Friday, September 30, 2011

The Iron Knight - Book Trailer

The Iron Knight
by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Fey, book four

Publication date: Oct 25, 2011

I *love* this series...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

If You Like: Stolen

"If You Like…” is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love.

Okay, so I'm way behind on linking to this, BUT if you liked Lucy Christopher's Stolen, check out these other great books and movies!

If You Like: The Jenna Fox Chronicles

"If You Like…” is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love.

This week check out some great recommendations for fans of the Jenna Fox Chronicles. I love this series! Science fiction at its best. I'm hoping that Pearson continues to write science fiction in the future.

All These Things I've Done

All These Things I've Done
by Gabrielle Zevin
The Birthright series, book one

In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family. (description from

This book *almost* earned a gold star. I LOVED it, overall. Anya is a great character. Overwhelmed by responsibility, emotionally wrung out, and yet she plugs away, pulling through, and maneuvering her way through a dangerous world. The world! Can we talk about how believable Gabrielle Zevin has made this world? Set in 2083, this is obviously in the future, and yet other than knowing about things that have become illegal, it feels as if it could take place tomorrow. There was never a doubt in my mind that this world could become a reality.

The designation of coffee and chocolate as illegal substances has created black market trading, which in turn has created mafia-like families that deal in these substances. Anya is a Ballanchine...and the Ballanchines are Russian chocolatiers. Seeing the Ballanchine crime family's interactions with each other and the outside world was fascinating. I loved how the family was ever present in Anya's mind.

The only thing that Anya considered more in her decision making was her religion. While some could consider this book as Christian fiction (because Anya is a devout Catholic, practicing to feel closer to her deceased mother), it never feels overwhelming. Some books have a religious theme that ends up overpowering the rest of the story. Here, it is just such a strong part of Anya's character that it only adds to the amazing story.

In fact, the only thing that I thought detracted at all from the story was that Anya would occasionally address the reader. The book is framed as a recounting of her early years, written almost as a journal. The reader easily forgets this, though, as the story goes on...until Anya suddenly addresses the reader...then goes back to the story. While not a bad idea in theory, in practice, it disrupts the flow of the story and feels jarring. However, it did not bother me enough to make me love the story any just meant that the book wasn't quite perfect.

I have high hopes that book two in the Birthright series will indeed earn a coveted gold star review. For now, my recommendation? Ummm...READ THIS ONE. It was great! (And if you loved Holly Black's Curseworkers books, you will LOVE this one...)

Full disclosure: Audio book received to review for AudioFile magazine, review copy received from Zeighost Media

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


So, I haven't been blogging as much lately, and even if no one noticed but me, I wanted to explain why. You might remember (or not...who knows) that I am somewhat of an amateur writer. I have participated in NaNoWriMo and I'm in a Writers' Group (with two awesome chicas!! Becca from Alice:Journey of a Fake Writer and Jen from Yabooknerd).

Well, I decided that I have to get serious. I want to publish a book someday and that means I need to buckle down and "Get 'R Dun," as they say...but with better grammar! So, while I will absolutely not give up my reading time, because not only do I consider it important research, but it is the highlight of my day, every day...I have decided to cut back on blogging. Not just actually posting on my blog, but I have also cut back on how often I read my blog feed.

It's been tough! I think I was going through a little bit of blogger withdrawl, BUT in the time that I was using for that I wrote a killer short story! Not only did I write it, but I revised it, and...submitted it for the National Writer's Digest annual contest. *fingers crossed* Realistically, I have no intention of holding my breath anticipating a win. I'm sure a bajillion people enter every year. Having the goal and a deadline, though, really got me to pump it out and make sure all my word choices were sharp, my sentences were concise, and that the characters and plot were developed just so...

Did I mention how *HARD* it is to write a short story?! So hard, but totally worth it. I have a real finished piece that I am eminently proud of and would love to share with the world at some point. For now, I await the decisions of others...and turn back to an older project. :)

All right, off to go read!

