Thursday, November 29, 2012

Feature and Follow #23

Follow Friday is a really fun way to make new blogger friends and promote your blog in the process! This weekly meme is hosted byAlison Can Read and Parajunkee

Who is your to-die-for book crush? What do you think they look like?

Ahahahahahahahahaha! Oh lordy, if you've read some of my other posts, then you know that apple of my eye, love of my heart, fire of my loins, etc etc. is none other than Will Herondale from Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices series!

I don't remember exact quotes, but Will is a black-haired, blue-eyed BAMF and he is witty as heck. Also, he loves books. Like, really really loves books.

He's snarky and hilarious and at times, somewhat inappropriate, but underneath the bad boy exterior is a beautifully complex character that you will love so much it hurts.

I've always had a hard time picturing book boys as real people, and Tessa did say that Will looked "like every fictional character she had conjured up in her head" which makes him even harder to cast! However, I did see an old picture of Alex Pettyfer from a while ago where the photo was edited so that he had black hair and By The Angel, I could definitely see him as Will. 

So are you swooning yet?  :)

Review: The Raven Boys

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publication date: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Press
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Let me just start off by making this clear: the synopsis of this book does not do the actual story justice. Not by a long shot.
Yes, Blue is apparently destined to kill her true love with her kiss, and yes, she meets four Raven Boys.

More than that, though, this book is about an eccentric family of secretive psychics and a non-psychic daughter, a journey to find a magical ley line, the legend of the Welsh king, Glendower, and the fierce friendship between four boys that is complex and heart-breakingly beautiful.

The best part of this book, for me, is definitely the friendship between the four Raven Boys.

You've got Gansey who is born with unimaginable privilege and harbors an obsession for finding the legendary Glendower. I loved the dichotomy of Gansey's character! On the surface he is the cookie-cutter rich boy, but beneath that there is this inexplicably complex nature, from his deep insatiable yearning for Glendower to his love and protectiveness of his friends. I wish I knew the right words to describe Gansey, but all I can tell you is that he is a truly unforgettable character. 

"In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year.
They were always walking away from him. But he never seemed able to walk away from them."

Then you've got Adam, sweet and endearing Adam. He's a tortured hero who has been able to retain this rare kindness and gentleness about him despite the hell he grew up in. Adam comes from nothing and, like Gansey, yearns for something more, but he won't accept anything unless he's earned it himself.

"It means I never get to be my own person. If I let you cover for me, then I'm yours. I'm his now, and then I'll be yours."

Ronan is the bad-boy of the bunch; angry, intimidating, and downright dangerous. However, there is a concealed softer side of him, a side that may not be described as "kind," but definitely shows that he cares more about people than he seems to. His past is shrouded in mystery and I really cannot wait for the sequel to find out more about him!

"Gansey had once told Adam that he was afraid most people didn't know how to handle Ronan. What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves." 

Last, but certainly not least, is Noah, the most mysterious of the four--but just as endearing. Noah harbors a dark secret which plays an integral part in this novel, both in the the mystery of the book and in the relationships between the Raven Boys.

"Noah was a good bellwether for people. He was so shy and awkward and invisible that he could be easily ignored or made fun of."

These four boys are as different as could be, but they fit together like jigsaw pieces falling into place, balancing each other and keeping each other in check. Their relationship is complicated, but so compelling to read about, and before I could help it, I'd fallen in love with each of them.

I've read Stiefvater's Shiver trilogy and part of her Scorpio Race, and in The Raven Boys, her writing is still effortlessly gorgeous! Her descriptions are so vivid it's really like I'm in Henrietta, Virginia with its hot days, cold nights, and mountain air.

The only frustrating part of this book, for me, was the romance. Or lack thereof. As a romanceaholic, I crave that bit of romance in books and as I was reading this, I was constantly anticipating the emegence of the romantic element....but it never came! Not really. There was a slight blossoming of feelings, but for a story that emphasized how Blue was going to kill her true love, there really wasn't a whole lot of love present.


Let me repeat: It's okay that there wasn't much romance. I still loved this book regardless. The story, the mystery, and especially the characters drew me in and kept me a willful prisoner for 408 pages.

