Saturday, January 31, 2015

Review: Tunnel Vision by Susan Adrian

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Title: Tunnel Vision
Author:
Susan Adrian
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (Macmillan)
Release Date: January 20, 2015
Acquired Via:
Publisher

Romance and action come crashing together in Susan Adrian's Tunnel Vision in which a teenage boy with incredible powers is brought to the attention of the government.

Jake Lukin just turned 18. He's decent at tennis and Halo, and waiting to hear on his app to Stanford. But he's also being followed by a creep with a gun, and there's a DARPA agent waiting in his bedroom. His secret is blown.

When Jake holds a personal object, like a pet rock or a ring, he has the ability to "tunnel" into the owner. He can sense where they are, like a human GPS, and can see, hear, and feel what they do. It's an ability the government would do anything to possess: a perfect surveillance unit who could locate fugitives, spies, or terrorists with a single touch.

Jake promised his dad he’d never tell anyone about his ability. But his dad died two years ago, and Jake slipped. If he doesn't agree to help the government, his mother and sister may be in danger. Suddenly he's juggling high school, tennis tryouts, flirting with Rachel Watkins, and work as a government asset, complete with 24-hour bodyguards.

Forced to lie to his friends and family, and then to choose whether to give up everything for their safety, Jake hopes the good he's doing—finding kidnap victims and hostages, and tracking down terrorists—is worth it. But he starts to suspect the good guys may not be so good after all. With Rachel's help, Jake has to try to escape both good guys and bad guys and find a way to live his own life instead of tunneling through others.


My Review

Susan Adrian's Tunnel Vision was a surprise and a breath of fresh air compared to the YA thrillers that I've read in the past. I was grabbed in the very beginning, as the action started almost immediately, and the story held me until the end. There were no lulls, no skimming, and definitely no putting down of the book for me.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: Landry Park by Bethany Hagen #Giveaway

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Title: Landry Park (Landry Park #1)
Author:
Bethany Hagen
Publisher: Speak (Penguin)
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Acquired Via:
Publisher

Downton Abbey meets The Selection in this dystopian tale of love and betrayal

Sixteen-year-old Madeline Landry is practically Gentry royalty. Her ancestor developed the nuclear energy that has replaced electricity, and her parents exemplify the glamour of the upper class. As for Madeline, she would much rather read a book than attend yet another debutante ball. But when she learns about the devastating impact the Gentry lifestyle—her lifestyle—is having on those less fortunate, her whole world is turned upside down. As Madeline begins to question everything she has been told, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana, who seems to be hiding secrets of his own. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty—her family and the estate she loves dearly—and desire.

Fans of Ally Condie, Kiera Cass, Veronica Roth, and even Jane Austen will be enthralled by this breathtaking read.


My Review

There's not really much better than receiving the occasional, surprise finished copy of a book in the mail from a publisher. The new paperback of Landry Park was so shiny and pretty that I had to, of course, move it to the top of my reading pile. I had been interested in the novel when it first released in hardcover last year, but time did not allow for me to read it. I jumped at the chance this time.

Cover Reveal (Giveaway): Lion's Share by Rachel Vincent

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Title: Lion's Share (Wildcats #1)
Author:
Rachel Vincent
Cover Reveal Organizer: Xpresso Book Tours
Release Date: February 23, 2015

Abby Wade has a dangerous secret.

Two months ago, she disobeyed an order, but instead of kicking her out of the Pride, Jace offered her a job. Since then, she’s been battling a completely inappropriate crush on the young, hot Alpha. But when accepting his job offer seems like the only way to keep her skeletons safely in their closet, Abby doesn’t hesitate.

Jace Hammond has a big problem.

A rogue is slaughtering humans in his territory, and he must eliminate the threat before the entire shifter species is exposed. There could not be a worse time for Abby to accept a job he only offered as a boost to her confidence. Abby is smart, beautiful, and resilient—more than enough to distract any man from the mission. Unfortunately, she may just be the worst enforcer ever to hold the title.

