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Friday, September 30, 2011

The Best of the Bunch: September 2011!

Best of the bunch is a monthly meme hosted by Lyrical Reviews. It spotlights our very favorite, out of all the books we've read each month.

Okay, so I have read so many great books this month, I couldn't pick just one. I thought, since one is a contemp and one is paranormal, it would be okay :0)
My picks for September are:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
I know it's a cop out to pick two books, but I just couldn't decide between both of these wonderful stories. It was like Sophie's choice, ya'll! Both Laini Taylor and Stephanie Perkins create awesome characters and amazing worlds, whether real or fantastical. Everyone really needs to go out and get both of these books. I'm going to go re-read, so they can be my best of October, too...hehe :0)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Lola and the Boy Next Door" by Stephanie Perkins

Release Date: September 29th, 2011
Publisher: Dutton
Format: Hardcover
Age Group: Young Adult

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

So... I want to start living life in costume. I mean, how fun is that? Lola was fun and spunky and definitely had a personality and style all her own. I loved how close she was with her dad's, even if they got a little overprotective on her at times. Her dad Andy makes pies for a living and some of the pies they were enjoying, oh my, it made me hungry. Andy definitely seemed like the softy of the two, while her dad Nathan was more of the protective disciplinarian, but it was so obvious how much both of them loved her. They know something happened years ago, but they don't know exactly what, so they are really concerned when the Bells move back in next door and Lola starts to freak out a little.  Lola's best friend Lindsey, private detective in training, knows they are back in town and has Lola's back. She tries to find out the circumstances for her, so she knows who all is here and how long they are staying. Lola doesn't want to see Cricket because he broke her heart years ago and she's not ready to deal with him. Plus, Lola has a boyfriend now. Max. Ick! I never warmed to Max. I thought he had a bad attitude and his personality left a lot to be desired. Not to mention the age thing. I don't think 6 years difference is that bad, as long as the youngest isn't a teenager, but I'm okay with not liking him anyway because I needed all the room in my heart to fall in love with Cricket! Swoon! He was nerdy and shy and tall and adorable! Not to mention his awesome fashion sense :0) I was so amused by all of Cricket's little inventions, nerdy boys are awesome! Cricket was just a really nice guy. Not only was he so patient with and good to Lola, but he was seriously devoted to his family, his sister especially. Calliope is a figure skater and the Bell family pretty much revolved around her, but he never hesitated to be by her side.

The Cricket amazingness aside, Lola was a fantastic story. Stephanie Perkins writes wonderful characters and does such a good job creating the worlds they live in. I quite enjoyed spending time in San Francisco and dressing up with Lola everyday! Spending time with her awesome friends and family wasn't too hard, either, and I can definitely see myself revisiting her world over and over. This is definitely a must read if you are a contemporary fan, a love story fan, or if you are just a person with eyes who knows how to read! Pick it up and enjoy the ride :0)

Oh! I forgot to mention, we get to hang out with Anna and Etienne, again! I won't say how, but they definitely make an appearance in Lola's life :0)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that showcases our most wanted upcoming releases.

"Ditched: A Love Story" by Robin Mellom

Release Date: January 10th, 2012

High school senior Justina Griffith was never the girl who dreamed of going to prom. Designer dresses and strappy heels? Not her thing. So she never expected her best friend, Ian Clark, to ask her.
Ian, who always passed her the baseball bat handle first.
Ian, who knew exactly when she needed red licorice.
Ian, who promised her the most amazing night at prom.
And then ditched her.
Now, as the sun rises over her small town, and with only the help of some opinionated ladies at the 7-Eleven, Justina must piece together — stain by stain on her thrift-store dress — exactly how she ended up dateless. A three-legged Chihuahua was involved. Along with a demolition derby-ready Cadillac. And there was that incident at the tattoo parlor. Plus the flying leap from Brian Sontag's moving car...
But to get the whole story, Justina will have to face the boy who ditched her. And discover if losing out at prom can ultimately lead to true love.

