Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini


Title: Dreamless (Starcrossed #2)
Author: Josephine Angelini
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository

***SPOILERS FOR STARCROSSED BELOW***
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 huge emotional impact that will leave readers satisfied--and longing for more.

I absolutely adored Starcrossed when I read it last year. Josephine Angelini had written an incredible story so I was very much looking forward to reading more. Dreamless was even better than I thought it was going to be and I loved every single page of it. 

Now that she has discovered that she is the Descender, Helen is pending all her nights in the Underworld trying to find a way to defeat the Furies. Because defeating the Furies means reuniting her family. But on top of this she also has to deal with the fact that she ca't be with Lucas anymore. And that may prove harder than defeating the Furies. During her time in the Underworld, Helen also meets Orion, another Scion who can travel to the Underworld and knows Helen's elusive mother. With Orion's help, Helen may be able to reach her goals in the Underworld. But she will have to do so before chaos breaks out on the surface, putting everyone she loves in danger.

After reading Josephine Angelini's Starcrossed last year, I was hooks and just couldn't be able to read more of this story. And so I had very high expectations for Dreamless and I can now say that they were all more than surpassed. In Dreamless the action started right from the first page and it didn't let up until the last page. There was always something happening and there was never a dull moment. I would find it extremely difficult to put the book down. I just wanted to know what would happen next all the time. Josephine Angelini seriously wrote an awesome story in Dreamless, and I liked it even more than Starcrossed. I didn't think that would be possible.

If I liked Helen after reading Starcrossed, it's nothing compared to how much I like her after reading Dreamless. She just has these endearing qualities that make it so you just can't help but like her. I also loved seeing more of the Delos family. They are a very interesting bunch to say the least. And this time around I could feel their pain where Hector was concerned and I wanted everything to work out for them. And I wanted Lucas to find his way back to himself, and I knew that wasn't going to be easy. And of course I really liked the addition of Orion. He was a really great addition to the story and I loved seeing him and Helen. He was really great with her and I can only hope there is more Orion to come in the future.

Dreamless was an absolutely fantastic sequel. Josephine Angelini really wrote an amazing story that I absolutely loved. I can't wait to see how it will all come together. Though waiting for the next book may prove to be difficult.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (50)

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.


THIS WEEK'S PICK:
DEITY BY JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT

History is on repeat, and things didn't go so well the last time.

Alexandria isn't sure she's going to make it to her eighteenth birthday--to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she's a goner…and so is Aiden.

If that's not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time "training"--which really is just Seth's code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time--she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome.

But as there birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling relegation and she's caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed…and destroyed. 

Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate.


So far I have love everything I have read by Jennifer L. Armentrout, whether it be her Covenant series or her Lux series. Deity will be the third book published in her Covenant series and I can't wait to read it. I am (im)patiently waiting for more Alex, Aiden and Seth to see what will happen to all of them. November can't come soon enough!

Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout will be published November 6, 2012 by Spencer Hill Press. 

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fated by Alyson Noël


Title: Fated (The Soul Seekers #1)
Author: Alyson Noël
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depsitory
The first book in a magnificent new series about a girl who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead by #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël.

Lately strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear out of nowhere. Worried that Daire is having a nervous breakdown, her mother packs her off to stay in the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico with a grandmother she's never met.

There she crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes who she's encountered before…but only in her dreams. And she'll get to know her grandmother--a woman who recognizes Daire's bizarre episodes for what they are. A call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead. her grandmother immediately begins teaching her to harness her powers--but it's an art that must be mastered quickly. Because Dace's brother is an evil shape-shifter who's out to steal her powers. Now Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and find out if Dace is one guy she's meant to be with..or if he's allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy.

Despite still having to read the final book, I am a big fan of Alyson Noël's Immortals series, so I was really excited when she announced she had a new series coming. While Fated wasn't exactly everything I hoped it would be, it still shows promise for the rest of the series. 

Daire hasn't really had a normal life traveling all over the world, following her make-up artist mother from one movie set to the next. But when she starts having weird visions and going through "episodes" where she's a danger to everyone around her, she knows something is wrong. Now sent to live with the grandmother she's never met, Daire is trying to make sense of what is happening to her. Soon enough, Dare will discover there is more to her and her family than she ever knew. And she's going to have to use her gifts to save those she loved before it's too late.

I had relatively high expectations when I started reading Fated by Alyson Noël. I have read and loved her Immortals series, so I was hoping Fated would be just as good. The premise made it sound like it had the potential to live up to my expectations, but in the end it didn't do so entirely. The store was off to a good start and it caught my attention, bu then somewhere int eh middle it got lost. For me, it felt like the middle part of the book kind of dragged. And then at the end it got really good again. I wish the action could have picked up again sooner and I'm hoping this will happen in the next Soul Seekers book. 

