Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cover Reveal: Ruthless by Sara Shepard

I can't wait to read this on when it comes out! I like how the cover is similar to that of Twisted. And I also love how colourful the cover is! These books are like a rainbow on my shelf. This is a book I'll be picking up when it comes out.

What do you guys think?

Sweet Venom 2 Title Hunt!

For those of you who have never heard of Sweet Venom, it is the first book of the Medusa Girls series by Tera Lynn Childs. I am really honoured to be part of the title hunt for Sweet Venom 2.

What's my letter?

Be sure to go to Tera Lynn Child's blog to find the rest of the letters of the Sweet Venom 2 official title. The prizes include five signed copies of Sweet Venom and a $50 bookstore gift card, AND it's open internationally! Be sure to enter! 

Good luck!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

WitchlandersTitle: Witchlanders
Author: Lena Coakley
Publisher: Atheneum
Release: August 30, 2011
Pages: 411
Series: None at this time.
 High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future.
It’s all a fake.
At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?
But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned—
Are about him.

After recently receiving this book for review, I was unsure of how I would feel about the book. Often fantasy books are a hit or miss with me. While I was hoping this book would be on the hit side of things for me, unfortunately it was not.

The cover for this book is intriguing. I love the blue colour and how light it is and then you add the scarlet fabric that seems to be in the wind, you get a very colourful cover. The one part of this cover I didn't like was the sword. I felt the cover would have been just as good without it. I also liked the font used for the title and author name. It looks almost sketched or old. Altogether this cover came together fairly well.

As you may have heard, Witchlanders does not feature a romantic aspect. It purely focuses on the bromance between Ryder and Falpian. Of those two main characters, Ryder was by far my favourite because of how he didn't change his mind easily for others and he would go to any length for his family. Falpian on the other hand, I didn't like as much because of how easily he changed his mind and how spoiled he could be at times. A part of this book I liked quite a bit was the relationship between Ryder and Falpian. They came from such different worlds that their friendship was odd, but it worked well.

One of my biggest issues with this book lies in the plot pacing. For the first half of the book, I found the plot to be much too slow for my taste. But then in the second half, the book picked up speed and ended well. This book had so much originality in it as well. I have never read a book about witches quite like this one and I did enjoy how original this book was. The writing was also good, though some of the terms used and just getting used to the world with the writing could get a little overwhelming at times.

Overall, Witchlanders was not my favourite book, though not the worst. If you enjoy fantasy books, definitely give this one a shot. I give Witchlanders a 3/5 altogether.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Interview with Elizabeth Miles, Author of Fury

I have another great interview for you guys today. Today, I have an interview with Elizabeth Miles, author or Fury! Let's get started!

1) How did you get the idea for Fury?

It was a confluence of creative inspirations -- a combination of interest in mythology and fables, horror movies, and contemporary YA -- with a little bit of personal revenge fantasy thrown in for good measure. :)

2) Did you find yourself as one with your characters by the time you finished writing your book? Was finishing the book bittersweet?

Fury (Fury, #1)Because this was my first full-length work of fiction, I actually think that I only found my true flow toward the middle of the first-draft writing process. I was excited when I finished the book; the last few chapters were exhilarating to write,and I was eager to preserve that momentum as I started the second book. At this point, certain characters do feel like friends (or at least, frightening acquaintances).

3) What was your favorite moment in Fury?

Without wanting to give too much away, I love the New Year's Eve scene, when Em and JD go to Boston together. 

4) What was your initial reaction to seeing the book really coming together (ie.getting a cover and being added to Goodreads, etc.)?

Shock, glee, terror, you name it. My bff Lauren Oliver often asks "Aren't you excited??" because my reactions are sometimes understated. It's not for lack of excitement -- sometimes it just takes me a few extra minutes to process such overwhelming news!

5) As an author, name 3 things you cannot live without.

1) Quiet alone time
2) Books
3) Cheese

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Twisted by Sara Shepard

Twisted (Pretty Little Liars, #9)Title: Twisted
Author: Sara Shepard
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release: July 5, 2011
Pages: 320
Series: Pretty Little Liars #9
It’s been a year since the torturous notes from A stopped and the mystery of Alison DiLaurentis’s disappearance was finally put to rest. Now seniors in high school, Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily are older, but they’re not any wiser. The Pretty Little Liars have more secrets than ever - twisted secrets that could destroy the perfect lives they’ve worked so hard to rebuild.

Aria’s jealous of her boyfriend’s new exchange student. Spencer’s getting a little too cozy with her soon-to-be-stepbrother. Hanna’s one scandalous photo away from ruining her dad’s Senate campaign. And Emily will do anything to get a swim scholarship.

Worst of all: Last spring break in Jamaica, they did something unforgivable. The girls are desperate to forget that fateful night, but they should know better than anyone that all secrets wash ashore … eventually.