Cover Cravings...

by Kim Harrington
A Clarity Novel

Publication date: March 1, 2012

When you can see things others can't, what happens when someone is watching you?

Everybody knows about Clarity "Clare" Fern. She's the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past.

Only, Clare would rather not be a celebrity. She prefers hanging back, observing. Her gift is not a game to her.

But then someone starts playing with her head and heart. Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns. Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare's pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare's hopeful ex-boyfriend who'd do anything to win her back?

One thing is certain. Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon. Because the messages are becoming sinister, and a girl in town has suddenly disappeared. Clare needs to see her way to the truth -- before it's much too late.

BTW - This cover matches the new paperback cover for Clarity!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - book trailer

Oh My God...aren't you just dying to read this book?? I am.
Thank goodness it's finally out and I can get our Library's copy ASAP!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
by Michelle Hodkin
Release date: Sept. 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Thirteenth Princess

The Thirteenth Princess
by Diane Zahler

Zita is not an ordinary servant girl—she's the thirteenth daughter of a king who wanted only sons. When she was born, Zita's father banished her to the servants' quarters to work in the kitchens, where she can only communicate with her royal sisters in secret.

Then, after Zita's twelfth birthday, the princesses all fall mysteriously ill. The only clue is their strangely worn and tattered shoes. With the help of her friends—Breckin the stable boy, Babette the witch, and Milek the soldier—Zita follows her bewitched sisters into a magical world of endless dancing and dreams. But something more sinister is afoot—and unless Zita and her friends can break the curse, the twelve princesses will surely dance to their deaths. (description from

This was a really well done and interesting new rewrite of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I loved the fact that Zita was a thirteenth and utterly different princess. Her birthright added to the way that she was raised as a servant gave readers the ability to see into both worlds. So much of the story focused on Zita's life, her discovery of her birthright, and the development of her relationship with her sisters.

It was almost as if Zahler wrote a completely fresh story before she finally blended the original fairy tale into Zita's life. The magic was interesting and fun. The characters were strong, especially Zita, who was spunky, loving, and eminently loyal. I loved the relationships that she developed with her sisters, the cook, the witch, and especially Breckin.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
by Catherynne M. Valente
Illustrated by Ana Juan

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday. (description from

What a glorious adventure. Valente has managed to merge the feel of an old fairytale with the sarcastic realism of Lemony Snicket. September is a girl who is both immensely loving and emininetly practical. While feeling terrible about leaving her mother, she cannot pass up the adventure of a lifetime! To enter fairyland...who would say no?

While in Fairyland, September meets many interesting and unique characters. She travels to new and wondrous places. She is tasked to retreive magical objects.

While there have been many tellings of a child that enters the fairy realm, Valente makes this feel new and fresh. The characters are intriguing and unlike those I've read before. The aspects of Fairyland are amazing and unheard of in other tales. Each aspect of this story was just another layer that drew me in. One of the best things, though, was that even as I knew that September's story must end well, I appreciated some of the terrible things that she went through to come to a happy ending.

This was no Disney fairy tale.

This was real life and purely magical.

Full disclosure: Review copy received from Zieghost media and the publisher

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hush Hush - Graphic Novel Contest Link

Have you heard? Sea Lion Books is currently working on the graphic novel adaptation of Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush. Though it's not out yet, you can check out some sneak peeks on their website, check out this interview with the author Becca Fitzpatrick, and even purchase a limited edition prologue for the graphic novel (here).

If you do purchase the limited edition prologue, you can also enter a really cool contest.

Once you receive the book, take a picture of yourself with it and email the picture to Sea Lion Books along with a paragraph as to why you should be the next to make a cameo in the next volume of Hush Hush!

The winner will not only get to interact with Patch and Nora in the next Hush Hush Graphic Novel, BUT the illustrator for the graphic novel will also IMMORTALIZE you from head to toe in Patch's arms! Your image will be held lovingly safe in his arms! How awesome is that!!!


