Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: Nobody
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Source: ARC from Media Masters Publicity
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away.

That's why they make the perfect assassins.

The Institute finds these people when they're young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated.

Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute's monitoring. But now they've ID'ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can't make the hit. It's as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are--because no one else ever notices them.

Jennifer Lynn Barnes' Raised by Wolves books are some of my favourites, so I knew right away when I first heard about Nobody that I needed to get my hands on this book. It sounded quite different from what's already out there in terms of YA books and for that alone it intrigued me. Not only didn't it sound different, it actually was…even from what I thought it would be. But that's a good thing.

As much as she tried, Claire has always faded into the background, with no one taking particular notice to her. Every year she reads the same generic messages in her yearbook because no one can seem to remember who she actually is. She raises her hand in class and is constantly overlooked by the teacher. Her whole life Claire has been invisible. But that changes when Nix steps in, ready to kill her. Nix is following orders, going after Claire because he was told she was dangerous. But when he meets her, Claire is not who Nix thought she was. A Nobody, Nix knows what it means to be invisible, but Claire sees him…and he sees Claire. To each other, neither one is nobody.

Having read the Raised by Wolves series, I knew Jennifer Lynn Barnes is the type of author that will make you laugh and cry within one sentence. In a way, I sort of expected this going into Nobody but that's not exactly what I ended up getting. And that's a great thing. That style of writing just would not have worked with the story in Nobody. The story here, though it has its lighter moments, is definitely a dark one. But it's not an overbearing darkness. There were many occasions where the words or the actions of the characters put a smile on my face, and took me away from the controlling world of the Institute and all the violence that came with it. Nobody is also quite different from other YA books out there. I've read my fair share of YA mystery/thriller type books, but none quite like this one. The added element of Nobodies and Nulls just added another layer to the story, one that was very scientific almost psychological which made it all that more interesting to read about.

The characters also didn't fall flat. While reading, I could just tell that despite what she told herself, Claire wanted just one person to finally notice her without it requiring a huge effort on her part. But despite everything, she was someone that really impressed me. She absolutely does not let her situation get her down and is incredibly persistent and brave when she wants to be. So I was really glad when Nix walked into her life…granted at first I just wanted him to back off. Nix hasn't had it easy by any stretch of the imagination. For as long as he can remember he has been trained to be a killer and doesn't really know any other life because of the environment he grew up in. But I loved seeing him grow and develop and figure out who he was outside of the institute. As a final thought, let me just say that there are definitely moments with these two characters that lead to some emotions…happy and sad.

With Nobody, Jennifer Lynn Barnes has reminded me of why I loved reader her other books so much. Though this one was different, it was the good kind of different. It was also the kind of book that makes you think. Though it can have its rather dark moments, Nobody is definitely a book I would recommend. 

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (71)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where book bloggers devote a post to an upcoming book release they are particularly looking forward to. This week I have two contemporary titles I am particularly looking forward to reading.

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
May 28th, 2013
Katherine Tegen Books
Things you earnestly believe will happen while your parents are away:

1. You will remember to water the azaleas.
2. You will take detailed, accurate messages.
3. You will call your older brother, Denny, if even the slightest things goes wrong.
4. You and your best friend/bandmate Lukas 
5. Amid the thrill of victory, Lukas will finally realize you are the girl of his dreams.

Things that actually happen:

1. A stranger calls who says he knew your sister.
2. He says he has her stuff.
3. What stuff? Her stuff.
4. You tell him your parents won't be able to--
5. Sukey died five years ago; can't he--
6. You pick up a pen.
7. You scribble down the address.
8. You get on your bike and go.
9. Things…get a little crazy after that.*
*also, you fall in love, but not with Lukas.

Both exhilarating and wrenching. Hilary T. Smith's debut novel captures the messy glory of being alive, as seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd discovers love, loss, chaos, and murder woven into a summer of music, madness, piercing heartbreak, and intoxicating joy.

It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I first heard about Wild Awake, but ever since hearing about it, I can't help but be excited about this book. If you read my post on contemporary books you will know that I absolutely love them so all these awesome sounding contemporaries are perfect for me!

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider
June 4th, 2013
Katherine Tegen Books
Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them--a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra's knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra's ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra drives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one's singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Robyn Schneider's Severed Heads, Broken Hearts is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings. 
Again, another contemporary that I can't help but be excited about. Severed Heads, Broken Hearts sounds like a really fantastic story so I can't help but be excited about it. Plus, from what I've heard, it's just as good as it sounds. 

It feels like 2013 may be the year that the contemporaries are making a comeback. I've heard of so many great contemporary reads coming out later this year and I can't help but be excited about them. If you ask me, the more contemporaries, the better! 

