Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
Publisher:  Razorbill
Publish Date:  September 13, 2012
Pages: 368
ISBN# 978-1595144836

Daphne is half demon and half fallen angel.  Her parents are Lucifer and Lilith.  She lives in the city of Pandemonium (Hell) and has to leave to find her brother Obie.  Brenna Yovanoff writes beautifully.  Everything in her stories is beautiful, even in its ugliness.

The characters:

Obie - son of Lilith and Adam (as in Adam & Eve).  Adam refused to acknowledge him and Lilith turned to Lucifer.  Obie works on Earth with disturbed kids.

Daphne - youngest child of Lucifer and Lilith.  Her mother tolerates her, her father pretty much ignores her and her sisters pick on her.  She adores Obie.

Lilim - Lucifer and Lilith's other daughters.  Beautiful and cold hearted, they feed off men, who give willingly.

Truman - human boy who may have been the last to see Obie.  He's depressed and suicidal.

So Daphne needs to travel to Earth to find Obie.  Obie may be the only person that her mother really loves and she's counting on Daphne to find him.  In order to do that, Daphne needs to keep Truman level. 

Ms. Yovanoff takes the oddest creatures - fairies, demons, angels, damaged/disturbed humans - and makes them just likable enough that you're surprised when they do terrible things.  But then the characters are all like 'what?  I'm a ________ (demon, etc), get over it!'. 

I love this book.  It doesn't hurt that it's a stand alone novel instead of a series.  I can't wait to read her next book - PAPER VALENTINE.  I do really like Daphne, even though Mackie Doyle will be my first love.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake

Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake
Publisher:  Tor Teen
Publish Date:  August 7, 2012
Pages:  336
ISBN# 978-0765328663

The follow-up to Anna Dressed in Blood isn't as much horror, but more plain spooky.  Anna isn't a major part of the story, even though she's always showing up and in Cas' thoughts/dreams.  I really missed the scariness, but it was still an excellent book.

The story picks up six months after ANNA.  Cas isn't quite the smartbutt that he was before.  He's having nightmares about Anna being tortured and the worst part is that sometimes he's not even asleep.  Carmel and Thomas are having their own relationship issues and trying to help Cas get over Anna.

We get a lot of explanation in this book - where the athame came from, how Cas' dad ended up with it, what it stands for AND we get a trip to the UK!  That's always a bonus!

While not as full-on creepy as ANNA - there's still some creepiness mixed in with the explanations.  The Suicide Forest was totally icky! 

In the end, Cas does what he's born to do...and it's ok.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Books Out This Week: Jan. 28 - Feb. 3, 2013

January 29, 2013

Asunder (Newsoul #2) by Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

From Goodreads:  DARKSOULS
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

The Madman's Daughter (Madman's Daughter #1) by Megan Shepherd
Publisher:  Balzer & Bray

From Goodreads:  Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
Publisher:  HarperTeen

From Goodreads:  They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

 Prodigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu
Publisher:  Putnam Juvenile

From Goodreads:  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?

  What the Spell (Life's a Witch #1) by Brittany Geragotelis
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster

From Goodreads:  Almost-sixteen-year-old Brooklyn feels invisible, but she desperately wants to be pretty, to be popular, to be adored by a cute guy. Luckily for her, she’s a witch about to come of age—so she’s only a few spells away from making it all happen.

On her milestone birthday, Brooklyn’s conservative parents finally unbind her powers, which include the ability to magically match couples with a love spell. Brooklyn uses her special skills to get a makeover, new friends, and the attention of her crush, Asher. But the popular clique Brooklyn wants to infiltrate puts her in the same precarious position as her Salem ancestors: If she’s found out, she could be vilified—and lose Asher in the process. Can she make the most of her magic, or will she be luckless and loveless? Be careful what you witch for!

Shadows in the Silence (Angelfire #3) by Courtney Allison Moulton
Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books

From Goodreads:  Your strength in heart and hand will fall. . . .
Ellie knows that the darkest moments are still to come, and she has everything to fight for:

She must fight for Will.
The demonic have resorted to their cruelest weapons to put Will in mortal danger, and Ellie makes an unlikely alliance to save him and to stop Lilith and Sammael, who seek to drown the world in blood and tear a hole into Heaven.

She must fight for humanity.
As the armies of Hell rise and gather for the looming End of Days, Ellie and her band of allies travel to the world’s darkest and most ancient regions in her quest to come into her full glory as the archangel Gabriel.

