Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating...

Title: "Lucid"
Author: Ron Bass and Adrienne Stoltz
Release Date: July 19, 2012

From Goodreads: "What if you could dream your way into a different life? What if you could choose to live that life forever?

Sloane and Maggie have never met. Sloane is a straight-A student with a big and loving family. Maggie lives a glamorously independent life as an up-and-coming actress in New York. The two girls couldn't be more different - except for one thing. They share a secret that they can't tell a soul. At night, they dream that they're each other.

The deeper they're pulled into the promise of their own lives, the more their worlds begin to blur dangerously together. Before long, Sloane and Maggie can no longer tell which life is real and which is just a dream. They realize that eventually they will have to choose one life to wake up to, or risk spiraling into insanity. But that means giving up one world, one love, and one self, forever.

This is a dazzling debut that will still readers' hearts."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Partials" by Dan Wells

From Goodreads: "The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic in training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws threaten to launch what’s left of humanity into civil war, and she’s not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will discover that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

Dan Wells, acclaimed author of I Am Not a Serial Killer, takes readers on a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question—one where our humanity is both our greatest liability and our only hope for survival."

This book was one of my most highly anticipated books of 2012- everything about it intrigued me (especially the tagline, "The only hope for humanity isn't human"), however, after having finished it I  must admit that I am a tad disappointed with it (I can't help but wonder, did I set my expectations too high? To an almost unattainable level?). 

My largest complaint about this book would be how militaristic and science-y the storyline was and how in-depth of detail the author went into said parts. While I was reading all of the science-y stuff I constantly found my mind drifting off/ my eyes crossing, for instance portions of the book such as this: "... a screen full of viral images, a series of reports on the viral structure. It had two forms, one for blood and one for air; the Blob and the Spore, the yellow and the blue... The Spore was tiny, perfect for traveling through the air..." (46%). If I had to guesstimate I would say that at least a quarter of the book involved Kira standing in front of a computer screen analyzing the Paritals blood (while reading these parts I was super grateful that I have some background knowledge of how the human body works because had I not I know that I would have been even more so lost). 

That being said, I LOVED the characters of this book- main characters and secondary characters alike! I think that this batch of characters is actually the strongest (mentally, physically, and emotionally) that I have ever read before (from Kira, to Samm, to Isolde, to Madison and Xochi). Furthermore, while it was one of the "big secrets" that was revealed in this book was somewhat glaringly obvious in my opinion, that didn't alter my opinion of the book whatsoever (unlike a few other books that I have read recently, including "Blood Magic" and "Cinder") because the possibilities that it presents are endless (AKA the sequel is bound to be epic).

All in all, while I was a tad disappointed with this book was a tad disappointing I did enjoy it overall. This is a book that I know that I will read time and time again and I cannot wait to see what Dan has in store for us in the next book (here's hoping that a relationship between Samm and Kira develops in the next book- I can't be the only person who wants this to happen, right?). 

Rating: 8/10

I received this book from the author to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.


Monday, February 27, 2012

GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: Author Nikki Jefford

Magical Mishaps by Nikki Jefford

Favorite Thing about Magic
The potential for so much to go wrong. I love comedy, and magic IS comedy. It’s also dark, which I like, too: the perfect blend of dark comedy.

Unsuccessful Attempt at Magic
When I was 7, we had to leave Alaska after my mother remarried and spend the next seven years moving around the West Coast. I was in a new school every year and missed the Far North something fierce.

In third grade, I attempted a teleportation spell. It involved a circle of rocks – of which I stood in the center. I was so convinced it was going to work I packed a bag to bring with me.

All-Time Favorite TV Series
Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My favorite episode is “Something Blue” when Buffy and Spike get engaged. Don’t you just love spells gone awry?

Spellbound Series Summed up in Warp Speed
Entangled: Two witches, one body. A resurrection spell gone wrong.
Duplicity: Graylee Perez duplicated. (Like if your brain was copied and stuck inside another body. Freaky, right?)
Enchantment: (Inspired by aforementioned “Something Blue”.) Gray is under a love spell and it’s not with someone she normally likes. 

