4.23.2012

In My Mailbox (14)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi over at TheStorySiren.com and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. It's a fun way for book bloggers to show off what books they've recieved via mailbox, library, bookstore, friend, etc. I don't get around to posting every week, so this is a bit of an IMM catch up. ;)






First off, I got The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff from my good blogger buddy, Lulu the Bookworm. Thanks again! Here's the Goodreads link.







I also won The Haunted from Alli at Magnet4Books. Thanks! I'm excited to read that! Here's the Goodread's link.






I received copies of these from the author in return for an honest review. Thanks! Here is the Goodreads link for book one, and here's book two



And finally, I picked this up at the library the other day. Here's the Goodreads link. 




Now that I've got all of these, I just need to find room to read all of them! Haha ;). Leave me links in the comments and I'll stop by to see what you got in your mailboxes!


This week, along with three essays about various Shakespeare plays and a fabulous pineapple upside-down cake, I'm going to try cook up a few (3, I think) book spotlights/features/guest posts. So keep an eye out for that! There will also be a giveaway tagged on the end of one of those posts, so make sure you check back! 


That's all I've got for tonight, so thanks for reading!



4.19.2012

Book Review: Fither by Lauren DeStefano

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.
Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.
The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion...by any means necessary.
In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.

My Review: Fever didn't draw me in as well as Wither. It didn't seem as in depth to me as the first one. That's a little ironic seeing as in Wither all you get is life inside the mansion. Anyway, it picked up right where the first left off, but it didn't carry the same feeling over.

Characters: Rhine sort of ticked me off a bit for most of the book. She came off selfish. I felt that a bit in the first book, but not as much. Gabriel was pretty constant, and I did like his character a lot. Vaughn still wasn't creepy enough. The world-building, though, was fantastic. DeStefano painted a great picture of the way the world is and how it affects those in it.

I didn't really get drawn in until the last third of the book. Things picked up really quickly and didn't let off at all. At all! There was even a killer cliff-hanger! I was relieved and frustrated at the same time. ;)

Overall, not as good as Wither and a bit disappointing, but enough to keep me coming back. I'll definitely be sticking around for whatever comes next!


Here are some links for the series:


Thanks for reading!

4.17.2012

Giveaway Winner: The Earthquake Machine

And the winner of The Earthquake Machine my Mary Pauline Lowry is Diane F.! Congrats! I got your confirmation, so you should see your book soon! Thanks to all who entered!
If You'd like to learn more about The Earthquake Machine, check out this Author Interview.

4.16.2012

Taste Book Trailer and Excerpt Reveal


At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.


When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.
Taste by Kate Evangelista is being released next month, and I have the pleasure of being able to share the book trailer and excerpts with you! 

4.09.2012

Book Review: Zero by Tom Leveen


Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): 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.

My Review: *I received a copy of this book from Random Buzzers as part of their Ambuzzador program.* I really enjoyed this book. It was a great story, and was really artfully written, but there were a few things that brought it down for me. 

The characters were really well developed, realistic, and relateable. I liked the way the characters changed throughout the book, and how by the end of the book there was a sense of accomplishment and a fresh start. 

Amanda aka "Zero" came of a little whiny at times, but it was easily overlooked. There was a part in the book where Zero's mom calls her Amy, which is apparently short for Amanda. That really cracked me up because on of my friends used to call me Amy. Just in case you were curious ;).

Zero's relationship with Jenn was awkward to read about. I guess it was supposed to be awkward at first, but even when it wasn't supposed to be awkward any more, it still kind of was. Zero's relationship with the punk skater boy, however, was much more fun to read about. It did have it's awkward moments, but the good outweighed the bad.

Oh, and even though I am by no means an artist, I loved the art in Zero. It added a lot to the overall artistic-ness of the writing.

I didn't like all the cussing, or the sex, though. I think it was a bit overdone and frankly awkward. If it'd had even just a bit less, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. The cussing and the awkward scenes, and Zero's tenancy to come off whiny are what brought it down for me.

I don't read a lot of contemporary fiction like this, but I will say that this isn't the most impacting I've ever read. I read through it pretty quickly, but I could possibly see myself someday reading it again. 



Zero will be released April 24th. I got received ARC via Random Buzzers as part of the Ambuzzadors program. Enjoy the trailer, and thanks for reading!

4.06.2012

Giveaway: The Earthquake Machine by Mary Pauline Lowry

Alright, so I was given a copy of The Earthquake Machine for review and I wasn't able to finish reading it. That being said, I don't feel I can give it a fair review, so I'm going to be giving it away here! Here's a bit about the book:


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, Jesús. But when the INS deports Jesús back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation. Determined to find her friend Jesús, 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 Jesús. 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.
You can also learn more about the author, Mary Pauline Lowry by reading the interview I posted.


