Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #161 - Perfect Ruin & Miss Mayhem

"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: Lauren DeStefano 
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

On the floating city of Internment, you can be anything you dream, unless you approach the edge. Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close can lead to madness, like her older brother Lex, a Jumper. She takes solace in her best friend Pen, and Basil, the boy she's engaged to marry. When she investigates the first murder in a generation, she meets Judas. The suspect was betrothed to the victim, but Morgan believes he is innocent. Nothing can prepare Morgan for the secrets she will find - or whom she will lose. (Summary from Goodreads)

Wow! What an intriguing world concept. Looks like it's the right time to read this new paperback version because the second book comes out in March, too. 

Author: Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Published by: Putnam Juvenile

Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.

Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they'd rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can't stay David's Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her...or connect her to David for life. (Summary from Goodreads)


Check out my review of...
Book 1, Rebel Belle

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #160 - We All Hooked Up & Kin

"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: Tommy Wallach
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth.

They always say that high school is the best time of your life.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried "they" might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can't wait to escape Seattle--and her reputation--and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn't understand all the fuss about college and career--the future can wait.

Or can it? Because it turns out the future us hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors--along with the rest of the planet--wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they're going to spend what remains of the present. (Summary from Goodreads)

Interesting, right?!? I love that Wallach is playing on the idea that high school seniors are at one of the "crossroads" moments in life. It will be interesting to see how throwing in the possible end of the world affects these teens choices.

Author: Lili St. Crow
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Published by: Razorbill

Full moon. Glowing eyes. Red lips. And such sharp, sharp teeth...

In the kin world, girls Ruby de Varre's age are expected to play nice, get betrothed, and start a family--especially if they're rootkin, and the fate of the clan is riding on them. But after a childhood of running wild in the woods, it's hard to turn completely around and be demure. Even if your Gran is expecting it.

Then Conrad, handsome and charming, from a clan across the Waste, comes to New Haven to seal alliance between their two families. The sparks fly immediately. Conrad is smart, dominant, and downright gorgeous. Yet as Ruby gets to know him more, she starts to realize something's...off.

Then, the murders start. A killer stalks the city streets, and just when Ruby starts to suspect the unimaginable, she becomes the next target. Now Ruby's about to find out that Conrad's secrets go deeper than she ever could have guessed--and it's up to Ruby to save her Gran, her clan, and maybe even herself... (Summary from Goodreads)

I cannot believe I still haven't read any of these! Shame on me!! Not only do they have GORGEOUS covers, but they always sound SO GOOD!! Has anyone read them? Are they as good as I think they'll be?

What are you waiting on this week?

Review: Dove Arising by Karen Bao

Dove Arising 
Author: Karen Bao
Series: Dove Chronicles, Book 1
Release date: February 24, 2015
Published by: Viking Books for Young Readers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Phaet has lived her whole life on the Moon on Base IV, and most recently spending all of her extra time in Greenhouse 22 with her best friend. That was before the young man from Medical showed up and hauled her mother off claiming she was so sick she might contaminate others! Phaet is left with her young brother and sister to care for along with very little money. Will she be able to do continue as the highest in her class and on to her planned schooling even though her mother is sick now? But then, they receive the worst news of all...their mother isn't going to be coming home from Medical because she's being taken to Jail! What is Phaet going to do now!? And how is she going to make sure they all stay out of Shelter now?

My thoughts: This was a surprisingly fast read! I started it on Saturday and finished it on Sunday morning! That rarely gets to happen these days with 2 kids, a hubby, a job, etc.! I especially loved how I thought I was Ms. Smarty and knew all that was going to happen and then really didn't know it 100% in the end!

I also really liked how their little "family" of two families was so good at helping each other. I was really worried I was going to hate Phaet and find her awful or annoying. Instead I found her to be incredibly brave and intelligent as she gave up on her entire dream for her life that she had built and early enrolled as the youngest person into the Militia for the money to support her family on her own in her mother's absence. One thing that was rather interesting was that Phaet was extremely quiet...which works for her but not really for others unless they really like to just talk while she listens.

