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[Flashback Friday] - #35

Flashback Friday is a weekly event, hosted here, that highlights a past released 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: So Close to You
   Author: Rachel Carter
   Release Date: July 10th, 2012

     Lydia Bentley doesn’t believe the rumors about the Montauk Project, that there’s some sort of government conspiracy involving people vanishing and tortured children. But her grandfather is sure that the Project is behind his father’s disappearance more than sixty years earlier.

     While helping her grandfather search Camp Hero, a seemingly abandoned military base on Long Island, for information about the disappearance, Lydia is transported back to 1944—just a few days before her great-grandfather’s disappearance.

     Lydia begins to unravel the dark secrets of the Montauk Project and her own family history, despite warnings from Wes, a mysterious boy she is powerfully attracted to but not sure she should trust.

My Stance:

     With the sequel This Strange and Familiar Place, this book is my wish for the week. I have always wanted to get my hands on this book, simply because it represented when I first started looking at books. It caught my eye first hand, when I finished Divergent early on. However, while I have always been interested in this book there is something about the reviews and feedback that scare me. The feedback is so wishy-washy that I'm afraid my expectations won't be met and I'll be left looking for more from a series that just can't give it.

     The issues I have with this book is, time travel. So everyone is getting transported back in time? And how does some place in the past have the technology to do that, when apparently they don't in the future or is it someone from the future sending them to the past? But if they go to the past, how does Lydia find the pieces to the puzzle in the past. I am so confused in the direction and the logical sense this all has, It just doesn't seem to make any physical or logical sense.

[Cover Reveal] - Cover Reveal Series: #1

     I wanted to post these earlier, but I figured I would let Epic Reads show their lineup and what they had, and I would delay my post for a week or so before passing the information on as well. They have released more book covers that make my mouth water, but I am going to show just some of my favorite books and what I'm looking forward to. There won't be any discussion on why or whatever, I am just going to show the book and give the link to Goodreads and allow you to follow and keep track of the book as well. So without waiting any longer:

If You would like to see the full list Check out EpicReads:

Title: Into the Still Blue
   Author: Veronica Rossi
   Release Date: January 28th, 2014

Title: Evertrue
   Author: Brodi Ashton
   Release Date: January 21st, 2014

Title: The Dark Curiousity
   Author: Megan Shepherd
   Release Date: January 28th, 2014

Title: Steadfast
   Author: Claudia Gray
   Release Date: March 4th, 2014

Title: Ruins
   Author: Dan Wells
   Release Date: March 11th, 2014

Title: Fugitive X
   Author: Gregg Rosenblum
   Release Date: January 7th, 2014

[Waiting on Wednesday] - #33

     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: Raven Flight
   Author: Juliet Marillier
   Release Date: July 9th, 2013

     Neryn has finally found the rebel group at Shadowfell, and now her task is to seek out the elusive Guardians, vital to her training as a Caller. These four powerful beings have been increasingly at odds with human kind, and Neryn must prove her worth to them. She desperately needs their help to use her gift without compromising herself or the cause of overthrowing the evil King Keldec.

     Neryn must journey with the tough and steadfast Tali, who looks on Neryn's love for the double agent Flint as a needless vulnerability. And perhaps it is. What Flint learns from the king will change the battlefield entirely—but in whose favor, no one knows.

My Stance:

     I have had Shadowfell on my list to get around to reading and dive into the sci-fi world of Marillier. I have a feeling after I finish Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi I am going to work on some of my more interesting and oddly themed books. On that list is Shadowfell, Insignia, etc. However, that doesn't mean I will definitely get around to those in that order, I have been known to finish a book and change my habit and what I am going to read next, plus I have a few series I would like to finish and work on as well. We'll see what comes next after the current book.

     I love the idea of Shadowfell, a king who oppresses the magical world and the people who are able to tap it. So I am excited to get into this book, but her ability to communicate with the Good Folk, or faeries, is a strange ability to have and than to claim that it's the key to overthrowing a King. I know this is going to sound bad and I'm probably going to get flamed for this, How can talking to faeries be the key? I mean she's just talking to them, it's not like she has powers or is able to control the faeries. I love the premise of this book, I just hope her abilities and powers grow as she travels.

     There characters and their motives seem to be at the forefront of this book. Flint being a supporting character took me by surprise. I love characters who rescue someone, but moments later are mysterious in personality and motive. Neryn seems to be a straight forward girl, who is lost in the world, and doesn't seem to know who to trust. Which is rather typical in the magical world, and judging who you can trust is rather hard. Furthermore the King breathes relentless. There isn't much about him in the synopsis but his oppression and iron will is drooling. I cannot wait to see Shadowfell and Raven Flight, and their depths!

[Book Review] - Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Title: Unearthly
   Author: Cynthia Hand
   Series: #1 - Unearthly
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: January 4th, 2011
   My Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

     In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

     Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

     As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

     Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

My Review:

     Unearthly was one of the books that I was looking forward to being better than the Fallen series by Lauren Kate. I am glad to announce that this book was far far better than Fallen and the characters were better. Luce in Fallen had no idea what she was or any inclination until the very end and throughout the book there wasn't a single person who seemed to want to help Luce understand. However, in Unearthly Clara knows what she is, what her purpose is and her mother wants to help Clara, to a point.

