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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cover Reveal: STAINED by Cheryl Rainfield + Book Trailer :0)

Hey guys! Today I'm excited to be bring you the cover reveal for Cheryl Rainfield's upcoming novel, STAINED! Cheryl writes excellent realistic fiction and this one sounds amazing, if not a little bit scary. Plus, the main character has the same name as me and I love that! I really like this cover and I can't wait to read this one, I hope you guys will enjoy it, too. And don't forget to check out the book trailer after the cover reveal :0)

Book Description:
In this heart-wrenching and suspenseful teen thriller, sixteen-year-old Sarah Meadows longs for "normal." Born with a port-wine stain covering half her face, all her life she’s been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. But when she’s abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had, become a hero rather than a victim, and learn to look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside. It’s that—or succumb to a killer.

Tag Line:
Sometimes you have to be your own hero.


Release Date:
Nov 19, 2013

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

From the author:
Like I did with SCARS and HUNTED, I drew on some of my own experiences of bullying, abuse, and trauma to write STAINED and to give it greater emotional depth. Like Sarah in STAINED, I experienced abduction, imprisonment, periods of forced starvation, mind control, and having my life threatened. And like Sarah, I tried hard to fight against my abuser, keep my own sense of self, and escape. I hope readers will see Sarah's strength and courage, and appreciate her emotional growth as she reclaims herself.

Available For Pre-Order on:
Amazon (hardcover): (well, it says you can get an email when avail)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (25) - Edelweiss has gotten in the habit of making my day :0)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and was inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox posts.
I started a new job and things have been completely nutty, so this is a couple of weeks of stuff, but there are some pretty awesome things in there :0)


For Review:
Wasteland by Susan Kim & Laurance Klavan
Asunder by Jodi Meadows
Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards
Flicker & Burn by T.M. Goeglein
White Lines by Jennifer Banash
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
All I Need by Susane Colasanti
Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
Reboot by Amy Tintera
The Ward by Jordana Frankel
Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding
*So excited that this one showed up early!!!*
Between by Kerry Schafer
Be Mine by Jennifer Crusie, Victoria Dahl, Shannon Stacey
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
*This is one of my favorite reads of 2012, books of 2013, so I was so excited to win a pre-order from Victoria last year and it is so gorgeous!*
The Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis
*This was given to me by a co-worker at the bookstore that I work at. She thought I'd really enjoy it*
Huge thanks to Penguin, HarperCollins, Victoria Schwab, and Kathy :0)
That's it for me this week, what did you guys get?!?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Introducing Your New Favorite Blog: The (YA) Bookcase + Giveaways!!

Hi guys! Today I've got a little something different for the blog. I've recently come across a new blog that I have gotten quite fond of. I've chatted with the girl who runs it and we've had some really awesome exchanges about books. What drew me to their blog initially, is that they are all teens and kids (one girl as young as 7) and they are true book nerds! I think it's extremely cool that they have kids and teens reviewing the books that were written for their age groups and I also like that they have both male and female reviewers. Rachel is the girl who runs the blog and it is for her local indie bookstore, which she also works for. They have a lot of great content on their blog, but not a lot of people know that they are there, so I asked Rachel if she'd be interested in having a guest post featured here in hopes of letting more people know that they are around. Rachel was so excited that she also decided to have a couple of giveaways for the occasion and they are awesome giveaways! She's written up a post sharing a little about the bookstore that the blog is for and she, along with her friend Amanda, have made a vlog talking about the rest of their reviewing team, showing us some of the awesome books that they've gotten recently for review, and explaining the giveaways that will be going on at both of our blogs! I'm so excited to introduce you guys to this group and I urge you to go check out their blog, if you haven't already!

Without further ado, I give you The (YA) Bookcase!!

Hi there Book Life followers!


My name is Rachel and I run the book blog over at The (YA) Bookcase. This blog actually has a store, The Bookcase, in Wayzata, Minnesota. A little town right off the lake with boutiques, coffee and ice cream shops, a beach and fun restaurants!


