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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (10)

"Waiting on Wednesday"  is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


This week's WoW is . . .  


Defiance by C. J. Redwine


Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her. 

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared. 

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
So, I featured this in a cover reveal just last week.  But I don't think I managed to express just how very in love with this cover I am.  I like girls in gorgeous dresses as much as the next person, but while those other YA girls are lounging about in their dresses, Rachel is kneeling here in a badass cloak with a badass armband.  (And really, really lovely hair . . . )  There's an absolutely stunning but very simple forest background, and then a dark, eerie castle below.  The font is bold, but not to the point of distraction.  It seems to fit the pitch to the T.  It is, quite simply, flawless.


But I don't just want this so it can sit on my shelf and look pretty.  I want it because I think I'll be completely and utterly in love with the story itself.    Kickass military girl that can hold her own in a fight, fantasy and monsters, fighting and drama and love.  Excuse me while I fangirl.


What's your WoW this week? Leave your links in the comments and I'll go check them out!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (11)

Teaser Tuesday, a meme hosted by Should Be Reading is really easy and fun to participate in. All you have to do is:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser
 Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce

"Won't they come after you for mutiny, Sarge?" I asked him.  "You and them in there?"


"I ain't mutinyin'!" he said, his eyes wide and innocent.  "I'm gettin' rid of a cracked gixie as has been makin' trouble in my waitin' room, screamin' mad lies about the Deputy Provost! Gave her the sole o' my boot, didn't I?  Dunno how she got runnin' loose here in Guards House!"


I stood on tiptoe and kissed his cheek.  "You're a wicked one.  Gods all bless, Sarge. Help is coming," I said.  Then Achoo and I took off.


So, a) yes, that is much more than two sentences, but I couldn't help myself, and b) yes, I'm still reading the same book.  It's not that Bloodhound is slow; not by any means.  It's that schoolwork has become my greatest enemy, and other activities have been keeping me busy.  It'll be finished soon, though. I'm almost there.

(Also, just to set the record straight, Achoo is not a human. Achoo is a scent hound.)

What're you reading this Tuesday? Feel free to link in the comments.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cover Reveal: Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas

Publisher: Entangled Publishiing
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Preorder it on Amazon!
Add it to your shelf on Goodreads!
My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings.

And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.

The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.

But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I’ve already helped them win.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I'll admit, I'm not usually a fan of the first-person pitches.  They often feel too chatty, too informal, too melodramatic.  But honestly?  I kind of love this.  The first person is completely worth it just for that last line.  And just the idea itself--clairvoyance, wings, secrets, forbidden romance, and a bunch of other fantastic stuff that we'll probably not understand until we read it.  Sheer awesomeness.

Personally, I'm a big fan of this cover.  I don't love the font and placement of the author name, but the title font, the haunting image, the dark colors . . . it's definitely working for me.  I particularly love the wing sprouting from her eye. I'm assuming that's what the pitch means by "her raven wings," which makes the cover that much more awesome.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cover Reveal: My Heart Be Damned, Defiance, and The Lost Girl

My Heart Be Damned by Chanelle Gray
Publisher: Knight Romance Publishing
Release Date: July 5, 2012
Add it to your shelf on Goodreads!
If you're a Hunter, there are only three things you must know about the Damned. The Damned can't lie, can't live without a body, and can't leave you alone. 


Amerie Carter has the blood of a Hunter, unfortunately. She is one of a rare line of women who, upon her sixteenth birthday, will come into extraordinary powers used to hunt the Damned; escaped souls from Hell who take up residence in human bodies. It's supposed to be her sweet sixteen, but Amerie has never dreaded a day more, and her worst fears are confirmed as the celebration turns tragic when her mother is killed. 


Grief-stricken, Amerie vows to never hunt a day in her life. She's determined to hide behind normalcy, attending school, hanging out with her friends and working an after-school job at The Hut. All Amerie wants is to be left alone. But try telling the Damned that. The harder Amerie tries to ignore her powers, the more the Damned come looking for her. 


When an attack leaves one of Amerie's friends in the hospital, and endangers the lives of her fellow students, she knows she has no choice: Hunt or Be Hunted. Thankfully, the gorgeous, secretive, and so-off-limits Marshall offers to train Amerie to take out her supernatural enemies. But training with Marshall means leading lying to her friends, her family, and confronting the mysterious circumstances surrounding her mother’s death. 


Amerie soon discovers she’s not the only one with something to hide, Marshall's secrets might kill her before the Damned get the chance.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Defiance by C. J. Redwine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Add it to your shelf on Goodreads!
Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her. 


