Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On My Wishlist - Tenners Edition

There are so many wonderful books coming out in 2010 and for some reason I seem to want them all! For those reasons, On My Wishlist posts for the rest of the year will be dedicated to upcoming 2010 Debut Authors!
Go Tenners!

On My Wishlist is hosted by Book Chick City :)

Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
Release Date: April 1, 2010
(from Goodreads)
In less than a day I had been harassed, enchanted, shouted at, cried on, and clawed. I’d been cold, scared, dirty, exhausted, hungry, and miserable. And up until now, I’d been mildly impressed with my ability to cope.
At her boarding school in New Zealand, Ellie Spencer is like any ordinary teen: she hangs out with her best friend, Kevin; obsesses over her crush on a mysterious boy; and her biggest worry is her paper deadline. Then everything changes: In the foggy woods near the school, something ancient and deadly is waiting.
Karen Healey introduces a savvy and spirited heroine with a strong, fresh voice. Full of deliciously creepy details, this adventure is a deftly crafted story of Māori mythology, romance, betrayal, and war.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spolier Free Review: The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong


*Spoiler Free reviews are reviews of 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) books in a series with no fear of spoilers!*

Title: The Awakening
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publication Date: May 2009
Tags: ghosts, paranormal talents, urban fantasy
Age: 12+
Pages: 384
Series: 2nd Darkest Powers book
Book Acquisition: Library

My Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis
 
My Review:
If you read The Summoning then, like me, then  reading The Awakening was a must! The Darkest Power series are the only books by Kelley I have ever read but I'm thinking I might have to change that. I've become a big fan of her writing.

The Awakening picks up right where The Summoning left off. I liked this because I felt like I hasn't missed anything. The characters and their situations hadn't changed and I was still right there with them trying to figure out what was going on. The action is a little more intense in this second book and we get more background on the lives of the characters and their powers.

There were a few twists - some I saw coming and some I didn't. The story line wasn't necessarily predictable but at the same time it wasn't too far fetched or fantastical. Plain and simple, I liked this book and I plan on reading The Reckoning. I need to know what happens to Chloe and her friends (and enemies :)

I would recommend this book to fans of the first in the series and I would also recommend this series to fans of good YA paranormal, mystery and suspense books.

Darkest Powers Series:
The Summoning (July 2008)
The Awakening (May 2009)
The Reckoning (April 6, 2010)

Linkage Love:
Harper Teen
Author's Website

Tidbits:
*For those of you who have read Kelley's adult Otherworld series, The Darkest Powers series is set in the same world but with different characters.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Book Review: Thirteen Days To Midnight by Patrick Carman

Title: Thirteen Days To Midnight
Author: Patrick Carman
Publication Date: April 12, 2010
Tags: mystery, good and evil, life and death
Age: 12+
Pages: approx 296
Series: no
Book Acquisition: received an ARC from the publisher

My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

(from publisher's website)
You are indestructible. 
Three whispered words transfer an astonishing power to Jacob Fielding that changes everything. At first, Jacob is hesitant to use the power, unsure of its implications. But there's something addictive about testing the limits of fear.
Then Ophelia James, the beautiful and daring new girl in town, suggests that they use the power to do good, to save others. But with every heroic act, the power grows into the specter of a curse. How to decide who lives and who dies?
In this nail-biting novel of mystery and dark intrigue, Jacob must walk the razor thin line between right and wrong, good and evil, and life and death. And time is running out. Because the Grim Reaper doesn't disappear. . . . He catches up.

My Review:
Oh man do I love Patrick Carman! His middle-grade Elyon and Atherton series are some of my all time favorite books. He is truly a wonderful story teller and Thirteen Days To Midnight is no exception. I could not put this book down!

I would love to know where Patrick gets his ideas from because Thirteen Days to Midnight is such a unique and intriguing story. As I was reading, I kept forgetting that the entire book only takes place within the span of 13 days. The characters were so well developed, the setting was perfectly portrayed and the action was spot on.

I feel in love with Jacob. He's an orphan whose guardian just died. He goes to a small private school and lives with a bunch of old priests. And, he's pretty amazing. He has no idea where his new ability first came from but he and his friends soon find out that in the wrong hands, it's more of a curse then a blessing. And understanding it's power is only the first step.

Another thing I really loved about this book was the ending. I really thought I had it figured out but I was way wrong - and I'm glad I was. The book wasn't predictable at all for me, which was perfect. The ending was intense!

This book is perfect for fans of Carman but I would also highly recommend it to any fans of young adult mystery and suspense and really, to anyone who enjoys extremely well written stories with truly likable characters.

Linkage Love:
LB Teens
Author's Website

Some Other Books by Patrick Carman (that I love!)
(links are to Goodreads)
*The Land of Elyon Series (The Dark Hills Divide, Beyond the Valley of the Thorns, The Tenth City, Stargazer, Into The Mist)
*The Atherton series (House of Power, Rivers of Fire and The Dark Planet)
*Skeleton Creek and Ghost in the Machine
*39 Clues Book 5: The Black Circle
*Trackers (release date May 10, 2010)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Shadowed Summer Contest Winners!