Right now the lake looks like this, but driving on ice is almost just as fun as sailing!


The Bookcase has been around since the 1950’s, moving locations all across the Twin Cities but spending most of its time in Wayzata. Right now the owner if Charlie, my boss, who also owns his own theater company and is quite a character.


What’s cool about having our bookstore in a small town surrounded by big cities is that you see new faces everyday while also seeing regulars that you know the name of their pets, where their kids go to school and what their spouse has read last. It’s a fun community and we have a lot of lasting friendships with our customers that keep the little indie bookstore up and running.


The (YA) Bookcase was an idea in July 2012, the month I was hired as an employee for the independent bookstore. Through an old family friend the manager found out about my own personal book blog I was running at the time. It wasn't popular or anything, but to an old-fashioned bookstore I could navigate two things: social media and websites. Thus, I was hired! A year and a half later, the blog is finally up and running with logos, Twitter, contests, features and more! 


You might ask, why would a bookstore want a book blog?


The answer is soooooo loonnnnng, so I’ll try to spare you the details!


1.       Most of The Bookcase employees are over 50, and while there are some high and college students, all of them read adult books and no one has a clue what kids like. That’s where I come in, making sure the employees are up to date with the latest and greatest and the shelves are stocked. I also coordinate young adult author events too.

2.       When I was hired, they already had a makeshift ‘youth board’ that reviewed their children’s galleys (or ARCs), but no one was running the board and the reviews were happening less and less often. They’d place the review next to the book when it hit shelves, but nobody ever read them. With me hired, I could revamp the youth board and post these reviews online where customers could read them anywhere.

3.       We get something called co-op money when we turn in a review to the publisher (this is a complicated process and we definitely do not get money for every review!). This could range from $15-50 a review. As a little indie bookstore, that's a small but helpful contribution. Obviously, we only turn in our positive reviews, and by sending them a direct link to the blog post they can read it much easier AND other people can read it, which is doubly helpful for them. We're selling and promoting their books online and in person! 

4.       And simply, social media! If we can get a better reach and more people can hear about our events, that's just an added bonus to having the blog.


Whew! With that out of the way, I think the coolest part of our blog is our ambiguous Youth Board—or the ‘team’ as I call it. The reviewers are a montage of people—you have actors, singers, lacrosse players, runners, shoppers--the whole shebang! Many of us grew up together or have been friends for a long time, while others I met when I became an employee.

Because we have many reviewers, there’s bound to be someone that fits your criteria! You can follow their reviews by typing their name into the search box, which will bring up all the reviews they’ve ever done. If you’d like, watch our video to learn more about each reviewer, my relation to them and what we’re reading these next few months! Also, we explain our giveaway happening over here on Sarah’s blog and on our own blog.

Aren't those girls adorable? They crack me up everytime they do a vlog. You can tell how geeked they get over books and it's obvious they are really good friends :0)
How about a giveaway before you go? I thought you guys might like that!
*This is a U.S. only giveaway! I’m sorry international peeps, we’ve got no moolah!
And don't forget...
We hope you stop by our blog in the future and stay in touch! We love talking books with book lovers and sometimes we like to send you a book you’re looking forward to reading as a thank you.
There you have it, a couple of the gals from The (YA) Bookcase! I hope you'll go check out their blog and possibly make some new bookish friends. Rachel is an absolute doll to chat with and I'm sure everyone else on their review team is just as awesome. They post reviews regularly and even have a couple of regular features that they came up with. I know I love finding new favorite blogs, so I hope some of you will have found yours here :0)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

Release Date: July 17th, 2012
Publisher: Plume
Format: Paperback
Anna Emerson is a thirty-year-old English teacher desperately in need of adventure. Worn down by the cold Chicago winters and a relationship that’s going nowhere, she jumps at the chance to spend the summer on a tropical island tutoring sixteen-year-old T.J.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to go anywhere. His cancer is in remission and he wants to get back to his normal life. But his parents are insisting he spend the summer in the Maldives catching up on all the school he missed last year.