Here's something that was rather fun in the book - there were a bunch of bits about stars and constellations! They were everywhere in the book! So if you're a fan of that then you'll really like this one. Oh, and everyone is named after a star, or comet, or something in space! That was fascinating to learn about as well. 

Final thought: I CANNOT WAIT for book 2! Plus, I'm getting this for MMS LMC ASAP! :D

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #159 - The Distance Between Lost and Found & Razorhurst

"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: Kathryn Holmes
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen 

Ever since the night of the incident with Luke Willis, the preacher's son, sophomore Hallelujah Calhoun has been silent. When the rumors swirled around school, she was silent. When her parents grounded her she was silent. When her friends abandoned her...silent.

Now, six months later on a youth group retreat in the Smokey Mountains, Hallie still can't find a voice to answer the taunting. Shame and embarrassment haunt her, while Luke keeps coming up with new ways to humiliate her. Not even meeting Rachel, an outgoing newcomer who isn't aware of her past, can pull Hallie out of her shell. Being on the defensive for so long has left her raw, and she doesn't know who to trust.

On a group hike, the incessant bullying pushes Hallie to her limit. When Hallie, Rachel, and Hallie's former friend Jonah get separated from the rest of the group, the situation quickly turns dire. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to band together.

With past betrayals and harrowing obstacles in their way, Hallie fears they'll never reach safety. Could speaking up about the night that changed everything close the distance between being lost and found? Or has she traveled too far to come back? (Summary from Goodreads)

I don't always pick stories that I know will make me sad, but this one sounds similar to Speak, one of my all time favorite books with the premise that this young woman needs to find a way to make her voice heard and that's a powerful message worth reading. 

Author: Justine Larbalestier
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Published by: Soho Teen

Sydney's deadly Razorhurst neighborhood, 1932. Gloriana Nelson and Mr. Davidson, two ruthless mob bosses, have reached a fragile peace--one maintained by "razor men." Kelpie, orphaned and homeless, is blessed (and cursed) with the ability to see Razorhurst's many ghosts. They tell her secrets the living can't know about the cracks already forming in the mobs' truce.

The Kelpie meets Dymphna Campbell, a legendary beauty and prized moll of Gloriana Nelson. She's earned the nickname "Angel of Death" because none of her beaus has ever survived knowing her. Unbeknownst to Kelpie, Dymphna can see ghosts, too, and she knows that Gloriana's hold is crumbling one henchman at a time. As loyalties shift and betrayal threatens the two girls at every turn, Dymphna is determined not only to survive, but to rise to the top with Kelpie at her side. (Summary from Goodreads)

Doesn't this sound interesting and original!? 

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Review: Corrupted by A.D. Croucher

Author: A.D. Croucher
Series: Altered Sequence, Book 2
Release date: November 20, 2014
Published by: Self Pub.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now that Reese and Erika are on the run from Pro Gen & Wilcox, they are determined to get away and never go back again. They need to find Reese's dad and find him fast before anyone else finds them first. Especially after what Reese saw, the black liquid, and what happened to Joanna and Lion.

My thoughts: This was just as fast-paced, and action-packed as book 1, which is what I absolutely LOVED about book 1! I also really like that even though it's all this action and adventure, there's also funny like in the very beginning when they are still actively running from Wilcox and in the woods and the robot is launched at them...

Blue beams erupt outwards from the sphere, sweeping in all directions as it glides forward.
"Fantastic," I blurt out. "A robot. Because our lives weren't sci-fi enough."

That part makes me giggle every time! Reece cracks me up constantly. These characters are just great! You get so dang connected and invested in them that when something happens to them you are just broken! Now that to me means that there is some darn good writing happening to be able to suck you in like that. I was surprised by the twist in the relationship between Erika and Reece at the beginning of this one. They just seem so darn different from each other and I wasn't expecting that at all. 

New characters: We meet some new, and very interesting characters in this book. Ethan and Ben are two that we meet early on and they prove quickly that Reece and the gang were NOT the only ones experimented on. Except, things did not work out well for them and now Reece and Erika need to figure out who to trust and what to do next. This all also adds an element of mystery involving trying to figure out how Reece's father is involved in everything, and what Equinox is and it is wrapped up in all of this as well. 

