Thursday, March 31, 2011

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop


The Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books.


This weeks question:
Since today is April Fool's Day in the USA, what is the best prank you have ever played on someone OR that someone has played on you?

Well, I have never really gotten a prank played on me or really gotten into April Fools so I've never played any pranks on anyone. =P




Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee! =)

This weeks question:

Q. Inspired by the inane twitter trend of #100factsaboutme, give us five BOOK RELATED silly facts about you.

1. I have a huge TBR pile yet I still continue to purchase new books every week!
2. My friend Jessa gets all her book recommendations from me! Every time she sees me with a new book she wants to know all the details about it!
3. My favorite read this year is Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton! Such an awesome book!
4. I love reading other blogs and find new ones to follow every week. There are tons of amazing blogs out there!
5. If I was to win the lottery, I would spend well over half of it on books.


I have an INTERNATIONAL giveaway going on from now until Saturday for Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter so check it out HERE! =)

Please leave a comment if you are a new follower, so I can check out your blog and follow you in return! =)

Review: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

March 1, 2011
NAL Trade

From Goodreads:
Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.


My Review:
After finishing Falling Under, I really wasn't sure what to think. While I did find some parts of the story entertaining, I just never got into it. I had moments where I found Theia to be a relatable and sweet girl, and other times she just rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't understand her reactions on quite a few things and that is probably why I wasn't completely into Falling Under.

I really felt for Theia. Her dad has her under lock down at all times and she has to follow some strict rules. He has her locked in a little cage and it really affects how Theia interacts with others. She is very shy and closed off from the world because of her father. When Haden comes into the picture, her life is thrown completely off balance. She is enchanted by him yet at the same time, he infuriates her. She dreams of him every night and those dreams of him feel so real. She knows that there is more to Haden than meets the eye and she is determined to find out who he really is.

This was the point where I started to get annoyed with Theia. She acts completely different around Haden and I felt like she was easily manipulated by him. He continually hurts her and she knows he does it on purpose, yet she still falls for him. I really don't appreciate girls who fall so deep for the guy who is a real jerk. Haden was continually rude and hurtful to her yet she still kept going back to him. Even though Theia says that she hates him, she also says that she loves him at the same time. I really wish Hayes would have given Theia more of a backbone.

While Haden was really swoon worthy in the looks department, I hated how horrible he was to Theia. He hurts her yet he says he is drawn to her and loves her. Usually I am a sucker for bad boys but Haden just didn't do it for me. He had the whole mysterious quality going for him but it just wasn't attractive when he deliberately hurt Theia. I did enjoy trying to guess what supernatural being he was but that was all that he had going for him.

While Falling Under did have its negatives, I did like some parts of it. Theia's friends were fun and refreshing. They made the story much more enjoyable. They had Theia's back on so many things and it is great to read about those kinds of friends in YA. I also loved trying to guess what Haden was. There were so many clues yet I had such a hard time figuring it out! I will probably end up reading the sequel due to the huge cliffhanger at the ending! I would give this one a try if you do enjoy reading paranormal YA books. Just don't expect to fall in love with the main characters.

My Rating:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (20)

Thanks to Jill from Breaking the Spine for hosting this every Wednesday!

August 2, 2011

From Goodreads:
The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

Why I'm Excited:
The Near Witch sounds really mysterious and romantic. I also adore the cover! Can't wait until this one releases!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Interview: Author of Born at Midnight C.C. Hunter

C.C. Hunter, author of Born at Midnight, which releases today, was nice enough to let me interview her. If you haven't heard much about Born at Midnight, the synopsis is below:


One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever.  Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.”  Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.
Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either.  Or does she?  They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason.  As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas.  Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past.  Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart. 
Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

Bailey: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

 
C.C.:  I’ll be honest.  I come from Alabama, and creating stories—or just flat-out lying about stuff, as other people might say—was a way of life in my family.  I had a vivid imagination when I was a kid, still do, in fact.  I’ve always had book-length stories running around in my head but I didn’t try to capture them on paper until I was 23 and my new hubby suggested I go back to school to become a teacher.  I told him I had a different path I’d like to explore, and that’s when I admitted I wanted to become a writer. 

