Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #192 - A Step Toward Falling & 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: Cammie McGovern 
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen 

Sometimes one mistake can change everything.

Emily doesn't know why she froze. Or why Lucas did too. Afterward, she thought of different ways to rationalize it. But the truth is, they could have helped Belinda, and they didn't. It's a mistake they'll both have to live with.

Sometimes doing nothing is the only way to cope.
Belinda doesn't talk about what happened. Because when she does, it feels like it's happening all over again.

Sometimes good can come from bad.

Emily and Lucas's punishment is community service at a center for people with disabilities. People like Belinda. Soon they feel like maybe they're starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. Like they could help not only those at the center but also each other.

But when Belinda returns to school, Emily and Lucas have to figure out if they can do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt most. (Summary from Goodreads)

I really enjoyed her first novel Say What You Will so I'm hopeful this story will also have uniquely voiced main characters. 

Author: Kim Newman 
Release Date: October 20, 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 so perfect for me! Sounds a bit like Gail Carriger's Finishing School series. I can't wait to give this one a try! 

What are you waiting on this week?

Review: Dark Hope & Dark Rising

Author: Monica McGurk
Series: The Archangel Prophecies, Book 1
Release date: July 29, 2014
Published by: Greenleaf Book Group
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hope Carmichael is being a new life with her mother after years of living under her father's regime of protection after she was abducted as a young girl. She can't wait to actually live her life like a normal teenager. When she meets Michael, her life is turned upside down once again as she's engulfed in a whole world she never knew existed right in front of her.

My thoughts: This was a fast-paced read full of drama and intrigue. What an adventure!

Hope is a fantastic female lead character who knows herself, and what she wants in life. I liked this about her. I couldn't wait to get to the end of this book so I could find out what happens next in book 2! 

Series: The Archangel Prophecies, Book 2
Release date: June 30, 2015
Published by: River Grove Books
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hope is on the run as the Bearer of the Key. Will the Fallen Angels get to Hope because they think she's finally the way they are going to get back into heaven? OR, will the Triad catch up with her and drag her back into the human trafficking world? What will happen next?

My thoughts: WOW! What a ride! The intensity of this story just keeps growing. I really like how the mythology twists and turns exploring the stories we all know. Plus, McGurk had a great way of describing the places the characters visit. I felt like I was really there with them on their pilgrimage.

This book made me a bit crazy with all of its danger, but it was supposed to. There was even some serious betrayal in this one that was shocking too! Hope and Michael take things to a whole new level in this book. 

In the end, these 2 books were a hell of a epic ride, and I can't wait to get to book 3! 

View all my reviews 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #191 - We'll Never Be Apart & Scorpion Rules

"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: Emiko Jean 
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Published by: HMH Books for Young Readers

Murder. Fire. Revenge.

That's all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.

Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? (Summary from Goodreads)

I do like to freak myself out every once in awhile so I'm going to add this one to my list. Sounds scary good!

Author: Erin Bow
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Published by: Simon & Schuster

A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace - sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals - are raised together in small, isolated schools called Preceptures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may be their fate: to die if their countries declare war.

Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Precepture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace, even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world's most war-worthy resource - water - she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive.

Enter Elian Palnik, the Precepture's newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta's world begins to tilt the moment she see Elian dragged into the school in chains. The Precepture's insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elian, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn't even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages.

What will happen to Elian and Greta as their nations inch close to war? (Summary from Goodreads)

This is a fantastic twist on the books we've been getting lately that are apocalyptic, or are dystopian. I have a copy of this from NetGalley and cannot wait to get to it! I'll keep you posted!

What are you waiting on this week?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Review: Marley and Me

Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog 
Author: John Grogan
Release date: October 18, 2005
Published by: William Morrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When a young couple just starting out decides to bring a puppy into their home, they are in for a roller coaster ride unlike any other they've been on before or will be on again!

My thoughts: I'm sure most have heard of this story/book/movie but I had always avoided it thinking it was going to be a terribly sad story mostly. A good friend and I decided to trade a favorite book of ours with the other this summer for fun. We both ended up trying books that were very different then what we would have chosen for ourselves. I gave her my Starters by Lissa Price, and she gave me Marley and Me.

I put off reading this one most of the summer and read it right before coming back to school. I was laughing out loud, and "Oh no!"ing throughout this adorable family story. I was even reading parts aloud to my husband throughout the book.  

When I say "family story", I really do mean that which is one of the many things that surprised me about this book because it was not one of things I had assumed about this story. They really are just a young couple starting out who are hoping to someday have children but they decide, on a whim really, to go take a look at Labrador Retriever puppies. Now anyone who has been involved in this type of little trip KNOWS that there is never just "looking" at puppies. Are you kidding me!? Who can walk away?? I loved how they really did "all the right things" when getting their puppy: went to where the parents are with the puppies not a pet store, read up on the type of breed, read tons of how-to puppy and dog books....BUT they still weren't prepared for what a puppy and then a dog really does to your life.

