Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop! (US/CAN)

This hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer! The complete linky list is here.

It's already the end of the year! That sure went by fast. I've read about 150 books and most of them were pretty fantastic. Now, I'm offering up the choice between two ARCs of books I haven't in fact read, but I've heard great things about them. Both were October releases actually. Anyway, as usual, enter with the Rafflecopter below! :)

Choice between my ARCs of:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: 12-25-12 (Merry Christmas!)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Stop by there, to see other blogs participating as well! :)

Slated, by Teri Terry

"I drift through trees, spin and sprawl down on grass and daisies on the ground, alone. I stare at clouds drifting across the sky, making half-known shapes and faces. Names slip away if I grasp at them, si I let them wash past me: just lie still and be me." -Chapter 4

"Choking smoke; bloody hands beating at windows that don't open; more screaming. Another whistle; a flash; an explosion. There is a gaping hole in the side of the bus, but most are silent now." -Chapter 16

I really can't wait to get to this...just opening it up...and it smelled so nice!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Essence: review

Warning: Spoilers ahead for the first book in the series, The Pledge. If you're planning on reading it, don't read any further!

Title: The Essence (The Pledge #2)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: McElderry Books
Pages: 352
Rating: 5 stars
Summary: At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.

   I absolutely loved The Pledge. It was a great, engaging, and unique book, and with an outstanding ending...and then I heard it wasn't a standalone. Yeah I really hate when that happens, especially with a creepy ending like The Pledge had. It was perfect! But, I'm happy to report that I'm really glad to have gotten over my annoyance and decided to continue the series. Trilogy? Let's hope. Because The Essence is just as exciting and memorable as the first, and there wasn't even a horrible cliffy, to my relief. So here are my thoughts.

   Technically the series is dystopian. (I'm feeling some deja vu here, so bear with me:) It reads like fantasy. With the tiny bit of background about the past world, but I don't think that's the point at all. This is sounding familiar to you too, right? Well I recently read Rebel Heart and pretty much said the same thing. It's just one of those coincidences I guess! Every now and again an unusual dystopian is stumbled upon. Back to my subject: Fantasy. Charlie's new world is split up into "queendoms" which is a concept I try and try to get used to, but still let out a giggle every time I read or hear it. Which, as a feminist, I shouldn't. But it's funny sounding, right? Right. So. I really think this series could use a map. All good fantasy novels have a map of their world. Though, I liked making one up in my head because I am 90% sure this takes place in the dystopian Europe/Asia. Which is a first besides, like, Cinder.

   And there's magic! I love magic. Just thought I'd stick that thought in there. Magic. :)

   Okay, so while you're reading, try to picture where they are in your head. I am pretty sure Ludania is somewhere in mid-western Europe. Vannova's castle may be in Iceland? Some of the 'Empresses' are presumably from the middle-east/asia area, and Queen Thea is queen of 'New Rome' which is the easiest to figure out. It was kind of a game for me, while I read about Charlie meeting all the different queens at the annual summit. I'm curious to what other people got out of that, or if I just read way too much into things...

   I feel I can really relate to Charlie and her situation. She's been thrown into this life-changing situation, living somewhere else, learning different rules, running a freakin she's a little unstable. Oh, and not to mention the spirit of an evil queen is trying to take over her body? I like that she doesn't immediately become all warrior-awesome, this change of becoming queen is nothing I can't handle attitude. Because honestly, she kinda needs some help being queen. Good thing she has her body guard, Zafir. Her sword lessons are crap, and she's scared of horses. Misses the old life, and loves her sister so very much, it hurts her sometimes. She just seems real to me, and that makes her more human, respectively.