Saying out loud that I wanted to be a writer was a huge step for me.  I’m dyslexic.  I’m a terrible speller and often I get words and sentences backwards, so not only did I have to learn how to write, I had to learn how to deal with my dyslexia.  But you know what?  I think being dyslexic helped me with my writing.  It helped me understand people’s emotions, which is so important in developing characters in fiction.  Plus, being dyslexic forced me to work harder, and that led to my viewing a rejection as an invitation to try harder.


Bailey: What is your writing schedule?



C.C.:  That really depends on whether I have a looming deadline or not.  Normally, I write every weekday from around 8:00 to 5:00.  Weekends I try to keep free for spending time with my family.  But if I’m a deadline, I may end up writing up to 14 hours a day, including several hours on the weekend.

Writing is a full-time job for me. But you know what?  It’s the absolute best job I could ever have and I wouldn’t change a thing!


Bailey: Can you name a few of your favorite authors/books?




C.C.:  Oh, this one is hard.  I read a lot of different authors so my reading list is varied.  I do almost all of my reading these days in bed because it’s a great way to wind down from writing.  Some of my current favorite YA books include:

Firelight by Sophie Jordan 

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynne Childs

Glimmerglass by Jenna Black

13 to Life by Shannon Delany

Evermore by Alyson Noel

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

The House of Night by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast 



Bailey: Where is your favorite place to read and write?

 
C.C.:  I always write in the same place.  I have an office, which is really more of a study.  I have floor to ceiling bookshelves filled with my favorite books, a comfy sofa and a couple of arm chairs, in addition to my desk and chair.  I have these beautiful French doors that lead outside to the patio and backyard, so when I find myself at a loss for inspiration, I can usually find it by taking a peak out those doors.

As for reading, as I said, I do most of that in bed.  Just ask my hubby about the huge TBR stack of books in my bedroom.  LOL


Bailey: How did you come up with the idea for your Shadow Falls series?

C.C.:   I get asked this one a lot, and it’s kind of a funny story.  Several years ago, I had written this humorous paranormal romance—not a YA—that my agent sent out to several editors.  It got a lot of great feedback but no offers.  So, I shelved it and went back to writing my humorous romantic suspense novels and sold quite a few to Dorchester.  Anyway, flash forward a few years and one of the editors who’d seen my funny paranormal novel contacted my agent to see if I’d be interested in writing a YA paranormal series.  She had the initial spark of an idea and it was two words:  “Paranormal Camp.”  Seriously, that was all she said but it was enough.  I took those two words and went to work on creating the world that is now Shadow Falls. 


Bailey: Is there anything else that you want readers to know?


C.C.:  Absolutely.  First, thank you for having me at IB Book Blogging.  I love, love talking about writing and sharing info about my characters.  In so many ways, my characters are like great friends, or even my own children, who I want to tell everyone about.

Next, I’d like to remind your readers that my short story Turned At Dark,  which is Della’s story and sort of an introduction to the Shadow Falls universe, is available as a free ebook on all sites, such as BN, Borders, Sony, Googlebooks, IBookstore.  Plus, I’m running a contest right now called “Tweet About My Book and Win a Kindle.”  You can find details about that and my latest blog at my website,  HYPERLINK "http://www.CCHunterBooks.com" www.CCHunterBooks.com

Thanks for stopping by, C.C.!

To celebrate the release of Born at Midnight, C.C. Hunter and her publisher have generously offered up a copy of Born at Midnight for a giveaway. This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL, so international peeps, you can finally be able to enter one of my giveaways!

To enter, all you have to do is comment with your name and email address below! Following is not necessary but appreciated! This giveaway will end on Saturday, April 2nd. 

*JUST ADDED* For an extra entry, tweet about this giveaway and interview and leave another comment with the link to the tweet.


Monday, March 28, 2011

New YA Book Releases: March 29, 2011

This is going to be a day early this week because I have author of Born at Midnight, C.C. Hunter, stopping by the blog tomorrow for an interview and giveaway.

Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter

Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams,  Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…
One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever.  Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.”  Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.
Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either.  Or does she?  They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason.  As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas.  Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past.  Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart. 
Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

Entwined by Heather Dixon

Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.
The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.
Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.
But there is a cost.
The Keeper likes to keep things.
Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.






Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach (March 31st)

A haunted castle, a handsome young man dead for four hundred years, one heck of a scary portrait of a witch, and a treasure hunt -- not to mention a princess for a roommate! -- all await 15 year old American girl Caitlyn Monahan when she earns a scholarship to a French boarding school.

There are secrets behind the stone walls of Chateau de la Fortune, buried for centuries along with the mystery of who killed Raphael, the charming ghost who visits Caitlyn at night. But as Caitlyn unearths the history of the castle, nothing scares her as badly as the secret she learns about herself, and the reason she was chosen to come to the Fortune School.

And nothing breaks her heart as badly as falling in love with a dead guy.


Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon

The Gods have abandoned Ai Ling.
Her mysterious power haunts her day and night, and she leaves home—with just the moon as her guide—overwhelmed by her memories and visions and an unbearable sense of dread. For Ai Ling knows that Chen Yong is vulnerable to corrupt enchantments from the under-world. How can she do nothing when she has the skill and power to fight at his side? A dream has told her where he is, the name of the ship he is traveling on, his destination. So she steals off and stows away on board.
The ocean voyage brings with it brutal danger, haunting revelations, and new friendships, but also the premonition of a very real and terrifying threat. Zhong Ye—the powerful sorcerer whom Ai Ling believed she had vanquished in the Palace of Fragrant Dreams—is trapped in Hell, neither alive nor dead. Can he reach from beyond the grave to reunite with Silver Phoenix and destroy Chen Yong? And destroy whatever chance Ai Ling has at happiness, at love?
In this sequel to the acclaimed novel Silver Phoenix, four lives are woven together and four destinies become one, now and forever.

Karma by Cathy Ostlere (March 31st)

On October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi is gunned down by two Sikh bodyguards. The murder sparks riots in Delhi and for three days Sikh families are targeted and killed in retribution for the Prime Minister’s death. It is into this chaos that sixteen-year-old Maya and her Sikh father, Amar, arrive from their home in Canada. India’s political instability is the backdrop and catalyst for Maya’s awakening to the world. KARMA is the story of how a young woman, straddling two cultures and enduring personal loss, learns forgiveness, acceptance and love.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

March 22, 2011
Simon & Schuster

From Goodreads:
What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.


My Review: 
Wither was an enchanting and engrossing novel that kept me up way past my bed time. I couldn't eat, sleep, or do anything without thinking about Wither. It chilled yet thrilled me! I have read many dystopian novels in the past year, but Wither has to be one of my favorites among them. From the moment that I started reading until the second I finished, I was Rhine and I was experiencing all the horrors that she ahd to go through.

Rhine is a corageous and unflinching girl who has had her fair share of bad experiences in life. Her parents are dead and it is just her an her twin brother, Rowan. They help each other survive and get through the hard times. When Rhine is tricked and captured by the Gatherers, she worries what her brother will do without her. Will he think her dead? How can he possibly find her? She is bought by Vaughn, Linden's creepy and terrifying father and forced into a marriage with Linden, along with two other girls. Rhine will do whatever she can to escape her confinement, even act sweet in order to become Linden's favorite and have access to the outside world. Rhine comes to appreciate her sister wives, even though they have their share of quirks.

DeStefano doesn't skimp on the characterization of Rhine's sister wives. They each have their own personalities. I was especially annoyed by Cecily. She is from an orphanage and Linden's mansion is paradise to her. She loves being pampered and acting as Linden's wife. She did some pretty awful things in the novel, but I can sort of understand why she did them. She is very young and doesn't understand the world like Jenna and Rhine do. Rhine grows sympathetic for her, even though she acts spoiled and pampered. However, she makes one huge mistake that makes Rhine furious and it is unforgivable. Jenna is the oldest sister wife and has gone through as much horror as Rhine has. She and Rhine find an understanding with each other and grow to become friends.

