Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (37)



For those of you who don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where book bloggers devote a post to an upcoming book release they are particularly looking forward to reading.


THIS WEEK'S PICK:
UNDERWORLD BY MEG CABOT

Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back. 

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead. 

Not this time. 

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey. 

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves. 

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies. 

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape.


I love everything that Meg Cabot writes, and I really enjoyed Abandon when I read it last year. So basically I can't wait to read Underworld to find out what happens next to John. Plus the fact that Meg Cabot is one of my favorite authors ever doesn't hurt. 

Underworld by Meg Cabot will be published May 28th, 2012 by Point.


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Monday, February 27, 2012

Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep


Title: Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy #2)
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Logan Quinn was trying to kill me. My Spartan classmate relentlessly pursued me, swinging his sword at me over and over gain, the shining silver blade inching closer to my throat every time. A smile tugged up his lips, and his ice-blue practically glowed with the thrill of battle…

I’m Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Academy, and I have no idea how I’m going to survive the rest of the semester. One day, I’m getting schooled in swordplay by the guy who broke my heart – the drop-dead gorgeous Logan, who slays me every time. Then, an invisible archer in the Library of Antiquities decides to use me for target practice. And now, I find out that someone at the academy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. I’m afraid if I don’t learn how to live by the sword – with Logan’s help – I just might die by the sword…

When I read Touch of Frost, I immediately loved it, so I was more than happy to be able to read Kiss of Frost right away. And as much as I loved the frist book, I have to admit that I loved the sequel even more.

Now that she has discovered the truth about her heritage, Gwen Frost is finding it a little easier to fit in at Mythos Academy. Except that the discovery means that she has a lot of catching up to do, especially when it comes to weapons training. Now Gwen gets to spend all her mornings with Logan Quinn, the resident Spartan bad boy, and his Spartan buddies Kenzie and Oliver. On the bright side, this means more time with Logan, but unfortunately for Gwen, Logan still isn't available. But nothing is ever simple in Gwen's life, and it would appear that one again, someone wants her dead. Hoping to escape, Gwen goes to the Winter Carnival with her friends, but she may not be as safe as she thought, judging by recent events.

Where I found the action a little slow to start in Touch of Frost, with Kiss of Frost I was thrown right into it. With this being the second book in the series, there was a lot less background information that needed to be given, and I think that definitely helped the story move along at a quicker pace. And that is definitely something I loved about this book. The story kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. There were many plot twists that I definitely didn't see coming. And the mythology that I loved in the first book was definitely still there, and I got to find out more about it, which was fantastic. Kiss of Frost definitely didn't fall in the trap that a lot of sequels do. If anything, it was even better than the first book.

Gwen was still the same girl that I loved in the first book. She was still sarcastic and absolutely hopeless when it comes to weapons training. And of course, she is still totally in love with Logan Quinn, who incidentally, is still totally unavailable. He also still sounds as gorgeous as he did in the first book of course. I loved that Daphne and Carson were still present and they still make an absolutely adorable (and somewhat quirky) couple. I also really liked the addition of new characters in the form of Spartans Kenzie and Oliver. I feel like I got to know Oliver more, but I'm hoping to find out more about Kenzie in future books.

Kiss of Frost was an absolutely fantastic book and sequel. It was everything I hoped it would be and kept me guessing the whole way through in the best possible way. Now I just have to wait for Dark Frost to find out what's going to happen next.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

In My Mailbox (30)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is a post where book bloggers share the books they received for review, bought, borrowed or were gifted each week. 

While I only received three books for review this week, I bought quite a few. From Monday to Wednesday I was in New York, and like any good book addict, I made a trip to the Strand. Right as I walked in to the store, I felt at home and had to limit myself both in terms of the number of books I bought and the amount of time I spent in the store. The store really is an incredible as everyone says it is, and if you ever go to New York I recommend you make a stop there. So without further ado, here's what I got this week.

Review:



- Among Others by Jo Walton - I hadn't really heard much about this book until it was offered to me for review. But it definitely sounds really interesting. It's also not technically a YA title but from what I can gather from the summary, the main character is a teen. At any rate, I'm really excited to be reading this one soon.

