Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top Ten of 2011: Characters that Stole the Show


Today is day four of Top Ten Week, hosted by Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Lisa from A Life Bound By Books and co-hosted by Rachel from Fiktshun and Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books. Today, I wanted to talk about secondary characters that stole the show from the main characters and made these books infinitely more enjoyable. Here are my top 10:
1. Grimalkin
The Iron Fey series, by Julie Kagawa
With his quick wit, sarcasm and dry humor, Grim is probably my favorite character in the entire series.

2. Vic
Touch of Frost and Kiss of Frost, by Jennifer Estep
You just have to love Gwen’s bloodthirsty talking sword. He is awesome and even though I read the books, I could just hear him waging revenge in that British accent of his.

3. Pamela Rowe
Dearly, Departed, by Lia Habel
While the book’s main character is searching for answers and learning how to defend herself from zombies, her best friend Pamela is out killing them. With a parasol. Love this girl!

4. Hector Delos
Starcrossed, by Josephine Angelini
While Lucas may be Helen’s love interest, his cousin Hector is so much more interesting. And hotter. I’m hoping there is a lot more of Hector in the sequel.

5. Master Alcantara
Isle of Night, by Veronica Wolff
This Vampire gives off some seriously sexy/creepy vibes. I’m still not sure if I should be attracted to him or repulsed by him, but he does add delicious drama to the book!

6. Tamra Jones
Vanish, by Sophie Jordan
I hated that Jacinda and Tamra has such a poor sisterly relationship in Firelight so it was awesome to see Tamra really grow in Vanish. Plus, the whole complicated thing she has going on with Cassian is so tense and dramatic!

7. Lia Berttini and Luca Forelli
Waterfall and Cascade, by Lisa T. Bergren
While reading these books, I found myself wanting to know more about what was going on between Lia and Luca than Gabi and Marcello

8. Devon McCallister
Trial by Fire, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Got to love a quick witted werewolf with keen sense of style who delivers awesome one liners. I’m still hoping that he and Lake end up together….

9. Justin Spellman
Clarity, by Kim Harrington
I’m not one for cheating ex-boyfriends but Justin is a really sweet guy who made a horrendous, drunken mistake. I really liked him and hope that Clarity can forgive him and take him back. As you can tell, I’m kinda on Team Justin.

10. Kaleb Ballard
Hourglass, by Myra McEntire
While I don’t think he is a good match for Emerson and a teeny bit too sexually aggressive and self absorbed, Kaleb kept things interesting. Loved the fact the he was so much more easy going than Michael.

Who were your top ten characters for 2011?

Challenges Completed!


I only signed up for two challenges in 2011, the Debut Author Challenge (DAC) and the Borrowed Book Challenge (BBC). With so many fabulous books by debut authors, the DAC was easy for me and I finished it months ago. The BBC should have been easy too since at the beginning of the year, I got most of my books from the library so reading and review 48 of them should not have been a problem.

What I did not anticipate, however, were programs like NetGalley and Simon and Shuster Galley Grab and I ended getting a lot of books from them instead of my library. Instead of this challenge being easy, I struggled to finish it and have learned a valuable lesson in the process: set my book challenge goals at realistic levels because I really hate to fail.

I still have several NetGalley books to review but after I get through them, I will be requesting less and borrowing more. My library system is awesome and I always want to support it. I’ll be posting more on bookish New Year’s resolution in a week or so, but this is my first one.

Interested in what books I read for my challenges? Here is a link to them. How did you do on your 2011 book challenges?

Book Review: Aphrodite the Beauty

Release Date: August 3, 2010
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: 224 pages
Genre: Middle Grade, Mythology
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: Well-researched and true to the original myths, each volume in the Goddess Girls series addresses contemporary issues like friendships and relationships from a classically accurate—and entertaining—persepective.

In Aphrodite the Beauty, Aphrodite, goddessgirl of love, must deal with jealousy after giving Athena a makeover. It doesn’t seem fair that the godboys pay more attention to her friend when Aphrodite is supposed to be destined for love! She also copes with a crush from an unlikely source—the nerdy Hephaestus (god of the smith)—and learns that love comes in many forms.
I’m a fan of this Goddess Girls series and although I liked Aphrodite the Beauty a lot, I didn’t love it as much I did the first two books in the series. I feel like pre-teen girls are bombarded with love relationship issues and expectations at such a young age that I appreciate books that don’t focus on them but I know I’m not being realistic. Crushes happen and Aphrodite the Beauty actually deals with it in a very sweet and responsible way. Additionally, this book is about Aphrodite, after all, so of course it deals with crushes, angst and love.

Aphrodite is bored with all the attention she gets from the boys so to entertain herself, she gives her friend, Athena, a makeover. No one is prepared for the amount of attention Athena gets, especially from Ares, Aphrodite’s crush. 

As in mythology, Athena is a bit shallow. She becomes jealous of the Athena and is not always very nice to the one boy who actually likes her for who she is inside and not just how she looks. Aphrodite the Beauty is about jealously, friendship and most importantly, appreciating inner beauty. As with the other books in the series, the mythological aspects of the book are fun and well written.

So far, this series is an all around hit. I highly recommend it for pre-teen girls.

Content: Clean read. 

