Saturday, January 28, 2012

In My Mailbox 81

I'm pretty excited about these books, especially Perception because I loved Clarity!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Everneath Teen Book Scene Blog Tour: Top Ten List


Stopping in today is Everneath author Brodi Ashton to share with us a list of ten things her child says to keep her grounded.
Author Top 10s
TOP TEN THINGS MY KID SAYS TO ME TO KEEP ME GROUNDED:
#10 "Percy Jackson already did mythology, and he's a BOY."
#9 "Please don't show your cover to my friends. It's embarrassing."
#8 Me: "I'm going to be in Wal-Mart!" Kid C (shrugging): "I'm in Wal-Mart at least once a week."
#7 "Mom, do you know any REAL authors? Because my teacher needs one to talk to her class."
#6 "Why did you have to write a book about... LOVE?" (Followed by melodramatic gagging sounds)
#5 "Wouldn't it be cool if Nikki ate Jack's BRAINS?! (Yes, he's into Zombies)
#4 (Looking at my cover): "That's a weird looking dude." me: "Um, that's a girl." Him (turning cover upside down): "Oh. I get it." me: "???"
#3 When a friend asked him what my book was about: "Um... Monsters. And dragons. And people who eat BRAINS!" There are none of these things. 
#2 (looking at finished copy) "What, they only made it out of paper?" Tosses it onto floor. me: "Yes, they cancelled the gold leaf printing." 
And the number one thing my kid says to keep me grounded: "WHY CAN'T YOU BE MORE LIKE R.L. STINE?" 
Thank you for sharing that humbling top ten list Brodi! Hopefully we’ll all have people as hilarious as your boy to keep us grounded too.
Description: Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...
In stores now!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Everneath review

Description: Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...



My thoughts: It wasn't a big surprise that I liked Everneath so much. Every review I read about this book mentioned a lot of great things to look forward to. And now that I’ve read it, I have no objections regarding those great things. It's not just because of the characters, which are compelling, or the writing, which fits the story so well. What gave me the greatest satisfaction was the plot and the mythology involved in it.

At this point, there are many YA stories that include (Greek) mythology. So it's becoming difficult to do mythological retellings without seeming old and repetitive. But Everneath thrives in seeming familiar while still being original. We get the familiar with the Hades/Persephone and Orpheus/Eurydice (and even Isis/Osiris) stories, but with a twist. Although Everneath (the place) seems similar to the underworld, it's different. And Everneath, along with other aspects of this book was different enough that they held my interest, because I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know what would be different from the way I normally imagine the underworld, or even what would change in the mythical stories that were used by the main characters to try and figure out how to change Nikki's future. But thankfully, these changes were refreshing and intriguing.
And can I just say that I love Jack! He just really loves this girl, which is why I want them
to have a happy ending sooo bad. On top of loving Jack, I really like Nikki. It's weird but 
she has a way of being sad without ever making me feel depressed when reading Everneath
I just want her life to get better.

And as far as the ending, it's not a cliffhanger, but it ends in a way that has me wondering what in the world Nikki's going to do to solve her new (and some old) problems. I have no clue what she's going to do, but I can't wait to find out!  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Incarnate review

NEWSOUL
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

NOSOUL
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

HEART
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.



My thoughts: My feelings towards this book are still up in the air. There’s no doubt that it was good, but some parts were better than others. I was really excited when it started out. The main character is introduced, and then soon after, Sam. And the way they meet make for a seemingly interesting and entertaining future. But eventually Sam seems dull and kind of wimpy (sometimes), and Ana seems a bit repetitive, constantly saying how she's a nosoul (although Sam says newsoul), and how nosouls don't have feelings or deserve anything good to happen to them (or whatever). And then there are the creatures that exist in this world without an explanation that seems justifiable to me. 
But there are good points. The idea of “recycling” the same souls and having people who have gone from female to male, handsome to plain, fat to skinny, etc., makes things quite interesting. And having soul mates that can recognize each other in any lifetime is pretty cool.
On top of this, what's revealed in the end makes me pretty excited for the next book. The consequences of actions in Incarnate will definitely lead to big changes in the second book. But this is also why I'm still unsure of how well I liked this book. Because it feels like nothing happens until the very end. Incarnate is like one of those kinds of first books that seem more of an introduction than the first part of a story. Overall, I'm still hooked enough to want to read the second book, but with some reservations.
Additional note: This book does get cool points for the way all the characters (excluding Ana of course), and especially Sam, behaved. Something that annoys me is when characters are supposed to be hundreds or thousands of years old, but don’t seem different than a regular teenager. In Incarnate, you can definitely tell Sam, among others, are the ages they claim to be. It was actually really refreshing.