- Of Poseidon by Anna Banks - This book has been getting quite a fair amount of attention and it sounds like that attention is well deserved. It sounds like a really great mermaid book and I can't wait to get to reading it, though that might have to wait a little since the book doesn't come out until May.

- Thief's Covenant by Ari Marmell - This is another title I hadn't heard much about, but it sounds like a really interesting read. I find myself venturing more and more into fantasy and this sounds like it has a lot of potential. Hopefully, I'll be able to read it soon.

Thank you to Raincoast Books and Prometheus Books for sending me these for review!

Bought:



- The Wood Queen by Karen Mahoney - This is the sequel to The Iron Witch, which I really enjoyed. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next in this story. And with some luck, I'll be able to do that soon.

- The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols - I'm a pretty big fan of Jennifer Echols and I love her romantic dramas. I've yet to read any of her romantic comedies, so I thought that The One That I Want would be a good way to start.

- Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach - I remember hearing so many good things about this book when it first came out last spring but never really got around to reading it. When I found it for only $5 at The Strand, I decided to pick it up, and hopefully I'll be reading it soon.

- Article 5 by Kristen Simmons - This book sounds like a really great dystopian read and I have heard plenty of good things to confirm this. I was really excited to find it at The Strand since none of my local bookstores have had it in stock since it's release.

- A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young - I have heard nothing but absolutely wonderful things about this book since it's release last spring. I decided it was finally time I picked it up, especially with the release of the sequel quickly approaching.

- The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg - I have been wanting to read this book for the longest time. I'm definitely going to be reading it soon and hopefully I'll see for myself if it's as wonderful as everyone has been saying it is.

- I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella - I have loved Sophie Kinsella's books since I picked up the first Shopaholic book (which may not have been the most appropriate read when I picked it up in great 7 or 8). I'm really excited to be able to soon read her most recent release and hopefully I'll be reading it soon.


So that's all for me this week. Hopefully the coming weeks will be somewhat quieter book wise that way I can get a handle on my TBR pile...but that is unlikely to happen with all the great releases coming up. Leave me a link in the comments and I'll come check out what you go in your mailbox!

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Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep


Title: Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy #1)
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
My name is Gwen Frost, and I got to Mythos Academy – a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geeks knows how to chop off somebody’s head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.

But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I’m determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why – especially since I should have been the one who died…

Touch of Frost is one of those books that didn't get as much attention when it came out, so I didn't really pay too much attention to it. But then I randomly decided to pick it up, and I am more than happy that I did. It ended up being a fantastic read. 

Gwen Frost was perfectly happy living with her mother and grandmother while leading a normal life. But then her mother died in a car accident and Gwen was forced to transfer to Mythos Academy, a school for mythological warriors. Because the thing about Gwen is that she isn't exactly normal. Just by touching someone she can find out everything about that person. And that gift also applies to objects, which comes in handy to make extra cash off of her fellow students by finding things they lose. But then a student is mysteriously killed, and Gwen feels she should have beent he one killed. Even though she's alive, Gwen may still be in grave danger. Going to a school for warrior whiz kids may be even more complicated than Gwen originally thought.

I definitely have a soft spot for mythology, and the whole subject matter kind of fascinates me. All that to say that I'm always on the look out for a good book that deals with mythology. While there are many books like that out there, Touch of Frost dealt with the subject differently: instead of focusing on just one culture's mythology, this book looks at all the different warrior mythologies. It was definitely interesting and made for an action-packed story. Jennifer Estep wrote a story here that really captivated me and it wasn't too long before I found myself having difficulty putting the book down.

Gwen was a fantastic character and I loved getting to know her. Plus she had a great voice. She just had a way of telling the story that just made me smile, even at times when smiling wasn't necessarily the most appropriate thing to do. I also loved seeing her friendship with Daphne develop. It was definitely an unlikely one, but that's what made it special. And Daphne herself just had me laughing most of the time. She was full of contradictions and that just made me love her even more. And that leaves Logan Quinn. I can definitely understand why Gwen fell for him. But at the same time, he didn't seem quite right. Though by the end of the book, I totally felt the same way about him as Gwen did.

