Sunday, March 30, 2014

Stuff I Got This Week

Title links send you to the Goodreads page for the book. Author links send you to their website.

Won on Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Charlotte and her fellow refugees have scraped out an existence on the edge of Britain’s industrial empire. Though they live by the skin of their teeth they have their health (at least when they can find enough food and avoid the Imperial Labor Gatherers) and each other. When a new exile with no memory of his escape from the coastal cities or even his own name seeks shelter in their camp he brings new dangers with him and secrets about the terrible future that awaits all those who have struggled has to live free of the bonds of the empire’s Machineworks.

That's what I got this week, what did you all get? 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Dorothy Must Die book trailer and sneak peek!

DOROTHY MUST DIE will be available April 1st
Crash landing via tornado into a childhood nightmare, Amy Gumm finds the lime-lit, sparkling city of Oz a far cry from its former over-the- rainbow glory. The culprit? That bitch from Kansas: Dorothy Gale. Power-hungry and invincible, Dorothy has turned everything on its head. Now, the Scarecrow conducts inhumane experiments on the winged monkeys, the Tin Woodman is a trained killer, and the Lion is a deranged monster out for blood. Upon arriving, Amy is immediately inducted into The Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, a group of not-so-wicked witches that are determined to rid their land of Dorothy. Now, Amy will have to show more gumption than was ever necessary in her Kansas trailer park life. When everyone has ulterior motives and no one is whom they seem, it's not easy to know what to do next. But one thing's for sure: Dorothy must die.

Can't wait to see what Dorothy has become? No need to click your heels together... just head over to Epic Reads for a sneak peek at the first 12 chapters:

To learn just how Dorothy Gale got back to Kansas and what made her so evil, plunge into Paige's world with NO PLACE LIKE OZ, the prequel digital novella to DOROTHY MUST DIE, on sale now:

Danielle Paige is a graduate of Columbia University. Before turning to young adult literature, she worked in the television industry where she received a Writers Guild of America award and was nominated for several Daytime Emmys. She currently lives in New York City.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: Through the Zombie Glass - Gena Showalter

Where I got it: Amazon Vine
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (I love how gorgeous these books are.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Page Count: 480 p.
Add it: Goodreads
Sequel to: Alice in Zombieland

Alice has lost a lot and now just has her Nana...and maybe Cole. She goes out zombie hunting with the others one night and gets bitten and things start to get weird. She tries to bite Cole moments after being bitten. The zombie virus shouldn't have spread that quickly. Afterwards, things keep being weird. Her reflection isn't of her, not really. She also keeps getting hungry...very hungry...for souls. Soon after she starts noticing these things Cole disappears from her life and the other slayers lives too. Now she has to try to fight the darkness in herself by herself. If she can't manage to figure out what's wrong and how to fix it the few people she has left might be in danger...from her.

A very nice sequel. I had forgotten a lot of what happened in book one, but I feel like this book did a good job of reminding me without just retelling the whole first book again. Now I'm just dying to find out what happens next.

Alice's inner battle is fantastic and I'm intrigued to see what will happen with it. I still didn't really care too much for Cole in this story. He was still a jerk for most of it. Nearer the end he started to be more tolerable though.

There was a ton of action in this novel too and lots of twists and turns. There were a lot of unknowns, mostly about who Alice could trust. It was not made more clear when Cole abandons her and turns sullen.

This was a good sequel in which a lot happens and I'm super excited to see what happens with Anima and everything in the next book. If you liked the first novel this one will not disappoint.

First Line:
"Where should I begin?"

Favorite Lines:
"If they decided to play Animal Planet, I'd...let them, I decided. Both would end up unconscious and I would no longer be trapped in this tug-of-war. Sure, I'd have to clean a pool of blood, but just then that actually seemed like the better choice. We had plenty of baking soda and vinegar."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Review: Lovely Vicious - Sara Wolf

Where I got it: Kindle
Rating: 3 stars  
Cover Rating: 2 stars (meh.)
Genre: Young Adult / New Adult
Publication Date: November 4, 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
Page Count: 209 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Isis has sworn off love. She lost a ton of weight, dyed her hair and moved to a new town to start a new life with her mother. Enter Jack Hunter. He's the guy all the girls love but Isis loves to hate. She doesn't like anything about his smug face and wants to take him down a peg or two. Unfortunately he proves to be a worthy opponent and Isis finds herself stepping up her game.

