Take Control of Your TBR Pile Read-a-Thon: Wrap Up Post

Sunday, March 31, 2013 10:53 AM

Take Control of your TBR Pile Read-a-Thon is the first read-a-thon I've done ever, and it will definitely not be my last. I'm ashamed to admit that I did not make as much progress as I had anticipated. I had hoped to read at least 10 books this month, which should have been a piece of cake. But things came up, and I found myself in a reading slump for a little, and well, it seems nothing goes as planned. 

Did I enjoy this read-a-thon? Well, as always, I had fun reading. I'm going to be honest. I really didn't participate as much as I should have. If anything, I was just testing myself and seeing if I could handle following a list of books to read instead of my usual spontaneity. It was tough, and I know I could have changed the books I intended to read, but I stuck to it. I also desperately needed to concentrate on some books that have been sitting on my bookshelves, just gathering dust, for much too long, and I'm happy to say I finally see an end to my TBR pile. Hopefully, there will come a day when there's no unread books on my bookshelves but I remain skeptical. 

I struggled writing reviews for some of the books. Like I said, I was definitely going through a reading/blogging slump for awhile. Here are all the books I finished: 

-Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
-Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
-White Cat by Holly Black
-Red Glove by Holly Black
-Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
-The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
-The Swan Kingdom by Zoë Marriott
-Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Wow. It looks like such a short list, and I wish I had read more. I also kind of cheated and read The Clockwork Princess even though it was published this month, and all the books for this read-a-thon were supposed to be published before March. But I'm not counting that book towards the read-a-thon.

I cannot wait to do a read-a-thon again. Maybe not right away, but definitely sometime in the future, and I hope to read many more books for the next one.

Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

10:00 AM
Title: The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Published: September 19, 2011
Publisher: Speak
Series: Shades of London #1
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Pages: 372
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“Keep calm and carry on.
Also, stay in and hide because the Ripper is coming.”
― Maureen Johnson, The Name of the Star

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target?

In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
I have been putting off reading The Name of the Star for far too long. For some reason, I have this morbid fascination with Jack the Ripper (probably because it's still an unsolved case after more than a century has passed), and I was beyond excited to begin the Shades of London series. The Name of the Star was a captivating read that had me entranced from the start, and I could tell Maureen Johnson had done her research. Btw, I also did a bit of investigative research before diving into this book. If you didn't already know, I'm kind of a nerd and enjoy research projects. So anywho, I did some serious digging into the old case files of the Ripper murders before reading The Name of the Star. In other words, I went on Wikipedia. And I'm happy to say that the information presented in this book matched up with my findings. Go Johnson!

Review: Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Friday, March 29, 2013 10:36 AM
Title: Through the Ever Night 
Author: Veronica Rossi
Published: January 8, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: Under the Never Sky #2
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Pages: 341
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

*Warning: This book review contains spoilers for Under the Never Sky*
“Love is a rebellious bird that nobody can tame.”
― Veronica Rossi, Through the Ever Night

It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
Through the Ever Night was a challenge to read at first. It's only been a few months since I read Under the Never Sky, but I still forgot so much from that book. My memory had to clear house for other stuff. So at the start of Through the Ever Night, I was so lost. There were characters and places and scenes I had almost no memory of. Of course, I remember Aria, Perry, and, my favorite character of all, Roar, but I was drawing a blank when it came to some others. I didn't remember what Scires, Audiles and Seers were, and actually, I'm still not 100% sure. I definitely needed more of a recap before diving into this.

Waiting on Wednesday (25) - The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 7:00 AM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the SpineWaiting on Wednesday is where bloggers post books they cannot wait to have in their possession once they are released.

The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy #1) by Sherry Thomas
Hits Shelves on September 17, 2013
Add to Goodreads
It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning…

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.

Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to revenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.
But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life. (Goodreads)
Why I'm Waiting
Look at that cover! Can I say FAN-TAS-TIC?! Not to mention, the premise has the fantasy lover in me so excited for this book's release. The Burning Sky sounds like my cup of tea with mages and a prophecy and a dangerous quest. I look at that release date and want to cry. September! It's going to be a long, brutal wait.

What is everyone waiting on this week?

Book Blog Tour: The Watcher by Lisa Voisin Interview & Giveaway

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 7:30 AM

Title: The Watcher 
Author: Lisa Voisin
Published: March 4, 2013
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Millennia ago, he fell from heaven for her.

Can he face her without falling again?

Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year-old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings—soft and silent like snow—and somebody trying to steal them.

When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved, though he claims to know nothing about it. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn’t understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them—but not from any textbook.

In search of the truth, Mia discovers a past life of forbidden love, jealousy and revenge that tore an angel from Heaven and sent her to an early grave. Now that her soul has returned, does she have a chance at loving that angel again? Or will an age-old nemesis destroy them both?

Ancient history is only the beginning. (Goodreads)
I am happy to have Lisa Voisin, author of The Watcher, as a guest today on Courtney Reads A Lot. She was nice enough to answer a few questions I really wanted answered. So without further ado...

Me: Why did you decide to write paranormal romance?

Lisa: I had this idea kicking around in my head for years about a boy who wakes up one day to discover he's an angel. Writing it from his perspective didn't feel right. I've been a fan of paranormal romance and urban fantasy since I first read Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton years ago. But when I noticed the YA paranormal genre pick up with some of the great stories out there, I really liked the first-person perspective. I knew the boy who was an angel needed to be seen through the eyes of the girl who loved him. Thus, The Watcher was born.

Me: If you could be any character from The Watcher, who would you pick and why?

Lisa: In some ways I would have liked to be as wise as Mia is. She's an old soul, and I admire her inner strength. But, ultimately, I think I'd like to be Arielle. She's really kick ass, with super powers and the ability to smite demons, and is really low key about it.

Me: What are some of your favorite authors/books? How have they inspired you?

Lisa: Well, my favorite author is Neil Gaiman. I love his voice and I've been a fan of his since I read the Sandman series back in the day. His first novel, Good Omens, which he co-wrote with Terry Pratchett blew me away. I've also been inspired along the way by Kelley Armstrong, Cassandra Clare, Eileen Cook, and Melissa Marr.

Me: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Lisa: Well, I was inspired by Neil Gaiman telling people to "keep writing." It was some of the best advice I ever got, so I'm passing it along. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it, whatever it is and no matter what stage you're at. People seem to want to do that and I don't know why. As you learn the craft of writing and the art of storytelling, keep in mind that nobody's perfect and don't be too hard on yourself in the process. The harder you are on yourself, the harder you'll be on others, and that seems to create a great deal of harshness in the world.

And just for fun, here's a round of This or That:

City or Country?
City! I'm into the convenience of the city, the cafes and shopping. But I love being able to go out into the woods too. Luckily, where I live, I can do both.

Peeta or Gale?
Peeta, even though Gale is a total dish. Peeta has the right disposition for Katniss.

Zombies or Vampires?
If I have to choose, I'll go with vampires, I guess. I appreciate that they don't look as scary.

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee! Though I love both!

Thank you so much Lisa for answering my questions! Here's a little bit about Lisa Voisin.

About the Author
A Canadian-born author, Lisa Voisin spent her childhood daydreaming and making up stories, but it was her love of reading and writing in her teens that drew her to Young Adult fiction.

A self-proclaimed coffee lover, Lisa can usually be found writing in a local café. When she's not writing, you'll find her meditating or hiking in the mountains to counteract the side effects of drinking too much caffeine!
Though she’s lived in several cities across Canada, she currently lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her fiancé and their two cats.

Find her: Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog

Rafflecopter Giveaway
If you've stuck around to the end, you deserve a reward!