1. 1,000 limited edition prologues will be available for sale on Limit 2 please!

2. Once you receive the Hush Hush prologues you must take a picture of
yourself with it and post the picture on our FB page with a paragraph in
the comments under the picture as to why they should be the next to make a
cameo in the next volume of Hush Hush!

3. The winner gets an interacting cameo with Patch and Nora in Hush Hush
volume 2, and they get a unique one-of-a-kind poster with Patch holding the
winner in his arms.

4. The limited edition prologues will ship the first week of October.

If you love Hush, Hush, this is the chance of a lifetime!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


by Jennifer Donnelly

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present. (description from

A long time ago, I read Jennifer Donnelly's A Northern Light. It was great, one of those books that reminds me exactly why I love historical fiction, even if I never seem to want to admit it. When Revolution came into the library, I thought, oh yeah, I'll want to read that eventually and listened to patron after patron after patron come in and tell me how they absolutely loved it. It wasn't until just recently, though, that we got in the audio book and I decided, "hey I never actually read that, so guess I can listen to it instead!"

This book was an amazing pleasure! This is one of my new favorite books. I laughed. I cried. I cried. Oh yeah...I cried. This was one of those books that I would listen to on the way to work and then have to sit in the car for an extra couple of minutes to let my face become less splotchy before running in...and it was sooooo worth it. This was one of those books that had me making excuses to get back into the car.

Aside from a fantastic story with breathtaking emotional upheavals, the historical vividness was mesmerizing, and the blend of contemporary and historical settings was amazing. Donnelly is one hell of a writer. I loved learning more about the guitar and music in general. I loved the influx of scientific facts. I loved all of the familial relationships that were explored. I loved the romance. I loved it all.

This book officially earns a coveted GOLD STAR!

For those of you audio book listeners, this was also a great book to experience in audio format. The narrators were great. There was a sprinkling of guitar music and the lyrics were almost sung. It was engrossing and thoroughly engaging. Very well done.

Absolutely recommended to music lovers, history lovers, romance lovers, readers who love exploring difficult family relationships, readers who love to read about causes, and those who enjoy light time travel. Ummm, basically everyone!

Winner - Dreamland giveaway!

I am pleased to announce that the winner of the Dreamland giveaway (via random drawing at is...

Jessica Edwards!!

Jessica, check your have until Thursday, September 22nd to contact me with your mailing address so we can send the book out to you. Congratulations again!

In My Mailbox - September 18, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Every week bloggers can share what they received in the mail or at the bookstore or at the library. The goal is that everyone can be exposed to more books this way!

From the Library:

Stepping on Roses: Volume 1
The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

Rocket Girls: The Last Planet by Hasuke Nojiri

The Dark Hunters: Volume 3
The Dark Hunters: Volume 4

On My Nook:

Radiant Desire by Inara Scott
Frost Moon by Anthony Francis
*Thanks to Netgalley!*

Birthday Goodies!!:

Hourglass by Myra McEntyre
*Thanks to my lovely husband!!*

I also pre-ordered Scott Westerfeld's Goliath (signed!) and Maureen Johnson's The Name of the Star for my birthday. I CANNOT wait until they come in. I'm dying to read both!

A wonderful birthday week, book wise! Did you get anything great this week?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cover Craving...

by Veronica Roth
sequel to Divergent

Publication date: May 2012

I LOVED Divergent and cannot even tell you how excited I am for the sequel. It's going to be fantastic! Anyway, I love this new cover. The swirly tree is amazing, and I bet pretty awesome in person.

For more info, you can check out Veronica Roth's cover reveal interview with Entertainment Weekly here. *I love the joke about the third book's!*

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Phantom Limb

The Phantom Limb
by William Sleator and Ann Monticone

Isaac is the new kid in town. His mother, Vera, is in the hospital with a mysterious illness, and the only person left to care for Isaac is his distant grandfather. Friendless and often alone, Isaac loses himself in his collection of optical illusions, including a strange mirror box that he finds in his new house, left behind by the previous tenants. Designed for amputees, it creates the illusion of a second limb.

