31 December 2011

In My Mailbox (8)

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren to share books we got in the mail or the library or the bookstore, etc. that week!

I hope everyone had a GREAT holiday and that you got EVERYTHING you asked for. Especially the books!! I definitely got one of the things I wanted which was...A KINDLE FIRE! I love love love it and on top of that, I received a $50 gift card to Amazon so I went a bit crazy...you'll see what I mean below...because, you know, it's not like I had enough books to begin with.

The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel
Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Smokeless Fire by Samantha Young
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle
Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Dark Seeker by Taryn Browning
The Deepest Cut by J.A Templeton
Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn
The Soulkeepers by G.P. Ching
Destined by Jessie Harrell
Touch by Jus Accardo
Wander Dust by Michelle Warren

What did you get this week??

30 December 2011

Review: Cinder

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Publication date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I like to imagine that Marissa Meyer was watching Blade Runner and reading Cinderella when she came up with the idea for Cinder. I imagine this because the thought amuses me. Excuse me while I giggle...

I was surprised with how much I liked this book. I honestly didn't know what to expect before I opened it, but I really enjoyed it! I admit that at first I was a bit put off with the ease at which I was able to predict what was to come (I refer to the retelling of the original Cinderella story, not Meyer's own plot points), but then I soon began to have fun catching the Cinderella references. Also, Meyer does do a great job of making this story her own. It's very creative and very different from anything I've read recently.

I love the world of New Beijing and so forth that she created and the characters are all well-drawn out and likable (and, of course, hateable). I adored following the budding romance between Cinder and Prince Kai. It is so sweet! Cinder+Prince Kai=together forever!! And the end? Holy crap, I need the next one! NEED IT! I think Marissa Meyer is a fabulous debut storyteller and I eagerly await the next book in the series, as well as, whatever she chooses to write in the future. It can only get better, right?

29 December 2011

Review: Bad Girls Don't Die

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
Publication Date: April 21, 2009
Publisher: Hyperion

Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence: dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy, thirteen year old sister, Kasey; and even her own antisocial, anti-cheerleader attitude. When a family argument results in tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunctional to dangerous. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green; she uses odd, old-fashioned language - and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her weird behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves, water boils on the unlit stove, and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough for the girls to see their breath.

Alexis wants to believe it's all in her head, until these seemingly harmless occurrences become life-threatening - to her, to her family, and to her budding relationship with the student council vice president. Alexis knows she's the only person who can stop Kasey; but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?

I love ghosts. I love revengeful ghosts. I hate dolls, especially haunted ones, but I love books about haunted dolls. Stories about possession are pretty cool too and Bad Girls Don't Die starts out with the scare factor and doesn't stop until the end. Once I picked it up, I didn't put it down. A ghostly light that runs after you and climbs trees, a ghost that breaks your air conditioner and boils your water for you, this all makes for some creepy crap. It's not the scariest book I've ever read, but it definitely has its many moments.

Alexis is an entertaining narrator and I enjoyed her sarcastic quips and her views of high school. The supporting characters are initially all introduced as stereotypes, but a lot of them eventually become more as Alexis talks to them and gets to know them. I liked this because we get to discover who is really inside that bitchy head cheerleader at the same time as Alexis does. I see what you did there, Katie Alender.

Bad Girls Don't Die is a squeaky clean YA novel. There's one kiss between Alexis and Carter and that's it. No language or sexual content. If you're looking for a scary book with hot, crazy make-out sex (I just coined this term right now. I don't even know what that would be) then this isn't for you. I found the relationship between Alexis and Carter cute and endearing and I'm hoping for more of them in the second book which is waiting for me at the library. Ultimately, Bad Girls Don't Die is a fun, quick, and creepy read.  My late maternal grandmother left me her porcelain doll collection and they have stayed in their boxes for years because of my fear of dolls. Unfortunately for them and because of this book, they will not be coming out any time soon in the near future.

P.S. If you want more scary doll books, check out The Dollhouse Murders. It's an elementary read, but that book could scare the pants off of an adult. 

19 December 2011

On Hiatus until Dec. 27th

Hello readers,

I haven't posted since last Wednesday due to finals and all that and then I leave for the holidays this week, so I'm putting my blog on a short hiatus until December 27th. I haven't seen my mom in about two years and my brothers in three or four! I'm really looking forward to the trip!! My goal this week is to read and have some reviews to post when I get back. I'll still be around on Twitter and email so you can always get in contact with me.