Lisa Voisin and Inkspell Publishing are giving away print (US/Canada/UK) and ebook (INT) copies of The Watcher as well as this lovely angel wing necklace! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance at winning these awesome prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check out what's up next on The Watcher blog tour.

Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most (20)

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, bloggers post a top ten list based on a bookish theme. This week's Top Ten Tuesday is:

Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

1. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson - I know I gush about this book on a regular basis, but I cannot recommend The Sky is Everywhere enough. It has some of the most beautiful, poetic writing I have ever read, and it has to be, hands down, my favorite YA contemporary.

2. This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers - This is the zombie book for people who don't like zombies. The zombies definitely take a backseat in This Is Not a Test. Trust me. It's all about the humans in this book, and I thought this book was fantastic. 

3. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor - Daughter of Smoke & Bone impressed me beyond words. I have higher standards now because of this book.

4. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness - I recommend this to anyone who will listen because it deserves as much recognition as possible. This is a new favorite and I cannot wait to finish the series. I just hate knowing it will be over for good. 

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak - I've actually been really successful at recommending this book. My friend borrowed it from my shelf, and then her mom read it and loved it, and now my boyfriend has borrowed it. It's one of the first books that I think of when anyone wants a book recommendation. It's that good. 

6. The Passage by Justin Cronin - It's a longggg book, but it's definitely worth it. My family loves it, and I recommend it to any Stephen King fans I can find.

7. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls - This was an emotional book, but just wonderful in every way. I need to reread this soon. I recommend it to well, just about everyone I can.

8. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - This is historical fiction at its finest. I am so happy an old friend of mine recommended this to me because The Historian has to be one of my favorite reads of all time, and it's another book that's worth reading despite its huge size. I need to reread this also. It's been way too long. 

9. Any book by Stephen King - I even recommend books that I have yet to read by him. Because it's Stephen King. Nuff said. 

10. Just about any classic I've read and loved - So that's The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre, Dracula and a long list of classic novels that I will always cherish and recommend to anyone willing to listen.  

What books does everyone else highly recommend?

In My Mailbox (14)

Sunday, March 24, 2013 11:44 AM
In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story SirenIn My Mailbox gives bloggers the chance to showcase all of the new books they've received, borrowed, etc over the past week.

Bought (Barnes and Noble):
The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (reading now!)

Borrowed (Library):
Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty
Split by Swati Avasthi
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

I cannot wait to dig into all these books! So excited!

What was in everyone's mailboxes this week?

Review: Red Glove by Holly Black

Friday, March 22, 2013 9:00 AM
Title: Red Glove
Author: Holly Black
Published: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Series: Curse Workers #2
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Pages: 325
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

*Warning: This book review contains spoilers for White Cat*
“The truth is messy. It's raw and uncomfortable. You can't blame people for preferring lies.”
― Holly Black, Red Glove

Curses and cons.
Magic and the mob.

In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth — he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything — or anyone — into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she’s human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila’s been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion-worker mom. And if Lila’s love is as phony as Cassel’s made-up memories, then he can’t believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel’s oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue — crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too — they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can’t trust anyone — least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
How is it that the hardest books to review are the ones you love the most? I was absolutely blown out of the water by Red Glove. But if you asked me why I loved it so much, I wouldn't be able to pinpoint just one reason because all of it was fantastic. I kid you not. Red Glove was just as amazing as White Cat, if not more. There were shockers galore, and I could not put down this book for even a second. Black has concocted an amazing mix of magic, murder and mystery, and this series has me hooked.

Courtney Reads A Lot Gets A Makeover

Thursday, March 21, 2013 8:08 PM

I'm thrilled to announce that I have a new blog design! Thanks to Hafsah, blogger and designer, from IceyDesigns, Courtney Reads A Lot looks awesome! I am so grateful to Hafsah for putting the time and effort into designing this, and in such a short amount of time too.

Also, I have to thank Hafsah for being so patient with me as I tried to figure out what exactly I wanted. I never know what I want until I see it, and sometimes it takes me forever to discover what I'm going for. I would have been frustrated in her position, but she was super sweet and understanding!

