Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #162 - The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
The Walls Around Us
by Nova Ren Suma
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Publication Date: March 24th 2015
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
ISBN: 9781616203726

Available for Pre-Order:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

“Ori’s dead because of what happened out behind the theater, in the tunnel made out of trees. She’s dead because she got sent to that place upstate, locked up with those monsters. And she got sent there because of me.”

The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices—one still living and one long dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls’ juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries.

We hear Amber’s story and Violet’s, and through them Orianna’s, first from one angle, then from another, until gradually we begin to get the whole picture—which is not necessarily the one that either Amber or Violet wants us to see.

Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and innocence, and what happens when one is mistaken for the other. (Goodreads)

So, I've never actually read a book by Nova Ren Suma,
but I've had both Imaginary Girls and 17 & Gone on my to read list for a while now.
The Walls Around Us sounds like it's going to be a really awesome read.
I've added it to my to-read list, and I can't wait to check it out!
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook
by Kristi Cook
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Publication Date: August 5th 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781442485358
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss
From Publisher for Review

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In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over. (Goodreads)
Magnolia reads like a Romeo & Juliet story in reverse. Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden’s parents want nothing more than for them to be a couple, and to eventually unite their two families through marriage. However, Jemma and Ryder are not having any of it. In fact, they pretty much hate each other, and have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. That is until a hurricane blasts through their southern town, terrifying everyone in its path, and shakes the true feelings out of these two stubborn kids.

Jemma was a really interesting character to read about. Not only is she a cheerleader and a good student, she’s awesome pretty awesome with a camera and a prized pistol shooter. She also has a bit of a rebellious nature in her, and that rebellion is mostly against the future that her parents want for her. She knows what she wants from her future, and it’s not the future that her parents had in mind for her. The only thing that bothered me about Jemma was that at times she seemed a bit indifferent about some of the things that were going on around her. Otherwise, I found her to be a pretty likable character.

Ryder was such a swoon-worthy character. I love that he was a completely perfect southern gentleman throughout the whole story. Although he also wanted to rebel against the future that his parents had planned out for him, he also did want that future as well. Of course, he couldn’t let anyone know this. Ryder was definitely my favorite character in the story. And together, when they weren’t being stubborn or fighting, Jemma and Ryder were super cute together.

Living in Tennessee all my life, I really loved the southern feel to the story. Cook really described the southern parts spot on for how some things are in the south.  I also really enjoyed the laid back feel to this book, except when the storm was raging. The book had a good flow through it, and it kept me turning the pages.

Overall; I thought that Magnolia was a really cute read. It’s great to read if you need something fluffy to pass the time. Add it to your to-read list today!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
The Kiss of Deception
(The Remnant Chronicles #1)
by Mary E. Pearson
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Publication Date: July 8th 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Pages: 486
ISBN: 9780805099232
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: ARC from Publisher

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A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love. (Goodreads)
I received The Kiss of Deception a few months ago, and sadly it sat on my shelf for longer than I care to admit. When I finally had a chance to get caught up, it was the first book on my list to read. After finishing the book, I felt like kicking myself for not having read the book sooner, especially since I had already heard so many great things about the book. I loved this story; it was beyond excellent.

After fleeing in secrecy on her wedding day, Lia sets out to find a new life for herself. A life that is free of arranged marriages and political alliances. When she starts her new life in a new town, she finally believes things have changed for the better. Until two new strangers show up in town and threaten to unravel the new life she has begun.

The main character in the story, Lia, is one of those super strong characters that I always love in my books. Of course she wasn’t always this way. She was always told what to do and how to act, not even allowed to choose her own husband. But there was a rebellious fire burning inside of her, and she finally decided to act on it. I liked that while she was a princess, she put all of that aside when she started her new life and did what she had to do to survive. It was very admirable.

I really want to go on and on about the two strangers that show up in Lia’s life, but I really think you should read the story yourself and form your own thoughts about them. Let’s just say that they were both swoon-worthy and hard to resist, and each for different reasons. While it was set up to be a bit of a love triangle, it really didn’t feel that way to me. I did, however, pick a side pretty early on in the story.

The story is told from mainly from Lia’s point of view, but every now and then we get a chapter that is from someone else’s point of view. While the chapters were titled for everyone but Lia, it’s titled in a vague way that will keep you guessing on whose point of view you are actually reading from. I LOVED THIS! It made the mystery even sweeter as you go through the book.

I loved the storyline and setting for the novel. Not only was the world building intriguing, but the character development was as well; and not with just one specific set of characters, but with ALL of the characters in the story. Also, it almost felt like there were two different parts of this story, and the story changes about halfway through the book. So really, it’s like you get to go on two different adventures instead of one.

I have a super short attention span, so sometimes when reading a really long book I find myself getting bored and wanting the book to end already. That was not the case with this book. Even after reading 486 pages, I did NOT want this book to end!  And now I’m dying for the next book to be released. I must find out what’s going to happen next!