I LOVE prom, like really love it (I went to four of them). So I am a sucker for anything that has to do with prom and this one looks super cute :0)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Daughter of Smoke and Bone" by Laini Taylor

Release Date: September 27th, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown
Format: Hardcover
Age Group: Young Adult

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

This book, Oh my god! This book is rich with mythology, amazing worlds, characters and emotions. And it's so beautifully written. Seriously, ya'll, Laini Taylor can write! The book switches between Karou and Akiva POV-wise, there are also flashbacks and stories within the story. There is so much going on in this book that you would think it would be hard to keep track, but it's all worked together so perfectly that you don't really miss a beat.

When we first meet Karou she is in Prague, going to art school, and routinely doing errands for Brimstone. Karou doesn't really know who she is or where she came from, but she's been raised by Brimstone, Issa, Yasri and Twiga. They are all Chimaera, monsters to the outside world, and Brimstone's shop is the portal between Earth and their world. Of course Karou doesn't really know their world exists, she's never been allowed to go there and as far as she knows her four Chimaera are the only ones. Until one day all of the portals to Brimstone's shop from Earth burn, forever cutting Karou off from her family.

Akiva is a soldier. He's spent his life killing Chimaera and that's okay with him. Until he meets Karou. Once he sees her for the first time, he can't stop thinking about her. Karou doesn't want to trust him at first. He tried to kill her after all, but as we learn more about his past and they spend more time together, their connection is undeniable. The characters in this book have such amazing back stories and reading about all of the fantastic things they've been apart of, almost made me believe it could be real. And with an ending like the one from Daughter of Smoke and Bone...

I really am not doing this book justice. This one isn't to be missed, guys!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cover Reveal: Touch by Jus Accardo

I am so excited today! I get to share with all of you, the awesome final cover for Jus Accardo's forthcoming YA Paranmoral "TOUCH"! It's set to release on November 1st, 2011 and I for one can't wait to read it!

When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.
Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect.

I don't know about all of you, but I am sucker for a book with a hot guy on the cover. Look at those eyes! I'm also digging the creepy tree in the background :0) Be sure to add this one to your wishlist, folks!

* Here's the link for TOUCH, pre-order this one ya'll :0)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a weekly showcase of the contents of our mailboxes!

For Review:
"TOUCH" by Jus Accardo (Cover reveal for this one will be up tomorrow! This book sounds awesome and the cover is so pretty :0) )
*Thanks to Jus Accardo and her publicist Cathy!

Dang Books-a-million, always sending me coupons. I can't help myself when there are savings involved!


"As I Wake" by Elizabeth Scott (The cover on this one is so cool!)
"If I Stay" by Gayle Forman (I read and loved this quite some time ago, but my hardcover didn't match 'Where She Went', so I broke down and bought the pretty paperback :0) )
"Half-Blood" by Jennifer L. Armentrout (This one actually came from and I was so excited because they shipped it way early!)
*Also, some cool magnetic bookmarks of classic book covers!

And then, thanks to the awesome Crystal @ My Reading Room, I got one of the books on the top of my wish list and some cool swag!


"Anna Dressed in Blood" by Kendare Blake (I am so excited about this one!)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Beautiful Disaster" by Jamie McGuire

Release Date: May 26th, 2011
Publisher: Author
Format: eBook

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

I'd been reading a lot about this book lately and people kept talking about how impossible it was to put down, so I decided I had to give it a try. This book was at times cheesy and a little unrealistic, but you know what, I didn't even care. I'm not sure I really believe that a teenage girl would agree to move in with a guy she hardly knows, for an entire month because she lost a bet, but it presented ample opportunity for story twists and lots of sexual tension. I liked the fact that Abby wasn't portrayed as innocent and naive. She definitely had a mind of her own and wasn't afraid to speak it. There are too many female protagonists that are so unaware of the way things happen around them, but Abby had life experience, even if we don't learn about all of it right away. Travis was pretty likable, too, although he couldn't seem to get out of his own way sometimes. His jealousy and anger were a little over the top some of the book, but it helped add in conflict, so everything wasn't puppy and roses for our characters.

The two best friends, America and Shep, were both good characters. America was definitely a good friend to Abby, I mean she picked up and moved to an out of state college for her, but I think sometimes she was a bit of an enabler. Shep was Travis' conscience most of the time, keeping him in line as best he could. I wish we would have had more Finch in the story, we don't really get to know him until later, but he was probably one of my favorites. A lot went down over the course of this book and no matter how silly some of it came across, I had to keep reading to find out how it all ended for these characters. This book is proof that cheesy isn't always a bad thing. Read and enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Must Have Books for October :0)

Things have been absolutely crazy in my life with leaving my job and the upcoming move, so I didn't get one of these posted for September, but I'm now in my leisure weeks before the move so all I have is time!