When Twisted was announced, I was still working on reading the rest of the Pretty Little Liars series. I love those books, so when Twisted came out, I knew I would have to read it. Going into Twisted, I had pretty high expectations after reading the other books, and this book blew past those expectations. Forget everything you thought was shocking in the Pretty Little Liars series, because the girls are back and better than ever. I honestly thought that the books couldn't get any better than it was, but I was absolutely wrong. My one dislike with this book was that there is a period of time between this book and Wanted. Though some of the events between then and now were described, not all of it was there. That aside, with more mind blowing drama than ever, Twisted will be truly satisfying to any Pretty Little Liars fan, and for that reason I give it a 5/5. If you haven't read any of the Pretty Little Liars books, I would recommend them to any fan of the TV series or those who adore drama.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hop Day!

So Follow my Blog Friday is a meme held by Parajunkee and it's where you answer the weekly question and then link yourself and you go and check out other blogs of your interest.

If you could write yourself a part in a book, what book would it be and what role would you play in that book?

I think I would write myself in to The Mortal Instruments Series, as Clary's other best friend or as a cameo character. Just to get to be part of that world would be amazing.

Book Blogger HopBook Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy For Books made to help showcase your blog to other bloggers out there with the same interests!

What’s the LONGEST book you’ve ever read?

The longest book I've ever read to date is actually The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Midnight. That book is 599 pages long, but I kind of wish it was 600 just so it was an even number.

TGIF is a meme held over at GReads
Have you ever read a book and not wanted to review it? Are some books too personal that we want to keep our thoughts our own?
The only times that this happens to me is when a series gets past book four and it begins to get very hard to give a review without using spoilers. Often, I won't review long series for just that reason.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

VirtuosityTitle: Virtuosity
Author: Jessica Martinez
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release: October 18, 2011
Pages: 304
Series: None at this time.
Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better?

Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.

Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall....

Since first seeing this book on Goodreads, I had been very curious and intrigued by the summary. The premise seemed unique to me, as I don't read many contemporary books and I don't ever recall reading a book about musicians or music for that matter. So I went into this book with not too many expectations and the few expectations I did have were shattered.

Have you seen the cover for Virtuosity? I really do love this cover art. I love how it features the pink but also the black and white on the cover model. The pose she is doing really makes me think that she might be listening to music and letting it wash over her. I think that the colour theme really made the whole cover come together nicely.

At the moment I do not play an instrument, but Jessica Martinez made it so easy to get into the musical side of the story by using her protagonist, Carmen, to demonstrate a true lover of music who still deals with normal teenage issues. Carmen was very relateable to teenagers as well as being not your average teenager. I liked that the author was able to establish Carmen with a balance of regular and irregular traits for a teenager. As for Jeremy, he was that character that you start off loving to hate, but gradually you realize there is more to him than what you first see. I loved reading about these two and their banter back and forth. The other character that struck a chord with me was Carmen's mother, the overbearing stage mom who was essentially living through her daughter. Altogether, Virtuosity provided the reader with a cast of characters that made you feel for them and what they were going through.

As I said above even if you are not a music lover going into this book, you will like it a lot more after reading it. This is due to the characters and the detailed writing that went into each of them. I enjoyed the writing because you did not have to know anything about music going into the book, it told you what you needed to know as you read. The story was fast moving, grabbing you from the first page and sucking you in until you are fully submerged in Carmen's world. The details and backstory were sucessfully told as the story went along so you did not get as many slow spots in the plot.

Virtuosity was a mixture of music, drama and romance. It mixed all of these components very well to create this awesome novel. With only few drawbacks, I would definitely reccommend this book to any music or book lover. On that note, I give Virtuosity a 5/5 for being an emotional, hard to put down novel.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1)Title: My Soul to Take
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release: August 1, 2009
Pages: 279
Series: Soul Screamers #1
She doesn't see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.

This is a series that I've been meaning to pick up for some time now and I finally went out and bought what I thought was the first book of the series, but it turned out to be the second. So I went back out and got the first so I could begin the series. And I was very pleased that I got this series now because I don't think I could have handled having to wait for the rest of the books to come out. The characters of this series were very interesting to read about. My one difficulty of this book was that the relation between Kaylee and her love interest was a little too instant for my taste. Apart from the too fast relationship, I did enjoy reading about these characters and seeing how they grew. The story was a continuously moving one, never moving too fast or too slow, but all ways moving. The writing was good, very descriptive and great at building the world that the story was set in. When all was said and done, My Soul to Take deserved a 4/5 in my opinion, the only thing bringing it down being the instant love.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Haunted by Jessica Verday

The HauntedTitle: The Haunted
Author: Jessica Verday
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release: August 31, 2010
Pages: 467
Series: The Hollow #2
An impossible truth. An impossible love.
After a summer spent reclaiming her sanity and trying to forget the boy she fell in love with—the boy who must not exist, cannot exist, because she knows that he is dead—Abbey returns to Sleepy
Hollow, ready to leave the ghosts of her past behind. She throws herself into her schoolwork, her perfume-making, and her friendship with Ben, her cute and funny lab partner, who just might be her ticket to getting over Caspian once and for all.