And Ellie must save herself.
Her humanity withers beneath the weight of her cold archangel power, but Ellie must hold tight to who she is and who she loves as she prepares for the ultimate battle for Heaven and Earth.

February 1, 2013

Unbroken (Ruined #2) by Paula Morris
Publisher:  Scholastic, Inc.

From Goodreads:  Welcome back to New Orleans.
Where the streets swirl with jazz and beauty.
Where the houses breathe with ghosts.

A year ago, Rebecca Brown escaped death in a New Orleans cemetery. Now she has returned to this haunting city. She is looking forward to seeing Anton Grey, the boy who may or may not have her heart.

But she also meets a ghost: a troubled boy who insists only she can help him. Soon Rebecca finds herself embroiled in another murder mystery from more than a century ago. But as she tries to right wrongs, she finds more questions than answers: Is she putting her friends, and herself, in danger? Can she trust this new ghost? And has she stumbled into something much bigger and more serious than she understands?

The Look by Sophia Bennett
 Publisher:  Chicken House

From Goodreads:  When Ted is spotted by a model agency, she can’t believe it. At the same time her gorgeous sister, Ava, is diagnosed with cancer. With her world turned upside down, Ted has a lot of growing up to do, some of it in five-inch platforms. Can she be a supermodel and a super sister? Or will she have to choose between fame and family?     

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Eve by Anna Carey

Eve (Eve #1) by Anna Carey
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Publish Date:  Oct. 4, 2011
Pages:  336
ISBN# 978-0062048509

The story begins in 2032 - 16 years after a deadly virus wipes out most of the Earth's population.  No, they aren't zombies, they're just dead.  The girls are now schooled and then they go on to produce babies...and more babies...and more babies.  The boys go to work camps and to build New America's capitol.

The world-building needed some more detail, there just wasn't enough to make it believable.  I think that instead of all the action, maybe more question answering was in order for this first book.  The biggest issue for me was WHY do they need all these babies???  Who takes care of them? Are they trying to repopulate? So there have to be male donors for these babies to be created, right? Who the heck are the donors??  That's a huge amount of babies that will all be related, I mean how many babies can the girls have? Who's going to keep track of who can safely mate with whom?  This is a huge question for me and maybe it will be answered in a later book.

The characters are actually good and I liked most of them.

Eve - I know it's not totally her fault that she's stupid, but for pete's sake! She just does some outright dumb things. I would not choose to hang with her if I were trying to survive.  The only really smart thing she does is escape the first time and that wasn't even her own idea.

Caleb - the love interest.  Of course he's described as hot and smells woodsy and smokey, but whatever.  I'm pretty sure that he'd smell sticky like an unwashed boy after living in the wild.  But he seems to have a pretty good idea of how things are.

Arden - escaped right before Eve. She's suspicious and can somewhat take care of herself.  She's not unwilling to fight and/or run away.

The King - we never find out who he is or how he came into power so quickly.  I need to know this - was he high up in the military? Was he Donald Trump? He can't have been a nobody, who would listen to him? Now, wouldn't it be a wicked twist if it were Eve's dad?! That would totally make up for some of Eve's stupidity.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Quantum Coin (Coin #2) by E.C. Myers

Quantum Coin (Coin #2) by E.C. Myers
Publisher: Pyr
Publish Date:  Oct. 2, 2012
Pages:  340
ISBN# 978-1616146825

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Ephraim thought he was completely done universe hopping and he's settled in at home, dating Jena Kim and having a great time with his bestie.  But then at the Prom things begin to go wrong.  Jena leaves for the restroom and when she returns she's wearing different clothes and grabs him for a kiss.  But who's that behind her?  One Zoe.

Apparently the multiverse is unraveling and Zoe has kept in contact with Nathaniel and they need help fixing it.  Who better to help fix it than someone who has traveled it? 

The writing is excellent and the details and information are outstanding.  The characters are individuals and they never get confusing, even when 3 or more analogs of the same person are in the same room.  They are all individuals, with their own personalities.  It's interesting to see how one person could turn out so many different ways due to circumstances and upbringing.  It really shows nature vs. nurture!

