Tuesday, November 29, 2011


by Sophie Jordan
Firelight, book two

An Impossible Romance.
Bitter Rivalries.
Deadly Choices.

To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love? (description from

Again, I commend Sophie Jordan on being able to write one steamy, non-graphic romance! These scenes make me have to stop and check that the pages are not singed beneath my fingers. Perhaps it's the fact that Jacinda has a little fire burning within her, but every time she starts to feel the heat with a guy, flames seem to literally lick off of the pages. *wipes forehead*
So good!

I loved that this book took place within the Draki Pride. We got to see so much more of how their day to day lives worked...their secrets...their rituals. There was more description of the different types of Draki and we got to see them in action. <3

My heart broke for several of the characters. There's a lot of unrequited love (/stalker-esque obsession/passion) going on in this book. Without giving spoilers, I can really only say that I am SUPER intrigued to see how the group that leaves the Pride at the end is going to interact later as they all have some very convoluted feelings...

I cannot wait for the next Draki adventure!! TEAM DRAKI all the way :)

Full disclosure: ARC received from NetGalley

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Check out this cool new mini-trailer I made for Beth Revis' Across the Universe on Animoto!

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Monday, November 28, 2011

Working Stiff

Working Stiff
by Rachel Caine
The Revivalist, book one

Bryn Davis was killed on the job after discovering her bosses were selling a drug designed to resurrect the dead. Now, revived by that same drug, she becomes an undead soldier in a corporate war to take down the very pharmaceutical company responsible for her new condition... (description from

This was a surprisingly believable version of a zombie tale. It was one I picked up for fun because I love Rachel Caine's books and because I've become somewhat obsessed with the zombie apocalypse concept...but, I really, really enjoyed this one - and not just as the "breeze through it" kind of read!

Bryn was a really interesting, really strong character. A former soldier, she chooses to honor the dead that she saw so often on the battlefield by going into the mortuary science field. Unfortunately, she doesn't last through her first day at work. Now, she has to figure out how to live with being undead. *smirk*

What surprised me most is that there is a romance component to this book and rather than being totally turned off, I found it really sweet! They even really address the issue like adults (that was a slightly hilarious scene)...

All in all a fun read. I think I'll pick up book two when it hits the shelves.

2011 Zombie Reading Challenge title


by Caragh O'Brien

In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the wall and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife, Gaia Stone, who live outside. Gaia has always believed it is her duty, with her mother, to hand over a small quota of babies to the Enclave. But when Gaia’s mother and father are arrested by the very people they so dutifully serve, Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught to believe. Gaia’s choice is now simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying. (description from

I really enjoyed this dystopia. I thought that O'Brien did a really great job slowly revealing where and when this took place. (I really enjoyed having the included "map" of the area to reference, too...) I thought it was an interesting conundrum to address...what would happen if an insular society kept breeding only within its own walls...

I really enjoyed how sheltered Gaia was initially and how she slowly begins to piece together the moral horrors of her "perfect" enclave society. It made her seem a much stronger character that she was just innocent of the knowledge originally and then as she came to learn things, she faced them head on, refusing to back down from what she knew was right.

I really felt like all the secrets connected to her nuclear family really brought home all of the dysfunctions of this society, too. Gaia was not above dealing with any of the issues, because each affected her directly in some way.

Well done. I'm looking forward to reading Prized soon!

My big gift for the holidays? A new job!!

I am super excited.
It's finally official.

I gave my notice at my current job today, and the countdown is on...
Starting the week after Christmas I will be the new Youth Services Librarian at the West Springfield Public Library in Massachusetts!

It's hilarious because, even though I live in CT, I already live close enough to the Mass border that my new job will be a closer drive, even though it's technically a state away! LOL.

I'm excited to see all of the new, exciting things that I will get to experience in a new place, and though I will sincerely miss all of my CT Librarian friends, I'm not moving away, so I'm sure we'll still find ways to get together!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


by Christopher Paolini
Inheritance Cycle, book four

Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.

Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.

