Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (44)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme started and hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. WoW is a way for bloggers to post about a book or books they're excited or "waiting" for. This week my WoW is: 

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
January 31, 2012

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all? 


Awesome cover? Check. Really really interesting summary about reincarnation? Check. 2012 debut? Check. Why wouldn't I be waiting on this one?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Published: September 27, 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages: 450/Hardcover
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge
Source: bought

Summary: Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.

Review: People. Go read this book. I know I say that about a lot of book, but seriously. Read it. The hype and anticipation surrounding this book is completely well worth it. 

I loved Mara! She was so great. She was smart and funny and very quick-witted when it came to snarky come backs. She's one of those girls who says what she wants and does it with sarcasm and whit. When it came to the hallucinations and what was happening to her shew as scared but strong. She didn't break down and run to her boyfriend/love interest to solve her problems.

Noah started out a bit rocky for me. He had "that angle." Let me explain to you "the angle." "I'm an extremely attractive guy (most likely with an accent) who sees girls as conquests. I use them once and them I'm done with them. But you're the new girl and there's just something different about you." This is an angle that I think is incredibly over-used in YA novels, but alas I love this angle. I'm a closet fan of angst-ridden teenage romance, so this started out as a really great thing. Once I got to know Noah and heard his story, though, I really did see him differently (kind of like Mara).

I loooooved Jamie! He is the best friend that everyone wants. At least, I want him as a best friend. He tells Mara like it is whether she likes it or not because he cares about her, but he's still supportive and respectful of her decisions. It seemed like after he left about half way through he just disappeared from the book. So I hope that if there's another installment in this potential series he makes a return.

One thing that surprised me about this book was that the first half really could have been just a normal book with no paranormal part at all. Sure Mara was having hallucinations, but they could have been easily explained as her post traumatic stress. And when it did turn paranormal it was original. I could tell that Hodkin had an imagination when writing this book. She didn't decide to go with vampires or werewolves or whatever else is popular. She went with her idea, and the originality of it was quite refreshing. 

There was a lot that wasn't resolved and a lot that's still left to learn about both Noah and Mara. I'm not sure but I'm really hoping that this is only the start of a series. There's still so much left to learn, and with that ending? How can there not be a sequel?

I know you've all heard about this book, so do yourself a favor and go read it!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

Title: The Mephisto Covenant
Author: Trinity Faegen
Published: September 27, 2011 by Egmont USA
Pages: 439/Hardcover
Series: The Mephisto Covenant #1
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge
Source: NetGalley

Summary: Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—she is an Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx always looming, Jax knows he has to keep Sasha safe and win her over.  But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?

Review: The Mephisto Covenant was my kind of book. It was fast paced and a quick read with enough romance and action to hold me over til the end.

I loved that Sasha and her mom were Russian. I've always loved Russian history and the culture, so reading a little about it was nice. I also liked that there was enough back story about Sasha's family to inform me without bogging down the story. 

The beginning of the book is great! It starts right off with action. We get the back story later. Within the first chapter I found out that Sasha was an Anabo. I love it when I find things like this out in the first chapter because it means I don't have to go through chapters upon chapters of the main character acting stupid and trying to figure out what's going on. We're also introduced to Jax and his brothers which adds a bit to the mystery of what's going on.

Sasha and Jax didn't do it for me as main characters. They fell flat throughout the book and didn't really add anything to the story personality-wise. Sasha quite annoyed me at some times by going back and forth on the subject of whether or not to be with Jax.

I thought the mystery surrounding Eryx was interesting and loved that the story had a bit of a Greek mythology feel (even though it also had a Russian feel).

I was puzzled by the ending. The immediate problem was solved but after that it was very abrupt. There were a lot of loose ends that weren't tied up, and even some parts of the immediate problem weren't fully solved.

This was a fun and romantic book that was fast paced and easy to read. A definite read for paranormal fans or romance fans in general. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Title: Shut Out
Author: Kody Keplinger
Published: September 5, 2011 by Poppy
Pages: 273/Hardcover
Source: bought

Summary: Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention. 

