Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #123 - Born of Deception & The Murder Complex

"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: Teri Brown
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Published by: Balzer + Bray

Budding illionist Ann Van Housen is on top of the world; after scoring a spot on a prestigious European vaudeville tour, she has moved to London to chase her dream ad to join an underground society for people like her with psychic abilities. Along with her handsome beau, Cole Archer, Anna is prepared to take the city by storm.
But when Anna arrives in London, she finds the group in turmoil. Sensitives are disappearing and, without a suspect, the group's members are turning on one another. Could the kidnapper be someone within the society itself-or has the nefarious Dr. Boyle followed them to London?
As Cole and Anna begin to unravel the case and secrets about the society are revealed, they find themselves at odds, their plans for romance in London having vanished. Her life in danger and her relationship fizzling, can Anna find a way to track down the killer before he makes her his next victim-or will she have to pay the ultimate price for her powers? (Summary from Goodreads)

Ah, magic! Illusion, psychic ability, mystery and a really cool heroine. I'm excited for this sequel.

Author: Lindsey Cummings
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Published by: Greenwillow Books

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.
The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is--although he doesn't know it--one of the MC's programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family? (Summary from Goodreads)

I LOVE the concept of this book and have been following Lindsey's blog for a long time, so this is just TOO COOL to finally be SO CLOSE to actually seeing it in real life! WOOT! WOOT! Atta girl Lindsey! YAY! :D I cannot wait to find out what happens between Meadow and Zephyr!

What are you waiting on this week?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Review: Hexed by Michelle Krys

Author: Michelle Krys
Series: The Witch Hunter, Book 1
Release date: June 10, 2014
Published by: Delacorte Press
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Indie is at the top of the food chain at her school as a cheerleader, and a blond one at that who happens to be dating the head football star! Of course when a guy falls dead from the sky, her mom's occult shop gets broken into, a family heirloom is stolen, and a handsome stranger starts following her...everything quickly begins to unravel for Indie.

My thoughts: This was so fun! I can't wait to read the next installment in this series, and will have such a hard time waiting! Ugh! I really liked the whole creation of this little world that soon became large in Krys's book! It was so great.

I especially liked that the daughter who's the main character had no idea that this whole witch thing was real, and that everyting she had been living her whole life was for the most part true to a certain extent. I think that is always a bit real even at school. Kids are so clueless sometimes in that we as adults have lives outside of our jobs. I know this is shocking, you might need to sit down...but I do not actually live in the school libraries! I go home at night, have two children, a husband and a whole entire life outside of the job they see me do during the day. LOL! It's always so eye-rollingly ridiculous when a kid says, "You have kids!?" in that shocked voice like I couldn't possibly ever do anything other than check books in and out 24/7! UGH! Really kiddos!? :P Anyways, I really liked this element of Indie. It was perfect. The other part I really liked is the next-door-neighbor friend who she's been dumping on for most of her life by not hanging out with her because she's not cool for whatever ridiculous reasons she seems to come up with. This was also done so right. I loved that Paige didn't just rollover for her! Go Paige, and go smart girls too! Woot! Woot!

I seriously ate this book right up and cannot wait for the next one! Great job Krys!

p.s. The name Indigo Blackwood is the best witch name ever! Love it! 

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #122 - Take Me On & Glimpse

"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: Katie McGarry
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Published by: Harlequin Teen

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.
West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.
Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for. (Summary from Goodreads)

Umm...Katie McGarry, 4th book in the Pushing the Limits series. I don't think I need to say any more except gimme, gimme, gimme.

Author: Kendra Leighton
Release Date: June 19, 2014
Published by: Much-in-Little

Liz just wants to be normal. Her life is anything but.
Seven years ago Liz lost her mother and ten years' worth of memories. When she inherits the infamous Highwayman Inn, she hopes the move will be a fresh start. Then she meets Zachary. Zachary who haunts her by night and in dreams; who makes her question everything she is and wants to be; who seems scarcely real - yet makes her feel so alive.
Inspired by Alfred Noyes' classic poem 'The Highwayman', Glimpse is a ghost story, a love story, and a story of a girl fighting for her future by confronting her terrible past. (Summary from Goodreads)

Doesn't this sound creepy interesting!? I think so! I love this poem too! I'm in!

What are you waiting on this week?

Review: The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross

The Girl with the Windup Heart 
Author: Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles, Book 4
Release date: May 27, 2014
Published by: Harlequin Teen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jack Dandy is bound and determined that Mila will be a taught to be a perfect lady who can be presented to society via Griffin King...of course Mila has a very different idea about all this. She just wants to live a normal life, including one that involves following her heart. But they must all be very, very careful because The Machinist is still out there in the Aether waiting to exact his revenge on Griffin, Finley and the rest of the gang.

