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[Stacking the Shelves] - #45

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your bookshelf, be it the physical one or your digital one!

     It's been a while hasn't it. I apologize for being gone for so long. Work called and my hours got changed. I have been working on and off, doing split shifts, and training a new girl. While the light is appearing at the end of the tunnel, I am not sure how much longer I will have to work both days and nights. Either way I am hoping to get back to blogging and sharing reviews. Furthermore, I want to try to update and renovate the blog, but I am not sure what I want and what I'm looking for. We'll see...

     So this week, there isn't a specific theme to the books that were picked up long ago. I know it's been a while since I have posted books and while I understand that my list has grown longer over the time I've been away, I hope to get the books I have picked up out to everyone as fast as I can. I am not sure how often I'll be able to post my take on why I picked up the book at all, but I will as often as I can.

The Thing About Forever
The Ward

Mailbox Pickup:

Title: The Truth About Forever
   Author: Sarah Dessen
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: May 11th, 2004

     A long, hot summer...

     That's what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy's father.

     But sometimes unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister's project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl's world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?

Title:  The Ward
   Author: Jordana Frankel
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: April 30th, 2013

     Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.

     However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface.

     Jordana Frankel’s ambitious debut novel and the first in a two-book series, The Ward is arresting, cinematic, and thrilling—perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld or Ann Aguirre.

     The Ward has been on my list for a long while, after it was compared to Scott Westerfeld and there was even a report of Veronica Roth. It's very clear that my favorite book is Divergent and from there I was drawn to this book on comparison. The Ward is something different, and while I don't completely agree that the comparison is justified. I am wondering just how far The Ward will go to be like some other book. I want this book to be original, something unique.

Title: Invisibility
   Author: Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: May 7th, 2013

     Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.

     Invisibility spawned something different inside of me. Andrea Cremer and David Levithan together for a book. While I haven't read any of Cremer's work, I have it anxiously awaiting me to get around to it. However Levithan is a different story and the more I read from him the more I enjoy just how well he can mold a character together and the bonds they form with supporting characters. The two together weaving complex supernatural and contemporary relationships together, this book is heading for something different and revolutionary, in my mind.

Title:  Unraveling
   Author: Elizabeth Norris
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: April 24th, 2012

     Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle's mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.

     And that was before she died... and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth's destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.

     I have been looking to read this book for a long time. So when I saw the book at Anderson's Bookshop signed, I couldn't pass it up. I was excited, but at the same time I found that a few people I follow had a few depressing reviews and comments about this book. I am skeptical as well, but I have to say the thrill of a countdown to save the world is a plot that I can't avoid. I have to at least give it a shot and see where it lands me.

Title: Unbreakable
   Author: Elizabeth Norris
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: April 23rd, 2013

     Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.

     And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

[Flashback Friday] - #44

Flashback Friday is a weekly event, hosted here, that highlights a past release that we're dying to get our hands on...

See something you like here?
Click the book title to add it to your Goodreads TBR List!

Title: The Girl in the Steel Corset
   Author: Kady Cross
   Release Date: May 22nd, 2012

     In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one...except the "thing" inside her. When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no "normal" Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch....

     Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of "them." The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

     Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help--and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

     But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on--even if it seems no one believes her.

My Stance:

     After Something Strange and Deadly I have been looking for other books that take place in older time periods, but take a twist on the world that make it more interesting and involved. This book excels in that, and while I love the concept of getting an old generation, and seeing how that world would collide and twist around a steampunk manifest. While adding a steampunk nature to this style and era of book changes details about the story, it adds depth and new character that differs from the usual style of book that would have already been done by now. Books 1800s have been done, and this allows machines and mechanical to mold into that old style. I'm thinking more along the lines of crude, rudimentary designs; not anything sophisticated or fancy. I'm curious how Sam, the part cyborg, would work into that theory.

     Finley Jayne, is an odd name, I would have flipped the two around and that would have been perfect. Frankly I find the name just laughable. I am not saying that the character couldn't be more masculine, but the name just doesn't seem to fit. I love the idea thought, that this beautiful girl has power beyond what anyone else believes she could possibly posses, and when Griffin realizes it, he reels her in. Griffin is a character that strikes me as an out of place character, he's the only one that seems completely human. While I understand, that's part of the world and the character design; it's just out of place and odd. It doesn't mean I dislike him, or the persona he embodies.

     The story of Finley, a girl out of place searching for someplace to call her own. Than Sam, her boyfriend or the target of her affection, enters and a world starts to take shape. Finley is in love, but out of place. I look at the two and while I am trying to understand what the two have in common, other than mechanical, I am at a blank. What is the connection between the two, and what drives them. Furthermore, there is a connection I feel already to the two and what little I have read from them there is a urge to see more and I look forward to reading their story.

[Featured Discussion] - My Take on the New Adult Genre

This is a new segment, Featured Discussion. Where, I am looking at heading with this segment is more of a opinion based discussion. There is some that will be true and fact, but for the main part I want a good discussion, and I want people to chime in and talk. I will make my opinion and comments known as well. However please, PLEASE do not insult or degrade anyone else.

Featured Discussion:

     I wasn't sure what was going on with the new genre, and I wanted time to take a look at it. New Adult, and I thought it was an extension of the current Young Adult genre, but I was wrong. It's a new genre almost entire of it's own. At first, I thought it would be more sci-fi, mystery, and romance, and there is all of that and then some. Yet, what I didn't expect was that the books would take a more indirect adult tone that I thought would be there.

