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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Overstuffed Bookshelf Giveaway!

Having too many books is not a bad problem to have. In fact, I'm not sure it's even possible. However, my creaking bookshelves disagree and are begging for a little relief. It turns out that I have doubles of a few things and while I'd like to be one of those people that can own every book ever in multiple forms, I just don't have the space. SO...what's sad for my bookshelves turns out to be good for you guys, because I am going to give some of them away to one lucky winner!

This is a pretty random assortment, but variety makes life exciting, right?

Up for Grabs:

NOBODY BUT US by Kristin Halbrook (ARC)
REBEL HEART by Moira Young (HC)
TEMPESTUOUS by Kim Askew & Amy Helmes (ARC)
THIS LULLABY by Sarah Dessen (Paperback)

Since I spent all of my Christmas money on books, it's going to be US/Canada only this time around. The giveaway will run until January 11th. All five books will go to one winner. Just fill out the Rafflecopter below and Good Luck :0)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (22) - The one w/ awesome early finds!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and was inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox posts.
I got a bunch of gift cards over the past week, plus some seriously awesome coupons, so that means lots of awesome book purchases! I snagged some stellar early finds, too! And some awesome stuff for review :0)
 For Review:

Belonging by Karen Ann Hopkins
Splintered by A.G. Howard (HC)
Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowski (HC)
Fuse by Julianna Baggott


Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Altered by Jennifer Rush
Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Crash by Nicole Williams
Clash by Nicole Williams
Mothership by Martin Leicht & Isla Neal
Body & Soul by Stacey Kade

And this really cool colored pencil set w/ an awesome quote on the wooden box :0)

*Thanks to Karen Ann Hopkins, Abrams, Random House, and Grand Central!*

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Release Date: January 8th, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Format: ARC
When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

I love stories that have lots of travel, I am fascinated by love stories that blossom in 24 hours, and I absolutely adore Gayle Forman. So, all of these things combined, Just One Day was bound to be a win for me from the start. We start the story off in the UK with Allyson and her travel group. A little impromptu Shakespeare and an attractive guy, get Allyson thinking that it's about time to live a little. This leads us to Paris with dashing Willem and one heck of a romantic, whirlwind adventure. This is where we get all of the interactions between the two of these characters and we learn so many things about each of them, but by the end of this day, we still don't really know either of the characters very well. Here Allyson has taken on the personna of "LuLu" and is behaving the way she would. Willem says beautiful things and is extremely daring, but by the end of their adventure we aren't sure if we really ever met him at all.

The middle of the story was where things dragged a little for me. Allyson spends a lot of time pouting and feeling sorry for herself, she meets new people only to alienate them, and seems to only be able to focus on what she lost. It serves a purpose and it does push the story forward, because eventually she starts to realize sitting around and moping isn't doing anyone any good. Once she realizes this we get to see some growth in her character and a whole new motivation. Not to mention she makes some awesome friends once she starts getting into stuff going on at school.

The last part takes place back in Europe and I'm constantly going back and forth between this being my favorite part, or the first part being my favorite. This time we get to experience foreign places with Allyson on her own. Except, she doesn't stay on her own for too long, because she ends up making friends with some fellow travelers at her hostel. Once they know what she's up to they all want to help Allyson on her quest to find Willem. And in the end, finding Willem doesn't end up being the most important thing out of this whole experience for her, because she just might have found herself.

I loved this book and it has definitely earned itself a permanent place on my bookshelves. I look forward to traveling Europe with Allyson again and again, and I absolutely cannot wait for the companion novel that is coming out later in 2013. A definite recommend :0)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Blog Tour: Shifting Pride by Laura Diamond!

Shifting Pride by Laura Diamond

Sixteen-year-old Nickie Leone has proof that her missing (presumed dead) father is still alive. Receiving his watch in the mail is the first in a line of clues bringing her closer to discovering his whereabouts. But clues aren’t the only new thing in Nickie’s life. There’s the Memorial Banquet her mother insists she help prepare for, there’s the new kid/hottie, Xavian, and...well, the growth of whiskers and a tail!