Lonely Isaac wishes someone would reach out to him, and then someone does—a phantom limb within the mirror box! It signs to Isaac about a growing danger: someone who has murdered before and is out to get Vera next. The only way Isaac can solve the mystery and save his mother is with the help of the mirror box. But can he trust the phantom limb? (description from

This was a book that had a really unique and potentially awesome premise, but the execution fell a little flat. There were parts that were confusing and not too well explained. Most of the characters were one-dimensional and in some cases a little unbelievable. Plot devices were dropped in deus ex machina style to make things work. It's a real shame that this was William Sleator's last book (he passed away in August).

Full disclosure: review copy received to review for SLJ

The Last Werewolf

The Last Werewolf
by Glen Duncan

Meet Jake. A bit on the elderly side (he turns 201 in March), but you’d never suspect it. Nonstop sex and exercise will do that for you—and a diet with lots of animal protein. Jake is a werewolf, and after the unfortunate and violent death of his one contemporary, he is now the last of his species. Although he is physically healthy, Jake is deeply distraught and lonely.

Jake’s depression has carried him to the point where he is actually contemplating suicide—even if it means terminating a legend thousands of years old. It would seem to be easy enough for him to end everything. But for very different reasons there are two dangerous groups pursuing him who will stop at nothing to keep him alive. (description from

Though the plot of this book was good, and intriguing enough that I wanted to know how things were going to end, this was not my favorite werewolf book. I had a couple of problems with it.

It was super introspective through the first half and I felt like it draaaagggeddd... Part of the problem may have been that I listened to this as an audio book and though the narrator perfectly matched Jake's character, the pacing was such that I had a hard time telling when the thinking stopped and the action started.

Though I don't think of myself as a prude, I did find myself bothered by the language in this book. Swearing is by no means off limits and especially not for emphasis, but Duncan relies totally on graphic language. He used the c*nt word quite frequently and I cringed every single time.

But, those were things that bothered me! They will not bother every reader. It's a strong, interesting adult book that many readers will love. *The ending is a killer, too!!

Full disclosure: Audiobook received to review for AudioFile
2011 Shifter Reading Challenge

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dreamland - Book Trailer and Giveaway

I am huge fan of Alyson Noel's Riley Bloom series! Here's the book trailer for the newest book, Dreamland:

Doesn't it look great? In Dreamland, Riley's finding that the afterlife can be a lonely place when all you do is focus on work. So she goes to the place where dreams happen, hoping to find a way to contact her sister, Ever. She meets the director, who tells her about the two ways to send dreams. As a Dream Jumper, a person can jump into a dreamer's dream, share a message, and participate. As a Dreamweaver, an entire dream can be created in a studio and sent to the dreamer. But Dreamweaving was outlawed decades ago, and the studio was boarded up. Thinking it's her only way to reach out to her sister, Riley goes in search of the old studio. There she finds a ghost boy, who's been creating and sending nightmares to people for years. In order to stop him and reach out to Ever, Riley is going to have to confront and overcome her own fears.

I can't wait to see what Riley will decide to do...

If you want a chance to find out what happens next in Riley's afterlife, you could win a copy of Dreamland right here!

Just leave me a comment with your name and email address before Saturday, September 17th and on Sunday, September 18th, I'll randomly choose and contact a winner! (US and Canada only per publisher) Good Luck!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Get to Know....Kelly Keaton!

Today, I am lucky enough to have Kelly Keaton on the blog answering a few quick questions! Kelly is the author of Darkness Becomes Her, the first book in the Gods and Monsters series. (You can read my raving gold star review, here!!) Book two, A Beautiful Evil will be out in February 2012 and I can't wait!!