     What is New Adult?
     New Adult (NA) fiction is a developing genre of fiction with protagonists in the 18-25 age bracket. The term was first coined by St. Martin's Press in 2009 when they held a special call for "…fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an ‘older YA’ or ‘new adult’." New Adult fiction tends to focus on issues such as leaving home, developing sexuality, and negotiating education and career choices. The genre has gained popularity rapidly over the last few years, particularly through books by self-published bestselling authors like Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover, and Cora Carmack.

     The genre was originally met with some criticism, as some viewed it as a marketing scheme, while others claimed the readership was not there to publish the material. In contrast, others claimed that the term was necessary, with a publicist for HarperCollins saying that it "is a convenient label because it allows parents and bookstores and interested readers to know what is inside." It has now become widely accepted with most traditional publishers now publishing NA books and Goodreads, Amazon and Kobo adding it as an official category.

     Examples of books in the new-adult genre include Jamie McGuire's Beautiful Disaster, Colleen Hoover's Slammed, and Cora Carmack’s Losing It.

Source: Wikipedia

      I own Beautiful Disaster and while I am more than likely going to be reading that for the next month's Reader's Choice, I didn't think it would fall into this new genre. I want to get into and read some of the new books, but I don't want to plow through and find a series of a hundred books to read and find out that four-fifths of the books aren't worth my time. I guess what I'm trying to say is I want to wait and see how the books in this emerging genre fair before I dive straight in.

      Okay my first point of issue with this genre as of right now aren't that the fans or readers aren't around to read or see this style of book, isn't that this is some marketing scheme to try to entice others into a book they may not read, but it's the style of book that makes me queasy. The books focus on self identification in the face of growing up and moving out of your parents house or a new independence, differing choices in careers or college choices/education, and furthermore sexuality. I was all in for the styles until the last one, and it's my fear of the emerging stars and what the adults nowadays are into. I  picture this book as a bunch of Lady Gaga fans porking it up.

      I want to know personally, what books are the better choices for those that are on the market. I am not interested in the steamy smut novels that young stay at home moms dream of, but I want a romance of honest integrity. I enjoy the troubled decisions that come from the heart, and love style of book that weaves the emotional stress and pain of moving out on your own, new independence, or just life in general would take on a new adult. I want to see the pride and joys of this genre.

      As well, I can't find any distinguishing difference between Young Adult and New Adult. Okay I understand it has more to do with being an adult, but the only real difference is it has a more sexual nature to it than the others. Similar topics can be discussed in both genres and I guess I am asking myself, what was the reason (other than distinguishing the age groups) for splitting the two apart? I personally don't see the need, by the synopsis in the book you can generally tell what age group, or frankly most online stores now have the age range right on the book's page.

      Now you may ask, why am I only interested in seeing the best of this genre, because right now I am not sure the risk beats the benefit of reading one of these books. Frankly I don't know and can't find a list of books in this genre easily, and when I do none of it interests me. I have been looking all over the place, and a few fellow bloggers I am following are reading a few book in this genre and I am curious to see what they have to say. I appreciate their hard work and what they are doing trying to weed out the bad novels in the genre. I applaud you all.

[Waiting on Wednesday] - #42

     Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

See something you like here?
Click the book title to add it to your Goodreads TBR List!

Title: More Than This
   Author: Patrick Ness
   Release Date: September 10th, 2013

     From two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness comes an enthralling and provocative new novel chronicling the life — or perhaps afterlife — of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.

     A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this. . . .

My Stance:

     I love Ness's stories and most of all, there is something about this book that changes his style of books. I think of The Knife of Never Letting Go, and how that series was one of my favorite dystopian series to date. I am looking to this novel and wondering where it would fit in with novels he's done before. This particular novel seems more like A Monster Calls, and deals with more emotional/personal developments.

     Ness's A Monster Calls deals with a book regarding the loss of a mother, and what it means to accept that loss. This book take a new perspective on that emotional tole, and the personal trauma that ensues. Ness this time takes a tale of a suicidal boy, talks about the involvement and the mental pain that would go through a victim of that nature, I'm not saying it's at all accurate, but it's a good representation. I am curious to see what Seth would be like, and what type of memories and life he holds. Seth has a web of emotions and personal growth that rivals that of the best novel I have read from him.

[Book Review] - A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford

Title: A Touch Mortal
   Author: Leah Clifford
   Series: #1 - A Touch Trilogy
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: February 22nd, 2011
   My Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

     Eden didn't expect Az.

     Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.


     So long happily-ever-after.

     Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

     She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else's game. Her heart is her own.

     And that's only the beginning of the end.

My Review:

     This was a rather easy book to get through and while I understood this book would be similar to the Fallen series by Lauren Kate, and boy do I have to say I was wrong. This book was by far more well rounded and Eden was by far one of the best characters I have seen in a long time. Az on the other hand, even though he was devoted and did seek out the best for Eden, he just wasn't a favorite character of mine. The book overall was great, but nothing I would say was overly impressive about the book.

     Eden was this arrogant teenager that found Az on the beach, and with some cheesy pickup line their relationship. I loved how Eden and Az played off each other, Eden is this suicidal girl who wants to end it all and Az is this happy go lucky guy who tends to see the good in everything. Through a deception of Az and Gabriel, Eden is made to believe Az killed himself. It breaks Eden completely and she becomes a Sider, a person who beyond death affects the world.

