Tuesday, May 28, 2013

BEA - here I am!

Hey guys!

I'm in New York this week for BEA :) 

Lots and lots of pictures and updates via Twitter - @WilowRedHouse

I'll be at the Book Bloggers Convention on Wednesday and then BEA Thursday - Saturday.

Hope to take lots of notes at the BBC and I'll share it all once I'm back home :)

Twitter is the best way to contact me!

Hope you all have a fabulous week!


Happy happy reading everyone!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Book Roundup (19) - May 26, 2013

Heading to NY soon for family time and BEA! Still packing! Woo hoo!

My next round up post will include BEA books - and it might be a few weekends before I get it up so I wanted to get these books posted and organized before I left :)

Big thanks to the wonderful Macmillan folks for these lovelies!



The Compound by S.A. Bodeen
The Fallout (The Compound #2) by S.A. Bodeen
Horde (Razorland #3) by Ann Aguirre




Saturday, May 25, 2013

Survey Results: How do we feel about book haul posts?

How do you feel about BEA book hauls and book haul posts in general?

I posted the question because I was looking for an answer for myself. I know I'll be coming home with a lot of books and I'm going to be excited over them and I want to share that excitement.

Also, book haul posts are a tool I use to help organize my collection. Newly acquired books (bought, for review, borrowed etc.) sit in a pile on my desk until I post about them. After I post, I update my Goodreads account and (in theory) find new homes for them all. 

BUT! If doing so on a massive scale with BEA books was going to piss you all off - I wasn't going to do it!

BUT! What if that made it look like I was hiding? Like, I didn't want to show you my books because I had been a greedy mc grabby hands and had taken them ALL home?

BUT!

Ok - no more buts. 

The good news?

Most people said they do enjoy book haul posts - as long as the poster isn't bragging. Bragging is a big big no no.

There is a huge difference between being excited and thankful about the books you receive and bragging about how cool you obviously are because of all the books you receive. 

People like seeing what others have gotten. 

Follow a blogger who gets a lot of ARCs and you're going to get a good idea about what books will be (or at least what the publishers think will be) hot items in the coming months

Follow a blogger who has a problem NOT buying books every week and you're going to get a good idea about what is out there now and you might see a few that slipped past your radar that you'll want to run out and buy yourself.

Make sense to me!

Thank you everyone for taking the time to share your opinions!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I'm going to BEA! ....now what?

BEA is a week away and I know everything will fall into place but as of right now - I'm not exactly what you would call 'ready' :)

This will be my 4th year going and I can not wait to meet up with my bloggy friends - most of which I only get to see at BEA.

Being from NY, BEA is a time for me to visit family and friends, treat myself to a stay in the city (which growing up on LI is something you simply did not do!) and generally have a fantastic time!

Are you attending this year?

Have you gone before?

While I don't consider myself an expert on anything I do have some knowledge on how all this NYC and BEA 'stuff' works.

I apologize if this is the umpteenth post you've seen about BEA -- this is just my quick shot 'guide' :)

Have questions? Ask in the comments or shoot me an email!

Again - these are only MY opinions! 

*SHOES
Must be comfortable! This is no joke people. You will be on your feet ALL DAY and what makes it particularly horrible is the fact that the floor of the Javits Center isn't exactly flat or smooth or really, a floor. It's made up of panels and movable pieces covered in carpet and runners and walkways and it's the most uncomfortable thing you will ever step on. YOUR FEET NEED TO FEEL GOOD BEFORE THEY LOOK GOOD.

*BAGS
You cannot carry a large bag or suitcase around with you on the exhibit floor but you can check one and fill it up as the day goes on. There is a bag check station on one of the lower levels of the JJC. For a few dollars, you can check an empty bag and come back to it throughout the day to fill it.
BEA has it's own bag 'check' service but it works a lot different. Not sure of the pricing but you can basically 'rent' a box and a space in a massive room for the week. Fill your box and ship it at the end. However, in years past, this room has been subject to theft. Your box sits there all week and everyone has access to it. The bag check area is run by Javits employees and you need your ticket in order to access or remove your bag. You do have to take your bag at the end of each day and pay again to check in the morning but it's worth it!

