Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez

Kiss Kill Vanish
By: Jessica Martinez
Released: October 7, 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Valentina Cruz no longer exists. One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind. She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real. She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth." (Summary from goodreads.com

I liked Kiss Kill Vanish. As soon as I started reading, I couldn't put it down for  long because I was really interested to see where it would go next. However, I definitely think that this was a book where my expectations were too high.

Valentina runs away from home when she learns the truth about her father's business and discovers that her boyfriend is involved in it as well. Valentina was a character that I liked, but at the same time I found her to be unlikable too. She is stubborn and so determined that her way is the only right way. She is also really naïve in certain ways. This all inevitably leads her to making some poor decisions. However, the motivation for why she is that way is clearly there. Valentina grew up in a bubble where she got everything she wanted. I also thought that the side characters were fairly interesting too. I really liked Marcel and Lucien.

The plot kept me interested, but it wasn't all that believable at times. I think the pacing was too fast in some areas and too slow in other moments. I would have loved to see some of the more bigger plot lines developed more thoroughly. For instance I wanted more about Valentina's family life and her father. I felt like the reader never got the chance to get to know them all too well. There were quite a few inconsistencies with the plot too. I did like the few twists though and the end revelations definitely took me by surprise.

Overall I liked Kiss Kill Vanish. It was an interesting story with some great twists.  

My Rating:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You the Sun
By: Jandy Nelson
Released: September 16, 2014
Source: ARC from BEA
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I'll Give You the Sun is one of the best books I've read this year. From the moment I picked up this book, I couldn't put it down.

I'll Give You the Sun is the story of twins Jude and Noah. These twins are so different from each other, but have a unique bond. At thirteen they are so close and have this special connection. Noah is quiet and spends most of his time drawing. While Jude is spending her time surfing and hanging out with the boys. However three years later, so much has changed and the twins are barely speaking to each other anymore. It's almost like their personalities have switched. Noah is no longer drawing, but instead has become the partier. While Jude has become more withdrawn.

Noah and Jude were both such interesting, realistic, and strongly developed characters. I loved getting to hear both sides of their story. Not only did the reader get to see them grow individually, but you also get to see how their relationship grew. There were also some really fascinating side characters that I enjoyed getting to know too.  

One of my favorite aspects of this book was hands down the writing style though. Not only was Nelson's writing beautiful, but I love how intricately she told both of these twins separate stories. The book alternated between the twins and two different times of their lives flawlessly. I loved how everything just all came together.

Overall I loved I'll Give You the Sun. This is a story that will certainly stay with me for a long time. I definitely recommend picking up a copy this book!

My Rating:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #172: Red Queen

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

Red Queen
By: Victoria Aveyard
Release Date: March 26, 2014

"Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own—an ability she didn't know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red. To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Guest Post: Lois Metzger (A Trick of the Light)

A Trick of the Light
By: Lois Metzger
Released: June 18, 2013
Purchase the Book: Amazon - B&N
My Review

"Telling a story of a rarely recognized segment of eating disorder sufferers—young men—A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger is a book for fans of the complex characters and emotional truths in Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls and Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why. Mike Welles had everything under control. But that was before. Now things are rough at home, and they're getting confusing at school. He's losing his sense of direction, and he feels like he's a mess. Then there's a voice in his head. A friend, who's trying to help him get control again. More than that—the voice can guide him to become faster and stronger than he was before, to rid his life of everything that's holding him back. To figure out who he is again. If only Mike will listen."

A Trick of the Light is such a great book and does a wonderful job at handling the topic of eating disorders. I definitely recommend picking up a copy. The paperback will be published on September 23 and will include a brand new section titled "10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Eating Disorders". 

Lois Metzger was kind enough to stop by The Reading Geek and share a bit about this new section.
"I spent nearly a decade researching eating disorders for my young-adult novel, “A Trick of the Light” (HarperCollins), about a boy who develops anorexia. The book was published in hardcover in 2013. Over the past year, lots of people got in touch with me with their own stories—some were professionals who gave me new information, things I hadn’t heard about or hadn’t focused on. Because of this, I added a new section for the paperback, called “10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Eating Disorders.” The list includes a family-based therapy that has proved very successful; and why wrestlers are especially prone to eating disorders; and evidence of a biological propensity to eating disorders. Also I put in a number to call if you’re looking to help someone with an eating disorder (the National Eating Disorder Association hotline—1-800-931-2237). What have I learned about eating disorders? That there’s always so much more to know."

