On My Bookshelf (30)


(Originally by The Story Siren, as "In My Mailbox") On My Bookshelf is used to share what books I bought, won, traded, received for review, or got from the library this week. It's to let you know what to expect for me to read/review next.



RECEIVED FROM TRADING:

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa: Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined… Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

RECEIVED FOR REVIEW:

Tighter by Adele Griffin: When 17-year-old Jamie arrives on the idyllic New England island of Little Bly to work as a summer au pair, she is stunned to learn of the horror that precedes her. Seeking the truth surrounding a young couple's tragic deaths, Jamie discovers that she herself looks shockingly like the dead girl—and that she has a disturbing ability to sense the two ghosts. Why is Jamie's connection to the couple so intense? What really happened last summer at Little Bly? As the secrets of the house wrap tighter and tighter around her, Jamie must navigate the increasingly blurred divide between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Drought by Pam Bachorz: Ruby Prosser dreams of escaping the Congregation and the early-nineteenth century lifestyle that’s been practiced since the community was first enslaved. She plots to escape the vicious Darwin West, his cruel Overseers, and the daily struggle to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive and gives Darwin his wealth and power. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient that makes the Water special: her blood.

A & L Do Summer by Jan Blazanin: After a year in rural Cottonwood Creek, Iowa, city girl Laurel is still adjusting to a place where parties take place in barns, guys ride around in pickup trucks, and a killer senior prank involves getting pigs into the principal’s office. Fortunately, she has her best friend Aspen, an Iowa native, to show her around. The real problem is that neither the country girl nor the city slicker have boyfriends—or any prospects for getting them. Clearly, they need to raise their profile—and they have a summer to do so.

Family
by Micol Ostow: It is a day like any other when seventeen-year-old Melinda Jensen hits the road for San Francisco, leaving behind her fractured home life and a constant assault on her self-esteem. Henry is the handsome, charismatic man who comes upon her, collapsed on a park bench, and offers love, a bright new consciousness, and—best of all—a family. One that will embrace her and give her love. Because family is what Mel has never really had. And this new family, Henry’s family, shares everything. They share the chores, their bodies, and their beliefs. And if Mel truly wants to belong, she will share in everything they do. No matter what the family does, or how far they go. Told in episodic verse, Family is a fictionalized exploration of cult dynamics, loosely based on the Manson Family murders of 1969. It is an unflinching look at people who are born broken, and the lengths they’ll go to to make themselves “whole” again.

Waiting On Wednesday: The Girl in the Steel Corset


This week's WoW book is The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross! It will be released on May 24, 2011.

SUMMARY:
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her. When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch. Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret. Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in. But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on—even if it seems no one believes her.

If this eye-popping cover and title doesn't catch your attention, then check out that crazy summary! Historic England, a girl who punches men, part human part robot, a cowboy, there's just so much! PUBLISHED ON MAY 24, 2011!

Announcements!


First of all, thanks to those of you who entered my contest for an ARC that mysteriously got mailed to me:
Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz. The winner is....

Amy from I Heart Reading!

Second on the agenda, it's time to break some exciting news!! During the entire month of May I'm doing something BIG. EXTREME. AWESOME. What is it?! Oh just a little something I've been putting together over the past couple of weeks...emailing so many authors that my fingers are falling off...reviewing books like crazy...stressing over every little detail...eh, nothing really. Ha yeah right! I'm going to have a huge event called MARVELOUS MAY MASTERMINDS!

Every single day I'll be posting - whether it's an interview, guest post, contest, giveaway, etc. All of the authors (masterminds) featured during this big event were chosen by me because a) they're just plain awesome and b) they are having a YA book being published in May!

You don't wanna miss out, trust me. There will be some authors you're probably familiar with...Susane Colasanti, Leah Cypess, Libba Bray, Jennifer Brown...and others that are debuting in May for the first time! Jessi Kirby, Josephine Angelini, Tessa Gratton...the list goes on and on.

So spread the word about this event! Feel free to use that little button thing I made (you can just link it to my site). Anyone wanna help me out on how to make an easy code to just copy and paste? And I'd just like to point out how pretty it is matching my site. (:

Be sure to check back here on May 1st for the first featured author and a giveaway for her book! Hint: If you keep up with what I'm reading, you'll know who it will be!

