Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (16): The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

*Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill@Breaking the Spine and is a weekly meme allowing for bloggers to connect and share their most anticipated reads.*

This week I'm waiting on...

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Releasing: September 3rd, 2013

Goodreads Summary

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.




I love the cover!! Holly Black is one author I've seen around a lot, especially because of her Curse Workers series, about which I have heard nothing but good things. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown looks fantastic, and the majority of bloggers lucky enough to snag ARCs agree that it's creepy to the max and well written.That is all I need to know. 

P.S. If you haven't heard yet, then here's your opportunity to snag Roy Huff's Everville: The First Pillar for free AND Everville: The City of Worms for .99 cents now until the 3rd of September! It's a steal and a total deal, don't miss out :)


 POST SIG
POST DIVIDER

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Everville: The First Pillar & The City of Worms Promotion!


Hey there!

So I don't know what you're doing right now, eating, watching TV, eating, but I know what you should be doing. Kind of. I'm not a dictator, so I'm not 100% certain on the whole "command and conquer" people thing, but I do know a good deal when I see one :)


...It's Coming...




Everville: The City of Worms is .99 cents August 25th-September 3rd! Get Everville Free Now


Roy Huff's YA Fantasy novel, Everville: The First Pillar, is currently FREE!!! His second book, Everville: The City of Worms is .99 cents August 25th until September 3rd, so consider that an added bonus! Cassie B. won the Everville giveaway recently hosted on Choice Reads, and for those of you who missed the chance to enter, here is an opportunity to snag Roy Huff's first book AND his latest work! Don't miss out :)

Do you have a copy? Hurry and get yours quick!


XX,




POST DIVIDER

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (15): Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

*Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill@Breaking the Spine and is a weekly meme allowing for bloggers to connect and share their most anticipated reads.*

This week I'm waiting on...


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Releasing: September 10, 2013

Goodreads Summary

From the author the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

How could I not want to read this book?? Eleanor & Park freaking rocked my socks. Let alone my raging love for Rowell's writing, that cover pretty much sold me. Bring it!

What are you waiting on?

XX,


POST DIVIDER

Review: It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist

It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist
My rating: 3.5 of 5 genies
Published: April 9, 2013
Series: It Happened at the Fair #1
Genre: Historical, Christian Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Howard Books
Source: Purchased
Pages: 418
Format: Paperback
Purchase At: Amazon.com or The Book Depository

Goodreads Summary

A transporting historical novel about a promising young inventor, his struggle with loss, and the attractive teacher who changes his life, all set against the razzle-dazzle of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Gambling everything, including the family farm, Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the Fair’s Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.


The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris Wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?

My Thoughts

I enjoyed reading It Happened At the Fair, but it isn't my best book by this author. Deeanne Gist gave me A Bride Most Begrudging, Maid to Match and A Bride in the Bargain, all of which are Historical Christian Fiction guilty pleasures of mine. I love her books because Gist knows how to write Christian romance provocatively without losing that faith aspect. At the Fair leaves me conflicted because it didn't hold as strong a faith value as her previous works.

Both Cullen and Della pray, Della even sings "Jesus Loves Me" when she gets nervous in confined spaces, but I couldn't connect with their brief instances of faith. I could not help thinking that they held a faith similar to that of many Americans at the time, people who didn't mind enslaving others and doing away with the rights of said people. They worried about propriety like any other individuals living then, but there was no sense of God really being there, and not much besides good character set them apart.

More things were overt and focussed on, like the Fair and it's beauty. Gist did a remarkable job bringing this piece of time to life and wrote splendidly of what the World's Fair had once been like. The exhibits, bustle and sights were exploding out of the pages. Still, Cullen and Della might as well have been figures in a Historical setting. It was a Historical novel by a well known Christian author, the book itself not necessarily being Christian.

That aside, I liked At the Fair. It was funny and smart, a novel to happily pass the time with. I wasn't a fan of the main conflict in the story, Cullen is engaged to marry a childhood sweetheart when he encounters Della at the fair. He had left the farm to sell his automatic sprinklers, striking out, but with his hearing slowly receding it doesn't take long before the suggestion is given that Cullen take lip-reading classes. Della is a teacher at the School for Deaf Children and the person Cullen beseeches to teach him lip-reading. They've met before, he having saved her life before, but it takes some convincing, Cullen agreeing to act as tour guide for Della, before she agrees to the lessons. There is chemistry between the two, but with Cullen keeping his distance due to his engagement, their affection wasn't as open as that of most couples. It was more like mutual attraction, and a very nice shirtless scene, before Della fall in love and then Cullen.