I hope everyone has a great holiday no matter what you celebrate (or don't celebrate)!

My Top 5 (actually 6) Books of 2011

It's getting towards the end of the year (it has gone by so fast!), so I've put together a top five list of my favorite books released in 2011. I feel it has been a great year for excellent books and it was hard to narrow it down to my top five, so I added a sixth because it's my blog and I can. I also could have made the list a top ten, but where's the complication in that? Here is a countdown of my favorite books released this year with my reviews attached:

                                  6. Cleopatra's Moon         5. The Space Between

                                   4. Blood Red Road                       3. Chime

                                                      2. The Scorpio Races

                                              1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone

What were your favorite releases this year?

14 December 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine which asks what book we're most looking forward to.

Publishing date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux

After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend Ilven kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it.

Do I really need to explain why I want this one? I don't understand how vampires fit into story, but I don't care and still want it. I love dark stories and this one sounds right up my alley!

What are you waiting for??

11 December 2011

Review: Death Watch

Death Watch by Ari Berk
Publication date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

One night, Silas Umber's father Amos doesn’t come home from work. Devastated, Silas learns that his father was no mere mortician but an Undertaker, charged with bringing The Peace to the dead trapped in the Shadowlands, the states of limbo binding spirits to earth. With Amos gone, Silas and his mother have no choice but to return to Lichport, the crumbling seaside town where Silas was born, and move in with Amos’s brother, Charles.

Even as Silas eagerly explores his father’s town and its many abandoned streets and overgrown cemeteries, he grows increasingly wary of his uncle. There is something not quite right going on in Charles Umber’s ornate, museum-like house—something, Silas is sure, that is connected to his father’s disappearance. When Silas’s search leads him to his father’s old office, he comes across a powerful artifact: the Death Watch, a four hundred year old Hadean clock that allows the owner to see the dead. Death Watch in hand, Silas begins to unearth Lichport’s secret history—and discovers that he has taken on his father’s mantle as Lichport’s Undertaker. Now, Silas must embark on a dangerous path into the Shadowlands to embrace his destiny and discover the truth about his father—no matter the cost.

I'm kind of shocked that I haven't seen this book featured or reviewed on other blogs. Somehow it flew under the radar and people seemed to have missed its release. Well, I think it's time to change that.

Death Watch is for fans of the horror genre. It's been a while since a book freaked me the heck out. Sure, Anna Dressed In Blood has its moments, but Death Watch takes it to a whole other level. This mainly comes from Berk's descriptions and prose. The whole book played exactly like a movie in my head and I saw every scary and sometimes horrific detail in my mind. And Berk's characters? AMAZING and so well fleshed out. I felt like they were all straight out of a Dickens novel. The whole book has a very classic feel to it even though it's set in modern times. It might be because the town of Lichport hasn't really changed since its founding in the 1600s. All of its inhabitants seem to be happily stuck in the past, though the outside world has changed around them.

This isn't a book for people looking for a quick read. It's a little over 500 pages which is mainly unheard of in the young adult category. Even I, the *Queen of Patience, struggled with it sometimes. Berk goes into GREAT detail about the architecture of Lichport and sometimes I found myself skimming those passages. Though if you like architecture, more power to you, and pick this book up. If you're more a fan of fast-moving books like Legend, as a most recent example, you may not like this one. Death Watch takes its time to get started, but when it gets there, it's full of fabulousness.

I can assume from the first book that The Undertaken Trilogy is going to epic. Unless the next two books are going to be, like, 300 pages, then not so much. I can't wait to see how Silas develops in the rest of the series!

*I am not the Queen of Patience, I lied to you. I am not even the Duchess of Patience. I am a person with no patience and always in need of instant gratification. But yet, I still enjoyed the book.

In My Mailbox (7)

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren to share books we got in the mail or the library or the bookstore, etc. that week!

Vesper by Jeff Sampson
A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
Dani Noir by Nova Ren Suma
The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Burn Marks by Laura Powell
Dead Reckoning by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill
The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors
Switched by Amanda Hocking
Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough

Thanks to Macmillan and Netgalley for the ARCs! Not to single any books out as I want to read all of them, but I'm particularly looking forward to Long Lankin. I've been craving scary stories recently and am excited for this one. I'm currently reading Death Watch by Ari Berk right now and am loving it (creepy as heck!). Look out for my review of Death Watch soon! I hope it stays good...