Thank you everyone for entering!

The Winner of a new copy of Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell is:

The 10 winners of signed bookmarks are:
Serena
vslavetopassionv

I will be emailing you all some time today but if you see this before you hear from me, please email me your address at WilowRaven@yahoo.com
If I don't hear from winners by the end of next week, I'll pick some new ones.

Woo hoo!

There is still time to enter my other contests!

In My Mailbox - March 27, 2010

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

I managed to not buy any books this week - woo hoo! Still got a few good ones though.

From BookMooch
ARC of Shadow by Jenny Moss
Release Date: April 1, 2010
(from Goodreads)
In a time of kings, queens, and conspiracy, it's impossible to know whom one can trust. . . .
In a kingdom far away and long ago, it was prophesied at her birth that the queen would die before her sixteenth birthday. So Shadow, an orphan girl the same age as the young queen, was given the duty to watch her every move. And as prophesies do tend to come true, the queen is poisoned days before her birthday. When the castle is thrown into chaos, Shadow escapes with a young knight, whom she believes was betrothed to the queen.
Unsure of why she is following Sir Kenway, but determined to escape as far as possible from the castle, her long-time prison, Shadow sets off on an adventure with the handsome knight who has been charged with protecting her. As mystery builds, and romantic tension does, too, Shadow begins to wonder what her role in the kingdom truly is. Soon, she learns, it is up to her to save her land.
Jenny Moss's novel is a lyrical, fast-paced adventure filled with mystery, magic, honor, and romance that will lead readers on an incredible journey.

From Around The World Tours
ARC of Blood Feud: Drake Chronicles book 2 by Alyxandra Harvey
Release Date: August 2010
(from Goodreads)
The action and romance continue as the Drakes face a new vampire with a 200-year-old grudge. It’s been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix barely survived the French Revolution. Now she’s made her way back to the living and she must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who left her for dead the day she turned into a vampire. That’s if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks.
The clans are gathering for Helena’s royal coronation as the next vampire queen, and new alliances are beginning to form now that the old rifts of Lady Natasha’s reign have started to heal. But with a new common enemy, Leander Montmarte—a vicious leader who hopes to force Solange to marry him and usurp the power of the throne for himself—the clans must stand together to preserve the peace he threatens to destroy.
This second adventure in the Drake Chronicles—told from both Logan’s and Isabeau’s perspectives—has all the same butt-kicking action, heart-pounding romances and snarky humor that readers loved in Hearts at Stake, as well as exciting new revelations about the vampire dynasties to keep readers coming back for more.

So, what's in your Mailbox?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On My Wishlist - Tenners Edition!

There are so many wonderful books coming out in 2010 and for some reason I seem to want them all! For those reasons, On My Wishlist posts for the rest of the year will be dedicated to upcoming 2010 Debut Authors!
Go Tenners!


On My Wishlist is hosted by Book Chick City :)

I know I just posted this book in my last In My Mailbox post since I got it for a tour but! I'm reading it right now and I'm having a hard time putting it down. Like, you almost didn't get this OMW because I was too busy reading  - so! I needed to share it again :)

Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White
Release Date: March 2010
(from Goodreads)
When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door, Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn't so awful after all — until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something — something magical — is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can’t seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don't always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she's soon besieged by requests from girls — both friends and enemies — who want their lives magically transformed — just in time for prom.

Oooo - Look!

Sharing the book love!

Saundra Mitchell posted a wonderful book trailer for her upcoming book, The Vespertine!

Videos embed funny on my blog so click over to Saundra's Blog to see it. Very cool.

In case you missed it, I interviewed Saundra a little while back after reviewing her first YA book, The Shadowed Summer. There are 2 days left to enter my contest to win your very own copy plus some awesome signed bookmarks.

My review of Shadowed Summer
Interview with Saundra
Contest!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Book Review: The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams by Rhonda Hayter

Title: The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams
Author: Rhonda Hayter
Publication Date: April 2010
Tags: middle-grade fantasy, witches, family
Age: 8-12
Pages: approx 256
Series: no?
Book Acquisition: Traveling ARC Tours

My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

(from Goodreads)
Abbie Adams and her family come from a long line of witches, and she’s having a tough time keeping it a secret from her best friend and the rest of her school, especially the day her little brother morphs into a wolf and tries to eat his teacher. That’s also the day her father brings home a kitten.
But when Abbie looks into the kitten’s eyes, she realizes there’s a boy in there! He’s under a spell and soon the whole family bands together to rescue him.
They are shocked to realize he’s none other than the young Thomas Edison, and if they don’t save him fast, he’ll never change the world with his inventions.

There are a few words I need to say about this book - No Bookmark Needed! (And no! You cannot dog-ear the pages – how dare you even ask!) Seriously guys, I think I put it down maybe twice. I enjoyed the story so much I just couldn't wait to turn another page!

It's an easy read but it's also a very fun read. I think the age range is just perfect but at the same time, it's a book I think that older readers, like myself, would really enjoy as well.