     What I loved about this book was it addresses an issue most of don't normally think about or deal with, Fate vs Free Will. The presentation is great, Clara has a purpose and it shows up in visions giving her pieces of information given to her and what she needs to do. However, what if that decision means you have to give up your free will as well? Personally I believe most of us would choose our free will over fate or destiny. We all like to think we had a choice and we had a part of the path we lead.

     Furthermore, the inclination that there are other families and people like Clara's make this book better. They aren't all lumped together and they don't exactly know where they all are at. So when Clara's fried becomes more than just some friend, but an Angel just like Clara it makes their relationship stronger, and furthermore she pushes their being and what they are. When it's Clara's friend that seeks answers to their Half-Angel and Quarter-Angel abilities, it's what brings them closer.

     Wendy and Tucker bring reality into the book, both friends from nearly the start of the book but change the dynamic and how the Angels interact with humans. Clara's mother says they can't so Glory or their divinity in public or to any other human, because it's something they can't accept or fathom and end up being scared of. I would love to think I could handle seeing an Angel, but truth is I probably would be scared as well, and more than anything shocked about all the implications it means.

     So Clara needs to be wary with Wendy and Tucker, because truth is they are partly some of her closest friends at this new school, that her family drove off to simply because of Clara's purpose. Now Clara is supposed to save Christian, and while she's falling head over heals for him, when his presence isn't around anymore, Tucker comes into the picture. Two boys and a love triangle again, WHY must new paranormal romances go about this? The one thing I will give Clara is when Tucker goes missing, she actually reels and misses Tucker to a point it seems to hurt her. I love that about her, it gives her a purity and some dignity to not be running after two guys at the same time.

     The issues I had with this book were the fact that it seemed a bit drawn out. There are times when the motives and the romantic nuances were nice, but they trailed one after another. I am a guy and while I do enjoy some romance, this just seemed a bit excessive. Some might find this good, but when the introduction of the Fallen Angels were introduced I found myself pining to see more of them and just what "evil" they brought to the world. There was one scene in which Clara's mother and Clara are drug into Hell by a Fallen Angel, and I have to say that was probably the best part of the book.

     Furthermore, there was the wings. Traditional feathery and pull a feather out it'll bleed sort of wings. However the purest Angel's wings will be light white, while the most twisted Fallen Angel's wings will be the darkest black. The intention is that there will be shades in between the white and the black to show just how pure or devoted to your side you are. I enjoyed that this meant there wasn't a "good or bad" side; it blurred the edges a bit, and made the Angel's unique. However, the problem came with how fast it was to change the color. There were a few times we understood that Clara was white, but through events in the book the shade changes darker and darker. It just makes me look at the book odd and ask, is it really that easy to show Purity or Fall from Grace? Just gives me goosebumps if that's the case.

[Stacking the Shelves] - #35

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!

      I know this is a bit late for a Mailbox Monday, and while I have been trying to maintain a normal schedule and last week I had one of my best weeks. It just pains me as well to release one this late, but I guess it's better late than never right. I did get some time to get out to go to Barnes and Noble, and look around at other bookstores. In the process I did pick up a few books, see if you can guess the theme in this weeks list. I didn't at the time, but a theme appeared. :P

      While I was working this week, it was rough with a lot of people complaining, I had the chance to pick up a few cover reveals, which I will highlight this week instead of doing a Featured Discussion this week. While they were posted last week, around Weds. or Thurs., I wanted EpicReads to have their spotlight and give them some space, so I wouldn't be stealing their thunder or just redirecting people to their page. I wanted to give people my perspectives on the covers, and see what others had to say.

Drowning Instinct
What She
Left Behind
The Book of Blood
and Shadow
If You Find Me
Stay With Me

Mailbox Pickup:

Title:Drowning Instinct
   Author: Ilsa J. Bick
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: February 1st, 2012

     There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)

     Jenna Lord’s first sixteen years were not exactly a fairytale. Her father is a controlling psycho and her mother is a drunk. She used to count on her older brother—until he shipped off to Afghanistan. And then, of course, there was the time she almost died in a fire.

     There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and we all shed tears for his innocent victim. (This is not one of those stories either.)

     Mitch Anderson is many things: A dedicated teacher and coach. A caring husband. A man with a certain... magnetism.

     And there are stories where it’s hard to be sure who’s a prince and who’s a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. (These are the most interesting stories of all.)

     Drowning Instinct is a novel of pain, deception, desperation, and love against the odds—and the rules.

     Ilsa J. Bick has been on my list to read, and while I have been warned that Ashes isn't what I was hoping for, I am still up to see with Bick can produce, and the works that are out on the shelves at the moment. Furthermore, Drowning Instinct is one of those books that caught my eye right away. Something about how this book just doesn't sugarcoat reality, as well, it hides who is the monster and who is the victim well.