Monday, January 16, 2012

What are you reading on Mondays?

Book(s) read last week:
Tempest by Julie Cross
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Currently reading:
All That Bleeds by Kimberly Frost

Upcoming read:
Dark Parties by Sara Grant

Saturday, January 14, 2012

In My Mailbok 80

The Alchemy of Forever sounds good. And The Fault In Our Stars was AMAZING! Plus my copy had a Yeti in it!
 (ex. pic above...my Yeti is sort of free falling)

Also, if you don't have a copy, you need to get one. NOW!

Tempest review

Description: The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.



My thoughts: Time travel is just one of the many things I’ve wanted to see come out of YA (so much so that I’ve been writing my own story about time-traveling for a while now)
And I finally read one!  And on top of that, it comes from a male’s perspective, which is pretty exciting in and of itself. But I was really nervous because this book was portrayed as being epic. On top of this, the first part of the book seemed kind of slow (because Jackson was in the dark about a lot of things). And if I’m being honest, Jackson and Holly’s relationship wasn’t (and still isn’t) that appealing to me.
 But midway through, the potential for epic…ness started to happen. New relationships were established. Old ones were revealed. And the time traveling bit, which was initially kind of boring (because of how infrequent it happened) became awesome! This increase in likeability also came from a lot of truths being revealed, the truth about Jackson, and the people around him. This included insight into the past and the future(s). I even started to like Holly and Jackson’s relationship by the very end (which is kind of ironic).
Overall, Tempest was good but not epic. But if Julie Cross continues the story the way she ended this one, the second book may in fact be…epic.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Fault In Our Stars review

Description: Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumors tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.



My thoughts: Great books or any form of a great story for that matter can make you cry and laugh. One that surpasses this level of greatness can make you laugh while you’re crying or vice versa. The Fault In Our Stars is that kind of book.
There was never a doubt in my mind about whether I’d like this book. I mean, this is John freaking Green. Plus, Paper Towns is my favorite book (ever). So when my copy arrived yesterday, I dropped my everything by the door, forgetting the review book I was so close to finishing, or the homework assignments I had, because I needed to know just HOW good The Fault In Our Stars was.
Let me tell you. It. Is. Brilliant. Paper Towns is still my favorite book from John Green (and my favorite in general), but this is his best book yet. He has these characters that you have to love, whether it’s because of their clever observations of life, or the way they handle their day-to-day living with having to be declared or seen as: THAT cancer girl or guy. As though that is all they will ever be remembered for (if at all). And this type of life or story would be terribly depressing if it weren’t for the quirky sarcastic wit that almost every character in some form or fashion seemed to have. This is why I could start laughing in the middle of my tear fest, or randomly start crying in the middle of a laughing fit.
And the thing is, there are obvious signs that show when I know a book is excellent. When I’m reading this kind of book, all the situations and problems I have momentarily fall away. And for that day or two, there’s a type of peace.There’s a lot more to be said about this book, or how it makes me feel. Like how these characters are the most perfect imperfect characters I’ve ever met, or that I might also have fallen for Augustus. But that’s not the point, because I’ve already read it and it has made a huge mark (not a scar) in my life. The point is that YOU need to read it. No book is for everyone, but I have no doubt that this one will be enjoyed by a multitude.
Additional note: I loved the book, but here are three distinctive things (other than the characters) that I really loved
-       The parts that were clearly inspired by The Great Gatsby
-       The poetry
-       An Imperial Affliction (which needs to be made into a real book… I’m just sayin)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Top Ten Authors I Wish Would Write Another Book


Some authors are on the list because I am (impossible and) impatient.

J.K. Rowling: Duh

John Green: Yes, his book just came out today. But I’m already half way through and getting depressed at the thought that I probably won’t get to read anything else from him in 2+ years.

