Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Meant to Be (31)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week, I am waiting on...
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Expected Publication Date: November 13, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte
Synopsis: 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.
Why I'm Waiting: This book sounds so cute. It looks like one of those books that just fills you with laughter and smiles. Plus, the cover is just so darn adorable. Reminds me a little bit of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? :)

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Publication Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: Egmont USA
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 387
Synopsis: 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?
Review: I had heard many amazing things about this book, but there are times where I just ignore what everyone says. For some strange reason, I didn't expect to love this book as much as others did, despite the praise. I was pleasantly surprised reading it, realizing that I thought this book was plain awesome.

   Now I know what everyone's talking about when they say that Hourglass is a fantastic read, because it really is. There's so much going for this book: a likable heroine, a very attractive boy, a fast paced plot, and a unique concept. Oh, and I am in love with Myra McEntire's writing. It's humorous and easy to read--exactly my kind of prose!

   Emerson is the protagonist and I liked her quite a lot. She has a good blend of snark, humor, intelligence, and emotion. She's determined and knows what she wants to do. Although she was sometimes very naive, I didn't hold that against her. Michael is the love interest. I definitely had a capricious love/hate relationship with him. Sometimes, I loved him, and other times, I wanted to slap him. With a brick.

   The concept of this book is great. The Hourglass is a group for people who can manipulate time. Seriously, how cool is that? Two thumbs up for time travel! I don't read that many YA books about time travel, but this one certainly is spectacular.

   Hourglass is an extremely enjoyable story featuring a strong heroine with a distinct voice, a fantastic romantic element, and time travel.

   4.5 keys.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker

Publication Date: April 26, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 317
SynopsisWhen a humiliating picture of Blythe goes viral, she's instantly the target of ridicule at her new school. To salvage her reputation, Blythe teams up with Luke to win the Senior Scramble scavenger hunt. But Luke is an unlikely ally and potentially can't be trusted.

Perhaps it's his Shakespearean witticisms that reel Blythe in despite her better judgment . . . or maybe she just craves the thrill of the game. But as the hunt progresses, their relationship heats up. Soon their madcap mischief spirals out of control. Blythe is faced with arrest and expulsion, among other catastrophes - until Luke shows her what the Scramble (and love) is really about.
Review: I'm going to be honest and say that this book has Anna and the French Kiss syndrome--an awful cover and an irrelevant/vague synopsis, but completely amazing content. I loved this book so much. I'm not sure if it's because I was in the perfect mood to read it (I was craving a light, cute romance so badly), or if the book itself is really that amazing, but either way, I loved it.

   Blythe has a perfect life at her old school. She's popular, pretty, and has many friends. But then her dad suddenly wants to move the whole family to Ash Grove district, because of his job. And... let's just say, the students there are not welcoming of Blythe. Poor girl. I really connected with her character and enjoyed her narrative a lot.

   The characters were all great and lovable. I loved Blythe, the main character. She was smart and funny, the kind of girl I'd be friends with. And I loved the way she spoke. She always sounded sophisticated and on point. I also totally fell for Luke Pavel, despite the bad first impression. He was adorably in his geeky way, and now, I want a Luke Pavel of my own, please! Cy and Jenna, Blythe's new (unexpected!) friends, were also fabulous. Hilarious and caring--just the way friends should be.

   This book was just pure entertainment to me. I loved every single word, every single plot twist, every single character. I just loved this book so hard. It's more than just a cute high school story, though. There are deeper undertones, without overwhelming the reader, and still being able to be called light.

   7 Clues to Winning You is a perfectly written romance that will bring a smile to readers' faces throughout every page.

   5 keys, for sure!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In Honor by Jessi Kirby

Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: eBook
Page Count: 240
SynopsisHours after her brother’s military funeral, Honor opens the last letter Finn ever sent. In her grief, she interprets his note as a final request and spontaneously decides to go to California to fulfill it.

Honor gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen Rusty in ages, but it’s obvious he is as arrogant and stubborn as ever—not to mention drop-dead gorgeous. Despite Honor’s better judgment, the two set off together on a voyage from Texas to California.

Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn’s memory—but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?
Review: I wanted to love this book SO BADLY. Seriously. I was pining for this book so hard, and I was so excited when I first started reading. But I soon found that I was not losing myself into the book. I kept feeling disconnected or not fully invested. That should've been a warning.

   I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy the book. I did enjoy it! I liked it quite a lot. Just not as much as I'd hoped. Honor bothered me. She was very naive and impulsive. Usually, I enjoy impulsive characters, as long as they can accept and comprehend the consequences. However, Honor didn't seem to do that. And by the end of the book, I was hoping for more growth in her character than what was shown. Again, don't get me wrong, she did develop into a more mature young lady. Yet, she still wasn't quite mature enough.

   Jessi Kirby is a fabulous writer, though. Her prose is so wonderful. If I weren't so lazy, I would get out my nook to quote some passages, but alas, I am that lazy. Some phrases stuck with me throughout my whole reading experience. Jessi Kirby's writing is not poetic, but it's still very beautiful. She especially depicts grief and freedom extremely well.

   I'm very glad there wasn't a huge romantic plot in this book. If there was a big romance in it, I would think that it's out of place. Luckily, Jessi Kirby manages to drop just a few doses of love. But Honor does say that she loves Rusty by the end, which irked me quite a lot. Mostly because I never fell for Rusty while reading.

   I feel like I'm just complaining. I'm sorry! I don't mean to come across that way! I actually did like this book a lot. It was just a tad disappointing and I couldn't fully invest myself into the book. In Honor is a heartwarming story about grief, love, and uncovering who you are along with what you want to do. I would definitely recommend it to contemporary readers, especially fans of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.

   3.5 keys. Almost a 4, but not quite.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Carnival of Souls (31)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

This week, I am waiting on...
Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Expected Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Synopsis: In a city of daimons, the Carnival of Souls hosts a deadly competition. Once in a generation, every citizen can fight to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures—if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.

In our own world, Mallory knows that her father—and every other witch—fled the daimons’ city long ago. She trains to be lethal because it’s only a matter of time until the daimons catch up with them.

While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans there for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence that is the Carnival of Souls.

From Melissa Marr, bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series, comes a brand-new tale of secrets, love, and the struggle to forge one’s own destiny.
Why I'm Waiting: Did you READ that synopsis? Seriously, it sounds so incredible! I need it NOW, please. I haven't read any of Melissa's other books, but this one sounds fabulous. The title is awesome, and the cover is stunning.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? :)


Monday, May 21, 2012

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Publication Date: January 24, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: eBook
Page Count: 240
SynopsisLast spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever. 

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists. 

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen. 

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...
Review: I remember when everyone got ARCs of this book in their mailbox and I was slowly turning into the green eyed monster. But now that I've read it, I can say that I needn't have let the green eyed monster peek out, because I didn't like this book as much as I thought I would. Which really stinks.

   I think the reason why I didn't like this book was because I couldn't connect with any of the characters. They all seemed dull or forced or a combination of the two. It was nearly impossible for me to feel for Nikki as a reader, because honestly, I couldn't find it in me to empathize with her. She wasn't especially annoying, but she wasn't someone I'd be friends with either.

   There's a weird kind of love triangle in this book. There's Cole, the creepy boy from the Everneath who is also kind of the villain. And then there's Jack, the boy Nikki loves. I wasn't particularly invested in either of them, but Cole was really weird, so I guess I'd choose Jack to be with Nikki.

   The plot is on the slow side, with small spurts of fast paced scenes. There's enough going on to keep a reader engaged, though.

   Everneath sports a unique twist on the classic Persephone/Hades tale with its own creative love story and mythology. I think overall, Everneath was a bit underwhelming and dry. The sequel won't be too high on my tbr list when it comes out, which stinks since the ending is a bit of a cliffhanger.

   2.5 keys.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Publication Date: January 17, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: eBook
Page Count: 248
SynopsisFor months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought.


Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.
Review: I. Loved. This. Book. I cried. I smiled. But basically, I loved this book.

   I read Unearthly in the beginning of this year and really loved it. But I think I liked this book more. I'm convinced that Cynthia Hand can do no wrong. Except for maybe kill off Tucker Avery, but I'm praying that she will never do that.

