29 December 2013

In My Mailbox (114)

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
I loved the movie, and it's obvious to me that the movie was so good because it's so close to the book.  Ender's story is not what I imagined it would be and it's all the better for it.  I'm so glad I am finally taking the time to read it.

The Shamer's Daughter by Lene Kaaberbol
I saw this one in Half-Price Books a year ago or so and made a note of it, and just now checked it out from the library.  Excited to start!

Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
I was very tempted to pick this up at Half-Price Books when I first saw it but I decided to check it out at the library this week.  It looks very intriguing.  Something about it keeps reminding me of Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff.  (Not that I know of any actual similarities between the two.  We shall see.)

The Emperor's Knife by Mazarkis Williams
I wanted to pick this up as soon as it came out several years ago, but I settled on following Mazarkis Williams on Facebook.  I have been impressed with his witty posts and so I finally got his first book from the library.

what did you get in your mailbox?

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

09 December 2013

In My Mailbox (113)

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
This is my second time reading this book and it is absolutely fabulous.  There is something about Seraphina that I identify with on a basic level.  On top of that, Rachel Hartman has built up a gloriously detailed world that is so easy to slip into.  I read the first hundred pages in a day.  So good.

what did you get in your mailbox?

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

01 December 2013

In My Mailbox (112)

I've been truly horrible about updating le blog, I know.  College is just ridiculous.  And it doesn't help that I don't have a way to post from my iPad, which is doubling for a laptop, while I'm at my dorm.  So the only chance to post is on the weekends, and I'm typically either busy with something else or uninspired.  I apologize from the depths of my dusty soul for making you suffer, deprived as you are of my posts.

But I shall share with you today what dropped onto my shelves this past week:

I am super psyched for this haul.  So psyched, that I am resolved to bring them with me to my dorm, even though I haven't the faintest idea where I'll put them.

From top to bottom:

The Royal Ranger by John Flanagan
Ranger's Apprentice #12
The Ranger's Apprentice series has been a favorite of mine since I was twelve, and now, I am faced with the very last book in the series.  The thing is about series I love is that I don't like to finish them. To me, I can better handle the suspense of not knowing what happens in the end compared to finishing and then never having a new story.  So I still haven't read the 10th Ranger's Apprentice book, The Emperor of Nihon-Ja.  It took me a year just to get myself to read Halt's Peril.  I don't know how long it will be until I finally crack into this one.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Anna #1
Lawd y'all, I can't even tell you how excited I am to have this for my shelves.  I reviewed Anna Dressed in Blood a long, long time ago but didn't get it for my shelves.  When I saw it in Half-Price Books, I just had to have it, especially since it was in such good condition.

The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce
Circle Reforged #1
It seems like HPB always has a copy of this book.  I was so excited to pick it up.  I read it a very long time ago, before the time of le blog.  A truly fantastic book.  I'm psyched to start rereading it.

Daja's Book by Tamora Pierce
Circle of Magic #3
Again, read this forever ago and I don't remember much of it.  So, along with The Will of the Empress, I'm excited to get to rereading it.

Champion by Marie Lu
Legend #3
Because this is one of those series where I couldn't read them all straight through, I'm going to go back and reread Legend and Prodigy before diving head first into Champion.

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
So far, this is a great book.  There's really nothing more to be said.  I'm excited to keep reading it.

A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull
Beyonders #1
I had seen the term "Beyonders" many times before, enough to where I knew that Brandon Mull was nearly as popular as Rick Riordan.  But what really got me to pick this up at HPB was the title: A World Without Heroes.  I thought, "Really?  Let's take a look at that."  And so far, it's brilliant.

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge
The Iron Codex #1
I had my eye on this when it came out back in 2011.  I distinctly remember seeing it on the shelves at Borders but passing it up because I had a phobia (more like a bad habit) of picking up books at the store without reading them first and then having to either return them or let them growl and grumble on my shelf until I got rid of them.  I'm glad I finally picked this one up, because it's really good so far.

