2.28.2012

Last Day!!!

Tomorrow is the LAST day to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Emily's Houe by Natalie Wright! Also, for all you international folks, it's the last day to enter for a digital copy as well. Don't forget to enter! On March 1st, the winners will be chosen. Winners will have 48 hours to confirm before another winner will be chosen. See the giveaway HERE.

2.23.2012

Cover Reveal: Defiance by C.J. Redwine



Doesn't that look fantastic? Here's a little bit about the book from Goodreads:


Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.


I'm excited! In addition to releasing this fabulous cover, the author is also offering a signed hardback copy (when one's available) on her blog! Check that out Here


Thanks for reading!

2.22.2012

Book Review: Ugly to Start With by John Michael Cummings

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): 
Jason Stevens is growing up in picturesque, historic Harpers Ferry, West Virginia in the 1970s. Back when the roads are smaller, the cars slower, the people more colorful, and Washington, D.C. is way across the mountains—a winding sixty-five miles away. Jason dreams of going to art school in the city, but he must first survive his teenage years. He witnesses a street artist from Italy charm his mother from the backseat of the family car. He stands up to an abusive husband—and then feels sorry for the jerk. He puts up with his father’s hard-skulled backwoods ways, his grandfather’s showy younger wife, and the fist-throwing schoolmates and eccentric mountain characters that make up Harpers Ferry—all topped off by a basement art project with a girl from the poor side of town. Ugly to Start With punctuates the exuberant highs, bewildering midpoints, and painful lows of growing up, and affirms that adolescent dreams and desires are often fulfilled in surprising ways.

My Review: *I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.* I enjoyed this book for the most part. I don't really think it's quite right for my age group, and it's not the kind of book I normally read. There were a few parts that made me squirm a bit (parts I skipped), and the I'm not a big fan of cussing. Luckily the whole book wasn't like that. 


I really like the way the book was written. It's almost like a collection of short stories, but all about the same person and they happen in order. The way it's written and the way it flows sort of makes you think about it. Like taking a step back to digest it all. It's a short book, but it doesn't read very fast. I don't mean it's slow, its just not something you can speed through. 


I liked the characters a lot, too. I thought that the author put a lot of thought into them, and I thought they were well-developed. It was interesting to get a peek into Jason's life. I didn't feel like I got much more than just a peek, though. I think the book shows a good understanding of a lot of issues, particularly of growing up and prejudices, and how people deal with them. 


Overall, I think it's a fantastic book. Beautifully written. It just wasn't the right book for me. 3.5 Stars.



Thanks for reading!

2.21.2012

Giveaway! Emily's House by Natalie Wright

It's time for another giveaway! Natalie Wright, author of Emily's House is offering 1 signed copy of her book + swag (U.S. only) and 1 digital copy (international). Here is a little bit about her, and her book:


I write YA books. And when I write, I"m not concerned with genre or writing to the market. I sit down and try my best to write a good story with engaging characters. I'm interested in physics and astronomy, metaphysics and spirituality, love and mystery. So some or all of these things show up in everything I write.

I was a divorce lawyer for over 15 years when I began writing fiction, so my intense study of close human relationships come into play. Whether my characters are here on Earth or in another dimension or a planet far away, all my stories deal with human emotions, human suffering and the human desire for connection and love.
 
 Fourteen-year-old Emily Adams is flunking math - and life. But Emily has a secret that she has kept even from her best friends. Soon the ancient legacy coursing through her veins will force her secret to be revealed. Dormant for over a thousand years, an evil has arisen and this time, it will destroy anyone - or anything - that stands in its way. Three teens embark on a dangerous journey and risk everything. For Emily, the fate of her friends - and her world - lies in her hands. Travel with Emily as she unlocks the secrets of her Celtic ancestors as she goes on a mystical journey to the inner house and beyond.
 You can learn more about Emily's House (and read a chapter sampler) here.