Despite the story kind of letting me down, it didn't stop me from liking the characters. Daire was interesting and I liked about her that she didn't just roll over and accept what was happening to her. Instead, she questioned it every step of the way and that was something I really liked about Daire. That, and her relationship with her grandmother, which was really touching. Cade and Dace were very much opposites. Where one was dark, the other was completely light. And I'm not going to lie, while Cade annoyed me, I may have developed a small crush on Dace. I'm definitely looking forward to more of him.

While it didn't live up to all my expectations, Alyson Noël's Fated shows promise for what's to come in the following book in this new series. And despite it falling somewhat short of my expectations, I will probably be reading the next book in the Soul Seekers series.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins


Title: Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Source: Library
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Talk about terrible timing…

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. With her powers locked inside her, Sophie is defenceless, alone, and the at the mercy of her sworn enemies--the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down Prodigium. Or at least that's what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn't so sure.

The only known spell that can help Sophie regain her magic is at Hex Hall--the place where it all began, and now the headquarters of the evil Casnoffs. Together with her best friend, vampire Jenna; her boyfriend, Archer; her fiancé, Cal (yeah, her love life is complicated); and a ghost for a sidekick, Sophie must battle an army of demons. But even with her friends at her side, the fate of al Prodigium rests on her shoulders alone.

Sophie's bound for one hell of a ride…Can she get her powers back before it's too late?

It was only recently that I finally started reading Rachel Hawkins' Hex Hall series. I loved the first two books so I was really eager to see ow it all came together in Spell Bound. So when my library hold on the book came in, I started reading right away and didn't stop until I was finished.

After narrowly escaping from the burning Thorne Academy, Sophie Mercer finds herself with the Brannicks, a family of women dedicated to killing Prodigium. Except Sophie quickly discovers maybe they won't be so intent on killing her. In the meantime, Sophie still doesn't know if her dad, Cal, Archer and Jenna made it out of Thorne Abbey alive and she has no way of getting in touch with them. But most important, Sophie and the Brannicks need to find a way to stop the Casnoff sisters from raising more demons. But that might be difficult if Sophie can't find a way to get her powers back. And when everything goes down, Sophie will be in for one hell of a battle.

With the Hex Hall series, I have loved each book more than the previous one, and that continued with Spell Bound. Right from the first page there was something going on and, like with the other two books, the action doesn't stop until the very last page. With Spell Bound, there were definitely some parts of the story that I saw coming, but that never stopped me from enjoying the story and getting carried away with the characters. One of my favorite parts of these books is the humor that Rachel Hawkins throws into the story. The whole time I was reading, I had a smile on my face, I just couldn't help it. And it was like that until the end, which is you ask me, was a great one. I couldn't have asked fo a better ending to the story, which leaves the door open for potentially more to come.

There is nothing not to love about Sophie Mercer and her friends and family. My favorite thing about the characters is the level of snarkiness and sarcasm that comes from them. As a sarcastic person myself, I can't help but smile when they start going back and forth between each other. And all the different relationships between the characters also just put a smile on my face. Of course, I also love the characters themselves. I can't help but love Sophie and her parents, the way they are with each other just warms my heart. And where the boys are concerned, I love both Archer and Cal and I was, for the most part, happy with how things turned out for both of them.

In Spell Bound, Rachel Hawkins wrote a fantastic conclusion to her Hex Hall series. This is a series I highly recommend and it will put a mile on your face when you read it. I also can't wait to see what will happen with the spinoff book. I am all for another story in this world and with some of these characters.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare


Title: City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace freed from captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing, so is the boy she hates: her brother Sebastian, who is determined to bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

The Clave's magic cannot locate either boy, but Jace can't stay away from Clary. When they meet again and Clary discovers the horror Lilith's magic has wrought--Jace and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. 

Only a few people believe that Jace can still be saved. Together, Alex, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle bargain with the sinister Seelie Queen, contemplate deals with demons, and turn at last to the merciless, weapon-making Iron Sisters, who might be able to forge a wagon that can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. If the Iron Sisters can't help, their only hope is to challenge Heaven and Hell--a risk that could claim their lives.

And they must it without Clary. For Clary is playing a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace's soul. She's willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

I absolutely love Cassandra Clare and everything she writes. So I had been waiting on City of Lost Souls pretty much since reading the final pages of City of Fallen Angels. It proved to be an absolutely fantastic read and Cassandra Clare has really proved once again that she is a master writer.

Jace and Sebastian have disappeared and no one can seem to find a trace of them. And now that Clary has been cleared of having been involved in their disappearance, the Clave is no longer making finding Jace a priority. But that's not stopping Alec, Isabelle, Simon and Magnus from finding a way to get Jace back while Clary is off risking her own life to find Jace and Sebastian. But once both boys are found, separating them could be difficult. Because of Lilith, Jace and Sebastian are bound, what happens to one happens to the other. Unless they can find a weapon that will hurt one but not the other, Jace could be lost for good.