1. I loved the way that you explored the decadence and rich history of New Orleans to create New 2. Have you ever lived in New Orleans? Did you do a lot of research into the city’s history?

No, never lived there, though I have dreamed of that for ages! I started my love affair with NOLA over twenty years ago and have just been gathering details in my mind with each trip, each fact, photo, or book I read. A lot of the info in DBH was pulled from what I already know about the city or from previous notes I’d made that I found interesting. Most of my research beyond that was map checking and fact checking or digging through my personal photos and such.
*I have to say that I've never wanted to visit New Orleans so much as I did after finishing this book!*

2. What was your inspiration in deciding to have New Orleans become its own independent nation, outside of US government control?

I had this vision of Ari in a dark, lush, creepy world ruled by supernatural beings, and I knew that in order to make that a reality I had to rethink and recreate the city a little bit. I’d always wanted to set a story in NOLA, but never felt I had the right one until Ari came along. It was a very natural fit and the world fell into place perfectly. I wanted the city to retain its unique characteristics and charm while creating a new era where the Novem is in control, where real life rules and laws don’t always apply. So the inspiration came from those ideas, to do something different, make new rules, and create a supernatural playground for my characters that would be incredibly gothic, seeped in history, and had such beauty and hope in the midst of decay.

3. What were your favorite myths to read while you were growing up?

Mostly Greek and Egyptian. Anything that I could get my hands on in regards to the ancients. I love the stories of Pandora, Persephone, Prometheus (what’s with all the P’s?, LOL). I had dreams of being an archaeologist and would lie on my bedroom floor with old National Geographic maps and Time Life books, tracing the journeys of Greek heroes and gods. I was in elementary school when I started doing that, so mythology has been a part of my life for a long time. I adore Arthurian legend as well.

4. I know that book 2, A Beautiful Evil, is slated to come out in February. Are there more books that you would like to write in the series after that?

Absolutely. I would love to write a 3rd book to, at least, wrap things up in a trilogy. But I can see going beyond that as well. I plan to write Violet’s story, too, as her past and what she is has been known to me from almost the beginning – and it’s pretty shocking!
*Oooh! I'm beyond excited to find out!!*

5. What was the last book that you read that you would recommend to other readers?

Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon.
*I just read this too! I love Sherrilyn Kenyon's books.*

6. Quick Picks: Favorite Vacation Destination? Beach. Favorite Childhood Book? The Black Stallion. Favorite Movie? The Fifth Element. Favorite Food? Potatoes, in any form (except raw) Favorite Clothing Item? Crazy socks and plain white V-neck T-shirt.
*I'll eat potatoes any way, too, even small pieces raw. I <3 Potatoes!*

Kelly, thank you SO much for letting me interview you!

If you haven't checked out Kelly's book, Darkness Becomes Her, I suggest you check it out ASAP! *Sooo good!!* For more information, you can also check out her website and like her on Facebook!!

Winner - All These Things I've Done giveaway!

I am pleased to announce that the winner of the All These Things I've Done giveaway (via random drawing at is...


Kim, check your have until Saturday, September 17th to contact me with your mailing address so we can send the book out to you. Congratulations again!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In My Mailbox - September 11, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Every week bloggers can share what they received in the mail or at the bookstore or at the library. The goal is that everyone can be exposed to more books this way!


*A very special shout out to my friend, Miss Kim, for getting me a beautiful hardcover copy of Divergent, one of my new favorite books, for my birthday!!*

For Review:

The Highest Frontier by Joan Slonczewski
*Thanks to Tor Teen*
The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson
*Thanks to SLJ*

Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith
*Thanks to SLJ*

From the Library:

Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien

On My Nook:

Reality Check by Niki Burnham
Haunting the Night by Mara Purnhagen

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
*Woot! Loving all the freebies on B&N this week!*

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Going Too Far

Going Too Far
by Jennifer Echols

All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far...and almost doesn't make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge -- and over.... (description from

Okay, I've already praised Jennifer Echols excessively recently...I know, I know! You're probably sick of hearing it. BUT, I'm telling you I've gone full-on fangirl for her books!