   What probably surprised me the most is the lack of romance. Don't read into that wrong, that I'm complaining, or the opposite; I'm only observing. Max, Charlie's beloved isn't in the story much, because he doesn't accompany her to the summit. This makes way for a complicated love triangle/square thingy to appear. Think: The Host. Sabara's essence is stuck inside of Charlie's mind, and Sabara is in love with this dude from like centuries ago...and since Charlie is having problems keeping in control of her body, and her mind can see where I'm going with this. I think the next (last?) book will address this even more, and have Max in the picture as well. I'm looking forward to that, because Max is really sweet, and deserves to be clued in on everything.

   I think I like this series so much because it has everything to do with language, and language is my passion, so it hit a nerve. The good kind. I can't get enough of the way she differentiates different languages and cultures, and that Charlie's 'super power' is the ability to understand all languages. I envy that soo much. Reading about it is the closest I can get to actually having that awesome ability.

   If you're trying to decide if a friend might like this series, I think it's good for fans of Star Trek (you know, I wrote that down, but I have no idea why, now. So just trust me.) Or Kristin Cashore's Graceling and The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. There's plenty of gender roles switching and awesome girl-power, so if you appreciate things/writing like that, then you'll most definitely enjoy this series.

   And don't you just love these covers?? Happy reading!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday 12-19-12

Wishlist Wednesday is hosted by Dani, at Pen to Paper, and it's a meme in which you can post a book that you've had on your wishlist for a while, but haven't found the time to actually read yet.

This week's pick: Ultraviolet by B. J. Anderson (<--click to add on Goodreads!)

Summary: Once upon a time there was a girl who was special. 

This is not her story.

Unless you count the part where I killed her.

Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison’s condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can’t explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori—the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that’s impossible. Right?

Three words: Twilight Zone, anyone?



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Recent Favorite Standalones

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Because they like lists. ;)

Standalones are fun even though I prefer series. Every now and then I find this awesome which I just hug and hug and convince everyone to read. I'll try to come up with 10, but we'll see:

1) Forgotten by Cat Patrick: It's at the top for a reason, I love love this book. It's short, unknown about, and utterly unique. It takes a while to get used to the main character remembering her life backwards...but it's completely worth it.

2) Shift by Em Bailey: Shift is her debut and only book at the moment. If you're looking for something you won't easily be able to describe or explain, maybe some sci-fi psychological twist...then read this.

3) The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak: No explanation needed.

4) I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak: Almost as good as tBT and it has a cool ending. Also, there's like a moral message that made me feel happy while reading. And sad.

5) So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld: Besides the fact that Scott is one of my favorite authors ever, it's a great different read. My brother just listened to it on audiobook and he really liked it too. And now I want to go re-lace my shoes like in the book.

6) Harbinger by Sarah Wilson Etienne: One of those *weird* books that never quite settles right. It's far fetched but drastically fascinating. It sucked me in on the first page.

7) The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: Magical realism rocks! And so does Maggie. Anyone who likes horse books, and especially those who don't (like me) will love this. The mythology and her writing are beautifully crafted.

8) Fateful by Claudia Gray: Werewolves on the Titanic. Need I say more? Didn't think so.

9) Wanderlove by Kristin Hubbard: Inspired me to go backpacking. I leave for Europe in six months.

10) For Darkness Shows the Stars by Dianna Peterfreund: Waiiit...okay apparently this is a series, but I think the other books might be just vaguely related, like Sarah Dessen's books? I sure hope so!

All it took was a look around my room! Totally didn't expect to come up with all ten. :)


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Requiem: review

Warning: this following blurb and review has spoilers for the first two book in the Delirium series, so read no further if you plan to read them! :)
Title: Requiem (Delirium #3)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Rating: 5 bright stars!
Summary: Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

   First before I forget! I really recommend reading the three .5 books, Hana, Annabel and Raven before reading Requiem. Hana is already out and Annabel comes out the day after Christmas and...Raven comes out the same day of Requiem. :) I've only read Hana so far and it was really worth it. Gave a whole different pov that added to my reading experience of Requiem.