My Rating: Really Good!

Book Review: Persephone the Phony

Release Date: April 6, 2010
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: 160 pages
Genre: Middle Grade, Mythology
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: As Persephone's mother encourages her to do, she often "goes along to get along" instead of doing what she really wants. But when she meets Mount Olympus Academy bad-boy Hades, she finally feels she has found someone with whom she can be herself. He's the first person who actually listens to her, and she finds herself liking him, despite the fact that the other goddessgirls think he's bad news. But if he makes her feel so special -- and so comfortable -- can he really be all that bad? 

Authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams put a modern spin on classic myths with the Goddess Girls series. Follow the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy, where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills.
Persephone the Phony is the second book in the Goddess Girls series. While I’ve been reading the books in order, they can stand alone as well. As with the first book in the series, Persphone the Phony deals with real issues that today’s girls face while using a fun, mythological setting that gives pre-teens a loose introduction to Greek myth.

As the title suggests, Persephone is the subject of this book. Persephone is a people pleaser who goes along with others people’s opinions and plans, even when she feels different. With girls facing so much peer pressure, I liked the positive message that you should be true to yourself and not a ‘phony’ as Persephony was at the start of the book.

The book also deals with wrongfully judging people (in this case, Hades) and family relationships. There is a bit of romance in the book but it’s very sweet and innocent.

Persephone the Phony is another book in the Goddess Girls series that I would recommend to young girls. It’s adorable and a quick read. I am looking forward to the other books in the series.

Content: Clean read.

My Rating: Really Good!

Winner!


Congratulations to Stacey Brucale who is the winner of the Mid-winter’s Eve Giveaway Hop. The winner, chosen by Random.org, has been contacted. Thank you to everyone who participated! I still have the Best of 2011 giveaway going on so make sure you enter to win your choice of one of the great books being offered.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 10 Book Boyfriends of 2011


Today is day three of Top Ten Week, hosted by Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Lisa from A Life Bound By Books and co-hosted by Rachel from Fiktshun and Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books. While trying to come up with list of the most swoon-worthy guys I read about this year, I realized how picky I am about my book boys. This was much harder for me than I thought. Here are my picks:


1. Prince Ash
The Iron Knight, by Julie Kagawa
Yep, Ash is my number one. I read all four books in the Iron Fey series this year and while Ash seems so cold in the first two books, we really get to know him in the last book. I love how selfless he is and so willing to sacrifice everything to be with Megan. 

 2. Four
Divergent, by Veronica Roth
Easy to see why Tris was crushing on her hot trainer. Four is the perfect combination of quiet strength, power and vulnerability.

3. All three Delos boys (Lucas, Hector and Jason)
Starcrossed, by Josephine Angelini
Angelini put not one, but three hot demigods in her debut novel. I’m very happy that she did.

4. Daniel Kalbi
The Lost Saint, by Bree Despain 
At the very heart of this werewolf novel is a prodigal son-like story of redemption. I love Daniel and how hard he works to fight against the monster within and especially how he treats Grace.

5. Leon Grey
Prized, by Caragh O'Brien
Leon is handsome with a dark and brooding personality, which I don’t always like. However, he sacrifices so much for Gaia, I can’t help but love him!

6. Beckett Rush
There You’ll Find Me, by Jenny B. Jones
While his swoon-worthy character is clearly modeled after a Robert Pattison-like actor, Beckett is everything we wish and hope Robert Pattison is like in real life: loving, kind, patient, funny and completely down to earth.

 7. Luca Forelli
Waterfall and Cascade, Lisa T. Bergren
Luca may not have been the main character’s love interest but I loved him nonetheless. He is handsome, funny and determined to win Lia’s heart.

8. Rodolfo Greco
Cascade, by Lisa T. Bergren
Greco starts off as the hot bad boy but there is much more to him than meets the eye.

9. Logan Quinn
Kiss of Frost, by Jennifer Estep
I really like Logan and how protective he is of Gwen. Now I need him to face his past, stop his whorish ways and start a relationship with Gwen. Think you can handle that, hmmm Logan?

 10. Tucker Avery
Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand
I’m not one for cowboys but I will make an exception for Tucker. The romance between him and Clara is so incredibly sweet, it’s what I loved most about the book.

Who were your book boyfriends for 2011?

Book Review: Fateful

Release Date: Sep. 13, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 356 pages
Genre: Paranormal, Historical
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: In Fateful, eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, overbearing family she works for. Once the ship they’re sailing on reaches the United States, she’ll strike out on her own. Then she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets....

Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves are real and they’re stalking him—and now Tess, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.

Featuring the opulent backdrop of the Titanic, Fateful’s publication is poised to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the ship’s doomed maiden voyage. It is sure to be a hit among Titanic buffs and fans of paranormal romance alike.
When I read the summary for Fateful a few months back and saw that Claudia Gray was writing a book about werewolves on the Titanic, I knew I had to read it. While, I loved the historical aspects of this book, I was a little disappointed with the romance.

In Fateful, it’s clear that Gray did her research on the Titanic and it’s reflected in both the big and small the details about the ship. I love how Gray subtly and effectively combines the historical and paranormal aspects of the book.