Touch of Frost was a fantastic and fast-paced read. Jennifer Estep definitely hit the mark with the mythology she chose to write about and definitely made me want to find out more. I was also very happy to have the second book on hand to start reading when I finished this one. It won't leave you hanging, but you still definitely want to know what happens next.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin & Lisa Brown


Title: Picture the Dead
Author: Adele Griffin & Lisa Brown
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: February 1, 2012
Source: Finished Copy from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Jennie feels the tingling presence of something unnatural in the house now that Will is dead. 

Her heart aches without him, and she still doesn't know how he really died. It seems that everywhere she turns, someone is hiding yet another clue. As Jennie seeks the truth, she finds herself drawn ever deeper into a series of tricks and lies, secrets and betrayals, and begins to wonder if she had ever really know Will at all. 


Before being contacted by the publisher, I hadn't rally heard anything about Picture the Dead, but it  sounded like a really interesting read. In the end, it wasn't what I originally thought it was going to be, but it was still a very enjoyable read. 

After the death of their parents, Jennie and her twin brother were forced to go live with their aunt and uncle at Pritchett House. But then her brother and cousins left to go fight for the Union, leaving Jennie alone. Now alone with her aunt and uncle, Jennie is eagerly awaiting the return of her cousins Will and Quinn, because their return mean she can be married to Will. But when only a wounded Quinn comes home from the war, Jennie is devastated and wants nothing more than to find out what happened to Will. Except that Quinn, the only person who really knows the truth, won't tell her what really happened. So Jennie sets off, attempting to find whatever clues she can, hoping they may lead her to the truth about Will's death. Except that the truth Jennie finds may not be the one she wants.

I don't read as much historical fiction as I would like to, so I was happy to have the opportunity to read Picture the Dead. It was also something different, the story being supplemented by illustrations and photographs. The story itself was interesting and captivating, though at times I found it to be moving a little slow. But regardless of that, I found myself continuing to read because I wanted to find out the truth about Will's death as much as Jennie did. As for the illustrations, they definitely added to the story and helped me better picture some parts of the story. In the end, Picture the Dead ended up being a very interesting story.

It's hard to talk about any characters other than Jennie. The story is told from her point of view, so I fell like I got to know her really well. But with the other characters, it feels like I only got to know them superficially and I wish I could have found out more about them. But that isn't to say that I didn't like Jennie. At first, I really liked her and loved how determined she was to find out the truth about what had happened to Will. I wanted nothing more than for her to find out the truth so she could finally have some closure and move on. But then she did something that seemed completely out of character and caused me to sort of question everything I thought about her. But at the end of the book, everything was made clear and Jennie stood up for herself and I once again found myself really liking her.

Overall, Picture the Dead was a really interesting read. If you are in the mood for something a little different, then I recommend you pick this one up and see what it's all about for yourself.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (36)




For those of you who don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where book bloggers devote a post to an upcoming book release they are particularly looking forward to reading.


THIS WEEK'S PICK:
UNRAVELING BY ELIZABETH NORRIS

Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life. 

But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process. 

From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.

I've been wanting to read this book since I first heard about it sometime last fall. The story sounds really interesting and I love a good mystery with some action. You can bet I'll be getting this book when it comes out.

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris will be published April 24th, 2012 by Balzer + Bray


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Monday, February 20, 2012

Fever by Lauren DeStefano


Title: Fever (The Chemical Garden #2)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion but haven't outrun the danger. On the outside, they encounter a landscape as mysterious and threatening as the one they left behind. Despite the perils, the two are determined to get to Manhattan and to relative safety with Rhine's twin brother, Rowan. But in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men to age twenty-five, time is precious. Even worse, they can't seem to elude Rhine's father-in-law Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion…by any means necessary.

In this sequel to Lauren DeStefano's harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price--now that she has more to lose than ever.

I had been waiting for Fever ever since I read the last page of Wither last year. So you can imagine that I had very high expectations going in to the book. And those expectations were beyond surpassed. Fever was possibly even better than Wither.

Having escaped from her polygamous marriage, Rhine is on her way to Manhattan hoping to be able to be reunited with her twin brother. Except it might not be as easy as she originally thought. Now Rhine and Gabriel find themselves prisoners once again, this time of a sick and twisted carnival, trying once more to escape eventual death. But even after they escape the carnival, things aren't easier. With Vaughn hot on their trail, Rhine and Gabriel can only keep hiding for so long. And it seems the further they get from Florida and the mansion, the more Rhine is getting sick. From the looks of things, Rhine may never be able to fully escape the year she spent at the mansion being Linden's bride.