     Siders are a group in this book that posses Touch, some sort of power all people who commit suicide have. While Siders are dead and all, they aren't zombies. Which I found to be rather odd, but it added a depth to the book that made it interesting and different. Every Sider can hold a different amount of Touch, and have to pass it to someone else. I couldn't understand the point of Touch, other than it's euphoric nature, or the possibility it has at pushing someone over that proverbial edge. I still wish to see more of this Touch and why it was important at all to include.

     Gabriel is one of the characters I enjoyed seeing from time to time. As an Angel, Gabriel is bound to speak the truth and cannot hide behind lies. Az on the other had isn't fallen, but is under punishment. While Gabriel is much like Az, there is something haunting behind Gabriel and how he deals with questions that Eden has. It doesn't become clear until the end of the book, just what haunts Gabriel, and that's the point that turns the whole book upside down.

     There is a few other Sides that pick up along the way with Eden when she becomes a Sider and is out on her own. I love the fact that Eden takes her rough times and bounces off of them on her own. The book does a great job capturing her stress and her pain in full force that I marvel at how she made it through it. The other Siders were pretty much a joke, I wasn't at all interested in either of them and they were boring. They were pawns for Eden to throw around and frankly that's what they were, or felt like. There was so much other potential for the characters that I feel it was an untapped portion of the book.

     Then there is Lucifer, or Luke or whatever name you want to use for him in this book. I found him too predictable near the end of the book. His plan and scheme was too obvious. The book set up a great dark and gritty tell, Eden plays very well into that as well, but the antagonist, Lucifer, just drags his feet. It let me down and the best part of the book, is Gabriel's Truth. Eden though, she was a fantastic female character.

[Stacking the Shelves] - #44

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your bookshelf, be it the physical one or your digital one!

     This week I have been busy. I started writing Transplant again, and while I would love to do more with the blog I just don't have the time like I used to. I want to finish that book and start on a second. I have the idea mapped out, need to figure out the two characters, more or less etch in the final details. I am going on vacation this weekend so I won't be around to answer any questions regarding books this week. I am looking forward to it and the vacation is a much needed time away. I'll be able to get some reading done and furthermore I may take some time off to finish the book I am on and start the second novel.

     This week's Mailbox Monday is different. I bought a few Sarah Dessen novels to finish out the collection and while I would love to talk about all of them, and why I picked them. However, to be honest I bought them because they are all by Sarah Dessen. I love her work and how she can create a world and a relationship out of simple ordinary character that nearly everyone can relate to. As well, there is a further depth to the characters. There is a personal level of growth, and how every character has a personal development or personal experience they all must go through for the story to complete or give a sense of completion.

Someone Like You
Lock and Key
Just Listen
This Lullaby

Mailbox Pickup:

Title: Dreamland
   Author: Sarah Dessen
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: June 2012

     Love can be a very dangerous thing.

     After her sister left, Caitlin felt lost.

     Then she met Rogerson.

     When she's with him, nothing seems real.

     But what happens when being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him?

Title:  Someone Like You
   Author: Sarah Dessen
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: May 11th, 2004

     Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she's carrying his baby, she's devastated. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley. Their friendship may bend under the weight, but it'll never break--because a true friendship is a promise you keep forever.


Title: Lock and Key
   Author: Sarah Dessen
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: April 22nd, 2008

     Ruby, where is your mother?
     Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.

     That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

     Best-selling author Sarah Dessen explores the heart of a gutsy, complex girl dealing with unforeseen circumstances and learning to trust again.

Title:  Just Listen
   Author: Sarah Dessen
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: April 6th, 2006

     Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything" — at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.

     This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

     Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

Title: This Lullaby
   Author: Sarah Dessen
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: March 8th, 2008

     When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

[Flashback Friday] - #43

Flashback Friday is a weekly event, hosted here, that highlights a past release that we're dying to get our hands on...

See something you like here?
Click the book title to add it to your Goodreads TBR List!

Title: Of Poseidon
   Author: Anna Banks
   Release Date: May 22nd, 2012

     Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...

     Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.

My Stance:

     This was a rather hard choice this week. I am running out of books to look at doing for Flashback Friday, and I may have to look into doing something different, or hope that some of you can provide older books (10+ months) that I might find interesting. Furthermore, I am always looking for more Waiting on Wednesday books to add to my ever growing list. I hope that I might hear from some of you, and hope to feature a book that you're interested in as well.

     Anyway, Of Poseidon was a decision I made earlier. I needed a book for this section and I'm on the fence with this book. It's not that I don't think the book will be good or not, I'm just not sure what the book is about. Overall I understand that Galen is looking or the girl who can talk to fish (Aquawoman) and save his kingdom. Yet Emma finds Galen, she has a hard time believing his story, and who would. Beyond that, there's no real information about what this book/series holds. I am confused for the most part, there is something missing an antagonist possibly or some thrill (aside the romance) to read this and be awestruck. I'm on the fence for that reason, and I have gone out on a limb for other books, so I will here again.

[Waiting on Wednesday] - #41

     Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

See something you like here?
Click the book title to add it to your Goodreads TBR List!

Title: Deception
   Author: C.J. Redwine
   Release Date: August 27th, 2013

     Baalboden has been ravaged. The brutal Commander's whereabouts are unknown. And Rachel, grief stricken over her father's death, needs Logan more than ever. With their ragged group of survivors struggling to forge a future, it's up to Logan to become the leader they need—with Rachel by his side. Under constant threat from rival Carrington's army, who is after the device that controls the Cursed One, the group decides to abandon the ruins of their home and take their chances in the Wasteland.

