Saturday, June 29, 2013

In My Mailbox #88

Saturday, June 29, 2013 with 14 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.

So, apparently it helps to vent.  Because after ranting a little on Monday, I feel soooo much better about this whole blogging thing.  Weird how that works, huh?  And I've been social!  I know, right?  ;0)  I reviewed a bit less this week, and I decided to keep the memes I already have going because they're fun and they kind of force me to visit everyone else, which I don't do enough of.  And I've taken on some new responsibility, but I feel less stressed about everything, and that's what really counts, right?

Now, if only I could stop acquiring new books and get caught up on the ones I already have.  *sigh*

For Review:

The Coldest Girl in ColdtownLosing Hope (Hopeless, #2)More Than ThisRelic

click on covers to be taken to the Goodreads page for each book

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black - Dude, it's Holly Black.  After loving the Curse Workers series, you know I had to check this one out.

Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover - Omigodomigodomigod!  I absolutely loved Hopeless when I read it earlier.  Thank you to everyone who rec'd it...I'm just sorry it took me so long to get to it.  But now we get Holder's POV!!!!  I may forego everything that's on my schedule and start this one as soon as I'm done with my current read.  I'm THAT excited!!!!

More Than This by Patrick Ness - Okay, don't throw anything at me, but this will be my first Patrick Ness book.  I also have A Monster Calls on my TBR, as well as the Chaos Walking trilogy.  I just have to make time for them is all.  :P

Relic by Heather Terrell - High fantasy.  You know I'm all over that.


The awesome, the wonderful, the always sweet Sunny over at Blue Sky Bookshelf and I had been tweeting back and forth about the Fierce Reads tour for a bit and we were both super excited to see Leigh Bardugo.  But then I fell sick and didn't get to go to the stop near me.  And I was sad.  But then Sunny, being the super duper sweet person she is, offered to get me a book signed by Leigh Bardugo.  I know!  She said that Leigh even knew who I was when she told her who she was getting the book signed for.  How awesome is that?  I squeed my pants when I read that in her was almost like I was there!  Except less awkward.  'Cause seriously, I clam up around authors.  They are my celebrities.  Anyway, I just wanted to share how awesome this girl is and how thankful I am to call her my friend.  I mean, when I asked her to see if she could nab me a "Let's All Privateer" button if there were any there, this was her response, "I will definitely try to snag a button even if it COMES TO THE DEATH". And that's a direct quote.  :D

So, that's our haul.  How about you?  What did you get this week?

The Week in Review:


Current Giveaways: June is Audiobook Month giveaway

Promotional/Discussion Posts:  SYNC's 2013 Week 5 offerings are up for download, with Rotters and Frankenstein up for grabs this week -- FOR FREE!  I also helped to reveal the cover to the first book in Victoria Scott's new series.  And I had a mini-freakout on this week's Symposium...on a Monday.  :P

Jen's Currently Reading/Listening:

TarnishBelladonna (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #2)I just realized that both of my current "reads" are historical fiction.  Oh, well.  Good thing I like that sort of thing.  :P  I'm almost done with Belladonna so I'll probably pick up a contemporary after this.

This audiobook is great!  Even better than the audio for Gilt.  And I actually like the characters this time around.  Helps that it's about Anne Boleyn, though.  That story is rather fascinating to me.

Mendy's Currently Reading/Listening:

45 Pounds (More or Less)
Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
I've had a lot going on, so I haven't read very much of this yet.  Maybe over vacation.  :)

Jen just finished this and loved it, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I like the accents in the audio.

The Week Ahead:

Reviews:  Stolen (audio) & Belladonna (+ a giveaway!)

A special announcement regarding some fun summer blog hops!

The cover reveal for A.G. Henley's sequel to The Scourge!

June is Audiobook Month Giveaway
And we're celebrating with a giveaway! Click image & enter to win!

Follow on Bloglovin
Like honest reviews & giveaways?  Be sure to follow us on Bloglovin' so you never miss out!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Review: Indelible by Dawn Metcalf

Friday, June 28, 2013 with 8 comments
Add to Goodreads
Title: Indelible
Author: Dawn Metcalf
Series: The Twixt, book #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Source: received from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Some things are permanent.


And they cannot be changed back.

Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.

Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future...and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

Somewhere between reality and myth lies…


Gosh, isn't that cover lovely?  And you know what?  It's actually relevant to the story for a change!  Based on that summary, I think I was expecting something much darker and sinister, though.  There is a touch of malevolence to it, but the novel actually turned out to be really cute and sweet.  The story is just as beautiful as that cover...well, until you know why the rose is important.  ;0)

First and foremost, this is a story about the fey.  The characters never explicitly said as much, but the implications are all there.  A plane of existence that runs parallel to our own.  Magical creatures of all shapes and sizes.  And the power plays among the magical beings that usually beget all sorts of trouble...for their world and ours.  (That'd be the evil I alluded to earlier.)

