Monday, January 30, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Journey!
It's a great way to share what you read the past week, what you are currently reading, and what you plan to read next!
Finished:
Vanish by Sophie Jordan (audio)
Currently Reading:
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Matched by Ally Condie (audio)
Looking for Alaska by John Green

Up Next:
Black Heart by Holly Black
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (audio)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In My Mailbox #56

In My Mailbox is Hosted by The Story Siren.

For Review:
Destined by Aprilynn Pike
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Until I Die by Amy Plum
The Ivy: Rivals by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Thanks to Harper Teen!

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cover Reveal for TWO Spencer Hill Press Titles!

Spencer Hill Press has some fantastic books coming out and I am so excited to be part of the cover reveal for two of their upcoming books!

Title: Touch of Death
Author: Kelly Hashway
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (www.SpencerHillPress.com)
ISBN: 978-1-937053-30-7
Release Date: January 2013
List Price: $12.95
Formats: Trade Paperback, e-book
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Jodi Marshall isn't sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she's in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she's being stalked by some guy no one seems to know.

After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he's not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she's part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendents of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins.

Jodi's deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn't difficult enough, Jodi discovers she's the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can't figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct.


Title: PODs
Author: Michelle Pickett
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (www.SpencerHillPress.com)
ISBN: 978-1-937053-28-4
Release Date: June 2013
List Price: $12.95
Formats: Trade Paperback, e-book
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.

Don't these titles sound AWESOME?! Can't wait to get my hands on them!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in our Stars
John Green
Published January 10, 2012
Dutton Juvenile
Purchased Copy
Reviewed by Megan

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.
- Goodreads

I did not know anything about The Fault in our Stars before reading it.  All I knew was that it was about a couple of kids with cancer and that it was written by John Green.  I had no idea that it would be such a beautiful, moving story about so much more than an illness.  At about 1/4 of the way into the book I almost emailed Michelle and told her that I couldn't review it because it was just too perfect.

Hazel is a wonderful character.  She is young but has seen a lot and she's grown afraid of the death that surrounds her and the people she knows best.  Wrongly assuming that it's easier to keep her distance, Hazel spends her time in books.  So when Augustus Waters shows up at the support group meeting in the Literal Heart of Jesus and is sort of amazing for her, Hazel attempts to stay away.  But Augustus makes it difficult.  He sees past her oxygen tank and her illness and treats her like a person.  Finding out that she spent her cancer-wish on a trip to Disney he promptly offers his own wish to take Hazel on a trip to Amsterdam to meet her favorite author.

This isn't the kind of book that one reads and thinks might have a happy ending.  There are subtle hints along the way, aches and pains while climbing stairs or raised voices being heard through closed doors.  But I will admit that I really had no idea how it was going to end.  When I assumed the ending, I assumed it completely backwards so when it all happened it was absolutely heart-breaking.  This book isn't for the faint of heart.  It is raw and real and emotional.  It does not shy away from the tough stuff.  We see people who aren't sick scared by the illness, we see how it drains a person, all the effects that it has. But it done in a beautiful way.  This is a book full of love and about learning to find love even when the situation seems dire.

I feel that this review is very vague, but I am at a loss for words.  I would hope that it was already on your list to read, and if not then I will use this last line to encourage you to definitely add it.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie

This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week is a freebie week so I'm doing:

Top Ten Books I Must Read in 2012
1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth - Because Divergent was awesome and I need to know what happens.

2. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare - CA wasn't my favorite out of Clare's books but Prince pulled me into this new world that Clare created. I NEED to know what happens. Oh and TEAM WILL FOR LIFE! <3

3. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare - Speaking of Cassandra Clare, the ending of CoFA was ridiculous and I love Jace like crazy. So, I needs it.

4. Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready - Have you read Shade and Shift yet? Because if you have you KNOW why I need Shine. 

5. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore - I loved Graceling and Fire and I'm sure Bitterblue is going to be just as amazing.

6. Black Heart by Holly Black - I need to know what happens with Cassel and his family! A friend is loaning me the ARC so I will know soon!