     But soon their problems intensify tenfold: someone—possibly inside their ranks—is sabotaging the survivors, picking them off one by one. The chaos and uncertainty of each day puts unbearable strain on Rachel and Logan, and it isn't long before they feel their love splintering. Even worse, as it becomes clear that the Commander will stop at nothing to destroy them, the band of survivors begins to question whether the price of freedom may be too great—and whether, hunted by their enemies and the murderous traitor in their midst, they can make it out of the Wasteland alive.

     In this daring sequel to Defiance, with the world they once loved forever destroyed, Rachel and Logan must decide between a life on the run and standing their ground to fight.

My Stance:

     While I understand I haven't read the first book, Defiance, which is next on my list of books to read after I finish the Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I honestly can't wait to get into this book and start the series. I have been looking forward to this book for a while and while I haven't been able to get around to it, I have had it close to the top of my need to get around to reading list.

     Deception is of course the sequel to Defiance, and from what I have read from other bloggers, picks up shortly after Defiance. Rachel and Logan seem like a great romance, and immediately I am thinking this book has a similar background message. The relationship between the two are going to be tested and strained as they are pushed to the extremes, and that's part of any relationship. I find it unique that the synopsis mentions that they both need each other, in any relationship yous should always rely on the other, but don't depend completely on them. I am curious on the balance in this novel.

[Update] - 8/20/2013

     I recently went to Chicago and while on my visit I paid a visit over to Anderson's Bookshop. If you ever get the chance I would pay them a visit, if you are an avid book fanatic like me. Normally I would be joyous and excited to have paid them a visit, but this time was slightly different. It may be mainly my fault more so than theirs. I went last weekend and while I was there the selection of signed books was rather slim. I mainly had a few of the books, and I didn't want to rebuy the books just to get a signature.  I tell myself I should, but I don't have the money to do that at the current time. Plus I would like that the books I already have signed, but that won't happen either, so I am stuck.

     In the meantime, I updated the signed book section to reflect the three books I did buy there. As well on Goodreads, I updated the reviews I had to match the current written ones I have done. I am debating on updating Amazon as well but that may come at a later date. Furthermore, I am debating the date of a slight vacation. I would use it to read and finish writing a book, Transplant. I am thinking about The Labor Day weekend. I am looking forward to the vacation and when it happens, I can't wait to finish the book and finish a long desired weekend.

[Book Review] - Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Title: Unwind
   Author: Neal Shusterman
   Series: #1 - Unwind Dystology
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: November 6th, 2007
   My Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

     Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

     The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

My Review:

     This book surprised me with every page and while I didn't understand what the book was entirely about when I started it, I loved it entirely. There are some issues with the book that I had, but overall I thought they added personality to the book. Overall the book was extraordinary, and while the characters were diverse and well rounded there was a sense of belonging to every character. I love Shusterman and the amount of effort it must have taken to write this book.

     The characters were what made this book unique and how the characters were portrayed. The book starts off with Connor and segues into Risa and Lev. I loved how the characters chapter after chapter moved from oen to another, but there was something else about the book. Sometimes there were other no name characters; a mother, a teacher, or a mob to help to tell the story. It was different, unique and original compared to all other books I've read. I loved how the story continued not just through one point of view, but through multiples. I normally don't enjoy books like that, but this book did it well, the story never hiccuped it moved through multiple eyes and helped the overall message of the book get across.

     Connor was by far one of my favorite characters in the book. Compelled by rage in the beginning, he grows to becoming a man of honor and someone worth remembering. He was the one character that seemed to listen as the book went on, he learned and adapted to the times and the people he was involved with. The affection he felt for Risa was genuine and even if he didn't have the best message from time to time, there was emotion and heartfelt gratitude toward her. Even when his life was about to end, he faced it with courage, and honor. It's how I would want to do it.

     Risa out of the remaining characters was one I enjoyed as well. She thought things through, and used her brains in the beginning unlike Connor. She was torn at the beginning with feelings for Connor but as the book went on she resolved those feelings and became a woman with a job and a passion. She was mature, and motivational. I loved how she grew, but it was only slightly, I wanted to see more of who she would become and more of who she was. The depth of Risa was lacking a bit, and while I understood parts of her and what motivated her, there was just something missing to make her great.

     Then there is Lev, and while he's not one of my favorite characters in this novel, he was the one that I admired the most. In the beginning he is a tithe, the 10th child in a family and to be tithed to God. He's a religious sacrifice and he takes honor in it, until Connor shows up. The two conflict in the beginning, with two different ideals and morals, he sets Connor and Risa up to be arrested, setting himself up as well. Running off he finds the only friend he's had CyFy and they trek across the country together. I loved that, how the two grew close and throughout the time there was a voice inside CyFy. The truth to Unwinding, those who have parts or pieces of Unwounds have part of them inside them.

     There was a group that I couldn't understand, Clappers. They never really made an appearance to the end of the book, and meanwhile everyone was just afraid of them. I couldn't understand why they feared them, why they were so dangerous, because frankly they never showed up and there was nothing to understand who they were or what they were after. When they did show up it was with Lev, and they're devotion and power was remarkable. They added some compound to their blood and doing so made their entire body a living explosive. It was this kind of terrorism that stilled fear into everyone. Simply because in doing so made it impossible to know who was a Clapper or just normal.