Once again with this review I will be apologizing because I may not be entirely coherent when expressing my feelings for this book. City of Lost Souls was beyond fantastic. The story picked up right where City of Fallen Angels left off and from there the story took off. What I love about Cassandra Clare's stories is that there is always so much going on but it's all happening to different people in different places. The story is told in the third person and has multiple perspectives so it creates a certain sense of suspense. As a reader I could only follow so many characters at once so I would always hope the story lines would merge in time for everything to work out. And like with all books in this series, I was left begging for the next book.

I have so much love for the characters in the Mortal Instruments series. After being with them for five books I feel like I really know them and I will always root for them...at least the good ones. In City of Lost Souls I couldn't help but want Clary to successfully get Jace back and for Jace to become himself again. And with the other characters, I just wanted things to work out for them. The characters Cassandra Clare wrote just feel entirely real and even though I didn't always like certain characters (*cough* Sebastian *cough*), I could still see where they were coming from. All that to say that I've definitely grown attached to these characters and I can't wait to see how everything will turn out for everyone in the final book. 

If you haven't started reading the Mortal Instruments series yet, you are definitely missing out. With City of Lost Souls, Cassandra Clare's series has only gotten even better. If you pick up City of Lost Souls, or any of the books in this series, you won't be disappointed. 

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (49)

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.

THIS WEEK'S PICK:
MEANT TO BE BY LAUREN MORRILL

Meant to be or not meant to be…that is the question.

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the--gasp--wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After done wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts…from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.


I love a good contemporary book and if it's a romance it's just that much better. And if it takes place in London, just sign me up. This book sounds like exactly what I will be needing on a dreary November day. I'm really looking forward to seeing if Meant to Be will be as good as the summary makes it sound and I look forward to discovering Lauren Morrill's writing. November can't come soon enough!

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill will be published November 13, 2012 by Delacorte.



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Monday, May 21, 2012

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks


Title: Of Poseidon
Author: Anna Banks
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Galen, the prince of the Syrena, is sent to dry land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen--literally, "ouch!"--both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom…

Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparles with intrigue, humour, and waves of romance.

I've said this before, but I absolutely love a good mermaid story, and that's exactly what Of Poseidon by Anna Banks was. Right from the start it put a smile on my face and that smile stayed there all the way through. Of Poseidon was the perfect mermaid read.

Emma was just hoping to have a fun time in Florida with her best friend, Chloe, but nothing goes exactly as planned. It starts with her literally running into a mysterious stranger and ends with a shark attack. Now back home in New Jersey, Emma prepares to start her senior year without Chloe and on the first day of school, she fins herself face to face with Galen, the stranger from Florida. Except Galen isn't human, he's Syrena. And after sensing a connection with Emma and seeing her interact with fish, Galen is convinced Emma may not be completely human. And if Emma is who Galen thinks she is, she could hold the key to saving his kingdom.

Mermaid stories are so fun to read in the summer time and I just loved reading Anna Banks' Of Poseidon. It was everything I hoped it would be and possibly even more. Right from the first page, the story put a smile on my face. There was always something happening that managed to make me smile. And then there were parts that actually had me laughing out loud. Like a certain Syrena learning how to drive. The story itself was told in an interesting way. Not only was it told from alternating points of view, but the story also alternated first and third person narration. At first I wasn't sure how this was going to work out, but by the end I sort of loved that the story was being told that way. Anna Banks really made it work. And from the ending I'm seriously hoping there are more books to come.

I absolutely loved Emma. She always managed to put a smile on my face, especially when it came to her clumsiness. As a major klutz myself, I could totally relate to Emma that way. On the other hand, her exasperation with the Syrena wasn't exactly something that I could relate to, but it definitely kept me very amused. All that to say that Emma made me laugh and I loved her for it. And if Emma made me laugh, it was nothing compared to the Syrena. It always amused me when they got puzzle by anything related to humans. Just the interactions between them were enough to put a smile on my face. However, while I often knew what was going through Galen's mind, it would have been interesting to see what Rayna and Toraf were thinking at times. Maybe in future books...

Of Poseidon was everything I was a good mermaid story to be. Anna Banks wrote a fantastic story that had me smiling, if not laughing, the whole way through. If you're looking for a fun mermaid story, I strongly recommend you pick up Anna Banks' Of Poseidon. It's perfect for the summer.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (4)

Stacking the Shelves is a new weekly meme hosted by Tynga of Tynga's Reviews. It's a weekly post where book bloggers share and showcase they books they received throughout the week.


So this week was really quiet for me book-wise, or at least it was as of Thursday when I left to go on vacation. So unless more books showed up after I left, I only have one book to show this week. So without further ado, here's what I got.

Review:




- Last Rite by Lisa Desrochers - I had won an ARC of Last Rite from the author a while back and so have already reviewed it. It was a really great book so I was happy to have a finished copy show up so now I have a complete set.

Thank you TOR for sending this to me!


Like I said, I only have one book this week so that's it for me. Since I'm currently away from home and will be until the end of June, I probably won't be posting Stacking the Shelves posts regularly but if I do get some books I will for sure share them. Other posting should be like normal so there will still be reviews going up on a regular basis.

