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Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Released Date: September 22, 2009
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: Leviathan #1
Artsit: Keith Thompson
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 440
Genre: Adventure, Historical Fiction, Steampunk
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library 

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men. 
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered. 
With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

My junior and high school career was reading Westerfeld's stories. When I heard that he was writing another book I believe I fainted a few times. And they're steampunk! STEAMPUNK! My newest fetish of books as well as science fiction but that's another story. Leviathan was everything that I expected and more. I mean come on, the illustrations are so detailed that they could be on par with orgasmic cupcakes. Who doesn't enjoy cupcakes?

The action was beautifully detailed. From the Clanker machines battling it out, and the Darwinist animals fighting against the metal machines. There was not one slow paced section in here and those always make the best books. 

You have a girl posing as a male to join the air force (Deryn Sharp), and a Austrian prince fleeing his country for survival (Prince Aleksander). And I have literally fallen for both of them, yes even Deryn. Westerfeld I believe you have me questioning my sexuality with your beautiful characters! But... I love Alek more (x - x) I'm TEAM ALEK all the way everyone. Their relationship is beautiful. But I laughed when Alek said something along the lines as "It was embarrassing to be captured by a boy". It's funny because Deryn is a girl...oh the irony.

So If you like action, a steampunk version of WWI, cross-dressing characters who go into war, and Austrian royalty... this is the book for you!

First Line: The Austrian horses glinted in the moonlight, their riders standing tall in the saddle, swords raised.

Story: XS

Cover: S

Sunday, October 30, 2011

In My Mailbox (17): Halloween!

In My Mailbox is a weekly Meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where bloggers take time to share the books that they had received that week.

It's almost Halloween everyone! Whose got their costumes ready? 
I'm a snowy owl. I have my cute knit owl hat all ready!

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 

Inheritance Swag from Random House Publishing
(Coffee mug + 2 Lanyards) 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Pages: 272
Series: Deadly Cool #2

Twittercide [twit-er-sahyd]: the killing of one human being by another while the victim is in the act of tweeting. 
Call me crazy, but I figured writing for the Herbert Hoover High Homepage would be a pretty sweet gig. Pad the resume for college applications, get a first look at the gossip column, spend some time ogling the paper's brooding bad-boy editor, Chase Erikson. But on my first big story, things went...a little south. What should have been a normal interview with Sydney Sanders turned into me discovering the Homecoming Queen-hopeful dead in her pool. Electrocuted while Tweeting. Now, in addition to developing a reputation as HHH's resident body finder, I'm stuck trying to prove that Sydney's death wasn't suicide.
I'm starting to long for the days when my biggest worry was whether the cafeteria was serving pizza sticks or Tuesday Tacos...

Deadly Cool had caught my eye and even it's sequel sparkles like a diamond. These are quirky contemporary books that leaves a stupid grin on your face. I love books that will make me do that! And the cover is really nice. The text even blew me away. Mark up those TBR piles because this one should be fitting snugly! Everyone loves a comfy-cozy TBR book :3

Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: Without Tess by Marcella Pixley

Without Tess by Marcella Pixley

Released: October 11, 2011
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Series: Stand Alone
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 224
Genre: Contemporary, Family, Realistic Fiction
Format: e-Galley
Source: Netgalley

Tess and Lizzie are sisters, sisters as close as can be, who share a secret world filled with selkies, flying horses, and a girl who can transform into a wolf  in the middle of the night. But when Lizzie is ready to grow up, Tess clings to their fantasies. As Tess sinks deeper and deeper into her delusions, she decides that she can’t live in the real world any longer and leaves Lizzie and her family forever. Now, years later, Lizzie is in high school and struggling to understand what happened to her sister. With the help of a school psychologist and Tess’s battered journal, Lizzie searches for a way to finally let Tess go.

Raw Emotion.
This story hit me hard. 
It is a book that will have you crying by the final chapters from the bittersweet conclusion to Lizzie's absolution. For all of you that have heard good things about this book. They are true. Do not delay in reading Without Tess, the story is unforgettable.