*FOOD
It's everywhere and it's nowhere. You can totally survive on the food the Javits has to offer. It's expensive and crowded but you won't starve. If you are on a special diet or are picky about what you eat, bring some snacks along with you. Nuts, power bars - things like that.

*WATER
You need it. If water fountains don't gross you out - there are tons at Javits. Bring a refillable water bottle. I have one with one of those built in filters. You can buy drinks also - just expect to pay a lot!

*NYC HAD EVERYTHING....UNLESS YOU'RE ON 11th AVE
The Javits Center is on 11th avenue - the western most avenue of middle Manhattan. (Avenues run north and south, Streets run east and west). Behind the center is the Hudson River. In front of the center is...nothing...
If you want to get to anything (restaurants, stores, PEOPLE) you'll have to head over to 10th or better yet, 8th. If you really don't know where to go - ask someone or just head east :)

* TAXIS ARE YOUR FRIENDS - PRIVATE LIVERY DRIVERS ARE NOT!
What's the difference? NYC Taxis are yellow - or more yellow orange in my opinion. They are run by the city and have set and standard fees. They are clearly marked and there is no mistaking them once you've seen one.
Private Livery Services are privately run companies that will take you anywhere you want for a price. The cars are usually black and big (think full size sedans, SUVs and the like). The have special livery license plates and they are licensed to carry passengers for hire. STAY AWAY FROM THESE GUYS! They know you are from out of town and they will rip you off.

*I'LL JUST GRAB A TAXI
Or not....
At 5 or 6 - when most things end at the Javits it will be very difficult getting a cab. You'll see them coming down 11th (from the left) BUT they will most likely already be carrying passengers. HOW CAN YOU TELL? Roof lights on? Cab is empty and can be flagged down. Roof light off? It's carrying - DO NOT try to flag this one down.
Walk.
Uptown, into midtown more. Walk. You'll be tired and hot and you'll be carrying a lot but walking a little ways will save you a headache.
Don't forget about the shuttles to BEA approved hotels as well!

And - don't forget about the subway.
I *think* the closest stop is up a few streets on 10th but don't quote me on that!
There are a couple of good subway apps out there - I like HopStop. Being from NY I've never attempted to memorize the subway system as it's always just looked like a hot mess to me. HopStop is great because you can put in your starting and ending points and it will tell you what subway to get on and where to get off :) I use it every time I visit the city.

AND (ALMOST) LAST

*DON'T BE AN ASS
Really.
No pushing, shoving, biting, yelling, crying.
I can say so much about being greedy and taking too many books and the 'right' ways to act and the 'wrong' ways to behave and everything you shouldn't do which would disgrace the name 'blogger'.
But really it can be summed up very easily.
Don't be an ass.
Smile and relax.
You're going to be surrounded by thousands of strangers for hours and days at a time.
This is good advice for whenever you find yourself in a similar situation.

AND LASTLY

*PEOPLE WILL BE ASSES
If you're an asshole in everyday life you're going to be an asshole at BEA.
You will see pushing and shoving and people behaving like...well...people.
Don't let it get to you.
Don't rush into the fray.
Accept that you WILL see people behaving badly and make the choice to not respond to it.
Be your own person (and hopefully you aren't an ass normally) and DON'T expect everyone else around you act the same.


So - these are just the things on my mind at the moment!

There is so so much more I an say but I think I've babbled enough! 

Again - PLEASE let me know if you are going and if you have any questions at all I will try to answer them!

1 week people!!!




Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

*2013 Debut Author*

Splintered (Splintered #1)
A.G. Howard
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication: January 2013 from Amulet Books
Pages: 371
Format: e-galley
Acquisition: received for review from the publisher via NetGalley

Synopsis:
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
(from Goodreads)

My Thoughts
When I read, I form a picture in my head - like a little movie. Sometimes it's boring, sometimes the narrative skips too much and I can't quite see the picture clearly. And sometimes I am completely and fantastically overwhelmed with images, feelings and experiences.