I really love how E.C. Myers throws in little nerdy pop culture references.  They made it a lot of fun!  There's a good amount of humor in the book, even though it's a serious matter, what with worlds unraveling and all.  Jena still reads a lot, the boys still talk about sex (but no one does it) and there's always time for a good joke/reference.  It's more like real life, I think.

Another great book by E.C. Myers!  I really hope that there's more to come, he does a great job explaining things and making learning fun.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Books Out This Week: January 21 - 27, 2013

January 22, 2013

Ravage (Deviants #3) by Jeff Sampson
Publisher:  Balzer & Bray

From Goodreads:  The war against BioZenith is on.

Since she first came into her mysterious new superpowers, Emily has watched one of her packmates disappear through an interdimensional portal; she’s been hunted by creepy, body-snatching Shadowmen; she’s managed to form an alliance with the same telekinetic cheerleaders who once tried to take her down; and she’s discovered that her believed-to-be-dead mother is one of the BioZenith scientists responsible for her strange abilities.

Now it’s up to the Deviants to put together the last pieces of the puzzle, which includes tracking down the final, mystery member of their kind and forcing their parents to reveal why they mutated their own children. Emily fears the answer is far more sinister than anyone ever thought: after all, why would a parent risk a child’s life unless the stakes were high…scary, world-ending high?

Tired of being at the mercy of adult conspiracies, Emily forms a plan with the other Deviants: Destroy BioZenith before anyone can use the knowledge within the facility to aid the Shadowmen. But that’s only if BioZenith—or something worse—doesn’t capture them first.

Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher:  EgmontUSA

From Goodreads:  
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.

 The Darkness Dwellers (Kiki Strike #3) by Kirsten Miller
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA Childrens

From Goodreads:  First they ventured deep under New York to save the city itself. Then things got personal as the Irregulars ventured into a haunted mansion in Chinatown to uncover an evil twin. Now, in the third installment of bestselling author Kirsten Miller's Kiki Strike series, this delightful group of delinquent geniuses jump feet first into a fast-paced international pursuit, going underground in Paris to pursue a pair of treacherous royals who have killed Kiki's parents.

 Everbound (Everneath #2) by Brodi Ashton
Publisher:  Balzer & Bray

From Goodreads:  Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

 Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton #1) by Leila Rasheed
Publisher: Hyperion Book

From Goodreads:  Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies’ maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can’t help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada.

For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name—but it would mean giving up her one true love . . . someone she could never persuade her father to accept.

 The Archived (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab
Publisher:  Hyperion Book

From Goodreads: 
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous-it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

 Boundless (Unearthly #3) by Cynthia Hand
Publisher:  HarperCollins

From Goodreads:  The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfil her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Broken by A.E. Rought

Broken by A.E. Rought
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Publish Date:  January 8, 2013
Pages: 320
ISBN# 978-1908844316

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Ok, first of all, this story is set in Michigan.  I live in Michigan, so I had to read it.  Also, it's a retelling of Frankenstein.

Emma Gentry's boyfriend dies and she's just inconsolable.  Then she meets a new guy at school, Alex Franks.  Alex reminds her of her boyfriend, Daniel.  He even knows Daniels nickname for her.  Alex's dad is a surgeon and he does not like Emma.

Since it's a retelling, I expected a bit more creepiness and so I was a little disappointed.  There was too much of Emma's daily life stuff - what she had for breakfast, her texting habits, etc.  I think that a lot of that could have been left out.  The beginning part of the book is good, you get to know Emma really well.  The middle of the story is boring.  It was just a bit too drawn out for me to enjoy, I wanted to move on.  The ending is...well, you'll have to read the ending yourself!  The writing is really beautiful, the author did a great job on the prose.

Emma is a good character, she's believable in her grief and surprisingly has two parents who are very supportive.  I hate that in a lot of stories there's only one parent or a step-parent or whatnot.  There are honestly families with two parents.  Emma comes across with her own voice and seems pretty independent in her thinking.

Alex - sweet but a little he should be.

Dr. Franks - just evil and mean.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1) by Darynda Jones

Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1) by Darynda Jones
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date:  Oct. 2, 2012
Pages: 304
ISBN# 978-0312625207

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Lorelei's parents disappeared ten years ago and her grandparents raised her...and it seems she's picked up a couple of creepy stalkers recently. 

Lorelei (which is a gorgeous name!) knows who both her stalkers are.  One is a classmate she's grown up with and one is the new kid in school.  Both are portrayed as hot and sexy...seriously, are there any geeky boys or average boys out there in YA land?