Filled with secrets and a new love of tuna fish, Nickie must partner up with Xavian (don’t you know he’s a shapeshifter too?) to rescue her dad before she loses him forever. Oh, and she needs to figure out how to be a cat, too.

An excerpt for your viewing pleasure!
Thick, dark clouds hung low and heavy. A crisp breeze blew my hair and brought chills to my body. Forgotten leaves scraped over the sidewalk, hitching on the browning grass and wayward weeds. Only a few remained attached to their perches, too stubborn to let go of home.
I used to think of fall as the best time of year. Splashes of color painted across the rolling hills of Upstate New York, cider donuts, apple pie, and decorating for the holidays. I hated snow and ice, but I loved the excitement of Christmas. Well, before Dad disappeared. Celebrating happy things
seemed like a betrayal now.
Instead of sweeping away with the breeze—dramatic, right?—the phantom e-mail message kept flashing through my mind as I walked. Maybe I imagined it, but I’d never lost touch with reality before. Hmm, a sudden tuna addiction, imagining e-mails from Dad…maybe…I shook my head. No, this was real, and Dad was alive.
Yet I had no explanation for how the e-mail disappeared.
I crossed my arms and scuffed my shoes in the loose dirt as I passed by house after house, sculpted yard after sculpted yard. The distance did nothing. My muscles stayed tight, my jaw remained clenched. I needed help.
Who could I talk to about this? Mom? Ha. Andrew? Double ha. BFF Tiffany? Maybe. On the other hand, she’d spent the past year listening to my thoughts and feelings about Dad. I was sick of burdening her with it, and she was probably sick of hearing it. My options fizzled to non-existent in less than thirty seconds.
And don't forget to check out the prequel novella, New Pride! 

New town, new love, new terror…

Kicked out by his alpha father for nearly exposing their secret, seventeen-year-old Richard Leone is a shape-shifter without a pride. Alone, homeless, and hungry, he forms a tenuous friendship with Derek, a power-hungry shifter from an unstable rogue pride. It’s either that, or starve. Until they encounter a gorgeous brunette, Molly, partying with friends around a campfire. Richard immediately feels a connection with her, and something about her calls to him. Almost as if she was supposed to be his mate.

But when Molly is kidnapped, Richard must take on the entire rogue pride to save her and keep his human town safe from harm. Derek offers him a deal: he’ll help Richard take on the pride to rescue Molly, but only to secure his place as alpha. And once that happens, the humans could be in even more danger…

Where to buy:

Waiting on Wednesday: Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that showcases our most wanted upcoming releases.
Release Date: April 9th, 2013
Publisher: Soho Teen
On a day like any other, six smarter-than-most teens wake up in the same hospital after having experienced a traumatic event that they can't quite remember ... other than being forcibly sucked into an abyss at the moment of their deaths. Somebody or something seems to be pulling the strings. With individual clocks ticking─and with each guarding an individual secret─they band together and conspire to piece together the whole of what happened.