Rating: 4.5 stars*

All in all: I. Need. The. Sequel.
I need it now! This book captivated me while I read and even when I finished, I could not get the story or the characters out of my head. So the question now is, how many "reallys" do I have to put before "recommend" to get you to read this?

*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review purposes. All opinions are my own

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of 2013

Hosted over at the Broke and Bookish

1. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, which is totally a given! I'm a ball of nerves and excitement and dread just waiting for it--and have you guys read the snippets?!--I'm not ready for it to be over, but I also need to know how it all wraps up!

2. Crash by Lisa McMann because I adored her Wake trilogy as well as Cryer's Cross. There's just something about her writing that I can't get enough of! And this one sounds like it's going to be awesome!

3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell because I am a fellow fangirl.

4. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen because I LOVE Sarah Dessen novels. 

5. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins because all of Perkins' stories are just so cute and funny and heart-wrenching and romantic and I JUST NEED THIS BOOK BECAUSE OF REASONS, OKAY?

6. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer because Cinder left me with  A LOT of feelings and I need to know what happens to Cinder and Kai and I want to meet the Wolf and I. Need. It. 

7. Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan because if you've read my review of Unspoken, then you know that I am *very* obsessed with this story and the ending left me incredibly frustrated.  

8. School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins because GUYS. This is the Hex Hall spin-off!!!!!!!!! Need I say more?

9. Sever by Lauren DeStefano becaus, ohmygoodgracious, she cannot leave me hanging after that ending in Wither!

10. ...Aaaaaand I'm going to be a bit of a cheat with this one because the books don't have titles yet (*sobbing*). Raven Cycle #2 by Maggie Stiefvater (loved The Raven Boys!), Gallagher Girls #6 by Ally Carter (ZachandCammieZachandCammieZachandCammie), and Divergent #3 (Insurgent's ending kind of blew my mind!).

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Why I Love YA...

Dear YA,

I know that we've been close for a while now, but I've never really taken the time to let you know how much I appreciate you. Tis the season of giving thanks, so I've decided to write this letter telling you how much you mean to me.

You've been a constant companion through thick and thin, AP tests and SATs. You're one of the biggest comforts I look forward to when I get home from school.... although there was that *one* time you distracted me (big time!) from focusing on my homework/project/studying/college applications....

A lot of people think that all you are is paranormal romance with an extra helping of cheese and friskiness, but I know that you can be deep, well-written, and beautiful. You've introduced me to amazing writers like John Green and Melina Marchetta, amazing characters like Percy Jackson, Rose Hathaway, Will Herondale, Katy Swartz, and so many others I can't even name!

You've taught me about family and friendship and romance and tough issues. You've taken me on amazing adventures from Paris to Prague to everywhere in the states. And let's not forget Olympus, Hades, Skuldenore, Idris, and the Graceling realm.

Being a teenager is tough, what with all the hormones and junk, and you've made it all easier by offering me an escape and testimonies telling me that I'm not alone. Who knows where we'll be in 5, 10 years, but know that you have a special place in my heart and you'll always be in my life, no matter how old I am.


In the spirit of giving thanks, I decided to write this post talking about why I love YA and why I'm thankful for it. Beth Revis is sharing the YA love on her website with a fabulous giveaway right now! So if you love books--YA books--go check it out!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Opal Book Trailer Reveal!

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

 USA TODAY Bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.
Find Jennifer on: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Blog

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Gifted Ones Blog Tour Stop- excerpt

"Wake up, Momma. You can wake up now; you can come back to me; it's safe,
really. I really need you, especially now. At least give me a sign you can hear me,
Momma, please?" a tear rolled down his soft, plum cheek, but her eyes were dry,
motionless and tightly closed. When no sign came, he scooted back in the chair, folded his hands together, set his elbows on the edge of the bed and bowed his

head in silent prayer, something he hadn't done in months, since he had given up on her… on life.