As for the giveaway, here are the basics:
  • You have to be 13+ to enter
  • The signed copy  + swag is open to U.S.
  • The digital copy is open to everyone
  • Following is not required, but much appreciated!
  • Giveaway ends March 1st!
As always, check my policy page for more rules and regulations.

Now that that's out of the way, have at it!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

2.20.2012

Book Review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn't remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?

This fascinating novel represents a stunning new direction for acclaimed author Mary Pearson. Set in a near future America, it takes readers on an unforgettable journey through questions of bio-medical ethics and the nature of humanity. Mary Pearson's vividly drawn characters and masterful writing soar to a new level of sophistication.


My Review: I have nothing bad to say about this book. I'm kind of at a loss for words for this honestly. I really enjoyed it, but I don't know how to describe it. I guess I'll start with the characters.

Jenna is a fantastic character. She's really interesting right off the bat. There's something odd about her. I know that and she knows that, only we don't know just what it is. She's a quick learner, and quick to have an opinion. She's also very tolerant and understanding, and oddly relateable despite her curious conditions. Her grandmother is also a fantastic character. I didn't think her parents were as well developed as they could have been, but I have no major issues with them. Jenna's new friends, however, were a little too... distant for my liking. I didn't get to see/know them as well as I'd have liked.

The story is very intriguing. It's not a very fast-paced book. It's sort of difficult to knock it out in one weekend, but it's not slow,  per se. It gives it sort of a mystery feel, with a tad bit of urgency. As for the actual mystery of the book, the outcome isn't very difficult to predict, but it's satisfying all the same. I love how the book ended. It was sort of different, but still satisfying. I can't wait to get my hands on the second book. Five stars for sure!


Here are some links if you're interested:


Thanks for reading!


2.19.2012

In My Mailbox (11)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.com. It's a way for book bloggers to intermingle and share what books they've received over the course of the week, whether it be in their mailboxes, from the library, from the bookstore, or from a friend. This week I got two books:


1. Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
I got this one at a bookstore downtown. I'm super excited to read it!



2. Zero by Tom Leveen

For aspiring artist Amanda Walsh, who only half-jokingly goes by the nickname Zero, the summer before college was supposed to be fun—plain and simple. Hanging out with her best friend Jenn, going to clubs, painting, and counting down the days until her escape. But when must-have scholarship money doesn't materialize, and she has a falling out with Jenn that can only be described as majorly awkward, and Zero's parents relationship goes from tense to relentless fighting, her prospects start looking as bleak and surreal as a painting by her idol Salvador Dali. Will life truly imitate art? Will her new, unexpected relationship with a punk skater boy who seems too good to be real and support from the unlikeliest of sources show Zero that she's so much more than a name.
I got Zero from RandomBuzzers.com. I was selected as part of the spring "Ambuzzador" group for this book, so it's my job to spread the word about Zero. I'm excited to read it!

In last week's IMM post, I mentioned I ordered Wither by Lauren DeStefano. Sadly, it still hasn't come in yet. If the bookstore is open tomorrow, I think I'll pop in and see whats up...

Well that's what I got this week. I can't wait to get reading! What did you get in your mailbox? Leave links in the comments and I'll check them out! Thanks for reading!

2.18.2012

Talented and Caged Winners

Thanks to everybody who entered! The winners of Talented and Caged are:

Anna

Abigail

Mia

Thanks again! Happy reading!

2.14.2012

Chapter Samplers: Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

It starts off simply.

Draw a circle ... place a dead leaf in the center ... sprinkle some salt ... recite a little Latin ... add a drop of blood ...

Maybe that last part isn't exactly simple. Yet somehow it feels right to Silla Kennicott. And nothing in her life has felt remotely right since her parents' horrific deaths. She's willing to do anything to uncover the truth about her family—even try a few spells from the mysterious book that arrived on her doorstep ... and spill some blood.