Final thoughts: I am SO glad I was given this to read from the authors because I LOVED it! If you like mad-scientist/super hero type books with lots of action and adventure then these books are for you! You laugh, cry and sit on the edge of your seat! What else could you ask for in a book!? 

Check out my review of Book 1:
Altered, Book 1 

View all my reviews

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Illusions of Fate 
Author: Kiersten White
Release date: September 9, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off, the cover is what got me to pick up the book. It created the sense of mystery that plays throughout the story. Then I read the first line, which happens to be a letter the main character, Jessamin, is writing to her mother which begins, “Dear Mama, I am most certainly not dead. Thank you for your tender concern.” Clearly Jessamin has spunk and humor...and perhaps a reason for not writing her mother frequently? And so I was hooked.

This is a story that will pull you in and wreak havoc with your emotions because of how engaging the characters are. I love Jessamin, who has come to the shadowed, rainy country of Albion for her own reasons. The problem is that people from her country, Melei--a sunny world--are seen as inferior by the people of Albion. That means that there are many layers to Jessamin’s story: her connection to her father, the wealth at school versus her poverty, the people she meets and befriends, and the evil that finds her. Soon, Jessamin is embroiled in a political, magical world that she had no idea existed.

Second, you will love Lord Ackerly, Finn, who is from the Hallin magical line and who attracts Jessamin with his bright hair which stands out in the dull world of Albion and reminds her of the sun in her home country. And here begins a love-hate relationship, but do not fear, the romantic tension is wonderfully engaging.

Finally, our villain, Lord Downpike. Hate him! He is from the Cromberg magical line and is a man obsessed with power. Some of the things he does turns my stomach. The anxiety and tension he brought to the story nearly killed me. You will hate him, but strangely love him as a complex and perfectly constructed villain.

There are also several other characters you will enjoy, like Sir Bird and Eleanor. Ultimately, this story has a delicious plot filled with captivating characters who will tie you in knots and give you sleepless nights. I know you’ll love it!!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #158 - The Last Time We Say Goodbye & The Wicked Will Rise

"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: Cynthia Hand 
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen

There's death all around us.
We just don't pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone - a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on. (Summary from Goodreads)

This sounds like it will be painful in spirit to read but worth it since Hand's writing is usually amazing, and I hope there is some redemptive lesson to go along with it. 

Author: Danielle Paige
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen

To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman's heart, steal the Scarecrow's brain, take the Lion's courage, and then Dorothy must die...

Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy's only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she's only just scratched the surface of Oz's past--and that Kansas, the home she couldn't wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust--and who is really Wicked? (Summary from Goodreads)

The first book in this series was edgy and the main character was a fantastic butt-kicking gal! I cannot wait to get my hands on this one and find out what happens with these AWESOME characters!

Check out my review of...
Book 1, Dorothy Must Die

What are you waiting on this week?

Review: Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 
Author: Beverly Cleary
Series: Ramona Quimby, Book 6
Awards: Newbery Honor, 1982
Release date: 1981
Published by: Yearling/Random House

Dear Reader,

I think you should read Ramona Quimby, Age 8. In this book Ramona learns a lesson. My favorite parts are when Ramona and Beezus make supper and when she cracks a NOT hard-boiled egg on her head. The only reason she did that is because her dad showed her a way to crack a hard-boiled egg on your head. 

The part I dislike, is when Ramona gets picked on, and also when she throws up. At one point, their car also won't go in reverse, but why doesn't her mom walk? Maybe it's too far. When she throws up, she feels selfish of herself. She also has a boy in her class she calls Yard Ape, but his real name is Danny. When Ramona doesn't come back after lunch, Danny has to come and walk back with her to the classroom. The lesson that Ramona learns is that you're yourself no one else. Also don't be ashamed of what you do because it's practically fine. For example, when Ramona follows what her dad does,but that's fine because she's just young and wants to follow what her family does and learns from it.

If I gave this book an award the award that I would give is, The Best Child's Life Book. This book was a really exciting book. Have you ever made a mistake like Ramona and learned a lesson from it? I know I have.

A 7-year-old's review!
What did you think of this one?