There is also still time to enter my giveaway for a copy of Goddess Interrupted by Aimée Carter, so if you haven't enter but would like to go right ahead.

Have a great week!

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova


Title: The Vicious Deep (The Vicious Deep #1)
Author: Zoraida Cordova
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 1st, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.

he was gone for three days. Sucked out to see in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.

His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he's heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he's suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.

Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea…and now it wants him back.

I have always had a bit of a soft spot for mermaid stories. I chalk it up to how obsessed with The Little Mermaid as a kid. That meas that when I heard about The Vicious Deep, my curiosity was piqued, especially since I had been told it had a bit of a twist. While the story was highly enjoyable, I wasn't completely satisfied by it.

Tristan Hart was perfectly happy with his life and spending his free time on the Coney Island beach. But when he gets carried to sea in a storm and disappears for three days, everything changes for Tristan. When he comes back, Tristan isn't the same anymore. Every time he closes his eyes, he sees the face of the silver mermaid, though he isn't sure how he first saw her. And his other sense also seem to be enhanced. Tristan's also distancing himself from his friends, especially his best friend Layla who is starting to worry about Tristan. When he finally discovers what's really going on, Tristan might just end up back in the sea.

When I first heard about The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova, I was really interesting in reading it because I was told it wasn't a typical mermaid story. This turned out to be true and I was happy to read a story where mermaids were a little darker and not necessarily quite as peaceful. What was also interesting was that the story was told from a boy's perspective. Most of the mermaid stories I've read were from a girl's perspective so it was really neat to see if from a different point of view. Where the story sort of let me down, is in terms of the story itself. I was expecting more from it. Wile the story didn't drag per say, it felt like when things finally starte happening, the book ended. But that made it so I will probably go and read the sequel when it comes out.

Tristan was an interesting character. Like I've already said, it was interesting to have a mermaid story told from a boy's perspective, especially since you don't necessarily think "boy" when you hear the word "mermaid". And Tristan himself was a good character. While on the surface he came across as a bit of a jerk, he was well-meaning and would admit when he was wrong...at least he would in his head. Even though  I liked Tristan, I liked Layla even more. Layla was the kind of girl I like to read about. She was feisty, stubborn and didn't let anyone walk over her. But Layla also had a sensitive side that was more hidden. So I'm hoping I'll be albe to see more of Layla in future books.

While The Vicious Deep didn't necessarily live up to all my expectations, Zoraida Cordova still wrote a story that took me away to the world of mermaids for a few hours. At any rate, I will still be picking up the sequel when it comes out to see what happens next.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell


Title: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe
Author: Shelley Coriell
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Chloe Camden has a big heart and an even bigger collection of vintage shoes, not t mention a big personality and a primo spot with the in-crowd. But her world careens off its axis when her best friend inexplicably turns the entire school against her. Along and desperate, Chloe joins her school's struggling radio station, where she must team up with a group of misfits who don't find her too queenly.

Chloe ends up hoisting a call-in show that gets the station some much-needed publicity but also trouble, both for the station and radio techie Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe must think carefully about whether it's better to talk or to listen.

Shelley Coriell's Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe has been on my radar for quite some time, but I didn't really know what to expect when I started reading it. As it turns out, Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe ended up being a book I highly enjoyed and surprised me in the best way possible.

Before the winter break, Chloe was at the top of her high school social pyramid. On the first day back, Chloe finds herself beings shunned by pretty much everyone in school ,including her two best friends, and Chloe has no idea why this is happening. And to make things even better, Chloe is forced by her guidance counselor to join the student radio for her independent study project. But Chloe quickly realizes that maybe working at the radio won't be as bad as she originally thought, especially if Duncan Moore is around. Except there might be more going on with everyone at the radio than Chloe originally thought.

When I began reading Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe I didn't really know what to expect. The book had been on my radar for quite some time, but I hadn't read any reviews. What I discovered as I started reading is that there was a lot more to the story Shelley Coriell wrote than I originally thought there would be. While I was expecting a light contemporary, I was not disappointed with what I got instead. Shelley Coriell wove a number of more serious elements into the story in a way that made it so I didn't necessarily realize there was so much going on. This was something I really liked about the book because it didn't make it feel like I was reading a really heavy story. As a whole, the mix of story lines really made for a highly enjoyable read.

While I'm not usually a big fan of the Queen Bee type of characters, I really loved Chloe. It might have been because when the story begins she is no longer in that position and the situation she finds herself in just makes you feel for her. Despite what it looks like from the outside, Chloe doesn't exactly have it easy. So I was really happy for her when she found the people at the radio station, especially Duncan Moore. Like Chloe, Duncan definitely doesn't have it easy and he and Chloe were good for each other. But the main thing about Duncan was that he was genuinely a great guy, despite everything he has gone through. The main thing about a lot of the characters in this book was that they all had their quirks that made them more real and more loveable.