What did you get this week?? Leave me a link and I'll come and visit your IMM!

05 December 2011

Future Release: Dragonswood

Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey
Publication date: January 5, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books / Penguin

Wilde Island is in an uproar after the recent death of its king. The uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is fraying, and a bloodthirsty witch hunter with a hidden agenda whips villages into frenzies with wild accusations. Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter from a tiny hamlet near the mysterious Dragonswood, finds herself caught in the crosshairs of fate when she is accused of witchery and has to flee for her life along with her two best friends.

Not even Tess’s power to see the future can help the girls as they set off on their desperate journey, but she keeps having visions of a man wielding a sword. And when she finally meets him, Tess has no idea how to handle the magnetic attraction she feels for him, or the elusive call she hears from the heart of the Dragonswood.

In this epic romance, an ancient prophecy comes true in a way neither dragon, fairy, nor human would have predicted.

I, Angie, the writer of this blog, am calling out Dragonswood as a must read for fantasy fans. I loved every minute of it. Dragonswood made me remember why fantasy is my favorite genre and has given me a kick in the pants to read more. Why did I ever stop? Oh yeah, because most YA authors stopped writing it (except for the rare few, of course). Dragonswood made me nostalgic for the high fantasies I read as a teenager.

Carey does a great job of synthesizing fantasy with historical elements: Great Britain in the twelfth century, princes, fairies, enchanted woods, and dragons. I really liked Tess's narration and felt for her as a character. It's easy to fall into the trap of writing a Mary Sue, especially in young adult literature, but the author was successful in avoiding this. Even Tess has her faults. I also loved the quiet romance in the story. It was a nice change from the heavy "I met you a minute ago and now we're in love forever" romances I've been reading recently. There was one draw back for me, though: I wasn't a big fan of Tess's friends. Meg was fine. It was Poppy who I had a problem with. For the majority of the book I found her to be pretty annoying and wanted to push her off an imaginary cliff. I'm speaking figuratively, I say imaginary because I don't actually want her harmed.

It's kind of an easy book to predict some of what happens as clues are dropped but that didn't detract from the story at all. I recommend this to fans of Tamora Pierce and, really, anyone who has been looking for a great new fantasy to tide them over until Kristin Cashore's new book. ;) Granted this one doesn't come out until January 5th, but I'm hoping you might be interested in it enough to add it to your TBR list and, of course, I'll be reminding everyone closer to its release date.

Daughter of the Centaurs Giveaway

My store has received two ARCs of Daughter of the Centaurs and I will not have time to read it nor will any of my coworkers. So that these two copies don't go to waste, I'm giving them away to two people who will be able to give the book the proper attention it deserves.

Publication date: January 24, 2012
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Malora knows what she was born to be: a horse wrangler and a hunter, just like her father. But when her people are massacred by batlike monsters called Leatherwings, Malora will need her horse skills just to survive. The last living human, Malora roams the wilderness at the head of a band of magnificent horses, relying only on her own wits, strength, and courage. When she is captured by a group of centaurs and taken to their city, Malora must decide whether the comforts of her new home and family are worth the parts of herself she must sacrifice to keep them. Kate Klimo has masterfully created a new world, which at first seems to be an ancient one or perhaps another world altogether, but is in fact set on earth sometime far in the future.

Please read my contest policy before entering!

There will be 2 winners!

This giveaway is only open to the US and Canada!

You may not be familiar with Rafflecopter so here are some things to note:
  • Your name will be viewable by everyone. A nickname or alias is preferable.
  • On the other hand, I am the only one to see your email address. Please make sure it is correct, as this is how I will be contacting you.

The winner will be announced on this post once the contest ends.

04 December 2011

In My Mailbox (6)

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren to share books we got in the mail or the library or the bookstore, etc. that week!

The Alchemy of Forever BY Avery Williams
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Death Watch by Ari Berk
Ditched by Robin Mellom
On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Thank you Disney-Hyperion and Harlequin Teen!

What did you get this week??