There is the matter of Wanda, Cullen's betrothed, but a confrontation eventually leads to a satisfying end. At first it was odd seeing Cullen go from displaying limited affection to full-blown gestures, kisses and all. In retrospect I do think this showed the extent to which he withheld himself out of respect for both Wanda and Della. He is an upstanding man with great character and a mind for innovation. There is opposition and a lot that he has to overcome, but Cullen handles it excellently. The way he doesn't engage with instigators like Bulenberg made me respect him.

Della didn't feel as real to me as Cullen, her real name is Adelaide and I spent some time figuring out where "Della" came from, but she is not a bad character. I think she could have been developed more, but by far not a bad job on Gist's part.

The story was good and complete with an interesting look into the spectacular World's Fair that made this a unique book for me. Still, it was more Historical fiction than anything else and I would have liked stronger characters with greater faith value.


3.5/5 genies: It Happened at the Fair is a great Historical look at the World's Fair, captured beautifully by a talented author. 




POST DIVIDER

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins
My rating: 3.5 of 5 genies
Published: April 30, 2013
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal/Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
Pages: 371
Format: Paperback
Purchase At: Amazon.com or The Book Depository

Goodreads Summary

Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

My Review

This book could have been better. I say this because Sweet Evil was the book that I pimped everywhere. I can't say that I will be doing the same with Sweet Peril because Wendy Higgin's second instalment wasn't as strong as her debut.

Sweet Peril takes off where its predecessor left and we're back with Anna and her daily Nephlim grind. She's got to work to keep her dad off of the other Duke's radar, turning the human population towards alcohol and drugs, but her heart isn't in it. Partly because she's half angel, and also because Anna's predominantly occupied with thoughts of Kaidan, missing him. They are still trying to take down the Dukes and gather allies, but it felt like all that really mattered was how much Anna missed "Kai." The fate of the world rests in her hands, and all Anna really wanted to do was see the boy.

To be fair, she does take the responsibility of saving Neph and Humankind seriously, but the teen swoony romance could have been dialled down. They are in love, I get that, but it felt like their romance dominated most of the book. I was looking forward to reading more of Kaidan and Anna, but with the way it was handled in Sweet Peril, I began to tire of their romance. It was like her life basically revolved around him, and one can only read about how smouldering a guy is before it gets to be enough. There are issues with Kopano, as can be expected, as well as an interesting revelation that has to do with Neph and their badges, but in all honesty Sweet Peril had more to do with Kaidan and Anna not being together than anything else.

I expected more substance, and even though we meet more of the other Neph, discovering additional information in regards to the prophecy, I wasn't as enamoured this time around. The series is still fantastic, I love you Wendy, but I'm hoping that Sweet Reckoning will more than make up for where this book fell short.

3.5/5 geniesSweet Peril is compelling, and while it picks up nicely from where the former left off, this book fails to deliver as emotional an impact as the first.





POST DIVIDER

Review: Unbreak Me by Lexi Ryan

Unbreak Me by Lexi Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 genies
Published: May 24, 2013
Series: N/A
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Smashwords
Source: Purchased
Pages: 234
Format: eBook
Purchase At: Amazon.com

Goodreads Summary

“If you’re broken, I’ll fix you…”

I’m only twenty-one and already damaged goods. A slut. A failure. A disappointment to my picture-perfect family as long as I can remember. I called off my wedding to William Bailey, the only man who thought I was worth fixing. A year later, he’s marrying my sister. Unless I ask him not to…

“If you shatter, I’ll find you…”

But now there’s Asher Logan, a broken man who sees the fractures in my fa├žade and doesn’t want to fix me at all. Asher wants me to stop hiding, to stop pretending. Asher wants to break down my walls. But that means letting him see my ugly secrets and forgiving him for his.

With my past weighing down on me, do I want the man who holds me together or the man who gives me permission to break?

My Review

This book essentially provides every girl's ideal scenario: two hunky guys fighting it out over her. Except, choosing between the two isn't as easy a decision to make as you would suppose. Not when one is saying that he'll "fix" you, while the other's asking you to break. I find that this is what sets Unbreak Me apart from other books; there isn't really a villain, just the characters dealing with hard issues and bad people making the task difficult. Normally the good guy wants to do one of the following: either fix the female lead, or catch her when she falls. The jerk is supposed to want the absolute worst for her, but what do you do when both men are "good" guys?



The characters were what sold Unbreak Me; I loved Maggie and Asher, even William! I would never want to be in her shoes, because they both obviously care a good deal about her, they just have differing notions of what Maggie needs.

Maggie herself is a complicated and jaded character. Nothing could have prepared me for what I eventually learn of her; you think you know what it means to carry around baggage, but not the kind Maggie's hauling. She is dealing with A LOT and in a small town where nobody forgets, jeering calls of "Lucy" (Loose-ey, get it?), have long since become synonymous with her given name. The whole town thinks she's a slut, even her family, but I won't spoil that, and you can't help but wonder how the character lasted as long without shattering into a million pieces.

