Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #193 - First & Then and Velvet Undercover

"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...

Author: Emma Mills
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Published by: Henry Holt and Co.

Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.  (Summary from Goodreads)

This sounds sweet and cute and wonderful. Yay! 

Author: Teri Brown
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Published by: Balzer+Bray

Samantha Donaldson's family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in her footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, mathematics, and complex puzzles, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women's spy group La Dame Blanche, she's torn--while this could be an unbelievable adventure, how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes she can't refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.

Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known only as Velvet. Deep undercover in the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Sam must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous--and secretive--residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she must fight a forbidden attraction to the enemy--a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Sam find Velvet before it's too late...for them both? (Summary from Goodreads)

Doesn't this sound amazing!? I think so. There is some serious mystery and intrigue happening here which has great potential. This is one I need to try!

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #192 - A Step Toward Falling & Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School

"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...

Author: Cammie McGovern 
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen 

Sometimes one mistake can change everything.

Emily doesn't know why she froze. Or why Lucas did too. Afterward, she thought of different ways to rationalize it. But the truth is, they could have helped Belinda, and they didn't. It's a mistake they'll both have to live with.

Sometimes doing nothing is the only way to cope.
Belinda doesn't talk about what happened. Because when she does, it feels like it's happening all over again.

Sometimes good can come from bad.

Emily and Lucas's punishment is community service at a center for people with disabilities. People like Belinda. Soon they feel like maybe they're starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. Like they could help not only those at the center but also each other.

But when Belinda returns to school, Emily and Lucas have to figure out if they can do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt most. (Summary from Goodreads)

I really enjoyed her first novel Say What You Will so I'm hopeful this story will also have uniquely voiced main characters. 

Author: Kim Newman 
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Published by: Titan Books

A week after Mother found her sleeping on the ceiling, Amy Thomsett is delivered to her new school, Drearcliff Grange in Somerset. Although it looks like a regular boarding school, Amy learns that Drearcliff girls are special, the daughters of criminal masterminds, outlaw scientists and master magicians. Several of the pupils also have special gifts like Amy's, and when one of the girls in her dormitory is abducted by a mysterious group in black hoods, Amy forms a secret, superpowered society called the Moth Club to rescue their friend. They soon discover that the Hooded Conspiracy runs through the School, and it's up to the Moth Club to get to the heart of it. (Summary from Goodreads)

This sounds so perfect for me! Sounds a bit like Gail Carriger's Finishing School series. I can't wait to give this one a try! 

What are you waiting on this week?

Review: Dark Hope & Dark Rising

Author: Monica McGurk
Series: The Archangel Prophecies, Book 1
Release date: July 29, 2014
Published by: Greenleaf Book Group
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hope Carmichael is being a new life with her mother after years of living under her father's regime of protection after she was abducted as a young girl. She can't wait to actually live her life like a normal teenager. When she meets Michael, her life is turned upside down once again as she's engulfed in a whole world she never knew existed right in front of her.

My thoughts: This was a fast-paced read full of drama and intrigue. What an adventure!

Hope is a fantastic female lead character who knows herself, and what she wants in life. I liked this about her. I couldn't wait to get to the end of this book so I could find out what happens next in book 2! 

Series: The Archangel Prophecies, Book 2
Release date: June 30, 2015
Published by: River Grove Books
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hope is on the run as the Bearer of the Key. Will the Fallen Angels get to Hope because they think she's finally the way they are going to get back into heaven? OR, will the Triad catch up with her and drag her back into the human trafficking world? What will happen next?

My thoughts: WOW! What a ride! The intensity of this story just keeps growing. I really like how the mythology twists and turns exploring the stories we all know. Plus, McGurk had a great way of describing the places the characters visit. I felt like I was really there with them on their pilgrimage.

This book made me a bit crazy with all of its danger, but it was supposed to. There was even some serious betrayal in this one that was shocking too! Hope and Michael take things to a whole new level in this book. 

In the end, these 2 books were a hell of a epic ride, and I can't wait to get to book 3! 

View all my reviews 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #191 - We'll Never Be Apart & Scorpion Rules

"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...

Author: Emiko Jean 
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Published by: HMH Books for Young Readers

Murder. Fire. Revenge.

That's all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.

Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? (Summary from Goodreads)

I do like to freak myself out every once in awhile so I'm going to add this one to my list. Sounds scary good!

Author: Erin Bow
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Published by: Simon & Schuster

A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace - sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals - are raised together in small, isolated schools called Preceptures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may be their fate: to die if their countries declare war.

Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Precepture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace, even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world's most war-worthy resource - water - she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive.

Enter Elian Palnik, the Precepture's newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta's world begins to tilt the moment she see Elian dragged into the school in chains. The Precepture's insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elian, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn't even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages.

What will happen to Elian and Greta as their nations inch close to war? (Summary from Goodreads)

This is a fantastic twist on the books we've been getting lately that are apocalyptic, or are dystopian. I have a copy of this from NetGalley and cannot wait to get to it! I'll keep you posted!

What are you waiting on this week?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Review: Marley and Me

Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog 
Author: John Grogan
Release date: October 18, 2005
Published by: William Morrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When a young couple just starting out decides to bring a puppy into their home, they are in for a roller coaster ride unlike any other they've been on before or will be on again!