My husband and I did this same thing with a Chocolate Lab a year before we got married. Ellie's Bailey Blue (Bailey Blue to us) was with us until just 2 years ago. At that point we now had two young daughters who had only known life with a Bailey Blue in it. Putting him down was one of the most awful things I've ever had to be a part of. My husband's loss was more painful then anything I've seen in quite some time. It took us about a year, but then we decided to go for it getting a new puppy who was supposed to be a Black Lab...he wasn't! He's SO much like Marley's craziness - puts everything in his mouth, the jumping, the barking...he's a nutter! We have since learned that the FREE puppy was not completely Lab, but some mixture since the mother was a Champion Chocolate Lab and the father was "from a good neighborhood". I have no idea what the other mixture is that he has in him but it is certainly those breed characteristics that came through the most. There is very little about him that seems like the labs we know. In the end, my husband was so disappointed and frustrated...I was thrilled because he reminded me of the farm dogs I grew up with that were heelers and shepherds. Again, Zach was dogless as Remington quickly became my pal following me everywhere, my protector whether I needed that or not, and my cuddler when he would sit still. 

Then, this last spring I learned that the same mother chocolate lab was going to have purebreed puppies. I was thrilled and it was just in time for Zach's birthday! I am happy to tell you that Zach now has his amazing future hunting dog: Gunner falls asleep during fireworks (Remington runs away), he sleeps most of the day (Remington never sits still), and is quickly outgrowing his half-brother becoming a soon-to-be GIANT Chocolate Lab with the most amazing chill personality ever! Of course there is the peeing on the floor from time to time, and the humping of his brother...but lets move on. So, now that we have "the boys" we have had quite the experience so far with labs. What does this all mean? It means that this book was incredibly enjoyable for me! Just a great read which I could easily empathize with because we have done this journey too. 

Labs are truly unique each and every one. They are also one of the best family dogs because they so easily become another member of your family if you'll only be patient with them and let them into your heart. 

If you are an animal lover at all, I really think you'll like this one. I will be recommending it more now. Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #194 - Underneath Everything & Until We Meet Again

"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: Mary Beller Paul 
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Published by: Balzer+Bray

Mattie should be at the bonfire. She should be finding new maps for her collection, hanging out with Kris, and steering clear of almost everyone else, especially Jolene. After all, Mattie and Kris dropped off the social scene the summer after sophomore year for a reason.

But now Mattie is a senior, and she's sick of missing things. So here she is.

And there's Jolene: Beautiful. Captivating. Just like the stories she wove. Mattie would know; she used to star in them. She and Jolene were best friends. Mattie has the scar on her palm to prove it, and Jolene has everything else, including Hudson.

But when Mattie runs into Hudson and gets a glimpse of what could have been, she decides to  take it all back: the boyfriend, the friends, the life she was supposed to live. Problem is, Mattie can't figure out where Jolene ends and she begins.

Because there's something Mattie hasn't told anyone--she walked away from Jolene over a year ago, but she never really left. (Summary from Goodreads)

Oooh! This one sounds intriguing. Makes me curious about what went down between Mattie and Jolene. 

Author: Renee Collins
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire

Cassandra craves drama and adventure, so the last thing she wants is to spend her summer marooned with her mother and stepfather in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. But when a dreamy stranger shows up on their private beach claiming it's his own - and that they year is 1925 - she is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making.

As she searches for answers in the present, Cassandra discovers a truth that puts their growing love - and Lawrence's life - into jeopardy. Desperate to save him, Cassandra must find a way to change history...or risk losing Lawrence forever. (Summary from Goodreads)

1st- Check out that gorgeous cover! Love it! 2nd - I am really beginning to love books from Sourcebooks! They are winners every time for me. 3rd - This sounds like a fantastic ride filled with mystery! 

What are you waiting on this week?

Waiting on Wednesday #190 - Library of Souls & Blue Voyage

"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: Ransom Riggs 
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Published by: Quirk Books

The epic conclusion...
Time is running out for the Peculiar Children. With a dangerous madman on the loose and their beloved Miss Peregrine still in danger, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom are forced to stage the most daring of rescue missions. They'll travel through a war-torn landscape, meet new allies, and face greater dangers than ever...Will Jacob come into his own as the hero his fellow Peculiars know him to be? This action-packed adventure features more than 50 all-new Peculiar photographs.  (Summary from Goodreads)

I've read the first two books, and I can't wait to find out what happens next for these peculiar children. Creepy awesomeness :)

Author: Diana Renn
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Published by: Viking Books for Young Readers

Zan is a politician's daughter and an adrenaline junkie. Whether she's rock climbing or shoplifting, she loves to live on the edge. But she gets more of a rush than she bargained for on a forced mother-daughter bonding trip to Turkey, where she finds herself in the crosshairs of an antiquities smuggling ring. These criminals believe that Zan can lead them to an ancient treasure that's both priceless and cursed. Until she does so, she and her family are in grave danger. Zan's quest to save the treasure-and the lives of the people she cares about-leads her from the sparkling Mediterranean, to the bustle of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, to the eerie and crumbling caves of Cappadocia. But it seems that nowhere is safe, and there's only so high she can climb before everything comes tumbling down. (Summary from Goodreads)

This sounds like a fantastic adventurous mystery! I can't wait to try it!

