Friday, June 28, 2013

Our Week in Books...

This is our week in books at Libby Blog! 
This feature is not our own original idea and is inspired by so many others that are out there (esp. IMM hosted by The Mod Podge Bookshelf and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Review) with the goal of sharing our new books and getting to know one another a bit better in the book blogging world. If you have a similar post for the week, please share it in the comments so we can comment back...

This week was FINALLY a stay at home week for me! Can you believe it! Ok, so I did work from home every single day, but still...I was at home during "summer vacation"! I think that counts for something darn it! :P So, Rachel came ALL the way over to my house to go to a yummy, yummy brunch and tape our vlog this week! She rocks! :)

For Review from NetGalley...
Crown of Midnight by Sarah Maas (Bloomsbury USA)
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg (Arthur A. Levine Books)
SYLO by D.J. MacHale (Razorbill)
Winds of Salem by Melissa de la Cruz (Hyperion)

Bought awesome deal NOOK Books...
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons (Tor Teen) - $2.99!
Mind Games by Kiersten White (HarperTeen) - $1.99!

From the HarperCollins...
Sweet Legacy by Tera Lynn Childs
Vortex by S.J. Kincaid

What did you get for your libby this week?

Review: Blood and Snow by RaShelle Workman

Blood and Snow: The Complete Set 
Author: RaShelle Workman
Release date: February 17, 2013
Published by: All Night Reads
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Snow White is just a regular girl living next door to seven boys who are friends and neighbors until the night she is a bitten by a Hunter and learns about an unbelievable world of vampires and fairy tales.

It turns out that she is one of the marked, the potential new young body that may be perfect to host the Vampire Queen who rules all of Sharra, the magical land. Now Snow White is involved in a plot to oust the current Vampire Queen who has too much control over all the magical creatures.

I found this a very enjoyable story. I would call it a light vampire tale that is fast-paced and fun--a good summer weekend read. At first I was worried it might be silly; what with the abundance of fairy tale references, I worried it would become ridiculous, and instead it’s told with lightness and humor that makes it all work together for a great adventure with Snow White at the helm. You’ll meet Cindy, Mulan, Chace Charming, Gabriel (an angel), a fairy, an elf, a dragon, multiple vampires, a witch--holy cow! This story is ‘em all :) I’m going to overuse the following word, but it really is a fun read. You know how most of the vampire books that have come out are dark, scary--sinister really--but not this one!

I really liked the cast of characters. Snow is both naive and strong. She has a fun sense of humor, and I loved her relationship with the 7 boys next door and Professor Pop. Her search for love is a roller coaster ride, and the journey she goes on to protect herself and the magical world is enthralling. The 7 brothers brought a lot of humor to the story, and Cindy, Snow’s best friend, brought the style. I also found myself wishing the wise Professor Pop could have been one of my parents.

Anyway, if you are looking for a new type of vampire tale, one told with a little more light than dark, this is the romantic vampire/fairy tale adventure you could enjoy.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Trailer Thursday #68 - Stung and Dare You To

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!

(Stung, Book 1)

Release date: April 2, 2013
Published by: Walker Childrens

There is no cure for being stung.

Fiona doesn't remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered--her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand--a black oval with five marks on either side--that she doesn't remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She's right.
Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-lik wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.
Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone--and on the wrong side of the wall. (Summary from Goodreads)

This is SO GREAT! I love this trailer! SO intense! We got this as a JLG pick at the library and I read the flap, was too busy to bother with it, but now thought holy crap I need to go grab this one to read it! Has anyone read it? I'd love hear about it if you have! 

(Pushing the Limits, Book 2)
Author: Katie McGarry
Release date: May 28, 2013
Published by: Harlequin Teen

f anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does...
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.
But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all... (Summary from Goodreads)

This trailer makes me even more excited to read this story!! Love, love, love Katie McGarry! 

What did you find out there this week?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #75 - 45 Pounds & The Lost Sun

"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: K. A. Barson 
Release Date: July 11, 2013
Published by: Viking Juvenile

Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi's life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jacki is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann's ever seen--and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.
And there's one more thing. It's all about feeling comfortable in your own skin--no matter how you add it up! (Summary from Goodreads)

I really enjoyed the NetGalley I read of this. You can check out my review here! It was a very enjoyable awakening story about image and self-confidence. 