This one. I picked it up at bedtime...big mistake! Three hours later, having stopped several times to wipe tears from my streaming face, I finally turned the last page...and wanted more. I cannot get enough of these stories.

Sure, some will argue that the love stories are predictable. I don't care! Each character draws me fully in. They are wounded. They lash out. They love with passion. These are the contemporary stories that will actually hold my interest!

In this specific book, my heart broke several times. Once when I found out the reason that Meg rebels. Once when I found out the reason John became a police officer and haunts a certain bridge. Once when it seemed that they'd pushed each other too far to come back...and finally when resolution was found. Through it all, I smiled and held my breath, trusting Jennifer Echols to push me through.

Trust me when I say this. I will read all of Jennifer Echols' future books. All of them.

Black Night

Black Night
by Christina Henry
Black Wings, book two

Madeline Black is an Agent of death, meaning she escorts the souls of people who have died to the afterlife. Of course, not everyone is happy to see her...

If obstinate dead people were all that Maddy had to worry about, life would be much easier. But the best-laid plans of Agents and fallen angels often go awry. Deaths are occurring contrary to the natural order, Maddy's being stalked by foes inside and outside of her family, and her two loves-her bodyguard, Gabriel, and her doughnut-loving gargoyle, Beezle-have disappeared. But because Maddy is Lucifer's granddaughter, things are expected of her, things like delicate diplomatic missions to other realms. (description from

As I said in my review of Henry's first book, Black Wings (here), this is an urban fantasy that goes by in a flash. Maddy is a strong heroine. There are interesting paranormal beings (let's see, faeries, werewolves, fallen angels...yup, pretty much the works) and not only the cool urban setting of Chicago, but in this book we get to see one of the Faerie Kingdoms.

I loved how Henry layered in the interactions with the different species. It was awesome to see what J.B. is and how he relates to Maddy's mission from her grandfather. The way that their relationship influences certain things was interesting...

Again, I loved Beezle best of all. I really just want to reach into the book and pull that little gargoyle out to ride around on MY shoulder. He is so funny and wonderfully protective. <3

As I read about Maddy's powers growing, her understanding of her powers growing, and the revelations about what her destiny could truly be, all I could think was "how long do I have to wait for the next one?!" They haven't announced a release date yet for book three in the series, but Christina Henry's website says there will be at least six books in the series... :)

Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales

Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales
by Tamora Pierce

Collected here for the first time are all of the tales from the land of Tortall, featuring both previously unknown characters as well as old friends. Filling some gaps of time and interest, these stories, some of which have been published before, will lead Tammy's fans, and new readers into one of the most intricately constructed worlds of modern fantasy. (description from

Tamora Pierce is my favorite author. I love almost everything she's ever put out. She is an incredible world-builder and her characters have phenomenal depth. If you've never read anything by Ms. Pierce, this would be an excellent place to could read one story, or them all!

I loved that while some of the stories relate to Tamora Pierce's larger series books, each could be read individually, and some were completely new. One of my favorites was called "Huntress," and took place in modern day New York City, seemingly realistic fiction until Artemis, the Moon Goddess makes an appearance.

Fans of Daine from the Wild Magic series will rejoice to read a story about Kitten, her little dragon friend. Aly's fans (Trickster series) will love to read the story about birthing her triplets. Several others are set in the Tortallan kingdom and surrounding lands, but feature new and interesting characters.

The best thing about these stories, though, is that they can tackle tough topics without losing the reader's interest in the fantastic. Morality, murder, discrimination, sexism,'s all there with tough, interesting characters in fascinating situations to take it on. I ended just about each story with a smile on my face (sometimes a tear in my eye...) and a warm feeling in my heart.