7. Fever by Lauren DeStefano - I loved everything about Wither and DeStefano left the readers with a lot more questions about what is going to happen?! 

8. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa - I haven't got around to reading The Iron Fey series (hides) but this book looks awesome. 

9. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer #2 by Michelle Hodkins - Noah. Enough said.

10. Shatter Me #2 by Tahereh Mafi - I loved Mafi's writing style in the first one and she left us with so much that could happen. Definitely need #2!

What are you looking forward to this year?

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium
Lauren Oliver
Publish Date: March 6, 2012
Harper Teen
ARC from Harper
Reviewed by Michelle

Lauren Oliver captivated readers with Delirium, the first book in a thrilling dystopian trilogy in which Lena Haloway dared to fall in love with Alex and escape the cure, the government-mandated procedure that renders a person immune to the disease of love. Lena and Alex staked their lives on leaving their oppressive society, but only Lena broke free.

Pandemonium continues Lena’s gripping story. After escaping from Portland, Maine, Lena makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community, where she transforms herself into a warrior for the resistance. A future without Alex is unimaginable, but Lena pushes forward and fights, both for him and for a world in which love is no longer considered a disease. Swept up in a volatile mix of revolutionaries and counterinsurgents, Lena struggles to survive—and wonders if she may be falling in love again.

Full of danger, forbidden romance, and exquisite writing, Lauren Oliver’s sequel to Delirium races forward at a breathtaking pace and is sure to appeal to fans who crave the high-stakes action of The Hunger Games and the bittersweet love story of Romeo & Juliet.
-Goodreads



OMG, y'all. This book totally blew me away. Really. It is my favorite book of the year by far. There is SO MUCH AWESOMENESS in Pandemonium. Even better than Delirium in my opinion - and I loved Delirium. But Lauren Oliver WENT THERE with Pandemonium and it will blow. your. mind. I'm still thinking about this book and it's been over a week since I finished. 


When Lena emerges into the Wilds - nothing is how she imagined it would be. Alex is gone and her heart is broken. Shattered. When Raven and the other "invalids" find her she is half dead and really just wants to stay that way. As she regains her strength she accepts her new life in the Wilds and becomes a member of the Resistant - moving to New York and emerging herself in the fight against everything that she once believed in. What she doesn't expect is what happens next - and must fight to stay alive and escape what will most certainly be her death.


Oliver's writing is FLAWLESS. From the very first chapter she grabs your attention and keeps it. Pandemonium is written in a switching time frame - one chapter is "then" and one chapter is "now" and it flows effortlessly. I would find myself wanting to know what was happening in the "then" when I was in the "now" and vise versa. The "then" is about how she found her way. The "now" is about how she is strong and not the same girl we saw in Delirium. She has became a warrior for the resistance and since they took Alex from her she will do whatever she can to take them down.


Since the blurb tells you about the romance - I'm only going to say a few things about it. First, I love Alex. In Delirium, we see how Alex is perfect for Lena but at the end of Delirium he is captured and probably killed. Lena is heartbroken - like doesn't want to live anymore, let me die - heartbroken. She goes on with her life - but doesn't forget. When she is put into a dangerous circumstance with an unlikely companion, things start to change. She starts to let her heart heal - even while she is fighting to survive. The relationship that starts to bloom is what she needs. And I ADORED it. Absolutely and totally fell in love with this "forbidden romance."


Pandemonium is everything that a sequel should be - engaging, heart pounding, and completely captivating. I can't remember the last time I read a book so fast and was so completely enchanted with the characters and story.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Audio Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls
Patrick Ness inspired by Siobhan Dowb
Illustrated by Jim Kay
Publish Date: September 27, 2011
Candlewick Press
Audio book for Review from Brilliance Audio
Read by Jason Isaacs

This is an extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss. The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming. . . .
This monster, though, is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.  It wants the truth.
Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final story idea of Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults. -Goodreads
 

I can not say enough good things about A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. The story is heart breaking and real and hard to deal with but fabulous in its own way. How do you deal with heartbreak and loss when you are so young with no one to turn it? This is what Conor is facing and the Moster makes him face. The monster comes to tell Conor three stories then after the stories Conor must tell him the truth - something Conor doesn't want to face.