   This series didn't really start on a good foot for me. When I read Delirium I passed it off as another "pretty okay" dystopian. Back then (a few years ago) is when the genre started to get really popular, so books like these were popping up all over the place. Honestly, I thought it was a little formulaic. But then I read Pandemonium and totally LOVED that book. I'm not sure, maybe it was the whole different mood of seeing the other side of the rebels taking action, and behind the scenes. Lena changes the most in that second book, and I still think it's my favorite of the three. This of course defies the Second Book Slump theory, and I was pretty delighted.

   My favorite aspect of this series as a whole is the pacing. Lauren Oliver manages to keep you really hooked into the story to where there isn't really a good place to pause. Now, I don't actually think the first book had anything special (again) but in Pandemonium Lena is in a state of serious depression from Alex's death and keeps switching back from memories with him, to current day. This way each chapter ends and switches again, the action/interest never ceases! This tactic is great for getting through a book, but then you realize you've missed a whole days worth of meals... :P Anyway, in Requiem a similar style is used, but this time switching between Lena's crazy on-the-road-surviving-in-the-Wilds life, and Hana's calm, cured, and perfect impending future--at least, on the surface. At first, Hana kind of annoyed me, but she means well, and I got more used to switching away from Lena as the chapters flew by. Especially near the end, when the two povs finally coincide.

   It was great having Alex back. Sort of. I got really worried for a while, about why he's acting so strangely. (Which you see on the third page, so don't worry that wasn't a spoiler.) Thankfully my predictions were wrong! You might find that too, or I might just have overanalyzed like usual. Julian on the other hand, didn't really have much to say; he was like Lena's much-needed rock while Alex is all crazy. He's still not used to the Wilds but adapts a whole lot more than I expected.

   I'm very happy with how this trilogy ended. Requiem has the right amount of down-time and suspense; a great balance to the very last page. Especially when the climax comes, and gunfire is aplenty, Hana and Lena's paths finally converge. I really liked how Lena focuses on reconciling with Hana, and finding her cousin, Grace. Worry for the love interest is there too, but it doesn't just overwhelm her and make her do something stupid and one-track-minded. These connections outside the main love triangle are explored, and everything; the characters, rebellion...comes to a great ending that feels real and complete.

   Definitely don't waste any time getting to Requiem!! March 5th 2013! Hey, you can pre-order your copy at AmazonBarnes and Noble, or The Book Depository already. Whatcha waiting for?

;) Jane

Thursday, December 13, 2012

End of the World Giveaway Hop! (US)

It's been a while since I've participated in a giveaway hop. But I'm back now! This hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & My Life With Books. The complete linky list you can find here.

If the world doesn't end when the hop is scheduled to be over...then we'll have a winner! (US this time, sorry!)

Now what book would I grab if it came to the end of the world? That's a tough question. It'd probably be Obernewtyn. Or City of Bones. But sorry, not giving away either of those because I'm a little tight on funds for the holiday, and I already own an "end of the world" book. So the prize for this hop will be an ARC of Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson. Book number three in the Maximum Ride series; a whole series dedicated to the world ending. It's quite exciting.

Well, that's it, happy holidays!

Enter the Rafflecopter below:

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Random Giveaway ('cause my followers rock) US

You have no idea how excited I get when I see a new comment on here! And every time another person discovers Much Ado; I pretty much cherish every single page-view. (And I finally learned what those were, too.)

So, I have this sitting on my shelf. And then I thought: I should give this away! So, here you go. For being awesome blog and book readers. I bet a few of you are working on decreasing world suck as well. So kudos for you, and enter below. :)

Oh. I'm really sorry, all my international followers, I promise I'll do one for you sometime. But you see, this like super heavy. So it's gonna cost me a lot even to ship it down the street. :P Keep an eye out though!