I absolutely love Abbie's family.  Her little brother is a perfect combination of annoying and cute. Her parents are loving but also realistic and the world Rhonda has created is just plain fun. It's a witchy world full of spell casting, secret keeping, evil doers and time travel.

One of my favorite things about this book is the fact that no matter what happens, Abbie's family is always there for her. They really work as a team to solve their witchy problems. Between not being able to tell her best friend that she is a witch, working double time at school keeping her brother from causing all sorts of trouble and worrying about Tom, her kitten (sort of :), Abbie really needs the strength of her family behind her - and she gets it.

As a bonus, I actually learned a lot about Thomas Edison :) It didn't feel like a history lesson though which I think would appeal to young readers.

I highly recommend this book to fans of middle grade fantasy and to anyone who is in the mood for a spunky tale full of lovable characters.

Linkage Love:
Dial Books for Young Readers
Author's Website

Other Reviews:
Book Crazy
*if you would like your review added please leave me a link in the comments*

Monday, March 22, 2010

Book Review: Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap

Title: Anastasia's Secret
Author: Susanne Dunlap
Publication Date: March 2010
Tags: Historical Fiction
Age: 12+
Pages: approx 320
Series: no
Book Acquisition: Swapped / Traded an ARC
My Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

“Will I never see you again either?” I asked, feeling as though I was about to jump off a high mountain peak and hope to land without hurting myself. That’s how impossible everything seemed at that moment, no matter what I did.
“Perhaps we will meet again,” Sasha said, softening his voice. “But you must see that it does not matter. You have so much ahead of you. It’s your choice now. Choose the future! Choose life!”
For Anastasia Romanov, life as the privileged daughter of Russia’s last tsar is about to be torn apart by the bloodshed of revolution. Ousted from the imperial palace when the Bolsheviks seize control of the government, Anastasia and her family are exiled to Siberia. But even while the rebels debate the family’s future with agonizing slowness and the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance quietly blooms between Anastasia and Sasha, a sympathetic young guard she has known since childhood. But will the strength of their love be enough to save Anastasia from a violent death?
Inspired by the mysteries that have long surrounded the last days of the Romanov family, Susanne Dunlap’s new novel is a haunting vision of the life—and love story—of Russia’s last princess. 

I'm not much of an historical fiction fan and I think that might be one reason I couldn't really get into this one. And, I have to admit, my Russian history is a little lacking so I went into this book knowing I wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell fact from creative fiction. Even with that handicap, I didn’t have a hard time following the story. With that said, I didn’t really love this book.

Told from the first person perpective of Anastasia, for me, it read more like a series of diary entries then a detailed story with a beginning, middle and end. Not a whole lot happens and I found this a bit boring.

I can equate my reading of this book with my experience watching the movie Titanic. Yeah, it was a good story but the whole time I was just waiting for that ship to sink. Not in a morbid way, mind you, more like in a I know what's going to happen so just get on with it, kind of way.

The story follows the events that ultimately lead to the deaths of Anastasia and her family. And again, not a whole lot happens. We do get the added character of Sasha who I really warmed up to. At times I wished the book was in 3rd person and we got more of his point of view.

Even with all my dislikes, I would recommend this book to historical fiction fans. Dunlap story telling is very detailed and I very much appreciated her writing. Also, you can tell she did her research - tons of it - and I find that beyond awesome. I think this one falls under the category "good, but just not for me".

Linkage Love:
Bloomsbury Teens
Author's Website

Other Reviews:
A Sea of Pages
Bookworming in the 21st Century
*if you would like your review added please leave me a link in the comments*

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Contest time! Win Need and Captivate by Carrie Jones


I know you want them :)

Up for grabs is a once read paperback copy of Need and an ARC of Captivate, books 1 and 2 in the Need Series by Carrie Jones

Please fill out THIS FORM to enter

One winner will get both books
Open to US Residents 13 years and older
Ends April 16th at 11:59pm EST

For more info on the books check out my reviews

Ready? Set?
GO!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

In My Mailbox - March 20, 2010

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

Some pretty cool books this week!

Bought
Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten
(from Goodreads)
Nina was beautiful, artistic, wild . . . and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But one day, without any warning, Nina disappeared.
Two years later, Ellie can't stop thinking about her sister. Although everyone else has given up hope that Nina will return, Elile just knows her sister is out there, somewhere. If only Ellie had a clue where to look.
And then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing tucked into the pages of a book. Determined to find her sister, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she's got a chance -- her hot, adventurous new crush.
Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn't planning on. Like love. Mysteries. Lies. And something far ore shocking -- the truth.

From Traveling ARC Tours
The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams by Rhonda Hayter
(from Goodreads)
Abbie Adams and her family come from a long line of witches, and she’s having a tough time keeping it a secret from her best friend and the rest of her school, especially the day her little brother morphs into a wolf and tries to eat his teacher. That’s also the day her father brings home a kitten.
But when Abbie looks into the kitten’s eyes, she realizes there’s a boy in there! He’s under a spell and soon the whole family bands together to rescue him.
They are shocked to realize he’s none other than the young Thomas Edison, and if they don’t save him fast, he’ll never change the world with his inventions.

Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr
(from Goodreads)
Kenzie Ryan's New York know-how and private girls' academy education prove useless in the middle of an island wildlife refuge.
Upon arrival in the exotic Florida Keys, she is thrown into the midst of an ecological mystery involving the endangered Florida Key deer. How can she navigate this upside down world? A world deftly maneuvered by Angelo--island native and nerve-wracking hunk. The two team up to accomplish what perplexes law enforcement, but Angelo exposes Kenzie's insecurities, as well as her inexperience with nature and the opposite sex.
Danger and disagreement follow the pair wherever they go. Enamored with Angelo and his local savvy, Kenzie hopes to secure his loyal friendship. But how can she win Angelo's trust when what she must tell him will crush his ego?
Island Sting includes notes on the endangered Florida Key Deer and the National Key Deer Refuge.

Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White
(from Goodreads)
When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door, Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn't so awful after all — until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something — something magical — is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can’t seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don't always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she's soon besieged by requests from girls — both friends and enemies — who want their lives magically transformed — just in time for prom.

So, what's in your mailbox?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mini Review: Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolaz

Title: Deadly Little Secret
Author: Laurie Faria Stoalrz
Publication Date: December 2008
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Some secrets shouldn't be kept...
Up until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes anything but ordinary.
Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe the rumors, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. She's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help--but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.
From the best-selling author of Blue is for Nightmares comes a story of paranormal romance that's sure to be a thrilling and chilling teen favorite.

I really liked this book. It was nice to read about a paranormal experience that wasn't focused on the main character. Ben seems to have so many secrets and at times I really wished the book was written from his point of view so we could get some answers!

Camelia's best friend really bugged me. She seemed like a very stereotypical boy crazed teenager. Like everything out of her mouth was related to boys in some way. I have to say, she was a good friend it was just, at times, I couldn't understand how Camelia could put up with her :)

I haven't read the second book in the series yet but I'm looking forward to it. I didn't think there was very much left untold by the end of Deadly Little Secret so I'm interested in seeing what more of the story we haven't heard.

The Touch Series
Deadly Little Secrets (2008)
Deadly Little Lies (2009)

**In my Mimi Reviews I explore older, sometimes obscure books I have found in my travels and wish to share with my reader**

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Whose team are you on?




vs.




 aka Team Red vs Team Blue
OK....fight!

What are these crazy girls up to? 
Just a little friendly competition is all. Check out their posts here and here to learn more.
Basically, it's a read-a-thon. All weekend long, every page counted.
Who do you think will win? Cast your vote and you can be entered to win a prize pack :)
Kristen and Kate, aside from being my 2 affiliates, are both great great people and I'm mad at them for making me choose! Had to go with Team Blue though (Kate) since blue is my favorite color.

Gotta love that book love that will be shared by these two this weekend :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Month 3 Tenners Updates!


Hi guys!
We're in month three of 2010 and with that has come a ton of new happenings in the world of 2010 debut authors - aka The Tenners!

All great things Tenner can be found at their awesome blog - 2010: A Book Odyssey.

If you're participating in The Story Siren's Debut Author Challenge or even if you're not, you should really check out their blog. There are so many great and talented new authors in 2010!

In this post I'm attempting to sum up some of those aforementioned new happenings. I know I can't possibly list everything and I'm hoping you guys will help by letting me know if there is something extra special I forgot about (comment on this post and I'll get it added!)

First off - check out a previous post I did here. It's a list of all 2010 Debut books taken from A Book Odyssey - last updated by me on March 15th.
You might also like my Month 2 Tenners Updates post

Here we go!

NEW TENNER ADDED
NEW RELEASE DATE
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - December 9th
EXCITING NEWS
  • For those in the UK, Erin Bow has sold the UK rights to her book Plain Kate to Chicken House
COVER HELP!

Kody Keplinger has released the ARC cover of her upcoming book, The Duff but she needs your help!
Check out her blog post and give her a hand.









COVER LOVE!

Just Add Magic by Cindy Callaghan










The Tension of Opposites by Kristin McBride










Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins










The Freak Observer by Blythe Woolston










Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff










The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

Spoiler Free Review: Captivate by Carrie Jones

*Spoiler Free reviews are reviews of 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) books in a series with no fear of spoilers!*

Title: Captivate
Author: Carrie Jones
Publication Date: January 2010
Tags: Pixies
Age: 12+
Pages: approx 336
Series: 2nd in a series
Book Acquisition: received an ARC from the publisher
My Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

Goodreads synopsis

Anyone who read my review of Need knows that I wasn't too fond of it. I really wanted to like it but for me, it just fell short. Because of that, I didn't have high expectations of Captivate. I have to say though, I was a little suprised. While I still didn't feel a real connection to the characters, there was a lot more action, which I thought was sadly lacking in Need.

A lot more of the fantasy aspect of the story is told and with more background information I found myself more invested in the story. The story kept me reading, but, with the exception of a new Pixie on the scene, Astley, the characters still fell a little short.