About the book: 
"Twin witches Graylee and Charlene Perez agree on one rule: No dating warlocks.

Not so easy when a certain rogue warlock is convinced he and Graylee belong together and will use anything, including magic, to try and impress Gray. When Charlene’s boyfriend dumps her, she threatens to kill either herself or the girl who stole Blake. Somehow, Gray ends up dead.

A Resurrection Spell Gone Wrong:

Two months after dying, Gray wakes up in Charlene’s body. As a witch, can anyone blame her mother for attempting to bring her daughter back to life? Only now Gray’s stuck sharing her sister’s body 50/50 in twenty-four hour shifts.

The race is on for Gray to find a way back inside her own body before Charlene purges her from existence. Raj McKenna is rumored to meddle in the black arts, not to mention he’s after Gray’s invisibility spell and worse – her heart. But Raj might be the only one powerful enough to save Gray from fading away forever"

About the author: 

Nikki Jefford is a third generation Alaskan who found paradise in the not-so-tropical San Juan Islands where she is, once more, neighbors with Canada. She has a degree in journalism and was an entertainment reporter before returning to her first love: fiction.

After a whirlwind romance in France, Nikki married Sébastien in March 2000. They reside with Cosmo the Wonder Westie.

Find Nikki at:

The Giveaway

To enter to win an E-copy of Entangled from Smashwords simply answer the following question in the comment section (BE SURE TO INCLUDE SOME WAY TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU WIN). Giveaway ends March 5th, 2012.

The witches and warlocks in Entangled share basic magical abilities. They also have advanced spells of their own. If you could choose one of the following powers, which would it be? 
  • The power to freeze people in place and take away their voice
  • Body transfers
  • Invisibility
  • Teleportation
  • or Mind reading?

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

    In My Mailbox: The Avery Found A Book Sale Edition

    In My Mailbox is a weekly post hosted by Kirsti at The Story Siren as a chance to share the books we've bought or received over the past week.

    "Wings of the Wicked" by Courtney Allison Moulton
    "Pandemonium" by Lauren Oliver
    "Jessica Guide to Dating the Dark Side" by Beth Fantaskey
    "Low Red Moon" by Ivy Devlin
    "Leviathan" by Scott Westerfeld
    "The Poison Diaries" by Maryrose Wood
    "Eyes Like Stars" by Lisa Mantchev
    "The Morganville Vampires Volume 2" by Rachel Caine
    "The Radleys" by Matt Haig 

    For Review 
    "Girl Meets Boy" by Kelley Milner Halls (Thanks to Raincoast Books and Crystal!)
    "Of Poseidon" by Anna Banks (Thanks to Raincoast Books and Crystal!)

    What did you get in your mailbox?

    Saturday, February 25, 2012

    On My Wishlist


    On My Wishlist is a great event that Book Chick City runs every Saturday. It's where you list all of the books that you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. I thought that this was a fantabulous idea so I thought I would join in!

    "Thoughtless" by S.C. Stephens

    From Goodreads: "For almost two years now, Kiera's boyfriend, Denny, has been everything she's ever wanted: loving, tender and endlessly devoted to her. When they head off to a new city to start their lives together, Denny at his dream job and Kiera at a top-notch university, everything seems perfect. Then an unforeseen obligation forces the happy couple apart.

    Feeling lonely, confused, and in need of comfort, Kiera turns to an unexpected source – a local rock star named Kellan Kyle. At first, he's purely a friend that she can lean on, but as her loneliness grows, so does their relationship. And then one night everything changes...and none of them will ever be the same."

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    "Angelfall" by Susan Ee

    From Goodreads: "It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

    Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

    Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

    Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again."

    As seems to have become the norm, I bought this book solely based upon reviews I had read about it (reviews from fellow bloggers and reviews from Goodreads). Many of those reviews that I read RAVED about this book, stating that this book was THE BEST YA angel book that they had ever read or that it as their MOST FAVOURITE book of 2011- while I did enjoy the book, I must admit that I didn't enjoy it quite as much as others seem to have (which I find unfortunate because I personally LOVE angels books- can't get enough of 'em in fact).