This isn't the best picture. But it's 8" tall. And I can fit pretty much my whole hand around it, so like 2" in diameter. And if you look closely, it's signed by the author, Tonya Hurley.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday 12-12-12 (hehe)

Wishlist Wednesday is hosted by Dani, at Pen to Paper, and it's a meme in which you can post a book that you've had on your wishlist for a while, but haven't found the time to actually read yet.

This week's pick is: Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber (<--click to add on Goodreads)

Summary: I was obsessed.

It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I'd ever seen--everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable...utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.

There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.

I've crossed over into his world within the painting, and I've seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked--bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. Unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.

This is out by the way, that's why I'm not "waiting" on it this Wednesday. :)

This cover reminds me a lot of Illuminate by Aimee Agresti. The pretty dress, blank background and, painting/picture frame...I'm not sure, it just reminded me of it a bit. And since I loved that book, I'm hoping I'll love this too. But another series to start...I need to finish a few more first!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Series to Finish Pt 2: Released

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Because they like lists. ;)

Here's part two, series that are already out that I haven't gotten around to finishing yet. (Or at least I haven't caught up to the newest books.) I don't really have any excuses, so here they are in no particular order:

1) The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa: On the second book...and I own the whole series,'s called procrastination. These are quite good!! Definitely a good pick for fans of the fair fey folk!

2) Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout: *fangirling* C'mon book two, ship from the library already!

3) The Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody: Favorite series in the world. I have the last book (Aussie edition, so US last two books) but I can't remember what happened in the previous six so I have to reread them. And I'm so sad it will be all over!

4) Shadow Saga by Orson Scott Card: See, I read Ender's Game. Then Ender's Shadow. I hear about twenty different ways to read these books. So, I'm continuing on Shadow of the Hegemon and Ender in Exile. I think?

5) The Ellie Chronicles by John Marsden: This is my recovery series for having finished the Tomorrow series. I'm nervous to get to it. Takes place a few months after the previous series ends, but it ended okay so...does that mean more bad things are in place for Ellie?

6) Earthsea Cycle series by Ursula K. Le Guin: really awesome sic-fi. Hadn't realized there were so many! I've read the first.

7) Books of Faerie series by Maggie Stiefvater: Not amazing, but I read anything by her and this is all I have left to occupy myself with until the second Raven Boys book comes out.

8) Oh noes!! That's it? Well, it's kind of a relief, actually.



Any series you've been in the middle of, and just NEED to finish? But haven't really gotten to it yet? You're not alone, share your thoughts.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Rebel Heart: review

Title: Rebel Heart (Dust Lands #2)
Author: Moira Young
Genres: dystopian, adventure, Firefly-esque
Rating: 5 stars!
Source: library
Summary: It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba’s world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh’s freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.

What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.

(Let me just stare at this cover a little more....O.O...okay, let's get started.)

   The one initially off-putting comparison I read about Blood Red Road was "For fans of The Hunger Games!" or "Better than The Hunger Games!" Yeah, I've never heard that one before. Really people, that line doesn't even work anymore.
   But. I hate to say it. This book is pretty awesome like The Hunger Games, and is completely for fans of that famous series. Trust me, I don't say that often. There's cruel fighting kids, a tough be-strong-or-die world...well, actually it's like the Games are what their (Saba's) world is like. That may be a little extreme, but definitely along the lines.

(Little side note warning, my opinions on the language have drastically changed since I read Blood Red Road, because I hadn't seen Firefly back then. So don't go looking for that wimpy review. Moving on.)

   I also get to say with glee that the Dust Lands trilogy is for fans of Firefly. The setting, language, and even some characters, ALL reminded me of the best show in ever-existence. More on the language below, but I thought I'd mention Firefly, because if you have a friend who likes that series: If you haven't already, recommend these books to them. They don't know what they're missing.

   About Young's writing. I really really love the writing. For those who are unfamiliar with this series, well, first you shouldn't be reading this review, and second, her writing is probably one of the most unusual I've come across. Ever. Now it's not that she writes in accents. More than that, she freakin thinks in the accents. And soon enough, you're thinking it along with her. Saba. Yeah.

