Waiting on Wednesday (35) - Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 7:00 AM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature where book bloggers spotlight upcoming releases they are highly anticipating.

Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst
Hits Shelves on August 27, 2013
Add to Goodreads
Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined. (Goodreads)
Why I'm Waiting
The whole "buttons being sewn into her skin" line promises enough creepy factor to have me extremely intrigued. Also, I can't deny the allure of a "dangerous magic-wielding serial killer." I have yet to read Durst's Vessel, though I fully intend to sometime in the future. I'm definitely excited for Conjured! It sounds like a thrilling read that I can't wait to get my hands on.

What is everyone else waiting on this week? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List (25)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 7:00 AM
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This weekly feature has book bloggers post a Top Ten bookish list for the fun of it! This week's Top Ten Tuesday is:

Top Ten Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List

1. Joyland by Stephen King - It's Stephen King's newest release, and I am dying to get my hands on it and read it in one sitting! Which is actually possible for once with a King book because it is only 283 pages! Wow, that's short for Stephen King!

2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - Every once and awhile, I need a break from YA and I just want some adult fiction. Can you believe that there was a point in time where all I read was adult books? Ready Player One sounds like a nostalgic, genre-defying, AMAZING read! Just my type of book!

3. The Twelve by Justin Cronin - I constantly gush about the first installment of this series, The Passage, but The Twelve remains unread on my bookshelf. It's even a Goodreads Choice 2012 Winner! I need to just pick it up and dive in.

4. The Stand by Stephen King - Okay, I can do this. I believe this is the second TBR Top Ten List I've included this on, but it is still unread. This is unacceptable! I must get to reading this!

5. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride - This book screams Courtney! A horrific yet humorous read about raising the dead for cash? Yup, I need to read this!

6. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - This series has received so many stunning reviews, and I cannot wait to read this! Besides, I'm always looking for more fantasy to read!

7. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch - I will admit that I was attracted to this book for a superficial reason. I liked the purple in the cover. But I am so happy I stumbled upon this book because it is a must read for the future!

8. In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters - I've heard great things about this book, and I don't know why I haven't read it yet. It's sitting on my shelf right now. I definitely intend to read this sometime during the summer!

9. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski - I have had this book for years. YEARS! It is a very challenging read, seeing as it's made with an odd assortment of papers with footnotes and appendices and who knows what else. But I will finish it!

10. The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima - I've been meaning to get to this series for some time because I'm sure it will become a new favorite. Someday, I know I will read this, and I'm hoping for this summer!

Half of these books I already have sitting on my shelf, just waiting to be cracked open. The other half I don't have in my possession, but I fully intend to purchase or borrow them in the future. The only problem is finding the time to read them...

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts on these books? And what books do you plan to read over the summer? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Showcase Sunday (2)

Sunday, June 16, 2013 10:00 AM
Showcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea. Showcase Sunday is a weekly feature where book bloggers highlight the books and book swag they received, borrowed, etc over the past week.

-Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo - I'm just about to start this one and I am SO EXCITED! I absolutely loved Shadow and Bone, and I cannot wait to continue this series!

-Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley - I've heard you can't go wrong with books by an Aussie YA author, and I'd believe it after reading some of Melina Marchetta's work. So many people rave about Graffiti Moon, and I'm anxious to read it!

-Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers - I love that Dark Triumph's protagonist is Sybella! I loved her in Grave Mercy, and I'm sure this book will be action-packed and filled with assassins doing kick-ass stuff as they always do!

Bought (Kindle):
I also snatched up some Kindle books that were on sale! How could I resist 1.99 and 2.99 deals?!
-Sanctum by Sarah Fine - I had borrowed this from the library at one point, but it had started off a little slow for me, and I ran out of renewals before I finished it. I'll have to give it another try because it seems like a really popular book.

-The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney - I've been eyeing up this book for awhile, and it looks like my type of fantasy read - all sorts of spooky!

-Something Like Normal by Trish Doller - I've been wanting to read this book for some time so the discounted price was all I needed!

So what books did everyone else receive this week? Let me know and leave a link in the comments below!

Review: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Saturday, June 15, 2013 2:14 PM
Title: Monsters of Men
Author: Patrick Ness
Published: May 3, 2010
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Series: Chaos Walking #3
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian, Science Fiction
Pages: 603
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

*Warning: This book review contains spoilers for The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer*
“War makes Monsters of Men.”
― Patrick Ness, Monsters of Men

In the riveting conclusion to the acclaimed dystopian series, a boy and girl caught in the chaos of war face devastating choices that will decide the fate of a world.
As a world-ending war surges around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many.

The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most, or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption, or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
I'm simply at a loss for words. Yet somehow, I'm still typing, still forming coherent, hopefully, sentences, while my mind is a churning mess of emotion and feels. Monsters of Men was everything I wanted and so much more. It was the electrifying finale to a series I have fallen head over heels for, and I just want to reread it again and again so I never leave the world of the Chaos Walking series behind. I know what you're thinking. She's talking all sorts of weirdness. But I'm dead serious, and if you've read this series, you must know exactly what I'm going through. It is rare for a series to continue to be exceptional as it progresses, and it is even rarer for a series to get better with every book when you thought it was impossible for it to improve. But the impossible is now possible. The Chaos Walking series is that series, and you need to read it right now. I told you I wasn't kidding.