Now, the ending - I didn't see it coming at all and I have to say, I really liked it. It leaves so much open for the next book.

And I don't think I mentioned this in my review of Need, but I really love the covers of these books! 

If you read Need and like me, you didn't really like it, I would recommend giving Captivate a try. If you haven't read Need, I would recommend it only because Captivate was so much better and I have high hopes for the next in the series.

Books in the Series:
Need (2009)
Captivate (2010)
Book 3?

Linkage Love:
Bloomsbury Teens
Series Website

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sicky mc sick sick

That's me!
I'm writing to you from my sick bed, ur, sick couch...you see, cause I'm stuborn and even though the kiddie is in bed and there is only 1 more load of laundry to do I refuse to go to bed at 8:30... you know ... because ... yeah....

Don't you just love Robitussin?

Anyway! I managed to finish some great books last week and this weekend and I'm dying to share them with you! But at this point I think any review I write would be along the lines of "It was good. Me like it a lot" so  I think it would be best if I didn't even attempt to write anything cohearant until at least Tuesday ... yeah ... Tuesday sounds good :)

So my lovelies, I leave you with some fun stuff
  • Enter my contests! Links above this post - there is still time
  • The Bibliophilic Book Blog is hosting a BOOKMARK DAY tomorrow, Monday the 15th. Haven't read everything about it BUT I LOVE LOVE LOVE Bookmarks! How about you? 
  • I'm going to BEA! Registered, took the time off and everything. I'm also going to The Book Bloggers Convention - so so excited! More info to follow but drop me an email if you are going as well and want to meet up!
  • Did I mention I love Robitussin?
  • Just because I love being a tease - here are the books I still need to review
    • Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap -- not as good as I hoped
    • Deadly Little Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz -- anyone wanna get me the second book? :)
    • Captivate by Carrie Jones -- really didn't like Need - Captivate redeemed itself...a little
    • Switch by Carol Snow -- gonna add to my Clear the Clutter massive contest last on
    • Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman -- OMG you don't even need to read my review of this one - just go and put it on your wishlist / TBR list RIGHT NOW and buy it as soon as you can! 
And now, I'm either going to eat a brownie sundae (because everyone knows ice cream helps fight colds) or pass out on my way to the kitchen :)

Hope you are all feeling better then I am!!! See you on the flip side!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

In My Mailbox - March 13, 2010

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

Some good book love this week :)

For Review from the Author:
Thyme In A Flask by Glen Quarry
(from Goodreads)
Jon Chandler is a seventeen-year-old youngster presented with a difficult quest-to find a magical flask, destroy it, and then somehow find his way back home. As Jon reluctantly accepts his responsibility, he is accompanied by the haughty yet beautiful Dorthea, who constantly challenges him. At least his best friend, Samuel, a gentle giant-all eight feet in stature and 480 pounds of him-doesn't get under his skin like Dorthea does. But there's a fine line between love and hate, and Jon and Dorthea hover on it constantly! Samuel is left behind as the quest leads Jon and Dorthea into a parallel world, where few living people have ever gone before. How can they locate a flask that has been missing for sixteen years? Along the way, they encounter demons and wizards who will test their strength and ability, and they find they must solve several riddles before they can return home. What they learn about themselves and about life is far more priceless than the magical flask. Glen Quarry has written an enchanting story that fantasy fans will gobble up in one sitting. Filled with twisting plot lines and likeable characters, Quarry is sure to become a favorite of the genre. Glen Quarry is currently working on the sequel to his novel. He lives in Iowa.

Trade / Swap
Revelations by Melissa De La Cruz -- I really gotta get going on reading this series more!

Bought:
The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan -- could not wait for this one!
The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin -- the second of her Earthsea series

Now this one just looks fun! I love Sherlock Holmes and always had a soft spot for Watson

The Crimes of Dr. Watson: An Interactive Sherlock Holmes Mystery by Dunae Swierczynski
(from Goodreads)
Quirk Books is excited to announce the discovery of a never-before-published adventure from the pen of Dr. John Watson, steadfast companion of the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes. As the tale opens, we discover that Holmes has vanished and Watson has been framed for a grisly murder! Writing from a damp cell in Coldbath Fields penitentiary, the falsely convicted prisoner recounts the events leading to his arrest . . . and provides twelve removable, facsimile clues that point to the true culprit. Among them are:
An article torn from a newspaper in California
A puzzling manuscript ripped into several pieces
A catalog of Victorian medicines and marital aids
Plus a telegram, an arrest report, an empty matchbook, a train schedule, and much more
It's up to you to sift through the clues and solve the thrilling whodunit. When you think you've identified the culprit, slice open the final signature of the book (sealed at the printer) to read the remainder of the story. With beautiful Victorian-style illustrations and first-rate production values, The Crimes of Dr. Watson will appeal to mystery lovers of all ages.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Contest! Demigods and Monsters edited by Rick Riordan

Thanks to the wonderful folks of BenBella Books, Inc, you can win your very own copy of:

Demigods and Monsters: Your Favorite Authors on Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series edited by Rick Riordan
 
(from publisher website)
The #1 New York Times bestselling Percy Jackson series—including The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse and The Battle of the Labyrinth—features a 12-year-old dyslexic boy who discovers he is the son of a Greek god, the target of mythical Greek monsters and the center of a prophecy that could change the balance of power in the world forever. In Demigods and Monsters, YA authors take on Greek gods, monsters and prophecy, to add insight and even more fun to Riordan’s page-turner series.
The book also includes an introduction by Percy Jackson series author Rick Riordan, that gives further insight into the series and its creation, and a glossary of ancient Greek myth, with plenty of information on the places, monsters, gods and heroes that appear in the series.

