Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

The Hunt (The Hunt 1)
By: Andrew Fukuda
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Genre/Age: YA Paranormal Dystopian
Pages: 293
Source: ARC from publisher

Don’t sweat. Don’t laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.

Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night – a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.

When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible – and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever – but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

The Hunt was so different than I was expecting. For some reason I thought that the story would mainly be about the Hunt itself, but instead there’s a strong focus on the time leading up to the Hunt and Gene’s struggle to blend in and not expose himself as a heper. Which is crazy scary and intense.

I really appreciate how original and unique Andrew Fukuda has been in creating this world. In a market saturated with paranormal stories, it was awesome to read something that was so incredibly different. These creatures are barely recognizable as anything we’ve seen before (I’d probably call them an advanced breed of vampires, except instead of just blood they enjoy all parts of the human body. Ick.), and they are terrifying. Some of their habits are actually so weird that I felt like it worked against them just a bit, because I had no connection or familiarity with them and it was just like “What??” In particular, their version of making out was one of those things. But in general I liked the weirdness.

Oh, and what happens to them when they’re exposed to the sun is horrifically disturbing. There is no Buffy-style “dusting” of these vamps, nuh-uh. I’m pretty sure anyone who happened to see my face as I was reading would wonder what could possibly be so gross. But just wait. Unless your stomach is way stronger than mine, you’ll be cringing as you read too, I guarantee it.

I had some trouble connecting with Gene, and I think a lot of that was because he’s so conflicted about who he is himself. He wants to be one of them; he hates thinking of himself as “human” and is ashamed of his human behavior and needs. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how he develops in future books. There were also a few plot twists that I definitely saw coming, but I was pretty okay with this.

Overall, The Hunt is bizarre, disgusting, disturbing, addictive, and SO intense. The last fifty pages or so made my heart pound, and there’s a crazy cliffhanger that definitely makes me want to pick up the next book. If you’re tired of the same-old same-old vampire stories and are looking for a truly unique and creepy read, you should definitely check out The Hunt.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In My Mailbox #38

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren that gives bloggers the opportunity to showcase the books they’ve received that week. You can learn more about it here.

Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham
Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty

Reunited is for review and I’m SO excited to read it. Road trip + concert = MY FAVORITE THING EVER. And I LOVE the bookmark! I have a bit of a bookmark collection, so those are always fun.
I got Charmed Thirds from BookMooch, so I now own the first three Jessica Darling books (and still haven’t read any of them, I KNOW, it’s a problem). I desperately want to read this series though, everyone I know raves about them.

Blackwood by Gwenda Bond
Untouched by Jus Accardo

These are also both for review. Blackwood looks very intriguing, and I really enjoyed Touch, so I’m looking forward to reading more from the series.

Thanks so much to Simon & Schuster, Angry Robot, and Entangled Publishing!

What goodies did you get in your mailbox this week? Leave a link in the comments and I’ll come visit!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review: Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy

By: Terra Elan McVoy
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Genre/Age: YA Contemporary
Pages: 320
Source: ARC from Around the World ARC Tours

Charlotte and Oliver have been friends forever. She knows that he, Abe, and Trip consider her to be one of the guys, and she likes it that way. She likes being the friend who keeps them all together. Likes offering a girl’s perspective on their love lives. Likes being the behind-the-scenes wordsmith who writes all the lyrics for the boys’ band. Char has a house full of stepsisters and a past full of backstabbing (female) ex-best friends, so for her, being friends with boys is refreshingly drama-free… until it isn’t any more.

When a new boy enters the scene and makes Char feel like, well, a total girl… and two of her other friends have a falling out that may or may not be related to one of them deciding he possibly wants to be more than friends with Char… being friends with all these boys suddenly becomes a lot more complicated.

This is such a fun, cute story. The writing is clever and engaging, and I pretty much read the entire book in one sitting. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The blurb mentions that the boys are in a band, but it’s actually a much bigger part of the story than I realized, and I LOVED that. I’m a huge live music fan, so it was really fun to see the inner workings of a band trying to write songs and figure out harmonies and get everything sounding just right. You definitely don’t need to be a music lover to enjoy it though; there are no technical terms or anything confusing to the music aspect of the novel. The story is very much focused on Char and her growth, and the band is a conduit for showing that.