Conor is dealing with a lot in his young life. His mother is sick with cancer, his father left and is living in America with his new family, and his grandmother isn't someone he gets along with. On top of a horrible home life, he is also bullied at school every day - which he takes without telling anyone what is going on.  Then one night, the monster shows up and demands for Conor to deal with what is going on in his life through three stories - all of which cause Conor to act out and deal with the things happening in his life. Even as an adult reader, I was left confused and trying to figure out what had happened with the stories - who was really hurt and who was really doing the hurting.

Even though I listened to the audio and didn't look at the illustrations as I read the book, I still enjoyed the story. I did go and buy the book just so I could see the illustrations and they are fabulous. The pictures are done in black and white and it adds a whole different element to the story - making it dark and scary in ways just reading it wouldn't allow.

The audio for A Monster's Call is superb. Jason Isaacs (aka Lucius Malfoy) does a fantastic job of bringing Conor's voice to life. He is emotional and forceful and everything you want a reader to be when reading a book with so much emotion attached to it. His voice for the monster is scary and commanding while his voice for Conor makes your heart hurt at times. He was the perfect narrator for this book.


A Monster Calls is heartbreaking and real and something that you need to experience. Conor will break your heart and you will want to take him home and make his life better once you read his story. The audiobook is fantastic and would be a great starter for audiobook virgins. If you have not read this book, it should be put in your TBR pile. It is a fast read and worth the couple hours.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Journey!
It's a great way to share what you read the past week, what you are currently reading, and what you plan to read next!
 
Finished:
The Raft by S. A. Bodeen

Currently Reading:
Crossed by Ally Condie (audio)
Vanish by Sophi Jordan (audio)
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Up Next:
A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Black Heart by Holly Black
What are you reading this week?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox #55

In My Mailbox is Hosted by The Story Siren.

This was a slow mail week for me this week - which is totally okay because I have enough books to read.
I did buy a couple book and Netgalley has supplied by addiction as well.

Bought:
An Abundance of Katherines by John Gree
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
I read my first JG book this week and LOVED it. I am now on a mission to read everything he has written.

Tour:
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Netgalley:
Partials by Dan Wells
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
Transcendence by C. J. Omololu
Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
The Age of Miracles (adult) by Karen Thompson Walker

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Blog Tour: Fracture by Megan Miranda

Today I'm re-posting my review of Fracture by Megan Miranda for a blog tour through Bloomsbury Children's Books | Walker Books for Young Readers. I'm very excited to be on this tour - I loved Fracture so much!


Fracture
Megan Miranda
Publish Date: January 3, 2011
Walker Books for Young Readers
ARC from Netgalley

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine
-despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?
Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?
For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death. -Goodreads



When Delaney falls through the ice and is submerged under water for eleven minutes. She should be dead - but she's not. After being in a coma for almost a week, Delaney wakes up to a whole new life. Everyone is changed by her fall - herself, her parents, her best friend, Decker, and her friends.

Megan Miranda's debut novel is suspenseful, engaging, and brilliant. Part love story and part psychological thriller, Fracture will have you from the moment you start reading. The first ten pages takes you into the drowning of Delaney - and from there things just become more intense. Every move Delaney makes she is being watched - by her mother, her father, her friends. She went from being almost valedictorian to having to be tutored - and there is something a little off that draws her out in the middle of the night to the dying. When Delaney meets Troy, a person with similar abilities, what she is looking for is answers but what she gets is so much scarier.

The characters in Fracture are written so well. Decker, Delaney's BFF, is caring and loyal and oh-so-in-love with Delaney - even if he won't admit it. He has to deal with the fact that he left Delaney on the ice and she fell in - and deal with it he does. There is so much tension between Delaney and Decker - a fine line that they both walk because of the hurtles in their friendship. And sometimes they are just too hard to deal with. When Delaney meet Troy - things get a whole lot more interesting. Troy is definitely a bad boy but not in a good way. He is sketchy and there is a lot more to him than what you think. It made me nervous the way Troy was with Delaney - like you're holding your breath waiting for something to happen.