The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaƫsia? And if so, at what cost? (description from

It's going to be hard to write a decent review of this book without being spoilery, but I'm going to try.

As with Paolini's second and third book, there were moments that I felt dragged a little. It's hard not to have that happen, though, when you are writing a book about such an epic journey to the destruction and recreation of a kingdom. Even Tolkein's epic Lord of the Rings trilogy had moments that felt too long.

However, aside from some slight draggishness in certain parts, I thought Paolini did an excellent job ending this series. There were no easy outs. It was a very difficult and illuminating journey. Many of the characters suffered and learned new things about themselves and where they stand in regards to the other Alagaesians. Though my heart ached in spots, this was a very realistic ending.

While parts made me tear up, and I somehow wished that the ending could have been changed just a little (even as I fully acknowledged that this ending was right), other parts made my heart sing. For every shred of doubt and darkness in this book, there is a shining beacon of hope. It is very well balanced.

When I finished, I was satisfied. Though there are a few more things I would like to learn....I have my suspicions about a few things, too (like who Angela the herbalist may really be...), and thankfully Paolini says in his author's note that though there will not be any more books featuring this specific cast of main characters, he plans to someday revisit Alagaesia and perhaps shine some light on those questions unanswered. YAY!

Full disclosure: Audio book received to review for AudioFile

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cover Craving...

Just for Fins
by Tera Lynn Childs
Fins series, book three

Isn't this another fantastic cover for a mermaid book??

Publication date: July 3, 2012

When Lily Sanderson decided to remain Crown Princess Waterlily of the mermaid kingdom Thalassinia, she knew she couldn’t just coast along in the current. But since she’s spent the last couple of years on land—with gorgeous human Quince by her side—Lily’s not sure she has the fins to lead a kingdom. Even her maddeningly pretentious cousin Dosinia seems to know more about ruling than she does.

But Lily has to dive in deep to keep her promise to Tellin, her mer bond in name only, whose kingdom is suffering in the changing ocean climate. Lily knows this is a seven seas–sized problem: from sea animals dying to oil spills and threats to humans. They’ll need to create some serious waves to make the mer community aware and get it to join together to make things right. Even if that means facing one of the iciest queens in the mer kingdoms.

Just when Lily thinks her double life on land and sea can’t get any more complicated, an ancient mer law might separate Lily and Quince after all. It feels as if the pair is up against a solid tsunami wave!

In this third installment in the series that began with Forgive My Fins and Fins Are Forever, Lily will have to find a way to balance safety and justice for the mer people as well as for the humans she loves. (description from

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door
by Stephanie Perkins
companion to Anna and the French Kiss

For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous, the outfit-—more sparkly, more fun, more wild-—the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins move back into the house next door.

When the family returns and Cricket-—a gifted inventor and engineer—steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. (description from

Stephanie Perkins truly has a gift! She writes budding romance like no other currently in contemporary YA. Her romances are natural, realistic, believable, and swoon-worthy.

I was beyond delighted with many facets of this book. First off, can I just say, HOORAY for a love for the BOY NEXT DOOR!! I am a HUGE fan of this type of romance - boy next door, best friend since forever, etc. - and definitely feel that these nice guys do not get the recognition and love that they deserve often enough. Super huge kudos for that.

Second, I loved that Lola had two Dads. I loved that it was just the make-up of their family and there was no drama about that. It's just who they were. I loved that they were the guys that they were, too. They were both good, caring, fun Dads.

I loved that Lola was...well, Lola. She was fun, she was free, she experimented, she pushed the envelope, and she didn't apologize for herself. I felt so bad when someone else caused her to begin to doubt herself, and was so glad when Cricket reminded her that who she was...was just perfect. <3

I loved the way that Lola and Cricket interacted with each other. I loved the way that they strengthened each other. I loved the way that though they may have each doubted themselves, they never doubted each other. I loved their love. Every time I look up into the sky at night from this day forward, I will look at the stars and think of Lola and Cricket.