Soon they discover that they've been trapped in a future that isn't of their making: a deadly, desolate world at once entirely familiar and utterly strange. Only one of them holds the key to getting them home. But which one, and why? As the truth is revealed through the eyes of its three key players, the reader is taken on a dark journey into both the hearts of teens who must do anything to survive, and into the heart of a parent who will do anything to protect his child.
Okay, first off, how spooky is that cover?! A book about dead kids trapped in a hospital, in an unknown place and time, basically sounds the coolest premise ever. And with the added promise of deadly secrets, this definitely sounds like an amazing read.
What are you waiting on this week?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (21) - The One with ALL the Christmas Presents :0)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and was inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox posts.
My best friend, Shanon, and I exchanged Christmas presents this week and she got me some seriously epic unicorn stuff! Also, some books :0)
Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell
*Read this as an ARC and loved it so, so much! I finally picked myself up a finished copy of this awesome book!*
For Review:
Altered by Jennifer Rush
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
Return to Me by Justina Chen
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
*This also came with a Christmas card and gingerbread man air freshner :0)*
Fragments by Dan Wells
*I adored partials and absolutely cannot wait to read this one!*
Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook (Not Pictured)
Slide by Jill Hathaway (Not Pictured)
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Graphic Novel (Not Pictured)
Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt
*I love this book with all my heart. I was so excited to get it for Christmas from my bestie!*
Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
*This sounds so original and has such a gorgeous cover. Not to mention I am a big fan of Sarah's book Drink, Slay, Love.*
UNICORN BOOKENDS!!!!! These things are seriously awesome and they are vintage. I giggle every time I look at them!
Cool Unicorn Pillow :0)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Secrets & Lies Blog Tour: The Lies That Bind by Lisa & Laura Roecker :0)

Just when Kate Lowry thought she had life at elite private school Pemberly Brown figured out, she cracks open a fortune cookie to find a message from her best friend Grace--who's supposed to be dead.

Another Sister Gone.

A classmate has gone missing, and Kate soon realizes that the disappearance is tied to the secret societies that rule her private school. Her best friend died for their secrets, and there's no way she'll let them get away with it twice. It's up to quirky outsider Kate to get some answers, but in a school where every answer leads to more questions and nothing's as it seems, who can she trust?
Once upon a time I thought secret societies were the coolest thing since sliced bagels. I used to think it would be awesome if my high school had one and to figure out how to be a part of it. I mean, what sounds better than a group of peers with awesome connections and popularity? Now I'm not so sure about those secret societies. There are people dying, people turning up missing, and crazy antics that never end the way they are supposed to. After spending a couple of books with Kate, I'm starting to think she's on the right track in trying to take them down.
Kate is such an awesome main character. She's got a personality and sense of humor that I can get on board with. She doesn't give up on things that matter to her, no matter how dangerous they may turn out to be. She doesn't always win, but she always keeps going. And I really like that she gets messages from her dead best friend. What an awesome plot device. This isn't a paranormal series and ghosts aren't running rampant throughout, but what better motivation to get to the bottom of something than to have your dead best friend, whom you miss terribly, help you along the way?
Lisa and Laura Roecker have cooked up some fun, funny mysteries that pull you in and keep you reading. We get an awesome cast of characters to keep us company along the way and some seriously twisted high school students to constantly keep Kate on her toes. You can bet I am on board for more adventures with Kate and crew! 
About the Authors: Lisa and Laura Roecker are sisters-turned-writing-partners with a passion for good books, pop culture and Bravo programming. Not necessarily in that order. Lisa has always been a phenomenal liar and Laura loves to write angsty poetry, so writing for young adults seemed like a natural fit. The sisters live in Cleveland, Ohio in separate residences. Their husbands wouldn't agree to a duplex. To learn more about The Liar Society series check out

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Year of Reading in Lists: Best Paranormal of 2012 :0)

First up in my best of 2012 series of lists are the Paranormals :0)

Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready
Release Date: May 1st, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse

My Review

In this dramatic conclusion to the Shade trilogy, Aura and Zachary’s relationship sizzles as the secrets of the Shift are revealed.

Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past.

As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves...even if that means betraying her own heart.

 Release Date: March 13th, 2012
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?
Release Date: May 8th, 2012
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac's life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac's hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy's killer:

A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome--also known as the werewolf virus--is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy's murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy's boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

 Release Date: May 1st, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?
Release Date: March 6th, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
It starts with a whisper: "It's time for you to know who you are..."

On her 17th birthday, everything will change for Violet Eden. The boy she loves will betray her. Her enemy will save her. She will have to decide just how much she's willing to sacrifice. 

