Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #179 - Pretending to be Erica & A History of Glitter and Blood

"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: Michelle Painchaud
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Published by: Viking Books for Young Readers

 Seventeen-year-old Violet's entire life has revolved around one thing: becoming Erica Silverman, an heiress kidnapped at age five and never seen again. Violet's father, the best con man in Las Vegas, has a plan, chilling in its very specific precision. Violet shares a blood type with Erica; soon, thanks to surgery and blackmail, she has the same face, body and DNA. She knows every detail of the Silvermans' lives, as well as the PTSD she will have to fake around them. And thenm when the time is right, she "reappears" - Erica Silverman, brought home by some kind of miracle. But she is also Violet, and she has a job: Stay long enough to steal the Silverman Painting, an Old Master legendary in the Vegas crime world. Walking a razor's edge, calculating every decision, not sure sometimes who she is or what she is doing it for, Violet is an unforgettable heroine, and Pretending to be Erica is a killer debut. (Summary from Goodreads)

Holy Cow! This one sounds sooooooo crazy interesting. A really twisted heist story. I'm in! 

Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Published by: Chronicle Books

Sixteen-year-old Beckan and her friends are the only fairies brave enough to stay in Ferrum when war breaks out. Now there is tension between the immortal fairies, the subterranean gnomes, and the mysterious tightropers who arrived to liberate the fairies. But when Beckan's clan is forced to venture into the gnome underworld to survive, they find themselves tentatively forming unlikely friendships and making sacrifices they couldn't have imagined. As danger mounts, Beckan finds herself caught between her loyalty to her friends, her desire for peace, and a love she never expected. (Summary from Goodreads)

I really do love a good fairy story and this one sounds like it's going to be amazingly good. I can't wait to read my copy from NetGalley! :) Has anyone already read it?

What are you waiting on this week?

Top 10 Tuesday: Best Reads of 2015 so far...

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 Best Books We've read so far in 2015...

1. Drama & Smile by Raina Telgemeier

2. Meet Caroline by Kathleen Ernst

4. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

5. Waiting for Gonzo by Dave Cousins 

6. For Real by Alison Cherry

7. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

8. A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin 

9. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas 

10. Sisters of Blood and Spirit by Kady Cross 

What's on your Top 10 this week?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #178 - Paperweight & The 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: Meg Haston 
Release Date: July 7, 2015 
Published by: HarperTeen 

Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. In her body. And now in an eating disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert.

Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she's worked so hard to avoid.

Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn't plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh's death--the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.

In this emotionally haunting and beautifully written young adult debut, Meg Haston delves into the devastating impact of trauma and loss, while posing the question: Why are some consumed by their illness while others embark on a path toward recovery? (Summary from Goodreads)

This one sounds heavy, but I always find the best lessons in these types of stories. I'm interested. 

Author: Kim Newman
Release Date: October 6, 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 like it's just my cup of tea! I am SO IN!

What are you waiting on this week?

Review: The Wicked Will Rise

The Wicked Will Rise 
Author: Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die, Book 2
Release date: March 31, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amy Gumm is still on her mission to steal the Scarecrow's brain, remove the Tin Woodman's heart and take the Lion's courage. Why? So she can then kill Dorothy. Only this will free Oz and bring back the land magical land to what it once was. Now that Amy has been trained by the The Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and she's ready to rumble! The problem? She has no idea where the Order is after their battle went terribly wrong. But now is more important to stay the course then ever because it seems not only Oz is in big trouble but Kansas as well. If only Amy could figure out who to trust...

My thoughts: This was a good sequel book. We pick right up where book 1 ended after the battle that went oh so badly. Amy was not successful, and now she has to figure out how to put her group back together again and move on. Oz still needs saving after all. Amy just needs to get wicked enough to do what she needs to do and kill Dorothy.

What I really like about this series is the growth of the MC (main character). Amy's growth is very obvious from her time leaving Kansas, to getting to Oz, to finding out more about the people in the land, to joining the Order. I love how BA she becomes by the second book from her rather bullied and squeaky self in Kansas. One thing that's also rather refreshing in this book/series is how there isn't a ton of romance. There also isn't a ton of pining for someone either. I really liked that it was much more about Amy and Ozma surviving in Oz now that they've been separated from the Order. 

Ozma = WHOA! Now that is an original concept! I wasn't expecting that twist of events at all! I'm not going to tell you what it is exactly in case you haven't read it yet, but it sure is surprising and frustrating. I do have to say though that I keep thinking Ozma is going to become whole again...just you wait! She has these moments of lucidity that really make me wonder about her. Sometimes I even wonder if she's "playing crazy."

Didn't like = That there seemed to have been action that happened that I missed out on somehow which made me wonder if she wrote those novellas so that you HAD to buy them and read them to really get the full understanding of certain things. I'm just not cool with that, and was rather frustrated. The novellas in my opinion should be a fun, fan committed option that tells stories that don't make them a necessary for full understanding in the base series. Does that make sense? Ok, I'll get off my soap-box now. 