Includes:
    * Introduction: Demigods and Monsters by Rick Riordan
    * Monster Recognition for Beginners by Rosemary Clement-Moore
    * Why Do So Many Monsters Go Into Retail? by Cameron Dokey
    * Stealing Fire From the Gods by Paul Collins
    * Would You Want to Be One of Artemis's Hunters? by Carolyn MacCullough
    * Dionysus: Who Let Him Run a Summer Camp? by Ellen Steiber
    * The Gods Among Us by Elizabeth M. Rees
    * Eeny Meeny Miney Mo(m) by Jenny Han
    * Percy, I am Your Father by Sarah Beth Durst
    * Not Even the Gods Are Perfect by Elizabeth E. Wein
    * Frozen Eyeballs by Kathi Appelt
    * The Language of the Heart by Sophie Masson
    * A Glossary of Ancient Greek Myth by Nigel Rodgers

I was lucky enough to receive my own copy and I love it! A must read, in my opinon for any fans of the Percy Jackson series (You can read my spoiler free review here). 

Contest is open to residents of the US and Canada, 13 years and older. 
Ends April 2nd, 11:59 EST.

Please fill out this form to enter : )

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On My Wishlist - Tenners Edition!

There are so many wonderful books coming out in 2010 and for some reason I seem to want them all! For those reasons, On My Wishlist posts for the rest of the year will be dedicated to upcoming 2010 Debut Authors!
Go Tenners!

 On My Wishlist is hosted by Book Chick City :)
Oh, and did anyone notice that last week my post was titled "Tenners Addition"? Ha! Kinda works thought don't you think? You know, because I'm 'adding' to my wishlist. Adding - addition....ok, I'll stop now.
On with it!

The Good Girls Guide To Getting Kidnapped by Yxta Murray 
Release Date: In the wild now!
(from Goodreads)
Kiki and Mish are best friends, but what Kiki doesn’t know is that Michelle Pena was born a gang princess. “Princess P” grew up destined to inherit leadership of the Snakes: a future filled with crime and fear.
Michelle, on the other hand, is a nationally ranked athlete and academic superstar. This is her new life, and she’s finally put her past—and her childhood love for Silver—to rest.
Then Silver helps kidnap both girls, and Michelle has to figure out how to free them both—and reconnect with a future that might now be beyond her reach.

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: March 15, 2010
(from Goodreads)
Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.
In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers.
Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mini Review: Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Title: Eyes Like Stars
Author: Lisa Mantchev
Publication Date: July 2009
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Enter Stage Right
All her world's a stage.
Beatrice Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.
She is not an orphan, but she has no parents.
She knows every part, but has no lines of her own.
Until now.
Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the characters of every place ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.
Lisa Mantchev has written a debut novel that is dramatic, romantic, and witty, with an irresistible and irreverent cast of characters who are sure to enchant the audience.
Open Curtain

I read Eyes Like Stars last year and in anticipation of the 2nd book in the series, Perchance to Dream (May 2010), I read it again. I'm having a hard time reviewing this one. I liked it, I really did. I thought the story was very unique and I loved the hidden secretes / mystery aspect. I'm not too sure I like Ariel though - I know! Some of you are saying, what's wrong with you? Maybe some of you agree with me? I would love to hear your thoughts!

I really grew to love Bertie, she just made the book for me. Oh, and I love love love her fairy friends :) I thought I would be annoyed by them always fluttering around Bertie all the time but they were pretty wonderful.

I'm so curious as to what will happen in Perchance to Dream. There is so much that Bertie doesn't know - so much to discover and I have a feeling there are more secrets waiting for her.

**In my Mimi Reviews I explore older, sometimes obscure books I have found in my travels and wish to share with my reader**

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Book Review: Meridian by Amber Kizer


Title: Meridian
Author: Amber Kizer
Publication Date: August 2009
Tags: Paranormal, Angels, Life & Death
Pages: 320
Series: 1st in a series
Book Acquisition: bought used hardcover
My Rating: 3.5 / 5

Half-human, half-angel, Meridian Sozu has a dark responsibility.
Sixteen-year-old Meridian has been surrounded by death ever since she can remember. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die. At her elementary school, she was blamed for a classmate’s tragic accident. And on her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her family home—and Meridian’s body explodes in pain.
Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she’s a danger to her family and hustled off to her great-aunt’s house in Revelation, Colorado. It’s there that she learns that she is a Fenestra—the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos.  