So, when I read that synopsis, I thought Indelible Ink was some kind of otherwordly company.  Instead, it is a boy.  Sort of.  I still don't know if Indelible is actually a first name or a surname or what.  Just call him Ink.  And his "sister" is Invisible Inq.  You can just call her Inq.  Confusing, no?  But it isn't really.  These two were created in the Twixt.  They were not born.  And so they are quite the mystery.  They are still a mystery, but that's what has me so excited for the next book!

This Ink fellow comes into Joy's life quite by accident, but once he's there, there's no going back.  Where Inq has learned to feel and act like a human, Ink is still clueless.  But his partnership with Joy changes all that.  I know I've said this before, but I just adore a character who has to be taught to feel emotions and how to behave normally.  Ink is no different.  And I loved that in learning his humanness from Joy, something so sweet and endearing develops between them.

I was expecting Ink to be some smooth-talking bad boy because the male lead in this type of story usually is, so I was pleasantly surprised by how lovable his character turned out to be.  Their little adventures while he was "on the job" were kind of fascinating, as were the creatures of the Twixt.  Actually, pretty much every facet of this story kept me captivated...except for all of Joy's family drama.  I could see that it was used as a reason for her to desire to escape into Ink's world once she got over her fear of it, but I didn't like that all of the issues that were brought up were simply being used to further the plot and weren't really explored.  It seemed like they all just got swept under the rug.  But, hey, maybe those will be explored further in the next book.

Which I am very much looking forward to.  And I can't wait to see what image appears on that cover.  Maybe Ink's mark?  His was the coolest.  =)

Rating:   photo 4-1.png

About the author:
photo credit

The role of Dawn Metcalf will be played by the tall brunette in the off-the-shoulder, floor-length leather straitjacket. Makeup by Clinique, buckles by Jada Pinkett-Smith, hair by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

I have no good excuse for the way I write. I lived in a normal, loving, suburban home, studied hard, went to college, went to graduate school, got married, had babies, and settled down in northern Connecticut. Despite this wholesome lifestyle, I've been clearly corrupted by fairy tales, puppet visionaries, British humour and graphic novels. As a result, I write dark, quirky, and sometimes humorous speculative fiction.

INDELIBLE: Book One of the Twixt is coming July 30, 2013 by Harlequin Teen. My debut novel, LUMINOUS, was published by Dutton Books in 2011.

Find Dawn:

WebsiteBlog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

So, I opened up my email as usual on Wednesday after a less-than-awesome day at work, expecting the usual SPAM and a few notifications of blog posts from my favorite blogs.  You know...the usual.

Instead, what I found was an email informing me that I've been selected as a Preferred Blogger for Paper Lanter Lit!  To be honest, after I applied, I promptly put it out of my mind.  I knew there'd be a slew of awesome bloggers vying for the ten spots being offered, and I didn't want to get my hopes up.  So, I was doubly shocked to open that email and find out I'd been chosen.  But I am so honored and excited!  I can't wait to start working with these awesome people and the books they're responsible for!

In case you're unfamiliar with Paper Lantern Lit and their work, here are a few books you might recognize:

Add to Goodreads
Title:  Meant to Be
Author:  Lauren Morrill
Series:  stand-alone
Publisher:  Delacorte
Publication Date:  November 13, 2012
Purchase:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

My FIVE star, totally gushy review can be found here.

Add to Goodreads
Title:  Venom
Author:  Fiona Paul
Series:  Secrets of the Eternal Rose, book #1
Publisher:  Philomel
Publication Date:  October 30, 2012
Purchase:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.

My review of Venom can be found here.  I just adore the new covers, don't you!?!  I'm currently reading the sequel, and it's totally even better!  Check it out:

Add to Goodreads
Title: Belladonna
Author: Fiona Paul
Series: Secrets of the Eternal Rose, book #2
Publisher: Philomel
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

In Renaissance Italy, love, lust, intrigue and secret societies converge to stunning results!

In the second in the stunning Secrets of the Eternal Rose series, Cassandra Caravello is trying to forget Falco, the wild artist who ran off with her heart, as she grows closer to her strong, steady fiancé, Luca. But Luca seems to have his own secrets. When he’s arrested by soldiers in the middle of the night, Cass’s life is once again thrown into chaos. She must save Luca, and that means finding the Book of the Eternal Rose—the only evidence that will prove he’s innocent.

So begins her journey to Florence, a city haunted by whispers of vampirism, secret soirees and clandestine meetings of the Order of the Eternal Rose. And home to Falco, who is working for the Order’s eerily stunning leader, the Belladonna herself.

Can Cass trust her heart to lead her to the truth this time?

Nothing is as it seems in this seductive thriller, where the truth may be the deadliest poison of all.

Look for my review early next week...and I'll be giving away my ARC!!!  :D

Paper Lantern Lit also has a couple of new titles I'm ruheally looking forward to:

Add to Goodreads
Add to Goodreads

I loveloveLOVE the cover for Being Sloane Jacobs!!!  Don't those both just sound awesome?