Title: The Gifted Ones: The Fairytale
Author: P. G. Shriver
Publisher: Gean Penny
Pages: 274

Thrown together by the cruelties of a modern day world in which genuine compassion is rare, evil abounds, and goodness is often tainted by the fight to survive, two unusually gifted teenagers
discover they are linked by a fairytale told them repeatedly throughout their youth by their late mothers. Destiny awaits them, but first they must locate the others, as the fairytale foretells, to defeat
the evil monster who waits and change the lonely world in which they live. Only then will they find peace... and family.

About P. G. Shriver

Born in California, and raised in Minnesota and Texas, P.G. spent her early years writing poetry and winning poetry contests, while escaping the drama in her own childhood by reading great books for children. Ever since her earliest days, she loved story telling. She wrote numerous short stories in High School and her early college years, continually trying to relive that first experience at the age of seven of seeing her name in print in the local newspaper.

P.G. sought her education at the University of Texas, where she studied English, literature, and Education. During the entire process of earning her BA and M.Ed, she never stopped writing and trying to be published. It was during this time that her first children's book No More Stinkbugs! was accepted for publication by Castle Keep Press. Many of her stories develop from nature.

P.G. graduated college and began her career in education, another great world that offered real experiences to humor and delight through children's books. She watched children interact, bringing to surface her own experiences as a child and yet more events to write about. While teaching, she discovered many great books for young people, such as The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963, Maniac Magee, So. B. It and many more. She is a fan of Dean Koontz novels, too, and loves reading fantasy and paranormal books.

P.G. was married 20 years in March 2012 and has a bright, young daughter who has begun her own college career. She lives on a small farm in Texas with her family and animals. P.G. has experienced great love and loss throughout her life. Those her family has lost have dedications in her books.

P.G. has two young adult books published, Dead Perfect and The Gifted Ones: The Fairytale the first book in The Gifted Ones Trilogy. She also has several children's books written under Gean Penny, her pseudonym. P. G.

has since dissolved her contract for her first book with Castle Keep Press and moved the title to her own imprint, Gean Penny Books.

Author Links:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: Painted Blind

Title: Painted Blind
Author: Michelle A. Hansen
Publication date: May 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Createspace
Seventeen years old and agoraphobic, Psyche Middleton vows her dad will never see the risqué photos she took during a summer modeling stint abroad, but one of them ends up on a billboard in her Montana hometown. Now everyone—especially her dad—can see it. And yet, somehow, those are the mundane things in her life because she is about to fall unexpectedly, head-over-heels in love with Erik, a mysterious young man who rescues her from a crowd of admirers, and who she’s never actually seen because…he can make himself invisible.

As strange as this may seem, it’s about to get even stranger. Erik takes her to his palace in an idyllic kingdom, and she is swept into the beauty and culture of his world, but his affection has one condition: she may not see him. Overtaken, intrigued, and still not wholeheartedly believing he’s real, Psyche is going to have to decide if she can love him blindly; because if she can’t, she may lose him forever.

Despite my undying love for Greek myths, there is one key characteristic about them that I absolutely detest: insta-love.

Think about it, how often does anyone in Greek mythology actually take the time to get to know their love interest? (If you can name just one, then I owe you cookies.) That's why I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful character depth and romantic development in Painted Blind.

As someone who is well-acquainted with the Psyche and Eros myth, I loved how Michelle Hansen brought this story to the modern world while still retaining the principle elements of the myth. The concept was brilliant and creative and actually quite believable.

Psyche was a very relatable heroine. Sure, she makes some mistakes and she definitely has her own baggage to deal with, but all that just makes her realistically flawed. There were moments when I didn't like something she did, and more than one occasion when I got annoyed by how all the guys were clambering to help her, but overall, Psyche's bravery and perseverance shined through, and I had no problem seeing her as a real girl, as opposed to just a name in a myth.