As they hunt the killer, Abby’s secret becomes a threat to Jace’s authority and to her own life. But the real danger is the grip she has on his twice-shy heart.



About the Author

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (91): Lois Lane: Fallout

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



Title: Lois Lane: Fallout
Author:
Gwenda Bond
Publisher: Switch Press (Capstone)
Release Date: May 1, 2015

Lois Lane is starting a new life in Metropolis. An Army brat, Lois has lived all over—and seen all kinds of things. (Some of them defy explanation, like the near-disaster she witnessed in Kansas in the middle of one night.) But now her family is putting down roots in the big city, and Lois is determined to fit in. Stay quiet. Fly straight. As soon as she steps into her new high school, though, she can see it won’t be that easy. A group known as the Warheads is making life miserable for another girl at school. They’re messing with her mind, somehow, via the high-tech immersive videogame they all play. Not cool. Armed with her wit and her new snazzy job as a reporter, Lois has her sights set on solving this mystery. But sometimes it’s all a bit much. Thank goodness for her maybe-more-than-a friend, a guy she knows only by his screenname, SmallvilleGuy.


I grew up watching the '70s Superman movies and the Lois and Clark TV series, so I'm excited to see Lois Lane get a book all to herself. I'm also enjoying some of the YA versions of some of my favorite comic book characters, like Marvel's Ms. Marvel, and I've heard really good things about this one.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

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Title: A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing #1)
Author:
Rhiannon Thomas
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

A spinning wheel.
A prick of a finger.
A Terrible curse.


One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept. Everyone expects Aurora to marry her betrothed and restore magic and peace to the kingdom before revolution tears it apart. But after a lifetime spent locked in a tower for her own safety, Aurora longs for the freedom to make her own choices. When she meets a handsome rebel, she is tempted to abandon everything for a different kind of life.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

A Wicked Thing is a surprising, spellbinding reimagining of what happens
after happily ever after.

My Review

Rhiannon Thomas' A Wicked Thing is the biggest surprise for me so far in 2015. The story follows Aurora, the sleeping beauty, one hundred years after she fell asleep. It was handled in a way that surprised me (see, I said it again) because I was expecting a sappy romance or something with a lot of self-hatred because of the alleged wickedness. Then again, it may because I've read a really wonderful Sleeping Beauty retelling, and I was afraid that it would never compare. (It was different enough that it did.)

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Love to Read with My Book Club

2 comments:

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books I Would Love to Read with My Book Club

All of my choices come from NPR's top 100 YA books.

Books I Have Already Read



1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling

This is one of my favorite series ever, and I would love a chance to re-read it and pick apart everything and discover new ideas about the books.



2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This is another one of my favorite books, and it would be great to leisurely read through it again and be able to discuss all the great and terrible things.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cover Reveal: Whipped by Kelly Collins

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Title: Whipped (Decadent #3)
Author:
Kelly Collins
Publisher: Self
Release Date: February 13, 2015

Roxy Somerville grew up with everything. Sports cars and designer clothes were commonplace in her life. Love, affection and autonomy were not. She left her life of luxury, and traded her riches for freedom, a freedom that would lead her back to her first love.

Bobby Anderson had very little in the way of wealth as a child. He had a supportive family and it made him the richest of men. For a time, he had Roxy, then she was gone. Now she’s back in his life, and he will stop at nothing to keep her.

Travel through past mistakes to second chances. Take a journey straight to the heart of love. Whipped is dipped in intrigue and suspense and immersed in sizzling hot passion. Once you find yourself Whipped, there is no turning back.


Buy the first two books in the Decadent series:

Just Dessert
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Brownie Points
Amazon

About the Author


Kelly Collins lives in Colorado with her husband, James. She’s the proud mother of three young adults. They are her greatest accomplishment.

Reading has always been a passion. That passion turned into a career after she took a flight to New York and asked a what if question. That question turned into her first book, Tempo.