This was a fascinating read. It wasn't that the writing was to die for (it wasn't bad) and it wasn't that I was in love with the characters, I was just intrigued. I didn't want to stop reading. It was so engrossing I just wanted more!

Both Isis and Jack seemed to make Sherlock like observances. They would look at the pet hair on someone's sleeve and deduce wildly. It seemed a bit intense for these two, but I guess they were smart.

The other thing I was confused about was the scene were Isis leaves a restaurant and Jack also leaves the restaurant and Isis throws up. She throws up quite a bit. Now, a couple things bothered me with this part. First, Jack takes her into his car while she's throwing up, whereas I would allow them to remain outside until they were quit done vomiting. He also doesn't ask why she's throwing up (not crazy odd, but still). Then, Jack takes them out to eat (now I understand Isis might be hungry from her expelling her lunch, but Jack just ate). So they go out to a sushi place and I don't think sushi settles your stomach. Also, it's Ohio. I don't live in Ohio, but Isis describes it as the middle of nowhere and I just doesn't see Sushi being a high schoolers meal of choice in the middle of nowhere. I could possibly see it in a city setting, but it just seemed a bit unrealistic to me. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Beyond those small complaints I found the book enjoyable. A bit unbelievable at times with some of the character's actions, but enjoyable. I like the dialogue between the characters, especially Jack and Isis. It was very real.

If you're looking for an intriguing and somewhat quick read I would recommend checking this one out. The ending will probably have you dying for the second book, it's quite a shocker.

First Line:
"When I was six, Dad told me something really true; everyone has a to-do list."

Favorite Line:
"It was sacrifice helplessly, like a ritual priestess on the altar of callous assholery."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review: How to Love - Katie Cortugo

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (Lovely.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: 389 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Reena has loved Sawyer since she can remember, so it's strange when her friend starts dating him. Reena and Sawyer and drawn together and then just as swiftly swept apart. Their relationship is anything but uncomplicated. Then Sawyer disappears. What he doesn't realize is that Reena is pregnant. A few years later Sawyer shows back up and Reena is thrown for a loop. She doesn't know what she's supposed to do now. She thought she had moved on from being that girl who was hopelessly in love with Sawyer, but apparently she's not. Some love doesn't come easy and ends up making your life a complete mess.

I really enjoyed this story. The narration alternates between the past and present which I feel really worked for this story. It helped to be able to like Sawyer in small bits because sometimes he seemed insufferable. He was just really into himself and his needs in the past, but present day Sawyer is slightly more tolerable.

Reena was a mess. Her emotions were all over the place and I think this made her very realistic. She was looking forward to getting out of town and then got pregnant by a guy she doesn't see for years and then he wanders back into town and wants to be a part of her life. They both had a lot of crap going on in their lives and it showed. They didn't have it together, and that's okay because they can work on figuring it out.

I wasn't a huge fan of the very end. I was all pumped and cheering for Reena and then she made a decision I didn't care for. It was terrible, but a little less empowering.

I would definitely recommend this if you're looking for a love story that is rough. Their love did not come easy and a lot of unfortunate things happened to both of them. I really enjoyed their story though and I'm looking forward to more books by Katie Cortugo.

First Line:
"I've been looking for Sawyer for half a lifetime when I find him standing in front of the Slurpee machine at the 7-Eleven on Federal Highway, gazing through the window at the frozen, neon-bright churning like he's expecting the mysteries of the universe to be revealed to him from inside."

Favorite Line:
"His hands were like white spiders in his hair."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review: Some Quiet Place - Kelsey Sutton

Where I got it: Egalley from Netgalley
Rating: 3.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (Strange. Very, very strange.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: July 8, 2013
Publisher: Flux
Page Count: 331 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Elizabeth doesn't feel emotions. She can see them though and they try to get her to feel their presence, but she simply can't. She sees her friends and family affected by these feelings, but she doesn't even feel the slightest bit of emotion. Fear takes a liking to her, he wants to be the one that makes her feel. Fear is always trying new nightmares and illusions to trick her feelings to the surface, but nothing he does seems to work. There's something strange in the air though and Elizabeth can feel that. Elizabeth has been having dreams of a boy and a girl and they seem so real, but they can't be...can they? Not every emotion is harmless though, even if Elizabeth can't feel them. Something wicked is coming and if Elizabeth can't unlock what's inside of her she has no hope of surviving.