My thoughts: LOVED IT as usual! I just adore these characters! Each and every one! This one was rather different with so much of the book taking place with Mila and Jack instead of with Finley, and/or Griffin. Being back with these characters always feels so good. I just adore them! Finley is of course my absolute favorite, but I noticed in this one that Mila was really developing into a fantastic character as well! I'll even more honest with you and admit that Jack Dandy has always been my favorite over Griffin! Shhh! ;) If you know me, then this is probably NOT a surprise to you. LOL!

The setting of going into the Aether was SO CREEPY!! I had such a hard time with that for some reason. It was a good idea though to have The Machinist growing his power while in the Aether. I don't want to give too much away for those who haven't read this series....SOOO...I'll just finish up by saying I just cannot get enough of this steampunk, classic science fiction tales all twisted up! They are just BRILLIANT!

Here's a fun interview with Kady Cross from the recent New York ComicCon!

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars 
Author: John Green
Release date: January 10, 2012
Published by: Dutton Books/Peguin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hazel Grace Lancaster is just trying to make it through each day full of college classes, reality TV shows, a helicopter mother, oh! and the thrill of group cancer therapy! That is until Augustus Waters walks into group therapy with Isaac one day and changes her whole life.

My thoughts: This is not my first John Green book and I have to be brutally honest in that I wasn't too excited about reading another. The first two that I read were not that great for me. Plus, I knew that this one was about a young girl who had cancer which made me incredible reluctant to read it. But oh how wonderful and heartbreakingly lovely it was.

I don't want to say too much about this one, since I know there are a TON of people reading it right now and I do not want to ruin anything for anyone. What I do have to say is this...I know that when you start this one you will think that you know everything...but you do NOT! You will be absolutely and completely floored and broken in two by this one.

John Green you really got this one right. Well done sir. Well done.

I really hope they do this movie up right and proper!

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #121 - We Were Liars & Thunderstruck

"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: E. Lockhart
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Published by: Delacorte Press

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends--the Liars--whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
(Summary from Goodreads)

Okay, the short, descriptive lines in the summary are what really make me want to read this book. The description is already building the suspense and mystery, so I'm in! 

Author: Shannon Delany
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Published by: St. Martin's Press

Jordan, Rowen and the crews of the Tempest and the Artemesia strike out for Philedelphia to start a revolution aimed at abolishing slavery and changing their stormpowered society to one that runs on previously repressed stream innovations and will allow for true equality. But can Jordan and Rowen come back together after all the things determined to drive them apart? (Summary from Goodreads)

I cannot wait to get my hands on this one! Shannon always leaves us hanging on such cliffhangers!! Now I can finally find out what happens next to Rowen and Jordan and even little Meggie! This beautiful and heartbreaking series of a people's revolution against slavery is absolutely BRILLIANT! If you haven't tried it yet; what are you waiting for!?

Check out my review of:
Book 1: Weather Witch
Book 2: Stormbringer

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Review: One Came Home by Amy Timberlake

One Came Home 
Author:  Amy Timberlake
Release date: January 8, 2013
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Strangely enough, a story involving a ton of passenger pigeons was fascinating!

In One Came Home by Amy Timberlake, Georgie, our main character, lives in Placid, WI in 1871. Apparently thousands of now-extinct passenger pigeons roosted in Wisconsin that year, and Timberlake uses that historical context to build a beautiful story about sisters and love and guilt.

The story begins with Georgie at her sister’s funeral; she has a flashback to identifying the body of her sister, Agatha, based on a dress her mother had sewn. Georgie insists that the body in that coffin is not her sister’s. Her mom and Grandfather Bolte disagree with her and insist that she recognize the death of her sister.

Georgie decides she has to prove that it isn’t her sister, and the only way she can do that is embark on a journey to Dog Hollow, the town where Agatha’s body was found. Keep in mind that Georgie is a thirteen-year-old-girl in the late 1800s. That’s part of why I really enjoyed this story; I loved Georgie’s personality: her gumption! What a lovely old-fashioned word for being stubborn and sticking to any task.

Part of what drives Georgie is her guilt. She begins the story by remembering how angry she was at her older sibling for wanting to leave her. First Agatha wants to go to university and study science, then Billy McCabe courts her, then Mr. Olmstead. Georgie doesn’t like any scenario where Agatha leaves her behind in Placid, Wisconsin, to tend the store by herself. Thus, she blames herself for her sister deciding to sneak off and leave the family...and maybe dying...or not.

With the help of Billy McCabe, Agatha’s old beau, who was not invited on this journey but who insists on coming anyway, Georgie goes on her quest to discover the truth about what happened to Agatha. She believes she will find the answers she wants in Dog Hollow, which is several days journey from Placid.