Worthy of a gold star? Absolutely. You should read this one immediately.


by Rebecca Barnhouse
companion to The Coming of the Dragon

Publication date: March 27, 2012

Sixteen-year-old Hild has always been a favorite of her uncle, king of the Shylfings. So when she protects her cousin the crown prince from a murderous traitor, she expects the king to be grateful. Instead, she is unjustly accused of treachery herself.

As punishment, her uncle sends Hild far away to the heir of the enemy king, Beowulf, to try to weave peace between the two kingdoms. She must leave her home and everyone she loves. On the long and perilous journey, Hild soon discovers that fatigue and rough terrain are the least of her worries. Something is following her and her small band of guards—some kind of foul creature that tales say lurks in the fens. Will Hild have to face the monster? Or does it offer her the perfect chance to escape the destiny she never chose? (description from

I thought that Hild was a very brave and honorable character. She is accused of great treachery and banished from her home, yet she still does what she knows is right and saves the lives of those who do not care for her. She manages to earn their respect and love. As she becomes resigned to the fact that she cannot change her fate, she chooses to embrace it and the good that it will mean someday to her new people.

I really enjoyed the slightly magical adventure that is Hild's journey to her new kingdom. I would be very interested to read a sequel, though, to see how things progress as Hild becomes Queen. I also want to go back at some point to read the story of the dragon that destroys what is to become her new home.

This reminded me in a lot of ways of Megan Whalen Turner or Shannon Hales' books, though not quite as standout. More of a way to ease into this specific type of historical fantasy.

Full disclosure: ARC received to review for VOYA

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


by Claudia Gray

Eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, troubled family she serves. It’s 1912, and Tess has been trapped in the employ of the Lisles for years, amid painful memories and twisted secrets. But now the Lisle family is headed to America, with Tess in tow. Once the ship they’re sailing on—the RMS Titanic—reaches its destination, Tess plans to strike out and create a new life for herself.

Her single-minded focus shatters when she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets of his own. He’s in a hurry to leave Europe, and whispers aboard the ship say it’s because of the tragic end of his last affair with the French actress who died so gruesomely and so mysteriously. . . .

Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves exist and are stalking him—and now her, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over. (description from

To be totally honest, I had no idea if I was going to like this book or not! It's one of those premises that I was like, "this could be totally AWESOME, or it could really suck." Thankfully, it turned out really good!!

I felt an immediate connection to Tess and just kept hoping against hope that she would be able to get herself out of the awful situation that she was living in. Surprisingly, what I had been worrying about the most, the werewolves...on a ship..., turned out to be pretty believable. I really liked the mythology behind the werewolves and the explanation of why they might end up on a transatlantic cruise.

I also really liked the fact that though Tess and Alec meet and develop feelings for each other very quickly, that the author went to pains to make their interactions feel realistic. Tess wanted to avoid all confrontations, but kept getting thrust into dangerous situations. Alec wanted to keep Tess, a strange and vulnerable girl, safe, but as he got to know her inner strength, he came to want to spend time with her. It was NOT instant goo-goo eyes love. *thank god.*

The very end felt a little too easily wrapped up in some ways, but I enjoyed the beginning so much that I'm hoping the author will follow this book up with another Tess and Alec adventure!

2011 Shifter Reading Challenge title

A SciFi Legend that will be missed.

Anne McCaffrey passed away yesterday, Nov. 21st in Ireland. My heart aches knowing that she will never again produce a brilliant story about dragons or crystalline magic, or selkies...

As announced in the Locus' website, Anne McCaffrey was the first woman to win both the Hugo and Nebula awards. One of her Pern novels was the first hardcover science fiction novel to make the New York Times Bestseller List. She was in a word, EPIC.

What this article does not have, though, is the human touch. A real story of how Anne McCaffrey touched someone's life. Well, here's mine:

Anne McCaffrey's three Pern novellas for children, Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, and Dragondrums, are literally the first three real books that I can remember reading. Technically, I wasn't even reading them originally. My mom would read them to me as bedtime stories. I literally bonded with my mom and grew up on Anne McCaffrey's earliest Pern stories. (*This is also where I first originally decreed that I must have a little dragon to cling to my shoulder with its tail wrapped around my neck!! Years before I read anything by G.R.R.M.)