   Let's be honest here. I love this series just because I love Tucker Avery. I love him so much. I cannot imagine anyone picking Christian Prescott over him, because although Christian is a fabulous guy, he just can't compare to the perfect Tucker Avery. Now that that's out of the way, let's talk more about the book.

   Clara is confused. She didn't complete her purpose, and she doesn't know what's going to happen next. But she keeps on dreaming this one dream, over and over again: She's at a funeral. Someone she loves is going to die. Added to that awful prediction, she also has to deal with two amazing boys fighting for her love, a rebellious and angry younger brother, and, you know, college applications. There's a lot on her plate. I like Clara a lot. I find her relatable and she never bugs me, which is pretty rare. I am easily annoyed by protagonists, but that's not the case with Clara. I find her voice enjoyable and I'm okay with all of her decisions.

   There's a lot going on in this book. And I loved all of it. There's the bad guy who keeps on coming back. There's Clara's mother, who seems to be hoarding thousands of secrets. There's Tucker Avery, Clara's amazing boyfriend who can't know every single thing that's happening. There's Christian Prescott, who's closer to Clara than I'd like him to be. There's Jeffrey, who's just so angry all the time, I wanted to slap him. There's secrets, revelations, romance--and it all comes together to create a beautiful and amazing book.

   The ending practically had me in pieces. I need Tucker to be a huge character in the next book, or I'm going to hurt someone, I swear. And even though I love Tucker so much, I can't blame Clara for any of her decisions, because she essentially thinks she's protecting everyone and doing what's best.

   Hallowed is a fabulous and gorgeous sequel that had me smiling or in tears throughout the whole book--an instant addition to my "favorites" shelf. There were not enough pages and I am positively dying for the next book.

   5 keys.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Underworld by Meg Cabot


Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Point
Format: ARC
Page Count: 320
SynopsisSeventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn't dead.


Not this time.


But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.


Her captor, John Hayden, claims it's for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they've come back as Furies, intent on vengeance . . . on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.


But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there . . . and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.


And unless Pierce is careful, this time there'll be no escape.

Review: I'm a huge Meg Cabot fan and I really liked Abandon, so I was totally thrilled when I received an ARC of this book. Sadly, I think I was a little underwhelmed. I don't think it was the book's fault, to be honest. I think it was because I wasn't in the mood for this book, but I picked it up and read it anyway. I think that if I read it when I wanted to read it, I would've loved it!

   Pierce was a difficult character to warm up to in this book. I felt like she was crying on every other page. It wasn't the, "Oh my god, I feel so sorry for myself!" crying (thank goodness), but I still wished she could have kept her tears to a minimum. Nonetheless, Pierce had admirable qualities, such as her fierce loyalty and passionate love. She was also extremely kind. Almost to the point where it was annoying. Almost.

   Despite my problems with Pierce, I still consistently loved John Hayden in this sequel. Readers learn a lot about his character and his past. It's scary and brutal, but it made me appreciate him a lot more. Plus, he was such a sweetheart when it came to Pierce. What a cutie.

   The reason why this book underwhelmed is because I felt nothing much happened in this book. I often feel this with sequels. The plot was slow and there wasn't much action. But there was still enough going on to keep me intrigued and flipping pages.

   Underworld is a surprising and fascinating sequel to Abandon, adding careful depth to Meg Cabot's unique twist on the myth of Persephone and Hades.

   3 keys.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Don't Turn Around (30)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

This week, I am waiting on...
Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon

Expected Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
SynopsisSixteen-year-old Noa has been a victim of the system ever since her parents died. Now living off the grid and trusting no one, she uses her computer-hacking skills to stay safely anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in an empty warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, Noa starts to wish she had someone on her side.

Enter Peter Gregory. A rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance, Peter needs people with Noa’s talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation threatens his life. But what Noa and Peter don’t realize is that Noa holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who’d stop at nothing to silence her for good.

Filled with action, suspense, and romance, this first book in a new trilogy offers readers nonstop thrills.
Why I'm Waiting: My best friend and I have an [unhealthy] obsession with hacking. We find the concept so fascinating, and to see a YA book focused on it... Ah! It just makes me so excited. My friend knows all the terminology, so I bet she'd understand this book more than I would, but I can already tell that I'll love this book. It sounds so thrilling! WANT!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 525
SynopsisOne choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.
WARNING! There are spoilers for Divergent in this review!


