Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review: Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 with 6 comments
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Title: Illuminate
Author: Aimee Agresti
Series: Gilded Wings
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date:  March 6, 2012
Source:  ARC

Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.

As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?

Illuminate is an exciting saga of a teen’s first taste of independence, her experience in the lap of luxury, and her discovery she may possess strength greater than she ever knew.

I’ll admit it. I picked up the ARC of Illuminate simply because of that gorgeous cover. Yes, I’m usually one of the first to complain about the girl-in-a-pretty-dress cover trend. But did you notice the shadow wings? And the pretty curly cues? Pretty cover aside, I had read nary a synopsis, summary, or even the title of this book prior to receiving the ARC. I’ve decided that’s my favorite way to start a book: with no expectations.

I thoroughly enjoyed Illuminate. The story is not wholly unoriginal, but it is a refreshing take on a classic. The allusions and direct references to Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray help ease the reader into the novel and provide a basis for the storyline. But you don’t need to know Dorian Gray’s story to understand the premise of Illuminate. The idea of soul-stealers isn’t new, by any means. I did find the story a little predictable, but not in an obvious way, if that makes sense. I’ve complained about show vs. tell before, and in this story, the reader is given clues to make reasonable assumptions, which made it easier to predict where the story was headed.

Haven is a normal teenage girl, in an atypical sort of way. I immediately connected with Haven’s character because she’s a hard-working student who doesn’t really fit in anywhere – and that pretty much describes my experience throughout school. On the very first page*, she says, “I’ve never much been one for participation.  I generally know the answers -- I just don't appreciate the attention that comes from knowing them.  Answer correctly and you have further cemented your reputation as a brainy, hopeless outcast.  Answer incorrectly, and not only are you considered a bookish nerd, but now you're even bad at that.  It was a lose/lose situation." That was me in a nutshell. And upon reading that first page, I was able to transport myself into the pages of this book and become Haven’s character. I freaked out over the weird messages in the mysterious book, just as she did. I fell for Lucian, too, even as Haven was discovering that there was more to the beautiful people working at the hotel along-side her and her fellow interns. And I wanted so badly for us (ha!) to make it out of this thing alive.

The romance between Haven and Lucian is kind of a big deal, but it’s really not. You’ll see what I mean once you read it. Lucian is Mr. Tall, Dark & Handsome, with a side of danger thrown in for good measure. Haven is enamored with Lucian, but amid the impending doom, she keeps her wits about her and doesn’t forget that there are more important matters to deal with. She never fully trusts him or his motives, even if at first it’s only because she can’t fathom that this gorgeous man would choose her company over Aurelia’s – their beautiful, enticing boss at the hotel.

Had it really been me in Haven’s position, I don’t know if I would have been as open-minded and easily swayed by what appeared in that mysterious book. It would be a hard pill to swallow, indeed. I like that she doesn’t second-guess herself too much and gets right down to business, though, and that we get to see how the other two interns are handling the stresses and strangeness of the hotel, even if it’s only from Haven’s perspective. And it’s through Haven that we also see one friendship on the brink and another alliance forging. Haven’s going to need all the friends she can get in a place like that!

This 2012 debut may not have been on my radar, but I’m hoping to help put it on yours. It’s a lengthy book, but it never felt long to me. The writing was gorgeous and the story flowed beautifully because of it. The characters were well-developed and essential to the story, some more for their comedic relief than anything else. Pretty much, I loved everything this book had to offer.

Illuminate follows the winding and twisting path of a girl who’s only just realizing who she is, and it’s a book that is not to be missed.

*Mind you, this quote was taken from the ARC and may not appear in the final book.

Rating:  Photobucket

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 with 3 comments

Let's celebrate Leap Day, a day that only comes around every four years!  And what better way to celebrate than by giving away the kind of book that also doesn't come along very often?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title:  BZRK
Author:  Michael Grant
Series:  BZRK
Publisher:  EgmontUSA
Publication Date:  February 28, 2012


It isn't a conflict that makes the front page of the newspaper or is blogged about all over the internet.  But it is out there -- it is happening.  And now Michael Grant -- the best-selling author -- has risked his life to expose the battle taking place.  On one side:  Charles and Benjamin Armstrong's Nexus Humanus.  On the other:  a group of teen hackers who call themselves BZRK.

Twenty-first century warfare that takes place on the macro and micro level for the highest stakes:  humanity's free will.  It's time to choose sides.