During the beginning I was confused with what was going on. But after a few chapters I figured out that you went from present day 15-year-old Lizzie Cohen to flashbacks of 10-year-old Lizzie and 12-year-old Tess Cohen. Some of the narration was strange but when the details about Tess are revealed the pieces fit together nice and snug. 

Tess, I had a love-hate relationship with her character. What she puts Lizzie through made me mad. I had a friend like Tess (not exactly like Tess but the actions that she performs) where I was did whatever she said. If I happened to step out of her line of control, I would get a temper tantrum or an unreasonable action. Tess, an over-dramatic troubled child had me teetering on the edge for her. 

On the other hand, Lizzie, the pity for her was deep. Death is a terrible nail that pushes itself through you and never recedes. Even for sisters that happened to be as close as could be. The overbearing guilt that had built up within her for over five years must have been excruciating and she's one of those characters that you wish you could jump into the story and just hug them and tell them "I'm here for you, everything's going to be okay."

Marcella Pixley was outstanding with the imagery. The pictures painted in my mind. Of the frail and skinny Tess with the red hair down to her waist. Lizzie who dressed in all black, the shadow of guilt and the years of tears hiding within her. The overpowering image of Tess' last moments. And the ending, the beginning of a Lizzie, free from the guilt and free as a bird, ready to start over and prepare her voice once more.

First Line: Every Wednesday I bring the battered Pegasus Journal into the high school guidance office.

Story: XS

Cover: A

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (16): Garden of Everything

In My Mailbox is a weekly Meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where bloggers take time to share the books that they had received that week.

you all should check out this beautiful song because...well, it's just so beautiful:

Tempest by Julie Cross (Amazon | Goodreads)
Across the Universe by Beth Revis (Amazon | Goodreads)

Between the Sea and Sky by  

Saturday, October 22, 2011


It's ShatterDay everyone! Don't know what that is? Well this is the part where i flail around explaining the awesomeness of ShatterDay! 

The lovely Tahereh Mafi who happens to be the author of the beautiful and attention-grabbing book Shatter Me, is obviously hosting this spontaneously combusting event! Now, ShatterDay is the only day that you will be able to read the first 24 chapters of the book! I KNOW! SO MUCH EXCITEMENT THAT I CANNOT CONTAIN! Every hour on the hour another chapter is added to the facebook page that I will link below. And there will be a few giveaways, facebook discussions that you all should obviously take part in, and at 5:00 PST / 8:00 EST for a LIVE Q & A with Tahereh! It's going to be such a sweet ShatterDay let me tell you that!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review: The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson

Released Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: Henry Holt
Series: Jenna Fox Chronicles #2
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 304
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Once there were three. Three friends who loved each other—Jenna, Locke, and Kara. And after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies, their three minds were kept alive, spinning in a digital netherworld. Even in that disembodied nightmare, they were still together. At least at first. When Jenna disappeared, Locke and Kara had to go on without her. Decades passed, and then centuries.
Two-hundred-and-sixty years later, they have been released at last. Given new, perfect bodies, Locke and Kara awaken to a world they know nothing about, where everyone they once knew and loved is long dead. Everyone except Jenna Fox.

*Advanced Reader's Copy provided by publisher for an honest review*

Mary Pearson has satisfied me yet again with her sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox. In this book you see through the eyes of Locke Jenkins, one of the three who had died in the crash all those years ago.

When a copy of the cubes that Jenna destroyed is found, the memories of Locke and Kara are returned to the earth 260 years into the future. Grief, guilt, revenge, and longing are bestowed in the two who had spent their years in darkness and there is one person waiting for them, unaware of their existence yet, Jenna Fox.

Kara, from the beginning, set me off and I just couldn't stand her. The mental hold she had on Locke was just as bad as Dr. Gatsbro's. But the underlying destruction that guilt builds in us is depicted in the dramatic fall of Kara. She's that character that you feel sorry for in the end though. But i'd have to say that my favorite in this book was Dot. She was adorable and what Locke and Meisha did for her was just so cute.

I admit, i teared up towards the end of this novel. The climax just downed me like a blanket and the anticipation was excruciating. And the bitter-sweetness that Pearson provided in yet another ending had me choked up. This touching, emotional series just kept taking my breath away.