She has a passion for her family, a love of lemondrop martinis and is known to stop for anything shiny. She love hockey, gerbera daisies and standing in front of her fireplace until she nearly combusts.

Armed with a martini and her laptop, Kelly loves nothing more than to create a world that any woman would want to explore.

Links
Facebook | Website | Newsletter


Friday, January 23, 2015

Review: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

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Title: The Ghosts of Heaven
Author:
Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (Macmillian)
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Acquired Via:
Publisher

Timeless, beautiful, and haunting, spirals connect the four episodes of The Ghosts of Heaven, the mesmerizing new novel from Printz Award winner Marcus Sedgwick. They are there in prehistory, when a girl picks up a charred stick and makes the first written signs; there tens of centuries later, hiding in the treacherous waters of Golden Beck that take Anna, who people call a witch; there in the halls of a Long Island hospital at the beginning of the 20th century, where a mad poet watches the oceans and knows the horrors it hides; and there in the far future, as an astronaut faces his destiny on the first spaceship sent from earth to colonize another world. Each of the characters in these mysterious linked stories embarks on a journey of discovery and survival; carried forward through the spiral of time, none will return to the same place.

My Review

The Ghosts of Heaven... This is not an easy one to gather my thoughts about. I think it may be easiest to break it down by quarter (there are four shortish stories that make up the novel).

Quarter One: Whispers in the Dark

This story reminded me a lot of Hunting the Ghost Dancer by A.A. Attanasio, which is funny because I haven't read that book in nearly twenty years and can't recall the last time that I even thought about the book. *thinks about it* Okay, all they really have in common is that they're both set in prehistoric times. But still! I thought about that other book a lot.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Spotlight: Fate Reborn by Christina Ow

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Title:Fate Reborn (Dukkha Fates #1)
Author: Christina Ow
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Released Date: January 30, 2015

Ashat is a werewolf who’s lived three centuries in sorrow and torment after his family was killed by an enemy-Baku. The only way he is able to bear his long life is drinking himself into a drunken stupor, women and hunting down Baku. His world suddenly changes when he meets Merilee and he is finally able to love and be happy again.

Merilee lost her family in a fire when she was five. However she isn’t too sure about that, her nightmares show her something very different to what her shrink has been telling her for thirteen years. She was raised by her two adoptive sisters Ann and Maria in an orphanage. She has a fear of letting people in and losing them. This fear makes her put up with an obnoxious boyfriend Steve until she’s finally gets the courage to get rid of him.

She finally meets a man who she instantly has a crush on and ultimately falls in love with after their first night together.

But Merilee and Ashat have met before in the worst of situations.



About the Author

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (90): Hidden Huntress by Danielle Jensen

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



Title: Hidden Huntress (The Malediction Trilogy #2)
Author:
Danielle Jensen
Publisher: Angry Robot
Release Date: June 2, 2015

Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…



Yes! Hidden Huntress has a cover! Kayla and I both enjoyed the first in the trilogy, Stolen Songbird, and I can't wait to read the sequel. You can read my review HERE and Kayla's review HERE.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Review: Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh #Giveaway

6 comments:


Title: Shovel Ready (Spademan #1)
Author:
Adam Sternbergh
Publisher: Crown (Random House)
Release Date: January 14, 2014
Acquired Via:
Publisher

The futuristic hardboiled noir that Lauren Beukes calls “sharp as a paper-cut” about a garbage man turned kill-for-hire.

Spademan used to be a garbage man. That was before the dirty bomb hit Times Square, before his wife was killed, and before the city became a blown-out shell of its former self.

Now he’s a hitman.

In a near-future New York City split between those who are wealthy enough to “tap in” to a sophisticated virtual reality, and those who are left to fend for themselves in the ravaged streets, Spademan chose the streets. When his latest client hires him to kill the daughter of a powerful evangelist, he must navigate between these two worlds—the wasteland reality and the slick fantasy—to finish his job, clear his conscience, and make sure he’s not the one who winds up in the ground.