A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
This is one of them mysteeeeerious books.  I haven't started to read it yet but something about it intrigued me when I saw it at the bookstore.

Icons by Margaret Stohl
Icons #1
I was a little hesitant to get this when I first saw it because it seems a lot like a typical, run of the mill dystopian.  Also, I wasn't a ginormous fan of Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia's Beautiful Creatures series.  But something intrigued me enough to where I bought it.  Let's see how it goes.

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
Heart of Dread #1
I was not a fan of Melissa de la Cruz's Blue Blood series.  I couldn't even get fifty pages into that first book.  But a long time has passed since then, and after seeing Melissa and Mike at YALLFest this past year, I'm intrigued by what they've come up with together in this dystopian.  I've started and it's pretty good so far.  We'll see.

what did you get in your mailbox?

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

What I'm reading this week

I'm a bit of a freak, I know.  I prefer to read a whole stack of books at once whenever I don't have a must-have read on my shelf.  (I do currently have a must-read on my shelf, Champion by Marie Lu, but I'm planning on rereading the first two Legend books before starting on Champion.  So that's for winter break.)  The only two books that I haven't actually started yet are Icons by Margaret Stohl and A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge.

So from top to bottom:

Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce | In the past week, I've already reread the first three books of the Song of the Lioness series: Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, and Woman Who Rides Like A Man.  Tamora Pierce is one of my all-time favorite fantasy authors and since my current writing project is an elaborate fantasy, I'm sniffing for inspiration.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling | Another reread.  (Obviously.)  Again, I'm plumbing the depths for inspiration.  I'm attempting to identify what exactly Tamora Pierce and JK Rowling do that makes their stories so wonderful.  How do I bring that into my story?

Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull | Picked this up, along with the rest of these mentioned, from Half-Price Books during their Black Friday event.  I had seen Brandon Mull's Beyonders book before, but had never given it much thought.  When I saw the first book there on the shelf, and in good condition, I figured, "Why not?"  So far, it is fabulous.

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge | I will be quite frank.  I was fascinated with this book when it first came out, but it was one of those books I never picked up because there was something stopping me from actually getting it.  After seeing it at HPB, I just thought I needed a change up in material, some small break from all the fantasy swirling around in my head.  So far, it is coming together as a fantastic world.  Loving the first fifty pages.

A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge | I had never heard of this before I saw it in HPB and even now, after turning it over and nearly starting it for the past day, I don't have much of an impression of it.  We'll see how it goes.  It looks great.

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver | A couple of months ago, I had resolved myself to the fact that I wouldn't be getting myself around to picking this up, but upon seeing it at a decent price at HPB, I figured I should get it.  And so far, it's wonderfully intoxicating and compelling.

Icons by Margaret Stohl | I'm iffy with this, but that's just a first impression.  I haven't actually started it yet.  We'll see.

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston | I was not a fan of de la Cruz's Blue Blood series when I first tried reading it a long time ago, but after seeing Melissa at YALLFest for two years in a row, I figured I should pick up her book when I saw it at a good price at HPB.  So far, it's proving very promising.  Many good signs.

21 October 2013

2014 Book Covers from Strange Chemistry

Hello all!

Book covers light up my world.  They do.  Like the Fourth of July.  So I was pretty psyched when Strange Chemistry sent around an email with all of their new covers for 2014.  I am seriously looking forward to a few of these, particularly Emilie and the Sky World by Martha Wells and Under Nameless Stars by Christian Schoon.  Even if some of these haven't popped up on your radar, their covers are so lovely, I thought it would be a crime not to share.

20 October 2013

In My Mailbox (111)

Hello everyone!  你们好!I hope y'all have had an awesome week.  I myself feel very fine because I finished reading The House of Hades by Rick Riordan and it was pure awesomeness!  Well worth the wait.  (As if it made the waiting any less excruciating.)

Here's what I found waiting on my bed for me when I got home this weekend:
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Cycle #2
Seriously, do I even have to explain how awesome this is?  If you don't know firsthand the epicness of this book, please realize that your life is severely lacking and that you would do best to go get yourself a copy of this at any cost necessary.  It is a work of pure brilliance and it looks so good alongside all of Maggie Stievater's other books!

what did you get in your mailbox?