As I got older, I got hooked on McCaffrey's Crystal Singer, The Tower and the Hive, and Petaybee series. I loved each in different ways. I loved them all because they were written by Anne McCaffrey.

Her work will truly be missed by the world, and by me.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns
by Rae Carson

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior, and he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. (description from

My gut reaction to this book was so strong and so LOVING that I already tweeted/emailed the author to tell her... I swear I'm not stalker-y like that all the time, but guys, I loved this book HARD!

As I told Rae Carson, I can only compare how I felt finishing this book to the first time I felt finishing Tamora Pierce's Alanna: The First Adventure, and that is my ALL-TIME favorite book and one of the only ones that I reread fairly consistently.

There is no denying that I trend toward a certain type of book. I am a hardcore fantasy/sci-fi reader, but within those genres, I am fairly picky. I like plucky heroines, action, "realistic" (can I even say this??) magic, not too tech-y science fiction, and if I don't like it, I tend to really not like it. It's a gut reaction thing.

Well... Elisa is the underdog, who comes to lead an army, a country, and the hearts of those around her. She is a girl who figures things out and saves the day, herself! My favorite kind of heroine. She is still touchingly unsure of herself at times and the poor girl gets her heart broken...twice.

She lives in a world with a fascinating religion, a strange new type of magic, and a mixture of interesting peoples. Her travels across her home country to the desert regions of her new home were vivid and felt so tangible that I kept trying to wipe sweat off my own brow, or to rub my aching feet.

Trust me, if you love fantasy books by authors like Tamora Pierce, Kristin Cashore, or Megan Whalen Turner, you want to check out this author's awesome debut. It's getting a gold star here!

I loved this book so much that I immediately purchased a copy for myself to keep on my Nook, even though I am on a spending hiatus. I also double checked to see if there is a sequel and I am happy to report that book two in the trilogy, The Crown of Embers, will be coming out in Fall 2012. I will definitely be on the pre-order list for that one!!

Full disclosure: ARC received from Netgalley

2011 Debut Author Challenge title

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Happy Release Day to THE PLEDGE!!

Happy Release Day to Kimberly Derting and her newest book, The Pledge!! I cannot wait to read this one. It sounds amazing. Are you ready to enter a world where words are truly dangerous??

Words are the most dangerous weapon of all.

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in.

It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

Even my dog, Noel, cannot wait to be part of the world of The Pledge. She's got her passport and is waiting anxiously...

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Hunger Games movie trailer!!!

Have you seen it yet? I was a little scared at first, because the book is SOOO amazing, but this looks really great! I can't wait for March 23rd. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011


by Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Chronicles of Nick, book two

Nick Gautier’s day just keeps getting better and better. Yeah, he survived the zombie attacks, only to wake up and find himself enslaved to a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul.

His new principal thinks he’s even more of a hoodlum than the last one, his coach is trying to recruit him to things he can’t even mention and the girl he’s not seeing, but is, has secrets that terrify him.

But more than that, he’s being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn’t learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them... (description from

Now that I've gotten past the idea that Nick's timeline in this series is very different from that which had begun in the original adult Dark Hunters series, I was able to jump enthusiastically in with both feet. I love Nick's wry sense of humor and how dedicated he is to doing the right thing and always protecting his mother. He really is a great boy that has no idea what horrors the future could hold for him...

After dealing with zombies in Infinity, now poor Nick must deal with being hunted by demons. I loved trying to figure out before Nick who was a demon, what type they might be, and whether or not they were on Nick's side or not. I loved that we got to see more of Simi and learn her part, quite funny, too, if you knew the relationship that they have in the adult books. LOL.

As Nick unknowingly fights to save his soul and keep from destroying the world, those around him try to help in every way they can...some not even knowing what the end results might be... I cannot wait to see what else happens to poor Nick.