First Line: My hands close around the heavy drape, twisting it into a thick cord.  
Story: XS
Cover: A

Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Series: Jenna Fox Chronicles #1
Released Date: September 1, 2009
Publisher: Square Fish
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 265
Genre: Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction
Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has just awoken from a year-long coma—so she’s been told—and she is still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. But what happened before that? She’s been given home movies chronicling her entire life, which spark memories to surface. But are the memories really hers? And why won’t anyone in her family talk about the accident? Jenna is becoming more curious. But she is also afraid of what she might find out if she ever gets up the courage to ask her questions. What happened to Jenna Fox? And who is she really?

The morals of this book truly are deep.

Questions of my own views would pop up every now and again. How far would I go to save my child? How would I feel if Jenna's life was my own? How would I act? 

Jenna's gradual progression from waking up from a comatose state and entering reality was such a realistic progression. Her actions, emotions, logic from beginning to end is beautifully woven. Pearson's imagistic diction reflects such innocence in Jenna Fox.

The relationship between Jenna and her parents is something that is usually seen by overachieving parents. Where perfect is the goal and everything becomes a weight on her shoulders. I understand that the Foxes want her to prosper but happiness of your child should be what you want. 

I love, love, love Jenna and Ethan. They are adorable together. And the ending was bittersweet to me but the Aww's came running out of my mouth. But Dane truly confused me. He was a character that would just pop up out of nowhere and I would be making faces and question marks would be appearing around my head.

All in all, this was a beautiful read about the qualms of the inner-self, and the hard decisions that seem to take hold in the minds of many but are acted upon by the lives of few.

First Line: I used to be someone.

Five targets slayed

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (15): Homecoming

In My Mailbox is a weekly Meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where bloggers take time to share the books that they had received that week.

Woo! I'm so exhausted! Today was my high school's homecoming so I participated in the parade, the marching band, and the pep band. Then the festivities afterward had drained me of energy so this post is being created from a sleep-wanting Shortskie. Next week, I promise there will be a vlog up! I was going to before Homecoming but I was rushed out of the house.

--Borrowed From Library--
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (Amazon | Goodreads)

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman (Amazon | Goodreads)

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel (Amazon | Goodreads)

A big thanks to Goodreads, my school's library, HarperCollins Children Publishing, Random House, and Netgalley! You all are so amazing and i appreciate everything you all do :D Stay shnazzy!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither by Lauren Destefano 

Released: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: The Chemical Garden #1
Age Group: Age 16+
Pages: 358
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought (Borders)

Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive. 

Breathless. Exhilarated. Completely Enthralled. 

There was literally not one thing that I disliked about this story. The characters: realistic, diverse, all around gorgeous depictions of everyone. I fell for every character (besides Vaughn /choughcough) and I could not choose between Linden and Gabriel for Rhine. I had fallen for both. And if the circumstances were completely different I would have loved if Rhine truly fell for Linden. My heart is still strung for him.

Such a big fan for Dystopian, I am. The whole premise of this story was delicious. Women only life until 20 years of age and men for 25. To think about such ages actually being our limitations and early acceptance into death... It's horrifying. I would, like Rhine, have 4 years left (3 in late November) and such a conscience realization is traumatic. 

The writing is vivid, descriptive, rich. I was engrossed in the pages from the very start, unable to leave. I never wanted to put the book down, honestly. I was distraught when I had to set it aside for moments at a time. Doing school work while this amazing story was tantalizing me; it just wasn't fair! But the torture was worth it because the ending was so bittersweet and the realization that the sequel release date isn't too far along brings a smile to my face.

First Lines: I wait. They keep us in the dark for so long that we lose sense of our eyelids.

Story: XXS <-- /Swoon to the max

Cover: XS 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Release Date: October 11, 2011
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Series: Ashfall #1
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 466
Genre: Adventure, Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.     Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.

I must bow down to you Mr. Mullin, for it takes quite a bit to get my stomach knotting, and you good sir had done just that. 

It is hard for me to find a good book with a male protagonist that i enjoy. Just the feeling of trying to step into shoes that usually are much larger than my own (I have petite feet) is a challenge for myself as a female reader. Gender aside, Alex was an adoring character that had me rooting for him on the sidelines through all his troubles. 