And oh, Char. She gets tangled up with so many boys, I honestly don’t know how she handled it. Sometimes you just need a female friend, you know?

Although I did love this book, one of the small issues I had with it is that the romance actually seemed to take a backseat to the rest of the story, and it wasn’t as prominent as I expected (maybe I should have known better, given that the book is called Being FRIENDS with Boys). And the title is actually hugely appropriate. Char is dealing with friendships with several different guys, and a few of them have the possibility of turning into something more, but it feels like the book is mostly about Char dealing with a lot of drama rather than slowly falling in love.

The love story didn’t actually happen until the end of the book, and I really would have liked more development throughout the novel and a slightly less sudden ending. That said, I did have a huge smile on my face when I finished the book, so it’s not like I wasn’t happy or anything. I just would have liked more. (Put simply, basically what all this means is that I wanted more kissing! Haha.)

And apart from the lack of romance, I really did enjoy Char’s interactions with all the boys in her life. She has a unique and complicated relationship with each one, and it was so fun watching her navigate the waters of male-female friendships. I love stories that focus on those kinds of relationships, and though at times certain characters were incredibly frustrating and almost made me want to throw the book across the room, I found myself both groaning and laughing out loud as Char went through everything. There’s a lot of high school drama and angst, but once Char gets through all of that there’s a very sweet, smile-inducing ending. 

If you’re looking for a fun contemporary story about a rocker girl and her many complications with the boys in her life, I’d definitely recommend checking out Being Friends with Boys.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday #45

“Waiting on” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release that we’re eagerly anticipating. Let the salivating commence.

My pick this week:

Storm (Elementals 1)
By: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Add it on Goodreads!


Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they have more power than you dream.

Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys – all the ones she doesn’t want. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water – just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

Why I’m Waiting: I’ll be honest, I kind of feel like I’ve OD’ed a bit on paranormal, and although this book sounded good when I first heard about it, I wasn’t like “OMG MUST HAVE NOW.” But then I stumbled into a Twitter conversation about it the other night (and by “stumbled” I mean I was totally stalking Brodie and Sarah) and they BOTH said it was “SO EFFING GOOD” and there are hot brothers and fighting and superpowers and I just said “SCREW IT I AM GETTING BACK ON THE PARANORMAL BANDWAGON.” And so now here we are and I am abusing the capslock button in anticipation of this book.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Share in the comments and I’ll come visit!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

The Disenchantments
By: Nina LaCour
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books
Release Date: February 16, 2012
Genre/Age: YA Contemporary
Pages: 307
Source: Library

Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev’s band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she’s abandoning their plans – and Colby – to start college in the fall.

But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, whole roadie-Colby struggles to deal with Bev’s already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what’s next?

Morris Award – finalist Nina LaCour draws together the beauty and influences of music and art to brilliantly capture a group of friends on the brink of the rest of their lives.

Oh my goodness, I have SO MANY FEELINGS for this book. Reading it was such a whirlwind of emotion; these characters just completely caught me up in their lives. Colby especially. It is really really rare that I connect so much with a male narrator, but oh man, I fell for Colby. I just love him. I want to squeeze him. I think I’m going to name my car after him.

And Bev. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about Bev. I spent a lot of the book kind of hating her, because she totally betrayed Colby and she’s really withdrawn throughout most of the book. She did grow on me enough by the end so that I didn’t want to chuck the book at the wall every time she appeared on the page, but MAN, she frustrated me. I don’t think that she herself is a bitch, she just did a very bitchy thing that I honestly still don’t really understand and I’m definitely not ready to forgive her for. BUT, even though I am still outraged on Colby’s behalf, I do completely understand his feelings and reactions to her.