29 November 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on My TBR List for Winter

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week focuses on a different topic and you make a top ten list from it! This week: Top Ten Books on My TBR List for Winter

My list of books are future winter releases that I am looking forward to. It was super hard cutting the list down to ten. In no particular order:

1. BZRK by Michael Grant 
2. Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams
3. Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
4. Dark Eyes by William Richter
5. Girls of No Return by Erin Saldin
6. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
7. Life Is But a Dream by Brian James
8. After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
9. Forgiven by Jana Oliver
10. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Review: Hourglass

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Publication Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: Egmont US

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past. Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Before entering this book, you may want to wipe your feet at the door just in case there's any bit of feminism on your shoe. You won't be needing that inside.

I loved Emerson. I really did. I liked her sassy, strong, and kinda angry all the time attitude. All was well and good with me, but then she meets a boy named Michael and he becomes her only world. Her personality does a complete one-eighty and every choice, every decision she makes relies on what will make him happy. I get that love can be intense, especially a new one (and in Emerson's case, first one), but it shouldn't make a person codependent. All of her thoughts consisted of Michael, Michael, Michael's lips, Michael, Michael's muscles, Michael's muscle's muscles, Kaleb, Kaleb's abs, then back to Michael. Emerson basically becomes obsessed and a stalker. I mention a boy named Kaleb. He is the third guy in the love triangle because as we all know, a young adult book wouldn't be complete without one.

All of this aside, I still had fun reading the book. Emerson's mind may always be on Michael, but at least she's funny. I found most of the book to be witty and I caught myself smiling a lot. Also, before starting HOURGLASS I had no idea that it involves time travel and I really enjoyed that part of it. I wish McEntire played around with it more, but there's a second one (which I look forward to reading) so I guess I'll see how much further the author explores it. Despite the problems I had with HOURGLASS, I found it to be well-written. I think it's worth a read, but just beware the brain of Emerson.

28 November 2011

Get to Know Me: My Favorite Book Couples

My blog has been ongoing for about four months now. Most of my readers don't know who I am, so I decided to write a post about myself and what better way to get to know me than to write about my favorite fictional couples. The couples below are from both young adult and adult books and are in no particular order:

1. Briony and Eldric : Chime
Briony with her self-hatred and Eldric with his hot self who wants to make Briony a better person. Man, those two went through so much. Whenever they were together in the books, my face was always full of smile.

2. Clary and Jace : The Immortal Instruments
These two go through so much drama! Why can't Cassandra Clare just let them be happy for an hour?? I loved the end of the third book. I picked up the fourth, flipped through it, and put it back down. I'm currently going to pretend that the series ended after the third book and start it up again after Cassandra is done. Then they'll be happy, right?

3. Kaitlyn and Gabriel : Dark Visions
This is a lesser known series by L.J. Smith. Kaitlyn and Gabriel are made for each other and I adore them as a couple. My boy with a tortured soul, Gabriel. You were one of my first book crushes.

4. Elena and Damon : The Vampire Diaries
Another L.J. Smith series. I've been reading her books since I discovered her in the late-90s. I feel the same way about Stefan as I do for Adam. He is so boring! Elena and Damon FOREVER! Oh, for those not familiar with the book series but love the show, they are very different. Very different. I am a bigger fan of the books than the show.

5. Merit and Ethan : Chicagoland Vampires
What a hot, sexy couple. I love these two to bits. To bits!

6. Richard and Kahlan : The Sword of Truth series
Mmm, Richard. And Kahlan's not so bad herself. I love strong heroines and she's definitely up there at the top! These two make such a great pair and I love reading about them. Their's is a real and epic love.

7. Puck and Kendrick : The Scorpio Races
Even though this book came out just this year, Puck and Sean quickly entered my heart. Their romance may not have had the heat that's in most YA books now, but there was such a sweetness to it and I adore them as characters and a couple.

8. Saba and Jack : Blood Red Road
They are truly a kick-ass power couple and I can't wait to read more about them.

9. Riley and Beck : Demon Trappers series
I like that I have a pair on here who have yet to actually get together. When is this going to happen?? I need this to happen and soon.

10. Sophie and Howl : Howl's Moving Castle
This is one of my favorite books and Howl is one of my favorite literary characters. LOVE. These two are so cute together! I love their chemistry and their interactions with each other always make me smile.

So reading over this, I seem to have thing for the bad boy type or at least I do when it comes to boys in books. I never knew this about myself. Hey, we learned something about me, together!

Who are your favorite couples?

27 November 2011

In My Mailbox (5)

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren to share books we got in the mail or the library or the bookstore, etc. that week!

