28 March 2011

Stray by Rachel Vincent


There are only eight breeding female werecats left . . .

And I'm one of them.

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I'd been warned about Strays -- werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back . . . for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever -- and whoever -- I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays -- 'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them . . .

27 March 2011

In My Mailbox (37)

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Soooo…this week…yeah…
Let’s just get to the pictures.
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The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen – I absolutely love Wendelin Van Draanen’s work.  I started getting real with my reading when I started reading her Sammy Keyes novels.  (My god I feel really nostalgic now.)  Needless to say, her novels were really influential on my love for reading.  I’ve also read her book Flipped and I’m really sorry that I haven’t seen the movie yet.  So when I saw that she was coming out with a new novel and happened to see it when I was at the library, I had to get it.

The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee – I know that a lot of people have raved about this book and it does look really good.  So when I found it available at my library, I requested it.  It looks really good.

The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Moritmer – So this is the last book to come in from when I was on my Robin Hood kick.  I’m going to give it a little skimming but I’m not going to obsess over it like I would have if it had come in when I was still IN my Robin Hood kick. XD

Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks – This is compliments of my dear old dad.  Most of the stuff I’ve read so far isn’t applicable to me because I’m already a young adult.  I don’t have to worry about not sounding like one and somehow not knowing what it’s like going through the teenage years today.  It looks like a helpful book.  Thanks, Dad. :)

In other news…
My new forum for bloggers, Insincere Conformity, is coming along if incredibly slowly.  It’s amazing to see how quickly Twitter brings ten guests automatically to the forum.  Now I have to work on appealing to the general audiences so that people will actually join and participate.

Recent Reviews:
What did you get in YOUR mailbox?

24 March 2011

Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany


Nothing's simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she's seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she's suspected. With Jess' realization that the Rusakovas' mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group's choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite to free their mother - and those who Jess thought to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more...

Cover, Title & Release Date for final installment of Inheritance Cycle

I don’t know about you, but I was pretty psyched when I received an email from Borders informing me of the release date, title and cover for the fourth and final installment of the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini.

Inheritance
Christopher Paolini
Coming November 8th

It feels like I’ve been waiting for this book for FOREVER!  I thought it would NEVER come out!  Christopher Paolini’s first book Eragon is what inspired me to first write my own fantasy novel.  (Except it was a book about faeries, not dragons.)  I have enjoyed the entire series thus far.  I absolutely going to pre-order it.  (Especially for 46% off.)

22 March 2011

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton


Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.
Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

20 March 2011

In My Mailbox (36) + Introducing…!

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This has been an exciting week for many reasons: one, I’ve picked up a new series (always exciting) and two, I’m launching a new forum for book bloggers.

First, the books.
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{for review}
  • Panjandrum – J.J. Telly
{from the library}
  • The Princess and the Hound – Mette Ivie Harrison
    • started, on page 41
  • Tiger’s Curse – Colleen Houck
    • returning – I’m receiving my own copy in the mail soon…(SPECIAL ADVANCED THANKS TO MS. DARBY! :D)
  • Stray – Rachel Vincent
    • came highly recommended, finished
  • 1215: The Year of the Magna Carta – Danny Danziger
    • to satisfy my inner dorkness
{recent reviews}
{upcoming reviews}
  • Stray – Rachel Vincent
SPECIAL THANKS to Ash @ Smash Attack Reads for highly recommending Stray by Rachel Vincent.  Unfortunately though, I have lost my once unbending faith in my precious public library system because they have the ENTIRE SERIES EXCEPT the second book!  THE ONE I NEED NEXT!  *epically sad sigh*  So now I don’t know quite what to do.  I don’t want to buy the books until I get farther in and know for sure that I really want to own them.  And the library doesn’t HAVE the second book.  (As in, it isn’t even in their system.  I wouldn’t freak if it was at another branch.  That’s what’s so wonderful about the inter-library loan system.)

Anyways.
What did you get in YOUR mailbox?
{Introducing…!}
Have you ever noticed that when you visit a blog, you’re really only communicating with the blog host?  Even if there are a bunch of other comments, you kinda skim over them somewhat and give your response directly to the blog host.  It’s kind of awkward to talk to other people on someone else’s blog…

Well I wanted to rectify that.  I wanted a place where book bloggers could come and chill and discuss things and pick up new things for their blogs (like followers…) etc.  So I created a forum just for that purpose.
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Insincere Conformity is a forum where book bloggers and hardcore readers alike can come and socialize about anything.  You can meet new bloggers while not having to worry about any awkwardness.  Come express your opinions and discover new books and people!