     As well, Drowning Instinct doesn't seem to be told from one persons point of view, which could be hard to deal with. Jenna seems more like a better candidate for a main character. Mitch doesn't seem like a man who would be faithful, or well just a family man. Yea he may be a teacher and a coach, and a compassionate husband, but that doesn't mean it's a great person. He could be doing more on the side, and it begs the question, who is trustworthy.

Title: What She Left Behind
   Author: Tracy Bilen
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: January 22nd, 2013

     “Don’t even think of leaving… I will find you," he whispered. “Guaranteed."

     Sara and her mom have a plan to finally escape Sara’s abusive father. But when her mom doesn’t show up as expected, Sara’s terrified. Her father says that she’s on a business trip, but Sara knows he’s lying. Her mom is missing—and her dad had something to do with it.

     With each day that passes, Sara’s more on edge. Her friends know that something’s wrong, but she won’t endanger anyone else with her secret. And with her dad growing increasingly violent, Sara must figure out what happened to her mom before it’s too late…for them both.

     Now when I saw Drowning Instinct, this book popped up as well as a recommendation and the title alone made me want to read the synopsis. It's the title that told me the most about this book, the synopsis tells briefly about Sara and her mother, and the state they are living in. However, the issue with the synopsis is that I am asking a few questions that I was hoping would be answered. Sara's mother disappears, I understand that the solution is part of the book, and ultimately the entire plot so that one I have to swallow and move on.

     The other is Sara, I am curious on her personality. Like how old is she, is she stubborn, submissive, independent, etc.? There is so many questions with her character that I'm on edge about the book. However, as well,  you can't really build a character in a synopsis alone so I am going to have to swallow this and hop into the book and let Bilen lead me through the rough and tumble world of an abusive parental story.

Title:The Book of Blood and Shadow
   Author: Robin Wasserman
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: April 10th, 2012

     It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.

     But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead. His girlfriend Adriane, Nora's best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

     Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

     The Book of Blood and Shadow took my feed by storm one day when I was getting setup and just starting my blog, so this book has been on my radar for a lengthy while. However, the more and more times I passed this book, the more it vexed me and almost pushed me away completely. I finally broke down at a local Books-A-Million store and bought it, and looking at the synopsis now, I don't know why I was so perplexed about this book or what my fears were.

     A traumatic event cost Chris his life, and Nora's best friend and Chris's girlfriend was catatonic; and with a simple twist Nora's Prince was gone. It begs the question and with all fingers pointing at Max, did he really do it. However this isn't just a simple murder mystery, there is some Lumen Dei that gives the controller immense power. That night that struck Nora so hard, gives her the key to find this book/object to solve the mystery and ultimately her life. However, my question is, Why is her life in danger? That never really got brought to focus and leaves you with a question of what's the pint of the book, and what's is dangerous?


Title: If You Find Me
   Author: Emily Murdoch
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: March 26th, 2013

     There are some things you can’t leave behind…

     A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

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

     If You Find Me tore my heart wide hope and posed one question that turns over and over in my mind, was the person they were living with and calling mother, Really their mother. Carey and her sister rely heavily on each other. So it's no doubt that with the mentally ill "mother" disappears and two men come in and remove the two, that they wouldn't take the change well. Furthermore, they are thrown into a new world and their relationship is tested even more.

     The statement on the truth about her mother and why she abducted the two girls. However, what is that truth and ultimately is that really her mother? There is so many questions and the response to this book has been greatly received. Carey and her sister in this new world, struggle with each other, and risk everything to hold on to a new life, but the secrets she keeps risks exposing everything. And those secrets are? I am curious and the questions and responses to this book have been very favorable and good, so I am happy to have this book in my possession.

Title: Stay With Me
   Author: Paul Griffin
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: September 8th, 2012

     An urban romance that will capture your soul, break your heart, and restore your faith in the human spirit

     Fifteen-year-olds Cece and Mack didn't expect to fall in love. She's a sensitive A student; he's a high school dropout. But soon they're spending every moment together, bonding over a rescued dog, telling their secrets, making plans for the future. Everything is perfect. Until. Until. Mack makes a horrible mistake, and in just a few minutes, the future they'd planned becomes impossible. In this stark new reality, both of them must find meaning and hope in the memories of what they had, to survive when the person they love can't stay.

     From award-winning writer Paul Griffin, Stay with Me is both heartbreaking and uplifting, filled with characters (both dog and human) that will forever change the way you look at the world.

     I picked this book up on a whim, and I loved the idea behind this. However, I would change the characters somewhat, but this isn't my story to tell and I'll be more than happy to see Griffin's version. Mack is a high school drop out who falls for Cece who happens to be a terrific student and very compassionate/sensitive. My question with the characters is how do these two even relate to each other, let alone find and fall for each other? Oh right the rescued dog, while I love involving animals in a story and what character they add to the life and joy of the story, it seems cliche and overdone in this instance.

     So we have an unlikely couple that is planning their future and working through the common nuances of being in a relationship. However, Mack makes a mistake and ruins all of their plans and future. Again What sort of mistake did he make, and just how can one act ruin everything? From my perspective cheating is sole reason to give up on a person, we all screw up and deserve second chances, and trust can be regained, but just how bad does it have to be to ruin a couple's future? I am interested to see this romance, and just how far the emotional involvement and toll will take.