Review: I waited for Insurgent for a year--which basically felt like forever. I'm sure you guys already know, but Divergent is my favorite book in the history of ever. So my expectations for Insurgent were through the roof, obviously. But oh my goodness, I've read it twice now, and I can say that it met my expectations.

   I don't think Insurgent was quite as great as Divergent. It was depressing. Books about war are usually depressing, but it wasn't just that. Tris was depressing. She was reckless and suicidal. It sincerely hurt me to read about my favorite character like that. She was a broken girl. She was being eaten alive by the guilt of shooting Will. Her parents are dead. Tobias is keeping secrets from her. And she's just positively broken. She did get better near the end of the book, but it still was very sad to read about Tris being so sad.

   Her relationship with Tobias in Insurgent was extremely rocky. It was not sweet and cute like it was in Divergent. Instead, it was intense and sometimes strained. They did have their "aww" moments, but for the most part, they bickered and were stressed and it just tore me apart. Tris and Tobias are my OTP, and to see their relationship being stretched to its limits was heartbreaking. But alas, it was very necessary, and now that their rough patch is gone, I hope it does not come again.

   The plot and action in Insurgent were just ABSOLUTELY MIND BLOWING. Seriously, you guys, Veronica Roth knows how to craft a thrilling, exciting, and unpredictable story line. It kept me flipping the pages like crazy (both times I read it!). I loved the action. I've definitely noticed the changes in my reading favors since reading Divergent. It's made me discover that I love action. Seriously. I love the shooting, the running, the fighting--all of it. I'm actually very worried about myself after realizing this.

   The rest of the cast was amazing. I loved the complexities in all of the characters. It was so surprising, finding out where the loyalties of some characters were. I would find myself thinking awful thoughts about traitors, and then later thinking, "Oh my goodness, it was a trick!" Or vice versa.

   All in all, Insurgent is a completely outstanding, utterly mind-blowing, totally jaw-dropping, action-packed gem of a sequel. Fans of Divergent will not be disappointed! Though Insurgent didn't quite live up to Divergent, I definitely do not regret owning three copies of this book. Now, I'm just going to sit in a corner, rocking myself back and forth until Divergent #3 releases.

   4.5 keys. (Because Tris being depressed/slightly insane made me depressed/slightly insane. It physically hurt me.)


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

INSURGENT IS OUT TODAY! - UPDATED


   Hey, everyone! Guess what.

   INSURGENT IS FREAKING OUT TODAY, THAT'S WHAT.

   CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS? I CAN'T. OH, GOD, AGAIN WITH THE CAPS LOCK ABUSE, I KNOW. BUT I CAN'T HELP MYSELF. SORRY, YOU GUYS. OH, WAIT, NO I'M NOT! HAHA, I'M SO EXCITED FOR INSURGENT? CAN YOU TELL? CAN YOU?

   It's out in stores TODAY. TODAY, TODAY, TODAY.

   By midnight, my e-copy of Insurgent will have been downloaded. I will be reading it all night long, probably pulling an all nighter. YOLO.

   I'll update this post later with pictures once I hit Barnes and Noble! -UPDATE- Yay! Pictures! Sorry it took so long.

I have a very small B&N, so sadly, this is as big of a production as a new release gets, ahah.

On the shelf. SQUEALSSSS.

Large stack of INSURGENTs on the floor. I wanted to just grab all of them and run. But that's illegal.

Up close and personal in the cardboard showcase. ;)

   Bye, everyone! Happy Insurgent release day!

   Oh, and the giveaway. Just leave a comment! Doesn't matter what it's about. Actually, I changed my mind! Leave me a spazzy comment, something relevant to this post, or just a random fact! Remember, the giveaway ends tonight at midnight! Leave comments on every post to earn more entries. Day 1. Day 2. Day 3. Day 4. Day 5. Day 6. Day 7. Here's the form!

   CONFIRMED WINNER of the whole countdown giveaway: SARAH LOREN.


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