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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Best of the Bunch November 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.

This month I couldn't pick just one. Both of these books were so great and gave me wonderful book giddies, but in totally different ways :0)

"Fracture" by Megan Miranda
By the time Delaney Maxwell was pulled from a Maine lake’s icy waters by her best friend, Decker Phillips, her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead.

But somehow Delaney survived—despite the brain scans that show irreparable damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be fine, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney now finds herself drawn to the dying, and when she meets Troy Varga, a boy who recently emerged from a coma with the same abilities, she is relieved to share this strange new existence. Unsure if her altered brain is predicting death or causing it, Delaney must figure out if their gift is a miracle, a freak of nature—or something else much more frightening…

This book is amazing! It's mysterious, emotional and real. I can't think of any reason why you shouldn't pick this up as soon as it is out and read it as fast as you can. I absolutely adored this and can't wait for what Megan Miranda has in store for us next :0)

"Catching Jordan" by Miranda Kenneally

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though - she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team... and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

I can't say enough good things about this book! My review of it will be up soon, so you can read all of my gushing about it. Trust me, this is a must read. After reading you will want all the boys in this book :0)

Waiting on Wednesday - Breaking Beautiful

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

"Breaking Beautiful" by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
*Release Date: April 24th, 2012*

Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident—including her memory of the event. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship.
When the police reopen the investigation, it casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free? Debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf takes readers on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness.

I am a huge fan of books that involve memory loss. I really like the mystery of trying to figure out what happened along with the main character. This one sounds angsty and fantastic! The cover is fab, too :0)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Interview w/ "TOUCH" Author Jus Accardo

I am a huge fan of stories that have an evil corporation and TOUCH is a fantastic addition to that list! Why did you decide to write an evil corporation, instead of one specific villain?

Denazen was actually born in something I wrote years ago. The concept changed a bit when it moved to TOUCH, but the same general idea stayed the same. I’ve always loved it. I’m a very organic writer. I don’t plot at all. When I started writing, it wasn’t until Dez’s father came home, that I realized who he was. Marshal Cross. Head of Denazen. Boom. Denazen made the jump from one book to another.
I’d actually like to revisit the others. They’re all written within the same world. Maybe someday!
Kale doesn’t understand some of the most basic things, due to the way he grew up. Was it hard writing Dez’s explanations for things that, most of the time, don’t need explaining?
It was more fun than hard! It was like, hmm, someone walks up to you holding a CD, and asks me what they’re supposed to do with it. So many different reactions come to mind. Better, think of how horrible it would have to be to explain kissing to a hot guy your own age? (that was one of my faves BTW) Can you say awkward…? So, so much fun to write!

While creating this story, what was your favorite part about the writing process? And do you have any quirky rituals?
I can’t write with my shoes on. And I must have coffee. And cheese. (real cheese—none of that fake crap!) As for my favorite part, I love when the characters surprise me. I see things moving along and BOOM. The story takes a hard right.

Did you always plan for this to be a young adult story? What about writing for the teen audience do you like the most?
TOUCH was always a YA.
Writing YA is amazing. It’s all about firsts. Strong emotions and learning to find yourself. There’s really nothing about it I don’t absolutely love.
Now that you’ve gotten me completely hooked on this series, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, can you give us any hints of what’s to come for our favorite characters in the next book?
Hmmm *evil grin*
Dez and Kale aren’t going to have it easy. They’ve got a lot of bumps ahead and some of them are mega-mountain sized. I think some of the characters are going to surprise you—I know they did me. There are more secrets and betrayals, and there’s a chance someone might die ;)
Just for fun, if you were the captain of a pirate ship, which literary characters would you want as your crew?
This is awesome!
Since it’s a boat (and, um, I know squat about sailing) I feel like I should probably say Ishmael…
But really, I’d want Cal Leandros (Rob Thurman). He’d be awesome to keep people in line. I’d have to have Suze along (Meg Cabot) because I could totally see us hanging out. Jane True (Nicole Peeler) and Alex (Jennifer Armentrout) would round off my girl-group peeps. Of course we’d need some eye can—err—muscle—so we’d have to have Clayton Danvers (Kelley Armstrong), Dimitri (Richelle Mead) and Graves (Lili St. Crow).
Hmm. Looking at that list, I’m not sure we’d get very far…but it’d be an awesome party boat!
Thanks for such a wonderful book and thank you for answering some questions!
It was fun! Thanks for inviting me J

Check out my review for TOUCH here!