Fever was an incredible read. I'll admit that I may have liked it even more than Wither. With this book, the action starts almost right from page one and it doesn't stop until the last page. Not only that, but the book also took me on and incredible journey, both physically and emotionally. Fever is definitely an emotional roller coaster. One minute I was happy to see there may be hope for Rhine and Gabriel, and the next I would be in a state of total despair. And then if the story wasn't enough, the ending definitely left me hanging. With it, Lauren DeStefano made sure that her readers would be eagerly awaiting the final book in her Chemical Gardens trilogy. 

I was very happy to be back with Rhine and Gabriel, both of whom I had come to love in the first book. I was happy to see they wer still the same people, despite everything they have gone through. Rhine was as determined as ever and still worried more about everyone around her's lives than she did about her own. And Gabriel was still the same boy, though he was definitely hardened by everything he saw and went through in the word outside of the mansion. While I was happy to see Rhine and Gabriel again, I also really liked the addition of all the new characters. My favorites were definitely Maddie and Silas. Despite not talking, Maddie was a great addition to the story. And Silas was more than he appeared to be. I'm hoping to see more of him in the future.

With Fever, Lauren DeStefano delivered an incredible sequel. This is a book that will take you on an emotional roller coaster. And once it's over, you're just going to want even more. 

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

In My Mailbox (29)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a post where book bloggers talk about the books they received for review, bought, were gifted or borrowed from the library each week. 

This week, A LOT of books came into my house. Last Sunday, I met up with four other Ottawa bloggers--Kathy from A Glass of Wine, Meaghan from Feeling a Little Bookish, Katherine from The Lady Critic's Library and Katie from Bookishly Yours--and I got a lot of books that way. Kathy had arranged for us to receive goodie bags with books from publishers and then we traded books with each other. And on top of all that we then went to Chapters and bought more books. And then later this week I received some for review as well. So all in all, it was a most excellent book week. Here's what I got.

For Review:


- The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson - Until this one showed up in my mailbox, I hadn't really heard anything about it. But now that I've read the summary, I can say that it sounds really interesting. Since it comes out in April, I should be getting to it soon.

- Dark Eyes by William Richter - I've seen this one pop up around the blogosphere but haven't actually seen too many reviews. From the summary, it sounds really interesting and I will definitely be reading it soon since it comes out next month.

- Lightbringer by K.D. McEntire - Until I was asked to review this one, I hadn't really heard anything about it. But after doing some research, I decided it was probably going to be really interesting and it sounds different from what I normally read. Hopefully I'll be reading it soon.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada, Penguin Canada and Prometheus Books for these books!

Bought:


- Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout - I didn't think I would ever get this book since it got lost in the mail. But it finally showed up. I've read it already and really enjoyed it, though I have to admit that I still liked Half-Blood better. But I'll still be reading this series.

- Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler - I really like Sarah Ockler and Twenty Boy Summer is definitely one of my favorite books. I've been wanting to read Bittersweet since long before it came out so I was happy that my local Chapters finally had some copies in stock.

- Incarnate by Jodi Meadows - This seems to be one of those books that people either really like or don't really get into as much. I'm hoping to enjoy it, but at any rate it sounds like a really interesting premise and I can't wait to read it.

Traded:

And now I get into the books I got from the Ottawa Blogger Meet-Up. First off, we had all brought books to trade and here is what I traded for.


- Variant by Robison Wells - I've heard really good things about this one and I'm happy to now have a copy. Plus, from what I can gather, it is told from a boy's perspective and I love reading those books. Hopefully I'll be able to read it soon.

- So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti - I've only read one book by Susane Colasanti but I really enjoyed it. When one of the girls had this book up for grabs, I decided to take it and hopefully I'll enjoy it as much as the other Susane Colasanti book I've read.

- The Lying Game by Sara Shepard - I really like The Lying Game TV show but haven't read the books yet. Now that I have a copy I'm hoping to read it soon so I can see how the books and TV show compare.

- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor - I haven't read this one yet and I don't really know why. Now that I have a copy, I'm hoping to be able to read it soon and see for myself what it's all about.

Goodie Bag Books:

Like I said, Kathy from A Glass of Wine had organized for us all to receive goodie bags with books from publishers in them. From this I got books from both HBG Canada and HarperCollins Canada. I got both adult titles and YA titles so I've split them up here.


- The Flying Man by Roopa Farooki - This is one of the adult titles I received. I don't know anything about it but I will probably end up reading it in the future when I'm in need of a break from YA.

- All For You by Sheila O'Flanagan - Most of the adult titles I read are chick lit and this one sounds exactly like that. It sounds like a really fun read and hopefully I'll be reading it in the near future.

- This is a Love Story by Jessica Thompson - This is another chick lit type book and it sounds like it has a lot of potential. Like with all the others, I'm hoping to be able to read it in the near future.

- Arcadia by Lauren Groff - This one was sent our way by Shannon at HarperCollins Canada. She explained in a note that Lauren Groff is one of her favorite authors and she hoped that we would enjoy Arcadia. It sounds really interesting and I'm hoping to read it soon.

And now for the YA titles I got in my goodie bag:


- Dreamless by Josephine Angelini - Shannon at HarperCollins had also gone through each of our blogs and sent us, along with Arcadia, a book she thought we would enjoy the most. She had seen my post about my most anticipated books of 2012 and decided to send me Dreamless. I was absolutely thrilled to see this in my goodie bag and I will definitely be reading it soon.

- It's Our Prom (So Deal With It) by Julie Anne Peters - I hadn't heard anything about this one until I found it in my goodie bag but it sounds like it could be a really cute read. I mean, it's about prom so how could it not end up being a fun book to read?

- Belles by Jen Calonita - I've seen this one pop up around the blogosphere and from what I know about it, it sounds like a book I would really enjoy. Since it comes out in April, I should be able to read it soon. Hopefully it will be as good as it sounds.

Swag:

This week I was also lucky enough to receive a ton of swag, thanks to the amazing Denise Jaden (author of Losing Faith and upcoming Never Enough). I also received a bookmark and signed bookplate from Gina Damico, author of Croak, for having participated in the Apocalypsies' YAmazing Race.



So that is all for me this week. As you can see, it was pretty much epic and it is going to be hard to top. But on the other hand, if every week were like this one I would never have any hope of making a dent in my TBR pile.


Leave me a comment letting me know what you got and I'll come check it out!

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Friday, February 17, 2012

The Rivals by Daisy Whitney


Title: The Rivals (The Mockingbirds #2)
Author: Daisy Whitney
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: February 6, 2012
Source: Finished Copy from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
When Alex Patrick was assaulted by another student last year, her elite boarding school wouldn't do anything about it. This year Alex is head of the Mockingbirds, a secret society of students who police and protect the student body. WHile she desperately wants to live up to the legacy that's been given to her, she's now dealing with a case unlike any the Mockingbirds have seen before.

It isn't rape. It isn't bullying. It isn't hate speech. A far-reaching prescription drug rings has sprung up, and the students are using the drugs to cheat. But how do you try a case with no obvious victim? Especially when the facts don't add up, and each new clue drives a wedge between Alex and the people she loves most -- her friends, her boyfriend, and her fellow Mockingbirds.

As Alex unravels the layers of deceit within the school, the administration, and even the student body the Mockingbirds protect, her struggle to navigate the murky waters of vigilante justice threaten to reveal even more about herself. 

When I read The Mockingbirds at the end of 2010, I absolutely loved the book and once I finished reading I couldn't wait for more. So you can imagine I was really excited when it was announced that there would be another book focusing on Alex and her friends. I was extremely excited when my copy of The Rivals came in the mail, and once I sat down to read the book, I didn't get up again until I was finished reading it. Yes, it was THAT good.

It's a new year at Themis Academy and now Alex Patrick is the head of the Mockingbirds, the school's underground justice system. Alex is eager to be able to help fellow students the way the Mockingbirds helped her last year when she was date-raped. When a case lands in her lap, Alex doesn't know exactly what she's supposed to do. The case is unlike any other case the Mockingbirds have ever dealt with. But Alex decides to take on the case, because there is no way a school-wide drug ring can end well. But every step of the way Alex finds herself being led in different directions, and nothing seems to be adding up. Not only that, but Alex also finds herself being personally affected by the case and lying to her friends and her boyfriend. At the end of the day, could this case be the one that causes the Mockingbirds to fall?

