Sunday, March 31, 2013

Stacking the Shelves: Mar. 31rst

Happy Easter to those who celebrate it (happy Sunday to everyone else). This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews that tells people what new books we've gotten over the week.

Received From Net Galley this week:

The Last Academy by Anne Applegate-Academy story complete with secrets. I love stuff like this. Available April 30th.

Steampunk Chronicles Book 3: The Girl With the Iron Touch by Kady Cross-third in a series that I'm addicted too. Available May 28th.

Ashley Arthur series Book 1: Money Run by Jack Heath-adventure type thing that's being re-issued in a new cover. Available on the 9th.

Hammer of Witches by Shana Mlawski-Fantasy adventure thing that sounds awesome. Available April 9th.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Monthly Book Picks for April

Here's a look at all the books I'm interested in coming out in April, that you can probably expect a review for in the future (some I even have Galleys of!).


Money Run by Jack Heath-re-issue with new cover. Reminds me a bit of Heist Society (which is not a bad thing). Released April 1rst.

Darkness Rising Trilogy Book 3: The Rising by Kelley Armstrong-The ending of one of my favorite UF trilogies. Though I suspect there's going to be another one by Armstrong. Or I hope so anyway.Released April 2nd

Vengeance Bound by Justine Ireland.Debut about furies. I'm weak against stuff like this. Of course I want to read. Released April 2nd.

His Fair Assassin Trilogy Book 2: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers-Still find the whole nuns training assassin thing weird as hell, but it's an enjoyable sort of weird. Plus, this one is about a side character who I found more interesting in the first book so chances are I'll like this one more then the first. Released April 2nd.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters-This book had me at paranormal historical fiction. Released April 2nd.

Tales of Beauty and Madness Book 1: Nameless by Lili St. Crow-I've never read Strange Angels (no interest as it's angels and angel books and I don't mesh as a rule). But this one looks interesting. Released April 4rth.

The Iron Witch series Book 3: The Stone Demon by Karen Mahoney-Well considering the way book 2 ended I kind of have to read this. Series is average but the author knows how to work those cliffhangers...Released April 8th.

The Legacy of Moonset Book 1: Moonset by Scott Tracey-Really liked Witch Eyes which I read recently, and this one looks like it'll be just as twisty as that was. Released April 8th.

Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon-Interesting looking debut about three people who die in different parts of the world and wake up in a facility together. Looks mind-bendy. I love stuff like this. Released April 9th.

Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom by Brenda Halpin and Emily Franklin-Looks like this one is pretty much based on that story about the girl who had to fight to take her date to the prom awhile back but I'm still going to read it. Released April 9th.

Hammer of Witches by Shana Mlawski-Debut about magical quests/adventures. I'm a sucker for those. Released April 9th.

Revived Cat Patrick-Interesting looking story about a girl who dies and then is brought back to life again and again. Released April 9th

The Body Finder series Book 4: Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting-After the last book I became officially addicted to this series whereas before it was just a fun series. Released April 16th.

Furious by Jill Wolfson-Debut about furies. How can I resist? Released April 16th.

The Obsidian Mirror Book 1 by Catherine Fisher-New fantasy trilogy started by the author of Incarceron. Won the ARC in a giveaway so expect a review soon. Released April 23rd.

Princesses of Myth series: Spirit's Chosen by Esther Friesner-Love all the princess of myth books, I have no doubt I'll love this one. Released April 23rd.

Project Paper Doll Book 1: The Rules by Stacey Kade-New series from the author of The Ghost and the Goth. Released April 23rd.

Arclight by Josin L. McQuein-Sci-fi thriller complete with amnesia trope? I'm sold. Released April 23rd.

Unraveling series Book 2: Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris-Sequel to one of my favorite new series from last year. April 23rd.

The Last Academy by Anne Applegate-Academies with secrets. You know I'm all over that. Released April 30th.

Blood of Eden series Book 2: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa-Loved Immortal Rules last year. Can't wait to read this one. ARC is up and ready to read on the Kindle so I will hopefully have a review for you guys when it comes out. Released April 30th.

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick-debut that sounds really interesting and may comment on society's hypocrisy when it comes to beauty and the way we treat people that have it as opposed to those that don't. At least I hope it does and doesn't wind up being drivel. It could go either way, really. Released April 30th.

The Program by Suzanne Young-Dystopian that sounds vaguely like Delirium. We'll see how this one goes. April 30th.


Apparatus Infernum series Book 1: The Bronze Gods by A. A. Aguirre-steampunk addiction again. Released April 30th.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Book Review: Unravel Me

TITLE: Unravel Me
Book 2 in the Shatter Me series
AUTHOR: Tahereh Mafi
PUBLISHED: February 2013
GENRE: Dystopianish, Urban Fantasy, Romance
PREMISE: Juliette trains as danger closes in...
MY REVIEW: Against my better judgement I read this. I'm one of the few people that didn't really care for Shatter Me. It was too angsty and dull for my taste. Plus the crossing out of things became less clever as the book went on and more gimicky. But I have this deal I make with myself where if a book gets at least three and a half from me then I give the sequel a shot because every so often, the sequel makes things better such as the case with Across the Universe by Beth Revis.'s not the case with this series. At least not for me. Fans of Shatter Me will enjoy probably. Because this is basically more of Shatter Me but with more Warner. But me, I just found it tedious. There were all the usual drama tropes that abound in YA, of course there's a love triangle, of course Warner becomes not so evil and competition for Adam, and of course Juliette angsts/plays martyr like she did in the first one. I pretty much yawned my way through this; there weren't many surprises and it was pretty darn predictable if you read a lot of these YA dystopians like I happen to do. This makes me sad, because I wanted this series to get better. Mafi's writing style is so lovely.
Sadly, I don't think I'll be reading on. This one just isn't for me. But for fans of Shatter Me, the sequel will probably be enjoyable.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of Shatter Me, Divergent fans
MY RATING: Three out of Five yawns

