30 June 2012

Review: Shadow and Bone

Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha Trilogy #1
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: Purchased

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

My thoughts: 

I pre-ordered this book because of the amazing early reviews that it was receiving and I don’t do that very often, especially for a debut author. I went into this book knowing it was going to be awesome and unique, read it in about a few hours and finished it knowing that it had exceeded my high expectations. I loved this book and I would recommend it to anyone who loves to read fantasy!

There’s a map in this book! Whenever there are maps, I try to get a good feel for where cities and countries are so that I don’t have to flip back and forth but I always end up flipping back and forth! Which it didn’t mind at all because I wanted to know everything about this world that Bardugo created!

Alina is such a great heroine and an awesome well-rounded character! She’s strong, grounded, loyal, she knows who she is and when the story beings, she has accepted her lot in life. She fights in the King’s army and she knows she’ll probably die doing it. But her whole world changes when her undiscovered magical talent is revealed during a near fatal attack. This is when Alina struggles to put her trust in those around her because she doesn’t feel like she really belongs.

The Darkling is also one of my favorite characters! I was drawn to him from the beginning (maybe for the sheer fact that he’s called The Darkling) and I rooted for him throughout the story! Even after finishing it I still hope that he’s going to turn out to be good and that he isn’t evil! I also loved him because he was always encouraging Alina and supporting her when most of the Grisha snubbed their noses at her. He knew she was going to be great even when she was having trouble summoning her powers.

I was able to attend a book signing and an author panel in which Leigh Bardugo was a part of. I just love listening to authors talk about how they create their worlds and invent their characters. Bardugo mentioned that she wanted take the intangible concept of darkness in a country or nation and put it into reality. Ravka is literally divided by an impenetrable darkness which is filled with terrify monsters. I think that hearing tidbits from authors gives me a better understanding of the book and a greater appreciation!

Shadow and Bone is such a great book that sucked me in during the first chapter, making it impossible to put down! I give Shadow and Bone 5 hearts for being one of the best fantasy novels I’ve ever read!

28 June 2012

Review: Something Like Normal

Title: Something Like Normal
Author: Trish Dollar
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: ARC compliments of the publisher

When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

My thoughts:

Something Like Normal is a powerhouse that grabs you from the beginning, takes you on a ride and doesn’t let go until the last page. That it literally how I felt when I finished Something Like Normal after reading it in only a few hours! I really wish I would have known the pull it had on me beforehand because then I wouldn’t have read it at work!

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I love a good young adult novel from the male perspective. I’ve read a few fantasy and paranormal novels from the male perspective but I think this is the first contemporary. It’s really refreshing because young adult males see the world differently than females. Travis is back home for a short time after serving in the Marine Core in Afghanistan. He has come back a different person and feels uncomfortable around the people he once knew. While at a bar he runs into a girl he knew in middle school but didn’t talk to too much in high school. He is also suffering from PTSD after losing a good friend in the war. This is a book about healing, acceptance and learning how to get back to yourself after a tragic situation leaves you broken.

Harper (love that name!) is one of my favorite characters in this book and I have to give her major props! I would not be able to date a guy after he absolutely ruined my life. I am a grudge holder and I’m really bad at giving people second chances. But that’s what Harper did! She saw the changes in him and was willing to leave what was in the past in the past. I also love how the relationship was built. They got to know each other and they built a foundation of trust before they admitted that they liked each other. They had their ups and downs because they’re not perfect. It was really beautiful without the case of insta-love.

I fell head over heels in love with Something Like Normal! It’s everything I could ask for in a contemporary novel and it’s an outstanding debut! I have to give Something Like Normal 5 hearts because it’s one of the best contemporaries I’ve read this year!

27 June 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (60)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating. This is one of my favorite memes because not only is my TBR pile so much bigger at the end of the night but also the covers are always amazing!

Title: The Dark Unwinding
Author: Sharon Cameron
Hitting the Shelves: September 01, 2012

A spine-tingling tale of steampunk and spies, intrigue and heart-racing romance!