[Flashback Friday] - #34

Flashback Friday is a weekly event, hosted here, that highlights a past released 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 Book Thief
   Author: Markus Zusak
   Release Date: March 14th, 2006

     A New York Times bestseller for seven years running that's soon to be a major motion picture, this Printz Honor book by the author of I Am the Messenger is an unforgettable tale about the ability of books to feed the soul.

     Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

     The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

My Stance:

     I was busy on Friday, watching Kierra Cass's Q&A session Friday and forgot about posting a Flashback. On Cass's chat she did bring to light a book that I have been meaning to highly and frankly haven't gotten around to. The Book Theif has received great praise and I have been looking at it time and time again, wondering why this book was as good as people say. It made Cass's recommendation to those that were watching, so I think it's safe to say it has some good merit.

     When I am looking at the synopsis there really isn't much to say. A book about a girl who steals books, and shares them with those around her and those she barely knows. As well, stating this book is a "unforgettable tale about the ability of books to feed the soul." That's a rather bold statement, and makes me wonder just what this one girl has that's so special. I mean, a book about people who are reading books, and a girl who is feeding their curiousity. Now I'm not trying to talk bad about this book, for all purposes it may be one of the best books around, but if you haven't read this book ever before, read the synopsis, there's not much give to pick up my interest off the bat.

[Featured Discussion] - Review Questions

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 have always been looking to try to improve my blog, improve the review process and overall give people a better understanding with just why I enjoyed a book I read. The issue was I was relying on my own knowledge and ability to convey that expression or idea across. This week I didn't have a good topic I wanted to discuss or talk about, so I went looking. In the first few pages I looked at it was about how to repair a page, and I realized that would be a great idea. The deeper I dug into that topic however, the more I realized this week I didn't have the time to put into something like that. It's a bit more than just slapping some tape onto a page.

     So back to the drawing board I went, I needed something that would help me improve, something that not only made me think but something I didn't expect to find. I did just that, shortly after the repair idea I found the topic for this week. Blog questions you should ask yourself when doing a review, and not just a normal one, a set of universal questions and questions for fiction and nonfiction alike. 

     Discussion Topics
If you look closing you will see that this is mainly used for book clubs and other group type activities. However I turned this around and asked myself; "Why can't this be used for blogs or personal reviews as well, and not just groups? When reviewing a current book, I could ask the same or similar type of questions and get a better understand for why I enjoyed or disliked a book."

      This wasn't at all what I was hoping to find and wasn't really on my list to talk about, but the joys of Google and a blank mind. As well, this is something easy to discuss and talk about. Personally I don't ask myself anything when I review a book. I just start typing and plug every thought and feeling about the book down until I feel like I have done a good job. There are times where I go back and remove sentences, because it's just me rambling about nothing pretty much.

      So I guess this helps me and well surprises me as well; I could always use some structure and know where to start and just some question that would be good and great to answer in a book review. But what specific questions should I be asking? There are numerous lists of questions and topics to talk about, so frankly I want my questions to have some depth, and make me focus on specific areas and not just a vague or broad question. 

      On the link if you look there is a series of questions and I'm only going to highly a few that I think are worthwhile mentioning and more than likely I hope to use myself as well:

Fiction Questions:
  1. What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?
  2. Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself or someone you know?
  3. In what ways do the events in the books reveal evidence of the author’s world view?
  4. Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable? If so, why did you feel that way? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before?
Universal Questions:
  1. Consider the main character: what does he or she believe in? What is he or she willing to fight for?
  2. What is stronger in the book: plot or character development? Why? Do you think this was intentional on the part of the author?
  3. Did you find this book a quick read? Why or why not?
  4. What are your concerns about this book?

     The reason I chose these four questions in both sections, even though they do go against what I was looking for, something to structure me and to focus me in a direction. They will structure me and focus me, but they are not laser specific into a X or Y topic. The questions give me room to talk, but still dancing around framework of the question which I enjoy. That allows me to get my opinion in as well as keep my blog credible and reliable.

     I am curious, when you review a book what's the questions you ask yourself about the book to provide a better structured review. I want to know what others use, and how they form a review that gives people a positive understanding of how you enjoyed/disliked the book and ultimately why you came up with that reason. It's a process that always evolves and we always ask ourselves different questions, I am curious on what universal and fiction questions come to mind people use and just why they feel those are important questions.

[Waiting on Wednesday] - #32

     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: Vortex
   Author: S.J. Kincaid
   Release Date: July 2nd, 2013

     The impossible was just the beginning. Now in their second year as superhuman government weapons-in-training at the Pentagonal Spire, Tom Raines and his friends are mid-level cadets in the elite combat corps known as the Intrasolar Forces. But as training intensifies and a moment arrives that could make or break his entire career, Tom’s loyalties are again put to the test.

     Encouraged to betray his ideals and friendships for the sake of his country, Tom is convinced there must be another way. And the more aware he becomes of the corruption surrounding him, the more determined he becomes to fight it, even if he sabotages his own future in the process.

