Sunday, March 31, 2013

ARC Review: My Ex From Hell (The Blooming Goddess Trilogy #1) by Tellulah Darling

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: April 1, 2013
Publisher: Te Da Media
April 1, 2013

Sixteen-year-old Sophie Bloom wishes she’d been taught the following:

a) Bad boy’s presence (TrOuBlE) + teen girl’s brain (DraMa) = TrAuMa (Highly unstable and very volatile.)
b) The Genus Greekulum Godissimus is notable for three traits: 1) awesome abilities, 2) grudges, and 3) hook-ups, break-ups, and in-fighting that puts cable to shame.

Prior to the Halloween dance, Sophie figures her worst problems involve adolescent theatrics, bitchy yoga girls, and being on probation at her boarding school for mouthy behaviour. Then she meets bad boy Kai and gets the kiss that rocks her world.


This breath stealing lip lock reawakens Sophie’s true identity: Persephone, Goddess of Spring. She’s key to saving humanity in the war between the Underworld and Olympus, target numero uno of Hades and Zeus, and totally screwed.

Plus there’s also the little issue that Sophie’s last memory as Persephone was just before someone tried to murder her.

Big picture: master her powers, get her memories back, defeat Persephone’s would be assassin, and save the world. Also, sneak into the Underworld to retrieve stolen property, battle the minions of Hades and Zeus, outwit psycho nymphs, slay a dragon, rescue a classmate, keep from getting her butt expelled from the one place designed to keep her safe …

… and stop kissing Kai, Prince of the Underworld.

My Ex From Hell is a romantic comedy/Greek mythology smackdown. Romeo and Juliet had it easy.


Instead of calling this a review, this should be classified as a fangirling episode. The gist of the following is: READ THIS BOOK. BUY IT. STEAL IT FROM SOMEONE. WHATEVER IT TAKES.

As soon as I finished My Ex From Hell, I immediately picked up Ms. Darling's first novel, Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls so I wouldn't start going through withdrawals of humor. Let me tell you, this is an author to watch! Tellulah spins mythology brilliantly and makes My Ex From Hell the funniest retelling I've ever read!

Sophie thought she was your average human, living an average life. She's trying to destroy her mortal enemy. Until kissing an complete jerk, albeit an extremely attractive, complete jerk, she thought she was mortal as well. Then she began to regain her memories. Not only was she the goddess, Persephone, but she was in a relationship with Kai, said extremely attractive jerk whom she kissed. Now to figure out how exactly this happened to her, she must unlock her past, with the help of her jerky ex and two best friends, to figure out exactly who and why someone was trying to murder her former self.

This book was hilarious! Sophie has to be one of my favorite main characters of all time. She has a fantastic humor that kept me reading from start to finish. Her personality is relatable and her inner monologue left me in stitches. Her best friends, Hannah and Theo, only add to this story. The trio is an absolute riot, but they also obviously care for one another, which is always a plus in friendships. And Kai's hot. A total skeez, but hot. Like so hot that I drooled a bit every time he was mentioned. That hot. He's also a bit of a d-bag. Though, instead of making him less attractive, I found myself rooting for him and Sophie even more.

From the moment Tellulah begins this story, I was enraptured. It was impossible to put the book down. I actually read it in one sitting, though I only meant to read a few chapters to help me fall asleep. (Stupid Tellulah and her engaging story.) The plot is filled to the brim with hilarity and adventure. It will continuously keep its readers on their toes. It's original and witty, a complete and total win.

There is only one thing I didn't like about My Ex From Hell and that was the fact that it ended! It was such a good story that I was genuinely disappointed that the sequel is nowhere near being released. No, now I, and all of the other fans, have to wait until October to read the next installment. (Stupid calendar system.) I sincerely am looking forward to the second book. I'm sure that it will be just as fantastic as the first. Though… for the sake of my heart, I can only hope that Tellulah will give Kai and Sophie a break! (Because they belong together like peanut butter and jelly, or Blay and Qhuinn--AMIRITE, TELLULAH?)

I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review via Netgalley.