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini


Title: Starcrossed
Author: Josephine Angelini
Published: May 2011 by HarperTeen

My Rating: 5 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Paranormal | Series (Book 1)
Includes: Sensuality, Violence, Murder

First Lines: "But if you bought me a car now, it would be yours when I go away to school in two years. Still practically new," Helen said optimistically. Unfortunately, her father was no sucker.



Helen Hamilton has always felt different than others. She can run inhumanly fast, not seem to get injured, and is beyond beautiful. Soon she begins to have nightmares stranded in the same dry, dreary desert, only to wake up with sore feet covered in blood and dirt. A new family moves to the island of Nantucket, and their arrival is the buzz around town. While every other girl swoons over the Delos boys, the first time Helen sees Lucas, she does the complete opposite. Attacks him, with the fierce urge to kill him, even though she has no idea who he is. She begins to notice three weeping, disturbing women near her every time Lucas is in her presence. It isn't until the two come to a near-death experience that the frightening figures disappear, along with Helen's urge to kill Lucas on sight. Now, they are both able to begin spending time with one another and Helen can finally find out the truth about who she is: a demigod. But there's much more she still has to learn, because suddenly her life is in danger along with the entire universe's existence.

This. book. was. unfreakingbelievable. Almost 500 pages long, and I finished it in four days (which those of you who keep up with my reading pace know that it takes me a week to finish just a simple, short novel). This is going to be such a tough review to write because I do not want to spoil anything, and believe me, there are new surprises in every single chapter! Let's start out with the storyline. Modern Greek mythology morphed into something entirely new and unique. It was so refreshing reading a new type of paranormal romance novel, that I had no idea what to expect. And what I did end up getting completely blew me away! The author obviously did her fair share of research about Gods, mythology, the Furies, demigods, and the like...but she put her own spin on them. If only we could read this type of book in English class, I know for a fact that it would become everyone's favorite subject. I liked that the author took her time explaining the huge background story, and didn't cram it down the reader's throat in just one chapter. In fact, I learned more and more about demigods and Helen's backstory as the novel progressed. Also, the author seemed to read my mind because as soon as a question started forming in my head, it was immediately brought up or answered.

Helen. Wow, what a protagonist. One of my favorite things is a character that sticks with you, and she is definitely one that I'll remember for a long time. Helen had so much depth and practically became a human right before my very eyes. She was mature but stubborn, intelligent but still made mistakes, craved to be loved but still held back. Helen was tough and when it came down to it, she could kick some major demigod butt. Her relationship with Lucas was fascinating to read about and I fell in love with their connection. As much as I hate to say it, this novel did have many parallels with Twilight, even though it was thankfully vampire-free. A teenager growing up only with her dad, a mysterious, sexy new guy in town who wants more than anything to be with her but can't, and even a few scenes in particular that were very similar to the Twilight saga. However, hands down this was a much better read and I'd choose the caring, sensitive Lucas over stalker Edward any day.

I can't stress how much I fell in love with this creative, breath-taking, and addicting book. My family was vacationing while I was reading it, and even while everyone was outside on the beach, I chose to stay inside, glued to the couch, and soak up as much of the story as I could. I simply couldn't put it down. Angelini's writing is beautiful, vivid, and danced around behind my eyes as I read. There was constantly something happening and never a dull moment set in. I grew attached to even the minor characters who ended up playing a bigger role as the story progressed. The author weaved together a mix of memorable and original characters, sexy romance, suspenseful drama and action, and talented writing. My hands are already itching to hold the next book in the series!

Cover Thoughts: Absolutely gorgeous! I love the one-of-a-kind text used for the cover and chapter labels, and the beautiful picture on the front (love the touch of lightning in the sky!).

Book Supplied by: Author for review.

The Lucky Kind by Alyssa B. Sheinmel


Title: The Lucky Kind
Author: Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Published: May 2011 by Knopf Books

My Rating: 3 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Realistic | Family
Includes: Sexuality, Profanity

First Lines: It's 7:42 on a Tuesday when the phone rings. I only notice the time because I'm watching Wheel of Fortune, which is so boring that I think I might be better entertained if I turned off the TV and stared at the blank screen.