Daisy Whitney's writing is addicting. While reading The Rivals I kept telling myself that I would only read one more chapter, but really, I just kept reading until there were no more chapters to read. The Rivals is not just one of those books that is incredibly addicting, it's also a book that will stay with you in more than one way. In her books, Daisy Whitney likes to deal with subjects that aren't easy. And those are the kinds of books I wish there were more of in YA. But beyond just that, I loved the story itself. There was something about it that just pushed me to keep reading. It was packed with twists and turns, and with every new piece of evidence that was presented, the culprit seemed to change. If nothing else, I wanted to keep reading just to finally be able to find out who was responsible for the drug ring. 

Alex Patrick is a character I have come to love. I love how in spite of everything she has gone through, she never gave up and stood up for herself. In The Rivals, that same Alex is back and ready to help others do what she did for herself in the first book. And she doesn't succeed at it right away, and I loved that. I liked seeing her struggle and eventually work her way through it because it showed me that she wasn't perfect. And of course, in her place, I probably wouldn't have done much better. Another refreshing character is Martin. He isn't a bad boy or a complete jerk, but instead a total science geek and I love him for it. Martin was a great character to see again, and I love his relationship with Alex and the way he is with her. After everything she's been through, she deserves a boy like Martin…though I am tempted to steal him and keep him for myself.

The Rivals was a fantastic read. I've said it already and I'll say it again, but Daisy Whitney's writing is absolutely addictive. I just couldn't seem to get enough of this book and I am seriously hoping there are more books to come with these characters.

For more information about the book, be sure to check out the HBG website.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (35)



For those of you who don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where book bloggers devote a post to an upcoming book release they are particularly looking forward to reading.


THIS WEEK'S PICK:
DREAMLESS BY JOSEPHINE ANGELINI

As the only Scion that can enter Hades at will, Helen descends to the Underworld in search of a way to overcome the Furies and end the cycle of revenge that has cursed the Scions. But she’s running out of time. Each descent weakens her both in mind and spirit. A mysterious stranger might be her only salvation, but the price may be her love for Lucas Delos. 

As an unforgettable love triangle emerges, Josephine Angelini’s compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding. The eagerly awaited sequel to the internationally bestselling Starcrossed, Dreamless delivers with a huge emotional impact that will leave readers satisfied—and longing for more.

I absolutely loved Starcrossed when I read it last year. And it kind of left off on a bit of a cliffhanger so I'm greatly anticipating the sequel. That and I love Greek mythology so this is basically a great series. I can't wait for Dreamless to be released.

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini will be published May 29th, 2012 by HarperTeen.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour


Title: The Disenchantments
Author: Nina Lacour
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: February 16, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Colby & Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev's band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bec makes a shocking announcement: she's abandoning their plans--and Colby--to go her own way in the fall.

But the show must go on and The Disenchantments wave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small twins and dingy venues, while roadie-Colby struggles to deal with Bev's already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what's next?

Morris Award-finalist Nina LaCour draws together the beauty and influences of music and art to brilliantly capture a group of friends on the brink of the rest of their lives.

Before reading The Disenchantments, I had heard of Nina LaCour in passing, but I hadn't read her other book. So I didn't really know what to expect when I started reading. All I can say now is that I was absolutely blown away by Nina LaCour and this book.

Since freshman year, Colby and Bec have been planning the year they will spend in Europe after they graduate high school. But before that happens, they will tour along the West Coast with Bev's band, The Disenchantments. As summer and the tour roll around, Bev becomes more and more distant and Colby can't seem to figure out why. That is until the day Bev tells him that she's going to college in the fall and won't be going to Europe with him after all. Now Colby isn't sure what he has to do anymore. The only thing he knows for sure is that the show has to go on and so he stays on the road with The Disenchantments. And somehow, along the way, things start to fall into place again and maybe Colby will find out what his next move should be.