Now for the giveaway. As usual, you have to be 13+ to enter. This giveaway will be open to U.S. and Canada only. You don't have to be a follower, but bonus entries if you do! To enter, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The first entry is free, and for the extra entries, just follow the directions. Entries will be accepted until April 16th. The winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. For more terms and conditions, see my policy page


Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): WHAT IS OLDEST WILL BE NEW, WHAT IS LOST SHALL BE FOUND. The ozone is ravaged, ocean levels have risen, and the sun is a daily enemy. But global climate change is not something new in the Earth’s history. No one will know this better than less-than-ordinary Owen Parker, who is about to discover that he is the descendant of a highly advanced ancient race—a race that took their technology too far and almost destroyed the Earth in the process. Now it is Owen’s turn to make right in his world what went wrong thousands of years ago. If Owen can unlock the lost code in his very genes, he may rediscover the forgotten knowledge of his ancestry…and that less-than-ordinary can evolve into extraordinary.
My Review: This was definitely a very good book. All the world-building and characters were really well done, and the plot was excellent. The setting was also pretty cool. I love books with summer camps that aren't really what they seem :). The setting was definitely my favorite part of the book. I'd definitely say this one was a page-turner. I finished it in one sitting!


The Lost Code was told from Owen's point of view, so that was nice, and the characters were as realistic as you can get with the circumstances. The creepy bad-guy who thinks-what-he's-doing-is-right was pulled off really well, and I liked how you couldn't always tell who was who and what they were going to do next. 


I kind of would have liked to hear more about the Atlanteans, like who exactly they were, what they did/how they did it, and how it all worked out, but that's what sequels are for, right? Unfortunately for me, The Lost Code isn't even released until May 22 (I read this as an ARC). It looks like I've got a long wait ahead of me for book 2, but hopefully it will be worth the wait! 


I'd say this is a good one for all you dystopian fans. And also anyone who likes reading about summer camps that aren't quite normal. 



Here are links if you'd like to read more:

Goodreads ~ Website

Thanks for reading!

4.02.2012

Author Interview: Mary Pauline Lowry

Author bio: Mary Pauline Lowry has worked as a forest firefighter, screenwriter, open water lifeguard, construction worker, and advocate in the movement to end violence against women. Due to no fault of her sweet parents, at 15 she ran away from home and made it all the way to Matamoros, Mexico. She believes girls should make art, have adventures, and read books that show them the way. 

That's right! With us today is Mary Pauline Lowry, author of The Earthquake Machine. We've got an interview today, and coming up soon is a giveaway of her book! Enjoy!


What is your ideal afternoon?
My ideal afternoon would be going for a long run followed by a dip in Deep Eddy swimming pool where I would lie around in the sun and read a great book.

Are you a lover of books?
Absolutely. My nickname in elementary school was “Bookworm.”


What is the absolute best book you've ever read? 
I can’t say which is the best, but I can pick a favorite. Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson.


How long have you been writing?
I started writing in earnest during the summer of 2000. So 12 years.


Do you plan to keep writing?
I heard a story about Bukoswki. His housekeeper was cleaning and she needed to vacuum. “Mr. Bukoski,” she said. “If I vacuum will the noise bother your writing?”

“Nothing bothers my writing,” he said. “It’s a disease.”

What's the 411 about The Earthquake Machine?
My novel The Earthquake Machine tells the story of a 14 year-old American girl named Rhonda who runs away while on a river rafting trip in Big Bend National Park. Rhonda leaves behind her tragic family situation to flee towards the Mexican state of Oaxaca in search of her family’s yardman Jésus. In order to be able to travel more safely, Rhonda transforms her appearance so that she can “pass” as a Mexican boy named Angel. The story chronicles Rhonda/Angel’s sexual and spiritual coming-of-age.


What inspired you to write it?

4.01.2012

In My Mailbox (13)

Well it's Sunday, so that means back to school/work/life tomorrow and In My Mailbox today! In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. It's a way for us bloggers to show what books we got during the week, and see what goodies other bloggers got. I got two books this week, one from the library, and one from a bookstore: 




1. The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson




2. Fever by Lauren DeStefano
  • Goodreads
  • Review coming soon
  • If you've been here before, you probably know I've been waiting for this one for a while now! Can't wait to get started!

Also, and this isn't a book, I finally saw The Hunger Games! It was pretty amazing, though I wish the back-story of it all would have come through a bit more, but everything else was great!


Well that's all for my mailbox today. Leave me links in the comments and I'll check out yours! Thanks for reading!

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