Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (22)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where bloggers like me get to gush about what makes our hands all grabby.

Expected Publication: April 2nd
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Barnes & Noble

The Synopsis:
He makes good girls...bad.

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of Hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

 Ahh! Do you guys even know how long I've been lusting over this book?? The cover--I can stare at dem arms all day long. *drools*  And Dante's narrative sounds so original and interesting! I just--I WANT.  I want a lot.  I'm so happy that it'll be released soon!

So, what are you all waiting on this fine Wednesday?

Keeper of the Black Stones Blog Tour


Publication: February 26th, 2013
Page Count: 369

The Synopsis:
Awkward in his own skin, shy around girls and worried about anything and everything, Jason Evans is just like a million other teenage boys in high school, with one very large exception: he has been given a gift that allows him to jump through time. A set of stones has fallen into his lap that gives him access to any place - and any time - that he chooses. But along with that gift comes the responsibility of stopping the man who is using those very stones to travel through time and change history for his own purposes. A man who is now holding Jason's grandfather hostage, and threatening the world's very existence. Jumping through time with his best friend and body guard, Jason must enter the world of Medieval England, learn its customs, navigate unimaginable danger, and help Henry VII win the Battle of Bosworth, in the name of finding his grandfather, rescuing a beautiful girl from the clutches of a corrupt church, and destroying the one man who pledges to turn history inside out.

 Jason!  He was such a great character.  At first, he was introduced as this shy, meek kind of guy.  You know the kind.  Quiet.  Awkward.  Perceptive.  And suddenly, he morphs into this selfless, brave, and strong character.  He stood up for what he believed in and wouldn't back down.  His determination was so great to read about.  He's not a character I've ever come across often in YA and this sweet--yet strong--protagonist made this book that much more original.

Speaking of original, there was time travel!  Also, they happen to travel to one of my favorite time periods in history.  It was fantastic.  The historical accuracy of the novel made the book that much enjoyable for me and McHugh's take on time travel with these stones was interesting.  There was plenty of swords and armor and battle and all that great stuff that comes along with time travel and epic adventures.  

However, I would have preferred more of a flow to the reading--a consistency.  Also, it was a little awkward here and there, but not in the good way.  It was a little rough around the edges for me, but other than that, it was a great read.  

Keeper's original take on time travel that brings readers to Medieval Europe makes for an epic adventure that had me turning pages as fast as I could.  Being that I enjoy reading historical fiction of any kind, I enjoyed the book and can't wait to see what will happen next!  Fans of time travel, sci-fi, and rich history may possibly enjoy this book.

About the Author:                                   PT McHugh didn’t start out as a storyteller. He was, however, born into a family of that encouraged imagination. He became a fan of history in school and then went to college to become a construction engineer, to build a world of straight lines, angles, and equations.
He was just as surprised as everyone else when he realized that he believed in magic, and might just know the secret of how to jump through time. Since then, he’s been researching the possibility and learning everything he can about history. Just in case the opportunity arises.
PT was born and raised in New Hampshire and currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, two daughters, and a dog named Bob, daring to dream of alternate worlds and cheering for his beloved New England Patriots.                                             Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (1)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews where I get to show you what I've acquired in the past week or so.

First off, there was the Breathless Reads, where I was able to get a few of my books signed (if they weren't already) by some of my favorite authors ever! It was so much fun and so I will show you the lovelies I snagged at the event.

Yes! Those copies of Across the Universe and A Million Suns by Beth Revis, Black City by Elizabeth Richards, Venom by Fiona Paul, and Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes are all signed by the amazing authors themselves! Aren't they so pretty?

Secondly, I got quite a few review copies to read via Edelweiss.  This could be due to the fact that I went on a huge requesting spree, but *shrugs*. My overall feelings about this is pretty much this:

And here those books are:
(links go to Goodreads) 

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
The Ward by Jordana Frankel
Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
Transparent by Natalie Whipple
September Girls by Bennett Madison
Night School by C.J Daughtery

And that's what I got this week!  So what pretties did you snag?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (21)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where bloggers like me get to gush about what makes my hands all grabby.

Expected Publication: May 14th
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Barnes & Noble

The Synopsis:
Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.
Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.
Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?

