Friday, September 30, 2011

Top Spot: September 2011

Top Spot is a new monthly blog meme hosted by the Skype Sisters. Every month we will get together to share our favorite read from that month.

How to play along:

• Pick your favorite read from the current month
• Make a blog post stating your Top Spot pick and share with us why it got the Top Spot for you. Don't forget to add the Top Spot button and link back to Skype Sisters! Feel free to add (link or attatched) reviews, book summaries or teasers in the post as well for people to take a look at. 
 » NOTE: No book spoilers allowed! If you have to add them, be sure to include a warning.
• Add your post in the linky and enjoy the current months favorites! 

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.
So my love obsession with this novel feels a little bit sinful. I nearly fainted of excitement when I got my signed copy of this book in the mail today because it is really that epic. The characters are people I want to know. I'd be friends with every single on, including Mara's little brother Joseph. Plus, can I just say Noah Shaw? He's seriously one of the most sexy male love interests I've ever encountered in literature. The laugh out loud funny lines ("Why are animal crackers in my my bed?" "You thought they were your pets. You wouldn't let me near them.") and the crazy tension all make this an incredible, must read.

For more gushing on my love affair with Mara Dyer you can check out my review!

Or you can, you know, just read the book and find out what all my fuss is about!

Book Review: Eve by Anna Carey

Eve by Anna Carey

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (October 4, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062048503
ISBN-13: 978-0062048509
Series: Eve #1
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Cover: This cover perfectly describes the book. The empty, bare bridge lacking anything attributed to human civilization is exactly what the read will find inside. I love the girl running from something towards a destination in the fog.
First Sentence: "By the time the sun set over the fifty-foot perimeter wall, the School lawn was covered with twelfth-year students."

Mini-Review: Eve is an addictive and beautiful debut about the horror of sickness and what fear breeds dotted by the kindness of others and the condition of the human spirit.


The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her. 

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

Eve is a dark look at what might happen if a virius killed most of the world's population, punctuated with light by glimmers of hope and the beauty of simple kindness. Eve and Caleb's deep emotional connection despite the odds they must overcome is addictively sweet and the world that Carey has created will have the reader hugging their clean bedsheets and craddling their packages of food. The horror of the situation dotted by the kindness of others and the condition of the human spirit makes for an addictive and beautiful debut.

Eve's growth throughout the story arc is absolutely astounding. The horrors she has witnessed coupled with an education that has taught her to fear men has her basically crippled in the beginning. As she learns to survive in a world outside her School's wall, her fear and naivety dissolve into resolve and intelligence. I liked how even though Eve was taught how to see things, when she finally got out into the world she was pretty open to what it had to teach her. For the most part, I found myself identifying with her. There were a few times where I grew a little frustrated with her. There's a scene where someone Eve knows is shot and she freezes even though she is also in immediate danger and I found myself frustrated. But if I were put in the same situation, I can't say I wouldn't act the same way. Her draw to Caleb made since and I enjoyed watching Eve learn to trust him as the story progressed.

Caleb is one of those generally great love interests because there isn't a question of the type of person he is. He always went back for Eve, no matter how much danger that put him in and even when he barely knew her. He's smart, strong and resourceful, having escaped from his own camp of horrors and living in the outside world for a while. Eve mentions at one point that she knows Caleb is "a good man" and this is evident in everything he does in the story. I like me a good bad boy as much as the next girl but Caleb's sweet demeanor was refreshing, especially in a world so riddled with bad.

I also loved the group of boys Caleb lived with. Eve would often compare the world to the classics she read and I kept thinking of them as the lost boys from Peter Pan. Eve's frenemy Arden whom she ends up traveling with was a great addition to the cast and the bond that forms from dealing with hardship after hardship is just as beautiful as Eve's relationship with Caleb.

The bleak setting of the novel is both horrifying and fascinating. Death, skeletons and disease are a common place thing. Carey does this amazing job of setting dire circumstances and showing us beauty despite them.  We might see a house falling apart and get a glimmer of hope in a picture drawn by a child still hanging on the refridgerator. The atmosphere fits the desperate situation and I can't wait to see even more in the seqeul. The plot is a neatly wrapped little package with an ending that kills. My only thing is I feel like the book could have used a bit more length. Make no mistake, this book packs a lot of character development, atmosphere, and plot in it's somewhat small numbers. I little more explanation as to how the plague came around would have really helped fill out the world.

