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!

19 November 2011

Review: Unleashed (Wolf Springs Chronicles #1)

Unleashed (Wolf Springs Chronicles #1) by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié
Publication Date: November 22, 2011
Publisher: Delacorte Press / Random House

Katelyn McBride’s life changed in an instant when her mother died. Uprooted from her California home, Katelyn was shipped to the middle of nowhere, Arkansas, to her only living relative, her grandfather. And now she has to start over in Wolf Springs, a tiny village in the Ozark Mountains. Like any small town, Wolf Springs has secrets. But the secrets hidden here are more sinister than Katelyn could ever imagine. It’s a town with a history that reaches back centuries, spans continents, and conceals terrifying truths. And Katelyn McBride is about to change everything.

Broken families, ageless grudges, forced alliances, and love that blooms in the darkest night—welcome to Wolf Springs.

If I took away one thing from Unleashed, it's that Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié must have a thing for men in tight jeans and form fitting shirts (preferably black). I don't think any guy in this book wore a loose piece of clothing.

I became excited when I got this book because I hadn't read anything by Nancy Holder since my "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" days when she wrote novel tie-ins (I briefly mention her here, as well) which I devoured like a madwoman. It's nice to know she hasn't lost her gift at sharp dialogue or writing strong female characters. Being the first book I have read with Holder and Viguié as a writing team, I was pleased.

I don't think I've ever read a YA book with so many dead or nonentity parents. This is a thing usually reserved for the middle reader genre. Katelyn's parents are dead, Justin's and Jesse's parents are dead, Caroline's mother is dead, Trick's parents are mentioned once...the list goes on. It was kind of weird. BUT, I love werewolves so I was excited to read something just involving them and nothing else. I love the setting of the story and the isolated feel of the environment. I love Katelyn and her budding relationship with her grandfather. I also love Trick, though he obviously has a huge secret that has yet to be divulged. He was freaking adorable. Speaking of Trick, a storm's a brewin' and I see fans quickly taking sides and forming Team Trick and Team Justin. P.S. Trick is better.

Unleashed would have been at least a 4 or 5 star book for me if I hadn't been disappointed by a few certain things. One, no questions are answered and nothing is solved. Like, at all. We get one and that's at the very end of the book with a cliffhanger that leaves you like "what?" Two, the story is slow to get moving. With the book's own title and synopsis and all of the hints being dropped on every page, it screams werewolf, but unfortunately it takes forever for someone to even mention the word. But once we reach that mark, the book picks up speed and gets moving. This is the point at which I couldn't put it down.

With the story now begun and the action set, I see the second book in the series being a thrilly angst-ridden journey if it keeps up the pace at which it ended. Unleashed may have been "just good" for me, but I am very excited about the next one! 

15 November 2011

Review: The Vespertine

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
Publication Date: March 7, 2011
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books

It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.

When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

Before I start with the review, how gorgeous is this cover? LOVE.

I didn't know what I was getting into when I read The Vespertine. I knew it was a paranormal/historical fiction book, but that was it. When I got into work one day it was sitting on the counter with my name on it and I don't ask questions when a book has my name on it, so I picked it up. I was pleasantly surprised!

Remember back in the 1800s when the word "dash" was a bad word? Only me? Am I the only immortal blogger on the internet? Or maybe I just felt like I was there. I can't tell the difference anymore, because Saundra Mitchell did such a great job of setting the scene for a Baltimore in 1889. While reading The Vespertine I could visually see and hear everything that was happening. LOVE (again). Another great aspect of the book is the narrator and main character, Amelia. She is witty and smart, but is also still very much a true Victorian young woman of the time. Does that make sense? I also enjoyed her interactions with her cousin Zora and Nathaniel. Amelia and Zora develop a really strong friendship and Nathaniel...oh, Nathaniel, how do I compare thee...? You remain a mystery but yet I still want your body *cough cough*, I mean, I want to know more about you.