Author: Tessa Gratton 
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Published by: Random House Books for Young Readers

Seventeen-year-old Soren Bearskin is trying to escape the past. His father, a famed warrior, lost himself to the battle-frenzy and killed thirteen innocent people. Soren cannot deny that berserking is in his blood--the fevers, insomnia, and occasional feelings of uncontrollable rage haunt him. So he tries to remain calm and detached from everyone at Sanctus Sigurd's Academy. But that's hard to do when a popular, beautiful girl like Astrid Glyn tells Soren she dreams of him. That's not all Astrid dreams of--the daughter of a renowned prophetess, Astrid is coming into her own inherited abilities.
When Baldur, son of Odin and one of the most popular gods in the country, goes missing, Astrid sees where he is and convinces Soren to join her on a road trip that will take them to find not only a lost God, but also who they are beyond the legacy of their parents and everything they've been told they have to be. (Summary from Goodreads)

I just got this one from the publisher and CAN'T WAIT to try it! AND Norse Mythology + Dystopian = I'm SO EXCITED! Woot! Woot!

What are you waiting on this week?

Review: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Something Strange and Deadly 
Author: Susan Dennard
Series: Something Strange and Deadly, Book 1
Release date: July 24, 2012
Published by: HarperTeen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Eleanor Fitt is just trying to hold it all together as her mother heaps on more and more pressure to marry a man with money, act the perfect lady of society even as her mother spends the last of their family's money on frivolous appearances, and find some one, any one, who will help her find her brother whom she adores who never arrived on the train like he was supposed to. When The Dead begin to deliver messages to her about her brother, Eleanor truly begins to panic and looks to the only people she believes can help, The Spirit-Hunters. Except they don't want her around and even seem angry that she's there...

but that doesn't stop Eleanor who's done trying to be someone she's not!

She's done waiting for someone else to help her and to fix her she pushes up her sleeves, puts on some trousers and boots and heads out with the Spirit-Hunters and..."Aims for the Knees!"

My thoughts: What an adventure! Are you kidding me!? 1876 Philadelphia and the dead are rising!? Holy moly! I had no idea that I would ever be ok with reading about zombies first of all until I accidentally read about them in Kelley Armstrong's The Awakening, and LOVED it! Now this one I knew what I was getting into but, just didn't realize it was going to start on page 1! Whoa! Talk about intense!

I really enjoyed all the sneakiness that Eleanor had to go through to get to The Spirit-Hunters and away from her mother. It was so much more realistic than other books that I've read where young ladies just walk away from their homes when they NEVER would have been able to. I really appreciated Susan's attention to detail about the times and conventions that were involved. It was perfection. There were just SO MANY details I truly adored! We do civil war reenacting (I know, we're bizarre!) so we do a lot of research on the times and the times just before and after the war. Susan did too and I was impressed. Well done!

One thing I really was wishing for that wasn't there, but probably had nothing to do with anything was that I desperately wanted pictures! I wanted pictures of the Exhibition Hall, the trains, the Laurel Hill Cemetery...all of the real items that were in the book would have been so cool to have true old tin-types, or sketches, of those in the book. That would have added so much to the book! I would have loved that! I'm not sure if I wanted more description of the buildings or what it was, but for some reason I just was wishing for this. Maybe it's because I adore history and all of our trips are arranged around what historical places we are going to be visiting (I know! We're bizarre! We've already discussed this!) So, maybe it's because I want to know where these places are and if they're real!? Are they?

Final thoughts: I cannot wait for book 2 so I can find out what adventures happen next for Eleanor and The Spirit-Hunters!

Thanks Susan! Love it!

View all my reviews

Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Indelible by Dawn Metcalf

Author: Dawn Metcalf
Series: The Twixt
Release date: July 30, 2013
Published by: Harlequin Teen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Joy Malone learns that sometimes things are permanent the night a mysterious stranger from across the room who she can't stop staring at--tries to cut out her eye! Except he misses and instead marks her has his own, his lahmen, and Joy is thrown into a dangerous world where all of the things that go bump in the night are real and can do some serious damage! A world where there are glowing girls on her doorstep, extremely vicious monsters at the window and messages to be delivered paid in four leaf clovers.

My thoughts: I LOVED THIS! ABSOLUTELY AND COMPLETELY HEAD OVER HEELS EPICALLY LOVED IT! What!? I'm yelling? Sorry. I'll stop now. Seriously though, this was SO GOOD! It was like my favorite Melissa Marr book, Ink Exchange, + A.G. Howard's Splintered = BRILLANCE! Plus, it's a series since this is listed as being book 1 of the Twixt series! *happy dance* I cannot even begin to tell you how happy that makes me!

