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Monday, January 31, 2011

Cover Reveal for New Ellen Hopkins Novel

The cover has been revealed for Ellen Hopkins new upcoming novel, Perfect.  Dum da da dum…..  HERE IT IS!
Amazing, isn’t it.  Why yes, yes it is.

Love Claudia Gray? Then You’ll Love This Contest

Hey all!  There is a new contest going on over at the Michelle Show.  If you enter, you  have the chance to win a signed ARC of Claudia Gray’s upcoming novel, Afterlife.  How awesome is that?!  I’ll be entering, so make sure you do to.  You can find the contest here.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Help Support the L.K. Madigan Contest

Recently, L.K. Madigan (author of Flash Burnout and The Mermaid’s Mirror) posted some devastating news on her blog.  To read more about Madigan, you can go here.  In response, Briana of The Book Pixie put together a contest to support Madigan. Many donated prizes will be featured, such as Delirium by Lauren Oliver, donated by Lenore of Presenting Lenore.  For rules and prizes, check it out here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Book Review: Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston

Title: Tempestuous

Author: Lesley Livingston

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: December, 2010

Hardback: 368 pages

Stand Alone or Series: Series–this is the final book in the series

How I got this book: Bought

Why I chose this book:  I read the first two books in this series, and thus had to finish the trilogy.  (Rarely, I will stop reading a series if it’s not good.)


             “I don’t love Sonny Flannery.”

              That’s the lie Kelley Winslow told to protect the boy she loves from a power he doesn’t know he possesses. Devastated, Sonny retreats—to a haven for Lost Fae that’s hidden deep underneath New York City.

             But Kelley’s not about to let things end in heartbreak. To get Sonny back, she’s got to find out who’s after his magick—and how to use her own. She’s got to uncover who’s recruiting Janus Guards to murderously hunt innocent Faerie. She’s got to help rebuild the shattered theater company she called family. And she’s got to do it all without getting dangerously distracted by the Fennrys Wolf, whose legendary heart of stone seems to melt whenever he’s around Kelley.


The Cover: I think, overall, I would give this cover a B+.  Why?  Well, I do love the fact that when they featured “Kelley” on the cover, they gave her an air of mysticality (I don’t think that’s a word).  She truly does look like one of the fae.  But my only problem is that the cover of every novel in the trilogy is similar.  A little too similar.  There are pros and cons, but I do like this cover.

The Characters: Sonny Flannery is my favorite character in the Wondrous Strange series.  Like an onion, he has many layers that create him.  His warrior exterior, his completing love for Kelley, etc.  Yes, he isn’t your typical male.  But your typical male didn’t get raised under the thumb of King Auberon in the Otherworld, trained to be a warrior since he would walk.  Most intriguing: Sonny’s got some secrets hidden up his sleeve.

Maddox has a small part, but I think he’s a riot.  He’s like the parent of the Janus Guards.  He wants everyone to get along.  He tries to do what’s right.  He’s always the voice of reason.  And he also throws in some do-as-I-say-not-as-I-dos.  (He warns Sonny against loving fae, when he loves a one, too).  Maddox really seems to be the glue that holds these characters together.

Kelley Winslow is relatable.  Not so much that’s she’s a faerie princess, but that she’s a teen living in New York City, dealing with the hardships of love, and wondering why she has to be the one to fix everything.  All the while trying to maintain a part in her theatre troupe.  There are times when I want to scream at her and her decisions, but it’s all a part of the growing-up-thing. 

The Plot: We follow Sonny and Kelley through alternating points of view as they each embark on separate journeys.  Sonny, still reeling from the last words he heard Kelley say, “I don’t love Sonny Flannery”, tries to find a new place where he can fit in and try to heal his heart.  Kelley, devastated that she had to lie to Sonny, searches for a way to gain his safety from a secret not even he knows.

All the faeries are out in this fast paced conclusion to the trilogy.  We learn all about the underground sanctuary of the hidden fae that are stuck in the mortal realm, or as they like to call it, “hereside”.  Things start to take a strange twist as Sonny falls into a camaraderie with Cary’s, warrier-fae and one of the sanctuary.

Meanwhile, the plot confuses readers as Kelley, sometimes falcon, sometimes girl, struggles to balance her responsibilities of the theatre, saving Sonny, and maintaining an average life.  Not without the help of her fabulous roommate Tyff, that is.

You will get a taste of everything in Tempestuous

Overall: I thought this was a great finale to a series.  It touched back on all the lose points, and left me with answers to everything.  Most important of all, I liked the ending.  (Fenn was making me a little nervous).  A good read.

Spare Thoughts: I really love books when they alternate point of view, and Livingston does not disappoint.  I was skeptical at Sonny’s truly gentle nature – I don’t think it resonates with the male perspective – but then I think that he was raised in the Otherworld.  He should be a gentle-soul. 

Final: I love living in the magical world that Livingston has woven.

