Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Review: Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

Deep Blue
(Waterfire Saga #1)
by Jennifer Donnelly
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Publication Date: 9781423133162
Publisher: Disney Press
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781423133162
Genre: Young Adult | Mermaids
Source: Arc from Publisher

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

The first in a series of four epic tales set in the depths of the ocean, where six mermaids seek to protect and save their hidden world.

Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin's arrow poisons Sera's mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence. (Goodreads)
I was super excited to start Jennifer Donnelly’s Deep Blue, as I have heard great things about the author, but have never had a chance to read any of her books before. After receiving a copy of Deep Blue in the mail, I was super curious to try the book out. Here are my thoughts on this book.

The story is about a young mermaid named Serafina, whose life changes in an instant on the day of her betrothal. On the run, with her city now in ruins, Sera and her best friend Neela must try their best to escape the evil that threatens them, and find a way to save the sea from the one who wants to destroy everything.

The story is told from our two main characters points of view.  Serafina and Neela were both interesting characters, and each in their own particular way. They had a really great friendship, and both were determined to keep each other safe from the people that wanted to harm them. They both had qualities that helped them out when they really needed them. I really liked not only their determination, but their friendship as well. The story mainly revolves around friendship between the two girls, so there’s not really much romance in the book, just a bit at the beginning.

The world building for the book was quite fascinating, as Donnelly literally built this world from the ground up. It has its own language and objects, character names, etc. The story could get a bit confusing at times because there are SO many words that we don’t know, that belong specifically to this world Donnelly created, that I have to stop and try to remember what the word meant. It got a little better the more that I read, but it definitely slowed my reading processing in the first part of the book. There was quite a bit of action in the book, mainly the girls running from the bad guys. Every time I turned the page it seemed like they were fixing to get caught.  That definitely kept me turning the pages.

Overall; I thought this book was a really interesting read. I’ve not read too many mermaid books, so it’s kind of hard for me to compare them. I definitely think younger girls will enjoy reading this book.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You've Been Gone
by Morgan Matson
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Publication Date: May 6th 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9781442435001
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: ARC

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just... disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try... unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough.Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait... what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Um... (Goodreads)
I was super excited to start Since You’ve Been Gone, as I had heard so many great things about this book, as well as the author, Morgan Matson. This book did not disappoint at all. It’s been a really long time since I’ve been quite so engrossed in a book, it was absolutely wonderful. I’m beyond thankful for my dear friend Kathy for letting me know about this book!

Emily’s best friend Sloane and her family have disappeared, and no one seems to know where they have gone. Did they go on a spur of the moment family vacation? Possibly, but with Sloane not answering her calls or text, Emily is starting to get worried. That is, until a peculiar to-do list arrives in the mail from Sloane. It is a list of tasks for Emily to do, some of which she would never actually consider doing, like skinny dipping, for instance. But with the help of some new friends, she may just be able to accomplish them all.

I found Emily to be an extremely relatable character. She’s painfully shy and a bit introverted, and doesn’t have many friends other than Sloane. There were a few things in the book that Emily went through that were painfully awkward, but that just made me connect with her even more. I really enjoyed watching Emily grow throughout the story, and achieve all the tasks that were on the list. I think each achievement gave her a boost of confidence that she definitely needed. I cheered for her every time that she marked something off her list, I laughed with her when she and the crew did something super funny, and I even teared-up a few times for her, for when she just felt like everything was going wrong. Emily is one of those really great characters that will stick with me always.

The new friends that Emily made in the book were pretty great. Collins and Dawn were great as secondary characters, but the best would definitely have to be Frank; sweet, swoon-worthy Frank. I think he was a big part of helping Emily finally find herself. I loved the interactions between them, and all the moments that they shared together. It was really sweet.

The storyline for the book was really fun to read, and was definitely addictive. Not often does a book manage to grab me the way this one did. I honestly could not put the book down, not that I even wanted to, and I stayed up well into the night to finish it off. I just HAD to know what was going to happen next, and how the book was going to end. It definitely had me hooked, and made for an excellent read!

Overall, I really, REALLY enjoyed this book! If you don’t already have it on your list, I definitely recommend that you add it. It was especially make for a great summer read. I can’t wait to check out more books by Matson ASAP!

