Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Shadow by Amanda Sun

E-novella / Short Story
Paper Gods #0.5
June 2013 from Harlequin Teen
free download

Synopsis:
Meet two teens whose worlds are about to change forever in this paranormal Young Adult novella, a prequel to Ink by debut author Amanda Sun…
Katie Greene’s worst nightmare comes true when her mother dies, and she’s devastated to learn that she will have to leave the only home she’s ever known. Desperate to find where she belongs, she must decide if she has what it takes to start a new life across the ocean.
For Yuu Tomohiro, every day is a nightmare. He struggles to control his strange ability, and keeps everyone at a distance so they won’t get hurt—even his girlfriend, Myu. At night, a shadow haunts his dreams, and a mysterious woman torments him with omens of death and destruction. But these haunting premonitions are only the beginning…
(from Goodreads)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A very interesting prequel for me as I found myself both confused and fascinated! With Ink taking place in Japan, I assumed there would be a lot of new to me elements but what I wasn't prepared for was how the inclusion of so many Japanese terms and names would throw me off. Some things are explained but still, I had a hard time keeping track of everyone.

Things were a little easier the more I read but I don't think I'll be able to keep names straight (especially because different people call people different things at different times). I'm pretty sure I know all the big players but I'll have to wait and see how reading Ink goes.

Shadow gives us two points of view and while I wasn't really drawn to either character I am curious to see how their lives interweave.

If you're thinking about reading Ink but haven't decided yet, I think Shadow will go a long way in helping you make up your mind.

Rating:
3.5 / 5 Stars


Monday, July 15, 2013

Otis Dooda: Strange but True by Ellen Potter

Otis Dooda: Strange but True
Ellen Potter
Illustrated by David Heatley
Reading Level: Middle Grade
Publication: June 2013 from Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 240
Format: ARC
Acquisition: I received this book from the publisher for free in exchange for my review

Synopsis:
HARDY-HAR-HAR!
Meet Otis Dooda. Yes, that’s his name. Go on and have a good laugh. He’s heard it all before. He’s been called things like Otis Poopy Stink and Otis Toilet Twinkie. That’s right, yuck it up and get it out of your system. We’ll wait.
All right then. This is the story of Otis and the Dooda family (including their rat named Smoochie) moving to New York City, and the incredibly strange, but true, things that happened to them. It all started with Otis getting cursed by a guy in a potted plant in their apartment building lobby, and then meeting a bunch of their neighbors, including a farting pony named Peaches who was disguised as a dog. And that was just the first day.
(from Goodreads)

I love illustrated chapter books! I really wish there were more books like Otis Dooda when I was a kid. Now, I can't wait to share this one with my daughter.

Otis is a pretty typical kid - or a "sort of" kid in his own words. Sort of short, short of good at some things, sort of bad at others. He was a very believable and like able character.

Otis and his family, made even more 'sort of'' normal by the inclusion of an older bully brother, have just moved to New York City. Living on the 35th floor of a huge apartment building he soon makes friends. I love that Otis's family is a little odd but that the friends he makes are also a little odd. Everyone fit together really well.

Lots of laughs - lots of fart jokes - which even I found funny so you can imagine how kids will react :) Lots of love too in this one - Otis understanding his brother a bit better, learning not to judge people because they're a little weird, making new friends, working together to solve problems - there is a lot to like in this book!

If you have a young reader in your life, I highly recommend picking them up a copy of Otis Dooda Strange But True!

AND I just saw that there is going to be a book 2 - I can totally see this becoming a best selling series!

Rating
5 / 5 Stars

I've also read The Humming Room by Ellen Potter and loved it!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

As They Slip Away by Beth Revis

E-novella / Short Story
Across the Universe #0.5
January 2013 from the author
online read

Synopsis:
Taking place on the spaceship Godspeed before Amy Martin wakes up and Elder takes leadership, this novella describes life at the Hospital during Eldest's reign. Focusing primarily on background characters, readers will see fan-favorite characters Harley, Orion, Victria, and more.
This tragic tale explores the background of a previously unknown character, linking the history of the ship and its residents to Amy and Elder, giving depth to the world of Godspeed.
(from Goodreads)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A creepy tale about Selene, a girl we meet briefly in book one. I knew what ultimately happened to her but it was still a little heartbreaking learning more about her story. She could have been so many things but she never had a real chance.

Reading this short story really helped bring home the sense of wrongness that surrounds much of what happens on Godspeed.

Told with all the passion and pain that made Across The Universe so compelling to me, As They Slip Away was a fantastic read.

A great read for fans of the series - maybe not for you if you haven't read book one however.

Rating:
5 / 5 Stars


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

NetGalley Challenge: July Review Link-Up + Giveaway


Time to link up those June 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 July
*Use the 'Name' field in the linky for the book title and author.
*If your review did not post in July 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.
UPDATE *It doesn't have to be a book you read in July, simply a review you posted in July.