And speaking of the guys in this book....
holy wowza, there was a whole menagerie of hot males!
All of them were really interesting characters, and NO, I'm not just saying that because I'm a book-boyfriend-obsessed girl. Hansen did a fantastic job making each one of them memorable and unique, giving them back stories that made me want to learn more about them. However, the one who really stole the show, was Eros (AKA Erik), god of love. I mean, obviously! In most retellings of this myth (and in the actual myth), Eros is this really vain and shallow jerk, but in this book, he was so real. He had insecurities and talents and a past that influenced him. He's not the kind of guy who actively seeks out attention. Instead, he's the kind of guy who tends to hang back, quiet and mysterious, and oh my gosh so darn swoon-worthy.

For me, the romance between Psyche and Eros was a whole heck of a lot better than insta-love. As a couple, Psyche and Eros had a lot of hurdles to get through, and when you have to work through stuff like that, you get this wonderful little thing called DEVELOPMENT. Me gusta.

Now I can't end this review without talking about the world-building because OH MY GOSH, it's just fabulous. Hansen expertly weaved together the mortal world and the gods' realms seamlessly! In this one book you get to see so much of the Olympian realm, with each setting beautifully and vividly described.

Rating: 4 stars*
All in all: Amazing! I really really hope Michelle Hansen decides to write some more myth retellings in the future because, if this book is any indication, she'd be really good at it!

*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Feature and Follow #22

Follow Friday is a really fun way to make new blogger friends and promote your blog in the process! This weekly meme is hosted byAlison Can Read and Parajunkee

Books are turned into movies all the time! Turn it around. What movie would make a really great book?

Ooh this is a toughie considering most movies I watch are adaptions of books!
I am a huge lover of chick flicks so I think How to Lose a Guy in 10 days would make a hilarious book!

This question was actually A LOT harder than I thought it was! Clearly I need to expand my movie niche. ;)

Feel free to leave me a link to your FF, I'm really curious about other people's answers!
And don't forget:

Current giveaways
*blogoversary giveaway
*Wingless by Cydney Lawson

And by the way, has anyone else seen the City of Bones trailer??? I'M SO EXCITED! :D

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top Ten Books I'd Want on a Deserted Island

Hosted over at the Broke and Bookish

So I suppose, for practicality's sake, I should have a couple of How to Survive on a Deserted Island books, but what the heck, let's just pretend I already know how to do that already because if I didn't I highly doubt I'd survive long enough to even read these ten books....

Chunky/Time-consuming books:
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling--this might be cheating because it's an entire series, but oh well!

The Bible--...because it's The Bible! And I haven't read it yet, so why NOT do it on a deserted island?

[Insert notoriously famous classic]--i.e.: The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, etc.

Light-hearted romances:
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins--Paris + Etienne = best chick-lit ever.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen--Humor. So much wit. And MR. FREAKING DARCY. Need I say more? 

ANY book by Sarah Dessen--though my main favorites are This Lullaby, The Truth About Forever, and Just Listen (okay, maybe not so light-hearted, but there's romance! And I love re-reading these!)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan--this series is made of awesomesauce. I could re-read Percy's one-liners all day!

The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter--hilarious and full of covert missions!

Books that give me ALL THE FEELS
The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta--I haven't even read the last book yet and I don't know if my heart can take it!

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare--You guys must have seen this coming.... I mean, I need my daily dose of Will Herondale, even if I'm on a deserted island!

Well, those are my top ten books. What are yours? Please leave me a link or just tell me in the comments; I'd love to know! :)

Also, if you're new to my blog, feel free to enter my blogoversary giveaway and a giveaway of Wingless and its sequel by Cydney Lawson!

Author Interview & Giveaway: Wingless by Cydney Lawson

I am super excited to welcome author Cydney Lawson on my blog today! She was kind enough to answer a few questions and provide a copy of her books, Wingless and Displaced, for a giveaway. Be sure to check out the info for that at the end of this post! :)

 Hi, Cydney, and welcome to my blog! I’m so glad to have you here! Please tell us a bit about yourself  
I’m a twenty-year-old college student with either not enough or too much time on her hands. I love to read, and I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life but creating something that others can read, too.

-What was your inspiration for writing Wingless?
 Well, I had a very abstract direction of dividing up the five senses into super powers. And then I had a completely unrelated idea of a naked girl, falling from the sky, and landing on a boy’s lawn in my head. I merged the two rather forcefully and Wingless came out.