Tess’s character is likable. She is a maid for a rich family whose matriarch treats the help very poorly. Tess, being smart and ambitious, plans to quit as soon as the ship gets to New York and make a new life for herself. She handles herself with grace even when being bereted by her employer. She is brave when the people she cares about are being threatened. The secondary characters are also well written and I loved how their stories were slowly revealed throughout the book.

As much as I liked Tess, I just was not enthusiastic about her relationship with Alec. Alec is the rich, handsome passenger from first class and Tess unwittingly gets involved in a dangerous situation he has going on with another passenger on the ship. Alec is dark and brooding throughout most of the novel. I understand that he is unhappy about his situation, but I really wanted him to stop moping and work just a little harder to keep Tess safe from Mikhail.

I was bugged by the fact that Tess does most of the ‘heavy lifting’ in this book while Alec is mostly sad. She thwarts the bad guy on several occasions, comes up with some of the better ideas to help Alec and pretty much saves him from himself. I’m all for strong female characters but I don’t think we need kick-butt heroines at the expense of strong male lead characters.

Their romance also happened a bit fast for me and before you say it, I know that a shipboard romance on the Titanic means that the couple has to meet and fall in love over a four day period. And yes, while I bought the shipboard romance in the movie Titanic, Alec and Tess are no Jack and Rose. I just was not feeling it. 

Fateful is original, has lots of action, forbidden romance and a dramatic and well written setting. Hardcore historical and paranormal romance lovers may like this more than I did. While not bad, this was just an OK book for me.

Content: Kissing, sex (no graphic descriptions) and violence.

My Rating: Just Fine

Mini Review: God Gave Us Christmas

Release Date: Oct. 10, 2006
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Pages: 40 pages
Genre: Christian, Children
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: As Little Cub and her family prepare to celebrate the most special day of the year, the curious young polar bear begins to wonder… “Who invented Christmas?”

Mama’s answer only leads to more questions like “Is God more important than Santa?” So she and Little Cub head off on a polar expedition to find God and to see how he gave them Christmas. Along the way, they find signs that God is at work all around them. Through Mama’s gentle guidance, Little Cub learns about the very first Christmas and discovers that… Jesus is the best present of all.

This enchanting tale provides the perfect opportunity to help young children celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and to discover how very much God loves them.
God Gave Us Christmas was the perfect book to read to my four-year-old in the days leading up to Christmas. He loved the story and illustrations, and that’s saying a lot for my son. This is the boy who gave up story books a year ago in favor of ‘information books.’ If the book is not about space, plants, animals or insects, he usually wants nothing to do with it.

God Gave Us Christmas provides another way for parents to help children understand the reasons why we celebrate Christmas and Santa’s role in the holiday. The book simply and lovingly illustrates that through Jesus, God gave us Christmas.

I borrowed God Gave Us Christmas in ebook format from my library; I will be buying a copy of this sweet little book to enjoy with my kids for years to come.

My Rating: Really Good!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top 10 Book Covers of 2011

Top Ten Week is hosted by Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Lisa from A Life Bound By Books and co-hosted by Rachel from Fiktshun and Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books. Today, I am very happy to post the books that I think have the prettiest cover of 2011. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Anna Dressed in Blood, by Kendare Blake
2. Blood Rights, by Kristen Painter
3. Across the Universe, by Beth Revis
4. Wither, by Lauren DeStefano


5. The Girl in the Steel Corset, by Kady Cross
6. The Pledge, by Kimberly Derting
7. Imaginary Girls, by Nova Ren Suma
8. Tiger’s Voyage, Coleen Houck


9. Vanish, by Sophie Jordan
10. Hourglass, by Myra McEntire

I recently realized that the same person, Nekro, designed both the covers of Anna Dressed in Blood and Blood Rights. I love his attention to detail, especially the hair! What are your favorite covers of 2011?

Top 10 Books I’ve read in 2011


I’m so excited to be taking part in Top Ten Week hosted by Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Lisa from A Life Bound By Books and co-hosted by Rachel from Fiktshun and Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books. Even though Today is technically the second day of the event, I am playing a bit of catch up so you will see more ‘Top 10’ posts from me today.

I read so many great books this year that it was hard for me to pick my Top 10. I tried to narrow it down to books that were published in 2011 and these are the ones that were the most memorable for me:

10. Trial by Fire, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
This book really surprised me, especially since it’s a sequel (which are usually not as good as the first book) AND I did not love the first in the series. Trial by Fire has tons of action and plot twists that I never saw coming. 

9. Half-Blood, by Jennifer Armentrout
I love mythology so it’s no surprise that more than one books with myth will pop up on my ‘Top 10’ list. I really enjoyed this story and I can’t wait for the sequel!

8. The Lost Saint, by Bree Despain
Technically, this was published at the very end of December 2010 but since I read it this year and loved it, I wanted to include it in my Top 10. While the relationship between the two main characters does hit a rough patch (as is typical in sequels), I still loved it. This entire series is a winner for me.

7. Waterfall, by Lisa T. Bergren
If you are looking for an adventure book with great romance, Waterfall has it all: time travel, gorgeous Italian warriors and kick-butt girls who fight with swords and bow and arrows! I really enjoyed reading this.

