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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Title: Breathe
Author: Sarah Crossan
ISBN: 9780062118691
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: October 02, 2012
Series: Breathe #1
Page #: 384
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

"Inhale. Exhale.
Breathe . . .
The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

Alina has been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful, it'll be easy. If she's careful.

Quinn should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it's also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn't every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

Bea wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they'd planned a trip together, the two of them, and she'd hoped he'd discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?"

First Lines:

"Breathing is a right, not a privilege, so I'm stealing it back. I'm nervous, but I'm not scared. This is the mission I've been training for. I'm ready to lead."
Page 1

I have decided that this book needs to be used in schools. There's so much science about trees and oxygen intake and such, that I really think it would be a cool tie-in.

So, once we have killed the planet, people have to live in a pod in order to survive. The government has total control over the oxygen intake. People are ranked by their importance and never do they mix. There is a group of rebels trying to make life much better - outside the pod. Alina is part of this revolution... and is trying to make it back to her leader. Quinn and Bea are caught up in the action and desperately want things to go back to normal. Their lives totally intertwine and things start to fall apart.

I think the most interesting part of this book is the world building. It's crazy to think about the world being out of oxygen... but it's not so far-fetched that it's unbelievable. And the whole idea of not being able to breathe is frightening for just about everyone. That almost makes this a horror in that way - but it's more of a cautionary tale. Well, if you're really paying attention to the oxygen stuff. The story offers much more than that, but it has great legs to stand on.

There are three different perspectives you rotate through - Quinn, Bea, and Alina. Sometimes I get thrown off by that type of writing, but I really think this story is helped by it. You get all of the perspectives... a lower-class girl who is in love with an upper-class boy... an upper-class boy who is in love with a revolutionary... a revolutionary who is trying not to disappoint her leader... There's a lot going on. And it helps to have these differences of perspective.

I really appreciated the romance in this book. It's a little different. You have a little more of it in the beginning than the rest of the book, but I think it sets everything up very well. And I won't tell you how things end up, but it was different than many stories like this. There's less of a love triangle feel - and it's more background to anything else. Though, you wouldn't think so in the beginning. I really thought it was well done and I would love to see more that way.

The ending had me a little worried. Things seemed very rushed. You are through the battle to the other side and the world has completely changed. But it changes fast and you sort of jump time a bit to see where things end up. I would have liked a few more things about the immediate changes. And it's more like a telling of what happened - less reaction from our characters.

Goodreads does say that there is a second book in the works. I will definitely be picking up that one. I have to find out what happens! Breathe doesn't leave you on a huge cliffhanger or anything - you do have a finale. But you will wonder what comes next. So I'm excited to hear that there is a second one coming next year.

I really do recommend this book. I think those of you who love dystopian will find this one interesting. It's a bit of a different take on the whole thing. And I love that the situation seems to plausible. And I believe those who are into science fiction stories will enjoy this one as well. As I said before, I plan on trying to sell this book to my science-focused schools. I think it will go over well - even with the rushed ending. So give this one a shot!
Other Blog Reviews:

Once Upon a Twilight
Reading Lark
The Reading Pile
Ebony Black Lines
Steph Likes Books
Far Escape Reviews

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (119)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here is what I'm waiting on this week...

The Suburban Strange
by Nathan Kotecki
To be released: October 2, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"Shy Celia Balaustine is new to Suburban High, but a mysterious group of sophomores called the Rosary has befriended her. Friends aside, Celia soon discovers something is not quite right at Suburban. Girls at the school begin having near-fatal accidents on the eve of their sixteenth birthdays. Who is causing the accidents, and why? As Celia’s own birthday approaches, she is inexorably drawn into an underground conflict between good and evil—the Kind and the Unkind—that bubbles beneath Suburban High. Plentiful references to music and art—along with the intriguing underworld mythology—make this supernatural series debut a page-turner."

High School mystery?! And it seems like it might have a little fantasy thrown in... Yes, please. I think this sounds like a fantastic book - and it's a debut for this author. Doubly exciting! I'll definitely be looking for it in a couple of months!