Fantastically overwhelmed in this case is a very very wonderful thing. If you've read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, you know how Lewis Carroll created a rich tapestry of characters and impossible situations. Expanding on this universe would be tricky at best. Improving it? Impossible!

Not so, because Howard has done just that.

Imagine Wonderland as a real place and imagine it skewed through the experiences of a very young girl. Imagine all those strange creatures Alice encountered. What were they really like? What rules governed this land?

Howard asked these questions and many more and the world she created is beyond belief - spectacularly so!

I pretty much loved Splintered with one small exception. For me, the romance didn't quite jive. Jeb is a great character. A great friend, a great 'boy' and someone I really enjoyed getting to know. But with so much already going on in the story and in Alyssa's life, I felt like the addition of a romance was just a little too much. The story would have done fine on it's own. I understand why Alyssa needed Jeb but overall I didn't feel like the story itself needed him - if that makes any sense.

Even so! Lots and lots of love for Splintered over here! So much in fact that even though I read an e-galley I plan on buying a print copy. Splintered is a book I couldn't imagine NOT being on my shelves.

Will I continue the series?
YES! I CAN NOT wait for book 2! Not loving the cover but seriously, it could be the most obnoxious book cover ever created and I'd still welcome it into my home.

Rating
5 / 5 Stars

The Splintered Series
#1 Splintered
#2 Unhinged (2014)

Monday, May 13, 2013

BEA Book Hauls - How Do You Feel?

Yesterday as I was writing up my Roundup post I mentioned that with BEA coming up I probably won't have a lot of time the rest of the month for more Roundups.

It got me thinking about AFTER BEA.

I'm going to have books. I'm going to have a lot of books. Can you attend BEA (as a blogger especially)  and not leave with books? Very very unlikely.

As in years past I don't plan on going over board.

As in years past I'm sure my pile at the end will be on the rather large side.

I'm not going to wait in line for signed copies of books I don't want. I'm not going to hover around the publisher booths waiting for 'drops' of books I also do not want.

I will however, in the heat of the moment, bring home books that after careful consideration, I will decide just aren't for me.

Can I carefully consider every book, on the exhibit floor BEFORE it goes into my bag and makes it way home with me?

I sure as hell will try.

The thing is, BEA is long, hot, crowded, exciting, exhilarating  noisy, overwhelming and wonderful. With everything happening will I be allowed that careful consideration? No, not with every book.

Any book that I don't keep for myself will go to my local teen librarian.


So!


What I want to know from you. Those of you going to BEA this year, those of you not going --

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE?

Do you want to see my pile when I get back or would you considering it gloating or bragging?

Are you green with envy over not being able to go to BEA this year (I would be if I were staying home!) and will you avoid ALL BEA before during and after posts, tweets and the like?

I'm not just asking to avoid drama - although I'm sure the drama lama will rear it's ugly head at least once during the upcoming weeks.

I'm asking because I really want to know how you feel.

I've created a survey - totally anonymous - and I hope to get some very honest answers.

No judging here. 

I'll compile results and share them before I leave for BEA in a few weeks.


Please share this with others!

Thanks everyone!

Happy Reading!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Book Roundup (18) - May 12, 2013

Merriam-Webster defines 'roundup' as a gathering in of scattered persons or things (source)

Replace 'persons or things' with 'BOOKS!' and you'll have what happens in my house every week as I try to keep control of my hoard :)


Hi guys!!

I had a fabulous Mother's day today which included a bookstore trip ;)

With family plans and BEA I might not be able to post another book haul until next month so I wanted to sneak this one in even though it's late in the day.

I wish I could read all of them right now!

No links because of the time but I've added them all to my Goodreads account if you want to stalk me there :)

Happy Reading everyone!

