Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #187 - Everything, Everything & Dumplin'

"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: Nicola Yoon 
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers 

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I'm allergic to the world. I don't leave my house, have not left my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He's tall, lean and wearing all black--black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can't predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It's almost certainly going to be a disaster. (Summary from Goodreads)

This sounds like a fascinating story. Can't wait to get my hands on it. 

Author: Julie Murphy 
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Published by: Balzer + Bray 

Self-proclaimed far girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed "Dumplin'" by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked...until Will takes a job at Harpy's, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn't surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant--along with several other unlikely candidates--to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she'll shock the hell out of Clover City--and maybe herself most of all.
(Summary from Goodreads)

Doesn't this sound like an empowering story? I think it will be and I can't wait to try it. 

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: Charmed

Author: Michelle Krys
Series: The Witch Hunter, Book 2
Release date: May 25, 2015
Published by: Delacorte Press/PenguinRandomHouse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paige is missing, and Indie cannot find her no matter how hard she tries and no matter what magic she uses. When she does finally find out where Paige is it's not even on Earth! She's in Los Demonios! No one has EVER gone into Los Demonios and come back out again. It is an unbreakable prison! Now what is Indie going to do? And how is she going to keep it from her aunt?

MY thoughts: This series is a must buy for me! It is too darn fun and adventurous! Following her on her search to figure out how to get into Los Demonios, and then how to stay in there was quite intriguing. I thought I knew exactly how this story was going to go at the beginning of the book, but boy was I wrong! I couldn't believe what she had to do to get anywhere near the prison! Whoa!

I really liked the way that this story continues after the first book. The development, or at least peek into, Indie's aunt's personality and life including her past relationship with the Priory was great. It really made you feel more connected to Indie and her life. Indie is such a great character who's loyalty has no boundaries. I really like that about her. 

Final thoughts: I cannot wait to get my hands on book 3 in this series! If you haven't tried this series yet and you like books about witches and magic, you should get on it! 

Check out my review of Book 1:

View all my reviews

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Review: Shadow Study

Shadow Study 
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study, Book 4 & Soulfinders, Book 1
Release date: February 24, 2015
Published by: Mira/HarlequinTeen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Yelena is finally going to live the life she's hoped for. Even more wonderful...she's going to share that life with Valek which is something she never thought would be a want for her. That's all destroyed when there's an attempt on her life that leaves her with no magic! How is this even possible? And she needs to keep the knowledge that she has no magic top secret because her life depends on it. Plus, if they trying to kill her then they may be trying to kill Valek too!?

My thoughts: This was an interesting story and I really like the main character of Yelena. I had a really hard time getting in the swing of things since this was apparently not the first book about her which I didn't know when I started this one. I went into this story thinking this was book 1 in a series, only to find out that it was very obviously not. All this considered, I now want to read the rest of the books I should have before this one. 

Yelena was a great character who was tough and full of history that I can't wait to read about sometime. She does share some of herself with us, but I really want more. The relationship between Valek and Yelena was also one where were being very teased about I felt since we get to see them together in the beginning and then not again. Yelena also has some serious connections I noticed as she tried to figure out what could possibly have taken her magic away. The whole mystery of her magic leaving is one that really got me curious and made me hold onto the story for the full ride. 

Final thoughts: I not only want to go back and read books 1-3 now, but with that cliffhanger at the end of this book I have got to read the next book in this series! Oh what a cliffhanger! 
View all my reviews

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Review: The Fall of the West

The Fall of the House of West 
Author: Paul Pope
Release date: October 13, 2015
Published by: First Second
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Aurora is motherless and on a mission to learn more about her death so she can avenge her no matter what. Her father not only doesn't talk about her mother or her death, but he also cannot seem to keep Aurora under complete control where her mother's death is concerned either. Will Aurora find out who really killed her mother? What will she do if she does find the killer?

My thoughts: This was full of mysterious intrigue, sadness and adventure. I wasn't sure if I had missed something in another book before this one but it never really felt quite filled in the way I would have liked.

The MC, Aurora, was a sad, tragic character who from the beginning was on a rampage to kill the person/thing who had killed her mother. The sad part was that when she found out it wasn't what she had thought at all. Her world was crushed by the revelation. 

This was an ok graphic novel and I'm sure it will be better once I see one in color, but it just wasn't my thing. Oh well. 