Jus Accardo is the author of YA paranormal romance and urban fantasy
fiction. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her
husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald. Her first book,
Touch, is due out in November 2011 from Entangled Publishing. She is
represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

"TOUCH" by Jus Accardo

"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. Dez and Kale 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."
This book was a bit of a slow starter for me, but once I got a little further I really got into it. It turned out to be a fast paced, action packed, and awesome read. When I first started reading TOUCH, I was sure that I really liked Dez. She seemed a little too brash and unrelatable, but as I got to know her better, I realized that wasn't all there was to her. Fictional characters can have defense mechanisms, too. I definitely got to appreciate her sarcastic personality, but I also really liked the parts of her that shone through when she was with Kale. Oh, Kale. He's hot and mysterious, so obviously he's the perfect male lead. My favorite things about him, though, were his complete cluelessness and utter lack of common courtesy. The life he'd lived, before meeting Dez, wasn't really conducive to living in the real world. I absolutely adored the scenes where Dez had to explain the most basic things to Kale. Things you would never really have to explain in daily life.

I am a huge fan of books, movies, or tv shows that have an evil corporation as the big bad. I don't know why exactly, but I just really love the inner workings and how they are trying to take over the world or destroy humanity. Denazen was such a cool evil corporation. Whenever I spend a lot of time in a fictional place like this, I end up dreaming of going on

Monday, November 28, 2011

"Truth" by Julia Karr

Release Date: January 19th, 2012
Publisher: Speak
Format: ARC
Age Group: Young Adult

Nina Oberon’s life has changed enormously in the last few months. When her mother was killed, Nina discovered the truth about her father, the leader of the Resistance. And now she sports the same Governing Council–ordered tattoo of XVI on her wrist that all sixteen-year-old girls have. The one that announces to the world that she is easy prey to predators. But Nina won’t be anyone’s stereotype. And when she joins an organization of girls working within the Resistance, she knows that they can put an end to one of the most terrifying secret programs the GC has ever conceived. Because the truth always comes out...and the consequences can be deadly.

In this sequel to "XVI" we get set right back into the lives of Nina, her sister Dee and all of her friends. I was a fan of the first book, but I really felt like the story moved along in this one. We get a lot more information about the Resistance and what the different branches of it are really doing. Some pretty terrible things happen with Nina's family in the beginning of the book and I think those served as some great motivators for her to get more involved. She joins up with a group of girls working on the Resistance and they work together to help get the word out about the horrible truths behind the GC and what the FeLS is really up to.

We don't really see a lot of Sal in this book. He's off doing NonCon work a lot of the book, but when he was around I often found myself wishing he would disappear again. I wasn't a huge Sal fan in the first book, but I'm really over him in this one. His work for the Resistance is very obviously more important to him than Nina is, and when he is around her he is so pigheaded about her ability to look out for herself. I often felt like he didn't care so much about Nina, but about being the hero that made sure she was always safe. We do get a new love interest in this book and even though he doesn't want anything bad to happen to her, he also knows she is capable of taking care of herself. He believes in her. I am most definitely on his team. I also really like that we get to see a lot more of Dee in this book and she gets to learn more about what is really going on around her. She's definitely not a naive little girl, and I think if she's given the chance in the next book she will be able to prove how strong she really is.

The endind set up some great stuff for the next book in the series. I'm really curious about how it will all come together and what will happen to the GC once the Resistance gets all of their information out there. This was a great second book and I enjoyed it even more than the first. I really look forward to reading how Nina's story is going to end.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

In My Mailbox (15) First Vlog Post!

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

I'm trying out vlogging this week...I've never done a video before, so I'm sorry if it's awful :0/
Hopefully they will get better!