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cover & Trailer Reveal: Stained by Cheryl Rainfield

Today I have the pleasure of being able to participate in the cover and trailer reveal for Cheryl Rainfield's upcoming book, Stained. Just keep scrolling to see it all!

Stained by Cheryl Rainfield
November 19, 2013
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
In this heart-wrenching and suspenseful teen thriller, sixteen-year-old Sarah Meadows longs for "normal." Born with a port-wine stain covering half her face, all her life she’s been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. But when she’s abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had, become a hero rather than a victim, and learn to look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside. It’s that—or succumb to a killer.

From the author:

Like I did with SCARS and HUNTED, I drew on some of my own experiences of bullying, abuse, and trauma to write STAINED and to give it greater emotional depth. Like Sarah in STAINED, I experienced abduction, imprisonment, periods of forced starvation, mind control, and having my life threatened. And like Sarah, I tried hard to fight against my abuser, keep my own sense of self, and escape. I hope readers will see Sarah's strength and courage, and appreciate her emotional growth as she reclaims herself.


If this sounds like something you are interested in, be sure to go to Amazon or the Book Depository so you can pre-order a copy already. And just keep an eye out for the book when it comes out in November!

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

On the Topic Of...Contemporary Books

It shouldn't come as a surprise that I've always been a big reader. In first grade I was that kid that kept asking the teacher for more books until she didn't have any more to give me. But that's not really the point of this post. What I really want to talk about is contemporary books and my love for them. 

What really started me reading YA way back in middle school was Meg Cabot. After having seen the movie countless times, I decided one day that I wanted to read the Princess Diaries books. And once I read the first book, I just couldn't get through the rest fast enough...until I got to the point where I had to wait for the next one to come out. And that's when a friend turned me in the direction of Sarah Dessen. The first Sarah Dessen book I read was The Truth About Forever, and to this day it's still one of my favorite books. And, of course, after reading that first one I just kept going back to my library until I had read all the Sarah Dessen books in existence.

For a long time, pretty much all I read were contemporary books, and for the most part, I loved them. But then for whatever reason I started picking up more and more books that weren't contemporary and those contemporaries were sort of left behind. But when I starte blogging, I sort of rediscovered contemporary books, and I am more than happy to have done so. It's those books by Jennifer Echols and Simone Elkeles that reminded me of my love for contemporary books. And from there it wasn't long before I realized that I still love contemporary as much as I did in middle and high school. Yet for whatever reason, I still sometimes forget about those books.

But every so often I just get this urge to pick up a contemporary books and, for whatever reason, am always amazed by how much I end up loving the story. Because despite the fact that all are no supernatural elements to those stories, they are still stories that have so much to them. The realistic quality they have just gets to me in a way that other books can't. This most recently happened with Miranda Kenneally's next book, Things I Can't Forget. While I was reading I just got so wrapped up in the story, in a way that I can't seem to get with those other books. And that's not to say those other books aren't fantastic, because they really are--give some Cassandra Clare any day of the week and I will be perfectly happy. What I'm saying is that I just don't seem to find myself falling completely in love with the genre all over again like I do whenever I read contemporary books--I mean who can really resist the adorableness that are Stephanie Perkins' books (St. Clair & Cricket anyone?). So yeah, I love contemporary stories. 

When it comes to books and readings, I think contemporary is always going to be my first love and the genre I just will never get tired of reading. So what about you: Do you read a lot of contemporary? Do you have a genre that you just seem to always go back to and never get tired of? Let me know in the comments!

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Blog Tour: The Gypsy King by Maureen Fergus

Title: The Gypsy King (The Gypsy King #1)
Author: Maureen Fergus
Publisher: RazOrbill Canada
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Source: eARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Chapters Indigo
A runaway slave with a shadowy past, sixteen-year-old Persephone has spent four long years toiling beneath the leering gaze of her despise owner and dreaming of a life where she is free to shape her own destiny. Then, one night, a chance encounter with a handsome chicken thief named Azriel changes her life forever.

Sold to him for a small bag of gold coins, Persephone soon discovers what she already suspected: namely, that Azriel is not what he seems. And when she realizes that he believes Persephone has a special destiny--she is determined to escape him and his impossibly broad shoulders.

But things are no longer as simple as they once were. Torn between her longing for freedom and her undeniable feelings for the handsome thief with the fast hands and the slow smile, Persephone faces the hardest choice she will ever have to make. And no one least of all her--could have imagined the shocking truth her decision will reveal. 