About the Author:
Lois Metzger was born in Queens and has always written for young adults.  She is the author of three previous novels and two nonfiction books about the Holocaust, and she has edited five anthologies.  Her short stories have appeared in collections all over the world.  Her writing has also appeared in The New Yorker and The Nation, and she blogs for The Huffington Post.  She lives in New York City with her husband, writer Tony Hiss, and their son.
Follow her on Twitter @MetzgerLois

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

Falling into Place
By: Amy Zhang
Released: September 9, 2014
Source: ARC from BEA
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.  Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher" (Summary from goodreads.com) 

Wow Falling into Place was such an incredible story. I have been looking forward to this book for months and it was absolutely everything and more than I expected. The writing was beautiful.

Falling into Place is the story of Liz Emerson who plans to kill herself by crashing her car and making it look like an accident. Liz isn't exactly a good person. She could be awful to her fellow classmates and even to her own best friends. However, I still liked Liz in a way.  The side characters were also great and I enjoyed getting to know Kennie, Julia, and Liam.

Falling into Place is told by the perspective of a narrator that I was never expecting. It is also told in all these bits and pieces that just all comes together perfectly. We jump from one character to another and we also jump between the past and the present. Zhang's writing is simply stunning and I wrote down countless quotes. I will definitely be anticipating her next book.

Overall I loved Falling into Place. It's a beautiful story about life and growing up. I'm trying not to say much in my review because I think that this is a book where the less you know before starting it, the better. So with that being said, I strongly recommend picking it up. It's a story that you won't be likely to forget for a long time.

My Rating:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #171: The Ruby Circle

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

The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines #6)
By: Richelle Mead
Release Date: February 10, 2015

"Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives. After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world." (Summary from goodreads.com)


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 21 Release Day: Excerpt

Day 21 (The Hundred #2) by Kass Morgan is out today!

 I loved this book and you can read my full review here: Day 21 by Kass Morgan


Read an excerpt now:

Chapter 1 - Wells
by Kass Morgan
Author of The 100 and its sequel Day 21

No one wanted to stand near the grave. Although four of their own were already buried in the makeshift cemetery, the rest of the hundred were still disturbed by the idea of lowering a body into the ground.

No one wanted to stand with their backs to the trees either. Since the attack, a creaking branch had become enough to make the anxious survivors jump. And so, the nearly one hundred people who'd gathered to say good-bye to Asher stood in a tightly packed semicircle, their eyes darting between the corpse on the ground and the shadows in the forest.

The comforting crackle of the fire was conspicuously absent. They'd run out of firewood last night, and no one had been willing to venture out for more. Wells would've gone himself, but he'd been busy digging the grave. No one had volunteered for that job either, except for a tall, quiet Arcadian boy named Eric.
"Are we sure he's really dead?" Molly whispered, edging back from the deep hole, as if worried it might swallow her up as well. She was only thirteen but looked younger. At least, she'd used to. Wells remembered helping her after the crash, when tears and ash had streaked her round cheeks. Now the girl's face was thin, almost gaunt, and there was a cut on her forehead that didn't look like it'd been properly cleaned.

Wells's eyes flashed involuntarily to Asher's neck, to the ragged wound where the arrow had pierced his throat. It'd been two days since Asher died, two days since the mysterious figures materialized on the ridge, upending everything the Colonists had ever been told, everything they thought they knew.
They had been sent to Earth as living test subjects, the first people to set foot on the planet in three hundred years. But they were mistaken.

Some people had never left.

It had all happened so quickly. Wells hadn't realized anything was wrong until Asher fell to the ground, gagging as he swiped desperately at the arrow lodged in his throat. That's when Wells spun around -- and saw them. Silhouetted against the setting sun, the strangers looked more like demons than humans. Wells had blinked, half expecting the figures to vanish. There was no way they were real.

But hallucinations didn't shoot arrows.

After his calls for help went unheeded, Wells had carried Asher to the infirmary tent, where they stored the medical supplies they'd salvaged from the fire. But it was no use. By the time Wells began frantically digging for bandages, Asher was already gone.

How could there be people on Earth? It was impossible. No one had survived the Cataclysm. That was incontrovertible, as deeply ingrained in Wells's mind as the fact that water froze at 0 degrees Celsius, or that planets revolved around the sun. And yet, he'd seen them with his own eyes. People who certainly hadn't come down on the dropship from the Colony. Earthborns.

"He's dead," Wells said to Molly as he rose wearily to his feet before realizing that most of the group was staring at him. A few weeks ago, their expressions would've been full of distrust, if not outright contempt. No one believed that the Chancellor's son had actually been Confined. It'd been all too easy for Graham to convince them that Wells had been sent to spy for his father. But now, they were looking at him expectantly.

In the chaos after the fire, Wells had organized teams to sort through the remaining supplies and start building permanent structures. His interest in Earth architecture, once a source of annoyance to his pragmatic father, had enabled Wells to design the three wooden cabins that now stood in the center of the clearing.

