In The Stacks (33)

What I added to my stacks (and stacks and stacks) this week. I am linking up with Stacking The Shelves by Tynga’s Reviews and The Sunday Post by the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

What You May Have Missed

January 12 2014 New Releases

What I Read This Week

  • I finally finished a review book, Uninvited by Sophie Jordan. The review is actually written and set to publish later in the month.
  • The Runaway King by Jennifer Neilson. I love this series and am looking forward to book three.

What I Added To My Stacks This Week

Purchased

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere.

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back?

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don’t exist – almost.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune–and remarkable power–to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved–that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt–among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life–and love–in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell Trilogy #1) by Hilary Mantel

Tudor England. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is charged with securing his divorce. Into this atmosphere of distrust comes Thomas Cromwell – a man as ruthlessly ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) by Emmy Laybourne

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.

But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

Library

Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher

Obsidian Mirror (Chronoptika #1) by Catherine Fisher

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

Cover images and summaries from goodreads.

New Releases For January 12, 2014

Vitro by Jessica Khoury

Vitro by Jessica Khoury

On Skin Island, even the laws of creation can be broken.

On a remote island in the Pacific, Corpus scientists have taken test tube embryos and given them life. These beings—the Vitros—have knowledge and abilities most humans can only dream of. But they also have one enormous flaw.

Sophie Crue is determined to get to Skin Island and find her mother, a scientist who left Sophie behind years ago. With the help of Jim Julien, a young charter pilot, she arrives–and discovers a terrifying secret she never imagined: she has a Vitro twin, Lux, who is the culmination of Corpus’s dangerous research.

Now Sophie is torn between reuniting with the mother who betrayed her and protecting the genetically enhanced twin she never knew existed. But untangling the twisted strands of these relationships will have to wait, for Sophie and Jim are about to find out what happens when science stretches too far beyond its reach.

Going Rogue by Robin Benway

Going Rogue (Also Known As #2) by Robin Benway

Being permanently based in a local New York City high school as an undercover operative has its moments, good and bad, for 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver. Pros: More quality time with her former mark-turned-boyfriend Jesse Oliver and insanely cool best friend, Roux. Getting to spend quality time with her semi-retired and international spy honorary uncle, Angelo. Cons: High school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. But when Maggie’s parents are falsely accused of stealing priceless gold coins, Maggie uses her safecracking skills to try and clear their names. Too bad it only serves to put her and everyone she loves in danger. Maggie and her “new team” flee to Paris where they must come up with a plan to defeat their former allies.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s #2) by Ransom Riggs

In 1940 after the first book ends, Jacob and his new Welsh island friends flee to London, the Peculiar capital of the world. Caul, a dangerous madman, is Miss Peregrine’s brother, and can steal Peculiar abilities for himself. The Peculiars must fight for survival, again.

January 12 2014 New Releases

All cover images and summaries from goodreads.

Waiting On Wednesday–Between By Megan Whitmer

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights new releases that you are eagerly anticipating. This week I am waiting on Between by Megan Whitmer.

Why I’m Waiting

Between had me at mystical realm. I love books that have other realms and pretty much anything to do with magic. Plus, it seems like it might be a bit snarky.

Cover image and summary from goodreads.

 

Top Ten Tuesday–Top Ten 2014 Debuts

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they pick a fun topic for a top ten list. This weeks list is Top Ten 2014 Debuts.

I read so many debuts last year and discovered tons of new authors. There is something so cool about discovering the next up and coming series. In no particular order, here are the 2014 debuts that I am most excited about.

Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira

Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.

Something Real by Heather Demetrios

Something Real by Heather Demetrios

There’s nothing real about reality TV.

Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show’s cancellation and the scandal surrounding it, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it’s about to fall apart…because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™’s mom and the show’s producers won’t let her quit and soon the life she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.

The Other Way Around by Sashi Kaufman

The Other Way Around by Sashi Kaufman

Andrew West goes to an all-girls school and he still can’t get a date. If that’s not bad enough, his Mom is the headmaster. Everyone seems to have the wrong idea about Andrew. His teachers think he’s a good student who doesn’t apply himself -he really is trying. The kids at his old school thought he was a goth. His cousin Barry thinks he’s gay.

When his Thanksgiving break goes tragically awry he decides to run away. He catches a ride with a strange group of older teenagers. The Freegans are street performers and dumpster divers. As Andrew travels the country with his new friends he leaves behind the expectations of others and discovers what he expects of himself.

