they are. You can find my review of Transparent here.

Writing: Not the smoothest read, for some reason, which is unusual from Natalie. But I put the blame on the fact that it's the British edition, as I (as an American with Americanized reading tastes) have yet to have a "smooth read" with a British book. Fiona's first person viewpoint was light and fun though, and it had no trouble keeping my attention.

SettingThe world as we know it, but with one big difference: Radiasure, an anti-radiation pill invented during the Cold War that caused abnormalities down the generations. 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. Blindsided takes place in the fictional town of Madison, Arizona, unassuming but deceptively important.

Story: Where Transparent was a simple and easy story, Blindsided was anything but. It began a little shaky, but by the halfway point the story was engrossing and seriously intense as Fiona scrambled to figure out what was going on and then stop the numerous bad guys. The plot was rife with misdirection, so much so that even I couldn't finger the traitor(s) at any given time. That never happens with me, so I definitely tip my hat to Natalie for a game well played. The plot was also an unending series of "we're making progress! ... oh wait, crap, things just got even worse" that sucked me in like no other story has in a long while and had me reading long past my bedtime.

Characters: Fiona acted pretty stupid at first, making a lot of rookie mistakes, but eventually she got her footing and was pretty awesome. Her insecurity about her condition made her act foolishly at times, but it was hard to begrudge her desperate need to see herself, no matter the cost. Sometimes only getting what we feel we have to have shows us that we didn't need it after all. Seth was a fool, but a fool in love, I guess - and the poor boy had a lot to deal with and quite a lot of family baggage, so he couldn't fully be blamed for his personality. Brady was the gentle giant as always, and Bea the supportive best friend, but the complex plot sadly left them very little screen time. Grouped with The Pack, however, they shone as Fiona's backup. Both of Fiona's brothers returned, and this time they were both on her side...or were they? Dun dun duuuun! (Sorry, I just couldn't resist. ;) We finally get to meet Spud, Miles's mysterious hacker girlfriend, who was a mess of awesome in a tiny but deadly package - adored her. Oh, and Seth and Brady's father finally journeys out of his room, both fortunately and unfortunately for them all.

Romantic Relationship: Fiona and Seth are on rocky ground for most of the book as their personalities and desires clash, but they are a solid couple and struggle to hold together. A messy relationship full of miscommunication and misunderstandings - nothing like normalcy to lend the story an authentic feel.

Conclusion: While it didn't start out the strongest, by the middle I couldn't put it down. Where Transparent was mainly about character with a simple story, Blindsided had a complex plot that Fiona's character development had to fight tooth and nail with for equal screen time. Overall it was very different from Transparent, but still an exciting and entertaining and excellent read.

For Fans Of: The Curseworkers Series by Holly Black


Rating
4.5 out of 5 Scribbles

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Blog Tour: Of Breakable Things (A. Lynden Rolland)


Welcome to the Of Breakable Things blog tour! Check out this awesome April release from Month9Books and enter to win an ecopy!




Title: Of Breakable Things
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Author: A. Lynden Rolland
Publisher: Month9Books

A captivating debut about the fragility of life, love, and perspective.

Alex Ash was born broken. Living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is like living on death row, but she is willing to fight for her frail life as long as it includes the boy next door. Chase has always held the pieces of her together, but when he dies tragically, Alex’s unfavorable fate becomes a blessing in disguise.

Faced with a choice, she finds herself in a peculiar world where rooms can absorb emotions and secrets are buried six feet under. Among limitless minds, envious spirits, and soulless banshees, Alex hardly rests in peace.

Add to Goodreads




A. Lynden Rolland was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, a picturesque town obsessed with boats and blue crabs. She has always been intrigued by the dramatic and the broken, compiling her eccentric tales of tragic characters in a weathered notebook she began to carry in grade school. She is a sports fanatic, a coffee addict, and a lover of Sauvignon Blanc, thunderstorms and autumn leaves. When she isn’t hunched behind a laptop at her local bookstore, she can be found chasing her two vivacious children. She now resides just outside Annapolis with her husband and young sons.



GIVEAWAY
  • Four (4) winners will receive an ebook copy of Of Breakable Things by A. Lynden Rolland (INT)
  • One (1) winner will receive an ebook copy of Of Breakable Things by A. Lynden Rolland AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)

OPEN INT. – Winner will be drawn May 3, 2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour 
April 7th through 20th! 
Go here for all the links!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Friday Reads Review (4/11/14)




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 <<
The Boy on the Porch
The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech (ARC)
Needed a short and quick read to tide me over until I get my hands on Rebel Belle (see "Reading Next" below), so I grabbed this thin Juv/MG story. It's oddly written - stark and choppy - but I'm intrigued enough to give it a go.