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #189 - Tonight the Streets Are Ours & The Masked Truth

"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: Leila Sales 
Release Date: September 15, 2015 
Published by: Farrar, Straus & Giroux/MacMillan 

Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she's tired of being loyal to people who don't appreciate her--including her needy best friend and her absent mom.

Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called "Tonight the Streets Are Ours," the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music--the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does--Arden discovers that Peter isn't exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn't exactly who she thought she was, either. (Summary from Goodreads)

First, I love the cover, dreamy! Sounds like an intriguing romantic, but not in the typical way romances go--like no true romantic ending, story. We'll see!! 

Author: Kelley Armstrong 
Release Date: October 13, 2015 
Published by: Doubleday

Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for.

Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn't dare reveal.

The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with "issues." But that's exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage.

The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones gone. And their captors are on a killing spree. (Summary from Goodreads)

This sounds VERY intense! Plus, it's Kelley Armstrong! Can't wait to try this one. 

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Top 10 Tuesday: Series I haven't finished...

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 Series that are finished, but I haven't finished...

1. Delirium by Lauren Oliver - The 1st book was one that I didn't like at first, but then it festered in my mind and dreams for weeks until I realized that it was absolutely brilliant because of that! It's ridiculous that I haven't finished the series. I own them all, and even have a quote from the first book on my back! 

2. Glitch by Heather Anastasiu - I loved the first book, and own the rest but again haven't finished them yet. 

3. Revenants by Amy Plum - I LOVE this series and I think I'm just chicken to finish it because then it will all be over. :( Seriously, when people were raving about Twilight I thought they were crazy because this series is 10X better then that one!

4. Legend by Marie Lu - I listened to this 1st book as an audiobook until I couldn't handle the slowness and then read the last few chapters in my book I owned too. It was great, but I was a bit over these type of books at that moment. I will certainly need to finish it sometime.

5. The Cahill Witch Chronicles by Jessica Spotswood - I LOVE this series and again I think am just chicken to finish because what if the people I love in it don't all make it!? I really need to suck it up and just read it!

6. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard - The first book in this series was great and I really want to finish this one soon because the more I read Steampunk, the more I realize that this series was fantastic compared to others!

7. Graceling Realm by Kristin Cashore - This series is UNREAL!! It's so dang good! Once again I think I'm just stalling on the ending of this series because of its amazingness that I do not want to end.

8. House of Night by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast - This is a fun, soap opera-like series that is addictive but not very deep. I've read most of these but finally stopped and decided to finish them when the series was finished since they are ridiculously short with terrible cliffhangers for each one. They could certainly have gone with half the books easily but apparently want to drain us all of our money instead. 

9. Frontier Magic by Patricia Wrede - I read this 1st book so long ago that I'll surely have to reread it before getting the other 2. I LOVED the first book though! It was the first time I had read a historical fantasy that was an alteration of our own history in this country. It blew me away! I must read more about Eff sometime!

10. The Demon Trappers by Jana Oliver - I LOVED this first book and cannot wait to finish the series, but I'm cheap and keep hoping the eBooks will go on sale but they don't. Poo! I'll just have to suck it up and buy them all!

What's on your Top 10 this week?

Review: Rebel Mechanics

Rebel Mechanics 
Author: Shanna Swendson
Series: Rebel Mechanics, Book 1
Release date: July 14, 2015
Published by: MacMillan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Verity arrives in NYC looking for a governess position, she is almost immediately entangled with the rebellion by unknowingly accepting a ride on one of their inventions. She is able to arrive at her governess interview on time, but has also possibly started on a slippery slope to rebellion. Verity quickly learns that even though she has landed a job in a very wealthy & prominent family, they may have more secrets then even she does. As she is drawn deeper and deeper into the clash between the rebels and the magisters she will soon have to choose a side once and for all.

My thoughts: This was a great book, but a bit predictable. The rebellion, steampunk and girl in a love triangle were a bit "been there, read that" for me. I still loved the adventure, and historical element of NYC + British rule over USA with this storyline. The characters and struggle were nicely written in that I easily lost myself in the story as I was reading. This is always a good thing.