At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared. 


As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Preorder it on Amazon!
Add it to your shelf on Goodreads!

Eva's life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination - an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her 'other', if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it's like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she's ever known - the guardians who raised her, the boy she's forbidden to love - to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive. 
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I don't think I can even express just how excited I am about these books.  Between the stunning cover of My Heart Be Damned and the beauty of the Balzer + Bray release date twins, publishers are clearly doing something right in that department.  Covers aside, though, don't these all just seem completely fantastic? Damned souls, badass girl warriors hunted by an indestructible monster, a girl who is simply meant to fill up the gap left by another?  I just keep reading the pitches, staring blankly at the covers, and refreshing the page in hopes that the release date will magically change.  July and August are a long time away, and I've never been known for my patience, especially concerning books that seem as stunning as the three of these.

What do you guys think?


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (9)

"Waiting on Wednesday"  is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


This week's WoW is . . . 



Speechless by Hannah Harrington


The story of a girl named Chelsea Knot who takes a voluntary oath of silence after her gossip-mongering ways yield unexpected consequences…






*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ 
Yes, I realize that this only has a sentence-long description. Yes, I want to read it anyway.  First off, even that one sentence description would probably be enough to hook me, even if I wasn't already smitten with the author's writing; a girl who swears to silence after her gossiping goes too far?  Yes, please.  


More importantly, though, it's written by Hannah Harrington.  I was completely in love with her first novel, so if Speechless is anywhere near as stunning as Saving June, it'll be a quick favorite.  


Also, that cover.  I know some aren't fond of it because of how very plain it is, but I'm . . . in love with it, to be honest.  I just picture this novel sitting on shelves, brilliant white with its bold, raised text and dark tagline, amongst a horde of snappy dresses and flashy colors.  And it makes me smile.  Because you know what this novel will do? It will stand out.  It will be the one that catches your eye.  It will be the one in your bag when you leave that store.


So, yes. I am completely in love with the concept of this one, and I wish September didn't seem so terribly far away.  


What's your WoW this week? Leave a link in the comments and I'll be sure to check it out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (10)

Teaser Tuesday, a meme hosted by Should Be Reading is really easy and fun to participate in. All you have to do is:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser
 Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce

"Goddess save me and mine," whispered Phil.  He now sat all the way at the edge of the seat, eyeing the bird.  "You're sure he's no demon?"
"He's just cracked, is all.  This is Slapper."  I didn't blame Phil for being flinchy of the bird.  He looks like any moment he'll start to spout prophecy.  






This is another reread, but I love it as much as the first time.  (It helps that I only remember half of it.)  I've yet to find a Tamora Pierce book that I don't love, and I'm particularly fond of this series.  Rereading it just so I'll remember everything before beginning Mastiff.

What're you reading this Tuesday? Feel free to link in the comments!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Terrier: Review and Giveaway

Publisher: Random House
Pages: 592
Publication Date: October 24, 2006
Type: Paperback, gift
Tamora Pierce begins a new Tortall trilogy introducing Beka Cooper, an amazing young woman who lived 200 years before Pierce's popular Alanna character. For the first time, Pierce employs first-person narration in a novel, bringing readers even closer to a character that they will love for her unusual talents and tough personality.

Beka Cooper is a rookie with the law-enforcing Provost's Guard, and she's been assigned to the Lower City. It's a tough beat that's about to get tougher, as Beka's limited ability to communicate with the dead clues her in to an underworld conspiracy. Someone close to Beka is using dark magic to profit from the Lower City's criminal enterprises--and the result is a crime wave the likes of which the Provost's Guard has never seen before.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ 


This is my third time rereading Terrier.  Some books, after a read or two, grow old.  You enjoyed them the first time, but they're not ones you could pick up again with the same expectations.  Terrier is not one of those books.  Tamora Pierce's novels, period, are not those books.  No matter how many times I reread them, I'm still stunned by the sheer flawlessness of her writing, her characters, and her world.


Tamora Pierce's books are, for lack of a better word, very . . . mature.  By that, I do not mean they stray into the realm of Adult Fiction; they are still very firmly grounded in YA.  In fact, I first read her books when I was nine and enjoyed them.  But it's almost as if she is above the common tropes and pitfalls of YA; even when she uses something that might, in another book, seem cliche, she manages to make it into something so natural and perfect that you wonder why you ever questioned it in the first place.  This isn't a book written for hormone-fueled teenagers to angst over; it's a book written from a teenage character's point of view, but it is rich and complex and not dumbed down in the slightest.  It's the kind of YA book that people of any age can fall in love with.