But Abbey can never get over Caspian, and Caspian has no choice but to return to her side, for Caspian is a Shade, and Abbey is his destiny. They are tied not only to each other, but also to the town of Sleepy Hollow, and to the famous legend that binds their fates—a legend whose dark truths they are only beginning to guess....

After reading The Hollow, I knew I would need to read The Haunted because of how much build up The Hollow had for The Haunted. And it did live up to all the build up. I found the characters had grown into who they are more than they had before. I really enjoyed Abbey more than I did in The Hollow. She was much stronger, more independent and she handled tough decisions much better than she did before. I also enjoyed how the relationships played out between her and all the other characters around her. In the end she made a very tough decision about her future. Another thing that I thought had been improved on since the last book was the pacing of the story, I really liked how evenly spread the exciting scenes were throughout the book. The one downside with The Haunted that it had the feel of too much building up for the next book. Altogether, I enjoyed The Haunted quite a bit and I would definitely give it a 4/5 for being a fairly exciting read and for making me want to pick up the next book.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Saskatoon Balloon Book Trailer

Have you checked out the new trailer for Kate Hegarty's book The Saskatoon Balloon? The Saskatoon Balloon is the sequel to Mieradome, and is coming later this year.

Check out the website here.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

UnwindTitle: Unwind
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release: November 6, 2007
Pages: 335
Series: Unwind #1
Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

Unwind was a book that I've been wanting to read since I saw it online before I even began blogging. Before I had even gotten into dystopian. I finally got my hands on it when I went on a bit of a buying spree the other day. The storyline of Unwind was very involved and always moving at a breakneck pace. I loved how intertwined the characters stories were and how the story was told from so many different points of view so you really got to see all sides of the story. All of the characters were very well built and very dimensional. They made mistakes and were relatable to the reader because they were not perfect. The writing definitely had a different tone to it than most books have. It was also very good at setting up the setting so the reader knew about the world and the politics involved. And the ending will have you on the edge of your seat until the last page. The book made that future seem almost probable. Overall, this book definitely deserves a 5/5 in my opinion.

Book Discussion: Reading a Series Out of Order: OK or Not?

So in the past I've known some people who will read a series out of order. They'll read whatever books in the series that the store or library has in. Personally, I have always been one to either read the series in order or not at all. I just feel that you don't get the entire story the way the author meant it to be if you skip books or read them out of order.

So what do you guys think? Do you like to read books out of order or do you have to read them in the correct order?

Friday, August 12, 2011

In My Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature done by The Story Siren. This week I got quite a few awesome looking books and some swag as well!

Everblue (Mer Tales, #1)DeliriumUnwind
SpellboundThirteen Reasons Why
My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1)Madly and Wolfhardt (Book 1 and Book 2 of the Madly Series)

For Review/ Won:
Everblue by Brenda Pandos (Thanks to Brenda Pandos for the signed copy)
Madly & Wolfhardt by M. Leighton (Thanks to M. Leighton and Alex from Electrifying Reviews)

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
The Haunted by Jessica Verday
Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Everblue Bookmarks! (Signed, not pictured above)
The Hunger Games Bookmark

Monday, August 8, 2011

Everblue Blog Tour

So if you've noticed the banner I've had above my posts, you'll know I am one of the blogs participating in the Everblue Blog Tour!!! I am super excited to let you guys know that I'm participating! I hope you all come back here on the September 8, 2011. I know I can't wait! Thanks to Brenda Pandos and Eleni over at La Femme Readers for organizing all of this!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature done by The Story Siren. This week I got some really awesome books that I'm very excited to read!
The Tales of Beedle the BardMy Soul to Save (Soul Screamers, #2)
Tantalize (Tantalize, #1)
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling
My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent
Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Blogger Interview with Books Galore

PhotobucketHey everyone! Today I have an interview with the blogger behind Books Galore. If you haven't heard of her blog, please check it out here.

1) Your bookcase is on fire. If you could only choose one book to save from your shelf, which would it be and why?

I would choose The Lying Game by Sara Shepard. It was an amazing book that I've read twice and her other series was amazing.

2) What part of a book is most important to you?

The characters because it you don't have good characters you can't have a good plot, and with poor characters you have a bad foundation.

3) What do you think about the retelling of classic stories?

The retellings better fit the YA genre than the classics did. The characters are often more up to date and relate-able to the reader.

4)Which was your favourite YA cover of 2011 so far?

Either Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini and Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey because they have such a presence.