 It's a battle Violet doesn't want, but she lives her life by two rules: don't run and don't quit. If angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden.
LINCOLN: He's been Violet's one anchor, her running partner and kickboxing trainer. Only he never told her he's Grigori--part human, part angel--and that he was training her for an ancient battle between Angels and Exiles.
PHOENIX: No one knows where his loyalties lie, yet he's the only one there to pick up the pieces and protect her after Lincoln's lies. In a world of dark and light, he is all shades of gray.
Two sides: Angel or Exile.
Two guys: Lincoln or Phoenix.
The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity...
So what are your favorite paranormals of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (20) - The one with awesome surprises and epic finds :0)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and was inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox posts.
Ugh. This has been kind of a blogger fail week for me... I work in retail and I don't think I need to describe how crazy that can be during the holidays. I have been in a constant state of exhaustion since Black Friday and this week the blog suffered a little. Sorry for that, guys. I did get some awesome mail this week, though, so I'm here to share! I hope you guys all had great weeks :0)

For Review:
How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller
*I am so stoked for this one! An academy where criminals are the prodigies, Could it be any cooler?*
The Darkness Dwellers by Kirsten Miller
*For the blog tour in February!*
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
*Already read, SO much love! Review soon :0)*
Shymers by Jen Naumann
*Jen contacted me about this book and after reading the synopsis and watching the trailer, I absolutely could not wait to read it. She was nice enough to send me a signed copy for review! I am looking forward to starting this one.*
Escape Theory by Margaux Froley
*Another one set in a school, which is one of my favorite plot devices! It sounds awesome!*
Prodigy by Marie Lu
Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
*OH MY GOSH!! I flipped out when I found out I won a copy of this. Cinder was one of the best I read in 2012 and from what I've heard Scarlet is even better!*
Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie
Rouge by Leigh Talbert Moore
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (Signed!!!!)
*This is one of the best gifts I've gotten! And it's so pretty! Thanks, Jenna :0)*
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
*This was sitting on a shelf at work and caught my eye, I read a little bit about it and decided I needed to give it a go!*
Silvermay by James Moloney
*I read about this book a couple of years ago and immediately wanted to read it. Unfortunately, it's an Australian book and the cheapest I could get it shipped to me was $50. So I gave up hope of reading it. Then I was browsing BookCloseouts the other day and what did I find? And it was a steal. I can't wait to start it. The only problem now will be procuring book 2 and 3...*
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig (Signed!) My Review
*This book is awesome and I was so excited to find a signed copy of it!*
City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte
Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
*I've been seeing this one a lot and it got me intrigued, so we'll see how it goes.*

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cover Reveal: Flicker & Burn by T.M. Goeglein + ARC Giveaway!!

Hey guys! Today we've got something awesome. A two-for-one cover reveal! We've got the new redesigned cover of Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein, which I think is really great. It's a little bit gritty and a lot eye-catching! And I've got the cover for Flicker & Burn, the second book in the Cold Fury trilogy! The covers go together perfectly and they will make such a gorgeous addition to your bookshelves :0)
Cold Fury releases, in the redesigned paperback, in June of 2013 and Flicker & Burn comes roaring onto the scene in August 2013! Don't forget to put them on your shopping lists!
Without further ado, here are the covers for Cold Fury and Flicker & Burn! Scroll on down and feast your eyes:

The thrill ride that began in Cold Fury kicks into high gear in Flicker & Burn, as the threats to Sara Jane Rispoli come at her from all directions. She continues the desperate search for her missing family, but this time she’s on the run from creepy beings with red, pulsing eyes and ghostly white skin chasing her through the streets of Chicago in black ice cream trucks – they can only be described as Ice Cream Creatures. They're skeletal and ferocious, hell-bent on catching or killing her, but also a weird link to her family, a clue to where they might be and who has them.
While Sara Jane battles these new pursuers, she learns painful lessons about the phenomenon that possesses her, cold fury. At the same time, she’s uncovering buried secrets about the misdeeds of her family – old murders and blood vendettas – that might be connected to the disappearance of her mom, dad, and brother. The mysteries, violence, and constant state of chasing or being chased could be the undoing of her relationship with handsome Max Kissberg. Despite the love growing between them, Sara Jane can’t tell him the truth about her life, and fears for his safety.
Not only do the Ice Cream Creatures display the grisly amputated finger of her mom to prove their viciousness, and not only does Lucky, the Outfit Boss of Bosses, whistle in Sara Jane for a sit-down with deadly consequences, but her gorgeous cousin, Heather Richards, enters the scene, as well. All that matters to Sara Jane is saving her family and keeping everyone she loves alive and safe. But the forces she encounters, both external and the ones crackling inside of her, fight her every step of the way.
Alright, now that you've seen the awesome new covers and devoured the synopsis for Flicker & Burn, how would you like a chance to win an ARC? Author, T.M. Goeglein is offering up an ARC of Flicker & Burn, once they are available! Just fill out the Rafflecopter below :0)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (19) - The one where Sarah had some Christmas money to spend :0)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and was inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox posts.
So I got a bunch of Christmas money early and I spent the majority of it on books, naturally! What's a booklover to do, right?!?
For Review:
Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
*I absolutely adore this cover and I can't wait to dig into this story about a girl who ditches technology while trying to get over a heartbreak!*
From Ashes by Molly McAdams
*I read Molly McAdams debut a little while back and it pulled me right out of a reading slump, so when I saw this was coming out, I knew it was a must read for me. Sounds SO good.*
Hooked by Liz Fichera (ARC, Signed!)
*Read and loved! Review to come soon. Girls playing on boys sports teams is my new favorite subgenre!*
My Own Worst Frenemy by Kimberly Reid (Signed!)
*It's a prep school series, which I love, and the author said she was inspired by Veronica Mars! Double love!*
Creeping with the Enemy by Kimberly Reid (Signed!)
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
*I have already read this book, but I wanted the pretty paperback. Such a good read. Jessi Kirby can do no wrong by me!*
Touched by Corrine Jackson
*This one sounds really unique and cool. I just couldn't resist picking up a copy.*
Gravity by Melissa West
*I have been dying to get my hands on this since I first started hearing about it months ago. So excited to finally have it.*
The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade
*I recently got an ARC of The Rules by Stacey Kade, so that prompted me to look into her first series and I saw so many wonderful things about it.*
Swoon at Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter
*I've thought about picking this one up once or twice, but when I found it on a bargain shelf and it was signed, I knew I couldn't pass it up!*
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
*I know, I could I have possibly waited this long to pick up this book? To be completely honest, there are so many books that I have to read and I don't seem to find much time to read those that are purely for fun, sometimes. Sad puppy. But I have it now, so yay!*
Undead by Kirsty McKay
*This one sounds absolutely hilarious...and ZOMBIES!!!*
The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman
*This was another bargain steal and it sounded interesting, so I figured I'd add it to my shelves.*
Love, Actually Blu-ray
*I love this movie SO much, especially at this time of year. I just had to have it :0)
Awesome wooden letters of my initials!
*Huge thanks to Liz Fichera, Kimberly Reid, the awesome authors @ Sleuths, Lies and Alibis, Bloomsbury, William Morrow and my family!*


Friday, December 7, 2012

Guest Post on Inspiration by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes; authors of TEMPESTUOUS (A Twisted Lit Novel)

Our Inspiration for Tempestuous 
By Kim Askew and Amy Helmes,
Authors of the Shakespeare-inspired YA series Twisted Lit, featuring Tempestuous and Exposure (Merit Press)
Deciding to turn Shakespeare's plays into modern-day YA novels was a "Eureka" moment for us if ever there was one. As former English majors, we couldn't think of anything more exciting and interesting than putting a 21st century spin on his classic plots and characters. But after first tackling his darkest play, "Macbeth,"  we knew we needed to mix it up with something a little lighter, lest we start sleepwalking and seeing imaginary daggers!