Anna and T.J. board a private plane headed to the Callahan’s summer home, and as they fly over the Maldives’ twelve hundred islands, the unthinkable happens. Their plane crashes in shark-infested waters. They make it to shore, but soon discover that they’re stranded on an uninhabited island.

At first, their only thought is survival. But as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.
I so wish that I'd found this book sooner. I'd only really seen it mentioned once or twice, but didn't really know or think much about it. I happened to find it on sale for 50% off at the bookstore, so I picked it up and read the back and decided it sounded like something worth giving a shot. I started it the next week and 24 hours later I was finished, and I was also in love with every single page.
Who hasn't thought of what it would be like to be stranded on a deserted island? Tracey Garvis Graves has definitely written a book where you can completely picture yourself right there on that island with Anna and T.J. The story takes place over the course of many years, so there are quite a few time jumps, but they never made the story feel bumpy or rushed. The two of them encounter such an array of hardships on that island, things it would be hard to deal with under normal circumstances, but Anna and T.J. always seem to come out on the other side.
I loved how things unfolded between the two of them. When they landed on that island they were complete strangers, but being stranded together and relying on each other for support and companionship, the bond they form was so incredible. Gosh, there are so many things I want to say about this book, but I absolutely can't because I don't want to spoil things.
Just trust me when I say that this book is so amazing and it has stuck with me ever since I turned the last page. I'm so glad I decided to pick this one up and I keep telling everyone I know to read it. Beautifully written, compelling storyline, and a fantastic conclusion. This is definitely a winner and I am eagerly awaiting Tracey's next novel :0)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky

Release Date: January 8th, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte
Format: Hardcover
After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old one.

The moment we got together, all my preconceptions about romance and sex were turned upside down. I discovered physical and emotional firsts I never knew existed. I learned to let go of my past by living in the present. It was thrilling. It was hot. It was just what the doctor ordered.

But I couldn’t avoid my future forever.
*May contain minor spoilers from the first book ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND*

Daria Snadowsky is excellent at writing the awkward teenager. When I first started reading Anatomy of a Boyfried, a couple of years ago, I was kind surprised by how realistic her characters felt. This time I was expecting it, and it definitely added to Dominique's story this time around.

I was concerned that Dom would be too focused on her break-up during this novel, because she brings it up quite a bit in the beginning, but thankfully we didn't get too much dwelling on that. She still had some of that internal struggle and overthinking, when she first met Guy, but she adjusted her perspective pretty quick and let herself get to know him. I loved the interactions between Dom and Guy, because they were awkward, geeky, and totally felt authentic. Sure Guy is a frat boy, and in a lot of ways a stereotypical one, but he had so many unexpected qualities and I thought he was a nice fit for Dom's summer romance.

This story takes place over the summer, so Dom is staying at home and working at the hospital. In some ways this was awesome, because her best friend Amy is home, too, so we get to see the two of them together. But I wish we had gotten to see Dom at school, instead. It would have been nice to see her school life and how that might have affected her first romantic entanglement since her break-up, but it was nice to have familiar characters from the first book back in this one.

I actually really enjoyed the ending for this one. Dom came out knowing herself a little better and realizing that a guy doesn't have to define your world. The ending really fit this story without being typical or cliche. It certainly wasn't what I was expecting and I think that might be why I liked it so much. If you haven't read either of these books, I definitely recommend giving them a shot. They are honest and so realistic :0)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (24) - The one where the Pubs make my year :0)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and was inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox posts.
This week S&S made my life via Edelweiss and Disney Hyperion blew my mind w/ the fastest turnaround on a review request I have ever seen! All in all, it's been an awesome week :0)