Fracture should definitely be on your to be read piles if it isn't already. No ghosts, witches, vampires, or werewolves here. Just a amazingly well written thriller that you won't be able to put down.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky
Veronica Rossi
Published January 3, 2012
Harper Collins
ARC from Publisher
Reviewed by Michelle

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY.
-Goodreads


I completely loved everything about Rossi's debut novel. From the world she created to the characters to the action and suspense - Rossi crafts a wonderful story that leave the reader wanting so much more.


In Under the Never Sky, the world is being destroyed by the Aether storms - storms that rain down fire and scorch the earth destroying what ever is in it's path. In this world there are two types of people - Dwellers and Outsiders. Dwellers live in pods and have access to other "worlds" through a eyepiece that covers their eye. Outsiders know nothing but hunger and violence - having to fight to survive in the harsh weather conditions. Outsiders do have one advantage though - most of them have special gifts that help them survive in the harsh conditions. And there is just so much more to this world that Rossi created. At the beginning of Under the Never Sky, I will admit I was somewhat confused. I felt like I was thrown into this world and couldn't really find my way around - but once the story got going I understood more about what was going on around me. Not really knowing what was going on kept me interested and wanting more. 


I think the strongest part of the story were the characters - Aria and Perry were wonderfully written and full of surprises. I loved that the story was told from both point of views - we would have missed so much if it had only been told from either Aria or Perry's. Aria is one very tough chick - she was determined to find out what happened to her mother (even if it meant breaking the rules), she didn't let anyone push her around, and she fought for her life whenever she had to - even if she wasn't very good at it. I love that she didn't let Perry push her around - even though he could be very mean and intimidating. And Perry - swoon-worthy Perry. I just loved that boy. You see that he has a kind side to him when he is with his nephew but he also has a hard side - one that kills men without thinking twice. And I loved the relationship between Aria and Perry - no instalove going on here. Mostly instahate. It made the story much more enjoyable with a little bit of suspense and wondering.


I need the next book in this series immediately and I know its going to be at least a year before that happens. If you love dystopian I highly recommend this book - full of action and adventure, love and loss, and hope and sadness - Under the Never Sky is a superb debut that will leave the reader wanting more.

Monday, January 16, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Journey!
It's a great way to share what you read the past week, what you are currently reading, and what you plan to read next!


Finished:
The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker (Michelle)
Hare Moon by Carrie Ryan (Michelle)
Switched by Amanda Hocking (Michelle)
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Michelle)
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (Michelle)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Michelle)

Currently Reading:
The Raft by S. A. Bodeen (Michelle)
Crossed by Ally Condie (audio) (Michelle)
Looking for Alaska by John Green (Michelle)

Up Next:
Fever by Lauren DeStefano (Michelle)


Sunday, January 15, 2012

In My Mailbox #54 w/The Calling Giveaway!

In My Mailbox is Hosted by The Story Siren.
My mailbox is kinda crazy this week and I love it! So many good books.
Bought:
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - Signed by John Green and drawn in by Hank Green!
I can't believe my Walmart in a teeny, tiny town in WV had three copies of these. This is the first JG book I've read - I'm almost finished with it and I am a fan girl. Starting Looking for Alaska next.


 Looking for Alaska by John Green
Supernaturally by Kiersten White
The Death Cure by James Dashner
The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima
Splendor by Anna Godbersen


 A Million Suns by Beth Revis - Signed by Beth Revis with some swag!
Hunger Games "LOVE" sticker from Perfectly Aligned

Borrowed:
Black Heart by Holly Black - Thanks to Heidi at YA Bibliophile for letting me borrow this! So excited!!

