Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer and Bookhounds. For this hop, I am giving away a SIGNED copy of Tighter by Adele Griffin and a copy of Head Games by Keri Mikulski! Good luck, thanks for stopping by and don't forget to visit the other participating blogs.
Contest Rules:
  • Must be 13 years old or older to enter
  • Fill out the form below
  • You must be a follower through Google Friend Connect (GFC) to enter
  • Extra entry for Tweeting: Summer Giveaway Hop! Win two books, a signed copy of Tighter by Adele Griffin and Head Games by Keri Mikulski:
  • Have a US shipping address
  • Giveaway ends on August 7, 2011
  • Truly Bookish is not responsible for any products lost or damaged during shipping

Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Review: Tiger’s Curse

Title: Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck
Release Date: Jan. 11, 2011
Publisher: Splinter
Pages: 402 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: Passion. Fate. Loyalty. Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing 17-year old Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.
The summer after high school graduation, Kelsey gets a job at a circus helping care for Ren, a beautiful white tiger with piercing blue eyes. She spends a lot of time with Ren, reads to him and begins to care about his well being. When Ren is sold, the new owner asks Kelsey to travel with him back to India to help the tiger get settled in the nature preserve that will be his new home. Little does Kelsey know that Ren is a gorgeous Indian prince under a curse that he needs her help to break.

I started reading Tiger’s Curse weeks ago but had to stop because I had some other review obligations. My bloggy friend KM at One Page at a Time encouraged me to get back to it ASAP and I am so happy she did because I loved it!

Tiger’s Curse is a wonderful break from the YA world of vamps, wolves, fae and other common paranormal creatures. I have seen other bloggers liken it to a YA Indiana Jones and that’s a good comparison. Houck’s descriptions of India completely drew me in. I loved the setting, the folklore, the food and the clothes. Kudos to the author for writing a minority leading character in a South Asian setting!

I loved the characters, especially Ren! He is the perfect YA leading man: handsome, smart, selfless, strong, brave and completely devoted to our leading lady. Even though I liked Kelsey, I could have slapped her for some of the decisions she made. Another great thing about this book, no insta-romance! There isn’t even an instant attraction (Ren was a tiger when Kelsey meets him, after all). Their relationship slowly develops as they get to know each other.

Tiger’s Curse does start off a bit slow and sometimes Kelsey’s voice does sound older than her 18 years, but the action picks up really well and I easily got past the issue with the dialogue. This book is magical, exciting, romantic and clean! I will definitely be reading the next book in the series: Tiger’s Quest.

Content: Kissing and some violence.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Scarlet

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: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
Publisher: Walker & Co.
Publish Date: Feb. 14, 2012
Genre: Historical
Goodreads Summary: Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance. Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.
The cover of Scarlet is absolutely gorgeous and I am so excited about this retelling of the legendary story of Robin Hood! What books are you waiting on?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Review: Wildefire

Title: Wildefire by Karsten Knight
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Pages: 400 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 2.5 stars
Source: ARC from Publisher
Goodreads Summary: Every flame begins with a spark.

Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.
I love the summary for Wildefire. A Polynesian girl, Ashline, who goes to boarding school where she discovers she is a goddess and meets other gods and goddesses from different cultures. The idea is fresh and brilliant but unfortunately, the execution was less so.

There is a lot going on in this book. The easiest way for me to review Wildefire is to list the things I liked and the things I did not.

What I liked: For some parts of the book, I liked Ashline. She was headstrong, independent and not whiney. I also liked the diversity in this story. There are gods from Asian, European and African origins. This made Wildefire unique. I don’t think I have ever read a book with a mix of so many different types of mythologies.

What I did not like: For most of the book, I was annoyed with Ash and found her to be a bit hypocritical. She hates her sister for being so violent but she is very violent herself. It is never fully explained why Ash and Eve have such extreme anger issues. Is from growing up as the only Polynesian kids in their neighborhood or a part of their mythology?

Without a doubt, Eve has major issues and should be locked up but I actually thought she was a sympathetic character. As such, I kept waiting for the real villain to appear and at one point, thought this person had come into the picture but then that storyline just sort of fizzled.

The first half of the book was hard for me to get through with the head bashing, the teenagers drinking at a bar, the odd way the dialogue is written and the creepy romance between Ashline, a high school sophomore and Colt, a college student. Additionally, I am still not sure about the focus of the story. There are multiple storylines involving Ashline and Eve, and a few involving lesser characters such as Serena, Raja and Colt.

The second half of Wildefire is exciting and better than the first half but the book ends with major cliffhangers and leaves more questions than answers. I plan to read the sequel because I am curious to see where the author is going with the story, or in this case, the stories.