"The Future of Us" by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
"Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein
"That Boy" by Jillian Dodd

For Review:
"Ditched: A Love Story" by Robin Mellom
"The Rivals" by Daisy Whitney
"Lovetorn" by Kavita Daswani
"Double" by Jenny Valentine
"Obsidian" by Jennifer Armentrout
"The Princesses of Iowa" by M. Molly Backes
"Getting Over Garrett Delaney" by Abby McDonald

Thanks for sticking with me through my first vlog! I don't know how to edit videos, so this was a straight up one shot, I hope it was up to par :0)

Thanks to Disney-Hyperion, Little Brown, Candlewick , HarperTeen, Entangled and NetGalley for all the great books this week!

What did you guys get in your mailboxes?

Friday, November 25, 2011

"Getting Caught" by Mandy Hubbard & Cyn Balog

Release Date: September 6th, 2011
Format: eBook
Age Group: Young Adult

Sometimes in war, there are no winners…

Peyton Brentwood is pretty, popular, and Harvard-bound. Or so she hopes. Her only distraction from AP classes and entrance exams is the prank war with her ex-best friend, Jess Hill. Peyton is used to getting what she wants, and she’s not about to let a loser like Jess gain the upper hand.

For Jess, the prank war is an outlet, a way to get revenge on the best friend who left her behind. As if Peyton has the guts to do what it takes to win. Please. There is no way in hell Jess is going to lose this one, even if she has to hit Peyton where it hurts.

This book was really fun. I love a little harmless pranking! When I was in high school, my friends and I would play pranks on each other all of the time. It was always so much fun and often ended up being hilarious for everyone involved. Some of the pranking going on in this story reminded me of those days, although as the story moves along the girls start taking the pranks further and further. And they all learn a little bit about how far is too far.

Former best friends Peyton and Jess have been pranking each other since freshman year. It started out small, but over the years it has snowballed and they live to out do the other. The whole school is wise to the prank war, but the girls have never actually been caught. Considering they are the only two getting pranked on a regular basis, it was a little hard to the belive that the school administration hadn't caught on, but it didn't really matter because it was too much fun reading their back and forth. Both girls were pretty extreme stereotypes and it certainly affected the way their pranks played out. Jess was the loner, freak girl and was always a little more spontaneous with her prank style, while Peyton was uber meticulous and everything she did was carefully planned out in advance.

You know from the start that this war is eventually going to have to come to an end and it was a fun ride getting there. The girls had a lot to learn about friendship, communication and misunderstandings. The ending definitely has some closure and leaves you with a sense of hope. This is a quick, fun read and definitely worth picking up :0)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

This year I feel like I have a lot to be thankful for.

I'm thankful for being able to take chances, make mistakes and when everything has been turned upside down, I am thankful that I can start all over again. I am so thankful for new opportunities and for the reliable things I can always count on. I am thankful for new possibilities that I had never given thought to before and I am thankful for the feelings I never thought I would have. I am thankful for my family and friends and the unconditional love they give me every day. I'm thankful that they accept me despite mistakes I've made and that they let me start all over again. I'm thankful that I know everything will be fine, even if it isn't how I imagined. I'm thankful for books, blogging, and all of the great things I've experienced and wonderful people I have met because of them. I'm thankful for you, because we are nothing without the people in our lives, no matter how large or small their roles.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone :0)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Harbinger

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

"Harbinger" by Sara Wilson Etienne *Release Date: February 2nd, 2012*                           
When sixteen-year-old Faye arrives at Holbrook Academy, she doesn’t expect to find herself exactly where she needs to be. After years of strange waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, Faye is afraid she’s going crazy. Fast.

But her first night at Holbrook, she feels strangely connected to the school and the island it sits on, like she’s come home. She’s even made her first real friends, but odd things keep happening to them. Every morning they wake on the floors of their dorm rooms with their hands stained red.

Faye knows she’s the reason, but what does it all mean? The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain she can’t trust him; in fact, he may be trying to kill her—and the rest of the world too.

This book sounds fabulous and creepy! I love stories set in schools and the mystery to this one is really compelling. Also, hot guy who might be trying to kill her, my cup of tea! And that cover is just amazing, so that doesn't hurt, either! Definitely one I will be looking forward to in 2012 :0)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2012 Standalone Reading Challenge! The books I'm planning to read :0)

Starting in 2012 I'm going to be participating in the Standalone Reading Challenge hosted by Icey Books and I Like These Books!