Well worth checking out!
100 Most Popular YA Books

So, this is a list of what is supposedly the 100 most popular books/series in YA today. I found it over at What's Your Story, a blog I follow, who in turn found it somewhere else, ect. I have no idea who originally built the list and on what criteria it was decided, but I thought I'd go through and see how many I'd read anyway!

Bold means I've read it.
Italics means I own it, but have not read it yet.

Alex Finn – Beastly
Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
Ally Carter – Gallagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
Ally Condie – Matched,
Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1,
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2)
Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3
, 4)
Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3)
Christopher Paolini - Inheritance (1, 2, 3,
Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1,
James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2,
3, 4)
Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
John Green – Looking for Alaska
John Green – Paper Towns
Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2)
Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2)
Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
Lemony Snicket - Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
M.T. Anderson – Feed
Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1
, 2, 3)
Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Mary Ting – Crossroads
Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Meg Rosoff – How I live now
Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Michael Grant – Gone (1,
2, 3, 4)
Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
Neal Shusterman – Unwind
Neil Gaiman – Coraline
Neil Gaiman – Stardust
Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
8 )
Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,
Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Scott Westerfeld - Leviathan (1, 2)
Scott Westerfeld - Uglies (1, 2, 3, 4)
Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
Stephanie Meyer – The Host
Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching
(1, 2, 3, 4)
Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

Not bad! I'm proud to say I've read the majority of these titles. There are a few series on here that I've never heard of though, so I'll have to go look those up! How about you? Have you read all of these?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

If You Like: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

"If You Like…” is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love.

This week's recommendations are for fans of Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I loved this book!! (You can see my review here) Check out other books, movies, etc that might appeal to you here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


by Amanda Quick
The Looking Glass Trilogy, book two

Virginia Dean wakes at midnight beside a dead body, with a bloody knife in her hand and no memory of the evening's events. Dark energy, emanating from the mirrors lining the room, overpowers her senses. With no apparent way in or out, she is rescued by a man she has met only once before, but won't soon forget.

Owen Sweetwater inherited his family's talent for hunting the psychical monsters who prey on London's women and children, and his investigation into the deaths of two glass-readers has led him here. The high-society types of the exclusive Arcane Society would consider Virginia an illusionist, a charlatan, even a criminal, but Owen knows better. Virginia's powers are real-and they just might be the key to solving this challenging case. (description from

I thought this was another exciting book from Amanda Quick. Virginia was a likeable, strong heroine - capable of looking out for herself, which I love! - who happens to find the right strong man to match her. Owen was a smoldering, smart man who I really enjoyed reading about...

Funnily enough, my favorite character out of the whole book was the housekeeper! She was a spunky woman that I wouldn't mind seeing get her own story at some point. I also loved Virginia's best friend who ran a very specialized bookstore. There were lots of great characters in this novel.

I am again very curious to see how this works into the final book of the trilogy, set in the future. I love how Jayne Ann Krentz has begun crossing storylines over amongst her pennames to create a huge connected story world. Absolutely fabulous. Her books under the Jayne Castle name are actually my favorite, so I'm really looking forward to Canyons of Night.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Once In a Full Moon

Once in a Full Moon
by Ellen Schreiber

Beware of a kiss under the full moon. It will change your life forever.

Celeste Parker is used to hearing scary stories about werewolves—Legend's Run is famous for them. She's used to everything in the small town until Brandon Maddox moves to Legend's Run and Celeste finds herself immediately drawn to the handsome new student. But when, after an unnerving visit with a psychic, she encounters a pack of wolves and gorgeous, enigmatic Brandon, she must discover whether his transformation is more than legend or just a trick of the shadows in the moonlight.

Her best friends may never forgive her if she gives up her perfect boyfriend, Nash, for Brandon, who's from the wrong side of town. But she can't deny her attraction or the strong pull he has on her. Brandon may be Celeste's hero, or he may be the most dangerous creature she could encounter in the woods of Legend's Run. (description from

Having read the first few books in Ellen Schreiber's Vampire Kisses series, I knew that her audience skews a little younger. That being said, I thought that this werewolf book would be perfect to hand to a tween reader that wants to venture into the paranormal, but can't quite handle something like Andrea Cremer's Nightshade.