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 June reviews until
August 12th

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 :)





Sunday, July 7, 2013

Book Roundup (21) - July 7, 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 :)

Hey guys!

This is a couple of weeks worth!
Links are to Goodreads :)


November 2013 from Henry Holt
(ARC/ for review)

October 2013 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
(ARC / for review)

June 2012 from Hyperion
(hardcover / bought)

October 2013 from Feiwel and Friends
(ARC / for review)
+patch

June 2013 from Scholastic
(hardcover / bought)

March 2013 from Yen Press
(paperback / bought)

May 2013 from Delacorte Books
(hardcover / bought)
SIGNED!

June 2013 from Putnam 
(hardcover / bought)

October 2011 from Square Fish
(paperback / bought)


What have you added to your horde lately?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

On My Reader (32) - July 6, 2013

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

So...it's been FOR-EV-ER since I posed a OMR post!

Let's see what I've got here....

Links and info from Goodreads

For Review from NetGalley

October 2013 from Flux
Young Adult Sci-fi

Loved books 1 and 2 so I'm really looking forward to this one!

July 2013 from Berkley Trade
Young Adult Dystopian

After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. 

I met Shaunta briefly at BBC this year. She was supper nice and her book pitch got me really excited! I'm still in love with dystopian stories and I don't think I'm going to get tired of them any time soon.

August 2013 from Wizards of the Coast
Adult Fantasy

The Companions moves Salvatore's signature hero Drizzt into a new era of the Forgotten Realms.

Yes please! I LOVE Drizzt Do'Urden!

October 2013 from Wizards of the Coast
Adult Fantasy

In the 2nd book of the multi-author Sundering series launched by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, the shadow legacy of Erevis Cale lives on even as his old foe Mephistopheles seeks to stamp it out at any cost.

I just couldn't resist!


BOUGHT / FREE

Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future. 

It was supper on sale and I've heard some good things about it.


Meet two teens whose worlds are about to change forever in this paranormal Young Adult novella, a prequel to Ink by debut author Amanda Sun…

Free download - quick read and very good!

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





Friday, July 5, 2013

My BLOG, BOOK and TWITTER week :)

In case you missed it, this week I:

...blogged about WHAT I WANT MY BLOG TO BE AND HOW I PLAN TO ACCOMPLISH MY GOALS


...reviewed THE GIRL WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO DIE by APRIL HENRY and gave it 3 / 5 Stars -- a quick read that while I didn't love, I do think others will really enjoy

...reviewed ORIGINS: THE FIRE  by DEBRA DRIZA and gave it 4 / 5 Stars -- a really short prequel novella that got me excited for MILA 2.0

...shared MY LOVE FOR JORDAN DANE and her upcoming sequel (and might have fangirled a little)

...had nothing book related to talk about for the 4th so I SHARED MY 4th OF JULY INSPIRED MANICURE



Also this week in Twitterland I:

...started ESTELLAGRAMing -- head over to The Estella Society to check it out!
July 2: Chapter 1 (Taken by Erin Bowman)
July 3: Last Line (Storm Watcher by Maria V. Snyder)
July 5: Burn (Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian)

...was reminded that I need to UPLOAD MY REVIEW of The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner to Amazon -- along with tons of other reviews!

...learned about  Barnes and Noble's SUMMER READING PROGRAM for kids -- thank you @TheBookVixen!

...found NetGalley's new NEW ADULT CATAGORY!

...found SHAUNTA GRIMES debut in my local indie

...was reminded to DOWNLOAD MY FREE AUDIO BOOK this week -- thank you @booksandwine

....found THE MOST HILARIOUS book description on Amazon (for Twilight fan-fic -- go figure ;)


And finally, right now I'm:

...reading Taken by Erin Bowman -- about halfway through and I have no idea what is going to happen!

How was your week?!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July - now with nail pics!

For all my US readers -- Happy Independence Day!

For all my non US readers -- Happy 4th day of July ;)

I just couldn't help it - I had to share my 4th of July inspired nails.

Nothing book related in this post - just some shiny things to look at :)


For anyone who is curious, these are the polishes I used:
*China Glaze Strong Adhesion
*China Glaze, Ruby Pumps
*Sally Hansen, Cha-Ching!
*Orly, Silver Pixel
*Essie, Aruba Blue
*Sinful Colors, Hottie
*Finger Paints Top Coat

Hope everyone has a fabulous day!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cover Love: Crystal Fire by Jordan Dane

So, I'm not head over heals for this cover but I do love how it goes so well with he first book.
Indigo Awakening was a great read for me and I can't wait for this one!