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Review: Iced

Book 1 in the Dani O'Malley series (or book 7 in the Fever series depending on who you ask)
AUTHOR: Karen Marie Moning
CATEGORY: Adult (though I say it has some YA crossover appeal for those that don't mind sex/darkness)
GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Faeries
PREMISE: Dani investigates when people start showing up around Dublin iced, with a price on her head.
MY REVIEW: Oh Dani. Dani was my favorite character in the Fever series so I'm not going to lie and say I had pretty high expectations for this series when I heard there was going to be a Dani O'Malley spin-off. I'm pleased to say Moning delivered.
I was a bit surprised that the author didn't do a time skip and wait till Dani was at least eighteen but I suppose it makes sense in way. But it made the whole men lusting after Dani thing...kind of uncomfortable. So if you're one of those who's squeemish about huge age differences, this might not be your thing (though considering the whole Barrons/Mac age difference...). But other then that awkwardness this was everything I wanted from a book about Dani. We got to learn more about her and her background. Spending time in her head was SO much fun. I like Mac and everything, but her head wasn't nearly as much fun as Dani's. There's  a general progression of the story and we get to see the consequences of the last book and then there's that cliffhanger...evil, evil cliffhanger.
If you loved the Fever series, chances are you'll love this. Unless you hated Dani or something (there's always that one weird reader...) or if you can't get past the age thing which is perfectly understandable (I myself ignored those parts in the book, it helped greatly that Dani doesn't seem to return the attraction seriously). Aside from that part, I am looking forward to the next book which promises to have more Mac.
WHO SHOULD READ: Fever fans who've read books 1 through 6, Urban Fantasy fans, those that don't mind dark books
MY RATING: Four out of Five iced people

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Review: The Summer Prince

TITLE: The Summer Prince
Book 1 in a series?
AUTHOR: Alaya Dawn Johnson
PUBLISHED: March 2013 (look at me, reviewing a book the month it actually comes out ;so proud of self;)
GENRE: Dystopian, Romance, Fantasyish
PREMISE: A girl competes in a art competition as her world elects the new summer prince.
MY REVIEW: If someone were to ask me how to describe The Summer Prince, I honestly would draw a blank. Usually I have no problem telling people that this series is like so and so series so read it if that's your thing. Summer Prince honestly is like very little YA out there. This is a compliment to the author. I see influences of things/authors but it for sure is no look-alike series. I also have to give the author props on having a large cast of PoCs as well as having a world where people are mostly bisexual. Literally no one bats an eyelash when the hero of this story (I guess Enki counts as the hero?) kisses a boy and then later falls for a girl. Likewise June herself feels attraction to a girl as well as her attraction to Enki and it is no huge deal. It's kind of a interesting thing and great to see in a time when we're seriously debating whether gay couples should be allowed to marry (I'm personally still scratching my head over why gay couples marrying is such a huge deal to people when no one batted an eyelash at Britney Spears one day marriage).
If I could grade this book entirely on creativity of world, plot, and the fabulous set-up, this book would get a full five stars from me, because all of that is fabulous. However June...was frustrating for me, and I suspect she will be for a lot of readers. The author also jumps around a lot in the story which is great on shows like Lost, but not so great in books unless done really really well. It suffered from dragging in the middle, quite a bit. Plus, I wish June's life didn't revolve so much around Enki.
But this is definitely one of the more interesting debuts I've read in awhile. I put a question mark on the series part because the way it ended led me to believe the author is planning a sequel/continuation of sorts. But there's no news of one yet on places like Goodreads (usually there's an indicator in the title). Either way, I hope Johnson sticks around. She's definitely creative and I would love to see what other ideas she's got up her sleeve.
WHO SHOULD READ: Dystopian fans, LGBT book readers
MY RATING: Four out of Five not sure how to describe this plots

Thank you to the publisher for the Net Galley!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Rec the Most

This is a weekly meme hosted by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish


Well, here are the ones that I pretty much always tell people to read.

1) The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling-Yeah, unoriginal. But you'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't get SOME enjoyment out of this series. It's one people should read at least to get the pop culture jokes.

2) Tortall series by Tamora Pierce-Alanna was the original badass female fantasy character in YA fantasy. I know you think I'm kidding, but I'm seriously not. There were next to no kick-butt female characters in YA fantasy when Tortall started. You had some in the middle-grade books, but in YA? Not so much. I'm willing to bet many authors writing the characters such as Tris from Divergent or Katsa in Graceling were influenced by Tortall as well as Pierce's other series Circle of Magic.

3) The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien-A lot of people make the mistake of reading Lord of the Rings before the Hobbit. You should read the Hobbit first. It's easier to start with. It's one of the funnier LotR books, and it helps you ease into the world of Tolkien better then Fellowship of the Ring in my opinion.

4) His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillup Pullman-I don't understand the resistance to this trilogy and I never ever will.

5) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee-If you like the Help, please read this.

6) The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray-The best of YA historical fantasy; only rivaled by Bray's newest series The Diviners.

7) The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins-Proof that you can write smart pop culture entertainment in YA. This is one of those that has something for everyone and lots of mass appeal and as a bonus is well written.

8) Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan-Great for reluctant readers, especially middle-school boys. Plus, a great way to introduce Greek Mythology because the author does pay a lot of attention to the myths themselves without stomping over the original material for plot's sake (so happy that for once Hades is not the bad guy, nor is he made out to be this gorgeous hunky guy which is so so common in today's Greek retellings)

9) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen-Great one to ease people into the classics and show that they aren't that scary.

10) Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones-My favorite old-school type high fantasy writer. All her stuff is great. But Howl is probably her best book.

Book Review: The Warlock

TITLE: The Warlock
Book 5 in the Secrets of the Immortal Nickolas Flamel series
AUTHOR: Michael Scott
GENRE: Adventure, Urban Fantasy
PREMISE: Josh and Sophie continue their journey as Nickolas Flamel lays dying...
MY REVIEW: This is what I call a unknown bestselling series. It sells enough books to be on the bestseller list but it doesn't get nearly the same recognition in the book world like say...Divergent. Hardly anyone seems to know about it which is a darn shame in my opinion. These books are lots of fun.
Like always with this series, a lot of action/plotting goes on in this book. Most of it is a bit of a stall in my opinion. This is the second to last book in a series so really it's mostly just leading up to the final book so most of the surprise comes at the end with something I actually didn't see coming. So if you've read this series, it's pretty much business as usual.
So it's a decent installment but I suspect most of the good stuff is going to be in the final book because I seriously can't wait to see what comes from that surprise we got at the end.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that have read books 1-4, boys, Percy Jackson fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five surprise twists

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Stacking the Shelves March 24rth

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews that tells people what books we've gotten over the week.

Obsidian Mirror Trilogy Book 1: Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher-I actually won a Goodreads giveaway! This is the first online giveaway I've actually ever won so I'm kind of pumped. Plus it's Fisher so I know this'll be good. Release Date for ARC: April 23rd.
Thank you Penguin Book Group!

Downloaded to Kindle:
Immortal Empire Book 1: God Save the Queen by Kate Locke-Adult steampunk I've been wanting to read. On sale today for 1.99. God bless Kindle Daily Deals.
The Hangman's Daughter series Book 1 by Oliver Potzsch-Adult mystery/historical fiction Series I've been meaning to check out and I managed to catch it during a daily deal when it was 99 cents (it isn't anymore though).

Bi-Weekly Library Haul:
Dance of Shadows Trilogy Book 1: Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black-2013 debut. I've read mixed reviews about this one and honestly the premise looks rather corny so my expectations are rather low but I'm giving it a shot.
Heist Society Book 3: Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter-Have I mentioned I love this series? I haven't? Well, I do and I'm sad it's not more popular. Though word on the street is there's a movie deal so that may change ;crosses fingers and hopes that it actually happens;
Shades of London Book 2: Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson-I loved In the Name of the Star. It wasn't your typical Maureen book true, but it still had her flair with a paranormal setting so I can't wait to read this. Though personally, I don't care for the new covers they gave it. Plus, why is the UK cover so much cooler than ours?
Shatter Me Book 2: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi-Somewhat lukewarm about Shatter Me (those crossed out sentences got on my nerves after awhile and turned from clever to gimicky fast) but the way it ended sort of made it so you have to find out what happens so here I am with the second book and hoping it's better than the first.
Dani O'Malley series Book 1 (or Fever book 7): Iced by Karen Marie Moning-Fever spin-off series about Dani. It is everything I wanted in a book about Dani (I've already finished it, review forthcoming).
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys-Confession: I have never read Between Shades of Grey. I know, I know. It's on the list. It just looks like one of those emotionally exhausting books and I tend to save those books for a time when I'm in the mood like a rainy day or something.
Article 5 Book 2: Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons-One of the many dystopians last year that I think got unfairly overlooked due to it not being what people usually want from their YA dystopians (re: no love triangle).
Pivot Point Book 1: Pivot Point by Kasie West-2013 debut that I've heard good things about and am looking forward too.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Book Review: The Indigo Spell

TITLE: The Indigo Spell
Book 3 in the Bloodlines series
AUTHOR: Richelle Mead
PUBLISHED: February 2013
GENRE: Vampires, Urban Fantasy, Drama
PREMISE: Sydney gets pulled further into the world of magic and deals with her Adrian situation.
MY REVIEW: What can one say about Bloodlines? This series is one of those that people probably know if they like it by now. I'm under no illusion that anything I say will change people's minds about this series. You either like it or you don't. You either have an interest in checking it out or you've made up your mind that you don't want too. Series like these honestly probably don't even need bloggers like us writing reviews about it. They'll sale on the basis that it's Richelle Mead and she has a loyal following who will buy her books no matter what (I'm one of them when it comes to this series anyway).
But I'm going to go ahead and give it a thumbs up anyway. Spin-off series don't always work and in many cases aren't needed ;looks pointedly at Mortal Instruments;. But this is one of the few out there that manages to work. I will say though that I wish Mead would drop the eating problem thing with Sydney. It's poorly handled/not researched well and frankly doesn't even make sense for Sydney's character in the first place. Having Adrian take over on her diet stuff is also highly problematic message wise. Please Mead: stop it.
Other then that annoyance this series remains entertaining and decently written. I give there are some issues with this series (not just the diet issue) but the good far out weigh the bad in it.
WHO SHOULD READ: Vampire Academy fans, those that have read books 1 and 2, Twilight fans, vampire fans, House of Night fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five sleek cars