The characters were likeable, if somewhat tepid. The plot was interesting, though imminently predictable. It was an okay book, but nothing spectacular. For an eleven year old, though, it could be just the right thing.

Full disclosure: ARC received as a gift, e-ARC from Netgalley

All These Things I've Done - Book Trailer and Giveaway!

In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty.think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.

I think that All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin sounds amazing! I can't wait to read this one. Thankfully, I'll get to...and maybe, so will you! Thanks to Zieghost Media, I have one copy up for grabs.

Want to enter to win a copy? Leave a comment with your name and email address by Sunday, September 11th. On Monday, September 12th, I'll randomly draw one winner and they will have until Saturday, September 17th to get me the address (US/Canada only per publisher) where they would like the book shipped. Good luck!!

Cover Craving...

Touch of Power
by Maria V. Snyder
Publication date: Dec. 20, 2011

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life....

Winner - Vanish Swag

Okay, so I totally dropped the ball on this one and got caught up in family stuff and forgot to announce the VANISH SWAG giveaway winner!

So, very belatedly...

I am pleased to announce that the winner of the Team Draki Vanish Swag giveaway (via random drawing at is...


Read2Read, check your have until Saturday, September 10th to contact me with your mailing address so I can send the swag out to you ASAP. Congratulations again!

Winner - Hades giveaway!

I am pleased to announce that the winner of the Hades giveaway (via random drawing at is...


Violet, check your have until Saturday, September 10th to contact me with your mailing address so we can send the book out to you. Congratulations again!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


by Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Chronicles of Nick, book one

At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.

As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that? (description from

I love Sherrilyn Kenyon's books. Her writing is fluid, engaging, and highly entertaining. Most characters drop sarcastic quips like they are going out of style and I can rip through one in a couple quick hours. Love it.

All those things that I love about the adult Dark Hunters series are still found in the new(ish - I know, I know. I got this book soooo long ago, and just never got around to reading it!) Chronicles of Nick series. I love getting to see Nick as a teenager.

My only problem was that as such a devotee of the adult series, I had a hard time adjusting to the new world view in this book. I was confused for a short time before I realized that the whole point of this series is to change the events of the adult series! (trying not to be spoilery...sorry if it's vague...) Having finally figured that out, I was able to look at things from another angle and just enjoy the story without trying to place it into the timeline of the adult series.

All in all, though I still love the adult Dark Hunters books a hair more, this is definitely a series I will also be keeping up with....

2011 Zombie Reading Challenge

Justin Case: School, Drool and Other Daily Disasters

Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters
by Rachel Vail

It’s the start of the school year, and nothing feels right to Justin. He didn’t get the teacher he wanted, he’s not in the same class as his best friend, and his little sister, Elizabeth, is starting kindergarten at his school. Elizabeth doesn’t seem nervous at all. Justin is very nervous about third grade. And to top it off, he’s lost his favorite stuffed animal, but he can’t tell anyone, because technically he’s too old to still have stuffed animals. Right? (description from

Such a good book. I was a little surprised when I picked it up...for some reason I thought Justin was older than third grade when I checked it out from the Library, but it was still excellent even though it was really for a much younger audience.

Justin is a really lovable little boy. He is a full on worrywort. I had forgotten all of the things that had made me terrified as a kid! I loved that he had personalities for all of his stuffed animals and that he spent the year learning how to survive without his favorite, even though he missed it terribly.

In fact, Justin spends the whole year trying to become braver and watching him take this journey was very heartwarming. I rooted wholeheartedly for Justin as he made new friends, climbed the superhigh rope in gym class, and gets through the first few months of having a new and super drooly, excitable dog!

With cute illustrations and a great story, this book was really good. I hope that Rachel Vail plans to write another book about Justin's fourth grade adventures!