This was a rare kind of book where I wasn’t necessarily rooting for the romance (although heck yes I wanted them to work things out!), but I was totally rooting for Colby. And if you know me then you know that I am ALL about the romance. So this is amazing. Nina LaCour is amazing. The fact that she’s made me love and understand this boy so much? I’m in awe.

There’s so much more I could say about the amazing music, the road trip, the people that they meet along the way, Colby’s art and Bev’s sculptures… but I’ll let you discover all of that for yourself. Hopefully all my Colby-gushing is enough to intrigue you. :)

This book is painful and beautiful and raw and I LOVED it. It made my chest tighten and my heart hurt, it made me laugh and get teary-eyed and grin uncontrollably. Books like this are why I love contemporary. <3

Sunday, April 15, 2012

In My Mailbox #37

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren that gives bloggers the opportunity to showcase the books they’ve received that week. You can learn more about it here.

I have a bunch of exciting things to share with you this week! They’re actually from the past few weeks, but I haven’t had a camera available so I’m a little behind.

First of all, I got a shiny red package in the mail from Macmillan’s Fierce Reads program:

You can read my review of Struck here, and Jennifer Bosworth will actually be visiting From A to Z on May 10th for an interview and giveaway as part of the Struck blog tour, so don’t miss that!

Other books for review:

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller (squee!!!!)
Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker (for blog tour)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas (no cover yet)

Thanks so much to Macmillan and Bloomsbury!

I also have a few leftover random Hunger Games things that I never got a chance to share:

First, my District ID! I was originally in District 4, but for some reason when I logged in to order it they put me in District 6. (I think it has something to with logging in via Twitter vs Facebook, but they don’t give you a choice when you’re ordering!)

I also have this nifty mug. Yes, NIFTY! Normally it looks like this:

Solid black with Peeta on one side and Katniss on the other.

BUT. When you fill it with hot liquid, it does THIS!:

Flames flicker up the sides! It is SO COOL. You can actually watch them slowly appear as the mug gets hot. Haha, I love it.

That’s it for me! What goodies did you get in your mailbox this week?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Review: The Devil in Disguise by Stefanie Sloane

The Devil in Disguise (Regency Rogues #1)
By: Stefanie Sloane
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Genre/Age: Adult Historical Romance
Pages: 320
Source: ARC from Goodreads First Reads

Lord William Randall, the Duke of Clairemont, is a rake with little regard for society – a most unlikely suitor for Lady Lucinda Grey. But his latest assignment for the Young Corinthians, an elite spy organization, involves protecting her from a kidnapping plot. To do this, the notorious “Iron Will” must use his devilish charm to seduce Lucinda and convince her he’s worthy of his attention. William never planned to become enthralled by the lovely Lady Grey – or to lose his own heart in the bargain.

Beautiful and fiercely intelligent, Lucinda has managed to gracefully sidestep even the most persistent suitors. Until the Duke of Clairemont, that is. She’s tempted by his sinfully sensuous mouth and piercing eyes, and finds it hard to resist the champion thoroughbred he offers her in exchange for the honor of courting her. Can she keep him at arm’s length when his touch begs her to let him so much closer?

Yes, sometimes I read romance novels. They’re a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine and I’m not afraid to admit it. And while The Devil in Disguise may not be the best romance novel available, I had a lot of fun reading it.

For a romance novel, there isn’t actually a lot of sex in The Devil in Disguise, which kind of threw me off at first and made me think I wasn’t enjoying it (because come on, let’s be honest, that’s what you’re expecting when you read a romance, right?). The banter and verbal foreplay (for lack of a better term) between William and Lucinda is excellent, but their scenes in the bedroom are limited, both in quantity and quality, which was a big disappointment after such great buildup.

Once I accepted this, though, I found myself actually enjoying the novel. It’s a pretty standard romance in terms of plot and outcome, but the journey to get there is highly entertaining. I love the spy/bodyguard premise and both Lucinda and William are such fun characters. Although I have to say, I never really understood why Lucinda was the victim of a kidnapping plot. I don’t know if I missed something somewhere, but that just never made much sense to me.