Shelley Coriell's Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe was a surprising read and I loved every single page of it. It's a book I will for sure be recommending because it deserves to be read and enjoyed as much as I enjoyed it.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (48)


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:
THE EVOLUTION OF MARA DYER BY MICHELLE HODKIN

Two days after Mara walks into a police station in Miami at the close of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, she is committed for psychiatric treatment for what her parents believe is a mental breakdown. But what seems like a hallucination to everyone else is a chilling reality for Mara. SOmeone from her past has discovered her strange, disturbing secret and that someone wants her to pay. But she's about to discover that the price is more than she can bear.

Dark and thrilling, suspenseful and passionate, The Evolution of Mara Dyer will have readers breathlessly turning pages to find out what will become of Mara Dyer next.


I absolutely loved The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer when I read it last year and it more than left me wanting more. The book just ended I was left hanging and wondering what was going on. All that to say that I am beyond excited for the release of the sequel.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin will be published October 23, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. 



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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gilt by Katherine Longshore


Title: Gilt (The Royal Circle #1)
Author: Katherine Longshore
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free--and love comes at the highest price of all.

When Kitty Tilney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty's now caught between two men--the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

While I love historical fiction, I find that I don't read nearly enough of it. It may have to do with the fact that historical fiction books can often be really hit or miss. With Gilt, Katherine Longshore definitely hit the mark. It was a very engrossing read from start to finish.

Kitty Tylney has always lived in the shadow of her best friend, Cat Howard, but that has never bothered her. Having Cat for a best friend has always made life for interesting. And when Cat catches the attention of King Henry VIII, it means they will be going to cout just like they always wanted. But as Kitty quickly finds out, court is a lot harder than she ever thought it would be. And when Cat marries the king and becomes his fifth wife, everything changes. Kitty soon doesn't recognize Cat anymore and becomes worried that she may lead them all to their deaths. Because in the court of King Henry VIII nothing is as it seems and Kitty may have to learn this the hard way.

While I have always been fascinated with the period of history when Henry VIII was king, I would never have wanted to live in his court. If anything, reading Gilt only reaffirmed this. Katherine Longshore really brought to life King Henry VIII's court in the book. While reading Gilt I was transported back in time and at times it felt like I was right there alongside the characters. And what Katherine Longshore wrote definitely showed all the lying and deception that was going on at the time. It really made for a story where you were never entirely sure if what was happening was the truth or not. And you just couldn't help but keep on reading.

I would not have done particularly well with people living in the sixteenth century. Too many lies and too much deception for my taste. But in Gilt that made for some really interesting characters. The only one that didn't annoy me too much was Kitty. Despite being a little wrapped up in court life, she had a good head on her shoulders and wasn't as eager to get involved in the lies and deception as other people. I just wish she would have realized one thing a little earlier, but there isn't really anything I can do about that. Cat Howard on the other hand was a whole other story. I get that she was queen, but man did she get on my nerves. She was just so wrapped up in herself and was completely blind to how it affected everyone else. And she wasn't the only one that was like that. Despite this annoyance towards a lot of the characters, it feels like the story would not have worked without the characters being this way. To me it just seems like the story wouldn't have felt as real had it been done differently.

Gilt was a fantastic novel. The story Katherine Longshore wrote managed to transport me back in time while I was reading and allowed me to escape to another time and place for a few hours. I'm really looking forward to see where she is going to take the story in the next book int his exciting new series. Because the Tudor court is kind of addicting.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond


Title: The Summer of No Regrets
Author: Katherine Grace Bond
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 1st, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
The day Brigitta accidentally flings herself into he lap of a guy she's never met, her friend Natalie is convinced he's Trent Yves, egotistical heartthrob-in-hiding. When the boy, who calls himself Luke, is nearly event by a cougar, Brigitta finds herself saving his life, being swept into his spectacular embrace and wondering if she wants Natalie's fantasy to be true.

As the two spend the summer together raising orphaned cougar cubs, Brigitta still can't be sure of his true identity. But then again, since her grandparents' death, her father's sudden urge to give away all their possessions and become a shaman, and her own awkward transition from girlhood into a young woman, she isn't sure of anything. What is the truth? More importantly, can she accept it?

When I first read the synopsis of The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond, I'll admit that I was expecting a sappy love story. As it turned out, the story took me by surprise and ended up being a lot more than I originally thought it would be. And I loved the story for that.

Brigitta didn't think accidentally falling into some random guy's lap would change her summer the way it did. When she and that same boy are attacked by a cougar together, something happens and Brigitta can't seem to get Luke out of her head. After they find the cubs of the cougar that attacked them, Brigitta and Luke start growing closer. But everyone keeps telling Brigitta that Luke looks strangely like Hollywood bad boy Trent Yves. But that doesn't stop Brigitta from falling for Luke. And when that happens, everything starts to fall apart.