Public Announcement Here:
Ladies - stalkers are NEVER hot and sexy! I don't care if they're demons, angels or the kid from Biology class.  It seems to me that stalking has been glamorized lately in YA and this book set me on edge about it.

The writing is decent, but I didn't think there were enough twists and surprises.  The make out scenes were a little hot and heavy for our younger YA readers. 

Lorelei is a good character - I do love snarky girls!  She also seemed to have a good grasp on when to freak out and when to stay and fight.

I'm 50/50 on this book.  Let me know what you think.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Books Out This Week: January 14-20, 2013

January 15th

Return to Me by Justina Chen Headley
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

From Goodreads:  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?

 Level 2 (Memory Chronicles #1) by Lenore Appelhans
Publisher:   Simon & Schusters Books for Young Readers

From Goodreads:  Three levels. Two loves. One choice. Debut novelist, Lenore Appelhans has written a thrilling otherworldly young adult novel about a place that exists between our world (Level 1) and what comes after life (Level 2).

'I pause to look around the hive - all the podlike chambers are lit up as the drones shoot up on memories ... I've wanted to get out of here before, but now the tight quarters start to choke me. There has to be more to death than this.'

Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend ... and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her.

Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.

  Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) - Beth Revis
Publisher:  Razorbill

From Goodreads:  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.

Gates of Paradise (Blue Bloods #7)  - Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher:  Disney-Hyperion

From Goodreads:  Schuyler Van Alen is running out of time. The Dark Prince of Hell is storming the Gates of Paradise, intent on winning the heavenly throne for good. This time he has his greatest angels by his side, Abbadon and Azrael—Jack and Mimi Force, as they are known in the Coven.

Or so he thinks. Even as Lucifer assigns Jack and Mimi the tasks of killing their true loves, the Force twins secretly vow to defeat the Dark Prince once and for all. But how far will Mimi and Jack go to conceal their real loyalties?

Meanwhile, former vampire Bliss Llewellyn has joined forces with Lawson, the greatest wolf of the underworld, to free his people from their imprisonment in Hell. As they struggle against impossible odds, an ancient message, woven into the very fabric of time, reveals just how much depends on the success of their mission.

Lucifer seeks the key to the Gate of Promise, and when Schuyler is taken captive and delivered straight to Hell, she must make an unthinkable choice—the same one the archangel Michael was forced to make during the Crisis in Rome. Will Schuyler find the strength to do what he could not?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Guest Post: Kristina Wojtaszek, author of OPAL

Fairy tales are all the rage. They're in the movies (Mirror Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsman), on TV (Grimm, Once Upon a Time), in countless newly released books, and even in fashion (from Tinker Bell tees to gothic red cloaks). But why? Why are these simplistic little tales with such ancient roots still triumphing in today's society? 

Perhaps it's partly because they feel exotic and ancient, and yet also comfortingly familiar (we can all thank Mr. Walter Elias Disney for the latter). Fairy tales are like individuals; they can model new eras and take on new roles, but beneath the fitted armor, sweat and gore is the same person we know and either love, or love to hate. Fairy tales are malleable. Take Cinderella; we can strip our girlish memories of glass slippers and sparkling ball gowns down to the grit and grime of a much harsher reality. And we can watch Cinderella grow right along with us, from disillusioned child to a fiery, spirited young adult.

And since Cinderella's identity is defined by her experiences, her story, she can also be any color, any race, and be shaped by any number of personality traits. She can choose her own sexual orientation (Malinda Lo's Ash) or hell, even change sex altogether (Babette Cole's Prince Cinders, anyone?). She can hail from ancient China (Bound by Donna Jo Napoli) or go beyond humanity into the realms of futuristic androids (Marissa Meyer's Cinder). She can even alter roles, from good to evil and anywhere in between (even being slightly demented, as in Maguire's Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister). As long as a couple of key components of her tale are present, she can be anyone, or anything, in any time and place. And I think that's something we can all admire, that magical potential, something so akin to being young and alive. Like us, fairy tales are nothing if not ambitious.

For purchase information, please see: 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch

Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch
Publisher:  Scholastic Press
Publish Date:  Oct. 1, 2012
Pages: 320
ISBN# 978-0545290180

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

So there was this awful event that split the world in half and apparently half of it just...died.