When Katharine Tulman's inheritance is called into question by the rumor that her eccentric uncle is squandering away the family fortune, she is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of rules, who employs a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London.

Katharine is now torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for deeply. And her choices are made even more complicated by a handsome apprentice, a secretive student, and fears for her own sanity.

As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle's world at stake, but also the state of England as Katharine knows it. With twists and turns at every corner, this heart-racing adventure will captivate readers with its intrigue, thrills, and romance.

What are you waiting for? 

26 June 2012

Review: The Unquiet

Title: The Unquiet
Author: Jeannine Garsee
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: ARC compliments of the publisher

Sixteen-year-old Rinn Jacobs has secrets: One, she’s bipolar. Two, she killed her grandmother.

After a suicide attempt, and now her parents' separation, Rinn and her mom move from California to the rural Ohio town where her mother grew up. Back on her medications and hoping to stay well, Rinn settles into her new home, undaunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn's bedroom. At school, her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends—yet not to her—Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be "touched" by Annaliese...or if Annaliese even exists.

With the help of Nate Brenner, the hunky “farmer boy” she’s rapidly falling for, Rinn devises a dangerous plan to uncover the truth. Soon reality and fantasy meld into one, till Rinn finds it nearly impossible to tell the difference. When a malevolent force threatens the lives of everyone she cares about--not to mention her own--she can't help wondering: who should she really be afraid of?
Annaliese? Or herself?

My thoughts: 

The Unquiet seemed like it would be a really creepy and interesting ghost story. I had really been craving reading it when I first saw the cover and read the synopsis on Goodreads. I immediately requested it on Netgalley and I couldn’t wait to start it!

As soon as I began, I was a little bit disappointed. It started out like a lot of contemporaries I’ve read in the past. Girl arrives in a new town right before school starts, first boy girl meets she likes and they become a thing (because of course he’s good looking and single) and girl gets an immediate in with the kids at her new school. This aspect of the story really bothered me because I think it only shows one side to the character’s personality. All we’re seeing is that Rinn must be this amazing person because all the people flocked to her and wanted to be her friends instead of her having to seek out her friends. I think it show the complexity of a character.

What I did think was really interesting was her past and the disease that she struggles with and how it affected her before she moved to the new town. Like a lot of characters I read, Rinn carries around a lot of guilt and blames herself for the death of one of her loved ones.

I also really enjoyed the ghost story part. Annaliese was a really great ghost! She haunted the school’s pool room where she died and has feed off the energy of the other students. As she gets stronger and stronger she is able to affect people outside of school and Rinn’s friends start acting really crazy! I really loved the complexity of Rinn’s mom. She practically became a different person when Annaliese started gaining power. The mean girl inside of her starting coming out and it was pretty creepy!

As a whole, the book was pretty good and I enjoyed the ghost taking revenge on those who harm her story. I give The Unquiet 3 hearts because even though I liked it, I struggled to finish it.

23 June 2012

Stacking the Shelves (6)

Hey there! Welcome to this week's Stacking the Shelves! This awesome meme is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and we get to show each other the books we acquired this week whether bought, from the library or for review!

These past couple of weeks I've really been trying to lay off on buying books because I knew I was going to ALA this weekend! My hauls these past few days have been ridiculous and I can't wait to show you guys everything I got!! But my ALA hauls (yes, there will be more than one) will probably start next week!

For review:

Once by Anna Carey
Ten by Gretchen McNeil
A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young
The Turning by Francine Prose
Glass Heart by Amy Garvey
Destiny by Gillian Shields


The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead (signed copy giveaway!)
Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

What new books are stacking your shelves?

Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Title: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: Purchased

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

My thoughts: 

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is a great way to start off your summer reading! It my first road trip book and I don’t think I could have picked a better one! It was also my first Morgan Matson novel, and after going to her signing for Second Chance Summer, she really seemed like an amazing writer! Road trips are my favorite ways to travel and see the United States so I knew I was going to absolutely love this book.