And find Jenn's review of My Ex From Hell HERE and stop back tomorrow for an interview with Tellulah and a chance to win a signed copy of this novel!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cover Reveal + Excerpt: Of Silver and Beasts (A Goddess Wars Novel) by Trisha Wolfe

Of Silver and Beasts (A Goddess Wars Novel) by Trisha Wolfe
Cover Designed by Steven Novak

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: June 1, 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
305 Pages

In the sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life, preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.

When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where they must fight for their life in a caged arena. 

Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.

New Adult Dark Fantasy: Intended for readers 17 years of age and older.


Excerpt from Of Silver and Beasts by Trisha Wolfe:

I open my mouth to say something comforting, but I’m unsure of what. In this moment, I’m reminded that I know little about him. Other than the sarcasm and desire to understand nothing of my queendom, he hasn’t allowed me past the surface.
 But then, I have my own walls, hiding things I’d never want him or any other to know. And I understand that need to hide them. You can’t trust anyone. 
 “Caben…” I start, but still can’t find the right words.
 He lowers his hand from his face, never taking his eyes off the glinting water top. “You’re right,” he finally says. “Let’s find the access to Lilly’s section.”
 A hollow pang hits my chest, and I’m not sure why. Something in his voice sounds lost, broken. I imagine the gears around my heart spinning faster, trying to keep up with my racing heart. 
 When he sidesteps me, I reach out and grab his arm. “Caben, I didn’t mean—”
 “It’s fine, Kal,” he snaps. “We have work to do.”
 “No, I’ve said something to offend you.” I drop my hand, but keep close to him, not allowing him to leave my side. Goddess, trying to understand the male brain is harder than anything in protector training. I’ve heard people say that you have to tip-toe around a woman’s emotions, but a man’s ego is every bit as fragile, if not more so.
 He releases a heavy breath through his nose and walks back to the pool. He sits down along the edge and rolls up his pants, then slips off his boots. “I honestly don’t think Bax or his goons will be returning tonight.” He sinks his bare feet into the water and sighs.
 Glancing at the back of the cave, I plant my hands on my hips. We don’t have time for indulgencies, but the prince is still my charge. If it were my empress, I’d give her anything she’d ask for. Allow her as much time as she needed to collect herself. I have to watch over his mental state as well as protect him, so I try to push the pending need to find Lilly aside and sit down next to him.
 “Here,” he says, turning his hand out near my crossed feet. “You have to feel this.”
 A smile tugs at the corner of my mouth. “I can remove my own—”
 “Have you never been pampered a day in your life?” he asks, lifting an eyebrow. “I know that the Nactue are fierce and will put a hurt on any man for touching them. But try to relax.”
 “Is that the rumor in Perinya?”
 I bite my lip, suddenly regretting my blurt. “Nothing. Never mind.”
 From the corner of my eye, I see his lips pucker into a pinched smile, as if he’s trying not to. “Ah,” he says, like he’s made some great universal connection. “Well, there are many whisperings about the Nactue. Some I dare not repeat for fear I’d leave here missing a limb, but that’s one, yes.” He takes my booted foot and begins to unlace it. “I’ve heard that the empress’s protectors are untouchable—forbidden to give themselves to men. And that they’ll snap a man’s neck just for making an advance.”
 My mouth drops open. Appalled, I counter, “That’s not true.”
 “All right,” he says, as if he hasn’t just insulted my very existence. “It’s only rumors. Things men jaw about in pubs. The unattainable woman is a fantasy, Kal. Don’t be offended.”
 “Unattainable?” I grit my teeth, trying to maintain my composure. “Tell me, prince. Do men in your country just go around bedding every woman they can in order to keep them compliant?” I shake my head. “If their fantasy is a woman that would have nothing to do with them, it seems to me it’s their way of feeding their egos after being rejected.”
 His eyes widen. “No! How does your brain come up with these—” He bites off his words, his lips thin as he presses them together. “Look, it was a joke.”
 I nod, many times. “Another joke. I’m glad that our hard work and sacrifice is amusing to the men of Perinya.”
 Caben lets out another sigh and slowly pulls off my boot. His warm fingers skim my calf as he inches up my pant leg. “Just stick your foot in,” he says, then adds lower, “while I stick mine in my mouth.”
 Unexpectedly, I laugh. “At least it’s now clean,” I say. “Would you like some help getting it to your face?”

