Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #38

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Stray by Elissa Sussman
Publication Date: October 7th, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy
“I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.”

Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has chosen for her, about meeting her true love and starting her happily ever after.

When the night of the ball finally arrives and Nerine Academy is awash with roses and royalty, Aislynn wants nothing more than to dance the night away, dutifully following the Path that has been laid out for her. She does not intend to stray.

But try as she might, Aislynn has never quite managed to control the magic that burns within her-magic brought on by wicked, terrible desires that threaten the Path she has vowed to take.

After all, it is wrong to want what you do not need. Isn’t it?
Woah! Stray sounds so, so amazing! A fantasy novel with magic, balls, academies, and a mysterious Path? Awesome! Plus, that cover is absolutely lovely. It has a very whimsical feel to it, don't you think?

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Giveaway: Emily's Favorite 2014 Releases (So Far)

Below I have listed some of my favorite 2014 reads!!! I tried to select a variety of genres :) The winner can pick their book of choice from the list.

Cress by Marissa Meyer
Otherbound by Corrine Duvyis (My review on another site)
We Were Liars (My review)

Since You've Been Gone
The Falconer by Elizabeth May (My review)
Broken Hearts, Fences, And Other Things To Mend

Panic by Lauren Oliver
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
To All The Boys I've Loved Before

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Prisoner of Night and Fog (My review)

You must be 13 or older 
No Cheating!
US & International
(As long as the book deposistory ships to your country)

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Review: We Were Liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Publication Date: May 13th, 2014
Source: Bought
Genre: YA Suspense
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

If you haven't heard of this book, you've been living under a rock. And I know all the hype can be a little scary. However, I believe We Were Liars deserves all of the praise. It's a beautiful, raw book. The writing is amazing, the characters are intriguing, and the plot twist is pretty cool.

The writing is what made the book for me. That said, I know that a lot of people were very deterred by Lockhart's writing style. I think this is a classic case of hate or love. You will fall deeply into the author's words, OR will be jolted out of the story by the oddity of the style. You have been warned.

Personally, I adored the writing. There are tons of metaphors, some personification, and scenes that are NOT meant to be taken literally. It's so cool and startling! Also, the book contains these new fairytales that correspond with the story. I'm a huge fairytale fan and these chapters enraptured me.

Also, the sentence structure of the book is very different. A lot of sentences are very short or fractured into pieces. Also, there is a lot of repetition of words or sentence styles. It's very poetic, beautiful, and just fits the book's personality (if that makes any sense).

Then, we have the characters. I'm not going to tell you much about them. I was most impressed by the vividness and uniqueness the characters possessed. They are extrememly interesting, although a bit unrelatable. However, that is to be expected. They are part of this rich, powerful, crumbling family on a dream island after all!

Finally, I have to talk about the elephant in the room. The ending. The truth is, the ending was not that shocking. However, it was the perfect ending to a nearly flawless tale. You get no more. Go read the book and find out yourself!!!

4.5/5 stars
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Remember it's best to go into We Were Liars completely blind. I was vague in my review so I wouldn't spoil anything... not the plot, characters, or ending!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Currently Reading (And I'm... Back!)

I'm back from my week-log camp! I had a blast. Yoga, archery, 8 mile hikes, zumba, creek walks, campfire, smores... :D However, after I came back home I got pretty sick. I've spent the last few days watching Harry Potter and Disney movies under a warm blanket!

Also, while I was gone, I read The 100 (2 stars) and Things I Can't Forget (4 stars). Despite the fact I disliked The 100, I might still attempt to watch the TV series. I originally wasn't going to, but then I heard a spoiler about the show that really intrigued me!

I plan on reading The Kiss of Deception, Midnight Thief, and Queen of the Tearling next. Time for an unintentional fantasy kick! (By the time you see this, I am probably in the middle of reading The Kiss of Deception!) Also, I just received these novels and they are so, so GORGEOUS in person. I hope I love the insides of the books as much as the outsides :)

I'll be back to posting on my regular schedule since I'm back in town...

Thanks for reading! What books have you finished lately? Or which books are you planning to start?
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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Week-long Absence

Hey everybody!

I'm going away for a week to summer camp! However, that means no internet connection so expect me to be missing in action for a few days :( See y'all next week!!!

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #28

Hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

My week's haul is amazing! I've already read 2 of the books and I can't wait to read the rest! I hope all of you guys had an awesome week. Yay for the weekend!

Can't Look Away (Thank you Donna Cooner!) 
A Touch Mortal (Thank you Emmy!)
A Touch Morbid (Thank you Emmy!)

Also, Can't Look Away was signed! To me! I was so surprised and happy that I won the giveaway for Can't Look Away :D

How was your week? Thanks for visiting!
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Review: Scan

Scan by Sarah Fine and Walter Jury
Publication Date: May 1st, 2014
Publisher: PenguinTeen
Source: Won from a Giveaway
Tate and his father don’t exactly get along. As Tate sees it, his father has unreasonably high expectations for Tate to be the best—at everything. Tate finally learns what he’s being prepared for when he steals one of his dad’s odd tech inventions and mercenaries ambush the school, killing his father in the process and sending Tate on the run from aliens who look just like humans. 

Even with all he knows like how to defend himself with useful tools made out of bubblegum, Tate fears he’s still inadequate.  With the help of his girlfriend and estranged mother, all Tate can really do is keep moving and ensure his father’s invention stays out of the hands of his pursuers and that his father didn’t die in vain.   A riveting, fast-paced adventure, Scan is a clever alien thriller with muscle and heart.
What a fun read! When I heard I had won Scan in a giveaway, I was so excited. Scan is by two FANTASTIC authors: Sarah Fine, author of Sanctum, and Walter Jury who worked on Divergent. Plus, aliens! Thankfully, my expectations were met :)

Scan has an awesome main character. Tate is smart, talented, and still has faults like a normal teenage. His relationship with his father is strained, to say the least. Tate doesn't understand why his dad wants him to learn seemingly useless, but difficult, skills. Hmm... 

Of course, there turns out to be aliens and lots of fun stuff!

Thankfully, this book was more of an action novel than a romance. However, I still loved that Tate has a girlfriend, Christina, and the two of them were awesome together. Scan showed a relationship that had already begun before the first pages, and was still intact in the end!

Also, I loved the cool plot. I won't say much, for fear of spoilers, but, well, the two authors waved together an amazing, action-packed story fraught with interesting questions for the readers. Like, what if you weren't human? What if you were, in fact, the enemy of humans? Also, we saw large cases of discrimination that made me frustrated! 

One of my only complaints is that Scan isn't a book that will stick with you after reading. While the book is addicting and exciting while I was flipping pages, I promptly forgot about Tate's story once I put it down. There wasn't enough emotional investment I tell you!

Overall, Scan was a fun read that shouldn't be missed. I can't wait for the next book! 

3.5/5 Stars (Rounded to 4)

Thanks for reading the review!!! 
What are your thoughts on Scan?
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

17 First Kisses Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway

17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: June 17th 2014
Genre: YA Contemporary
No matter how many boys Claire kisses, she can’t seem to find a decent boyfriend. Someone who wouldn’t rather date her gorgeous best friend, Megan. Someone who won’t freak out when he learns about the tragedy her family still hasn’t recovered from. Someone whose kisses can carry her away from her backwoods town for one fleeting moment.

Until Claire meets Luke.

But Megan is falling for Luke, too, and if there’s one thing Claire knows for sure, it’s that Megan’s pretty much irresistible.

With true love and best friendship on the line, Claire suddenly has everything to lose. And what she learns—about her crush, her friends, and most of all herself—makes the choices even harder.

In her moving debut, Rachael Allen brilliantly captures the complexities of friendship, the struggles of self-discovery, and the difficulties of trying to find love in high school. Fans of Sarah Ockler, Susane Colasanti, and Stephanie Perkins will fall head over heels for this addictive, heartfelt, and often hilarious modern love story.

  1. Can you persuasively sell your book, 17 First Kisses, to my blog readers in 5 words?
Finding yourself via kissing?
Hmm, that’s only four. How about…
Lots and lots of kissing!
What? That doesn’t do it for everybody? Okay, here’s what the book is about:
Friendship, family, loss, rebuilding, kissing.
  1. What do you admire most about Claire? 
Her strength. She’s able to be strong for her family and friends, she relentlessly pursues her dreams, and she’s able to jump ship from a toxic relationship with a boy before it gets any worse.
  1. How did you get your inspiration for 17 First Kisses?
The short story is that I was doing some house rearranging, and found a box of notes and magazine clippings (*cough* Justin Timberlake *cough*) from middle and high school, the contents of which was both hilarious and mortifying. I was struck by how different my friends and I were depending on what year the notes were from, and I wanted to write a book that captured the same characters at different snapshots of their lives.

The long story is, well, longer, and also kind of sad, and you can find it here: http://rachaelallenwrites.blogspot.com/2014/06/why-i-had-to-write-this-book.html
  1. Megan, Claire’s best friend, is such an interesting character! Can you describe her in 140 characters or less? (Like in a tweet!)
Oh! This is a fun one! Here’s my answer:

Fiercely protective friend. Fun. Dramatic. Craves her parents' approval. Loves cooking more than breathing. Not your average queen bee cheerleader.
  1. I loved the chapters devoted to Claire’s 17 kisses. Why did you include these scenes in the book?
Thanks! I’m so glad you liked those because they were really fun to write! Like I was saying before, I found this note box, and wanted to capture snapshots of these characters as they grew up. I thought of the title 17 FIRST KISSES, and I got so excited because having these kiss scenes in the past would allow you to get a glimpse of these characters in lots of situations at different ages. Plus, it meant I would get to write ALL THE KISSING 

It was a lot of kissing though, so I joke that none of my future characters are getting any action because I’m tired of writing kiss scenes (but I know I won’t really be able to stay away because OMG kissing).
  1. Now, a fun question! What is your dream travel destination?
I love this question because I love to travel! I’d have to say either Australia or Samoa. I’ve never been to either. I love seeing natural wonders, get giddily excited over weird animals, and I love having adventures, and eating new foods, and doing things like hiking and snorkeling.
  1. What are some of your non-bookish hobbies?
I love science, and I work in a lab. I go fangirl over Pretty Little Liars and Game of Thrones. I love football, whether it’s watching the Atlanta Falcons or Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets or playing flag football. Other than that, I’m hanging out with my husband, kiddos, and two dogs.
  1. Quick! What’s your favorite color? 
Yellow! (People who love yellow feel very strongly about it. Hence, the exclamation point.)

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Follow the FFBC 17 First Kisses Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Rachael Allen lives in Atlanta, GA where she's working furiously on her PhD in neuroscience. When she's not doing science or writing YA, you can find her chasing after her toddler and her two sled dogs. Her debut YA novel 17 FIRST KISSES, is forthcoming from Harper Teen. Rachael may or may not have had 17 first kisses...luckily she doesn't kiss and tell.

Win (1) Signed Copy of 17 First Kisses + Swag, + an ARC of I Will Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (US Only)

As a side note, I bought this book, read it, and I really loved it! 17 Kisses is an amazing contemporary that focuses on so many interesting aspects. 

Thanks for reading the post everyone!

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