I wish I could say that I designed this, but that's impossible. When it comes to being artsy and crafty, well, I'll sit this one out, guys. My creativity is all spent on writing. I really admire and respect anyone who has the skills to design, draw, paint, etc. My birds look like v's.

Thanks again, Hafsah! I am in love with this new design and it made my week!

Waiting on Wednesday (24) - The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 7:00 AM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. Every Wednesday, bloggers feature books that they cannot wait to read once they're released.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Hits Shelves on May 7, 2013
Add to Goodreads
The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. (Goodreads)
Why I'm Waiting
I saw The Passage mentioned, and I was immediately onboard! That's one of my favorite horror books EVER!

I mean, what isn't there to like about The 5th Wave? It sounds terrifying! And Rick Yancey is also the author of the popular The Monstrumologist series which I will be starting this month! So excited!

What is everyone else waiting for?

Top Ten Books I HAD To Buy...But Are Still Sitting On My Shelf Unread (19)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 7:00 AM
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Top Ten Tuesday is where bloggers post top ten lists based on a bookish theme. This week's Top Ten Tuesday is:

Top Ten Books I HAD To Buy...But Are Still Sitting On My Shelf Unread
It happens to the best of us. A book catches our eye, and we just have to buy it right then and there. This happens to me a lot. So narrowing this list down to 10 was almost impossible, but I did it for you guys. No one wants a mile long list.
1. Fever by Lauren DeStefano - I loved, loved, LOVED Wither with a passion. So as soon as I finished it, I decided I absolutely had to buy Fever that very second. And I still have yet to read it. I think my main reason for putting it off is because many reviewers didn't like it as much as they loved Wither. But I will be reading it very soon. Hopefully.

2. Rebel Heart by Moira Young - Same reasoning as above. I loved Blood Red Road, but now I'm worried I won't like Rebel Heart as much. Sequels worry me because they tend to disappoint. 

3. Black City by Elizabeth Richards - I even pre-ordered Black City. I read that it was about vampires, and I was so psyched to read it. But I saw a lot of negative reviews, and now I'm nervous.

4-5. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente - I met Valente at my local bookstore and got these babies signed! But I still have yet to read them. I need to fix that pronto!

6. The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier - For some reason, I desperately needed to have this book. There was absolutely no question about it. I think it was the cover and the premise that really sucked me in. I mean, islands in the sky? Sign me up! But I still haven't read it. I need to remedy this.
7. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke - I want to read this soon. I love historical fiction and magic, and this book is a mix of both so I'm super excited to try it out. 

8. Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck - So many people rave about this series, and I felt compelled to buy this first book, but it still remains unread. 

9. The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge - This series intrigues me, but it has received mixed reviews. I don't know why I saw it and felt that I needed to buy it, but my brain works in strange ways. 

10. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab - This book sounds fantastic. I just need to get around to reading it! I have no excuse.

You think I would've learned my lesson by now, but the jury's still out on that one. What books did you guys HAVE to buy but now they are just sitting on your shelf unread?

Review: White Cat by Holly Black

Monday, March 18, 2013 9:00 AM
Title: White Cat 
Author: Holly Black
Published: January 1, 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Series: Curse Workers #1
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Pages: 310
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“The easiest lies to tell are the ones you want to be true.”
―Holly Black, White Cat

Cassel comes from a family of Curse Workers - people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn't got magic, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail - he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Cassel has carefully built up a facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his facade starts to crumble when he finds himself sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
I have seriously missed out. Before White Cat, I had never read a single book by Holly Black, but I am definitely a fan of her writing now. White Cat was a fast-paced, thrilling read that had me guessing from the start. I loved how Black brilliantly intertwined reality and fiction, magic and the mafia. How did she even come up with this wildly imaginative storyline? White Cat is basically The Sopranos meets Harry Potter. We have mobster curse workers living the life of luxury, and I went just ballistic for it. These curse workers have the ability to do anything from tamper with your memory to alter your emotions drastically; it all depends on the type of curse worker. Anyone who works a curse is seen as a criminal in the eyes of the law so there was A LOT of illegal activity happening in this book.

Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Friday, March 15, 2013 9:00 AM
Title: Poison Study 
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Published: June 1, 2004
Publisher: Mira Books
Series: Study #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: 412
Source: Library
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“To Yelena, our newest food taster. May you last longer than your predecessor.”
― Maria V. Snyder, Poison Study

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison...

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear...(Goodreads)
My Thoughts
This is my second read along with my close friend Amanda from Late Nights with Good Books. We were both super excited to read Poison Study so we decided to read it together! And boy were we happy we did because we loved it!

Poison Study was a fantastic read filled with political intrigue and suspense. Throughout the entire book, I was on the tip of my toes, waiting for someone to keel over or be assassinated. There was just so much tension building in Ixia, as rebels and spies battled out a war of cunning and espionage, and Yelena was caught right in the middle of it.

Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 9:00 AM
Title: The Iron Daughter
Author: Julie Kagawa
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Published: August 1, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
Series: The Iron Fey #2
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Length: 13 hours and 16 minutes
Source: Purchased
Rating: 2 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

*Warning: This book review contains spoilers for The Iron King*
“What if I take you apart and turn you into a toaster oven, how would you like that tin can?”
― Julie Kagawa, The Iron Daughter

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
After finishing The Iron Daughter, I felt an array of emotions: frustration, annoyance and, mainly, relief. I was so relieved that it was finally over. This audiobook seemed to take forever to listen to because I had periods where I stopped listening just because I could not take it anymore. I know there are a lot of fans of this series, but after giving it another try, I have to say it's just not for me. In fact, I think The Iron Daughter was not as enjoyable a read as The Iron King.

Waiting on Wednesday (23) - Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

7:00 AM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the SpineWaiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme where bloggers showcase books that have yet to be released and that they are anxiously awaiting.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Hits Shelves on June 4, 2013
Add to Goodreads
Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm. (Goodreads)
Why I'm Waiting
It's not fair! Siege and Storm should be out NOW. Not next month. Not in June. NOW! I know I sound like a spoiled brat stomping her foot, but that is what this book has turned me into. The wait is killing me.

I need more of the Darkling and Alina and Mal. Bahhhh! Okay, I'm done.

What are you waiting for this week?

Review: Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Sunday, March 10, 2013 10:00 AM
Title: Some Girls Are
Author: Courtney Summers
Published: January 5, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Pages: 246
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“You only get to walk variations of the same lines everyone has already drawn for you.”
Courtney Summers, Some Girls Are

Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard—falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around.

Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.

Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
Some girls are conniving, evil little bitches, and Courtney Summers captured that all too well in her Some Girls Are. This book was very difficult to read because it deals with a heavy subject matter: high school bullying. Some Girls Are is basically Mean Girls times 10. The girls, and we can't forget the guys as well, in Hallowell High are brutal and they have no scruples with making others' lives a living hell. And when I say living hell, I mean it. Anna and her crew push Regina down the stairs, freeze her out, and do even worse, unimaginably horrible things to her. You really have to be in the right frame of mind before reading Some Girls Are, and, unfortunately, I just wasn't. This book was a dark, poignant tale of teenage suffering at the hands of bullies, and I struggled reading it because of the unsettling topic.

Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Friday, March 8, 2013 9:00 AM
Title: Unravel Me 
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Published: February 5, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: Shatter Me #2
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Pages: 461
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

*Warning: This book review contains spoilers for Shatter Me*
“I am nothing more than the consequence of catastrophe.”
― Tahereh Mafi, Unravel Me

it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
I am feeling all these emotions. Just so many emotions all packed together. Shock, frustration, happiness, excitement, anxiety, exhilaration. Because honestly while I saw it coming, I kept trying to tell myself that Mafi would not put us through another love triangle. But this one is the most confusing triangle of all because I actually like sick, psychopathic Warner. Warner who tortured Adam. Warner who has killed people and enjoyed it. And don't think for a second that I'm kidding myself. I know Warner is not going to drastically change, and if he did, I would be seriously pissed off at Mafi for even thinking we'd buy that cheap move. So why did I like him so much? This leaves me feeling very conflicted, and I'm having trouble deciding why exactly I loved Unravel Me as much as I did when it had a) a love triangle and b) it pairs a girl with a maniac.

Waiting On Wednesday (22) - Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 7:00 AM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the SpineWaiting on Wednesday is where bloggers post books they are anxiously waiting for. And without further ado...

Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow
Hits Shelves on October 29, 2013
Add to Goodreads
In the world of Sorrow’s Knot, the dead do not rest easy. Every patch of shadow might be home to something hungry and nearly invisible, something deadly. The dead can only be repelled or destroyed with magically knotted cords and yarns. The women who tie these knots are called binders.

Otter is the daughter of Willow, a binder of great power. She’s a proud and privileged girl who takes it for granted that she will be a binder some day herself. But when Willow’s power begins to turn inward and tear her apart, Otter finds herself trapped with a responsibility she’s not ready for, and a power she no longer wants. (Goodreads)
Why I'm Waiting
Everybody sees those arms creeping toward the girl, right? Just checking. This book seems vaguely reminiscent of Sabriel, and I'm also thinking of the three Fates, Moirai, who spun, measured and then cut the threads of life. But anywho, this book sounds delightfully creepy and just wonderful. I'm really looking forward to it.

What's everyone else waiting for?

Top Ten Series I'd Like To Start But Haven't Yet (18)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 7:00 AM
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, bloggers post a top ten list based off of a bookish theme. This week's Top Ten Tuesday is:

Top Ten Series I'd Like To Start But Haven't Yet

1. Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin - I'm getting there. I love the HBO series A Game of Thrones, and that inspired me to read the books. So I have the books; I just need to actually read them. It's only a matter of time before I fully commit to reading the entire series through (or at least the books that are out at this time).

2. The Curse Workers by Holly Black - Is it horrible that I have yet to read any Holly Black? I haven't even read Tithe. It's inexcusable. I actually am more interested in her Curse Workers series than her A Modern Faerie Tale series. It just sounds like my type of series. I just need to find the time and get through some other books first...

3. The Maze Runner by James Dashner - I swear I'm going to get around to the first book sometime real soon. This series fascinates me for some reason, and I have high hopes that it won't be just another typical dystopian series. Please don't let these hopes be crushed!

4. Whistling Tor by Juliet Marillier - Heart's Blood, the first book of this series, is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Need I say more? I've read her Daughter of the Forest, and I cannot wait to get my hands on this one.

5. The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss - Because there needs to be more fantasy in my life, especially high fantasy. Am I intimidated by the size of this book? Heck no! Bring it on, Rothfuss! Impress me with a new epic series that I can fall in love with!

6. The Immortals by Tamora Pierce - It's Tamora Pierce. Nuff said.

7. Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien - I really want to try out this series. It's another dystopian series that I really hope is worth my time.

8. Shades of London by Maureen Johnson - It's about a modern Jack the Ripper so I'm pretty psyched! Is that weird?  

9. Phèdre's Trilogy by Jacqueline Carey - I'm almost reduced to tears when I think of all the books I have that I have yet to read and still need to read. Along with my bookshelves, I have like a million books on my Ipad too. The pressure! Kushiel's Dart is one of them, and I have to get to it. At first glance, it doesn't look like much, but I've heard so many good things about it. I need more time!

10. The Light Isles by Juliet Marillier - Am I becoming obsessed? Possibly. I just want to explore more of the amazingness that is Marillier's writing. 

What is everyone else's Top Ten this week?

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