Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #102 - The Invention of Wings & Hexed

"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: Sue Monk Kidd
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Published by: Viking Adult

Hetty "Handful" Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke's daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.
Kidd's sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other's destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.
As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women's rights movements.
  (Summary from Goodreads)

Okay, the cover is ick! but the story sounds powerful. I love The Secret Life of Bees, and this new story sounds like a beautiful, terrible, empowering epic tale. 

Author: Michelle Krys
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Published by: Delacorte Press/Random House Children's

If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and nerd just won't stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn't want to be her?
Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the old dusty family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it's when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie's world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn't get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that's seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she's a witch too.
Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie's about to uncover the many dark truths about her life--and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid. (Summary from Goodreads)

There's nothing I like better then a book about witches. I don't know what it is, but oh how I love a good witchy tale! This one sounds fantastic and I cannot wait to try it out. What about you?

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Top 10 Tuesday #35 - My Best Books of 2013...

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 I Read in 2013...

1. Orleans by Sherri L. Smith 

2. Unhinged by A.G. Howard 

3. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill 

4. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi 

5. The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes 

6. Indelible by Dawn Metcalf 

7. Born Wicked & Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

8. The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross

9. The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan

10. Also Known As & Going Rogue by Robin Benway

11. Dark Unwinding & A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron

12. Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

As you can tell this was VERY hard for me to select just 10, so you get the list that I put together instead. :/ Sorry about that. Restraint is not one of my finer qualities. I just loved too many as usual this year. :) I would recommend, and DO recommend, ALL of these on a regular basis in my libraries to people. I really wish I had more time to read, but sadly the truth of it is I rarely have time to read, even as a librarian which is ridiculous. One of my resolutions this year is to fix that. We'll see. 

What's on your Top 10 this week?

Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen 
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey, Book 3
Release date: January 25, 2011
Published by: Harlequin Teen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Meghan Chase is back at it again and this time she is the ONLY one who can literally save ALL of Nevernever. She is summoned by Queen Mab of the Unseelie Court and King Oberon of the Seelie Court to be told/asked to slay the new pretender Iron King who has taken over the Iron Kingdom and is wreaking havoc across the land by poisoning everything in its path. Plus, he has also started a war with both the Winter and Summer Courts. One that he very may well win unless Meghan accepts the request that the rulers of both courts have laid out for her...but are the risks to high?

My thoughts: WHOA! I LOVED THIS SO MUCH! I cried, I laughed, I am a WREAK of emotions!!! I want to rush on to the 4th book like I have the other books in the series this week, but I know I just cannot this time. I just need a little time to recover emotionally.

I have to say there is a lot of war in this book. A lot of fighting, and learning to fight. Meghan and Ash were absolutely delicious to read about in this one. You just want to lean in and spend some time with them, but sadly they just never get to spend that time together. But I think the bits that I love the most are how Meghan and Ash have both changed, and grown over the course of all three books SO much. One of the things that's all too fun is that Meghan learns to fight in this one and I LOVE that she becomes pretty butt kicking! :) Woot! Woot! No weak woman falling down and needing a boy to save them here! (p.s. The Gremlins ROCK!)

As for the plot itself, I really loved that just about everything is completely wrapped up in the end for us. You know how everyone turns out for the most part in the end which I for one really appreciate. I wish I had more brilliant things to say, but I don't except that this was definitely my FAVORITE one so far.

Last thought: On to the 4th book in this series. I cannot wait to read Ash's story next. I seriously hope those adorable Gremlins are in there somewhere!

View all my reviews

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter 
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey, Book 2
Release date: August 1, 2010
Published by: Harlequin Teen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Meghan Chase took on the Iron King and lived to tell about it. Now she just wants to go home and move on with her life...but I don't think that's what's going to happen unfortunately. Even worse, she's been having a terrible time accessing her powers lately. With Winter and Summer about to erupt into war where will Meghan end up?

My thoughts: I LOVED THIS ONE! Book 2 was SO much better than 1 for me, which doesn't happen all that often does it!? Usually it's book 1 that is better then book 2, but for me this was definitely the other way around.

There were SO MANY twists and turns in this one! A few I figured out ahead of time, but so many others I didn't know ahead of time which always makes me happy. All the same fantastic characters were in this 2nd book, Meghan, Ash, Puck, and many new characters as well. I especially like meeting a whole new Queen and court of fey.

I do have to say that were some times here and there when I seriously wanted to slap Meghan! I loved the confident Meghan and the stubborn Meghan...NOT this whiny baby girl. What the heck is that!? I adore watching Ash and Meghan and their relationship! It's so gorgeous to the point that it even made me cry a time or two. I know...I'm such a sucker for a star-crossed lovers story!

But seriously...the winner for me in this book was the plot, plot, plot! It was a non-stop action-packed plot filled with so many twists and turns that I was hooked and literally read this one all in one day! I LOVED IT!

Now on to book 3! :)

View all my reviews

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King 
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey, Book 1
Release date: February 1, 2010
Published by: Harlequin Teen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Meghan Chase's world is about to change completely. She is about to find out that her entire life has been a lie and begin an adventurous journey that will change her and leave her questioning who she really is down deep. Which half will she choose to follow?

My thoughts: This was a delight to read. I've been saving these and saving these, but I decided that the holiday break was finally the time to read them. This made me think of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series in so many ways!!!

