Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Witchlanders - Lena Coakley

Hardcover, 411 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Atheneum
High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future. It’s all a fake.
At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?
But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned—
Are about him.

I'm going to try really really hard to be eloquent in this review...which will be difficult for me considering all I want to do is take a running tackle at each and every one of you and sit on you until you agree to read this book.

Okay.  Deep breath.

I know when I first heard about Witchlanders, I (along with a bunch of other bloggers and readers) was really excited about this one, because it had a male narrator.  There aren't a lot of male narrators in YA fiction at the moment, so this was really exciting.  And when you added the fantasy/magic aspect to that, along with the fact that the cover was absolutely drool-worthy, I couldn't wait to pick it up.

So when I began reading, I was surprised (and delighted) to discover that Witchlanders had not one, but TWO (count em!) male narrators.  Although the blurb only mentions Ryder, there's another narrator who plays just as large a role in the story, and they switch back and forth.

Also, THIS IS NOT A ROMANCE.  I just wanted to make that clear.  This is straight-up FANTASY, and it is AWESOME.  Coakley has created an entire new world for us readers to discover and play in, and I for one think she's done an incredible job.

Ryder has grown up in the Witchlands, halfway between the mountain, where the coven resides, and the town in the valley.  His father came from the town, but his mother is a witch, so he knows for a fact that everything the witches do is fake.  It's all pretend.  But when his mother starts having visions, and claiming they are real, he's stuck wondering whether or not what he's known be true all his life has been nothing but a lie.  After all, there's no such thing as there?

There is such beautiful contrast in this book.  Family and duty.  Magic and lies.  Belief and truth.  And the book is so beautifully written that I actually had a hard time reading it.  I have this problem where, if I'm really enjoying a story (normally a series), I start lagging behind so that I can stretch it out as long as possible.  I kept putting this book down to think about it, to stroke the cover, to let my mind wander through the Witchlands.  But I finished it.  And I loved it.  And although I haven't heard anything, I'm hoping against hope that the story will continue, because I'm not ready to let it go.

If you have any kind of fondness in your heart for fantasy, I urge you to read this book.  It's excellent.


Witchlanders - trailer

Waiting on Wednesday - Shatter Me

Waiting on Wednesday was a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, so that bloggers can feature upcoming releases that they cannot wait to get their hands on.

Here's mine...

 Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

 I absolutely can't wait to read this book.  It sounds like Rogue (who was always my fave of the X-men) stuck in a dystopian society.  Love it!  And just look at that cover!  *pets it*

So gorgeous!  Can't wait.

What about you?  What are you waiting on this week?

Tell me or leave your link in the comments!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hades by Alexandra Adornetto - Trailer & Giveaway!

I have another treat for you, my glorious readers!

I've been given one copy of Hades by Alexandra Adornetto to give away to my readers! 

Hades is the sequel to Halo, and is just so gorgeous.  I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Here's the trailer...Let's watch, shall we?

Just fill out the form below to enter to win yourself a copy of Hades!  U.S. & Canadian mailing addresses only.  Deadline for the contest is September 9th at 11:59 EST.  The winner will be announced on September 10th.

Good luck everyone!


Possess - Gretchen McNeil

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Balzer + Bray

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

4/5 stars!

Let me just start this review by saying that I wasn't expecting to like this book.

I don't know why. I just wasn't. I think it might have something to do with "the cute son of a local police sergeant" in the summary. That made me think that the story was going to be all about her and the perfect love interest. And I hate perfect. Now that I have actually read the book, reading the summary doesn't put me off as it once did, so I don't know what I was thinking.

I just thought I'd mention that just in case there's anyone else out there who shares my distaste in perfect love interests (because I remember high school...perfection does not exist there) and thought "the cute son of a local police sergeant" raised a red flag.

Trust me, Matt, the love interest, is actually a really nice guy who actually genuinely likes Bridget, and the evolution of their relationship is slow and adorable. I liked it a lot.

But unlike a lot of the paranormal YA out there, the romance isn't the point. Bridget is the point. She's gifted. She has the power to banish demons and detect ghosts and all sorts of amazing stuff. And she's getting pretty sick of it. Because, really, that's a lot to take on while she's still reeling from the death of her father and her mother's dual new love interests. Not to mention the fact that her little brother starts seeing ghosts too.

So Bridget's had about enough, and is ready to give up demon-banishing when she finds out that there might be a connection between the demons and her father's death, and her entire world gets turned upside down, and she's left trying to figure everything out while not knowing who to trust.

This book is part horror, part mystery, and part romance and all good. I enjoyed it so much!

Does anyone know if there's going to be a sequel?

I need to know!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

In My Mailbox (August 28th)

In My Mailbox was created by The Story Siren. It's a weekly meme where bloggers share the books they've received throughout the week.

If you'd like to participate, or would like to know more, here's the link: In My Mailbox

It's been FOREVER since I did one of long that I don't even remember what I've picked up since then.  So we're starting fresh.

Here's what I got this week...

First Kill by Heather Brewer ARC (signed at FanExpo!)