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: she and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming. 

Review: Oh my gosh you guys Kody Keplinger is back! If you liked her first book, The Duff then you must read Shut Out. YOU MUST!

As with her first book Keplinger tackles some tough issues in Shut Out. The underlying message is clear and I think it will be very helpful to a lot of people. It shows that it's okay to talk about things like sex. You might think you're weird or different because of your different opinions on what's right to do and when to do it, but talking about these things is what helps people realize that EVERYONE is just that, different. 

Also like before, Keplinger manages to get this message across while also giving the reader a great story! I loved Lissa as the protagonist and the leader of the girls on strike. I could really see her transformation from the beginning of the book to the end. It's that transformation and change that really help me to connect with the characters.

I didn't really see that change with Cash, though, and I know why. All the girls talk about him being a flirt and a player but you never see it. You only see him wanting to be with Lissa (and I think it's pretty obvious so I don't see why everyone else doesn't notice). So since I never saw him as the flirt/player I didn't see him "transform" into a "nice guy". 

Randy was another character that didn't have a big transformation, but I'm almost positive that that was to show what a jerk he was, and boy was he. But again how could Lissa not realize this? When I read a book in first person (which this one is) I feel like I'm noticing the things that the main character/narrator is. So if I'm noticing that Randy is the biggest scumbag ever how is Lissa not? 

Along with a good message and great characters, Keplinger weaves in tons of humor and a pretty great romance. If you liked The Duff hen you'll like Shut Out. If you didn't then please please please give it a shot anyways. It's amazing, I promise! 

More Books by Kody Keplinger
The Duff

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (43)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme started and hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. WoW is a way for bloggers to post about a book or books they're excited or "waiting" for. This week my WoW is: 

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
April 10, 2012

Maya Delaney’s paw-print birthmark is the sign of what she truly is a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly anyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it’s only a matter of time before she’s able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now, Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they’re kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home. Plentiful action and romance in this second installment in the Darkness Rising series will keep readers enthralled to the very last page.


I am in love with this series. The first one was without a doubt amazing, so of course I have to read the second one and see what happens. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Top Ten Books I Feel As Though Everyone Has Read But Me

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. For more info go here

Top Ten Books I Feel As Though Everyone Has Read But Me
  1. The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart: I've had this book on my shelf forever but I've never read it. I've started to a few times but I couldn't get into it. But it seems like every blog I go to they've reviewed it and loved it!
  2. Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev: My local library actually has this book but I always forget to look for it when I go. I need to write myself a not to remember! I've heard only good things about it. 
  3. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver: The summary is what makes me apprehensive to read this. From what everyone else says it seems like a great book, but I'm not sure if it's something that I'd like, and that's what's made me so apprehensive about reading it. 
  4. The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan: I really have no excuse for this one. I've never heard a bad thing about this book, so why I haven't read it yet is a mystery. 
  5.  Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender: This one's a lot like The Boyfriend List. I've checked it out of the library a few times, but I've just never been able to get past the first few pages.
  6. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott: I hate sad books. I like books that are happy or have a happy ending or have some kind of happiness in them. I've heard great things about this book, but I also know that it's very sad and intense. 
  7. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray: I read the first two in this series but I could NOT finish it. This book was so long and detailed and at times slow that I just gave up, but everyone else seems to know how it ends :(
  8. Hate List by Jennifer Brown: Again, I have no excuse. I've heard great things and just haven't done anything about it.
  9. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood: It really does seem like EVERYONE has read this book, but just by reading the summary I know it wouldn't appeal to me.
  10. Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood: I've looked everywhere for this book! It's not at my local B&N, I can't get it on my Nook, it's never in stock on amazon, and my library doesn't have it. WHERE ARE YOU PEOPLE GETTING THIS BOOK?!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

Title: Ashes, Ashes
Author: Jo Treggiari
Published: June 1, 2011 by Scholastic
Pages: 344/Hardcover
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge
Source: bought

Summary: A thrilling tale of adventure, romance, and one girl's unyielding courage through the darkest of nightmares.