    My main complaint about this book is the ending. I must admit that in the large majority of cases when I am really, REALLY enjoying a book I start to get really nervous as I come closer and closer to the end because I fear that everything that I have loved in the first 3/4 or so will be destroyed- sometimes my fears turn out to be silly (ie. in the case of "Dearly, Beloved, a book where I was terrified to read the ending, but whose ending actually turned out to be darn near perfect IMO), sometimes my fears turn out to be legitimate (ie. in the case of "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer", a book whose ending left me completely baffled- in a bad way), and unfortunately the latter turned out to be the case for this book.

    It wasn't all of the gore contained in the ending that turned me off (I mean, not much gets to me in that respect- after all, I *do* study dead things, specifically dead humans)- it was the lack of explanation about why all of these horrific and grotesque things were occurring. I personally felt them to be too "out there"- that they didn't fit with the first 3/4 of the book.

    That being said, as it becomes evident I did VASTLY enjoy the first 3/4 of the book. In fact, I can't even come up with a single complaint about that portion of the book- it possessed everything that I love, a kickass heroine, a swoon-worthy male character, snark, wit AND banter like you wouldn't believe, a fast paced and unique plot, and the likes of.

    All in all, while the ending of this book didn't quite live up to my expectations, overall I did quite enjoy this book. I think that Susan has a great career ahead of her and I am looking forward to the next book in this series (hopefully the answers to all of my burning questions will be revealed in it!). 

    Rating: 7.5/10

    Memorable lines from the book:

    "We now play a permanent game of I-am-crazier-and-scarier-than-you. And in that game, my mother is our secret weapon" (9%).

    "The logistics of breaking you are so easy. The only question is when" (12%). 

    "In the second before everyone absorbs what just happened, I see the angel rolling his eyes heavenward, like a teenager in the presence of overwhelming lameness. Some people just have no sense of gratitude" (16%).

    "I'm not moping," I whisper back. 
    "Of course you're not. A girl like you, spending time with a warrior demigod like me. What's to mope about?" (26%)

    "I don't know if he noticed when  I took my sweatshirt off, but I'm guessing he was busy at the time because he looks at me in surprise. His pupils dilate when he sees me. His lips part, momentarily forgetting to marshal his expression, and I could swear he stops breathing for several heartbeats" (59%).

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Waiting on Wednesday

    "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating...

    Title: "Dangerous Boy"
    Author: Mandy Hubbart
    Release Date: August 30, 2012

    From Goodreads: "Harper’s new boyfriend Logan Townsend is everything she never knew she always wanted—tall, muscular, with tousled brown hair that falls effortlessly around his face. But what’s most exciting about Logan is that he’s exhilaratingly dangerous, and dating him allows Harper to say, “buh bye” to her good-girl past and “hello” to newfound adventure.

    There’s only one problem with Harper’s otherwise heart-stopping romance: Logan’s twin brother Daemon. Harper knows he’s a bad seed, but she tries to look past his dark, icy stare and his chilling demeanor. After all, he and Logan are a package deal.

    Then cow bones start appearing in people’s mailboxes, a flock of birds show up dead, and all of the cars in the senior parking lot are given flat tires—and covered with blood-red handprints. Logan insists that Daemon isn’t involved—sure, he’s had some trouble in the past, but they moved to Harper’s quiet northwest Washington town so that they could both start over.

    Harper desperately wants to believe Logan, but the more he tries to protect his brother, the more she wonders what she isn’t being told. Now, Harper must unearth the hidden secrets of the mysterious Townsend brothers’ history if she and Logan are to have any hope of a future. But learning what brought Logan and Daemon to town won’t put just her heart in jeopardy... She’s playing with her life."

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    "Fever" by Lauren DeStefano

    From Goodreads: "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 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."