For Review:

Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon (5/13 Strange Chemistry)
PODs by Michelle Pickett (6/13 Spencer Hill Press)
Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier (10/13 Henry Holt)
Tumble and Fall by Alexandra Coutts (9/13 Farrar Straus Giroux)
Freak Boy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark (10/13 Farrar Straus Giroux)

Bought:

Shatterproof (39 Clues Cahills vs Vespers Book 4) by Roland Smith
Trust No One (39 Clues Cahills vs Vespers Book 5) by Linda Sue Park
Day of Doom (39 Clues Cahills vs Vespers Book 6) by David Baldacci
Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness Vol 3 by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Maximum Ride The Manga Vol 6 by James Patterson
Soulless Manga Vol 1 by Gail Carriger
Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves
Fearless by Cornelia Funke
Hollow Earth by John and Carole Barrowman
Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon
Icons by Margaret Stohl

Saturday, May 11, 2013

On My Reader (31) - May 11, 2013

On My Reader posts are were I highlight recent ebooks I've added to my digital collection :)


Question for you! 

How do you organize your digital book collection? 
I have everything added in Goodreads - at least I think I do...but I'm a very visual person and not being able to 'see' what I have doesn't really work.

Spreadsheet? Some type of picture gallery?

Just curious what you guys do!

Anyway!

Here's what I've added recently.

Links and info from Goodreads

Free

May 7th from Putnam Juvenile
"After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one."

I have yet to see a bad review of this one! It's pretty massive though (480 pages) so I thought I would try a sample first before buying it.

Bought

July 3rd 2012 from Harper Collins Children's Books
"Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . ."

I've always been fascinated with the story of Peter Pan. This one has gotten fabulous reviews since it came out.
It was on sale and I couldn't pass it up!



Pulse It - Online

May 7th 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Lucy’s Chantress magic will make her the most powerful—and most hunted—girl in England. 

I knew nothing about this book before I saw it on Pulse It. Alternative history (circa 17th century England) mixed with some pretty unique magic.
If you're a member of Pulse It I think it will be up until Tuesday if you want to check it out!

For Review via NetGalley

June 25th 2013 from Harlequin Teen

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.
A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

Not sure how the e-galley is formatted but the print edition will have flip-art.
Young girl, unsure of herself in a foreign (to her) country.
Not sure on the romance aspect but Harlequin Teen rarely lets me down :)


October 1st 2013 from Carolrhoda Lab
Facing her fears has become second nature to Lark. Facing the truth is another matter.

OMG OMG OMG!
I was more then thrilled when this one hit NetGalley and I was over the moon when my request was granted.
If you like sci-fi if you like fantasy if you like dystopian - you need to read this series!

So, what did you guys add to your e-readers this week?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book Birthdays: NEW RELEASES!

So many books this week!
I haven't been to the bookstore in a while...think it's about time I fixed that ;)

What are you adding to your shelves this week?

Links / info from Goodreads

Happy Birthday Everyone!!



Grace has one summer to prove she’s good enough
For Grace Parker, surfing is all about the ride and the moment. Everything else disappears. She can forget that her best friend, Ford Watson, has a crush on her that she can’t reciprocate. She can forget how badly she wants to get a surf scholarship to UC San Diego. She can forget the pressure of her parents’ impossibly high expectations.
When Ford enters Grace into a surf competition—the only way she can impress the UCSD surfing scouts—she has one summer to train and prepare. Will she gain everything she’s ever wanted or lose the only things that ever mattered?


The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.


Fifteen-year-old Indigo Hamlisch is an art prodigy looking forward to her last summer at the Silver Springs Academy for Fine and Performing Arts for Girls. But her BFF Lucy Serrano is a C.I.T. this year, and that means she doesn't have to hang out with Indigo and the other campers anymore: she can mingle with the counselors -- including Indigo's scandalous and unrequited crush, paint-splattered art instructor Nick Estep. But it's not like anything is going to happen between Lucy and Nick... right?
As Indy becomes more and more paranoid about what's going on between her best friend and her favorite counselor, Indy's life -- and her work -- spin hilariously out of control. Funny and bold, Art Girls Are Easy is a comedy of errors filtered through the wry, satirical eyes of a girl who's been there, done that, and is just looking for a little inspiration.