Here's something I AM going to tell you about: there's another cliffhanger ending! I was expecting it this time at least. Not that I'm ok with this because I AM NOT! Now there has to be more waiting and waiting. I just don't understand why there can't be resolution in one book and then picking up with other drama that's hinted at in the next book. I felt just like I did with book one, that I was reading along and things were finally getting really good and then...POW! It was over, and I was left hanging. Again. Oh well. C'est la vie. 

Cover = These covers are simplistic, but they are oh so fantastic! Plus, the spines look great together on the shelf now. I can't wait to see the next one. I adore the world of Oz that Baum created (I've even read most of his original series) and hated what MacGuire did with it so I'm still very happy to read these new adventures. Plus, the MC really does make it all worth it. 

Also I cannot wait to be there at the close with Amy and Dorothy when it finally happens! You should be too. So jump in and find out how Amy handles her mission in Oz.

Check out my review of:

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Review: Sisters of Blood and Spirit

Author: Kady Cross
Release date: March 31, 2015
Published by: Harlequin Teen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lark has a secret...her twin sister isn't gone. When her sister Wren died at birth she somehow formed a connection with Lark and the two of them have been together ever since. Sadly this has not made life very easy for Lark ever since she has grown past the age that imaginary friends were supposed to be outgrown. Now she's known as the crazy girl unfortunately who sometimes feels like maybe she's the one who belongs in the land of the dead. When kids at her school start getting sick (including the guy who saved Lark's life when she decided she wanted to be with Wren forever) and have marks from a nasty spirit on them, the girls know that they are the only ones who can help them. But have they bitten off more than they can take on this time? Are they willing to lose everything for these kids?

My thoughts: WHOA!!! This was dark and twisted and WHOA!!! I loved this! I will admit that it was a bit hard to get used to the writing since it's written as if there was a book, or story, that had come before but we aren't given it. We are just being caught up on what has already happened in the beginning of the book in bits and pieces, which was a bit odd at first but you get used to it quickly.

I'm such a HUGE FAN of Cross's Steampunk Chronicles that I was rather nervous about this one for some reason. I am SO glad that I tried it. The concept is so very different from anything that I've read before with the twins who were separated by death at birth but who are still connected. What an incredible concept! AND, what a scary one when they can both see and interact with any spirit who happens to be around whether they are nice or extremely nasty. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be walking down the sidewalk only to see a man hanging dead from a tree, but really a ghost. YIKES! Then you have to also not react because you don't want to freak out the other "regular" folks who might be around. It is really a tangled web of WHOA! 

Final thoughts: I LOVED this one! If you are interested in freaky ghostly stories then THIS is for you! 

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mini-Review: The Anti-Prom

The Anti-PromThe Anti-Prom 
Author: Abby McDonald
Release date: March 8, 2011
Published by: Candlewick Press
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This, at its core, is a book about friendship, about getting over your preconceived notions of who people are and even who you are. At first, I truly disliked Bliss. I couldn't get passed her desire to maintain her popularity at the expense of others, but then when she joins forces with Jolene and Meg and they slowly start chipping away at each other's emotional covers, I came to like pieces of each character and how they complimented and supported the others--sometimes in "harsh truths" ways, but always for the better.

It's worth sticking with them as they journey to attain revenge on a boy, only to find the best in each other, and ultimately, discover the shoulder, the fist, and the heart of friendship with one another.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #177 - Between Us and the Moon & The Heart of Betrayal

"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: Rebecca Maizel 
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Published by: Harper Teen

Ever since Sarah was born, she's lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett. But this summer on Cape Cod, she's determined to finally grow up. Then she meets gorgeous college boy Andrew. He sees her as the girl she wants to be. A girl who's older than she is. A girl like Scarlett.

Before she knows what's happened, one little lie has transformed into something real. And by the end of August, she might have to choose between falling in love, and finding herself. (Summary from Goodreads)

A bittersweet romance: just what a summer read calls for.

Author: Mary E. Pearson
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Published by: Henry Holt and Co. 

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's ertswhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country...and her own destiny. (Summary from Goodreads)

Ok, so book 1 left me on a severe cliffhanger!! I am SOOOO ready for this one! I just hope I remember all the details once I start reading b/c I read that one as an ARC too so it was a while ago now. I do remember thinking...do I like this one? And then I thought OMG THIS IS SO GOOD! 

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Review: The Iron Trial

The Iron Trial
Author: Holly Black 
Author: Cassandra Clare 
Illustrator: Scott Fischer 
Series: Magisterium, Book 1
Release date: September 9, 2014
Published by: Scholastic Press
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Callum Hunt has been raised for the twelve years of his life to fear all that magic is. He has been told that magic and mages are what destroyed their lives. So when it becomes very apparent that he has developed magic himself, and is then invited to the Iron Trial he is terrified. He even tries very hard to fail the trial. Unfortunately he gets selected by one of the most prestigious Mages leading his father to completely lose it in front of everyone sadly. How is Callum going to be able to continue on to this new future; this new school without the support of his father to the place he fears most with the people he fears most? Will they destroy him and twist him into evil itself?