Gabriel is the servant boy that Rhine finds herself falling for. He is so sweet and understanding and they come to bond with one another. Rhine reveals things to him that she would never reveal to one another. She lets him in on her secrets and she knows that he is one of the few people that she can trust in her life. Linden is Rhine's sad and pathetic husband. He doesn't understand much about the world and is easily manipulated by his awful father. You can tell that he truly loves his wives but he is so naive.

DeStefano weaves a fantastically horrifying story that gave me chills. The world that Rhine lives in awful yet she somehow manages to make it through. I could sympathize all that Rhine went through and I pray that the world never comes to what the world in Wither is. Wither enchanted me and kept me awake well into the hours of the night. Wither ends on the perfect note and left me drooling for more of Rhine's story. This is a fantastic debut and I can't wait for more from Lauren DeStefano.

My Rating:



Friday, March 25, 2011

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop


The Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books.


This weeks question:
If I could physically put myself into a series, I would definitely choose Vampire Academy. I am in love with that series and I would love to go to a school like that. It also wouldn't hurt if I went in there as a vampire or dhamphir. ;)




Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee! =)

This weeks question:

Q. Inspired by the inane twitter trend of #100factsaboutme, give us five BOOK RELATED silly facts about you.

1. I cannot read more than one book at a time or I will go crazy.

2. I buy too many books!

3. I have many, many book boyfriends. ;)

4. I have a kindle but I don't really read anything on it because I like holding the actual book in my hand.

5. I used to hate reading until I was 12 and I read the Percy Jackson series. Then I got hooked and my mom was so happy that she took me to the book store and bought me--no joke-- about $200 worth of books. She looooves to read so she was so excited when I discovered that I liked to!


Please leave a comment if you are a new follower, so I can check out your blog and follow you in return! =)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: Haven by Kristi Cook

February 22, 2011
Simon Pulse

 From Goodreads:

One month into her junior year, sixteen-year-old Violet McKenna transfers to the Winterhaven School in New York’s Hudson Valley, inexplicably drawn to the boarding school with high hopes. Leaving Atlanta behind, she’s looking forward to a fresh start--a new school, and new classmates who will not know her deepest, darkest secret, the one she’s tried to hide all her life: strange, foreboding visions of the future.

But Winterhaven has secrets of its own, secrets that run far deeper than Violet’s. Everyone there--every student, every teacher--has psychic abilities, 'gifts and talents,' they like to call them. Once the initial shock of discovery wears off, Violet realizes that the school is a safe haven for people like her. Soon, Violet has a new circle of friends, a new life, and maybe even a boyfriend--Aidan Gray, perhaps the smartest, hottest guy at Winterhaven.

Only there’s more to Aidan than meets the eye--much, much more. And once she learns the horrible truth, there’s no turning back from her destiny. Their destiny. Together, Violet and Aidan must face a common enemy--if only they can do so without destroying each other first.


My Review:

Haven was an exciting and fun-filled novel that I quickly devoured! There is so much to this book that I don't even know how to explain it. I will say that the synopsis for Haven is a tad misleading as there is much more to the story than psychics. The teens at the school have some really cool powers like astral-projecting and a unique kind of shapeshifting. There was another supernatural creature that was thrown in that completely blew me out of the water. I can't say what, but they are a huge part of the story and we find out that there is so much more to Violet because of them.

I have mixed feelings about Violet. She is a very angsty teen who does a lot of woe-is me and feels like a freak because of her psychic powers. While I can understand that she would feel abnormal in her world, I don't think that she should have been so upset about it. Her powers give her an advantage that normal people don't have. She did however grow on me and by the end I could relate to her more. She goes through soooo much in this book and makes some pretty interesting realizations about herself. Not to mention that she falls in love with an attractive and broody Aidan. Winterhaven gets Violet to come to terms with her powers and she finds the acceptance she has always hoped for in the school. She makes many new friends that are there to help her through the hard times. I really came to enjoy Violet as she worked her way through obstacles that I don't know that I could have passed through.

