Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #136 - Iron Trial and Winterspell

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Be sure to post a link to your Waiting on Wednesday below!

This week's pre-publication "We can't wait to read it!" selections are...

Authors: Holly Black AND Cassandra Clare
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Published by: Doubleday Children's Books

From two bestselling superstars, a dazzling and magical middle-grade collaboration centering on the students of the Magisterium, an academy for those with a propensity toward magic. In this first book, a new student comes to the Magisterium against his will -- is it because he is destined to be a powerful magician, or is the truth more twisted than that? It's a journey that will thrill you, surprise you, and make you wonder about the clear-cut distinction usually made between good and evil. (Summary from Goodreads)

I've enjoyed reading books by these two authors, so I can only imagine that a book they've collaborated on must be awesome. I look forward to reading this new adventure.

Author: Claire Legrand
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince...but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear. (Summary from Goodreads)

I absolutely ADORE The Nutcracker!!! So this is a brilliant concept in my opinion because I always pictured a faery world where she goes. I cannot wait to try this one. Let me know if you've read it!

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: Adrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Adrenaline Crush 
Author: Laurie Boyle Crompton
Release date: September 24, 2014
Published by: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Received from NetGalley as an ARC for review.

I am really torn as I write this review. I’m not sure I will put this on my classroom bookshelf, but I can think of a couple of particular students I would suggest read it because it fits their personalities. And by the time I was done reading, I really liked Dyna, the main character, which is completely opposite to how I felt about her at the start of the story.

At first I struggled to connect to Dyna. She comes from a family whose motto is all about taking risks. And I mean risks that endanger her life, which was beyond ridiculous to me (note: this is coming from a person who won’t swim in lake water because it looks icky). In fact, this story begins as Dyna showcases her adrenaline junkie side, racing through a forest on a bike and climbing cliffs over water. She also speaks very frankly about sex in the first chapter, which was a little off-putting, but then that kind of talk cools a bit after Dyna’s traumatic event.

Actually, it is after the event that I began to connect with Dyna as a character. Here’s my little cover blip: After a traumatic event, Dyna is on a journey to find herself, release her fear, and find her wild side again (note: said in a deep Morgan Freeman-ish voice). She becomes torn between danger and security, wildness and safety, and she has to find a way to reconcile her adrenaline seeking desires with the reality of the physical dangers she faces. This represents the oppositional nature that exists in her that I felt as I read this book. Sometimes her words were harsh and abrasive and other times they were lyrical--in fact I did enjoy the verse-like writing style that the author worked in at moments of emotional impact.

So, again, I’m torn with whether I really liked this book or just the middle to end portion, but I believe it’s worth a read because Dyna’s points about fear and believing in herself are universal and worth thinking about. And I really did appreciate Dyna’s voice by the end of the book, so I’m going to suggest you work through the first couple of chapters because it will be worth your time in the end.

View all my reviews

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review: Skink by Carl Hiaasen

Skink--No Surrender 
Author: Carl Hiaasen
Release date: September 23, 2014
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Richard's "fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants" cousin, Malley, has disappeared and for some reason he seems to be the only one taking her disappearance seriously! He knows she met a "great guy" online, and that her parents were sending her to boarding school far away. Other than that, he has no idea where to start and no one will listen to him that she could be in serious danger, not just running off because she's angry at her parents. Then Richard literally stumbles on "Skink" one night hiding out in a fake turtle nest, and he's just off enough to listen to his story and decides finding Malley will be his next project. Will they be able to save her in time? Will teaming up with Skink be safe, or a really bad idea?

My thoughts: This was classic Carl Hiaasen, from the non-traditional lives they're living, to the endangered species. I know that the kiddos and adults alike are going to love this one in the libraries when we get it!

One thing I cannot figure out is why this is being categorized as "YA" while his others are "MG"!? I guess that the girl, Malley, has a bit of a tougher life possibly. It's honestly hard to tell because that's really not told to the reader in complete detail. Then during the kidnapping there is always the overall question about what exactly happened to her, or not. There is also violence here and there, especially at the end as there is with any serious rescue mission I suppose but certainly nothing more than what we see on the news or on television everyday in the advertisements for pete's sake! They do NOT go into the details about it, the incident I'm talking about just happens and then it's done.

Anyway, this was a great mystery from beginning to end with the added bonus of telling a very harrowing tale about cyber safety!

I LOVED the character of Skink! He was fantastic and just completely bizarre, but what a great human being! He is someone I would love in a movie. We would all be rooting for him. Then there was Richard..what a great and brave young man to know he was right, and stand by it enough to go off on a crazy mission to save Malley even though they weren't even sure she had been kidnapped or off with a new great boyfriend.

Final thoughts: This is a new great step up, if you liked the Hiaasen books but they are feeling a bit "young" for you. This will take you on a great adventure, and also teach you a lot about nature along the way as usual.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #135 - Oblivion and Atlantia

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Be sure to post a link to your Waiting on Wednesday below!

This week's pre-publication "We can't wait to read it!" selections are...