Ahh! You guys! I can't wait for this one! I absolutely loved the Hex Hall Series.  The sarcasm, wit, and loads of witchy/demon stuff made for very entertaining reads.  And this spinoff sounds fantastic!  And I love this cover.  I like how they kept the theme that they used for the Hex Hall Series.  The mirroring of the girl makes for an interesting and beautiful cover.

So what is everyone waiting on this fine Wednesday?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vortex by Julie Cross

Vortex by Julie Cross
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication:January 15th, 2013 
Page Count: 368

The Synopsis:
Julie Cross's Vortex is the thrilling second installment of the Tempest series, in which the world hangs in the balance as a lovelorn Jackson must choose who to save.
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.

So . . . I really liked the first book, Tempest.  I've had a love for all things time travel even though not all of it makes much sense at times and all of their paradoxes and stuff, but I still love it.  I feel that Cross gives more of an accurate depiction of what time travel is like--and it certainly isn't pretty.  However, I came into this series knowing that it wouldn't be Happily Ever After.  I mean, just look at The Time Traveler's Wife, Doctor Who, etc.  However, their stories are amazing and beautiful, heart-wrenching and moving.

I absolutely adored Jackson in the first book.  He was vulnerable, confused, and head-over-heels in love with Holly.  While I'm not one to usually enjoy books with the romance being the center of the book, I was okay with this one.  Jackson wore his heart on his sleeve and exponentially grew as a character throughout the book.  In Vortex, Jackson is a complete bad ass!  His character development kept on growing!  It was such an amazing experience to read.  I still love him.

And this story was something else!  When I thought things couldn't get any worse, they did.  The fast-paced plot sucked me right in and wouldn't spit me out until the very end.  Plot twists that blew my mind were around every corner.  I know that in my review for Tempest I had said that it was a little predictable, but Vortex was an entirely different story.  Fantastic!  I was shocked, dismayed, confused, upset, elated, and frustrated all in the matter of a few pages.  I felt so many Things!

Sadly, I really can't say much about this book without spoiling it in one way or another, which is really unfortunate.  I'd love to spill out every thought I had about this book, but unless you've read this book, I can't.

In Vortex, Jackson may have changed the course of history for him and others, but he certainly can't control what will happen in the new timeline.  Vortex was such an emotional ride for both characters and readers.  Fast-paced, unpredictable, dangerous, and beautiful was Vortex in all its splendid being.  If you're a fan of sci-fi, time travel, and star-crossed lovers, and have not read this series, I suggest you get on it, folks.  It is an unforgettable story that you wouldn't want to miss.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (20)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where bloggers like me get to gush about what makes our hands all grabby. 

Publication: April 30th from Harper Teen
Barnes and Noble

The Synopsis:
Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

Honestly, I feel like I don't have to explain myself for this pick.  I have soooooo many feels from Sweet Evil and I can't wait to see where Higgins will bring readers next.  Also, when the main love interest is the son of the Duke of Lust and has a British accent--umm, excuse me while I--

So what are you all waiting on this fine Wednesday?

Monday, February 11, 2013

New Look

I know! Look how pretty we are here! Isn't it just lovely? I have to give my props to Evie from Bookish for this amazing design! And it'll be even more so once I figure out how to work that slide-y thing above...

And in the meantime . . .


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tempest by Julie Cross

The Synopsis:
The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.
That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.
Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.
But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.
Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

My Thoughts:
I'm trying my best to kind of gather up all of my scrambled thoughts for this one because not only was it fantastic, but it was heart-wrenching!  Tempest kept me at the edge of my seat and was an astounding and beautiful tale of how, as Jackson my man would put it, "Amor vincit omnia." Love conquers all.  I'm not one for the usual fluff romance.  Don't like it.  But, there was more to Tempest that stole my heart.

Okay, so lately I've been reading quite of books that have half or full male POVs.  I'm not sure why, but I love them so much.  And don't get me wrong, I do certainly enjoy reading a book in a girl's POV, but I've come to very much enjoy the voices of guys in books.  And this does not does not exclude Jackson.

