Monday, September 30, 2013

YALLFest Interview: Kami Garcia

 
 
The Charleston Young Adult Book Festival is coming up on Saturday, November 9, 2013.

Learn all about YALLFest and the many authors attending:


 
I'm so excited to feature an interview with author Kami Garcia, who will be one of the many authors attending YALLFest this year. Her latest book, Unbreakable, is out Tuesday (10/1/13). Learn more about Kami and her books on her website, http://www.kamigarcia.com/

 
 
What one thing do you need to have when you write?
I need three things: my laptop, my headphones, and Diet Coke.
 
Describe your book in 5 words
Paranormal. Ghost-hunting. Intense. Romance. Secret Societies. 
 
Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
1. I don’t know how to ride a bike.
2. I used to be an artist (a painter).
3. I won’t fly without my huge charm necklace that I believe will keep the plane from crashing.
4. I believe in ghosts.
5. Every time I write a book, I worry that everyone will hate it.
 
What are you working on now?
I am working on the second book in the Legion Series, the sequel to Unbreakable. Like Unbreakable, the sequel is very intense and has plenty of paranormal elements. But I think it’s even more romantic and  surprising than the first book.
 
What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
My favorite genre to write is definitely urban fantasy/paranormal romance. I love to read paranormal,  but I am also a huge fan of horror, crime fiction, high fantasy, and science fiction.
 

The Impossibility of Tomorrow by Avery Williams

The Impossibility of Tomorrow
By: Avery Williams
Released: June 4, 2013
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Seraphina has been living for centuries, thanks to a special method of alchemy, but only recently has she really felt alive. She’s finally broken free from her controlling boyfriend, Cyrus, and after years of swapping bodies to preserve her immortality, is happily settled into a life worth sticking with. Because in this life, she has Noah. But Noah might not be as trustworthy as he seems. After he delivers an ominous message that could only come from Cyrus, Sera is worried that her new friends and family will find out her secret. And as her suspicions extend beyond Noah, Sera is forced to wonder about her new friends as well: Could her old coven be disguising themselves right under her nose? Will Sera have to move to another body—and take another life—or can she find a way to keep what she’s got, forever?" (Summary from goodreads.com)

I loved The Alchemy of Forever so I've been looking forward to reading The Impossibility of Tomorrow for months. I was really excited for this book because of the way that The Alchemy of Forever ended. Now I didn't love this sequel as much as I loved the first book, but it was still an enjoyable read. I think that I started this book with my expectations being way too high. There were some aspects of this story that I loved, while there were other aspects that I wasn't too crazy about.

Seraphina is still in Kailey's body, but she isn't as free from Cyrus as she wants to be. I liked Sera for the most part. However, in this book she was just so much more frustrating at times. I think that she is still definitely developed well throughout this book though. I also really felt bad for her again as she tries to escape Cyrus.

Then there was Noah who I just fell in love with all over again. He is just so sweet. While on the other hand, Cyrus is so creepy. He gives me the chills and makes such an excellent villain. Williams certainly knows how to write a character that will freak you out and keep you up at night if you stay up too late reading this book.    

The plot itself was interesting and I definitely enjoyed the last half of this book the most. The pacing was slow in the beginning and it took me some time to really get invested in the story. The last half kept me on the edge of my seat though and it made up for the slow start. I was also surprised by the twists and I enjoyed how it kept me guessing until the end.  

Overall, I enjoyed The Impossibility of Tomorrow and I thought that it was a good sequel.

My Rating:


Friday, September 27, 2013

YALLFest Interview: Veronica Rossi

 
The Charleston Young Adult Book Festival is coming up on Saturday, November 9, 2013.

Learn all about YALLFest and the many authors attending:



 
I'm so excited to feature an interview with author Veronica Rossi, who will be one of the many authors attending YALLFest this year.
 
What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
Yeah, those. And all the ones in between!
 
Best writing tip you ever received?
             $5. Just kidding. Um… tip… I think it’s probably to allow yourself to suck when writing early drafts. It takes away a lot of the fear of generating good material. It’s not easy to be creative when you’re judging your work.
  
Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
1. In the past year, I discovered a deep love of Brussel sprouts
2. I talk to myself. Heck. Sometimes I argue with myself.
3.  I’m arguing with myself about including that last point at this very moment.
4. My favorite animals are elephants.
5. Dresses with pockets make me happy.
 
Where's your favorite place to write?
             I usually work in my home office, but I love working in hotel rooms. No distractions!
 
What are you working on now?
Something I’m very excited about! Can’t divulge any details yet, but it’s an idea I’ve been mulling over for years.
 
 
Learn more about Veronica on her website: http://veronicarossibooks.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

YALL Fest Interview: Ransom Riggs


 
The Charleston Young Adult Book Festival is coming up on Saturday, November 9, 2013.

Learn all about YALLFest and the many authors attending:




I'm so excited to feature an interview with author Ransom Riggs, who will be one of the many authors attending YALLFest this year.
 
What one thing do you need to have when you write?
Silence. My noise-cancelling headphones have become almost essential.
 
What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
The first. I rewrite and rewrite it a million times. The last comes easy.
 
Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
I’m six foot four. I lived on a working farm until I was five. I used to know how to cook Indian food but now I’ve forgotten. I love documentaries. One day I will conquer the moon.
 
What are you working on now?
A novel for Little, Brown the plot of which is SECRET! (Sort of, for now. But I’m really excited about it.)
 
What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
Oh, definitely YA to write in. I read everything, lots of YA, lots of adult, nonfiction of all sorts. I even read poetry when I’m feeling ambitious. I think it’s crucial to have lots of different influences. If you only read in the genre you write in, your writing will sound like everything else that’s already out there.
 

Waiting on Wednesday #120: A Mad, Wicked Folly


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.



A Mad, Wicked Folly
By: Sharon Biggs Waller
Release Date: January 23, 2014

"Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl. After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?" (Summary from goodreads.com)

I'm so excited for A Mad, Wicked Folly! This book sounds so good and the cover is gorgeous!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Wild Cards
By: Simone Elkeles
Released: October 1, 2013
Source: BEA
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama. Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?" (Summary from goodreads.com)

I was so excited the moment I first heard about Wild Cards because I loved Elkeles Perfect Chemistry series. This book definitely lived up to my high expectations. It was a realistic story that instantly hooked me in on the first page.

Wild Cards has excellent and strongly developed characters. Derek is kicked out of his boarding school after a prank and has no choice but move with his stepmother to Illinois. Turns out that he will be living with his stepmother's father and sister, Ashtyn. Ashtyn is dedicated to football and her team. She wants to win the state championship. I immediately became a fan of Ashtyn as soon as she was introduced into the story. I liked how Ashtyn is tough and she doesn't give up very easily. Then there is Derek who I really loved getting to know better as the story progressed. He has his own past that he is still trying to handle. Together Ashtyn and Derek have strong chemistry which is clear from the beginning. There were also plenty of other characters in this book that I enjoyed meeting.

I loved that the chapters alternated between Derek and Ashtyn. It just worked really well for this story and helped move the plot along. I just couldn't put this book down once I started reading. I'm a huge football fan and I love to play also, so I really enjoyed the whole football aspect to this story. However, that's not all this book is about. It deals with other topics like family and relationships. There is a good mix of drama and romance.

Overall, I loved Wild Cards and strongly recommend it! Elkeles has written another great story with strong characters.


My Rating:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Going Vintage
By: Lindsey Leavitt
Released: March 26, 2013
Source: Netgalley
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"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" (
Summary from
goodreads.com)

I liked Going Vintage. I actually started reading this one months ago and just recently went back to finish reading it. The pacing is what initially made me put this book down, but in the end I'm happy I went back to it.

Mallory swears off all technology when she learns that her boyfriend is cheating on her with an online girlfriend. I liked Mallory and found her to be a fun and different type of protagonist. I also thought that she was developed fairly well. There were some really great side characters too, like Oliver and Mallory's sister, Ginnie. I especially loved the relationship between Ginnie and Mallory because they were sisters and best friends.   

The plot itself was really cute and I did enjoy it. I especially enjoyed the second half of this book a lot more. It was the pacing in the first half that made me put this book down. In the end though I really loved how this wasn't just a story about getting over a breakup, but it was also a story about family too.