Set in the near future, a conspiracy is afoot to create a perfect and perfectly controlled world. The Armstrong Fancy Gift Corporation is a front for the conjoined Armstrong twins, Charles and Benjamin, and the plot to create their own version of utopia.

A shadowy guerilla group known as BZRK form a nascent resistance movement. Both sides develop sophisticated nanotechnology to achieve their goals:

-The Armstrong twins develop the nanobot, a stealth device that latches onto the brains of unsuspecting citizens.
-BZRK's DNA-derived biots are deployed to search out and destroy the insidious bots. If biots are destroyed, the brain cells of their DNA-donor also die. Hence the name BZRK.

The second book in this new series from Michael Grant, author of the best-selling Gone series, is due out on October 9th of this year.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Monday, February 27, 2012 with 3 comments

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Title:  Pandemonium
Author:  Lauren Oliver
Series:  Delirium
Publisher:  HarperCollins/HarperTeen
Publication Date:  February 28, 2012
Source:  ARC

I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

WARNING: If you don't like cliffhangers, I suggest you wait until Requiem is released next year before picking up Pandemonium. Just sayin'.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the sequel to Delirium, a book I loved in 2011. I was afraid of the middle-book slump, that "second book in a trilogy is just a filler" feeling you get from the second installment in a series -- the one that determines whether or not you'll pick up the last book -- but Pandemonium surpassed all of my hopes. I, I KNOW I loved the sequel more than Delirium. Whereas Delirium was the build-up to an engaging love story, Pandemonium was wrought with the fears and circumstances of what comes after, in a world where love is illegal and punished.

Lena's life has changed fundamentally in the six months since she was forced to leave Alex at the fence and embark into the Wilds on her own. She is not the same girl. Lena has had to leave that life behind and forge her own way in the Wilds without Alex's help. And she's done surprisingly well for herself, considering how privileged her life had been before her escape.

Lena's story is not an easy one to tell, but Lauren Oliver does it beautifully. This book was poignant and sad and all the while hopeful. And it introduces an entirely new cast of characters, all of whom are hard to forget. I like that it's easy to see the general camaraderie between Lena and her new allies, whether they be other Invalids like herself or those from the inside. Either way, Lena has to earn friendships wherever she goes. She is no longer the scared, timid girl she was in Portland. She has grown stronger, both physically and mentally, and she is ready to fight against everything she believed before.

Pandemonium is just as explosive as the ending to Delirium. Nothing's really changed on the other side of the fence since Lena left it, except that the Resistance has stepped up its efforts, and the government is no longer trying to hide the fact that Invalids exist and are causing chaos. The DFA (organization for a Deliria-Free America) are using these attacks as evidence that the Cure should be administered even earlier than age 18, especially in extenuating circumstances. If Lena found any part of her world hard to swallow when she met Alex, I'd wager she finds it quadruply hard to swallow now. Nothing is ever as it seems.

As opposed to a switched POV, like many sequels tend to take on, Pandemonium features a past and present POV from Lena's perspective It really helps the reader gauge what Lena has endured and how it has ultimately changed her. I found this type of narration a little more difficult to read than a standard switched POV between two characters until I realized that it was kind of the same, the way Pandemonium is told. There is the old Lena and then there is the new Lena. Past and present. One character, then another.

Again, I'll advise you that if you do not want to be waiting for the third book with bated breath, you should abstain from Pandemonium. However, as sequels go, I will say that it was definitely one of my favorites. It made me endlessly sad, but it also filled me with a sense of hope and longing. It kept me thoroughly entertained and entirely engrossed in the story. It was the epic sequel to an epic love story, and I am starting to seriously question why I don't make myself wait until all the books in a series have been released before starting one because it is going to be painful to endure the wait until Requiem.

Rating:  Photobucket

Lauren Oliver discusses Pandemonium:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

In My Mailbox #20

Saturday, February 25, 2012 with 11 comments

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.  It's a weekly meme where we all get to brag about the books and swag we got in the mail, for review, won in contests, etc.