6. Delirium, by Lauren Oliver
Another genre that I love is dystopia and while I read and enjoyed many dystopian books this year, Delirium stood out to me mostly because of how beautifully Lauren Oliver writes. Of course, beautiful writing is nothing without an exciting plot and wonderful characters and Delirium has that too.

5. The Iron Queen, by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Fey series is one of my all time favorites and while I love all the books, The Iron Queen was my favorite.

4. Starcrossed, by Josephine Angelini
I can’t get enough Greek mythology and Starcrossed has a lot of what I love: sweeping romance, big feuding families, lots of fighting and great characters. I’m really looking forward to the sequel.

3. There You’ll Find Me, by Jenny B. Jones
There You’ll Find Me made me laugh and cry. It is an awesome feel good book that you don’t know you need until after you finish it. I adored this and can’t wait for the next book from this author.

2. Divergent, by Veronica Roth
There was so much hype about this book and it is very well deserved. It’s exciting and romantic with a crazy good ending that I did not see coming. It’s everything I want in my dystopia. 

1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor
Hands down my favorite of 2011. I had no idea what to really expect with Daughter of Smoke and Bone but I did not expect the awesomeness that I got. This is an intricately woven fantasy that I absolutely loved. The world building is excellent and the plot is fantastic. I cannot wait to read what Laini Taylor has in store for us in the sequel.


 Which books are in your ‘Top 10’ for 2011?

Best of 2011 Giveaway Hop!

 

I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas and welcome to the Best of 2011 Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer. This hop runs from Dec. 27-31. Just this month, I celebrated one awesome year of blogging so this giveaway also serves as a thank you to my wonderful followers. Thank you for the comments, advice and recommendations, you have really made this a fun year for me!


The winner will choose one of the following books: printed copies of Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Clarity by Kim Harrington, There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones OR an ebook of Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout. This giveaway is international to anywhere the Book Depository delivers. Follow the Rafflecopter instructions for the form below and good luck!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review: Shattered Dreams

Release Date: Dec. 6, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 352 pages
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Source: Publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads Summary: Sixteen-year-old Trinity Monsour wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But that isn’t as easy as it seems. Trinity is different. She is special. She sees visions, and for those she’s seen, it’s already too late. 

Trinity arrives on her aunt’s doorstep in New Orleans with virtually no knowledge of her mysterious heritage. She begins settling into life at a new school and even starts making friends. But all too quickly her dreams accelerate; twisted, terrifying visions of a girl locked in a dark room. And when the head cheerleader, Jessica, goes missing, Trinity knows she has no choice but to step forward with what she’s seen.

But people believe that Trinity has information about Jessica’s disappearance not because of a dream, but because she is involved. She is kind-of dating Jessica’s ex-boyfriend, Chase, and Jessica did pull a nasty prank on Trinity. Revenge seems like the likeliest scenario.

Nothing prepares Trinity for the dark odyssey that ensues while searching for Jessica, including the surprising romance she finds with Chase, or the shocking truths she learns, not just about the girl who has gone missing, but the past that has been hidden from her.
I expected Shattered Dreams to be similar to other paranormal thrillers I read and loved including The Body Finder and Clarity, two books about girls with paranormal abilities who use them to solve a crime. Shattered Dreams was more about Trinity finding out about her own paranormal abilities than about the crime and instead of thrilling, this book is confusing and disappointing.

The school’s resident mean girl/head cheerleader, Jessica, goes missing after she plays a prank on Trinity and so Trinity becomes the primary suspect. It does not help that Trinity and Chase, Jessica’s ex-boyfriend, start dating immediately after Jessica goes missing. Trinity has dreams where she sees Jessica being held captive and when she tells the police, it pretty much seals her fate as the suspect.

There are a couple of things that I liked about this book. Trinity’s aunt is an awesome character. She is loving, nurturing and involved in Trinity’s life. I’m tired of YA novels where teens live on their own like adults with no parental involvement so this was refreshing. I also love how the city of New Orleans is described. The post-Katrina beauty and desolation of the place is almost like a secondary character. The setting is very well written.

Unfortunately, there was more bad to this novel than good. Trinity spends most of the novel trying to figure out who she is, her abilities and get more info on her parents. The mystery of Jessica’s kidnapping gets pushed to the background for a big part of the novel and I was much more interested in solving the kidnapping than I was about Trinity’s past. 

Trinity’s character (or Chase’s for that matter) is never fully developed. In a few instances, Trinity seems spunky and stands up for herself, but most of the time, she is running away for stressful situations. The idea that they start a relationship while his ex is still missing has its own issues that I won’t even go into. After they start dating, Trinity and Chase fall for each other very quickly but when they have an argument, she runs away and ends up dancing inappropriately in a club with one guy and kissing another, all on the same day!

The writing is also a bit weird and overly dramatic with Trinity feeling like she is being punched in the gut after receiving some important piece of information or that her heart is being sliced out of her when she should have only been nervous or anticipating something. Trinity also feels betrayed. A lot. And yells “I trusted you!” A lot. There are also some paranormal events that were never explained and just seem to be forgotten by all involved as the story wore on.

While I like the idea behind this story, the execution leaves much to be desired. I probably won’t be picking up the other books in this series.

Content: Kissing, profanity, underage drinking and violence.