Snow White and the Huntsman - Movie Trailer

This trailer makes this movie look amazing! I can't wait...

Doesn't Charlize Theron make one creepy evil Queen? OMG. And the huntsman... *swoon*...I'm very intrigued to see this dark new version of the classic tale!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Where There's a Wolf, There's a Way

Where There's a Wolf, There's a Way
by Lisi Harrison
Monster High, book three

Always overshadowed by her six brothers and her fab friends, Clawdeen Wolf plans to finally strut her stuff in the spotlight at her upcoming Sweet Sixteen bash. But after The Ghoul Next Door goes viral, it's into the woods for the family Wolf. Clawdeen goes stir crazy lying low at her family's B&B with her annoying brothers until Lala shows up to keep her company. But is the vamp flirting with Claude?! (description from

I LOVED that Clawdeen was the primary focus of this book. Getting to know more about the wolf behind the designer clothes was awesome. It totally cracked me up that not only did she create a lot of her own outfits, but that she hosted a web DIY show. So much fun!!

Lisi Harrison really does a great job of tackling real teen issues, real life issues (discrimination, bullying, etc.) and still keeping it so fun by changing things up with a little fun - horror movie style! I love each of the girls and their special talents. I cannot wait for the next book featuring Lala.

City of Fallen Angels

City of Fallen Angels
by Cassandra Clare
Mortal Instruments, book four

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary's best friend, Simon, can't help her. His mother just found out that he's a vampire and now he's homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side—along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. Not to mention that he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls—neither of whom knows about the other one.

When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace. (description from

City of Bones was an amazing book. It's follow-up left me devestated, mouth hanging open, and in pure shock. The third in the trilogy left me satisfied. That's why, honestly, though I enjoyed City of Fallen Angels, I did not really feel like Cassandra Clare should have fleshed this trilogy out into a series.

This was another good entry into the Mortal Instruments series, though it wasn't until Clare left me with another jaw-dropping cliffhanger that I decided I will have to read the next book. To me, this series really feels done already, but now I HAVE to know what the fallout is in the next book.

For those who cannot get enough of Clary and Jace, this book will rip into your heart and keep you on your toes. For those like me, who find some of the secondary characters (like Simon!) far more interesting, there is quite a bit of added knowledge about some of the "outsider" cultures in this book. I loved learning more about the werewolves and vampires...

Totally, brutally honest...I will read the next book, but I almost wish I hadn't read this one. I was happy where City of Glass left off.


by Brian Selznick

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing. (description from

Just like The Invention of Hugo Cabret, this is a beautiful work of art, as well as a touching story. Selznick's black and white illustrations are fabulous. I just love the way he does his books!

In this particular story, both Ben and Rose have their own individual tales, but I loved how they came together at the end. It was really lovely. Not only were the stories interesting, but I learned quite a bit about how people who are hearing impaired experience the world. The author even mentions all of the research that he did prior to writing the book and how one of his relatives in deaf... I think that this aspect of the book makes it very important, because it makes talking about deafness and its effects so accessible.

Though this book is very big, it is a quick, fun read. I would highly recommend it to reluctant readers, well really to anyone!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Die For Me

Die for Me
by Amy Plum
The Revenants, book one

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile.

As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again. (description from

I wanted so much to like this book. It got great buzz everywhere and come on, that cover! I think realistically the cover is half the reason, or maybe more than half, that I picked up the book...pretty!

Unfortunately, nothing about this book hooked me. Now don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad. Not by any means...but it didn't thrill me, either. I don't know if I'm just so burnt out on paranormal romance at this point that anything I read would get this reaction, or if I really just could not connect with Kate and Vincent.