My Review

Shovel Ready has put me in a really weird position, bloggerwise. I received a copy of it months ago to review, and I started reading it immediately. I was taken with the protagonist, Spademan, and I wanted to see more of the dark, dirty world he was in the more I read. That being said, the writing style was strange, so I took my time with it. (Don't go in looking for quotation marks.)

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Where the Heroine Saves the Day/Love Interest

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books Where the Heroine Saves the World/Love Interest

I recently read Neil Gaiman's The Sleeper and the Spindle, because I thought the idea that Snow White saved Sleeping Beauty was awesome. We need more heroines that don't act like princesses waiting to get saved (kissed). Then I started thinking about other books where the heroine saved the guy or girl love interest and I had a hard time coming up with more than a handful. I know a LOT of strong heroines in literature, but I think that at one point or other most of them had a man come in and save them. Even my beloved Kate Daniels has had Curran save her. So, I had to change this from saved the guy/girl to saved the world/guy/girl. If you can think of any other books that the heroine saves the love interest, please tell me, because I need to read them! (Note: I didn't include the big names like Robin McKinley or Tamora Pierce).



1. The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell

Aside from being a really cool book where the Queen Snow White saves the girl (sadly, this isn't a GLBT book, though), this is one of the most gorgeously illustrated books I have ever seen. It's hard to tell in the cover, but the whole book is in black and white with gold accents. Even though I already own the U.S. version of Fortunately, the Milk, I want to order the UK version as well because Chris Riddell illustrates it. I have problems, I know.



2. Graceling (Graceling Realm #1) by Kristin Cashore

Po was a partner to Katsa throughout their journey, and Katsa had friends that her helped through the council, but in the end, she was the real savior of the world. This is also true of Cashore's other heroines of the series, Fire and Bitterblue.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Early Review: Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier

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Title: Dream a Little Dream (The Silver Trilogy #1)
Author:
Kerstin Gier & Anthea Bell (Trans.)
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. BYR (Macmillian)
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Acquired Via:
Publisher

Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yes, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially the one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys conduct dark magic rituals.

The strangest part is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But what's really scaring Liv is that the dream boys seem to know things about her in real life, things they couldn't possibly know—unless they actually are in her dreams? Luckily, Liv never could resist a good mystery, and all four of those boys are pretty cute....


My Review

First off, I want to say that I think there has been a cover change. Since I'm not sure, I'll just include it in the review here:


Having read the book, I must say that I prefer the purple one a little bit more (except for the butterflies), but I totally understand the newer one from a marketing standpoint.

I've never read the Ruby Red series by Gier, but I own them all because the premise was interesting. I'm a terrible person and still trying to make time to read them. Anywho, I'm really glad that I didn't put off reading Dream a Little Dream. It was a light, fun fantasy that was such a blast to read.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Review: Gunpowder Alchemy by Jeannie Lin

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Title: Gunpowder Alchemy (The Gunpowder Chronicles #1)
Author:
Jeannie Lin
Publisher: InterMix (Penguin)
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Acquired Via:
NetGalley

In 1842, the gunpowder might of China’s Qing Dynasty fell to Britain’s steam engines. Furious, the Emperor ordered the death of his engineers—and killed China’s best chance of fighting back...

Since her father’s execution eight years ago, Jin Soling kept her family from falling into poverty. But her meager savings are running out, leaving her with no choice but to sell the last of her father’s possessions—her last memento of him.

Only, while attempting to find a buyer, Soling is caught and brought before the Crown Prince. Unlike his father, the Emperor, the Prince knows that the only chance of expelling the English invaders is to once again unite China’s cleverest minds to create fantastic weapons. He also realizes that Soling is the one person who could convince her father’s former allies—many who have turned rebel—to once again work for the Empire. He promises to restore her family name if she’ll help him in his cause.