The emotion that I felt for this book so early on could only compare to Sara Ockler’s Twenty Boy Summer in which I started crying during chapter 2. After the first few pages, I felt the sadness, the loneliness and the darkness that comes after the death of a loved one and emotions like that really hit me hard.

Amy’s mom has decided to move her across county and because of last minute plans the only way for her to get there is for Amy to drive across county with a guy she hasn’t seen since elementary school. Amy’s mom leaves a detailed plan of where they are driving and where they’re supposed to stay but Amy decides she wants to be disobedient for once in her life and Roger has ulterior motives for the detour as well!

For Amy, the road trip become s a way for her to grieve for the loss of her father and for her to get over a lot of guilt that she’s been holding on to. For Roger, the road trip is a way for him to finally get over his first and intense love; an ex-girlfriend from his first year in college. As they travel together, they grow to know each other and trust the other one.

I really loved this book and stories like this are why I’ve come to love young adult contemporary. They’re so sweet and make me believe that true love is out there for everyone! I give Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour 5 stars because road trips are near and dear to my heart!

22 June 2012

Richelle Mead Signing and Giveaway!!

Hey guys! I'm so excited to tell you about the Richelle Mead signing that I went to on Monday. And let me tell you, it was a long day! Because Richelle Mead is such a popular author, we had to get wrist bands during the day before the event started.  Luckily I took the day off so I was able to go to Santa Monica in the morning and pick up a few copies of the Golden Lily and then do the 40 minute drive home just to return again a few hours later!

Upon returning I met up with Thuy from Nite Lite Book Reviews and Kim from The Windy Pages; a few awesome bloggers! We had to wait in the most ridiculous line for about an hour and a half or so and I'm pretty sure they had turned the air conditioner off.  But when they finally let us in, it was all worth it! We were in the front row and were first to get our books signed!

And, of course, I picked up an extra copy for my wonderful readers and followers and got it signed! So here's your chance to win a signed copy of The Golden Lily!


  • US residence only
  • Must be 13 years or older
  • Giveaway will end promptly at 11:59pm on July 6
  • Winners will be notified and give 48 hours to respond or anther winner will be chosen

a Rafflecopter giveaway

21 June 2012

Blog Tour! Transcendence by CJ Omololu

Title: Transcendence
Author: CJ Omololu
Publisher: Walker & Company
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: ARC provided by Publisher

When a visit to the Tower of London triggers an overwhelmingly real vision of a beheading that occurred centuries before, Cole Ryan fears she is losing her mind. A mysterious boy, Griffon Hall, comes to her aid, but the intensity of their immediate connection seems to open the floodgate of memories even wider.

As their feelings grow, Griffon reveals their common bond as members of the Akhet—an elite group of people who can remember past lives and use their collected wisdom for the good of the world. But not all Akhet are altruistic, and a rogue is after Cole to avenge their shared past. Now in extreme danger, Cole must piece together clues from many lifetimes. What she finds could ruin her chance at a future with Griffon, but risking his love may be the only way to save them both.

Full of danger, romance, and intrigue, Transcendence breathes new life into a perpetually fascinating question: What would you do with another life to live?

My thoughts: 

There’s just something so versatile about the topic of reincarnation. And there is so many things that authors can do with it! I haven’t read many books dealing with reincarnation but my fascination with the theme continues to grow! I would have to say that Transcendence is one of the best reincarnation books I’ve read yet! I loved the setting, the characters, the story line and the little surprises that were thrown in here and there!

The basic storyline of Transcendence is that everyone is reincarnated throughout the centuries and those who are able to remember their past lives are called the Akhet. The Akhet don’t start off remembering everything but during one of their lifetimes they begin to remember their past lives. In Transcendence, Cole begins to remember bits and pieces of her past lives while she is on a trip to London. Soon it becomes clear that an acquaintance from one of her past lives is trying to exact revenge on her!