We figured "The Tempest" would provide just the sort of change-up we needed, but how to re-interpret the play's remote island setting and the storm that sets all the action in motion? During one agonizing and intense brainstorm session that seemed to be leading nowhere, we toyed with the possibility of setting our novel on an actual island during hurricane season (Spring Break, perhaps?), but that translation was just too literal. Then we started thinking about winter snowstorms and where people could potentially get stranded, and the pieces instantly fell into place. Making a Midwestern shopping mall our "island," so to speak, was the perfect solution. Both of us were all-too familiar with minimum wage mall jobs, and the idea of being stuck overnight in such a location was a veritable goldmine for comedy and drama. The setting suddenly became a no-brainer.

Prospero, the sorcerer and deposed king in The Tempest, is transformed by events of his own creation. That's the idea that drove our plot. We decided to make our heroine, Miranda Prospero, a combination of Prospero and his daughter, Miranda.  We're both fans of the '80s classic movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and we loved the idea of making Miranda a sort of female Ferris, someone who loves manipulating people but still has good intentions. Jane Austen's Emma was also an inspiration for our heroine. We fairly quickly developed ideas for how we would create our own unique characters based on Shakespeare's Caliban and Ariel. Intrigued? Then we humbly suggest you pick up a copy of Tempestuous to find out how the rest plays out!
© 2012 Kim Askew and Amy Helmes, authors of Tempestuous: A Twisted Lit Novel

My Review: 
Release Date: December 18th, 2012
Publisher: Merit Press
Format: ARC
Recently banished, unfairly, by the school’s popular crowd, former “it girl,” Miranda Prospero, finds herself in a brave new world: holding dominion amongst a rag-tag crew of geeks and misfits where she works at the Hot-Dog Kabob in the food court of her local mall. When the worst winter storm of the season causes mall workers and last-minute shoppers to be snowed-in for the night, Miranda seizes the opportunity to get revenge against the catty clique behind her social exile. With help from her delightfully dweeby coworker, Ariel, and a sullen loner named Caleb who works at the mall’s nearby gaming and magic shop, Miranda uses charm and trickery to set things to right during this spirited take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
I've never read Shakespeare's The Tempest, so I can't speak to specific similarities, but I can definitely attest to the fact that this book such a fun read! Who hasn't thought about being trapped in a mall overnight with free reign and all of your friends? I can honestly say that would have been a dream come true when I was a teenager, as long as there wasn't also a violent robber trapped in the mall with us.
Miranda is a girl recently exiled from popularity and not very happy about it. When we first meet her she is bitter and not pleased with the situation she currently finds herself in. She's made some new friends working in the food court of the mall, but we get the impression that she doesn't really think of them as anything other than "work" friends. The story only takes place over the course of one night, but we get to see a good bit of growth in Miranda over that night. She starts to see how special her coworkers are and that they really are the ones worth her time. This mismatched crew spends the evening hanging out, partying it up, pranking the popular kids, and solving the mystery of the robber.
This book was such a quick read and made me laugh out loud more than once. I am really looking forward to reading the second Twisted-Lit novel, Exposure. Kim and Amy have really got something here, with these fun new takes on Shakespeare. A definite recommend from me :0)
Authors Bios
Kim Askew
, co-author of Tempestuous: A Twisted Lit Novel, whose work has appeared in Elle and other magazines, is a content manager for the Webby-winning teen, for which she has covered the Teen Choice and MTV awards. Follow Kim on Twitter @kaskew.

Amy Helmes, co-author of Tempestuous: A Twisted Lit Novel, is co-author of Boys of a Feather: A Field Guide to American Males and is also a weekly contributor to The Rundown,a free daily e-mail service that keeps subscribers informed on what's new and cool in LA. Follow Amy on Twitter @amyhelmes.