But after the betrayal of her family all those years ago, Soling is unsure if she can trust anyone in the Forbidden City—even if her heart is longing to believe in the engineer with a hidden past who was once meant to be her


My Review

Gunpowder Alchemy was an entertaining steampunk adventure. 8 years ago, Soling's father was executed by the emperor when he failed to stop England's invasion of China. Once a prominent family, Soling, her mother, her brother and their like-family nurse are now living in a shack, while Soling's mother is addicted to opium and Soling is a physician's assistant to make ends meet. When the money runs out, Soling decides to pawn one of her father's last possessions and accidentally comes to the attention of the emperor's son. She is asked to participate in the new war against the rebels and, partially, further English invasion. Soling doesn't want to help the government who murdered her father for his service, but she has no choice, and she's drawn to her former betrothed, Chang-wei. What follows next is an adventure through the ports and cities of mid-1800s China while Soling and Chang-wei try to stay alive and stop an empire from falling to war.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Blog Tour (Review and Giveaway): Freedom to Love by Susanna Fraser

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Title: Freedom to Love
Author:
Susanna Fraser
Publisher: Carina Press (Harlequin)
Release Date: January 5, 2014
Acquired Via: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Louisiana, 1815

Thérèse Bondurant trusted her parents to provide for her and her young half-sister, though they never wed due to laws against mixed-race marriage. But when both die of a fever, Thérèse learns her only inheritance is debt—and her father’s promise that somewhere on his plantation lies a buried treasure. To save her own life—as well as that of her sister—she’ll need to find it before her white cousins take possession of the land.

British officer Henry Farlow, dazed from a wound received in battle outside New Orleans, stumbles onto Thérèse’s property out of necessity. But he stays because he’s become captivated by her intelligence and beauty. It’s thanks to Thérèse’s tender care that he regains his strength just in time to fend off her cousin, inadvertently killing the would-be rapist in the process.

Though he risks being labeled a deserter, it’s much more than a sense of duty that compels Henry to see the sisters to safety—far away from the scene of the crime. And Thérèse realizes she has come to rely on Henry for so much more than protection. On their journey to freedom in England, they must navigate a territory that’s just as foreign to them both—love.


Praise for the novels of Susanna Fraser

“[Susanna Fraser is] a go-to writer for Regency romance that is actually set in the Regency rather than in that Never-Neverland mash-up that’s been dubbed ‘The Recency’ or ‘Almackistan.’” — Willaful at Karen Knows Best

“This is easily one of the best historical romances I’ve read.” — Romantic Historical Reviews on An Infamous Marriage

“…the romance in this story was very sweet. Sydney was immediately relatable and likeable, because she faced such a serious conflict and wanted to make an ethical decision that would preserve the lives of her loved ones.” — Dear Author on Christmas Past

My Review

I enjoyed Freedom to Love even though I don't normally read historical romance set in pre-Civil War America. I liked that it discussed tough issues surrounding slavery and mixed-race couples in that time period. I wish that it would have been set more in New Orleans (less than 20% is set there) and had less of a concentration on English customs in the later parts of the book.

Waiting on Wednesday (89): Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly

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



Title: Monstrous
Author:
MarcyKate Connolly
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Release Date: February 10, 2015

The city of Bryre suffers under the magic of an evil wizard. Because of his curse, girls sicken and disappear without a trace, and Bryre’s inhabitants live in fear. No one is allowed outside after dark.

Yet night is the only time that Kymera can enter this dangerous city, for she must not be seen by humans. Her father says they would not understand her wings, the bolts in her neck, or her spiky tail—they would kill her. They would not understand that she was created for a purpose: to rescue the girls of Bryre.

Despite her caution, a boy named Ren sees Kym and begins to leave a perfect red rose for her every evening. As they become friends, Kym learns that Ren knows about the missing girls, the wizard, and the evil magic that haunts Bryre.

And what he knows will change Kym’s life.



This sounds like it was written just for me! Curses and beastly girls! I just love a good Beauty and the Beast retelling, especially one mixed with Frankenstein and has the girl as the beast.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Review: Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen

2 comments:


Title: Beastkeeper
Author:
Cat Hellisen
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (Macmillan)
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Acquired Via:
Publisher

Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from.