Here's a list of just a handful of the October releases that sounds Amazing! Enjoy and may your TBR lists never go empty :0)

Eve by Anna Carey: The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

Awake at Dawn by C.C. Hunter: Now that she’s settled in at Shadow Falls Camp, Kylie Galen’s determined to discover the extent of her supernatural abilities.  But with a ghost insisting someone Kylie loves is about die, a rogue vampire on a murdering rampage, and her sixth sense telling her someone is watching her, Kylie’s quest for answers is quickly put on hold. 
To make matters worse, just when she’s about to give her heart to Derek, a half-fairy, he starts pulling away.  When Lucas, a werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past, returns, Kylie’s feels more conflicted than ever. Her weekend with her mom should have been the just the break Kylie needs, but it turns out to be her breaking point.  Someone from the dark side of the supernatural world has plans for Kylie--and it'll take all her resources to get back to Shadow Falls alive.

Crave by Melissa Darnell: Savannah Colbert has been shunned all her life by the kids of the Clann. And when she undergoes some drastic changes after a strange illness, Savannah learns secrets about the group and about herself—dangerous secrets. For the Clann are powerful magic users, and Savannah herself is half Clann and half vampire—a forbidden, unheard of combination. Falling for Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman isn't just a bad idea—it could be deadly if anyone finds out. But her attraction to Tristan—and his to her—isn't something either of them can resist for long.

Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout: The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr: Jill MacSweeney just wants everything to go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she's been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends--everyone who wants to support her. You can't lose one family member and simply replace him with a new one, and when her mom decides to adopt a baby, that's exactly what it feels like she's trying to do. And that's decidedly not normal. With her world crumbling around her, can Jill come to embrace a new member of the family?

Mandy Kalinowski knows what it's like to grow up unwanted--to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, she knows she wants a better life for her baby. But can giving up a child be as easy as it seems? And will she ever be able to find someone to care for her, too?

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa:

My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn'darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her.
My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick" by Joe Schreiber

Relase Date: October 25th, 2011
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Format: ARC
Age Group: Young Adult

Perry Stormaire is a normal high school senior– he is busy applying to college and rehearsing with his band –until he agrees to go to the prom with the Lithuanian exchange student who is staying with his family. It turns out that Gobi Zaksauskas is not the mousy teenager that she seems but rather an attractive, confident trained assassin. Instead of going to the prom, Perry finds himself on a wild ride through the streets of New York City as Gobi commandeers the Jaguar his father lent him for the prom in order to take out her targets. Perry learns a lot about himself – and ends up with some amazing material for his college application essays.

This was one crazy, action packed, joy ride of a novel. We start out with seemingly ordinary Perry, talking about the shy, mousy exchange student Gobi. Perry doesn't really have any feelings toward Gobi one way or another. She doesn't talk much and he's pretty much cool with it. All Perry wants to do is play an important show with his band, but his parents are making him take Gobi to prom. He figures she'll feel out of place and they will get out of there early, so he can still make it to the city for his show. That's not exactly what happens.

Each chapter is lead with questions from various college admissions essays. The answers to these questions are the story of Prom night and the violent murder spree Gobi drags Perry on. See Gobi can't drive and she has a gun, so Perry pretty much has no choice. There were parts of the story that definitely reminded me of various spy movies and television shows that I've enjoyed in my life, of course, Gobi is no spy. Although, as we learn more about her and what she is doing, I don't know that I would necessarily call her a bad guy either. She certainly has a couple of layers. Like any good assassin, though, she kicks some major butt! We don't get a ton of character development in this book, given the nature of things going on throughout it, but I don't really think that's the point of this story anyway. I grew fond of the characters as the story unfolded, but part of that was probably because I was experiencing some pretty wicked things with them. This book is violent and bloody, but not overly gruesome, if that makes any sense. It's got quite a sense of humor, too. I definitely wouldn't recommend it for younger readers, but it was certainly a fun ride. If you are looking for a quick read that isn't too complicated or twisty, and isn't bogged down by schmoopy love or tiresome love triangles, this book is a good choice. It's got guys in bands, prom, crazy lithuanian assassin chicks, Jaguars and Ernest Hemingway. Enjoy.