Lucy’s Chantress magic will make her the most powerful—and most hunted—girl in England. 
“Sing, and the darkness will find you.” This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy’s guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now it is 1667, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows’ Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can’t help but sing—and she is swept into darkness. 
When she awakes in England, Lucy hears powerful men discussing Chantresses—women who can sing magic into the world. They are hunting her, but she escapes and finds sanctuary with the Invisible College, an organization plotting to overthrow the nefarious Lord Protector. The only person powerful enough to bring about his downfall is a Chantress. And Lucy is the last one in England. 
Lucy struggles to master the song-spells and harness her power, but the Lord Protector is moving quickly. And her feelings for Nat, an Invisible College apprentice and scientist who deeply distrusts her magic, only add to her confusion... 
Time is running out, and the fate of England hangs in the balance in this entrancing novel that is atmospheric and lyrical, dangerous and romantic.


Ever since he was a young boy, music has coursed through the veins of eighteen-year-old Anthem—the Corp has certainly seen to that. By encoding music with addictive and mind-altering elements, the Corp holds control over all citizens, particularly conduits like Anthem, whose life energy feeds the main power in the Grid.
Anthem finds hope and comfort in the twin siblings he cares for, even as he watches the life drain slowly and painfully from his father. Escape is found in his underground rock band, where music sounds free, clear, and unencoded deep in an abandoned basement. But when a band member dies suspiciously from a tracking overdose, Anthem knows that his time has suddenly become limited. Revolution all but sings in the air, and Anthem cannot help but answer the call with the chords of choice and free will. But will the girl he loves help or hinder him?


It happened on Halloween.
The world ended.
And a dangerous Game brought it back to life.
Seventeen-year-old Michael and his five-year-old brother, Patrick, have been battling monsters in The Game for weeks.
In the rural mountains of West Virginia, armed with only their rifle and their love for each other, the brothers follow Instructions from the mysterious Game Master. They spend their days searching for survivors, their nights fighting endless hordes of “Bellows”—creatures that roam the dark, roaring for flesh. And at this Game, Michael and Patrick are very good.
But The Game is changing.
The Bellows are evolving.
The Game Master is leading Michael and Patrick to other survivors—survivors who don’t play by the rules.
And the brothers will never be the same.
T. Michael Martin’s debut novel is a transcendent thriller filled with electrifying action, searing emotional insight, and unexpected romance.


Your heart beats only with their permission.
Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.
Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.
She's different. She survived. Why?
When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.
Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions -- which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses -- may actually be their greatest strengths.
Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts -- in order to save the future.


Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.


Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.
That was all before she turned fourteen.
Now, at sixteen, it's over. A death, and a betrayal, led her to walk away. That leaves her talented ten-year-old brother, Gus, to shoulder the full weight of the Beck-Moreau family expectations. Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young, kind, and interested in helping Lucy rekindle her love of piano -- on her own terms. But when you're used to performing for sold-out audiences and world-famous critics, can you ever learn to play just for yourself?
National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr takes readers inside one girl's struggle to reclaim her love of music and herself. To find joy again, even when things don't go according to plan. Because life isn't a performance, and everyone deserves the chance to make a few mistakes along the way.


Seventeen-year-old Meg Fellowes is a wry, resourceful thief forced to join an elite group of female spies in Queen Elizabeth’s Court. There she must solve a murder, save the Crown, and resist the one thing that will become her greatest freedom–and her deadliest peril. 
For Meg and her fellow spies are not alone in their pursuit of the murderer who stalks Windsor Castle.
A young, mysterious Spanish courtier, Count Rafe de Martine, appears at every turn in the dark and scandal-filled corridors of the Queen’s summer palace. And though secrets and danger are Meg’s stock-in-trade, she’s never bargained on falling in love…


Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).
Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.
The perfect soldier is done taking orders.