All in all, if you’re a fan of Regency romance, you’ll probably like this book. It’s a light, fun read that, while not the best Regency out there, is sure to keep you entertained for a couple of hours.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington

By: Hannah Harrington
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: November 22, 2011
Genre/Age: YA Contemporary
Pages: 322
Source: ARC from NetGalley and Harlequin

“If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.”

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one, so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going: California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession, and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanor and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.

I’d like to offer my apologies in advance for the excessive use of capslock in this review. My enthusiasm just COULD NOT be contained.

Okay, Hannah Harrington, WHERE have you been all my life? I am STUNNED that Saving June isn’t waaayyyyy more talked about. I am officially recommending it to every single person I know and insisting that they read it.

Saving June is so beautiful and heartfelt and raw and honest and I am just so so in love with it. Even though it’s a book about grief, it’s not as depressing or heavy as I was expecting. Harper has such a fresh, lively voice, and going through the grieving process with her feels so realistic and natural. I completely ADORED her. And her best friend Laney is such a hoot!  As far as road trip companions go, these three are fantastic.

Okay, and the romance?? YES PLEASE. Talk about slow burn! Swooooon, my heart. This is my FAVORITE kind of romance, you guys. MY FAVORITE. It has everything I could ever possibly want. Snarky arguments and playful banter and the love-hate push-pull relationship that is just soooooo DELICIOUS to read about. Plus that oh-so-slow-building sexual tension that just builds and builds and builds until it EXPLODES on the page. Oh my god, it was so good.

And it’s all accompanied by the MOST AWESOME SOUNDTRACK EVER. (Yes, even the sexytimes. I have maybe been listening to ‘Touch Me’ by The Doors on repeat ever since I finished the book. MAYBE.) Music is such a huge part of my life and I absolutely LOVED how integrated it was into Saving June. As I started to get near the end of the book I began to regret not writing down every single song that had been mentioned, so imagine my utter delight when at the back of the book the lovely Hannah Harrington has provided us with the three main mixes mentioned in the story! THANK YOU, Hannah. Now all I need is to find a recording of ‘Saving June’ and I’ll be all set. :D

Saving June is sweet and sexy and funny and so lovely. YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS BOOK IF: you like contemporary novels, you like books that deal with grief in a non-overwhelmingly depressing way, you like road trip stories, you like books that have a strong focus on music. But seriously, I recommend this to EVERYONE. I can’t believe I didn’t read it earlier. Hannah Harrington, I’ve got my eye on you. <3

Sunday, April 8, 2012

In My Mailbox #36

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren that gives bloggers the opportunity to showcase the books they’ve received that week. You can learn more about it here.

I have a few actual items but my camera is currently unavailable and I realized I’d forgotten to report my NetGalley haul the past few weeks, so I’ll share those now and then everything else next week!

Velveteen by Daniel Marks
Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Yesterday by CK Kelly Martin
Flutter by Gina Linko
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen
Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi

Thank you to Random House and Harlequin!

What goodies did you get in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

So you haven't read Divergent...

Is all this talk of factions totally overwhelming?

Do you feel like you’re in Hogwarts but you missed the Sorting?

Do you wonder why everyone is so obsessed with Four?

Does hearing “Dauntless” make you think of Pirates of the Caribbean?

If any of this applies to you, You Are Not Alone!

I was recently chatting with a couple of fellow bloggers about how we kind of feel like we’re the only people in the blogosphere left who haven’t yet read Divergent. I know, I know, there’s something seriously wrong with us.

BUT ALL THAT CHANGES NOW. I’m declaring April to be Divergent month. (It seems like this has kind of already happened, so I’m just tagging along. :D) Insurgent, the second book in the series, comes out on May 1, so I figured I’d better transform myself into a faction member before then!

If you haven’t read Divergent, I invite you to an informal “read-along” (basically this just means we’re going to read the book, FINALLY). And if you’ve already read it, feel free to read it again to pump yourself up! Because apparently this book is amazing, right? ;)

I’m so excited to read Divergent (it’s been on my shelf for MONTHS, y’all. This is unacceptable, I know), and I can’t wait to join in the frenzy! I hope I’m in Gryffindor! Er… I mean…

Whether you read Divergent or not, I hope April is an awesome reading month for everyone. And I hope everyone enjoys Insurgent when it comes out! :)

One final note, there's even faction eye makeup!