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

15 October 2013

Beginner's Guide to Writing Reviews

Hey there y'all!

Today I want to bring up an important subject: reviews, and what to keep in mind when writing them.

There are as many review styles as there are people; everyone is different.  Realize, though, that this also means that your review style is not going to jive with every reader who visits your blog.  Also, if you're frustrated by the lack of response to your reviews, consider the possibility that it is because your style isn't cutting it for the general public.

That's what I aim to do here today: point out what the general public tends to jive with.

14 October 2013

Send Sticky Stickers to Hades

There is that single moment of shining hope when my fingernail gently lifts up the corner of the "20% off" sticker plastered to the cover of the book I recently purchased.  A moment where I think to myself, "This is going to come off like a biscuit from a properly greased cookie sheet."  But then I see a patch of rough white sticker stubbornly stuck to the cover.
I feel really old to be saying this, but remember back when Borders was around?  God, I loved that store.  They made stickers right.  Stickers that actually came off the books without leaving that irritating rim of residue behind -- residue that you then had to painstakingly remove with a well applied fingernail.

I blame myself for this.  This is what I get when I buy a book from a store that does not specialize in book selling.  This store put not one but two(!) stickers on the cover of my precious copy of The House of Hades by Rick Riordan, stickers that I then had to ever so carefully remove so as not to leave that god awful residue behind.

This is not merely a rant.  This is an appeal.  For the love of God, please... If you have to put a sticker on a book, especially the front of a book, at least make it a sticker that will come easily off and not the kind that you have to take an alcohol-soaked cotton ball to.  (Which takes the shininess off certain covers, by the way.)

13 October 2013

In My Mailbox (110)

I realize this button is awesome, but please credit me if you use it.  'Preciate it! :)

11 October 2013

Does Swearing Sell?

Hey y'all!

Over lunch one day, I launched this question across the table to my dad: what would happen if I used a swear word in my novel and it got published and then someone in my family read it?  If I were to answer that question, I'd say instant destruction.  Or, more specifically, my destruction.  In my mind, I pictured myself hiding in my room until the end of days, trembling as the voices of my disapproving family whispered to me at night.

Alright, that's dramatic.  I'll consent to that, but to all you writers out there, don't you shudder to think about the reactions of your family/friends to the material in your book?

10 October 2013

TBR: October

to read pile

09 October 2013

Coming Back to the Blogosphere

Hello everyone!

I've got some time before my next class and I'm sitting here in my university's Center for Student Involvement feeling all academic, so I thought I would talk to y'all today about coming back to the world of reviewing after my five month long stint in a universe without book reviews.

06 October 2013

My Return + Its Subsequent Hitch

My lovelies!  I have slowly faded away while being away from you.  Truly.  I have.  But honestly, I had to give up the responsibility of my blog in order to cope with all the personal stuff that was going on in my family.  If you read my post in April, then you will already know that one of the reasons I stopped blogging was to help care for my uncle, who was suffering from cancer.  I never did come back to say that my uncle passed away May 6.  I wasn't there when he passed away.  My dad was the only one in the room with him, but I was told he went as peacefully as could be expected.

06 May 2013

Interview: Christian Schoon (Zenn Scarlett)

Zenn Scarlett is a bright, determined, occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. That means she’s specializing in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars will find her working with alien patients from whalehounds the size of a hay barn to a baby Kiran Sunkiller, a colossal floating creature that will grow up to carry a whole sky-city on its back.

But after a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school and other near-disasters, the Cloister is in real danger of being shut down by a group of alien-hating officials. If that happens, Zenn knows only too well the grim fate awaiting the creatures she loves.

Now, she must unravel the baffling events plaguing her school, before someone is hurt or killed, before everything she cares about is ripped away from her and her family forever. To solve this mystery – and live to tell about it – Zenn will have to put her new exovet skills to work in ways she never imagined, and in the process learn just how powerful compassion and empathy can be.

