Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Review: Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, #2)Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test #2)

by Aimee Carter

Expected publish date: March 27, 2012
ARC through NetGalley
Reviewed by Mandi

But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry’s first wife, Persephone!

This book. I loved. I had been hoping this book was coming out soon and literally asked Michelle the publication date just the other day and not even two days later she calls and says "I got Goddess Interrupted on NetGalley"! I was so excited. I devoured this book! I stayed up until 1 am finishing it which is not the smartest idea when you have a 2 and 4 year old that wake up at 5 am! But it was so worth it though.

Kate returns from her 6 months of "me time" in Greece to start her reign as Queen of the Underworld. While she was away James, who is a close friend but wishes he was more, stays with her to keep her company. Unknown to Kate that this will be a MAJOR point of contention with her husband, Henry.

What Kate runs into when she gets home is nothing short of chaos. Calliope, Henry's goddess brothers-wife, who tried to kill Kate because she was in love with Henry, has escaped her punishment in the Underworld and has released their father/creator who, unlucky for them, is the only person/thing that can kill a god or goddess.

On top of trying to be killed, Kate is having some insecurity issues with her marriage and when Henry gets captured she has to find the one person she NEVER wanted to meet, Henry's first wife, so she can help free him and save his life and the life of his other brothers and sisters.

If you have not read the first book in this series you MUST before you start this one. If not, you will be completely lost with the names and how the genealogy connects the characters in the story since the series is based off of the god and goddesses you find in Greek mythology. I still had a bit of a hard time keeping track of who was who and how they were connected straight at the beginning of the book BUT by the middle I was all caught up and by the end I was wishing that I had the third book NOW.

My favorite thing about this book, and in the series as a whole, is the characters. Oh, how I love the characters. Henry being my favorite by far. I think its the whole tall, dark, and mysterious persona. Sometimes I just want to throw things through the book at Kate and be like "Girl, open your mouth and TALK to him". But he is amazing.

I love the world Aimee creates in these books and I've always been fascinated with Greek mythology so this series is right up my alley! I can. not. wait for the third book. The end leaves you wanting more and wishing you actually lived inside of Aimee Carter's head so you would know how these books end!

Monday, February 27, 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!
Just Finished:
Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Patterson - Megan
(audio) Matched by Ally Condie - Michelle
Currently Reading:
(audio) The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - Michelle
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne - Michelle
Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer - Megan
The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker - Rachael

Up Next:
A Million Suns by Beth Revis - Michelle
(audio) Torn by Amanda Hocking - Michelle
Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon - Megan
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - Rachael

Sunday, February 19, 2012

In My Mailbox #57

In My Mailbox is Hosted by The Story Siren.
The Académie by Susanne Dunlap
Torn by Amanda Hockings
Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan
D.J. Rising by Love Maia

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1
Destiny's Fire by Trisha Wolfe
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Audio of Tempest by Julie Cross (from Reading Teen)

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Jennifer E. Smith
Publish Date: January 2, 2012 *
Poppy/Little Brown
Review Copy
Reviewed by Megan @morsini 

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.  Goodreads

I had a really strange reaction to this book.  Not a bad reaction, per se, just a strange one.  In that it continually made me want to weep and when I finished the book (after having spent two hours sitting in a study carrel at the library), I locked myself in my car and gave in to the tears for about ten minutes.  Yep.  That girl with her head down on the steering wheel and weeping?  That was me.  Which is why I'm hoping one of the other girls will read this book ASAP and supplement this likely-to-be incoherent mess of a review.  Because I mostly just want to say: ohmygoshyouguys READ THIS BOOK.

It wasn't that it was a particularly epic love story, or that it was sad in any way.  It's definitely a book you open knowing that it will have a happy ending.  But it was...I don't know.  Quietly perfect.

Smith writes this book in the present tense, which for a story taking place over a twenty-four hour period is absolutely the right choice.  There's just something incredibly romantic about living in the moment.  There's not much of an opportunity for Hadley to fantasize about the future, about where everything is going, which is SO refreshing to me.  I'm sort of over the love stories that declare these high school boys to be the one and only.  I mean, I GET it.  It feels that way.  I felt that way at that age too.  But it's not reality.  So it's nice to see a couple get together because the timing is right for them AT THAT MOMENT.  It's "love at first sight," not "forever-love at first sight."

When Hadley and Oliver meet it's very natural and believable.  They are each in need of a friend at a particular time in their lives and that they would bond in a place like the airport seems completely convincing.  I happen to love airports - there is something about the camaraderie that is developed in those waiting lounges.  Unlike Hadley I do not find it at all claustrophobic, but a great way for people to connect.  And I have never met anyone who was not willing to watch my bag for a moment.

To say that this story is every girl's fantasy is a bit of an understatement.  (By which I mean, okay, it's MY fantasy.)  I mean, who doesn't want to end up next to a beautiful boy with a foreign accent for seven hours?  So of course you will root for Hadley and Oliver and though you know how it's going to end your heart will drop when they separate at customs and you'll hold your breath as Hadley goes through the rest of the day.  And even though it's a short book and a brief period of time, the amount of growth seen in the character of Hadley is truly remarkable. 

Basically, the point is, Smith does a tremendous job with this book.  It was the perfect read for a cold, winter day the weekend before Valentine's Day, and I think it will be a perfect summer beach read.  Actually, I can't think of a time when it would *not* be a perfect choice.  It's a fast read, but if you're prone to weeping it may leave you a little emotionally unstable.