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive.

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.


My Review

I wanted to read Beastkeeper because it seemed like Beauty and the Beast except the girl is the beast. I loved the cover, too, and it makes a lot more sense now that I've read the book.

It seemed more like a middle grade novel than an older YA novel, not in the way it was written, but because the thoughts and actions of the main character were that of someone who wasn't yet a teenager. The writing, however, was beautiful and more mature than middle grade fiction.

Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Releases I Meant to Read But Did Not Get To

6 comments:

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant to Read But Did Not Get To



1. Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

My library finally ordered this, and I have it checked out now. You can read Kayla's review HERE.



2. Of Metal and Wishes (Of Metal and Wishes #1) by Sarah Fine

I read and enjoyed Sanctum earlier this year, and I've heard such good things about Of Metal and Wishes. I have Kayla's copy now so I should be getting to this soon.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Spotlight (Excerpt): Felicity Heaton's Winter Warmers

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winterwarmers-graphic

Felicity Heaton is offering free and discounted books as part of her Winter Warmers promotion. She is offering four books for free (three of which are the first in a series) and six books for $0.99 each from December 15, 2014 to January 15, 2015. Visit Felicity Heaton's website for the deals or see below for an excerpt of one of the books and descriptions of the other available discounted and free books.



Title: Kissed by a Dark Prince (Eternal Mates #1)
Author:
Felicity Heaton
Publisher: Self
Release Date: November 30, 2013

Olivia thinks it’s her lucky night when a dangerously handsome unconscious fae ends up on her inspection table. He’s her chance to redeem herself with her employer, the demon-hunting organisation, Archangel. But when the tall, dark and deadly immortal warrior awakes, she gets much more than she bargained for…

Attacked by his enemy in the elf kingdom, the last thing Prince Loren expects when he comes around is a beautiful angel watching over him and medical technology of the mortal realm. Hazy from his injuries, all he can focus on is the pulse ticking in her throat and the sweet allure of her blood.

One single bite reveals she is his eternal mate, triggering a bond between them that will leave him weakened until it is complete… or broken, and pulling Olivia into the crossfire of his ancient feud.

To protect his people and his mate from the machinations of a madman, Loren must risk everything by working with Olivia at Archangel to find a way to break the bond blossoming between them.

But will Loren be strong enough to place duty before desire and give up the one thing he has waited millennia for and craves above all others—his eternal mate? And will Olivia be able to resist the incredible heat that burns between them and the temptation of her dark prince’s kiss?


Excerpt

Olivia had never seen anything like the male specimen on the inspection table in front of her.

Her heart raced. She hadn’t experienced this explosive combination of uncertainty, anticipation and enthusiasm in a long time, ever since her superiors had stripped her of her rank and sent her to this satellite facility in London, taking away her high-level privileges and forcing her to work on studying demon and fae species already extensively researched. It still felt as though they had shoved her out of sight, burying her in the Archangel equivalent of a basement to punish her for her mistake. She had lost all hope of removing the taint it had left on her name in the organisation.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Blog Tour (Review & Giveaway): Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova

3 comments:


Title: Wildalone
Author:
Krassi Zourkova
Publisher: William Morrow (HarperCollins)
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours

In this darkly imaginative debut novel full of myth, magic, romance, and mystery, a Princeton freshman is drawn into a love triangle with two enigmatic brothers and discovers terrifying secrets about her family and herself—a bewitching blend of Twilight, The Secret History, Jane Eyre, and A Discovery of Witches.

For every world, there is an underworld.

Arriving at Princeton for her freshman year, Thea Slavin finds herself alone, a stranger in a strange land. Away from her family and her Eastern European homeland for the first time, she struggles to adapt to unfamiliar American ways and the challenges of college life—including a young man whose brooding good looks and murky past intrigue her. Drawn to the elusive Rhys and his equally handsome and mysterious brother, Jake, she ventures into a sensual mythic underworld as irresistible as it is dangerous.