What a fascinating story. I love the idea of emotions being physical beings that come by to afflict you. I also really enjoyed Fear. He's charming but creepy. Exactly as you would picture that emotion. It was really fascinating seeing all the different emotions manifest and it would be strange to be able to see them in real life.

The thing that makes this book tricky is Elizabeth not feeling. It makes her a shell of a character. She's nearly impossible to relate to, because I feel things (sometimes too many things). It's tricky to care about a character who doesn't really care about anything. She's fairly decent at pretending though. She seemed to be a good friend even if she didn't feel any affection towards people.

I feel like Elizabeth's home life is the ideal situation to feel nothing in. I imagine that that situation would make anyone feel a little numb or at least wish they were. It sucks that some people are broken like her father.

I really enjoyed the mystery aspect of the story too. Trying to unravel what is wrong with Elizabeth. It was very fascinating and believable (within the story). I would definitely checking this out if you're looking for a slightly different perspective on a story brought to you by some unique characters. It's tricky to feel for Elizabeth, but it almost makes her a more reliable narrator, because she doesn't care to lie to you.

First Line:
"Fear is coming."

Favorite Lines:
"Just being near him makes my own world seem unreachable and surreal. Surreal is dangerous."

"I laugh, a sound that he cuts short with a kiss that tastes like strawberries and terror."

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mini Review: The Isobel Journal - Isobel Harrop

Where I got it: Netgalley
Rating: 2.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 3 stars (It's okay.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: November 7, 2013
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Page Count: 208 p.
Add it: Goodreads

This book is a very realistic teen journal. I don't have anything against it, I just don't have anything for it either. It was a little bit boring with no real narration. It's an interesting quick little read. Something you can sit down and breeze through, but it just wasn't for me. I think teens who are very into journaling and art will really enjoy this. It's a good book to have in your teen section for them to flip through, like a magazine. I guess I just wanted there to be more. It was honest and real, but it just wasn't MORE than that. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Thoughts on a Classic : Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

So, as you may know I work at a library. This year, I wanted to challenge myself to read classics. One of my co-workers said she would love to do that too so we decided that we could pick books and do it together. Then when talking to a patron who was checking out some classics for the same reason we decided to form a Classics only book group. Our first read was a short one to ease people into it.
Fahrenheit 451 was an assigned reading book in school. I don't think I ever actually read it though. Maybe I skimmed it, but we always went over what we were supposed to have read in class the next day, so I just didn't take the time to read them because they made my brain hurt or I was lazy. I'm really glad that I had a chance to read this one now though because it is so relevant today. It's maybe even more relevant now than it was when it was written some fifty odd years ago.
It's actually pretty eerie how closely Bradbury's fictitious world mirrors our current state. Technology is very big and people are consuming it even without really comprehending what they are viewing. And, the written word is literally being burned because people are afraid of thinking. I like that Bradbury made a point of not including a real higher authority. He states that the people censored themselves. They chose to stop reading, they weren't forced to stop. I think a lot of this goes on. That's why books get banned. People don't want to have conversation about topics that they aren't comfortable about. Book banners don't want conversations taking place about things that they don't understand or that they find taboo. This is not media or governments fault. This is the fault of the citizens.
Luckily for us, there are a lot of Guy Montags and even more Professor Fabers and track men. There are tons of these people that will stand up for our freedom to think about things that make us uncomfortable. Because if we don't think, what do we do? We need to be constantly questioning and pushing ourselves, otherwise, what's the point of living. If you haven't read this one. I would recommend it. If it was one you were forced to read years ago and didn't like it then, I would give it a second chance. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Review: Liv, Forever - Amy Talkington

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 3.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (LOVE IT!)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Soho Teen
Page Count: 278 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Liv has never belonged anywhere in her life, she's simply bounced from foster home to foster home. Liv thinks that Wickham Hall might finally be a place where she can isn't. She soon finds that she is not the same as the people in this school. Wickham Hall is steeped in tradition and secret societies and ghosts. Liv soon meets Malcolm Astor one of the golden boys at the school and they strike up and unlikely relationship. She also meets Gabe who is a kindred spirit and can see and talk to the dead. When things change for Liv, Gabe is the only one who can help her and time is running out. Liv has to figure out what is going on at Wickham Hall and why there are so many ghosts haunting it. Her future depends on what she can find out, but she may need to trust more people then she wants to in order to unlock all the mysteries of Wickham Hall.

