Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Embers and Echoes (Wildefire, #2)
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event held by Jill over at Breaking The Spine! It's all about those books you just can't wait for and are counting down the days till they come out.  

This week I chose:
Fan the flames: A teen goddess fires up her search for love and family in this sequel to Wildefire.Ashline Wilde may have needed school to learn that she is actually a reincarnated goddess, but she’s ready to move beyond books. She leaves her California boarding school behind and makes for Miami, where she meets a new group of deities and desperately seeks her sister Rose, the goddess of war. But she’s also looking for love—because even though her romance with Cole had to be snuffed, Ash is a volcano goddess—and she doesn’t get burned.

     This sequel to the edgy and action-packed Wildefire continues a fiery drama on an immortal scale.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event held by Jill over at Breaking The Spine! It's all about those books you just can't wait for and are counting down the days till they come out.  

This week I chose:
Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a WallflowerTitle: The Perks of Being a Wallflower 
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Publisher: MTV Books 
Release: February 1, 1999
Pages: 213
Series: None

Standing on the fringes of life... offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

A close friend of mine told me to read this book a few months ago, but I was adamant at first. Eventually, I broke down and bought it, reading it soon after. I didn't love it as much as I would have liked to, but it was definitely a remarkable novel. The book doesn't have any extra fluff, hence the short page count, but don't be mistaken, every word on everyone of those pages counted. There wasn't a word wasted, they all had purpose in the main plot or one of the many subplots. The book was truly about Charlie's high school experience, there was a hint of romance, but that wasn't the prime focus of the book. Character-wise, I loved almost all of them, but in nearly all of them there were small characteristics I didn't enjoy. Charlie was a bit too innocent for my taste, but he was an incredible story teller, and he was easy to relate to in a lot of ways. Most people can relate to being a wallflower, to standing on the sidelines and watching the world without participating. Sam was a great character as well, but I didn't like how she clung to certain relationships when there were better options available. Secondary characters were abundant in this book, the cast was quite large, but all of them were fairly well developed with details about their lives included throughout the subplots.

The writing of this book is simply extraordinary. It's written in letters to an unknown person from Charlie, the protagonist.They're gritty, real and not idealized in the slightest. It's easy to believe that these could be the real tales of an actual high school student because the events are captured in their entirety without any censoring. I'd recommend this book to people who want to see the movie (out this month) or to someone looking for a very gritty, realistic take on YA contemporary book. I give Perks a 4/5 for being a solid staple in the realm of YA for over a decade.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to show what your book haul for the week looks like!

Possess  The Replacement  The Forsaken (The Forsaken, #1) 
Possess by Gretchen McNeil
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

For Review:
Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Friday, September 14, 2012

Send Guest Post

Today I have a special treat for you guys! This is a guest post for the blog tour for Send by Patty Blount. Enjoy!

Stay or Go?
Things change. For some of these changes, we’ll camp out and line up a day in advance just for the chance to say we got it (iPhone, anybody?). And others die a lonely little death and we hardly notice. Here’s my list of the things that should stay and the things I wish would just go.

·         Social networking – My social activities not only planted the seed for a book idea, but connected me to many brilliant people – authors, agents, publishers, editors, celebrities, moms, PEOPLE. That’s the key – it exposed me to different opinions, different belief systems, different lifestyles and opened my mind in the process.

·         Flat Screen TVs – Oh, how much do I love being able to hang a TV on a wall?

·         The surge in popularity of YA fiction – Rowling, Meyer, Collins – It warms my heart to see adults reading young adult fiction and I hope my own book will add to the ranks.

·         GPS – For someone like me who gets lost in a bathtub, the GPS is the most significant technological advancement of my lifetime.

·         On Demand, HBO2Go, and DVR --  I work a nine or ten hour day and then come home and write novels. There is no time for TV. That’s why these VCR-less wonders that let me watch what I want when I want are the BEST.

·         eReaders --  Writers love books. My eReader lets me carry hundreds with me at all times. Plus, it’s a lot easier to turn pages on an eReader when you’re pedaling an elliptical machine than a real book. That encourages me to actually go to the gym.

·         Pants that expose boxers, pants with the crotch down by your knees, baggy pants that hang off your body instead of emphasizing it. I don’t know anybody who finds this sexy so stop. Just stop. Please. I’m begging.

·         Logos on butts – Juicy? Pink? Ladies, guys don’t need another reason to stare at your butt. Really.

·         Fake reality TV shows – please, Dear God, MAKE IT STOP.

·         Teens who sit low in their cars so that it looks like the car is driving itself as they go by.

·         Text slang in spoken conversation.