Nick, a Junior in high school, is focused on getting the girl of his dreams: Eden Reiss.
He's just an average guy with a nice family, whose biggest problem in life is how to get Eden's attention. However, all of that changes when the phone rings one night. It isn't soon until Nick finds out that the man on the other end of the line is the older brother he never knew he had. Nick's father gave up his first son for adoption almost thirty years ago. Now juggling between a new relationship with Eden, and a broken trust with his father, Nick's life has completely changed.

All of the many different relationships in this book were realistic and interesting in their own way. I could feel the tension between Nick and his father, and it was nice having his family play a big role in the book. Usually in the young adult genre, the parents are rarely mentioned. I think that Nick, even though not a really memorable or unique character, was extremely realistic. He made decisions that he couldn't justify, which I believe is the case for most teen guys. Sometimes he'd snap at someone for no reason, or get frustrated just because. I could totally relate to him and think that the author did a great job creating his character. Eden, on the other hand, I had more trouble getting to know. She was unpredictable, and I didn't quite think she was as believable. It seemed like she was instantly interested in Nick and even though I loved reading about the romance between them, it was really rushed.

The book dragged some and seemed to focus more on characters than plot. I actually enjoyed the book more after I was done reading it and thinking back on it, than I did while actually reading it. I think the novel had an interesting concept though, and Nick's anger at his parents for keeping the truth from him was acceptable. I really felt for him and would have probably acted the same way. I adored the ending: it wasn't cliche or cheesy, it didn't say what actually ended up happening, and it left room for the reader's imagination. It kind of lets you make up your own ending, which was interesting. Overall, I think this book was just alright. It had unique relationships, a good message, and a very believable story line, however the writing was a bit bland. I'll probably check out more writing done by this author though.

Cover Thoughts: I think it's alright...it doesn't really have to do with the book. However, I think the title fits the novel perfectly.

Book Supplied by: Author for review.

Waiting On Wednesday: Bumped


This week's WoW book is Bumped by Megan McCafferty! It will be released on April 26, 2011.

SUMMARY: When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job. Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from. When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

This book sounds really interesting and one-of-a-kind. PUBLISHED ON APRIL 26, 2011!

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby


Title: Moonglass
Author: Jessi Kirby
Published: May 2011 by Simon & Schuster

My Rating: 4 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Realistic
Includes: Sensuality, Profanity

First Lines: Rain and wind pelted the ocean's surface so hard it looked like it was boiling. In the passenger seat of our VW bus, I shivered despite the warm, muggy air.



Anna has always lived at the beach.
..the place where her mother died. When her dad accepts a new job at a different beach, Anna isn't too thrilled at first about moving. Besides, it is the exact same place where her mother and father met and fell in love. However, after meeting some interesting people, in particular a cute lifeguard, Anna begins to appreciate her new home. Over time, Anna learns the truth behind her mother's death and unearths family history and memories that were never dealt with.

It took me awhile to really dive into this book, but once I did it was such an enjoyable story. It seemed like the first half of the book the author was setting up the scene and getting familiar with the characters. The plot dragged a little, but then picked up once new friends and a love interest entered Anna's life. I thought that Anna and Tyler's summer romance was very believable! Tyler was your average lifeguard stereotype: cute, flirty, and confident. But there was also more to that, a deeper side to him. Their flirting and sarcastic comments were interesting to watch blossom into something more, and I would have loved if the author went a little more in depth with their romance. I know the main focus of the story was between Anna, her father, and the deceased mother, but it would have been nice to read about a little more passion between Anna and Tyler, too.

I think Anna made a wonderful main character. She wasn't over the top mature like in some YA books, but wasn't a child either. She did what all of us girls do at the beach, whether we'll admit it or not...try to get the cute lifeguard's attention by walking in the direction their eyes are or lying out on your towel a certain way. I really liked how realistic her character was and how down-to-earth she was. Anna's relationship with her father was pretty interesting, too. It took awhile to get into it, but the tension between them and unsaid words were very clear.