Cole is a pretty awesome character! She’s going through life like a normal teenager except she’s a brilliant cello player and then she starts remembering scenes from her past lives. My favorite of her past lives is when she is beheaded in England during the Tudor era. She’s also very naive but I don’t mean this in a bad way. The whole notion of the Akhet is so very new to her that she thinks is strange that someone could hold a grudge against her for so long.

Griffon, the guy she meets while in London, acts as her guide through becoming Akhet. He is so cute and as a reader, I could tell that he really liked her right from the beginning. What I thought was the most amusing was his relationship with his mom. Since his mom is also Akhet, he called her by her first name and she only acted as a hands-off guardian, allowing him the freedom to do as he pleased. Although I really loved the story, I felt like Griffon held back too much information from Cole which kind of left her one her own to figure out certain things.

There are so many elements that I love about this story! I do have to say that the old English flash backs were so of my favorites! I have to give Transcendence 4 hearts for really incorporating a lot of surprises into this story!

20 June 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (59)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating. This is one of my favorite memes because not only is my TBR pile so much bigger at the end of the night but also the covers are always amazing!

Title: Girl of Nightmares
Author: Kendare Blake
Hitting the Shelves: August 7, 2012

It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong... these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.

Why I want this: I just finished reading Anna Dressed in Blood and I absolutely loved it! It was everything I wanted in a ghost story! I also heard that Kendare Blake is going to be at ALA and they just might have this book! I really hope they do!!

What are you waiting for?

18 June 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: My Summer Reading List

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a meme of lists.

This week's topic is the top ten books on your summer reading list! This one is so easy as I have already laid out my summer reading list!

1. Partials by Dan Wells- I have to read this book before July 10th because he is going to be signing with Veronica Roth on the Dark Days of Supernatural Tour! Super excited!!

2. Firelight by Sophie Jordan- I've owned this book for sometime now and I just haven't gotten around to reading it. But I will definitely read it this summer!

3. The Line by Teri Hall- This book was literally the first book I put on my TBR list when I first created by Goodreads account.  Needless to say, that was almost three years ago now so it's definitely one of the first ones I'm going to read!

4. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson- I need to have a good contemporary summer romance thrown in there!

5. Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock- It's been a really long time since I read a great werewolf novel and I'm hoping this one's it for me!

6. From Bad to Cursed by Katie Alender- Scary story! Enough said.

7. Betrayal by Gregg Olsen- I loved Envy so I can't wait to see what he brings to the table in Betrayal!

8. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline- I've heard only great things and I can't wait to jump into the computer generated world!

9. Cinder by Marissa Meyer- Of course I have to read Cinderella re-imagined!

10. Forgotten by Cat Patrick- Just like it's name, this book has been forgotten on my shelves for almost a year now. Even my mom has read this book!

Win Some ARCs!!

So, I recently cleaned out my bookshelf and I've decided to do a bunch of giveaways! This is one of those giveaways! Stay tuned in the following weeks for even more giveaways!


  • US residents only
  • Must be 13 or older
  • Giveaway will end promptly at 11:59pm on Sunday June 24th
  • Winner will be notified and given 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen

a Rafflecopter giveaway

16 June 2012

Stacking the Shelves (5)

Hey there! Welcome to this week's Stacking the Shelves! This awesome meme is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and we get to show each other the books we acquired this week whether bought, from the library or for review!


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I'm so excited to read this one! Thanks Goodreads!

For review: 

Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill

Posted this week:

The Iron Fey Giveaway- End's Sunday night!!
Review: Sleepover Stakeout by Kim Harrington
Review: Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

What new books are staking your shelves this week?

15 June 2012

Review- The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Title: The Girl in the Steel Corset
Author: Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: Purchased

In 1897 England, 16-year-old Finley Jayne is convinced she's a freak. No normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch. Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special . . . that she's one of "them."

My thoughts: 

I really want to love steampunk. I do! But steampunk and I have not had the best track record. I read Clockwork Angel before I even knew there was a genre called steampunk and then realizing how much I loved it I decided to read another steampunk novel. So I picked up The Iron Thorn and it was absolutely horrendous which is why the Girl in the Steel Corset sat on my shelves for so many months. I had to get over my trauma! So I was pretty skeptical coming into this book but I’m so glad I finally picked it up!

