Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: The Raft by S. A. Bodeen

The Raft
S. A. Bodeen
Publish Date August 21, 2012
Feiwel and Friends
ARC from Around the World ARC Tours
Reviewed by Michelle

Robie, 15, lives with her family on the Midway atoll, a group of islands in the middle of the Pacific. Her parents are scientists; it’s an isolated life. Robie enjoys visiting her aunt in Hawaii – she gets back and forth on a cargo plane that brings supplies to Midway.

During a visit, her aunt is called to the mainland for a work emergency, leaving Robie to get home on her own. On her flight back to Midway the cargo plane hits nasty weather, and goes down. It’s just Robie, the pilot, and Max, a co-pilot she’s never met till this flight, on board. Robie is pulled aboard a raft by Max, who is injured and slipping in and out of consciousness. They have a bag of candy and very little water between them. When they finally reach an island that seems abandoned, Robie hopes they’ll be found quickly. But she’s not sure she was even on the flight manifest. Her parents must be looking for her…aren’t they?

In THE RAFT, S.A. Bodeen creates a hair-raising suspense story that will have readers agonizing over the same question as Robie -- how long can they survive?

I don't read a lot of contemporary but a survival story? That I will jump on. There were things I enjoyed about The Raft - the suspense, the terror, the wondering - and thing I just didn't - some things were just too "easy" the way they happened. 

When the plane Robie is on starts to go down, Max (the co-pilot) throws her out, saving her life, and gets her on the raft. After that Robie and Max are left to float around in the warm waters of the Pacific without any food, water, or way to contact land. Like Robie, the thing that would freak me out the most about being stuck on a raft in the middle of the ocean would be the sharks. I am terrified of them - barely go in the water at the beach I'm so scared of them. So, I'm with Robie on this one and I'm not sure I would've been as brave as she was when she HAD to get in the water. 

Robie is not someone I would want to be alone on a raft with. She was kinda annoying - even though I should probably remember that she is fifteen years old and being whiny and annoying is required. I just didn't connect with her at all. I would have liked to have gotten to know Max a little more - but he was always unconscious so we don't get much from him either.

When Robie and Max make it to the island is when Bodeen lost me. There were just a few things that happened that I just didn't believe was even possible. (This coming from a girl that loves paranormal/sci fi books.) 

I can't really say much more about The Raft. I didn't form a connection with the characters and I just felt like I knew how it was going to end before it got there. There were times that I was freakin' out with Robie - especially with the sharks and being in the water. And there is a twist at the end that made me have a "OH!" moment - didn't really see that coming at all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Top Ten Books on My Summer Reading List

This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. (finish) Shine by Jeri Smith Ready - I'm over halfway through this and loving it. I'm so sad to see this series end - I think that's why it's taking me so long to get through it.

2. (finish) Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne - I started this while I was in the middle of my morning sickness epidemic (haha). So I need to finish it. I was loving it up until I couldn't keep my eyes open enough to function.

3. (finish) A Million Suns by Beth Revis - I know I know. I should've finished this forever ago. I'm listening to the audio now and its really good. 

4. Timepiece by Myra McEntire - I LOVED Hourglass and can not wait to get to this one. 

5. Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown - A mermaid book? Perfect summer read.

6. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - Fantasy? YA Game of Thrones? Yes, please!

7. Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone - I've been hearing great things about this book. Can not wait to read it. 

8. This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers - Everyone has been raving about this book. And it has zombies. I love me some zombie books.

9. Origin by Jessica Khoury - Blurbed by Beth Revis? I think that's an automatic read for me.

10. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater - I always love Maggie's books and this one sounds like her best one yet. So excited for it.

What's on your summer reading list?

Monday, June 18, 2012

What's Been Up?

I'm sure y'all have noticed my absence here on the blog. It wasn't intentional - believe me. I just had things come up. What things you ask?

This little BOY! has completely turned his Momma's life upside down. I was so sick the first 15 weeks of my pregnancy - I actually lost 15 lbs. And by the time I made it home from work I just wanted to sleep. It was rough but will be so worth it. <3

So, he is set to make his debut around November 4, 2012! I'm feeling MUCH better and plan on being better about blog stuff now that I can actually function. 