In the end, Eve is a novel about the human condition and in this aspect, it's excels. The bleak tone and atmosphere is offset by the beauty of a budding romance that wants to survive against all odds. A beautiful debut, Eve is definitely a great read. In the novel, Eve was searching for somewhere to live and she found it in me as a reader.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happily Ever Helpers

Hey guys! I'm putting out a call for some help. I've been running something called Happily Ever Endings on the blog for quite a bit of time now. The point of these posts are to summarize the ending of novels that are part of a series. I know that when I sit down and read a sequel a year after I read the last one, I forget a few key things. I created these posts to recap what happens in the previous installment so everyone can go back and refresh!

The thing is, I can't read everything. I hate this fact but it's so true.

So I'd like to find maybe three people who are willing to write Happily Ever Ending posts with me on books they are reading.

What the job would entail:

  • E-mailing me with about weekly with the books you plan on writing Endings for (whether you've just finished them or are going to start them). This will be so two people don't write one for the same book.
  • Writing up the Endings
  • Letting me know when they are posting so I can add them to my Happily Ever Endings side bar
  • Spreading the word about this feature
  • Optional: Adding a link with the Happily Ever Endings posts to your sidebar

In return, I'll post your Endings on my sidebar (with a link to your blog) and will post your button on my blog. Plus, we'll become friends!

How to write the posts:

  • Add the logo above to the post
  • Explain what Happily Ever Endings is
  • Include the book title, author, cover and summary in the post
  • Use a page break after the above information for the summary (so people who haven't read the book don't accidentally read spoilers)
  • Summarize about the last 100 pages in around four paragraphs
So that's basically it. If it's something you'd be interested in, please e-mail me at I look forward to finding some super awesome bloggy people to help out!

The Time Will Come (15): Passion by Lauren Kate

The Time Will Come is a weekly meme started by Books for Company which spotlights books that have been sitting unread on our shelves for too long.*

Want to join in?
- Pick a book you have been meaning to read
- Do a post telling us about the book
- Link the post up in the linky at Books for Company
- Visit the other blogs!

Passion by Lauren Kate
Luce would die for Daniel.
And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. . 
Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.
Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history.
Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever.
Sweeping across centuries, PASSION is the third novel in the unforgettably epic FALLEN series.
I need to read this book. It's on my shelf to be read immediately as soon as I get some free time away from ARCs and author requests. I love this series and think this book has the potential to be the best. The last novel ended on SUCH a cliffhanger and I need to find out what happens.

Any sequels that have been waiting for too long on your self?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: First Comes Love, Touch and Heaven

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where you can post about upcoming books you're looking forward to. This is a wonderful chance for blogger to show off what's coming out soon that they are excited about! Every week my wishlist balloons thanks to this awesome meme.

First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky
Like his name, Gray is dark and stormy. Dylan, a girl always searching for what's next, seemingly unable to settle down, is the exact opposite: full of light and life. On the outside, they seem like an unlikely couple. But looks can be deceiving and besides, opposites attract. 

What starts as friendship, turns into admiration, respect and caring, until finally these two lone souls find they are truly in love with each other. 
But staying in love is not as easy as falling in love. If Dylan and Gray want their love to last, they're going to have to work at it. And learn that sometimes love means having to say you're sorry.

Why I need this: I like this idea of love being hard because it is hard and anyone that say differently is lying. This looks like a great story and I'm interested to see where the plot goes with this one. I love the names too!

First Comes Love is out May 8, 2012 to Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.

Touch by Jus Accardo
When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home. 
Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized. 
Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe. 
A secret Kale will kill to protect.
Why I need this: This reminds me a bit of Shatter Me with the touch that kills the in turn reminded me of Rogue from X-Men. I like the evil corporation feel of this novel and the fact that Deznee's dad works for it. I think this could be a really exciting, fast-paced plot and I can't wait to find out!

Touch is out November 1, 2011 by Entangled Publishing.