-Who was your favorite character to write about and why?
Tane was my favorite point of view to write from because she is so complex. She’s stoic, and snobby, and all business. But at the same time, she manages to be dependent, and gentle, and curious about other worlds. She was amazingly fluid in the book, taking different shapes and forms as the plot progressed. She went through genuine change, and I love to see that in a story.

-If Wingless were to be made into a movie, who would your dream cast be?
I have no idea who would play Charlie, but Tane would be played by Sophie Turner from Game of Thrones. Gaius would be played by Keegan Allen, maybe? Ezra Miller would play Felix!

-Describe Wingless in 3 words. Go!
Thought-provoking. Tragic. Cliffhanger.

Now for some random questions…

Tea or coffee?
Tea always! I love tea!

Early bird or night owl?
*stares at the clock* It’s midnight right now, and I’m doing an interview.

Hardback or paperback?
Hardback. I love a book that can take a beating because I’ll probably be reading it more than once.

Do you listen to a soundtrack while you write?
Absolutely. No book I’ve ever written could have ever survived without music behind it, surrounding it.

Favorite genre to read?
YA anything. I love Young Adult contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, verse.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Cydney, and now it's time for the giveaway! :)
A copy of Wingless and its sequel, Displaced are up for grabs. 

Charlie thought his summer was going to end like every other summer before it. With a growing sense of forboding and a waning sense of freedom. Until Tane landed on his front lawn in a crumpled heap claiming to be from heaven. A place much darker and much greater than he’d ever imagined. Tane is on a mission to find a Septar, a citizen of Fismuth that was left behind when she was supposed to have been taken. And when she enlists the help of Charlie and his friends, she pulls them into a world of danger, love, and ultimately, heavenly rewards.
My name is Tane. At least it was before I was banished to the outlands of heaven. Before everything I had learned to care for was taken from me. Before I murdered an innocent human.

Tane is an outcast in her own world. She is forced to fend for herself against the infamous and ravenous Feeders in Abannon to prove her worth and save her own life. When Azurael, a de-winged, slightly insane angel finds her and offers to deliver her to a secret land of life and prosperity-the Oasis-Tane agrees to become his traveling companion and student. As she learns his ways, she begins to question her own, as well as her role in the last prophecy he ever told.
My name is Charlie. At least it was before I was dragged to Fismuth. A lot has changed since then, and my new name is the least of them.

Charlie is an outcast in his own world. He doesn't fit in with his old friends. He can't stand to be around the only parent he has left. And he's plagued with thoughts of a girl long gone. Until the day Charlie is dragged and blessed with wings, a new sense of strength, and a mission to save Tane from her own fate. But Charlie isn't the only one planning to escape to Abannon and claim Tane.

In a struggle to find their purpose and each other, Charlie and Tane must face death, trust new friends, and start a war they didn't know existed to either fulfill or stop the prophecy that will end heaven as they know it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 9, 2012

Review: Palace of Stone

Title: Palace of Stone (Princess Academy #2)
Author: Shannon Hale
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city seems a thrill beyond imagining. When Miri and her friends from Mount Eskel set off to help the future princess Britta prepare for her royal wedding, she is happy about her chance to attend school in the capital city. There, Miri befriends students who seem so sophisticated and exciting . . . until she learns that they have some frightening plans. They think that Miri will help them, that she "should "help them. Soon Miri finds herself torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends' ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city. Picking up where "Princess Academy "left off, this incredible stand-alone story celebrates the joys of friendship, the delight of romance, and the fate of a beloved fairy tale kingdom.

Princess Academy, for me, is one of those timeless reads, a go-to when I'm in a reading rut, regardless of how old I'd gotten. I was perfectly happy with the way Princess Academy ended--I thought it was quite perfect and didn't need a sequel. To be honest, I was pretty scared about reading Palace of Stone because when you have that one amazing book, you don't want its memory to be tarnished by a sequel of a lesser caliber.