The book isn't the only recent arrival in Silla's life. There's Nick Pardee, the new guy next door who may have seen Silla casting a spell. She's not sure what he saw and is afraid to find out. But as they spend more time together, Silla realizes this may not be Nick's first encounter with Blood Magic. Brought together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick can't deny their attraction. And they can't ignore the dark presence lurking nearby—waiting to reclaim the book and all its power.

Tessa Gratton's intoxicating first novel will keep pulses racing, minds reeling, and pages turning right up to the very last drop of blood.
Over on Random Buzzers.com, there is a link to Scribd.com. On Random Buzzer's Scribd page, there are a bunch of YA chapter samplers you can read. You can see all the different samplers here. I just read the chapter sampler of Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton. This one's been out for a while, but I didn't really know what it was about and I haven't had a chance to read it yet. First of all, I love the cover. Second, I'm intrigued. It sounds really good from what I read. I want to read it! Hehe.

What do you think? Have you read this one? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

2.13.2012

Teaser Trailer - The Mail Still Runs

A while back I read and reviewed Far From the War by Jeffrey David Payne. It was a fantastic book. I also did an author interview with Mr. Payne. Here is the Goodreads link, if you'd like to learn more about the book.

The second book in his trilogy, The Mail Still Runs is being release this summer. I'm super excited to read it! Yesterday I got an email with this teaser trailer:




I'm definitely intrigued!

2.12.2012

In My Mailbox (10)


In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.com. It's way for book bloggers to get together and talke about what books they got in the past week, wether it be in your mailbox, from a friend, the bookstore, or the library. This week I got three books in the mail:




Jason Stevens is growing up in picturesque, historic Harpers Ferry, West Virginia in the 1970s. Back when the roads are smaller, the cars slower, the people more colorful, and Washington, D.C. is way across the mountains—a winding sixty-five miles away.

Jason dreams of going to art school in the city, but he must first survive his teenage years. He witnesses a street artist from Italy charm his mother from the backseat of the family car. He stands up to an abusive husband—and then feels sorry for the jerk. He puts up with his father’s hard-skulled backwoods ways, his grandfather’s showy younger wife, and the fist-throwing schoolmates and eccentric mountain characters that make up Harpers Ferry—all topped off by a basement art project with a girl from the poor side of town.

Ugly to Start With punctuates the exuberant highs, bewildering midpoints, and painful lows of growing up, and affirms that adolescent dreams and desires are often fulfilled in surprising ways.
The author sent me a copy in return for an honest review. Thank You!


It's three weeks into the school year when music junkie Casey Barnes gets a second chance with her mysterious, heartbreaking ex-boyfriend. She comes up with a plan to win him back, but it soon spins out of control as rivalries, revelations about him, and music itself all start to collide. For Casey the newfound attention means learning the difference between wanting center stage and actually being on it.

I also got this from the author for review. Thanks!


3. The Earthquake Machine by Mary Pauline Lowry

The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda's world but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda's life is her family's Mexican yardman, Jes s. But when the INS deports Jes?'s back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation. Determined to find her friend Jes s, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Boquillas, Mexico. There a peyote-addled bartender convinces her she won't be safe traveling alone into the country's interior. So with the bartender's help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jes s. Thus begins a wild adventure that explores the borders between the United States and Mexico, adolescence and adulthood, male and female, English and Spanish, and adult coming-of-age and Young Adult novels.
Another review copy! Thank you very much!

I can't wait to get started with these three! I might actually have some downtime this week to actually read!

The half-price bookstore downtown was sadly understocked or I would have had more books this week, but I did order a book:

1. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can't bring herself to hate him as much as she'd like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband's strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?
Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?
This one has been on my wishlist for a long time now and I can't wait to read it!

Well that's what was in my mailbox this week. I can't wait to get reading! What was in your mailboxes? Leave links in the comments! Thanks for reading!