     Drawn into a power struggle more dramatic than he has ever faced before, Tom stays a hyperintelligent step ahead of everyone, like the exceptional gamer he is—or so he believes. But when he learns that he and his friends have unwittingly made the most grievous error imaginable, Tom must find a way to outwit an enemy so nefarious that victory seems hopeless. Will his idealism and bravado cost him everything—and everyone that matters to him?

     Filled with action and intelligence, camaraderie and humor, the second book in S.J. Kincaid’s futuristic World War III Insignia trilogy continues to explore fascinating and timely questions about power, politics, technology, loyalty, and friendship.

My Stance:

     Sequel to Insignia, granted I haven't read Insignia there is still time to get around to it before this book comes out. I loved the idea of this series, a world in which gamers' fight World War III. I love how the characters seem to be two or three steps ahead of their institution. I love how they are so arrogant, and believe they are better than the teachers. However, what happens when their world and their decisions aren't where they thought they'd wanted to be. What happens when Tom is the one stuck behind and needs to work to get ahead?

     This book caught my eye immediately, and I can't wait to see how Tom reacts to being pushed. Tom will find himself put in a tough bind, and forced to go against his will. We all are asked to do something that goes against our belief, and what we stand for; but how many of us will actually act on that. Tom is caught in a vortex, and is trying to get out of the situation he got himself in; and the question remains just how will Tom do such a thing?

[Book Review] - Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Title: Out of the Easy
   Author: Ruta Sepetys
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: February 12th, 2013
   My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

     It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer.

     She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

     With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.

My Review:

     I wasn't going to do this one right away, but I couldn't help it. This book has a few things about it that I couldn't put it off and do the review later. I have a list of books that I'll get to later down the road, this one just had to come first. The reason I decided to this so soon, was this book has created such an odd view and the reaction to it has been a bit different than what I saw. Normally I wouldn't plan on pushing a book ahead of the line, but this book just blew me away and it was easily to rate this book.

     At a 5.0 this book was spectacular, and a great emotional read. Josie was character I think most of us can relate to, an average teenage girl growing up in a world she has no reason or no right to be part of. A harsh world, and raised in a brothel she has no one she can trust, no one to call family except those friends close to her. As well, those that support her, are the people who shouldn't have to, but out of the kindness of their heart, they decide to give her a hand.

     Josie captured me the most, her attitude was great, and she was a girl of her word. If she believed in it, she sought it, She spoke her word especially in a quote like this: "The only reason I'd lift my skirt is to pull out my pistol and plug you in the head." I loved that about Josie, and sought more and more of that through each page.

     Throughout the book all of the supporting characters knew that Josie didn't belong to the live she was living, and throughout the book I felt sorry for her. Her mother was a prostitute, arguably the worst mother ever, and life's values in all the wrong places. Josie lived in a bookstore, in a second floor office, after she snuck in and was discovered but allowed to stay in. Her family from there on became Patrick and Charlie.

     Willie, was the madam that owned the brothel or house that Josie's mother fancied. The girls that Willie had were Evangeline, Sweety, and Dora. All of the girls had a personality that was unique and made me want to see more and more of them. They weren't the typical whorish, or slutty type girls that you would think be in a brothel. All the girls had personality, had a flair that made them unique. My favorite would have to be a toss up between Evangeline or Dora, both had a perfect concern almost motherly, and seemed to look after Josie as part of their own than someone above them.

     There were two other characters that need to be introduced, Cokie and Sadie. Cokie was the wheelman for Willie and did pretty much anything for Willie and more. Sadie wasn't in the book that much, either way she was the cook for Willie and I know it's not much to mention but Sadie was mute. It was these characters that showed just the compassion and the emotion of the city and the people close to Josie. Cokie's actions said more about who he was than what he said, granted he wasn't to be ignored either. Sadie said the most in this book, even if she was mute, her actions made me smile and cry in all the same moment.

     The issues with this book that I had was Jesse, Josie's love interest. He was a great guy, a mechanic, a chivalrous gentlemen, but the man always dropped what he needed and did whatever Josie asked him to do. I understand that he cared about her, and wanted more out of her than what any other guy saw in her. However, what I don't understand is that he never questioned her; why she needed anything done? It wasn't that she needed help, but if he wanted more he should be concerned for Josie.

     Furthermore, a series of reviews that I read commented that the mystery part of the book (what happened to Forest Hearne) needed a more clear cut resolution. I disagree with that statement, Willie clearly explains exactly what happened near the end of the book. There should have been a way for Josie to figure it out herself instead of relying on Willie to do it for her. However, as Willie would say, she knows everything that goes on in the Big Easy.

     Josie was great, her passion to get out of the Big Easy, and her troubles made her a character I fell in love with time and time again. From her hard persona to the times she makes a mistake and ends up trying to be a prostitute and fails. We all make mistakes in life, and the fact Josie does as well, makes her character better. Furthermore, I loved Jesse and all the supporting character, Ruta Sepetys does it again. I wouldn't say that this book was better than Between Shades of Gray, but it's on the teetering edge of being a 4.5 but Josie was too great.

[Stacking the Shelves] - #34

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!

