Showing posts from May, 2013

Maya's Notebook

Maya's Notebook By Isabel Allende Published on April 23rd 2013
Published by Harper
Source: ARC from publisher
Neglected by her parents, nineteen-year-old Maya Nidal grows up in a rambling old house in Berkeley with her grandparents. Her grandmother, Nidia, affectionately known as Nini, is a force of nature--a woman whose formidable strength helped her build a new life after emigrating from Chile in 1973. Popo, Maya's grandfather, is an African American astronomer and professor--a gentle man whose solid, comforting presence helps calm the turbulence of Maya's adolescence.

When Popo dies of cancer, Maya goes completely off the rails. With her girlfriends Maya turns to drugs, alcohol, and petty crime, eventually bottoming out in Las Vegas. Lost in a dangerous underworld, she is caught in the crosshairs of warring forces--a gang of assassins, the police, the FBI, and Interpol. Her one chance for survival is Nini, who helps her escape to a remote island off the coast of Chile. Here…

Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare By Jacqueline Green Published on May 14th, 2013
Published by Little Brown
Source: Publisher for Review
When a simple round of truth or dare spins out of control, three girls find it’s no longer a party game. It’s do or die.

It all started on a whim: the game was a way for Tenley Reed to reclaim her popularity, a chance for perfect Caitlin “Angel” Thomas to prove she’s more than her Harvard application. Loner Sydney Morgan wasn’t even there; she was hiding behind her camera like usual. But when all three start receiving mysterious dares long after the party has ended, they’re forced to play along—or risk exposing their darkest secrets.

How far will Tenley, Caitlin and Sydney go to keep the truth from surfacing? And who’s behind this twisted game?

Set against the backdrop of Echo Bay, an isolated beach town haunted by misfortune, Truth or Dare is a highly charged debut that will keep readers in suspense from beginning to end.
Truth or Dare is a captivating and suspenseful b…

Joint Review- Delirium Stories and Requiem + Giveaway!

Delirium Stories By Lauren Oliver Published on March 5, 2013
Published by Harper Collins
Source: Publisher
For the first time, Lauren Oliver's short stories about characters in the Delirium world appear in print. Originally published as digital novellas, Hana, Annabel, and Raven each center around a fascinating and complex character who adds important information to the series and gives it greater depth. This collection also includes an excerpt from Requiem, the final novel in Oliver's New York Times bestselling series.

Hana is told through the perspective of Lena's best friend, Hana Tate. Set during the tumultuous summer before Lena and Hana are supposed to be cured, this story is a poignant and revealing look at a moment when the girls' paths diverge and their futures are altered forever.

Lena's mother, Annabel, has always been a mystery--a ghost from Lena's past--until now. Her journey from teenage runaway to prisoner of the state is a taut, gripping n…

Thorn Abbey (now with more gifs!)

Thorn Abbey By Nancy Ohlin Published on May 7, 2013
Published by Simon Pulse
Source: Publisher for Review
Nothing is as it seems in this darkly romantic tale of infatuation and possession, inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

Becca was the perfect girlfriend: smart, gorgeous, and loved by everyone at New England’s premier boarding school, Thorn Abbey. But Becca’s dead. And her boyfriend, Max, can’t get over his loss.

Then Tess transfers to Thorn Abbey. She’s shy, insecure, and ordinary—everything that Becca wasn’t. And despite her roommate’s warnings, she falls for brooding Max.

Now Max finally has a reason to move on. Except it won’t be easy. Because Becca may be gone, but she’s not quite ready to let him go…
Thorn Abbey is a modern take on the story of Rebecca.  It follows the original story pretty closely (well until the end) and even uses the original names (and variations of those names where needed). I have some positives and negatives for this book... I think I am goin…

Bitter Angel Review + Giveaway

Thanks to AToMR Tours, we've got a review of the new New Adult contemporary/thriller, Bitter Angel, by Megan Hand.  Keep scrolling to check out our review and then enter to win a copy for yourself!  Visit the other tour stops for reviews, excerpts, interviews, and more!

Bitter Angel By Megan Hand Published on April 1st 2013
Published by: self-published
Torn between two realities.
A choice that will mean life or death.
She won’t know anything… until she wakes up.

