Home     Review Policy      Hot New Titles      Contact Me


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (130)

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

The Essence
by Kimberly Derting
To be released: January 01, 2012

Summary from Baker and Taylor:
"At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen's Essence is fused to Charlie's psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she's being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she's busy being queen and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she's Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms - an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset - she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within."

I really loved The Pledge, so I cannot wait for this new title by Kimberly Derting! I know it's going to be fantastic. I may have to do a refresher on the first book because it sounds like this picks up right in the middle of the story. But I can only imagine the amazing things that are going to happen in this one!

What are you waiting on this week?  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Title: Fire
Author: Kristin Cashore
ISBN: 9780803734616
Publisher: Dial Books
Released: October 05, 2009
Series: Companion to Graceling
Page #: 461
Source: Audiobook from my public library

"It is not a peaceful time in the Dells.
In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves.

This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her. Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don't need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven't, you'll be dying to read it next."
First Lines:

"It did not surprise Fire that the man in the forest shot her. What surprised her is that he shot her by accident."
Page 19?

I am probably the last person on this planet to read/listen to this book. I read Graceling a long time ago, so it has been a while since I have visited this world. I had a little catching up to do, but nothing major.

This book is a companion - it follows the life of Fire. She is a monster. She is unnatural. She is beautiful. Everyone and everything wants a piece of her. She has to be very careful about whe she goes and who she takes with her. Luckily, though, she can read people's feelings and manipulate their minds. I someone wants to attack her, she can just tell them to do something else. It's convenient... Until someone finds a way to take her down. And with her, the crown.

Y'all. This audiobook was amazing. Yes, the information up there is for the Hardcover version. Truly, British accents are the most fun to listen to in the audiobook world. So soothing. It helps that this story was intense and loving and well written. That makes it even easier to listen to the audio. I was sucked in from the very beginning. 

Sometimes I am a super fan of high fantasy. I'm so glad I got around to reading/listening to this... two years later. It's amazing to think of this world - the Dells - that has animals and plants that are completely altered. I had a hard time not thinking of Avatar. Ahem. But it's really cool to think about the different colors, the different species, the different way of life. I think it was all done so well, it didn't even seem all that odd. Such a visual story!

I loved that this one girl could change the course of her world - even though she couldn't help who/what she was. I think that's one of those basic truths of life that allows people to overcome their life circumstances. Can I just say that this author has a crazy way of killing off/maiming very important characters to the story? I get that those things needed to happen, but it's insane!

While Fire herself is an amazing character, I think some of the secondary people are very worth looking at. I think they really set the tone for this story and Fire's life. She is only as amazing as people around her make her. She often finds herself in situations because of these people, but she loves them fiercely. Can you imagine what it would take to block the mind of someone who can read and feel everything you think? 

Since everyone has already read this book, I have no one left to recommend it to. But if you're just now getting into YA reading, this is one of those series' that is on the Must Read list. I honestly sat in my car longer than I should just so I could get to a "good stopping spot." It's action packed, has a great love story, and is more full of adventure than you can shake a stick at. So, definitely give it a go if you haven't already.
Other Blog Reviews:

On a Book Bender
Mundie Moms
Late Nights with Good Books
The Page Sage
Dark Faerie Tales
The Review Diaries
Words on Paper
Book Addict
Forever 17 Books
Persnickety Snark

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (129)

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

Through the Ever Night (sequel to Under the Never Sky)
by Veronica Rossi
To be released: January 08, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"It's been months since Aria learned of her mother's death.

Months since Perry became Blood Lord of the Tides, and months since Aria last saw him.

Now Aria and Perry are about to be reunited. It's a moment they've been longing for with countless expectations. And it's a moment that lives up to all of them. At least, at fi rst. Then it slips away. The Tides don't take kindly to former Dwellers like Aria. And the tribe is swirling out of Perry's control. With the Aether storms worsening every day, the only remaining hope for peace and safety is the Still Blue. But does this haven truly exist?

Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night? In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and sci-fi elements to create a captivating adventure—and a love story as perilous as it is unforgettable."

You know how sometimes a book just seems like it's going to be epic? That's this book for me. Mostly because I read the first book fairly recently - and it has an amazing cliffhanger. Or at least, a glimpse of what's to come. I cannot wait to read this one! I know it's going to be great. If you haven't read the first one yet, I suggest you take the time now to do so.

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Out This Week (Nov 11-17)

While publishing is slowing down for the end of the year, there are several exciting books coming out this week. Take a look...
  • 11.13.12 Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman
  • 11.13.12 Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie
  •  11.13.12 Under the Bridge by Michael Harmon
  • 11.13.12 Bad Hair Day by Carrie Harris
  •  11.13.12 Velvet by Mary Hooper
  • 11.13.12 Speed of Light (Meridian #3) by Amber Kizer
  •  11.13.12 Echo (Soul Seekers #2) by Alyson Noel
  • 11.13.12 Witch World by Christopher Pike
  •  11.13.12 Black City by Elizabeth Richards
  • 11.13.12 Execution (Escape From Furnace #5) by Alexander Gordon Smith

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (128)

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

by A.G. Howard
To be released: January 01, 2013

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own."

So, a mixture of Alice in Wonderland and mental health issues and fantasy wonderfulness... this book sounds great. And I really love the cover. I am definitely excited for this one.

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch

Title: Magisterium
Author: Jeff Hirsch
ISBN: 9780545290180
Publisher: Scholastic
Released: October 1, 2012
Page #: 320
Source: eARC from NetGalley

"On one side of the Rift is a technological paradise without famine or want. On the other side is a mystery.

Sixteen-year-old Glenn Morgan has lived next to the Rift her entire life and has no idea of what might be on the other side of it. Glenn's only friend, Kevin, insists the fence holds back a world of monsters and witchcraft, but magic isn't for Glenn. She has enough problems with reality: Glenn's mother disappeared when she was six, and soon after, she lost her scientist father to his all-consuming work on the mysterious Project. Glenn buries herself in her studies and dreams about the day she can escape.

But when her father's work leads to his arrest, he gives Glenn a simple metal bracelet that will send Glenn and Kevin on the run---with only one place to go."
First Lines:

"Glenn followed the hum of machinery out to the edge of the forest. 
'Dad! Dinner!'
Balancing a tray in her hands, and her tablet under one arm, Glenn eased around a patch of snow stained blue from the lights of the generator that powered her father's workshop."
Page 3

I don't think I was expecting quite the epic adventure sci-fi craziness that this book offers. It was a nice surprise.

Glenn and Kevin have been friends for a long time - and he has ideas about what is on the other side of the boundary. Crazy stuff, really. They live in a world where science and technology is king and they want for nothing. But Glenn's father is a super scientist... an inventor. And one day, his invention gets him arrested. And Glenn is forced to find out what is on the other side of the boundary. It's not at all what she expects. There are people she didn't expect... and much more.

I have to say that this story kept me on my toes. I never expected what was coming around the corner. There were a few things that I was expecting, but not quite the extent that the author gave me. I was sort of impressed with that. It was sort of hard to get a handle on the whole other universe and how things were different there. I can't tell you much about it without spoiling some of the major character surprises.

But it almost seems like the other world is stuck in ancient history. It's full of magic and mystery, but without all of the major modern comforts. Plus, there are wars going on that Glenn and Kevin never imagined. The especially didn't imagine that someone from there world would know exactly what was going on.

I know this review is a little disjointed - I blame it on not being able to reveal many secrets. But I was also a little confused sometimes. The relationship between Glenn and Kevin being right up there on the confusion meter. Who knows where they stood the entire time?! I guess that wasn't a major storyline, but sometimes it's nice to understand how your characters feel about each other. Just sayin ;).