    I must admit that it took me a really long time to get into this book (I struggled to get through the first sixty or so pages of this book, I could literally only read ten or so pages a day, and then after having read the first sixty pages I set the book down for about a month or two before picking it up once again)- something that is quite unheard of for me. The main reason why I struggled through the first bit of this book was because I found that it didn't jive whatsoever with the world that we had come to know and love (errrrr.... perhaps "love" is not the best word to use when describing a world in which young girls are forced into polygamous marriages and die in their early twenties ;) ) in "Wither", the first book in the series. However, once I was able to get past the first sixty pages, I found that the book was a lot more manageable and I was able to read the remainder of the book within a couple of hours.

    There were a number of things that irked me about "Wither" (for instance, did Rhine and Gabriel technically have a relationship, Rhine didn't give Gabriel a choice in running away, etc.) and I very much appreciated and was quite surprised by the fact that this book addressed almost every single problem that I had had (it gave me a new found respect of everything that went down in "Wither", not to mention a different perspective). Furthermore, I did quite like a few of the newly introduced characters (Maddie especially) and the reintroduction of old characters (old characters who I frankly didn't think we would ever see again). 

    That being said, while I quite liked all of my burning questions being answered in this book and the introduction of new characters, I was overall quite a bit disappointed by the plot of this book overall. I felt that very little was accomplished in this book- that the plot was a vicious circle of sorts and that Rhine and Gabriel ended up exactly where they started. Furthermore, I felt that the big reveal (the big reveal surrounding Vaughn and Rhine) was almost too far "out there", that nothing in "Wither" led up/ gave any indication that that was going to happen (that it very much came out of left field). Also, (as I have mentioned numerous times) I personally quite dislike it when a character fades in and out of consciousness  throughout the book as I find that it makes the plot unnecessarily convoluted (I mean, how do you know what is real?) and therefore I disliked that that happened with Rhine.

    All in all, while I did not enjoy this book near as much as I enjoyed its predecessor, I will still read the last book in this trilogy. Here's hoping that it will be just as good, if not better than, the original!

    Rating: 6.5/10

    I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    On My Wishlist


    On My Wishlist is a great event that Book Chick City runs every Saturday. It's where you list all of the books that you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. I thought that this was a fantabulous idea so I thought I would join in!

    "The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight" by Jennifer E. Smith

    From Goodreads: "Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

    Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

    Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it."

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin

    From Goodreads: "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."

    For much of this book I was entirely enthralled by it- but then when I reached the last third or so of the book I found myself becoming less and less enthralled and frankly more and more confused. After reading (and rereading and rereading) the last line of the book all I can think is "Wha?". Very rarely do I have to go back and reread a book to have a complete and thorough understanding of what had occurred in it and unfortunately this book does go against the norm and I will have to do so (hopefully in doing so I will be able to pick up on all of the little hints that pertain to the last sentence of the book). Furthermore, I found the last third of the book to be quite rushed (everything surrounding Mara's little brother and father? I thought that it came out of the left field and didn't fit with the feel/ pace of the earlier 2/3 of the book).  

    That being said, the last third of the book didn't wreck the novel for me in the slightest. Why? Because of Noah Shaw (AKA Sex-on-legs). Noah is perhaps the most arrogant, charming, and intriguing YA male character I have ever read of before (think a mixture of Chuck Bass and Jace Wayland x 8593284609802986092). I cannot tell you the number of times I burst out laughing while reading of all of his antics. And even better than being arrogant, charming and intriguing, Noah was genuine and had his heart in the right place.

    Typically I don't find that female characters do all that much for me (as I have mentioned numerous times, I find that they often lack personality when compared to their male counterparts- that they are extremely underdeveloped), but I didn't find that the case with Mara. I found her to be extremely interesting- I wanted to know more about her (Who is the real Mara Dyer? How crazy is she?) and I did come to really like her (I LOVED the fact that she was able to go head-to-head with Noah's snark).

    All in all, while I was disappointment by the last 1/3 of the book I do believe that this is an amazing debut by Michelle Hodkin. It becomes evident while reading this book that her talents lie in creating extremely likeable (not to mention swoon-worthy) characters. Furthermore, despite my criticisms I will still read the sequel to this book (in the hopes that it will answer many of my burning questions).