I hope y'all are still out there. :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

In My Mailbox #59

In My Mailbox is Hosted by The Story Siren.
For Review:
A Want so Wicked by Suzanne Young
Once by Anna Carey
Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
Thanks Harper Teen!
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse
Thanks Simon and Schuster!
Awakened by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Thanks St. Martin's!
 Nerve by Jeanne Ryan
Flash Point by Nancy Kress
Fallings Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Origin by Jessica Khoury
The Innocents by Lili Pelquin
Venom by Fiona Paul
Black City by Elizabeth Richards
Thanks Penguin Teen!

 Signed copy of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 
from Bookperk!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Blog Tour: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne w/Giveaway!

I'm happy to have Emmy Laybourne on the blog today talking about her favorite post-apocalyptic fiction and distopian fiction.
Thanks for stopping by and make sure to enter the giveaway!
Hello Hooked To Books readers! My debut novel, MONUMENT 14, is a post-apocalyptic YA novel about 14 kids who get trapped in a superstore while civilization collapses outside the gates.

I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite post-apocalyptic novels. The five books I’ve listed are not necessarily YA novels, as MONUMENT 14 is, but they are novels that thrilled me, scared me and otherwise captured my imagination. I bet you’ll like them too.

Before I dig in, I want to mention that to me there’s a distinction between post-apocalyptic fiction and distopian fiction. To me a distopian book, such as The Hunger Games, is specifically portraying a society that is repressive and controlling – the opposite of a utopian society. Post-apocalyptic fiction, on the other hand, shows what happened when a crisis threatens life on Earth as we know it (now or in the near future). Those are the definitions I use as I read and write in this genre, so I thought they’d be helpful for you to have.

A World Made By Hand by James Kuntsler
Oooooh, this is my favorite. It’s a very down-to-earth novel, set in the Hudson Valley (where I live) in a future where there is no electricity and things are… made by hand. The characters are finely drawn and deeply human. I found myself rooting for the main character so much that I raced through the book to find out if he’d end up okay. And then, after racing through it, I went back and read it again, to savor the prose.

The Stand by Stephen King
Stephen King’s epic story of the battle between good and evil after a terrible virus kills off most of the population of the United States is a classic. Yes, it’s a bit long, but there are some very memorable scenes. Everytime I get stuck in Lincoln tunnel traffic I nearly break out in hives remembering a scene from the book. Sometimes you want a big book you can read fast – this is a great contender for that! Maybe read it the next time you’re home with the flu. I am joking, my friends, do not do that!

The Wild Shore by Kim Stanley Robinson
This book is from a series of three post-apocalytpic novels (The Three Californias). All three novels are set in the same place, but in three distinct futures. It’s a very cool series to read. The Wild Shore is my favorite of the three. It tells the story of Hank, a teenage kid in a fishing village on the coast of an America leveled by nuclear attacks. The US is patrolled by Japan and any attempt to rebuild is met with military measures. Hank, and others, long to find a way to start re-building America. It’s an exciting read, filled with action and longing.

On The Beach by Nevil Shute
This is a very classy post-apocalyptic novel, set in Australia while the population waits for radiation from a massive world war to reach them. There is a love story here so refined and elegant it took my breath away. It was written in 1957 and there’s something about the dignity and restraint that the characters possess that really entranced me. And man, do they ever drink a lot!

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Cloud Atlas will blow your mind. It essentially contains six novellas, intertwined and running backwards and forwards through time. It has a scope that seems to engulf life on Earth in the future and the past. Cloud Atlas has haunted me since I read it. It’s a novel I could read once a year and still come away with new revelations at each read.
And yet look: I’ve written a paragraph about it and I haven’t even tried to explain what it is about. It defies description. Read it. You’ll see.