Friday, March 22, 2013

Book Review: Shadows in the Silence

TITLE: Shadows in the Silence
Book 3 in the Angelfire Trilogy
AUTHOR: Courtney Allison Moulton
PUBLISHED: January 2013
GENRE: Angels, Urban Fantasy, Romance
PREMISE: Ellie's showdown with Lilith and Sammael comes to a head in the conclusion of the Angelfire Trilogy
MY REVIEW: Angelfire is one of the few Angel book series out there that I like so I'm rather sorry to see this one go. Though I have a feeling we'll be seeing a spin-off series about Caden because 1) his storyline in this was incredibly unfinished and if Moulton doesn't want a legion of angry fans on her hands she's going to have to give him at least one book, and 2) that is the way of the YA publishing world nowadays, though this is one of the few times a spin-off is actually kind of wanted on my part.
If you've stuck with the Angelfire series then you pretty much know what the deal with these books are. This one is pretty much more of the same. I didn't see any huge improvement that jumps this series to a absolute must read but nor did I see any downturns in its quality. The ending was rather predictable but other then that, no real complaints on my part other then Moulton needs to cool it with the monologuing/info-dumping villains.
So for those of us who enjoyed this trilogy, this as a whole is satisfying (accept for the Caden thing). I don't know if Moulton is planning on more books in this series or if she's going to turn around and do something different. Either way, I'll be picking up future books of hers.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that have read books 1 and 2, fans of angel books
MY RATING: Four out of Five kick-ass redheads
RATING FOR TRILOGY: Four out of Five

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Book Review: Revel

TITLE: Revel
AUTHOR: Maurissa Guibord
PUBLISHED: February 2013
GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Romance
PREMISE: Delia goes to Trespass Island to find her grandmother and learns about terrible secrets that the island and its residents are holding.
MY REVIEW: Unlike City of a Thousand Dolls, which I knew by the end that I pretty much loved, this book I have rather mixed feelings about which is sad because I loved Guibord's first book Warped and expected to love this one just as much. Perhaps I had too high expectations? Probably.
Like Warped, I loved the hell out of the creative idea,the writing style/storytelling, and the overall plot of this. Guibord is great a world-building and coming up with ideas I haven't encountered in YA before which is not easy to do nowadays. My mixed feelings come from the messed up situation that occurs with the girls (I won't give it away but damn and this is coming from someone who reads Game of Thrones). Also the romance...okay but I didn't really go gaga for it. Plus Delia was sort of off and on as a character.
So...I didn't like this as much as I liked Warped. It's still a very decent book. You can definitely do a lot worse then this one. I just didn't get into this one as much as I thought I would. I'm not sure if it's my fault for having high expectations or the book for lacking in some way.
WHO SHOULD READ: Fans of Warped, fans of dark books
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five what the hell creatures

Book Review: City of a Thousand Dolls

TITLE: City of a Thousand Dolls
Book 1 in the Bhinian Empire series
AUTHOR: Miriam Forster
PUBLISHED: February 2013
GENRE: Fantasy, Mystery
PREMISE: When girls start dropping dead in the City of a Thousand Dolls, a place where orphaned/abandoned girls are trained in specific arts, Nisha starts investigating and along the way finds out secrets from her own past...
MY REVIEW: Took me awhile to gather my thoughts for this book beyond "LOVE IT, and GIVE ME MORE!" so sorry about that. I will say there are is a bit of a formulaic ending to this and some things were convenient (like a certain someone not being dead after all). But overall? This is possibly my favorite debut of the year. Definitely a top ten debut at least.
It's a wonderfully creative fantasy world and there's a murder mystery on top it. What can I say, I love murder mysteries. It's a fabulous blending of two genres that don't often get mixed together and it feels fresh and new. Nisha was a good main character. A tad underdeveloped but that's usual stuff for a more action driven fantasy book that's a series. I'm hoping more character development comes for her later in the series.
This is one of the second series of the year that I've fallen hard for and I can't wait for the next book. Rec this one for all Tamora Pierce lovers.
WHO SHOULD READ: Tamora Pierce fans, fantasy fans
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five fan dances

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Book Review: Prodigy

TITLE: Prodigy
Book 2 in the Legend series
AUTHOR: Marie Lu
PUBLISHED: January 2013
GENRE: Dystopian, adventure
PREMISE: Day and June join up with the rebellion and find themselves caught up in a assassination plot.
MY REVIEW: In a time where YA dystopians are a dime a dozen, Legend is one of the few series that manages to stand out and be good. Yes, all the usual suspects that you find in dystopians are here (political plot, romantic triangle drama, smart teens becoming faces of the rebellion etc.) but this is done in a way that makes me not mind it so much.
Lu's strength is mostly in her story-telling ability. She manages to spin a interesting plot in with the things that make books best sellers. The Day/June drama may be a tad eye-roll worthy but this is a couple that you can't help but root for anyway. Especially after the slight cliff-hanger at the end of this one. I won't give it away but even I was kind of surprised, and I'm rarely surprised by YA books nowadays.
If you loved/liked Legend, chances are you'll be hooked just as much with this one which is rather intense throughout it. I for one, can't wait for book 3.
WHO SHOULD READ: Legend fans, Hunger Games fans, Divergent fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five activists

Monday, March 18, 2013

Book Review: A Feast For Crows

TITLE: A Feast For Crows
Book 4 in the Song of Fire and Ice series
AUTHOR: George R. R. Martin
GENRE: Fantasy, Drama
PREMISE: Everyone deals with the fallout of book 3.
MY REVIEW: What can I say? It's Game of Thrones. I was hoping to finish this before the show came back on the 31rst (Easter Sunday, which cracks me up so much) and I did. Now I just have to wait till Dance of Dragons comes out in paperback (so all the books I have match) in May so I can finally catch up.
This series is still wonderful. But this one is a bit slow. But considering all the crap that went down in book three this feeling was probably inevitable. I also wish we had seen more of Sansa, Dany, and co. But I do understand why Martin had to make that decision to split up their parts. My guess is, these two books are the middle part of the series which is mostly just exposition and the next two books (whenever those come out) will be heating up to the climax of the series. Or that's the impression I'm getting anyway.
By book 4, you've probably figured out if this series is for you or not. I personally love this series to bits and still highly rec it.
WHO SHOULD READ: Game of Thrones TV show fans, those that have read books 1 through 3.
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five missing characters who I miss