College sophomore, Lila Spencer lived Friday night twice. She doesn’t know how or why, just that she did. As if she split in half and went in two different directions.

Out clubbing with her friends, Heather and Nilah, the girls rock it out and party hard. What begins as an innocent night will lead to a deadly fight for their lives, and Lila might be their only chance for survival.

In bed with her boyfriend, Jay, Lila is safe and warm as she drifts to sleep in the arms of the man she loves. Until she is sucked into a horrifying…

Doctor Who: The Silent Stars Go By

Thanks to TLC Book Tours, we're pleased to present a review for The Silent Stars Go By, an Eleventh Doctor adventure, by Dan Abnett. Make sure to check out the rest of the tour stops to see other reviews, and keep reading to enter to win an awesome giveaway!

Doctor Who: The Silent Stars Go By By Dan Abnett Published on April 23rd 2013
Published by BBC Books
Source: Publisher for blog tour
The winter festival is approaching for the hardy colony of Morphans, but no one is in the mood to celebrate. They're trying to build a new life on a cold new world, but each year gets harder and harder. It's almost as if some dark force is working against them. Then three mysterious travelers arrive out of the midwinter night, one of them claiming to be a doctor. Are they bringing the gift of salvation or doom? And what else might be lurking out there, about to wake up?

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, BBC Books has reissued/redesigned/reawesomed a series of eleven books -- one f…

Of Triton

Of Triton By Anna Banks Published on May 28, 2013
Published by Feiwel and Friends
Source: Publisher
In this sequel to OF POSEIDON, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half- Breeds should be put to death.

As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?
I found myself utterly confused about what was going on and it took me a little bit to remember all the characters and the plot of the first book.

I loved the relationship between Emma and Galen in Of Triton. I love that they…

Every Day

Every Day By David Levithan Published on August 28th 2012
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Netgalley
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day. (A note: I'll be referring to A with neutral pronouns -- they, their, themself -- as in the book, A explicitly says that they feel neither male nor female, and I don't think falling in love with Rhiannon would change that, despite the summary using 'he' to refer to A.)

This is one of those books …

Best Book Ever: Animals

While trying to come up with a topic for this week, I thought of my cats, who are most often found looking longingly at the desk I just booted them off of. (Otherwise they both try to type, and their command of the English language isn't great.) Which of course inspires this week's Best Book Ever topic: animals. Do you have a deep abiding love for Crookshanks, or for Shaggydog the direwolf, or perhaps the rats of NIMH? Do share! Check out our selections and let us know what you think in the comments.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is on my mind, perhaps because Mother's Day recently passed, and Mrs. Frisby's character is a shining example of pure maternal love, protection, and bravery in the face of danger. In order to avoid the deadly plow, the widowed mouse must relocate her four young children from the field to a new home, but her youngest child has pneumonia and cannot be moved. To solve the problem, Frisy confronts her fears and consults the owl (a terrifying…

Doctor Who: Earthworld

Thanks to TLC Book Tours, we're pleased to present a review for Earthworld, an Eighth Doctor adventure, by Jacqueline Rayner. Make sure to check out the rest of the tour stops to see other reviews, and keep reading to enter to win an awesome giveaway!

Doctor Who: Earthworld By Jacqueline Rayner Published on April 23rd 2013
Published by BBC Books
Source: Publisher for blog tour
Anji has just had the worst week of her life. She should be back at her desk, not travelling through time and space in a police box. The Eighth Doctor is supposed to be taking her home, so why are there dinosaurs outside? The Doctor doesn't seem to know either, or else he surely would have mentioned the homicidal princesses, teen terrorists and mad robots? One thing is certain: Anji is never going to complain about Monday mornings in the office again.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, BBC Books has reissued/redesigned/reawesomed a series of eleven books -- one for, you guessed it, each Doctor.  E…

Happily Never After

Happily Never After By Missy Fleming Published on Feb 8th, 2013
Published by Fire and Ice
There's no such thing as happy endings. Savannah, Georgia is rumored to be the most haunted place in America. Quinn Roberts knows it is. She's felt the presence of spirits her entire life, investigating and photographing them with her best friend. Only none of those encounters ever turned violent, until now. The menacing darkness feeding off her stepmother has promised she won't live to see her eighteenth birthday. After a chance meeting Quinn reluctantly allows actor Jason Preston into her life, which has complications of its own. She's not used to letting people get close. Falling for him while fighting for her life, and her family's legacy, only complicates things more. Jason shows her exactly what she stands to lose, especially when she's being attacked by the mysterious entity. Each attack is more violent and terrifying than the last. With Jason's help, she dives …

The Ward

The Ward By Jordana Frankel Published on April 30
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher
Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.