First of all, I really like Meghan. She's just the right combination of tough, but soft while also really picking up quickly on most things in the Nevernever. I get SO frustrated when a character gets dumped, or taken into a world, that they should sort of know how to keep themselves alive. For example, everyone knows you never eat or drink anything in any land of faeries. You also do not make any deals what so ever no matter what with them. I did struggle from time to time with her drama though for some reason. I'm not sure why. Or, perhaps it was just the book in general that felt just a touch off for me. I'm not sure what it was. It was like I was waiting for something, but it never happened.

As for the rest of the characters...they were really well done. From Robin/Puck to Ash to Grim to everyone else in-between. I am a huge fan of Fae books and whenever they're done right I am a happy girl. Plus, the fact that Kagawa took Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and used it as a jumping off point for her brilliant characters. What a cool idea! LOVED IT! Then there is the world of the Nevernever that Kagawa has created for us which we have seen so many, many times in other ways but she has painted it for us here so that it is ever so alive.

Last thought: I'm right on to the next book! I have to know what happens next for Meghan.

View all my reviews

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Review: Going Rogue by Robin Benway

Going Rogue 
Author: Robin Benway
Series: Also Known As, Book 2
Release Date: January 14, 2014
Published by: Walker Childrens/BloomsburyUSA
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Living in NYC full-time, being mostly retired from the spying gig, and going to high school with her adorable boy-friend and best friend means life should be golden for Maggie Silver! That's right, I said, "Should be!" I forgot to mention mean girls, the boring predictability of day after day high school and of course trouble always seems to come knocking eventually for some reason...but will Maggie be able to figure out how to save her parents' reputations and keep them all free too?

My thoughts: This second installment of Benway's teenage international spy novel series that ROCKS did not disappoint! I loved it just as much as I did the first one. Of course this one starts out with the plot going in the opposite direction of the first one since Maggie and her family are laying down roots in New York City now instead of just heading there. Now Maggie is just a normal, everyday high school student who just happens to be the best safe cracker EVER!

I mean seriously, how long could Maggie think that could truly last!? About a blink of an eye since pretty soon they are all in the think of it again and this time it's Maggie's parents' reputations at stake. Except pretty soon it's their lives too. All of them and they are on the run for their lives!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these characters. I just cannot even begin to tell you how at home I felt starting this ARC. I was just so darn happy to back with Maggie, Jesse, Roux, Angelo and to even meet fabulous new characters that I came to love as well! But I have to tell you that Roux and Angelo are my absolute favorite characters of all in these books. Also, that cover is FANTASTIC and I cannot wait to have it next to my other hardcover on my bookshelves! This is definitely a series I want to keep going as a hardcover series.

Final thoughts: This is a fabulous series about teens and adults who are both bad AND good guys...AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH! If you haven't tried this series I highly recommend it!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #101 - Control and Dorothy Must Die

"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...

(Control, Book 1)
Author: Lydia Kang
Release Date: December 26, 2013
Published by:Dial Books for Young Readers

When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren't like any she's ever seen before--teens who shouldn't even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends' peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl's DNA.
A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150-in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms-this is about the human genetic "mistakes" that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes. (Summary from Goodreads)

I like the idea that these future kids--modified genetically? and now seen as strange outcast--may become the saviors for the future. Cool concept! 

Author: Danielle Paige
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Published by: HarperTeen

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole like gets swept up by a tornado--taking you with it--you have no choice to go along, you know?
Sure, I've read the books. I've read the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though--but even that's crumbling.
What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.
My name is Amy Gumm--and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then--Dorothy must die! (Summary from Goodreads)

Are you kidding me!? I am SO IN! I LOVE the Oz story no matter the telling of it and I cannot wait to try it again. I hated the book Wicked, but loved the musical of it! I thought the original, old series by Baum was fantastic, but shallow just as all dime novels are. THIS sounds just EPIC! 

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Top 10 Tuesday #34 - Books I Want Santa to Bring Me...

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 I Want Santa to Bring Me...

1. The Program by Suzanne Young

2. Crown of Midnight by Sarah Maas

3. Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

4. Once by Anna Carey

5. Rise by Anna Carey

6. This Wicked Game by Michelle Zink

7. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

8. Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

9. Serpent's Kiss by Melissa de la Cruz

10. Winds of Salem by Melissa de la Cruz

Some are new, and some are old. These are just the ones I want the MOST on my shelves right now! :) Some I've read and some I haven't. 

What's on your Top 10 this week?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Book Trailer Thursday #81 - Cress by Marissa Meyer

Book Trailer Thursday is a feature inspired by Once Upon a TwilightWe are hoping to promote not only new books that are out or are soon to be out on the shelves, but to also promote the creation of book trailers themselves! Make sure to post a comment below and let us know what you've found out there this week!

(Lunar Chronicles, Book 3)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Rapunzel's tower is a satellite. She can't let down her hair--or her guard.
In this 3rd book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker--unfortunately, she's just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can. (Summary from Goodreads)

The trailer is a short one, but simple! It gets the point across that's for sure. This series is just the coolest idea ever and it just keeps getting better.

What did you find out there this week?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #100 - The Lovely and the Lost

"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 "I can't wait to read it!" selection is...

Author: Page Morgan
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Published by: Delacorte Press

 Ingrid and Gabby survived the Underneath. They saved their brother, Grayson, from a future of dark servitude and exposed a plot to undermined the Alliance. But danger still lurks in the streets of Paris, and the Dispossessed, perched on the city's bridges and rooftops, might not be able to save their human wards this time. (Summary from Goodreads)

I adored Book 1, The Beautiful and the Cursed! It was so different and full of adventure from the beginning to the end. I cannot wait to find out what happens next for these characters.

What are you waiting on this week?