Ok, I'll try to chill and tell you a bit more about this with a bit of sanity involved...

The main characters of Joy Malone and Indelible Ink are just lovely in their bits of jadedness and their innocence. Metcalf has found that perfect combination that makes you believe that they are who they are, but that they also truly need each other. Brilliant.

The thing that really makes me LOVE a book is usually when the secondary characters are just as rich and fully developed as the main characters. Metcalf did this in spades with Invisible Inq, her father, Monica, The Bailiwick, Kurt, Briarhook, Filly and so many others.

Last thoughts: If you are into stories that are a bit on the darker side and about the Folk then THIS IS FOR YOU! I can't wait to get this one on my shelves when it hits the stores! I could not put it down from beginning to end and I bet you won't be able to either!

Sometimes books just NEED a soundtrack, so here's my Indelible soundtrack...
"Eyes on Fire" by Blue Foundation - this felt like Joy & Ink's song perfectly for me
"My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark" by Fall Out Boy - this worked perfectly for the fight scenes (And yes I know I pick this for all my fight scenes, but it's SO BRILLIANT! I LOVE it!) 
"Too Close" by Alex Clare 
"Blue Jeans" by Lana Del Rey
"Lakehouse" by Monsters and Men
"Come & Get It" by Selena Gomez - there's something about this song that worked so perfectly for the Carousel scenes with Joy and Ink for me! LOVE it!
"A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri - the perfect love song
View all my reviews

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Review: The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

The Sweetest Dark 
Author: Shana Abe
Series: The Sweetest Dark
Release date: April 2, 2013
Published by: Bantam/RandomHouse
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What can I say about The Sweetest Dark and its main characters Eleanor, Jesse, and Armand (Mandy)? Well, they are magic! Eleanor starts the story by telling us that she is not quite human.

She has grown up in an orphanage in London and was even placed in a mental institution for a while because she claimed to hear things that others could not. At the age of 16 and at the start of WWI, Eleanor’s orphanage is bombed, and she is sent to school at The Iverson School for Girls as a charity student.

As you might imagine, Eleanor does not quite fit in with all the rich, snobby girls, but she does befriend the grounds keeper, Jesse. Jesse has a secret; he is the one who has called Eleanor to this place at this time. And Eleanor’s life becomes more complicated as the Duke’s son Armand seems drawn to her for some reason...which gives the rich girls even more reason to dislike her.

Overall, this was a strangely slow but fast read. Here’s what I mean: It was fascinating watching Eleanor begin to believe in herself and Turn to smoke and then a dragon. It was also beautiful to watch Jesse and Eleanor fall in love, and it was made even richer because of the setting backdrop of England at the start of WWI. The slow part came in the pacing of the story, but I wasn't annoyed or disappointed, rather I felt the pacing matched the discoveries that Eleanor makes about her true path, her past, and her future.

There is magic, mystery, history, romantic tension, and some action mixed together in this unique dragon tale. I won’t tell you what it is, but there is a heart-pounding ending to this first tale; it’ll hit you like a ton of bricks and make you desperate for the next story. I am so excited that I have access to the next book through Netgalley because that is what I am reading next!
View all my reviews

Friday, June 21, 2013

Our Week in Books the EPIC GIFT EDITION!

This is our week in books at Libby Blog! 
This feature is not our own original idea and is inspired by so many others that are out there (esp. IMM by The Mod Podge Bookshelf and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Review) with the goal of sharing our new books and getting to know one another a bit better in the book blogging world. If you have a similar post for the week, please share it in the comments so we can comment back...

Bought and got signed...

Reaghan and Mallory insisted they HAD to be assistants in the picture! :)
X2 Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Denard (HarperTeen)
Taken by Erin Bowman (HarperTeen)
Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas (Bloomsbury USA)
What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang (HarperTeen)

For Review from Random House...
The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton 

Gifted from the fabulous Heidi
(The covers are all shown in the video, and linked to Goodreads below)
Abandon by Meg Cabot (Point)
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (Little, Brown)
The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan (Delacorte Press)
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (Scholastic)
The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise (Balzer + Bray)
A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty (Arthur A. Levine)
Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz (Razorbill)
Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic)
Goddess by Josephine Angelini (HarperTeen)
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (Simon & Schuster)
In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz (Penguin)
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen (Speak)
Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch (Scholastic)
A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger (Poppy)
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg (Point)
Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier (Henry Holt)
Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood (Penguin)
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz (Penguin)
Teardrop by Lauren Kate (Random House)
This Strange and Familiar Place by Rachel Carter (HarperTeen)
Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison (Egmont USA)
Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes (Penguin)
What Happened to Goodbye? by Sarah Dessen (Viking)
The White Glove War by Katie Crouch and Grady Hendrix (Poppy)


What did you get for your libby this week?