Why a Standalone Reading Challenge?
There's a challenge for Debuts, there's a challenge for Sophomores, why not a challenge for Standalones?

The challenge is to read 15 standalone YA books that are published between December 27th, 2011 and December 31st, 2012!

Here's my list :

"Harbinger" by Sara Wilson Etienne
"In Honor" by Jessi Kirby
"Breaking Beautiful" by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
"Of Poseidon" by Anna Banks
"Above" by Leah Bobet
"A Midsummer's Nightmare" by Kody Keplinger
"Reunited" by Hilary Weisman Graham
"This is Not a Test" by Courtney Summers
"The Fine Art of Truth or Dare" by Melissa Jensen
"Second Chance Summer" by Morgan Matson
"Partials" by Dan Wells
"My Life Next Door" by Huntley Fitzpatrick
"Love? Maybe" by Heather Hepler
"Bittersweet" by Sarah Ockler
"Glimmer" by Phoebe Kitanidis

Top Ten Authors I'd Like to Eat Turkey With :0)

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 week we're rounding up the authors we'd love to eat turkey with this Thanksgiving.

Suzanne Collins: First off, she has the word hunger in her book title, so of course eating with her is a must. Also, she's brilliant. We would watch "The Hunger Games" movie trailer before the turkey, then act out scenes from "Mockingjay before dessert! I'm fully prepared to dye myself green :0)

Stephen King: I know he writes horror and honestly his books scare me so much, but I just imagine him as having a wicked sense of humor. Anyone who writes scary that well has got to be super fun in real life.

Rachel Hawkins: If she is half as amusing in real life as she is on Twitter, then she would be the perfect guest at any Thanksgiving table! I'm thinking she'd be game for live action "Mockingjay".

C.S. Lewis: I loved living in Narnia as a child and it would be amazing to just have a conversation with him, let alone share a meal with him.

Mirand Kenneally: I'm far less turned off by football since reading her wonderful book, I'm sure she would watch the Thanksgiving Day games with us and explain what's going on :0)

Stephanie Perkins: I love her hair and maybe she'd give me a hair makeover! Also, she seems super sweet and genuine. And I'm betting she would act out scenes from "Mockingjay" with Suzanne, Rachel and I :0)

Jess Rothenberg: She is so sweet and I am such a fan! I might scare her off before the turkey with all of my fangirling...haha.

Megan Miranda: She is also super nice and she wrote a book about the cold and snow. I'm from the north, where it gets really cold and snowy, so we can discuss the best kinds of sleds and the proper way to pack a snowball :0)

Okay, I know that this is only eight, but I've already got people sitting on the counter. There just isn't enough room :0)

Happy Thanksgiving, ya'll! Who would you have at your table?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

In My Mailbox (14)

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

This week invovled a lot of screaming, giggling and happy dancing! And the UPS man almost got hugged :0)

"Catching Jordan" by Miranda Kenneally *I have already devoured this book and I LOVED it! I also got some swag from Miranda, it's going to be part of my big contemp giveaway next month!*

"A Million Suns" by Beth Revis *I screamed and jumped and basically acted completely psycho when this came in the mail :0) Thank you SO much, Megan @ Amethyst Daydreams, this is beyond awesome!*

I also received some more "Fracture" swag, for my giveaway, from Angie @ Beneath the Jacket! She kindly offered to send me some of her extras. Angie is awesome guys and her blog is fab! Go check it out :0)

For Review:
"The Disenchantments" by Nina LaCour *I can't tell you how unbelievably excited I am about this one! This might have been when the UPS man almost got hugged :0) *
"Truth" by Julia Karr *This one is for the blog tour coming in December. I liked it a lot, more than the first one.*
"Cinder" by Marissa Meyer *I might have scared the cat squealing about this one!*

*Thanks Miranda Kenneally, Megan and Angie for you generousity! Thanks Penguin, Feiwel & Friends and NetGalley for the review copies!*

"Liesl & Po" by Lauren Oliver

Release Date: October 4th, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Hardcover
Age Group: Middle Grade

Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.
That same night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable.
Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.