Heaven by Christoph Marzi
The night that Heaven lost her heart was cold and moonless. But the blade that sliced it out was warm with her dark blood... 
David Pettyfer is taking a shortcut over the dark rooftops of London's brooding houses, when he literally stumbles across Heaven: a strange, beautiful, distraught girl who says that bad men have stolen her heart. Yet she's still alive... 
And so begins David and Heaven's wild, exciting and mysterious adventure - to find Heaven's heart, and to discover the incredible truth about her origins. 
Part thriller, part love story and part fairy tale, this brilliantly original novel from a bestselling German author will take your breath away...

Why I need this: I'm not even sure what to say about this novel accept that it sounds really unique and I love the cover. This book is definitely on my radar! 

Heaven comes out February 2, 2012 to Orchard Books.

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TEAser Tuesday (54): Eve & Top Ten Tuesday (1)

TEAser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others!
Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles!

Eve by Anna Carey
"Welcome," he said in a voice that made it clear we were anything but. He held me there, in his gaze, his eyes roaming over my face until they lowered to my breasts, my waist, my legs. I felt a rush of panic and pulled at the bowl, trying to get free.
--Pg. 105-106 of "Eve" by Anna Carey

I'm about 33% of the way through this one right now but it won't take me long to finish. This book moves fast and I admire how the author can make a barely populated world seem interesting. I have no idea where this novel is going to take me  and I love the adventure!

So what's your teaser?

Top Ten Tuesday is a 10's list meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

This week's question is: What are the top ten books you'd like to re-read?

I don't usually re-read books. I tend to get bored quickly and there are so many books coming out every week that I don't like to re-read. That being said, there are some I wouldn't mind going back to if the time ever permits.

1) The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling- Sure, this is actually a 7 book set but I'd love to get around to re-reading it. I think it's been long enough that the magic of the first time would come back to me easier. Plus, there are huge chunks of these books that I just don't remember. 

2) Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray- I love this series. It's the first full fledged YA series I read and fell in love with. I'd like to re-read it for the finer points.

3) The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger- One of the only adult fiction novels that I really love. It's an absolutely beautiful love story and had me bawling by the end. Plus I need to re-read it to get the movie version out of my head which was a  bit of a disappointment. 

4) The Study series by Maria N. Snyder- I loved Yelena and her world. She was such a strong role model and so dang smart. I'd love to revisit it sometime!

5) The Hunger Games series by Suzanna Collins- I would like to revisit these eventually. I'm not sure if I'm ready right now but I know that in a few years, I'll be craving to remember every single gruesome detail of Katniss's adventures.

6) Divergent by Veronica Roth- Like The Hunger Games, I'm not quite ready yet but I have a feeling that by the time Insurgent comes out, I'll want to. I just remember looking up from this book in the bookstore and smiling at all the poor saps who weren't reading it. 

7) The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- I closed this novel and immediately wanted to re-read it again to see all the clues I probably missed the first time. Also, I wanted to experience Noah in all of his British glory all over again!

8) If I Stay by Gayle Forman- Mia's story broke my heart in two but by the end I was smiling. It's such a short book that I wouldn't mind wandering back to it.

9) Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer- I've re-read this series once already right around Christmastime a few years ago and found I was just as into the books as the first time. It's so easy to get sucked back into the atmosphere of Forks and fall in love with Edward's sweetness all over again. 

10) The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater- Just to cry at how amazing of a writer she is. Seriously, her prose is like ODing on chocolate for the eyes. Just incredible. Plus I love all the characters and wouldn't mind seeing Grace and Sam fall in love all over again.

Did you make a list? Which books wouldn't you mind re-reading?

Book Review: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (September 27, 2011)
Language: English
IBSN-10: 0061990655
ISBN-13: 978-0061990656
Series: 1st Book
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Cover: The girl leaning into the fall with sleeves like wings is absolutely gorgeous. I love the blue sky in the background and the euphoria on the model's face. Great cover!
First Sentence: "The air had a brutal edge to it as I stood outside of Love the Bean, the local free-trade coffee shop."

Mini-Review: A Beautiful Dark stumbles in the beginning but finds it light by the end.


On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.
In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.
A Beautiful Dark is the first book in a captivating trilogy by debut author Jocelyn Davies.

