Showing posts from November, 2013

Guest Review: Made to Last

Made to Last By Melissa Tagg Published on September 2013
Published by Bethany House
Source: Publisher
Miranda Woodruff, star of the homebuilding show "From the Ground Up," will do anything to keep the job she loves. Due to a painful broken engagement and a faith she's mostly forgotten, she's let her entire identity become wrapped up in the Miranda everyone sees onscreen. So when she receives news that the network might cancel her program, she must do the very thing she fears most: let the spotlight shine on her closely guarded personal life. The only problem? She's been living a lie--letting viewers believe she's married--and now she's called upon to play wife to a sweet, if a bit goofy, pretend husband to boost ratings.

Desperate to help his family and prove he's not a total failure, reporter Matthew Knox is looking for a breakout story. When he's offered the opportunity to do an online serial feature on Miranda Woodruff, he jumps at the c…

Panic in Pittsburgh

Panic in Pittsburgh By Roy MacGregor Published on October 8th 2013
Published by Tundra Books
Source: Netgalley
The Owls have been invited to Pittsburgh to compete in the biggest hockey tournament ever to be played on outdoor ice. The open-air tournament is to be held in the massive Heinz Field arena, home of football's mighty Pittsburgh Steelers. But almost as soon as the tournament begins, Travis suffers a serious concussion, just like the injury that sidelined Penguins' superstar Sidney Crosby. Travis is confined to his hotel room so his injured brain can recover. His memory is patchy, and he's having some weird dreams. And when he stumbles upon an outrageous plot to steal hockey's most coveted trophy, he can't be sure if his mind is playing tricks or the danger is a terrible reality.
First of all, I will admit that I requested this book from NetGalley mostly because it takes place in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is my adopted hometown, a place I love and adore for all of th…


Freakboy By Kristin Elizabeth Clark Published on October 22nd 2013
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: ARC from publisher
From the outside, Brendan Chase seems to have it pretty easy. He’s a star wrestler, a video game aficionado, and a loving boyfriend to his seemingly perfect match, Vanessa. But on the inside, Brendan struggles to understand why his body feels so wrong—why he sometimes fantasizes having long hair, soft skin, and gentle curves. Is there even a name for guys like him? Guys who sometimes want to be girls? Or is Brendan just a freak?

In Freakboy's razor-sharp verse, Kristin Clark folds three narratives into one powerful story: Brendan trying to understand his sexual identity, Vanessa fighting to keep her and Brendan’s relationship alive, and Angel struggling to confront her demons.
Freakboy is a story is told in three alternating voices: Brendan, who is struggling with understanding his gender identity; his girlfriend Vanessa, who has essentially center…

City Cat

City Cat By Kate Banks, Lauren Castillo (illustration) Published on November 19th 2013
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: Publisher
A plucky stray cat takes a Grand Tour in Kate Banks' story of a family on a European vacation. As the family travels from one city to the next, the cat finds its own means--by bus, boat, train, truck, and bike--to tag along on the trip, visiting historic landmarks like Buckingham Palace and the Cathedral of Notre Dame along the way. Readers will pore over the spreads to find where City Cat is hiding in each city, and detailed backmatter explains the history behind the sites in each locale.
City Cat is one of those picture books that works by matching up rhythmic prose and beautiful illustrations in a way that entertains children, but also educates them. The reader follows City Cat, who is a stray, as she stows away on a family vacation to Europe. City Cat gets to see the world in a way that appeals to kids: from up above and down below so…

Haven Blog Tour

Thanks to TLC Book Tours, we're pleased to present a review for Haven, a zombie novel by Laury Falter. Make sure to check out the rest of the tour stops to see other reviews!

Haven By Laury Falter Published on June 22nd 2013
Published by: self-published
Source: Author/blog tour
On an ordinary day in early September, Kennedy Shaw leaves for school unaware that within a few minutes the world she knows will be gone - succumbed to an outbreak of epidemic proportions. After finding a safe haven inside the security of her enclosed high school, she learns that four others have survived, one being a bold, mysterious transfer student from Texas whose unruffled demeanor harbors more than a cool interest in her. As they struggle to survive the dead fighting their way inside, will Kennedy discover there is more to life than survival? And will she and the others find a way to live in this terrifying new world? In this quick-to-read zombie story, high school student Kennedy finds herself a part of …

Iron & Velvet

Iron & Velvet By  Alexis Hall Published on December 16th 2013
Published by Riptide Publishing
Source: Netgalley
First rule in this line of business: don’t sleep with the client.

My name’s Kate Kane, and when an eight-hundred-year-old vampire prince came to me with a case, I should have told her no. But I’ve always been a sucker for a femme fatale.