In this shadow world that seems to evoke Greek mythology and the Bulgarian legends of the samodivi, or "wildalones"—forest witches who beguile and entrap men—Thea will discover a family secret bound to transform her forever . . . if she can accept that dead doesn't always mean gone, and love doesn't always distinguish between the two.

Mesmerizing and addictive, Wildalone is a thrilling blend of the modern and the fantastical. Krassi Zourkova creates an atmospheric world filled with rich characters as compelling as those of Diana Gabaldon, Deborah Harkness, and Stephenie Meyer.


My Review

There were things I LOVED about Wildalone and there were things I hated about it. Let's start with the great:

The writing style was fabulous and the blend of the Greek mythology with Bulgarian mythology and Christianity was interesting. I also loved the setting: partly in Princeton, which was almost a town unto itself, and partly in Bulgaria. It was awesome finding out all the little things about Bulgarian culture and customs, like that they nod for "no".

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Joint Review: Golden Son by Pierce Brown (Spoilers)

7 comments:
Okay, if you haven't read Red Rising, you may want to skip this discussion/review. If you haven't read Golden Son yet, you may want to be careful while reading this review. If you have read Golden Son, we totally need to have a party and discuss All The Things.

Proceed carefully.



Title: Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy #2)
Author:
Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Rey (Random House)
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Acquired Via:
Publisher

With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom.

As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.

A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.

He must live for more.


Our Review

You can read Kayla's review of Red Rising, the first book in the trilogy, HERE.

BEWARE! THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR Red Rising (AND MAYBE Golden Son) BELOW!

Amber: So I decided to play hooky the last few minutes of work and finish.....

My first thoughts at the end were "Well, fuck."

At least Sevro and Mustang are free somewhere. They'll get Darrow out somehow.

Kayla: So did you see any of that coming? I knew what's-his-face would end up betraying him, but I didn't think Finchner would be killed. But then again, I didn't see a lot of things coming. Every time I thought I had it figured out, something would spin it on its head.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Blog Tour (Review & Giveaway): City of Liars and Thieves by Eve Karlin

4 comments:


Title: City of Liars and Thieves
Author:
Eve Karlin
Publisher: Alibi (Random House)
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours

A crime that rocked a city. A case that stunned a nation. Based on the United States’ first recorded murder trial, Eve Karlin’s spellbinding debut novel re-creates early nineteenth-century New York City, where a love affair ends in a brutal murder and a conspiracy involving Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr erupts in shattering violence.

It is high time to tell the truth. Time for justice. . . . How she was murdered and why she haunts me. It is not only Elma’s story, it’s mine.

On the bustling docks of the Hudson River, Catherine Ring waits with her husband and children for the ship carrying her cousin, Elma Sands. Their Greenwich Street boardinghouse becomes a haven for Elma, who has at last escaped the stifling confines of her small hometown and the shameful circumstances of her birth. But in the summer of 1799, Manhattan remains a teeming cesspool of stagnant swamps and polluted rivers. The city is desperate for clean water as fires wreak devastation and the death toll from yellow fever surges.

Political tensions are rising, too. It’s an election year, and Alexander Hamilton is hungry for power. So is his rival, Aaron Burr, who has announced the formation of the Manhattan Water Company. But their private struggle becomes very public when the body of Elma Sands is found at the bottom of a city well built by Burr’s company.

Resolved to see justice done, Catherine becomes both witness and avenger. She soon finds, however, that the shocking truth behind this trial has nothing to do with guilt or innocence.


My Review

By the time I began reading City of Liars and Thieves, I had completely forgotten what the book was about (and why I wanted to review it). That being said, I would like to give Past Kayla a major fist bump for choosing such a great book to review. City of Liars and Thieves is precisely my sort of mystery: full of history and great writing.

Waiting on Wednesday (88): Dove Arising by Karen Bao

3 comments:

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



Title: Dove Arising (Dove Chronicles #1)
Author:
Karen Bao
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (Penguin)
Release Date: February 24, 2015

Phaet Theta has lived her whole life in a colony on the Moon. She’s barely spoken since her father died in an accident nine years ago. She cultivates the plants in Greenhouse 22, lets her best friend talk for her, and stays off the government’s radar.