I don't usually read middle grade books, but since it was written by Lauren Oliver and I'd heard so many good things about it, I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did, because this was a great story. It was so well written and full of imagination.

The friendship between Liesl & Po was one of my favorite parts of the story. Po comes to her in the attic she's been locked away in for months, she hasn't been drawing since her father died a couple of days ago and Po is concerned about her. Of course, you might expect a little girl to be scared when a ghost appears in her room, but Liesl is not your average little girl. Will, the alchemist's assistant, watches Liesl from afar. He doesn't know anything about her, but he knows that when he sees her sitting in her window at night, he can't help watching her. They all come together to embark on an adventure full of magic.

I really liked all of the illustrations throughout the book, too. They made this book just a little more special. There was plenty going on in the story, but I really enjoyed that it wasn't overly complicated. I know this is intended for younger audiences and I didn't expect it to be extremely complicated, but after all of the complex YA titles I read most of the time, this was a really enjoyable and easy read. I would definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a great story and a fun,magical escape.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Such a pretty, pretty cover...The Uns :0)

I'll admit it, I judge books by their covers. I am more inclined to find out what a book is about if it has a really pretty cover and I know it's not fair, but that's just how it goes. Bright colors and pretty pictures call to me :0) SO...this weeks covers are beautiful and creepy and they have stories that I can't wait to get my hands on :0) Now on to the pretty!?

"Undeadly" by Michele Vail

Publisher: HarlequinTeen

Releases: February 28th, 2012

"The Unquiet" by Jeannine Garsee

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Releases: 2012

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Every Other Day" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Release Date: December 27th, 2011
Publisher: Egmont USA
Format: eGalley

Every other day, Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She's human.

And then every day in between . . .She's something else entirely.

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her and, unfortunately, she'll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive. . .and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

This book was seriously awesome! The basic plotline, where Kali is human one day and superhuman beastie hunter the next, was cool on it's own. Then all the added twists, turns and other characters made it even more readable. My absolute favorite part of this book was the fact that all the beasties (a.k.a. preternaturals) were a commonly known and accepted part of society. Most stories, tv shows and movies have them being a hidden danger to humans, but here everybody knows about them and the government has even decided to try and protect some of them. Wicked cool! And Ms. Barnes chupacabra's are pretty neat little creatures, too. I also liked that the main focus in this story was not on romance, forbidden or otherwise. Don't get me wrong, I like romance as much as the next girl, but with everything else going on in this one, I'm glad it wasn't overtaking the spotlight.

Kali, our heroine, was a little rough around the edges and hard to get to know at first. As the story progresses and we get to see her open up a bit, we see why. Kali is the type of girl who tells it like it is and doesn't try to make nice so she can have friends. In fact, when Skylar decides to try and befriend Kali one day, she really wants no part of it. As it turns out, Skylar is good for Kali and their friendship helps her

Waiting on Wednesday - My Life Next Door

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

"My Life Next Door" by Huntley Fitzpatrick
*Release Date: June 2012*

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen year old Samantha wishes she was one of them… until the day Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything.

Jase can sense that his beautiful neighbor is missing something in her sterile home, and as the two fall fiercely in love, his family makes her one of their own.

But when the bottom drops out of Sam's world, which perfect family will save her–and will her perfect love survive?

I LOVE, love stories! And I'm always a sucker for girl/boy next door love stories. And this one sounds like it has a healthy does of angst and family drama thrown in, which is never a bad thing! Also, look at that cover, it is super adorable! June can't get here soon enough :0)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fracture ARC & Swag Giveaway!

I recently read, and LOVED, "Fracture" by Megan Miranda. It was so good guys! Then the lovely and completely sweet, Ms. Miranda, sent me some awesome Fracture swag! I loved the book and I know you guys will, too, but it doesn't come out until January and I wanted to share it now! So that's where the giveaway comes in. SO...I am giving away my ARC copy of "Fracture" and some of the pretty swag!

There are actually going to be 2 winners for this one. The first winner will get the ARC and a piece or two of swag. The second winner will get a whole handful of the swag! The contest runs until November 30th, 2011. Just fill out the form below and may the odds be ever in your favor :0)

Top Ten Books Collecting Dust on My Shelves...

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 week is all about the books on our shelves we've been meaning to read, but just haven't gotten to it yet.