    Rating: 7/10

    Memorable lines from the book:

    '"My girl is talented," Noah said. 
    My heart stopped beating.
    Anna's heart stopped beating' (pg. 169). 

    '"What," I asked slowly, as I eyed animal crackers strewn all across it, "the hell?"
    "You were convinced they were your pets," Noah said, not even trying to surpress his decadent laughter. "You wouldn't let me touch them"' (pg. 372).

    "Because," he said, "you aren't broken" (pg. 393).

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Waiting on Wednesday

    "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating...

    Title: "Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone"
    Author: Kat Rosenfield
    Release Date: July 5, 2012

    From Goodreads: "On the night of Becca’s high school graduation, the discovery of an unidentified dead girl left to bleed out on the side of a dirt road sends the town—and Becca—into a tailspin. Becca has always longed to break free from her small home town, but as the violence of the outside world creeps into her backyard, she withdraws and retreats inward, paralyzed for the first time in her life.

    Short chapters detailing the last days of Amelia Anne Richardson’s life are intercut with Becca’s own coming-of-age summer, unfolding into the parallel stories of two young women struggling with self-identity and tense romantic relationships as the summer’s tumultuous events twist Becca closer and closer to the truth about Amelia’s murder."

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    "Eve" by Anna Carey

    From Goodreads: "The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

    Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life."

    While this is not the most unique dystopian (post-apocalyptic? I can't decide) book I have ever read, I must say that overall I quite enjoyed it. I think that the main reason why I did enjoy it is because I felt that it had a Peter Pan sort of vibe to it (and I love me some Peter Pan). Now you may be wondering how this book has a "Peter Pan" vibe to it, let me explain: for much of this book Eve (much like "Peter Pan's" Wendy is surrounded by a band of (frankly lost) young boys who live in the wild, Lief, the leader of the band of boys in this novel, has a similar personality to Rufio from "Hook" (a retelling of "Peter Pan") with his cocky, self-assured attitude, like Wendy, Eve is forever kind, caring, and patient towards them, teaching them how to read and write and perhaps most telling- the end of this book (I won't say anymore than that, as to not spoil it for anyone, but let me tell you- this is very much one of those books that will rip your heart out and stomp on it kinda like the ending to "Peter Pan"). 

    That being said, there were a few things about this book that irked me- the main being the dystopian element. As I mentioned, this is not the most unique dystopian I have ever read (I can name at least half a dozen YA dystopians that have come out within the last year or so that have the same sort of storyline- and which have frankly more successful storylines). Furthermore, I find the dystopian element to be quite underdeveloped- I didn't find myself feeling anything about the world in which Eve lived in, I couldn't connect to it (I thought that I would have at least gotten goosebumps here or there when Eve was describing her society, but I didn't). I think that this book very much could have used a bit of "dirtying" up- had that been done I believe that the book would have more real and easier to connect with.

    All in all, while I did enjoy this book, I would more so recommend this book for younger YA readers or those looking for a dystopian novel that more so focuses on romantical aspects rather than world building.

    Rating: 3/5

    I received this book from the publisher/ Net Galley to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.

    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    In My Mailbox: The Out of This World Edition

    In My Mailbox is a weekly post hosted by Kirsti at The Story Siren as a chance to share the books we've bought or received over the past week.

    "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green
    "Daimon" by Jennifer L. Armentrout
    "A Million Suns" by Beth Revis

    "Haven" by Kristi Cook (Thanks to Rachel over Fiktshun)
    "Born at Midnight" by C.C. Hunter (Thanks to Rachel over Fiktshun)
    "City of Fallen Angels" by Cassie Clare (Thanks to Rachel over Fiktshun)
    "Living Violet" by Jamie Reed (Thanks to author  

    For Review
    "Jessica Rules the Dark Side" by Beth Fantaskey (Thanks to Thomas Allen and Sons)
    "Masters of the Veil" by Daniel A. Cohen (Thanks to Spencer Hill Press)

    What did you get in your mailbox?