The idea of the revenants was novel. The Parisian setting was lovely. This was not, however, the book for me. *sigh*

2011 Debut Author Challenge title
2011 Zombie Reading Challenge title

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Missing, book four

Still reeling from their experiences in Roanoke in 1600, Jonah and Katherine arrive in 1611 only moments before a mutiny on Henry Hudson’s ship in the icy waters of James Bay. But things are messed up: They’ve lost the real John Hudson, and they find what seems to be the fabled Northwest Passage—even though they are pretty sure that route doesn’t actually exist. Will this new version of history replace everything they’ve ever known? Is this the end of time as we know it? With more at stake than ever before, Jonah and Katherine struggle to unravel the mysteries of 1611 and the Hudson Passage...before everything they know is lost. (description from

I really enjoy this series. There is such a great blend of historical facts and suspenseful action. In this particular volume, the author does note that she took some liberties with the historical facts to make them fit her vision for the story better, but no matter the changes, this is still an awesome way to spark a reader's interest in different historical periods. I, for one, have gone and looked some things up after reading each book!

I really enjoyed how Jonah and his sister, Katherine, really got to know each other better in this book. It was wonderful to see their relationship grow. I'm still very, very curious as to who J.B. actually is...I have my suspicions, but...I'm hoping that the next book might reveal more!! I can't wait to read it.

Full disclosure: Audio book received to review for SLJ

New York to Dallas

New York to Dallas
by J. D. Robb
In Death series, book 41

When a monster named Isaac McQueen-taken down by Eve back in her uniform days-escapes from Rikers, he has two things in mind. One is to pick up where he left off, abducting young victims and leaving them scarred in both mind and body. The other is to get revenge on the woman who stopped him all those years ago. (description from

This book ripped my heart open and then sewed it up again...Wow.

If you've ever read any of the books in this series, you know that Eve and Roarke have each grown out of the roughest of childhoods. Well, not only does Robb go back and dip into Eve's childhood terrors again in this book, but you get a tantalizing glimpse into her first year on the police force.

Events from the far past, the near past, and the current time blend to make one hell of a riveting read! This is officially one of my favorite books in the series...and this series is one of my all time favorites. I cannot recommend them enough to murder mystery readers.

One final touch on this review - GOLD STAR! A Must Read!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tempest Rising

Tempest Rising
by Tracy Deebs

Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her-and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance. (description from

This was another Fin-Tastic mermaid tale. (I know, I couldn't help myself!) Anyway, I loved how this was a really great blend of the fun and mystery of the ocean and surfing, with the darker dangers of undersea life. Tempest was a really believable character and the fact that she fought to try to keep all of her previous-to-the-change relationships really only made me connect with her more.

This was no case of "Oh. He's so entire life must now revolve around him" love at first sight. Yes, there was instant connection, but Tempest fought to make sure it went deeper than that. She also was really, really devoted to her family, and I loved that. Even as she explored new aspects of her life, she never forgot her younger brothers. So sweet.

I'm really, really hoping that Tracy Deebs plans to follow this up with another book, because though Tempest has made her choice about where her life is going, some pretty big plot points are not cleared up...I must know what happens!!!

2011 Debut Author Challenge Title

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cover Craving...

by Kiersten White

Paranormalcy trilogy, book three

O.M.God....These books have the PRETTIEST covers EVER!!! I cannot wait to see this in person... my fingers are itching... LOVE!

Fairy Bad Day

Fairy Bad Day
by Amanda Ashby

While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairy - and it's invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she's going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it's going to be a fairy bad day? (description from

This was a cute read. I really enjoyed the world building. Slayers that devote their lives to ridding the world of certain types of paranormal I love that they go to school for it. The training sequences were fun...I actually wished there had been a little more description there. The fairies were hilarious. I loved them and then the giant killer fairy?? Bad-@ss. Very cool.

There were a lot of things I really liked about this book. There were a few moments, though, where I would find myself tempted to skim a few pages. I'm not sure if it was slightly too long or what...BUT, I would definitely read a sequel set in this world.

Cover Craving...

For Darkness Shows the Stars
by Diana Peterfreund

Publication date: 2012

I'd already mentioned how excited I am for this book earlier on my blog (here), but today Diana Peterfreund posted both the cover and a little snippet on her website. As a post-apocalyptic retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, it sounds AMAZING! I cannot wait for it...and the cover is BEAUTIFUL too!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Hunger Games Movie Photos!

