Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #32

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Publication Date: January 23th, 2014
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?
I am dying to get my hands on a copy of this book! There have been so many good reviews, and I love books about girl power!

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review: Mila 2.0

MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza 

Publication Date: March 12th, 2013
Genre: YA SciFi/Thriller
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.
I was so, so excited when I finally got the chance to read Mila 2.0. I had heard (actually, I read) a lot of high praise for the book and, let’s face it, the cover and title are pretty cool. All that aside, I was majorly disappointed by the words inside. Mila 2.0 was purely an “eh” book for me. 

So, we start out the book with a major dose of school and home drama. Ah-hem. Where is all the action and Bourne Identity stuff I was promised? Finally, after a long wait, some interesting events happen. Sadly, for me, it was too little and too late.

I also have a lot problems with the supporting characters. For your sake, I can sum all of these little quips into one sentence: The secondary characters had no depth. And, for a book the size of three average books, that is a terrible crime. The evil guys are... evil. The cute guy is... cute. And the mean girl is... mean. How boringly generic. *cue sleepy face*

Fortunately, I did like Mila, our main character who happens to be not human. While I wasn’t emotionally invested in her story, her voice did seem authentic. I loved how the author handled her thoughts and inner turmoil. I know that if I just found out I was a robot, I would have lots and lots of inner turmoil!

Overall, Mila 2.0 was not for me. There were some good parts, but the bad overruled the good for me. Mainly, I was just kind of yawning through the novel, when I wish I could have been on the edge of my seat throughout the book!

2/5 Stars
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If you decide to read Mila 2.0, I hope you enjoy the story much more than I did! Happy Reading!

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Review: Cracked Up to Be

Publication Date: December 23rd, 2008
Genre: YA Contemporary
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
When "Perfect" Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter's High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher's pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her conselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault. 
Cracked Up to Be was my first experience of reading a book by Courtney Summer’s. I have to say, I will definitely be coming back for more.

 Let’s start with Parker. Holy Guacamole, is she a character! I have never, EVER read about a character like this girl, which is a good thing. I am tired of Bella Swan and Katniss Everdeen copycats. 

The first thing you should know about Parker is that she treats people like dirt on the bottom of her boot. She just wants the whole world to leave her alone. In other words, she is extremely unlikable, bitter, and mean.

However, you can see how much she is suffering inside. I felt so attached to Parker, and was rooting for her throughout the whole book. There must be so many real people like her out there, and yet we barely ever read about them. 

The story is also told in a series of flashbacks. I thought this was an amazing way to get across the feelings of pre-suicudal Parker. Also, the flashbacks added some oomph to the novel.

The ending of the novel was so amazing. While the ending is not quite a happy ending, it leaves the reader in hope of one. It was also a fulfilling ending, and when I read the last sentence, and put the book down, I felt as if I had just finished a race. 

Overall, I cannot recommend Cracked Up to Be highly enough. The writing is realistic and gritty. The characters do not feel fictional. Why not pick this book up?  

4.5/5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)
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Happy Reading! Have you read any of Courtney Summer's novels? If you haven't, do you want to?
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Best and Worst of 2013

As most of you know, it is December and 2014 is on it's way! So, it is time to recap my favorite and least favorite books of 2013!

The Best Books published in 2013:

Wow, the covers, quite oddly, color coordinate. Apparently blue, red, and yellow covers are signs of a great book!

The Best Books I Read in 2013... but were published earlier:

The Worst Books I read in 2013: (published in a variety of years)

So, there is my little recap of the best and worst books of the year! Also, I discovered I like books with blue and gold covers!!!

What books made your list?

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Heartbeat: Tour Stop + Giveaway

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

Publication Date: January 28th, 2013
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.

But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.

Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.

Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?

Praise for Heartbeat
“An intense examination of a family coping with grief, this absorbing character study easily keeps pages turning.”

— Kirkus on Heartbeat

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Note from Emily

For those of you who haven't heard of Elizabeth Scott, I must recommend you read one of her books immediately. After happening upon and loving Scott's novel Love You, Hate You, Miss You, I knew she would become one of my auto-buy authors.

I have had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of Heartbeat, thanks to HarlequinTeen and Edelweiss, and I have to say that Heartbeat is one of her best works yet!

About the Author:
ELIZABETH SCOTT grew up in a town so small it didn’t even have a post office, though it did boast an impressive cattle population. She’s sold hardware and panty hose and had a memorable three-day stint in the dot-com industry, where she learned that she really didn’t want a career burning CDs. She lives just outside Washington, D.C., with her husband, and firmly believes you can never own too many books.
About Elizabeth Scott - Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Tumbler

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

December New Release Hop

There are some awesome December Releases to be won today!