To visit the website, click on the banner above! :) Hope to see you there.

NOTE:  We aren't JUST for book bloggers and readers.  Authors are more than welcome to join us too! :)

18 March 2011

ARC - Exile by Anne Osterlund


For a princess, love might be the most dangerous vice of all.

Crown princess Aurelia is a survivor.  She survived attempted assassination.  She survived the king’s rejection.  She survived her mother’s abandonment.  And now, in exile, she must survive her kingdom—from hostile crowds to raw frontier to desert sands.  But even as unknown assailants track Aurelia and expedition guide Robert, she knows what her greatest risk is: falling in love.

13 March 2011

In My Mailbox (35)

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So.  I haven’t bought a single thing this past week.  Instead, I got a little gift from one of the fantastic Cucumber Fairies*.  Ms. Anne Osterlund sent me a review copy of Exile, which as you know, is just plain completely awesome of her.  I loved her book Aurelia as well as Academy 7 and her blog is so much fun to visit.  (So you should visit it here.)
* = In the past, I’ve taken to saying that an author is one cool cucumber.  I don’t know where the fairies part came in.  I dunno.  It’s Sunday.  Sue me.
{From the Library}
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from top, left to right:
Dead Beautiful | Yvonne Woon
Ballad | Maggie Stiefvater
Exile (ARC) | Anne Osterlund
The Hunter’s Moon | O.R. Melling
Princess Ben | Catherine Gilbert Murdock

I’ve already given my mini-review of Dead Beautiful, as I could not finish it and am taking it back to the library probably tomorrow.  That also goes along with The Hunter’s Moon.  It’s a book I’ve started once before now but now, I just can’t get into it.  But I haven’t read that far enough in and I can’t guarantee that I won’t pick it up again so I haven’t reviewed it.

Ballad is bound to be awesome because I read and liked the first book, Lament, and I love Maggie Stiefvater’s work.

Princess Ben looks really good and I have read a few pages so far.  I don’t know if I’ll read it before it has to go back to the library because I’m going to start Exile this week (translation: today) and I’m also going to be reading Ballad.  So.

Oh yeah!  I almost forgot!  (*smacks self*)  Ms. Anne Osterlund also included a SIGNED postcard of her book Academy 7.  And the ARC itself is signed.  (*crazy fan girl happy dance*)

That’s my wonderful news for the week. :)

Recent Reviews:
Recent News:
In other news…I spent yesterday going to the movies with one of my friends.  We saw  I Am Number Four and it is really good.  It’s like, if you liked (or tolerated, in my case) the book, then you’ll like the movie because it was an exact remake of the book.  Very little was changed in terms of plot or characters or anything like that.  I absolutely loved the end battle.  The romance was shallow (par for the course now) but brilliant action, as I said. 

After that, I chilled with my friend over at her house.  She just had knee surgery on Friday and was pretty laid up and bored out of her mind so I brought her some Ben & Jerry’s and some company.  We watched TOY STORY 2!  And a bit of Coraline. :)

And now for today, I have to do homework.  Ugh.

Cover Release for “Gray Wolf Throne” by Cinda William Chima

I was so psyched to see this in my weekly update of author’s blogs that I follow via Goodreads.  Cinda Williams Chima has graciously posted the cover to her new book, the sequel to The Exiled Queen, “The Gray Wolf Throne”.   If you haven’t picked up this series yet, you should.  Like, you should be at the bookstore right now picking up The Demon King and The Exiled Queen and pre-ordering The Gray Wolf Throne.

 

I’ve always loved the covers to this series.  And they’re awesome covers to really awesome books.  I will admit that it did take me a little while to get into my copy of The Exiled Queen but that was because I had so many other books to wade through first.  But I absolutely loved it and I can’t wait to get into Cinda William Chima’s The Warrior Heir, which I’ve had on my shelf since forever. XD

Reviews:

11 March 2011

What’s Your Status? (2)

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Recently Finished:

  • Dead Beautiful – Yvonne Woon – review

Currently Reading:

  • Ballad – Maggie Stiefvater
    • haven’t started yet

Up Next?  Possibly…?