It always goes the same way. You move too fast, you get in too deep, and before you know it, someone winds up dead. Last time it was my partner. This time it could be me. Yesterday a werewolf was murdered outside the Velvet, the night-time playground of one of the most powerful vampires in England. Now half the monsters in London are at each other’s throats, and the other half are trying to get in my pants. The Witch Queen will protect her own, the wolves are out for vengeance, and the vampires are out for, y’know, blood.

I’ve got a killer on the loose, a war on the horizon, and a scotch on the rocks. It’s going to be an interesting day.

Don't Push the Button Tour (Children's Book) Review + Giveaway! US/ CA

Don't Push the Button By Bill Cotter Published on November 1, 2013
Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Source: Publisher for Review (Netgalley + Tour)
The only rule in Larry's book is that the reader not push the button, but when no one is looking, it may be irresistible.
There are few books that I am so enamoured by in the children's book world that I will actually get the e-arc version (because typically e-arcs and children's books don't tend to play nicely together.  I think that the reverse psychology that is used in Don't Push the Button worked so well that it got me to request this book!

Don't Push the Button follows the idea of past books like The Monster at the End of this Book, the Pigeon series, and other books that break the third wall in kids books.  I love books that interact with the child- and man, can I tell you, little kids go gaga over books that interact with them.  The images are adorable (and do I spy a hint of japanese anime/ manga influen…

Guest Post: Uncaged + Ebook Steal!

On a few side notes about this book and author.  I typically don't include any thoughts about guest posts, but I couldn't resist this time.  If you are one of our loyal readers, then  you probably have realized that Uncaged isn't exactly one of our normal offerings.  I present this guest post for two reasons- one, it reminds me so much of Con Air (and that is my FAVORITE movie) and two, this author is incredibly nice.  So check the book out, read the guest post, and then go check out the book (it is on sale until the end of the week!)

Uncaged By Joe Gazzam Published on October 11, 2013
Published by Zova Books
"Uncaged" the novel -- is a thriller about the son of a Governor remanded to a Scared Straight youth crime-prevention program at the worst maximum security penitentiary in the country. Inside, the boy finds himself alone and desperate in the midst of a full-fledged riot as a group of highly trained convicts take over the prison.

Suddenly the m…


Altered By Gennifer Albin Published on October 29, 2013
Published by
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: Publisher Life. Possibility. Choice.
All taken from Adelice by the Guild—until she took them back.

But amid the splendid ruins of Earth, Adelice discovers how dangerous freedom can be. Hunted by soulless Remnants sent by Cormac Patton and the Guild, Adelice finds a world that’s far from deserted. Although allies are easy to find on Earth, knowing who to trust isn’t. Because everyone has secrets, especially those Adelice loves most. Secrets they would kill to protect. Secrets that will redefine each of them. Torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must choose what to fight for.
Wow, Altered took a major turn for the dark.  First of all- I miss the original cover. I don't like how commericalized Altered looks.  It looks like some sort of crime drama rather than a scifi/ dystopian/ fantasy adventure.  I am a little disappointed that they changed the theme of the se…


Crewel By Gennifer Albin Published on October 6, 2012
Published by
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) 
Source: A Friend Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: She wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, where they live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and used her hidden talent for a moment. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her dad’s jokes. One hour to pretend …

The Sowing

Thanks to TLC Book Tours, we're pleased to present a review for The Sowing, a new dystopian novel by K. Makansi. Make sure to check out the rest of the tour stops to see other reviews!

The Sowing By K. Makansi Published on August 19th 2013
Published by Layla Dog Press
Source: Blog tour
The Famine may be over, but the Resistance has just begun.

When Remy Alexander is fifteen, her older sister is murdered in a cold-blooded classroom massacre. When the Okarian Sector hides the truth behind the attack, Remy's family goes underground to join the clandestine and growing Resistance movement. Now, three years later, Remy is beginning to find clues about why her sister was murdered. But at the same time, Valerian Orlean, the boy Remy once loved, is put in charge of hunting and destroying the Resistance. As Vale fights to protect his people and Remy seeks justice for her sister, the two are set on a collision course that could bring everyone together - or tear everything apart.


Shallow Pond

Shallow Pond By Alissa Grosso Published on July 8th 2013
Published by Flux
Source: Netgalley
Barbara “Babie” Bunting is constantly mistaken for her sisters, but she’s determined not to end up like her family. She doesn’t plan to stick around Shallow Pond after graduation, and she certainly won’t be ruined by a broken heart. That is, until fellow orphan Zach Faraday walks into the picture, and Babie can’t deny their chemistry.