Jackson was not the character that I thought him to be.  And the fact that he was able to prove me completely wrong within the matter of a few chapters is impressive.  Usually, I'm able to pinpoint the type of person a character is because their characteristics are usually obvious and sometimes stereotypical.  I fell in love with Jackson's character pretty quickly and wanted to give him a nice big squishy hug for a huge part of the book.  No lie.  And there were the threat of tears, but that's another matter entirely.  Jackson was real.  I felt him through the pages (weird expression but it's true).  I just . . . he's my new favorite YA man.

However, there were a few things in Tempest that niggled me.  While it was full of plot twists and such, it was a little predictable every now and then.  It's not a big deal necessarily, but it's just one of those things.  Another problem is that I thought the pace of the book to be a little choppy here and there.  Again, not a big deal, but it was a little uncomfortable for me.  It was kinda like that student driver that's all smooth sailing on the road and then all of a sudden slams on the brakes and continues on.  In the case of the book, it was like a light slam on the brakes.

Overall, Tempest was fantastic read.  I usually don't describe books as beautiful, but Tempest certainly earned the title.  Cross effectively conveyed Jackson's emotions throughout the story and created a highly entertaining story for readers.  I wish I could have said more about this book, but I'm positive I will give something away if I do because Everything is a Secret!  It's kind of like Doctor Who in that way.  Fans of sci-fi, time travel, and a breathtaking narrative will possibly enjoy this book.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (19)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where bloggers like me get to gush about what makes their hands all grabby.

Publication: February 26th by Random House Books for Young Readers
You or your Alt? Only one will survive.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.

I cannot tell you guys how long I've been waiting for this book to come out.  Too long, I say!  Too long!  The premise for it sounds amazing!  Just imagine that there is someone at this exact moment out there who looks exactly like you and is HUNTING YOU DOWN.  I don't know about you, but I might go full-out hysterical.  Plus, this book says it's got fast-paced action.  I'm sold.

So what are you waiting on this fine Wednesday?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wildwood by Colin Meloy

The Synopsis:
The first book in the epic middle-grade fantasy series full of magic, wonder, and danger—nothing less than an American Narnia—from Colin Meloy, lead singer of the highly celebrated band the Decemberists, and Carson Ellis, the acclaimed illustrator of the New York Times bestselling The Mysterious Benedict Society.

My Thoughts: 
Wildwood marks the second MG I have ever read in years (those years being when I was a little kid reading these books exclusively).  While I find that I'm not exactly comfortable with MG fiction, Wildwood was certainly a novel to get me acclimated to the genre.  I find it hard to explain my thoughts of this novel, but I will try my best.

Prue's baby brother, Mac, gets abducted by a murder of crows and Prue, realizing that she will not stand for this, blindly ventures into the IW, the Impassable Wilderness, to rescue him.  However, she does not travel alone, and Curtis, a classmate of Prue's, joins in on the wild adventure.  It's an epic tale full of adventure, action, and fascinating characters.

I had to admire Prue's character for her persistence to save her brother and her bravery.  The danger in this book was truly life-endangering and real, but Prue's love for her brother and her determination was much larger than any antagonistic force.  Right from the beginning, I immediately liked her character.  She was sassy and defiant, smart and courageous.  She surprised me with her dimension and she shone throughout the entire book. 

And Curtis!  He was also such a great character.  His dorkiness made it hard for you to not love him and his overall character growth throughout the novel was amazing.  There was this hero inside of him that was waiting for a chance to be loosed upon the world, and I'm sure that he surprised himself with his great amount of growth.  

And COLIN MELOY!  You magnificent being!  Your writing blew me away.  I was drowning in the poetic beauty that was Colin Meloy's writing.  The imagery was off-the-charts vivid.  I was lost in the writing.  I felt as if I was transported into the story itself, following Prue and Curtis on their adventures.  The imagination and plotting that went into Wildwood is amazing.  When I thought things couldn't get any worse, they did.  Things would get real bad.  This book meant business!

While Wildwood is shelved in the MG genre, it is a bit on the lengthy side (but evenly paced), has advanced vocabulary, and has a lot of violence, so it might be a little too much for some kids.  However, it was extremely enjoyable and I'm sold.  It was beautifully written with characters just as dimensional as a cube.  So many things went on and kept me highly entertained.  Whether you're on the fence about MG, like me, or love it, I highly suggest reading this book.
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