Like I said, when I first read the summary for The Summer of No Regrets, it made me think it would be a cheesy love story. I didn't have a problem with that since I was in the mood for a fun, light, summer read. I ended up being pleasantly surprised by Katherine Grace Bond's story. While there was definitely a good love story, there were also a lot of other stories happening alongside that one. There was the story of a girl trying to find her place in the world. It was also the story of a girl and her father trying to find their way back to each other. All these stories were blended together and worked together to create a story that was more complex and interesting to read. And that was why I ended up loving the story as much as I did.

Brigitta wasn't exactly described as typical. In some aspects she was completely different from the types of girls I normally read about, while at the same time being exactly like them. To me, that just made her more interesting to read about. There was always something going on with Brigitta and the fact she wasn't perfect made me love her more. What I liked most about Brigitta was how she questioned everything around her and never just accepted anything. And that was true when it came to Luke. Where Luke is concerned, there was a lot more to him than met the eye. To say there was a lot to him is a bit of an understatement, considering what ends up happening. But I don't want to spoil anything.

Katherine Grace Bond's The Summer of No Regrets definitely took me by surprise, in a very good way. There was a lot more to this story than meets the eye, which proved to be good. If you are looking for a summer read that has a little more to it, then I definitely recommend this one.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (3)

Stacking the Shelves is a new weekly meme hosted by Tynga of Tynga's Reviews. It's a weekly post where book bloggers share and showcase the books they received throughout the week.


This week was a good week and I didn't bring too many new books into my house. I was able to restrain myself at the bookstore and only received a few books for review this week. So without further ado, here's what I got this week. 


Review:

- Shift by Kim Curran - I have yet to hear anything about Shift but I'm really excited about reading it. The premise sounds really interesting and the story itself sounds like it will be packed with action. Plus it's coming from a new publisher I'm really excited about. Hopefully it will be as good as it promises to be.

- Blackwood by Gwenda Bond - The first time I heard about Blackwood I knew I would have to read it once I got my hands on a copy. This sounds like a seriously awesome mystery/thriller and I can't wait to start reading it. Plus it's blurbed by Scott Westerfeld so I can't really go wrong here.

- Nothing Special by Geoff Herbach - I still have to read Stupid Fast, the first book in this series, but I have heard nothing but great things about them so I'm really excited to pick them up. I should be reading them soon so be sure to be on the lookout for reviews.

Thank you to Strange Chemistry and Sourcebooks Fire for sending me these books for review!

Purchased:

- The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze - I'm not going to lie, one of the main reasons this book caught my attention is that author's name. And then I've seen really good reviews for it recently so I figured I would pick it up and see what it was all about for myself.

- City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare - I have been waiting for this book since I read the last page of City of Fallen Angels last spring. And let me just say that this one more than delivered. I've already read it and it was just so, so good. You can definitely expect to see a review soon.


Those are all the books I got this week. I'm not sure whether or not I'll be having a Stacking the Shelves post next week since I will be off visiting my parents for a while so this may be the last post like this for some time. Also, if you missed it on Friday, I am giving away a copy of Goddess Interrupted, be sure to go enter if you are interested.

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Insurgent by Veronica Roth


Title: Insurgent (Divergent #2)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors, War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

I have been waiting to read Insurgent be Veronica Roth ever since I read the final page of Divergent last year. Since I loved Divergent, I was a little worried about Insurgent despite eagerly awaiting it. Well it didn't disappoint, and if anything I liked Insurgent even more than Divergent.

Still recovering from the simulation attack masterminded by the Erudite, Tris is trying to figure out a way to prevent another faction from being massacred the way Abnegation was. But with Dauntless split, that may be easier said than done. But there might be more to what the Erudite are up to, especially when it becomes clear they're going after people who are Divergent. And that includes Tris and Four. But Tris won't go down without a fight and won't hesitate to make sacrifices, including sacrificing herself. Except that first, Tris has to figure out who she can trust.

Before I say anything else, let me just apologize if the rest of my review is slightly incoherent. Putting all my feelings for Insurgent into words may be somewhat difficult. So. Saying I loved Insurgent doesn't even begin to describe how I felt while reading the book. With the second book in a series, I'm alway sa little worried that it won't be as good as the first. With Insurgent, I was blown away. Veronica Roth didn't waste any time getting to the action, and right form page one I was dragged into it with the characters. And from then on, the action didn't let up and there was always something happening. And throughout there were plenty of twists that I definitely didn't see coming. And the ending, while it wasn't a cliffhanger in the traditional sense, definitely left basically begging for more.

What I love about the characters in this series is that they all have a tendency to be quite unpredictable and put themselves in tricky situations. Tris is the expert in doing this if only because she is always willing to sacrifice everything to help the people she cares about. That makes it so Four is often forced into similar situations. But at the end of the day Tris and Four are good for each other and their relationship feels completely real because it isn't perfect. They argue and fight but at the end of the day, they go back to each other. In terms of other characters, there were some that took me by surprise a lot more than others, one in particular completely blindsided me. As in, I didn't see it coming AT ALL. But it's hard t say anything else without spoling it, so I'll leave it at that.