Nil by Lynne Matson

Nil by Lynne Matson

On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have one year. Exactly 365 days–to escape, or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s lying naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that to save their future, Charley must first save him. And on an island rife with dangers, their greatest threat is time.

Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there’s only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.

Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother’s best friend really be?
Tails: The theater geek…with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart’s interests–even if he wants to share all his feelings?

Heart’s simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all…

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?

The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ave Lavender by Leslye Walton

Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still the yellow brick road, though—but even that’s crumbling.

What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas.
I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I’ve been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart.
Steal the Scarecrow’s brain.
Take the Lion’s courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

Summer On The Short Bus by Bethany Crandell

Summer On The Short Bus by Bethany Crandell

Spoiled, Versace-clad Cricket Montgomery has seventeen years of pampering under her belt. So when her father decides to ship her off to a summer camp for disabled teens to help her learn some accountability, Cricket resigns herself to three weeks of handicapped hell.

Her sentence takes a bearable turn as she discovers the humor and likeability of the campers and grows close to fellow counselors. Now, if she can just convince a certain Zac Efron look-alike with amazing blue eyes that she finally realizes there’s life after Gucci, this summer could turn out to be the best she’s ever had.

All cover images and summaries from goodreads.

In The Stacks (32)

What I added to my stacks (and stacks and stacks) this month. I am linking up with Stacking The Shelves by Tynga’s Reviews and The Sunday Post by the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

What You May Have Missed

January 5 2014 New Releases

 

What I Read This Week

I finally read The Archived (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab. I wish I hadn’t waited so long but am glad that I got through it in time to read book two.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio is a book I kept meaning to pick-up and am so glad I did. It is truly touching and a must for pre-teen age reader.

I loved Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) by Jessica Spotswood and it was one of my favorite books of 2012. I really did not plan on sitting on Star Cursed as long as I did but I am so glad I finally read it. So freaking good!

What I Added To My Stacks This Week

 

ARC

Enders by Lissa Price

Enders (Starters #2) by Lissa Price

With the Prime Destinations body bank destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders. But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn’t want to do. Like hurt someone she loves. Having the chip removed could save Callie’s life – but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father. Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena’s memories, too …and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear. Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body? This is the thrilling sequel to “Starters”

I won this copy from Goodreads and cannot wait to read it.

Library

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

Messenger by Lois Lowry

Messenger (The Giver Quartet) by Lois Lowry

Trouble is brewing in Village. Once a utopian community that welcomed strangers, Village will soon be cut off to all outsiders. As one of the few able to traverse the forbidding Forest, Matty must deliver the message of Village’s closing and try to convince Seer’s daughter Kira to return with him before it’s too late. But Forest is now hostile to Matty, too, and he must risk everything to fight his way through it. Messenger is the masterful third novel in Lois Lowry’s Giver Quartet, which includes The Giver, Gathering Blue, and Son—all newly designed!

Kindle

In The After by Demitria Lunetta

In The After (In The After #1) by Demitria Lunetta

They hear the most silent of footsteps.
They are faster than anything you’ve ever seen.
And They won’t stop chasing you…until you are dead.

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.

Wool by Hugh Howey

Wool (Wool #1) by High Howey

They live beneath the earth in a prison of their own making. There is a view of the outside world, a spoiled and rotten world, their forefathers left behind. But this view fades over time, ruined by the toxic airs that kill any who brave them.

So they leave it to the criminals, those who break the rules, and who are sent to cleaning. Why do they do it, these people condemned to death? Sheriff Holston has always wondered. Now he is about to find out.

Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouln't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn’t have.

If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn’t jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe “opportunity” isn’t the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: “Lied to Our Parents”). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up “Skipping School” (#3), “Throwing a Crazy Party” (#8), “Buying a Hot Tub” (#4), and, um, “Harboring a Fugitive” (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

There are no heroes.

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics… nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

Tampa by Alissa Nutting

Tampa by Alissa Nutting

Celeste Price is an eighth-grade English teacher in suburban Tampa. She’s undeniably attractive. She drives a red Corvette with tinted windows. Her husband, Ford, is rich, square-jawed, and devoted to her.
But Celeste’s devotion lies elsewhere. She has a singular sexual obsession—fourteen-year-old boys. Celeste pursues her craving with sociopathic meticulousness and forethought; her sole purpose in becoming a teacher is to fulfill her passion and provide her access to her compulsion. As the novel opens, fall semester at Jefferson Jr. High is beginning.