>> JUST FINISHED <<
Fool Me TwiceWings (Wings, #1)

Fool Me Twice by Mandy Hubbard (ARC)
A great disappointment - not at all what I was expecting. I did not approve of them getting back together, and although fun the pranks really made no sense. Review to come.

Wings by Aprilynne Pike (Pbk)
While a definitely original spin on mythical creatures and legend lore, the writing was a bit of a rollercoaster, and I wasn't a fan of the two romances. I'm not much for faeries and trolls though, so it may have just been me. 


>> READING NEXT <<
Rebel Belle
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins (Hbk)
Picking this up from the library tomorrow afternoon and will have to rush to read it before seeing her at my local indie Tuesday evening! Luckily her books are quick, fun reads!

So what are you reading this week?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: The Chapel Wars (Lindsey Leavitt)

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 Chapel Wars
Title: The Chapel Wars
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Summary (from Goodreads):

Acclaimed author Lindsey Leavitt brings her trademark heart, humor, and romance to her hometown--Vegas.

Sixteen-year-old Holly wants to remember her Grandpa forever, but she’d rather forget what he left her in his will: his wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip. Whatever happened to gold watches, savings bonds, or some normal inheritance?

And then there's Grandpa's letter. Not only is she running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she needs to make some serious money--fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach out to Dax, the grandson of her family's mortal enemy and owner of the cheesy chapel next door. No matter how cute Dax is, Holly needs to stay focused: on her group of guy friends, her disjointed family, work, school and... Dax. No wait, not Dax.

Holly’s chapel represents everything she’s ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there's a wedding chapel to save.


Why I'm Looking Forward To ItThe last wedding I attended was in a small Vegas chapel, and I found the place fascinating. Setting a teen story/romance in one (or, more accurately, two)? Yes, please!


So what book are you waiting on?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: House of Ivy & Sorrow (Natalie Whipple)

House of Ivy & Sorrow
Title: House of Ivy & Sorrow
Series: standalone
Author: Natalie Whipple
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Magical Realism
Told: First Person (Jo), Present Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (sensuality, one word of language, scary situations, violence, witchcraft, gruesome spells/minor gore)
Format Read: ARC (publisher)
Find On: Goodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository
Summary:

Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves.


*          *          *

Review copy provided by publisher for an honest review. Thank you, Harper!


Three Words: Magical. Intense. Refreshing.

Writing: Natalie's signature quick and easy writing style returns, and better than ever. When I initially heard about this book (specifically the title), I expected a darker, thicker prose, but it was an effortless read with fun, witty dialogue (Natalie rules at dialogue) and bare but revealing description. Not a word was wasted.

Setting: Our world, but there is magic in the earth, and female witches can tap in and use it - for a price. All magic is dark magic - it's how you use it that matters (and if you use it, or if it uses you). I loved the magic system, its spells, and its users - the mythos was classic but fresh. The book takes place in a small town in Iowa, which was different and exotic to a desert girl like me, and the perfect backdrop for the story.

Story: Fast and intense. Neither characters nor reader get much time to catch their breath, especially between chapters - putting the book down to take care of life things proved physically painful on several occasions. Despite the spooky title and witching subject, the story always had a lighter tone (another part of Natalie's signature style). No matter how dark things got, it never weighed heavy on me - and believe me, things got really bleak. But Jo persevered for her family and herself, and as it should the strength of love conquered the darkness.

My Only Complaint: The book was too short. The story moved so fast, it was hard to truly get a handle on the secondary characters or the fascinating mythos. I feel this could've been just as engrossing and much more involved at twice the size. That said though, Natalie masterfully condensed a lot into one thrilling read.

Characters: Jo was a fierce, capable girl who put family about all else, even (and especially) her latest crush. She didn't obsess over him, or feel she needed him to complete her or be her strength - he became a bonus prize for making it through alive. She was so refreshing, and I adored her. Her pudding-addicted Nana was a fun mentor and eccentric parental figure, Gwen and Kat the perfect supportive bookend best friends. Winn was so cute and sweet (I always adore Natalie's boys), and although I fully supported his more background role, I also wish he'd played just a little bigger part in the main story.

Romantic Relationship: No instalove here - Jo and Winn had been interested in each other a few months before they gave dating a try. They got a little gooey at times, but the moments were bursts of joy the darker story needed. When he wasn't present though, Winn barely ranked a passing thought here and there, Jo's mind too filled with family. Then friends. Then the boy she was falling in love with. Such a refreshing change from the current norm.

Series: This book is a standalone. While a sequel definitely sounds tempting, I think it works well as a standalone. Still, if a sequel was announced, I'd be all over it in a heartbeat.

Conclusion: With its strong female lead and focus on family, I can't sing House of Ivy & Sorrow's praises enough. This was even better than Natalie's debut, Transparent, which I adored. My only complaint is that I wanted more! A refreshing and stunning read I will be recommending to everyone.

Rating
5 of 5 Scribbles