    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    On My Wishlist


    On My Wishlist is a great event that Book Chick City runs every Saturday. It's where you list all of the books that you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. I thought that this was a fantabulous idea so I thought I would join in!

    "Perigee Moon" by Tara Fuller

    From Goodreads: "After a horrific fire claims the life of her mother, seventeen year old Rowan Bliss finds herself in the miniscule town of Ipswich, Massachusetts. It’s here that she meets Alex, a deliciously mysterious boy who holds the key to unlocking her family’s dark secret.

    As Rowan falls helplessly over the edge for Alex, the secrets that he insists on keeping refuse to be contained, and the truth that she uncovers challenges everything she has ever believed. Alex is a witch. And now he’s awakened something within her she never even knew existed. But out of all of this, the one thing Rowan won’t accept is the fact that Alex is destined to die.

    Now Rowan must unearth the buried power she harbors within to escape a deadly prophecy, defy the very laws of time, and prevent the hands of fate from taking yet another person she loves."

    Friday, February 10, 2012

    Guest Post: Author Sheryl Steines

    Today Sheryl Steines, author of "The Day of First Sun" has been kind enough to stop by the blog to share her inspirations with us! 

    I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was seven years old.  Without question.  But wanting something and doing something about it are two different things.  I can’t pinpoint one inspiration for why I finally wrote my first book.  I guess it came out of years of experiences and life’s events, some amazing and wonderful, some heartbreaking and bittersweet.  But they each lead me to a point, that lead me to my book. 

    It started with Nancy Drew.  I remember riding my bicycle to the library and then locking myself in my room with that day’s book.  I was a voracious reader.  But at the same time, I didn’t just want to read the story, I wanted to write it, and wished like mad, that I had come up with it.

    So my seven year old self, who had an overactive imagination, daydreamed a lot.  Eventually characters were born and a story followed.  And somewhere along the way, I started to write my own detective stories. 

    Sometimes, life pushes and pulls.  Sometimes we stay on the track we plan for ourselves, sometimes we stumble a bit or sometimes, we’re pushed off.  You know the job, the kids, the PTO meetings and I forgot the dream I once had.  It was as if I forgot how to use my imagination, get lost inside of it and I forgot how to dream and create.  I still read, but writing, I just couldn’t do it.  And then, I discovered Harry Potter.

    My kids were too young to have read Harry Potter and it was just by chance that I had heard about the books.  I was deeply curious to find out why kids of all ages chose to spend hours at a time, in line, waiting to purchase a book.  So, I read them and I was hooked. 

    I was hooked for several reasons.  I could start with good writing, good story planning, fabulous characters or inventive use of Greek Mythology.  It was a combination of those and JK Rowling herself.   Her life story was impressive.  Her rock bottom brought her to the point of writing Harry Potter.  The books reminded me how much I loved the fantasy novel, her life inspired me to do what I hadn’t done yet, and that was to write my own novel.

    Writing a novel had always been a dream.  Actually, it had been number 7 on my bucket list. I was in between jobs, unsure of what I wanted to do and then I remembered.  The funny thing is, I was 41 years old when I remembered.  And the decision to write my first book was, by far, the best decision I had ever made.  So after living with the characters in my head for awhile and developing their stories, I had, as it turned out, my first book, The Day of First Sun.  A Young Adult, modern day fantasy in which the heroine and hero are Wizard Guards, magical police officers who protect magic and keep it secret. 

    I wrote for them, a murder mystery, in honor of the first books I loved.  Being that they are wizard police, the opportunity for these characters is boundless.  I loved the story line. I loved the chance to turn them into a series, to tell their stories in full.  My next project in The Annie Loves Cham series is She Wulf, the continuation of Annie and Cham, their relationship as it changes, and their growth as Wizard Guards.  My intention was to put them into a completely new situation and see how they faired at the end of their new adventure.  I’m proud of them and the direction that the series is taking. 

    I chose not to regret the course my life took, though sometimes I wish I had written the book sooner.  But sometimes we have to take advice from the strangest places and move on.  As I secretly wished I started the process sooner, Katy Perry sang in Firework,

    “Maybe you're reason why all the doors are closed -- So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road” Katy Perry. 