For one thing, this book has absolutely made me crave summer! I'm so glad that my family is going to the beach tomorrow for my spring break, because it will make you thirst for the ocean. The author did a great job at creating a visual picture and I could almost hear the crash of waves the way she described them so vividly. It was a pretty emotional book but had a nice, calm tone also. The ending was beautifully bittersweet but heartwarming. I'm glad I took the time to read this novel...definitely a keeper to bring along on your next beach trip.

Cover Thoughts: It's gorgeous! The colors, cute couple, beach scene...what's not to love?

Book Supplied by: Author for review.

On My Bookshelf (29)


(Originally by The Story Siren, as "In My Mailbox") On My Bookshelf is used to share what books I bought, won, traded, received for review, or got from the library this week. It's to let you know what to expect for me to read/review next.



BOUGHT:

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan: Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

RECEIVED FROM TRADING:

The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor: Before he died, Melissa's father told her about stars. He told her that the brightest stars weren't always the most beautiful—that if people took the time to look at the smaller stars, if they looked with a telescope at the true essence of the star, they would find real beauty. But even though Melissa knows that beauty isn't only skin deep, the people around her don't seem to feel that way. There's her gorgeous sister, Ashley, who will barely acknowledge Melissa at school; there's her best friend, Ryan, who may be falling in love with the sophisticated Courtney; and there's Melissa's mother, who's dating someone new, someone Melissa knows will never be able to replace her father.

Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott: Everyone thinks their parents are embarrassing, but Hannah knows she's got them all beat. Her dad made a fortune showcasing photos of pretty girls and his party lifestyle all over the Internet, and her mom was once one of her dad's 'girlfriends' and is now the star of her own website. After getting the wrong kind of attention for way too long, Hannah has mastered the art of staying under the radar . . . and that's just how she likes it. Of course, that doesn't help her get noticed by her crush. Hannah's sure that gorgeous, sensitive Josh is her soul mate. But trying to get him to notice her; wondering why she suddenly can't stop thinking about another guy, Finn; and dealing with her parents make Hannah feel like she's going crazy. Yet she's determined to make things work out the way she wants only what she wants may not be what she needs...

Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian: Emily is ready for a change. She's been in the same town with the same friends for a long time...and none of them really understand her art. But when she goes to Philadelphia for a summer art institute, she suddenly finds like-minded people. One in particular, Fiona, intrigues and challenges her. But there are some things Emily is going to have to find out for herself -- like what the balance is between life and art, and which is more important when push comes to shove.

RECEIVED FOR REVIEW:

Die For Me by Amy Plum: In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity. When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent. Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

The Locket by Stacey Jay: On her seventeenth birthday, Katie discovers a locket and decides to wear it for good luck. But when her boyfriend Isaac finds out she cheated on him— with their mutual best friend Mitch, no less—he dumps her, leaving her devastated. And then a miracle happens. The locket burns on Katie's chest and she feels herself going back two weeks in time, to the night she cheated with Mitch. At first, Kate is delighted to be a better girlfriend to Isaac this time around. But as other aspects of her life become inexplicably altered, she realizes that changing the past may have had a dangerous effect on her present. Can she make things right before the locket destroys everything—and everyone—she loves?

Haunted by Joy Preble: Anne is trying her best to live a normal life, but she's still got some power sparking inside her. She's hearing and seeing things that she tries her best to ignore-like being haunted by a Russian sea nymph that claims the princess Anastasia is still alive. That's when Ethan Kozninsky-he of the stunning blue eyes, thick brown hair, and former immortal status-returns. Anne soon realizes that everything she's been trying to forget might be impossible to bury.

Waiting On Wednesday: The Goddess Test


This week's WoW book is The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter! It will be released on April 19, 2011.

SUMMARY:
It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall. Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests. Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.


I've read some stellar reviews about this book. I'm in love with its gorgeous cover, and was immediately hooked on that intriguing summary. PUBLISHED ON APRIL 19, 2011!

13 Little Blue Envelopes FREE!


Raise your hand if you like free things!