Riley, a teen orphan boy living in Victorian London, has had the misfortune of being apprenticed to Albert Garrick, an illusionist who has fallen on difficult times and now uses his unique conjuring skills to gain access to victims' dwellings. On one such escapade, Garrick brings his reluctant apprentice along and urges him to commit his first killing. Riley is saved from having to commit the grisly act when the intended victim turns out to be a scientist from the future, part of the FBI's Witness Anonymous Relocation Program (WARP) Riley is unwittingly transported via wormhole to modern day London, followed closely by Garrick. 
In modern London, Riley is helped by Chevron Savano, a seventeen-year-old FBI agent sent to London as punishment after a disastrous undercover, anti-terrorist operation in Los Angeles. Together Riley and Chevie must evade Garrick, who has been fundamentally altered by his trip through the wormhole. Garrick is now not only evil, but he also possesses all of the scientist's knowledge. He is determined to track Riley down and use the timekey in Chevie's possession to make his way back to Victorian London where he can literally change the world.


Nothing is as it seems in this darkly romantic tale of infatuation and possession, inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.Becca was the perfect girlfriend: smart, gorgeous, and loved by everyone at New England’s premier boarding school, Thorn Abbey. But Becca’s dead. And her boyfriend, Max, can’t get over his loss.
Then Tess transfers to Thorn Abbey. She’s shy, insecure, and ordinary—everything that Becca wasn’t. And despite her roommate’s warnings, she falls for brooding Max.
Now Max finally has a reason to move on. Except it won’t be easy. Because Becca may be gone, but she’s not quite ready to let him go…


Zenn Scarlett is a resourceful, determined 17-year-old girl working hard to make it through her novice year of exovet training. That means she's learning to care for alien creatures that are mostly large, generally dangerous and profoundly fascinating. Zenn’s all-important end-of-term tests at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars are coming up, and, she's feeling confident of acing the exams. But when a series of inexplicable animal escapes and other disturbing events hit the school, Zenn finds herself being blamed for the problems. As if this isn't enough to deal with, her absent father has abruptly stopped communicating with her; Liam Tucker, a local towner boy, is acting unusually, annoyingly friendly; and, strangest of all: Zenn is worried she's started sharing the thoughts of the creatures around her. Which is impossible, of course. Nonetheless, she can't deny what she's feeling.
Now, with the help of Liam and Hamish, an eight-foot sentient insectoid also training at the clinic, Zenn must learn what's happened to her father, solve the mystery of who, if anyone, is sabotaging the cloister, and determine if she's actually sensing the consciousness of her alien patients... or just losing her mind. All without failing her novice year....

Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Review: The Memory Of After aka Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

*2013 Debut Author*
The Memory of After (The Memory Chronicles #1)
Lemore Appelhans
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication: January 2013 from Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304
Format: online
Acquisition: PulseIt.com

Synopsis:
In this gripping exploration of a futuristic afterlife, a teen discovers that death is just the beginning.
Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next. Along with her fellow drones, Felicia passes the endless hours reliving memories of her time on Earth and mourning what she’s lost—family, friends, and Neil, the boy she loved.
Then a girl in a neighboring chamber is found dead, and nobody but Felicia recalls that she existed in the first place. When Julian—a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life—comes to offer Felicia a way out, Felicia learns the truth: If she joins the rebellion to overthrow the Morati, the angel guardians of Level 2, she can be with Neil again.
Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself at the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind.
(from Goodreads)

My Thoughts
Although it was rather compelling, unfortunately I can't say that I enjoyed this book very much. I read it all in one day as I just couldn't seem to put it down. Wanting to know what exactly was happening to Felicia and what had happened to her pushed me forward. However, once I did find out I was very underwhelmed.