Overall; if you’re into fantasy reads, I definitely recommend that you check out The Kiss of Deception. It was just what I needed to pull me out of my reading slump. I was completely taken in by the story, and now I’m longing for the next book in the series, The Heart of Deception! Add both of these books to your to-read list today!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #161 - The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
The Glass Arrow
(Untitled Trilogy #1)
by Kristen Simmons
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Publication Date: February 10th 2015
Publisher: Tor Teen
ISBN: 9780765336613

Available for Pre-Order:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.

In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning. (Goodreads)

Sooooo... I'm kind of REALLY excited about this book.
Did you read the synopsis???
It sounds like it's going to be a great start to an awesome series!
I can't wait to check it out!
Is it February yet???

I adored Kristen's Article 5 series, if you haven't read those books,
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Isla and the Happily Ever After
(Anna and the French Kiss #3)
by Stephanie Perkins
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Publication Date: August 14th 2014
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 339
ISBN: 9780525425632
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Source: Own
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From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new. (Goodreads)
I’ve been waiting over 2½ years to get my hands on Isla and the Happily Ever After, and now that I’ve finished it I can honestly say, it was definitely worth the wait. Stephanie Perkins has totally outdone herself with this novel. As much as I loved Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, my new favorite book in this series is definitely Isla and the Happily Ever After!

Isla and the Happily Ever After is Isla and Josh’s story. Isla has had a crush on Josh since she first saw him three years ago at SOAP, School of America in Paris. After a chance meeting one night in a small caf√©, Isla finally summons up the courage to talk to Josh.  Thus begins a whirlwind romance that leaves them both falling hard for each other.  But is a happy ever after in their future, or will fate pull them apart?

Isla was such a great character. She was very shy and patient, but she also had a lot of insecurities that were hard for her to overcome. I found her to be an extremely likeable character. Josh is oh-so-swoon-worthy, and also very easy to like. While he seems to be almost perfect at times, he has his own set of insecurities and doubts that he deals with on a daily basis. But that just makes you love him even more. These characters were so alike, and yet so different, that they worked perfectly together. They were so freaking cute, it was so sweet.

The secondary characters in the novel were all very well written, especially Kurt, Isla’s best friend who is autistic. I really liked the families for both characters as well, even though we really don’t get to see as much of either family as much as I would have liked. I also love that we get to revisit with some of the characters that we have already met previously in the series. It was great to ‘catch up’ with them.

As I’ve mentioned before in my previous reviews, I am a sucker for a good love story. I can’t help it, I just can’t resist them. And I especially love a book that brings out all the feels. This book brought out so many emotions in me. There was happiness and sadness, embarrassment and jealousy, and even anger and immense joy. You will feel all these things and more when reading this book. All the feels, seriously, you will feel them.

The ending of the book made me squeal like a little school girl. It’s an ending that will leave you feeling super giddy long after you turn the last pages. It was SO SWEET. I thought the story wrapped up the series very nicely, even though I think there are people in the series that more stories could be written about. That would be awesome!

Overall, this book was a wonderful ending to an already wonderful series. I really hate to see it come to an end, as I love these characters and their stories. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend that you do so, as soon as possible. If you loved Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, you’re definitely going to love Isla and the Happily Ever After as well!

Also in this series....

Anna and the French Kiss  |  Lola and the Boy Next Door

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #160 - The Young Elites by Marie Lu
The Young Elites
(The Young Elites #1)
by Marie Lu
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Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
ISBN: 9780399167836

Available for Pre-Order:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

I have a confession...
I've never read a book my Marie Lu before.
{ducks for cover}
I've wanted to read the Legend series for so long now,
I must get to it soon.
I managed to snag a copy of The Young Elites from Penguin's First To Read program,
and I'm super anxious to start the book.
So excited!
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Review: On The Fence by Kasie West
On the Fence
by Kasie West
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Publication Date: July 1st 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 296
ISBN: 9780062235671
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Goodreads

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds,

aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high. (Goodreads)
I was super excited to start reading ‘On The Fence’! I had heard many great things about Kasie West’s writing, and I was dying to pick something up by her. Also, I’m a sucker for a good love story. I knew just from reading the synopsis for this novel that I was really going to love the story. And I did. SO MUCH.

I found Charlie, the main character, to be an extremely relatable young girl. I was a big tomboy when I was growing up as well, so I could definitely relate to what she was going through with all the boys. I remember that feeling of awkwardness and insecurity so well. Throughout the book we watch Charlie grow from a tomboy, into a young lady, with the help of some really cool new friends. Charlie was such a great character. I love that she made me laugh, more than a few times.

Braden, the boy next door, has been Charlie’s neighbor for as long as she can remember. He’s so close to her family that he is basically considered one of her brothers. But all that changes on night during one of their chats by the fence. I loved Braden! While he did act like one of her brothers most of the time, you could tell he’d had feelings for Charlie for a while. He was so sweet.

The men in Charlie’s family were amazing. Her father and brothers were so protective of Charlie, and it’s really more than just a family bond. We find out the reasoning at the end of the book, and it’s pretty heartbreaking. But these were all really great men, and I LOVE books that have strong family ties in them.

The storyline for the book was simple and easy to follow. This is one of those books that you can read in just a few hours time, because you are going to be hooked once you start it. Also, I’m a sucker for a good love story, and that’s definitely what you’re going to get with this novel.