Though there were parts that seemed a tad slow and the sentence structure was slightly choppy in places, the journey of Alex and Darla surly made up for that. Not only that but you get a little bit of everything in this book: Action, Adventure, Romance. What is not to love about this book?

Oh my, do not get me started on that cover. Simply ominous. It's breathtaking and truly had me drawn in. 

Kudos Mr. Mullin, for you have me swooning over this book not only to my family but pretty much to those who have cursed themselves by talking to me. And I am truly excited to hear that there is going to be a sequel to this book, something that aches to wait for but longing to look forward to. 

First Line: I was home alone on that Friday evening.
Story: XS
Cover: S

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In My Mailbox (14): Blind Justice

In My Mailbox is a weekly Meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where bloggers take time to share the books that they had received that week.

The title is just of a song that's been constantly coming up on my playlist:
Listen "Here"

The Other Countess by Eve Edwards (Amazon | Goodreads)
City of Lies by Lian Tanner (Amazon | Goodreads)

Without Tess by Marcella Pixley (Amazon | Goodreads)
Marked (Graphic Novel) by P.C. and Kristen Cast (Goodreads)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

50 Follower Giveaway!

50 followers :o Thank you so much everyone! Because of you guys showing some love for this blog (c;) All because you clickity-clack that follow button and if you're reading this show that button some love! I don bite c; Thank all of you so much for caring about my nonsensical rambling on books! 

Show this some love and leave a comment below on what you love about books/what you're favorite book is and why!

And now presenting my 50 Follower Giveaway!

There will be one winner who has a selection for one of these ARCs.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Notes of Interest (10)

Exiled by Rashelle Workman
Publication Date: November 11, 2011

/dies from the earth erupting, zombie apocalypse, meteors pounding into the earth, spontaneous combustion, and getting sat on by a fat elephant all at the same time. This cover is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! The butterflies, the makeup, the sparkles, the UGHH EVERYTHING! Oh and by the by it's a Sci-Fi book, so this has uped my interest. I can't believe how many things I just died from in that very moment from looking at this cover. /puddles of drool

Above by Leah Bobet
Publication Date: April 1, 2012

Gosh, what is it with all these beautiful covers! You have a place of refuge, called Safe, under a world called Above, where those who hide away are riddled with mysterious powers and appearances. Another keen interest i have in this. Such a shame that it has to be such a long wait to actually read this novel :c //sad face.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: The Magician by Michael Scott

The Magician by Michael Scott

Released: June 24, 2010
Publisher: Delcatore Press
Series: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #2
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 461
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought (Borders)

After fleeing Ojai, Nicholas, Sophie, Josh, and Scatty emerge in Paris, the City of Lights. Home for Nicholas Flamel. Only this homecoming is anything but sweet. Perenell is still locked up back in Alcatraz and Paris is teeming with enemies. Niccolo Machiavelli, immortal author and celebrated art collector, is working for Dee. He's after them, and time is running out for Nicholas and Perenell. For every day spent without the Book of Abraham the Mage, they age one year, their magic becoming weaker and their bodies more frail. For Flamel, the Prophecy is becoming more and more clear. 
It's time for Sophie to learn the second elemental magic: Fire Magic. And there's only one man who can teach it to her: Flamel's old student, the Comte de Saint-Germain alchemist, magician, and rock star. Josh and Sophie Newman are the world's only hope if they don't turn on each other first.

I enjoyed The Alchemyst so much that I moved onto The Magician. In the first book the title is presented as Nicholas Flemel, the second book expands upon John Dee. I truly enjoyed this book from beginning to end. The adventure, the characters, the action. Michael Scott knows how to keep his readers entertained and boy was I hooked.

The Magician takes places right after the end on the first book, where Flamel, the Twins, and Scatty are transported to France with Dee hot on their trail. With only one twin awakened, they need to work fast and accustom her with magic, which they proceed with finding the master of fire.

Every page is illustrated with the beautiful sights of Paris, the glorious fights that wage between the forces of good and evil, as well as some of the little things that always spring a smile upon my face. Every work has me hooked and every chapter has me hanging off the edge of that cliff waiting for the bridge to appear and bring me to the next one.