Aidan is oh-so yummy yet oh-so complicated. He is such an enigma and I really loved getting to know him and finding out about who he was. There is a huge twist involving Aidan that I did not expect at all. While I was a little upset that the author made him what he was, she was able to pull it off and the story was much more entertaining because of that. She definitely took a risk with Aidan and that paid off. I relished in the time it took to build his and Violet's relationship. Aidan is so hot and cold with her that he does get a little frustrating. He knows that their relationship is in a way doomed, yet he can't seem to resist Violet, nor can Violet ignore the pull between them.

There were some plot twists in Haven that completely threw me for a loop! I was gasping and shivering along with Violet as she made her revalations about herself and those around her. She also has something major that she learns about herself that explains her unique powers. I was a little weary as to how Cook could pull everything off, put she managed it beautifully. Her explanations to why people and supernaturals were the way they were had me entranced. I loved how she explained and didn't just state what people were. I liked knowing why, too.

Haven is a beautifully written novel that had me deeply engrossed! I loved Cook's writing and her characters were not one-dimensional but nicely fleshed out. Do not let some of the plot points deflect you from finishing the story. I was weary at first with some of the things that Cook put in there, but she did a good job of making them seem realistic. Definitely pick up a copy of this on your next trip to the library or bookstore!

My Rating:



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (19)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine 
May 10, 2011

From Goodreads:
DIE FOR ME is the first of three books about Kate, a sixteen-year-old American who moves to Paris after the death of her parents. It introduces a new version of the undead with revenants, beings who are fated to sacrifice themselves over and over again to save others’ lives. Kate finds herself falling for Vincent, who she discovers is not the typical French teenager he appears: he is something else entirely.

DIE FOR ME presents a new supernatural mythology presented in a city where dreams are sometimes the same as reality.


Why I'm Excited:
Another mythology book that looks amazing! Can't wait!

What are you waiting on?


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New YA Book Releases: March 22, 2011

There are some awesome titles being released today! 

Wither by Lauren Destefano

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.


The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters. 
Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.
But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?


Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Just when he thought things couldn’t get any worse...

Nick Gautier’s day just keeps getting better and better. Yeah, he survived the zombie attacks, only to wake up and find himself enslaved to a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul.

His new principal thinks he’s even more of a hoodlum than the last one, his coach is trying to recruit him to things he can’t even mention and the girl he’s not seeing, but is, has secrets that terrify him.

But more than that, he’s being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn’t learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them...


Royally Crushed by Niki Burnham

Valerie's life is pretty good. While she's not the most popular girl in school, she does have decent grades, great friends, and a potential boyfriend. All a girl could want.

Then her mother announces that (1) she's gay, and (2) she's leaving Valerie's dad for her girlfriend. Not what Valerie envisioned for her future. And just when Valerie is getting over this bombshell, her father tells her he's gotten a new job as protocol chief for the royal family of some obscure European country.

Valerie's world has come unglued. She can either stay in Virginia with her mom and her ├╝ber-organized, veggie-burger-eating girlfriend, or go with her dad, leaving everything she knows for some place she's never heard of. Valerie opts to go, and quickly discovers that it was a mistake — until she meets the prince, and all bets are off!


Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.


The Screaming Season by Nancy Holder

The third novel in the bone-chilling Possessions series by New York Times bestselling author Nancy Holder

The gutsy heroine of Possessions and The Evil Within returns for another year of boarding school at the haunted Marlwood Academy. Lindsay wakes to find herself strapped down in the infirmary. She had a breakdown and might have tried to kill her nemesis Mandy or Mandy's boyfriend, Troy—or both. The details are hazy, but one thing is certain: she is possessed by a spirit she cannot trust.
Lindsay soon realizes that nowhere on campus is safe. Then, she finds a surprising ally in her former rival. Together, Lindsay and Mandy must figure out who can be trusted—and who wants them dead. But when Lindsay's ex-boyfriend shows up at Marlwood, she is given a chance to get away and be free of the curse. Will she take Riley's hand and run, or team up with a new love to save Marlwood from the evil spirits forever?