For Review:
Golden by Jessi Kirby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*I can't even begin to express just how excited I am about this!*
The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston
School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins!!!!!!!!!!!!
*Hex Hall is one of my all time favorite series, so imagine my excitement for Izzy's spin-off!*
Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton
The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
*I read the first chapter of this in an eARC during the holidays, but then life got way too crazy. I can't wait to finish! (Not pictured, because I forgot)*
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (PB)
*I'm in this book! Or, my blog is, at least! I don't normally own both HC and PB of books, but this was a justifiable exception.*
On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves
*This one sounds really incredible. I've read some excellent reviews for it and I'm really looking forward to starting it.*
A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
*This is my first ever historical romance. I'm not super into old timey things, but I only hear great things about Sarah MacLean and this book actually sounds really spectacular. So psyched! (I might have also pre-ordered a signed copy of the 2nd book, because I have that much faith that I will love this.)*

*HUGE thanks to Simon & Schuster, Disney Hyperion, Spencer Hill Press, Sourcebooks and Penguin!*

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) Tour #GeekGrlzRevenge

I am so excited to bring you the first part of the #GeekGrlzRevenge book tour, today! We've got an awesome blog post by author Laurie Boyle Crompton about her main character and an interior sketch from artist Anne Cain! Then you can check back in February for the second part of the tour and my review on the book :0)

Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines, drawing comics and feeling invisible. She's desperate for soccer star Mark to notice her. And when her BFF texts Mark a photo of Blaze in sexy lingerie, it definitely gets his attention. After a hot date in the back of her minivan, Blaze is flying high, but suddenly Mark's feelings seem to have been blasted by a freeze-ray gun, and he dumps her. Blaze gets her revenge by posting a comic strip featuring uber-villain Mark the Shark. Mark then retaliates by posting her "sext" photo, and, overnight, Blaze goes from Super Virgin Girl to Super Slut. That life on the sidelines is looking pretty good right about now...


Why My Character is “Comic Book Cool”

Blaze’s character showed up in my mind like Blam! Pow! “Tell my story!” She’s really into comics and is sort of stuck in her life as an outsider, but she isn't ashamed of being a geek. She displays her superhero buttons proudly and is constantly drawing and reading comics. I couldn't wait to write about her. Of course, working on a project where studying comic books counted as research was a bonus!

My step-father has this Ah-mazing! collection much like the one Blaze’s dad has in the book and I remember staying up late at night reading through stacks of them as a kid. I would try to tell my friends about these awesome characters like the Silver Surfer and Iron Man, and I’d even try to imitate Thor’s Norse God way of speaking. This was before the movies made these guys more mainstream and I was definitely on the fringe with my obsession, but when I’d find another comic book nerd we had an instant bond.

As I was writing, Blaze surprised me when she fought back against Mark the way she did and I knew at that point I could just allow her character to take over. Of course things don’t go as she plans, but no matter what tight spots she finds herself in, she uses comic books to guide and empower her. Readers who aren't into comic books will definitely still enjoy Blaze, but my hope is that she will inspire them to check out comics for themselves, too!

Here's a glimpse at some of the awesome interior sketch art by Anne Cain!
© 2012 Anne Cain

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bookapalooza Scavenger Hunt w/ Making the Grade!


The Bookapalooza Scavenger Hunt Has Begun!

Making the Grade is Celebrating One Year of Blogging! And to add to that celebration, Bookapalooza has been created in order to share our love of reading with all of you - and win great prizes while you're at it. To see all that Bookapalooza has in store for you, visit Making the Grade.