   For example, because I just have to share it. There isn't any regular lame accent: "'She ain't goin nowhere,' I said, taking a seat by the fire." No. There's greatness like, this warm, comfortable language that flows off the tongue and feels friendly. (I'm sorry, I get really into language stuff.)
Here's a quote or two from the first book, if you've somehow forgotten:

We're on our own. An I feel calm. It seems crazy . . . but I'm calm. Because now I see what I gotta do. An what I ain't gotta do, which is waste time thinkin that anybody's gonna help us. That somebody's gonna come along an rescue us. I cain't count on nobody but me.
He turns around, all impatient. Now what? I wanna say something to you. I wanna say . . . I dunno . . . more. I could bust apart with all I'm feelin inside of me right now. What with fightin off the hellwurms an gittin my shoulder tore open, an how I felt when I woke up an seen you an, now, here I am, being so close to findin Lugh an I dunno what's gonna happen an--
Jack's lookin at me, frowning. What's the matter with you, Saba? he says.
Yer in my blood, Saba, he says. Yer in my head. Yer in my breath, yer in my bones...gawd help me, yer everywhere. You have bin since the first moment I set eyes on you.

   I lied, three.

   Also, did I mention there aren't quotation marks? ;) You can't forget that. But really, it did take some initial getting used to. But I'm wasting my time here, convincing people who already love the series (I'm hoping) so I'm continuing now.

   Technically Dust Lands trilogy is dystopian. There's "Wrecker Tech" and ruins. But it's so sparse and nobody really hangs around any of the now-junk that I feel they're on their own little made-up planet. We'll call it Miranda. (kidding.) I also noticed this dystopian is set apart by not having the common "suppressed society and rebellion" thing that's becoming so normal in books. Sure, there's now a hint of rebellion in the midst of the bad guys. The Tonton are getting stronger and more organized. Led by the Pathfinder and all his visions of a new world. I feel like we're seeing this future New Society in the makings. Things could get bad if the head's not cut off quick. That's Saba's job, I guess. Her and her friends have to save the day now.

   Saba's brother, Lugh, is probably my least favorite character. From the start he rubbed me the wrong way, and even through this book, I still don't like him. Lugh means well I guess. Mostly he came across as overprotective and obnoxious, like it's three years younger than her, instead of her twin. All of his decisions made me want to hit him, and as much as Saba puts up with it, she's coming to the end of her string as well. I think his problem is he doesn't share anything, and is super secretive about what took place when the Tonton originally kidnapped him. It was bad, but we have no idea what. And that puts distance between him and everyone else.

   I feel like I should have a whole paragraph for Saba too, but really all I have to say is she's really selfish in her decisions and opinions, but really aware of it; and boy can she kick some ass. Becoming a bit of a heartbreaker, too, to her disdain. Really, something needs to be done about that. Soon.

   DeMalo. Something in that name gives me shivers, and I think badness upon hearing it. Saba's sudden--dare I say it?-- attraction to him creeps me out. He creeps me out in general. Just *bleh* and he's so charismatic, I felt like going lalalala while he talked. I have a feeling he will get a much bigger role in the last book, which scares me.

   Jack. He ain't much in here, really. Probably in about 50 pages in all, and that's not at once. There were some pretty mixed up feelings for a while, between me an him. Think Peeta hanging with the Careers. Except it's pretty back and forth whether he's faking it or not for pretty much the entire book. Anyways, I really missed Jack's presence. 

   The last 100 pages are really turbulent. So much went on, people died, betrayed, didn't die, and was hard to keep track of what had actually happened, till about the last page. I took mental notes and finally figured it out.

   Now. Where's that 2014 sequel? The conclusion to the Dust Lands trilogy is gonna be mighty excitin, and I won't be able to get my hands on it fast enough.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

November RAK Wrap Up

R.A.K. is as always, hosted by the cool Book Soulmates peeps.