01 May 2013

TBR: May


to read pile

10 April 2013

My Hiatus

I have been gone a ridiculously long time, haven't I?  I apologize for dropping off the edge of the blogosphere without so much as leaving a note.  There were several factors that went into my sudden departure, and since we're all friends here, I wanted to share with you all why my blog has become a ghost town.

As March rolled in, a feeling crept over me.  It was slow and elusive and I didn't catch onto it for several weeks.  By that time, my blog had gone without "real" posts for nearly three weeks.  The symptoms of this feeling were lethargy, disinterest and general laziness.  I just felt like I didn't have anything to contribute at those times.

I have been reading and not reviewing books since early March, and it was such an intoxicating feeling, to be able to read without a schedule.  For the first time in three years, I read for pure enjoyment.  I wasn't mentally taking notes while I read, I wasn't drafting what I was going to say about it in my review.  I just read, and read, and read.  I read slow sometimes, and I read fast.  I read four books, or one.  The point was it didn't matter.

It was a really seductive feeling, and one that I couldn't seem to shake off.  You know a strange side effect of this?  I felt more confident when tweeting authors.  When I finished Sarah Beth Durst's Ice, I tweeted her and told her how much I liked it.  I did it without much thought, or anxiety, which is the polar opposite of how I would approach talking to an author when I was actively blogging.  Strange, yes?

Slowly, I started to get on the road towards getting back into blogging.  But then my personal life blew up and demanded every bit of my attention and focus.  Last August, my uncle was told he had two tumors in his brain, and in September he had them surgically removed.  The removal of the first tumor went perfectly, but when he had the second one removed, he never fully recovered.  Since then, the tumors have returned and spread, even with radiation.  My mother, having experience, has been taking care of him since November.

His condition has been degrading, and my family and I have been making the seven-hour trip to Kentucky to stay with him and help my mom.  We came at Easter for a five day stint, but then came back again last Saturday, and now we're staying for several weeks.  I had planned to come to Kentucky full-time as a student in August.  This rapid rescheduling has forced everyone to figure out a new routine, and is also why I haven't been able to get back to blogging.

I don't know what my new routine will be, or even if I'll be able to fully get back to blogging.  I may be able to post reviews occassionally, but my guess now is that I won't.  Because in addition to the lethargy and being in Kentucky, I'm also doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month and entering several pieces to Figment.com contests.  I've started a new writing blog, Amelia Robinson Writes, as a means to share my writing and focus more on my career.

With all these things taking their toll, I cannot say at this time how things will play out.  With my uncle's health declining and college coming this fall, my writing picking up and going back and forth between states, it may be a while before I can get back to the internet full-time.

There are a few obligations I have to fill -- look for my review of Dark Triumph coming soon, as well as a blog tour stop from Christian Schoon, author of Zenn Scarlett -- but otherwise, I may be gone for a while.  But if somehow something lets up -- if my uncle stabilizes, if I move to Kentucky permanently ahead of schedule -- then I may start reviewing again.  I built up quite a backlog of books to review on this hiatus.  And meanwhile, I may post rants, which take less mental and physical energy than reviews.

Thank you, everyone, for your neverending support and love.  I think I'll need quite a bit of both to get through thesenext few months.

01 April 2013

TBR: April


to read pile

26 March 2013

When Authors Talk About Their Books

Back in October of last year, I stumbled across an author who deeply intrigued me.  She's a fantastic lady named Sarah Beth Durst.  She wrote Drink, Slay, Love -- a hilarious novel about a vampire girl who suddenly grows a conscious -- and Vessel, which made me growl with frustration when I realized it wasn't a series.  They are two vastly different novels, but both thrill me with their action-packed plots, intriguing characters and beautiful romances.  The other day, I stumbled across Sarah's website and on it she gives a wonderful wealth of resources: links to all these places where she shows up on the internet.  Normally, it's a pretty boring list and I don't pay much attention.  But she'd done several videos for Simon & Schuster.  You know, those short, maybe two minute interviews where the author talks about their novel.