It was so great to be hosted here at Hooked To Books on my blog tour today! I’m currently on a live book tour as well. We’re in Lake Forest, Washington tonight at Third Place Books at 6:30 so if you’re in the area, please come out and meet me and the rest of the Fierce Reads gang (Jennifer Bosworth, Anna Banks and Leigh Bardugo). I’ll be checking comments here, so please let me know if I missed any favorites of yours – or you can send me a message at emmylaybourne.com.

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/MfeyjuEMaOI
Author website: http://emmylaybourne.com/
Short Story Prequel: http://www.tor.com/stories/2012/05/dress-your-marines-in-white
Fierce Reads Tour Info: https://www.facebook.com/FierceReads/events
Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. 
US/Canada Only.
Must be 13+.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Review: The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen

The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen
Andrea Cefalo
Publish Date: June 1, 2012
Scarlet Primrose Press
Reviewed by Rachael

Snow White was a pet name her mother had given her, but her mother’s dead now. Adelaide hates that name anyway. A rampant fever claimed Adelaide’s mother just like a thousand others in Cologne where the people die without Last Rites and the dead are dumped in a large pit outside of the city walls. Adelaide’s father is determined to obtain a funeral for his wife, but that requires bribing the parish priest, Father Soren. When Soren commits an unforgivable atrocity, he pushes Adelaide to her breaking point, but if she seeks justice against the cruel priest, she risks sacrificing everything: her father, her friends, her first love, and maybe even her life. -Goodreads

Fairytales have started to become super popular lately in everything from movies, to TV (I'm an avid Once Upon a Time viewer), to, obviously, books.  When we first were asked to review this particular book, I was excited for a new take on Snow White, but really didn't know what to expect.

Adelaide, or Addie, is a solid character.  In the beginning she is young, innocent, and naive about life and we get a glimpse of her growing and changing into an inspiring adult throughout the book.  Sure she sometimes makes foolish choices, but isn't that what growing up is about?  And Ivo, Addie's BFF/love interest. Swoon.  I am seriously in love with this character.  There is so much depth to him and I want to see where his story leads in the rest of this series for sure! Only Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars is above him on my YA list o' romantical guys from everything I've read this year...and maybe last year, except for Hale from the Heist Society books.) Yup.

All in all I didn't "get" the fairytale angle on this book, it really didn't seem necessarily for the general plotline, but added some interesting backstory.  I'm sure as the series progresses the tie-in with the fairytales will be explored more, but really the story was compelling with or without the added fairytale stories and trying to think about what the tie-in was just made my brain work too hard and not enjoy the book for what it was until I gave that up and just fell in love with the story and the characters.  So don't beat yourself up trying to figure out who everybody is, or how this relates to fairytales you knew as a kid, just enjoy the book, you'll be glad you did!  Also, just as a heads-up, the voice of the book is medieval in both the narration and the dialogue. If you're not a super strong reader (which is a category that I sometimes fall into...I love books and reading, but I'm not a super strong reader, very slow...have to re-read things a lot, etc.) it may take a little while to get used to, but in the end it's totally worth it to follow Addie and Ivo's journey and I wouldn't let it discourage you for too long!

The story that Andrea Cefalo weaves is intriguing and leaves you hanging wanting more.  The "Coming Spring 2013" note at the end is definitely tough to swallow when you want more of the story ASAP after finishing!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Book Excerpt: Dark Frost with Giveaway!

Jennifer Estep, author of the Mythos Academy series, has been kind enough today to stop by the blog and share and excerpt from the latest book in the series, Dark Frost. 
Thanks for the peek, Jennifer!!