Happy Reading!!


Amy & Rogers Epic Detour   |   Second Chance Summer

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Review: After The End by Amy Plum

After The End
(After the End #1)
by Amy Plum
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Publication Date: May 6th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780062225603
Genre: Young Adult | Dystopian | Sci-Fi
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

“Exciting and tense! Prepare for the unexpected! You’ll stay up all night with this one!” — Sophie Jordan, NYT Bestselling author of the Firelight series. (Goodreads)
I am a big fan of Amy Plum’s Revenant series, so I couldn’t wait to get started reading After the End! The synopsis for the book is definitely intriguing, and I am happy to say that the book definitely did not disappoint!

The story is about a girl named Juneau, who lives in the Alaskan Wilderness with a select few survivors that managed to escape World War III.  That’s what she’s been told her whole life, anyways. But after returning from a hunting trip and discovering that her whole clan has vanished, it’s up to Juneau to track down the only family that she knows. But what she discovers is that everything she knows, everything that she’s ever been told, is a lie.

Juneau was such a complex character. Not only was she super smart, but she also had some psychic type powers as well that allow her to do some pretty interesting things. Having never lived in modern civilization before, she only knew how to survive in the wilderness, and this shows through her attempts at doing even the smallest things once she does venture into society. But she learns to adapt to things very quickly, which is definitely helpful in the high-tech modern world. I did find her a little hard to connect with at the beginning of the story, but I feel that this is mostly because she lived in such a secluded society. She didn’t really know how to act around people.

When her path crosses with Miles, who is destined to help her find her clan, things really start to get interesting. Miles has a very hard time believing anything that comes out of Juneau’s mouth and Juneau felt much the same way towards Miles, so it was really interesting watching the relationship grow between these two characters. I really didn’t know what to think about Miles in the first half of the book. He had his own agenda for why he was helping Juneau, one that would finally make his father proud, and he seemed set on following through with that agenda through much of the book. However, I did like his determination, and by the end of the book, he had won me over.

I really enjoyed the uniqueness of the storyline for this book. I’ve read a lot of dystopian books, and they all tend to blend together after a while. This book had a bit of a dystopian feeling beginning, but then merged into more of a science fiction about halfway through. Regardless, the book managed to stand out from the crowd with not only its unique plot, but with its characters as well. The end of the book was definitely a cliff-hanger ending, one that left me wondering what in the world is going to happen next. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.

Overall, this book was definitely not what I expected, and I enjoyed it so much more than I intended to. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the series.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #144: Complete Nothing by Kieran Scott

Complete Nothing
(True Love #2)
by Kieran Scott
Website | Twitter

Publication Date:
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781442477216


Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

True's matchmaking skills are the stuff of legend! The second novel in Kieran Scott's delightful teen romance series that TeenVogue.com called "the next Twilight."
True is not exactly loving New Jersey. Banished from Mount Olympus and tasked with helping couples find love without using her powers, the goddess-formerly-known-as-Cupid is having a tough time. Especially now that True's immortal love, Orion, has also appeared at her New Jersey high school--but with no memory of their relationship.

To distract herself from seeing Orion flirt with another girl, True focuses her efforts on making a match: Peter and Claudia. Peter is the star quarterback and the most popular guy in school. But he's insecure about his future, so he preemptively dumps Claudia, his girlfriend. (If she won't want to be with him later, why stay together now?) Claudia doesn't take the breakup too well, and she's ready to show the quarterback of their rival school just how ready she is to get over it.

But True sees something in these two seniors. She believes they should be together--but can she help them find their way back to each other (and get herself closer to home)? Or have things already spun too far out of control? (Goodreads)

Soooooo excited to get my hands on Complete Nothing!
If you stopped by the blog yesterday, I reviewed the first book in this series...
Only Everything!
It was so good!
Now I can't wait to get my hands on this book to see what's going to happen with True next!!
And with Orion!!

What are you Waiting for this week?