In mere weeks, Celeste has chosen and lured the lusciously naive Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his teacher, and, most important, willing to accept Celeste’s terms for a secret relationship—car rides after school; rendezvous at Jack’s house while his single father works late; body-slamming encounters in Celeste’s empty classroom between periods.

Ever mindful of the danger—the perpetual risk of exposure, Jack’s father’s own attraction to her, and the ticking clock as Jack leaves innocent boyhood behind—the hyperbolically insatiable Celeste bypasses each hurdle with swift thinking and shameless determination, even when the solutions involve greater misdeeds than the affair itself. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress driven by pure motivation. She deceives everyone, and cares nothing for anyone or anything but her own pleasure.

Nook

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

The Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter #1) by Megan Shepherd

In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

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.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairlyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M Valente

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland #1) by Catherynne M. Valente

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.

Defy by Sara B. Larson

Defy (Defy #1) by Sara B. Larson

A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king’s army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince’s guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can’t prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she’s sworn to protect?

All cover images and summaries from goodreads.

Waiting On Wednesday–After The End By Amy Plum

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights new releases that you are eagerly anticipating. This week I am waiting on After The End by Amy Plum.

Why I’m Waiting

A Post-Apocalyptic novel that isn’t, combined with a mystery of what is really going on. Plus a strong protagonist that I assume will be a little kick ass. Sign me up.

Cover image and summary from goodreads.

New Releases For The Week Of January 5, 2014

January 7

Jinx's Magic by Sage Blackwood

Jinx’s Magic (Jinx #2) by Sage Blackwood

Jinx knows he can do magic. But he doesn’t know why he’s being stalked by a werewolf with a notebook, why the trees are starting to take back the only safe paths through the Urwald, or why the elves think Jinx and the evil Bonemaster are somehow connected.

Jinx’s perilous search for answers takes him to the desert land of Samara, where, according to the wizard Simon, he just might find the ancient magic he needs to defeat the Bonemaster and unite the Urwald. But Jinx finds himself in a centuries-old conspiracy that places the Urwald in even greater danger.

The Kept By James Scott

The Kept by James Scott

Set in rural New York state at the turn of the twentieth century, superb new talent James Scott makes his literary debut with The Kept—a propulsive novel reminiscent of the works of Michael Ondaatje, Cormac McCarthy, and Bonnie Jo Campbell, in which a mother and her young son embark on a quest to avenge a terrible and violent tragedy that has shattered their secluded family.

In the winter of 1897, a trio of killers descends upon an isolated farm in upstate New York. Midwife Elspeth Howell returns home to the carnage: her husband, and four of her children, murdered. Before she can discover her remaining son Caleb, alive and hiding in the kitchen pantry, another shot rings out over the snow-covered valley. Twelve-year-old Caleb must tend to his mother until she recovers enough for them to take to the frozen wilderness in search of the men responsible.

A scorching portrait of a merciless world—of guilt and lost innocence, atonement and retribution, resilience and sacrifice, pregnant obsession and primal adolescence—The Kept introduces an old-beyond-his-years protagonist as indelible and heartbreaking as Mattie Ross of True Grit or Jimmy Blevins of All the Pretty Horses, as well as a shape-shifting mother as enigmatic and mysterious as a character drawn by Russell Banks or Marilynne Robinson.

Defy by Sara B. Larson

Defy (Defy #1) by Sara B. Larson

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king’s army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince’s guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can’t prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she’s sworn to protect?

Erased by Jennifer Rush

Erased (Altered #2) by Jennifer Rush

They thought they had escaped. They were wrong.

After fleeing the Branch with Sam, Cas, and Nick, Anna is trying to make sense of the memories resurfacing from her old life. At the same time, she’s learning how to survive in hiding, following Sam’s rules: Don’t draw attention to yourself. Always carry a weapon. Know your surroundings. Watch your back.

Then a figure from Anna’s childhood reappears. Is it a Branch setup, or could it be the reunion Anna has hoped for? Uncertain of where her loyalties lie, Anna must fight to learn the truth — before she is betrayed again. Ultimately, the answers hinge on one question: What was the real reason her memories were erased?

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn’t sure she’s ready for a comeback. What she does know is that she’d give anything to escape the mass of misery that is her life.