Sixteen year old Glenn (a girl) lives on the surviving half with her dad.  her mom disappeared across the Rift, the border between the two halves.  Glenn's father is taken by the government because of an invention.  Glenn and her friend Kevin run away.  They decide to cross the Rift to escape, expecting a dead wasteland, but instead find a world of magic and secrets.

Glenn - seemed kind of dumb, maybe just naive?  She started out good and went downhill.

Kevin - Glenn's friend and possible love interest.  Annoying, changed too easily.

The scenes are very descriptive, but sometimes lacked detail about what was actually going on.  I sometimes had to go back and reread as things were confusing and I thought I missed things. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dearly, Beloved (Dearly #2) by Lia Habel

Dearly, Beloved (Dearly #2) by Lia Habel
Publisher:  Del Ray
Publish Date:  Sept. 25, 2012
Pages:  496
ISBN# 978-0345523342

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

In the first book, Nora Dearly is rescued by Bram after a band of bad zombies try to kidnap her. Bram was a soldier before he became a zombie. He and his friends want to control the bad zombies and make peace with the living.  Nora and Bram fall in love and her father tries to find a cure for the zombies.

So some zombies are the 'brrraaaiiinnnnssss' type and some are the 'I can control my hunger for peoples brains' type. 

The characters seemed a little off in this second book.  No one really stood out for me, although the couple of Nora and Bram was still good.  There just wasn't as much going on.  I think that there was so much that went on in the first book that this one was just picking up some loose ends.  Hopefully in the third book that will change and we'll be back to lots of action.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

UnEarthed by Rebecca Bloomer

UnEarthed by Rebecca Bloomer
Publisher:  Odyssey Books
Publish Date:  July 2, 2012
Pages:  160
ISBN# 978-0987232540

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Jodi is a teen computer geek and her dad takes a job in a Mars colony, so the whole family has to move to Mars.  Jodi meets a bunch of kids that were born and raised on Mars and aren't really that fond of Earth people.  There's quite a bit of politics, the 'martians' want to be independent of Earth.

The characters are okay.  Sometimes the characters seemed to act out of character, but it wasn't too often or even terribly obvious.  The world building was really good - everything is detailed and explained very well.

I think that toward the end of the story, things weren't as detailed as they could have been and they sped by pretty fast, compared to the rest of the story.  It's an okay story, but this seems to be a new genre by itself - humans on another planet or moon that want to be independent of Earth.  I've read 2 in the last couple of months - although the other one was undoubtedly better.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Books Out This Week: January 7-13, 2013

January 8, 2013

Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum
Publisher:  HarperTeen

From Goodreads:  Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.

Only a few escaped the robot revolution of 2071. Kevin, Nick, and Cass are lucky —they live with their parents in a secret human community in the woods. Then their village is detected and wiped out. Hopeful that other survivors have been captured by bots, the teens risk everything to save the only people they have left in the world—by infiltrating a city controlled by their greatest enemies.

 Blood Prophecy (Drake Chronicles #6) by Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher:  Walker Childrens

From Goodreads: 

Solange Drake has been officially crowned Queen of the Vampires, fulfilling the centuries old prophecy that foretold the rise to power of a daughter born to an ancient vampire line. Except Solange's thoughts and actions are no longer her own—she's been slowly being possessed by the spirit of Viola, the first daughter born into the Drake line, since her bloodchange. And instead of uniting the vampire tribes under the rule of an ancient daughter as the prophecy predicted, Viola would rather destroy them all and enslave humans in a personal vendetta for the devastation both wrought to her life centuries ago. Can Solange break her hold in time to save everyone she loves from a vampire civil war, hunter attack, and each other? Not everyone will survive the prophecy . . . perhaps not even her.

 Rise (Nightshade Prequel #2) by Andrea Cremer
Publisher:  Philomel

From Goodreads: 
Everything Conatus stands for is at risk. Hoping to gather enough resistance to save their order, Ember and Barrow attempt a desperate escape. But fate offers little mercy. When their mission is exposed, the  couple face relentless pursuit by the supernatural horrors that act on the commands of Eira’s ally: the mysterious Bosque Mar. A shocking revelation forces Ember out of hiding, sending her back into the heart of dark magic at Tearmunn keep, where she must convince her old friend Alistair of her love or face dire consequences. Ember’s deception offers the only chance for the resistance to succeed, but what she discovers in the shadows beneath the keep will shatter her world and bring about the Witches’ War.

 Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi
Publisher:  HarperCollins

From Goodreads: 
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.

  Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Publisher:  Razorbill

From Goodreads: 

The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.

With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

 Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Publisher:  Dutton Juvenile

From Goodreads: 

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.

 Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky
Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers

From Goodreads: 

After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old one.
The moment we got together, all my preconceptions about romance and sex were turned upside down. I discovered physical and emotional firsts I never knew existed. I learned to let go of my past by living in the present. It was thrilling. It was hot. It was just what the doctor ordered.
But I couldn’t avoid my future forever.

 Janie Face to Face (Janie Johnson #5) by Caroline B. Cooney
Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers

From Goodreads: 

In this riveting and emotional conclusion to the thriller-romance Janie series, that started with The Face on the Milk Carton, all will be revealed as readers find out if Janie and Reeve’s love has endured, and whether or not the person who brought Janie and her family so much emotional pain and suffering is brought to justice.

The Rogue's Princess (Lacey Chronicles #3) by Eve Edwards
Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers

From Goodreads: 

1586 – London, England. Sixteen-year-old Mercy Hart is the daughter of one of London’s richest – and strictest – cloth merchants. Kit Turner is an actor and the illegitimate son of the late Earl of Dorset. A chance encounter finds Kit falling for the beautiful Mercy’s charms, but their love is forbidden. A merchant’s daughter and a vagabond – it simply cannot be. If Mercy chooses Kit she must renounce her family name and leave her home. Will she favour duty over true love, or will she give Kit his heart’s desire?

 Timekeeper (Timeless #2) by Alexandra Monir
Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers

From Goodreads: 

When Philip Walker appears as a new student in Michele Windsor's high school class, she is floored. He is the love she thought she lost forever when they said goodbye during her time travels last century. Overjoyed that they can resume the relationship they had a lifetime ago, Michele eagerly approaches him and discovers the unthinkable: he doesn't remember her. In fact, he doesn't seem to remember anything about the Philip Walker of 1910.

Michele then finds her father's journals, which tell stories of his time-traveling past. As she digs deeper, she learns about his entanglement with a mysterious and powerful organization called the Time Society and his dealings with a vengeful Windsor ancestor. Michele soon finds herself at the center of a rift over 120 years in the making, one whose resolution will have life-or-death consequences.

 The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan
Publisher:  Knopf Books for Young Readers

From Goodreads: 

Tim Macbeth is a 17-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is, “Enter here to be and find a friend.” Tim does not expect to find a friend; all he really wants to do is escape his senior year unnoticed. Despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “it” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim’s surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, and she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone finds out. Tim and Vanessa enter into a clandestine relationship, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.

The story unfolds from two alternating viewpoints: Tim, the tragic, love-struck figure, and Duncan, a current senior, who uncovers the truth behind Tim and Vanessa’s story and will consequently produce the greatest Tragedy Paper in Irving’s history.

 Crash (Visions #1) by Lisa McMann
Publisher:  Simon Pulse

From Goodreads: 

Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode...and nine body bags in the snow.

The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.

 Then You Were Gone by Lauren Strasnick
Publisher:  Simon Pulse

From Goodreads: 

Two years ago, Adrienne’s best friend walked out of her life. One week ago, she left Adrienne a desperate, muffled voicemail. Adrienne never called back.

Now Dakota is missing. She left behind a string of broken hearts, a flurry of rumors, and a suicide note.

Adrienne can’t stop obsessing over what might have happened if she’d answered Dakota’s call. And she’s increasingly convinced that Dakota must still be alive.

Maybe finding and saving Dakota is the only way Adrienne can save herself.

Or maybe it’s too late for them both.

 Doomed by Tracy Deebs
Publisher:  Walker Childrens

From Goodreads: 

Pandora’s just your average teen, glued to her cell phone and laptop, surfing Facebook and e-mailing with her friends, until the day her long-lost father sends her a link to a mysterious site featuring twelve photos of her as a child. Unable to contain her curiosity, Pandora enters the site, where she is prompted to play her favorite virtual-reality game, Zero Day. This unleashes a global computer virus that plunges the whole world into panic: suddenly, there is no Internet. No cell phones. No utilities, traffic lights, hospitals, law enforcement. Pandora teams up with handsome stepbrothers Eli and Theo to enter the virtual world of Zero Day. Simultaneously, she continues to follow the photographs from her childhood in an attempt to beat the game and track down her father, her one key to saving the world as we know it.