Epidemics, floods, droughts--for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she's rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can't continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There's something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her.

Review: I wouldn't call my self a dystopian fan. I enjoy dystopian novels but I don't rush out to buy every one that comes out. With that, Ashes, Ashes was a good book, but I didn't have a mind-blowing reaction to it. 

First of all, Lucy just really annoyed me. I'm not sure why. She was just one of those characters that got under my skin and wouldn't leave. I felt like there was a lot that could have been talked about as far as Aidan goes (like his history and what not) but we only get his present story. I also wanted to know more about Del (I think that's her name but I can't remember.). I thought whatever was going on between her and Aidan would have made a great sub-plot, and I kept waiting for Treggiari to expand on their relationship, but it never happened.

One thing that ran hot and cold with me was the pacing. The beginning was painfully slow and I found myself skimming a lot because it was A LOT of minute details, and then there would be action and running and fighting off bad guys. But even though the pacing was off the plot was good. I learned along with Lucy how the camp worked and how the disease was and wasn't spreading.

The ending left me hanging, though. I don't know if there's a sequel and I don't know if I want there to be one. On one hand I feel like there should be one because you find out, yes Lucy's special, but you never know what crazy scientist lady does with her blood. On the other hand I just don't see what a sequel would do or explain besides the blood/cure thing. I like how the ending left the characters, but it still seemed off.

If you're a fan of dystopian then this is a must-read. If you're not the biggest fan in the world but still get a kick out of them then Ashes, Ashes is still worth effort!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Insurgent by Veronica Roth gets a cover!

I was recently looking about on Goodreads and saw that Insurgent by Veronica Roth got a cover! I loved Divergent and can't wait to read what happens next. So I was very excited when I saw this and had to share it with you guys! So without further ado, here ya go!

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.


I think this cover goes beautifully with the first in the series! I hope they don't have a mid-series cover change, because so far I'm liking what I see. And what do you guys think of the summary? If you've read Divergent then you understand what's going on.

Make sure to put this one on your reading list!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (42)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme started and hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. WoW is a way for bloggers to post about a book or books they're excited or "waiting" for. This week my WoW is: 

Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
April 24, 2012 by Walker & Company

Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident—including her memory of the event. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship.
When the police reopen the investigation, it casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free? Debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf takes readers on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness.


I always like to see how different authors portray abusive relationships. I also like books with mystery, suspicion, romance and other secretive things! Plus it's a 2012 debut. And debuts are awesome!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Title: Love Story
Author: Jennifer Echols
Published: July 19, 2010 by MTV Books
Pages: 243/Paperback
Source: bought


She's writing about him. he's writing about her. And everybody is reading between the lines.. 

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.

Review: Oh Jennifer Echols how I love thee. I'm pretty sure that at this point she could write about wild wildebeest and I would love it. That's right, she's that good, and Love Story was no exception. Sure there were some parts I thought could have been better and weren't necessarily believable, but it was still SO GOOD! But enough of my Jennifer Echols rant and on to the review!  

I loved that between chapters there were short stories written by both Erin and Hunter. Each of them had a unique writing style which let me hear their individual voice in the story. The writings were extremely well written (like all of Echols' work) but because it had the character's voice I didn't feel like I was reading something Echols had written for a character. I felt like I was reading what the characters had written for themselves. 

Outside of their stories, though, I didn't enjoy the characters that much. It was told from Erin's point of view and she always seemed to be either whining about her position (I understand why she's having a hard time, I really do. But does she really have to complain THAT MUCH?) or changing her view of Hunter. They're enemies then they're friends then they hate each other then they write a story and make up. MAKE UP YOUR MIND ALREADY WOMAN! 

I was pretty satisfied with the ending, but it definitely left some loose ends. Erin and Hunter never "officially" made up after what she found out which made me feel a little in the dark about their relationship. Then he just randomly appears and is packing her bag? Again, I feel in the dark. So although the ends remained loose and Erin got under my skin, it's Jennifer Echols. So I can deal with it. 