Then her mother is arrested.

The only way to save her younger siblings from the degrading Shelter is by enlisting in the Militia, the faceless army that polices the Lunar bases and protects them from attacks by desperate Earth-dwellers. Training is brutal, but it’s where Phaet forms an uneasy but meaningful alliance with the preternaturally accomplished Wes, a fellow outsider.

Rank high, save her siblings, free her mom: that’s the plan. Until Phaet’s logically ordered world begins to crumble...

Suspenseful, intelligent, and hauntingly prescient, Dove Arising stands on the shoulders of our greatest tales of the future to tell a story that is all too relevant today.



I'm generally hit or miss when it comes to outer space science fiction, but this looks really good.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Review: The Just City by Jo Walton

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Title: The Just City (Thessaly #1)
Author:
Jo Walton
Publisher: Tor Books (Macmillan)
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Acquired Via:
Publisher

"Here in the Just City you will become your best selves. You will learn and grow and strive to be excellent."

Created as an experiment by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, the Just City is a planned community, populated by over ten thousand children and a few hundred adult teachers from all eras of history, along with some handy robots from the far human future—all set down together on a Mediterranean island in the distant past.

The student Simmea, born an Egyptian farmer's daughter sometime between 500 and 1000 A.D, is a brilliant child, eager for knowledge, ready to strive to be her best self. The teacher Maia was once Ethel, a young Victorian lady of much learning and few prospects, who prayed to Pallas Athene in an unguarded moment during a trip to Rome—and, in an instant, found herself in the Just City with grey-eyed Athene standing unmistakably before her.

Meanwhile, Apollo—stunned by the realization that there are things mortals understand better than he does—has arranged to live a human life, and has come to the City as one of the children. He knows his true identity, and conceals it from his peers. For this lifetime, he is prone to all the troubles of being human.

Then, a few years in, Sokrates arrives—the same Sokrates recorded by Plato himself—to ask all the troublesome questions you would expect. What happens next is a tale only the brilliant Jo Walton could tell.


My Review

The Just City is a fairly amazing book that I really don't know how to describe, sadly. I was drawn to the book because of all of the wonderful things I have heard about Jo Walton (I hate that I missed her panels at ALA in June) and my love of Greek mythology. What I found was a novel that made me want to be smarter to appreciate it more, and I also wish that I had read it ten years ago in college, when my brain was at its peak.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015

4 comments:

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Debut Novels I'm Anticipating Reading



1. Red Queen (Red Queen Trilogy #1) by Victoria Aveyard
February 10, 2015

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?



This seems like a version of Red Rising, but I love the cover so I'm willing to give it a shot. Hopefully, it's more fantasy/dystopia than romance.



2. The Storyspinner (The Keepers' Chronicles #1) by Becky Wallace
March 3, 2015

Drama and danger abound in this fantasy realm where dukes play a game for the throne, magical warriors race to find the missing heir, and romance blossoms where it is least expected.

In a world where dukes plot their way to the throne, a Performer’s life can get tricky. And in Johanna Von Arlo’s case, it can be fatal. Expelled from her troupe after her father’s death, Johanna is forced to work for the handsome Lord Rafael DeSilva. Too bad they don’t get along. But while Johanna’s father’s death was deemed an accident, the Keepers aren’t so sure.

The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are on a quest to find the princess—the same princess who is supposed to be dead and whose throne the dukes are fighting over. But they aren’t the only ones looking for her. And in the wake of their search, murdered girls keep turning up—girls who look exactly like the princess, and exactly like Johanna.

With dukes, Keepers, and a killer all after the princess, Johanna finds herself caught up in political machinations for the throne, threats on her life, and an unexpected romance that could change everything.



2015 looks to be a great year for YA fantasy with tons of releases. I can't wait to read this story of a lost princess and a game of thrones