My Rating: Disappointing

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Dreamless

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week’s choice is:

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: May 29, 2012
Genre: Mythology
Goodreads Summary: As the only Scion that can enter Hades at will, Helen descends to the Underworld in search of a way to overcome the Furies and end the cycle of revenge that has cursed the Scions. But she’s running out of time. Each descent weakens her both in mind and spirit. A mysterious stranger might be her only salvation, but the price may be her love for Lucas Delos.

As an unforgettable love triangle emerges, Josephine Angelini’s compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding. The eagerly awaited sequel to the internationally bestselling Starcrossed, Dreamless delivers with a huge emotional impact that will leave readers satisfied—and longing for more.
2011 was a good year for YA books based on Greek mythology and I am in the mood for more. I am really excited for this sequel as I loved the first book in this series, Starcrossed. If you guys know of other books based on Greek myth that are coming out next year, let me know. What books are you waiting on?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Mid-Winter’s Eve Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer and co-hosted by Oasis For YA & The Daily Harrell. This hop runs from Dec. 21st to 27th.


For this hop, I am giving away a copy of A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young. Follow the Rafflecopter instructions for the form below and good luck!

Book Review: Athena the Brain

Release Date: April 6, 2010
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: 160 pages
Genre: Middle Grade, Mythology
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: In Athena the Brain, Athena always knew she was smart and special, but she didn’t realize that she was a goddess! When she’s whisked away to Mount Olympus Academy, she worries about fitting in and dealing with her dad (Zeus). Luckily, she meets the Goddess Girls and finds the best friends she’s ever had.
Athena, a super smart 12-year-old girl has been who has been living with her foster family since she was a baby, finds out that her father is Zeus and he has invited to attend school on Mount Olympus with other gods and goddesses. 

Athena has to deal with issues that a lot of girls face everyday like starting a new school, making new friends, balancing the pressures of school work with other activities, being embarrassed by your parents and bullying. There is also the local heartthrob (Poseidon) that many of the girls have a crush on but Athena is smart enough to see how self-centered he is and not worth her time (yay Athena!).

Athena the Brain is also great book to give pre-teen girls a loose introduction to Greek mythology. I really liked how the authors worked actual mythological events into the modern storyline and made it work very well.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to pre-teen girls who like sweet stories with a bit of magic. It's cute, has really positive characters and positive messages. I am looking forward to reading the other books in this series!

Content: Clean read.

My Rating: Really Good!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Book Review: Dearly, Departed

Release Date: Oct. 1, 2011
Publisher: Del Rey
Pages: 470 pages
Genre: Dystopia
Source: Publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads Summary: Love can never die. Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.
A few years ago I saw a zombie movie and it gave me the worst nightmares. Ever since then, I have avoided zombie books and movies because they scare me like almost nothing else can. Lately, however, there have been a few books on the YA market involving more sophisticated, romantic zombies. This move towards the lighter, prettier side of zombies is perfect for me. Not to say Dearly, Departed is all romance because it’s not. The brainless, flesh eating zombies are included as well, so it’s a good mix of dark and light.

Dearly, Departed is set in a dystopian future where climate change has caused survivors in North America to move to warmer climates in South America. While keeping their technological advances, these settlers have adopted a Victorian lifestyle in dress, speech and manners. I loved Lia Habel’s world building. The book has a wonderful steampunk feel to it.

Dearly, Departed is told from several perspectives including that of Captain Abraham “Bram” Griswold. Loved him! He is strong, funny, caring and very devoted to Nora. Even though Nora is brave, selfless and smart, her character fell a bit flat. I much preferred to read the portions of the story from either Bram’s perspective or from the perspective of Nora’s best friend, Pamela. Pamela’s quick thinking and butt-kicking was much more entertaining than anything that was going on Nora.

My other issue with the story is the romance. Nora and Bram are really sweet together but I could not get past the fact that he is dead, and while he is handsome, he looks dead. His skin is even gray! I have no idea why I feel this way as I have no issues with the vampire/human relationships in books and vamps are pretty much dead too.

Dearly, Departed has a good amount of humor, cleaver world building and some exciting action scenes. This is a fun and original book. It’s very cool how Ms. Habel put it together and I look forward to the sequel.

Content: Kissing and violence.

My Rating: Just Fine

Book Review: The Tent

Title: The Tent by Gary Paulson
First published: Oct. 1, 1996
Publisher: Harcourt
Pages: 96 pages
Genre: Middle Grade, Social Issues
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: Teenage Steven and his father, Corey, take to the road with a Bible, an old army tent, and less than the best of intentions. Tired of being poor, Steven's father is certain that preaching the Word of the Lord is the easy way to fame and fortune. But just when they've got their act down pat and the money is rolling in, Steven and Corey begin to realize that what they'd originally thought of as a harmless lie is all about avarice and power and, ultimately, guilt.
Fourteen year old Steven and his father, Corey, have had some hard knocks that have left poor and abandoned. When Corey decides he is going to be a tent preacher, Steven is horrified and embarrassed, but decides to go along with it hoping that his father will fail quickly and move on to something else. With a stolen Bible, they go from town to town and after a rough start, they realize that Corey is actually very good at delivering his sermons. The two collect a tidy sum in offerings but the money really starts rolling in when they start working with two con men who ‘help’ Corey with faith healings.