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review: Only Everything by Kieran Scott

Only Everything
(True Love #1)
by Kieran Scott
Website | Twitter

Publication Date: May 6th 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781442477186
Genre: Young Adult | Mythology | Romance
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

High school romance is tough—even for a bona fide love goddess. Can Cupid succeed as a mortal matchmaker?

When Eros (aka Cupid) is expelled from Olympus for defying Zeus after falling in love with Orion, she is banished to what she believes to be hell. We call it New Jersey. If she ever wants to go back to the comforts of her old life, she will have to find love for three couples—without using her powers.

Eros, now calling herself True, immediately identifies her first project in Charlie and believes finding him love will be a piece of cake. Charlie is new at school and eager to break out of his old image of band geek, so it’s lucky for him when he falls in with the right crowd on his first day. But music is still his passion. That is, until he meets Katrina...

Katrina is floundering after the death of her father and takes refuge with a boy who, while not entirely supportive, will be there when she needs him, unlike her mother. Too bad True thinks any girl Charlie talks to is perfect for him. Can she get out of her own way and help Charlie and Katrina connect, or will she be stuck in New Jersey forever? (Goodreads)
I couldn’t wait to start reading Only Everything by Kieran Scott. I had read her ‘He’s So/She’s So’ series a while back, and really enjoyed the series. With Only Everything having Greek mythology involved, I was super excited to see what kind of story Scott had created for us. This book is the beginning of a wonderful series!

The story is about Eros, also known as Cupid, who is banished to Earth after defying the almighty Zeus for falling in love with Orion. The only thing that can get her back to Olympus is to make three couples fall in love, without using her powers. With a plan in mind, she starts high school under the name of True Olympia, and sets out to find three couples to make fall in love, so that she can return to Olympus and her beloved Orion. 

Before losing her powers and being cast down to earth, True had no problem making people fall in love. It was easy for her, all she had to do was listen to a person’s hopes and dreams, and she could easily find a match. But now that she’s powerless, it’s not quite as easy as she expected. After many failed match-making attempts, True starts to wonder if she is going to be stuck on Earth forever, but with a little help, she may just be able to find her way back to Olympus after all. I found a lot of True’s attempts at living on Earth to be pretty funny, and it took her a while to catch on to everything. When she wasn’t rushing to make people fall in love, we get to see a side of True that is very kind and caring. I really enjoyed this side of True the most.

The first couple in the story that True tries to help fall in love are Charlie and Katrina.  Charlie is a band nerd who loves music, but has never been part of the popular crowd. At his new school, he’s befriended by the jocks, and even joins the cross country team at school. Katrina is a smart girl who is struggling after the passing of her father. She’s trying to get back on track with her grades and actually make something of herself, but it’s hard when it feels like everything is against you. Both of these characters were just really great people. While there were some moments in the novel that really made me want to grab them and shake some sense into them, I still really enjoyed watching this relationship slowly come together. It was very sweet.

The storyline for this book was super creative. I’ve read quite a few books dealing with Greek mythology, but none that have dealt with Eros/Cupid at all. I enjoyed the reading the history of Eros, and I’m super curious now to know more.  The ending of the book had me almost squealing, and now I’m impatiently waiting to get my hands on the second book to see what’s going to happen for True!

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book! It was a cute read, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in the next installment, Complete Nothing, due out in September!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: Royally Lost by Angie Stanton

Royally Lost
by Angie Stanton
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Publication Date: May 6th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780062272584
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't have...is freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.

When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever? (Goodreads)
Royally Lost is one of those fairytale stories that you always see in the movies, where the average girl and the handsome prince meet in an unexpected way and fall madly in love. Yes, you’ve seen this storyline a hundred times, but somehow this book still manages to make the story fresh and appealing.

I enjoyed following Becca and Nikolai on their European adventure. I liked that fate kept throwing them together at every available opportunity. They are two completely different people with completely different problems; but yet their problems are still really similar. And because of this they were able to form a bond that was stronger than just two people liking each other.  As a parent, I didn’t always agree with the choices that they made, but I can see how the spontaneity would be tempting to a young adult.

The story was told in the third person narrative, which I sometimes find really awkward to read. However, I didn’t really have much of a problem with it in this book. The storyline for the book was really cute, and is one that will make the girls swoon. One thing that I really, really enjoyed about the story was the setting. The descriptions of the places they visited where very well described, and made me long to visit Europe even more than I already wanted to before.