Speaking of mystery, the only problem I had with the book is that it leaves the reader with a lot of questions, a lot of what and why. Where do these powers come from? Who exactly is Nathaniel? I don't necessarily feel that the paranormal aspect of the book should have been front and center, but I would have liked some more explanation(s). I'm hoping that this is because these questions will be answered in the third book, which does not have a synopsis or title yet (it comes out in 2013), so I have put together a title for Mitchell just in case she doesn't have one. The plot, obviously, comes with it:

Everything You Wanted to Know About Nathaniel (and Amelia Too, I Guess...) (Vespertine #3)

I've seen some reviewers talking about how all the characters seemed so accepting of Amelia's ability, but it didn't bother me at all. Victorian America was an era of mystics, spiritualists, and magic. Everyone was curious about it, so if it turns out that they have a friend who can see the future, awesome! And for free? Even more awesome! Or that's how I, at least, read it.

On a final note, The Vespertine isn't a book of action and it's not fast-paced. In fact, I would say the first two-thirds of the book is mainly set-up and not a lot happens until the end. I didn't care, though, because the author's dialogue and description were enough to keep me entertained until the final "BAM" moment.

13 November 2011

In My Mailbox (3)

"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!

So, embarrassingly, my blog seems to have become a blog of memes and for that I apologize. I've been busy with school work, work, and a video game called Skyrim (I've become a bit addicted...). I'm really jealous of people who have things to post every day. Maybe I should hire interns to read books for me and then act them out.  ;) I will NOT do another meme until I've written at least two reviews, no matter how much I have fun with them! This is my punishment to me.

Now onto my mailbox!

Partials by Dan Wells

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Miracle by Elizabeth Scott

Illuminate (Gilded Wings #1) by Aimee Agresti
Digit by Annabel Monaghan
First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky
Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls by Mary Downing Hahn
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Croak by Gina Damico
Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby

Thank you to Harper, Simon & Schuster, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the ARCs!

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

09 November 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

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

The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Seraphina’s first love made her immortal…her second might get her killed. Incarnation is a new series that introduces a fresh mythology perfect for fans of bestselling series like The Immortals by Alyson Noel and Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

After spending six hundred years on earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world’s riches, but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to swap bodies with other humans, jumping from one vessel to the next, taking the human’s life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she’s done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.

Then sixteen-year-old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she’s inhabiting—and falls for the human boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she’s his again, and every moment she stays, she’s putting herself and the people she’s grown to care for in great danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that’s eluded her for centuries: true love?

Look at that pretty cover! I actually just found out about this book today! My store and myself didn't receive an ARC and this makes me sad (I've become spoiled...). I'm intrigued by the premise of The Alchemy of Forever and it reminds me a bit of The Host by Stephenie Meyer which I enjoyed. I've always had a fascination with alchemy, so I'm curious as to what the author has done with it in the story.

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

08 November 2011

Dusty Reads (1)

"Dusty Reads" is a weekly meme hosted by Giselle at Xpresso Reads, in which we talk about a book that has been sitting on our shelf, unread, and probably crying for attention.

White Cat (The Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black
Publication Date: May 4th, 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry / Simon & Schuster

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the con-men.

Don't look at me like that. I feel ashamed enough, thank you. I've had this book on my shelf for what feels like...forever. It's not that I don't want to read it (I do!), it's just other reads have always come before it and then I forgot about it. Funny enough, I also own the second one. I have a galley of both sitting all sad-like on a shelf. Hey, I have my first New Year's resolution!

The Curse Workers #2:

07 November 2011

Review: Witchlanders

Witchlanders by Lena Coakley
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: Antheneum / Simon & Schuster

High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future.

It’s all a fake.

At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated? But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned—

Are about him.

There are two reasons I had fun reading Witchlanders:
        1. It had not one but TWO male narrators, which is very rare in YA fiction today.
        2. It had an older style feel to it and it reminded me of the fantasy I read as a teen.
Those are really the only two reasons why I liked Witchlanders. Otherwise, I found the book to be just okay.

Actually, you know what, I lied. I also really liked the prose of the book and the story wasn't half bad either. Also, Ryder and Falpian: they are two very different characters from two very different/opposite environments and I think Coakley developed their relationship really well. I enjoyed "watching" the progression of their initial dislike for each other to the friendship that comes out of the trials they struggle through and the magical connection the two have. The story twist came as a surprise to me, as well, and I enjoyed that. I hate when I can predict where the story is going and then have to wait until my prediction comes true. And my predictions always come true because I'm super S-M-R-T.  ;)

The thing I didn't enjoy was the pace of the book. I thought it started rather slowly, would pick up for a few pages, and then slow down again for many more pages. It wasn't a book I just had to keep picking up again every time I put it down. The end also bothered me. Without giving spoilers, I found the ending to be solved too easily. If it leads to another novel in a series, then I like Witchlanders a lot more than I originally thought. If this is a stand-alone then I still have the same opinion of the book as a whole.