While The Tent is story about redemption, it left a bad taste in my mouth. Corey takes advantage of people who were just like him: poor, sick and looking for hope. While the story adequately builds up the con and shows how Corey and Stephen get to the point of defrauding thousands of people out of their money, the redemptive portion is very short and left me feeling unsatisfied.

The Tent is short and easy to read but just not a book for me.

Content: Clean read

My Rating: Disappointing

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Review: Ender’s Game

 
Title: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Release Date: Jan. 1, 1985
Publisher: Tor
Pages: 324 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut--young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.
I’m in awe that Orson Scott Card wrote Ender’s Game almost 27 years ago. It feels surprisingly modern and easily rivals and even bests some of today’s top science fiction and dystopian novels.

Set in the future, we meet Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, a six-year-old prodigy who the government believes is the next great war general to defend Earth against a third attack from an alien race. The reader has no choice but to sympathize with Ender’s character. Only a child, he is isolated, manipulated and used in order to mold him into this great soldier that he is not sure he wants to be.

Card does an excellent job in taking Ender’s character from a nice and idealistic little boy into a paranoid and hardened soldier. Your heart breaks for Ender and all he loses to become what everyone wants him to be. Secondary characters like Ender’s siblings Peter and Valentine are also well written. All three siblings are prodigies, but they are unusually mature. Actually, very few of the children in this book act their age and the ones that do are usually bullies. Buying into this story of kids saving the world does require to you to stretch your imagination, but this is sci-fi so I just went with it.  

There’s definitely a reason Ender’s Game is a sci-fi classic. The war strategy and social and political climate described in the story are fascinating. It is action packed and very fast paced, not to mention there a huge twist in the end that makes the story an absolute stand out. While I recommend it for anyone who likes science fiction, I highly recommend it for boys and especially for reluctant readers. Before you give Ender’s Game to your pre-teen, be aware that there is a lot of name calling, some profanity (the “s” word) and some very violent fight scenes.  

Content: Profanity and heavy violence.

My Rating: Very Good!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Pure & Deity

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week’s choices are:


Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publish Date (Pure): April 3, 2012
Publish Date (Deity): Nov. 6, 2012
Genre: Mythology
Pure Summary: There is need. And then there is Fate...

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her.

When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon... and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude... or killing her.

When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

Pure is the second book in the Covenant series and Deity is the third. Why am I waiting on these books? Because Half-Blood, the first book in the series, was made of awesome! I loved Half-Blood so much! You can read my review here. What books are you waiting on?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Review: Half-Blood

Release Date: Oct. 18, 2011
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Pages: 281 pages
Genre: Mythology
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Summary: The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1: Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.
I’m a huge fan of mythology and after reading Daimon and Obsidian, I am huge fan of Jennifer Armentrout as well. Half-Blood was even better than I expected. This book is awesome, fast paced, action packed and highly entertaining!

Half-Blood gives us a new spin of Greek mythology where demigods or Hematoi (and their children with each other) are considered pure but their children with mortals are considered half-bloods. The Hemotoi live by a brutal caste system where half-bloods are either forced into drug induced servitude or trained to protect the pures.

Our main character, Alex, is snarky, has an attitude problem and has a huge issue with authority. I can’t say that I blame her, being subject to the complete control that the pures have over the half-bloods would give anyone a bad attitude. Even with all her issues, I really like Alex. She’s had to deal with some horrific situations and is just trying to find some purpose in it. She is also flawed and makes some less than ideal decisions. I admire the way she takes responsibilities for her actions and faces the consequences head on. The secondary characters are well written and I especially like Aiden (of course) and Seth. While there is no love triangle in Half-Blood, I’m very curious to know what will happen with these three in the sequel.

One of the many things I love about Armentrout’s writing is how she creates relationships. Alex’s relationship with her mom is so precious and heartbreaking. Her relationship with Aiden is all slow burn and so well developed. I’ve mentioned my dislike of insta-relationships in books before so the romance in Half-Blood was a huge relief for me. Theirs is also the forbidden romance which just ratchets up the tension in an awesome way.

While I would have liked to know more about the gods, I have a feeling Armentrout will go more in depth with the mythological aspects in upcoming books. With lots of action and romantic tension, Half-Blood keeps you turning the pages. The sequel, Pure, is now one of my most anticipated sequels of 2012. I cannot wait to find out how this story continues!

While Half-Blood can be read on its own, I suggest you read the prequel novella, Daimon, first as it will gives more insight to Alex’s state of mind when she arrives at the Covenant. You can read my mini-review of Daimon here and download it from Spencer Hill Press for free.

Content: Sexual situations, kissing, mild profanity, violence and underage drinking. More appropriate for older/more mature teens.

My Rating: The Best!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Announcing the 2012 Multi-Cultural Book Challenge!

Welcome to the 2012 Muti-Cultural Book Challenge hosted by KM at One Page At a Time and myself. KM and I thought it would be great to highlight the fabulous YA books written by muti-cultural/ethnic minorities OR featuring multi-cultural/ethnic minorities as main characters.