However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface.

 Unexpected.  That is what I would consider this book.  I was a bit leery going into this book.  I wasn't sure what to think of the first 30 pages - it wasn't at all what I expected and I was doubtful that I would enjoy the book.  Though Ren is not the most likeable character (…

Stealing Harper : Will the real Chase Grayson please stand up?

Welcome to The Best Books Ever! We have two treats for our readers today! First an exclusive excerpt:

Stealing Harper By Molly McAdams Published on June 4th 2013
Published by William Morrow
Derek was wiping tears from his eyes, “Oh my God! Princess, is she serious?” I growled again. That was my name for her. She swallowed roughly and disentangled herself from Bree before heading straight toward me. My heart started pounding until I realized she hadn’t seen me yet and I was standing in the way of the front door. Jolting back slightly when she realized I was in her way, her eyes looked everywhere but at me, “Please. Move.” And let her leave? Hell no. I grabbed her shoulders and turned her around at the same time I started walking us toward my room. “Don't touch me!” “Just trust me.” I growled and walked her through the living room where everyone was still laughing. “Looks like Chase is gonna take care of that problem for you, Princess!” Brad yelled and I’ve never wanted to punch my frie…

It Happened at the Fair Promo and Giveaway

It Happened at the Fair By Deanne Gist Published on April 9, 2013
Published by Bethany House
Source: Net Galley
A transporting historical novel about a promising young inventor, his struggle with loss, and the attractive teacher who changes his life, all set against the razzle-dazzle of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

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

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


Goddess By Josephine Angelini Published on May 23, 2013
Published by Harper Teen
Source: Anna from Literary Exploration
After accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count.

To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas’s life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.

In Josephine Angelini’s compelling conclusion to the masterfully woven Starcrossed trilogy, a goddess must rise above it all to change a destiny that’s been written in the stars. With worlds built just as fast as they crumble, love and war collide in an all-out battle that will leave n…

Wednesdays in the Tower Tour

Wednesdays in the Tower By Jessica Day George Published on May 7th 2013
Published by Bloomsbury Children's
Source: Publisher for review
A castle that is constantly rearranging itself, and a young royal family sworn to protect it... Celie, Rolf, and their beloved Castle Glower are back in this exciting sequel.

Strange things are afoot in Castle Glower: new rooms, corridors, and even stables keep arriving, even when they aren't needed. Celie's brother Bran, the new Royal Wizard, has his hands full cataloguing an entire storeroom full of exotic and highly dangerous weapons, while Celie has her hands full . . . raising the creature that hatches from a giant egg she finds! Will they be able to find out what's making the Castle behave this way in time? I am a big fan of Jessica Day George.  Her young adult fairy tale and myth retellings have been some of my favorite books to read.  I was a bit skeptical at first when I learned that she was writing a Middle Grade novel.  I find …

Call of the Vampire

Call of the Vampire By Gayla Twist Published on March 29th, 2013
Published by CreateSpace
Aurora Keys has dreamed of the Vanderlind Castle ever since she was a little girl. But the fiercely private Vanderlinds keep the massive structure strictly off limits to visitors. Until one night, the wealthy family throws a party —- not just a small soiree, but a huge black-tie affair. No one from the town of Tiburon, Ohio, is invited —- not even the mayor. But Aurora’s best friend, Blossom, has a foolproof plan for the two of them to sneak in. At first, everything goes smoothly: the girls enter the castle undetected, and there is free champagne. But then the handsome Jessie Vanderlind sweeps Aurora into his arms, crushing her to his chest and whispering, “I knew you’d come back to me.” Aurora understands it is a case of mistaken identity, but she feels connected to him somehow. And the boy is so beautiful, she believes she would be happy if he never let her go. Once Jessie realizes he is mistake…