PLL is also responsible for The Fury Series by Elizabeth Miles, though admittedly, I've only read the first book in that series:

Fury (The Fury Trilogy #1)Envy (The Fury Trilogy, #2)Eternity (Fury, #3)
(click on the images above to be taken to the Goodreads page)

So, have you read any of these yet?  Do you plan to?  'Cause I totally recommend Meant to Be if you're a fan of contemporary!  That book was just so stinkin' cute!!!  Seriously, I gush to everyone about it.  =)

Gah, I'm so glad I can finally tell you guys my fantastic news!!!  Seriously, I am like perma-grin over here!  No joke!  :D  I shall now go forth and spread rainbows and sparkles across the interwebz to celebrate!

Covers By Katie
Okay, so I totally stole this idea from Sara at Forever 17 Books, who got the idea from an article on Babble called Judging a Book by Its Cover: A 6-year-old Guesses What Classic Novels Are All About.  I just discovered her lovely segment, and I immediately requested forced my own five-year-old daughter Katie to provide me with some of her own cover art artwork and then asked her what she thought the book was about.

This week, Katie gave me her take on the following book:

Add to Goodreads

"A girl found a feather and she got a little bit of the feather in her mouth and choked on it.  And then she died and she left blood on the feather and it leaked in the water."

Cover Art

Antigoddess as envisioned by Katiebug

I swear I didn't read the synopsis from Goodreads to her before she told me what she thought the book was about!  But, wow, how good is she?  Also, should I be worried about her?  :P  I can't wait to get to this book. I love Kendare's writing and I can't wait to see what she does with mythology.  She brought the creepy with the Anna books, and I'm hoping for more of the same.  And by the looks of the cover, I'm in for it.  :D

Have you read this book or do you plan to?  What do you think of Katie's guess at the premise?  

Did your little darling create a work of art based on a book this week? If so, be sure to link up with Sara over at Forever 17 Books.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Add to Goodreads
Title: The Moon and More
Author: Sarah Dessen
Narrator: Allie Gallerani
Series: n/a
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Source: received from publisher via Audiobook Jukebox
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

Sarah Dessen's devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.

Okay, so I'm late to the Sarah Dessen fandom.  And besides this book, I've only read one other by the author:  Along for the Ride.  How awesome, though, that the two books are set in the same town of Colby, with some cameos from characters I already know...even if I barely remember them now.  I always mean to pick up more Dessen books...I actually just purchased a couple from the used bookstore in March, but I still haven't gotten around to those yet.

I'd been contemplating this book for awhile, but when the offer to review the audiobook came along, I couldn't resist.  I'd not listened to anything from this narrator before, but I loved the audio for Along for the Ride, so it was a pretty good indication that Dessen books make for good audiobooks.  And the audio for The Moon and More was no different.  The narrator had great pacing and great timing, and though I think some characters could have come across better so as to stand out in the large cast of characters, I really enjoyed the presentation overall.

I think what I love best about the Dessen books I have read, and what most people site as their favorite aspect, is the family dynamic.  The families in these books aren't perfect, they have flaws and they make mistakes.  But even so, they grow and learn and become better together.  They vascillate between being good role models and being cautionary tales.  But they're realistic, and the fact that they're not perfect makes them a lot easier to relate to.

I also love that these are true coming-of-age stories.  Yes, there's some romance thrown in for good measure, but I didn't see it as the focus of Along for the Ride or The Moon and More.  In this novel, the "romance" -- I won't call it a love story because I never felt that love even entered the equation -- was probably my least favorite facet of the story.  From a whirlwind break-up to a whirlwind summer fling, I just never felt invested.

What I was most captivated by was Emaline herself.  Determined and level-headed Emaline thought she had everything all planned out.  Then her biological father enters the picture, stirring things up by offering to help Emaline out with college.  Then she and her boyfriend of three years break up.  She meets opinionated, artistic Theo.  Suddenly everything has changed and Emaline is just a confused girl, going through the motions while she tries to make sense of everything.  That summer right after high school is a rather pivotal time in a young person's life, and it endeared Emaline's character to me even more that she struggled with where her life was headed and who she was now, rather than having it all figured out like she thought she did.

I loved the hopeful, open ending of this story.  I love that nothing was set in stone, except Emaline's resolve to branch out on her own, to make decisions for herself.  And I probably liked best the fact that none of Emaline's decisions ended up revolving around a boy.  This novel was pretty much what I expected and hoped it would be:  a story of an empowered young woman, looking to make her mark on the world.  This is exactly the kind of book I could have used back then, and it's definitely the kind of book I'll hold onto for my daughter to read when she's ready.

Rating:  photo 4-1.png

About the author:

Sarah Dessen grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, graduating with highest honors in Creative Writing. She is the author of several novels, including Someone Like You, Just Listen and Along for the Ride. A motion picture based on her first two books, entitled How to Deal, was released in 2003. Her eleventh novel, The Moon and More, will be published in June 2013. She lives in North Carolina.

Find Sarah:

Website | BlogTwitter | FacebookGoodreads

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...