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Out This Week (Aug 28 - Sept 1)

There are lots of books coming out this week! Take a look: 
  •  8.28.12 The Demon Catchers of Milan by Kat Beyer
  • 8.28.12 Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh
  •  8.28.12 Speechless by Hannah Harrington
  • 8.28.12 Vanquished (Crusade #3) by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viquie
  • 8.30.12 Dangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard
  •  8.28.12 If I Lie by Corrine Jackson
  •  8.28.12 The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa
  • 8.28.12 Embers and Echoes by Karsten Knight
  •  8.28.12 Every Day by David Levithan
  • 8.28.12 The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
  •  8.28.12 Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction edited by Carrie Ryan
  • 8.28.12 UnWholly (Unwind #2) by Neal Shusterman

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (118)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here are a couple of books that I'm waiting on this week...
How to Rock Break-Ups and Make-Ups
by Meg Haston
To Be Released: September 25, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"In this hilarious sequel to How to Rock Braces and Glasses, Kacey Simon looks like her old self again, but she's trying not to revert to her former mean-girl ways. That is, until her new crush Zander's ex-girlfriend and former lead singer, Stevie, arrives in town. Stevie's killer style is rivaled only by her impressive vocals, and she's an instant star at Marquette Middle. Boys want to date her, girls want to be her, and Kacey wants to boot her butt out of Chicago, ASAP. But will taking the new Queen Bee down a notch put Kacey back on top? Or will it cost her everything-and everyone-she cares about?"

I loved How to Rock Braces and Glasses - so funny. I cannot wait to read this sequel. It sounds like the perfect thing to end out the summer.

The Other Normals
by Ned Vizzini
To Be Released: September 25, 2012
Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"Given the chance, fifteen-year-old Peregrine "Perry" Eckert would dedicate every waking moment to Creatures & Caverns, an epic role-playing game rich with magical creatures, spell casting, and deadly weapons. The world of C&C is where he feels most comfortable in his own skin. But that isn't happening—not if his parents have anything to do with it. Concerned their son lacks social skills, they ship him off to summer camp to become a man. They want him to be outdoors playing with kids his own age and meeting girls—rather than indoors alone, with only his gaming alter ego for company. Perry knows he's in for the worst summer of his life.
Everything changes, however, when Perry gets to camp and stumbles into the World of the Other Normals. There he meets Mortin Enaw, one of the creators of C&C, and other mythical creatures from the game, including the alluring Ada Ember, whom Perry finds more beautiful than any human girl he's ever met. Perry's new otherworldly friends need his help to save their princess and prevent mass violence. As they embark on their quest, Perry realizes that his nerdy childhood has uniquely prepared him to be a great warrior in this world, and maybe even a hero. But to save the princess, Perry will have to learn how to make real connections in the human world as well."

Okay, so I'm a Ned Vizzini fan. I met him a few years ago at my library and I have really enjoyed all of his books. So I cannot wait to get my hands on his latest book. It sounds hilariously crazy. And nerdy. I like nerdy :).

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Out This Week (August 19-25)

Here are some great books coming out this week:
  • 8.21.12 Heaven (Halo #3) by Alexandra Adornetto
  • 8.21.12 The Raft by S.A. Bodeen
  •  8.21.12 Ungifted by Gordon Korman
  • 8.21.12 The Rise of Nine (Lorien Legacies #3) by Pittacus Lore
  •  8.21.12 Over You by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
  • 8.21.12 Such Wicked Intent (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein #2) by Kenneth Oppel
  • 8.21.12 The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors
  • 8.21.12 Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (117)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here is what I'm waiting on this week...

by Jeanne Ryan
To Be Released: September 13, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"A high-stakes online game of dares turns deadly

When Vee is picked to be a player in NERVE, an anonymous game of dares broadcast live online, she discovers that the game knows her. They tempt her with prizes taken from her ThisIsMe page and team her up with the perfect boy, sizzling-hot Ian. At first it's exhilarating--Vee and Ian's fans cheer them on to riskier dares with higher stakes. But the game takes a twisted turn when they're directed to a secret location with five other players for the Grand Prize round. Suddenly they're playing all or nothing, with their lives on the line. Just how far will Vee go before she loses NERVE?"