The characters of Verity, her two love interests and the children that she is in charge of are easy to be sucked in by. They are nicely written and you can really get behind them because of that. The steampunk inventions are rather fun, but not new to us from our history. The inventions are for the most part things that did happen in our history but haven't in theirs because of the pureblood aristocrats/magisters who have magic holding all of the power and making life very difficult for those who want to advance other means of power like steam, electric, etc. 

There are so many secrets in this book, and some unravel but not all of them. Some secrets will have to work themselves out in other books. ;) I did really like the idea that the colonies never won the war and are still under British rule. That was interesting, but didn't become to fiery which I was hoping for. Maybe it happens later in other books.

I can't wait to find out what happens next for this group of people in book 2 and the nation that's still under British rule!

View all my reviews

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Review: Illuminae

Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files, Book 1
Release date: October 20, 2015
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers/RandomHouse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kady and Ezra have just broken up when their whole word starts on fire! Almost literally. Their planet comes under attack and they are instantly on a run to save themselves and the ones they love most. Once they are rescued on 2 different ships, the drama really begins as Ezra is conscripted into the military and Kady turns rebel hacker. They are both trying to figure out how to save them all from a plague that is turning people into insane killers on their ships. Will anyone be left to tell their story?

My thoughts: This was incredible! The way that the story is told through emails, messaging, files, reports, etc. was brilliant! It really worked for me with in this digital age of reading messages, emails, blogs, Fb, Twitter, etc. I cannot wait to see the finished book after reading this as an ARC. I bet it's awesome!

There was sassiness, relationship drama, rebellion, secrets, manipulation, friendship, survival, fighting and lots of technology. It had a definite I, Robot + Serenity(Firefly) feel to it, and I loved it! I was NOT ready for that ending or the revelations that happen! I love it when a book surprises me! I laughed, I cried, and I was on the edge of my seat for the whole thing which I flew through even though it was apparently 600+ pages! O_O 

The main character of Kady who we are following on her harrowing journey, is a kick butt character! I really quickly was right in her corner rooting for her all the way. There are so many characters that are in this story since they are all on rescue ships together gimping it to another settlement to find help. At times I felt a bit overwhelmed trying to remember who people were but once I just moved on and enjoyed the ride of the story it was amazing! 

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am that this is a series!!! AHHH!!!! I can't wait to read more about this world they've created in our future! 

View all my reviews

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Review: Hold Me Like a Breath

Hold Me Like a Breath 
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Series: Once Upon a Crime Family, Book 1
Release date: May 19, 2015
Published by: Bloomsbury
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Penelope's family is one of the big crime families. And what is their crime? They sell human organs to those who have been denied. They save lives. That's what she's always known about the Family, but not much more. You see Penny's life is consumed by her autoimmune disease. Everyone has to be extremely careful around Penny; they can't even touch her for fear they might bruise her. She lives her life in isolation and suffocation because of her disease to keep her safe.

But can anyone stay safe forever?

My thoughts: This was a long one, but good in the end. The drama of the crime family + the Rapunzel parrallel + the mystery of what happens = good, original story!

The characters in this book were nicely written. I was able to really become attached to Penny, her brother and his bff who just happens to also be her crush. Her parents are also interesting people who truly seem to care for her more than anything else. My only whining is that it felt overly long to me, and could have been trimmed up a bit in places where it dragged. 

Her family has tried to keep her safe for so long that they seem to have forgotten what it's like growing up and wanting to experience things. Penny rightly feels the walls closing in on her from her family trying to keep her safely locked up and buffered from everything that could possibly hurt her in the world. Especially her beloved NYC. 

The problem is that they couldn't predict that she would be running for her life away from the safety of home. They couldn't predict that they wouldn't be able to help her. I loved how this story twisted and turned wrapping itself around and around until you weren't sure what was going to happen next. The ending was great and perfect. I can't wait to read the next one now that I see this is a series! Too cool.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #188 - The Marvels & Manners and Mutiny

"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: Brian Selznick 
Release Date: September 15, 2015 
Published by: Scholastic Press 

Two seemingly unrelated stories--one in words, the other in pictures--come together. The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 and follows Joseph, who has run away from school to estranged uncle's puzzling house in London, where he, along with the reader, must piece together many mysteries. (Summary from Goodreads)

This sounds like a really cool combination of images and texts. And who doesn't love a good mystery!?!

Author: Gail Carriger
Release Date: November 3, 2015 
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 

When a dastardly Pickleman plot comes to fruition, only Sophronia can save her friends, her school, and all of London...but at what cost? Our proper young heroine puts her training and skills to the test in this highly anticipated conclusion of the rousing, intriguing, and always polished Finishing School series!  (Summary from Goodreads)

I LOVE THIS SERIES!! I cannot wait to get to another one of these books. Seriously if you like adventure, girl power, and steampunk...these are for YOU! 

What are you waiting on this week?