Well I do, too! And starting today, April 12, the wonderful Maureen Johnson is letting us all download a FREE e-book of hers until April 25th. What book you may ask? 13 Little Blue Envelopes! There's no catch, Maureen is just generously offering her book free temporarily in celebration of the publication of its sequel, The Last Little Blue Envelope. Click here to visit her site about it or go straight to Amazon and order it for free to go straight to your Kindle. Thanks Maureen!

When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.


Oooh and one more thing I just came across! The e-book version of Wings by Aprilynne Pike is also free on Amazon for a limited time! :)

Deception (Haunting Emma #1) by Lee Nichols


Title: Deception (Haunting Emma #1)
Author: Lee Nichols
Published: June 2010 by Bloomsbury

My Rating: 5 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Paranormal | Ghosts
Includes: Sensuality, Violence, Death

First Lines: Six weeks ago, my parents disappeared. I'd left them at the San Fransisco airport at seven in the evening, nervous and excited.



Emma Vaile is abandoned by her parents after they leave on a mysterious business trip.
Since she can't live alone being underage, her brother's former roommate (not to mention completely attractive and rich), is assigned as her guardian. Bennett lives in a mansion in New England, and Emma immediately swoons over him. After arriving, Emma enrolls at Thatcher Academy, makes some friends, and catches the eye of Coby, a popular guy at the school. Life is pretty good for awhile, until Emma begins to see strange things and experience memories that aren't hers. Just when she thinks that she's going crazy, Bennett reveals a family secret to her that will completely change the life that she knows and put everyone in danger.

This was such an addicting page-turner and I'm so glad that I didn't just leave it sitting on my bookshelf collecting dust. The author created such a believable world, even though the genre of the novel is paranormal. Emma's character had depth; she was courageous, curious, striving to get Bennett's attention like any other teenage girl would. It was so interesting to see her grow into a mature person and fight back when the need arose. Another awesome thing about this book? The romance! Coby is such a sweet guy...he's popular, attractive, a football player who all the girls worship, and he chose Emma since she first arrived at the school. However, then there is the sexy, college-aged, and mysterious Bennett whom Emma longs to be with. He's the one she truly is in love with, but he's gone so often and has so many secrets...

I never once was bored while reading this book. As soon as it would start to drag a bit, something exciting immediately happened and would keep me tearing through the pages to find out more. Like I said earlier, the author created such a believable world full of ghostkeepers. She actually answered many of my questions, which most first novels in a series don't do. But of course, after that cliffhanger ending, a whole new set of questions came pouring into my mind! Nichols thought up creative rules for the ghostkeeping world and stuck with them throughout the novel. I'm kind of surprised that ghostkeepers don't really exist because she put so much thought into their creation that it seemed realistic and a normal part of life, as strange as that sounds.

I don't want to spoil the many surprises in this book, but I'll just say that I never knew what would happen next. The book kept up my interest the entire time and I'm dying to read the sequel. The author's writing was beautiful and vivid. Even by the first chapter, all five senses were described and I felt like I was actually in Emma's shoes. This was a unique, one-of-a-kind novel and I know it's going to be a new favorite series of mine.

Cover Thoughts: I really like how it ties into the story of the book. Emma has short blonde hair, and I'm glad that they chose a model that fits that description. It looks a little dark and mysterious, just like the novel is. Overall, I really like the cover.

Book Supplied by: Bought at a bookstore.

I have an ARC up for grabs!


CONTEST CLOSED

Every month or two I get a book in the mail that I never asked to review from a publisher or author. Most of the time it's a book I've never even heard about, and I have no idea why someone mailed it to me or how they got my address! The other day I got a package in the mail and inside was an ARC of Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz. I was pretty excited at first since she's a well-known author and I haven't read her work before. However, once I looked the book up on Goodreads, I saw that it's the first book in a new fantasy series for...
adults. I am nooooot a fan of the adult genre, I pretty much will only read young adult. The few times I've read adult books I don't enjoy them as much and many of them I never even finish. So I decided I'd give this unread ARC to a home where it would be more welcomed! :) I'm sure it's a terrific book, but it's just not for me.