I received one book this month, and it inspired me to pay it forward! So then I sent one too.

An ARC from Margie Cortina of Bumbles and Fairy-Tales! Thank you very much! :)
What I got!

It always makes me happy to give people books! And so I sent this to another person on the RAK list.

What I sent!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday 12-5-12

Wishlist Wednesday is hosted by Dani, at Pen to Paper, and it's a meme in which you can post a book that you've had on your wishlist for a while, but haven't found the time to actually read yet.

This week's pick is: Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell (<--click to add on Goodreads)

Summary: Lord of the Flies meets  War of the Worlds in J. Barton Mitchell's alien-invaded post-apocalyptic world where two teens and a young girl with amazing powers must stop the aliens’ mysterious plan

Earth has been conquered by an alien race known as the Assembly. The human adult population is gone, having succumbed to the Tone---a powerful, telepathic super-signal broadcast across the planet that reduces them to a state of complete subservience. But the Tone has one critical flaw. It only affects the population once they reach their early twenties, which means that there is one group left to resist: Children.

Holt Hawkins is a bounty hunter, and his current target is Mira Toombs, an infamous treasure seeker with a price on her head. It’s not long before Holt bags his prey, but their instant connection isn’t something he bargained for. Neither is the Assembly ship that crash-lands near them shortly after. Venturing inside, Holt finds a young girl who remembers nothing except her name: Zoey.

As the three make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, they encounter young freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and the amazing powers that Zoey is beginning to exhibit. Powers that suggest she, as impossible as it seems, may just be the key to stopping the Assembly once and for all. 

Why on my wishlist? Why wouldn't it be!?!? First, the cover is my favorite color. Second, the Greek symbol Delta is hugely on the front. What does that mean? And I was sold at Lord of the Flies meets War of the Worlds!!! This book is gonna rock. Aliens can't create a bad book. It's out, too! I need to check my library to see if they have it in yet!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Series to Finish Pt 1: Unreleased

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Because they like lists. ;)

I saw a Top Ten for unfinished series the other day and totally thought it was cool. Copycatting! Anyway because I'm totally in the middle of a bunch of unfinished series, half from procrastination and half from the sequels not being released yet (as of now), this is the latter, books that aren't out yet, so I can't actually finish the series if I tried. In no particular order:

After compiling this list, I realized, these are all endings to series, not in the middle! haha. I'm awaiting the last book. So that's what this list is.

Did I lose you yet? Sorry. Keep reading.

1) Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth: Fall 2013, my friends! I am sooo looking forward to mysterious book three. I heart Four!

2) The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare: She needs to take a break from all her other writing and finish this damn series already. All those years ago, I figured it was just the three so I thought it was the perfect ending, and of course she turns it into six books...I love and hate that at the same time. Need. Last. Book.

3) Revenants trilogy by Amy Plum: Okay, this is very materialistic of me, but I have the first two ARCs by various sources, but if I don't have a matching ARC set, I might cry. Also, AWFUL cliffhanger for book two!! 

4) The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare: Yeah. It's not a hard question, Tessa. PICK WILL. -_- This should be released after City of Heavenly Fire though, because Jace is in that. And I need to make sure he is all right, before seeing how Will turns out. I'll stop now.

5) Starcrossed series by Josephine Angelini: Man I love mythology, and this is one of my favorite modernizations! Also, these books have beautiful covers. 

6) Razorland series by Ann Aguirre: The main character is like River Tam, just so you know. That should be reason enough to read them, if you haven't already.

7) Across the Universe trilogy by Beth Revis: First book I thought was okay, and the second one I LOVED. And she really has a thing for cliffhangers too! Great plot and memorable characters; totally awesome to read if you like sci-fi! But seriously, what's up with the cover change? :P

8) Masque of the Red Death series by Bethany Griffin: Technically it's a companion series. Duo? Two books, not a trilogy, or a series! Still counts. Steampunky awesomeness not-to-miss!