When her oldest sister, Annie, comes down with a mysterious illness—initially dismissed as “love sickness”—Babie and Zach start investigating what exactly killed the girls’ mother and why their late father became so consumed by grief. What they find changes everything.
This is a hard book to review without spoiling major plot points, but I'll try. For most of this book, I was just not sure at all what I was reading.  Was it a mystery? Was it a romance?  Why is there so much angst? Why are Barbara's friends so crappy?  And then around 60% in, the book took a …

Dear Mr. Knightley Blog Tour: Q&A and Giveaway!

Dear Mr. Knightley is a contemporary epistolary novel with a delightful dash of Jane Austen.

Samantha Moore survived years of darkness in the foster care system by hiding behind her favorite characters in literature, even adopting their very words. Her fictional friends give her an identity, albeit a borrowed one. But most importantly, they protect her from revealing her true self and encountering more pain.

After college, Samantha receives an extraordinary opportunity. The anonymous “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full scholarship to earn her graduate degree at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. The sole condition is that Sam write to Mr. Knightley regularly to keep him apprised of her progress.

As Sam’s true identity begins to reveal itself through her letters, her heart begins to soften to those around her—a damaged teenager and fellow inhabitant of Grace House, her classmates at Medill, and, most powerfully, successful novelist Alex Powell. But just as Sam finally…


Charming By Elliott James Published on September 24th 2013
Published by Orbit
Source: Netgalley
John Charming isn't your average Prince...

He comes from a line of Charmings — an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chainmail and crossbows to kevlar and shotguns, he was one of the best. That is — until he became the abomination the Knights were sworn to hunt.

That was a lifetime ago. Now, he tends bar under an assumed name in rural Virginia and leads a peaceful, quiet life. One that shouldn't change just because a vampire and a blonde walked into his bar... Right? Charming is a fun, fast-paced urban fantasy novel, set in a world where the supernatural exists but is hidden to the average person by ancient magic.  John Charming was once a Knight sworn to protect humans from supernatural beasties, but now he'…


Asylum By Madeleine Roux Published on August 20th 2013
Published by HarperTeen
Source: Publisher/Edelweiss
For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it's a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it's no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux's teen debut, Asylum, is …

4th Annual Gratitude Giveaways Hop

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we've got a quick and easy giveaway for all of our followers, both new and old.  All you have to do is follow us in whichever way you want -- Facebook, Bloglovin, Tumblr, etc.  All our follow links are on the right hand side of the page, so just pick one!

We'll have two winners for this giveaway -- the first name picked gets to choose two books from the below list (maybe with a few additions, if I finish anything else by month's end), and the second winner gets to pick one.  The giveaway is open to addresses in the US and Canada, and we've got a mix of both newer ARCs and books that have been out for a little while (someone's doing some shelf cleaning!).

Check it out, and thanks for being such fantastic followers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(To all entrants, please note that I'll be out of the country until December 3rd, so it may be a little while after the giveaway is done until I'm able to pick winners. Please be patient! T…

Random Thursday Thoughts: Badly Behaving Authors

So, I am currently reading a book.  It is the newest installment in a series that so far I have really enjoyed.  I am enjoying this book.  But somehow, I feel like some sort of a fraud by reading it.  I have a major beef with the author of this book, because I find her incredibly disrespectful to Christians.

Yup, I said it.  I have never tried to hide my faith and try to keep my reviews from a Christian view point without being preachy.  Does my faith influence the kinds of books I like? Absolutely.  Would I tell other people not to read a book because of what I believe?  No, unless it was an instruction manual for sacrificing small children- that could be an issue.

My problem is that between the last book I read in this series and this book, the author has made it pretty clear that she doesn't care for Christians and has mocked them repeatedly.  Now, I have no beef with anyone who doesn't like Christians.  I will be the first to admit that there are Christians out there who do…

Pawn - 2 reviews!

Pawn By Aimee Carter Published on November 26th 2013
Published by Harlequin Teen
Source: Netgalley

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to …

The Edge of Always Release Event

Thanks to AToMR Tours, we're spotlighting The Edge of Always, the highly anticipated sequel to J.A. Redmerski's The Edge of Never.  Keep scrolling to check out an excerpt from the book, and then enter the giveaway!  
The Edge of Always By J.A. Redmerski Published on November 5th 2013
Published by: Forever Romance
He was taking the long road. She was taking the road to nowhere. It just so happened that they led to the same place…

When everything falls apart, love remains . . .


Camryn Bennett has never been happier. Five months after meeting on a Greyhound bus, she and her soul mate Andrew Parrish are engaged—and a wedding isn’t the only special event in their future. Nervous but excited, Camryn can’t wait to begin the rest of her life with Andrew – a man she knows in her heart will love her always. They have so much to look forward to—until tragedy blindsides them.

Andrew doesn’t understand how this could happen to them. He’s trying to move on, and thought Ca…