Wells glanced up at the darkening sky. He'd give anything to have the Chancellor see the cabins eventually. Not to prove a point -- after seeing his father shot on the launch deck, Wells's resentment had drained faster than the color from the Chancellor's cheeks. Now he only wished his father would someday get to call Earth home. The rest of the Colony was supposed to join them once conditions on Earth were deemed safe, but twenty-one days had passed without so much as a glimmer from the sky.

As Wells lowered his eyes back to the ground, his thoughts returned to the task at hand: saying farewell to the boy they were about to send to a much darker resting place.

A girl next to him shivered. "Can we move this along?" she said. "I don't want to stand out here all night."

"Watch your tone," another girl named Kendall snapped, her delicate lips drawn into a frown. At first, Wells had assumed she was a fellow Phoenician, but he'd eventually realized that her haughty stare and clipped cadence were just an impression of the girls Wells had grown up with. It was a fairly common practice among young Waldenites and Arcadians, although he'd never met anyone who did it quite as well as Kendall.

Wells turned his head from side to side, searching for Graham, the only other Phoenician aside from Wells and Clarke. He didn't generally like letting Graham take control of the group, but the other boy had been friends with Asher and was better equipped than Wells to speak at his funeral. However, his was one of the few faces missing from the crowd -- aside from Clarke's. She'd set off right after the fire with Bellamy to search for his sister, leaving nothing but the memory of the five toxic words she'd hurled at Wells before she left: You destroy everything you touch.

© 2014 by Alloy Entertainment

About the Author:

Kass Morgan, New York Times bestselling author of The 100 and its sequel Day 21, received a bachelor's degree from Brown University and a master's from Oxford University. She currently works as an editor and lives in Brooklyn, New York. For more information please visit http://alloyentertainment.com/ and follow the author on Twitter.   


Friday, September 12, 2014

Day 21 by Kass Morgan

Day 21 (The Hundred #2)
By: Kass Morgan
Released: September 16, 2014
Source:  Publicist
Purchase the Book: Barnes and Noble
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"No one has set foot on Earth in centuries -- until now.It's been 21 days since the hundred landed on Earth. They're the only humans to set foot on the planet in centuries...or so they thought. Facing an unknown enemy, Wells attempts to keep the group together. Clarke strikes out for Mount Weather, in search of other Colonists, while Bellamy is determined to rescue his sister, no matter the cost. And back on the ship, Glass faces an unthinkable choice between the love of her life and life itself. In this pulse-pounding sequel to Kass Morgan's The 100, secrets are revealed, beliefs are challenged, and relationships are tested. And the hundred will struggle to survive the only way they can -- together." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I really enjoyed Day 21 a lot. I've been looking forward to this sequel all year because I really liked the first book and I couldn't wait to read what would happen next. (I'm also a big fan of the tv show). I thought that the first book in the series really focused on setting up the world and establishing the characters while this sequel was filled with twists and action. 

Day 21 is told in the perspectives of Clarke, Wells, Bellamy, and Glass. Clarke, Wells, and Bellamy were all part of the first 100 sent to test if earth is habitable. 21 days now have passed and they have discovered that they aren't the only humans on earth. Bellamy is also doing everything that he can to find his sister, Octavia. Meanwhile back on the ship, Glass is facing a difficult choice. 

Once again I loved that the reader gets to see what is going on down on earth with the 100, but also what is happening in space on the ship too. I thought that Clarke, Wells, Bellamy, and Glass were each developed more strongly in this book as well. I really enjoyed the different flashbacks that each character had in their chapters. It definitely helped me understand the characters and their actions better. I also loved that even the flashbacks provided some shocking twists and brought up the connections that these characters already shared in the past.  

I found it was hard to put this book down for long once I started reading. There were so many twists that I definitely never saw coming. I just loved that this book absolutely kept me on the edge of my seat. Then I especially love the world that Morgan has built. The world-building and setting were my favorite parts of the first book and I was thrilled to see that Morgan continued to expand on it in Day 21

Overall I loved Day 21. It is rare that I love the sequel more than the first book, but this was definitely one of those cases. I strongly recommend picking up this series. It's a story that will keep you guessing. I already can't wait to read the next book!  

My Review:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #170: My Heart and Other Black Holes

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

My Heart and Other Black Holes
By: Jasmine Warga
Release Date: February 10, 2015

"Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who seems scared of her, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel’s ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness. There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers the website Smooth Passages and its section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution. Better yet, a boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman), who’s haunted by a family tragedy, is looking for a partner. But as their suicide pact starts to become more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, Aysel must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince. This is a gorgeously written and compulsively readable debut novel about the transformative power of love and acceptance" ( Summary from goodreads.com)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #169: The Last Time We Say Goodbye

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

The Last Time We Say Goodbye
By: Cynthia Hand
Release Date: February 10, 2015

"There's death all around us. We just don't pay attention. Until we do. The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment. Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be. As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything. Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on. From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go" (Summary from goodreads.com)