I'm always on the lookout for great gamer/techie books. Hopefully this one will fit the bill. It seems to pull in all of the elements while having a really high impact story. I'm excited to find out!

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Out This Week (August 12-18)

Some awesome books coming out this week! Take a look...
  •  8.14.12 Touched by Cyn Balog
  • 8.15.12 Frozen by Mary Casanova
  •  8.14.12 The Kill Order by James Dashner
  • 8.14.12 Intentions by Deborah Heiligman
  •  8.16.12 The Rising (Department 19 #2) by Will Hill
  • 8.14.12 False Memory by Dan Krokos
  •  8.16.12 The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long
  • 8.14.12 Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
  • 8.14.12 My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher
  • 8.14.12 The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
ISBN: 9781599906959
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Released: August 07, 2012
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Page #: 404
Source: ARC from the publisher

"In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing sh enever thought she'd have again: a friend. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass - and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world."
First Lines:

"After a year of slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Celaena Sardothien was accustomed to being escorted everywhere in shackles and at sword-point. Most of the thousands of slaves in Endovier received similar treatment - through an extra half-dozen guards always walked Celaena to and from the mines."
Page 1

Girl Assassin?! I'm in.

Celaena has spent her life learning from the top assassin - tricks of the trade... until she got caught. She spent the last year in a work camp... mining. Now, the Crown Prince needs a champion. Someone who isn't afraid of challenges and killing. A competition has been set up for someone to be given the job of the King's Champion. Celaena has to win - or it's back to prison for her... and certain death.

I have heard a lot about this book lately. I guess it's mostly been publisher marketing stuff, but it was totally worth it. This book really stands up to all the stuff I've seen about it. There's action, crazy monsters, scary killer-types, lovely boys ;), and unexpected friendship. So really, it has everything you could possibly want.

I really love kick-ass girl characters. Can you imagine spending your life becoming a honed assassin - and being the best there is? By Seventeen?! Crazytown! But that's what makes Celaena so amazing. She has had an amazing amount of life experience by then and she's taking on her next big challenge. To live in a castle where she's not known as the famous assassin. Where she's not appreciated the way she has been in the past. She's become almost anonymous.
And now there's a killer on the loose - and it's not Celaena. Players in the competition start dying mysteriously and brutally. No one knows what is happening, but the champions start being very careful. Celaena is always surrounded by guards and has two interesting guys looking out for her...

Speaking of them, she has both the Crown Prince and the Captain of the Guard at her beck and call. The captain is actually training with her and helping her get back her strength from her time in prison. The Prince is her sponsor. But both of them have become much more to her than that. They protect her, help her. I really enjoyed that this wasn't your typical love triangle - they didn't have that sort of relationship. It made it much more interesting for me.

Celaena also made a friend in a foreign princess visiting the castle. It helped that she already spoke the language, but theirs is a fast friendship and it keeps her grounded. I love how this friendship formed - it seemed very realistic and exactly the type of friendship you can cherish. I just thought it was well done. And the twist about the princess in the end really made it that much more solid for me.

I highly recommend this book. There are so many wonderful high fantasy novels out there and I know this one will find its place among them. Not to mention that this is only the first book! I am so excited to see where things go from here. There were so many characters to follow and I can only imagine the craziness that could be coming. I will be waiting for that one starting... well, now. :) It's a great read that you won't be able to put down.
Other Blog Reviews:

The Book Pushers
Novel Novice
The Young Folks
Mrs. ReaderPants
Hooked on Books
Read. Breathe. Relax.
Book Chick City
Miss Remmers' Reviews
B's Book Blog!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (116)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here are two wonderful books I'm waiting on this week...

by Jessica Shirvington
To be released: September 04, 2012

Summary from Goodreads:
"Violet Eden is Grigori - part angel, part human. Her destiny is to protect humans from the vengence of exiled angels.