“Hey,” one of the other Reapers said, staring down at the glass that littered the floor. “Why are all the cases in here smashed already—”
“Now, Daphne!” I screamed. “Now!”
Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. Daphne rose up from her spot behind the stuffed horse, already drawing back her golden arrow and lining up her shot, aiming for the other girl. But the Reaper saw what she was doing, grabbed the man next to her, and shoved him in front of her, using him as a human shield. Daphne let go of her bowstrings.
My best friend’s aim was true, but the arrow zoomed into the man’s heart instead of the Reaper girl’s.
A Valkyrie, I thought, making a mental note in the back of my mind. The Reaper girl had to be a Valkyrie, had to have a Valkyrie’s superstrength, to shove a grown man around like he weighed nothing.
Beside me, a puff of golden smoke filled the air, and another arrow appeared in the onyx quiver strapped to Daphne’s back. My friend had been right—that was wicked cool. Daphne saw me staring at her. She nodded, reached back, and grabbed the arrow.
“Kill them!” the Reaper girl bellowed over the noise of the still-blaring alarms. “Kill them all!”
The other Reapers didn’t hesitate. Five of them charged forward, while the Reaper girl stayed where she was. Two of the Reapers raced by the wax Viking.
With a loud battle cry, Logan leapt out from his hiding spot and rammed his sword into the Reaper closest to him, wounding the Reaper. For a moment, there was mass confusion, before that Reaper and another one stopped to fight Logan, and the other three hurried in our direction, one going right and the last two going left. 
Carson and I stepped out from behind the stuffed horse to meet them, still keeping Daphne in between us. She put an arrow in one of the guys to the left, felling him just before he reached Carson. That was all that I saw before the Reaper on my side of the dais attacked.


Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author. Jennifer writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. Dark Frost, the third book, was released on May 29. Touch of Frost and Kiss of Frost are the other books in the series. Visit www.jenniferestep.com for excerpts and more information about her books.

Hardcopy of Dark Frost
US Only
Must be 13+

Monday, June 4, 2012

Blog Tour: Author Interview with Anne Greenwood Brown Author of Lies Beneath

Please welcome Anne Greenwood Brown, author of Lies Beneath, to the blog today. She has graciously answered some questions for us.
Thanks for stopping by Anne!


What was your favorite part about writing Lies Beneath?
My favorite part of writing Lies Beneath was that I had no agent, no editor, no deadline, no expectations. I was completely free to do whatever I wanted to do, and to tell the story I wanted to tell. On a story-level, I enjoyed developing all the characters’ backstories and understanding why each of them acted the way they did--particularly the mermaid sisters.

Do you have a favorite character? What about them makes them your favorite?
Well, of course I love Calder and Lily, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Maris, which might surprise people because she’s so awful. But in my head I know where she’s been, what she’s gone through, and what’s made her the way she is. I feel sad for her.

What other things do you enjoy besides writing?
I love all things Irish--which may be where my love of story telling comes from. My daughter is an Irish dancer, and I love Irish music, knitting, Guinness, and sheep herding (just kidding with that last one). After I’m done writing about mermaids, my next project will probably reflect my love for my celtic heritage.

What is the one book (besides your own) that you love so much you will push on anyone who will listen?
For little kids, “Miss Twiggley’s Tree” by Dorothea Warren Fox. My grandfather gave me that book when I was 5, and I still keep it in my bedside table. It’s all taped together, and some of the pages fall out, but it’s the most precious thing I own.

What is the one thing you want readers to know about Lies Beneath?

I want readers to know that it’s set in a real place, and that some of the weirdest parts are true. I want them to know that it’s not just a love story, but that it’s primarily an Evolution Story, about an animal, who becomes a man, and tries to do the hardest thing a human being could ever do.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Blog Tour: Dear Daemon

Our favorite alien has set up his own advice column…yeah, you heard me right, Daemon Black giving advice. But because you just couldn’t help asking him some-very personal-questions, he’s very kindly answered those for you too!

[1]Dear (rolls eye) Daemon; How do you deal with the anger that arises due to arrogant, cocky, smart asses like you? My school is full of em =.=

Dear Rolls Eyes,

    If your school is full of arrogant, cocky smart asses like me, then you shouldn’t be angry. You should feel blessed to be around such well-rounded people. I think the best thing is to step back, recognize the awesomeness that is someone like me, and take a deep breath. Life’s too short to be angry, especially for humans.

Yours truly,

[2] Dear Daemon What name should I give my main character? Please note: it´s a girl Thank you. Mara and Lila

Dear Name Changer,

I think names should mean something, but I’ve always thought Sophia was a pretty name.

Yours truly,

[3] Dear Daemon, There's this guy I like...I think. Well, he's hot and I enjoy kissing him...anyway, he's kind of a jackass and a know it all and likes to embarrass me in front of other people. How can i get him to be nicer?