Asher's like this sexy rocker who sees the cracks and knows something's about to break. Maggie wears the slut tag like a badge and outwardly doesn't mind what a lot of people think about her. She's not looking for serious, but Asher's not about to trifle with Maggie. He's the guy telling her she deserves better, but that'll happen only if she starts being honest with herself and him.

This is where William and Asher agree, that Maggie needs to let someone in, but that is where the similarities end. He's loved Maggie for longer than Asher and he is at the ready to stop the wedding with her sister should Maggie say the word, though it would have been nice if he hadn't gotten engaged to her in the first place. I thought I'd hate William for putting the sister's in that predicament, but I saw how conflicted he was since he really did love them both, but in different ways. You know the drill.

In the end, it really did come down to Maggie and what she needed. I was torn because my loyalties had 100% switched to William by the end, and I really wanted him to be happy, but healing does come for Maggie and that is all that really matters. This is among my favourite New Adult novels, it's mature and involves sexual situations and coarse language, so be wary. Other than that, Unbreak Me receives a solid 4/5 genies from my end.

Packed with unexpected twists and heartbreak, Unbreak Me is memorable and beautiful, a fantastic New Adult novel!



POST DIVIDER

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (14): Endless Knight by Kresley Cole


*Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill@Breaking the Spine and is a weekly meme allowing for bloggers to connect and share their most anticipated reads.*


This week I'm waiting on...


Endless Knight by Kresley Cole

Releasing: October 1, 2013

Goodreads Summary

In the second book of the Arcana Chronicles Evie has now fully come into her powers as the tarot Empress. And Jackson was there to see it all. In the aftermath of killing Arthur, the tarot Alchemist, Evie realizes that a war is brewing between the other teens that, following the apocalypse, have been given powers and its kill or be killed.

Things get even more complicated when Evie meets Death, the mysterious, sexy Endless Knight. Somehow the Empress and Death share a romantic history - one that Evie can't remember, but Death can't forget. She is drawn to the Endless Knight, but is in love with Jack. Determined to discover why she's been granted these powers, Evie struggles to accept her place in a prophecy that will either save the world, or completely destroy it.




Because there can never be enough Jack, period. I needed this book for my shelf once Poison Princess was finished. October can't come soon enough, this one is definitely on my wishlist!

What are you waiting on?






POST DIVIDER

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cover Reveal: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi (Warner Will Dominate)

Service Announcement: Ladies and Gentlemen, I ask you to lock away your prized book editions, hold on to your fangirl seats, and get ready to be blown away because the cover for Ignite Me is out, and boy is it a LOOKER! 


Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: February 4, 2014

Goodreads Summary

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, called "a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love"

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong.

In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined the best of dystopian and paranormal and was praised by Publishers Weekly as "a gripping read from an author who's not afraid to take risks." The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was "dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense." Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.

Praise for the Shatter Me series:

"Dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense. I dare you to stop reading."-Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures series

"Tahereh Mafi's bold, inventive prose crackles with raw emotion. A thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love, the Shatter Me series is a must-read for fans of dystopian young adult literature-or any literature!"-Ransom Riggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

"Addictive, intense, and oozing with romance. I'm envious. I couldn't put it down."-Lauren Kate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fallen series

My Initial Reaction: Pretty much that Warner is going to kick Adam's hiney come this book's release, because let's face it, my boy is MUCH stronger than that wuss, Adam. I will settle for no less than Warner ending up with Juliette, and them being happy as they settle down, (with possible kids), together. You here that, Mafi? No sacrifices, no sudden deaths, nothing short of him being happy. Capiche? Adam can go find a hole :P 

So you've heard my thoughts on this cover. What do you make of this upcoming release? Do you agree or disagree with me in regards to the outcome of this tormenting love triangle? Either way I'm psyched to read anything by Mafi, love you girl! What about you?

Thanks for reading. Take care!

XX




POST DIVIDER

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 genies
Published: February 26, 2013
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Library Loan
Pages: 325
Format: Hardcover
Purchase At: Amazon.com or TheBookDepository

Goodreads Summary

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

My Thoughts

Eleanor & Park is such a profound book. I went in thinking that this would be one of those over-hyped reads that everyone loves for no particular reason. I am so happy to say that this book is definitely not that. I'm so in love with Eleanor, with Park and this story...Rainbow Rowell pretty much catapulted herself to the very top of my "love" list with this book. She's amazing.

Plot: I like that the story progresses from them disliking each other to a lovely kind of love which first grew from friendship. You really get the sense that these two, Eleanor and Park, are from entirely different households. They shouldn't even be bumping shoulders, but they do because she's got nowhere else to sit on the bus, and Park being the grudging gentleman offers his much coveted empty spot. She sits, they don't talk, pretty much the end of story. Except...there's just something about Eleanor, and that Park...