One of the things that really sets Tamora Pierce apart from other fantasy authors, and other authors in general, is just how well she knows her world.  She has written five series in this world, and she could write more, because it is so vast and detailed that the story possibilities are endless.  When you read Tamora Pierce's books,  you get the sense that this woman knows every last detail of every last country and city and neighborhood in this magical realm she's created.  But the best part of this is that she doesn't burden you with the knowledge.  She doesn't dump it all over your head.  She simply slips you into her world and lets you discover for yourself.  This is one of the many reasons that I've always loved Tamora Pierce's books, despite not being the greatest fan of high fantasy.  Oftentimes, something that put me off other books of the same genre was the amount of world-building they attempted to do through telling.  Perhaps they knew their world well, but they tried to show their reader just how much they knew this world within the span of a few pages.  Tamora Pierce never does that.  She gives brief histories when necessary, but for the most part, she lets you explore the world on your own.

This was Tamora Pierce's first foray into first person aside from a few short stories, and I have to say, it worked brilliantly.  I love all of her books, so clearly she also excels at third person, but I think the first person, journal format was absolutely perfect for this book.  It gave it both that detail and that sense of immediacy that a story like this really needed. And there's even a reasonable explanation for why Beka would be keeping such a detailed journal in the first place; she is practicing for when she must make full reports as a Dog.  Like any realistic journal-keeper, she is not consistent in her length and detail; some days she is too tired or too frustrated to write, some days she simply glosses over because nothing important happened, and some days . . . well, one day she gets drunk and writes accordingly.  I really appreciated these little touches.

I also appreciate that she gave them dialogue as would be fitting for those living in the scummy part of town in something akin to Medieval times.  They had their own little vocabulary which is all perfectly understandable in context, but really helps to add that sense of realism.  A huge pitfall for many authors setting their books in historical times, or historical times within a fantasy world, is accurate dialogue, but Tamora Pierce pulls it off wonderfully.

Despite the impeccable writing and world-building, however, where this book--and Tamora Pierce herself--truly shines is the characters.  The characters are the best because they are so, so real.  Every last one of them.  She handles such a wide, lively cast of characters and manages to make each one unique, each one a real person with real hobbies and thoughts and opinions and flaws.   I cannot think of a single side character in here that is not completely three-dimensional.  I fell in love with those I was meant to fall in love with and hated those I was meant to hate, and then there were some who did terrible things but whom I couldn't quite hate because it was so easy to see why they would do what they'd done.

And Beka. Oh, Beka.  I love her to death.  I love every part of her.  There are such a rare few main characters who never once get on my nerve throughout an entire book (much less a 590-page one), but Beka makes the cut.  She is yet another of Pierce's "strong female heroines," but as with all the others, she does not fit the modern YA concept of a "strong female heroine."  She is kickass at times, but she is not infallible; she is not flawless in her fighting, nor in her problem-solving.  She is painfully shy, but not, as one often sees today, in a way that is meant to be endearing.  She is not the awkward, quiet girl who meets a bold man that finds her shyness so damn adorable and sweet, etc. etc.   She considers it a cripple, something that interferes with her ability to arrest Rats and report at the Magistrate's Court.  However, despite her shyness, she doesn't simply let others walk all over her.  When Rosto, the charming Rat who is constantly flirting with her and whom she's made very clear she will not get involved with, makes too bold of an advance, she doesn't fall into his arms or simply let it slide;  she threatens to punch him (or mocks him for being "old," knowing it will sting his pride and turn him away).

I know many people may steer clear of this book because it is a high fantasy, or a mystery, or a "cop" book, or all of the above. If you are one of those people, I'd advise you to give it another look.  Because I am not a fan of high fantasy or cop books, and I am not always crazy about mysteries, yet this book is among my favorites.  Perhaps you'd enjoy it as much as I have.

In case I haven't already made it clear, this book gets a solid five stars.



Buuut wait! There's more! (totally did not just say that in a commercial voice . . . )  I love this book so much that I want to give others the chance to read it.  Now, if I had only one copy, I'd be pretty tight-fisted, because I'm leery about giving away my favorites.  However, I somehow ended up with not one, but two paperback copies of Terrier by Tamora Pierce.  So I am giving away one of them to you, my lovely followers!