My thoughts: This was a fantastic "magic school adventure" book! I especially liked the main character of Callum who was very snotty from the first page. I also loved how his father completely freaked out in front of everyone when he was chosen for training. I cannot even imagine how embarrassing that would be. WOW!

Of course when Callum gets there he quickly discovers that things are not what he had thought they were. He also begins to learn that being a Mage is a lot of work. Plus, he also learns that he doesn't HAVE to go through life all alone. In fact he begins to learn that he might even be beginning to form great friendships if he just opens himself up to them. 

The magic school element of this was quite fun and I have been making sure to suggest his book to any kiddos who LOVED Harry Potter, or any other series that has a "magic school" element to it. ;) Plus, this is a series so there are going to be more and more books to eat up with Callum and his gang of pals! YAY! 

If you haven't tried this one and you like HP read-alikes, you really need to give this one a try! 
Some fun pictures I have from a YA Literature Conference for educators I attended last fall. Meeting these two, and getting ALL of my books by them (I was such a drooling fan girl!! But I tried to play it cool. I don't know that it worked. I had a hard time with these two being chill.;) was definitely an item to cross off on my bucket list! 
Talking about their wonderful friendship and their writing partnership. 

Holly, Me & Cassie

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #176 - The Night We Said Yes & Tangled Webs

"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 Gibaldi
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she's lived her entire life.

But Matt--the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town--was never part of that plan.

And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying "yes" to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.

Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella's heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own--to relive the night that brought them together--Ella isn't sure whether Matt's worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the pat can help them create a different future. (Summary from Goodreads)

I like the sound of this format, "alternating then and now chapters." I often enjoy uniquely formatted texts, so not only does the story line intrigue, but also the book format itself :)

Author: Lee Bross
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Published by: Disney Hyperion

London, 1725. Everybody has a secret. Lady A will keep yours - for a price.

Lady A is the most notorious blackmailer in the city. With just a mask and a gown to disguise her, she sweeps into lavish balls and exclusive events collecting the most valuable currency in 1725 London--secrets.

But leading a double life isn't easy. By day Lady A is just a sixteen-year-old girl named Arista who lives in fear of her abusive master, Bones, and passes herself off as a boy to move safely through the squalor of London's slums. When Bones attempts to dispose of his pawn forever, Arista is rescued by the last person she expects: Jonathan Wild, the infamous Thief Taker General who moves seamlessly between the city's criminal underworld and its most elite upper circles. Arista partners with Wild on her own terms in the hopes of saving enough money to buy passage out of London.

Everything changes when she meets Graeden Sinclair, the son of a wealthy merchant. Grae has traveled the world, has seen the exotic lands Arista has longed to escape to her whole life, and he loves Arista for who she is--not for what she can do for him. Being with Grae gives Arista something precious that she swore off long ago: hope. He has promised to help Arista escape the life of crime that has claimed he since she was a child. But can you ever truly escape the past? (Summary from Goodreads)

Doesn't this sound like an intriguing broken girl story but historical!? It sounds so good. 

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Review: Smile

Series: Smile, Book 1
Author: Raina Telgemeier
Release date: February 1, 2010
Published by: GRAPHIX/Scholastic 

This book is inspiring because, it teaches you about what life brings and what's ahead of you. This book takes you through 2 stages. 

1.middle school
2.high school
Now I bet you think middle school is scary but it's not, now Raina has a problem with her mouth that's a problem. But middle school and high school isn't a problem. Raina knocks out her 2 front teeth and has to be dragged around everywhere it fells like you're actually feeling the pain that she's going through. She's embarrassed
because her friends noticed and it becomes a  big problem for Raina. To find out what happens to Raina read Smile.

I like this book. I have read this book 4 times now because it's SO GOOD! Now that I've read some of Raina Telgemeier's books I'm wondering  what she's going to 
write next.=)                                

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #175 - Amber Smoke

"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: Kristin Cast
Release Date: June 9, 205
Published by: Diversion Publishing

 There is a world that runs parallel to our own, a world in which the souls of the damned are caged, where they are looked over by the Furies, and where they spend eternity in torment, mirroring the devastation and mayhem they created when alive.

Someone has open the cage.

The worst of terrors has crossed the barrier that separates our world from theirs, and the Furies send a great, albeit untested warrior--their only son, Alek--to try to bring those souls back. He is young and handsome, headstrong and impulsive, and he won't be able to do it alone.

Eva has grown up, beautiful and beloved, but surrounded by secrets. First, she will be hunted in an ancient feud that will threaten her life. Then, she will become the hunter.

With the police closing in and two worlds on the verge of crumbling around them, Alek and Eva must find each other, discover the limits of their powers, and work together to save everything they hold dear, including one another. (Summary from Goodreads)

This sounds AMAZING!! Full of danger and adventure and maybe a little romance!? I enjoyed the first 5 or so books of the HoN books and can't wait to finish that series sometime but just started this book last night from NetGalley and it's good so far! Plus, that cover is GORGEOUS!! 

What are you waiting on this week?