I really enjoyed the changing of perspectives throughout this book because, honestly, Finley was not my favorite character. From Finley, we get most of the book and we get to see how she is feeling and the way that she has dealt with this alter ego or darkness that she has mysteriously had inside herself her whole life. From Griffin, we get the history of his family and coincidently, Finley’s family as well and see the results of the science experiments their fathers worked on together.

Jack is such a great character! He’s wealthy, handsome, dangerous, dark and mysterious which makes him a perfect bad boy type! But bad boy in the 19th century! So of course, there’s somewhat of a love triangle going on between bad boy Jack and good guy Griffin vying for Finley’s affections. But it’s not an annoying love triangle so it’s really a tossup between the two of them for me.

I really loved Emily and Sam! Emily has a knack for working on machines and discovers that she can even communicate with them. Sam, whom she is in love with, is gravely injured before the story starts and she replaces many of his body parts with machine. They’re so cute because they’re constantly dancing around the chemistry that they have and everyone can see it! I really hope we get to see more Emily and Sam in the next book!

The Girl in the Steel Corset is such a rich story! Not only is the main storyline a mystery about an evil man called the Machinist but the reader also gets a good amount of history and the character’s pasts. I have to give The Girl in the Steel Corset 4.5 hearts for making me fall back in love with steampunk.

14 June 2012

Review- Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

Title: Tempest Rising
Author: Tracy Deebs
Series: Tempest #1
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: Purchased

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.

My thoughts: 

Whenever I read a mermaid book and then write a review for it, I always start it with “I think there are not enough mermaid books in YA.” And Tempest Rising is no different. There are so many different ways a mermaid book can be written and I love seeing the variety each time a new one comes out. Killer mermaids, fun mermaids, half-human half-mermaids, mermaid that sing men to their deaths and I love every single one of them!

I love with the setting of a book is in Southern California! Living in Southern California makes me feel like it’s all taking place in my backyard and I can just jump in my car and drive down to the beach to see Tempest coming out of the water! It’s a really comfortable setting.

Although Tempest is the main character of the book she is not my favorite character. She has this pre-concieved notion that mermaids are these really selfish and uncaring creatures because of the way her mother acted. She knows that she will have to decide to go to the sea or stay on land but she is determined not to give into the water. So when she starts to feel the pull of the ocean, she keeps it to herself and doesn’t even tell her father. Which is always a bad idea. Keeping serious things to yourself is a recipe for disaster.

Mark is Tempest’s human boyfriend and he is definitely one of my favorite characters! He’s this hot, rugged, surfer dude who is completely in love with her (there’s always someone in love with the main character). But then she meets Kona and there’s a little bit of insta-love (gag). Kona’s hot, don’t get me wrong but I just don’t like the whole “drawn to each other so we have to be together” scenario. I like the relationships build on friendship that take time to develop. Mark knows Tempest and he loves her completely, flaws and imperfections included.

In the end, I would rather have had Tempest choose the ocean because it felt right to her because it’s where she is meant to be instead of choosing it because of Kona. I am giving Tempest Rising 4 hearts because of the hot guys to drool over and because no mermaid story is complete without an evil sea witch. And this one is pretty awesome!

13 June 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (58)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating. This is one of my favorite memes because not only is my TBR pile so much bigger at the end of the night but also the covers are always amazing!

Title: Etiquette and Espionage
Author: Gail Carriger
Hitting the Shelves: February 05, 2013

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to finishing school.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea--and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right--but it's a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine's certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

First in a four book YA series set 25 years before the Parasol Protectorate but in the same universe.

What are you waiting for?

12 June 2012

Tween Tuesday: Sleepover Stakeout by Kim Harrington

Tween Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Middle grade books are great and super fun to read!