The goal of this challenge is to read 12 minority YA books for the year. The books can be newly published or been around for a long time. Every month, either KM or I will feature a book or author that meets the criteria and do a book giveaway to those participating in the challenge. All you have to do is review at least one book per month that meets the criteria, upload that review to the Google Doc that will be on either of our sites and you will be entered to win! This is a chance to win a new book every month!

For January, I will feature and give away Living Violet by Jaime Reed: a YA paranormal novel with an African American main character written by an African American author.

There are so many great books to choose from, but if you need some suggestions, check out this list on Goodreads. Ready to sign up? Just declare your participation in the challenge by writing a post on your blog and add your post to the Linky provided. (Special thanks to Kristin from Kristin Creative for designing our awesome challenge button!)




Some of the books I plan to read for the challenge (and the ethnic background of the author or main character) include:

1. Living Violet by Jaime Reed (African American)
2. Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott (Asian)
3. The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards (African American)
4. Spirit’s Princess by Esther Friesner (Asian)
5. Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan (Asian)
6. Shifting by Bethany Wiggins (Native American)
7. Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck (Indian)
8. The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova (Hispanic)
9. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong (Native American)
10. The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
11. A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee (African American, Asian)
12. Daughter of the Flames by Zoe Marriott (Multi-Cultural)

I hope you will grab our button and join us for a year of awesome reading!

In My Mailbox #5


In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren. I got some great library books this week, just in time to finish up my Borrowed Book Challenge and I noticed some ebooks that I have been eyeing for a while were free on Amazon so I got those as well.


From the library:
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Legend by Marie Lu
Don’t Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough
Neuromancer by William Gibson


Free books from Amazon:
Hollowland by Amanda Hocking, The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos and The Soulkeepers by G.P. Ching. I also got the following short stories free from Amazon: Tomorrow is Today (A prequel to the upcoming Tempest) by Julie Cross, First Frost by Jennifer Estep and Tortured by Caragh O’Brien.

What did you get this week?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Winner!


Congratulations to Laura H. who is the winner of the Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop. The winner, chosen by Random.org, has been contacted. Thank you to everyone who participated! I have at least one more giveaway in December so make sure you stop by to enter.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Fantasy Books!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. I love fantasy novels so this week, I’m picking three that I am really excited about!

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: July 5, 2012
Summary: What's worse than being blackmailed to attend a hidden school where you're treated like a second-class citizen? How about nearly getting eaten by a monster when you arrive? Or learning that your soulmate was killed in a centuries-old secret war? And then there's the evil king who's determined to rule the world unless you can stop him...

Meet Kaya, a young woman with the power to heal and the determination to fight. But struggle as she will, she remains tied to three very different men: a hero who has forsaken glory, a tyrannical ruler who wants to use Kaya, and a warrior who's stolen her heart. Kaya learns the hard way that some ties can't be broken...and blood is the strongest bond of all.
Publisher: Walker
Publish Date: July 5, 2012
Summary: Frost is cursed - possessed by a wolf demon that brings death everywhere she goes. Desperate to find a cure, she flees her home, only to be captured by the Ruan Hill Guard. Trapped until she can prove she is not an enemy, Frost grows increasingly close to the Guard’s charismatic leader Luca and his second in command, the tortured Arian. Torn between two very different men, Frost fears that she may not be able to protect either of them ... from herself.



Title: Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publish Date: Sep. 11, 2012
Summary: In a desert land where serpents made of unbreakable glass fly through the sky and wolves made of only sand hunt within storms, Liyana is destined to be a vessel, to sacrifice herself so that her clan's goddess can inhabit her body... but her goddess never comes.
What books are you waiting on?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Free Novellas and a Great Ebook for Cheap!

I loved Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep and today, the ebook is only $2.99 at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble! Plus, the prequel ebook novella, First Frost, is available at both sites for free! Hurry up and get them before the prices go back up.

Tomorrow, Tortured by Caragh Obrien will be available at Amazon for free. Tortured is a novella bridge book between Birthmarked and Prized. I’ve already pre-ordered this one!

Onyx Cover Reveal!

I was fortunate enough to read an advanced copy of Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout and loved it! You can read my review here. Obsidian will be released tomorrow (Dec. 6) so make sure you get it. I so happy to reveal the cover of the next book in the Lux series: Onyx!
Buy Obsidian: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository



No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

While I know this summary does not give away much, I am so intrigued and looking forward to May when Onyx will be released!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Book Lover’s Holiday Giveaway Hop


Welcome to the Book Lover’s Holiday Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer and co-hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy. This hop runs from Dec. 2-6.


For this hop, I am giving away a copy of Luminous by Dawn Metcalf! Follow the Rafflecopter instructions for the form below and good luck.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Monstrous Beauty

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week’s choice is:

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Publish Date: August 21, 2012
Genre: Paranormal, Historical
Summary: Monstrous mermaids, ghosts, and a century-old curse feature in this beautifully crafted, compulsively readable thriller.