I'm so happy!  I had such an amazing week for books.  Thanks a ton to Penguin Canada and Coteau Books!

So what did you guys get in your mailboxes?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy Reading!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

Hardcover, 372 pages
Published December 2nd 2010 by Dutton

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

5/5 stars!

I have a confession to make...I JUST read this book.  I don't know why I waited so long.  Clearly there's something wrong with me. Fail.

Okay, so if you're like me and have been wondering what all the fuss is about, please just give this book a chance.  I mainly read paranormal and dystopian YA titles (as that's what I'm interested in, and there's a huge selection right now) so I wasn't sure about picking up a contemporary (especially when most of the contemps these days aren't focused on being a love story; they're more likely to be about a tragedy) but when I heard all the rave reviews, I decided to pick it up from the library.

So I did.

And I didn't read it.

It went back.

Rave reviews continued.

So I ordered it again.

And I didn't read it.

I waited until the very last day before the book was due to give it a chance.

Needless to say, that thing has some fines on it now.  And you know what?  TOTALLY WORTH IT.  I was the saddest thing ever when I had to hand that book back to the librarian.  There may have been a little tug-of-war going on.  Maybe.

Things I Liked:

Okay, seriously, I'll give you a list.

Anna.  She's such a great character and narrator.  She's not annoying or needy or perfect.  She's a fish out of water who just happens to fall in love with her new best friend.

St. Clair.  He's adorable.  He's going through a tough time and Anna has become his main support.  He's sweet and charming and cute, but nowhere near perfect.  (can you tell that I have an issue with perfect?  why?  because it doesn't exist.  so there).

Their Friends.  They're wacky and unique and flawed and make mistakes and are just so real.

Paris.  Ah, Paris.  The author made it come alive.  Paris was as much a character in the story as any of Anna's other friends.  Hated at first, but then slowly adored.  (and I absolutely adored the fact that the author made mention of the bread.  Trust me, if you've ever been to Paris, you know about the bread).

Things I Didn't Like.
Okay, that's lying.  I didn't like the fact that I had to give it back.  SADDEST THING EVER!

So, if you haven't read Anna and the French Kiss yet, I highly recommend you do.  Especially since it's soon to have a sister book.

Anna, meet Lola.

Such a great read!

Have you read it?  Tell me in the comments!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The Whisper by Emma Clayton

Waiting on Wednesday was a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, so that bloggers can feature upcoming releases that they cannot wait to get their hands on.

Here's mine...

Okay, normally I'm all about the YA/Teen reads, but today I'm doing things a little differently.  Today, we're switching back to middle-grade fiction, because a book I've been waiting for ages FINALLY HAS A COVER AND A PUBDATE AND I'M SO EXCITED!!!

*taps microphone*  Did you get all that?

Good. The Whisper by Emma Clayton...

And normally HERE is where I would give you the summary of this much anticipated book, but since I've never stumbled upon another YA book blog review of the first book in the series (and they're probably out there, I just haven't found them) I'm not going to.

Why? you ask.

Well...spoilers.  Thou Shalt Not Be Spoiled.

Instead I shall direct you to this...

This is The Roar by Emma Clayton... I reviewed it here, and since I'm nice, you can have the summary to this one.

Mika and Ellie live in a future behind a wall: Solid concrete topped with high-voltage razor wire and guarded by a battalion of Ghengis Borgs, it was built to keep out the animals, because animals carry the plague. At least that's what Ellie, who was kidnapped as a child, has always been taught.
But when she comes to suspect the truth behind her captivity, she's ready to risk exposure to the elements and answer the call of the wild. Listen. Can you hear it? She's strapping on her headset, jumpstarting her Pod Fighter, and--with her capuchin monkey at her back--she's breaking out!

 Read this book!  Seriously!

I enjoyed this so much that every time I see it on the shelf at the library I pet it.  (I'm not joking.  This is on my list of books that when I see it, I run a loving hand down its spine and murmur "what a good book you are").

And now it's getting a sequel and the sequel has a cove and a pubdate and...and...

Okay...calm down, geekgirl.

I need to lay down now.  This post has taken a lot out of me.

But before I go (and leave you with what is possibly the wordiest Waiting on Wednesday post known to man), please see the below graphic I found on the author's website (here, and all credit for the image below belongs to that site) which I am using to illustrate just how awesome book one is and how much I want book two.

That's Ellie, one of the main characters. She has a monkey.

It is her friend.

It's a dystopian and She. Has. A. Monkey. Friend.

That is all.

I'm very tired now.

Please tell me you've read The Roar...or that you will read The Roar and The Whisper.

And tell me about your own Waiting on Wednesday posts in the comments... or at least what you think of my (LONGEST EVER IN THE HISTORY OF TIME) post.

Happy Reading!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Cover Watch - Across the Universe (paperback edition)

Guh...can someone explain to me how I managed to miss this? I can't be the only one, right?

So gorgeous! These are totally my colours, which makes the choice between the epic hardcover cover and this one really, really difficult for me.

What say you?  Let me know in the comments!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Giveaway! Lockdown (Escape from Furnace book 1)

I have a treat for you, my lovelies.  I've been given the opportunity to give away one copy of Lockdown, the first in the exciting Escape from Furnace series by Alexander Gordon Smith.