Overall; there were a couple of things in the book that had me rolling my eyes because they were just super sweet, but I still thought it was a cute read. Fangirls are definitely going to love this book, and it definitely will make for a great summer read!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike

Sleep No More
by Aprilynne Pike
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Publication Date: April 29th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780061999031
Genre: Young Adult | Paranormal
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

The blockbuster film Inception meets Lisa McMann's Wake trilogy in this dark paranormal thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike. This novel is also perfect for fans of Kelley Armstrong, Alyson Noel, and Kimberly Derting.

Charlotte Westing has a gift. She is an Oracle and has the ability to tell the future. But it doesn't do her much good. Instead of using their miraculous power, modern-day Oracles are told to fight their visions—to refrain from interfering. And Charlotte knows the price of breaking the rules. She sees it every day in her wheelchair-bound mother and the absence of her father. But when a premonition of a classmate's death is too strong for her to ignore, Charlotte is forced to make an impossible decision: continue following the rules or risk everything—even her sanity—to stop the serial killer who is stalking her town. (Goodreads)
Sleep No More is the first book I’ve read by Aprilynne Pike, but it definitely won’t be the last!

Charlotte Westing is an Oracle, one that has the ability not only tell the future, but to change it as well. But in the current day and age, oracles aren’t allowed to use their powers, not even for good. They must hold them in, and not let themselves be known for what they really all. All of this is for their protection, of course. But when her classmates start dying in very brutal ways, it’s up to Charlotte to use her powers to track down the killer, before she loses even more of her friends.

Charlotte was a very interesting main character. On one hand I admired her for her determination to keep people safe and to find out who was killing the teens, but on the other hand I wanted to shake her for making some of the insanely dangerous decisions that she made. I definitely found her remoteness to be relatable, even if hers wasn’t exactly by choice. I actually think that more people cared about Charlotte than she actually believed did so, and we really see that throughout the story.

The storyline for this book was very creative! I can’t say that I’ve read a book where an Oracle is the main character before. It was interesting and very unique.  The actual deaths in the story were brutal and very descriptive. Kudo’s to Pike for having the stomach to write those scenes! I figured out who the killer was pretty early in the story, but his motive was for killing came as a surprise to me. Even though I figured it out, there was still so much mystery that I caught myself second guessing a lot, and suspecting everyone. There was a pretty big twist at the end of the novel that had me a bit surprised, but I thought it worked out perfectly for this novel.

Overall, this book was a very intense read! If you want to read something different than the norm, you should definitely check out Sleep No More. I’m really looking forward to reading more of Aprilynne Pike’s novels in the future.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #143 - Talon by Julie Kagawa

(Talon, #1)
by Julie Kagawa
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: October 28th 2014
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
ISBN: 9780373211395


Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons. (Goodreads)

Of course this week's WOW pick is going to be Julie Kagawa's TALON!
I've been waiting to see the cover for this book for a while now.
And the story sounds amazing too, as always.
Everything is just amazing!!
Of course, it is Julie Kagawa... HELLO!! :)

Have you added Talon to your to-read list yet?
Don't forget to pre-order your copy! I've already ordered mine. ;)

What are you Waiting for this week??

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik

The Last Best Kiss
by Claire LaZebnik
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Publication Date: April 22nd 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780062252289
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Retelling
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Anna Eliot is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked, Finn Westbrook.

Now, three years after she broke his heart, the one who got away is back in her life.

All Anna wants is a chance to relive their last kiss again (and again and again). But Finn obviously hasn’t forgotten how she treated him, and he’s made it clear he has no interest in having anything to do with her.

Anna keeps trying to persuade herself that she doesn’t care about Finn either, but even though they’ve both changed since they first met, deep down she knows he’s the guy for her. Now if only she can get him to believe that, too....