9) Hereafter trilogy by Tara Hudson: My first ghost series. Been with it from the start and I'm really curious how it's going to end. The second book got depressing. 

10) Jenna Fox Chronicles trilogy by Mary E. Pearson: For as long as I remember, I loved the first book and didn't have any idea it would be a trilogy...still mixed feelings about that!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Crash: review

Title: Crash (Visions #1)
Author: Lisa McMann
Genres: paranormal visions/mystery
Rating: 5 stars!
Release Date: January 8th 2013
Source: ARC from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Summary: Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode...and nine body bags in the snow.

The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more shesees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.

In this riveting start to a gripping series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann, Jules has to act—and act fast—to keep her vision from becoming reality.

   This is not a high-school setting book, despite it's teenness. School is barely mentioned, and I like how it and it's expected drama is totally not all over the plot. There's bits and pieces, but for the most part, Jules is a loner, and we get to see her home life--the much more interesting side...

   To keep the two "star-crossed lovers" apart, Jules and Sawyer, there's an old family rivalry. Now that may seem old fashioned, but I think its supercoolbeans and totally love it. For the family set up, it completely makes sense. 

   Jules' family is a big part of the story. Her dad is a hoarder, her brother and sister act like real siblings, and her mom has the ever-present smile for when things get tough. Together they run their family pizza business, and it's evident they're all really close to one another.

   Like I mentioned before, Jules is a bit of a loner. She doesn't really have any friends besides her siblings (which is okay by the way,) and keeps to herself. But when she starts to get these crazy visions of the crash, Jules soon becomes determined in her mission to find out more about them. Also, she is the kind of person who's not afraid to say it like it is! I found this quite funny at times.

   If you like McMann's Wake trilogy, then you will for sure love Crash. It has the same feel to it. Ordinary setting with extraordinary powers thrown upon some poor girl (for our entertainment.) Hot mysterious guy who becomes her confidante. Oh and who may or may not die in the process. There's lots of suspense and of surprises through the very last page.

   Crash is my favorite book of her's yet and had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. There are going to be three more in the series, thank the dogs!!

   You must read this.


(Oh and thanks again, Simon & Schuster!!!)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stacking the Shelves 12-2-12

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Hosted by Tygna's Reviews.

It's been a while since I've done one of these, I know. Here's what I got recently!

I bought them all at Changing Hands Bookstore except the two ARCs: When We Wake (bought), and Crash from Simon and Schuster. (Thanks!!!)

Why buy the rest?
   So I met Becca, but no, I haven't read anything by her before. Why did I buy hush, hush and crescendo? I couldn't help it, of course. I have no will power in a bookstore. 
   Julie Kagawa's books I've read? The Iron King (review here) and The Immortal Rules (review here), so, ya know I gotta buy the rest of the series. Someone had just turned them ALL in used at the store! Wait for it...couldn't help it.          
   Jellicoe Road I've heard is amazing, and I liked Marchetta's Finnikin of the Rock a LOT (review here) and also I saw it being read on my favorite Aussie show, Dance Academy. Then I found out Melinda Marchetta actually writes episodes to that show. I just had to buy the book. 

Thoughts? What new books did you get recently?


Saturday, December 1, 2012

And here I thought....

...that I wouldn't be able to get books to review. This thought was back in February, when I had just started blogging. Now look how naïve I was. I have had NO shortage of incoming ARCs and swag, it's hard to keep track and painful to refuse. Anyway, in case you're wondering what's coming next on my blog, well, it's probably on that bookshelf somewhere.

The top row is full of books I've bought and have yet to read, the middle two are to-review sometime, and the bottom row books are for future giveaways, or just extras for friends...ah man I really need to reduce this.

(This shelf is the bottom half of one of nine in my 11'x12' room. All of you probably have similar situations.)

