Saturday, June 11, 2011

New This Week!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Guest Blog: Author Augusta Blythe

Augusta Blythe
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Winterborne [Buy]

Augusta Blythe is the author of Winterborne, a YA urban fantasy novel. She is also a lawyer on two continents and currently lives in England with her husband, two children, a clown fish, a peppermint shrimp, a cleaner shrimp and a mine urchin.

Top 10 Things I've Learned About Teen Romance
by Augusta Blythe

10. When a 25-year-old guy is lusting after a 16-year-old, it’s creepy. If he’s a 100-year-old vampire, bring it.

9. That ginger guy with the blank stare in my gym class may not be the gangly geek I think he is.

8. The more aloof and friendless I am, the more likely I am to attract the hot, mysterious guy from school.

7. If the guys I like have names like Peeta and Gale, I am trapped in a crappy future. Time to get my game face on.

6. If he sparkles in sunlight, do not assume it is an art project gone awry. Run.

5. If I am destined for/matched with/in an arranged marriage to a guy, I will not love him. I will fall in love with the other guy.

4. If I never see my mysterious boyfriend eat yet he sucks down vials of red liquid, don’t despair. He may not be a vampire. He may just be immortal.

3. If the fact that two hot brothers are into me seems too good to be true, it is. They are vampires.

2. When the guy I like has yellow eyes and prefers milkbones to milk, get a clue. He’s a werewolf.

1. Get thee to a love triangle. No adolescence is apparently complete without two males competing for my love. If I can’t rustle up an Edward and Jacob, improvise with my best friend’s pasty grandfather and my neighbor’s dog.

Sixteen-year old Mia Winterborne is destined to be special. Details are sketchy, though, as her dad disappeared with all the answers when she was five. Mia only knows that she'll inherit her kickass superpowers on her seventeenth birthday. Helping Mia prepare for her anticipated ascendancy is Loie Bryce, her best friend and eternal sidekick extraordinaire. The girls' intense friendship has never wavered until now, when Andreas arrives in Salcey Ridge. They both fall hard for the British hottie, who quickly becomes a fixture in their lives. When they discover that Andreas is not who he appears to be, the frightening reality of Mia's powers finally hits home. The nearer Mia's birthday draws, the more the danger escalates and long-buried lies are exposed, putting the girls on a path that they never expected.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wake Unto Me Review

Wake Unto Me
Lisa Cach

Publisher: Speak, Penguin
Release Date:
March 31, 2011
YA, Paranormal Romance
Paperback, 304 pages
ARC, Publisher
5/5 (Avg 3.5/5)
A haunted castle, a handsome young man dead for four hundred years, one heck of a scary portrait of a witch, and a treasure hunt -- not to mention a princess for a roommate! -- all await 15 year old American girl Caitlyn Monahan when she earns a scholarship to a French boarding school.

There are secrets behind the stone walls of Chateau de la Fortune, buried for centuries along with the mystery of who killed Raphael, the charming ghost who visits Caitlyn at night. But as Caitlyn unearths the history of the castle, nothing scares her as badly as the secret she learns about herself, and the reason she was chosen to come to the Fortune School.

And nothing breaks her heart as badly as falling in love with a dead guy.

I have to give this story five stars, if not for just the love story of Caitlyn and Raphael alone. Fortunately, it's not the only reason the novel was given five stars. Wake Unto Me is one of those books that isn't perfect. It may not have the most original plot or a heroine that completely moves you into believing she is, by far, the most fantabulous female lead you have ever read about... yet, somehow for this story, those elements just kind of work out. You ignore those things that you believe may take a book's appeal down because, well, it doesn't take this book's appeal down. At least not for me, anyway.

Caitlyn is a good character. She's sweet, strong-willed and is brave in ways that may go unnoticed by some readers. She may do things that are out of character, but besides scratching your head in bewilderment, you nod and say, "I get it." To be honest, all people (characters in a story or in life) do things out of character, whether it be because of a location change or something that may change us on the inside - sometimes, there's just a moment where nothing seems rash and acting out of character seems to be the best way to deal.

And Raphael? I didn't feel the instant swoon to him that I get when reading about most main male leads. But, over time, it grew and swelled in abundance. There's something about him that just makes me want to go through and re-read the parts of the story that he's in over and over. I absolutely adore him and love the fact that we got to see glimpses of his life throughout the novel.

The story in itself has many depths and is rich with history and beautiful imagery. While reading, I felt as though I was right there beside of Caitlyn, experiencing everything with her. Cach did an awe-inspiring job at describing everything in this novel to the point that I wanted to be IN the novel. The ending was a pleasant surprise, and most unexpected. There were moments while I was reading the story, I thought there could be no good ending for the book - but it was there, and felt so incredibly right for the story. After finishing the book, I couldn't have felt more satisfied with a read.

"Is she the one?"
- Prologue

Waiting on Wednesday

October 18, 2011
Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune, and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, steampunk meets romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

I haven't read much steampunk in the past, but the premise of this just makes me salivate. I cannot wait to get my hands on this!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

I laughed again.

But Dave shook his head. “I’m serious. I’ve been in a ton of fights. I guess you’d say it was kind of my hobby. And I never lost one – not one – till I came here. Will, I’m telling you, I ain’t never in my life seen nobody move as fast as Sharyn. Well, except for that Corpse the other day, ‘course.”