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that showcases our most wanted upcoming releases.

"Amplified" by Tara Kelly
Release Date: October 25th, 2011

When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . . . In this fresh new novel by critically acclaimed author Tara Kelly, Jasmine finds out what happens when her life gets Amplified.
*From Goodreads

I have had a major weakness for Contemps lately, but I'm cool with it. This one sounds rockin'! (Pun intended)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Every Tuesday they post their top ten lists on different bookish topics.

This weeks Top Ten is showcasing the top ten books that everyone else has read, but I haven't gotten to yet.

1. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare: I read the first book, but just didn't love it as much as everyone seems to and didn't end up picking up the rest in the series. I feel like I should give it another try, though, because it is everywhere.

2. Divergent by Veronica Roth: After all of the posts I have seen about this book all over the web, I honestly believe I am actually the only person who hasn't read this yet. Is it really as good as the hype suggests?

3. Blood Red Road by Moira Young: I'm seeing this one quite a bit, too, but I just haven't picked it up yet.

4. The Forrest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan: I've heard a lot of good things about this series, I just haven't gotten to it yet.

5. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray: I loved her book Beauty Queens, it was so sarcastic and amazing, but I'm not super into historical fiction so I haven't read this one.

6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: I actually owned this at one point in time, but in the craziness that has been my life lately, it has gone on to better place. I will try and get to it in the future.

7. Anything by John Green: People say his books are fantastic and they all sound fantastic, but for whatever reason I have never read one.

8. Anything by Melina Marchetta: Again, I hear she is amazing and I've got at least one of her books in my Nook, I just haven't read her stuff yet.

9. The Help by Kathryn Stockett: I am dying to read this and I actually have it, I just need to tear myself away from YA long enough to enjoy it :0)

10. Crank by Ellen Hopkins: I hear its amazing, but I just can't do verse. It bugs me and I can't get past it.
What's on your lists?

"Cold Kiss" by Amy Garvey

Release Date: September 20th, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover
Age Group: Young Adult

“It seemed so right. Danny was mine, I was his, and that wasn’t going to work if he was dead. So I would make him not dead, not anymore. I didn’t think any further than what it would feel like to kiss him again, to wrap my arms around him and bury my head against his shoulder.
That was my first mistake. It also turned out to be the biggest.”

When her boyfriend, Danny, is killed in a car accident, Wren can’t imagine living without him. Wild with grief, she uses the untamed powers she’s inherited to bring him back. But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy she once loved.

Wren has spent four months keeping Danny hidden, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school and somehow, inexplicably, he can sense her secret. Wren finds herself drawn to Gabriel, who is so much more alive than the ghost of the boy she loved. But Wren can’t turn her back on Danny or the choice she made for him—and she realizes she must find a way to make things right, even if it means breaking her own heart.

This book was nothing like I exected. I know it's technically a paranormal, but the author isn't in your face about it. I know that magical powers and raising the dead aren't normal everyday things, but I believed they were while reading. This book had an understated quality to it and I loved it, even the zombie was understated. Wren brings her boyfriend Danny back from the dead, so technically he is the undead, but he isn't the shuffling, moaning, brain eating type. For a good part of the story he's very complacent and just happy to be with Wren. Of course, bringing someone back from the dead never turns out to be the fairy tale you imagined. All the women in Wren's family have powers, but her mother refuses to talk about it, so she doesn't know where it comes from or how to control it. Nobody but her family knows about what Wren can do, until she meets Gabriel. He's not exactly a psychic, but he can sense what's inside of her and really wants to help. Gabriel is definitely a nice guy, but sometimes it felt like he had too much of a hero complex.

This was definitely an interesting take on one of my favorite types of paranormal and I quite enjoyed the less gorey version of a zombie. The story was sweet and sad, with a great cast of characters. It definitely had a satisfying ending, but I certainly wouldn't hesitate to read a sequel :0)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Authors I Love: Rachel Hawkins

Sometimes I like to go searching for new books or authors to read and I find so many good choices looking through different blogs, so I decided to start a semi regular post showcasing authors whom I absolutely adore.