Review:


The Raft by S.A. Bodeen (from Around the World ARC Tours)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Audio from Brilliance Audio)
The Selection by Kiera Cass (Harper)
The Calling by Kelley Armstrong (2nd copy - giveaway!) (Harper)
The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze (Little, Brown)
Lost Girls by Ann Kelley (Little, Brown)
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad (Little, Brown)

Gift:
One of my IRL BFF's gave me this book thong for Christmas. Her daughter is from Guatemala and it is made by women in the country trying to make a better life for themselves. I love it. :)

Swag:
Don't Breathe a Word Swag from Holly Cupala

Giveaway for The Calling. Fill out the form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 13, 2012

Review: Chime by Franny Billingsley

Chime
Franny Billingsley
Published March 17, 2011
Dial Press
Purchased Copy

Reviewed by Megan

Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know
. -Goodreads

See Megan.  See Megan gush.  See Megan gush with wild abandon. 

Briony Larkin is not your typical witch. She does not ride a broom or stand before a steaming cauldron.  She is a twin sister, the daughter of a pastor, and she was just unfortunate enough to be born without a birthday.  Briony believes she is evil and should be hanged and, in fact, begins her story in just that way:

"I've confessed to everything and I'd like to be hanged.  Now, if you please."

Her stepmother had corrupted Briony's "brain paths" so that Briony blames herself for every wrong thing around her.  But the truth is not always as it seems.

Yes, Briony can commune with the Old Ones, but she doesn't do so to wreak havoc.  Everything that Briony has done was in order to make things better.  She just doesn't remember that. 

The language in this book is beautiful.  Like beautiful to the point I was salivating.  It's poetic in a way that doesn't stop the action. Every single word moves the story forward and the lyricalness* of the writing works to build the ethereal world in which it exists.  When you think of a town called Swampsea, set in the British Isles, it will not do to portray that town with clunky language or long sentences.  The sentences are like breaths that hang in front of your lips, exhaled in the cold.  They are almost tangible things that bring the story to life.  The words are delicious, completely appetizing and a perfect contribution to the story that is being told.  If it is not yet obvious, I am jealous of the writing in this book.  I am failing miserably at mimicking her style.  I will leave Franny (I call her Franny now) to the world of Chime and I'll stay in the world of reviewing Chime.

I love Briony because even though she is broken, she is strong and knows who she is.  She says things like, "I stood up. What was I doing here? I hated other people my age.  How stupid they were.  I should hate to be a regular girl with a sugar-plum voice.  I should hate to have swan-like lashes, and a thick, sooty neck.  I sound as though I'm joking, I know, but I should truly hate to be like Leanne, so charming and ordinary and stuffed with cliched feelings.  I'm so glad I'm the ice maiden.  Who wants to be crying over every stray dog?"  Though the icy exterior melts as the story progresses, she will never be this typical girl.  She will remain the wolf-girl who runs through the swamps and learns to box. 

And Eldric.  You guys, HOW I SWOONED.  He is not the usual perfect boy.  Both Eldric and Briony are aware of their own faults and each other's faults and the way they engage with one another is spectacular.  ("I thought for a moment you were going to be serious." "Not even for a moment.")  They are witty and scared and learn from each other.  Eldric teaches Briony that it is okay to love and be loved, and Briony sort of tames the wild lion boy-man, but not so much that they won't continue to run together.  There isn't a "happily ever after" in this story.  It is more of a "hey, so, let's try this thing out and see what happens even though I'm pretty sure it's gonna be awesome and we're going to be together forever."  And I love it so much more for that.  They have a lot to learn and a long way to go, but I cheer so hard for their future.**

*I may have made up that word.
**You will learn that I am the wordy one.  I just don't know when to shut up. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Book Review: Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)
Sarah Mlynowski
Published June 7, 2011
Purchased eBook
Reviewed by Rachael