     This book had a great storyline, and the underlying message of what it means to Unwind someone. I looked to this book and wondered what the point of the book was. It wasn't until the end that a unlikely character made that statement. The Admiral, a general, who owned an abandoned airport looked after escaped Unwinds. He had the message, and showed everyone what Unwinding people or what it would mean to split a person into multiples. I marveled at how Shusterman took that job and wove it into something amazing and turned the plot into an adventure unlike anything I have read before. It's a great read and a great inspiration.

[Stacking the Shelves] - #43

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your bookshelf, be it the physical one or your digital one!

     Work was simple and I got some time to work on this blog. I did a few things with the arrows on the carousel and they are now blue to show up clearer on against the background. I was looking to do that after a few of my friends commented that the arrows were visually hard to see, or were wondering what the widget was at the top. After describing it, they gave me a few hints on what I could do to improve it; ultimately it came to turning the arrows to white. I set about turning the arrows white and while I tested it, the white blended in too much again to the shades and texture of the background, so I found a blue that matched my site design..

The Obsidian Mirror
Sweet Peril
The 5th Wave
Return to Me

Mailbox Pickup:

Title: The Obsidian Mirror
   Author: Catherine Fisher
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: April 30th, 2013

     Jake's father disappears while working on mysterious experiments with the obsessive, reclusive Oberon Venn. Jake is convinced Venn has murdered him. But the truth he finds at the snow-bound Wintercombe Abbey is far stranger ... The experiments concerned a black mirror, which is a portal to both the past and the future. Venn is not alone in wanting to use its powers. Strangers begin gathering in and around Venn's estate: Sarah - a runaway, who appears out of nowhere and is clearly not what she says, Maskelyne - who claims the mirror was stolen from him in some past century. There are others, a product of the mirror's power to twist time. And a tribe of elemental beings surround this isolated estate, fey, cold, untrustworthy, and filled with hate for humans. But of them all, Jake is hell-bent on using the mirror to get to the truth. Whatever the cost, he must learn what really happened to his father.

     The Obsidian Mirror was a whim purchase at Barnes and Noble and while I don't normally just pick a book up and love it immediately. I read the review and thought this would be a great addition to some of the books I have been looking over. While I don't exactly know why this book specifically spoke out to me, over some of the others, I love the mystery in this book that compounds with the thriller.

     The mirror, or portal that jumps forwards and backwards through time. While this sounds like Jumper or any other time traveling book, has this sort of enemy or mystery about the portal. there is all these other people that come from different periods and want to use the mirror's power as well, but there is almost other elemental things that come from it as well. So the book doesn't hold itself to all the typical normal time traveler tales, but weaves this sci-fi sort of presentation into it as well.

Title:  Sweet Peril
   Author: Wendy Higgins
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: April 23rd, 2013

     Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

     Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

     When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

     Sweet Peril is the sequel to Sweet Evil and I haven't gotten around to reading that book just yet. I am in the middle of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and that book has piqued my interests in other books with similar styles, so I should get around to Sweet Evil soon. I thought that book would be great and while I am maybe not as thrilled to read it now as I was when I got the book, I'm not worried about it at all. In fact I should be able to make a better unbiased review of the book when I finally get around to it.

Title: The 5th Wave
   Author: Rick Yancey
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: May 7th, 2013

     The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

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

     Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

     The Fifth Wave was a no-brainer when it came to if I was going to pick up this book. I loved the first season of Falling Skies and all the alien sci-fi style books. I am looking forward to diving into this book, but when I first looked at this book I thought that the book would be a book where aliens would be all over the place and they are, but in a different form. They look and appear as humans, there was a TV show that looked similar to that concept but it was more focused on a drama which was rather boring.

     I am looking forward to seeing how this book captures the environment and the relationships that form around Cassie. The world and the darkness that should encompass the world should be similar to The Farm, and while the world is scatter I don't expect to see huge cities or large throngs of people. If the world isn't as shatter or as broken, I think the world would lack some of the devastation and impact that would need to be there to create that sort of background thrill or suspense.

Title:  Taken
   Author: Erin Bowman
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: April 16th, 2013

     There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

     They call it the Heist.

     Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

     Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

     Taken has been on my list for a long while, and while I have been highly anticipating this book I just couldn't pass up the chance at this book. It reminds me of the whole concept that some council decides who lives and dies in a city or group, and while I am lacking that moment where I recall the name is, I loved the concept of this book. Kidnapping all the teens when they turn 18 and make them disappear.

     Further beneath the surface of this book though we have a second issue that pertains to real life. I was raised not really to question those older than me or knew more than me, just accept what they said and follow along. Yet in this book, there posses the question, should you question the information you are given and who is giving the information as well. Personally I think yes, and I hope this book tackles the Council and what they are deciding to do with the children as well. It needs to be a focal point in this book, but once the book is taken to the outside it'll shift to the surroundings and the wildlife that threats Gray's life.

Title: Return to Me
   Author: Justina Chen
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date:  January 15th, 2013

     Nothing is going as planned for Rebecca Muir. She's weeks away from starting college--at a school chosen specifically to put a few thousand miles of freedom between Reb and her parents. But her dad's last-minute job opportunity has her entire family moving all those miles with her! And then there's the matter of her unexpected, amazing boyfriend, Jackson, who is staying behind on the exact opposite coast.

     And if that isn't enough to deal with, mere days after moving cross-country, Reb's dad drops shocking, life-changing news. With her mother and brother overwhelmed and confused, Reb is left alone to pick up the pieces of her former life. But how can she do that when everything can change in an instant? How can she trust her "perfect" boyfriend when her own dad let her down? Reb started the year knowing exactly what her future would hold, but now that her world has turned upside down, will she discover what she really wants?