(Nevermore, Book 3)
Author: Kelly Creagh
Release Date: July 2015
Published by: Antheneum Books for Young Readers 

 (No summary available on Goodreads yet)

Holy crap! How have I missed this series? And this cover is freaking awesome. This is the third book in a series that uses Poe and his Raven poem as inspiration. I'm going to run out and get the first two books and read them so I'm ready for the third and final. Gothic romance...yes, please!

Author: Ally Condie
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Published by: Dutton Juvenile

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above--of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio's true self--and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden--she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother's death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths. (Summary from Goodreads)

This sounds amazing and now I have to find out the secrets! Don't you? 

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Top 10 Books People Have Been Telling Us We MUST Read...

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the team over at Broke and the Bookish! Leave a link to your Top 10 below!

Top 10 Books People Have Been Telling Us We MUST Read...
So there are so many reasons these made it onto our lists...students who have been telling us over and over to read a series, we already own the full series and shame on us for not having read it yet, or perhaps we've read half the book already and seriously need to finish it up!!! Who knows, but get it done already right!? ;P

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

2. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

3. The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner

4. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

5. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

6. Caster Chronicles Series by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

7. The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan 

8. Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

10. Legend Series by Marie Lu

What's on your Top 10 this week?

Review: Nomad by J.L. Bryan

Author: J.L. Bryan
Release date: July 26, 2013
Published by: Indie Pub. 
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Raven is out for revenge against the most evil man in the world, so when she's sent back in time 50 years to 2013 she is set on killing before he can bring about the end of our whole world as we know it. The question is...will she be able to do it when the man who's the evil of all evil in her time is just a young guy?

My thoughts: This was incredibly imaginative as far as the future world creation and the twists and turns went. The time travel was just as I thought it would be in this one which was just what I was looking for.

It's hard to talk too much about the plot of this one without telling too much so...I'll just say that there were some decent characters in this one in the main character and her new found friend in 2013. I always wished there was more though, as if there wasn't enough information about any of them.

It was very fun to watch a futuristic character come back to our current time though and figure things out that are so very common place to us though. I had never really thought about life in that way before. That was rather interesting. The technology that Bryan came up with was fascinating too.

Final thoughts: I will certainly be watching for this author now after reading this thrill ride! It was a good one!
View all my reviews

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Blog Tour: Embers & Ash by T.M. Goeglein

Hey book pals! I'm excited to once again be a part of a tour for T.M. And, as you all know I adore T.M.! Embers & Ash is at the TOP of my to die for list! I cannot wait to get it in my paws!  
Here are the links to the posts:
Book 1: Cold Fury
Book 2: Flicker & Burn
 Have any of you already read it by chance? 
Sara Jane Rispoli is on the wrong side of the Russian mob, but closer to finding her family than ever. And she's willing to do whatever it takes to finally end this terrible journey even if the price is her own life. The very cold fury that has seen her through the worst of her troubles is now killing her; she knows the cure, but she can't sacrifice the deadly electricity until she's rescued her family. But when she finally does rescue them, it's not the happy reunion she pictured. And the torment doesn't stop there, not even when she finally discovers Ultimate Power. Only destroying the Outfit completely can end this terrible nightmare. Old enemies return to seek vengeance, double-crosses abound, and even more mysteries are uncovered as we rocket toward an end no one saw coming.
Ted Goeglein began his career as a writer of print and television ads for a host of advertising and media companies.
As a screenwriter, he produced original screenplays and worked as a script doctor for several L.A. production companies. He was an original contributor to the Huffington Post ‘Living’ section, as well.
Ted’s Young Adult novel, COLD FURY, the first in a trilogy, was published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin in July 2012. The second book in the Cold Fury series, FLICKER & BURN, published in August 2013, and the final installment, EMBERS & ASH</ a>, released in July 2014. </ span>
The author lives in Chicago with his wife and two children.</ span>
[Tour dates are subject to change]
August 5 ~ Kristina's World of Books ~ Review
August 6 ~ Erin Lindsey Writes & Crochets ~ Review/Guest Post</ span>
August 6 ~ Cover Contessa</ span> ~ Interview/GP/Top Ten
August 7 ~ Books With Bite</ span> ~ Review
August 8 ~ Bookish – Debbie</ span> ~ Review/Playlist
August 10 ~ All About Books (Divas)</ span> ~ Review
August 13 ~ What A Nerd Girl Says</ span> ~ Review
August 15 ~ Fangirlish ~ Review/GP
August 17 ~  Libby Blog ~ Review
August 18 ~ Cabin Goddess ~ Review/Recipe
August 18 ~ Paranormal Book Club</ span> ~ Review
August 19 ~ Live to Read ~ Review
August 20 ~ DanaSquare ~ Review
August 20 ~ I Am A Reader ~ Author Interview/GP
August 21 ~ Lady Techie’s Book Musings ~ Review
August 22 ~ Chapter by Chapter</ span> ~ Review
August 23 ~ Like a Bump on a Blog</ span> ~ Review
August 24 ~ Bookish – Tiffany</ span> ~ Review
August 24 ~ Book Briefs ~ Review
August 25 ~ Jean Book Nerd</ span> ~ Review/Playlist
August 25 ~ Oops I Read It Again ~ Review
August 25 ~ Destiny ~ Review/Playlist
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