Attention to all aspiring book bloggers, don't worry: There are always books to review.


A very happy, if overwhelmed,


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Here: review and a Cover Reveal + Giveaway!


Title: Here (On the Other Side #1)
Author: Denise Grover Swank
Genres: contemporary high school/sci-fi otherworldliness
Rating: 3.6 stars
Source: e-book from the author for an honest review
Summary: Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before.

Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can't ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.

   There's two distinct parts to here. The first half I didn't like: pretty much contemporary and the first real interaction I see of Julia is her freaking out over the "popular guy" looking at her. That didn't help me get to like her. Also, she's in a huge slump (which is understandable) but I found myself kind of depressing reading about how depressed she was, and how she wasn't trying to do anything about it. So where the beginning didn't at all grab my attention, I had heard and read there was something completely different about the other half so...

   The second, I really liked. Here comes the otherness cool stuff. She gets transported to...well another place. There's futuristic techy gadgets, strange customs of the familiar people, and side's that for mysterious? I feel I shouldn't say much, cause if you haven't guessed it by halfway through the book then it's a pretty awesome surprise.

   Most of the events and mysteries in the first half I actually predicted easily. From the first page I could tell what would end up happening (who Evan is and all these subtle foreshadowing hints related to the prologue), but I will admit toward the end of the book, the plot took so many frantic turns that it was easy to let myself stop analyzing and go with the flow, not guessing.

   This story is hugely character driven, which is absolutely great for the development of Julia, but for the second half, I only got glimpses and mentions of this alternate world. I wanted more of that, but that's a personal preference, not necessarily what Here is supposed to focus on. Understandable.

   As for Julia's romance. First of all, I don't like a love triangle to become very established in the first of a series. That's immediately off-putting to me. Second, it's pretty instalove in a high-schoolish manner. Redeemably, the whole instalove thing is explained in the second half. Even Julia almost admits sometime that it's a bit odd for Evan and Reece to suddenly like her. (Doesn't stop her from gladly taking attention from both.)

   It might look like I'm complaining about pretty much everything in here (haha) but I really enjoyed the story and everything not complained-about, I did like. And even though it's in the YA category, I think it could be one of those tween books easily; the romance it very PG and there isn't any outstanding violence.

Cover Love? Absolutely. This cover rocks and really relates to the story. She's standing on her reflection! And the color tones are all purpley creepo.


And I'm happy to be a part of the cover reveal for the second book, There:

Warning: The blurb for Book Two has spoilers for those who haven't read Here so read no further if you want to avoid those spoilers! 

There's RELEASE DATE: December 24, 2012    

Summary (same as the back cover ^^): Julia Phillips’ world is an alternate universe away.
Trapped in a land where government leaders want her dead, Julia is forced to run for her life with Evan and Reece, the two boys who brought her here. They’re on their own in a hostile landscape ruled by scavengers and thieves.
But Evan is battling a deadly infection, and Julia finds herself racing against time as she tries to find the
medicine that will save his life. She and Reece find an unlikely ally—Jo, a girl they free after finding her captured in a bandits’ hideout.
As the four travel across the country, Julia has something else to worry about—her memories are slowly being replaced by the Julia of Evan and Reece’s world. Will they find a way to send Julia home before it’s too late? Or will Julia’s body and mind be trapped THERE? 


Click below to buy Here! The ebook will be on sale for $.99 on Amazon, B&N, Kobo & Smashwords until Friday, November 30th! Don't miss out. :)   

Don't forget to enter the Here giveaway on Goodreads:


About the author:

Denise Grover Swank lives in Lee's Summit, Missouri. She writes urban fantasies without vampires and werewolves. She also writes romantic comedy mysteries set in the south. Denise has six children, three dogs, and an overactive imagination. She can be found dancing in her kitchen with her children, reading or writing her next book. You will rarely find her cleaning.

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