2.09.2012

The Raven Boys

A few days ago, Scholastic announced a new series called The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Maggie is one of my absolute favorite authors. I've have all of her books, including a personalized copy of Forever. I also love reading her blog. So it's understandable that I'm extremely excited for her new books! Here is a little bit about The Raven Boys:

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.
This is supposed to be the first book in a four book cycle, and it comes out September 18th. I'm sooooo excited! I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Thanks for reading!

2.08.2012

Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth


Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
My Review: Divergent was definitely fantastic. I've been looking forward to reading it for some time now, and I wasn't disappointed. I found it a little slow to start off, but that changed pretty quickly. The dystopian world Ms. Roth created was very interesting. It was small and compact but big and curious at the same time. The way the people were divided up into factions was interesting, too. Each faction has a different... value, I guess you could say, and the people in the faction have to live that value. As the characters started coming out it was cool to see what they thought and felt about the different factions, and how people from different factions interacted.

I loved the main character. Tris is pretty awesome. She isn't particularly pretty, and she comes from the apparently most dull faction. Her discontent with the faction quickly comes out, but I liked how she still liked what the faction stood for (selfless-ness) and still valued it, even when she had a hard time with it. She is a weird combination of blending in and standing out, and she spends a lot of time trying to balance that out. They way she interacts with others is interesting. She's just an awesome character.

The "boy" and the love interest is pretty awesome as well. He's a conflicted sort of person, also struggling with balancing himself out. It's cool to see how he and Tris interact. The love story aspect of Divergent was refreshing. There wasn't exactly a love-triangle, Tris wasn't all that insecure or weak, and the boy was awesome.

The overall story was exciting, and had a few unexpected happenings perfect for keeping me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed reading this book, but the end left me hanging. Just like people told me it would. I can't wait for Insurgent!


Here are some links if you want to learn more:


Thanks for reading!


2.06.2012

Giveaway! Talented and Caged by Sophie Davis

It's time for another giveaway! Author Sophie Davis has offered up for grabs three e-book copies of her book TALENTED and her upcoming book CAGED. Here is a little bit TALENTED:


If you always knew what people were really thinking, would you consider it a gift or a curse? Talia Lyons is Talented.  She possesses the ability to read the minds of others and manipulate their thoughts.  Ever since she witnessed the brutal murders of her parents, Talia has spent her life honing her abilities, with her heart set on vengeance.  Now she is poised to face the man responsible, but duplicity causes Talia to doubt herself and her powers.  In the wake of this betrayal, Talia turns to a boy who can mimic her Talents, a boy who truly understands her inner turmoil.  But even he can’t help Talia when she’s forced to choose between saving herself or avenging the lives of her parents.


CAGED doesn't have an available synopsis or cover art yet, but TALENTED sounds super interesting! You can read a review here.


Now for the giveaway: There are three e-book copies of TALENTED and CAGED up for grabs. The winner can choose the format when contacted. The winners will have 48 hours to respond before another is chosen. For more terms and conditions check my Policy Page. Extra entries include leaving a comment on this post, following Sophie Davis on Twitter, and Tweeting about the giveaway. The giveaway ends February 17th. All you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter:  


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Good luck and thanks for reading!

2.05.2012

New Design!

It's here! My new design! It is absolutely fantastic! I'm super impressed with how it turned out. Hafsah over at IceyDesigns is absolutely incredible! She worked really fast, and had it up in no time. This isn't the first time she's helped me out on my blog, and it definitely won't be the last! Thank you so much for everything!

2.04.2012

Wow!

So I entered a contest a while back for a new blog design over at Icey Books and I won! Holy cow! I'm super excited! Thank you Hafsah! I can't wait to see the new design!


Another wow: I'm moving to Alaska this summer! Sooooooo excited! It's definitely going to be an adventure, and will take some adjusting, but I can't wait!


Well that's what's new with me! It's been a pretty busy week and I haven't had much time to read, so I'm off.

Thanks for reading!

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