  • Books to pick up at the library:
    • The Princess and the Hound – Mette Ivie Harrison
    • Stray – Rachel Vincent (highly recommended)
    • Tiger’s Curse – Colleen Houck (soon to be owned)
    • 1215: the Year of the Manga Carta – Danny Danzinger (research purposes)
  • Exiled (ARC) – Anne Osterlund
  • Griffin Rising (ARC) – Darby Karchut

Focus:

  • I have two ARCs that I need to turn my attention to, both of which I am really excited to read.  But my library runs have suddenly made a horrifyingly tall stack of books on my desk and school is being a butt as per usual.  But my goal is to work on reading my way to my ARCs.
  • Finally knocking out the last of my reviews.  I still haven’t gotten reviews written for Darkness Becomes Her and The Reckoning which is strange because both were really awesome books.  But I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.  OY!

Most Recent Fetish:

  • Robin Hood
    • <3<3<3<3!!

What’s YOUR status?

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon - NR

NR = Not Rated:  Because I have not finished this book, I cannot judge it in its entirety and will not give it a rating.  I have written this review because it is not a book I will pick up again.


On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she'd ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder.
After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.”
It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems.
Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life.

07 March 2011

In the Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

I was born to the name of Rachel Weatere in the year 1684, more than three hundred years ago.

The one who changed me named me Risika, and Risika I become, though I never asked what it meant. I continue to call myself Risika, even though I was transformed into what I am against my will.

By day, Risika sleeps in a shaded room in Concord, Massachusetts. By night, she hunts the streets of New York City. She is used to being alone.

But now someone is following Risika. Someone has left her a black rose, the same sort of rose that sealed her fate three hundred years ago.

Three hundred years ago Risika had a family—a brother and a father who loved her. Three hundred years ago she was human.

Now she is a vampire, a powerful one. And her past has come back to torment her.

This atmospheric, haunting tale marks the stunning debut of a promising fourteen-year-old novelist.

06 March 2011

In My Mailbox (34)

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So I just executed a wonderful BooksADozenMillion run.  I got two books today, one on Friday(?) and I’ve been reading like a beast lately because I’ve been home sick the better part of the past week, so I’ve got a bunch of reviews to catch up on.

For all of you who didn’t know, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s publishing company Little, Brown just released the cover and title of the author’s new book in the Caster Chronicles.  I’ve posted a short article about it here.


{Purchased}

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Darkness Becomes Her | Kelly Keaton
Outside In | Maria V. Snyder
Secrets and Shadows | Shannon Delany
Red Riding Hood | Sarah Blakley-Cartwright

I think Borders and BooksAMillion have joint custody of me now.  Borders is going bankrupt and their new releases aren’t really…well, new…Secrets and Shadows, for example, has been out since what?  February 15th?  And Borders still doesn’t have it in stock.  So I went ahead and bought Outside In and Secrets and Shadows at BooksAMillion, but I got Red Riding Hood at the beloved Borders.  Darkness Becomes Her, however, my dad got for me at BJ’s!  For twelve bucks!  Their hardcovers run for at least five dollars less than list price.  But then again, their selection sucks.

Recent Reviews:

All other info about what I’m currently reading, what I plan to read, and what I’ve finished recently can be found via a new meme I’ve picked up (What’s Your Status?) and you can find my recent post here.

What’s in YOUR mailbox?

Cover & Title Release of 3rd Caster Chronicle Installment

Just spotted: the release of the cover and title of the third book in the Caster Chronicles by authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.



Kami Garcia says,
“When you read the book, I think [the title] will be really obvious.  Without a spoiler, for those who read ‘Beautiful Darkness,’ they know that there were a lot of actions at the end of the book, a lot of decisions that were made that yield serious consequences and some of those consequences are the essence of chaos to us.” 

My take:

I don’t really like the gold.  It seems too muted and doesn’t blend in well and doesn’t seem that pleasant to the eye, but I know from experience that covers can seem so much prettier once you have a hard copy in your hands.


What do you think about it?

05 March 2011

What’s Your Status? (1)

“What’s Your Status” is a meme I discovered recently (really recently, this is my first post about it) that lets you post about the books you recently finished, currently reading, plan to read, what you’ve reviewed in the past week, etc.  It sounds like fun. :)  If you’d like to learn more about this fantastic meme, go to Zakiya’s blog Butterfly Feet Walking on Life.
Recently Finished:
  • The Nascenza Conspiracy – V. Briceland
  • Pretty Little Lies – Laurie Faria Stolarz
  • The Reckoning – Kelley Armstrong
  • Darkness Becomes Her – Kelly Keaton
  • In the Forests of the Night – Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Currently Reading:
  • Red Riding Hood – Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
    • only on page 7
  • The Iron King – Julia Kagawa
    • on page 97
Up Next?  Possibly…?
  • any library finds within the next week…
    • Stray – Rachel Vincent
    • The Princess and the Hound – Mette Ivie Harrison
    • A Spy in the House - Y.S. Lee
    • Tiger's Curse - Colleen Houck
  • The Warrior Heir – Cinda Williams Chima
  • Griffin Rising (ARC) – Darby Karchut
On the Shopping List:
  • Outside In – Maria V. Snyder
    • Inside Out #2
  • Secrets and Shadows – Shannon Delany
    • 13 to Life #2
What’s YOUR status?