      Well what I had planned to do last partially got done, I will be working on the Signed Books page tomorrow and get it arranged and around, it'll take longer than what I thought; I will make it work though. I have a few weeks before my parents go on vacation for a few weeks, and I'll have the house to myself. Guess what I'll be doing (aside work) during that time. I may take those weeks off and read, or do something small during that time so I am not on here all that much.

      This week on Mailbox Monday there wasn't as many finishing novels that I have been doing over the last few weeks. However, I picked up a few other books that have been on my list, or just straight an impulse buy. By impulse I mean, I read the synopsis and a few pages/paragraphs to see if it catches my attention, if it does than I'll buy it there. So would that make it an educated impulse buy?

Tiger Lily
A Touch Mortal
Mila 2.0
Siege and Storm

Mailbox Pickup:

Title:Tiger Lily
   Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: July 3rd, 2012

     Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

     Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

     Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

     With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

     From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.

     Tiger Lily has been on my list for a long time and it was brought to me by a fellow blogger, Emily May over at TheBookGeek. There have been many many rave reviews on how great, unique, and original this book was and I have been dying to get into this book and see just what all the hype and talk was about. This book granted it's not as big as some of the others, but it has great potential to be much more than what it's giving credit for.

     What brought this to my eye was the fact the book really isn't about a love story growing. Well it is, but a good way through the book, Tiger Lily loses Peter to Wendy, so it has more to do with loss and moving on than anything else. At least that's what I would expect the book to be about.

Title: Nobody
   Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: January 22nd, 2013

     There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away.

     That’s why they make the perfect assassins.

     The Institute finds these people when they’re young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated.

     Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring. But now they’ve ID’ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit. It’s as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are—because no one else ever notices them.

     Nobody was a great impulse buy and while I thrummed through the pages, it looked great. What I don't understand thought, is no matter who you are or what you do, someone notices you. Your parents, friends, any relationships  if you have any, you would think someone would notice you or pay attention, but I guess if there's no one in your life and your completely abandoned there could be someone.

     However, this book contradicts itself; it notices the kids that go unnoticed. Well that makes them noticed, and they take them out? Well why don't you take that "Nobody" in and train them instead of killing them? It doesn't make any sense. So what happens when two nobodies run off and run from the institution that hires Nix and Claire who's sought to be killed. This book is full of holes and I am curious how they are addressed. My hopes have diminished slightly when rereading this, it's kinda sad.

Title:A Touch Mortal
   Author: Leah Clifford
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: February 22nd, 2011

     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.

     A Touch Mortal was slightly and impulse buy, I got the series at a great price and when Epic Reads had it featured when the series was complete I couldn't pass it up. This is the first book, and I may list the other ones further down the road, not 100% sure on that, we'll see. Anyways, I really haven't heard a lot about this book and while I usually look at some ratings or have some inclination on what people have said about this book prior, but I just couldn't help the girl has a fantastic face and the red hair was just too great.

     When I look at this book I see the Fallen series but so much more, so much better and polished. Eden seems to know what she is after and isn't afraid to push everything else out the way. Her life is her own and she won't let anything stop her from living it how she chooses. I love this about Eden, just because some Angel falls and chooses her to fall in love with, she doesn't freak out and go completely dumb like Luce did in Fallen. She seems to be determined to do her own thing. I love this about Eden, and I can't wait to see how this confident girl pushes and molds her world to her will.


Title: Mila 2.0
   Author: Debra Driza
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: March 12th, 2013

     Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

     Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

     Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

     Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.

     Mila 2.0 was on my list when it hit Goodreads, and it gained a lot of merit quickly. There was a great deal of hype for this book and while it was just emerging I fell in love with the idea. The premise of the book just oozes with more emotion, more want to be human than what I thought when I first started looking at this book. What would you do if, you thought you were something else, something more than what you were created for?

     Mila 2.0 when I first thought about it, was a book about a cyborg, an android that could feel and had emotions. I know most of you won't get this reference, but like a ghost in the shell. I could be wrong with that, she could be human, or cyborg, the synopsis really doesn't identify who Mila really is, or what she was created for. I am interested in seeing just what this book is capable of, and comparing it to a great movie series, Bourne Identity, it leaves a lot to live up to.

Title: Siege and Storm
   Author: Leigh Bardugo
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: June 4th, 2013

     Darkness never dies.

     Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

     The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

     Leigh Bardugo comes back with the second book in her trilogy, Siege and Storm. I enjoyed Shadow and Bone, and while Alina's character plagued me with confusion at every turn, her character made me want more. The Darkling and Mal fought for different ideals on what to do with Alina, and in the end Mal was the one who came out on top, and with the Darkling reeling at the loss, the Siege and Storm begins.

     What I never understood about Shadow and Bone I hope Siege and Storm clears up. Alina's character needs to shine and flourish in this book and most of all she needs confidence and be more forceful, powerful. This book answers the one question and pursues the one path I thought would make Alina's character stand out better, a choice between the power of the Sun Summoner, or the love she always placed herself in, Mal. I am with utmost joy happy to see this book on my shelf, and will start it as soon as I can.