2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn't have.
If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn't jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe "opportunity" isn't the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: "Lied to Our Parents"). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up "Skipping School" (#3), "Throwing a Crazy Party" (#8), "Buying a Hot Tub" (#4), and, um, "Harboring a Fugitive" (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.
In this hilarious and bittersweet tale, Sarah Mlynowski mines the heart and mind of a girl on her own for the first time. To get through the year, April will have to juggle a love triangle, learn to do her own laundry, and accept that her carefully constructed world just might be falling apart . . . one thing-she-shouldn't-have-done at a time. - Goodreads
Hi! I'm Rachael and I'm new here (well, new to sharing my thoughts, not new to reading the blog as I've known Michelle for going on ten years now!) This is my first book review so be kind =)
I picked up a copy of this book when Michelle posted about some Harper Teen books that were on sale around Christmas. It was a dollar and I'm a thrifty sort of gal so I took a chance on it. I'm pretty new to the world of YA so I'm not sure what age-ranges this covers, but up front I'll say this is definitely not a middle-grade book, but more of a late high school/adults who still like to read YA sort of book due to the material.
When April's father and step-mother decide to move away during her junior year of high school April comes up with a plan to stay with Violet, a senior, for the remainder of the school year. Unbeknownst to her father, Violet's mother, Suzanne, will be in a traveling production of Mary Poppins and the girls will have the house to themselves. Suzanne is used to fending for herself, but April has a lot to learn about, well, pretty much everything from keeping a budget to buying groceries to running the dishwasher to relationships (both with friends and with boyfriends). Throughout her various experiences over the next few months April really ends up learning a lot about herself and the book is a quick and enjoyable read, even if there are times you want to scream "what are you thinking?!" to the characters (although sometimes that is part of the humor of the book, regardless of the author's humorous intent at times...perhaps I just found things funny that were not intended to be funny.)
I loved the way this book was set-up with each of the Ten Things being a chapter. There were flashbacks included of April's experiences earlier when her parents were first going through a divorce which helped to create a well-rounded character without distracting from the story-at-hand. The flow between the chapters was well done when I expected it to be choppy when I noticed it was following a list. You'll laugh with the girls, fall in love with Hudson, and maybe, just maybe appreciate the boundaries your parents set up for you during your teenage years ;-)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Say Hello to the New Crew!

Last week, I posted about adding another blogger to Hooked to Books. I had a lot of great people fill out the form and feel so blessed that so many of you like Hooked to Books enough to want to blog here. So, thank you to everyone who filled out the form.

I decided to go a different route than what I planned. Instead of adding one blogger "full time" - I added four bloggers that will post sporadically. I love all these girls and I'm so excited to introduce them to you! I'm also going to include a intro for myself - for all you the new readers out there. 

Thanks for being a Hooked to Books reader and I hope you enjoy the new crew!




 Michelle, the founder of Hooked to Books, is a 28 year old Library Media Specialist at a middle school in southern WV. She has been married for almost five years to a man that is her complete opposite - which makes life fun (most of the time). She has two furbabies, a Yorkie/Bichon mix named Jackson and a German Shepherd named Roxie. She is currently contemplating going back to school to get her third Master's degree in School Administration. She either loves stress or is insane. Even though she is a book lover she is also a tv addict - and watches WAY too much of it during the week. Her favorite reads fall in the paranormal/sci-fi/dystopian realm.





Rachael is a twenty-something wife, mother, and Believer re-embracing her eclectic love of the written word.  She is a stay-at-home-mom of a cheese, banana and Micky Mouse-loving Toddler after being an auditor in her previous "life".  She has been married to her man for over six years who shares with her a love for Jesus, a hunger for good steak, and a mutual dislike for Nicholas Cage. She's a lover of Austen novels, historical fiction, contemporary and sci-fi/dystopia books (heavy on the sci).


 Megan is an aspiring writer who spends most of her writing time watching television shows she missed the first time around.  Her favorite books are The Little Prince, and The Book Thief.  She loves contemporary the most, but will read most anything with a good story, amazing characters, and a swoon-worthy boy.  She has an unhealthy dependency on coffee, would eat rice for every meal, and harbors not-so-secret dreams of running away with the circus and/or being a superhero.  She lives on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., but would prefer to live in Scotland.  If that fails, she'll settle for someplace where she'll never need a snow shovel.