Content: Profanity, kissing and sexual situations, heavy violence and underage drinking.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Review: Hourglass

Title: Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: Egmont USA
Pages: 397 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: One hour to rewrite the past . . .

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?
Hourglass is a great combination of paranormal and sci-fi. Emerson has been seeing ghostly apparitions for years and naturally believes she is crazy. She has a very supportive and loving family and a friend but still feels like freak and an outsider. When she meets Michael and the other consultants from the Hourglass, she realizes that she is not crazy and not alone with her abilities.

The concept behind Hourglass is original and I enjoyed it. I read this book at a great time because I needed something different. I loved the things Emerson saw: the people, the scenery and the way Myra McEntire describes them. The characters are well rounded and likable. While I did not love the hot and cold relationship between Emerson and Michael and the bit of a love triangle that developed with Kaleb, the book’s sci-fi elements more than made up for them. Also, I want to know more about Emerson’s friend Lily and I hope we will in the future.

While Hourglass does have a satisfying ending (hooray for no cliffhangers!), the book leaves you wanting to know more about the characters and their abilities. I am looking forward to the sequel.

Content: Kissing, mild profanity and some violence.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

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: Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publish Date: Feb. 2012
Genre: Thriller
Goodreads Summary: When sixteen-year-old Faye arrives at Holbrook Academy, she doesn’t expect to find herself exactly where she needs to be. After years of strange waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, Faye is afraid she’s going crazy. Fast.

But her first night at Holbrook, she feels strangely connected to the school and the island it sits on, like she’s come home. She’s even made her first real friends, but odd things keep happening to them. Every morning they wake on the floors of their dorm rooms with their hands stained red.

Faye knows she’s the reason, but what does it all mean? The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain she can’t trust him; in fact, he may be trying to kill her—and the rest of the world too.

Rich, compelling writing will keep the pages turning in this riveting and tautly told psychological thriller.
The cover of this book is gorgeous and I love paranormal thrillers! What books are you waiting on?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Review: The Near Witch

Title: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Release Date: Aug. 2, 2011
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 288 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC from Publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads Summary: The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
The The Near Witch is described as being “part fairy tale, part love story,” and that is right on point. The story has many elements of a classic fairytale: an isolated village set the past and steeped in folklore, a haunted area (in this case, a moor that borders the village), magic and of course, love. Victoria Schwab’s writing is beautiful and lyrical. The characters are rich and well rounded and the setting spooky and perfect for the story.

Lexi is a great main character. She is smart, resourceful, loving and protective of her family. She chooses to be a tracker and hunter, like her father, instead of a more traditional role for a girl in her village. She is also a sleuth determined to find out what is happening to the missing children instead of jumping to conclusions and blaming the stranger for taking them. Cole, aka the stranger, is a wonderful mixture of strength and vulnerability, I loved him! The relationship between Lexi and Cole is very sweet and one of my favorite parts of the book, second only to Ms Schwab’s writing. I did find Lexi’s memories of her father’s worshipful reverence of the moor to be very spooky mainly because I found the moor to be very spooky.

I was a good girl and did not skip ahead to find out the answers to the book’s mysteries and am so happy that I waited. The Near Witch is easily a standalone book. It has a nice, steady pace and picks up at the end for satisfying conclusion.

Content: Kissing and some violence.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cover Reveal: Shatter Me

Title: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: Nov. 15, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Dystopia, Paranormal
Goodread Summary: Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old-girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now. Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.
With this beautiful cover and exciting description, Shatter Me is one of my most anticipated reads of the fall! It combines my two favorite genres, dystopia and paranormal, and I have heard so many great things about this book. Are you looking forward to Shatter Me?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

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: Halflings by Heather Burch
Publisher: Zondervan Publishing
Publish Date: Feb. 2012
Genre: Paranormal
Goodreads Summary: After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with. A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.
You may have heard me say I stay away from angel books and with very few exceptions, I usually do. Halflings is one of those exceptions. Love the cover and the summary. I really, really want to read this book. What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Book Review: Born at Midnight

Title: Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
Release Date: March 29, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 416 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Purchased

Goodreads Summary: One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world. Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart. Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…
Born at Midnight is a fun paranormal read about a girl who is going through a lot externally with family and friends and internally with herself. Kylie is still hurting from being dumped by her boyfriend and her parents are getting a divorce. Kylie had started seeing a therapist because she was having horrible night terrors and occasionally seeing a soldier appear and stare at her, but no one else can see this man. At the advice of Kylie’s therapist, her mom sends her to a summer camp for troubled teens so Kylie feels dumped by her parents as well.

Shadow Falls Camp is a haven for paranormal teens and even though C.C. Hunter does not go into the mythology of the different paranormals in a ton of detail, it’s enough to answer your basic questions. There is a love triangle (maybe even a bit of a square if you throw in the ex) but it was not the book’s main focus, which is great. The story is about Kylie coming to terms with what she may be and her relationships with family and friends.