This is a thrilling book full of adventure and horror, and a solid male main character.

I know you'll enjoy it!

So take a look at the trailer, and enter the form below.

The Giveaway runs until September 1st at 11:59pm EST, and it's for U.S. and Canadian mailing addresses only.  If you tweet, blog, or facebook about the contest, you get an extra entry (one for each, up to 3).

Happy Reading!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Book Trailer - Lockdown (Escape from Furnace)

Good Morning Readers!

I have a treat for you today...a new book trailer.  This one is for Lockdown from the Escape from Furnace series by Alexander Gordon Smith.

Three things to like about this series:
1. It features a male main character--which isn't super-common in YA these days.
2. It's horror (I ADORE horror)
3. Three of the five books are already out!  So if you're like me, and you lag behind the pack where series are concerned, don't fret.  You have plenty to read before book four comes out.

Interested?  Me too.

Let's watch, shall we?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Waiting on Wednesday was a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, so that bloggers can feature upcoming releases that they cannot wait to get their hands on.

Here's mine...

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

 You have no idea how excited I am for this one.  I just finished Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls series, and I adored it.  Now I want to read everything she's ever written.  EVER.

And just in case the cover and the summary didn't grab you, here's another little treat:  Maggie made a trailer for the book.  You can see it here, and I will also be posting it here on the blog once I can get my dang computer to cooperate with me.  (It's still sleepy).

Happy Reading Everyone!

...and share your Waiting on... posts in the comments!  I love to see them!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Forever - Maggie Stiefvater

Hardcover, 390 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Scholastic, Inc. 
The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stiefvater
In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. In Linger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

 This series turned being a werewolf on its head.  While generally werewolfism has been either a horror subject--people being transformed into monsters on the full moon against their will--or a gift--a power used for good or evil.  In Maggie Stiefvater's series, it was neither.  In The Shiver trilogy, werewolfism was nothing but a curse.  For there werewolves in this trilogy, when it gets too cold, they completely lose their ability to remain human, and the infected turn into wolves.  Not super-powered wolves.  Just wolves.  And that's not the biggest problem.

And Stiefvater has created such a heartbreaking situation, and such beautifully doomed characters, you can't help but keep reading to find out their fate.  The characters of Sam, Grace, Isabel and Cole (oh, Cole, you are my favorite) are so intertwined, yet such separate and distinct narrators, each telling their own part of the story as they struggle to survive--and to help each other survive.

I don't want to give anything away, but this was an absolutely amazing close to a great series.  If you remember, I wasn't completely sold on this series when I started it, but I'm really glad I kept reading.  If you haven't read it, give it a chance.  And don't let the new take on the werewolf myth keep you away.  Once you get into it, the how and why become less important than the characters and their relationships.

Forever is the third and final book in the series, and I couldn't put it down.  Each book in the trilogy was better than the last, and I can't wait to pick up more of Stiefvater's work.

Loved it!

Happy Reading!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Beauty Queens - Libba Bray

Hardcover, 390 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by Scholastic Press

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program--or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan--or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Beauty Queens meet Lord of the Flies meet Lost in this incredible novel by Libba Bray.  Words cannot express how much I enjoyed this novel.

 After surviving a plane crash on a deserted island, the beauty queens who didn't perish (and a lot of them did) attempt to build a society and survive until they are rescued.   Unfortunately, these girls have no idea what they're doing, and end up basing their society more or less on what they've learned as beauty queens (there's a lot of dance practice and waving and dieting going on), so things don't go as well as they hope.

Especially since no one seems to be rescuing them any time soon.  And slowly, as the girls focus more on survival than on their tans, they realize that each of them has a secret of her own, and that they aren't quite the same as everyone thinks they are.

Oh, and there's a hidden compound and a giant snake too.

The characters in Beauty Queens were some of the most unique, lovable characters I've ever encountered in YA fiction.  They were just so different, both from your average YA character, and from eachother.  And although the novel was full-to-bursting with adventure and mystery and zaniness, by far my favorite part was learning about the beauty queens--their histories, their secrets, and their relationships with eachother.

This was such a great read.  So fun and unexpected.  I devoured it.

Amazing book.

Read it!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Shiver/Linger/Forever Giveaway Winner!

And the winner of my Shiver/Linger/Forever giveaway is...


Congrats to Kim, who chose Shiver as her prize, and thanks to everyone who entered!



Apologies for the lack of posting lately.  I've been dealing with a family emergency and there just hasn't been time to blog.

However, that should be over now, so stay posted for such upcoming things as...

The WINNER of my Shiver/Linger/Forever Giveaway!
A bunch of reviews...including Beauty Queens, Invincible, Dead Rules & Forever!
More NEW COVERS and a few upcoming books that I can't wait to get my hands on!

Stay tuned!

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I'm a 32 year old YA book lover and not that interesting. You know what's interesting? Books! Books are by far my favorite thing to talk about, so leave me a comment, let me know what you think! I love hearing from other booklovers!