Other books by this author: Wondrous Strange, Darklight

Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Title: Across the Universe

Author: Beth Revis

Publisher: Razorbill

Publication Date: January, 2011

Hardback: 416 pages

Stand Alone or Series: Series–this is the first in a trilogy.

How I got this book: Bought

Why I chose this book: I completely intended not to read this book.  I happened to think that it wouldn’t be my cup of tea.  But after hearing some raving thoughts about the novel, I decided to relent.  Thank the stars for my small will-power.


A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.


The Cover: I really love this cover.  It reminds me of the pictures that you can flip upside down, and they turn into something else entirely.  At my first look of the cover, I just thought that it was the stars with otherworldly colorful blobs going through.  Seems as I was wrong, since I realized they were faces.  If I had more than two thumbs, I wouldn’t be forced to give it only two thumbs up. 

The Characters: Amy is the first character introduced in the book.  At first, I was confused by her age, since her thoughts and actions fall in line with that of a child.  But it quickly becomes clear that this is because Amy is faced with a decision one has never had to make before.  Born on Sol-Earth (a.k.a Earth) Amy got to experience the true wonders of the world for seventeen years before being frozen so that she could be with her parents on the new Centauri-Earth.  But when she is unfrozen early, she finds out exactly how different she is from the society aboard Godspeed.

Elder was born and raised on Godspeed, never having seen Sol-Earth, never seeing the stars or even an inkling of the outside world.  So when he sees Amy for the first time, it’s no wonder she takes his breath away.  With hair like the sun (or at least, what he imagines the sun to be like) he is drawn to her.  But Elder also faces great responsibilities.  As Elder, he will be the next to lead the ship, and its people.  Albeit, he doesn’t know if he has what it takes to be leader.

Eldest is conniving and evil.  It’s evident the first time he is introduced.  Yet, why then are all the people of Godspeed drawn to him, obeying him without question.  In the center of society, Eldest is seen as family, a loving grandfather that takes care of his people, always putting them first.  But in private, Elder gets to see Eldest’s true side.

The Plot: Oddly enough, as I started reading this book, I happened to be dead tired, and only managed to devour the first nine chapters.  But, as I fell into some kind of half-sleep that I do so well, my brain decided to finish the story for me.  What an experience.  Somewhere along the way, Elder turned into Prince William, and I into Amy, who was in search of every book ever written by the Prince.  Hm.  Thank you Across the Universe.

Across the Universe starts off quick paced, grabbing the readers attention, and drawing you through the entire novel.  I admit, I had a hard time setting this novel down.  With it’s witty twist of language (uni, frex, chutz) and amazing description of this dystopian lifestyle.  Living on Godspeed, the enormous ship traveling for three centuries to a new planet and life called Centauri-Earth, seems both fascinating and frightful.  Every person is mono-ethnic, looking the same, and they all manage to stay alive by following their leader, Eldest, and preparing for follow their leader-to-be, Elder.

Revis has a way of touching down on topics that most would like to forget.  The all encompassing fear of being trapped inside a metal cage for your entire life, the disturbingly detailed process of cryogenics, losing everything you once knew and loved, and dealing with the impossibility of having it again.  Not to mention some murder.

Overall: Across the Universe is widely creative.  Beyond creating a new society, a new world, she has added the details that span all imagining.  The behavior of these new individuals, their lifestyle, etc.  I found myself actually coming to terms that these people act this way because that is how they were raised.  I found myself sympathizing for Elder and Amy, because they will never be alike, they are worlds apart.

Spare Thoughts: I’ve seen that there are a few (a very small few) who didn’t enjoy the book as much as I did.  And that’s alright; not everyone likes the same type of book.  But if you happen to be holding off on reading this for anticipation that you won’t like it, I would suggest giving it a try.

Final: Across the Universe is a brilliantly written masterpiece.

Monday, January 24, 2011

7 Reasons Why I (and everyone else) Loves Richelle Mead and Vampire Academy

1. Anyone who can create another society deserves recognition.  I live in Pennsylvania, and trust me; I’ll be looking for this hidden royal court in my spare time.  Not only that, but she incorporates humans into the mix as well.  

2. Her originality is outstanding.  Yes, we’ve all heard of vampire-mania, but Mead has brought something completely different to the scene.  She’s included history, fancy names, magic, and so much more.

3. Anyone can write about love.  Not everyone can write about love well.  But the relationships in the Vampire Academy series are ones that I’m sure will stick with me forever.  The love between Rose and Dimitri is so complex and so sincere—one can only hope to find love like that someday.  It’s truly touching.

4. Have you ever got that feeling where you’re reading a book, and the rabid butterflies in your stomach go beserk, and your heart start beating faster with each turn of the page?  Maybe that’s just me, but I think this means something. 

5. I love Richelle Mead’s writing style.  It captures the teen voice to perfection.  It’s straight-forward, yet intricate.  Simply put: it’s badass.