The Nascenza Conspiracy by V. Briceland


A Legacy Rejected. A Mortal Error. A precarious Collaboration.

Petro Divetri—younger brother of famed sorceress Risa Divetri—just wants to be left alone. His status as one of the seven ruling families in Cassaforte has saddled him with unwanted attention, from bullies as well as from those seeking favors.

So when Petro and his best friend Adrio are sent to far-off Nascenza for the Midsummer High Rites, they swap identities. Their prank goes awry when Adrio, mistaken for Petro, is kidnapped by rebels determined to overthrow the king. With the help of Emilia, a palace guard who wants to prove her worth, Petro must rescue his friend and defeat a political plot that threatens to wipe out all of Cassaforte.

01 March 2011

Deadly Little Lies by Laurie Faria Stolarz


Last fall, sixteen-year-old Camelia fell for Ben, the mysterious new boy at school who turned out to have a very mysterious gift--pyschometry, the ability to sense the future through touch. But just as Camelia and Ben's romance began to heat up, he abruptly left town. Brokenhearted, Camelia has spent the last few months studying everything she can about psychometry, and experiencing her own strange brushes with premonition. Camelia wonders if Ben's abilities have somehow rubbed off on her. Can the power of psychometry be transferred?
Even once Ben returns to school, Camelia can't get close enough to share her secret with him. Despite the romantic tension between them, Ben remains aloof, avoiding contact. Then when an unexpected kiss leads to a frightening argument, Camelia makes the painful decision to let Ben go and move on. Adam, the hot new guy at work, seems good for her in ways Ben wasn't. Adam is easygoing, and seems to really care about her. 
But when Camelia and Adam start dating, a surprising love triangle results. A chilling sequence of events upturns secrets from Ben's past--and Adam's. Someone is lying, and it’s up to Camelia to figure out who—before it’s too late.

The Literary Reversal

Am I the only one who’s totally, completely, absolutely, irrevocably psyched about Outside In coming out TODAY!?  And I must be the only one who is stuck at home with a sore throat when I could have gone to Borders after SCHOOL to get my copy.  Fate, go kick rocks.

While I sit here wallowing in self-pity, hundreds of fellow YA fans are making their way like tiny ants to the home hill to get their very own copy of Outside In, again while I sit here and glare at them through my crystal ball, wishing I had the cursing powers of the Wicked Witch of the West. 

What do I have to look forward to today?  Oh I don’t know.  I might try to leap a building in a single bound or fly through downtown wearing a skintight spider outfit (god forbid…*shudders*…what a horrible sight).  Actually, I’m going to be a good girl (observe alter ego eye rolling here) and I’m going to load New Novelist 2.0 onto my computer, finish an assignment due tomorrow and keep up with my English class by reading the assigned work.

Yeah.  Imma dork.

But I won’t go down in vain!  I will tell the world, right here and now, just WHY I think Outside In is so freaking awesome.  This will be my last stand while everyone else is out being happy with their own copy.  *sigh*

Maria V. Snyder is one heckuva awesome lady.  I’ve really been lucky to make contact with so many incredible authors.  They’ve all proven to me that authors in general are not another different species entirely and they do actually eat and sleep and aren’t affected by kryptonite. 

I’ve always loved Maria V. Snyder’s books from the moment I got Poison Study out from the library.  At first I was taken aback by the unique writing style but I learned to love it and appreciate it.  Now, I own all of Maria V. Snyder’s published works.  With Outside In, she has published nine novels.  I can really admire her for not only writing so wonderfully and having such a fun personality, but all her books are appropriate.  I never have to worry about running across a swear word every page or a sex scene every other chapter.  And her books are SO MUCH FUN. 

Anyways…

While ya’ll are out grabbing a copy and starting it rightnowrightthissecond, I will sit here and commiserate with my sore throat and my chocolate ice cream and country radio.

Perhaps by and by…did ya’ll know that Maria V. Snyder is coming out with a NEW BOOK (*HOLYFUDGE*) January 2012?

Hasta luego!