Now meet Sloane Devon Jacobs, a spunky ice hockey player from Philly who’s been suspended from her team for too many aggressive hip checks. Her punishment? Hockey camp, now, when she’s playing the worst she’s ever played. If she messes up? Her life will be over.
When the two Sloanes meet by chance in Montreal and decide to trade places for the summer, each girl thinks she’s the lucky one: no strangers to judge or laugh at Sloane Emily, no scouts expecting Sloane Devon to be a hero. But it didn’t occur to Sloane E. that while avoiding sequins and axels she might meet a hockey hottie—and Sloane D. never expected to run into a familiar (and very good-looking) face from home. It’s not long before the Sloanes discover that convincing people you’re someone else might be more difficult than being yourself.

The Art Of Falling by Kathryn Craft

The Art Of Falling by Kathryn Craft

One wrong step could send her over the edge.

All Penny has ever wanted to do is dance—and when that chance is taken from her, it pushes her to the brink of despair, from which she might never return. When she wakes up after a traumatic fall, bruised and battered but miraculously alive, Penny must confront the memories that have haunted her for years, using her love of movement to pick up the pieces of her shattered life.

The Impossible Knife Of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Impossible Knife Of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

January 5 2014 New Releases

All cover images and summaries from goodreads.

Recent Reads: Gathering Blue By Lois Lowry

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry is a haunting, well-written book that deserves all the praise it receives. It is a companion to The Giver, I assume in the same universe but it is difficult to tell if it is the same time. Gathering Blue follows Kira, after her mother dies, as she finds her place in society.

Kira has a great skill with thread which saves her and gives her a new opportunity to elevate her position. She is housed with other artists and they spend their days working on their craft. The simple and clean prose moves the story along perfectly as we began to see that everything is not as it seems.

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry is extremely well-written and touches on values such as friendship, self-reliance, and bravery. It is difficult to put down and left this reader feeling introspective. I highly recommend Gathering Blue Lois Lowry to anyone who enjoys Dystopian and those who enjoy a story with a gradual build.

Cover image and summary from goodreads.

Best Of All The Stacks 2013

What a year! 2013 was a great reading year for me and I want to share my favorite books, reviews, and bookish moments from the past year.

Challenges

My overall book reading goal was 75 books. As of typing this (December 29th), I read 77 books. So two books over my goal. I’m happy with this amount but would always love to fit in more reading and attempt to conquer my TBR mountain.

For the Debut Author Challenge, my goal was 12 books and I read 12. I loved finding some new favorites but sadly disliked quite a few of the books.

Hits:

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Cadet Of Tildor by Alex Lidell

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

Poison by Bridget Zinn

Misses:

The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

The Watcher by Lisa Voisin

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

For the 2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge, I chose ten books to read. Out of the ten I read six.

I tried my hand at challenging myself to finish the many, many series that I am in the middle of.

Finish Your Series Challenge All The Stacks

The Finish Your Series Challenge is ongoing but I have made some progress. So far I finished Champion by Marie Lu which finishes the Legend Trilogy and gives me the sads because I love those books.

Superlatives

Questions care of Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner from her 2013 End Of Year Book Survey.

Coolest bookish thing that happened to me in 2013.

I was able to take part in the Today Show Book Club With Samantha Shannon. So freaking cool!

Favorite Books By Category

Contemporary: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic: This is a hard one for me because I read a ton of great books in this genre this year. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey if I have to pick just one.

Historical Fiction: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Paranormal: Not a huge fan of this genre but would have to say The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa.

Science Fiction: Across The Universe by Beth Revis.

Fantasy: Graceling by Kristin Cashore. I finished this entire series this year and loved all of the books.

Thought I Would Love More But Didn’t

Splintered by A.G. Howard. Could not get into this book at all. I know lots of people loved it but just not for me.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

Me, Earl, And The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. I picked this up randomly at the library and was blown away. Funny, sad, and just a little strange. More people should read it.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. This book lived up to all the hype and I could not stop telling people that they need to read it right now.