The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (Paperback)

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.
This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

June 29, 2010
Hyperion Book

From Goodreads:
Alona Dare–Senior in high school, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, Homecoming Queen three years in a row, voted most likely to marry a movie star… and newly dead.

I’m the girl you hated in high school. Is it my fault I was born with it all-good looks, silky blond hair, a hot bod, and a keen sense of what everyone else should not be wearing? But my life isn’t perfect, especially since I died. Run over by a bus of band geeks—is there anything more humiliating? As it turns out, yes—watching your boyfriend and friends move on with life, only days after your funeral. And you wouldn’t believe what they’re saying about me now that they think I can’t hear them. To top it off, I’m starting to disappear, flickering in and out of existence. I don’t know where I go when I’m gone, but it’s not good. Where is that freaking white light already?

Will Killian–Senior in high school, outcast, dubbed “Will Kill” by the popular crowd for the unearthly aura around him, voted most likely to rob a bank…and a ghost-talker.

I can see, hear, and touch the dead. Unfortunately, they can also see, hear and touch me. Yeah, because surviving high school isn’t hard enough already. I’ve done my best to hide my “gift.” After all, my dad, who shared my ability, killed himself because of it when I was fifteen. But lately, pretending to be normal has gotten a lot harder. A new ghost—an anonymous, seething cloud of negative energy with the capacity to throw me around—is pursuing me with a vengeance. My mom, who knows nothing about what I can do, is worrying about the increase in odd incidents, my shrink is tossing around terms like “temporary confinement for psychiatric evaluation,” and my principal, who thinks I’m a disruption and a faker, is searching for every way possible to get rid of me. How many weeks until graduation?


My Review: 
Love, love, loved this book! It had just enough snark, paranormal, and romance elements to keep me nice and occupied. My homework went unnoticed while I was reading and I have absolutely no regrets! I loved Will and Alona and the growth they made throughout the story. There were laugh-out-load moments, and times where I got a little watery eyed. This book has everything in-between and I enjoyed it immensely!

Alona was a sassy character who had more to her than just being popular. Her home life is a mess but she still keeps her head up high, being the leader of her popular circle. When she dies, she is sure upset at first. I mean, who expects to die at such a young age? But then she realizes that maybe it isn't so bad after all. Her friends seem to be wrecks at her funeral and she hears them talking about ways to remember her. She also realizes that she won't have to worry about college and fighting her way up to the top. Die popular, stay popular. But then she hears her friends talking about her at school and they obviously held some grudges against her. She is furious but gets even more upset when she sees her "best-friend" Misty kissing her boyfriend just days after she died! Alona is not okay with this and just wants to be done and go up to heaven or wherever the dead are supposed to go. Then she realizes that Will Killian, goth boy and weirdo, can actually see her! She is determined to get him to help her and never backs down.

Will was a really sweet guy who had a tough life. He can see ghosts and hear them but no one believes him! His mother and others around him label him as crazy and he is diagnosed as schizophrenic. His mother is constantly checking in on him and he has no piece whatsoever in his life. The ghosts voices drive him crazy and he just wants them to stop. He doesn't know what he is or why he is what he is. Things get even worse for him when the ghosts at his school figure out that they can talk to him! And then Alona Dare, perfect and beautiful yet annoying, comes in and makes his life even crazier. This doesn't stop him from getting closer to Alona and understanding her better, maybe even falling for her.

Will and Alona each grow to be better people over the course of the novel. They each come to understand one another and blossom. They go through many things throughout the story and open up old wounds that haven't healed. I was really surprised that I liked Alona, as she was a little bratty and rude, but I came to understand that there was more to her than that. She was hiding under her words and her looks. She is much deeper and has gone through a lot due to her family. Will was my favorite. He was such a sweet guy and I really felt for all that he had to go through, especially with his dad.

The Ghost and the Goth is a fun and light-hearted read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I am really excited that there is a sequel coming out as I can't wait for more Alona and Will. I wish it wouldn't have taken me this long to crack open, but I'm glad that I finally did. I highly recommend this book.