So, I know I'm a little late to the party when it comes to "revealing" these pictures from the Hunger Games movie, but I'm going to blame this all conveniently on Winter Storm Alfred and the fact that I currently have no power. *I am secretly blogging to you from work on a break!*

The delay, however, means I get to share NEW deliciously awesome photos with you that were just revealed today, as well as the posters that came out...what almost a week ago? *cringe*

So! Not only did they come out with eight great looking posters for the movie (you can see Katniss and Effie Trinket below), but they also just did a great cast photo shoot for Vanity Fair/Entertainment Weekly that I grabbed a couple of pics from...

I'm started to get really excited about the film! They really look like the characters now...

Oh - and as a's a pic of Jen from Yabooknerd dressed as Katniss for Halloween!

I think she did a great job with the costume! Kudos, Jen!!

I was really disappointed that this storm totally cramped not only my style at home (I mean, how can you sleep in a place that drops down to 20 degrees at night?? Brrr....), but also my Halloween spirit at work. We had a costume contest at work on Monday and I was all set to go as Effie Trinket (I had a pink wig and everything!!) and ended up not going to work because of the dangerous driving conditions ... *sad face* Oh well, guess I'll wow you all next year! LOL.

Winner - Destined!

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


Angie, check your email...and get me your mailing address before the end of the day on Sunday, November 6th, so that I can have the publisher send the book out to you ASAP! Congratulations again!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Anya's Ghost

Anya's Ghost
by Vera Brosgol

Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part . . . Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century. Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs. Or so she thinks. (description from

This was a great graphic novel!
I loved the awesome drawing style (see!!)

Anya is Russian so she's curvy, much to her dismay. I loved that the author/artist drew her that way. I loved how she was also able to make Anya's ghost transform from a scared little girl who'd been locked away for so long, into a monster that is threatening Anya's very existence!

The storyline was also exciting and a great platform to make Anya appreciate not only her life, but herself so, SO much more. A really well done book!!

There You'll Find Me

There You'll Find Me
by Jenny B. Jones

Finley Sinclair is not your typical eighteen-year-old. She's witty, tough, and driven. With an upcoming interview at the Manhattan music conservatory, Finley needs to compose her audition piece. But her creativity disappeared with the death of her older brother, Will.

She decides to study abroad in Ireland so she can follow Will's travel journal. It's the place he felt closest to God, and she's hopeful being there will help her make peace over losing him. So she agrees to an exchange program and boards the plane.

Beckett Rush, teen heartthrob and Hollywood bad boy, is flying to Ireland to finish filming his latest vampire movie. On the flight, he meets Finley. She's the one girl who seems immune to his charm. Undeterred, Beckett convinces her to be his assistant in exchange for his help as a tour guide.

Once in Ireland, Finley starts to break down. The loss of her brother and the pressure of school, her audition, and whatever it is that is happening between her and Beckett, leads her to a new and dangerous vice. When is God going to show up for her in this emerald paradise? (description from

This book is a very good example of what it is, Christian fiction. Though personally the religious tone was too heavy for my personal tastes (quoting scripture and lots of actual prayer scenes) for someone who is a little more devout, I'm sure this book would be a perfect choice. In fact, I actually recommended it to a friend who I thought would really enjoy the book, including the spiritual aspects. I should also mention that no one scene really put me off, it was just that the reliance on religious belief compounded so heavily through the book that it didn't end up working for me.

On the other hand, the story about Finley's grief for her brother, the development of her relationship with Beckett, and the beautifully done eating disorder issue were all fantastic. I found myself crying and then almost immediately smiling again at various points while reading. For every moment that didn't work for me in this book, there were probably two that did. I loved the setting and both Finley and Beckett felt real.

If you don't mind overt Christian themes in your reading, you should definitely check out Jenny B. Jones' newest.

Full disclosure: ARC received to review for VOYA