In the past I was never really one for a full on fantasy story. I had nothing against urban fantasy, but there was just something about regular old fantasy that just didn't really click with me. But for whatever reason I have been finding myself reading more and more fantasy lately, even surprising myself with how much I'm enjoying the stories. This was the case with Maureen Fergus' The Gypsy King. While it took a bit for me to get into the story, once I did I found myself greatly enjoying it.

Though she is not happy with it, the life of a slave is all Persephone has known. As far as she can remember, she has always been at the service of someone else. But that doesn't mean she does so without protestation or without escape attempts. Those attempts have got her chained up, something which makes defending herself against a mysteriously handsome chicken thief difficult. Things become even more mysterious when that same chicken thief shows up the next day, dressed like a nobleman and asking Persephone's owner if he could buy Persephone. Now free from her owner, Persephone is to sure what is going to happen. And much less what is going on with the mysterious Azriel.

I'm a little new to the whole fantasy bandwagon (kinda late I know), but I'm finding that I'm enjoying fantasy as a whole a lot more than I have in the past. Maybe it has to do with me maturing or something like that. But regardless, that has allowed me to really enjoy The Gypsy King by Maureen Fergus. While it did take me a while to get into the story--which might be because at first I was only able to read sporadically--once I did, I found myself getting completely wrapped up in the story and the characters. There is a lot going on in this book and that means a lot of facts that need to be kept straight but that's what made the story so interesting. The fact that there was always something happening and that there were so many layers to the story is what kept me reading. There are also a lot of question that need answering throughout the book and all those questions have not been answered. I can only hope that they will be answered in future book.

Persephone was an interesting girl. She was the complete opposite of the image you typically have of a slave. But that's what made it so I wanted to read her story. While I liked her most of the time, the one thing that bothered me the most about her was how much time she spent lying. In some cases the lying made sense and it was a means to an end, especially when she needed protection. But whenever she would lie to Azriel I would kinda get annoyed with her. There was definitely a lot going on with Azriel and it took me a while to get a clear read on him. But that didn't stop me from liking him very early on in the story. What I especially liked was how his relationship with Persephone developed. There was always so much going on and it felt like their relationship, especially their potential romance, was put on the back burner because of it all. But that also made it so the romance progressed at a more normal pace--something that shouldn't always be taken for granted when reading YA. 

Maureen Fergus' The Gypsy King made me realize that I should spend more time reading fantasy because I always end up enjoying those stories more than i expect. But beyond just making me love fantasy, The Gypsy King was written in a way that made it so I got all wrapped up the story and the characters, and that is always a clear sign of a good book.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Opal (Lux #3)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn't fooling around. Doubting him isn't something I'll do again, and now that we've made it through the rough patches, well…There's a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can't protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I'm no longer the same Katy. I'm different…And i'm not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the party of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I'm capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won't turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we're stronger…and they know it.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that I have come to absolutely love Jennifer L. Armentrout's Lux series. With every book, it just feels like the story keeps getting more and more intense and exciting and it was no different with Opal. And in this case, it also broke my heart.

Katy is no longer the same person she was when she first moved to West Virginia and met Daemon Black. And that's both literally and figuratively. Because Daemon changed her completely. And despite everything on their plate, Daemon is determined to prove just how much he cares about Katy. And that means lots of chances to unintentionally exposing themselves. But Dawson might be the one to get them all in trouble because he will stop at nothing to get Beth back. But soon Katy and Daemon realize that they are stronger together and they are ready to take down their organization responsible for hurting so many Luxen and hybrids.

This book. Oh this book. So many emotions while reading and I will apologize in advance for the potential incoherence to come. Jennifer L. Armentrout takes everything to a whole new level in Opal. The romance that she has come to be known for is still there, but things between Katy and Daemon have definitely heated up. But that's not the only thing to get more intense. The story itself took me on a crazy ride, and I just didn't want to leave the story. There was so much more going on then ever before. And that ending officially broke me. Just thinking about those last few pages makes me tear up. Because while I may have seen that ending coming, I still didn't want to believe it would come to that. I even kept flipping pages in the hope that it wasn't actually the end.

Katy has made me smile since book one. Whenever I read about her geeky gout over books I can't help but smile and nod along because I have totally been there. So I can relate to her when it comes to that. Having a hot alien boyfriend on the other hand I can't exactly relate to. But I still love the side of her that comes out whenever Daemon is around. And that leads me to Daemon. Despite the fact that for the better part of three books Daemon Black has been a compete ass, I can't help but love him. In Opal Daemon completely redeems himself in my eyes. And he's definitely one of the reasons this book has left me broken. Because Daemon was exactly who I wanted him to be. Dawson was a fantastic addition to the story. He was a bit of a mystery for a good deal of the book, but getting to know him again made the story that much more interesting.