Born at Midnight is the beginning of a really good new paranormal series. There is so much more story with these great characters and plot and I am excited about the next book, Awake at Dawn.

Content: Profanity, sexual situations, kissing, underage drinking and violence. Recommended for older teens.

Monday, July 11, 2011


The winner of the finished copy of Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz is Linda Dao from By the Book and the winner of the Freedom Giveaway Hop is Astrid A! Both winners were chosen by and have been notified by email.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaways and I will be doing another giveaway starting on August 1 so stay tuned and make sure you enter.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cover Reveal: Perception

Title: Perception by Kim Harrington
Release Date: March 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Summary: This hotly anticipated sequel to CLARITY delivers another dark, paranormal mystery. When you can see things others can't, what do you do when someone's watching you? Everybody knows about Clarity "Clare" Fern. She's the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past. Only Clare would rather not be a celebrity. She prefers hanging back, observing. Her gift is not a game to her. But then someone starts playing with her head . . . and heart. Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns. Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare's pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare's hopeful ex-boyfriend who'd do anything to win her back? One thing is certain. Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon. Because the messages are becoming sinister, and a girl in town has suddenly disappeared.
Clarity is one of my favorite paranormal mysteries and so I am very excited to read Perception! I love this cover. I think it complements Clarity perfectly and may even be prettier! What do you think of the cover and are you excited for this book?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Follow My Blog Friday – 7/8/11

Happy Friday everyone! The Follow My Book Blog and Blog Hop Friday hosted by Parajunkee's View and Crazy For Books
The first question is: Let's step away from besties...What is the worst book that you've ever read and actually finished?
If a book is bad, I usually don't finish it so I really had to think about this question. I have to say Beowulf, required middle school reading. I know it was supposed to be this epic piece of literature but I hated reading it and discussing it. I could not believe they actually made that awful movie out of it….

The second question is not a question at all but a chance to promote another blogger’s giveaway!
Hop over to New Books for New Bloggers for a chance to win an ARC of Passion by Lauren Kate.
Hop over to Christy at The Reader Bee for her 500 Follower and 6 month Blogoversary Giveaway. She is also giving away a signed copy of The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

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: Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publish Date: Feb. 14, 2012
Genre: Paranormal
Goodreads Summary: To Rosa Alcantara, the exotic world of Sicily, with its network of Mafia families and its reputation for murder and intrigue, is just that—exotic and wholly unknown. But when her life in Brooklyn begins to fall apart, she must travel there, to her family’s ancestral home, where centuries of family secrets await her. Once there, Rosa falls head over heels for Alessandro Carnevare, the son of a Sicilian Mafia family, whose handsome looks and savage grace both fascinate and unsettle her. But their families are sworn enemies, and her aunt and sister believe Alessandro is only using Rosa to infiltrate the Alcantara clan. And when Rosa encounters a tiger one night—a tiger with very familiar eyes—she can no longer deny that neither the Carnevares nor the Alcantaras are what they seem. Hidden caves, dangerous beasts roaming the hills, and a history of familial bloodlust mean that Rosa can’t trust anyone. Torn between loyalty to her family and love for their mortal enemy, Rosa must make the hardest decision of her life: stay in Sicily with her new love…or run as far and as fast as she can.
This book has such an interesting concept and I can’t wait to read it! It seems to have been published in German a couple of years ago and will now be released in English in the US early next year. What books are you waiting on?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Book Review: Love Story

Title: Love Story by Jennifer Echols
Release Date: July 19, 2011
Publisher: MTV Books
Pages: 256 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 2.5 stars
Source: ARC from Publisher
Goodreads Summary: For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment? Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.
Love Story had so much potential be a great contemporary romance but unfortunately, it fell flat. I was left feeling like I cared more about the main character’s dreams and goals than she did and not liking the leading man at all.

There are two Erin Blackwells in this book. In the first half of the book, Erin is this awesome girl determined to live her dream of majoring in creative writing and becoming a published novelist. In order to live her dream, she gives up her million dollar inheritance and moves to New York taking minimum wage jobs and eating peanut butter crackers for dinner. Erin refuses anything from her controlling and manipulative grandmother and while this is stubborn and proud, I completely understand. Erin works really hard at everything she does and I was rooting for her to make it and get the publishing internship she so badly wanted. Love this Erin!

In the later part of the book, Erin is this annoying girl who can’t stop thinking about Hunter. She becomes this needy stalker who allows herself to be used because she can’t get this boy out of her system. Her priorities seem to change to the point that she is willing to sabotage her creative writing grade and internship to get a reaction out of Hunter. Did not like this Erin.