If you loved Divergent, you won't be disappointed by Insurgent, you might even find yourself loving it more than the first book. Veronica Roth more than hit the mark with this sequel and once again, she leaves you begging for more. At least, that's how I felt with I finished read Insurgent.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

WIN Goddess Interrupted by Aimée Carter



Thanks to the lovely people at HarlequinTeen I am lucky enough to be able to offer one of you lucky readers a copy of Goddess Interrupted, the sequel to The Goddess Test, by Aimée Carter. While I have yet to read these books, I have heard they are great reads and perfect for the summer. If you want to find out more, be sure to check out the trailer for Goddess Interrupted below.





So if a copy of Goddess Interrupted is something you are interested in, be sure to enter the giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway is open to US/CANADA ONLY. Good luck to everyone who enters!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Thursday, May 10, 2012

While He Was Away by Karen Schreck


Title: While He Was Away
Author: Karen Schreck
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 1st, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
"This is just something I have to do, okay?" I hear David say. "The right thing."

He cradles my face in his hands. He kisses me hard. Then he lets go of me. His eyes dart from me to whatever's next.

All she wants is for him to say. She's been doing pretty well, pretending he doesn't have to go. But one day, after one last night to remember, she wakes up and there's no denying it anymore. He's gone.

When Penna Weaver's boyfriend goes off to Iraq, she's left facing life without him. As summer sets in, Penna tries to distract herself with work and her art, but the not knowing is slowly driving her crazy. Especially when David stops writing.

She knows in her heart he will come home. But will he be the same boy she fell in love with?
I have been wanting to read While He Was Way since I first hear about it so I had some pretty high expectations going in. Many of those expectations were met, and even surpassed, but once I finished the book I wasn't fully satisfied. Despite that, While He Was Away was a book I really enjoyed.

The whole time she has been with David, Penna has known that this day would come. The day that David would ship off to Iraq with the army. But knowing the day would come doesn't make it any easier. Penna takes comfort in the fact that David will only be gone for a year. But that still doesn't make it any easier now that David is gone. In an effort to distract herself, Penna attempts to find her long-lost grandmother after discovering she went through something similar to her. Little by little Penna starts to find a way of getting on without David. But every time she talks to David, he seems to be changing, pulling away. And Penna's biggest concern becomes whether David will still be the same boy she fell in love with.

I had pretty high expectations when I started reading Karen Schreck's While He Was Away, and the majority of them were met. Once I started reading, it didn't take very long for me to get dragged into the story and found myself having more and more difficulty putting the book down. The story Karen Schreck wrote had many layers to it and that's what I loved most about it. On the surface it was the story of a girl whose boyfriend goes off to war. But then it becomes more than that, and it made me love the story more. My main disappointment was the ending. While I was happy with how it ended, I was sort of expecting more. But that doesn't take away from the fact that it was a great story.

There was a lot more to Penna than met the eye and I really liked that about her. At first she appeared to be just a girl pining for her boyfriend. But once she sort of got over that, I realized that she was a lot stronger than she appeared and could be stubborn in a very good way. What I love most about Penna was how caring she was. It seemed she was always welcoming new people, even when she barely knew them. The rest of the characters were all very unique, and even with the more minor ones, I could really picture them clearly in my mind. What I especially liked about the characters was that they all worked together and the story wouldn't have been the same if you took out any one of them.

In While He Was Away, Karen Schreck wrote a touching and moving story about a girl losing one love and finding another. It was a book I really enjoyed reading and one that I would definitely recommend to contemporary lovers. 

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (47)


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:
FLESH & BONE BY JONATHAN MABERRY

Reeling from the tragic events of Dust & Decay, Benny Imura and his friends plunge deep into the zombie-invested wastelands of the great Rot & Ruin. Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong journey through a fierce wilderness that was once America, searching for the jet they saw in the skies months ago. If that jet exists then humanity itself must have survived…somewhere. Finding it is their best hope for having a future and a life worth living.

But the Ruin is far more dangerous than any of them can imagine. They are hunted by fierce animals escaped from zoos and circuses. They must raid zombie-infested towns for good and medical supplies. They discover the very real truth in the old saying: In the Rot & Ruin…everything wants to kill you.

And what is happening to the zombies? Swarms of them are coming from the east, devouring everything in their paths. These zooms are different. Faster, smarter, infinitely more dangerous. Has the zombie plague mutated, or is there something far more sinister behind this new invasion of the living dead?

In Flesh & Bone, Benny Imura, Nix Riley, Lou Chong and Lilah the Lost Girl are pitted against dangers greater than anything they've ever faced. To survive, each of them must rise to become the warriors Tom trained them to be.


Despite being a little doubtful at first, I absolutely loved Rot & Ruin and Dust & Decay. Jonathan Maberry wrote a zombie story that feels very real, and after everything that happened in Dust & Decay I can't wait to see where it goes next. If you haven't picked up this series yet, you definitely should.