Tour-Wide Giveaway Details:
- One winner will receive $10 to Amazon or PayPal Cash
- We are not responsible for lost and/or damaged packages
- Ends 04/02/2013

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What do you think of the cover? 
We love it and are so looking forward to getting our hands on a copy!

Follow Friday (58)

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

Q. Tell us about the most emotional scene you've ever read in a book--and how did you react?

A. The first thing that comes to mind is a scene in Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. In the scene, the main character, June and her uncle Finn's lover, Toby, read notes written to them from her uncle before he died. It ripped me to shreds and I sobbed for the rest of the book and then forced my cat to cuddle with me. It was extremely emotional experience and was part of one of the most amazing books I've ever read. I'll just use this space to pimp it out (again). If you are a fan of heartwrenching, powerful, beautiful books, Tell the Wolves I'm Home is for you!

What's the most emotional scene you've ever read? I need some recommendations!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

ARC Review: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
320 Pages

When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous
But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.

I, like I’m sure many other people out there, have often thought about how it would be to live 50 or 60 years in the past. You see those movies and TV show showing a simpler, happier times where families had sit down dinners together every night and technology wasn’t in every part of our lives. Everything was…pleasant.
So when Mallory discovers that her boyfriend has been emotionally cheating on her with a corset-wearing icon on FriendSpace, she swears off technology. No cell phone, no computer, no internet…nothing that wasn’t around in the early 60s. This includes clothing as well.
I loved the idea of this book. I could see Mallory’s logic. How, in her mind, technology was where everything went to hell. Using her grandmother’s teen years as a guideline, Mallory dives in with a list of goals she wants to complete: sew a homecoming dress, join pep squad, etc. And I loved the setting of the book: Orange, CA. Being from Orange County and having been to Orange, it was very easy to picture the life there.
There was a love/hate relationship that I had with Mallory. There was a line in the book that I feel sums her up in one sentence: My only stability is mobility. The girl is constantly striving for what’s next. I loved that she refused to be a victim and went out wanting to make changes to her life. I hated how, even though she was the older sister, she was extremely juvenile in her thinking. And she whined…a lot. Anytime something didn’t go her way – whine. Anytime she got into a position she didn’t want to be in, despite putting herself there – whine. She even threw a fit when her little sister emptied her room of all electronics. Why are you throwing a fit about being cut off from the world when this is what you wanted?
Then there was her family. I was fine with the sister, even the dad. It was the mother and the grandmother that I had problems with. The Grandmother story line felt like it came out of nowhere and I don’t know what it added to the actual plot of the story. It seemed like the author wanted to throw in one more dramatic situation and it just ended up playing out like a cheesy soap. And the mother, I just found down right horrible. At first, I thought she was just a mom trying to live vicariously through her daughters, but then you find out the reasoning for her actions and turns out she was just selling out her daughters for money (pretty much).
Finally, there’s the love interests. First, we have Jeremy – the internet cheater. I believe Mallory had it right when she called him a tool. I really couldn’t see why she wanted to be with him in the first place. All he ever wanted to do was make-out. And apparently they had no communication …at all. Then, we have charming Oliver.
“We’re talking earning ten charm O.W.L.’s at Hogwarts.”.
Yup, sums up Oliver. I adored this character. He’s the reason for the higher rating. One of the best things about this book was Oliver and Mallory’s relationship. It wasn’t insta love. You could actually see the building of their relationship – late night phone calls instead of texting. It was sweet and he was adorable and he made me smile every time he arrived.
All in all, despite how it had that tied-together-with-a-bow ending, I found it to be a cute, lightweight read.
 Thanks you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!
To participate all you have to do is:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!) 

 Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


"Wind clawed at the canvas tarp covering Zenn in the cargo bed of the ancient pickup truck. The truck picked up speed, rattling and bucking down the rutted dirt road, and it took all her strength to keep the coarse cloth from being ripped out of her hands."
Chapter 1, ARC Page 7
Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon


Top Ten Tuesday (55)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!
This week's theme is: 
Top Ten Books I Recommend Most

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- This is on of those books that I had to own, read once, but will probably never read again because it's so emotional and so wonderful that I can only handle it once in a lifetime. I think everyone should read it, because it's not often that a book this powerful comes around.
2. Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
- Okay... This book is really emotional, too. But gah! With the issue of gay marriage being so relevant, especially as of late, I think this is a book that needs to be read. It's beautiful, and so perfect. I sobbed my heart out, but it was so worth it.
3. Sarah Dessen's books
- I think Sarah's books are amazing. I always recommend her to fans of contemporary young adult!
4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
- My one of my favorite books, this is a classic. Everyone should read it!
5. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
- Hilarious, heart-wrenching and ultimately heart-warming, this duo can do no wrong!
6. The Necromancer Series by Lish McBride
- Lish's writing is fantastic. The Necromancer books are extremely humorous and entertaining in the best of ways. I'm sad I have to wait until 2015 until the third book! So to make myself feel better, I've been trying to get others to join me in love and misery (over having to wait so long).
7. Painted Faces by LH Conway
- This is an adult novel and it's definitely not for everyone. The background of the main character's love interest is not one that is often written about in any kind of fiction. I loved the unique ideas the author brought and (almost) everyone I've recommended this to loved it!
8. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
- Even before the movie came out, I pushed this book on all of my friends (including Edwin). It's fascinating and in my opinion, better than The Lord of the Rings.
9. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
- Such a fun book, with just a little angst.
10. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
- This is such a good series--even my mother (who I forced to read it) loved it!

What books do you recommend most?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway: The Kings of Charleston (The Kings of Charleston #1) by Kat H. Clayton

Today, we are happy to be a part of the The Kings of Charleston Blog Tour
hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.
Find the other tour stops here.

The Kings of Charleston (The Kings of Charleston #1) by Kat H. Clayton
The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Self-Published
348 Pages

Casper Whitley is forced to move to Charleston, South Carolina where she’ll be the new kid her senior year of high school. Casper’s upset about the move until she meets the Roman family’s gorgeous son, Cal, but there’s a problem. A mystery surrounds him which can be summed up in one word…Kythera. Never heard of it? Neither has Casper until she finds the word tattooed on cars, paintings and all her new friends.

After Casper’s life is threatened, someone is forced to tell the truth about her parents, the Romans and Kythera’s motives for her being in Charleston. Once the truth is revealed, she must decide whether to protect her family and Kythera’s secrets or walk away from everything she has ever known.


Tour-Wide Giveaway Details:
- One winner will receive a signed copy of The Kings of Charleston and a Kindle Paperwhite
- Open to US/CA/UK residents only
- We are not responsible for lost and/or damaged packages
- Ends 04/07/2013

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt from The Kings of Charleston by Kat H Clayton:

Cal swore under his breath and pulled to the side.
I was a mess. I had never been pulled over, not even as a passenger.
Cal pushed a button and the window slid down slowly with a whoosh. I turned to look at the approaching officer. He had a flashlight in his hand that he swept across the side of the car. Once he reached the front of the car, he paused at the front wheel and stood motionless for several seconds. I leaned over the console to see what the holdup was. The officer’s face had drained of all its color.
“Can I help you, Officer?” Cal said.
I hit Cal on the shoulder and mouthed, What are you doing? He shrugged his shoulders.
“Oh, well, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize who you were,” the officer said with an uneasy laugh. Why would he be sorry for pulling over a seventeen-year-old in a Mercedes?
“No problem, you new to the force?” Cal said in a conversational tone. My mouth dropped open.
“Yes, I am. I didn’t get a good look at your vehicle till now. Hope you have a good night,” he said. The officer walked back to his vehicle and drove off. Cal turned on his blinker and merged back into the flow of traffic.
“What just happened?” I asked. I was shocked and confused by how the officer had treated Cal. You would have thought he was a movie star or a diplomat with immunity to the law.
“Ah, nothing, I just know the police pretty well,” he responded, smiling to himself. There was obviously more to the story and it had to do with whatever the officer had seen on the front wheel of his car. What could he have seen? I was dying to find out.
“You have a lot of run-ins with the law?”
He leaned his head over to me with a playful expression on his face. I felt tiny butterflies develop in the pit of my stomach. “Me? Nah, they have run-ins with me from time to time. I have to straighten them out, you know?”
He turned the blinker on and we entered a residential neighborhood. A few minutes later, we pulled up to a restaurant at the end of a secluded street. Cal pulled the car into a parallel parking space across the street and got out of the car. I began to open my door, but he waved his finger at me. He opened the door for me and gestured for me to take his hand. After a moment’s hesitation, I stepped out of the car, my hand in his strong grip.