With her signature wit and expertly authentic teen voice, Claire LaZebnik (the author of fan favorites Epic Fail and The Trouble with Flirting) once again breathes new life into a perennially popular love story. Fans of Polly Shulman, Maureen Johnson, and, of course, Jane Austen will love this irresistibly funny and romantic tale of first loves and second chances. (Goodreads)
The Last Best Kiss is a modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I really enjoy anything that is related the Jane Austen, so I was thrilled to discover this book. And I was even more thrilled that the storyline for this novel, even while modernized, follows the original story so well. It made for a very cute read!

When we first meet Anna Eliot she’s just starting her freshman year of high school. She’s young, naive and very impressionable. This, of course, causes her to break the heart of the one person that she could actually be herself around. I alternated between feeling completely frustrated with Anna, to feeling really bad for her throughout the novel. The frustration came from the way she treated Finn, and how she gave in to peer pressure so easily.  However, I felt even worse for her because of her home life. Her parents and one of her sisters were just awful, selfish people, which I’m sure is why Anna felt so insecure about being herself around her friends. It was a sad situation to have to be in. We do see Anna grow throughout the book, thankfully, and even before Finn came back into her life, she seems to have changed for the better. That is always a plus in my book.

While I liked both Anna and Finn, I really wasn’t able to connect with many of the secondary characters in the novel. As I mentioned before, most of the people in Anna’s family were just awful. Her friends seemed very shallow and were very annoying most of the time. There were a few characters that were ok, but otherwise, I didn’t really care for most of them.

I really have a love/hate relationship with these types of books. I love the storyline for the book, but I hate how long it takes for the characters to finally get together! The tension drives me crazy every single time, but in a good way!

Overall; if you’re looking for a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, you should check this book out! It was a very enjoyable read. Now that I’ve read something by Mrs. LaZebnik, I’m really looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Giveaway: Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

Deep Blue
(Waterfire Saga #1)
by Jennifer Donnelly

In Stores May 6th, 2014

Visit Jennifer Donnelly's Official Website
Follow Hyperion Teen on Twitter & Tumblr

About the Book:

The first in a series of epic tales set in the depths of the ocean, where six mermaids seek to protect and save their hidden world.

Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin’s arrow poisons Sera's mother.

Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.

About the Author:

Jennifer Donnelly is an award-winning author of both adult and young adult books, including Deep Blue, the first book in the Waterfire Saga. For adults she has written a trilogy of best-selling books that includes The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, and The Wild Rose. Her first young adult novel, A Northern Light, received many accolades, among them the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Carnegie Medal in the UK, and a Michael L. Printz Honor. Her second young adult novel, Revolution, was named a Best Book of 2010 by Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal, and the audiobook received a 2011 American Library Association Odyssey Honor. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Giveaway Details:

“Pretty Principessa” Prize Pack

Two (2) winners each receive:
Custom Deep Blue nail polish set and copy of the book

Prizing & samples  courtesy of Disney Publishing
Giveaway open to US addresses only

Good Luck!!
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #142 - Waterfall by Lauren Kate

(Teardrop #2)
by Lauren Kate
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: October 28th 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ISBN: October 28th 2014


Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fallen books comes WATERFALL, a novel about love, betrayal, and epic consequences—a world-altering tale told by a girl whose tears have the power to raise the lost continent of Atlantis. This second novel in the Teardrop series is intensely romantic, with strong, hot main characters caught up in a thrilling fantastical love triangle. For readers who love Lauren Kate and the worlds of Alyson Noël, P. C. Cast, Maggie Stiefvater, and Veronica Rossi.

Eureka’s tears have flooded the earth, and now Atlantis is rising, bringing with it its evil king, Atlas. Eureka is the only one who can stop him, but first she must learn how to fight. She travels across the ocean with Cat, her family, and Ander, the gorgeous and mysterious Seedbearer who promises to help her find Solon, an enigmatic lost Seedbearer who knows how to defeat Atlas.

Once on land, Eureka is taunted by gossipwitches, a group of displaced Atlantean sorceresses, and ambushed by locals struggling to survive amid the destruction her tears have wrought. And she feels no closer to facing Atlas or saving the world when Solon lets slip that love is Ander’s weakness, and that any affection he feels toward her makes him age faster.