Simply enter the Rafflecopter form below.
(giveaway is for US only--I'm really sorry to all of you international followers, but I just don't have the money to ship anywhere else)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal: Inbetween by Tara Fuller

Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Preorder it on Amazon
Add it to your shelf on Goodreads
Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn't let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ 
I love the sound of this one!  I've always been a fan of reaper books, so this one's right up my alley.  Also, for some reason the idea of other reapers teasing one of their own made me giggle--you don't usually think of reapers as the teasing type.  


And the cover itself is awesome.  Simple but striking.  I'd pick this off the shelf.


What do you guys think?



Saturday, February 18, 2012

In My Mailbox (3) and Breathless Reads Tour Stop Recap

So, yesterday I attended my first YA book signing! A couple middle grade authors have attended my schools in the past few years, but I've never been able to go to a Young Adult signing until now, so this was my very first.  When I saw that this Breathless Reads stop was less than an hour from where I live, I nagged my parents endlessly until they finally agreed to chauffeur me there and back.  I am so, so glad they did.

The tour stop . . . was awesome.  First, someone who I assume was part of the tour asked them a lot of cool questions and gave each author (Marie Lu, Beth Revis, Jessica Spotswood, and Andrea Cremer) a chance to respond.  There were a lot of cool questions and answers, but a couple in particular stand out:

The questioner specifically asked Beth who David Tennant would be playing if Across the Universe became a movie, and Beth informed us that the entire character of Harley, from appearance to personality, is based off of David Tennant and his somewhat crazy (but absolutely adorable/lovable/awesome) portrayal of the Doctor.

When asked what they would do if they were dropped into their world for a day with nothing to their name, Marie replied with something along the lines of "I"m assuming I'd be in the poor district, so . . . I'd try to find Day, but I wouldn't be able to, so I'd find a Republic flag and just run around going 'YAY WOOHOO GO REPULIC!' so they'd love me and send me to college and then I'd fight against them from within."

After the questioner was done, they were opened to the audience.  People asked some great questions and I really liked hearing their answers (particularly because they had me laughing 90% of the time).  Some more memorable ones:

All of the authors agreeing that YA "is not a reading level, but rather a style of writing."  I wholeheartedly agree to this.  YA isn't just fodder for teens; if it was, there wouldn't be such a wide audience of adults who enjoy it.  YA authors don't dumb their books down to fit this genre, which is why the best YA books can be enjoyed by people of all ages. That is one of the many awesome things about YA: it appeals to the widest crowd.

When asked about the creation of characters and character names, Beth admitting that the first person to die a gruesome death in AtU was named after an incredibly obnoxious student of hers.  She said she was straight with him about it, and he didn't mind, but then all of her other students insisted that THEY wanted to be killed off, so everyone who dies in A Million Suns is named after one of her pupils.

Marie admitting that when she made outlines, her characters often got different ideas.  This has always been my problem with outlines.  I tell my characters exactly what they're supposed to do, when they're supposed to get certain places, and then they decide to take a course completely their own.  She said that in one draft she literally did not realize a plot twist was going to occur until the moment she wrote it.  This led to the scrapping of an entire outline.

And lastly, Jessica and Andrea saying that their favorite part of making characters was having the characters surprise them, learning things about them they hadn't known before.  This was another thing I could relate to; it's really awesome to see your characters sort of grow before your eyes.

Finally, once these questions were done, we got to the signing.  This is where the IMM part comes in! The only books of theirs that I owned were Legend and Across the Universe, so I hurried to the back and convinced my mother (read: begged and pleaded and bargained for about five minutes straight) to help me pay for A Million Suns, Born Wicked, and the entire Nightshade series.  B&N cards only go so far.

When I reached their table, I got each book signed and personalized, in addition the tour poster we were all given for free. Besides my name and theirs, each author wrote a little saying that applied to the book they were signing. Sadly, I was idiotic enough to forget my iTouch, so I do not have pictures of the tour stop itself, but I do have pictures of the books and their lovely signatures!  I apologize for the poor quality; these are from my iTouch, which is not known for having a fabulous camera.

Across the Universe                                                
(already owned this one, but that's irrelevant)


















"Reach for the stars!"





A Million Suns



















"Seek the truth!"



Legend
(which I also already possessed)






























"Walk in the light."



Born Wicked






























"Blessed or cursed? You decide."



Nightshade






























"Dream wild."



Wolfsbane



















"Keep up the wild hunt."



Bloodrose


















"Seek your own path."



And finally, along with these fabulous books, I got some gorgeous bookmarks from the lovely Wendy Higgins.  





