It’s the beginning of summer in North Hampton, and beautiful Freya Beauchamp is celebrating her engagement to wealthy Bran Gardiner, the heir to Fair Haven and Gardiners Island. But Freya is drawn to Bran’s gorgeous but unreliable brother Killian, and sparks fly when the two decide to play a dangerous game, following an ancient story of love, betrayal and tragedy that harks back to the days of Valhalla.

Witches of East End follows the Beauchamp family—the formidable matriarch Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid. Freya, a sexy bartender, has a potion to cure every kind of heartache, while Ingrid, the local librarian, solves complicated domestic problems with her ability to tie magical knots. Joanna is the witch to see when modern medicine has no more answers; her powers can wake the dead. Everything seems to be going smoothly until a young girl, Molly Lancaster, goes missing after taking one of Freya’s irresistible cocktails. As more of the town’s residents begin disappearing, everyone seems to have the same suspects in mind: the Beauchamp women.

Fraught with love, small-town secrets, and witchcraft, Witches of East End will capture any reader who craves a page-turning, heart-stopping story of myth and magic from an author who knows how to deliver. (Will be published on June 21, 2011.)

Rules and all that jazz:
Open to the USA only.
Ends on April 25, 2011.
Fill out the form to enter and tell me why you want the book! It deserves some love and I don't want to just give it to someone who will throw it onto their huge pile of other books to read.
Extra entry for being an awesome follower.
A random winner will be chosen/emailed and have 5 days to claim their prize.
Comments are appreciated! Thanks.

Click here to fill out the form!


Waiting On Wednesday: What Comes After


This week's WoW book is What Comes After by Steve Watkins! It will be released on April 12, 2011.

SUMMARY:
After her veterinarian dad dies, sixteen-year-old Iris Wight must leave her beloved Maine to live on a North Carolina farm with her hardbitten aunt and a cousin she barely knows. Iris, a vegetarian and animal lover, immediately clashes with Aunt Sue, who mistreats the livestock, spends Iris’s small inheritance, and thinks nothing of striking Iris for the smallest offense. Things come to a head when Iris sets two young goats free to save them from slaughter, and an enraged Aunt Sue orders her brutish son, Book, to beat Iris senseless - a horrific act that lands Book and his mother in jail. Sent to live with an offbeat foster family and their "dooking" ferrets, Iris must find a way to take care of the animals back at the farm, even if it means confronting Aunt Sue. Powerful and deeply moving, this compelling novel affirms the redemptive power of animals and the resilience of the human spirit.


This one sounds AWESOME. I've never read a book with a similar plot and it immediately got my attention. I've read some good reviews about it, too. PUBLISHED ON APRIL 12, 2011!

The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman


Title: The Big Crunch
Author: Pete Hautman
Published: January 2011 by Scholastic Press

My Rating: 3.5 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Realistic
Includes: Sensuality

First Lines: The first time Wes saw June, he thought she was kind of funny-looking. She had these thick lips, a wide mouth, greenish-blue eyes that were a little too far apart, and her hair - a dark blond color - looked still wet from her morning shower.



June isn't looking for love, but she is looking for a set of temporary best friends and a boyfriend. After moving to Minnesota and starting the sixth high school she's attended in the last four years, she's given up on trying to connect with anyone in fear that she'll have to shortly say goodbye once again. The first time Wes sees June, she reminds him of a fish with her big lips and blue eyes. He nicknames her Aqua Girl and can't get her out of his mind for some reason. Soon, June begins dating Jerry, the best friend of Wes, but it isn't long before she gets tired of him and his political campaign to become class president.
As June and Wes start to see each other more often, they aren't sure what their feelings for each other mean. June is scared to become close to him because what if she has to move again right as she's falling for him?

I've read my fair share of romance books but I have to say that this one is unlike the others. It was the definition of realistic and I don't think there was a single cheesy or unbelievable part of the novel. Because it was so down-to-earth and not that much happened in the story, the reader could really relate to it. Even though the story dragged at parts and was boring at times, I still didn't want to put it down. Wes and June's relationship was really interesting to watch blossom into something romantic.