Trying to make sense of the dark world her sorrow has created, Eureka receives startling insight from an enchanted pond. Her bewildering reflection reveals a soul-crushing secret: if she’s strong enough, Eureka can draw on this knowledge to defeat Atlas—unless her broken heart is just what he needs to fuel his rising kingdom. . . .

In Waterfall, Eureka has the chance to save the world. But she’ll have to give up everything—even love. (Goodreads)

So, I haven't had a chance to read Teardrop yet...
But it's sitting on my shelf, just waiting for me to pick it up.
(Something that I MUST do soon.)
I love the covers for these novels.

I also adored Kate's *Fallen* series, it was SO good!

I can't wait to add this book to my collection.

What are you Waiting for this week??

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

The Taking
(The Taking #1)
by Kimberly Derting
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date:
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780062293602
Genre: Young Adult | Paranormal | Aliens
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own? (Goodreads)
I’ve had a copy of The Taking to read for a while now, and I finally decided to start it today. What a great decision that was!  I have read Derting’s Body Finder series, and The Pledge trilogy in the past, and really enjoyed them both. I couldn’t wait to get started on this book to see what new story Derting has in store for us. Let me just say this, you definitely will not be disappointed with this book!

Sixteen year old Kyra Agnew has a great life. She has two loving parents, an awesome best friend, and a boyfriend that adores her.  And all that changes in a flash of white light. When Kyra wakes up one morning behind a dumpster, with no recollection of how she got there, she heads home only to find out that five years have passed. While she hasn’t changed at all, everything else in her life has. Her parents are now divorced, and her best friend and boyfriend have moved on with her lives. Nothing is the same anymore, except for Kyra. With the help of her ex-boyfriends brother, Tyler, Kyra sets out to discover what happened when she disappeared.

Poor Kyra, I can’t even imagine being in her situation. One minute she has it all, the next minute years have passed and she’s lost in a mess of confusion. But Kyra is a very headstrong young lady, and she was determined to figure out what had happened to her. And that’s exactly what she sets out to do with Tyler’s help.

Tyler was such a great character. He has definitely made the list of my most swoon-worthy characters. I love that even when he had no idea what to believe, he still believed in Kyra, and that he would do anything that he could to protect her. Not only did Tyler and Kyra make a great team, but they make a great couple as well. Seriously, I could cut through the romantic tension with a knife! Tyler was such a sweetie.

I am seriously kicking myself for not reading this book sooner. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop. I ended up reading the book in one day, which was a bit surprising for me. Once I started reading, I was hooked. There is a LOT of action and suspense in the second half of the book, it was intense! I seriously couldn’t put it down, and was sitting on the edge of my seat, holding my breath, waiting to see what was going to happen. The end of the book left me hanging a bit, so I’m dying to get my hands on the next book to see what is going to happen next!

Overall, if you are a fan of Derting’s already, you will definitely love the beginning of this awesome new series. If you’ve not yet read her work before, The Taking is a great place to start! Add it to your reading list today!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

Catch a Falling Star
by Kim Culbertson
Website | Twitter

Publication Date: April 29th 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780545627047
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Netgalley

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

A deliciously charming novel about finding true love . . . and yourself.

Nothing ever happens in Little, CA. Which is just the way Carter Moon likes it. But when Hollywood arrives to film a movie starring former child star turned PR mess Adam Jakes, everything changes. Carter's town becomes a giant glittery set and, much to her annoyance, everyone is starry-eyed for Adam. Carter seems to be the only girl not falling all over herself to get a glimpse of him. Which apparently makes her perfect for the secret offer of a lifetime: playing the role of Adam's girlfriend while he's in town, to improve his public image, in exchange for a hefty paycheck. Her family really needs the money and so Carters agrees. But it turns out Adam isn't at all who she thought he was. As they grow closer, their relationship walks a blurry line between what's real and what's fake, and Carter must open her eyes to the scariest of unexplored worlds - her future. Can Carter figure out what she wants out of life AND get the guy? Or are there no Hollywood endings in real life? (Goodreads)
I was originally drawn to Catch a Falling Star by its gorgeous cover. Then I read the synopsis and knew I had to check this book out. It was a really fun book to read!