·         Tebowing – I get that you feel blessed and that’s great. But put it in perspective. I find it kind of insulting that God answered your prayers to score that extra point in a game but ignored the prayers of millions of other people praying for things like cures for terminal illnesses, a place to live or a meal to eat.

What do you think? What fads are you crazy about? What fads are on your Can’t Wait Until They’re Gone list?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event held by Jill over at Breaking The Spine! It's all about those books you just can't wait for and are counting down the days till they come out.  

This week I chose:
Through To YouCamden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life: helping him rebuild his identity after a career-ending football injury, picking up the pieces when his home life shattered, and healing his pain long after the meds wore off. And now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv.

The apparition’s name is Nina, and she’s not a ghost. She’s a girl from a parallel world, and in this world, Viv is still alive. Cam can’t believe his wildest dreams have come true. All he can focus on is getting his girlfriend back, no matter the cost. But things are different in this other world: Viv and Cam have both made very different choices, things between them have changed in unexpected ways, and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Evergreen by Brenda Pandos

Evergreen (Mer Tales, #2)Title: Evergreen 
Author: Brenda Pandos
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing 
Release: June 29, 2012
Pages: 279
Series: Mer Tales #2

A kingdom on the brink of war. 
A king on the fringes of insanity.
A family running for their lives.

Ash and Fin’s only desire is to be together and dive into their happily ever after, though their conflicting worlds work to pull them apart. Neither is ready to convert to the other’s life: become a human or a mer. Little do they know that somewhere in Natatoria a secret holds the fine fabric of everyone’s lives together. If the truth is discovered, Ash and Fin will no longer have the luxury of waiting. They’ll be forced to choose. But will it be for loyalty or love? Or will someone else make the choice for them if they can’t decide?

Enter the watery world of treachery, greed, and the binding mer kiss as the story continues with Evergreen, book two of Mer Tales.

I was completely thrilled and grateful when I got the news that I had been invited to be a part of the blog tour for Evergreen (for those of you who are new, or just don't remember, I participated in the tour for Everblue and the Onyx Talisman as well). I loved the first book of the series and I couldn't wait to dive straight into this one. When I did, I found myself not loving it quite as much as I loved the first one.

As always, the cover is simply gorgeous, following the tradition about Brenda's covers. I really love the cover model's eyes in this picture, the way they are so vibrant and well made up. Also visible is a headdress of sorts, beautifully setting off the lack of other jewellery with the exception of the ring. The makers of this cover didn't just pay attention to the bigger details, though. They also put in small ones like the reflection of the trees in the water. I hope on the next cover that we'll get to see Fin instead of Ash, but as long as it follows the beauty of the first two, I'll be a happy book blogger.

Ash and Fin were the two characters whose points of view were used to narrate the novel. I tended to enjoy Ash's side of the story more simply because it seemed like more of the action happened to her instead of him. Both characters were relatively the same as they were in the first book, though both seemed to get a tad bit more distant from their families. Relationship-wise there wasn't a whole lot of growth between Ash and Fin, but that was to be expected with the long distance nature that their relationship retained throughout the majority of the book. One fact I'd like to highlight is the fact that their romance is of the instant variety, though it is a well justified sort of instant love that I didn't end up minding. The lesser characters were great to read, too, but some of them were able to elicit stronger reactions from me than others (namely, Colin).

My biggest concern with this book was the writing. Though Brenda's writing is usually stellar, this time it just didn't quite keep up to her standards. That being said, it wasn't a terribly written book, but just not a particularly greatly written one. The story continued right from where Everblue left off without any stop or break before getting into the action. So far in this series, the story has been well balanced between the two books without creating a stereotypical sequel. Though I'm not usually a fan of books containing the instant love I mentioned above, this one seemed to pull it off with more grace than most books are able to. Whether that can be attributed to the story or the characters, I'm not sure, but I did enjoy it nonetheless. I can't wait to read the next book in the series to find out how the story of the star crossed ends and how the series wraps itself up.

I'd recommend this book to anyone in the mood for a book featuring a different paranormal creature or who have read and enjoyed any of Brenda's other works. I will be continuing this series when the next book comes out, but until then I give Evergreen a 3.5/5 for, unfortunately, not quite living up to it's predecessor.


Friday, September 7, 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, #1)Title: The Selection 
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: Harper Teen 
Release: April 24, 2012
Pages: 327
Series: The Selection #1

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

As everyone in the book blogging community knows, this is a book with a pretty cover and not a lot of substance with a lot of drama surrounding it. Author vs. blogger drama aside, I went into this book prior to hearing about the conflict about it and having just read the summary and seen the cover. As you can clearly see, the cover is gorgeous and the summary sounds interesting enough, likening it to both The Hunger Games and the Bachelor. In hindsight, that should have set off warning lights as the Hunger Games is one my favorite  books and the Bachelor is, well, the Bachelor. The writing was where most of the faults in this book, it just lacked any sort of finesse. It was very ordinary, boring writing that didn't aid in keeping my interest in the slightest. The story was predictable and dull, just a typical teenage fodder book featuring a lot of angst over nothing in particular. I didn't understand why America was so against being a part of the competition, why she put up such a fight over everything. She was just too whiny for my tastes, she never stopped and looked at what she was gaining from the situation versus what she was uncomfortable about. Not many of the other were fully developed and explored, they seemed like they were there just to fill the background.

The end wasn't very eye catching, in my opinion. It was really predictable and set up what was going to happen for the next book fairly obviously. It's this predictability that really sealed this book's fate as mediocre at best. Almost the entire time I was able to accurately guess what was going to happen, really taking away from any suspense or gripping factors of the book. I'll probably finish this series off, but probably from the library instead of buying them. I give The Selection a 2/5. That score is without considering all the drama around this book.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Evergreen Blog Tour: Character Interview with Fin

Hi Anna Tee,
Thanks for having me.
What is your favorite thing about Ash?
“Everything. Her smile, her laugh, her hair, the way she looks at me, her lips on mine, her … *coughs*. Yeah, everything.”
Fin slips out a picture of Ash and stares at her for a moment.
What was the worst part of being away from her?
“I miss being with her and not being able to touch and kiss her whenever I want. You have no idea the torture.” Fin pockets the picture and looks away.
Given the chance, would you become a human for a week with no nightly changes?
“Of course. Who wouldn’t? Freedom….” Fin sighs.
What's the worst part of being promised?
“The longing when Ash and I are apart. It’s all consuming, like I can’t breathe. But when we’re finally together, it makes it all that much sweeter, which will be soon. Very soon.”
If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
“To no longer be ruled by the sun and change into my fin whenever I want, then I could be with Ash anywhere.”
Coke or Pepsi? “Neither. Both are way too sweet for me. I prefer water with lemon.”

Thanks for the interview, Anna Tee.

***Brenda is hosting an awesome! Brenda giveaway is for a chance to win $50.00 amazon Gift card, Signed set of Everblue & Evergreen and 3 vials of Essence Necklace. Also Brenda is looking to choose one winner from each blog stop that either leaves a question or comment for her to address on her blogs, she will award that winner an ebook copy. ***

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event held by Jill over at Breaking The Spine! It's all about those books you just can't wait for and are counting down the days till they come out.  

This week I chose:
 Vortex (Tempest, #2)Jackson Meyer has thrown himself into his role as an agent for Tempest, the shadowy division of the CIA that handles all time-travel-related threats. Despite his heartbreak at losing the love of his life, Jackson has proved himself to be an excellent agent. However, after an accidental run in with Holly—the girl he altered history to save—Jackson is once again reminded of what he's lost. And when Eyewall, an opposing division of the CIA, emerges, Jackson and his fellow agents not only find themselves under attack, but Jackson begins to discover that the world around him has changed and someone knows about his erased relationship with Holly, putting both their lives at risk all over again.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Starters by Lissa Price

Starters (Starters and Enders, #1)Title: Starters 
Author: Lissa Price
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
Release: March 13, 2012
Pages: 352
Series: Starters and Enders #1


Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

I know I'm a few months late in reading this book, I had seen the cover and decided to give it a pass. That is, until I happened across signed copies available at a nearby Chapters. When I actually started it, I really fell in love with the story and, eventually, it's cover. The cover is very different, it features a very, very pale cover model with one blue eye and one grey one. I think it's the oddness of the cover that is what will set it apart from others on the shelf; it's bright against the legions of dark covers. I wouldn't say there was too much hype for the book, but I wouldn't say it was quite as good as the hype said. The story was quite good, a little tedious at times, but overall it was good. The story followed the main character during a time period where she rented her body to a complete stranger, not being conscious while the other person was occupying her. The worst part of the plot was the fact that not all the characters were used to their full potential; some of them were, but most were not. The ones that were were amazing; they grabbed my emotions and hauled them throughout the entire ride of the plot.

The ending was one that left the reader with the option of not reading the sequel or continuing on with the series when the next book is released. Writing-wise, the book was stellar. The style carried out by the author  was amazing; it was descriptive and just the right amount of grittiness to give the book the perfect dystopian feel. I know I'll be continuing on with the series, but the option of stopping was nice to see, though I doubt many people will stop with Starters (pun intended). I'd recommend this book to someone looking for a unique take on the dystopian genre or to someone hoping for a good book. I give Starters a 4/5.

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