I watched her videos for Drink, Slay, Love and Vessel, because I was already familiar with those.  But I was so energized by the enthusiasm that she was putting out.  The way she was so into what she was saying, from her huge smile to her hand gestures, really resonated with me, because I revere people with passion.

25 March 2013

A Few Submissions

Not many of you may know this, but I'm a writer.  I've been a writer since I was eight (we will not delve into all the embarrassing stories of youth-writer-me), but only since I was twelve did I really start "writing books."  I wrote my first "book" when I was twelve and homeschooled and bored stiff.  I remember being (still am) a huge fan of Sarah Dessen and thinking, "If she can do it, so can I," which in retrospect sounds incredibly pretentious and obnoxious, but whatever.  I was a real bratty twelve-year-old.  Ever since I was twelve, I've been doing this... writing thing.

Since the tenth grade, I've been attempting NaNoWriMo and, after three years, finally won last year.  NaNoWriMo was the biggest writing thing I'd done in recent years in terms of public achievement.

Until now.

04 March 2013

Stories, and Why They Are Important

“The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you’ll go.”
- Dr. Seuss

I am a reader and a writer. Books were introduced to me at the tender age of five in the form of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. What happened at that moment when my mother began reading aloud, “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive...” has shaped me to this day. Books are more than just papers bound by glue and wrapped with a dust jacket. They hold an unmatched satisfaction for the true story, something that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, of any nationality or culture. It is the quest for truth through storytelling that has brought me to the way I think and act as a young adult today. 

As a general rule, books are described as those mythical doorways to other worlds, the portals to adventure, the looking glass we peer through to glimpse something outside of our own, dull establishments. Recently, however, I have come to think of books as less of an escape from reality, and more of a quest to understand our reality, and that understanding will provide a balm to the complicated things we face in life. Things like understanding death, loss, hardship and love. Books -- or rather, stories in general -- are the vehicles that move us towards the answer to our humanity, towards the answer that will make sense of, as author Robert McKee put it, “the anarchy of our existence.” I have found many enjoyments in stories, but none so enjoyable as the everlasting search for that undefinable truth.

So, surely, you might think, this quest for something I cannot name would drive me mad with frustration? On the contrary, it is the exact opposite! There has never been and never will be a shortage of stories because there will always be the search for truth, but what advantage this provides is the effects of the journey itself. I have not found the truth, and yet I have been shaped by all the hero’s journeys, the love triangles, the injustices and foolish pursuits in ways that make the unending journey worthwhile. I have a greater understanding of myself: what I consider worth dying for, what I think is foolish to pursue, what I think justice and truth mean. Stories give me the perfect opportunity to think about what I believe in, and whether or not I agree with what I’ve assumed was “the truth” my entire life. 

The never-ending nature of stories is not something to despair about. It is merely the fact that we, as humans, will most likely never find the truth of being, but why would that mean sacrificing the incredible journey? There is great pleasure and knowledge to be found in adventures and romances, and I have found so much enjoyment and satisfaction in figuring out more pieces of myself.

*  *  *

I submitted this essay as part of my application to the University of Kentucky.  I'd tormented myself for months about the quality of my other essays, and then it occurred to me that I needed to write about something that was a fundamental part of myself: books, but more specifically, stories.  I wrote this essay all in one go, edited it a bit, and then submitted.  The maximum word allowance for the essay was 500 words.  This essay comes it in 497.  (At this time, I don't know whether or not I've been accepted to the University of Kentucky.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!)  It was a true relief to finally write about something that I really cared about.

EDIT:  I got accepted to UK!

01 March 2013

TBR: March


to read pile

28 February 2013

Cover Reveal: The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton

Ah, Twitter.  How you indulge me.

Twitter pops up this morning and the first thing I see is a link from USAToday announcing the reveal of Tessa Gratton's (Blood Magic, The Blood Keeper) new book.  I thought it looked interesting, so I thought I would share it. :)

27 February 2013

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

26 February 2013

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Like his brothers, Luis Fuentes is a risk taker; whether he's scaling the Rocky Mountains or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis is always looking for the next thrill.  