Though it completely broke me, Opal was a fantastic read. Once again, Jennifer L. Armentrout wrote a book I just can't seem to put down once I start reading. But she has also left me absolutely begging for Origin. And I'm sure once you read Opal you will find yourself I the same position.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (20)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga of Tynga's Reviews. It's a weekly post where book bloggers showcase the book they received throughout the week.

Not too many new books this week--which is a GOOD thing--but there are some pretty awesome titles in there. I've also been really good about not buying any new books but somehow I have a feelings that's going to be changing in the near future. But without further ado, here are the books I got this week.


- How (Not) to Find a Boyfriend by Allyson Valentine - This isn't necessarily a book I've hear much about, but when I found it while browsing the Penguin catalog, I just knew that it was a story I was going to love because there is nothing like a contemporary story that sounds like it is filled with humor.

- Invisibility by Andrea Cremer & David Levithan - While I've read plenty by Andrea Cremer, I haven't read anything by David Levithan (I know...) but this story sounds like a great romance that has a lot more going on. Plus I've only heard good things about it so I can't really help but be excited to read it. 

- Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout - There was some screaming...and squealing...and dancing around when I opened the envelope containing Apollyon. Because I can't wait to read this book even though I know it will probably break me because that's what the previous book did. And I know I won't be able to wait to read this book.

Thank you to Penguin Canada & Spencer Hill Press for sending these to me!

So those are all the books I got this week. A bit of a slow week but it was also a week that was filled with awesome if you ask me. I once again have a giveaway going on right now for some books by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, so be sure to check it out if you haven't already. And as usual, leave me a comment letting me know what you got!

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2)
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Release Date: October 23, 2012
Source: Borrowed from fellow blogger
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.

She can't.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.

They aren't.

She couldn't imagine that after everything she's been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.

She's wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer?

If you want someone to mess with your mind, then pick up the Mara Dyer books. That will lead to more mind messing than you could have ever possibly wished for. But that's not to say that Michelle Hodkin's The Evolution of Mara Dyer wasn't a fantastic read. Because despite the fact I never knew what was happening, I loved reading the book.

No one believes Mara when she says that Jude is still alive. Everyone just thinks she is crazy, and now even she is starting to think that she might be. But Noah still believes in her and that's all that Mara needs to know. Determined to prove that someone is after her, Mara pretends to be normal, accepting to do whatever her parents want her to do to get better. Though she may be imagining some things, there is definitely something going on and Mara is determined to prove she is not going crazy. But that might be easier to say than do.

Michelle Hodkin is a professional who it comes to messing with people's minds...or at least when it comes to messing with my mind. Because while reading The Evolution of Mara Dyer I never knew whether what I was seeing was real or not. But that's what makes this book so great. It makes you keep reading just to see if all those crazy theories you come up with are going to turn out to be true or not. But beyond the fact that you start thinking you're also going crazy while reading, this story also keeps you on the edge of your seat. There's never a moment where there isn't something happening, and usually whatever is happening is only thickening the mystery. And then I'm not sure how I feel about the ending, because really there's no way of knowing whether or not what we saw is actually what happened.

So Mara is the textbook definition of an unreliable narrator, and for that reason at times I feel like I'm going crazy right along side with her. And it can get kind of frustrating at times because for all I know Mara might just be in a padded room somewhere just imagining the whole thing (and if that actually happens I will be pissed). But besides the whole crazy part, Mara is a very interesting person. And I'm always impressed that despite everything that's going on, she always keeps going as best as she can. And Noah might have something to do with that. Because Noah, despite being his cocky self, is always ready to help Mara even if it's to his own detriment. And I love him for it. And other reasons and if you've read the book you'll know what I mean.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer was even better than the first book in this series. Michelle Hodkin has mastered the art of messing with minds. So these books should come with a warning: be careful because you might think you are going crazy while reading. But it's totally worth it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (70)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where book bloggers devote a post to an upcoming book release they are particularly looking forward to. This week I have two contemporary titles I am particularly looking forward to reading.

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
April 2nd, 2013
If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds. 

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?
I absolutely love Jennifer E. Smith's The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight when I read it last year. It was a fantastic contemporary read, so I can't wait for more from this author. And This is What Happy Looks Like sounds like a fun contemporary that might have something more than just fluff going on.

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney
June 4th, 2013
Little, Brown BFYR
Filled with humor, raw emotion, a strong voice, and a brilliant dog named Sandy Koufax, When You Were Here explores the two most powerful forces known to man--death and love. Daisy Whitney brings her characters to life with a deft touch and resonating authenticity.

Danny's mother lost her five-year battle with cancer three weeks before his graduation--the one day she was hanging on to see.

Now Danny is left alone, with only his memories, his dog, and his heart-breaking ex-girlfriend for company. He doesn't know how to figure out what to do with her estate, what to say for his Valedictorian speech, let alone how to live or be happy anymore.

When he gets a letter from his mom's property manager in Tokyo, where she had been going for treatment, it shows a side of his mother he never knew. So, with no other sense of direction, Danny travels to Tokyo to connect with is mother's memory and make sense of her final months, which seemed filled with more joy than Danny ever knew. There,a kong the cherry blossoms, temples, and crowds, and with the help of an almost-but-definitely-not Harijuku girl, he begins to see how it may not have been ancient magic or mystical treatment that kept his mother going. Perhaps, the secret of how to live lies in how she died.
Daisy Whitney has yet to disappoint me with anything that she writes. I am a big fan of The Mockingbirds & The Rivals, so I am excited simply at the prospect of getting to read more of her writing. And When You Were Here sounds like a fantastic story that will no doubt be pulling at my heartstrings.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jennifer Lynn Barnes Giveaway!

Today I have the pleasure of offering you two books by one of my favorite authors Jennifer Lynn Barnes. So far everything I have read from this author hasn't disappointed me. So today you have the chance to win a hardcover of Jennifer Lynn Barnes' new release Nobody, and a paperback of Every Other Day. Keep reading to find out more about the books.

There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. THey live their lives under the radar, forgotten as you turn away.

That's why they make the perfect assassins.

The Institute finds these people when they're young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated. 

Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute's monitoring. But now they've ID'ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can't make the hit. It's as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are--because no one else ever notices them.

Every other day, Kai D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She argues with her father. She's human.

And then every day in between…she's something else entirely.

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is make for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her, and unfortunately she'll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive…and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

Interested? Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Giveaway is open to US & Canada only. Good luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, January 14, 2013

Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

Title: Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy #4)
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Release Date: December 24, 2012
Source: Borrowed from fellow blogger
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes--the most hideous face I'd ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki--the evil god that I'd helped set free against my will.

I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we'd gotten into a sword fight, or been ambushed by Reapers, Id' have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn't see that one coming.

I've been caused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison--and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan's dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos academy thinks I'm guilty. If I'm going to get out of this mess alive, I'll have to do it myself...

Over the past year I have come to absolutely love Jennifer Estep's Mythos Academy series. And after everything that had happened in the first three books, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Crimson Frost. And it turned out to be even better than the previous books in the series. 

Much to Gwen Frost's dismay, Loki is now free despite her best efforts to stop the Reapers of Chaos from setting the god free. In spite of this, Gwen is ready to finally be able to spend some proper one on one time with Logan Quinn. But their first date is cut short when members of the Protectorate show up ready to arrest Gwen, accusing her of being a Reaper of Chaos. Now everything is about to fall apart because while they are busy putting Gwen on trial, the Reapers are out there, helping Loki start another Chaos War. But even with her friends in her corner, it's going to be Gwen's job to once again stop the Reapers. Hopefully before it's too late.

I love this series. With each book, the story just seems to get better, which in turn makes me love the story even more. With Crimson Frost, things started happening right away. I wasn't even through the first chapter and there was already someone trying to drag Gwen away. And from then on, there was always something happening. And the story itself was quite intense. There were moments when I even started doubting what was happening, despite what I already knew from the previous books. And I'm not entirely sure I'm happy with how some things turned out. Because that ending, basically left me begging for the next book in the series.

Gwen was still the Gwen I have come to love in the previous books. She was still putting a smile on my face but this time around, there were moments where my heart was breaking for her. But it's hard to talk about that without giving away a good chunk of the story. The great thing about the Mythos Academy series is all the supporting characters. Daphne and Carson are among my favourite, but I didn't get to see as much of them as I would have liked. Though I did like being able to see more of Oliver, especially with the introduction of Alexei. And of course Logan was still making my heart melt every opportunity he got. But that's not all that happened with him in Crimson Frost. Because lots to do with Logan happened and it definitely helped explain some aspects of his personality.

Jennifer Estep's Crimson Frost was a fantastic continuation to this already great series. If you love mythology, action and romance then I strongly recommend you give this series a try. Odds are you won't be disappointed. 

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (19)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga of Tynga's Reviews. It's a weekly post where book bloggers showcase the book they received throughout the week.

So I haven't done a Stacking the Shelves post since some time in October. I obviously can't remember all the books I've gotten since then so this week's post is going to include what was waiting for me when I came home following the holidays. I'll be honest and say it kinda felt like Christmas all over again. There were all these packages of awesome waiting for me, and here is what they contained.

(Since there are a fair amount of books, I won't be talking about each like I normally do)

For Review:
- Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys - I'm part of a blog tour for this one so check back on February 20.
- The Ruining by Anna Collomore - Another blog tour--check out my review on February 13
- Furious by Jill Wolfson
- Midwinter Blood by Marcus Sedwick
- One + One = Blue by MJ Auch
- When We Wuz Famous by Greg Takoudes
- Unremembered by Jessica Brody (x2 - a good home has already been found of the extra copy)
- Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
- Emblaze by Jessica Shirvington
- Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes 
- The Gypsy Kind by Maureen Fergus (E-galley - Not Pictured)
- Every Never After by Lesley Livingston (E-galley - Not Pictured)

Big thanks to Penguin Canada, Macmillan, Raincoast Books and Media Masters Publicity for sending me these books to review.

Bookish Things:

-Carrier of the Mark/Shadow of the Mark swag from author Leigh Fallon

- Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini-themed jersey (bought from Rad Graphic). 

So that's all for me this week. As you can tell, my mailbox was quite busy while I was away. I also have two giveaways going on at the moment so be sure to check those out (Just One Day & Decked With Holly). As usual, leave me a comment letting me know what you got!

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Blog Tour: Decked With Holly by Marni Bates + Giveaway

Author: Marni Bates
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Holly Dayton is about to go way out of her comfort zone…

Spending Christmas vacation on a cruise with her two cousins from hell isn't Holly's idea of a good time. And when in a moment of seasick-fuelled desperation she lurches into an open suite--she's greeted with an eyeful of pepper spray. The culprit? A gorgeous guy calling himself Nick. But when Holly goes to make her exit, she gets the shock of her life: a corridor crammed with screaming teenage fans. Because Nick just happens to be Dominic Wyatt, drummer for ReadySet--one of the hottest bands in America.

Suddenly rumors are swirling, and Holly's face is captured on countless phones and plastered all over the Internet. But the band can't risk a scandal destroying their family-friendly image, so Dominic convinces Holly to be his fake girlfriend--just for two week.s How bad could it be to be fauxmantically involved with one of the cutest rockstars on the planet? Holly's about to find out...

Decked With Holly by Marni Bates is one of those guilty pleasure kind of books. All I knew going in was that this book would make me laugh and believe me when I say that it did. It was a fantastically fun story that had me smiling for start to finish.

While most people would be excited at the prospect of a week long cruise in Mexico, Holly isn't particularly looking forward to it. Because for Holly this cruise means a week in a cabin with her two cousins who like nothing more than to make her life miserable. But things change when seasick Holly finds herself in Dominic's suite on the ship. Dominic was just hoping for some down time and to stay anonymous. But once Holly barges in to his life, everything doesn't go quite as planned. Holly now finds herself pretending to be rockstar Dominic's girlfriend because that's the only way to explain why she spent the night in his cabin. But somewhere along the way, what started out as a fake relationship started to feel less and less fake. But will Holly and Dominic realize it before everything falls apart?

Decked With Holly made me laugh. A lot. To the point that my brother was giving me weird looks while I was reading. But I just couldn't help it. The things that happen in Decked With Holly will at least make you smile if not laugh out loud. Because this story is so incredibly fun. It's not necessarily the most realistic of stories but that's what made me love it as much as I did. One of the reasons I also really loved this book is that it reminded me of Meg Cabot and everything I love about her books. Marni Bates does a fantastic job with the humor in Decked With Holly. There were rarely moments when I wasn't at least smiling. Holly's and Dominic's intertwined stories were really something and that fact alone was enough to keep me reading. Especially when it came down to whether they would realize to what I had been seeing between them all along.

Holly hasn't had it easy. Her parents died when she was still a baby and she was raised by her grandfather. But what makes her life truly miserable are her two cousins who make it their goal in life to torture Holly. And that made me root for Holly, because she finally deserved something good in her life. Granted what she got might not have been what she expected. But that didn't stop me from liking Dominic. Sure there were times when I wanted nothing more than to smack him (so did other characters in the book for that matter), but he was still a really great person. By the end of the book I may have even been a bit in love with him. But Dominic and Holly together were great, even if it was meant to be fake. 

Decked With Holly was a fabulously fun read. Marni Bates really hit the mark with the humor in this book. If you want a good laugh, I strongly recommend picking up Decked With Holly, or any of Marni Bates' other books because they had me laughing too.

One of you lucky people will win a copy of Decked With Holly. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. US only. Must be 13 or older.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Just One Day by Gayle Forman + Giveaway!

Title: Just One Day (Just One Day #1)
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay.

When shelter American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem de Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there's an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines. 

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem's story--Just One YearI--is coming soon!

Just One Day by Gayle Forman is one of those books that has been getting a whole lot of hype. Anytime something like this happens with books I start having my doubts as to whether or not said book is going to be able to live up to that hype. But I shouldn't really have worried about Just One Day because it was simply amazing.

Allyson has always been the responsible girl who has everything planned out and who follows that plan. But on one of the last days of an organized Europe tour, she decides to ditch the planned activity to instead see an underground production of Shakespeare's The Twelfth Night. There Allyson meets Willem and so starts a one day whirlwind trip to Paris. In Paris Allyson discovers a whole entire side to herself and that side might even be better than the Allyson she has always known. But that's not all she discovers. With Willem she realizes she can do just about anything, maybe even fall in love. But how much can really happen in just one day?

This book brought on all sorts of emotions while I was reading. I would go from smiling one minute to basically crying the next. And Just One Day definitely brought on a whole slew of tears. That's not to say that the book was sad because there were plenty of times that I was crying happy tears. But beyond the tears, the story itself took me away on a fantastic adventure. Even though it wasn't exactly a story filled with intense action, the story in Just One Day was still one I just couldn't put down. With every page I read I was just dying to know what would happen to Willem and Allyson, especially whether or not they would have the happy ending I was so hoping they would. I just became so wrapped up in the story. The setting also helped with that. Having been to Paris myself, I was able to picture all the places Allyson and Willem were going and it just made me want to go back go Paris myself. And after all the emotions Just One Day put me through I still can't wait to read the story from Willem's perspective in Just One Year.

A lot of people have said this, but I could really relate to Allyson. There was something about me that I could see in her. Just like Allyson I tend to be the responsible person who has everything planned and follows that plan. I wouldn't just take off to Paris with someone I had met twice. So the fact that I could really relate to Allyson made me that much more invested in her story. I wanted her to become the person she had been in Paris and I wanted her to have everything she wanted, but at the same time I also wanted to protect her from heartbreak, because her heartbreak would also cause my heart to break. But mostly I loved who Allyson was with Willem. And I personally wouldn't mind being led around Paris by Willem. Willem was someone I had trouble getting a good understanding of who he as but that didn't stop me from loving him. For the most part he seemed to be this carefree person who just went where the wind took him, but at the same time, there was this other side of him that came out from time to time that showed that there was something more going on with him. And that's the side of Willem that really made me love him, especially when that side came out in relation to Allyson.

Gayle Forman's Just One Day is one of those books that broke my heart. But it's also a book that made me cry happy tears and by the end, my heart was full once again. Believe me when I say that you don't want to miss out on this book, and by the end you will be begging for Willem's story and Just One Year.


If it wasn't clear from my review, I absolutely loved Just One Day! For that reason, I am giving away a finished copy of the book to one lucky reader because this is a book I am going to be pushing on everyone. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway is open internationally, wherever the Book Depository ships. Good luck!

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Deity (Covenant #3)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
"History is on repeat, and things didn't go so well the last time."

Alexandria isn't sure she's going to make it to her eighteenth birthday--to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she's a goner…and so is Aiden.

If that's not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time "training"--which really is just Seth's code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time--she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome.

But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she's caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unlashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed…and destroyed.

Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate...
It shouldn't come as a surprise to any of you that I am a big fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout books, both her Covenant and Lux series, so I was beyond excited at the prospect of being able to read Deity. I had to put off reading it for a little while because of school work but once I was finally able to sit down to read it, it was totally worth it.

Back at the Covenant after what happened while in upstate New York, Alex is constantly worried that everyone will find out about what she did during the daimon attacks. If anyone were to ever find out what she did and what Aiden had to do as a result it would be the end for both of them. But that's not all. With her birthday quickly approaching, Alex can't help but worry about her Awakening as the second coming of the Apollyon and everything that entails. And as much as she likes Seth she can't help but worry about what's going to happen once she becomes his own personal source of power. 

As Alex would say, holy daimon babies this book. There was just some much going on and I just couldn't bear to put the book down for even one moment. The story picks up shortly after the events at the end of Pure and I no one was really sure what was going to happen to any of them. But this book was definitely a book about revelations because there were a great many of them. And let me just say that you shouldn't really trust anything you know about anyone at this point because they will surprise you in more ways than one. The romance in Deity was also kicked up a notch. After reading so many of her books, I knew that Jennifer L. Armentrout could do hot and steamy romance but here there was something beyond that and it was almost more delicate. But the ending is what killed me and it left me more or less broken. After everything that had happened over the course of the book, my heart just broke while I was reading the last few pages. 

Ever since I read the first book, I have been more or less in love with many of the characters in this book. Alex is the kind of girl I like to read about in books. She's had to go through so much, but she somehow manages to come out stronger because of it. But in Deity things change for her and I'll be interested to see how everything pans out in future books. While reading Pure, I had found myself liking Seth more and more but I may have changed my mind after having read Deity. I don't really want to say anything about it to prevent spoilers, but things definitely change. Aiden on the other hand, stole my heart. As much as I had my doubts about him in Pure, he came back with a vengeance in Deity. I am not completely beyond stealing him from Alex and keeping him for myself. One character I've never really talked about before is Leon. He was always just sort of around and never really did anything much that made it so I should mention him. But definitely keep an eye one him while reading Deity because he will probably take you completely by surprise. I can say I really didn't see it coming.

Deity took my on a crazy adventure and by the end of the book my heart was completely broken. That ending is just a complete killer. But that's what made the book so fantastic in my eyes. And I know for sure that I can't wait for Apollyon.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Series Catch Up Challenge Month One

I'm a little late with this post, but the holidays kind of had me going every which way so here is finally the Month One post for the Series Catch-Up Challenge. If you're not familiar with all the details, you can find them here. So any and all reviews you write as part of the challenge this month you can link up here and they will enter you in a giveaway at the end of the month.

So good luck to all and have fun catching up on all those series!

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

13 Most Anticipated of 2013

After having discussed some of my favorite books of 2012 yesterday I am taking advantage of the fact that today is the first day of the new year to discuss which 2013 books I am most looking forward to reading. So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the top 13 books of 2013 I am the most excited about.

Goddess by Josephine Angelini
Considering Dreamless was one of my favorites of 2012, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I am past the point of eagerly awaiting when it comes to Goddess. I just can't wait to see how everything will work out for everyone.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
In case it wasn't obvious already, I'm a big fan of Cassandra Clare. And The Infernal Devices is an amazing series and after all the events of Clockwork Prince, I can't wait to see how it will all come together in Clockwork Princess.

Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
After everything that happened in Deity, I am just dying to read Apollyon to find out what happens next and how everything will work out for certain characters. And I can already tell that it will be majorly intense. And it will probably break my hear a couple times.

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
How could I not be anticipating this one. I have loved both of Stephanie Perkins' previous books so I can't wait to be taken back to Paris in another one of her stories.

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen is one of the YA authors I have been reading for the longest and so far, none of her books have managed to disappoint me. So as you can guess, I am incredibly excited at the prospect of reading her next book come the spring.

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
With everything that happened in The Evolution of Mara Dyer how can I not be excited and eagerly awaiting the next and final book in this series. This story messes with my mind so much but I just can't help but love it. Even if it will slowly drive me insane.

Just One Year by Gayle Forman
Because I've been lucky enough to already have read Just One Day, I am dying to be able to read Just One Year. After reading Allyson's story, I can't wait to experience it all from Willem's perspective. Be on the lookout for my full thoughts on Just One Day very soon.

Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Miranda Kenneally has quickly become one of those authors whose books are "must reads". And I can't wait to read the next one because her stories just end up finding a way to break my heart and then proceed to help me put it back together.

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead
You can bet I will be at my bookstore first thing in the morning on the day The Indigo Spell releases. And while I'm beyond excited about this book, I'm also a little scared because Richelle Mead is known for just breaking your hear in the third book of her series.

Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep
In the past year I have come to love Jennifer Estep's Mythos Academy series. And with every installment things just always seem to get better so I can't wait to see what happens next in Midnight Frost.

Every Never After by Lesley Livingston
I absolutely loved Once Every Never when I first read it so I was excited when it was announced it would go from being a standalone to being part of a series. And now I can't wait to go back into that world with Every Never After when it comes out.

Requiem by Lauren Oliver
Though a year later I still haven't really made up my mind about Pandemonium, that doesn't stop me from being excited about Requiem. Despite everything, I have come to love this story and this world so I can't wait to see how it will all come together.

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith 
I loved reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight last year so I can't wait to read more Jennifer E. Smith. I'm hoping for the same kind of romance I got in her other book, but either way I don't think it will be possible for this book to disappoint me.

So these are the 13 books I am most looking forward to reading in 2013. And there are plenty more that I just want to get my hands on. By the looks of it, 2013 will be a fantastic year for books.

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