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Book Review: The Archived

TITLE: The Archived
Book 1 in The Archived series
AUTHOR: Victoria Schwab
PUBLISHED: January 2013
GENRE: Paranormal, urban fantasy
PREMISE: Mackenzie Bishop has been a Keeper for almost four years now. When her family moves to an old building to escape their grief, her job suddenly becomes a lot harder.
MY REVIEW: Yeah, so I pretty much loved the hell out of this. I can see where the writing style could be a turn-off for people (it does take some getting used too, I'll admit), but that doesn't change that this was a fabulously executed creative idea that also managed to be entertaining as well.
The best thing is probably the premise of it. So much can be done with this and it's wonderfully spooky and it kind of hits you in the gut as well. Think the way some of the spooky stuff in Supernatural can be really heartbreaking. It is a little slow at first but once you get past the first few chapters and start seeing what's going on, it becomes a great page turner.
Personally, this is one of my new favorite series of 2013 and definitely a top 5 in January. I can't wait for the next book.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of the Near Witch, Supernatural fans, Mediator series fans
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five Histories

Friday, March 15, 2013

Book Review: Asunder

TITLE: Asunder
Book 2 in the Incarnate series
AUTHOR: Jodi Meadows
GENRE: Fantasy, romance
PREMISE: Ana searches to find her place as a NewSoul while discovering dark secrets about her origin.
MY REVIEW: I really want to love the Incarnate series more then I do. I mean, it's not a horrible series. Some of the stuff is intriguing and I really love the creativity of the world even if much of the creativity makes no sense.
But...this series is honestly just average in terms of story/plot/characters etc. It's pretty basic YA stuff. Outcast girl finds her place in the world, fights for soulmate, has a destiny, blah blah blah. There's also the usual YA tropes like a amazing lack of female friendship (remember girls, we're always in competing for a guys affections!), forced love triangle where the outcome is obvious, angsty heroine who isn't sure if she's good enough for the guy who has basically pledged his undying love for her, and so on and so forth.
So this series, while creative, is a bit of a mixed bag quality wise. The result is a pretty average YA series with really pretty covers (the covers are almost worth the money, almost). I'll still be reading the next book because it is good enough to continue but really if you never read this series, you're not missing much sorry to say.
WHO SHOULD READ: Fans of Incarnate, fans of Twilight
MY RATING: Three out of Five pretty covers that mask a average series

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fiction Discussion 2: Book Fear

I would like to talk for a minute about book fear. You guys have likely encountered book fear before (or experience it in some form yourselves). It is what I call that anxiety people have about certain books/genres. For instance that reader who doesn't want to read say...Les Misarables because it's too big, they've seen the movie and don't want the book to ruin the movie for them, classic books intimidate them and so on and so forth.
I've heard so many reasons from people for why they haven't picked up ;insert title here; and very rarely is it the one that's most likely the reason: I don't have time/I'm not interested. I've actually gotten to the point where I've named the fears:
Big Book Fear: The fear of big books. This one is usually used for books like Game of Thrones/Lord of the Rings/Girl with a Dragon Tattoo etc. I don't particularly understand this one myself but I'm telling you: it exists.
Classic Book Fear: Those that think classic books are too complicated for them/hard to read. Personally, I blame this fear entirely on literature snobs.
Sequel Fear: The fear that has you afraid that a sequel/continuation/spin-off will ruin the first book for you. Usually seen in long running series and I can understand this one. Some series go on just way too long and at times can wind up just ruining the series for you (Mortal Instruments is in serious danger of becoming like this. Do we really need ANOTHER MI spin-off? No, I don't think so).
Overhype Fear: The fear that happens when you hear so many good things about a book and are afraid it won't live up to your expectations and you'll piss off the bestsellers fans by not liking it. This happens to me SO many times. I'm experiencing it now with John Green. I'm getting over it this year, I swear.
Book Will Ruin Movie/Won't Be as Good as Movie Fear: The fear that happens when you see a movie adaptation before reading the book and are then worried that the book will somehow ruin your enjoyment of the movie.
Genre Fear: Fear of certain genres. For instance I've encountered many a person who have been wary of high fantasy books because of certain impressions they've gotten of the genre from other people/the internet.
Author Fear: The fear that comes when you've heard certain things about a particular author and don't want to read the books because of that. I have been guilty of this one, I'll admit. But I've come to a point now where I have to separate authors from their books.
Fandom Fear: The fear you have about being associated with certain fandoms of books that have bad reputations (Twilight for instance, although for every annoying Twihard there is, I've met a awesome/reasonable Twihard so I think the bashing Twihards get is a little unfair at times).