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's Friday! #14

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read.

Today’s Question: Have you ever bought a book BECAUSE of a bad review?

Nope. I don’t generally buy books based on a single review anyway, good or bad. If a negative review intrigued me enough to make me want to read the book, I’d probably check it out from the library first.

TGIF is hosted by Ginger at GReads!

Book Series Finales: Which book, from any series, has been your favorite ending? What about your least favorite ending?

Hmm... favorite is hard. There are lots of series that had endings that I loved. I was really happy with how Harry Potter ended, cheesy epilogue and all. And Holly Black’s Modern Faerie Tales series in particular has some of my favorite ending lines ever. They’re just so sweet and simple and perfect.

As for least favorite, the first thing that pops into my mind is The Guardians of Time Trilogy by Marianne Curley. I loved the series as a whole, but I remember HATING how the last book ended. I read it many many years ago and I don’t remember why I didn’t like it, but my brother and I both felt the same way.

Happy Friday, everyone! Let me know if you’re a new follower and I’ll come follow you!

This Week on From A to Z:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

I wrote this many many months ago, right after I first finished Where She Went, and I’ve never posted it for a couple of reasons. First, I’d always planned to write a review for If I Stay, and I thought it made more sense to post that one first. And second, I thought this needed some editing because it has always felt less like a review and more like a ridiculously incoherent outpouring of feelings from an emotionally unstable person.

But I’ve decided that it’s silly to wait any longer (today is the one year anniversary of its release!), and I want to share how I truly feel about this FREAKING AMAZING story. It’s become one of my favorite books and every time I open it to reread part of it I just start having ALL THE FEELINGS.

So here, in all its unedited, emotionally unstable glory, is my review for Where She Went:

By: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Genre/Age: YA Contemporary
Pages: 264
Source: Own

It’s been three years since the devastating accident… three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future – and each other.

Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

I’ll be honest, I very seriously considered not writing a review for Where She Went. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely fell in love with the book, it had nothing to do with that. In fact, it’s because I loved it so much that I almost didn’t review it. I know this may seem counterintuitive: if I liked it that much, why wouldn’t I want to tell everyone about it? But Where She Went was such an intense read for me, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do the book, and my feelings for it, any justice at all. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to try.

But  I decided I couldn’t not tell the world how much I love it, so here I am, trying to put my feelings into words and form coherent sentences from the jumble of emotions this book left me with.

I’ll be the first to admit that I get way too (“too” being a subjective term) emotionally invested in the lives of fictional characters, and Where She Went is a prime example. This book absolutely wrecked me. And I loved every agonizing second of it.

It was devastating to see what had become of Mia and Adam since If I Stay, and reading from Adam’s point of view absolutely broke my heart. Gayle Forman is such a beautiful, lyrical writer, and she has the ability to make you get completely sucked into the story and feel every little thing that the characters feel. The setting, too, was a living, breathing place, and their night in New York City came alive from the pages.

There are so many things I could talk about, but I don’t want to give anything away. Part of the wonderful torture of reading this book is really having no idea where it’s going to end and what’s going to become of your beloved characters. My heart ached for them the entire time and my insides were tied up in knots. The more I read, the higher the pile of tissues grew beside me.

It is extremely rare that I like a sequel better than the first book, but Where She Went has done it. As amazing as If I Stay was, Where She Went has captured my heart just a little bit more. It’s been a long time since I read a book that affected me on such an intense emotional level. I couldn’t even bring myself to start another book for several days after finishing Where She Went because I wasn’t ready to leave the story and just wanted to bask in it for as long as possible.

Filled with angst and hope and pain and beauty and longing, this book makes you hurt in the best way possible. Your heart will be shattered and put back together so many times you won’t know what to do with yourself.  When a book can make you feel for the characters that much, you know the author is doing something right. Gayle Forman has forever secured a place on my favorite authors list, and I’m ready to buy anything she writes.