Big thanks to Giselle from Xpresso Reads and Kat for allowing to be a part of this tour!

ARC Review: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
256 Pages

There are some things you can’t leave behind…A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.


If You Find Me was a novel that immediately drew my attention. I have a fondness for books that break out of the norm for young adult contemporaries, so this book seemed right up my alley. Plus the gorgeous cover and the kind author? I hoped for the best. There was no need to hope. This is a novel that can easily stand on its own two legs.

I'll be honest and say it took me awhile to get into the story. Ms. Murdoch's prose matches the themes in the story--to say they are different from our "every day" books, would be an understatement. Though the voice of the narrator tied the novel together and made it even more realistic, Carey was not one to immediately pull me in, but rather took some time to get used to. Once I did though? I couldn't put it down. I read this from start to finish in a mere hours (though it is pretty short). It was just SO DANG GOOD!

If You Find Me is a haunting story. Carey's journey was horrifying, and utterly heartbreaking. No child should suffer the way she had, but her strength and determination made her inspiring to all. This story may not be real, but by the end, readers will have such a connection with Carey that they will feel her hope and determination for a better future.

Carey has lived in the woods for years, staying in a broken down mobile home with her younger sister. Her mentally ill mother hid them there, coming and going as she pleased and leaving the two young girls to fend for themselves. When two strangers show up and take them from the only home they've ever really known, Carey must deal with the aftermath and reveal the truths she's been able to hide. Why did her sister stop speaking? What is the big secret keeping her from moving forward? Or she can continue to keep them locked away and watch the new life she's been given tumble down around her.

The characters in this story are just… brilliant. Carey, Jenessa, Pixie, Ryan and Melissa? All were able to draw me in and really tug at my heartstrings. Carey's dad may have been my favorite character. While his backstory is a bit obvious from the start, he is the kind of man that young adult fiction should praise. Not perfect, but nurturing and accepting towards his daughter and her sister. Delany is on the other hand of that. While Delany's anger is understandable, that did not make her character any more likable. She was often cruel, very selfish and very often a just plain mean person. I literally felt sick due to some of her actions against Carey. I would love a glimpse inside her head!

The plot is gripping and evocative. So much happens to these two girls in such a short period of time. It's amazing, but surprisingly realistic. The pacing was perfect, in my opinion. The novel tied together fantastically. It wasn't perfect, but especially for a debut, I've been blown away! I could honestly rave about this book all day.

I only have one gripe: the prose--though I wouldn't change it now. It was so unusual that I almost put down the book. I'm so glad that I didn't because this is one of my favorite books of 2013 thus far. A glimpse further down the road would've been nice as well, but I think Ms. Murdoch handles the ending, and story has a whole with a delicate, albeit disturbing grace.

If You Find Me pushes the boundaries of contemporary young adult fiction. It discusses a controversial subject that the author handles gracefully and respectfully, haunting as it may be. Ms. Murdoch is an author to watch! Her writing is poignant and refreshingly emotional. I can only hope that her future works will make us feel as If You Find Me did. Though I'm sure that with the inspiration from where she drew this novel (which you can read in this amazingly powerful guest post from The Midnight Garden), she will provide nothing less.

I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review via Netgalley.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

ARC Review: Wasteland by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
352 Pages

Welcome to the Wasteland. Where all the adults are long gone, and now no one lives past the age of nineteen. Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan’s post-apocalyptic debut is the first of a trilogy in which everyone is forced to live under the looming threat of rampant disease and brutal attacks by the Variants —- hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin. Esther thinks there’s more to life than toiling at harvesting, gleaning, and excavating, day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day. But then Caleb, a mysterious stranger, arrives in town, and Esther begins to question who she can trust. As shady pasts unravel into the present and new romances develop, Caleb and Esther realize that they must team together to fight for their lives and for the freedom of Prin.


Are you looking for a book that doesn't have characters you can connect with, sloppy point-of-view switches, so many points-of-views that you lose track and an unbelievable world with so many inconsistencies that it will make you want to punch things? Then Wasteland is the book for you!