"The Maze Runner" by James Dashner: After reading The Hunger Games all I wanted was more dystopian and this was one of the books recommended to me. I had every intention of reading it pretty soon after I got it, but then I had some bad experiences with other dystopians I had gotten also and this one is still sitting on the shelf.

"The Demon Trapper's Daughter" by Jana Oliver: I really want to read this one and everyone says great things about it, but there are just so many books to read and this one keeps getting lower in the pile. Shame on me, I know.

"Vesper" by Jeff Sampson: When I first got my e-reader, I bought a crazy amount of books for it. It's not that I don't think this one looks good, it's just one of so many on my TBR that I haven't gotten around to it just yet.

"Glimmerglass" by Jenna Black: There is no logical explanation for me buying this one, since I don't read faery books. I dont know why, I just can't get myself to want to read them. However, this one was a super deal for my Nook and it had some really good reviews, so I figured why not? Of course, I still haven't read it yet, so... I was convinced to read The Iron Fey series, though, and I actually liked them. So who knows, maybe I'll get around to other faery books some day.

"Wings" by Aprilynne Pike: See "Glimmerglass".

"Wicked Lovely" by Melissa Marr: See "Glimmerglass".

"Cryer's Cross" by Lisa McMann: I picked this one up on sale at the bookstore and I'm really looking forward to read it, but like so many others, this one has got a bunch that have weaseled their way in ahead of it.

"Minder" by Kate Kaynak: I am always forgetting I have this one. I think it sounds really cool and I am definitely planning on getting to it soon.

"Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand: I've had this book on my shelf since I was in high school. I keep meaning to read it, but GUYS! It's so big! And the writing is so small, it gives me a headache thinking about it. Does that make me a lazy reader?

"Frozen (Skinned)" by Robin Wasserman: This was another one I bought when I first got my e-reader. I will read it eventually, I just don't know when eventually is right now.

What books are on your lists this week?

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Shattered Dreams" by Ellie James

Release Date: December 6th, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Format: eGalley
Age Group: Young Adult

Sixteen-year-old Trinity Monsour wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But that isn’t as easy as it seems. Trinity is different. She is special. She sees visions, and for those she’s seen, it’s already too late.
Trinity arrives on her aunt’s doorstep in New Orleans with virtually no knowledge of her mysterious heritage. She begins settling into life at a new school and even starts making friends. But all too quickly her dreams accelerate; twisted, terrifying visions of a girl locked in a dark room. And when the head cheerleader, Jessica, goes missing, Trinity knows she has no choice but to step forward with what she’s seen.
But people believe that Trinity has information about Jessica’s disappearance not because of a dream, but because she is involved. She is kind-of dating Jessica’s ex-boyfriend, Chase, and Jessica did pull a nasty prank on Trinity. Revenge seems like the likeliest scenario.
Nothing prepares Trinity for the dark odyssey that ensues while searching for Jessica, including the surprising romance she finds with Chase, or the shocking truths she learns, not just about the girl who has gone missing, but the past that has been hidden from her.

I really liked the premise of this book and that it was set in post Katrina New Orleans. At the start of the book we get dropped right into the middle of an already occuring story. A bunch of kids are going to trespass in an old, abandoned house that may or may not be haunted. We are able to gather that our main character, Trinity, has come to hang out with these kids she hopes might become friends. Some of the parts in the first few chapters were really confusing and I had to go back and make sure I hadn't moved ahead an extra page. It jumps around a little bit and leaves you wondering exactly where you are supposed to be. Despite this I kept on, because I was enjoying the writing and I was curious to see what was really going on.

I really like stories that are about someone who can see visions, whether they are straight up psychic or the vision is something more paranormal, so that aspect definitely kept my interest. I've always wanted to harness my own psychic ability, but I don't appear to actually have any. This book has all the elements of YA. Mean girls, cute boys, romance, secrets and mysterious goings on. I liked the main character in this one. She moved from being homeschooled in Colorado to the very different world of high school in New Orleans. Even though she could have floundered and there were times when she needed others help, Trinity really held her own. I'd recommend giving this one a go. It's got great writing, good characters and is a great start to a series.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (13)

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

Just a few things this week, but they are all super exciting!