5) What has your favourite summer 2011 read been so far and why?

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin because it was very well written and it drew you in from the beginning. I wasn't  able to put it down from the beginning!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hop Day!

So Follow my Blog Friday is a meme held by Parajunkee and it's where you answer the weekly question and then link yourself and you go and check out other blogs of your interest.

Talk about the book that most changed or influenced your life (was it a book that turned you from an average to avid reader, did it help you deal with a particularly difficult situation, does it bring you comfort every time you read it?).

The Night World Books by LJ Smith changed me from an average reader to a book lover. The Hunger Games however, really made me stop and think about how lucky am to live where I live and be as free as I am.

Book Blogger HopBook Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy For Books made to help showcase your blog to other bloggers out there with the same interests!

What is the one ARC you would love to get your hands on right now?

Vanish by Sophie Jordan. I quite enjoyed the first book, Firelight and I cannot wait for the release of this sequel.

TGIF is a meme held over at GReads
Not Yet Posted.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ward Against Death by Melanie Card

Ward Against Death (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer, # 1)Title: Ward Against Death
Author: Melanie Card
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release: August 2, 2011
Pages: 306
Series: Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #1
Twenty-year-old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.

But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.

However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…

I first spotted this title on Goodreads and admired how unique it sounded. A reluctant necromancer? The only books on necromancers I had read were Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers Trilogy, so I was very excited to read this book. When I saw it on Netgalley, I knew I would have to read it. After reading it however, I was confronted with some conflicted thoughts.

The cover of Ward Against Death did not play into my decision to read the book as much as usual. Usually, I am choosing a physical book and I am drawn to those which catch my eye. This book was online though and I did not see the cover every time I read it. For these reasons I am unsure of how I feel about this cover. On one hand, it is not the kind of cover I am usually drawn to. On the other hand, this cover does have a sense of uniqueness that can be lacking in many covers. Altogether I am unsure with this cover and how much I like it.

Ward Against Death is set in multiple points of view. At times I found it to get a little confusing trying to remember who knew what and who was keeping what from others. As for the characters specifically, I did not find them to be all too great. I thought Celia was too pushy, always bullying Ward around. Ward on the other hand, I felt was not too strong, and he let himself get pushed around by Celia too often. I didn't like how he never put his foot down on anything with her. As for other characters, I did not find any stand out characters, mainly because for a good portion of this book, the characters were on their own.

The story line of this novel was okay. It was not my favorite because at times it just felt too slow for my tastes. By the end of the book, the plot had sped up. The writing in Ward Against Death was a weak point for me as well. I found myself feeling lost and confused about recent events. Also, there were quite a few terms used that I didn't understand, because I felt they weren't quite as well defined to the reader as I would have liked. Apart from these factors, the rest of the writing and plot were fairly good.

Though Ward Against Death was not my favorite book, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes books with a historical feel and a twist of fantasy thrown in. I give Ward Against Death a 3/5 overall.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Blogger Interview: Rachel of Parajunkee's View and Parajunkee Design

Hey everyone, today I have an awesome interview with the phenomenal blogger behind Parajunkee's View and Parajunkee Design, Rachel! Let's get started:

Your blog has been open since 2009, do you ever stop and think about the number of books you have read in that time span?

 234 since August of 2009. I never paid attention to how many books I've read before I started blogging, but I'm sure I averaged about 100 a year. I'm excited that my blogging has increased my reading and has made me aware of some wonderful new books. It has also changed how I keep track of them. Goodreads.com has become my database, tracking my TBR, read, ARCs etc, I would be lost without that website!

When you were just starting to blog, did you find it difficult to get posts done?

 I've never found it hard to complete blog posts. I've made some adjustments over time, cut back memes that I was doing, etc, but I've always tried to be organized and I think that helps.

Have you always been such an avid reader or did you find you read more when you started your blog?

 My reading has increased but I think this might be because of the availability of books.  Before blogging my book buying habits was one book at a time to cut down on costs. The only time I would have a stack of books to read was when I went to the library. Now that I'm blogging I have a monstrous stack of books just sitting there,waiting to be read. This builds excitement because I want to get to those books. This I think increases the pace at which I read. Also, I think book caliber has gone up. I'm researching books before I buy or accept for review. I never did this before unless I was purchasing through an online retailer (which was rarely). Most of the time it was stalking bookshelves until a cover called out to me. I judge books less by covers now and more by others thoughts.


What is your favorite part of blogging?

 The camaraderie and friends. I've never had other people that like to read like I do. I have friends and they like to read, but never to the caliber that I was processing books and never the exact type of books. Now I have tons of them! It is quite awesome.


If you could change anything about your reviews what would it be?

 Nothing! Currently I like how my reviews are going. I'm sure in a bit I'll get tired of my format and change it up.

Thanks so much to Rachel for answering my questions!
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