View all my reviews

Review: Lone Wolf

Lone Wolf 
Series: Wolves of the Beyond, Book 1 
Author: Kathryn Lasky
Release date: October 13, 2015 
Published by: Doubleday
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book based on a recommendation from my niece. She even lent me her personal copy! And she was right: this is the start to an awesome series. I have to say, I want to pop out to the library and grab the second book in the series because Lasky left off on such a key event that I want to know what happens next.

This is the story of Faolan, a wolf pup born with a paw that isn’t quite right. Pack rules of the Wolves of the Beyond say he must be left to die; in order to keep the pack strong, no weaknesses can be allowed. This is the start of Faolan’s new life, for beyond all belief, he survives with the help of Thunderheart, a most wondrous bear who decides to raise the pup as her own after having lost her child.

I read this book in a day because I was so enthralled by the world Lasky creates and the characters she develops. There are ups and downs, a little heartbreak and hope, all emotions that kept me reading as I became a part of Faolan and Thunderheart’s family.

View all my reviews

Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: The Ruby Airship

The Ruby Airship 
Author: Sharon Gosling
Series: The Diamond Thief, Book 2
Release date: April 10, 2015
Published by: Switch Press
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Remy Brunel has gone on the path of both the straight and narrow, but also has left her precious circus family well behind now. The big question is will anyone, even her friends, ever trust her completely? Even Thaddeus Rec, her favorite detective? When she can't handle these doubts any longer, she takes off for her homeland of France to find her circus family once again. She even has a good, old friend as her traveling pal...or is he? What exactly IS Yannick up to? Will Remy figure it all out in time?

My thoughts: Remy is one of the easiest characters to get to know and to really cheer for! She is vulnerable but also very tough...as in street tough! She has some serious kick-butt skills which her days in the circus have influenced.

We meet a lot of new characters in this second book. Most of the characters are her circus family, but there are also others that she meets along the way. What really keeps me going in these is that the drama doesn't lull. The drama keeps going and going with as much adventure as possible as well. 

If you love mystery, history and adventure then you have to try this Diamond Thief series! 

Check out my review of Book 1:

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #186 - George & Ash and Bramble

"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: Alex Gino
Release Date: August 25, 2015 
Published by: Scholastic Press 


When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.

George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part...because she's a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte--but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all. (Summary from Goodreads)

I know this is a middle grade book, but I'm still going to read it. I love that this story is going to explore identity, and that it's meant for younger kiddos. Can't wait to check it out. 

Ash & Bramble 
Author: Sarah Prineas 
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen

When the glass slipper just doesn't fit...

The tale of Cinderella has bee retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story.

Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother's fortress.  She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales.  But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.

Pin isn't free for long before she's captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her--a fairy tale story, complete with a charming prince--instead of finding her own happily ever after. (Summary from Goodreads)

I love that this is supposed to be a completely different twist on the Cinderella story even though there have been a TON of these written already. I can't wait to try this one, AND that cover is GORGEOUS!! 

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Top 10 Authors I Auto-buy...

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!

My Top 10 Auto-buy Authors (in no particular order)...

4. Kady Cross 

5. Sarah Maas 

I've only gotten to meet a few of my favorites but desperately want to meet the rest! Oh SO desperately! #fangirling just thinking about it!
What's on your Top 10 this week?

Review: Six Impossible Things

Six Impossible Things 
Series: Wildlife/Six Impossible Things, Book 1
Author: Fiona Wood
Release date: August 11, 2015
Published by: Poppy/LittleBrown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story begins with a tale of woe from Dan. His life has just fallen apart. Between his parent’s divorce, his father’s new status as a gay man, and his new reality of life without money (no more big house or private school), he’s floundering to find steady ground. There are a couple of things that are looking up: a cute girl named Estelle who is his new neighbor and the possibility of reinventing himself at public school. However, at the start of chapter two, Dan makes of list of six things he’d like to accomplish, only at this point in time, they all seem impossible.

I LOVED this story. I read it really quickly because I wanted to see Dan grow and change with his new life adventure. Wood’s creates a well-rounded character in Dan: he’s sweet, kind of funny, awkward, a little self-centered in the beginning, but he also has a beautiful heart that shines through the logic in many of his decisions. I love the passion he has for trying to reinvent himself when in reality his tough situation is already reshaping who he becomes by the end of the story.