Seeing their friendship develop was the best thing. They bond over music (rock and roll of course) and comic books. This is where Park warms my heart, he gives her things like his music player, a device her lousy step-dad, (responsible for kicking her out of the house for a year), and mousy mom, (who did not retrieve her daughter for a year), could never provide. He lets her pretend, that she doesn't have to go home to sharing everything at least three ways. He's her little piece of escape, and I was just as lost (in him) as Eleanor.

This book captures them pretty much at that weird phase in high-school, where you're uncomfortable in everything and all the world seemingly has a magnifying glass trained to watch you fail. This sense of awkwardness helped the story. You could tell that Eleanor was uncomfortable with her body, that everyone else wanted her to feel uncomfortable, but that Park just couldn't get enough of who she was. He likes her, even though the other kids call her Big Red, (assholes), and she's not from the best home. He likes her, and I loved him.

Setting: The setting was a throwback to the 80's, Bon Jovi you forever have my heart. All the big hair, Walkman's and leg warmers...really it was rad. There's a fair amount of cussing in this so be warned going in, the language is coarse at times. Eleanor & Park takes place in a town of disparity. You have some families like Park's who are pretty well off, they aren't rich, but compared to Eleanor's brood, there isn't much to complain about. She's living in tight quarters and hand-me-downs are a way of life, necessities.

Most books have this huge border between the rich and poor, like poor people must be segregated, but Eleanor & Park was more realistic. Sure the divide exists, but it is not hardly as huge. He can make it to her house by foot, no need for hitch-hikes or bus tickets, and the two exist somewhere inbetween.


Aw. Call me sentimental!

The placing of the story was both chosen and written well, if it were any different I don't think I would have lost myself as entirely in the novel.

Characters: This is the big one. Characters like these feel like precious marbles rolling about. You want to pick them up, dust them down and describe them all, but that isn't very efficient. Eleanor & Park is made up of an ensemble of very real almost-people. Almost because they are fictional, keepin' it real y'all, but they're endowed with enough problems and failings of their own that you almost forget they're fictional. There's a list of characters with issues: Eleanor has home problems, she's being bullied by some pervert writing nasty things in her notebook, and her stepfather is the crown regent of all douches. Park has a little bit of identity issues going on, he's half Korean and doesn't fully know what that means. His parents love each other, but he is feeling a little out of place with himself. There's also the matter of women still being primarily dependent on men; Rowell brings to mind the struggle many mothers and wives faced, trying to strike a balance between being a home-maker and independent.

This is why I say that everyone has something going on. Even the mean girl has problems, hell hairspray is not the answer to everything!


I speak the truth.

Eleanor was my favourite. She is sarcastic, opinionated and awkward. She is the kind of heroine I should have grown up reading; curvy and real, Eleanor truly does feel like a person. I'm kind of sick of YA/NA novels having model thin girls alone ending up with the great guys, like being big immediately disqualifies you from happiness or something. The cute guys are going to want even cuter girls, YA/NA says, and I am happy to report, Rowell pretty much slapped that idea upside the head.

For many people life is struggle. They don't live picturesque realities marred solely by one event! Life is like being tossed down a hill (you know the more dangerous version of the kind kids roll themselves down on). If by the end of it you're somehow unscathed, everyone knows you were wearing shin pads. Eleanor was rolled down that hill. She didn't make it out without bruises, but she's inspirational to me; I know she is going to inspire somebody else as well.

Overall: This book is not perfect. It ends pretty sadly and I did consider briefly pulling out a blue light in case Rowell had written the actual conclusion in invisible pen. Alas, this was not so and it really does end like that. It was realistic, true to what usually comes of life and young love. It doesn't mean that I liked it. I would have preferred a better resolution to things, but there is no use crying over spilt gin. At least I think that is how the saying goes? I see the glimmer of hope there on the final page, the idea of Eleanor and Park is still there, but truthfully I would have liked more. These two belong together.

I'm sure somebody could find faults with this book, that is why it isn't perfect, but I certainly couldn't fault Rowell or Eleanor & Park for anything. I liked the story, loved the characters and fell for the romance. It got me hard and my permanent copy is on its way in the mail now. This is why lending books from the library is pretty much pointless; when the novels are as good as Eleanor & Park, I end up buying them anyway.

5/5 genies: 5 million bajillion genies, again and again, this book is incredible! By far the best read of 2013 :)





POST DIVIDER

The Truth And Nothing BUT...

Going by FTC guidelines, allow me to point out that all the novels reviewed on this blog were either bought by me, or given by an author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Those books received from Authors and Publishers will be stated clearly as such, as will the ones purchased by myself. There is no shady business going on; no coercion, bribery or compensation has or will ever be received in exchange for any reviews. These thoughts are mine, wacky as they may be, and my honest opinion is all you can truly expect. Still reading? You should be off checking out those awesome reviews ;)