     Justina Chen, the acclaimed author of North of Beautiful, has created a moving and powerful novel about the struggles that arise from betrayal, the uncertainty of life after high school, and the joy that ultimately comes from discovering what's truly in your heart.

     Return to Me I bought on a while because I wanted something deep and well romantic. I just got finished reading Keeping the Moon and was looking for something a bit more down to earth and downtrodden. I wanted something that could move me and want me to change something about me. What I don't understand about this book is how can a father or parent change a child (son/daughter) in an instant? The only thing I can think of is hiding some adoption or divorce, and while that would change the view their child had of them, it shouldn't change how they feel about them. Least that's me talking, and what I am looking to see out of this book.

     Furthermore, I don't understand why Rebecca didn't say anything or mentioned that she didn't want her parents or family moving out with her to go to college. I would have and probably said more than I probably should have. However, leaving a boy/girlfriend behind is one of the last things I expected from this book. With Reb's life apparently changed because of something her father did, her view of her boyfriend is affected as well. Why? If you have daddy issues, your boyfriend shouldn't be the target or have any involvement of your judgement. I guess I am confused on Reb entirely. We'll see how it goes.

[Flashback Friday] - #42

Flashback Friday is a weekly event, hosted here, that highlights a past release that we're dying to get our hands on...

See something you like here?
Click the book title to add it to your Goodreads TBR List!

Title: Above
   Author: Leah Bobet
   Release Date: April 1st, 2012

     Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee’s wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the city Above—like Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingers.

     But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape Above. As Matthew unravels the mystery of Safe’s history and the shadows’ attack, he realizes he must find a way to remake his home—not just for himself, but for Ariel, who needs him more than ever before.

My Stance:

     Above is a fairy tale of a story, and while I enjoy the story and the premise of the book. I am a bit worried about the plot of the story. It's basically a boy is in love with girl, girl needs boy for some reason or another, and together they need to save the world together. It's typical and predictable. While I don't understand who exactly Ariel is and who she is. I am curious to know who she is and what the world they live in is like.

     I find even the name of the place they live rather dismally ironic, Safe. I first looked at this book and thought the world of the synopsis. I thought the book would be about this fairy tale superheroes who would be saving the day from all these dark shadowy creatures. I am looking forward to reading this book, and while I enjoy the sights and sounds of the synopsis it's a bit too conventional. It's too normal, and too overly done that I began to wonder what the book would be like. I am curious on the book, mainly because the bias on enjoying good fairy tales, but I can't expect this book to be all flowers and sunshine either.

[Featured Discussion] - Books and Music Inspiration

This is a new segment, Featured Discussion. Where, I am looking at heading with this segment is more of a opinion based discussion. There is some that will be true and fact, but for the main part I want a good discussion, and I want people to chime in and talk. I will make my opinion and comments known as well. However please, PLEASE do not insult or degrade anyone else.

Featured Discussion:

     I didn't expect Thursday to come up as quick as it did, and frankly I wasn't all that prepared for it this week. I had to hunt for a good topic and the featured article this week comes from Barnes and Noble again dealing with songs that were inspired by music. I wanted to highlight their opening comments and what they say about a song, but mainly I want to give my opinion afterwards. I hope you all enjoy this week, with how music helps shape ideas and furthermore gives us more than just words on a page.

     9 Songs That Were Inspired by Books
     If you can’t get David Bowie to join your book club, do the next best thing and pick a book he’d recommend—his taste for Orwell is not-so-well hidden inside songs like “Big Brother.” It’s alway fun to spot a literary easter egg, tucked away in the music of everyone from hipster godfather Lou Reed to perennial Romeo-seeker Taylor Swift. Here are some of my favorite book-inspired songs, brought to us by rock stars who play lit geek on the side.


“Ramble On” (Led Zeppelin). As Robert Plant always says (probably), I like a little troll in my rock and roll. Not of the internet variety, but honest-to-God trolls. Yes, behind the leather pants, glorious hair, and rock-and-roll howl, Plant was a Tolkien geek. He doesn’t even try to hide it: “Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair. But Gollum and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her.” Want to see The Hobbit with me, Bob? I’ve got Netflix.

Source: Melissa Albert on Barnes and Noble

      I am the opposite sort of, I tend to write more when I am listening to music or have a good beat that's stuck in my head and pounds constantly asking to be let out. So I would assume it would be similar for musical artists to do something similar with books; find a good story and all the while you can think of music to company a good story and capture those emotions. Yet either way both produce spectacular works; now before I get jumped on for that I am not saying that not all music is good or all books are good.

      What I wanted to talk about was my experience as a limited writer and avid listener of music. I find myself mainly coming up with the best blog ideas when music is beating in the background and slowly thrumming through my body. It's no wonder that at the same time I associate certain emotions and events to songs and I use those songs to write specific moments in a book. It's not often that I find new songs that stimulate my mind, and when there is a song that does I tend to write like crazy.

      As well, when I am reading a book, I can associate certain songs that would go great with scenes. Its that association between what emotions and feelings music captures and the same with books that together complete certain scenes. It's hard to write those in books or capture those moments completely, frankly I don't think it's possible. I think some of the best books that capture the raw emotions and make you think more about the book than just the words and the evolving plot, but leave some of the best to the reader to interpret. A good author can guide a reader in the right direction, but doesn't need to hold their head and show them completely. Now I am not saying an author can leave out imagery or any context related details that would otherwise confuse the reader either.