[Flashback Friday] - #33

Flashback Friday is a weekly event, hosted here, that highlights a past released 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: Starters
   Author: Lissa Price
   Release Date: March 13th, 2012


     Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

     He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

My Stance:

     So it's this week Starters is the feature, and while I have stared at this book over and over; I have reluctantly not picked it up because other books have budged ahead of this book. This book has been on my list for a long long while, and over and over I keep asking myself why I haven't picked this up. Honestly, the synopsis sounds great, a dystopia with a paranormal twist. It's not a normal dystopian novel, and I hope the book continues with the synopsis and makes me think and question just what Callie is doing, and what she plans on doing.

     Starters focuses on the aftermath of a war that seems to have wiped all the adults out. I thought at first I would enjoy this, but it seems over done already with Gone by Michael Grant and The Enemy by Charlie Higson. However, I moved beyond this overdone concept and we get into a paranormal dystopia in which children rent younger bodies to feel young again. That's where the story gets interesting and caught my attention. Apparently the children aren't supposed to wake up while the childrens' bodies are rented, but Callie changes everything when she does.

     What would you do if you know something about the company or group that was renting your body out that no one else knew? It sounds like Callie has an idea, and I hope it's trying to stop the group or the "new government." As well, the ploy sounds like the older are trying to live forever by moving from an older body into a younger one. When I first read this synopsis I immediately thought of the movie, "In Time." I loved that movie, and I hope this book doesn't ruin that comparison, and can keep up with a higher expectation that I have.

[Featured Discussion] - What's With Genres?

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:

     Last week I spoke about a common issue in everyone's mind, How OLD is too OLD? But in it I spoke directly to a specific style or genre of book, Young Adult. This week I wanted to segment into a different topic, What's so important about Genre's and Why do we really need them?

     Book Genres – A List Every Writer Should Know
Since the publishing industry is segmented by genre, it is essential that you are able to identify and become intimately involved with your genre. As a first step along this road, here’s the genre list we use…

      Well when I first started doing research on Genres and why exactly they are so important in the book scene, I actually stumbled upon new information that I had never realized or would have thought about. On I find a great clarification on the term Genre and another classification term I hadn't thought of Category.

     Both are coined by, "A book genre or category is simply a distinction of one group of books from another by characteristics in form, style, or content that the books in that grouping have in common." (Source: Publishing Questions) Genre is mainly used to classify fiction while category is mainly used to classify nonfiction. Now, while that's all fine and dandy know the technical definitions of both, why are they used is a harder question to answer than it seems.

     By looking at BubbleCow, we know that genres categorize books into styles and content types and occasionally a new Genre will appear and thrive. New publishers will flock to that genre trying to fill shelf space and meet readers demands in this new area. So paying attention to genres and new emerging styles and types of Genres could you in a direction of a new favorite read, or a new topic to write about.

     Going over to my main source (Publishing Questions) though, I understand that if books weren't organized by a Genre or Category, it would simply be by he author's name. Just imagine how hard that would be to go into a Library and find a book that you are interested in and would read. The extensive knowledge you would need about the book before you even went into the bookstore/library would be mind boggling, and how would you find anything new?

     The issue however with Genre and Categories is there is no governing body who sets standards on which book should belong to which genre. Furthermore there isn't any real set standard on what a Thriller is. I am sure we all can identify a thriller, but can't books belong to multiple genres and categories? We put the books where they best fit, not based on any standards.

     Genres are important because they let a reader/customer walk into the library or bookstore and immediately know where they can find a specific book they are looking for, and the section of books that they enjoy reading. As well to writers, it allows them to see new emerging genres that publishers are looking to sign and help shelf a new empty empty bookcase. I look at Genres as a way to categorize or a characteristic of a book, that layers and layers the identity of a book making it unique and great all its own, because in the end I don't believe a book has just one particular genre.

[Waiting on Wednesday] - #31

     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: Star Cursed
   Author: Jessica Spotswood
   Release Date: June 18th, 2013

     With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate's friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

     Cate doesn't want to be a weapon, and she doesn't want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood's schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she'll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

     In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess's quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.

My Stance:

     Star Cursed, sequel to Born Wicked, has caught my eye, and been on my radar as soon as I picked up the first book in the series. I was looking forward to reading Born Wicked, and while I have been away reading other books. I know I have said in the past that I won't read synopsis belong to books I haven't read yet, but I mistakenly read this one.

     I am looking at this book rather oddly, I haven't really read the first book, so I can't give a really good description on this book entirely. Cate and the sisters seem to be struggling over power, except I am not sure who is in control or what exactly Cate is looking to achieve. Furthermore, Cate doesn't seem to want power, or anything really to do do with what her sisters are after.

     It looks like Cate is searching to keep her family and friends together, and part of her life. There is mention of Cate being a weapon, however I don't understand that perspective. How can one witch be more powerful than another, I know it sounds ridiculous. Think about it though, other than driving factors and what makes a person fight; power for power both should be on equal footing. My question is, why is Cate so valuable and what makes her a weapon more-so than any others? I guess if I read the first book that may be answered.

[Book Review] - A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd

   Author: Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: September 27th, 2011
   My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

     The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

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

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

     It wants the truth.