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

The Gone series by Michael Grant. This year I read Gone and Hunger. Both books are wonderful and I cannot wait to read Lies.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Like many, I have to say Rainbow Rowell. I loved Fangirl so much and promise in 2014 to finally get to Eleanor & Park. If I were to add a runner-up here, I would say Alexandra Bracken. I love The Darkest Minds and Never Fade. The series is not as popular as it should be.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I don’t read as much literary fiction as I would like but did pick-up Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. What a strange and wonderful book. It is such a creative concept and the writing is just wonderful. It is a hefty read but captivating enough to get lost in the book.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

I would have to say The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. This book takes place at break neck speeds. Honorable mention here is Prodigy by Marie Lu. Prodigy reads like a video game or a great action movie. I really do hope this series gets made into a movie. I think all of the books would translate really well to the screen.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I may reread The 5th Wave to prepare myself for the second book in that series.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

Champion by Marie Lu.

Champion by Marie Lu

Runner-up is Forever (Wolves OF Mercy Falls #3) by Maggie Stiefvater. The cover change of this series really makes me sad. Not a fan at all.

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

Ruby from The Darkest Minds. Always ready to do the right thing and kick some butt.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

If I Stay by Gayle Forman. It is impossible to read without having all of the emotions. Reconstruction Amelia is a book that really makes you look at the people around you differently. It is interesting to think how we are all connected.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

So many books! The Gone series, Vampire Academy series, Anna And The French Kiss, and Graceling.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

From Fangirl:

“It’s okay if you’re crazy,” he said softly.

“You don’t even know-“

“I don’t have to know,” he said. “I’m rooting for you.”

 

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

The longest book I read this year is The Host, which is sad because I really did not enjoy it. The shortest book I read was a reread from childhood, The Face On The Milk Carton.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Obviously, the last few chapters of Allegiant. I experienced anger, grief, and some disappointment all at the same time.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc)?

Sam and Grace from Forever. Understated but really powerful, I love the relationships in this series.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?

Through The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi. I love this series so much. It is the perfect blend of Sci-Fi with a great love story and compelling characters. (I will be dropping everything when Into The Still Blue comes out in January.)

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else?

Just One Day by Gayle Forman. I don’t read a lot of contemporary fiction (but I am trying to read more) but I loved this book. I still need to read Just One Year and am looking forward to enjoying it in 2014. Not sure what took me so long to read any Gayle Forman but I am so glad I did.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

My reading is all over the map but it looks like I read the genre I read the most of is dystopian.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Po from Graceling. Roar from Through The Ever Night for being awesome.  

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

I read a lot of debuts so this is a very difficult question to answer. If I have to pick one, I would pick The Cadet Of Tildor. I couldn’t put it down and need Alex Lidell to write a sequel .

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Any of the books in the Greaceling Realm. World building in fantasy books is so important and these books get it right.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

The House Of Hades by Rick Riordan. Any middle grade book that takes place in the Percy Jackson universe is so much fun. I am just so sad that this series is coming to an end!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

Me, Earl, And The Dying Girl had me laughing and crying.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

The Darkest Minds and the sequel, Never Fade are both amazing and very overlooked.

Looking Ahead 

 

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

Eleanor & Park. I own it and just keep meaning to get to it. 

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

Here is a list of my winter TBR list. The first half are new releases.

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Defy by Sara B. Larson.

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

Into The Still Blue (Under The Never Sky #3). I may just die if Aria and Perry don’t end up together.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

I want to get caught up with the one million series I am in the middle of and to actually read the books I own. I probably should implement a no more book buying until I read the towering piles of books throughout the house policy but that might be impossible to enforce. 

Cover images from goodreads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starters By Lissa Price A Review

Starters by Lissa Price is a fast-paced Science Fiction dystopian that takes place in a world where everyone is either young or old. The Starters, like the main character Callie, are often forced to live a life of squatting and scrounging for scraps, while being on the run. The Enders are wealthy, or at least quite comfortable, and live comfortable and often extended lives.

To earn money to help her little brother, Callie signs up to be a body rental for an Ender. She ends up being caught-up up in a complex plot involving missing teens and a politician. When people are literally not who they seem, it is difficult to know who to trust but Callie wants to do the right thing. There is a lot of action, car chases, shooting, and running from the bad guys. There is a little bit of romance, but that takes a back seat when the seriousness of the situation really starts to hit home.

Starters by Lissa Price has great pacing and a story complex enough to keep the reader guessing. It definitely left me wanting more and wanting to dive right into book two (Enders, which comes out on January 7, 2014). If you like your dystopian with Science Fiction that includes interesting technology, you will love Starters by Lissa Price.  

 Cover image and summery from goodreads.