*Goodreads says this book came out in January; the ARC says February.  So.  Sorry to be so delayed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Broke My Heart

This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
I know it's been quiet on the blog the past week. I've been dealing with some medical stuff and hope to get back on track this week. I thought I would start with a Top Ten Tuesday.

Ten Books That Broke My Heart

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
3. Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
4. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
5. Mockingjay by Susanne Collins
6. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows by J. K. Rowling
8. Hunger Games by Susanne Collins
 9. New Moon by Stephanie Meyers (I know! But Bella was so ridiculously sad and it broke my heart when Edward left.)
10. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (TEAM WILL 4LIFE!) 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Review: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1)

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1)
Ally Carter
Publish Date: April 25, 2006
Purchased Copy (borrow from Megan)
Reviewed by Rachael

Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it's really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real "pavement artist"-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she's on her most dangerous mission-falling in love. - Goodreads

I had originally planned on reviewing a different book today on the blog, but that will have to wait because (even though I'm several years late to the party) I just loved this book too much to not stay a little something about it. I know I have found a keeper by the number of scraps of paper stuck throughout the book marking my favorite lines and there were a lot. (Plus, Michelle told me I could read whatever I wanted, so I'm going to go for it!)

Cammie Morgan is not your average girl, her friends and teachers are not average folks, and her school, well it's more intriguing (to me at least) than Hogwarts*. She's part of an elite group that is enrolled in a spy school for girls! Yup. Going all Alias-prep on you**. When she falls for a local townie, obviously she and her friends turn the experience into a covert operation. The book is written at times as Covert Operations Report, or "the paperwork", in an attempt to provide Cammie practice in what her mom calls "the worst part of the spy life" and while I could have enjoyed a bit more of this (I'm an accountant, reports are my thing) I totally see why it was not super in-your-face. Regardless, this causes the girls to say/think things like: "He turned a corner (without using the Strembesky technique of detecting a tail, which was really sloppy of him)..." and "The Subject likes to state the obvious, which may signify a defect in observation skills and/or short-term memory?" and I absolutely love it. Clever, not forced, and not making the girls seem strange or too out of touch with reality. The girls are different and funny, there is no teenage love-triangle drama, and even Josh (the townie) has a few things to teach these girls. (And who doesn't want to watch the girls analyze the contents of an average family trash bag and see what conclusion secret spies come up with?!) The book is entertaining as a stand-alone, but I for one can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy to continue the story of the Gallagher Girls!

*Confession 1: I am one of two Hooked on Books gals that does not have a special place in my heart for the Harry Potter series. Don't let that stop you from reading this book!

**Confession 2:, I love JJ Abrams...a love which started with Alias.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Character This or That: Cate from Born Wicked

 Jessica Spotswood has been awesome enough to answer some questions for us from Cate's POV from Born Wicked. I'm so excited for this book and love getting more of a look into Cate's head before reading it.

Thanks for stopping by Jessica!
Maura or Tess  : Cate’s relationship with Tess is less complicated by sibling rivalry. She’s been a sort of mother figure to Tess since their mother died. And she really admires how clever and observant Tess is.

Family or Friends : Family is everything to Cate. At the beginning of the book, she’s kept herself and her sisters isolated since their mother died, so she doesn’t have any close friends who know her secrets.

Night or
Day : Cate loves being outside and working in her garden.

Beach or Mountains : Cate used to read old pirate stories when she was little, and she dreamed of being able to sail away and have adventures.

Good Girl or Bad Girl : Cate wants very badly to be a good person, but the Brothers preach that witches and their magic are inherently evil. It’s something she really struggles with.

Witchcraft or
Love : Cate would give up her magic in a heartbeat if she could to keep the people she loves safe.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Audio Review: The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

The Unwanteds
Lisa McMann
Read by Simon Jones
Publish Date: August 30, 2011
Audio Book for Review from Simon Audio
Reviewed by Michelle

Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths.
Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret—behind the mirage of the "death farm" there is instead a place called Artime.
In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it's a wondrous transformation.
But it's a rare, unique occurence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron's bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle. -Goodreads

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann is a fun, imaginative story that is perfect for the middle grade reader. Even though I don't quite agree with the "Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games" blurb, The Unwanteds is a creative tale that will be engrossing to young readers - especially the musically and artistic inclined since there are not a lot of books that put such a positive spin on these creative traits.

McMann creates a fun world full of magic, friendship, and danger. When Alex becomes an Unwanted, he is sent to the death farm with the rest of the Unwanteds - what he doesn't know is that they death farm is actually a hidden school for all the Unwanteds. At the school, they are taught to use their artistic abilities to create spells and weapons to defend the school - in case the Wanteds ever find out about them. The spells and weapons that the students create with their magic is very imaginative on McMann's part.

The characters are fun and have some baggage attached to them - especially Alex, whose twin brother remains behind in Quill. Alex misses him and wants to find a way to bring Aaron to Artime - even though Aaron is one of the bad guys now (which Alex doesn't know). The other characters all have interesting backgrounds and stories that will keep the reader engaged and wanting to know more about them.

I listened to The Unwanteds on audio and I loved Simon Jones as the narrator. He really brought the story to life the way he read each character and each story line. He brought the right level of excitement, suspense, and fear to the story when it was required and made the story fly by.

I bought this book for my middle school library and several of them have brought it back singing it's praises! McMann has definitely found her audience with The Unwanteds.
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