Apparently, this book is about a girl named Esther, though it's told from many perspectives. She lives in Prin, where everyone in residence is under the age of nineteen. By the time anyone turns nineteen, they are dead. Not only do they have that to worry about, but all of these minors are also having babies, starting at around fourteen-years-old and most of them are stillborns. No one knows why. AND ON TOP OF THAT, they are constantly getting attacked by these mutated hermaphrodites that everyone wants dead except Esther (of course). So Caleb moseys on in to town and screws everything up, or something.

This is, hands down, one of the worst books that I've ever read. There are so many "wrongs" and absolutely no "rights."  I mean, how did the world come to be this way? You can expect me to believe that the world just suddenly went rogue. You need a detailed background story! That is essential for a dystopian story. Where did all these hermaphrodites come from? Why are they the bad guys? Why is everyone dying before they can reach nineteen? What is this plague/disease thing? How is it caused? Why do you get it at a certain age? Why do only a few people have the ability to read and they are all from different age groups? When did the apocalypse begin? Why is rain water bad? Why are so many babies dying? There are so many questions and no answers. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. We are brought into this fog where we know nothing but are supposed to care about every little detail. No can do. It was literally impossible to care about any of these characters. I noted at 25% into my e-ARC that it wouldn't bother me if they all fell off the face of the planet.

As if the unanswered questions weren't enough, there is a god-awful case of insta-love. One of the worst I've ever read (though that fits in well with this book). The two "main characters" fall in love in the span of the maybe one-hundred words spoken between them, after meeting like three days (I think) prior. I laughed and was horrified by the big scene where they get together. 

Wasteland made me so angry and frustrated because it was annoyingly dreadful. Though I have to be honest, I was more than a little bit skeptical when I read the summary. I was willing to give it a chance though, and I regret it. It was just that bad. Not even the prose was very good. The way the authors wrote left me feeling nothing for the characters. Their reactions and emotions were extremely forced, so much so that it was almost painful to read. Their interactions were awkward and often unrealistic. 

I have so many issues with this novel that it's a miracle that I even finished it. Apparently, Wasteland is the beginning of a trilogy, though the ending was very final. I look forward to not reading anymore of this series or other works by these authors.

I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review via Edelweiss.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Book Review: Bloodspell (Bloodspell #1) by Amalie Howard

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release date: June 1, 2011
Publisher: Langdon Street Press
394 Pages

The spell was simple...

Cruentus Protectum (Defend the Blood)

But what do you do if your blood is your enemy?

Victoria Warrick has always known she was different. An outcast at school, she is no stranger to adversity. But when she receives an old journal for her seventeenth birthday, nothing prepares her for the dark secrets it holds -- much less one that reveals she's a witch with unimaginable power.

What's more, when she meets the dazzling but enigmatic Christian Devereux, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. Enemies will hunt her. Friends will turn on her. The terrible curse that makes her blood run black will stop at nothing to control her. And Christian has a sinister secret of his own...

Without knowing whom to trust, can Victoria survive her blood's deadly desires? Or will she lose everything, including herself?