    I realized, I hadn’t been ready to undertake the process of writing a novel.  When I was ready, I did.  I thank the other writers who came before me, both novelists and songwriters too.  Without them, I wouldn’t have had the childhood I had, and the dreams I had.  And this path never would have come before me.  They came before me, inspired me to do more than just read.  They inspired me to imagine and create.  And to them, I am forever grateful.

    About the Author: 
    Sheryl Steines’ mind is chaotic and surprising and it shows in her writing.  Never one to sit back and see what may come, Sheryl is driven to write everyday. Somehow, amidst the chaos, she finds the time to volunteer and give talks to book clubs and students about her writing.  She even walked the Avon Breast Cancer walk two years in a row. 

    Sheryl’s series Annie Loves Cham is full of surprises and mystery.  Refusing to be restricted by genre Sheryl has taken the characters she loves and set them in new situations which test them and their friendships.  

    The second book in the series is set to release in late summer 2012. Sheryl can be found on Twitter, Facebook, or her blog. She also encourages her readers to email her and let her know what you think of Annie and Cham!

    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    "Everneath" by Brodi Ashton

    From Goodreads: "Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

    She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

    Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

    As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's..."

    I think that what I enjoyed most about this book was that Nikki was so different from the large majority of female YA characters today. She wasn't an untouchable cage-fighter like Saba, a bow-bearing hunter like Katiss or a whip-wielding gal like Izzy, rather, she was emotionally and mentally strong (and very much kickass in her own sense). 

    In all honesty when I saw that this book jumped around quite a bit in the time sequence (ie. 3 months before the Feed, 2 weeks before the Tunnels, and whatnot) I rolled my eyes and thought to myself, "Ugh... It's going to be one of *those* books" (you know *those* books, the ones that throw a ton of flashbacks at you- flashbacks that you frankly don't care about because all you want to read about is the here-and-now, specifically about how the leads, in this case, Nikki and Jack's, relationship is growing)- but it wasn't in the slightest. In fact, I really enjoyed learning about Nikki and Jack's past, it really made the ending all the more heartbreaking.

    All in all, while I was admittedly unfamiliar with the the Greek myth of Persephone I did very much enjoy this book- I think that this is very much one of those books who will appeal to both those already familiar with the tale and those unfamiliar (and admittedly after having read this book I have found myself curious about the myth of Persephone and want to learn more about it).

    Rating: 3/5

    I received this book from the publisher/ NetGalley to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    Waiting on Wednesday

    "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating...

    Title: "The Waiting Sky"

    Seventeen-year-old Jane can’t quite face her mother’s alcoholism even though it sucks to spend all her time and energy keeping them afloat—making sure her mom gets to work, that the bills are paid when there’s money to pay them, and that no one knows her mom is so messed up. But when Jane’s mom drives drunk almost killing both them and Jane’s best friend, Jane can no longer deny her mom is spiraling out of control. Jane has only one place to turn: her older brother Ethan, who left years ago to go to college. A summer away with him and his tornado chasing buddies may just provide the time and space she needs to figure out whether her life still includes her mother."

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    "Dearly, Departed" by Lia Habel

    From Goodreads: "Love can never die.

    Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

    The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

    But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

    In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love."

    Starting this book I had no idea what this book was about (I really must learn to read synopsis's synopsi?), I had only seen that it had been quite well received in the blogisphere world- had I known that it was a dystopian novel set in the twenty-second century/ a revival of the Victorian Era, that this New Victorian Era has more advanced technology than we currently have, and that zombies played a major role in it, I must admit, that I probably would have passed on it- I am glad that I didn't.

    I don't think it possible for me to eloquently sum up my feelings for this book, so I must as well just go for it: OMFG THIS BOOK IS AMAZING! IF YOU DO NOT READ IT YOU WILL REGRET IT. Admittedly I had had this book on my Kindle for a couple of months before I decided to read it, and I am kicking myself for having waited for long to do so. Not only is this such a satisfying read, but it is also the best book that I have read to date in 2012 (had I read this book in 2011 I am sure that it would have topped many of my Top 10 of 2011 lists).