This weeks author is Rachel Hawkins!

I'll admit, I get a little fangirly over Ms. Hawkins and her fantastic books. Not only does she write amazing characters and worlds, but she is absolutely hilarious! If you don't follow her on twitter, you really should. She can be found under the name @LadyHawkins, seriously, go now! Hehe.

Currently she has written two books in the Hex Hall series, with the third one coming out March 2012.

In Hex Hall we get to meet Sophie and go with her to Hecate Hall for the first time. We get thrust into the world of the Prodigium with her and learn all of the fascinating and dangerous things that happen there. Of course there are mean girls, cute boys and kissing. There is also magic, evil and an ancient war. This is good stuff guys! Released March 2nd, 2010 by Hyperion.

Demonglass finds us in England where Sophie and her friend Jenna have come to stay with Sophie's father. In this one we learn a little more about what Sophie is and where she came from. We are also introduced to a lot of new characters and some new mysteries. There is some really good back story in this one. Released March 22nd, 2011 by Hyperion.

Spell Bound is the third book in the series, and with the ending to the second one, I for one, cannot wait until it's in my hot little hands. I can only imagine the adventures we'll get taken on in this one, but Ms. Hawkins hasn't done me wrong yet, so bring on the crazy! Releases March 13th, 2012 by Hyperion.

She is also starting a new series with the first book, Rebel Belle, coming out in 2012 from Putnam. I'm sure it will be awesome. Here is the mini summary from GoodReads:

About a high school Miss Popularity whose world changes when a funny thing happens on the way to the (Homecoming) coronation: she's recruited into the Paladins, a supernatural sect of bodyguards sworn to protect those who will play an important role in the future, and charged with saving her archnemesis even if it means sacrificing her place as queen bee.
So if you haven't read any thing by Rachel Hawkins, I highly recommend picking up Hex Hall and giving it a try. It's got Good vs. Evil, boarding school, all kinds of cool creatures and snarky humor galore. It's a beautifully written, fun ride of a novel and I promise you won't want to wait to pick up the next one :0)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

In My Mailbox (6)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a weekly showcase of the contents of our mailboxes!

So I have a few thousand books to read already (I'm not exaggerating, I swear...okay, maybe a little), but it seems I can never help myself where books are concerned and I bought a heap more this week :0) Of course I've got some extended leisure time the next couple of weeks, so I will definitely be catching up on my reading! Anyway, here goes...

Look at the Pretty!


"Mostly Good Girls" by Leila Sales (I loved Past Perfect, so I had to get my hands on her first book!)
"Daughter of Smoke and Bone" by Laini Taylor (Big hugs to for shipping early!)
"The Girl of Fire and Thorns" by Rae Carson (also an early find at BAM!)
"Love Under Cover" by Jessica Brody

Bought (eBooks):

"Sweet Venom" by Tera Lynn Childs
"Isle of Night" by Veronica Wolff

Anyone else go a little book crazy this week? What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Touch of Frost" by Jennifer Estep

Release Date: July 26th, 2011
Publisher: Kensington
Format: eBook
Age Group: Young Adult

 My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek 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. . .

I love books that are set around mythology and this one was especially cool, because it incorporated all different types of mythology, not just the currently popular greek mythology. Gwen's magic, psychometry, was really cool and maybe a little scary. Being able to know details about someone or something just by touching it would be crazy intimidating for me. Gwen handled it by mostly ignoring people. Of course, as with any good story about a magical loner, you never get to stay invisible and alone for long. As Gwen starts investigating what really happened to Jasmine Ashton, she has to enlist the help of mean girl Valkyrie Daphne, but we start to find out that there might be more to Daphne than her mean girl antics. Honestly, I didn't like Logan at first, he was too cocky for me, but he definitely grew on me the more he popped up in the story. All I want now is to learn all of the secrets he swears Gwen doesn't want to know. Cocky guys bother me to no end, but mysterious and cocky guys get my full attention!