So there you have it!  The tour stop was a ton of fun, and if any of you live near upcoming stops I'd highly recommend you drop by.  This was definitely an awesome experience, and I now have even more books to add to my TBR pile.  I really need a new bookshelf.

What did you guys get in your mailbox this week?  Feel free to link to your IMM in the comments!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nevermore

Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Atheneum Books)
Pages: 543
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
Type: Paperback, bought
Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear that he'd rather not have anything to do with her, either. But soon Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her freinds and possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying shories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. 

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagned and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Can she save Varen from the madness taking hold of him? Or will they both be consumed by the shadows of his nightmares?

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ 

*Disclaimer* I am writing this semi-blind, so if there are an abundance of typos, please inform me, and I shall go over this as soon as I receive glasses.  Also, it will be rather short.  My apologies.

I so wanted this one to be good.  It seemed to have gotten a much more positive response than the majority of YA PNRs in the market today, and it was based off of Poe. I absolutely adore Poe, so that immediately sold it for me.

I was a bit confused when I originally looked at the rating on Goodreads.  It was not a bad rating, certainly, but not nearly as high a rating as I'd expected, considering all the top reviews were four or five stars.  And then when I finished, I couldn't fathom how people might give this less than a four.  But then I realized.  While I certainly do not have proof of this, I'd wager a guess that the one or two stars came from those who read the first 100 pages or so and then just gave up. DNF. One or two stars.

I will admit that the first 100 pages or so are a bit of a slog.  It would seem that stereotypes and melodrama abound, and there is little-to-no supernatural to be seen.  I was a bit put off, but I reminded myself of the glowing reviews and the fact that this book had 443 pages left, and I pushed on.

I am so glad I did.

This book is everything I wish paranormals of today would be.  It is dark and haunting and ridiculously creative.  It is a book with real characters and real relationships and real emotion.  It doesn't just have a plot  -- it has a crazy, beautiful, ridiculously complex story spanning over 500 pages without dragging.  It is centered largely around the works of a literary god and does him justice.  It has a female main character that thinks for herself and doesn't need a guy to prove her self-worth. It is fantastic.

I could ramble to you for pages about the gorgeous descriptions and incredible characters and mind-blowing world, but I'd rather not, because I think you might get a little tired, and my eyes hurt.  Suffice it to say this book rocked my (nonexistent) socks.  It was not flawless--there were a couple characters, like Alyssa and Mark and Lacy, who did stray into the realm of flat stereotypes, and some aspects of the plot could've picked up a bit sooner.  But honestly, that didn't really affect the sheer awesomeness of this book.  While this is technically a 4.5, I have no regrets in rounding it to a 5.  August had better come soon (or an Enshadowed ARC had better come sooner).



P.S. My friend and I spent about half an hour trying to decipher the words on the cover, despite my sister insisting that the cover maker did not intend them to be deciphered.  We were only able to make out a few small words and phrases.  If anyone else managed to make out more, I would love to hear about it . . . *hint hint*

Cover Reveal: Gravity by Melissa West

Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: October 2012


In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed—arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die. 

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention.  She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know—especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I have two things to say:

1. How gorgeous is that cover? I think I've been starting at it for about ten minutes straight.

2. This sounds so incredibly, incredibly awesome.

Aliens?  Secrets?  Military strategies? Floating people?  It's safe to say my attention is caught. Melissa West is a debut author, so all of you participating in the DAC, definitely add this one to your shelves. It looks fantastic.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to stare at this cover for another few hours.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

"Waiting on Wednesday"  is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


This week's WoW is . . . 


Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson


Taylor's family might not be the closest-knit – everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled – but for the most part, they get along fine. Then they get news that changes everything: Her father has pancreatic cancer, and it's stage four – meaning that there is basically nothing to be done. Her parents decide that the family will spend his last months together at their old summerhouse in the Pocono Mountains. 

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven't actually gone anywhere. Her former summer best friend is suddenly around, as is her first boyfriend. . . and he's much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses, the Edwards become more of a family, and closer than they've ever been before. But all of them very aware that they're battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance – with family, with friends, and with love.


This one just sounds so poignant and adorable and beautiful, everything I loved about Matson's debut, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour.  While I do wish the US cover was as awesome as the UK one, I don't really care what this book looks like, as long as I can get my hands on it.  Morgan Matson is already on my Favorite Authors list, and if this is anywhere near as incredible as her debut, she'll definitely stay there.

What's your WoW this week? Feel free to link in the comments!