Dear Bad Situation,

Look, all guys can be assholes. We are born with an inherent asshole trait and it rears its head at the most inopportune times. But embarrassing you in front of other people? That’s not good. I did that once and well, we know how that ended, even though I had good intentions. Don’t worry about making him nicer. Worry about finding someone who’s actually nice. 

Yours truly,

[4] Dear Daemon, Hi I'm Carley, I'm 13... love you and the relationship you have with Katy. Why do you call Katy Kitten, the real reason please? It’s been buggin me just have one name for her, lord!!!!! Thanks for reading ;P

Dear Carley,

I call her Kitten, because she reminds me of a kitten. You know how a kitten is all cute and playful, but when you bug them when they are trying to sleep, they put their little ears down, hiss, and swat at you with their tiny claws that can’t do any damage? Kat gets like that. It’s cute.

Yours truly,

Make sure to head over to Putting Pen to Page for a review!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: DJ Rising

DJ Rising
Love Maia
Publish Date: February 6, 2012
Little, Brown and Company
Review Copy
Reviewed by Rachael

The first thing I hear is music. The first thing I've always heard is music.Meet Marley, an unassuming high school junior who breathes in music like oxygen. In between caring for his heroin-addicted mother, and keeping his scholarship at a fancy prep school, he dreams of becoming a professional DJ.

When chance lands Marley his first real DJ job, his career as "DJ Ice" suddenly skyrockets. But when heart-rending disaster at home brings Marley crashing back down to earth, he is torn between obligation and following his dreams. -Goodreads

Okay, so this book caught me completely off-guard. I devoured it, reading it in just about 24 hours.  I have never been in a club, never seen a live DJ...didn't matter one bit.  It may be my favorite book of the years thus far. Yup. There, I said it.

Marley is a character your instantly fall in love with, but in a "I really want to see this boy win!" type of way. He's a boy, like many out there, who is forced to grow-up and become a man way too early in life. A boy forced to take on the responsibilities no sixteen-year-old should have to deal with, and he does it with style. He doesn't do everything "right" by any means, but he's definitely got some role-model qualities that even some adults could learn from.  Seeing the way he deals with his lot in life is inspirational, moving, and if you don't weep at least once while reading this book, well, you're doing something wrong and missed chapters or something.

Now, this book deals with some legit hard-core subjects, namely the fact that Marley's mom is a heroin addict and the fact that most of the action takes places in clubs and parties and whatnot.  Since I'm probably the most conservative of the Hooked to Books crew, I feel that's something to be aware of when reading the book, but I'd say it's what makes Marley seem like such an amazing character in the way he deals with life that I appreciate the honesty of the writing (which also involves language I'm not generally comfortable with, but the author actually used it well if that makes any sense, not in an extraneous way just trying to look "cool" for a high school YA audience, which I appreciate.) The book deals with love, loss, and forgiveness in ways I never imagined when reading the description or glancing at the title/cover. Perhaps being surprised by all the book had in store for me was part of why I loved it so much, but had it not arrived in my mailbox, I would have never given it a chance. Give it a chance.

Now if you'll excuse me, I sort of want to read this all over again or drive it over to Megan's house so she can read it immediately...that's how much I loved it.

Ms Maia, I am blown away by your debut novel and cannot wait to read more of your work in the future!

Cover Reveal: The Collector by Victoria Scott

The Collector by Victoria Scott is coming in March 2013 from Entangled Press

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.

About the Author:
Victoria Scott is a YA writer with a die-hard affection for dark and humorous books. Her work is represented by the fabulous Laurie McLean of Larsen-Pomada literary agency. She has a master’s degree in marketing, and is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas and Teen Shiver.

Her first YA book, THE COLLECTOR, will be published by Entangled Teen in 2013. And her short story, FOUR HOUSES, is available now through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

She currently lives in Dallas with her husband, Ryan.

Connect with Victoria:
Website     l     Twitter     l     Facebook
Add The Collector to your TBR pile on Goodreads!
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