Within this story, there are all kinds of lovely things: heartwarming moments, times where you feel the world crushing you down just as Dan feels, beautiful lessons with quotes you’ll want to pluck from the page and hang on your wall, and by the end, you’ll wish that Dan and his friends could pop out of the story and join the real world.

I finished this book with a huge smile on my face and that bittersweet feeling of knowing I’ve reached the last page but wishing there was more to come. I plan on picking up another of Fiona Wood’s book. This one’s going on my classroom bookshelf to be recommended to student readers! You won’t be disappointed when you pick this one up. Happy reading!
View all my reviews

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Review: Throne of Glass, books 1-3

Book 3: Heir of Fire 

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Celaena is a survivor. She has survived a massacre of her people, training into an assassin, the horrors of a slave death camp, a competition to the death and she is still fighting. The question is...who is she fighting for at this point? Herself? Love? Her country? Her people? Or is she done fighting?

My thoughts: I flew right through all 3 of these books! WOW! This world, these people, this war...just...WOW! It made me feel as if nothing else existed around me. Everything just disappeared and only my reading faster and faster mattered. THAT is exactly what makes a book AMAZING in my opinion which is exactly what this book was.

The main character of Celaena is one of so many, many layers that had to be unwrapped from her tragedy and horrors that had been done to her in her short life. It made me think of the things that others have to deal with in their own countries and lives that we cannot even really imagine because we do not live it. She is an incredibly strong character/person. I just adored her strength and her determination. 

There are so many other characters in this series so far who are fantastic and written so well. From her friends to her enemies who are written with such evil that you truly want to climb into the books and destroy them yourself! That reminds me, the world itself that Celaena lives in is fantastic and horrifying in turns. Again, it's all just so vivid because of Maas's writing. 

Final thoughts: I knew by the time I was close to the end of book 3 that there was NO way that she was going to be able to wrap up all that needed to happen so...I CANNOT WAIT FOR BOOK 4 & 5!!! If you haven't tried this series you have GOT to give it a chance. I promise that you will be sucked right into it from beginning to end.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #185 - The Rest of Us Just Live Here & The Copper Gaunlet

"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: Patrick Ness
Release Date: August 27, 2015 
Published by: 

What if you aren't the Chosen One?

The one who's supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you're like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week's end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions. (Summary from Goodreads)

Just reading the description of this book made me chuckle. I want to find out how Mikey lives an ordinary life in an extraordinary world. 

(Magisterium, Book 2)
Author: Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Published by: Scholastic

Callum Hunt's summer break isn't like other kids'. His closest companion is a Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc. His father suspects him of being secretly evil. And, of course, most kids aren't heading back to the magical world of the Magisterium in the fall.

It's not easy for Call...and it gets even harder after he checks out his basement and discovers that his dad might be trying might be trying to destroy both him and Havoc.

Call escapes to the Magisterium -- but things only intensify there. The Alkahest -- a copper gauntlet capable of separating certain magicians from their magic -- has been stolen. And in their search to discover the culprit, Call and his friends Aaron and Tamara awaken the attention of some very dangerous foes -- and get closer to an even more dangerous truth. (Summary from Goodreads)

I loved book 1 in this series and cannot wait to get my hands on book 2!
Check out my review of book 1:
The Iron Trial

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: Black Widow: Forever Red

Black Widow: Forever Red
Author: Margaret Stohl
Release date: October 13, 2015
Published by: Marvel Press 
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, has never relied on anyone, and no one has ever relied on her. Those truths are about to both become false when she becomes entangled with the worst of the bad guys from her own past. Plus, she ends up with not only one teenager in tow under her care, but with two! What has she gotten herself into this time!? And will she be able to come out the other end with both kids and herself still intact?

My thoughts: This was fantastic! I pictured the world vividly as if it was one of the Marvel movies with Scarlet and all. The adventure and mystery never ends in this one. I wanted to read more and more.

I especially loved how Stohl portrayed Natasha in this story. Her personality was just how I had imagined her to be, and the fact that she has to begin worrying about others in this story was a perfect way to show off her very few and far between weaknesses. Plus her personality was extremely well thought out and planned. 

The secondary characters of Ava and Alex were also very well done in that I felt that I got to know them as much as they would let anyone. Plus they get to go with 
Natasha on this adventure which was a thriller that went on and on. Loved it! 

Final thoughts: If you have been liking the Marvel world of the 
Avengers which has been crashing all around us, then you are going to like this! It's a must buy for anyone who even sort of likes superheroes. 