Waiting on Wednesday (34) - Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 7:00 AM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. Every Wednesday, book bloggers spotlight upcoming releases they cannot wait to get their hands on.

Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier
Hits Shelves on July 9, 2013
Add to Goodreads
Neryn thought she had lost everything and could trust no one, not even her mysterious companion, Flint.

But when she finds refuge at the rebel base of Shadowfell and discovers her canny gift as a Caller, she feels the first stirrings of hope.

Now she faces a perilous journey with the rebel Tali and the Good Folk, who shadow her steps. She must find the three Guardians who can teach her how to use her unwieldy gift – one that it is rumoured could amass a powerful army.

Can Neryn master her magical power to save Alban from King Keldec's stranglehold?

Or will she be too late? (Goodreads)
Why I'm Waiting
Shadowfell was my first Juliet Marillier read ever, and I fell in love with her writing from the first page. It was fantasy done right, and I cannot wait for the sequel!

I just wish the covers for Marillier's books were more appealing. I was disappointed with the cover for Daughter of the Forest, and many of her other books deserve beautiful covers but unfortunately, the opposite happens. Shadowfell's cover was stunning, but the cover for Raven Flight is disappointing. I'm a bigger fan of the Australian cover, but that's just me being picky.

Let me know what you're waiting for this week! Leave a link to your WoW post in the comments below!

Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Monday, June 10, 2013 9:00 AM
Title: Bittersweet
Author: Sarah Ockler
Published: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Pages: 378
Source: Library
Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

“It takes forty muscles to frown, and only twelve to jam a cupcake in your mouth and get over it.”
― Sarah Ockler, Bittersweet
Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life... and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last... (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
I decided to read this book after Rather Be Reading highly recommended it. I've been making it my mission to sample more of the contemporary genre. I used to think I would never be a fan of YA contemp, but I was proven wrong. While fantasy remains my favorite genre, I've found some fantastic books in this neck of the woods. This was my first Sarah Ockler book ever, and I found it to be a cute, enjoyable read. I strongly suggest that you have sugary treats on hand before reading this! Each chapter in Bittersweet was titled after a cupcake name, followed by the cupcake ingredients, that tied in perfectly with the plot developments. The cupcake names were witty and fun, and the descriptions seriously had me drooling. 

Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Thursday, June 6, 2013 9:00 AM
Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness, Jim Kay (Illustrator) (Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd)
Published: September 15, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: Children's Fantasy
Pages: 215
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?”
― Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
Back in the day, I was a BIG Roald Dahl fan. At the start of A Monster Calls, I was reminded of The BFG, short for The Big Friendly Giant. In both books, a large monster, or giant, comes in the middle of the night to the bedroom window of a child, or teen, who is having trouble sleeping. After that, all similarities between these two stories cease, and A Monster Calls veers off onto a darker path. It almost made me long for the adventures of Giant Country because A Monster Calls is not an easy book to read, but it is still such a rewarding, meaningful read nonetheless.

Waiting On Wednesday (33) - Half Lives by Sara Grant

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 7:00 AM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. Every Wednesday, book bloggers showcase upcoming releases that they're eagerly awaiting.

Half Lives by Sara Grant
Hits Shelves on July 9, 2013
Add to Goodreads
I learned that surviving isn't all it's cracked up to be. If you survive, you've got to live with the guilt, and that's more difficult than looking someone in the eye and pulling the trigger. Trust me. I've done both. Killing takes a twitch of the finger. Absolution takes several lifetimes.

Seventeen-year-old Icie's parents have given her $10,000 in cash, a map of a top-secret bunker, and instructions to get there by any means necessary. They have news of an imminent viral attack and know that the bunker is Icie's only hope for survival. Along with three other teens, she lives locked away for months, not knowing what's happening in the outside world or who has survived. And are they safe in the bunker after all?

Generations in the future, a mysterious cult worships the very mountain where Icie's secret bunker was built. They never leave the mountain, they're ruled by a teenager...and they have surprising ties to Icie.

This high-stakes, original, and thought-provoking adventure from Sara Grant follows two unlikely heroes, hundreds of years apart, as they fight to survive. (Goodreads)
Why I'm Waiting
Half Lives doesn't sound like or look like a book I would usually pick up, but the dual narratives from characters living hundreds of years apart has me intrigued. This doesn't sound like a time travel book either, which is a plus because I'm not huge on time travel. Well, I did read a lot of Lynn Kurland romances back in the day, but that's beside the point.

I'm also wondering about this "absolution takes several lifetimes" line. It sounds like a unique premise, and I'm hoping Half Lives proves worth the wait!

What is everyone else waiting on this week?

Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Saturday, June 1, 2013 10:00 AM
Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Published: March 3, 2005
Publisher: Dutton
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Pages: 221
Source: Gift
Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”
― John Green, Looking for Alaska

Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
I first heard about John Green my freshman year of college. A friend of mine sang his praises, and I was so intrigued, I immediately added Looking for Alaska to my book collection. And I have finally read it more than four years later. Why did I wait so long? Who knows? The lesson to learn from this story: buy books and actually read them before they gather dust or you might be missing out on a great book for way too long. And while I did have a couple of issues with this book, Looking for Alaska was still that great book, and it was an enjoyable read filled with touching, emotional scenes.
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