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
The Raft by S.A. Bodeen
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody
All These Lives by Sarah Wylie
Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McEntire
BZRK by Michael Grant
Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel
Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire

Thank you to Mike from Macmillan and Erin from Random House!

What did you get this week? Leave me a link to your IMM in the comments!

26 November 2011

Bloodrose Giveaway

Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is.

Here's a chance to win an ARC of the final installment in the Nightshade trilogy!

Please read my contest policy before entering!

This giveaway is only open to the US and Canada!

You may not be familiar with Rafflecopter so here are some things to note:
  • Your name will be viewable by everyone. A nickname or alias is preferable.
  • On the other hand, I am the only one to see your email address. Please make sure it is correct, as this is how I will be contacting you.

The winner will be announced on this post once the contest ends.

Review: Legend

Legend by Marie Lu
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile / Penguin

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

I think I am going to have to give the title of Best Action Scenes to Marie Lu. LEGEND is a non-stop thrill ride. It will never have a need to be adapted into a movie because it already is one. After I finished the book, I felt like I had finished watching a really good action film and I don't like action films (except Die Hard. Such a great Christmas movie).

I'm a huge fan of dystopians and I really loved the world that Marie Lu created. I also loved the characters. I've never been a huge fan of dual or more narrators, but it worked in LEGEND. I loved being in both of their minds and the chapters flowed into the next one. I was never thrown out of the story.

The book doesn't really add anything new to the genre, but that doesn't matter because it's so enjoyable to read. The reader is left with questions, but that's because it's series and you're supposed to need the next one, right? Doesn't mean I have to like it...

I don't really know what else to add to the review. The book is a quick, fast-paced read and everything just kind of explodes off the page. I had fun!


23 November 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine which asks what book we're most looking forward to.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Eighteen-year-old Luddite Elliot North has always known her place in this caste system. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. But now the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress and threatening Luddite control; Elliot’s estate is floundering; and she’s forced to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliott wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she abandoned him.

But Elliot soon discovers her childhood friend carries a secret—-one that could change the society in which they live…or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she has lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

I need this book like woah. I fell in love with Diana's writing in Rampant. Who knew someone could make a story about killer unicorns freaking awesome? That's a rhetorical question because everyone knows only Diana could. Well, maybe Stephen King too, but Diana came up with the idea first. Plus, Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel. So yeah. I need this book.

What are you most looking forward to? Leave a link to your WOW in the comments and I'll come visit!

22 November 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I'd Love To Have At My Thanksgiving Feast

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week focuses on a different topic and you make a top ten list from it! This week: Top Ten Authors I'd Love To Have At My Thanksgiving Feast

First of all, I will never host my own Thanksgiving feast (or so I tell myself now). I vow to always go over to someone else's, preferably someone I know. But if I ever did and could have authors attend, I made a list of who I would invite. The rules didn't state that they had to be alive, so I put some dead people on there. I'm pretending they would be alive when they come over because dead guests would be creepy.

The following list is not ranked:

1. Thomas Hardy: I. Love. Thomas. Hardy. He is one of my favorite authors, so of course he would be invited. I don't care if he was the most boring guest ever. He's coming.

2. Maureen Johnson: Speaking of boring guests, Maureen Johnson is not. I follow her on twitter and I imagine her to be the life of a party. I could probably only invite her and it would seem like I had a room full of guests. That's not an insult. ;)

3. John Green: He is a fabulous writer and deserves to be invited to every party. Plus he's a cutie and you always need one of those in attendance.

4. Oliver Jeffers: He's Irish. And awesome.

5. Lane Smith: He's my picture book husband so he'd have to be invited.

6. Tennessee Williams: Tennessee Williams is my dead gay husband. I love his work so much it hurts.

7. Laini Taylor: I met her and she was a blast to talk to. One of the nicest authors. Of course I would want her at my dinner.

8. L.J. Smith: I need to meet this woman. I have been reading her books since I was 13 and still love them. I love that she's becoming more popular and well-known now.

9. Tahereh Mafi: I have this weird thing where I like to laugh and Tahereh's tweets ALWAYS make me laugh. I'm going to assume she's not boring in real life.