If you haven't read any of Jordan Dane's books I suggest you fix that right now!


Crystal Fire (Hunted #2)
Jordan Dane
November 26, 2013 from Harlequin Teen

Because of what you are, the Believers will hunt you down.
A storm is brewing on the streets of LA, one that has intensified since a tragic and deadly confrontation claimed an innocent life.
While Gabriel Stewart trains his army of teen psychics to stop Alexander Reese—the obsessed leader of the Believers—the fanatical church becomes more bent on the annihilation of all Indigo and Crystal children. They're silencing the voices of the telepathic hive, one soul at a time, with frightening experiments cruelly executed on vulnerable minds.
When the Believers torture a mysterious homeless boy, Oliver Blue, they brainwash him into betraying his own. The boy becomes a deadly pawn to take Gabriel down. As the fires of chaos burn around him, Gabe is running out of time. He'll need to confront his past—and the man who made him—before the hope of peace for the future is silenced forever.
(from Goodreads)

Here are the 2 covers side by side -- love the colors!

Jordan Dane's YA Books:
In The Arms of Stone Angels (my review)
On A Dark Wing (my review)
Indigo Awakening (my review)

I've read Jordan's 3 YA books and I've been thinking of picking up one of her adult titles as well as I love her writing.

What about you?


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Origins: The Fire by Debra Driza

E-novella / Short Story
MILA 2.0 #0.5
January 2013 from Katherine Tegen Books
free download

Synopsis:
Mila can't remember anything before the fire that took her father's life. It's normal to have some memory loss after traumatic events, but Mila doesn't remember if she's ever learned to ride a bike, or if she's ever been in love. Nothing.
What she doesn't know is that she isn't supposed to remember—that she was built in a computer science lab and programmed to forget. Because if she remembers, she might discover her true identity.
The question is: If she relived the fire, what would she see?
(from Goodreads)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A very quick, very fast and very frightening read. I'm not a fan of fire - or reading about being trapped in a fire - or escaping a fire - or surviving a fire and...that's pretty much all this short story is!

Although it is short and not much (besides fire!) happens, I did fell like I got a sense of who Mila is. I liked what I saw and I would very much like to read more of her.

Felt sort of like a first chapter - where we get a little tease as to what's to come without a whole lot of background or details. Very much made me want to run out and buy MILA 2.0 as soon as I was done! (UPDATE: I did! It's sitting on my shelf now begging to be read!)

Without having yet read MILA 2.0 I can't say how 'crucial' this short story is to the plot but it's an enjoyable read none the less. If you're on the fence about starting this series, this short might help you make up your mind.

Rating:
4 / 5 Stars


Monday, July 1, 2013

The Girl Who Was Supposed To Die by April Henry

The Girl Who Was Supposed To Die
April Henry
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication: June 2013 from Henry Holt
Pages: 224
Format: ARC
Acquisition: I received this book from the publisher for free in exchange for my review

Synopsis:
“Take her out back and finish her off.”
She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know where she is, or why. All she knows when she comes to in a ransacked cabin is that there are two men arguing over whether or not to kill her.
And that she must run.
In her riveting style, April Henry crafts a nail-biting thriller involving murder, identity theft, and biological warfare. Follow Cady and Ty (her accidental savior turned companion), as they race against the clock to stay alive.
(from Goodreads)

There was so much about this book that I really loved but unfortunately, the implausibility of it all was just too much.

The premise is great - what would you do if you woke up with no memory with the voice of your potential killer ringing in you ears? I for one, would hope I would be as brave and insightful as Cady was. She might have lost her memory but she never loses herself. She's a strong character and despite what she is going through she doesn't waiver.

Cody's strengths however, for me, turned into her faults. She finds a way through everything - too easily. The good guy who shows up at the perfect moment and who instantly wants to risk his life for her - the bad guy who gives her all the details of everything before messing up and allowing her to escape (this actually happens several times) -- it's all just too much. Cady is strong because its easy to be. Her situations are so over the top, she almost could have done nothing and it felt like everything would still work out for her in the end.

While I initially felt very connected to Cady, as the book wore on, this connection grew weaker and weaker. By the time her story came to a close, I wasn't much interested.

And that ending? Not enjoyable. Will she make it? Oh no, the bad guy found her! Poof! The End with a cherry on top. It made very little sense.

Now, do I think others will enjoy The Girl Who Was Supposed To Die more then I did? Absolutely. I'm a pretty tough critic when it comes to thrillers and I know a lot of what I didn't like about this book are totally my personal 'issues'. So, yes, I do think others would very much connect with Cady more then I did.

A quick YA read with only a slight romantic twinge, this one could be a light thriller I think a lot of different readers would enjoy. I encourage you to not take only my word on this one - go seek it out for yourselves!

Rating
3 / 5 Stars