My Review:

     This was a hard book to find, and when I did, I was glad throughout the entire book. This is probably one of my fastest reads. The hardest part of finding this book in particular is I wanted the book not the e-book. Because someone along the lines I read a review of the e-book which explained that none of the illustrations were part of the e-book. That was a huge downside to me, I wanted the full effect of the novel and what Patrick was trying to convey.

     On that note, I want to express my deepest admiration to Jim Kay for the illustrations in this book. They were dark, gritty, and very surreal. I could almost stare at the artwork forever and try to guess what Jim was trying to convey through the artwork, it was just fabulous. I don't know if Patrick Ness found this artist, or if the publisher did, either way I would be honored and humbled to have him work on anything I was part of. The monster and how Conor interacted with the monster was great, and perfectly captured in every still. I almost want to look up Jim further and see the rest of his works.

     Conor is a teen or a young teen in that matter, and I never understood just what plagued his mother. Anyways, she was undergoing treatment of some type that forced Conor to grow up fast. He is independent, knows how to think and live for himself and his mother. To me that's a feat, and furthermore, when his mother's illness gets worse, he tries to make everything work. He believes that everything will be all right in the end.

     What I enjoyed the most about the book, was Conor's growth and the dialogue with the tree/monster. The Monster tells these tales that each have a meaning, and almost make you think. Its not just a right or wrong choice, they all involve some type of moral dilemma and in the end it's Conor who doesn't understand the decision, or the outcome of the tale. In the dialogue with the Monster, we begin to realize just how series the situation is, and how far his mother's illness is weighing on Conor's mind.

     Conor's family comes to his aid, his grandmother which we understand he hates, and wants almost nothing to do with. His father flies in from the US, and that only makes matters worse. Through the involvement of his family, we understand that he doesn't want to accept that his mother is worst than what he thought, and what's happening to her is beyond his control. Yet there's something deeper, something that plagues Conor so bad, that during a talk with the Monster, he destroys his grandmothers living room full of antiques.

     Patrick Ness does a great job at capturing the guilt and emotional trauma of living with a truth we never thought we wished. That's sometimes we create a far worst Monster, than if we admit the truth to ourselves. It's this part that most of us don't see past, and Patrick captures that torture and pain so well. I love this book thoroughly, and would re-read this over and over. Its a great tale to tell your children, because sometimes something will be out of their control, and they will want to admit something life changing or just emotionally devastating, and that you will be there to help. It's just a work of art.

     Furthermore, I have been a huge fan of Patrick Ness, and when I finished The Chaos Walking series, I was looking for some of his other books and I stumbled upon this from an older book club reading I never got around to reading. I was shocked that the emotion conveyed in this book beat that of the other series, and I found at the end I wanted that to be part of The Chaos Walking series as well. I missed the work Patrick is able to do and I thoroughly look forward to reading more.

[Stacking the Shelves] - #33

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!

      Sorry for the delay this week, I had such a great week last week that it pains me to be making this one so late. I apologize for being late, but on the good note, it's done and I can focus on other aspects that need updating. I hope to get the links added into the Signed Books section sometime this week, maybe around the middle. As well I meant to do a segment on a movie, we'll see if I get around to it this week. I hope to watch the movie as well, but I am interested in the book/movie enough to highlight it.

      This week on Mailbox Monday I did another fill-in and bought a lot of series pieces. So like before I haven't read the prequels (or books prior to the placement of this book in the series) yet, and while I would love to talk and explain why the book has my eye or caught my attention, I don't want to read the synopsis and potentially spoil an ending someplace. I hate people who do that for movies and whatnot, even more for synopsis that do that to books I haven't read yet. So I'm going to save myself. 

Shades of Earth
The Essence
Shadows in the Silence
The Kiss

Mailbox Pickup:

   Author: Beth Revis
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: January 15th, 2013

     Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

     But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

     Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.



Title: The Essence
   Author: Kimberly Derting
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: January 1st, 2013

     “Danger, dread, mystery, and romance" (Booklist) continue in the second book of The Pledge trilogy, as Charlie’s reign is under siege from the most unusual of enemies.

     At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

     Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

     As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.


Title:Shadows in the Silence
   Author: Courtney Allison Moulton
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: January 29th, 2013

     A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

     When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

     Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!


Title: Prodigy
   Author: Marie Lu
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: January 29th, 2013

     June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

     It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

     But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

     In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.


Title: The Kiss
   Author: James Patterson
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: February 4th, 2013

     Whit and Wisty Allgood, a witch and wizard with extraordinary abilities, have defeated the ruthless dictator who long overshadowed their world. But for the first time in their lives, the powerful brother and sister find themselves at odds as Wisty is drawn to a mysterious and magical stranger named Heath.

     Wisty has never felt as free as she does with Heath, especially when the two of them share and test their magic together. But when a merciless Wizard King from the mountains suddenly threatens war, Wisty must make an excruciating choice. Will she unite with Whit to fight the mounting dangers that could return their world to a tyrant's domain? Or will she trust the beautiful boy who has captured her heart?

     James Patterson's epic dystopian saga continues as the witch and wizard who have inspired countless imaginations must rally together before the world they fought to save collapses.
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