Meridian is a book I have had on my shelf for a while. No real reason why I haven't picked it up until now but I'm glad I did. While I wasn't blown away by the characters or plot, I really enjoyed the paranormal elements Amber choose. We've all heard of vampires, werewolves, ghosts and faires but what about Fenestras?

Her entire life, Meridian assumed she was just a freak. Since before she could remember, creatures great and small seem to be drawn to her moments before they die. She never thought she would find any real answers, and things seem to go from bad to worse when on her 16th birthday she is whisked away from her family and sent to live with a great aunt she has never met.  While there, she meets Tens - a strange young man with secrets of his own. While it wasn't surprising that the two of them fall for each other, their romance was very sweet and sincere and made for some good reading.

I really liked the suspense of this story. I thought I knew how things would end but I was a little off. I'm glad I wasn't able to predict the ending. One thing about the ending though, I felt like it was rushed. There is a ton of lead up to a pretty big final showdown, as it were, and then, in a few paragraphs, everything comes to a head, blows up and is resolved. I almost felt like pages were missing, like there just wasn't enough explanation as to what happened, who it happened to and why.

I'm very interested is seeing where Amber will lead the story in the second book, which I've heard is due out sometime in 2011.

I would recommend this book to fans of the paranormal who don't mind a little religion thrown into the mix.


*as part of Kate's Clear the Clutter mini challenge, my copy of this book will be given away in a future contest - so stay tuned!*

Books in the Series:
Meridian (2009)
Book 2 - yet to be titled (2011)

Linkage Love:
Random House Teens
Author's Website

Other Reviews:
Teens Read and Write
Who, What, When, Where, Why
Everything To Do With Books
*if you would like your review added please leave me a link in the comments*

Saturday, March 6, 2010

In My Mailbox - March 6, 2010

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

What a great day it is for sharing some book love! I actually saw some flower buds out there today....mixed in with all the snow...but still! It's almost spring! Kinda :)

I feel very lucky to have gotten these first two books for review and I can't wait to read them!

From BenBella Books Inc.
Demigods and Monsters: Your Favorite Authors on Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and The Olympians Series Ed by Rick Riordan.
I love the Percy Jackson series (you can read my spoiler free review of the series here) - so, I'm supper excited about this book!
(from Goodreads)
The #1 New York Times bestselling Percy Jackson series--including The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, and The Battle of the Labyrinth--features a twelve-year-old dyslexic boy who discovers he is the son of a Greek god, the target of mythical Greek monsters and the center of a prophecy that could change the balance of power in the world forever.
In Demigods and Monsters, YA authors take on Greek gods, monsters and prophecy, to add insight and even more fun to Riordan's page-turner series.
It's fresh, funny essays include:
* The pros and cons of having a god as a parent * Why Dionysus might actually be the best director Camp Half-Blood could have * What it takes to be one of Artemis's Hunters * How to tell a monster when you see one * Why even if we aren't facing manticores and minotaurs, reading myths can still help us deal with the scary things in our own lives * Why so many monsters go into retail--and why they're never selling anything a demigod really wants
The book also includes an introduction by Percy Jackson series author Rick Riordan, that gives further insight into the series and its creation, and a glossary of ancient Greek myth, with plenty of information on the places, monsters, gods and heroes that appear in the series.

From Little Brown and Company
Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman 
Hardcover Publication: April 2010
Oh man do I love Patrick Carman! As soon as I heard about this one I knew I had to have it! 
(from Goodreads)
When Jacob’s foster father whispers, “You are indestructible” seconds before dying in a car crash that should’ve killed them both, Jacob never imagines he could possess a real superpower. To test it Jacob and his friends start indulging comic book-like fantasies. Later, they commit to use this amazing power of indestructibility to do good in the world and save others from death. But how do they decide who to save? And what happens when they blur the lines of life and death, right and wrong, and good and evil? Thirteen Days to Midnight is a nail-biting tale of dark intrigue, powerful romance, friendship and adventure.

Bought today because I just couldn't resist!
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
eeek! woo hoo!! And for anyone else, like me, who fell in love with this cover - it's even more amazing in person :)
(from Goodreads)
When Sophie Mercer turned thirteen, she discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-Gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary.  But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hecate Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward prodigium, a.k.a. witches, fae, and shapeshifters. By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard. Three powerful enemies who look like supermodels; a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock; a creepy, tag-along ghost; and a new roommate, who happens to be the most-hated person and only vampire on campus. Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her friend Jenna is the number one suspect.  Meanwhile, Sophie has a more personal shock to grapple with. Not only is her father the head of the prodigium council, he's the most powerful warlock in the world, and Sophie is his heir. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all prodigium, especially her.

Bought
The Long Way Home by Andrew Klavan 
I read and reviewed the first book in this series, The Last Thing I Remember and loved it so much I couldn't pass up on this one. 
To avoid spoilers you can read the synopsis here if you have read the first book already.






