Saturday, July 30, 2011

Slacking, much?

This isn't book-related at all, but it is related to this blog. This is a little about what's happening in my personal life that I thought you should know about because I am having to slack a bit from the computers - not so much now, but next week when my therapy starts.

About a week ago, I started feeling a little numbness in my pinky and ring finger on my left arm. At first, I thought it was nothing more than just a side effect to one of my medications. But it just stayed around, never leaving. By mid-week this week, I started getting a little worried. My doctor wasn't returning my phone calls for whatever reason so I decided to transfer to my husband's doctor. After about an hour, I was told that I have Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome.

A lot of people (including myself) don't really know what it is. It's pretty similar to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but Carpal Tunnel affects the nerve in your wrist as well as your thumb, forefinger and middle fingers. Ulnar affects the nerve at the elbow and the two other fingers (ring and pinky). The good thing is that it's a mild case. I have full function of my fingers and arm, I just have a sort of numb feeling that stays constant - which is more aggravating than anything else. There are two treatments. The first is nerve conduction studies, which is almost like a little physical therapy for my nerve to see if that will work it out and take the pressure off of it. If that doesn't work, then I'll have to have surgery. I'm hoping for the study to work.

Anyway, I just thought I would let you know ahead of time so you all don't think I'm ignoring you or have just disappeared. Normally I would schedule a lot of posts ahead of time, but my husband and I just had one of our friends to move in with us for an uncertain amount of time, so I don't know how much I'll be able to do this weekend on here.

I'll keep you guys updated!

New This Week!

New This Week! is a weekly feature in which I showcase some of the titles released in the Young Adult world throughout week. Each picture is linked to its respective Goodreads page, so if a cover appeals to you be sure to click on it to learn more about the book.

Week of: July 24th - July 30th, 2011

Giveaway Reminders

This is just a quick note to remind you guys that I have two giveaways going on right now that end tonight at midnight EST. There's still time to enter, so why not?

First up is a copy of Cat Patrick's debut, Forgotten. You can read my review for it here, or just simply go to the post here to learn more and enter the giveaway!

Next is the first two books in Lisa Desrochers' Personal Demons series, Personal Demons and Original Sin. You can read my review for Personal Demons here, and my review for Original Sin here. The details and giveaway is included in the same post as the review for Original Sin.

So, there you have it! Two giveaways and a total of three books that you could possibly win. Good luck!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

November 1, 2011

The marvelous land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. And look who’s knocking at the door. It’s none other than Dorothy. Yes, that Dorothy.

Amid all this chaos, Elphaba’s granddaughter, the tiny green baby born at the close of Son of a Witch, has come of age. Now, Rain will take up her broom in an Oz wracked by war.

The stirring, long-awaited conclusion to the extraordinary bestselling series begun with Wicked, Out of Oz is a magical journey rife with revelations and reversals, reprisals and surprises — the hallmarks of the brilliant and unique imagination of Gregory Maguire.

This isn't exactly young adult... at all, but it's a series that I have been absolutely obsessed with ever since the first book, Wicked, came out in 2000 (though I think it actually came out in '95?). I've been waiting to see if a new book would be coming out and actually got behind because of all my reads, so I was pleasantly surprised when my husband told me he thought he heard about another "wicked witch" book coming out. ;)

What are you waiting on??

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

He stepped into the house and, in the split second when he stood next to me and didn't look at me, I started feeling panicky. It was disconcerting how accustomed I was to seeing him in my house, and at the same time how completely out of place he seemed. It was like seeing the president in his old elementary school classroom.

Except that I was the reason Liam hadn't been back.

The reason he didn't want to come back.
- pg. 67, Here Lies Bridget

Before & After: Jo Treggiari

I was born in London, England but grew up in Canada, Roccasinibalda, Italy and California.

I used to work in the music industry and eventually owned my own indie record label. The first CD we ever put out was by a gangsta rap group. We also did alt rock and punk.

I have trained as a boxer. I could have been a contender. (Not really).

Learn when her writing career began and more at

I've had quite a range of confusing emotions these last few weeks before publication date. I've veered between ecstatic anticipation to crushing anxiety that no one will notice when it finally comes out. I have to admit to what is probably an unhealthy amount of narci-googling as well, as various print and book blog reviews start showing up. And then of course, there is the manic checking of the Amazon rating and the Goodreads stars. I hope that being aware that I have a problem is half the battle. Right?!

Seriously I am trying to keep everything in perspective and turn most of my attention to the book I am currently trying to finish. As my husband so wisely says, "Ashes, Ashes has already left for college. Concentrate on the new baby."

The other overwhelming emotions have been immense gratitude, and a feeling that someone has smacked me on the head with a shovel. I think until I see the book on a shelf in a store, I won't quite believe it's all really true.