For Review:

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (His Fair Assassin, Book 1), ARC from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/HMH Kids -- sooo excited for this one


Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories by Lewis Carroll (part of the B&N Leatherbound Classics series)
Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead (audiobook)
Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead (audiobook)

I bought that leatherbound copy of Alice for a friend's birthday because she's a HUGE Alice-nut, but after seeing all of the offerings in this B&N series, I may have to get them all for myself.  Or, ya know, someone could get them for me since my own birthday is coming up.  And it's a big one.  And everyone always says they don't know what to get me because they can't pick books for me.  Well, here's the solution.  :D

Behold, the beautiful bounty of covers recently released:

Defiance by C.J. Redwine, 1st book in the Defiance series (Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads)
Glass Heart by Amy Garvey, book #2 in the Cold Kiss series (Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads)
Hidden by Sophie Jordan, book #3 in the Firelight series (Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads)
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, 1st book in the Grisha series, 2012 debut author (Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads)
Ten by Gretchen McNeil (Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads)
The Unfailing Light by Robin Bridges, book #2 in the Katerina Trilogy, 2012 debut author (Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads)

What a great week for gorgeous covers, huh?!?  Looks like I have some catching up to do!  I've got both books in the Firelight series already, but maybe I'll wait to read them until Hidden is released into the wild.  It would be nice not to have to endure the wait between books for a change.  Also, don't forget that for a limited time, you can pick up Cold Kiss, the first book in Amy Garvey's Cold Kiss series, for your e-reader for only $1.99 from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Friday, February 24, 2012 with 2 comments

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Title:  Hourglass
Author:  Myra McEntire
Series:  Hourglass
Publisher:  Egmont USA
Publication Date:  June 14, 2011
Source:  purchased

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

Any novel involving time travel is going to pique my interest. It’s just a given. And a book with a cover like that is going to grab my attention that much quicker.

I only thought this novel was about time travel. Okay, it is, for all intents and purposes, but I felt that too much time was spent focusing on the romance, and the time travel aspect wasn’t explored nearly as much as I would have liked. The foundation for the story is painstakingly laid out, and the pacing is slow, up until the last quarter of the book, when things picked up quickly and my interest in the story was once again reaffirmed.

For the most part, the characters seemed shallow and uninspired. I wanted Emerson to be excited about her ability, to revel in the fact that she was different, but she hides from it. That is, until a tall, dark, and handsome stranger steps in to save the day and tell her she’s not alone, that he shares her gift. Yes, seeing ghosts might be frightening at first, but it shouldn’t take a guy coming into the picture to open your eyes to the fact that maybe it’s not as bad as it seems. I like a good, strong heroine who’s not afraid to face her fears, and Emerson was definitely not what I was hoping for.

Enter Michael, the love interest. Right from the start, the reader is told that they have an electric connection. Told, not shown. That always grinds my gears. Show me a guy who studies a girl’s face when he thinks she’s not looking or subtle touches just for the sake of touching. I felt more of a connection between Em and Kaleb, Michael’s best friend, than I did between Michael and Emerson. Maybe that’s a hint of a love triangle to come, but I hope not.

I may not have much love for the main characters, but the supporting cast was a little more bearable. Emerson has a supportive older brother, who’s trying to get her the help she needs in understanding her ability, and his wife is the closest thing Em has to a mother now that her parents are gone. Absentee families are all too common in YA novels, so this was a welcome addition in Hourglass. Also of interest is the ghost that seems to have taken up residence in Emerson’s bedroom. This one she doesn’t seem to mind, for whatever reason, despite the fact that he’s an older gentleman.

There were some unexpected twists, and that ending did leave me curious for more. My hope is that more of Em’s gift will be explained in the next book because a lot was left unanswered in Hourglass. I mean A LOT. She barely even had a chance to explore her developing ability. But I should expect this, right, since it’s only the first book in a series? I don’t know. I really wanted to love this one. It started off alright, and then it was just okay. I’m telling you, that last quarter of the book really saved it for me, though, which is why I’ll be picking up Timepiece when it’s released in June. And in case you were wondering, it, too, has an awesome cover.

Rating:  Photobucket

Thursday, February 23, 2012

YA Paranormal Activity Giveaway Hop

Thursday, February 23, 2012 with 8 comments

Who doesn't love a good paranormal story?  That's why I'm giving away not one but TWO paranormal reads to you guys!  Two books with a signed bookmark each to two winners.  And each book is the first in a series with sequels scheduled to release later this year:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Title: Witch Eyes
Author: Scott Tracey
Series: Witch Eyes
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: September 8, 2011

Braden was born with witch eyes: the ability to see the world as it truly is: a blinding explosion of memories, darkness, and magic. The power enables Braden to see through spells and lies, but at the cost of horrible pain.