On a parting (and less dramatic) note, I really really wish Adam’s band, The Shooting Stars, was real. Every other chapter begins with song lyrics from one of their songs, and I would just love to be able to listen to them. One of my favorites:

I’ll be your mess, you be mine
That was the deal that we had signed
I bought a hazmat suit to clean up the waste
Gas masks, gloves, to keep us safe
But now I’m alone in an empty room
Staring down immaculate doom

Happy sigh. <3

larger- marshall shy smile

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday #44

“Waiting on” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release that we’re eagerly anticipating. Let the salivating commence.

My pick this week:

Meant to Be
By: Lauren Morrill
Publisher: Delacorte
Release Date: November 13, 2012


Meant to be or not meant to be… that is the question.

It’s one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the – gasp – wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she’s queen of following rules and being prepared. That’s why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that’s also why she’s chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB (“meant to be”).

But this spring break, Julia’s rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she’s partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts… from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

Why I’m Waiting: Aaahhhh I am SO EXCITED for this book! It sounds a little like a combination of Anna and the French Kiss and Graffiti Moon and something else that’s AWESOME. And I am IN LOVE with the cover. EEEEEEEE I want it now!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Share in the comments and I’ll come visit!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Read in a Day

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. It’s a super fun to way to connect with other bloggers through one of my favorite things ever… LISTS! :D

Today's topic:

Top Ten Books to Read in a Day

Bonus: the first five books all take place in roughly 24 hours, so they’re excellent picks for all day reading marathons!

And um... let’s just ignore the fact that this list is totally not ten books. Kay, thanks. :)

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Monday, April 2, 2012

Review: Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey

By: Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Genre/Age: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Pages: 288
Source: ARC from NetGalley & Bloomsbury Children’s Books

For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won’t comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds.

The only one who can break his stranglehold on the Faery court is his wife… Eloise’s aunt Antonia. Using Eloise to lure Antonia, Strahan captures his wife, desperate to end the only threat to his reign. Now Eloise must become the rescuer. Together with her best friends Jo and Devin, she must forge alliances with other Fae, including a gorgeous protector named Lucas, and Strahan’s mysterious son, Eldric – who may or may not betray them.

There are so many faerie stories out there, it’s impossible not to compare them to each other. And in comparison with some of my favorite fae worlds (Holly Black’s Tithe and Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely, to name a couple), Stolen Away was lacking just a little of the magic for me. But it is still a fun and enchanting story, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Stolen Away is told through two different points of view, Eloise (the “main” character), and her best friend Jo, and it was really fun to get both of their experiences. I haven’t read many dual narrative books that focus on two best friends rather than two sides of a love story, and I thought it was such an interesting change. And one of my favorite things? No love triangle! Both girls do have romances, but they’re completely separate and there’s no jealousy or rivalry between them.

The story is fast-paced and entertaining, and there are lots of humorous moments. Jo especially made me laugh several times. She’s such a sweetheart. The fae world itself is pretty easy to understand, no complicated politics or anything. I do wish it had been explored a little more, I feel like it was never as fully developed as it could have been.

All in all, Stolen Away didn’t exactly blow me away, but it was an enjoyable read. If you like fun, lighter books about the fae, I’d recommend picking up Stolen Away and relaxing for the afternoon.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

In My Mailbox #35

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren that gives bloggers the opportunity to showcase the books they’ve received that week. You can learn more about it here.

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney

SUCH A RUSH WAS SO GOOOOOOOOD. Man, I love Jennifer Echols. My full review won’t be up until closer to the release date, but I’ll just say this: brother drama + fake relationships + sexual tension + airplanes = TOTALLY SWOONWORTHY. I’m drooling.

And unfortunately for The Boy Recession, it doesn’t quite live up to Such a Rush. But really, whatever book I ended up reading after Such a Rush was going to have that problem. And I’m definitely still enjoying The Boy Recession, it’s very cute.

Happy April Fools Day everyone! What goodies did you get in your mailbox this week?
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