      What I enjoy is reading a good book and finding that I have some wiggle room to find my own music and inspiration behind the vivid characters and plot. I want to feel the author want me to complete the scene and feel a part of the story. That's what every author's dream should be. I understand that I've actually gone off topic for a while and I should get back on topic.

      Music is a great way to help keep your mind fresh, but so are books. Together they help create an emotional paradise and both tell a story that will hopefully touch your heart. We all hold a few songs close to our heart, me included; but I wonder if there's a book we all feel that way about. I want to read more and want to listen to more music, but I don't have time for it all, or to understand every book or song. So I try to sift through the fields of both mediums and try to find what I am most interested in. Yea there's bad books and there are good books I read, but I don't regret any time spent on either of them.

[Waiting on Wednesday] - #40

     Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

See something you like here?
Click the book title to add it to your Goodreads TBR List!

Title: Asylum
   Author: Madeleine Roux
   Release Date: August 20th, 2013

     Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-novel perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it's a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it's no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux's teen debut, Asylum, is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity.

My Stance:

     I didn't really know about this book, it wasn't until I was looking through the profiles of a few friends of mine on Goodreads, that I found this book. I wasn't sure what to think at first, but the cover is what pulled me in. It reminded me of Gretchen McNeil's Ten and while the book has the sort of air about it, I have my worries about holding that sort of expectation. Yet, there is something about this book that gives me the chills and leaves me anxiously awaiting the book!

     I am curious what Asylum brings, will it be more a sci-fi novel or a thriller/horror. As well, Dan and his friends find themselves in college. Yet their dorm isn't what they thought it would be like, it's a converted sanatorium. I wouldn't want to know that sort of information about where I was sleeping. It would make me paranoid that there was something still there, or that something was still going on. I will admit I am a bit paranoid about that sort of paranormal stuff. What happens though when that may be real, and how will Dan and his friends, Abby and Jordan, handle that paranormal haunting.

[Book Review] - Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Title: Through the Ever Night
   Author: Veronica Rossi
   Series: #2 - Under the Never Sky
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: January 8th, 2013
   My Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

     It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both. Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night? In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.

My Review:

(Warning: May contain spoilers, if you haven't read Under the Never Sky)
     Through the Ever Night was a hard book to put a rating on. I loved the complication in this book, and the longing to see more of Aria and Perry together. However there is another pair that meet for the first time, Roar and Liv, and while I enjoyed them together I longed for Roar unlike what I thought I would. Where the first book created a unity between Aria and Perry, this book strips that and creates a passion and a longing unlike anything I've read. I loved how the characters are imperfect in this book, they are human, realistic, and ultimately painstakingly heartbroken.

     The book picks up shortly after Under the Never Sky, and Perry has heard the rumor that Aria is out in the wilds again. As the Boodlord of The Tides, a great deal of pressure and stress is put onto Perry's shoulders. Furthermore add Aria to the picture and adds to his pressure and stress. However the stress and pride comes to an end when the tribe begins to doubt Aria and Perry. At first when they decided to keep their relationship a secret from the tribe I wasn't too thrilled with the idea, but when the reality sets in with how the tribe would react I understand why they did it. Ultimately I would probably do the same thing if I was in their position and knew how the tribe would react.

     Aria was the one character that I thought changed the most in this book. It wasn't a bad change either or that her character completely flipped around 180; it was a change that showed more depth and pain to her character. The turmoil leaving Perry with the tribe and going her own way with Roar to find Liv and the so called myth The Still Blue. I was looking forward to Aria and this was by far the most anticipated female character this year, and I loved the work Rossi did in this book.

     Than my favorite character in this book, Roar. He goes with Aria and works on his relationship with her and Perry. He's her comfort zone and Rossi weaves him greatly as this support character for Aria but still a great frontal character. Roar isn't that typical "gay" support character that most authors use when dealing with a guy/girl relationship, and it's that effort and reality that makes Roar great. After a death in the book (who will remain nameless) the pain on Roar is so great. He's so mortified that Aria is the one comforting him, and the rolls swap. Its the play between the two that is so great that make Roar well defined and ultimately his emotions and voice carry loudly in this book.

     The other point I wanted to make about this book was the realism. With the search for tall and The Still Blue, Aria and Perry's relationship is put on the line. Their turmoil and the struggles with who they are and what they mean to each other show clearly on every action and facial expression in this book. As well, the events that play out near the end (without giving any spoilers) doesn't go altogether perfectly for the main characters. There is parts that end the book great and ultimately they do achieve part of their goal, but there is a cost. A cost that takes a toll on both characters, and those around; it makes them weaker, but it's also what makes them stronger and more realistic.

     If you haven't read Under the Never Sky or Through the Ever Night I strongly suggest it. There is a great relationship, and well rounded characters that will leave you asking for more. I absolutely cannot wait for Into the Still Blue next year and it'll be one of the first of the new series of the year that I'll read as soon as I get my hands on it. Rossi is a great author and I highly recommend them to anyone who is a fan of a good dystopian/sci-fi novel. 

[Stacking the Shelves] - #42

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your bookshelf, be it the physical one or your digital one!

     Work was simple and I got some time to work on this blog. I did a few things with the arrows on the carousel and they are now blue to show up clearer on against the background. I was looking to do that after a few of my friends commented that the arrows were visually hard to see, or were wondering what the widget was at the top. After describing it, they gave me a few hints on what I could do to improve it; ultimately it came to turning the arrows to white. I set about turning the arrows white and while I tested it, the white blended in too much again to the shades and texture of the background, so I found a blue that matched my site design..