 

Hi y'all. I'm Mandi, twin sister and best friend to the creator of this blog. I am a way-to-close-to-30 wife, mommy, and Christian. I am a TV addicted, southern girl that loves college football, my iPad, taking pictures, and pretty much any item you can find at Best Buy. I have been married for 6 years to a boy that still stops my heart and makes me smile. We have 2 beautiful little girls that love playing dress up and anything that goes "vroom, vroom". My love for books started at a young age and has followed me all my life.


Hey guys! I'm Lindsay, and I'm 27 years old. I also live in West Virginia with my husband of almost 8 years. I am a music junkie, nap enthusiast, mac and cheese lover, and I do that annoying thing where random words in conversation trigger a song in my head and then I sing it out loud. It's awkward, I know. Oh, and I read. All. The. Time. There is either a book or the Kindle in my purse at all times. Favorite genres include paranormal, dystopian and urban/fantasy. The only way I will read romance if there is some element of paranormal to it. I'm really excited to join up with Team Hooked to Books and get to know it's loyal readers! Stop by The Violet Hour and say hello =)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top Ten Authors Who Need to Write Another Book ASAP!

This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
I only did five. I just couldn't think!
J.K. Rowling - Duh! Harry Potter is my favorite series ever and I'm sure anything else that comes from this woman would be awesomesauce.

Carrie Ryan - I love The Forest of Hands and Teeth series and I need more of Carrie's writing - right now.

Suzanne Collins - This woman knows how to tell a story. The Hunger Games is probably my second favorite series - so obvs I need more from her.

Michelle Hodkins - Because I need the sequel to Mara Dyer. Now please.

Victoria Schwab - Because I loved The Near Witch so much and her writing is so pretty.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Audio Review: Sisters Red

Sisters Red
Jackson Pearce
Published June 7, 2010
Audiobook from Library
Read by Erin Moon, Michal Friedman and Suzanne Toren


Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?
-Goodreads 

I wasn't sure what to expect out of Sisters Red when I first started the audio. I was on a road trip by myself and was the only audio left on my iPod from the library. So, I started it. While I didn't love Sisters Red, I didn't hate it either. There were things I liked about the story and things that I anticipated happening which made it anti-climatic for me. 


The characters are the main reason I kept listening to the book. Pearce made Rosie and Scarlett two tough girls and I was interested to see what happened to them next. Scarlett doesn't think of anything else but hunting the Fenris while Rosie wants a life outside of hunting - and maybe with Scarlett's one and only friend, Silas. It was interesting to see the relationship between the three of them grow and change. Scarlett will absolutely break your heart. She is so set on killing the Fenris for what they did to her and her family that she can't see how her choices effect those of the ones around her. And Rosie - poor Rosie - she only wants a regular life but at what cost to her relationship with her sister?

The retelling of Red Riding Hood that Pearce has created is interesting - but somewhat predictable like I stated earlier. Most of the big "what?!" moments I figured out before they happened - so I really just wanted to get to the end a little faster than what I could listening to the book. The story mostly revolves around the hunting of the Fenris and I felt like some of it could've been left out. 

The narrators for Sisters Red did a great job. I love that there were different narrators for Rosie and Scarlett - I think it would've been harder to keep up with who was narrating if one person would have read the whole book.

Overall, Sisters Red was a nice read - not my favorite but enjoyable even if it was slightly predictable. I did enjoy the audio and would recommend it based solely on the narrators. 


Sunday, January 8, 2012

In My Mailbox #53 with Giveaway of Slide!

In My Mailbox is Hosted by The Story Siren.
 Swag:
 I <3 Zombies sticker from Scholastic Bookfair
The Near Witch (signed!) bookmark from Victoria Schwab

Library:
The Walking Dead (graphic novels 1, 2, 3) by Robert Kirkman

Bought:
Switched by Amanda Hocking
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
The Splendro Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Brain Games and Brain Games: Improve Your Memory

Review:
(2) Slide by Jill Hathaway 
One for giveaway!
The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis

Fill out the form below for a chance to win a ARC of Slide!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



 
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