In 1872, mermaid Syrenka falls in love with a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

One hundred thirty years later, 17-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger and feels drawn to him in a way she can't explain or resist. For generations, love and death have been inextricably linked for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect...or a curse? Hester's investigation of her family's strange, sad history leads her to the graveyard, the crypt, and the bottom of the ocean--but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of long ago.
Mermaid books have been hit or miss for me in the past but there are several coming out next year that I am hoping will be hits. Monstrous Beauty is one of them. I’m a sucker for a beautiful cover and this one is gorgeous! Plus it sounds dark and twisty and did you see the word thriller in the description?!? This is on my TBR list for sure! What books are you waiting on?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Release Date: Sept. 20, 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 423 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who needs her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns is an original, wonderfully written fantasy novel that I did not see coming. I'm not sure what I expected from this book but it exceeded my expectations. I more of a character than a plot driven reader and this book has both a great main character and a fascinating plot.

I love Elisa! Her character experiences a tremendous amount of growth and maturity throughout the novel, probably the most of any character in a book I’ve read recently. Elisa, because of the Godstone in her bellybutton, knows she is destined for greatness but has no idea how she will achieve it. I know the idea of the Godstone, a living jewel placed by God in someone’s bellybutton, is kind of weird but the fantasy elements and world building are so well done, it works and works very well.

Elisa is sheltered, coddled, has never been responsible for anything but she is educated and book smart. She is an emotional eater with low self esteem and no self confidence. The story is told in first person and you really feel sorry for her especially when she is hastily forced into an arranged marriage to Alejandro and feels so inadequate and unworthy of him. Through the course of the novel, Elisa is put into situations where she could have allowed her lack of confidence to undermine her but she completely steps up and even though she is afraid, she steps out on faith and does what she prays she has been destined to do. Speaking of faith, religion plays a big part in The Girl of Fire and Thorns and this too is handled very well.  

The romance in the book is a little complicated as Elisa marries one man who does not see her worth but she learns love from another man who does. With all that going on, I was really pulling for a third guy (Team Hector over here!) and I hope to see a lot more of him in the sequel.

Some may see the beginning of The Girl of Fire and Thorns as being a little slow but all of it was necessary for the fantastic world building. The book picks up nicely and the adventure is awesome. The novel reads like a standalone book (no cliffhangers!) but I’m happy it’s the first in a series as I loved the writing, the characters, the political intrigue, the fantasy elements, the setting that invoked Spanish and North African influences, all of it. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

Content: Kissing, some adult themes and violence.

My Rating: Really Good!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Review: The Name of the Star

Release Date: Sept. 29, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 372 pages
Genre: Paranormal, Thriller
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.
The more paranormal thrillers I read, the more I love them and The Name of the Star is a really good paranormal thriller! Maureen Johnson puts a southern American girl in modern London and successfully manages to invoke all the gothic creepiness you would expect from a story about Jack the Ripper.

Rory is a great character, a girl from Louisiana who is attending an elite London boarding school for her senior year. Rory is quirky and her descriptions of her family and hometown are funny and entertaining. I love the secondary characters, especially Rory’s friends Jazza, Jerome, Boo, Stephen and Callum. I also love Johnson’s descriptions of London and especially Boo’s cockney accent. I wish I were better about audio books, I would have loved to hear this story through a narrator.

The first portion of the book deals with Rory getting settled into her new school and making friends while Ripper terror reigns over London. There is a turning point in the novel where the paranormal elements take over and the book becomes vastly different. The twist in the story works very well.   

While there is romance in the book, it is not the central focus and more of a side story. I love this because when I read this, I was in the mood for a thriller (not a paranormal romance) and thriller is what I got. Thankfully, The Name of the Star also lacks most of the other juvenile high school drama that boarding school books are known for.

The Name of the Star is a really well written story. It is creepy, fast paced and thrilling. When I finished the book, I wanted to spend more time in this world with these characters, so I am happy that this is the first book in a series. The Name of the Star also throws a huge twist at the end that has me anxious to get my hands on the next book! 

Content: Kissing, underage drinking, some gory descriptions and violence.

My Rating: Really Good!

Winner!


I hope everyone had an awesome weekend and congratulations to Ashlyn Williams (ashlyn_jai) who is the winner of the Gratitude Giveaway Hop. The winner, chosen by Random.org, has been contacted and has 48 hours to respond. Thank you to everyone who participated! I have at least two giveaways coming up in December so make sure you stop by to enter.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: So Close to You

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week’s choice is:

Title: So Close to You by Rachel Carter
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: July 10, 2012
Genre: Science Fiction
Summary: So Close to You brims with the compelling “what if” mysteries surrounding The Time Traveler’s Wife and all of the the action and creepy government experiments of The Maze Runner—and, in a new twist, presents a piercing look at a dark period in history and imagines what changes could have produced an utterly different world...and what one girl would do to stop it.

Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the Montauk Project all her life: stories about the experiments that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and the people who’ve disappeared over the years. When she stumbles into a vessel that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, Lydia realizes that all the stories she’s ever heard about the Montauk Project are true—and that she’s in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history.

Alongside Wes, a darkly mysterious boy whom she is wary to trust, Lydia begins to unravel the secrets surrounding the project. But the truths behind these secrets force her to question all her choices. And if Lydia chooses wrong, she might not save her family but destroy them...and herself.
So Close to You sounds like a really cool science fiction novel and so different from anything I’ve been reading. I'm loving time travel books right now and this one has some nice twists to it. Plus, I love the beautiful cover! What books are you waiting on?

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