Georgie’s relationship with Billy is another part I love about this adventurous tale. They have a contentious relationship at first and the dialogue between these two is funny. Both Billy and Georgie end up needing each other to understand all of the pieces that caused Agatha to leave. And let me tell you, there are some heart-pounding adventures along the way.

This story has beautiful word images of the landscape of Wisconsin; it also has some horrible images of the sights and smells of what is left behind when the pigeoners finish hunting and barreling the pigeon meat. Timberlake’s sensory writing is awesome!

Driven by love and family, Georgie’s story is both beautiful and sad as she discovers the truth behind what happened to her sister and in the end realizes her own worth as well. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #120 - Since You've Been Gone & The Girl with the Windup Heart

"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: Morgan Matson
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Published by: Simon & Schuster

The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend-the one who yanks you out of your shell. But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just...disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There's just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try...unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough. Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait...what?
Getting through Sloane's list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this while unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she'll find?
Go Skinny Dipping? Um...(Summary from Goodreads)

I know it came out yesterday...so technically, no waiting, but I found it and wanted to feature it because it sounds so good: a coming of age story where a shy girl emerges from her shell as she faces challenges she never would have tried on her own without a push from a friend. Delightful.

Author: Kady Cross
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Published by: Harlequin Teen

 In 1897 London, a final showdown is about to begin.

London's underworld is no place for a young woman, even one who is strong, smart and part-automaton like Mila. But when master criminal Jack Dandy inadvertently breaks her heart, she takes off, determined to find an independent life, one entirely her own. Her search takes her to the spangled shadows of the West End's most dazzling circus.
Meanwhile, taken captive in the Aether, Griffin King is trapped in an inescapable prison, and at the mercy of his archenemy, The Machinist. If he breaks under the hellish torment, The Machinist will claim his powers and control of the Aether itself, and no one in either world will be safe-especially not Finley Jayne and her misfit band of friends.
Finley plunges headlong into the Aether the only way she knows how, but temporarily dying. But she cannot parry The Machinist's maneuvers for long. To defeat him for good, Griffin will have to confront his greatest fear and finally come face-to-dace with the destructive power he wields. (Summary from Goodreads)

I absolutely LOVE THIS SERIES!!!! Seriously, Finley Jayne is my absolute favorite lead character EVER! Oh how I CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS! Plus, I have it from NetGalley & HarlequinTeen! YAY!! 

What are you waiting on this week?

Review: Insurgent and Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent, Book 2
Release date: May 1, 2012
Published by: HarperTeen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tris knows that there are consequences for every choice made. When she chose to walk away from her faction and embrace another, she knew that would have consequences. When she and Four took down the simulation that was controlling the Dauntless, she knew that would have consequences. BUT, would she change any of those choices looking back? Doubtful! Every one makes their choices in life, it's how we live with them that matters. The real question is...will the factions be able to recover from what has been done to them? OR, will they tear themselves apart now?

My thoughts: I really liked this rather dark book of what happens after everything you've ever really known has been ripped apart by those we were supposed to be running things and how you just keep moving forward instead...because what else is there?

What was really interesting about this book 2 in a trilogy is that I didn't feel that heavy feeling that I usually get when I finished it. You know the one. The one where you know you've just read a 2nd book in a trilogy which is just dark, dark, dark but it's just setting up the 3rd book which is going to be an upswing. It wasn't that way for me. Unfortunately one thing that did happen is that at some point in the 2nd book I guessed a very major plot point in book 2 & 3 which kind of took the wind out of my sails on the rest of the series. Oh well. C'est la vie. It's very hard to surprise me these days.

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Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent, Book 3
Release date: October 22, 2013
Published by: HarperTeen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beyond the fence Tris and Tobias are hoping for a new life and leaving the old one of blood and struggles behind. They discover that their comprehension of everything they've ever known once again isn't really what they thought they knew. Will they be able to survive this cataclysmic revelation, or will they self destruct?

My thoughts: For some reason I didn't like this one as much as I did the other two and it doesn't have to do with a major item near the end which you may be thinking of if you've read it. I think it was just that I has figured out most of book 3 ahead of time. Not all of it of course, but a lot of it, and it all just felt so redundant by the time I was on this 3rd book. Don't get me wrong! I'm SO glad I read it and I own it so it's not like I wouldn't spend money on it, because I already did! I was just not that satisfied...maybe it was just that it dragged a lot for me. Huh. I'm not sure.

Anyway, I don't want to give too much away for you, but this one really changes characters. Well, at least the ones who are left! Roth seriously has no problem at all killing off characters which I actually found quite refreshing. Well done Roth! It was just a bit frustrating to deal with at times I guess.

I can't wait to see how they do these in the movies, but I truly hope they do NOT make this last book into 2 movies like I had heard they were thinking about doing. That is such a ridiculous trend!

Anyway, what did you think of this series? I'd love to know!