"Pure" by Julianna Baggot
(Thanks NetGalley and Grand Central)

"Amy & Roger's Epic Detour" by Morgan Matson
(Thanks to my bestie Shanon @ Escaping With Fiction)

The lovely and sweet Megan Miranda sent me some swag for her upcoming book "Fracture", which I have read and it is amazing!! I'm putting together a giveaway that is going to include some of this awesomeness, so stay tuned :0)

What did you guys get in your mailboxes this week?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Contemps to Pine For :0)

My 2012 wishlist is completely dominated by contemps and since so many of them look amazing, I decided to spotlight some of the ones I'm most excited about!
Since this was inspired by 'Books to Pine For', I want to give a shout out to The Story Siren, she's the one who created that feature :0)

*all titles link to Goodreads*


"The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight" by Jennifer E. Smith
"The Catastrophic History of You and Me" by Jess Rothenberg
"Catching Jordan" by Miranda Kenneally
"The Fine Art of Truth or Dare" by Melissa Jensen
"In Honor" by Jessi Kirby
"Where It Began" by Ann Redisch Stampler
"Ditched: A Love Story" by Robin Mellom
"Love? Maybe" by Heather Hepler

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"The Dig" by Audrey Hart

Release Date: November 11th, 2011
Publisher: Backlit Fiction
Format: eARC
Age Group: Young Adult

Out of time and out of her element, teenager Zoe Calder finds herself in ancient Greece, battling against the power of the Olympians and the vengeance of a scorned goddess—all for the strange and mysterious boy she has come to love.

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself stranded in the past, with no cell phone coverage, facebook, or twitter? That's the problem Zoe Calder has found herself in. While on a dig in Greece, with her Aunt and Uncle, Zoe wanders into a restricted area and winds up in ancient Greece. Far from home and completely unsure of how to get back, she sets off in hopes of finding someone who can help her. With the help of a new nymph friend, Zoe discovers some things about herself she could have never imagined and takes off on a journey to find a way to make it home.

She ends up on Mount Olympus with all of the Greek gods and it's not quite the awesome experience you would imagine. The gods think she is the enemy, because they don't know where she's come from or how she is able to do what she can do. Then there is also the matter of the jealous goddess, who isn't too happy that Zoe has taken to the god that she wants for herself. If there is one thing you don't want on Mount Olympus, it's to be on the bad side of one of the goddesses.

This is a cute, fun read with some adventure thrown in. And a cute boy, of course. It was a bit of a slow starter for me, but once it got going it was a quick read. I love reimaginations of Greek mythology and this was fun new one to add to the list. I even liked all the references to technology and media, because it seems like no one wants to survive without a smart phone or twitter anymore. The ending was tied up enough that you feel like the story was complete, but there is definitely more you want to learn about our main characters. This is the first in a trilogy, so we will get to see their future after all :0)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Hallowed :0)

"Hallowed" by Cynthia Hand
*Release Date: January 17th, 2012*

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

I don't think words can accurately express how much I covet this book! Unearthly is definitely at the top of the best books I have read this year. I need to know what's happening next with Clara, Tucker and Christian! And mostly, I just want to hang out with Tucker again. I love me some Tucker :0) When I finally get the chance to read this there will be squealing, jumping and probably some psychotic giggling...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Books I've Read That Were Out of My Comfort Zone

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 week is all about reading outside of your comfort zone. Some of these books I ended up really liking, others not as much.

1. "Forbidden" by Tabitha Suzuma: I never would have chosen to read this one on my own. The topic of incest isn't really something that I would ever be comfortable with, but there were so many outstanding reviews online and I decided to give it a try. It is a tragic and heartbreaking story, but I didn't hate it. Tabitha Suzuma wrote it so well that you almost forgot what it was really about, at times. I don't think I would ever re-read this one, because it is really heavy material, but I'm glad I gave it a shot.

2. "A Stolen Life: A Memoir" by Jaycee Dugard: I love memoirs, but I wasn't too sure about reading this considering the story being told. I finally decided to pick it up and I'm not really sure if I'm glad that I did. This is such a specific account of some really horrible things that happened to her and I don't think anyone could really say they liked the book.