    This book was so successful for a number of reasons, it possesses one of the strongest (both physically and emotionally) female characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading before (not to mention a female character who isn't afraid to be snarky), it has one of the most selfless and swoon-worthy male characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading before, it was legitimately funny (Chas, Tom, Bram and the gang? Pure genius), and it possesses an entirely unique storyline (like I said, the combination of the Victorian Era/ technology/ zombies is unfathomable in my opinion but it works).

    All in all, I highly recommend this book! I cannot wait to see what Lia has in store for us in "Dearly, Beloved"!

    Rating: 10/10

    I received this book from the publisher/ NetGalley to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.  

    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    On My Wishlist


    On My Wishlist is a great event that Book Chick City runs every Saturday. It's where you list all of the books that you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. I thought that this was a fantabulous idea so I thought I would join in!

    "This Darn Endeavor" by Kenneth Oppel

    From Goodreads: "Included in this edition of This Dark Endeavor, enjoy a free edition of Mary Shelley's classic Frankenstein.

    The purest intentions can stir up the darkest obsessions.

    In this prequel to Mary Shelley’s gothic classic, Frankenstein, 16-year-old Victor Frankenstein begins a dark journey that will change his life forever. Victor’s twin, Konrad, has fallen ill, and no doctor is able to cure him. Unwilling give up on his brother, Victor, his beautiful cousin Elizabeth, and best friend Henry begin a treacherous search for the ingredients to create the forbidden Elixir of Life.

    Impossible odds, dangerous alchemy, and a bitter love triangle threaten their quest at every turn.
    Victor knows he must not fail. But his success depends on how far he is willing to push the boundaries of nature, science and, love -- and how much he is willing to sacrifice."

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    "Article 5" by Kristen Simmons

    From Goodreads: "New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

    The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

    There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

    Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

    Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

    That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved."

    While this was not the most unique dystopian/ post-apocalyptic book that I have ever read (I have read a ridiculous number of dystopian/ post-apocalyptic books as of late and I cannot help but compare them), I still very much enjoyed it. I think that where at times the world-building of the book was lacking, the extremely well-developed and complex characters more than made up for it. 

    I must admit that there were times that I found myself growing increasingly frustrated with Ember, the main female character. I thought that she often did things with little to no thought (for instance, thinking that running away from Chase would be a good idea- it wasn't- and her being so obtuse when it came Chase's real intentions for rescuing her/ his feelings for her), however I very much enjoyed the fact that she actually grew and matured throughout the novel- mentally, physically, and emotionally (seriously, by the end of this book she could give Tris from Veronica Roth's "Divergent" or Juliette from Tahereh Mafi's "Shatter Me" a run for their money).

    While Chase, the main male lead, is by far one of the best book boys I have had the pleasure of reading in quite some time- while at times he was quite prickly and stoic, he always had the best intentions at heart.  And when he did show his soft side? Well, he is a force to be reckoned with (he hands down gets my swoon-worthy stamp of approval).

    All in all, despite a few minor complaints I think that this is an amazing debut from author Kristen Simmons. I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in the next installment of this series- here's hoping that it is just as fast-paced, engaging, and as page-turning as this book was!

    Rating: 9/10

    I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.  

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    Waiting on Wednesday

    "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating...

    Title: "Cold Fury"

    Sara Jane Rispoli is just a normal sixteen-year-old girl coping with school and a developing crush— until her parents and younger brother are kidnapped, and she discovers her family has been a key figure of Chicago’s Outfit (aka the mob) for decades. Her father, grandfather and great grandfather all used their special ability, cold fury, to settle disputes between the two mob factions—the muscle and the money. And unless Sara wants the mob to think her now missing family has turned state’s evidence, she will have to fill her father’s shoes as the mob’s peacemaker, using her own cold fury."

    Copyright © 2010 - Avery's Book Nook - is proudly powered by Blogger.

    Blog background and header is property of Avery's Book Nook- any violators will be eaten by a hobgoblin.