 Delusion by Laura L. Sullivan
Publisher:  Harcourt Children's Books

From Goodreads: 

When two beautiful teenage stage magicians in World War II England meet a pair of handsome men who can do real magic, sparks fly. But is it illusion, or delusion? Opening-night jitters are nothing new for Phil and Fee Albion, who come from a long line of stage illusionists. The girls love to dazzle London audiences, but in the aftermath of the Blitz they're bundled off to the countryside, where they're safe from bombs and Nazis--and bored to pieces. Phil, always the passionate one, discovers a hidden college of real magicians led by the devastatingly handsome Arden. If only Phil can persuade these unworldly magicians to help England win the war! Daredevil that she is, she'll risk anything to give her country a fighting chance, even if it means losing her heart . . . or her life.

 Cleopatra Ascending by Maureen Lipinski
Publisher:  Flux

From Goodreads: 

Despite living with a shaman, a witch, and a muse for sisters, Rhea Spencer feels like a normal teenager-even if she is the reincarnation of Cleopatra. But all that changes on Rhea's sixteenth birthday, when her visions of the Egyptian queen start unraveling a very different version of history, and Declan, a hot representative of the secret Order of Antony, shows up on the doorstep to keep her from being kidnapped. Together, Rhea and Declan travel to Egypt to stop the Octavians, a dark cabal trying to tap into Rhea's growing powers. The cabal seeks to access the magic deep below the desert sands, a potentially devastating force that only Rhea can protect.

 The Wrap-Up List by Steven Arntson
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

From Goodreads: 

In this modern-day suburban town, one percent of all fatalities come about in the most peculiar way. Deaths—eight-foot-tall, silver-gray creatures—send a letter (“Dear So-and-So, your days are numbered”) to whomever is chosen for a departure, telling them to wrap up their lives and do the things they always wanted to do before they have to “depart.” When sixteen-year-old Gabriela receives her notice, she is, of course devastated. Will she kiss her crush Sylvester before it’s too late?

The Rebels of New Sun (Blending Time #3) by Michael Kinch
Publisher: Flux

From Goodreads: 

Raym, Reya, and D’shay are blenders assigned to help repopulate and rebuild Africa. Fighting on the side of the New SUN resistance against the tyranny of the ‘gades in a bloody civil war, the three blenders infiltrate the capital city in their first offensive strike aimed at returning power to the people. But under the threat of torture in the Snakepit—a prison where no one leaves alive—the New SUN rebels must evade robohounds, dragonfly drones, and GlobeTran cops to secure freedom for the people once and for all.

 Shadowlands by Kate Brian
Publisher:  Hyperion Books

From Goodreads: 

Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived… and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection with her father and sister, Darcy, leaving their friends and family without so much as a goodbye.

Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children, but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. But just as they’re starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?

January 10, 2013

The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell
Publisher:  Dial

From Goodreads: 

There is a new king on the throne of Tildor. Currents of political unrest sweep the country as two warring crime families seek power, angling to exploit the young Crown's inexperience. At the Academy of Tildor, the training ground for elite soldiers, Cadet Renee de Winter struggles to keep up with her male peers. But when her mentor, a notorious commander recalled from active duty to teach at the Academy, is kidnapped to fight in illegal gladiator games, Renee and her best friend Alec find themselves thrust into a world rife with crime, sorting through a maze of political intrigue, and struggling to resolve what they want, what is legal, and what is right.

Salvation by Anne Osterlund
Publisher:  Speak

From Goodreads: 

Salvador Resendez--Salva to his friends--appears to have it all. His Mexican immigrant family has high expectations, and Salva intends to fulfill them. He's student body president, quarterback of the football team, and has a near-perfect GPA. Everyone loves him.

Especially Beth Courant, AKA the walking disaster area. Dreamy and shy, Beth is used to blending into the background. But she's also smart, and she has serious plans for her future.

Popular guy and bookish girl--the two have almost nothing in common. Until fate throws them together and the attraction is irresistible. Soon Beth is pushing Salva to set his sights higher than ever--because she knows he has more to offer, more than even he realizes.

Then tragedy strikes--and threatens to destroy everything that Salva has worked for. Will Beth's love be enough to save him?