Jaclyn Moriarty: Reading The Ghost of Ashbury High blew my mind. Now I just need another novel.
Jenny Han: Despite all of the great books I've read since I started this blog, The Summer I Turned Pretty series might just be my favorite book series (this is ignoring Harry Potter).
Harry Edge: Spray was just so fun! I know it isn’t his latest book, but I need another story in the same world as Spray.
Jennifer Laurens: Overprotected just came out of nowhere and was surprisingly good. Any new story would be great.
Ally Carter: I just want another Heist Society book.
Matthew J. Kirby: Icefall reminded me of the beloved MG stories of my childhood. I dare him to do it again. *Dangles bait*
Joe Schreiber: I love one-day adventures. And Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick was awesome! I wonder what else he could do in the YA genre.
Veronica Rossi: Under The Never Sky was so good! Now I just need the second book. Or any book for that matter.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight review

Description: Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.



My thoughts: How cute is this book?! You don't know yet? Well it is. The characters are multidimensional, the plot is entertaining and the romance is adorable. And all this happens in a twenty-four hour period. That one sentence is what attracted me to this story in the beginning, because it ironically deals with something I and other reviewers don't always like. That insta-love. But somehow, and I don't know how Jennifer E. Smith did it, but somehow she made one day feel like an eternity (in a good way). 

The whole story just had this natural progression that built a good beginning to Hadley and Oliver's relationship, as well as new beginnings with the people around them, specifically Hadley's dad. 

Something I was surprised but also pleased about with this book was that this short story wasn’t all about Hadley and Oliver’s budding relationship. If anything, a large portion of this book had the two characters in two separate situations. But these serious situations added real weight to this story, and made sure that this quick yet awesome read had merit.

Additional notes:
- This book is puppies level cute!
- I really love all the subjects Oliver "studies." It just makes me like him even more.

What are you reading on Mondays?

Books read in the past 2-3 weeks:
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler
Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Currently reading:
Tempest by Julie Cross
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Upcoming read:
Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Monday, January 2, 2012

Top Ten Books I'm Excited To Read in 2012


Most of these books are the second book in a series that I've started and can't wait to continue. The other ones just sound like they're made of awesome!!

Top Ten Books of 2011


This was dark and twisted, and had a huge Greek mythology theme 
(which, for me is the exact equation that equals a satisfied reader). It kind of reminded me of the 
Wicked Lovely series which I wasn't quite sure why but Melissa Marr herself seems to really like this 
series. If I had to pick baddass book of the year, this would be it.


I know badass book has been taken, but not BA character. For this, Allison 
Hewitt takes the cake. And it's even better because there aren't any 
supernatural powers,just a sarcastic girl and her ax.

 I'd waited so long to read this, then it turned out to be one of the best books of the year
(esp. because of the last few pages!)

 
This just came out of nowhere! I thought it would be a good book, but I was so surprised 
by just how good it really was. There's a great plot that never had time to get slow, side characters 
that stole my heart faster than either of the main characters, and main characters that grew in leaps
and bounds to the point that it’s like they’re graduating from something and you’re sitting there 
saying "that's my baby!"
 
 What I got out of this book is everything I'd hoped for, which is saying a lot. 
Because really, how many books have met ALL of your expectations?
 
This is a common phrase that gets used too much, but I've really never read anything like this. 
Who writes a story about a race with killer horses, adds a guy who is sometimes standoffish 
(and not always relatable) and a girl who isn't the standard mixture of adorable and na├»ve? How 
did Maggie do the abnormal and come out with a book that was better than just about anything 
I read in 2011? 
The writing was brilliant.  
The world was unbelievable.  
And the characters were fantastic.  
That is all. 
So many things in this book impressed me. Mentioning God to the point that he’s one of the most 
important parts of the book without making things uncomfortable or preachy was amazing. Then 
there's the main character, who is apart of one of the best transitional changes I've ever read. She 
goes places, and she also changes physically and mentally. And these are the things that normally 
don't always happen in a series, let alone the first book.  
Great dystopian. 
I don't even know how to explain what made this book so great. It was heartbreaking  and honest. 
And that’s basically the only way I could explain it.
 

It was better than the first one (and I really liked the first one). 
It's also simultaneously unique and creative while still reminding me of 
Ocean's Eleven. Even though in this case the leader is a female. Plus, if 
anybody utters the words "we need a team" (or something similar, they already 
have me sold!

Honorable mentions:
It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2) by Jenny Han
Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber
The Shattering by Karen Healey
Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby 
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Clarity by Kim Harrington
Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens
Half-Blood (Covenant, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout 
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