Nikki Cruz lives her life by certain rules -- don't trust a boy who says "I love you," boys lie to get their own way, and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield.  Then she meets Luis at his brother Alex's wedding and suddenly she's tempted to break all her rules. 

Getting Nikki to give him a chance is Luis's biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by the head of the gang that nearly destroyed his brothers' lives.  Will Luis's feelings for Nikki be enough to stop him from entering a dark and violent world that could prove to be the ultimate risk?

25 February 2013

Prodigy by Marie Lu

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

22 February 2013

Purity by Jackson Pearce

A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order.

Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

Follow Friday (47)

21 February 2013

The Singer of All Songs by Kate Constable

Calwyn has never been beyond the high ice-wall that guards the sisters of Antaris from the world of Tremaris. She knows only the rounds of her life as a novice ice priestess, tending her bees, singing her ice chantments, and dreaming.

But then Calwyn befriends Darrow, a mysterious Outlander who appears inside the Wall and warns of an approaching danger. To help Darrow, to see the world, and perhaps to save it, Calwyn will leave the safety of the Wall for a journey with a man she barely knows--and an adventure as beautiful and dangerous as the music of chantment itself.

20 February 2013

The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine

Claire Danvers has her share of challenges---like being a genius in a school that favors beauty over brains, dealing with the homicidal girls in her dorm, and above all, finding out that her college town is overrun with vampires. On the up side, she has a great roommate (who tends to disappear at sunup) and a new boyfriend named Shane, whose vampire-hunting dad has called in backup: cycle punks who like the idea of killing just about anything.

Now a fraternity is throwing its annual Dead Girls' Dance and---surprise!---Claire and her equally outcast best friend, Eve, have been invited. When they find out why, all hell is going to break loose. Because this time both the living and the dead are coming out---and everybody's hungry for blood.

19 February 2013

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire... fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil... until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King's feast -- as the entrees.

The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

18 February 2013

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.

13 February 2013

Cover Reveal: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Saw it on Facebook and BAM.  Mind blown.  If you're as awesome as I am (and I'm pretty sure all of you are, if not more) then you might want to check out Maggie's post on her upcoming book on her blog here. :)  Cheers!

What do you think about the cover?  Are you excited about the book?  ARE YOU DYING FROM SUSPENSE?

12 February 2013

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she's returned--to her old life, her family, her boyfriend--before she's banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the ; and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance--and the one person she loves more than anything. But there's just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's queen.

11 February 2013

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one...except the "thing" inside her.When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no "normal" Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch....

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of "them." The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help--and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on--even if it seems no one believes her.

08 February 2013

Cover Reveal: Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon

Zenn Scarlett is a bright and occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. She specializes in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars was going well - until there are a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school that Zenn finds herself blamed for. As if this isn't enough to be dealing with, her father vanishes under strange circumstances, and Zenn is worried that she has started hearing the thoughts of the creatures around her...

With the help of Liam, a towner boy, and Hamish, an alien bug also training at the clinic, Zenn must try to find her father, rescue the animals and unravel the mystery of who is behind the attacks on the school. And all without failing her first year.

This is the first time I've heard of Zenn Scarlett but based on the summary, my interest is totally piqued. Normally I don't go for space stories (with the very notable exception of Beth Revis's Across the Universe trilogy) but there's something about this one that has me curious.  The story seems not to fall into the typical pigeonholes of space fantasy -- falling civilizations and apocalyptic failures abound.  No, this one is about a girl who wants to become an alien vet?  That's super cool.

As for the cover: from a graphic artist's POV, I'm really liking the space theme and coloring.  I think the text is a bit too plain, but it definitely screams "READ ME, I'M UBER AWESOME".

Zenn Scarlett releases in May 2013 from Strange Chemistry.  You can add it to your Goodreads shelf here.

What do you think about the cover?  The book itself?

01 February 2013

28 January 2013

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her--except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

25 January 2013

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

She could save the world—or destroy it.

Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….

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