After a terrifying vision reveals imminent danger for the uncle who raised and instructed him, Braden retreats to Belle Dam, an old city divided by two feuding witch dynasties. As rival family heads Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe desperately try to use Braden's powers to unlock Belle Dam's secrets, Braden vows never to become their sacrificial pawn. But everything changes when Braden learns that Jason is his father--and Trey, the enigmatic guy he's falling for, is Catherine's son.

To stop an insidious dark magic from consuming the town, Braden must master his gift—and risk losing the one he loves.

Demon Eyes, the follow-up to Witch Eyes, is slated for an October release.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: The Faerie Ring
Author: Kiki Hamilton
Series: The Faerie Ring
Publisher: Tor Teen/Macmillan
Publication Date: September 27, 2011

Debut novelist Kiki Hamilton takes readers from the gritty slums and glittering ballrooms of Victorian London to the beguiling but menacing Otherworld of the Fey in this spellbinding tale of romance, suspense, and danger.

The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood--Tiki's blood.

Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched--and protected--by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen's son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist.

Prince, pauper, and thief--all must work together to secure the treaty...

The sequel to The Faerie Ring, The Torn Wing, does not currently have a release date but is scheduled for publication in 2012.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 with 4 comments

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Title:  Incarnate
Author:  Jodi Meadows
Series:  Newsoul 
Publisher:  Katherine Tegen
Publication Date:  January 31, 2012
Source:  ARC from the publisher

New soul

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul
Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?


Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies--human and creature alike--let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

I loved Incarnate. I love the whole idea of reincarnation and soul mates. Add to that dragons and sylph and other mythical creatures, and you’ve got a book that I would have read in one sitting, had work and sleep not interfered.

This is the kind of book you need an open mind for. The premise is very unique, which means the author has to explain A LOT. And, understandably, she doesn’t explain everything in this book since it’s only the first in a series. But the world that’s been built up to this point is phenomenal. One does have to make some assumptions about the setting of Incarnate, such as what planet, when, or what dimension this story takes place in – at least for the time being – but I think that those with a more active imagination will consider this a flight of fancy and can overlook the more minor details.

The cast of characters in Incarnate was well-fleshed out, and I think that they were described well enough that should I run across them on the street, I’d recognize them immediately. Ana is a newsoul, though she disparagingly refers to herself as a nosoul throughout the entirety of the book because she was raised by her crass and unloving mother to believe that she had no soul and would therefore not be reincarnated upon death. She is the first of her kind, and no one really knows what to do with her. For the most part, she is ostracized for being different, but there are some who either take pity on her or simply don’t feel that she should be made an example of, especially considering her birth and resulting newsoul status is through no fault of her own. Sam is her most strident supporter, and he quickly becomes her closest friend and companion, once she allows him to get close to her.

And, yes, as her closest companion, Ana ends up spending the majority of her time in Sam’s company, and as is the way with these things, feelings of more than friendship blossom. The love story is a familiar one in young adult novels: na├»ve girl falls for much, much older man-boy, and in order to protect the girl, the guy tries to keep his distance and keep his feelings in no avail. The guy always ends up falling for the girl in the end. The romance in Incarnate is much the same, but it’s still unbelievably sweet, and it progresses gradually.

The reincarnation aspect of the book is fascinating. It’s been going on for 5000 years, but with the sudden appearance of Ana, everyone begins to wonder if she’s a fluke or if her birth means the beginning of the end of reincarnation. It’s also interesting how many times the citizens of this world have been reincarnated, and that they keep their memories from previous incarnations. Stranger still is the idea that soul mates can transcend individual lifetimes, and though they may be different sexes or ages, they are still inevitably drawn to each other in the next life. Essentially, they’re all building on previous lives, not starting over each time. Well, everyone except Ana.

I really wanted to give this one the full five stars because I really did enjoy every minute I was reading it. But there were a couple of things that bothered me. First off, I really dislike the word stupid. It just carries such a negative connotation, no matter the manner in which it is used. And the word was repeated a lot throughout Incarnate. I just feel there are many, better alternatives to this word. Also, I felt that it showed no faith in the reader that the origin of the book’s title had to be pointed out in the text, rather than leaving us to infer how the title came to be.

Aside from that, this story was simply lovely, and I am already counting the days till book two is released. Rarely have I read such an inventive and imaginative story, and I was blown away with how it was all executed. This novel was one of my top picks for 2012 debuts and deservedly so.