When I first saw Miri becoming enchanted with the innovation of the capitol and joining the revolution, I wanted to jump up and shout, "No, Miri! Back to Mount Eskel with you! Stay away from all this political turmoil!" and then I would have thrown her over my shoulder and taken her back to the mountain myself...

I did not want one of my favorite characters was changing into someone I didn't recognize, and I feared that the revolution fervor would change preexisting relationship dynamics...Don't tell me you didn't make a horrified gasp at the phrase "Miri finds herself torn...between an old love and a new crush."

 For a good chunk of this book, I worried that I would not like it as much as I had hoped....

...And now we come to the part of the review where I reassure you that yes, Shannon Hale has once again worked magic with her words and created a sequel just as wonderful as the first book. (Hehe, I had you worried there for a second, didn't I?)

It wasn't until about midway through that I fully realized Hale had me utterly captivated with her story. Her diction is still just as beautiful, almost lyrical in a way, and I was taken back to a world of fresh mountain air and endless blue skies. Yet despite Hale's effortlessly gorgeous writing, she captures the spirit  of revolution perfectly. There is life and energy and excitement flowing from the pages!

And I cannot gush enough about her characters! Despite my initial apprehension, I enjoyed watching each character grow while still retaining the very essence of themselves that made me love them in the first place. Miri has and always will be one of my favorite characters and despite my qualms, she is still the smart but stubborn girl, albeit even more awesome in this book!

Rating: 4.5 stars*
All in all: Very rarely do readers get a sequel that is just as good, if not better, than the debut, but Shannon Hale has broken free of that mold as only the truly excellent authors to do. She broke through all of my walls of caution and wariness and has touched me with her story in a way that I feared she wouldn't be able to.

*I received a copy of this book for review from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Melina Marchetta on the Secondary Women

132 Minutes | Melina Marchetta Fans: Melina Marchetta on the Secondary Women: You can find the entire schedule for the Quintana of Charyn blog tour  here . For this guest post, we asked Melina Marchetta about the se...

I just read this this post by Melina Marchetta and it is just so beautiful that I just had to share it with you guys! I hope you'll stop buy and read because this woman can literally right anything and give me all the feels.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Feature and Follow #21

Follow Friday is a really fun way to make new blogger friends and promote your blog in the process! This weekly meme is hosted byAlison Can Read and Parajunkee

Do you mind books with similar ideas similar to other books? Similar concepts, backgrounds, retellings, or pulled-to-publish fanfiction?

To be honest, reading a similar plot/idea over and over does kind of annoying, but most writers get their influences from somewhere, and if that place is another book, then that's totally fine. What I hate  is reading a story that has been crafted with a cookie-cutter mold that, if some names and places were changed, could be almost exactly like another book.

Having similar ideas or backgrounds or retellings isn't necessarily a bad thing unless the author can successfully make it their own in some way.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #38

WoW is an awesome weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine

Author: Graham Parke
Publication date: January 12th, 2012 by Outskirts Press
It's the age-old tale:
Boy meets girl. 
Boy stalks girl.
Girl already has a stalker.
Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.
We've seen it all before, many times, but this time it's different. If only slightly. When Gomez Porter becomes a test subject in an experimental drug trial, he is asked to keep track of any strange experiences through a blog. What Gomez isn't ready for, is so many of his experiences suddenly seeming strange; the antiques dealer trying to buy his old tax papers, his neighbor boiling salamanders on his balcony at midnight, the super sexy lab assistant who falls for him but is unable to express herself in terms outside the realm of science. But when one of the trial participants turns up dead and another goes missing, Gomez begins to fear for his life. No longer sure who he can trust and which of his experiences are real and which merely drug induced illusions, he decides it's time to go underground and work out a devious plan.
Now, years later, his blogs have been recovered from a defunct server. For the first time we can find out firsthand what happened to Gomez as he takes us on a wild ride of discovery.

Why am I excited?
The first five lines of the synopsis. O__O
This came out two years ago so has anyone else read it? If so, did you like it?