6. From the very beginning of Vampire Academy, Mead has woven her characters beautifully.  They have so much depth, such reality…  I could go on here, but I think they’re pretty much perfect.  We get intimate with the characters in the first novel, yet somehow we learn more and more about them right until the last page.  I especially like how Mead shows Rose not as a “victim” but as a survivor.

7. I think Richelle Mead is secretly a god (sorry, goddess) hiding in a mortal’s body.  I’m on to you, Richelle!

Got a reason why you love Richelle Mead?  Let us know in the comments!

Top 20 Book to Look Forward to in 2011

1. Angel by James Patterson–Available February 14th (Singles Awareness Day)

2. Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder #2) by Kimberly Derting–Available February 15t

3. Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins–Available March 1st

4. Afterlife: an Evernight novel by Claudia Gray–Available March 8th

5. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare–Available April 5th
6. Defiance: a Strange Angels novel by Lili St. Crow–Available April 19th
7. We’ll Always Have Summer (Summer #3) by Jenny Han–Available April 26th
8. So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti–Available May 3rd
9. Shift (Shade #2) by Jeri Smith-Ready–Available May 3rd
10. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen–Available May 10th
11. The Ivy: Secrets by Lauren Kunze–Available May 31st
12. He’s So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott–Available June 7th
13. Passion: a Fallen novel by Lauren Kate–Available June 14th
14. Sometimes it Happens by Lauren Barnholdt–Available July 12th
15. Forever (Shiver #3) by Maggie Stiefvater–Available July 12th
16. Eternal (Immortal #3) by Gillian Shields–Available August 2nd
17. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead–Available August 23rd
18. Swear by Nina Malkin–Available September 6th
19. The Hidden (The Hollow #3) by Jessica Verday–Available September 6th
20. So Silver Bright: Theatre Illuminata Series by Lisa Mantchev
Got a book you’re looking forward to this year?  Let us know in the comments!

Book Review: Last Sacrafice by Richelle Mead

Title: Last Sacrifice

Author: Richelle Mead

Publisher: Razorbill

Publication Date: December, 2010

Hardback: 594 pages

Stand Alone or Series: Series–this is the conclusion of the series.

How I got this book: Merry Christmas!

Why I chose this book:  Anyone who has read the VA series (even if just the first one) knows that it’s impossible not to read on.  I was anxious just to start reading!


              Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules.  She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa.  She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri.  And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of teh Moroi world, risiking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.

             Now the law has finally caught up with Rose–for a crime she didn’t even commit.  She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch.  She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force Moroi elite to acknoledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.  

            But the clock on Rose’s life is running out.  Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back…and this time she is truly out of second chances.  The big question if, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?            


The Cover:  The cover to Last Sacrifice is very similar to all the other VA books.  Therefore, I’m half and half on the cover.  For such an EPIC series–I think the covers could have some more…pizazz.  But before you start on the hate mail, know that I am not completely against the covers.  There is a nicety in its simplicity.  Enough said.

The Characters:  Rose is one of my favorite heroines of all time.  And why wouldn’t she be?  She’s badass, strong, confident, and always knows what she’s doing.  One of my favorite parts of this book is how rose explains that she’s not a victim.  How out of all the horrible situations she’s been dropped into, she never thought of herself as a victim.  She’s a fighter. 

Dimitri.  Oh, Dimitri.  You make me furious, yet swoon.  It’s no surprise Rose can’t live without you.  As we go through the book (the whole series, actually) you come to realize Dimitri is not a character you can easily get a feeling for.  He’s confusing.  And that’s what I love about him; I don’t know what he’ll do next.  I know he’s in love with Rose–but sometimes he can fool you.  But underneath that godly tough exterior, there’s a big softy. 

Lissa is a character I can go back and forth on.  I can hate her when I know how much she depends on Rose.  Sometimes she’s clueless as to just how much Rose has given up for her.  And other times, you can’t help but love her when she sees the rightness in all people.  Nevertheless, while she might not be one of my favorite characters, she is truly unique.

The Plot:  Rose is a murderer.  No, she’s not, but that’s not what everyone else believes.  In the stunning conclusion of Mead’s last VA book, Spirit Bound, Queen Tatiana is found dead, with Rose’s stake through her heart.  Wow.  Talk about some hard evidence.  The only people that believe in her innocence is her closest friends and family. 

Rose, now stuck in a cell somewhere below the royal court, is trying to facing the fact that she may die.  Because royal murders don’t end up in prison.  They get executed. 

But things take on a confounding turn that result in Rose and Dimitri alone together and on the run.  They each have to confront their feelings–for each other and for themselves– and solve a task that seems next to impossible.

Overall:  This book left me speechless.  Everything about it was stunning–and I sincerely wish I could go back and time and take this journey all over again.

Spare thoughts:  I’m so sad to see this series end.  It almost makes me want to kidnap Mead and make her write more Rose adventures.  (I said ALMOST). 

Final: Riveting, epic, magnificent, reading Last Sacrifice is like being given a reason for living.

Other books by this author: Georgina Kincaid Series, Dark Swan Series, Vampire Academy Series