10. William Shakespeare: I think it would be embarrassing for the host who didn't invite him.

21 November 2011

YA/MG Fantasy Reading Challenge

Erica @ The Book Cellar has started and is hosting a YA/MG Fantasy Reading Challenge! She thinks that fantasy novels tend to be given less attention than the other genres and I wholeheartedly agree. All through my elementary, middle, and high school days fantasy is most of what I read. I want to start focusing on it again which is why I am joining this challenge. The goal is to read 10 young adult or middle grade fantasy novels that are to be released in 2012. I challenge you to sign up as well! Let's give the fantasy genre the attention it deserves!

You can find the rules, buttons, and general information over at her blog here!

Do it or I'll kick you! I'm just kidding. I only give hugs.

My Opinion: The Cover for Such Wicked Intent

I don't normally write opinion pieces because I'm scared of what others will think of my opinion and I may love fire, but I hate being flamed. ;P

That being said, I am writing this to mark my disappointment with the newly released cover of Such Wicked Intent which is the second book in the Dark Endeavor series. I love the original cover of This Dark Endeavor:
The cover is different, creative, dark, and draws the eye if it's faced out on a shelf. I want to know what kind of story it tells.

Here is the cover of its sequel, Such Wicked Intent:
To me, this book tells a completely different story than the first. In fact, it looks like I can tell just what it's going to be from the cover. It tells me it's going to be a historical romance story between a boy and a girl. And you know what? Maybe that's what the second book is all about, but being familiar with Kenneth Oppel and the series, it is probably not (and I hope not, but that's for a separate post/review for when the book actually comes out). Will this cover still stand out on a shelf like its predecessor? Absolutely.

So now we get to my real problem with the cover. I can't sell this book to boys. I know I'm being sexist right now, but I really believe this. When This Dark Endeavor came out I was so excited. I could finally recommend a smart young adult novel that had nothing to do with sports, spies, gore, or big explosions and other special effects to my male readers. This book also has a male protagonist. I think any reader or blogger of the YA genre will know why I put those words in bold: because there aren't many main male characters in YA. I realize that the girls ultimately out number the guys in authors, readers, and as characters, but why can't we advertise to boys too? Teen boys read, but unfortunately, I think they care more about the appearance of the books they read than females do. I'm not saying that this is okay, but can it ever be fixed? Maybe e-Readers will change this, but I'm getting off topic...it's hard for me to talk about this and not also go into why boys might not be reading certain books.

Why couldn't the cover stay ambiguous like The Hunger Games? If The Hunger Games book cover(s) had been released with Katniss on the front standing between two male models of Gale and Peeta, Twilight style, I highly doubt boys would have flocked to the series as much as they did and still do. On another note, look, boys will read books with female narrators! *gasp* Surprise! /sarcasm

Why the change from an ambiguous cover to a "girly" cover? Who made this decision and why? Oh, and of course they had to match the future paperback release of This Dark Endeavor with their new cover for the sequel:
Why does a book cover have to advertise to either a boy or a girl? Why can't some books like This Dark Endeavor and others advertise to both? And book covers can have pictures of both a boy and a girl and still get male readers to pick it up. I think it's when the boy and girl look rather close and romantic is when the average teen boy won't look at it. Please don't think I'm putting all male teens into one box. I'm not. As a bookseller at a book store for children, I am around them all the time. I talk to them. I recommend them things. I see patterns. Not all teen males fit the patterns. I know a regular young male customer who probably wouldn't mind reading a book with a cover like Such Wicked Intent. Yet, I know more boys who wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. I love this series and want to continue to be able to recommend it to my male customers without any pushing or convincing.

Finally, I want to point out that I, myself, do not hate these covers! As a reader I love them and think they are striking. As a bookseller, I think they just make my job harder.

/sexist rant

20 November 2011

In My Mailbox (4)

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren to share books we got in the mail or the library or the bookstore, etc. that week!

This week was a pretty awesome week for me. Oliver Jeffers came into our store at the last minute to sign our stock and he signed his newest picture book Stuck for me! Jeffers is an Irish cutie. I want. But wait, there's more! My manager went to an author dinner with Charlie Higson and came back with personalized signed copies of Higson's books The Enemy and The Dead for me! Look:

I'm STUCK on Jeffers! (See what I did there?)


The Dead of Winter by Chris Priestley
After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
Life Is But a Dream by Brian James
The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers
Miles From Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams
Riding Out the Storm by Sis Deans

I want to thank Mike at Macmillan for the ARCs! So I will. Thank-you Mike!

What did you get this week? Leave a link below and I'll be sure to check out your IMM!