Overall; I really, really enjoyed reading this book! Now that I’ve read something by Kasie West, I can’t wait to read more, as soon as I possibly can! Definitely add On the Fence to your to-read list today!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #159 - Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor
Better Than Perfect
by Melissa Kantor
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Publication Date: February 18th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062279200

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Juliet Newman has it all. A picture-perfect family; a handsome, loving boyfriend; and a foolproof life plan: ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard early decision, and live happily ever after.

But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning the rules she’s always lived by. And to make everything even more complicated there’s Declan, the gorgeous boy who makes her feel alive and spontaneous—and who’s totally off-limits. Torn between the life she always thought she wanted and one she never knew was possible, Juliet begins to wonder: What if perfect isn't all it’s cracked up to be?

Melissa Kantor once again delivers a tale that is equal parts surprising, humorous, heartbreaking, and romantic. Powerful and honest, Juliet’s story brilliantly portrays the highs and lows of life in high school and will resonate with any reader who has experienced either. (Goodreads)

I read Melissa Kantor's * Maybe One Day * earlier this year,
and I absolutely LOVED the story.
So I can't wait to get my hands on Better Than Perfect!
The synopsis sounds great, and I love the cover.
SOOO excited to read this!!

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

Monday, August 4, 2014

Giveaway! HOMEROOM DIARIES by James Patterson & Lisa Papademetriou

Homeroom Diaries
by James Patterson & Lisa Papademetriou

In Stores July 21st, 2014

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Follow Homeroom Diaries on Instagram
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About the Book:

In James Patterson's first highly illustrated "diary fiction" story for teens, the mega-bestselling author's most endearing and original teen heroine ever proves that everyone can use a helping hand once in a while.

Margaret "Cuckoo" Clarke recently had a brief stay in a mental institution following an emotional breakdown, but she's turning over a new leaf with her "Happiness Project". She's determined to beat down the bad vibes of the Haters, the Terror Teachers, and all of the trials and tribulations of high school by writing and drawing in her diary. And when life gets really tough, she works through her own moments of uncertainty through imaginary conversations with her favorite literary characters.

Cuckoo's also got a nearly impossible mission: she, along with her misfit band of self-deprecating friends (who call themselves "the Freakshow") decide to bridge the gap between warring cliques and "bring the Nations together". Not everyone is so willing to join hands and get along, but Cuckoo never stops smiling...until one of her closest friends, pushed to desperation by a Hater prank, decides that enough is enough.
About the Author:

In January, 2010, The New York Times Magazine featured James Patterson on its cover and hailed him as having "transformed book publishing." Time magazine named him "The Man Who Can't Miss," and he is a two-time Children's Choice Book Award "Author of the Year" nominee, a designation decided on by more than 15,000 children and teen readers.

In the past three years, James Patterson has sold more books than any other author (according to Bookscan), and in total, James's books have sold an estimated 260 million copies worldwide. Since 2006, one out of every seventeen hardcover fiction books sold was a Patterson title. He is the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on The New York Times adult and children's bestsellers lists and is the only author to have five new hardcover novels debut at #1 on the list in one year—a record-breaking feat he's accomplished every year since 2005. To date, James Patterson has had nineteen consecutive #1 New York Times bestselling novels, and holds the New York Times record for most Hardcover Fiction bestselling titles by a single author (76 total), which is also a Guinness World Record.

From his James Patterson Pageturner Awards (which rewarded groups and individuals for creative and effective ways of spreading the joy of reading) to his website (which helps adults find books that kids are sure to love) to his regular donations of thousands of books to troops overseas, Patterson is a lifelong champion of books and reading. His critically acclaimed Maximum Ride series debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list at #1 and remained there for twelve straight weeks. The series has so far made ninety-four cumulative appearances on The New York Times bestsellers lists, proving that kids of all ages love page turners. He captured the attention of boy readers with Daniel X series, and his third series for readers of all ages debuted in December 2009 with Witch & Wizard, which spent five consecutive weeks atop the New York Times bestsellers list.

Patterson is the creator of the top-selling new detective series of the past dozen years, featuring Alex Cross and including the Hollywood-adapted "Along Came a Spider" and "Kiss the Girls," starring Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman. He is also the creator of the #1 new detective series of the past five years, featuring Lindsay Boxer and the Women's Murder Club, from which the ABC television drama series was adapted. He has authored books behind six films on the Hollywood fast-track, including the upcoming Maximum Ride movie forthcoming from Avi Arad, the producer of X-Men and Spiderman.

He is the author of novels — from The Thomas Berryman Number (1976) to Honeymoon (2005) — that have won awards including the Edgar, the BCA Mystery Guild's Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year award, and the Reader's Digest Reader's Choice Award. And, he has won a Children's Choice Book Council's Children's Choice Awards "Author of the Year" award (2010).

One of Forbes magazine's Celebrity 100, James made a guest appearance on the popular FOX TV show "The Simpsons" in March, 2007.

Giveaway Details:

Two (2) winners each receive a copy of HOMEROOM DIARIES

Prizing & samples  courtesy of Little, Brown
Giveaway open to US addresses only

Good Luck!!

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