I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. I mean, look at that cover! It’s so pretty! But alas, Bloodspell did not live up to its prettiness.
The book seemed to have an interesting premise: girl discovers that she’s not only a witch, but a cursed witch. With her new powers comes her family history and all of the sworn eternal enemies as well, not to mention, she bleeds black blood.
Interesting, right? Well, kinda.
This book follows the premise of tons of other YA books out there. New girl meets mysterious boy on her first day of school. They have an instant attraction to where they can’t stay away from each other, or can’t stop thinking about each other. The first time they touch it’s electrifying (I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be electrocuted by a boy).There’s hinting’s to a love triangle.
Then…there’s the Twilight aspect. New girl meets mysterious vampire on first day of school. Her blood calls to him like none other has before. But then, for no apparent reason, he’s a jerk to her. But wait, then he’s nice. But the he says they can’t be friends (whiplash anyone?). Victoria even at one point tells Christian to “stop looking at me like I’m something to eat.” He tells her that he’s a monster and they can’t be together. They even have the myth or fact conversation about vampires. Sigh…
Once I accepted the above and moved past them, the story itself was okay, but unfortunately, it all just fell flat to me. I enjoyed the history between the vamps and witches. It wasn’t just the vamps and witches hate each other for no reason. No, the author created a very intriguing backstory.
There were things about this book that I really did like: Christian, despite his Edward-like tendencies, was a good character toward the last half of the book. His background and history with his family was one of the more interesting parts of the story. His feud with his brother, Lucien, could have taken up the whole book and I would have been happy about it. I also liked that the author had Victoria use a familiar. I loved her familiar. For those of you who don’t know what a familiar is, it’s basically a supernatural being that helps guide a witch.
Victoria I was kind of eh about. At times she was fine, other times she was whiney and annoying, and she kept putting herself in these situations where she had to be saved or ended up needing help.  I didn’t root for the love story like I should have, but I honestly didn’t really feel it. And while I thought the ending was building to something different, the one that we ended up getting felt very melodramatic. Kind of like a grown child throwing a hissy fit.  I will say here that I went into this book thinking it was a standalone and not a series, so looking back, I can see why the ending I was looking for didn’t happen.
Another issue I had was the writing style itself. Using third person omniscient was very jolting. There were no breaks, it just kept switching. I feel like it would have worked better using the chapters as breaks.
Will I continue this series? Maybe…probably, just to see how things turn out with Christian and Lucien because that was the only thing that really held my interest.
Side note: at one point, Gabriel says “I changed everything for you.” WHAT DOES HE MEAN?? It’s never explained! Gah, drove me nuts!

Thanks to Netgalley and Langdon Street Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Follow Friday (57)

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

Q. What is your guilty pleasure as far as reading? Is it a genre, or a certain type of book?

A. I guess I would classify my guilty pleasure reads as ones I definitely wouldn't read in public and unless I found someone who shared my opinions on them, I would never admit to loving them. ...That sounds horribly shallow, but it's true. My guilty pleasure books are usually erotica, or books with babies in them. I am mildly obsessed with babies. (It's not actually mild.) You can check out my guilty pleasure books HERE.

What books do you consider guilty pleasures?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (54)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!
This week's theme is: 
Top Ten Books I Had to Buy But Haven't Read Yet

A pile of my top ten for this week! Purtttty.
(And you see that fat spiral bound book at the bottom? THAT'S MY MATH BOOK. College is heinous.)

1. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
- I'm pretty sure I got this at Half-Price Books before I started school to "tide me over" and have now owned it for almost two years.
2. Draw the Dark by Isla J. Bick
- I bought this after I finished and adored Drowning Instinct by the same author. Still have not read it, which is absolutely shameful.
3. The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1) by Chris Colfer
- He was signing them at a store semi-close to me, so I ordered a copy. Written and signed by a television star? I can dig it.
4. Tempest (Tempest #1) by Julie Cross
- My mom and I were at a book signing on my birthday, and I begged her to buy it for me (signed). That still counts, right?
5. Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks #1) by Miranda Kenneally
- I'm mostly just scared that I won't like it.
6. Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
- While I love Sarah's work, I haven't read anything by Justine and that has me a bit nervous. But I enjoy parodies, so I believe WHEN I get to this, I'll enjoy it.
7. The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
- Like with Catching Jordan, I am worried that I won't enjoy this one.
8. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
- The people I've talked to about Before I Fall have either loved the book, or hated it and when it comes to those kinds of books, I'm usually on the negative side. I may be using avoidance tactics.
9. Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver
- This one will be read soon! My mom and I plan to read it together, as soon as she finishes The Host (which is taking her a very long time).
10. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
- To be fair, I've only had this one for a week(ish). I am actually going to pick it up once I finish the two books I'm working on now!

What did you just have to buy and yet it's still on your pile?

Teaser Tuesday: When We Wuz Famous by Greg Takoudes

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!
To participate all you have to do is:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!) 

 Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


"Boarding school was full of traditions. Some were stupid and silly, toothpick-sized pirate flags waved by privileged teenagers who had no real stomach or experience for rebellion."
Chapter 35, ARC Page 158
When We Wuz Famous by Greg Takoudes

Blog design by Imagination Designs using papers from the Santa Monica paper pack by Mally Mac and Me