The Program
Along for the Ride
Die for Me
Beautiful Disaster

Mailbox Pickup:

   Author: Suzanne Young
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: April 30th, 2013

     In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

     Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

     Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

     Since I saw that Me My Shelf and I did some swag designs for this I was curious about the book and what would make a blogger interested in doing swag. I will admit since she took the designs down, I had forgotten about the book. It never left the back of my mind, and one day while I was looking around Barnes and Noble I noticed this tucked away on the bottom shelf. I understand that the book was in alphabetical order, but it looked so secluded and pushed aside that I instantly picked it up and never read the synopsis.

     Now that I have gotten a chance to read the synopsis the book doesn't sound all that bad, and the potential for a great story is great in this book. Something about a world in which everyone is afraid their child is going down a darker road. I wonder what that world would look like, in which everyone is afraid they're going to commit suicide. When Sloane and her boyfriend are losing a battle, of hiding their emotions and their feelings to keep out of The Program. where those emotionally distressed go.

Title:  Exile
   Author: Rebecca Lim
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: April 23rd, 2013

     Mercy is an angel in exile and is doomed to return repeatedly to Earth, taking on a new human form each time she does. Now she "wakes" as unhappy teen Lela, a girl caring for her dying mother but never herself.

     As Mercy's shattered memory begins to return, she remembers Ryan, the boy she fell in love with in another life, and Luc, the angel haunting her dreams. Will Mercy risk Lela’s life to be reunited with her heart’s true desire?

     An electric combination of angels, mystery and romance, Exile is the second book in the undeniably mesmerizing Mercy series.

     Sequel to Mercy, Exile picks up where everything left off and while I wasn't too thrilled that the book had a sequel I just had to finish the series. I never got around to reading the first book, but I was drawn to the idea that Mercy was an angel who constantly comes to earth in a different form each time. So essentially she has a new persona and body each time. It reminds me of Every Day by David Levithan, and  how the emotions and persona interact with each other I hope makes it as well.

     So Mercy in this case is a girl who is unhappy with what? The synopsis never says, is she unhappy with her life, with her emotional well being, or something else? There isn't enough about Lela to know what type of life style she is living. Furthermore Mercy remembers this haunting angel Luc, which tell me nothing, but maybe I am supposed to read the first book and understand there who Luc is. I am curious to see this book, but there is part of me that doesn't understand why I am motivated to read this book.

Title: Along for the Ride
   Author: Sarah Dessen
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: June 2012

     Up all night.

     Nights have always been Auden's time, her chance to escape everything that's going on around her.

     Then she meets Eli, a fellow insomniac, and he becomes her nocturnal tour guide.

     Now, with an endless supply of summer nights between them, almost anything can happen...

     Another Sarah Dessen book has made it onto my shelves and while I am curious to read all of her work, eventually I will. Her ability to capture a moment in a lifetime that makes it easier for teens, specifically teenage girls, to understand themselves and move on and mature. She creates that moment of self identification, love, and maturity over and over in every book. I can't wait to see how Along for the Ride plays into her style of book, and what type of book this is ultimately.

     My curiosity hit this synopsis hard and while there isn't much here I am interested in seeing more than just the surface. First off the line "... fellow insomniac ..." does that imply that Auden is an insomniac? It would be great to see what Dessen does with that sort of lifestyle. Or is she implying that Auden is just a night owl and loves the nightlife like any teenager does? Either or, the book turns around when Eli comes into the picture. She's turned around and upside down with a new passion and love life.

Title:  Die for Me
   Author: Amy Plum
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: May 10th, 2011

     In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

     When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

     Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

     Die for me was one of those picks in which I looked at and thought the covers were fantastic. Creating the iconic lattice/tribal design around the title of the book. I love how they create a unity and create a sense of belonging to the girl and Title/Author. Furthermore, love how they take the lattice design and wrap it around not only the title/author but the girl as well. It makes it feel like she owns the cover and is more than just some weak unimportant character. It ties her to the title so they are one.

     Kate's parents are dead, killed in a car accident. It sounds like If I Stay by Gayle Forman. I understand that these books aren't at all alike. Furthermore this book has undead. So it's not exactly like the whole contemporary romance that If I Stay had. In this case, I am looking at the book wondering how close to Twilight is this? Kate better be more entertaining than Bella Swan, and that shouldn't be that hard to do. There isn't any love triangles, or odd romance, at least I am not not sure of that. I am looking forward to this.

   Author: Jamie McGuire
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: May 26th, 2011


     Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

     Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

     Beautiful Disaster is a book that I am not sure if it's a young adult romance or just a romance. I am looking at this book and wondering about Abby and Travis as well. I am curious on what Abby is like, a normal nerdy girl who has lived her life straight. Nothing bothers her, or gets close to her persona; yet there is something that bothers me about her character. She doesn't let anything past her guard until one day, Travis steps into the picture. So when a girl strays from her path, and becomes something different.

     Travis is the opposite, a lean, cut, tattooed and a reputation of the campuses walking one-night stand. Yet this is the man that Abby needs to avoid, and yet she feels drawn to him. What I don't understand about Travis it the need to make money in a "floating fight ring." What is a floating fight ring? Does it float on water? Yet a bet between the two, leaves the two in a fight for their pride and their love/passion. I was enthralled immediately with how well the two compete with each other, furthermore they complete each other. It's a great companion with how they interact with each other.
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