Flesh & Bone by Jonathan Maberry will be published September 11, 2012 by Simon & Schuster BFYR.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

The Opposite of Tidy by Carrie Mac


Title: The Opposite of Tidy
Author: Carrie Mac
Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Indigo
How do you come clean when your life is a mess?

Fifteen-year-old Junie is barely coping. Her mother has started sleeping in the chair in front of the TV, and the house is so packed with junk, newspapers, cupboard organizers and other helpful items from the Shopping Channel that she can barely get in the front door. Her father is no help, since he's always with That Woman. To top it off, she's failing math.

So when Wade Jaffre, the hot new guy at school, offers her a ride home from school, it seems too good to be true. But as they approach her house, Junie doesn't have to think twice about directing him on to her best friend Tabitha's house, nor about continuing the charade of pretending she lives there.

Tabitha and her mother are understanding--and willing to go along, for the moment. But as the weeks go by, Junie's lies start piling up and the opportunity to tell the truth seems to slip away. Until the day Junie's world--and her mother's--is literally turned inside out for the world to see, and Junie and her mother must face the consequences of her mother's illness…and the lies they both told to hide it.

Before reading The Opposite of Tidy, I hadn't read anything by Carrie Mac and I'll admit that I hadn't even really heard of her. The premise of the book was enough to convince me to pick it up and I ended up really enjoying the book.

Junie's home life has always been a mess. Literally. Her mother is a compulsive hoarder, and since her father left a year ago, everything got worse. Despite this, Junie tries to keep order in her life. So when Wade Jaffre offers her a ride home, Junie can't help but lie and tell him that her house is actually her best friend Tabitha's house. Because Junie doesn't want anyone to ever find out how bad her house is. But then the lie becomes bigger and more complicated than Junie ever anticipated. Everything in Junie's life starts to spiral out of control and Junie becomes afraid she'll lose everything and everyone she loves. But since she's always lived in a mess, Junie doesn't know how to start putting order back into her life. 

While I don't read them as often as I would like too, I love contemporary books. One of the things I love the most about them is how much there is to the story without there being any out of this world elements. That, and they also deal with touchy subjects that aren't always talked about a lot. In The Opposite of Tidy, Carrie Mac talks about compulsive hoarding and how it affects not jus the hoarder, but everyone them. Carrie Mac really did a great job presenting this and really made me more aware of everything surrounding hoarding. The Opposite of Tidy wasn't a fast-paced book, but it was still engrossing and kept me interested the whole way through.

The characters in this book all had so many layers, especially Junie and her mother. Junie lived her whole life with a compulsive hoarder and it couldn't have been easy, so I really understood her behavior when it came to her hom life. Despite that, I didn't necessarily like how much time she spent lying. But I could see why she did it and she didn't always like doing it. More than anything Junie wanted her mother to be happy, and her mother just wanted Junie to be happy. I was happy with how things turned out for both of them. The side characters were also all very interesting and ended up being a lot more than I originally thought they were going to be, and that turned out for the best.

I didn't know what to expect when I started reading Carrie Mac's The Opposite of Tidy, but it ended up being a great read that will stick with me for while. If you're looking for a contemporary book that's a little different, then I recommend you pick up The Opposite of Tidy.  

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (2)

Stacking the Shelves is a new weekly meme hosted by Tynga of Tynga's Reviews. It's a weekly post where book bloggers share all the books they got throughout the week.



After last week's craziness, I am very happy to report that I had a relatively slow week for books this week. Like probably everyone, I went out on Tuesday to buy Insurgent and came home with a few extra books. But I am pretty excited about all the books that I got this week, so here they are.


Review:

- Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglin - While I haven't heard too much about this book, from the summary it sounds like it will be a really interesting read. It comes out in late July so I won't be reading this one quite yet, but I am definitely looking forward to picking it up.

Purchased:

- 7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker - I loved Kristing Walker's first book when I read it a couple of years ago so I have been looking forward to more from this author for a while now. I've heard it's just as great as the author's other book so I'm really looking forward to reading it.

- The Selection by Kiera Cass - This one has been on my radar for quite some time and I'm not going to lie, the cover is what originally drew me in. The premise also sounds really interesting and I've heard really good things about the book. Hopefully I will be reading it soon.

- Insurgent by Veronica Roth - I have been waiting for Insurgent since I finished Divergent last year. I've read it already and it was just as good, if not better than the first book and you can expect a review quite soon. Now the only issue is that I have to wait for the 3rd book.

Library:

- Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins - I loved Hex Hall and Demonglass when I read them earlier this year and I can't wait to find out how it all ends in Spell Bound. I was getting kind of worried that my hold at the library wouldn't come in before I left on vacation but now that I have the book you can bet I will be reading it right away.


So that's all for me this week. Leave me a link and I will come check out what you received this week. And I also leave you with a picture of myself and the wonderful Ottawa bloggers with our copies of Insurgent on Tuesday.



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