There is so much craziness going on in this world with all of the different Gods and mythologies, and the Chaos War with Loki and his Reapers. I don't know about you, but being at the center of a war between good and evil Gods, seems like the most dangerous place you could be. Mythos is a place were all these warrior kids learn and hone their skills and are seemingly protected from bad things, but not everyone there is on the side of good and figuring out who is the enemy doesn't seem too easy. The mystery in this one wrapped up nicely, as far as Jasmine's death and everything surrounding that, but there are plenty of things that just had the surfaced scratched and I can't wait to find out more. This was a phenomenal read with plenty of action and wit. Vic is the best kind of comic relief! I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes mythology, weapons, magic, boarding schools, badass warriors and hoodies :0) Also, I would like pink sparks to come from my fingers, that is all.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Liebster Award :0)

Thanks so much to Rabiah @ Confessions of a Readaholic for nominating me for the Liebster Award. The Liebster Award is awarded to those blogs with less than 200 followers.

The rules for this award are as follows:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all--have bloggity-blog fun!

There so many great new bloggers out there and everyone is so friendly! My picks for the award are:

Angel @ 909 Reviews
Ann @ Annabells Book Nook
Amanda @ Book Love 101
Sarah @ Catching Books
Sophia @ The Book Basement

These gals all have great blogs and they are really sweet, so head on over and check them out :0)

Giveaway now bigger and better :0)

Thanks to so many awesome people in the blogging community, I've made it to 100 followers! As promised, I'm adding a third book to the giveaway and now I'll pick a second winner as well! The third book being added to the giveaway is....

"Ripple" by Mandy Hubbard!

I'm also going to extend the giveaway for 2 more days, so now it will be open until September 22nd, 2011. Winners will be chosen that evening and notified by email! Thanks again to everyone :0)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Follow Friday (2)!

Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.
This week's question is:

Q. It's that pesky magic book fairy again! She has another wish: What imaginary book world would you like to make a reality?
As nerdy as it sounds, I would love to live in the world in Past Perfect. I know it's actually a real thing, but I think it would be really awesome to be part of a living history park. Since that isn't technically imaginary, though, I guess I'll go with Paranormalcy. I think working for the IPCA would totally rock and who doesn't want a pink taser? Just sayin'! And I, too, have a fondness for lockers :0)

What imaginary world would you like to live in?

"The Mephisto Covenant" by Trinity Faegan

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—Sasha is Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx looming, Jax has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life.

When I first read about this book, I thought it was going to be another angel story, but that's not quite right. There is plenty of talk of Heaven and Hell, and who belongs where, but the beings in this are a whole new type of paranormal. I'm not even sure paranormal is the right word. The story has really cool mythology and backstory for the characters. I really liked the reality of their world and the picture the author was trying to paint.

The main character Sasha was a decent character, but my one major gripe about her was her indecisiveness. I appreciate the fact that she didn't immediately fall at Jax's feet and do whatever he wanted, but I felt like she dragged her final decision out way too long. I appreciated the fact that she was a strong female character, she was fully capable of doing things for herself. Jax was definitely swoony, but given his considerable age, he seemed kind of new. Sometimes it felt like he didn't know how to be around people. I suppose that was probably the point, though, because as he said more than once he spends most of his time alone. For a good part of the story I felt his motives were completely selfish, but as the story went on I really started to feel like his priorities were shifting and he really did care for Sasha. It made him all the more endearing to me.
Overall I liked the mythology and world the author created. Other than a few minor gripes, I liked the characters, too. I'll gladly step back into this story when the second installment comes out.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bloodlines and Love Story Giveaway!

Thanks so much to all of my wonderful new followers and all of the people who have entered the giveaway so far! Since I'm only 10 followers away from 100, I'm thinking that if I make it to 100 followers before the giveaway ends, I'll add another book and a second winner!

So spread the word!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Every Tuesday they post their top ten lists on different bookish topics.

This weeks Top Ten is showcasing the top ten books we've read because of another blogger!

1. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins: This one was actually brought to my attention by Rachel Hawkins blog posts on Goodreads. She was so darn amusing and the book sounded good, so I picked it up as soon as it came out.

2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: This was another one that was recommended by just about everyone. So good.

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: This one got my attention because I was often reading Anna Jarzab's blog and she was gushing about Mockingjay. So I finally picked up The Hunger Games and the rest is history.

4. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand: This one came to me through The Story Siren. She gushed about its amazingness and add that beautiful cover, I couldn't pass it up.

 5. Across the Universe by Beth Revis: I read about this one on quite a few blogs, so overall praise was what won me over.

6. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles: I saw pretty much every blog I read talking about this series, so I finally decided to dive in and now I'm hooked.

7. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead: I don't actually remember where I first heard about this one, but once I started I couldn't stop reading them.

8. Where She Went by Gayle Forman (by way of If I Stay): I read about If I Stay on quite a few blogs and I really liked it, then this one came out and it blew my mind.

9. Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty: I think I technically just found this one on Goodreads, but for a long time that's where all my book finds came from.

10. Delirium by Lauren Oliver: I had read and loved If I Fall, so when this was mentioned on an IMM I looked into and couldn't wait to read it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"You Against Me" by Jenny Downham

Release Date: September 13th, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Age Group: Young Adult

If someone hurts your sister and you’re any kind of man, you seek revenge, right? If your brother’s accused of a terrible crime but says he didn’t do it, you defend him, don’t you?
When Mikey’s sister claims a boy assaulted her, his world begins to fall apart. When Ellie’s brother is charged with the offence, her world begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide.This is a brave and unflinching novel. It’s a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it’s a book about love.

This book packs a punch. It makes you ask all kinds of questions. Where do you draw the line between right and wrong? How well can you ever really know a person? How much deception are you willing to overlook for family? What do you do when the one person you feel like you can trust, is kind of your enemy?

We start out the book with Mikey. His sister won't leave their home, because she says she was raped and doesn't want to face the world or chance running into her rapist. All Mikey wants to do is find the guy and bash his face in, because what kind of brother would he be if he didn't? And maybe that's the only way he knows how to help.

On the other side we have Ellie. Her brother is the one who is accused of the rape, but he swears he is innocent. Ellie knows her brother would never do something so horrible and wants to do whatever she can to support him.

When Mikey and Ellie first meet, he is crashing the "you got released on bail" party they are throwing for Ellie's brother. Ellie doesn't know Mikey is related to the girl accusing her brother and that's just how Mikey likes it. His plan is to get information out of her he can use to help his sister and then he doesn't have to ever see her again. Of course she's not anything like he expected and they start to form a sort of relationship. I was actually surprised the author had Ellie discover his real identity so soon into the story, but I definitely didn't expect the story to go where it did once she found out. This is a hard one, because picking sides in a situation like this isn't easy. You fell terrible for Mikey's sister and want the person who did this to her to pay, but you also want believe that Ellie's brother couldn't have done something so terrible. Obviously one of these two characters isn't telling the truth, but it's not an easy road figuring it out.

At it's core this is a truly hearbreaking story, nothing good ever comes from a rape accusation, whether true or false. The thing I admire most about it is that most of the characters come out better in the end and there is a definite feeling of hope as the story closes. I really loved the last line of the book, it was a perfect ending.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a weekly showcase of the contents of our mailboxes!

For Review:

"Saving June" by Hannah Harrington (I am so excited to read this one!)


"Rules of Attraction" by Simone Elkeles (I''m so excited to read more Fuentes brothers!)
"Touch of Frost" by Jennifer Estep (I've been wanting this for a while, finally caved!)

I got just a few books this week, but I'm really, really excited about all of them :0)

What did you get in your mailboxes?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness September :0)

It's September already, which means a new RAK month. RAK is a really cool and fun event hosted by Book Soulmates. You can find the rules below and pop on over to their blog to sign up!

You can find my wishlist here!

Sign up each month that you'd like to participate. 

  • Show off your participation by grabbing our RAK button :)
  • Create a wish list (on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog etc) and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month. 
  • If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.
  • *NEW* Please, once you receive a RAK, send us an our new email to [rakbybooksoulmates @ gmail . com] dedicated to RAK so that the Google Doc can be updated. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU SEND EMAILS TO THIS ADDRESS.
  • *NEW* E-book participation is limited to files being gifted directly to a person from the e-book store. Amazon's Kindle Store is set up to allow this, as well as the Kobo store and we believe Barnes & Noble as well.
  • At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K! Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

Follow Friday!

Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.
This week's question is:

Have you ever wanted a villain to win at the end of a story? If so, which one?
I've definitely been a fan of some of the villians in books I've read, but I guess I've always liked the protagonist more. I can't think of one that I want the villian to come out on top.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"The Iron Queen" by Julie Kagawa

Release Date: January 25th, 2011
Format: eBook
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Age Group: Young Adult

My name is Meghan Chase.
I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.
This time, there will be no turning back.