My feelings after publication? Euphoria, happiness, gratitude, an enveloping warmth and support from other writers. Yes, all those things, but there is also a gnawing anxiety.

So much work is involved writing a book, editing it and then producing it. There are expectations and hopes that build no matter how you might try to keep them grounded and then pub day arrives and the world does not stop spinning. Other books are released the same day, people are excited for a week or two and then it dies down again. You're left thinking that's it? But that is not it.

Pub day carries so much weight for an author. You feel validated, you feel cool, you feel special, but then it's over. I've realized it's not really about YOU. It's about the book which is now out in the world and existing separately.

In a way this manuscript, this idea I've nurtured for the last two or three years isn't even mine anymore. It belongs to anyone who reads it. I can do interviews and giveaways and promotions which I am so happy to do but basically it's all down to the book, and that's been a little hard to accept.

The best thing I've found is to go work on something else, or get out and promote directly to your readers, either through book blogs or appearances. Just connecting with other people who love books as much as I do, helps me out of my little bubble and reminds me that there's a lot going on, and that the book can look after itself.

Ashes, Ashes Review

Ashes, Ashes
Jo Treggiari

Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date:
June 1, 2011
YA, Dystopian
Hardcover, 343 pages
4/5 (Avg 3.5/5)
A thrilling tale of adventure, romance, and one girl's unyielding courage through the darkest of nightmares.

Epidemics, floods, droughts--for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she's rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can't continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There's something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her.
I'd have to say that I thought this one would start out a little lackluster. The main character is alone, so there's a severe lack of dialogue and social interaction. However, there is a vivid description of the world - so vivid that it could give me nightmares. I'm kind of a girl when it comes to being alone, and the insight of this world creeped me out a little... in a good way, though.

Soon enough though, it accelerates when Lucy meets up with Aidan and his crew. Not only do we get to know him and the other survivors better, but we get a better sense of who Lucy is as well. She's a strong, determined character with many likeable traits including her fierce loyalty and her ability to stay a little mysterious, not completely transparent once a boy comes into the picture. Aidan is pretty sweet, as well as a tough survivor. Their relationship was a nice, steady one though I always kept my eyes out for Henry - who was a witty little character.

There were a few unanswered questions that I never got out of the story, as well as some parts I could have done without. This was kind of a shaky 4 for me, but it was better than a 3... so maybe I should say 3.5? Whichever the case, it's a pretty decent read that I think a nice majority of YA readers would like.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wildefire Review

Wildefire (Wildefire #1)
Karsten Knight

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date:
July 26, 2011
YA, Mythology
Hardcover, 400 pages
S&S Galley Grab
5/5 (Avg 3.5/5)
Every flame begins with a spark.

Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

I have read some pretty awesome books this year. Some supernatural, some with mythology and some with nothing but a great Contemporary plot. No matter what the read was, never was my first thought, "This has to be the greatest book I've read all year" and was followed quickly by, "I think I want to kick the author." That is... until Wildefire.

Ashline Wilde is pretty much the most kick ass female heroine that I have seen in YA fiction so far. She's fierce and doesn't really show weakness, even if she is feeling weak. It's not pretentious, it just makes her a strong character. Colt, the park ranger, fascinates us from the very first time we glimpse him in the story. The other characters that show up are also as equally fascinating, each with their own unique personality. I have to say that for me, the secondary characters stood out almost as much as the main character. You get to know some of their background and get a look into their life and what makes them who they are. And, let me tell you, this book is not lacking in the strong characters department. These characters are willing to take on anything, even witty dialogue and playful banter. I absolutely loved the interaction with all of them.

The thing that stands out about this novel for me is the fact that so many mythologies are thrown into the mix - not just one specific type of mythology. And they blend together extremely well. The first chapter starts out with a bang and the book ends with a bang - and that last bang really caught me off-guard. I don't know what I was expecting from the end of the book. A cliffhanger, yes, but not a revelation that had me absolutely thrown back from shock. AND THEN IT JUST ENDS! So now, I have to wait to find out what happens now that this new thing is thrown into the mix. I don't like waiting... especially when the story is so amazing - and this one definitely is.

The writing is amazingly well-written. Karsten is an amazing storyteller that knows how to keep you fully emerged in a novel from the beginning to the very bitter end.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

In My Mailbox

Hosted By: The Story Siren
Inspired By: Pop Culture Junkie

For Review


So, this is the part where I have a fan girl squeal inserted because I really didn't think that I would actually get Bloodlines because (1) I never requested it, and (2) I thought by now ARCs would be out because it was so popular. But, I'm sooo happy they sent me one!

I'm actually almost completely through with all of my Kindle purchases (all of my purchases this week), so you should see some reviews for them coming up in the near future.
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