So, what's in your mailbox?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Flashback Friday Review: Teacher's Pet by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Flashback Friday is a feature were I'll review a book that I read as a teen, reread now years later :)

Title: Teacher's Pet
Author: Richie Tankersley Cusick
Publication Date: 1990
Originally Read: circa 1993


Kate likes a little thrill. She likes a little scare. And she loves getting the chance to go to the exclusive week-long writing conference taught by the famous master of horror himself. He's so good at being so bad.
With a teacher like that, you expect a little competition. With a teacher like that, you practically have to kill to get his attention.
Does Kate have what it takes to be teacher's pet?

Another classic from Scholastic's Point publications. This book was soooo cheesy! I loved it! I don't remember being scared the first time I read this but I do remember really getting caught up in the mystery of the story. The characters aren't great - especially Kate - she just annoyed me - but there were plenty of others around that kept the story interesting. And I very much thought I remembered the ending - but I was wrong! So I got to be surprised all over again which was an added bonus.

Every character seems so black and white, I thought for sure I had it all figured out. But what I didn't remember was Cusick's suttle but very effective plot twists that really made this a fun read for me (again :)

The setting of this book always made me think of this old Nintendo game I had...it might have been Friday the 13th or something but it was about a bunch of kids stuck at a summer camp with a killer on the loose. Teacher's Pet very much has that, creepy, scary, evil summer camp vibe.

A great blast from the past! I'll be sure to snatch up any more of Cusick's books I can find out there :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Book Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa


Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication Date: January 2010
Tags: Fantasy, Faery, Fey
Pages: 363
Series: Book 1 of The Iron Fey
Book Acquisition: bought new paperback
My Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series.

Wow, I really don't know where to start with this one! I absolutely loved it! (ok, there's a start). It was great, and wonderful and fabulous and amazing and spectacular and you guys are lucky I don't have a thesaurus nearby or I could go on forever!

Seriously, I'm not really one to go fangirl ga ga over things but I'm having a hard time not losing it over this book! Maybe I should just make everyone reading this go out and buy a copy (what, I could make a mind control device) and then you would all know what I'm talking about and we could all stand around and go "Eeeee!" and "OMG!" and "Let's go kidnap Julie!" and...um...you guys know I'm only kidding right? I would never actually kidnap Julie. Well, unless I knew I could ransom her for the next two books in the series -- kidding!

There are a lot of reasons I really loved this book. The biggest reason was the characters. They really pulled me in and kept me wanting more. There's Meghan who was just such a strong young woman throughout the entire story, even when there seemed to be no hope, she didn't give up. Her best friend Robin, who we soon find out is much more then meets the eye is playful and silly and at the same time he'll do anything for Meghan. My favorite character, I would have to say, is Ash. Really, if I were the type to swoon, I'm pretty sure I would swoon over him! I'm still not sure what to make of him but I LOVE HIM! hehe

Another thing I loved about this book was the fantasy world Julie created. I really have a thing for faeries (or fairies or fey or however you choose to spell it :) and I very much enjoyed the faery world of The Iron King. We get some elements we might be used to but some others that are totally unexpected yet at the same time, make perfect sense!

I highly recommend this book to all faery and fantasy lovers!


Books in the Series:
The Iron King (January 2010)
The Iron Daughter (August 2010)
The Iron Queen (February 2011)

Linkage Love:
Harlequin Teen
Author's Website

Other Reviews:
Reverie Book Reviews
All Things Urban Fantasy
Inside of a Dog
*if you would like your review added please leave me a link in the comments*

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

On My Wishlist - Tenners Addition

There are so many wonderful books coming out in 2010 and for some reason I seem to want them all! For those reasons, On My Wishlist posts for the rest of the year will be dedicated to upcoming 2010 Debut Authors! 
Go Tenners!!


On My Wishlist is hosted by Book Chick City :)

Birth Marked by Caragh M. O'Brien
Released Date: March 30th
(from Goodreads)
After climate change, on the north shore of Unlake Superior, a dystopian world is divided between those who live inside the wall, and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside. It’s Gaia’s job to “advance” a quota of infants from poverty into the walled Enclave, until the night one agonized mother objects, and Gaia’s parents are arrested.
Badly scarred since childhood, Gaia is a strong, resourceful loner who begins to question her society. As Gaia’s efforts to save her parents take her within the wall, she herself is arrested and imprisoned.
Fraught with difficult moral choices and rich with intricate layers of codes, BIRTHMARKED explores a colorful, cruel, eerily familiar world where one girl can make all the difference, and a real hero makes her own moral code.

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
Release Date: In Stores Now!
(from Goodreads)
Being a hefty, deaf newcomer almost makes Will Halpin the least popular guy at Coaler High. But when he befriends the only guy less popular than him, the dork-namic duo has the smarts and guts to figure out who knocked off the star quarterback. Will can’t hear what’s going on, but he’s a great observer. So, who did it? And why does that guy talk to his fingers? And will the beautiful girl ever notice him? (Okay, so Will’s interested in more than just murder . . .)
Those who prefer their heroes to be not-so-usual and with a side of wiseguy will gobble up this witty, geeks-rule debut. 

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Release Date: In Stores Now!
(from Goodreads)
Love can be a dangerous thing....
Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.
But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.