I also really liked the writing style and the lists that were in every chapter. I do have to note that my favorite chapter was definitely the one set in Disneyland though. I love all things Disney and I loved how that chapter immediately made me feel like I was there with the characters. 

Overall, I liked Going Vintage. It was an enjoyable and cute story.


My Rating:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop


The Banned Books Week Hop is hosted by BookHounds and I Am a Reader. There are over 100 blogs involved in the hop so make sure you visit every site for a greater chance to win!
 
I'm so happy to be participating in the Banned Books Week Hop again this year. Banned Books Week is an annual event about celebrating the freedom to read. If you would like to learn more about Banned Books Week and the most challenged books of 2012, then head on over to http://www.bannedbooksweek.org 



For this stop on the hop I'm offering one of my favorite banned or challenged books to one winner. The winner can choose from either Looking for Alaska by John Green, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, or Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. The giveaway is open only to US residents who are 13 or older. Good Luck!
 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #119: Dreams of Gods & Monsters


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.



Dreams of Gods & Monsters
By: Laini Taylor
Release Date: April 1, 2014

"By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz. Common enemy, common cause. When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love. But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world. What power can bruise the sky? From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?" (Summary from Goodreads.com)

I'm so excited for Dreams of Gods & Monsters because I love this series! Also I just love this cover, it's gorgeous!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales


This Song Will Save Your Life
By: Leila Sales
Released: September 17, 2013
Source: Netgalley
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review


"Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I loved This Song Will Save Your Life! I waited about a week before writing this review and I still can't stop thinking about this book. I was really excited about this book when I first heard about it because I'm a huge fan of books with music. This book took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions and I loved every single page.

Elsie has never fit in, even though she has tried repeatedly to try to become popular. Then one night she accidentally finds Start, a warehouse party, and meets Vicky, Char, and Pippa. She also discovers a love for DJing. Elsie was a character that just broke my heart so much. At the same time though, I could relate to her. She feels like she has no one and wants so badly to be someone else. Elsie is developed so strongly through the course of the story and I loved going through journey of self-discovery with her. I also loved meeting some fantastic characters along the way, especially Vicky.

From the first page, the voice just hooked me in. Elsie has such a strong and consistent voice throughout the whole book. It's also realistic and I could always understand where she was coming from. I just loved the writing a lot! Sales wrote a beautiful story. I plan on buying two copies of this book just so that I could highlight all of my favorite quotes in one copy.

The plot was developed well. From the first page to the last I was captivated. I was sad when it came to an end because I just wasn't ready to let go of these characters just yet. This book completely tore my heart to pieces, but at the same time gave me so much hope. Sales did a great job of tackling a variety of issues, especially bullying.

Another aspect of this book that I loved was the role of music in this book. If there is one thing I love as much as books, it's music. I loved that the author included the songs that Elsie was listening to. I also strongly recommend listening along to the official playlist while reading (This Song Will Save Your Life Playlist).

Overall, I loved This Song Will Save Your Life! This is a book that I definitely will read again and again. It has also become one of my favorite books of 2013. I strongly recommend picking up a copy!

My Rating:

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)
By: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Source: ARC from BEA
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after..." (Summary from goodreads.com)


The Raven Boys was my favorite book of 2012 and this sequel did not disappoint. It just became my favorite book of 2013. I have been looking forward to reading The Dream Thieves for months and it was absolutely worth the wait. This book was amazing!

Ronan, Gansey, Adam, and Blue have woken the ley lines around Cabeswater. Gansey is still on his search, but now there are more people who are after the same thing. I thought each of these characters were developed more in this book. I loved the alternating chapters again between Ronan, Gansey, Adam, Blue, and a mysterious man. I especially liked that with this book I learned so much more about Ronan.  

I just loved jumping back into this world with these characters again. Stiefvater's writing is just gorgeous. I say this after every book I read written by her, but she is, in my opinion, one of the most talented Young Adult authors out there.

This book made my heart want to burst at times, but it also gave me the chills at other moments. Then I loved all the twists. I honestly didn't know where this story was going to go next. From beginning to end, I just didn't want to put this book down. I actually forced myself to only read a few chapters at a time over the course of the summer because I wanted to make this story last longer.

I still have so many questions left and I can't wait to continue on this journey with the next book.  Overall I loved The Dream Thieves! I can't recommend this series enough!