Title: Sleepover Stakeout
Author: Kim Harrington
Series: Sleuth or Dare #2
Genre: Mystery


Norah and Darcy's detective agency, Partners in Crime, is taking on a new and chilling case. The girls' classmate, Maya, is hearing strange, crackling voices coming over the baby monitor while she's babysitting late at night. Maya is worried someone might be in danger.

To help investigate, Norah and Darcy join her for a sleepover stakeout. In between eating snacks and watching TV, the girls are on high alert for anything suspicious. Soon, they stumble upon a mysterious secret they never could have imagined -- but Norah and Darcy clash over how to interpret the new clues.

Can the girls get past their differences to see their way to the truth?

My thoughts: 

The Sleuth or Dare series by Kim Harrington is my first foray into middle grade and I have enjoyed every second of it! I love the mysterious atmosphere and the fact that these two twelve-year olds are trying to solve these light-hearted mysteries. They are so much fun and reminds me of how much I loved reading Harriet the Spy when I was younger!

I stayed away from middle grade for so long because I didn’t think I would like reading from the perspective of a tween. But there’s just something about this twelve-year old duo that I love! Their voices are so fresh and they end up solving really interesting mysteries instead of the same old “who done-it.” I love the way Norah and Darcy work together and play off each other’s strengths. We also see a lot more of their friendship and the intricacies of why they get along and not so much sometimes. I thought it was important to highlight Darcy’s jealousy when Norah starts hanging out with other people. It’s something that most friendships go through. Not everyone grows in the same ways and someone always ends up feeling left behind.

Again, I just absolutely loved this book and I can’t wait to read the next one! I am giving Sleepover Stakeout 4 hearts for making me think that I should be a private investigator!

Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a meme of lists.

This week's topic is the Top Ten Books I'd recommend as good beach reads. This one is so fun!

1. The Summer series by Jenny Han- Totally fun and they take place mostly in the summer!

2. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Maston- I really loved this book and road trip books always remind me of summer! Second Chance Summer is probably great too and I plan to read it this summer!

3. Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker- I read this book and few months ago and it really made me want to read all the great summer romance books that I own! Kind of sad but a really great summer read!

4. Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs- Mermaid books remind me of the ocean and the ocean reminds me of the beach! What more do you want?

5. The Au Pairs by Melissa de la Cruz- Three words for you: Hot, hot, HOT!!

6. The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty- This is one of my favorite series ever and I can read it anytime of the year! But most of the books do take place during summer while Jessica gripes about what happened during the school year!

7. Moonglass by Jessi Kirby- A great beach read because the main character lives right on the beach and loves to surf with her dad! It really made me want to take a surf lesson. I also plan on reading In Honor this summer which is another road trip book!

8. Something Like Normal by Trish Dollar- I really liked this book and it's a really quick read!

9. Deadly Cool and Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday- These books are just so fun! Heartly is a great character and they're very entertaining!

10. Anything written by Jennifer Echols- Jennifer Echols is one of my all-time favorite contemporary authors! Everything she writes is great and her romances are so wonderful.  And I always love to read wonderful romances during the summer!

11 June 2012

Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa Giveaway!

Have you been wanting to read the Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa but you just haven't gotten around to buying the books? Or did you borrow them from the library but you just loved them so much you want to own them? Well, here's your chance!  I'm giving away the first three books in the series: The Iron King, The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen!


  • US residents only
  • Must be 13 years or older
  • Giveaway will end promptly at 11:59 pm Sunday June 17
  • Winner will be give 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen

a Rafflecopter giveaway

09 June 2012

Stacking the Shelves (4)

Hey there! Welcome to this week's Stacking the Shelves! This awesome meme is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and we get to show each other the books we acquired this week whether bought, from the library or for review!

Amazon has way too many great deals! I pre-ordered Shadow and Bone months ago and I got it in the mail the day before it was officially released! Amazon also has those 4-for-3 deals where you buy four books but the cheapest one you get for free! So I did just that!  I also went to the Fierce Reads Book Tour stop at the Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego where I bought a few books :)

Sleepover Stakeout by Kim Harrington
Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
Awake at Dawn by C.C. Hunter
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Awesome!!!! Absolutely LOVED this book!! "Steel is earned." Love it!!