The majority of the book was just dialogue and getting to know the characters. It lacked a lot of plot substance and drama which was a let down. However, I grew to know Wes and June very well; the character development was fantastic and the author really understood his characters. The book is told from both of the main characters' perspectives, but in third person. I think this would be a challenging way to write but Hautman knew what he was doing! Sometimes it bounced back and forth between the two characters so much though that it was a little distracting. It was a light, breezy take on the boy-meets-girl story. I was satisfied with the ending, so glad that it wasn't corny and didn't say what the next five years of their relationship would be, like some books do. It was a sweet novel focusing on the wonders of adolescent love. Characterization was brilliant, but plot? Not so much.

Cover Thoughts: I'm in love with it. It portrays their relationship through a year with the four seasons. I think it's creative, colorful, and makes me interested in the novel.

Book Supplied by: Author for review.

For the Future (16)


This is a monthly meme of mine that I made up! :) It's similar to my "Waiting on Wednesday" posts, but highlights many books, not just one, and doesn't include summaries. Here's a list of young adult books that are still in-the-making or will be published in the future. These can range from being released tomorrow, to two years from now! The covers and release dates might not be permanent, it's just what I saw on Amazon, Goodreads, or the author's website. Hope this will be efficient to expand your reading pile!




Illusions (Wings #3) by Aprilynne Pike (May 3, 2011):
Just as life returns to normal, Laurel realizes that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible.
Then I Met My Sister
by Christine Hurley Deriso (April 8, 2011):
Determined to understand her troubled sister, Summer dives headfirst down a dark rabbit hole and unearths painful family secrets. Each revelation brings Summer closer to the mysterious and liberating truth about her family—and herself.
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (May 24, 2011): The story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island. Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers.



The Returning by Christine Hinwood (April 14, 2011):
Set in a medieval world that is entirely the author's creation, this is an ingenious, exquisite story about what happens after the battle. When sisters, sons, friends, parents, and lovers are left to deal with the subtle aftermaths and unimagined repercussions of war.
The Revenant by Sonia Gensler (June 14, 2011): When Willie arrives in Indian Territory, she knows only one thing: no one can find out who she really is. To escape a home she doesn't belong in anymore, she assumes the name of a former classmate and accepts a teaching job at the Cherokee Female Seminary.
Desire by Kailin Gow (May 15, 2011): A Dystopian world where everyone's future is planned out for them at age 18...whether it is what a person desires or not.



Blood Magic by Tessa Graton (May 24, 2011):
Everywhere Silla Kennicott turns she sees blood. She can't stop thinking about her parents alleged murder-suicide. She is consumed by a book filled with spells that arrives mysteriously in the mail. The spells share one common ingredient: blood.
Passion (Fallen #3) by Lauren Kate (June 14, 2011): Before Luce and Daniel met at Sword & Cross and fought immortals at Shoreline, they lived many lives...
Shift (Shade #2) by Jeri Smith-Ready (May 3, 2011): Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner


Today is a pretty fabulous day.

I'm finally not sick to my stomach anymore! I've been living off of saltines, applesauce, and ginger ale for the past week however yesterday I think I got all better. So today, the big day, I decided to be a risk-taker and had fries and a milkshake. Drumroll please...... my stomach loved it! Haha I was able to keep it down and I think I can say that I'm officially sick-free. (:

On second note, my Karen McQuestion books giveaway ended yesterday and I have the two winners who will both be given a copy of Favorite and Life On Hold. I have already emailed you both and you'll have 5 days to reply before a new winner is chosen.

Congratulations Alouy and Nicole!

Okay guys...I'm planning something really big soon. I was looking through my blog posts over the past few months and realized - get ready for this - I haven't had a single author interview or guest post on my blog this year! Whaaat?! Yes, I've even left Michael Scott and Dwight in shock.



I hadn't even realized this until looking back and seeing that my last post concerning an author was in December... I guess I really have been swamped in homework and projects lately since I never even noticed. My two year blogoversary (yay!) is during the last week of April, so I'm planning some month long festivities in May. All I can say is, get your party hats out because it's gonna be pretty great. That is, if I start hearing back soon from all the many authors I've contacted. Cross your fingers!