There have been a lot of good things that have come into my life since I started blogging. I've met some wonderful new friends and authors, I get to talk to people I admire on a regular basis, I've been introduced to so many books and genres I might never have read before, and I get to share all of that right here on the blog. Of all of the worlds I've been given the opportunity to step into, there is one author whose books consistently make me smile and her next release date is never soon enough. So I just wanted to say thank you to her, however shallow my thanks may be.
An Open Letter to Miranda Kenneally:
First, I would like to say thank you, for making it possible for me to enjoy sports without actually having to participate in them. This may seem like a small thing and pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of the world, but I promise you, for me it is epic. Let me explain. I loathe running, I’m not a fan of grass ( I know, it’s weird), sweaty people seriously gross me out (including when I’m the sweaty person), and I am mildly offended by the blatant overuse of high five amongst athletes. Knowing all of that, most would assume that I would never pick up a novel about a girl athlete, but I like to keep people guessing. Jordan and Parker’s stories almost made me want to join the team and thanks to you, I have two new fictional best friends.
Mostly, though, I would like to thank you for the boys. Has anyone ever told you that you have mastered the art of writing the swoony teenaged boy? I’m sure they have, but I’d like to tell you again. You have definitely mastered the art. I’m most definitely too old be swooning over all of these wonderful boys you’ve put before me, but I really don’t care. I’ll take the Sams and Wills of the literary world any day. Book boyfriends are not hard to come by these days, but book boyfriends that are so realistically portrayed are definitely not a dime a dozen. And one thing that definitely makes a book better is when an awesome, well-drawn female heroine has an equally awesome and well-drawn male lead. So thank you for them and I look forward to meeting Matt, whom I will be introducing myself to very soon. Coincidentally, I have a history with boys named Matt, so he might just be my favorite yet.
Lastly, I just wanted to thank you for all of the sleep I’ve lost staying up to read your books and for all of the ways that you totally rock my bookshelves. As long as you keep writing books, I promise to keep reading them!
Wanna know more? Complete the Bookapalooza! Scavenger Hunt and you, too, can delve into the life of a book blogger.
Complete the hunt to win great prizes!
By completing the Hunt you will uncover a 9-word phrase that can earn you up to 35 bonus entries in the two EPIC giveaways being offered as part of Bookapalooza! (Giveaways are listed below.)
"But how do I complete the Bookapalooza! Scavenger Hunt?"
Nine blogs are listed below - each with their own unique post that includes a Secret Word you will use to complete a special bookish phrase. The completed phrase will allow you to earn 35 bonus entries in the two giveaways also listed below. In addition, each blog will likely be offering a giveaway of their very own!

  • Visit each blog below in the order that they are listed. Read their unique posted created just for you!
  • Keep an eye out for a Secret Word highlighted in BOLD RED somewhere within each post.
  • Continue to visit each blog in order until you have collected all nine Secret Words.
  • When put together, the nine Secret Words will build a special bookish phrase.
  • Enter the completed phrase into the two Rafflecopter forms located below for 25 bonus entries!
  • Name the author or book from which the phrase is taken to earn an additional 10 bonus entries!
  • Be sure to check out the giveaways offered by each blog on the Hunt for more great prizes!

Got that? Good! Then Let's Go Hunting!

A Big Box of Bookish Fun!

As a THANK YOU to the followers of my blog, I will be offering a giveaway of EPIC proportions: Ten books hand-selected by me, a SIGNED Beautiful Creatures movie poster + plus a plethora of awesome (most are signed!) swag. One winner takes all! Open to US/Canada only, to entrants aged 13 and older.

What's included?

SIGNED Beautiful Creatures Movie Poster (not framed) The Diviners by Libba Bray (Hardcover) Origin by Jessica Khoury (Hardcover) Dust Lands: Rebel Heart by Miora Young (Hardcover) Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (UK Paperback Edition) An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (Paperback) The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Rare Slipcase + Arc) Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (ARC) Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (ARC) Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons (ARC) Everbound by Brodi Ashton (ARC) Beautiful Creature Swag (Shirt, Lip Gloss and Phone Cleaners) Bookmarks and Stickers (Most are signed!) Dust Lands Water Bottle

Signed Books by the Dozen!

Twelve fantastic authors. Twelve amazing signed books. Starting tomorrow, January 2nd, I will be unveiling the first author taking part in an EPIC signed book giveaway! One author will be revealed every 2-3 days until all twelve authors and all twelve signed books are revealed by the end of the month. PLUS! Each author will share their own Appreciation Stories here on the blog as part of Bookapalooza! One winner will receive all twelve signed books! Open to US/Canada only, to entrants aged 13 and older.

Head on over to Fic Fare to check out the next stop on the scavenger hunt and find the second secret word :0)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (23) - The small week :0)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and was inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox posts.
Just a few this week and I am quite okay with that! My TBR pile is practically toppling over as it is :0)
For some reason blogger is making it impossible for me to upload a photo right now, so unfortunately, all I have is a list :0(

I'll keep trying and hopefully get a picture up soon. I hope everyone had a great book week!


Sealed with a Curse by Cecy Robson
The Sky Always Hears Me: And the Hills Don't Mind by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hooked by Liz Fichera

Release Date: January 31st, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: ARC
When Native American Fredericka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile...

My new favorite contemporary subgenre is "Girls on boys sports teams". Miranda Keneally first won me over in this particular niche and Liz Fichera has now added herself to my list. This story was such a fun romance, but at the same time had some serious stuffed worked into. Then add in that the main character lives on an Indian reservation and you have got some seriously cool stuff going on all throughout the book. I adore Fred. She can be my best friend any day. She's such a smart girl and is killer at golf, but she's also quite modest and is more concerned about the others in her life than herself. She has a great relationship with her father, in fact he's the one who kind of introduced her to golfing in the first place. And the love between them was so clear and the pride he felt for his daughters accomplishments was a wonderful thing to read.

Ryan. Ryan, Ryan, Ryan. See, here's the thing. I didn't like Ryan at first. Not even a little bit. He was a jerk and not just to Fred. It was wholly unappealing and I wasn't sure I would ever warm up to him. As we get a little further into the story, we see that maybe Ryan is the way he is because of his environment and he's not so sure that's who he really wants to be. He did, or helped with, some pretty awful pranks on Fred and I would have totally understood her not wanting to ever give him the time of day. But as with most misunderstood male heroes, he made up for it in a lot of little ways and some pretty big ones, too. I think maybe I love him more, because at first I didn't like him at all.

I think golf was a cool sport to have as the third main character in the book. I don't think I've ever read anything that really features golf in any way, but it was a such major part of so many of these characters lives. I'll admit I am not a fan of watching golf. I am one of the many who find it terribly dull, but Liz wrote about it in such a way that I didn't find myself getting bored with it or even really thinking about that I was reading about golf, at all. Definite props to her on that one.

This is a solid contemporary with an excellent heroine and a hero you will grow to love. The reservation added some really cool culture to the story. I can't wait to read the companion to this one coming out in 2014. Grab a copy of this one as soon as you get a chance :0)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Release Date: January 22nd, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: ARC
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous-it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

Is it weird that a small part of me wants to pass on so I can stay in The Archive forever? Yeah, I guess that is pretty weird. I suppose I will just be happy to live in it through multiple re-reads. This book is amazing. It pulled me and didn't let go. The whole of The Archive, with it's Histories, Librarians, and Keepers, is such a wonderful world and so well built. Everytime Mackenzie stepped into the Narrows I could picture it in my mind and felt like I was right there with her. And in my mind The Archive is the biggest, most gorgeous library that has ever existed.

You kind of feel like the story is taking places in two different worlds, even though they exist in the same time. Of course, it's when things meant to stay in The Archive try and crossover into our world, that things get interesting. Being a Keeper means that Mackenzie is responsible for sending Histories back to The Archive when they have escaped. Something that becomes more frequent and increasingly difficult as the story goes on. In the beginning it pretty much seems like Mackenzie can't be beat and there is nothing that she can't handle, but as things get more out of control, we start to see that even she isn't infallible.

Interspersed throughout the story are memories of her and her Da, who was the Keeper that passed the key and power on to her. I really liked these scenes, because it gave us more insight into why Mackenzie wanted to do this so badly and why it remains so important to her. It also gives us a little background into The Archive and some of the people who oversee it. Roland, one of the Librarians, is magnificent and most definitely one of my favorite characters here. He's in charge and does what he can to keep Mackenzie in check, but when push comes to shove he isn't afraid to break a few rules if necessary.

There is even a little bit of romance thrown in, which I loved, but even if it hadn't been there this book would have been superb. This book has such an imaginative storyline and promises awesome things for the rest of the series. I, for one, cannot wait until book two! Of course, re-reading book one a time or two won't hurt :0)


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