There probably are more, but these are the ones that I've encountered the most. As for getting over these fears...I don't really know what to say other then check the book out from the library first to see if it's for you. The worst that happens is you don't like it. At least with the library book, you won't have wasted your money.
What say you guys? Are there any fears you've encountered in the book world/experience yourself? Any better advice for getting over the book fears? Thoughts on reasons why these fears exist? Discuss away!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Review: Slated

TITLE: Slated
Book 1 in a series?
AUTHOR: Teri Terry
PUBLISHED: January 2013 (previously released in the UK)
GENRE: Dystopian, mystery
PREMISE: Kyla's memory has been erased and she has been given a second chance at a new life by the government.
MY REVIEW: I have really mixed feelings about this book. So if this review comes off as slightly bipolar I apologize. On one hand I think the author's writing is fabulous. She knows how to work dialogue, created interesting characters, and her prose are lovely even if subtlety needs to be worked on a little. For a first book, this actually was quite impressive. I also really loved the world-building going here.
On the other hand, this book was so slow. Remember how I complained about the pace of Matched and how that was boring after awhile? That was quick compared to this! While I have nothing against going at a slower pace (sometimes I do think you need to slow it down to develop things more) if by page two hundred, I'm still wondering why I'm supposed to be caring about all of this...that's kind of a problem. It made enjoying the book a little harder and honestly even the end result was sort of business as usual for YA dystopians so I felt kind of bored throughout it.
After the ending I have no doubt there's going to be a sequel. That's how YA works after all and I am interested in continuing. I just hope the author picks it up a notch in the next book because I think she can do a lot better then this. This one makes for a decent library read.
WHO SHOULD READ: Dystopian fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five slated teens

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Spring TBR List

This is a weekly meme hosted by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish

This week: Top Ten Books on Your Spring TBR List (books released Mar. 20th through June 20th)

These lists are always really hard for me to narrow down because I'm one of those who wants to read all the things. But I narrowed down as much as I could. For the record, Clockwork Princess is not on here because I figure that's one of those that's a big duh and on every other person;s list.

1) His Fair Assassin Trilogy Book 2: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers-I admit, while I really enjoyed Grave Mercy, I did have one or two issues with it. But Dark Triumph looks like it'll be more my thing because it's about the far more interesting (to me anyway) Sybella who was a character I kept wanting more of in book one. I suspect this one is on a lot of people's lists as well considering how popular Grave Mercy was last year. (April 2nd)

2) Unraveled Book 2: Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris-Unraveled was one of those unsung books that came out at a time when a lot of hitmakers came out so I think it got overlooked. It's a shame because Unraveled was a lot of fun and breath of fresh air. I can't wait to read Unbreakable which looks just as mind bendy as the first. (April 23rd)

3) School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins-A spin-off book (possibly series? ;crosses fingers;) of the awesome Hex Hall series about the character of Izzy. As someone who adored Izzy in book 3, I for one cannot wait. (May 14th)

4) Starcrossed series Book 3: Goddess by Josephine Angelini-You know how everyone has that guilty pleasure series that where the series' quality is highly questionable but you enjoy it anyway? That's me and Starcrossed. Any complaints you may have heard about it, are probably legit. But it's like MI where it's so damn addictive and entertaining that it comes to a point where you just don't care. (May 28th)

5) Abandon Trilogy Book 3: Awaken by Meg Cabot-I'm pretty sure it's medically impossible for me not to look forward to a Meg Cabot book anymore. Abandon Trilogy may not be Cabot's best stuff but it's still entertaining which is saying something. (May 7th)

6) Grisha Trilogy Book 2: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo-Another one that's probably on lots of people's list. For good reason too. If you haven't read Shadow and Bone yet you totally should. (June 4rth)

7) Sookie Stackhouse series Book 13: Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris-The LAST Sookie Stackhouse book! No really, no more Sookie after this! Unless it's like a short story. This makes me so sad...The Stackhouse books were some of the first ones I read for this blog. Ah, memories. Oh, FYI Team Sam (in the books anyway, Sam in True Blood is kind of a douche). (May 7th)

8) Project Paper Doll Book 1: The Rules by Stacey Kade-I loved Kade's unsung trilogy The Ghost and the Goth. I'm looking forward to her tackling genetic experimented teens. (April 23rd)

9) Icons by Margeret Stohl-One of the authors of my guilty pleasure ultimate series Beautiful Creatures, tackling dystopian? Yes please. (May 7th)

10) The Body Finder series book 4: Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting-After Derting upped the plot in book 3 this series has become a favorite. Before it was just fun, now I need this like NOW.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Review: Unbroken

TITLE: Unbroken
Book 2 in the Ruined series
AUTHOR: Paula Morris
PUBLISHED: February 2013
GENRE: Paranormal, mystery
PREMISE: Rebecca finds herself back in New Orleans a year after she was almost killed and once again finds herself helping a ghost.
MY REVIEW: Ruined is one of those really underrated paranormal books that I wish more people knew about. So I was looking forward to a sequel and this is everything I wanted.
Morris does a great job of continuing the story from Ruined. There's consequences from the first book. Rebecca grows more and there's intros to new characters like Ling (who is fabulous) to keep things from getting interesting. It's not just a redux of Ruined, it's a natural continuation of the story.
This does everything a sequel should do. I don't know if there'll be another Ruined book, but I really hope there is.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of Ruined, paranormal ghost story fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five spooky grave yards

Note: Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with a ARC netgalley of this book.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Stacking the Shelves: March 10th

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews that tells people what new books we've gotten over the week.

Just the usual bi-weekly library haul:

City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster-2013 YA debut that sounds rather awesome. This year's YA debuters are really stepping it up with coming up with interesting ideas other then girl meets boy who is a supernatural ensues (and usually a love triangle as well). It's very nice to see. Not to say there is something wrong with those sort of plots; when done well, they can be entertaining. But lets face it: there are a lot of those plots around and it can get old fast.

Revel by Maurissa Guibord-I was a big fan of Guibord's vastly underrated Warped and am pleased she's back with what looks like another really creative fun idea.