Project: Read The Shelves

I'm starting a challenge for myself starting today, April 1st, 2011 until April 1, 2014 - that's right, a three year project for me to work on. Over the past two years that I've had this blog, I've accumulated a lot of books. And by a lot, I mean three entire bookshelves in my room are crammed with as many books as can possibly fit. I've become such a compulsive book buyer. Every time I walk into a bookstore, I never leave empty-handed. However, now that all the Borders stores in my town have closed (so sad!) I think in a way it will be good for me. I'll be able to save my money and actually have an excuse to finally start reading all of the many books on my shelves waiting their turn to be read. I'm also a very sloooooow reader..I usually only finish about two books a month. Anywho, before I make this longer than it is already, I'm going to list 100 books that are currently sitting on my shelf collecting dust. My goal is to have all 100 of them read in three years. This is just a challenge for myself to see if I can really do it, but I'd love some encouragement along the way! (Those bloggers who read two books a week can be really intimidating sometimes...) I know this sounds like a very easy project for some of you, but I honestly don't know if I'll be able to finish all 100, with all of the other amazing books that will be published along the way. We'll just have to wait and see!

STATUS: 9/100
  1. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
  2. Split by Swati Avasthi
  3. Candor by Pam Bachorz
  4. Drought by Pam Bachorz
  5. Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
  6. Rosie and Skate by Beth Ann Bauman
  7. Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell
  8. Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
  9. The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway
  10. Fat Cat by Robin Brande
  11. 3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows by Ann Brashares
  12. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
  13. Going Bovine by Libba Bray
  14. Airhead by Meg Cabot
  15. The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti
  16. Wild Roses by Deb Caletti
  17. The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor
  18. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  19. Bitter Melon by Cara Chow
  20. John Belushi Is Dead by Kathy Charles
  21. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
  22. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  23. Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen
  24. Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn
  25. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  26. Waiting For You by Susane Colasanti
  27. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
  28. Chasing AllieCat by Rebecca Fjelland Davis
  29. 13 to Life by Shannon Delaney
  30. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
  31. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
  32. Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
  33. Confessions of a Serial Kisser by Wendelin Van Draanen
  34. Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst
  35. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
  36. Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey
  37. Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
  38. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
  39. Top Ten Uses For An Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro
  40. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
  41. This Gorgeous Game by Donna Freitas
  42. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
  43. Evernight by Claudia Gray
  44. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  45. Tighter by Adele Griffin
  46. Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance by Brendan Halpin and Emily Franklin
  47. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
  48. Willow by Julia Hoban
  49. Possessions by Nancy Holder
  50. The Devouring by Simon Holt
  51. Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley
  52. You Are So Undead To Me by Stacey Jay
  53. Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
  54. Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
  55. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
  56. XVI by Julia Karr
  57. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
  58. The Monster Variations by Daniel Kraus
  59. Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert
  60. Liar by Justine Larbalestier
  61. The Lighter Side of Life and Death by C. K. Kelly Martin
  62. Caleb + Kate by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma
  63. Hourglass by Myra McEntire
  64. Suck It Up by Brian Meehl
  65. Madapple by Christina Meldrum
  66. Winter Longing by Tricia Mills
  67. Ruined by Paula Morris
  68. Taken By Storm by Angela Morrison
  69. The Dresskeeper by Mary Naylus
  70. Deception by Lee Nichols
  71. Trapped by Michael Northrop
  72. The Book of Luke by Jenny O'Connell
  73. Academy 7 by Anne Ostuerlund
  74. We Were Here by Matt de la Pena
  75. Vampire Crush by A. M. Robinson
  76. Other Words For Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
  77. Never Sit Down In A Hoopskirt by Crickett Rumley
  78. We Hear the Dead by Dianne Salerni
  79. Bloom by Elizabeth Scott
  80. Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott
  81. Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott
  82. The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
  83. Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors
  84. Notes From the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick
  85. Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow
  86. Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia
  87. Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers
  88. Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers
  89. Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee
  90. Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell
  91. The Hollow by Jessica Verday
  92. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
  93. Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian
  94. Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
  95. Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten
  96. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  97. My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions by Becca Wilhite
  98. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
  99. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
  100. Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink