Saturday, August 31, 2013

Review: Darker Days

Darker Days by Jus Accardo
Publication Date: August 19th, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Rating: 4 Stars
Amazon/Barnes & Noble
Jessie Darker goes to high school during the day, but at night she helps with the family investigation business. Cheating husbands and stolen inheritances? They’re your girls—but their specialty is a bit darker. Zombie in your garage? Pesky Poltergeist living in your pool? They’ll have the problem solved in a magical minute. For a nominal fee, of course...

When gorgeous new client, Lukas Scott, saunters into the office requesting their help to find a stolen box, it sounds like a simple case—until the truth comes out. The box is full of Sin.

Seven deadly ones, in fact.

They’ve got five days to recapture the Sins before they're recalled by the box, taking seven hijacked human bodies with them. Easy peasy—except for one thing...

There’s a spell that will allow the Sins to remain free, causing chaos forever. When the key ingredient threatens the life of someone she knows, Jessie must make the ultimate choice between love and family—or lose everything.

Darker Days by Jus Accardo was such an amazing book! After reading the synopsis, I knew the story would be right up my alley, yet the tale and, in particular, the characters, were more intriguing and laugh-inducing than I had previously hoped. The Darker Agency and family will certainly give the reader a grand adventure. Also, isn't the title clever?

Jessie Darker was, in my opinion, a great, and awesomely sarcastic, narrator. I know some would find her many snarky/silly comments annoying, but once in a while I need an entertaining character like her in a story. She is kind of quirky, although that could be blamed on her mom. For instance, Jessie's punishment for  misbehaving is a "soggy zombie". So yeah, she is far from the average kid, yet she in never mopes or "wishes to be normal" like most heroines in paranormal books. That fact alone earned Darker Days serious bonus points in my book.

I also loved the family dynamics in Darker Days. Guess what? They all get along like a normal family despite the many paranormal interferences! The parents love their daughter, and vice versa. And both parents are alive! My favorite character in the book, was, funnily enough, Jessie's mom. I really want to know her story as the bits we get are extremely interesting.

The story was also creative. The way the Seven Sins worked, and the addition of other paranormal creatures, created a plot that was not cliche or predictable. Also, the length of the book was perfect. There were great action sequences and just enough time for a budding romance. Speaking of the romance... I LOVED it! The love interest was just right for Jessie, although I may have to admit I am a little jealous that she took him for herself. What do you mean she doesn't know I exist? She still should have let me have him! Anyway, the love interest, Lukas, is from like, a hundred years ago,which makes him adorable! I mean, he is formal and says funny things for the 21st century. Also, a lot of things are new to him, which is kind of cute to watch... (read? imagine?)

Overall, Darker Days. is an amazingly entertaining read. I would highly recommend this novel for book lovers looking for a light, cutesy paranormal story. I can honestly say there was nothing in this book I disliked. If Darker Days had any faults, they were overlooked in favor of the overall awesomeness! Also, I am anxiously looking forward to the next book.

4/5 Stars

Friday, August 30, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #22

This is the "I worship Powells" edition of STS. I arrived at the bookstore, turned in some used books, and got EIGHTY FIVE dollars in store credit. Yay!
Hosted by Tynga's Reviews


Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
Outpost by Ann Aguirre 
Sanctum by Sarah Fine
Scarlet by A.C Gaughen
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea byApril Genevieve Tucholke
Tiger's Destiny by Collen Houck

For Review:

Fake ID by Lamar Giles
Find Me by Romily Bernard
(Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
These books sound so awesome!  Also I have already read and loved Find Me, but forgot to put it in last week's STS! So, here it is!

How was your haul this week?

Review: A Shade of Vampire

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

Publication Date: December 14th, 2012
Genre: Paranormal YA
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: I received a copy in exchange for a 100% honest review.
Amazon/Barnes & Noble
On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.

A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.

She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.

An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.

Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.

Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.

Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest is one of those books that may seem a little cheesy, yet still sucks you into the story. I would recommend this book for readers looking for a light, yet a bit more original vampire novel. Also, despite the book only consisting of 149 pages, I found that I felt little was rushed. This upon itself is a huge achievement.

The characters were very intruiguing. At first, I thought that Sofia would get on my nerves but was glad that I was proved wrong. She is smart, and not at all weak-willed. Derek, the vampire prince, took me a bit longer to warm up to. I mean, hello, he is a killer, which in my book is not sexy or admirable. However, I do believe that he will stop killing innocent humans. In the book he tries, which earned him some points. Another thing that kind of bothered me is that Derek is waaaaaay older than Sofia. Um, creepy? However, I know most people aren't as bothered by this as I am, Twilight being a prime example.

I loved how this book set up the vampire world, The Shade.  It is very vivid, brutal, and admittedly quite frightening. Vampires are, mostly, lazy people paranormal beings who have human slaves to do all their dirty work. Also, there is no real sunlight in this vampiric shelter so, um, I think I would die living with them. Thankfully, Sofia does create a fake sun room. Nice job girl! A lot of other details impressed me. For example, there is also a group of hunters I am curious to find out more about. Bella Forrest definitely had clear facts inside her head about how her vampires worked so I feel there will be great sequels. 

Right now, I have to say I didn't like, absolutely love the romance. However it was sweet and intruiguing. I loved seeing Derek grow kinder, and there wasn't too much insta-love... although it was a little too fast paced for my taste. Hopefully, Derek will stop all the violence coming from the vampires in later books. Right now, in my book, vampires are evil kidnappers and blood-suckers. Hopefully, they will see what monsters they have become and change. And, on a side note, I liked the ending. After the last chapter, I am growing increasingly interested in Derek's sister who has the power over prophecy. Derek's brother, however, is a complete jerk who, I'm sorry, deserves to rot. 

Overall, this was an extremely enjoyable read! I loved the idea and execution of the Shade, and basically the whole book. However, I did have some minor issues with the story, but they didn't ruin the reading experience. 

3/5 Stars

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Feature and Follow #20

Hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read!

If you could only have ONE book for the rest of your life. Don’t cheat…what would it be?

Me: I really want to cheat, but, alas, I will obey the orders. Only One?

This is such a hard question! Um, well I am assuming I can still READ books but not like, own them? I'll go with that!

If I could only choose ONE book to own- I repeat, numero uno, 1, 000001, one SINGLE bound masterpiece- I would choose Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. 

The sixth Harry Potter novel has all you can ask for: a great plot, an amazing cast of dimensional characters, witty dialogue, action, magic, and enough pages to satisfy my word-hungry mind!

What about you???
(Also, which cover edition is you favorite?)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday #22

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Publication Date: May 13th, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
The Pre-Sloane Emily didn’t go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn’t do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just… disappears. 

No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try… unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough. Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait… what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Um…

I was in the mood to pick a contemporary today, I am not exactly sure why, perhaps because I have been reading a lot of paranormal? Anyway, Since You've Been Gone looks awesome. I have heard a lot of praise for the author, and the main character and I share a name. What's not to like?

What are you waiting on?

Aberrant: Excerpt and Giveaway

Aberrant  by Ruth Silver
Release Date: 04/17/13
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia

 In the future Dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government's match in marriage and "The Day of the Chosen", a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn't existed in generations. Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she's arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from "The Day of the Chosen." The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system. 

With Joshua's help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive

Available From: Barnes & Noble, Amazon
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----------The Excerpt---------

We rounded the corner and my eyes caught sight of a line of young men stretching around council hall, extending for blocks. "What's going on over there?" I asked. 
Landon's face perked up, a hint of a smile playing on his lips, "they're here for you, Olivia." 
"Me?" I felt nervous and swallowed the bile rising in my throat. 
Landon patted my back, as if he had the ability to reassure me. His touch was repulsive. I pulled away slightly from his grasp, my gaze still attached to the hundreds of young men lining up along the edge of the building and pushed back down into the street. "They're submitting their applications to date you."
"You're joking?" My eyes wide and mouth agape, I couldn't believe this was happening. "This is because of Joshua yesterday, isn't it?" It had to be the reason they found it necessary to punish me. 
Landon sighed. He seemed agitated with me, short-tempered. "We've told you, Olivia, you can't be with Joshua." 
I rolled my eyes, "yes and you've also told me I have three years to decide. What's all this!" I gestured towards the young men as I pushed them aside to walk through the main entrance, they were in my way. 
"Hey! No cutting in line," one of the young men yelled before his voice faltered off realizing I wasn't there to apply. "Are you Olivia?" His voice echoed against the building as he took another step, further inching towards the foyer. 
"It's none of your damned business!" I shouted back, my eyes glaring as I knocked Landon hard with my elbow. I knew it wouldn't win me any brownie points but I didn't care. I was beyond pissed. My feet clanked over the marble flooring. In the center of the room a table had been set up where the young men were fast approaching, one after another. "You're wasting your time," I called back to the woman hosting the event as she recorded their information in an oversized book. 
"This way," Landon escorted me away from the line of bachelors towards the open door. 
"Please, come in," the older wiry-haired woman gestured us inside and shut the door promptly behind us. All the noise and commotion from the main foyer disappeared inside the room.

About the Author

Ruth Silver first began writing poetry as a teenager and reading heaps of fan fiction in her free time. She has written under three unique pseudo names and penned well over a hundred stories.

She attended Northern Illinois University in 2001 and graduated with a Bachelor's in Communication. While in college she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, "Deuces are Wild", which she self-published in 2004. Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories.

Her love of writing, led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading YA novels and sharing her favorite books with other readers. She runs her own book blog and also enjoys photography and traveling.

Her favorite YA genre is a mix of Dystopian & Fantasy which is evident in the upcoming release of her latest book, Aberrant. Slated for release April 2013 by Lazy Day Publishing, it is the first in a trilogy.
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #19

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

Topic: Favorite Secondary Characters

Harry Potter: Dobby, Luna, and Fred & George
J.K Rowling's secondary characters are amazing! They have backstory, and memorable personalities!  I am so convinced the characters are out there, real and living and breathing. Basically, add all the characters. Just all of them!

Shatter Me: Kenji, James
Okay, who could not love Kenji and James? I mean, seriously. They are both funny and caring. Plus, Kenji gives Juliet the tough love she needs. In my opinion, Kenji is a better man than Adam and Warner combined. And James is just... so darn cute!

The False Prince: Mott, Imogen
Mott grew on me, big time. He developed into a character that began to care for Sage. And Imogen was awesome! She is brave, smart, and admirable. I loved watching these two character interact with Sage. Also, I loved the dry humor.

The Hunger Games: Rue, Finnick
Spoilers: I think I am going to cry. Why? Why did they have to die? Rue was so sweet and brave and I hate, just hate the person who thought it would be fun to put a 12 year old in an arena to fight to the death. And, Finnick! Why?

Vampire Academy: Christian and Mia
Christian is a great character. He is loyal, and can sometimes get a smile out of me with his ongoing commentary. Mia, while she seems like a total mean girl in the beginning, grew on me. She is sweet inside.

Hex Hall: Elodie
Elodie intrigues me for many reasons. Although we all hate her in the beginning, we start feeling sympathetic in the end. She will leave an impact as you witness her change, even after death. As a forewarning, she still can be a little mean.

City of Bones: Isabel, Magnus (and... Jace?)
Okay, there is no debate here. Isabel is awesome. Also, how can anybody not love Magnus? By the way, the movie ruined him. And, okay, Jace is not a secondary character but  I have to mention him. I love Jace!

Of Poseidon: Rachel, Toraf, Rayna
The three characters I just listed always make me laugh. Ex-mafia Rachel is so sweet. Toraf will make you smile, guaranteed. And Rayna is endearing in her own bossy, wild spirited way.

Who are your beloved secondary characters?

I forgot Adrian! How... What...
So, anyway, I am adding him in now. 
I hope it is not too late! Forgive me? Thank to Christy's blog, Christy's Book Addiction for reminding me!

Cover Reveal: The Picture of Dulce Garcia

Release Date: Fall 2013
Genre: Young Adult

Dulce Garcia, star of The Coven, would rather spend her days sketching dresses. Instead, she works to support her family and dreams of one day becoming a fashion designer. After Teen Vogue declares Dulce, “The Hottest Teen in America,” she is stunned by how amazing she looks in their photo.

At sixteen, Dulce feels the pressure to stay youthful in Hollywood. When Dulce’s prop Book of Shadows gets destroyed, she substitutes her favorite Victorian Anthology, opened to Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, and says her spell during the shoot over the anthology. Afterwards, in her trailer, she discovers that she has transformed into her Teen Vogue picture, and her real body is completely airbrushed. Can she break the curse or will she remain locked forever in a picture?

Finalist—Young Adult Category of the 2011 RWA Stiletto Contest!
Finalist—Young Adult Category of the 2011 RWA Launching A Star Contest!
Finalist—Young Adult Category of the 2011 RWA Heart of the Rockies Contest!

About the Author
Alana Albertson is the former President of both Romance Writers of Americas’s Young Adult and Chick Lit chapters and the founder of Academe Advantage, a college admissions & test preparation company. Alana Albertson holds a Masters of Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University. A recovering professional ballroom dancer, Alana currently writes contemporary romance and young adult fiction. She lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, two young sons, and four dogs. When she’s not spending her time needlepointing, dancing, or saving dogs from high kill shelters through Pugs N Roses, the rescue she founded, she can be found watching episodes of House Hunters, Homeland, or Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.
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What do you think of the cover? Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Life, Love, and Lemons: Excerpt + Giveaway

Publication Date: August 20th, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
Purchase: Amazon

It’s so SQUEEEE-DORABLE – Ashleyn Poston, author of Radio Hearts

When life hands you lemons, sometimes you have to say screw the lemons and bail.

Seventeen-year-old Bentley Evans had it all. Then her Dad got laid off. 

Now she has to move across town to a small apartment and leave her life of luxury for public school and a job at the local burger place. Just when her world seems like it's crumbling she finds solace in the unlikely punk boy next door, Kai Stone. But as their relationship blossoms, a jealous ex-girlfriend and a secret to tell that threatens to bring disaster back into Bentley’s life.

And now, I will share an awesome excerpt!

-----------------The Excerpt---------------

“Are you okay?”
I sat on the cold tile floor of the break room with my head between my grease stained knees. The last person I expected to come back and check on me was Kai.
In my frenzied cry I somehow managed to blurt out that I female problems and that got Jason to find someone else to do the sweeping. No guy ever wants to fight that one and Jason’s face turned red when I mentioned it.
“I’m fine." I sniffled, hoping that Kai would just go away. I wanted to be alone. How could my friends have done this to me? It was bad enough that I already lost my house, my school, and now some of my best friends since grade school. To top it all off I had some kid with hot pink shoes acting like I was the one with issues.
“Well obviously you’re not." He reached his hand out toward me.
I crossed my arms firmly over my chest. “I don’t need your help." It came out whinier than I intended.
Instead of walking away, he just plopped down beside me and spread his long legs out next to mine.
“You can only try and make lemons into lemonade for so long before you just have to say, screw the lemons, and bail." He stretched his arms out over his head.
I couldn’t help but smile. “I didn’t think anyone but me actually used that expression.”
“Well looks like you were wrong." He slowly stood up and turned to face me. “Now c’mon and let me show you what else you’re wrong about.”
As I looked at him, I didn’t know what came over me. Maybe it was just my girl emotions working overtime or maybe it was his pleading puppy dog eyes, but for some reason I took his hand and followed him out the back door.
“So where are we going?" I questioned, letting go of his hand as soon as we got outside. I was really glad we exited out the back so no one saw us. I really didn’t want people getting the wrong idea. Kai was a nice guy and everything, but I knew the other co-workers would have a field day if they saw us together. Luckily it was just my little red mini and a giant orange car in the parking lot.
“Just get in and you’ll find out," He said conspiratorially and opened the passenger door of the giant orange thing.
“What is that?" I pointed at the car, tilting my head.
“This would be my car, a Ford Falcon." He motioned again for me to get into the car.
Slowly I approached the car and got in as he slid over the hood of the car to the driver’s side.
“Isn’t that like something out of Star Wars?" I asked as he got in and started the car.
“No, that would be the Millennium Falcon, and that would be Star Trek." He smiled and pulled out of the parking lot.
“Sorry, I’m not up on my geekery." I laughed and I held out my palms toward him.
“It’s okay I didn’t really expect you to be." He slid his long fingers over toward me. I thought he was going to reach for my hand but instead he turned on the stereo, letting a loud screaming guy’s voice blast over the speakers.
“Ugh!" I put my hands over my ears and screeched, “What is that?”
Kai sighed and turned down the music. “It’s the Circle Jerks, you know Punk Rock.”
I shook my head. “Never heard of them, maybe you have something else that I might like." I reached up into the CD visor and browsed through his CD’s. Bad Religion, The Misfits, Dead Kennedys —All these bands I had never heard of and sounded really depressing.
“How about we just turn on the radio?”
“You’re kind of demanding you know that?" Kai looked at me out of the corner of his eye and leaned back in his seat.
“Gee, you’re such a charmer," I mocked. “But seriously, where are we going anyway?”
“It’s a surprise,” he said mischievously, smiling as he turned down State Street.
“Okay," I said and pulled my uniform top over my head.
“JESUS, what are you doing?" Kai swerved the car and almost hit the curb in the process, causing me to almost bounce my head off the dashboard.
“Ugh!" I folded the shirt in my lap and then ran my fingers across the straps of my white tank top that I had on underneath. “I just didn’t want to show up to wherever we were going in my uniform; what did you think I was doing? Trying to strip down in the Star Trek car?”
“I don’t know." He shrugged. “I thought the Falcon had some magical powers or something.”

Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. She is in a very serious, fake relationship with Adam Lambert and constantly asks her husband to wear guyliner. He still refuses. She also believes her husband is secretly an alien, disguised as a southern gentleman.

Author Links:


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Good Luck!
I hope you enjoyed the excerpt.
Do you like Lemons?
My fonts are getting smaller, and smaller

Thanks for Reading!

Alert: Beautiful Covers

They are anticipated titles...
with the most gorgeous covers...
Ever Seen

Did you like that dramatic intro? It was too tempting.

Anyway, which cover is your favorite? What title are you most excited to read?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Review: Ignited

Ignited by Desni Dantone

Publication Date: May 27th, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal/Adventure
Series: Ignited #1
Source: Received in exchange for an honest review
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
Seventeen year old Kris Young is on the run from a throng of superhuman golden-eyed freaks hell-bent on seeing her dead, and she doesn't know why. Good thing she has her guardian angel to protect her...sort of.

Kris is aided by Nathan, the mysterious man that ends up being anything but angelic when he rescues her for the fourth time in fourteen years. Even if the handsome hero illusion is shattered by his harsh treatment of her, he knows how to fight this strange enemy and is determined to keep her safe at all costs. 

As the body count rises in their wake, Nathan introduces Kris to a world in which not everyone is human and the battle lines between good and evil are clearly drawn. Kris's piece in the puzzle is something neither is aware of and, as they uncover the truth, neither is prepared for what they find. Overcoming twists and revelations that shatter both of their lives, they discover that nothing is as it seems and nothing, least of all their hearts, are safe. 

From debut author, Desni Dantone, Ignited is the first novel in a tale of first love, mystery and adventure that will introduce you to an exciting new world as Kris discovers how she fits in it.

I really enjoyed Ignited. As soon as I picked the book (e-reader, technically) up, I was sucked into Kris's adventure. I absolutely refused to stop reading. The next book in the series cannot come soon enough!

Kris is a great main character. She is relatable, snarky, and realistic enough that I started seeing her as a real person. Also, she has character growth. By the end, I could see how she was stronger! And I felt her connection with her grandma. Another favorite character, for me at least, is Nathan. At first, I was not a fan of him. At all. Actually, I kind of wanted to punch him when he wasn't giving us information. In the first bit of the book, he is pretty darn silent when it comes to what is happening to Kris. By the end, however, it was a very different story. I now think of him as sweet and protective instead of a jerk.

I really liked the adventure aspect of the book! While the two characters, Kris and Nathan, are traveling I loved how all the action played out. Also, the book never lagged. There was always something happening that kept my interest, whether it was a fighting scene or something fishily magical. However, the book wasn't overly fast paced with no time for development.  Also, the plot was perfect. It was creative, with twists, and not to predictable.

The well developed (I'm all about story development today I guess. Sorry!) romance was another favorite part in my opionion. It starts out as witty banter and a bit if tension between the two characters. There is no insta-love or insta-kissing. I am breathing out in palpable relief as I type that sentence, which no one can blame me for, right? Also, the banter and tension was fabulous, if I do say so.

The editing in this book was so amazing! I don't think there was a single mistake which always points to the fact that the author and team worked super hard to make this the best book possible!

 Overall, this book was a quality read that I hope many people will experience! I laughed, felt my heart beat out of my chest, smiled, and gasped while reading Ignited. Who doesn't love a good book that creates such wonderful emotions? I cannot wait to continue the series!

4/5 Stars

Stacking the Shelves #21

This is going to be a rather large haul, as I have neglected to post an STS the last two weeks. 
Here we go: (Hosted by the fantastic Tynga's Reviews)


For Review

So, how was your week in books? 
Right now I am reading Earthbound and The Promise of Amazing. 
What are you guys currently reading?