Have you read it? What did you think?

05 November 2011

In My Mailbox (2)

"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!

Reckoning by Lili St. Crow

The List by Siobhan Vivian
Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Thank you Penguin (Harbinger), Hachette/Little, Brown (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight), and Scholastic (The List) for the galleys!

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

02 November 2011

Waiting On Wednesday (1)

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

Forgiven by Jana Oliver
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: St. Martins Griffin

The days are growing darker for 17-year-old demon trapper Riley Blackthorne. With her father’s reanimated body back safely, Beck barely speaking to her because of her tryst with a hunky fallen angel and a deal freshly made with Lucifer, she has enough on her hands to last a normal teenage lifetime. Though she bargained with Heaven to save his life, her ex-boyfriend Simon has told the Vatican’s elite team of demon hunters that she’s working with Hell. So now she’s on the run, at the top of everyone’s most-wanted list.

But it’s becoming clear that this is bigger than either Riley or Beck, and rapidly getting out of control. Someone's tampering with Atlanta's Holy Water, and it’s on Riley to figure out who. On top of that, there’s something wrong with the demons; they’re working together—and refusing to die. The trappers and hunters are doing their best, but civilians are falling in harm’s way.

Caught between her bargain with Heaven and her promise to Lucifer, Riley fears the final war is coming—and it may be closer than anyone thinks…

I am so excited for this book. Soul Thief left me on the edge of my seat. I NEED this book. Like yesterday. And look at that gorgeous cover! Want it. Need it. Now.

What book are you most looking forward to? Leave me a link to your WOW in the comments and I'll be sure to check it out!

01 November 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Had Very Strong Emotions Over

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 I Had Very Strong Emotions Over

1. Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
This book freaked me the heck out. I got it from work, read it, and returned it right away the next day to get it out of my house. I still can't put together any thoughts on it. The weird part? I loved it. It was an amazing book, but I am never reading it again.

2. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
One of my favorite books of all time. I've probably read it at least four times now. Such a tragic story and I was balling at the end of my first reading. I still get emotional when I read it.

3. Fracture by Megan Miranda
I actually just reviewed this yesterday so it's fresh in my mind. You can read it here if interested. It really got my emotions stirring and I felt so protective of Delaney throughout the book. Man, did some of those characters frustrate me.

4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I hate this book and I don't know why. Maybe it did something horrible to me as a child and I blocked it from my memory. I want nothing to do with it or its movies and mini-series'. I really wish I could explain it, but I can't. And yes, I have read it.

5. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
I love this book. I love this book so much I would marry it if it was legal. It makes me laugh every time I read it, even though I know what's coming. Howl is one of my all-time favorite fictional characters and he is my literary boyfriend, you can't have him.

6. Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel
I suffered from intense depression in high school. It is the only book I have ever highlighted and written in the margins (all of my books have to look brand-new). I think I liked it so much because for the first time I was able to see I wasn't the only one suffering. I still have it. Part of me wonders if I would read it the same way now.

7. Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill
No spoilers, but I was pissed at the ending. I have never been made so angry by a book as much as I was with this one. I vented about it for days to co-workers and friends who could care less. Luckily the next one in the series comes out today, but I may wait. Just thinking about it gets me upset again.

8. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
It made me cry like a baby. 'Nuff said.

9. The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
This is a picture book. Yes, a picture book. I actually recommend it more for adults than children. It is about a girl who loses her grandfather at a young age and in order to protect her heart from future pain, she places her heart in a bottle. So sad. So sweet. So amazing.

10. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
I'm so sorry for any Twilight fans, but this books sucked. I got to the part with the pregnancy and put the book down. I was like "really??" That's where you're going with this? Then I picked it back up because I paid money for it. Plus there's all this build-up to a lackluster ending where nothing happens but talking. This book broke me out of my "Twilight spell." I thought to myself "what have I been reading?"