Both Kim and Amy think Shakespeare understood the young's true love and pain like no other, from Hamlet's sorry stepdad to Juliet's trauma drama, hence this literate farce, based on "The Tempest."

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Release Date: January 15th, 2013 (My Birthday!)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: ARC
Age Group: Young Adult

Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next. Along with her fellow prisoners, Felicia passes the endless hours downloading memories and mourning what she’s lost—family, friends, and the boy she loved, Neil.

Then a girl in a neighboring chamber disappears, and nobody but Felicia seems to recall she existed in the first place. Something is obviously very wrong. When Julian—a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life—comes to offer Felicia a way out, she learns the truth: a rebellion is brewing to overthrow the Morati, the guardians of Level 2.

Felicia is reluctant to trust Julian, but then he promises what she wants the most—to be with Neil again—if only she’ll join the rebels. Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself in the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind.

Level 2 is such a unique story. I am certain I have never read anything quite like it. It’s so well written, I was drawn into the story almost immediately, but in the first few chapters I had no idea where she might be taking the story and I don’t think I could have imagined exactly what it ended up being.
We spend parts of the story with Felicia in Level 2, where she interacts with the other “drones” in her hive, and eventually the people who break her out of her hive. These moments of her new reality are interwoven with her reliving the memories from her past. She is able to plug-in to the net in Level 2 and select memories that she wants to experience again. While she is trapped in the hive, this is how she passes the time, but after she is broken out the memories actually serve to make her stronger. I really liked how the memories broke up the story. We don’t get to relive her memories in any specific order and most of the time they are only small glimpses into her life, but the more memories we get to see the more things that get pieced together and there is a better sense of who Felicia was and what’s really happened to her.
Once she fully commits herself to the rebellion, she starts to learn how to harness the abilities she has from being in Level 2, and then we get to see a fiercer Felicia. She doesn’t want to be used as anyone’s pawn, but she is determined to find those she cares about and make sure no one hurts them.
The world building and imagery in this was fantastic, as well. Level 2 was a fairly simple landscape, but it had different aspects that painted a very detailed and vivid picture. I could definitely imagine myself standing right next to Felicia, seeing the hives and the mainframe.
This is the first in a series, and I’m so excited to read more about this world, but I felt that the ending was very satisfying. There are things that haven’t been fully explored, and I’m definitely curious about, but she did an excellent job of leaving the story with a decent amount of resolution. Definitely a must read and carve out some time, because this book is so compulsively readable, that you won’t want to put it down :0)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Pretty Sly by Elisa Ludwig

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that showcases our most wanted upcoming releases.
Release Date: March 12th, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Willa Fox was told to stay out of trouble. In fact, it was an order from a very serious juvenile court judge.

However, that was before Willa found her house ransacked and a mysterious email from her mother telling Willa she had to leave Paradise Valley for a while and not to come looking for her. Willa knows her mom’s in danger and that no one at school will miss her after her recent sticky-fingered stunts with the Glitterati. So with the help of her pal Tre and with her degenerate crush Aidan as her wingman, Willa violates her probation and hits the California highway in search of her mom.

But when Willa and Aidan’s journey turns dangerously criminal and they wind up being the focus of a national manhunt, they realize it’s sometimes easier to escape the law than the truth—and that everything Willa thought she knew about her mom, and her life, was wrong.
I absolutely adored Pretty Crooked! Willa and her Robin Hood ways had me completely hooked on that book and I couldn't help rooting for her all along the way. So, naturally, I am dying to get my hands on the sequel. I can't wait to find out what will become of Willa now that she's been found out, I need to spend more time with Tre and Aiden, and it sounds like there is at least a little bit of road trip thrown into this installment! Basically, it sounds like an excellent sequel and I'm sure drooling over the prospect of book three won't be far behind!


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