My Rating:



Saturday, March 19, 2011

In My Mailbox (13)

Well, I got my wisdom teeth out this week so I didn't feel like going to the book store. I also have bought a ton of books in the last few weeks because of Border's sale so I couldn't buy a lot more anyway. However, I did go to Borders on Monday and got a few books that I have read but didn't have copies of.



Bought:
Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Thanks to Kristi from the Story Siren for hosting this every week!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Review: The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker


The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker
March 1, 2011
Sourcebooks Fire

From Goodreads:
Kate Lowry didn't think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, she’s not so sure.

To: KateLowry@pemberlybrown.edu
Sent: Sun 9/14 11:59 PM
From: GraceLee@pemberlybrown.edu
Subject: (no subject)

Kate,
I'm here…
sort of.
Find Cameron.
He knows.
I shouldn't be writing.
Don't tell.
They'll hurt you.

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. But secrets haunt the halls of her elite private school. Secrets people will do anything to protect. Even if it means getting rid of the girl trying to solve a murder...


My Review:

The Liar Society was a fun, fast, and enjoyable read that I devoured! The mystery had me deeply involved in the story and I was along with Kate in the scary ride to find out what really happened to her friend Grace. I have heard that others figured out the mystery fairly quickly but it took me awhile to catch on. The Liar Society is an easy read that I had no trouble finishing.

Kate was a really fun and snarky character. I could feel her pain at having lost her friend in such a horrible way. She was bound and determined to find out what really happened the night of Grace's death and nothing could get in her way. Kate is a very good sleuth, and never once backs down from solving her friends murder. What she discovers along the way opens her eyes to many secrets and causes her to question everything.

I really connected with Kate and her hatred of "Dr. Prozac". Her parents are forcing her to go so she can open up about her grief with Grace. I have some anxiety problems so I am having to go see a psychologist and I feel exactly the way Kate felt. The conversations that she has sound exactly like the ones that I have with my own Dr. Prozac and gave me a good laugh!

Liam was a bit of an enigma throughout the story. I knew there was something going on with him but I could never quiete figure it out. One minute he is acting all cool and collected, the next he is nervous, blushing, and checking all around him. He has his own fair share of secrets. The romance between him and Kate was really sweet and didn't take over the whole story. It is just enough to whet your appetite. I think that if there would have been more romance between them in the story, it would have felt fake and unnecessary. Kate is trying to find out what happened to her friend, not focus on getting a boyfriend.

I really loved that the reader got to see how the night of Grace's death played out. In certain chapters, we are taken back in time to the night Grace died and we get to see what went on. I also liked that we got to know Grace in the past before her death. I could understand her a little better and what made her Kate's friend.

The only problem I had with the novel was that sometimes it felt like things happened too fast and weren't realistic enough. One minute Kate is reading the clue, the next she is having this sudden realization that she has to be somewhere. That is really my only complaint and I did enjoy The Liar Society otherwise. Definitely pick this one up on your next trip to the library or bookstore!

My Rating:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (18)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine



From Goodreads:

How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

Why I'm Excited:
I love mythology books so this looks like one that I will enjoy! The romance sounds interesting so I can't wait for Starcrossed!

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vampire Crush Tour Stop 8


Hey everyone! Welcome to the 8th stop on the Vampire Crush tour, hosted by Good Choice Reading. A.M. Robinson will be giving away three PRIZES to three different people who follow the tour. To enter, all you have to do is visit every Blog, copy the secret code and follow A.M. Robinson on Facebook or Twitter. At the end of the tour, your final stop will be Good Choice Reading where they will have a form for you to fill out and submit everything you have collected. It is not a requirement to follow my blog, but I would really appreciate it if you did.

Each blog participating in the tour will have a secret saying at the bottom of their post. Visit each blog for the next ten days to collect all the sayings and then make sure to check back with Good CHoice Reading on March 18th for the final stop in the tour and to fill out the FORM to enter to win one of the follow prizes:

GRAND PRIZE:
+++Signed HARDCOVER copy of Vampire Crush
+++A pair of whale-dotted pajama pants, a la Sophie.
+++Bat-shaped cookie cutter
+++Cute vampire monster mirror
+++"Vampire Blood" hand gel.