My thoughts: I'm sure most have heard of this story/book/movie but I had always avoided it thinking it was going to be a terribly sad story mostly. A good friend and I decided to trade a favorite book of ours with the other this summer for fun. We both ended up trying books that were very different then what we would have chosen for ourselves. I gave her my Starters by Lissa Price, and she gave me Marley and Me.

I put off reading this one most of the summer and read it right before coming back to school. I was laughing out loud, and "Oh no!"ing throughout this adorable family story. I was even reading parts aloud to my husband throughout the book.  

When I say "family story", I really do mean that which is one of the many things that surprised me about this book because it was not one of things I had assumed about this story. They really are just a young couple starting out who are hoping to someday have children but they decide, on a whim really, to go take a look at Labrador Retriever puppies. Now anyone who has been involved in this type of little trip KNOWS that there is never just "looking" at puppies. Are you kidding me!? Who can walk away?? I loved how they really did "all the right things" when getting their puppy: went to where the parents are with the puppies not a pet store, read up on the type of breed, read tons of how-to puppy and dog books....BUT they still weren't prepared for what a puppy and then a dog really does to your life.

My husband and I did this same thing with a Chocolate Lab a year before we got married. Ellie's Bailey Blue (Bailey Blue to us) was with us until just 2 years ago. At that point we now had two young daughters who had only known life with a Bailey Blue in it. Putting him down was one of the most awful things I've ever had to be a part of. My husband's loss was more painful then anything I've seen in quite some time. It took us about a year, but then we decided to go for it getting a new puppy who was supposed to be a Black Lab...he wasn't! He's SO much like Marley's craziness - puts everything in his mouth, the jumping, the barking...he's a nutter! We have since learned that the FREE puppy was not completely Lab, but some mixture since the mother was a Champion Chocolate Lab and the father was "from a good neighborhood". I have no idea what the other mixture is that he has in him but it is certainly those breed characteristics that came through the most. There is very little about him that seems like the labs we know. In the end, my husband was so disappointed and frustrated...I was thrilled because he reminded me of the farm dogs I grew up with that were heelers and shepherds. Again, Zach was dogless as Remington quickly became my pal following me everywhere, my protector whether I needed that or not, and my cuddler when he would sit still. 

Then, this last spring I learned that the same mother chocolate lab was going to have purebreed puppies. I was thrilled and it was just in time for Zach's birthday! I am happy to tell you that Zach now has his amazing future hunting dog: Gunner falls asleep during fireworks (Remington runs away), he sleeps most of the day (Remington never sits still), and is quickly outgrowing his half-brother becoming a soon-to-be GIANT Chocolate Lab with the most amazing chill personality ever! Of course there is the peeing on the floor from time to time, and the humping of his brother...but lets move on. So, now that we have "the boys" we have had quite the experience so far with labs. What does this all mean? It means that this book was incredibly enjoyable for me! Just a great read which I could easily empathize with because we have done this journey too. 

Labs are truly unique each and every one. They are also one of the best family dogs because they so easily become another member of your family if you'll only be patient with them and let them into your heart. 

If you are an animal lover at all, I really think you'll like this one. I will be recommending it more now. Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #190 - Library of Souls & Blue Voyage

"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...

Author: Ransom Riggs 
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Published by: Quirk Books

The epic conclusion...
Time is running out for the Peculiar Children. With a dangerous madman on the loose and their beloved Miss Peregrine still in danger, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom are forced to stage the most daring of rescue missions. They'll travel through a war-torn landscape, meet new allies, and face greater dangers than ever...Will Jacob come into his own as the hero his fellow Peculiars know him to be? This action-packed adventure features more than 50 all-new Peculiar photographs.  (Summary from Goodreads)

I've read the first two books, and I can't wait to find out what happens next for these peculiar children. Creepy awesomeness :)

Author: Diana Renn
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Published by: Viking Books for Young Readers

Zan is a politician's daughter and an adrenaline junkie. Whether she's rock climbing or shoplifting, she loves to live on the edge. But she gets more of a rush than she bargained for on a forced mother-daughter bonding trip to Turkey, where she finds herself in the crosshairs of an antiquities smuggling ring. These criminals believe that Zan can lead them to an ancient treasure that's both priceless and cursed. Until she does so, she and her family are in grave danger. Zan's quest to save the treasure-and the lives of the people she cares about-leads her from the sparkling Mediterranean, to the bustle of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, to the eerie and crumbling caves of Cappadocia. But it seems that nowhere is safe, and there's only so high she can climb before everything comes tumbling down. (Summary from Goodreads)

This sounds like a fantastic adventurous mystery! I can't wait to try it!

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #189 - Tonight the Streets Are Ours & The Masked Truth

"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...

Author: Leila Sales 
Release Date: September 15, 2015 
Published by: Farrar, Straus & Giroux/MacMillan 

Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she's tired of being loyal to people who don't appreciate her--including her needy best friend and her absent mom.

Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called "Tonight the Streets Are Ours," the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music--the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does--Arden discovers that Peter isn't exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn't exactly who she thought she was, either. (Summary from Goodreads)

First, I love the cover, dreamy! Sounds like an intriguing romantic, but not in the typical way romances go--like no true romantic ending, story. We'll see!! 

Author: Kelley Armstrong 
Release Date: October 13, 2015 
Published by: Doubleday

Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for.

Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn't dare reveal.

The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with "issues." But that's exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage.

The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones gone. And their captors are on a killing spree. (Summary from Goodreads)

This sounds VERY intense! Plus, it's Kelley Armstrong! Can't wait to try this one. 

What are you waiting on this week?