Carter Moon loves her small town of Little, California. Day to day life is quiet and normal, until movie star Adam Jakes and his Hollywood crew arrives to shoot his latest movie. Then everything changes in Carter’s world.

The main character in the story, Carter Moon, was a very down to earth, girl next door kind of girl. She wanted nothing more than to live her life in her small town and work at her family’s café. She loves her family, friends and she really cares about the people in her small town. She’s definitely not one that is swayed by the ways of Hollywood. She’s definitely not one that is swayed by the ways of Hollywood. However, she’s not without issues of her own. Issues that force her to have to do things she really doesn’t want to do, like pretend to be Adam Jakes girlfriend. I found Carter to be very relatable character.

I wasn’t really sure what to think about Adam Jakes, the actor that is in Carter’s small town filming his movie. Being an actor, he had so many ‘faces’ that he had to put on for people. While this is understandable, it was really hard to connect with him at times. But the times when he showed his true self, those times were really nice. I liked that, over time, they really seemed to bring out the best in each other.

One thing I always love when reading YA books, is when the characters have really awesome parents. Carter’s parents were so great, and they really loved their daughter. She also has two really great best friends that were always there for her when she needed them. I really loved all of these characters.

The storyline for the book was really cute, and made for an easy read. The romance in the book was very light, but still sweet. I really enjoyed that while it was a fun read, it still had some very realistic issues that the characters had to deal with. So not everything was super perfect, and that made the book feel more realistic.

Overall; I found this book to be a really fun read. The summer theme would make it a fun book to add to your summer reading list, but don’t wait until the summer to check it out.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Review: House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

House of Ivy & Sorrow
by Natalie Whipple
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: April 15th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780062120182
Genre: Young Adult | Paranormal | Witches
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves. (Goodreads)
I was drawn to House of Ivy & Sorrow by its gorgeous cover. I couldn’t wait to dive into the story because the synopsis sounded really fantastic. Here are my thoughts on this book.

After hiding out for the past 10 years from the curse that killed her mother, Josephine’s luck seems to have run out. With her mom’s killer lose in her small Iowa town, it’s up to Jo and her group of friends to save and protect her Hemlock bloodline at all costs.

The characters in this story were very interesting. Josephine seemed like a very determined young lady. Her best friend, Kat, was SO cool. I love really awesome best friend characters. Jo’s grandmother, ‘Nana’ Dorothea was a very funny and wise lady. I loved that she had an addiction to chocolate pudding! The kids that she went to school with seemed like a great group of friends as well.

There are two boys in the story, Winn and Levi, but I hesitate to say that it’s a love triangle. While there is a bit of romance in the story, it’s definitely not enough to overpower the storyline. What little bit we do see is sweet and pretty chaste.

I went into this book expecting a really dark story, and that’s not what I got at all. Although there are some parts of the story that are dark and some even kind of gross, but otherwise the story is pretty light. Not saying that that is a bad thing at all, it just wasn’t what I expected.  The story was a very quick, fun read for me. I think a lot of teenage girls will really like this book.

Overall; this was a very fun book to read! It’s been a while since I read a book about witches, and I really enjoy witch stories. Check this out if you’re looking for a quick, fun read.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #141 - Stitching Snow & MARY: The Summoning

Stitching Snow
by R.C. Lewis
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 9781423185079


Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back-but that's assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane's arrival was far from accidental, and she's pulled into the heart of a war she's risked everything to avoid.

In her enthralling debut, R.C. Lewis weaves the tale of a princess on the run from painful secrets . . . and a poisonous queen. With the galaxy's future-and her own-in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival. (Goodreads)

MARY: The Summoning
by Hillary Monahan
Website | Twitterhttps://twitter.com/HillaryMonahan | Facebook

Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 9781423185192


Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them--Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna--must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: "Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY." A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.

Once is not enough, though--at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary's wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary--and Jess--before it's too late? (Goodreads)

Do these two Disney-Hyperion releases sound awesome, or what???
Retellings are the BIG thing right now,
and I'm super excited to read the retelling of Snow White in Stitching Snow.
And MARY: The Summoning sounds like the perfect read to add to my Halloween Reading list!
I can't wait to dig into both of these books!

What are you Waiting for this week??

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**