This book was very good. It was spooky and just really awesome. The mystery kept me tangled up for quite awhile. It's quite what I was expecting and I always love a good boarding school story especially set in New Hampshire!

The only thing I didn't like about this novel was all of the art references. I realize that Liv is an artist and knows a lot about art, but comparing every single thing she observes with a piece or art or an artist was distracting and annoying. I could see a few references thrown in to establish how she views things, but four or five references on nearly every page seemed excessive. I knew some of the artists, but a lot of them I had no clue about and I'm not going to sit with my computer open so that I can Google every single reference. It just got absurd fast. I was sick of having every sight weighed down with a handful of artistic references. Maybe if you're really into art and art history this would appeal greatly to you, but I just found it tedious.

Beyond the over establishing that Liv was arty though I quite enjoyed this story. It was a creepy enough to freak me out while reading before bed and the mystery was suspenseful enough that I didn't want to stop reading. I just had to know what happened. Were these girls murdered and by who?

The characters weren't too developed, but I didn't find that they were underdeveloped either. As we spend more time with them we start to unravel more about their personalities and lives. Malcolm and Astor were great sidekicks for Liv and it was interesting seeing them interact.

I would definitely recommend this novel if you're looking for a quick, somewhat spooky mystery. I quite enjoyed it despite it's shortcomings.

First Line:
"Chances of a girl like me ending up at Wickham Hall were next to nothing."

Favorite Lines:
"We are not stars. And if we were, we'd be distant, immaterial. Alone."

Monday, March 10, 2014

Re-tellings I have loved

Team Epic Reads recently released this amazing chart of YA retellings. It's even broken down into different categories and further into specific stories. I am a huge fan of retellings and am super excited to have this list to direct me when I'm picking out the next one I want to read. So make sure that if you're a fan of retellings, you check out their awesome chart below (click to enlarge) or go to their website where they have other version and printables!

Since I'm such a fan of retellings and have read quite a few I figured I would share some of my favorites today to get you started or share in the joy with you!

Damosel - Stephanie Spinner
Not so much necessarily a retelling, as bringing life into a character. This story is from the perspective of King Arthur's Lady of the Lake. 

Fathomless - Jackson Pearce
The September Girls - Bennett Madison
Two Little Mermaid retellings that felt very different from each other, but were both good in their own ways. 

Sweetly - Jackson Pearce
A Hansel and Gretel retelling that is possibly more creepy than the original.

Tiger Lily - Jodi Lynn Anderson
This is another that may not be strictly a retelling, but is still based on a story that already exists. I know the EpicReads ladies are a big fan of this one and I was too.

Impossible - Nancy Werlin
A Rumpelstiltskin retelling that was different but awesome. 

Illyria - Elizabeth Hand
A Twelfth Night retelling that was haunting and intriguing.

Death Cloud - Andrew Lane
So this is yet another that is not really a retelling. This is Sherlock Holmes' younger years and it's pretty fantastic. 

Briar Rose - Jane Yolen
Sleeping Beauty re-telling that was one of my favorite retellings.

Ella Enchanted - Gail Carson Levine
Another one that was my absolute favorite is this retelling of Cinderella.

So those are ones that I have read and loved.
What are some of your favorite retellings?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Stuff I Got This Week

Title links send you to the Goodreads page for the book. Author links send you to their website.


Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself. 
 He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost. 
He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable. 
 Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present. 
 Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.

Inspired by a true-crime story of supernatural happenings and gory murders, Amity spans two generations and beyond to weave an overlapping, interconnected tale of terror, insanity, danger, and death. 

Summoned to her father's home in 1820's Philadelphia, a girl finds herself in the midst of a rash of gruesome murders in which he might be implicated. She is torn romantically between her father's assistants-one kind and proper, one mysterious and brooding-who share a dark secret and may have more to do with the violent events than they're letting on. 

Born and raised in the Midwest, Jersey Cameron knows all about tornadoes. Or so she thinks. When her town is devastated by a twister, Jersey survives -- but loses her mother, her young sister, and her home. As she struggles to overcome her grief, she's sent to live with her only surviving relatives: first her biological father, then her estranged grandparents. 
 In an unfamiliar place, Jersey faces a reality she's never considered before -- one in which her mother wasn't perfect, and neither were her grandparents, but they all loved her just the same. Together, they create a new definition of family. And that's something no tornado can touch. 

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father. 
 Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

That's what I got this week, what did you all get? 


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