Also: please feel free to leave me a link to your WoW post, and if you're new to Joie de Lire, don't forget to check out my blogoversary giveaway! :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Top Ten Books Everyone Has Read But Me

Hosted over at the The Broke and Bookish

Top 10 books I feel as though everyone has read but me...

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
which I really do want to read--actually I want to watch a couple of the TV adaption before I read...
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I have this book sitting on my shelf, I swear!!! 
I just have this itty bitty problem where if I actually own the physical book, I tend to not rush to read it. But I swear I will as soon as I can!

I have heard such amazing things about this series; apparently, it gives you ALL THE FEELS. 
And, well, the masochistic reader in me just can't resist that kind of endorsement.
Eragon by Christoper Paolini
Ehhh. I'm not an avid fantasy reader so I never got into this series as a middle- schooler (which was around the time I really started liking reading).
I feel like this is on some Top Ten list of YA books that you just HAVE to read if you're into YA, but I just never really got into it.
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
My first book by this author was Touch of Power, but most of the praise I hear about her are of her Poison Study series.
Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress series) bu Jeaniene Frost
This series IS on my TBR list, because Cat and Bones both sound awesome, but yeah.... just still haven't gotten around to doing it.
Grimm's Fairy Tales
It is a little weird that I have not read this, despite my immense love for fairy tales.... all I can say is that I do plan on reading this in the near future!
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
......err. Well. I have watched the movie.....
A Series of Unfortunate Events (or just any book) by Lemony Snicket
This, I feel, is a quintessential childhood book that every elementary/middle schooler has read.... but me. 
My friend Anna has highly recommended it to me, though.

So those are my top 10. Leave me yours in the comments below, and if you've read any of the ones on my list, what did you think of the books? Should I read them soon?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Review: Breaking the Devil's Heart

Title: Breaking the Devil's Heart
Author: H.A. Goodman
Publication date: April 5th, 2012
Publisher: Outskirts Press
When Stewart and Layla recruit a demon to spy on the Devil, their decision takes them on whirlwind ride through the afterlife. Journey alongside this young couple in H. A. Goodman’s new novel, Breaking the Devil’s Heart, and join forces with a teenage Angel outcast to bankrupt Satan's underground Company and save Heaven from civil war. H. A. Goodman's Breaking the Devil’s Heart is a roller coaster afterlife experience that tests a young couple's love, their grasp on reality, and the essence of human nature. What happens when Stewart and Layla tour Hell’s Marketing Department and Stock Exchange? What happens when their relationship is tested by Satan? This book is unlike anything you’ve ever read, or ever thought the afterlife might be like. Breaking the Devil’s Heart is an enlightening look into an alternate world, a new afterlife, and a profound journey inside the human conscience.
Breaking the Devil's Heart isn't part of my usual YA shtick, but the originality and concept of this book drew me in.

Stewart and Layla, the protagonists of the novel, are "Observers"--basically angels who work in the gray--and they take on the corporation that is Hell in order to stop the sale of the mysterious "Formula," which demons have been selling to mankind to further the spread of evil on Earth.

I loved Goodman's creative take on angels and Hell. Especially the addition of Observers, because they had very cool abilities and I just have a weakness for morally ambiguous characters...For me, those are the best kind of characters! The idea that Hell is actually this huge, bureaucratic corporation was creatively constructed and thought-provoking. This idea was really brought to life by the world-building of this book, which was fantastic. From the actual offices of Hell to the dimensions created by Stewart and Layla's mind, I could really picture this twisted take on the afterlife.

Where this book fell flat for me was the characters. Stewart and Layla had an interesting back story, neat abilities, and an epic mission, but I found it hard to connect with them. Stewart's narration was very matter-of-fact, objective almost, and I had a hard time relating to him as a character. The characters came off as one-dimensional which detracted from my overall enjoyment of the book.

Rating: 3 stars*

All in all:  This concept of this book was original and very thought-provoking, and I would recommend it for people who are usually into more fantasy/science fiction and favor plot-driven novels of character-driven ones. Overall, I think the story was well-executed; the religious aspect of this book is handled very well and it doesn't take over the actual plot of the story.

*I received a copy of this book for review purposes from the author. All opinions are my own.


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