The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress-Steampunk satire. Already ready read and reviewed (really liked it).

Legend Book 2: Prodigy by Marie Lu-FINALLY off of reserve!

NewSoul series Book 2: Asunder by Jodi Meadows-I was sort of lukewarm about Incarnate but it was good enough and creative enough that I'm continuing.

Angelfire series Book 3: Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton-Ending to one of the few angel series I actually like.

The Archived Book 1 by Victoria Schwab-Fantasy I can't wait to read because it sounds really awesome and creative.

Slated by Teri Terry-Dystopian book by a UK author. Currently reading, very interesting idea.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Book Review: The Friday Society

TITLE: The Friday Society
Book 1 in a series?
AUTHOR: Adrienne Kress
PUBLISHED: December 2012
GENRE: Steampunk, mystery, adventure, satire
PREMISE: Cora, Nellie, and Michiko meet under dire circumstances involving murder. When it becomes clear that no one else is going to do something, they step up to the plate to solve things themselves.
MY REVIEW: So this is one of those books that debuted with little fanfare and received many mixed reviews. I'm surprised it wasn't more hyped because this seems like a very commercial friendly book to me and steampunk is becoming a thing now (which makes this steampunk fan very happy let me tell you). I'm not so surprised about the mixed reviews because it is satire/parody humor. I've said it several times but I'll say it again: satire is not for everyone. People will either get your sense of humor and what you're doing and enjoy it, or they just don't get that you're having fun with the genre stereotypes or don't enjoy the humor, whichever. So doing satire in books is risky.
Luckily for the author, I love satire books and this mostly appealed to me. I do wish more had been done with Michiko because hers was the most interesting story to me, but I'm pretty sure this is going to be a series so chances are Michiko (and Nellie) will have their chance to shine in other books. There were also a few cases of funky writing here and there. For instance every so often a modern word would be thrown in which was rather jarring considering this is a steampunk Victorian setting. I get it's satire but still...
Other then a few writing flaws this was mostly a fun adventure. I enjoyed the girls very much (can we also marvel at how a author had a book centering around female friendship? With no love triangle or boys getting in the way of said friendship? THANK YOU, author). It may not be the most deep or thought provoking novel out there. But it does its job which was to entertain.
WHO SHOULD READ: Steampunk fans, satire fans, Discworld fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five badass vigilante girls

Friday, March 8, 2013

Book Review: Everbound

TITLE: Everbound
Book 2 in the Everneath series
AUTHOR: Brodi Ashton
PUBLISHED: January 2013
GENRE: Paranormal Romance, Mythology retelling
PREMISE: Nikki journeys through the Everneath to find Jack with the help of Cole.
MY REVIEW: I had mixed feelings about Everneath when it came out. I liked the idea and Ashton's writing is great and she spins a good tale, but at the same time I am really tired of Persephone retellings. Like REALLY tired of them. Plus, Nikki's life revolving around Jack kind of bothered me. I still have mixed feelings but I do think this was an improvement over the first one. It helped that Ashton threw in actual other Greek myths for a change (someone remembers the Orpheus myth! Which personally I find more romantic then Persephone but apparently I'm in the minority).
For one, this one focused more on the world of Everneath and that was what mostly piqued my interest in the first book. The creativity going on here is really this series' strength. Don't get me wrong, Jack/Nikki is sweet as hell (heh, pun) but really it's pretty much business as usual when it comes to YA romance (so is the love triangle, sorry guys, but it is). But the world of Everneath is really great and I honestly am looking forward to watching Nikki and Cole take the guys in charge down.
This is one of those books that appeal for a reason. The author deftly uses plot, romance, and a creative world to tell a story that sells well and hooks you. It may not be the most original of them all but it is definitely an entertaining one. I for one look forward to book 3 (possibly the final book? You never know with these things).
WHO SHOULD READ: Everneath fans, Greek mythology fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five three-headed dogs

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Review: Just One Day

TITLE: Just One Day
Book 1 in the Just One Day Dualogy (that's what they're called, right?)
AUTHOR: Gayle Forman
PUBLISHED: January 2013
GENRE: Romance, Drama, Realistic Fiction
PREMISE: When Allyson is in Europe on a trip she meets a boy and they have a  wonderful day together. During the next year, she can't stop thinking about him...
MY REVIEW: So I keep saying contemporaries aren't my thing and I think I now have to amend that statement. SOME contemporaries aren't my thing. So that's progress, right? I'm still navigating my way through them but the major authors I've read have so far pleased me (John Green, I will get to you, I SWEAR). Gayle Forman has fast become a favorite. This book is no exception, I enjoyed it. Maybe not as much as If I Stay, but it is a favorite book of January 2013 for sure.
One of the best things about this one is the character progression of Allyson. The romance is interesting for sure and I love how realistic it is. But the character study of Allyson and who she is, how she got to be that way and her growth in college is just fabulous.
This one is one of the first strong books of the year in the contemporary genre. I can't wait to read Just One Year because I want to know more about Willem now.
WHO SHOULD READ: If I Stay fans, 13 Little Blue Envelopes fans, Anna and the French Kiss fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five museums

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Book Review: Vortex

TITLE: Vortex
Book 2 in the Tempest series
AUTHOR: Julie Cross
PUBLISHED: January 2013
GENRE: Time-travel, science-fiction, romance
PREMISE: Jackson throws himself into his training in order to forget about Holly, but then something happens that draws him and Holly together again...
MY REVIEW: I admit, I wasn't that impressed with Tempest. I didn't get the appeal. I do still think this series is a victim of over-hype (and a bit of a Jumper rip-off) but I think the second book was much better done then the first one.
Cross's writing has improved for one. Her pacing is better, there's more plot this time around, and things are explained. Things still don't make sense to me (and Enemies of Time will forever be a horrible villain name) but I've made my peace with it and have let that go. The result was, I enjoyed this one much more then book 1. I am really happy when sequels turn out better the first books. I mean, I don't like being the naysayer of popular books. Honest.
So I think this one was a improvement over a okay start to a series and now I'm actually looking forward to book 3 where I hope more things are explained and the author keeps up the good work she did with this one.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of Tempest, Jumper fans, fans of time-travel books
MY RATING: Four out of Five Tempest agents

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I'd Like to Start

This is a weekly meme hosted by the girls over at The Broke and Bookish.