The Undertakers Review

Undertakers: The Rise of the Corpses
Ty Drago

Publisher: Jabberwocky, Sourcebooks
Release Date:
April 1, 2011
YA (MG), Paranormal, Zombies
Hardcover, 480 pages
ARC, Publisher
5/5 (Avg 3.5/5)
"On a sunny Wednesday morning in October, a day that would mark the end of one life and the beginning of another, I found out my grouchy next door neighbor was the walking dead. When you turn around expecting to see something familiar, and instead see something else altogether, it takes a little while for your brain to catch up with your eyes. I call it the 'Holy Crap Factor.'"

Forced to flee his home and family, twelve-year-old Will Ritter falls in with the Undertakers-a rag-tag army of teenage resistance fighters who've banded together to battle the Corpses.

Yep, another zombie book. And yes, it's another zombie book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I know what you're thinking: "Missy, you say you hate zombies.. but every time you review a book about them, you sing their praises. What gives?" Well, I'll tell you what gives. I don't exactly hate zombies. I was a huge fan of the Romero movies when I was younger. I've just never really liked zombie books because I need more than just those zombies that run around and eat brains. I found it in Daniel Waters' Generation Dead series, then again with Isaac Marion's Warm Bodies... and now The Undertakers.

Taking it one step further, The Undertakers has something that the others doesn't.. the IT-factor that made my husband read it. It was literally like a wish come true. Nick told me he's never seen a zombie book where zombies were smart and calculating. A few days later, the offer to read this one came in. After I read it, I gave it to Nick. He just finished, which is why I'm posting now... I wanted his opinion, too. Fortunately for me, I married someone who is literally my other half - so, our feelings are pretty mutual when it comes to this book. It's everything we wanted in a zombie book and, unexpectedly, then some. But then I guess I should say that you don't call them "zombies" really.. they're "Corpses" - smarter and stronger than your average zombie. This was part of that IT-factor I told you about.

This book is more geared toward Middle Grade than Young Adult, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The main character, Will, was indeed middle grade and acted like it - though every once in a while there would be a slip up where he acted more mature. Or was it a slip up? Maybe Will was just maturing, considering his special circumstances of the world that he lives in and the fact that he has to give up everything to fight the Corpses with the other Undertakers. There was lots of adventure and many moments where I was on the edge of my seat. And like I said before, this story took a cliche and made it engagingly original, which is the most refreshing part of all.

Overall, The Undertakers was a fast-paced thrill-ride that will spark the interest of the most reluctant readers - just like my husband. I'd recommend this book to everyone, from adults to middle graders and everything in between. It's just that good.

On a sunny Wednesday morning in October— the day that would mark the end of one life and the beginning of another— I found out that my next-door neighbor was one of the walking dead.

Happy Release Day!

There's a ton of great books coming out but one I wanted to make sure you guys didn't forget about is Cat Patrick's Forgotten. You can read my review here. Looking for the lowest price? Make sure to check out Goodreads' Price Comparison here!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Forgotten Review

Cat Patrick

Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Release Date:
June 7, 2011
YA, Mystery, Romance
Hardcover, 304 pages
ARC, Publisher
5/5 (Avg 4/5)
Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.
To start: this is one of the most original story lines that I have found in YA this year. It has won my heart over and I cannot even begin to tell you how much I absolutely love this book. If I wasn't already married, I would totally marry it. I think, for me, this book touched me personally in a way that I didn't think it would. The main character London Lane forgets everything she did the day before when she goes to sleep. I understand that on a smaller level. My mom was reckless with her health when she was younger and, because of that, she is now on many medications - medications that make her short-term memory go crazy. While she doesn't see future events or completely forget everything when she goes to sleep, I could totally understand how London must feel not remembering things that happened to her just a mere day before. My mom makes lists just like her. And, like London's mom and Luke, I understand how sometimes it may hurt when someone you love forgets something you did with them.

Even though my mom's condition is just short-term memory issues, she remembers all of her past and everything that happens she may not recall immediately always comes back to her... it's that little nugget of time when she forgets that makes me relate to this book. The two things I have seen reviews mention as cons to this book are the lists that London makes for herself and some repetition in actions. I think this is where experience and relatability come in handy because I know exactly how that feels. If someone has memory problems, there WILL be lists and there WILL be a lot of things repeated. Does it get frustrating? Yeah, sometimes.. but it's something that goes hand-in-hand with that specific issue. But I think that's one thing that has to be understood for this book: London's memory resets every night and she CANNOT remember ANYTHING about the day before, so notes are vital to being as close to normal as possible. And the repetition? She can't remember, so of course she may do the same things over and over!

I also think that London's memory loss could be convenient for anyone. Have a fight with your mom? You forget it the next day! Fight with the boyfriend? Forgotten! But it does have it's own set of problems as well. I think, for the most part, London handled her situation well. She was a little petty when it came to not forgiving people for their mistakes, but that's part of being a typical teenager. She grew though and all things seemed to work out. By the end of the novel, London matures into one admirably strong character and I absolutely love her. Her mother and Luke are also easy to fall in love with. They both are flawed and make their share of mistakes, but in the end they both love London unconditionally and would do anything for her. That matters most.
Overall, this story was just amazing to me. There's enough mystery to keep you guessing until the end, and even them some after. I think the worst part after finishing this book is knowing it's a stand-alone. I want to know so much more about what happens with London in her future! This is an incredible debut novel from Cat Patrick... one that you won't soon forget.

Aren't Fridays supposed to be good?

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