View all my reviews

Friday, August 7, 2015

DNF Review: A History of Glitter and Blood

A History of Glitter and Blood
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Release date: August 18, 2015
Published by: Chronicle Books
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I'm sad to say that after forcing myself through 2 chapters, I'm DNF'ing this. It is ridiculous. I RARELY have this happen. The start of the book is completely as if they started in the middle instead of the beginning. Then, I couldn't figure out who was even the narrator, or from what perspective they were speaking. Next, there were random swears which seemed like they were there for no reason at all. Please don't think I'm a prude, because I'm really, really not. Honestly I sound a bit like a sailor from time to time, but there has to be a reason for the swearing if it's going to be there. It shouldn't be there for no reason at all here and there. I have too many lovely potentials on my NetGalley shelf, NOOK, and real bookshelf to waste more time on this one. I tried. I really tried. :( 

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #184 - Mechanica & Legacy of Kings

"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: Betsy Cornwell
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Published by: Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin

Nicolette's awful stepsisters called her "Mechanica" to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother's knee. Her mother is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a hidden workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools there -- and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules -- be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last. (Summary from Goodreads)

I hope this is a great reinvention of the Cinderella fairy tale. It certainly intrigues me!

(Blood of Gods and Royals,  Book1) 
Author: Eleanor Herman
Release Date: August 25, 2015 
Published by: Harlequin Teen 

Imagine w time when the Gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia's sixteen-year-old heir, is one the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat's first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander's unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters. (Summary from Goodreads)

I can't wait to try this one! It sounds very good, and I do so love a good fantasy adventure full of intrigue! Plus, I have it waiting for me to read from NetGalley. Yay! 

What are you waiting on this week?

Review: The One Thing

The One Thing 
Author: Marci Lyn Curtis
Release date: September 8, 2015
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Maggie lost her sight 6 months ago and she's still fired up about it. She still hasn't let go of hope that she's going to get her sight back and rule the soccer field again someday. Maggie even has a probation officer because of a school prank she pulled. It's at that probation officer's place that she accidentally falls and cracks her head on the floor. When she looks up there's a boy with light all around him! She can see! Sadly she can only see just around this young boy, but she'll take it. The question is HOW is this happening and what will she do now?

My thoughts: This was a decent story that not only pulls you through Maggie's story of frustration and angst, but it also shows you the world of a young boy who has Spina Bifida and is handicapped himself using crutches to get around. Of course there's also the little boy's brother, Mason Milton.

The characters in this one were nicely done with our MC being full of angst, and our secondary characters being descriptive enough to make me happy. I hate it when there isn't enough about them. The relationship that little boy, Ben, and our MC, Maggie, develop is one of mutual need even though neither one realize it at first. When her family has folded in on itself and is barely recognizable anymore, Maggie finds Ben and Mason's family to be a magnet of normalcy where she can be herself. 

I have a feeling that my high schoolers might really like this one, but I had a hard time with it. It was poor, just very average for me. It was as if there was something missing from it. I also had a hard time with the whole idea of Maggie being able to see again when she's with Ben. That was just silly for me. I have a feeling that's what was wrong with me when reading this one. 

Maggie and Mason's story was sweet, I loved her relationship with Ben, her relationship with her family seemed very real and well done, but the whole idea of her "sight" was just goofy for me. I couldn't seem to shake it off. 

Final thoughts: This was a decent read, but I had wished there was "more" somehow. 

View all my reviews

Monday, August 3, 2015

Top 10 Tuesday: Fairytale Retellings We've Read...

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 Fairytale Retellings We've Read...

1. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by John Szieska - 3 Little Pigs

2. Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson - Cinderella

3. Rump & Jack by Liesl Shurtliff - Rumpelstiltskin & Jack and the Beanstalk. Next comes "Red" - Little Red Riding Hood. 

4. The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer - 

5. A Tale Dark & Grimm series by Adam Gidwitz - 

6. Domitila by Jewell Reinhart - a mexican Cinderella story

7. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas - Beauty and the Beast, and more.

8. Splintered by A.G. Howard - Alice In Wonderland, so not quite fairytale but I think it counts!

9. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale - Grimm's Goose Girl 

10. The Bloody Chamber and other stories by Angela Carter - Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, and SO many more! (Warning; these are rather adult in my opinion, but brilliant!)

What's on your Top 10 this week?