3. "Darker Still" by Leanna Renee Hieber: I don't do historical fiction. I can't make myself enjoy it and I'm not really sure why that is. I only looked into this one because it had a gorgeous cover and I only decided to give it a shot because it was a historical paranormal. Fortunately, I loved it and I am now more open to reading historicals as long as they have some kind of paranormal aspect.

4. "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins: I didn't pick this up until a while after all three had been released and that's mainly because the premise kind of scared the crap out of me. Kids battling to the death was not something I was excited to read about. Since it seemed like everyone and their mother were talking about this book, I finally decided to read it and I am so glad I did. It is now one of my favorite series of all time. I've actually started to re-read and I love it even more the second time.

5. "The Iron King" by Julie Kagawa: I don't read books about faeries. I don't know why, but they don't appeal to me and really just seem silly. I know there are so many popular series about them, but I just couldn't bring myself to try them. I'm not usually a follower, but all over the place people were talking about Julie Kagawa's series. I decided, despite it being about faeries, to pick up the first book in her series. I didn't hate it, so I got the second one and so forth. It's not my favorite series of all time, but I thoroughly enjoyed all four books. So I might consider reading about faeries again someday.

Okay, so maybe I don't branch out much, because I can't seem to find any other books I've read that were out of my comfort zone. So five it will have to remain. What books are on your lists?

"Psych Major Syndrome" by Alicia Thompson

Release Date: August 11, 2009
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: Hardcover
Age Group: Young Adult

Presenting Concerns:
The Patient, Leigh Nolan (that would be me), has just started her first year at Stiles College. She has decided to major in psychology (even though her parents would rather she study Tarot cards, not Rorschach blots).
Patient has always been very good at helping her friends with their problems, but when it comes to solving her own...not so much.

Patient has a tendency to overanalyze things, particularly when the opposite sex is involved. Like why doesn't Andrew, her boyfriend of over a year, ever invite her to spend the night? Or why can't she commit to taking the next step in their relationship? And why does his roommate Nathan dislike her so much? More importantly, why did Nathan have a starring role in a much-more-than-friendly dream?
Aggravating factors include hyper-competitive fellow psych majors, a professor who’s badly in need of her own psychoanalysis, and mentoring a middle-school-aged girl who thinks Patient is, in a word, naive.

Psych Major Syndrome

Not only is this a solid YA contemporary romance, but it is also hilarious! It had me laughing out loud and doubling over with laughter. I expected it to be a sweet, typical contemp and I would have thoroughly enjoyed it if that's all it was, but the added humor made it all the more fun!

Leigh is a freshman at the same college of her high school sweetheart, they have been together over a year and as far as she is concerned, they are very solid. I liked Leigh, she had a great sense of humor and she was basically just a nice person, but that girl was crazy naive. Her boyfriend, Andrew, was an ass. I didn't like him from the go. He was disrespectful and dismissive to her most of them time, and then as it suited him he was demanding and stubborn. Of course Leigh was pretty blind and could only see what she wanted to be there. Her best friend and roommate, Ami, hated Andrew and didn't hesitate to let him know it. Ami was a trip, so much of the comedy came from scenes when her and Leigh were together. She is artsy, free spirited and fun. The two of them balanced each other out so well. Nathan was a gem! Initially Leigh assumes he dislikes her, just like Ami can't stand Andrew, but we start to

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Shatter Me" by Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: November 15th, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: ARC
Age Group: Young Adult

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Let me start by saying that the writing in this was so good. It was beautiful, emotional and so expressive. It kind of felt like reading a story and watching living artwork all at once. We start out the story with Juliette in her cell. She's been locked up because her touch kills and nobody knows why, or what to do about it. Juliette hasn't seen or spoken to a person in a very long time, so she is very wary when they all of the sudden give her a cellmate. A male cellmate. And that's only the beginning. I really like Juliette as a character. She's not perfect and she definitely has a mountain of issues, considering her lethal touch and the horrible things she's endured in her life, but I think that made me like her more. I can definitely respect a girl that won't back down from what she thinks is right, even when she has been pushed to the limits.

Skipping ahead a little, Juliette is still a prisoner, but she's no longer in isolation. She's being held by a


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