Apparently what was missing for me in the second book were adventures in the Iron Realm. Not that I didn't like "The Iron Daughter", I just wasn't as enthralled by it as I was "The Iron King". Of course that's all irrelevant now, because this one is most definitely my favorite of the series. There was so much going on in this book. Action, humor, heartbreak, swoony moments...aahhh!

We start back in the Human Realm with exiled Meghan and Ash. Everything is not peachy for our lovebirds, the false King is looking for Meghan and not so they can sit down for tea. They need a place to stay, so they enlist the help of Leanansidhe, for a price. Along the way they manage to pick up Grim and Puck, and they all head to a safe house to prepare for the battle with the false king. Of course things are never simple in this world and they get called back to the Nevernever by the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. After some more deals are made, our gang heads into the Iron Realm in search of the false king.

The fighting and action scenes in this one were so good. I could tear my eyes away while reading all of the crazy beasties from the Iron Realm. And hello, Meghan finally learning to fight for herself, that was the best part of the whole book! Granted, Ash and Puck still felt the need to always be protecting her, which led to some hurt feelings a couple of times, but I liked that everyone was pulling their weight this time around. And Grim, how I love him, his personality and attitude are what I imagine I would get from my cat if he could talk. This all leads to a giant, crazy climax that I can't elaborate on because that would ruin it, but it's really good! This was such a good addition to this series and I can't wait to dive into "The Iron Knight"! After the ending on this one, I can't wait to find out where she is going to take it from here. If you haven't started this series yet, what are you waiting for :0)

Oh! I totally want a Razor!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Past Perfect" by Leila Sales

Release Date: October 4th, 2011
Format: eGalley
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult

All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated…even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new.
Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it….

I've read battle of the sexes and rivalries between high schools, but I can say for certain that "War" between a Civil War living history park and a Colonial living history park is definitely new territory. New and magnificent territory! We start out with our main character, Chelsea, not wanting to go work at Essex again this year. She's worked there since she was six years old and wants to do something new. Her best friend Fiona convinces her that it will be fun and so she ends up back at Essex for one more summer. Chelsea is rolling with it, until she realizes that her ex-boyfriend Ezra has also decided to work there this summer. Oh, the drama! I think my favorite part about this book was that I unintentionally learned stuff about history while reading it. Way to go with the sneaky teaching, Ms. Sales! I know some of the stuff they are telling people in the book isn't true, but there were some definite history nuggets spread throughout.

We get told about the "war" between the teens at the Civil War park and the teens at Essex right in the beginning and it's the part of the plot that drives most of the drama in the book. What a fun idea, to have a rivalry/prank war with the neighboring living history park! Of course things kind of start to get out of control and people start getting hurt, physically and emotionally. I really liked a lot of the secondary characters that were scattered through the story. The miliner girls were always good for a laugh! And Bryan, poor, sad Bryan. He was so persistent and so oblivious, which also made him totally amusing. We don't really get to know much about Chelsea's mom, but her dad is one heck of a character. He's always going on and on about history, and can't imagine why anyone would want to be anywhere but portraying Colonial history at Essex. Chelsea was a good main character. She may have been a bit naive at times, but overall she was a decent person who was just trying to live her life. And her and Fiona wanting to be ice cream connoissuer's was priceless! What a better way could there be to have an excuse to eat ice creram all the time? Fiona was the fun and dramatic best friend. There is a big conflict in the book that makes us question how good of a friend she is, but in the end we realize she really is the best friend Chelsea could want. Ezra, Chelsea's ex-boyfriend, was a tool. I didn't like him really at any point in the book. He irritated me a lot, because he never seemed genuine about anything. Dan, on the other hand, loved him! He was just a really nice guy and he was definitely affected most profoundly by the war. Of course, because he's a guy with true character, that doesn't even ruin him. *Swoon*

This book made me laugh so much! It was a really great, cute read and I will be checking out other books by this author ASAP! I definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a laugh! Enjoy :0)

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that showcases our most wanted upcoming releases.

Release Date: January 17th, 2012

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

* From Goodreads

This one sounds so unique! I can't wait to get my hands on it :0)


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