This week: Top Ten Series I'd Like to Start

1) The Sabriel Trilogy by Garth Nix-God, this one has been sitting on my shelf FOREVER because I got it as a birthday gift. I just keep forgetting I have it...My resolution this year to at least read the first book.

2) The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix-Yes, another Nix series. I've heard such good things about this one. I just can never find the first book. Or when I do, I already have a huge tbr pile and I have to put it aside while I get those books read and then I forget about it.

3) Enclave series by Ann Aguirre-I've just heard so many mixed reviews about this one that I've sort of put it off.

4) Finishing School series by Gail Carriger-Okay, this is cheating since this series just started but I really, really, really want to read it because I love Gail Carriger's books.

5) Suite Scarlett series by Maureen Johnson-I'm in love with Maureen Johnson's books right now and I've heard good things about this series. Also apparently there's another book coming.

6) Ghost Hunter Mystery series by Victoria Laurie-These sound so much fun! I'll get to it this year eventually.

7) Peeps series by Scott Westerfield-The only series by him I haven't tried out yet.

8) Green Rider series by Kristen Britain-I get recced this so often whenever I say I'm a Tamora Pierce fan. I'll get to them. Eventually.

9) The Dark Tower series by Stephen King-I know, I know, it's sacrilege that I call myself a fantasy fan and I haven't read these yet. I'll probably try them out after I finish Game of Thrones. So you know, next year.

10) Black London series by Caitlin Kittredge-I adore Kittredge's YA trilogy, The Iron Codex which is ending this year. Which means I'll have to start reading her adult books to tide me over till her next project and this one and her Nocturne series look really awesome.

Book Review: The Essence

TITLE: The Essence
Book 2 in the Pledge series
AUTHOR: Kimberly Derting
PUBLISHED: January 2013
GENRE: Dystopianish/fantasy
PREMISE: Charlaina deals with being queen while fighting the presence of Sabara inside her as well as dangerous plots against her kingdom.
MY REVIEW: I'll be honest, I was a little surprised when I heard there was going to be a sequel to the Pledge. Not only was I under the impression that it was a one-off, I felt it ended in such a way that a sequel wasn't necessary so I was rather wary of this book. Plus, I just didn't think the Pledge was as good as  Derting's Body Finder series. But this one managed to surprise me.
Derting found a legit reason to continue the book and I personally think this one was actually an improvement over the first one. Now that we're more focused on plot and world building, I'm starting to get a better sense of this series and I liked what was introduced. Still not sold on the romance part of it, but what can you do?
This was a improvement on The Pledge for me, and now I'm looking forward to more books from this series of which I'm now pretty sure there will be. If you must continue a book that feels finished, this is an example of how you do so. Still don't like this series as much as I like Body Finder but I do like it better then I did so bravo, Derting.
WHO SHOULD READ: Fans of The Pledge, Kimberly Derting fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five evil queens

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ditched Books for February

I actually did good this month, only two!

TITLE: Doomed
AUTHOR: Tracy Deebs
PUBLISHED: January 2013
GENRE: Science Fiction I guess...
PREMISE: A girl's life becomes difficult after she clicks on a link and finds herself in a game that could help save the world.
WHY I DITCHED IT: Against my better judgement, I picked this up. I had read Deebs Tempest book awhile back and was vastly annoyed with it but I had hoped that maybe just maybe this book was better. Every so often a author will have a series that is better then their other series. Alas, no. Just like Tempest this was really sloppy. Just like Tempest the main character was annoying. And as a bonus girly girls got bashed and there was the usual love triangle. The main idea was also not at all worth overlooking the minor flaws. So I stopped at about a hundred pages in because I was just annoyed with it. Apparently Deebs is one of those authors I'm just destined not to read.

TITLE: Sacred
AUTHOR: Elana K. Arnold
GENRE: Romance, Paranormal
PREMISE: A grieving girl's life is changed when she meets a boy with supernatural abilities.
WHY I DITCHED IT: So. Much. WANGST (Whining/Angst for those that don't know). Look, I get that the MC is grieving. It sucks when your brother dies. But half her complaints were mostly about things that she and her family mostly brought on themselves and frankly half the time she made it sound like his death was just really inconvenient for HER. Also I'm sorry, you live on Catalina Island where there's apparently no crime (something I find really hard to believe), you have your own freaking horse (which tells me you're not as hard on cash as you make out because owning horses is freaking expensive), and you're popular, pretty, and have a great understanding boyfriend? Please, tell me again how your life is hard:? A hundred pages of this constant whining/angst and basically nothing to show for it other then the male love interest showing up and being mysterious (and apparently according to MC's friends, all of whom are white, "ethnic" because he's Jewish. No, I'm not kidding, one of her friends seriously says his ethnic thing is working for him) I was done. I didn't even care about finding out about Will's secret because I just wanted scream about all the rich privilege going on in this book. Maybe it gets better by the middle but I just didn't care enough to find out.