Satisfied with two of the books in this series, I am anticipating a wonderful jam-packed story in the third book of the series, The Sorceress. 

First Line: I am dying.

Story: S

Cover: A

Monday, October 3, 2011

Review: This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

Release Date: August 23, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Series: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein #1
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 304
Genre: Adventure, Historical Fiction, Horror, Fantasy
Format: Online
Source: Pulse It

Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein. They are nearly inseparable. Growing up, their lives are filled with imaginary adventures...until the day their adventures turn all too real. 
They stumble upon The Dark Library, and secret books of alchemy and ancient remedies are discovered. Father forbids that they ever enter the room again, but this only piques Victor's curiosity more. When Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is not satisfied with the various doctors his parents have called in to help. He is drawn back to The Dark Library where he uncovers an ancient formula for the Elixir of Life. With their friend Elizabeth, Henry and Victor immediately set out to find assistance from a man who was once known for his alchemical works to help create the formula. 
Determination and the unthinkable outcome of losing his brother spur Victor on in the quest for the three ingredients that will save Konrad's life. After scaling the highest trees in the Strumwald, diving into the deepest lake caves, and sacrificing one’s own body part, the three fearless friends risk their lives to save another.
Blown away. This novel was absolutely fantastic. The characters, the adventure, the plot. It happens to be a prequel to Mary Shelly's epic tale Frankenstein which caught my eye. Though I had never read Frankenstein it had no lingering affects on my reading of this novel. It was literally phenomenal.

You have your twin brothers Konrad and Victor Frankenstein. Your average high class boys living in Genoa back in possibly the Elizabethan era. The tight bond of the twins are as should be, but when Konrad is struck with illness, Victor and his friends, Elizabeth and Henry, risk their lives to save him.  

This Dark Endeavor was a quick read for me, about a day. I soaked up all of the adventure, grim, and Gothic goodness like a sponge. Such a compelling story that is filled with beautify written characters and a captivating plot. No moment was dull nor was any conversation banal. The scenes between Victor and Elizabeth always drew me in, for such raw emotions of human nature is carried out between the two.

Victor though was some character. The flaws, the raw intensity beaming through out him. You just can't help but latch onto his words and wonder what he is going to feel, think, say, or do next. The jealousy, the rage, the motivation, the lies, the possessiveness, and the dedication. By the standards of the twins, Victor was imperfect compared to Konrad. But such dedication he has to save his brother, even with other evils surfacing through his thoughts; Victor was as real as any character could get.

The ending, I infered though just the kind of thought process I have, was heart-retching. I look back at what I happened to read and makes me think this is just a prequel. It would be wonderful if Oppel even pursued the faction of creating his own spin on the Frankenstein classic. Such a fascinating thought. 

First Line: We found the monster on a rocky ledge high above the lake.

Story: XS

Cover: XS

Sunday, October 2, 2011

In My Mailbox (13): Diary of a Band Geek

In My Mailbox is a weekly Meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where bloggers take time to share the books that they had received that week.

It's been a hectic month with SAT studying, AP classing consuming my energy, Drivers Ed classes so I can actually drive to school my senior year, marching band that seems to have finally taken over my life after three years of failed attempts, and the mounds and mounds of homework that plunge me into a non-waking coma. I always look forward for the little things, like coming home to a package snuck between the front door, opening the mailbox to find a large package shoved in with the rest of the mail, or coming home to a package on my desk courtesy of my loving father. I thank all those who have sent me books for they are what keep me through the day without giving into the slumbering sessions known as the school day. Thank you so much c:

--Pulse It--
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel (Amazon | Goodreads)
The Witchlanders by Lena Coakley (Amazon | Goodreads)
Fury by Elizabeth Miles (Amazon | Goodreads)

Eldest by Christopher Paolini (Amazon | Goodreads)
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini (Amazon | Goodreads)

Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith (Amazon | Goodreads)
Eragon Prizepack from Random House Publishing *THANK YOU SO MUCH*

Tempest by Julie Cross (Amazon | Goodreads)

What's in your mailbox?