TWO ALTERNATE PRIZES
+++Signed paperback copy of Vampire Crush
+++"Vampire Blood" handgel

This is international!

Here are the blogs participating in the tour:

March 8th: With a Book! Guest Post/Giveaway
March 9th: Once Upon A Twilight Guest Post/Giveaway
March 10th: A Simple love of Reading Guest Post/Giveaway
March 11th: 365 Days of Reading Guest Post/Giveaway
March 12th: Skyla11377 Reviews Guest Post/Giveaway
March 13th: Without a Bookshelf Guest Post/Giveaway
March 14th: Dark Readers Guest Post/Giveaway
March 15th: IB Book Blogging Guest Post/Giveaway
March 16th: Another Book Junkie! Guest Post/Giveaway
March 17th: Read for your Future Guest Post/Giveaway
March 18th: Good Choice Reading Guest Post/Giveaway


Here is Marisabel, a character from Vampire Crush:


Hi there--Marisabel here. Since Violet took a tour stop the other day to share her dubious dating knowledge, I think it’s only fair that I get one as well; I’ve been in a committed relationship for over fifty years, while most of her boyfriends vamoose after a week. Besides, I have a problem, Internet, and could use your help.

I am starting to suspect that my boyfriend Vlad is an evil vampire bent on world domination.

At first, I thought his searching for the lost Danae vampire daughter was a just a hobby, kind of like those people who hang out in the desert waiting for aliens. Sure, he would disappear for a few weeks every now and then, saying he had to do “research,” but that would die down when he came back empty handed and we would go back to our normal life--you know, hanging out in deserted houses, hunting small animals and stealing from blood drives whenever we got a chance. We were like Bonnie and Clyde, only we’re way less stupid when it came to being caught.

But then one day he came back saying that he had found clues that made him think he could find her in an average Michigan high school. In order to lay low, he cooked up a scheme where we will all pose as students while he struck up fake romantic entanglements in order to check them for “the mark.” He claims that once we find her, we will turn her over to the Danae and be rewarded with eternal prestige. No more living off the grid and definitely no more catching nasty little squirrels.

Lately, however, I’ve been starting to think that something is fishy. For one thing, he lied and told the high school that I am his step-sister. He says that this is so it will be easier to romance the dimwitted female student body, but I think he enjoys it. For another, every time I try to talk to him about our future as Danae, he changes the subject. Last night I asked if we might actually have a real address one, and Vlad just gave a thin-lipped smile and told me to put in another high school comedy in the DVD player so he could jot down more tips for assimilating in his little black book.

I am so tired of watching Mean Girls.

I don’t know what to do--he’s obviously hiding something and that makes me upset, considering how much I’ve given up for him. I even changed my name to “Marisabel” because he said “Mary” wasn’t “vampire enough.” I’m starting to wish that we had never ever come to Michigan and am thinking of doing something drastic. You see, there’s this girl at school named Sophie who I am pretty sure suspects that something is up. At first she was just asking us questions about our favorite ice cream flavor for a newspaper article; now she seems to be lurking around the corner whenever we are all talking about secret vampire matters. What if I help her make Vlad fail? Then he’ll forget about all this Danae nonsense and go back to being my boyfriend. Sounds like a foolproof plan to me. What could go wrong?

----

Thanks for stopping by, Marisabel!

Follow A.M. Robinson on Twitter or Facebook

Your secret saying for this stop is "Like Me"

Don't forget to visit Another Book Junkie tomorrow for your next secret saying!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

In My Mailbox (12)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.


I went a little overboard on books this week! I bought some books on Amazon, then went to my local Borders that is closing and bought some books there. I am very excited to read all of the books!



Bought:

The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Clarity by Kim Harrington
Stargazer by Claudia Gray
Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber

Won:

Hourglass by Claudia Gray
Afterlife by Claudia Gray

Thanks to Candace at Candace's Book Blog for the contest!
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