Rating:  Photobucket

And without further ado, the trailer:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Today, the official cover for book one of Tara Fuller's new YA series -- Kissed by Death -- is being revealed. Behold the awesomeness:

Title:  Inbetween
Author:  Tara Fuller
Series:  Kissed by Death, book #1
Publisher:  Entangled Publishing
Publication Date:  August 7, 2012
Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.
It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn't let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

So, what do you think of the cover? Personally, just the mention of the word "reaper" gets me excited, but I'm a little twisted. :P

Saturday, February 18, 2012

In My Mailbox #19

Saturday, February 18, 2012 with 10 comments

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.  It's a weekly meme where we all get to brag about the books and swag we got in the mail, for review, won in contests, etc.

This was probably the best week I've had since I've been blogging. No joke. The proof:

For Review:

Black Heart by Holly Black, via a Southern Book Bloggers ARC tour
Clockwork Prince audio, written by Cassandra Clare & narrated by Ed Westwick (swoon) & Heather Lind, thanks to Simon & Schuster
The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman, from Candlewick Press via Netgalley

Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3)Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)The Obsidian Blade


Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver, courtesy of Our Book Report
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (signed and Hanklerfished), thanks to Andrea at The Overstuffed Bookcase
Nook Simple Touch from Trinity Feagan, author of The Mephisto Covenant, along with signed Mephisto bookmark

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)The Fault in Our Stars


Thorn Queen audio by Richelle Mead, narrated by Jennifer Van Dyke

Thorn Queen (Dark Swan, #2)

So, I had a great week...okay, the awesomest week ever.  How about you? :P

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Hop

Thursday, February 16, 2012 with 4 comments

Since this is the Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Hop, you don't have to jump through a lot of hoops to enter:  just follow me here on the blog -- either by GFC or subscribe via email -- and for an extra entry, follow me on Twitter.  Here's what's up for grabs:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Title:  The Wood Queen
Author:  Karen Mahoney
Series:  The Iron Witch
Publisher:  Flux
Publication Date:  February 8, 2012

Donna Underwood is in deep trouble. An ancient alchemical order is holding her accountable for destroying the last precious drops of the elixar of life. Never mind the fact that Donna was acting to free her friend, Navin, from the dangerous clutches of the Wood Queen at the time. But what the alchemists have in store is nothing compared to the wrath of the fey. The Wood Queen has been tricked and Donna must pay. Get ready for all hell - quite literally - to break loose...

Fabulous covers revealed this week -- and one book wasn't even on my radar until now...shocking, I know:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

What's in a name, Shakespeare? I'll tell you: everything.

Rosaline knows that she and Rob are destined to be together. Rose has been waiting for years for Rob to kiss her--and when he finally does, it's perfect. But then Juliet moves back to town. Juliet, who used to be Rose's best friend. Juliet, who now inexplicably hates her. Juliet, who is gorgeous, vindictive, and a little bit crazy...and who has set her sights on Rob. He doesn't even stand a chance.

Rose is devastated over losing Rob to Juliet. This is not how the story was supposed to go. And when rumors start swirling about Juliet's instability, her neediness, and her threats of suicide, Rose starts to fear not only for Rob's heart, but also for his life. Because Shakespeare may have gotten the story wrong, but we all still know how it ends.

I wasn't aware of this book until I saw it at ALA Midwinter.  Of course, the ARC only has a black cover, which made it all mysterious and such, so I had to grab it up.  But now that I know the premise, I'm even more intrigued.  I just love a good Romeo & Juliet retelling!

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In the fourth and final book in the Seven Realms series, the stakes grow ever higher as a series of murders raise tensions between the Wizard Council and Spirit Clans to a fever pitch. With treachery on every side, Han and Raisa struggle to fend off threats from ambitious neighbors while keeping the queendom from imploding from within.

I'm probably the only person I know who hasn't started this series...shoot, who hasn't even read anything by Cinda Williams Chima.  But that just means that when The Crimson Crown releases, I can read the whole series together instead of dealing with that agonizing wait between books.  Also, I do have The Warrior Heir on my Nook, but I just haven't gotten around to it.  Which series would you suggest I start with?

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In the future, only one rule will matter: Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed--arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know--especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

Until the cover reveal of Gravity, I hadn't heard a thing about this novel.  But it sounds right up my alley.  Aliens.  A forbidden love.  A smart heroine who should know better.  Yup.  I'm gonna have to give this one a go when it's released.  Also, the preorder price on B&N right now for this paperback is only $5.70, so it's a steal!  And you know I can't pass those up!

Are you going to pick any of these up?

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