I loved Jennifer Echols’ writing and the idea of Love Story but I am curious as to why she would write Hunter’s character so flawed to the point that he is not likable. Hunter is controlling and manipulative, just like Erin’s grandmother but he is also a user which makes him worse. He and Erin have a sad history and their families have bad blood but I could not get past these issues enough to like him. I did, however, like the secondary characters and the classroom conversations between Erin and Manohar are some of the funniest I have read in a long time!

Quick question: How does a book get classified as young adult? Teenaged characters, high school/college setting? I am curious because I feel Love Story was more suitable for the adult market than YA. The main characters are over 18 and Erin’s first story for her creative writing class can best be described as a bodice buster while Hunter’s stories are almost all about his sexual encounters.

Content: Sex, underage drinking and profanity. Not recommended for younger teens.

Book Review: Girl in the Steel Corset

Title: Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 473 pages
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 stars
Source: ARC from Publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads Summary: In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one except the thing inside her. When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch. Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits. Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret. Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help and finally be a part of something, finally fit in. But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on, even if it seems no one believes her
The Girl in the Steel Corset is my first steampunk novel and I am happy to say it will not be my last! The combination of the historical setting and technology is fascinating. There is so much going on in this story, there really is no time to get bored. It is action packed and fast paced.
While I was intrigued to find out the mystery behind Finley’s dark side (and it’s really interesting), I found the Machinist’s secret identity a bit too easy to figure out. I had a few other issues with this book including 16-year-old Emily’s brilliance at engineering and surgery (where did she get her training, did she just figure it out?); the two love triangles; and I am still not clear on the what the exact nature of the Aether, this spirit realm where Griffin goes, and Griffin’s power.
I am a very character driven reader and I did not love these characters as much as I hoped to except for Jack Dandy. To be clear, I am not Team Jack. Like I said before, I did not care for the love triangle with Finley, Griffin and Jack but I loved Jack’s personality and wanted to read more about him.
Regardless of my issues, I liked this book and am now excited to read the sequel and more books like it. Additionally, the cover is gorgeous, one of the best I have seen this year!
Content: Kissing and violence. A man tries to rape a girl but she beats him up. We find out he has raped other girls and got at least one of them pregnant.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Freedom Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Freedom Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer and Simply Stacie. For this hop, I am giving away a copy of Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter, a matching bookmark AND a copy of Nailed by Jennifer Laurens!  Good luck, thanks for stopping by and don't forget to visit the other participating blogs!

 Contest Rules:- Must be 13 years old or older to enter
- Fill out the form below
- You must be a follower through Google Friend Connect (GFC) to enter
- Have a US shipping address
Giveaway ends on July 7, 2011
- +1 for Tweeting this giveaway. To make it easier, you can Tweet: "Freedom Giveaway Hop! Win Born at Midnight+swag AND Nailed: Please RT! @TrulyBookish"
(Truly Bookish is not responsible for any products lost or damaged during shipping)

Book Review: Pearl in the Sand

Title: Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar
Release Date: Sept. 1, 2010
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Pages: 336 pages
Genre: Historical, Christian Fiction
Rating: 5 stars
Source: ARC from Publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads Summary: Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes. At the age of fifteen Rahab is forced into prostitution by her beloved father. In her years as a courtesan, she learns to mistrust men and hate herself. Into the emotional turmoil of her world walks Salmone, a respected leader of Judah. Through the tribulations of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth in God and find healing from fear and rejection.
Rahab’s story is not told in detail in the Bible. We know she helps the Jewish spies in Jericho and her faith saves her entire family. We know she marries into the Tribe of Judah and is in Jesus’ bloodline, but apart from this we really don’t know anything about her. Tessa Afshar takes the few facts we know about Rahab and creates a wonderful fictional story of faith, love, forgiveness and restoration that will stay with me for a long time.
When I started reading Pearl in the Sand, I expected some sort of Biblical fairy tale where the poor abused heroine is rescued by the dashing hero and they live happily ever after. Not so much. Pearl in the Sand takes you from the circumstances that force Rahab into prostitution to when she meets Salmone and they fall in love and marry.
But the book does not happily end there. Like a lot of married couples, Rahab and Salmone have a very rocky start to their marriage stemming from low self esteem, un-forgiveness, self-righteousness and unrealistic expectations. While I was reading, there were times that I was mad at Rahab for emotionally sabotaging her own marriage and annoyed with Salmone for being so angry! While I loved this book as a whole, the really beautiful portion was what happened with the characters after the marriage. Even though we have no idea what really happened with these people so many thousands of years ago, Pearl in Sand is written so well that you are left thinking it could have happened this way, or better yet, I hope it did!
Content: This is not a YA book even though I think it would be okay for older teens. The main character is a former prostitute and both she and her husband have emotion and sexual issues stemming from this.


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