Barnes and Noble also had some great deal on some ebooks I've been wanting for my Nook!

Easy by Tammara Webber
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
The Vincent Boys by Abbie Glines
Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Reviewed this week:

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Partners in Crime by Kim Harrington
Unwind by Neal Shusterman

What new books are stacking your shelves this week?

08 June 2012

A Peek at my Summer Reading List!

A few weeks ago, I took a look at my bookshelves and I thought to myself, "what a mess!" I knew I needed to get some serious reading done this summer and try and read the books that I've bought but have been forgotten on my shelves.  But everything was just so unorganized, with books buried under books, how was I supposed to get a solid hold of what I was really going to read?  So I started by pulling out all the books that I absolutely wanted to read this summer.  And I got a little carried away! But after a few revisions and really thinking it over, I landed on a great summer reading list with an incredible mix of contemporary, paranormal and dystopian.

I know that picture is not very good (I can't find the memory card for my camera) but most of those books are books I've bought! There are only 3 books in there that I received for review.  This is one of the main reasons I don't request books for review anymore because I neglect that books that I've bought! Now these are just the physical books that I want to read so it's not counting the books on my Nook! Let me make you a list:

1.  Easy by Tammara Webber
2.  The Vincent Boys by Abbie Glines
3.  Hourglass by Myra McEntire
4.  Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
5.  The Tale of the Vampire Bride by Rhiannon Frater
6.  10 Things We Did and Probably Shouldn't Have by Sarah Mlynowski
7.  Half Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
8.  The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver
9.  Slight by Jennifer Sommersby
10. Everblue by Brenda Pandos
11. The Strange Case of Finley Jane by Kady Cross
12. Switched by Amanda Hocking

WOW! I've got one busy summer coming up! What are some of the books you guys are most looking forward to reading this summer?

07 June 2012

Review- Unwind

Title: Unwind
Author: Neal Shusterman
Series: Unwind Trilogy #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publisher
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: Purchased

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

My thoughts: 

**CAUTION!!! This review contains SPOILERS!!! Read at your own peril!!**

I don’t know any other way to start this review except by saying that Unwind is totally awesome! I read this book in one day and stayed up way past by bed time to finish it. Neal Shusterman is just a fantastic writer and I can’t believe this is the first book I’ve ready by him.

One of the main reasons I barreled through this book is because I had to have confirmation on what it meant to be Unwound. Throughout the whole book the concept of being “unwound” is only implied, saying that life doesn’t technically end because every part of that person is used in some way or another. At first when I started reading it I thought that it was really weird but I didn’t really understand what was going on. As the book progressed it became more and more clear what was really going on. This book takes place sometime in the future where advanced technology and medicine allows doctors to transplant any part of the body onto another person.

Unwind is told through the prospective of a bunch of different characters but mainly through Conor, whose parents chose to have him unwound, Risa, who had become a burden to the state and Lev, whose parents raised him to be a tithe, a sort of sacrifice for the good of the people. The book chronicles their journey of escape and trying to avoid a horrible ending. Because abortion in the womb has become illegal in this world, life cannot be touched until the child is between the ages of 13 and 17. Once they turn 13, their parents can choose to have the child unwound. Even though it’s such a grizzly concept it made for a fantastic book!

The three main characters end up at a “harvesting camp” where they are supposed to be unwound. When one of the other characters is taken to be unwound, the character witnesses the whole thing and it is one of the creepiest scenes I’ve ever read. They don’t put him to sleep (because they’re not allowed), they put each of his limbs on a separate table and as each part of him is removed he sees them taking away the tables. It’s so, so creepy! I thought for sure I was going to have dreams of being unwound.

Unwound is just so full of adventure that I just had to read it in one day! I love the whole futuristic feel with a little bit of science fiction thrown into it. I have to give Unwound 5 hearts because I have not read a book like it!!

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