Knowing who to trust is key but, when Grigori reinforcements arrive, it becomes clear everyone is hiding something. Even Lincoln. The only thing Violet does know: Phoenix's hold over her is more dangerous than ever.

The race to find the one thing that could tilt the balance of power brings them all to the sacred mountains of Jordan, where Violet's power will be pushed to the extreme. And the ultimate betrayal exposed."

I really loved the first book in this series. It's a fun mix of angels and danger, but lots of lurve. Good stuff! I look forward to this second book, for sure.

Carnival of Souls
by Melissa Marr
To be released: September 04, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures—if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.

All Mallory knows of The City is that her father—and every other witch there—fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it's only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls."

I have read other books my Melissa Marr and loved them. So I can only imagine how wonderful this new series is going to be. I'll definitely be giving it a shot when it comes out!

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Above by Leah Bobet

Title: Above
Author: Leah Bobet
ISBN: 9780545296700
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Released: April 1, 2012
Series: N/A
Page #: 358
Source: ARC from the publisher

"Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her blond hair shining and her bee's wings falling away. They lived together in Safe, a refuge deep underground for those fleeing the harsh city Above - as does Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Atticus, who has thick claws for hands, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingertips.

But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape Above. Forced to survive in the most dangerous place her can imagine, Matthew strives to unravel the mystery of the shadows' powers and Safe's own secret history. For he must find a way to remake Safe - not just for himself and his friends, but for Ariel, who's again faced with a life she fled, and who needs him more than ever before."
First Lines:

"My last supply duty before Sanctuary Night, I get home and Atticus is waiting.
It's half past three already, and nobody awake except for Hide and  Mack and Mercy and  Me, unloading our week's ration of scuffed-up bottles and tins into the broadwide kitchen cabinets."
Page 1

Bee girl. Boy with lion feet and scales on his back. And a mismatched family of freaks. They all live together underground to stay away from ridicule. Very interesting premise.

Matthew found Ariel in an abandoned alleyway. She seemed lost and scared, so he took her underground with him. But she is used to being Above, so he constantly has to go after her to bring her back. Until one day their Sanctuary is attacked by a previous tenant. She/He/It kills their leader and all of the inhabitants scatter. Matthew and Ariel have to find their way Above now and find out how to take back their home underground.

Okay, you guys... I had a hard time with this one. It's not often that I really dislike a book, but there was something about the way this book was written that made it really hard for me. I thought the whole idea of freaks living undergound (a little x-men-like) seemed like a fun idea. And the fact that some of these people could pass for normal and go scouting for supplies.

I think what really held me up on this book was the language. There was something very awkward and stilted about the structure. I had a hard time following things - and sometimes realizing I didn't read something right and having to go back. I do think it was partially because the writing was meant to sound like Matthew - who is mostly uneducated and speaks the language of the Sanctuary. But for my reading, it felt very difficult and awkward.

Honestly, I wanted to love this book. But it was just too hard - and it took me a long time to wade through. I do think that it will find its readers. It's a very specific style of story and I know some people love that. It just wasn't for me. I did find several bloggers who loved it, so I know there's a niche for it somewhere! :)
Other Blog Reviews:

Justin's Book Blog
Black Gate
Coffee and Wizards
Diary of a Book Addict
Hooked on Books
The Literature Lion
Literary Exploration
Maji Bookshelf
Carina's Books

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Out This Week (August 5-11)

There are some very exciting titles coming out this week! And I couldn't fit them all here, either. But take a look:
  •  8.7.12 Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
  • 8.8.12 Narc by Crissa-Jean Chappell
  •  8.7.12 Carter's Unfocused, One-Track Mind by Brent Crawford
  • 8.7.12 Rift (Nightshade Prequel) by Andrea Cremer
  • 8.7.12 Betrayal of the Living (Blood Ninja #3) by Nick Lake
  • 8.8.12 Innocent Darkness (The Aether Chronicles #1) by Suzanne Lazear 
  • 8.7.12 Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  • 8.7.12 The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney
  • 8.6.12 Nevermore (Maximum Ride #8) by James Patterson
  • 8.7.12 Auracle by Gina Rosati

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