The winner can choose ONE of the books below:

So, which book do you want? :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
You must be 13 or older 
This should be kinda obvious, please don't cheat! 
US Only :(
I'm sorry, but I don't have the money to ship across the world!

-Emily :)

Now look through all the other awesome blogs participating! They all have epic books featured to win!

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Good Luck! Happy Reading!
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Monday, December 9, 2013

Review: Betwixt + Novellas

Follow the rest of the tour schedule here

Publication Date: November 5th, 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
Beautiful, wild-child, Nicole Tepper, is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes the next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well. 

Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded. 

Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it's too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out?  
I really enjoyed Betwixt! With realistic, flawed characters and a super cool plot, the book will definitely enthrall reader's and keep them up past their bedtime. 

Nicole is in a little bit of a tough spot. Her body is in the middle of nowhere, seriously injured. Thankfully, Nicole’s spirit is free to roam around and get help. Easy, right? Nope. Dale is the only person that can hear her, and the two of them have a bit of unpleasant history. Dale was an intriguing character. He seemed to have his priorities straight, unlike Nicole, and had some cool backstory. I really wanted to slap Nicole for, at first, acting so terrible around him. 

Watching Nicole grow was one of the best parts of the book. No better time to reflect on your life than when it is in danger of ending! Experiencing her revelations about Dale and her lousy choices was awesome. Lastly, Nicole’s voice was perfect, I loved reading with her narrating. 

Also, I should mention the mystery involving the hit-and-run driver who nearly killed Nicole. This was a very interesting part of the story!!! Also, all the action that unfold after finding the culprit are some of my favorite scenes. In the end, I am not sure if the villain got what he deserves, but, never fear, my complaint is fixed in the nest novella!

Overall, Betwixt was a very, very addicting read! The mystery, characters, and development were splendid.

4/5 Stars

Now, onto a review of Before!

Publication Date: September 2013
Series: Betwixt #0.5 
Amazon/Barnes and Noble 
Dale Finnigan is a teenage rebel; he lives for parties, girls and joy riding in stolen cars. In spite of his uptight parents' constant warnings and lectures, he continues to run wild. His crazy lifestyle is the only way he can live and feel free… Until his reckless behavior takes him down a path where there is no going back.

In this prequel to BETWIXT, find out who Dale Finnigan was before he became known as“scar-face”—the unassuming hero everyone underestimates.
I thought this was a great novella to go along with Betwixt. Everyone who read the first novel will definitely like getting to know the young, rebelling Dale Finnigan. 

In my opinion, Betwixt was better than Before. That said, Before was still a compelling read. Reading from Dale’s perspective might have given me a headache (boy does he make a lot of mistakes!) but his voice was super realistic. 

This book made Dale seem so much more real and awesome! I am tempted to compare past Dale to the Dale we know and love in Betwixt. There is so much growth! His struggles with life, family, and other things made him three dimensional and I loved seeing some of his struggle's resolved!

Overall, I feel much more connection to Dale, now that I know his past!

3/5 Stars
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Now, onto a review of Beyond!

Publication Date: October 20th, 2013
Series: Betwixt #1.5
Amazon/Barnes and Noble 
Have you ever been so in love with someone, but not had the courage to tell them?

Nicole Tepper is that girl. She loves her boyfriend Dale, but fearing rejection, keeps her feelings buried deep. She can’t even let on how heartbroken she is when Dale begins applying for colleges thousands of miles away from her; never even whispering a word about how much she wishes he would stay close.

But, when Dale is rejected from Columbia University in NYC, due to a police record that follows him wherever he goes, Nicole soon discovers that love can drive her to do things she never thought possible.
What an awesome read!

Beyond went, well, beyond my expectations (haha!) After I finished reading Betwixt, I was sure that the author had a perfect conclusion and didn’t need another novella. Well, Melissa Pearl proved me wrong! I was immediately sucked into Nicole’s story!

I loved seeing Nicole and Dale together without the threat of her death! They were so sweet! I loved how, even though she didn’t want to be separated, Nicole made it her mission to get Dale into his dream college. Do you remember how I mentioned I thought the villain of Betwixt got off easy? That is fixed in Beyond! Seeing their terrible acts come back and bite might have been the best part of the book!

Overall, I loved this conclusion to the Betwixt trilogy. I am left immensely satisfied!

3.5 Stars

Open internationally Prizes:
-Paperback of the Betwixt series omnibus
-25$ Amazon Gift Card
Good luck!
Oh, and isn't the omnibus cover gorgeous?
Just had to point that out!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading!!!

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