All in all, this is an epic adventure. Glenn is off looking for a way home - and a way to free her father. She's been given lots of clues and a little help, but still has so much to learn. I think it's a good book for those readers who love a good magical adventure. They will definitely be hoping for a second book to clear up some of the mysteries. And if you haven't read Jeff Hirsch's other book, The Eleventh Plague, I highly recommend you do. 
Other Blog Reviews:

The Book Smugglers
Teen Librarian's Toolbox
The Cozy Armchair
Writing is a Blessing
My Sister's Bookshelf
Annette's Book Spot
Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
Books Live Forever
The Window Seat
Great Imaginations

Out This Week (Nov 4-10)

Well, it seems that publishing has started the slow down till the end of the year. There are only a few YA titles coming out this week, but it looks like a good group.

  •  11.6.12 Bitter Blood (Morganville Vampires #13) by Rachel Caine
  • 11.8.12 Sirens by Janet Fox
  •  11.6.12 Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
  • 11.6.12 Eternally Yours (Immortal Beloved novel) by Cate Tiernan

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Beta by Rachel Cohn

Title: Beta
Author: Rachel Cohn
ISBN: 9781423157199
Publisher: Hyperion Teens
Series: Annex #1
Released: October 16, 2012
Page #: 329
Source: eARC on NetGalley

"Elysia is created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen-year-old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of a teenage clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to exist.

Elysia’s purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island’s workers—soulless clones like Elysia—are immune to.

At first, Elysia’s life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne’s human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realize that beneath the island’s flawless exterior, there is an under­current of discontent among Demesne’s worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care—so why are overpowering sensations cloud­ing Elysia’s mind?

If anyone discovers that Elysia isn’t the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When her one chance at happi­ness is ripped away with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she’s always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive."
First Lines:

"It's me she wants to purchase.
The fancy lady claims she came into the resort boutique looking to buy a sweater, but she can't take her eyes off me."
Page 1

If nothing else, this book will teach you that clones are going to take over the world. Well, sort of. Maybe they will only take over if people treat them like property - something to buy and serve them for the duration of their lives.

So, Elysia is the clone of a dead girl. She was created to serve as a companion to whatever family she is bought by. She isn't supposed to have feelings, memories, cravings and really, independent thought. She gets purchased by a well-to-do family who cherishes her and treat her mostly like a daughter. But she realizes that things aren't the way they're supposed to be. Especially when she starts to hear about clone uprisings. She finds a few things she wasn't supposed to see/know and it changes the whole course of her short clone-life.

For some reason, I had trouble picturing the clones as regular people. I almost thought of them as cyborgs or something - totally metallic and creepy. But really, they are exactly like everyone else - except for their violet eyes and tattoos on their faces. I think what kept me from seeing them normally was how they were engineered. Emotionless, thoughtless, only living to serve. Doesn't that sound like a robot to you? I would probably be creeped out to come across a human-thing like that. Yikes.

The whole concept of this isolated island for the rich was very intriguing. Especially considering how much it caters to keeping people happy, calm, and generally even-keel. It's kind of amazing to think that a place like that would be possible - though I can only imagine that the rich and famous wish for a place like that. Of course, there is plenty of rivalry and society sniping, but it seems like such a crazy idea.

This story is set after the Water Wars. You don't really get a whole lot of history about this - enough to talk about how a city has been built in the middle of a desert. I am interested in learning more about the world where this is set - outside of the euphoric island. I'm sure the next book will lead us to more of that information.

While I have put a science fiction tag on this review, I think it is fairly tame for sci fi. It's really more about this girl trying to figure out who she is supposed to be - because she doesn't fit into the mold that she has been told to fit into. I think it's a really fun story and I know it will find plenty of readers. The ending leaves you on a huge cliffhanger, so be prepared for that. I look forward to getting my hands on the next part of the story. Can't go wrong with Rachel Cohn, can you? :)
Other Blog Reviews:

A Beautiful Madness
Book Nook
Bibliophilic Monologues
Miss Literati
Wild Heart Book Reviews
Hooked on Books
Cozy Up With a Good Read
The Housework Can Wait
Good Choice Reading
Wondrous Readings

Search This Blog