My Rating:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Spark Unseen Blog Hop, Day 4: Review


A Spark Unseen
By: Sharon Cameron
Released: September 24, 2013
Source: ARC from BEA
Purchase the Book: Amazon
Review of A Dark Unwinding
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"The thrilling sequel to Sharon Cameron’s blockbuster gothic steampunk romance, THE DARK UNWINDING, will captivate readers anew with mystery and intrigue aplenty. When Katharine Tulman wakes in the middle of the night and accidentally foils a kidnapping attempt on her uncle, she realizes Stranwyne Keep is no longer safe for Uncle Tully and his genius inventions. She flees to Paris, where she hopes to remain undetected and also find the mysterious and handsome Lane, who is suspected to be dead. But the search for Lane is not easy, and Katharine soon finds herself embroiled in a labyrinth of political intrigue. And with unexpected enemies and allies at every turn, Katharine will have to figure out whom she can trust--if anyone--to protect her uncle from danger once and for all. Filled with deadly twists, whispering romance, and heart-stopping suspense, this sequel to THE DARK UNWINDING whisks readers off on another thrilling adventure."

I really enjoyed A Dark Unwinding so I was really excited about A Spark Unseen and jumping back into this fantastic world. A Spark Unseen was definitely a great sequel and I ended up enjoying this book even more than the first one!

In A Spark Unseen, Katharine goes to Paris after realizing that Stanwyne Keep isn't safe anymore and she also wants to find Lane. Katharine is such a great character and continues to be developed more strongly in this sequel. She's a character that I've grown to admire, even more so with this book, because she is so strong.

This book immediately hooked me back into this world with the first chapter. I loved the way this story opened. It reminded me of why I enjoyed A Dark Unwinding so much. There is a great blend of action and suspense which makes it difficult to put this book down for long. The story also just flowed really well from one page to the next. There were some great twists as well.

I was already a huge fan of the setting of these books and I think that Cameron does an excellent job with the history. However, I loved that with this book it brought the reader to a whole new setting in Paris. As much as I loved the setting in Stanwyne Keep in the previous book, it was refreshing to go someplace new with these characters.  

Overall, I really enjoyed A Spark Unseen. It was a great sequel and I definitely recommend picking up this series!

My Rating:



*Learn all about the A Spark Unseen Blog Hop and the prizes you can win: http://sharoncameronbooks.com/news/


Find Sharon Cameron:



(Click the arrows to go either backward or forward through the blog hop)

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

YALLFest Author Interview: Lauren Oliver

 
The Charleston Young Adult Book Festival is coming up on Saturday, November 9, 2013.
 
Learn all about YALLFest and the many authors attending:
 
I'm so excited to feature an interview with author Lauren Oliver, who will be one of the many authors attending YALLFest this year.
 
Lauren Oliver is the author of Before I Fall, Delirium, The Spindlers, and upcoming novel, Panic. Learn more about Lauren on her website.
 
1.) What one thing do you need to have when you write?
Coffee!
 
2.) What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
     Honestly, neither. It’s just every single line in between that feels impossible.
 
3.) Best writing tip you ever received?
     Aim for truth and beauty will follow.
 
4.) Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
     I have fourteen tattoos. I can fall asleep any time, any place. I have a phobia of worms. I hate fruit. I wrote my first novel largely on my Blackberry.
 
5.) Where's your favorite place to write?
     In my sunroom in upstate New York.
 
6.) What are you working on now?
     Two different middle grade books and an untitled young adult novel that my agent described as  “the most disturbing thing he’s ever read.” Oops!
 
7.) What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
     I love realistic books that include just a hint of fantasy.

Waiting on Wednesday #118: Side Effects May Vary


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Side Effects May Vary
By: Julie Murphy
Release Date: March 18, 2013

"What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you? When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission. Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most? Julie Murphy’s SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I'm really looking forward to Side Effects May Vary because it sounds like it will be a good read.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #117: Perfect Ruin


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Perfect Ruin
By: Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: October 1, 2013

"On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil. Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose" (Summary from goodreads.com)

I really enjoyed DeStefano's The Chemical Garden series and so I'm looking forward to Perfect Ruin.