More Books by Jennifer Echols
Going Too Far
Forget You
The Boys Next Door
Endless Summer
Major Crush
The Ex Games

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cover Talk (11)

Cover Talk was inspired by Kristi's Books to Pine For and Steph Su's Cover Lust. I started Cover Talk as a way to show and talk about the cool/pretty/new covers I find while looking for new books (mostly on Goodreads).

Today's covers all belong to books coming out in 2012. A lot of them are 2012 debuts but not all are!

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Everneath by Brodi Ashton

The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
Where it Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale 

Hollow by Richard Denney
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

 Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
Pure by Julianna Baggott

Fracture by Megan Miranda 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Blog

That's right! Today is my one year blogoversary, and man has it been a good year. Book blogging really is like joining a big family. 

I feel like with the help of other bloggers and readers my blog has grown tremendously over this year. Thank you to everyone who has ever commented, emailed, or just read my blog.

I honestly didn't expect anyone to read my blog when I started it, and the fact that I now have over 130 followers is amazing.

I know that lately my blogging has hit a bit of a bump in the road, but that's being fixed and hopefully my second year blogging will be even better than my first!

The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

Title: The Beginning of After
Author: Jennifer Castle
Published: September 6, 2011 by HarperTeen
Pages: 432/Hardcover
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge
Source: NetGalley

Summary: Anyone who’s had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: It’s all about Before and After. What I’m talking about here is the ka-pow, shake-you-to-your-core-and-turn-your-bones-to-plastic kind of crappy.

Sixteen-year-old Laurel’s world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel’s life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss—a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways.

Jennifer Castle’s debut novel is a heart-wrenching, surprisingly witty testament to how drastically life can change in the span of a single moment.

Review: I was really excited about The Beginning of After, but it ended up not satisfying me like I hoped it would.

I didn't get a feel for the main characters, Laurel and David, so I didn't connect well with either of them. I also thought the romance between the two was odd. They did spend a lot of time together after the accident, but it still seemed weird that they were together as a couple. 

This was suppose to be a book about Laurel and David dealing with their grief, but I didn't feel the "grief" aspect in the book, especially with Laurel. I felt like this could have just been a book about a girl whose family wasn't present in her life. The fact that I never really met her family could be why I didn't get the feeling of loss. Laurel's parents and brother are introduced in the first chapter, but that's not really enough time to get to know them.

I also found Laurel's relationship with her best friend to be strange. Throughout the book I could tell that they were growing apart and then they had a big fight about it, but then it seemed like they just made up. There was nothing really leading up to it, it just kind of happened. I was also hoping Castle would go a little further into the problems at home that Laurel's friend was suffering.

The Beginning of After manages to deliver a message of grief and loss and how to deal with it, just not the magnitude I was hoping for. There was no connection with the characters, but it was relatively fast paced and was an easy read.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Coming Up in September 2011

This post was inspired by Tara's "Excited For..." posts over at Hobbitsies. I decided to do something a little like Tara does and show off some of the books that are coming out this month that I hope get the chance to read and review. Obviously not all YA books coming out in September are going to be here, but the ones I can't wait to read will be.

September 01: Shift by Em Bailey (Hardie Grant Egmont)
September 01: Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs (Katherine Tegen Books)

September 01: Fateful by Claudia Gray (HarperTeen)
September 05: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger (Poppy)

September 06: Vanish by Sophie Jordan (HarperTeen)
September 06: All These Things I've Done (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

September 08: Stay with Me by Paul Griffin (Dial)
September 08: Bloodborn by Karen Kincy (Flux)

September 15: As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott (Dutton Juvenile)
September 20: If I Die by Rachel Vincent (Harlequin Teen)

September 20: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (Greenwillow Books)
September 27: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies (HarperTeen)

September 27: The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton (Tor Teen)
September 27: My Beating Teenage Heart by C.K. Kelly Martin (Random House Books for Young Readers)

September 27: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (Simon & Schsuter Children's Publishing)
September 27: The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

September 27: Shifting by Bethany Wiggins (Walker Books for Young Readers) 
September 29: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Dutton)


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