The Young Authors Give Back Tour...

Last Friday, Heidi, of YA Bibliophile, and I headed out on the open road once again to the always fantastic Naperville, IL, from our teeny little WI towns near each other to the absolutely wonderful Anderson's Bookshop in Downtown Naperville! If you've never been and you live anywhere nearby, you've got to stop by! You can always find signed books and a fabulous list of upcoming author events!
This was literally the very last spot for this two and a half week tour of The Young Authors Give Back Tour and so the ladies were very informal, laid back and just a whole lot of fun to listen to and be with for the evening. They opened by telling a bit about themselves and how they began writing; then opened it up for questions from the audience...
Excitedly waiting...

Erin Bowman - was a web designer before becoming a full-time writer.
Susan Denard - was a Marine Biologist before becoming a full-time writer.
Sarah Maas - started the Throne of Glass story as a teen, and now finally finished it and got it published as an adult.
Kat Zhang - started writing her story as a senior in high school and is now published.
I have a feeling there was a very funny or embarrassing story being shared here! :)
Some Q&A from the signing that people asked...

Q: How did you meet and come together for this? 
A: We're all part of the Publishing Crawl blog and Kat had this great idea she put out there to everyone on the blog. Erin, Susan and Sarah answered the call and the tour was created!

Q: How did you go about truly "being" a writer once you really decided to be a writer full-time?
A: Treated it like a real job. -EB
A: You can literally learn everything you need to know about publishing on the Internet and that's what I did. - SD
A: Wrote instead of listening in Math class. That's why I can't do Math now. - SM.
A: I wrote during the NaNoWriMo Challenge which really just helped me get it done. I was scare to let anyone read it and didn't let anyone read it until someone who was published already finally asked. I let them and they loved it! So sometimes just having that encouragement is all it takes! - KZ

Q: What do you do when you get stuck?
A: Talk to someone about anything at all. - SM
A: Word vomit = just write and write and write - KZ
A: Sit and write. Sometimes I think we're just lazy. Otherwise what you were going to write wasn't correct, so you need to get over it and let it go! Figure it out even if it means that the stuff you wrote before it is wrong too and needs to go. You just have to let it go and move on! - SD
A: Do something else for awhile. - EB

Q: Have you always wanted to be an author?
A: At 5 or 6 I got the whole Winnie the Pooh series, and that was it! I started writing poems all the time. - KZ
A: High School. I loved writing and lived make-believe within my head! I was that child that parents just couldn't really discipline because I loved going to my room! - SM
A: I wanted to be Marine Biologist as a child, but I also wanted to be a writer. I went to school for the Marine Biologist and did that first. Then I decided to go for it and now I'm a writer. - SD
A: My mom was a teacher and a librarian. She instilled that love of reading and writing in me from the very beginning. Of course I started out as a web designer, but my mom saved everything and I mean everything and right when I was getting published I was home and she gave me this writing I had done from when I was little all about how I was going to be a writer! I was SO precious! - EB

Q: Who is your favorite Disney villian?
A: Maleficent - SM
A: Mother Gothel - KZ
A: Gaston - EB
A: It's not Disney, but Rasputin in Anastasia - SD 

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Denard (HarperTeen)
Taken by Erin Bowman (HarperTeen)
Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas (Bloomsbury USA)
What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang (HarperTeen)

Getting them signed...
Erin & Susan

Sarah & Kat

My signed pretties...
Reaghan and Mallory insisted they HAD to BOTH help hold the books open! ;D LOL! TOO CUTE!

To learn more about these fabulous authors, check out the Pub(lishing)Crawl Blog! It's one of my all-time favorite blogs where you can learn all about authors, books, writing and the publishing world. It's plain FANTASTIC!

Erin, Me and Susan
Learn more about Erin Bowman here...
Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads | Website  | YOUTube

Learn more about Susan Dennard here...
Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads | Website 

Sarah, Me and Kat

Learn more about Sarah Maas here...
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website 

Learn more about Kat Zhang here...
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website 

Have you been to any signings lately? For who? Tell me about it! Link it up!