Felicia is dead but she 'lives' in this sort of hive where she does nothing but access memories, hers and other dead people like her. At first, nothing is really explained - the few 'rules' to her world we are given don't make a lot of sense and as time passes, things just get more muddled. Also, the memories we do see her access are perfect for moving the story forward and giving us insight BUT they don't always fit into Felicia's story. We see what we need to see in order to understand but there isn't always a good reason for Felicia to be reliving these memories so in the end, everything feels very contrived.

I really did love the premise and I loved Neil as a character. The other aspects of Felicia's romantic encounters were...lacking to say the least. I never actually warmed up to Felicia and overall, the plot felt weak and a little boring at times. The climax was downright disappointing as everything is summed up nice and neat, no satisfying details to speak of and then proof, all done!

I know that others have really enjoyed The Memory of After so I'm going to put this in my 'not for me but maybe for you' category. I would recommend it to those who like stories with different takes on death and the afterlife.

Will I continue the series?
At this point, I can't see myself reading book 2. With everything ending so perfectly I'm not at all excited to find out what more happens to Felicia and her friends. You however, may feel otherwise.

Rating
3 / 5 Stars

The Memory Chronicles
#1 The Memory of After
#2 Chasing Before (2014)

***Published in hardcover in January 2013 as Level 2 - title changed to The Memory of After for paperback release in September 2013***

Thursday, May 2, 2013

NetGalley Challenge: May Review Link-Up + Giveaway


Time to link up those May NetGalley reviews!

This is for those participating in my NetGalley Challenge - if you would like to join in, check out the sign up post.

Instructions:

1. Be sure you are signed up for the challenge
*If your blog isn't listed on the challenge sign up post your review(s) may be deleted and you will not be eligible for the monthly prize.

2. Link up 1 review of a NetGalley book you posted in May
*Use the 'Name' field in the linky for the book title and author.
*If your review did not post in May it may be deleted.
*All NetGalley books are fair game but I do ask if the review, or your blog, is NC-17 please make a note of such with the link.
UPDATE *If your review does not clearly state that you obtained and are reviewing the book via NetGalley your link may be deleted.

3. Visit other reviews!
*Discover some new to you blogs, read some reviews and leave some comment love!

4. Earn extra links / contest entries
*For every review you visit and comment on, you can post another one of your reviews in the linky.
*You can post up to 5 of your own reviews -- and therefor gain up to 5 entries in this month's contest.
(1 review for 'free' and 4 others IF you visited and commented on 4 other reviews)
*Please be honest and please leave actual thoughtful comments (the same type you yourself would like to receive)

You can post your May reviews until
June 10th

On June 11th I will use Random.org to pick a review winner!

This month's prize is
A $20 Amazon Gift Card (for US participants)
OR
$20 worth of books from The Book Depository (for international folks)


To get us started, I've linked up a couple of my recent NetGalley reviews. If you're one of the first to visit, be sure to leave your link and check back later for others.

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments or via email :)



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cover Love: Shadowlark by Meagan Spooner

**Hey guys! This cover is up on Goodreads but it was revealed today at yabookscentral.com -- head over there for some extra details from Meagan plus a giveaway!**

I absolutely loved loved loved Skylark (here's my review) and I've been waiting for book 2 for what seems like FOREVER.

I'm so in love with this cover!

ALSO!!

It's on NetGalley!! 

*dies*

What do you guys think?


Shadowlark (Skylark #2) by Meagan Spooner
October 1, 2013 from Carolrhoda Lab

Ever since she escaped the city within the Wall, Lark Ainsley's wanted one thing: to find her brother Basil. She's always believed he would be the one to put an end to the constant fear and flight. And now, hidden underground in the chaotically magical city of Lethe, Lark feels closer to him than ever. 

But Lethe is a city cowering in fear of its founder, the mysterious Prometheus, and of his private police force. To get the truth about what happened to Basil, Lark has no choice but to face Prometheus.

Facing her fears has become second nature to Lark. Facing the truth is another matter.

Lark never asked to be anyone's savior. She certainly never wanted to be anyone's weapon. She might not have a choice. (from Goodreads)