At first, I didn't really think much of The Disenchantments. Don't get me wrong, it was an enjoyable read, but not necessarily one that was exceptional. But then something happened and I loved this book. All of a sudden I couldn't put the book down and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what would happen next. The Disenchantments, if nothing else, took me by surprise and I absolutely loved it for that. And a large part of that was Nina LaCour's writing. Even when the story was slower, what kept me reading was her writing. There was something about it that took me in and wouldn't let me go. Despite the book being a contemporary novel, it still somehow felt magical.

Nina LaCour definitely knows how to write characters. Every single one of them felt completely real, even the more secondary characters. But not only did they feel real, each of the characters was also incredibly unique. And more than anything I loved that, despite this being mostly Colby and Bev's story, I still got to know the other people in the story, especially Meg and Alexa. I loved reading about everyone's stories and seeing how in the end they all came together and ended up all being connected. Even now, about two weeks since I've finished reading the book, I can still remember these characters, even the more minor ones, very clearly. All this to say that Colby, Bev, Meg and Alexa are definitely characters that are going to stay with me for a while.

I fell in love with everything about The Disenchantments. It was a book that took me by surprise in the best possible way. Even two weeks later, I'm still thinking about it all. 

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

In My Mailbox (28)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a post where book bloggers talk about the books they received for review, bought, were gifted or borrowed from the library each week.

This week was a slow week for books, which is a good thing considering the number of books I got last week. Though I may end up getting more books tomorrow (Sunday) when I meet up with some lovely Ottawa bloggers for lunch. But at any rate, here's what I got this week.


Review:

- Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (Thank you Thomas Allen & Sons) - I just recently bought the first book in this series so I am happy to now have both books in order to read them in a row. Hopefully I'll be able to get to it soon.

Bought:

- Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins - I wasn't originally planning on buying this one, but when I met up with a bookish friend on Friday, she convinced me to buy it. Hopefully I'll be able to read this one (and Hex Hall) soon.

So that's it for me this week. I'm happy I didn't get too many books, if only because it is allowing me to sort of make a dent in my TBR Pile. But like I said, I may just end up with more books tomorrow!


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My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent


Title: My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers #1)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: August 1, 2009
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Something is wrong with Kaylee Cavanaugh.

She doesn’t see dead people, but…

She senses when someone hear her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who’ll be next…

I have been hearing about the Soul Screamers series for the longest time and have had the books sitting on my shelf for quite a while, but I only just picked up My Soul to Take. And then I got hooked and had trouble putting the book down. It was a fantastic start to what I'm sure is a fantastic series.

For the most part, Kaylee Cavannaugh has a normal life. At least as normal as can be when her mother died when she was three and her father left, leaving Kaylee with her aunt and uncle. And then there's the whole screaming thing, which doesn't really make her the most popular girl in school. Because the thing about Kaylee is that she can sense when people are about to die and that causes her to scream. But now things are looking up. Nash, one of the most popular boys in school, is paying attention to her and seems to know more about Kaylee's screaming than he's willing to let on. But then girls start dropping dead left and right. And Kaylee can only hold in the screams for so long.

So why I waited so long to start reading the Soul Screamers series has become a mystery to me. I've had the books sitting on my shelf for the longest time but never really felt compelled to pick them up. But now that I've read My Soul to Take, I regret not having started this series earlier. It was a fantastic read, and one  that quickly drew me in. It didn't take very long for me to have trouble putting the book down. I just wanted to find out what was going on with Kaylee and all the mystery surrounding her family. Rachel Vincent really wrote an incredible story here, and made it so I want nothing more than to find out what would happen next. 

I liked Kaylee right from the start. She was a great character and I was happy she was the one telling the story. She had a fantastic voice and I loved finding things out at the same time as she did. I also loved seeing her grow and come into her own. The only issue I had with her was how quickly her relationship with Nash took off. But at the same time I really liked their relationship, so it was something that I was able to overlook. And I also, obviously, really liked Nash. He was a great counterpart to Kaylee and I loved all he was willing to do for her. As for the other characters, I would have liked to see more of them, especially when it comes to Tod. But I'm told that I should be patient and the time for more Tod will come.

I'm glad I finally picked up My Soul to Take and started reading the Soul Screamers series. I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book. 

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