A Beautiful Dark had everything right-- good characters, interesting mythology, nice setting, decent plot-- but it lacks that certain spark to keep the reader hooked. Skye was a decently interesting main character, her love interests Asher and Devin were engaging but A Beautiful Dark didn't add anything new to the crowded genre. The ending left me willing to read the sequel and I really liked the world building and angel mythology. I just wish I didn't finish with a neutral feeling towards it.

Skye is an orphan living with her Aunt (her mother's best friend who adopted her). She likes skying and is pretty level headed. But that's all I know about her. I know she's powerful but I didn't get to experience that full power. I liked that she struggled with her feelings for both boys. The only thing is, I never questioned who she was going to go for. For the most part, she didn't make rash decisions but there were a few times where I got annoyed with her for being dumb. I did appreciate that she didn't over rationalize the supernatural aspect of things. She didn't believe it at first but after seeing undeniable proof, she was willing to accept it. I liked Asher and Devin's quarreling and both boys separately were good. I just felt like with all of these characters, I'd already met them before. Skye's group offriends actually felt more unique than the main characters at times but I did get annoyed with the selfishness of her best friend.

Where I really enjoyed this story was in it's history and angelic mythology. From the moment Asher told his story by the campfire, I was intrigued. I'd assumed I was dealing with a fallen angel/angel scenario and in this aspect, the story really surprised me. I loved the warring sides and what they both meant. I'm also a fan of story where there is no clearly "good" side which was nice about this novel. The scenery of Colorado was gorgeous and I loved hearing about it. The author did a really good job with that.

A Beautiful Dark is a bit long. My friend and I had just finished talking about how somethings tend to repeat over and over without adding anything to the plot. I'm afraid I noticed this a lot with this novel. The last half, things start happening quickly and it ends on a bang but I wish there was more happening in the beginning. As a debut author, Davies can definitely write. There were plenty of gorgeous passages and I feel pretty assured that the story can only get better now that the ground was laid out.

A Beautiful Dark isn't exactly a bad read, it just suffers from not adding anything new to a crowded genre. I liked the characters and the ending made me invested in the story. The way I can see it, the series can only go up from here. If you're a fan of angel stories, definitely go for this one but if you've read a lot of this genre, you might find yourself a little frustrated. A Beautiful Dark stumbles a little but in the end it finds its light.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

In My Mailbox (55)

In my mailbox is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren that encourages other book bloggers to share what they bought, won, begged for or borrowed. It is usually held on Sundays!

I didn't have time to make a vlog today since we were running all day and work Sunday so I apologize. I got three awesome books though that I'm excited to share with you all!

From Tor Teen:

Finished copy of The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

Debut novelist Kiki Hamilton takes readers from the gritty slums and glittering ballrooms of Victorian London to the beguiling but menacing Otherworld of the Fey in this spellbinding tale of romance, suspense, and danger. 
The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood.
Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist.
Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…
This looks like a seriously great read and that cover totally reminds me of a Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr cover! Thanks so much to Tor Teen for sending it my way!

From my bookstore friend:

ARC of Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.
That same night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable
Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.
From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver comes a luminous and magnificent novel that glows with rare magic, ghostly wonders, and a true friendship that lights even the darkest of places.
The conversation started out with "do you know the author of Before I fall, I think" and ended with her handing over a copy of this. I guess her bookstore ordered an ARC and she snatched it up for me. Very awesome of her. Kisses Jackie *mostly because she'll hate to think about it* 

From my grandma (who works at a used bookstore):

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

OATHS SWORN . . . loyalties tested . . . forces collide.
Following the colossal battle against the Empire’s warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still there is more at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.
First is Eragon’s oath to his cousin Roran: to help rescue Roran’s beloved, Katrina, from King Galbatorix’s clutches. But Eragon owes his loyalty to others, too. The Varden are in desperate need of his talents and strength—as are the elves and dwarves. When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices— choices that take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice.
Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once-simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?
I loved this series but the movie just murdered it. My grandma asked if I had this novel, I said no and she brought it for me which is super sweet. I'll get to this book one, I hope!

So those are my three awesome books that I got this week. What did you get in your mailbox?
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