Friday, September 30, 2011

Fury - Elizabeth Miles

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Simon Pulse

Sometimes sorry isn't enough....
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.
Em and Chase have been chosen.
4/5 Stars

I've been seeing a lot of lukewarm and bad reviews for this title, so I was a little wary when I started reading it...but I gotta tell you, having read the book, I really don't understand what everyone's problem with it is.  I liked it quite a bit.

Fury is told in alternating points of view, switching between Chase, who sees himself as trailer-trash trying to fake it in a preppie school, and Em, who has made the mistake of falling for her best friend's boyfriend.  They have secrets, and those secrets aren't good.

I was first, like everyone else, attracted to the gorgeous cover on this book.  Look at it.  Gaze upon the pretty.   But where there lies beauty, there lies danger.  Because the girl on the cover isn't Em (and it certainly isn't Chase...because...well...he's a boy) but instead it's one of the Furies, a trio of creatures steeped in legend that find people who have done wrong...and punish them for it.

And after the attempted suicide of a classmate, it is Chase and Em that have become the Furies' targets.

It might just be me, but I like characters who are flawed.  I cannot stand perfect characters, of which there are many out there to torment me, so getting a chance to read from the points of views of two teens that have majorly messed up was kind of a treat for me.  But that might just be me.

I liked how messed up they were.  I liked that they made bad choices.  And I loved how they banded together to try and help one another when everything started to fall down around them, no matter what happened.  The relationship between Em and Chase, when they began helping one another, was wonderful.  (And JD...oh, how I love me some JD).  And, I gotta say, the Furies were creepy and evil and kinda scared the crap out of me.

The only thing I didn't really like was how the ending kinda broke my heart a little bit.  But it's the first of the trilogy, so hopefully everything will get better.  (It can get better, right?  Please?)

One last thing I want to address in this review, is something that has been mentioned in a bunch of other reviews out there...Why is Em the one targeted by the Furies?  She wasn't the only one in the wrong.  Why didn't the Furies target her best friend's boyfriend too?  Because that guy's a total skeeze.

Well, my friends (and I expect I'll have a little bit of discussion in the comments over this...which I welcome), my theory is that it's easier to punish someone who already feels guilty than to punish someone who truly doesn't give a crap.  Em knew that trying to steal her best friend's boyfriend was a crappy thing to do, and she felt bad about it, where as Zach, the best friend's boyfriend, couldn't care less.  That's my two cents.

So, basically, the moral of this review is, even if you're a little wary give this book a try.  Because I liked it.

I'd love to hear what you think!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson

Hardcover, 370 pages
Expected publication: September 29th 2011 by Putnam

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

5/5 Stars!

Oh, where do I even begin to talk about my love for this book?

First, it has a heaping ton of Jack the Ripper lore nestled within its pretty pages.  And Jack the Ripper is nothing if not intriguing.  And quite frankly, this book taught me a lot about the legend.  I knew the basic, like everyone does...Jack the Ripper slaughtered a bunch of women and then disappeared, leaving the case unsolved.  But there's so much more to it.  And in The Name of the Star, Rory gets to London not long before someone starts recreating Jack the Ripper's killings on the anniversaries of the originals.  But whoever is doing it is recreating the murders perfectly...down to the locations, the mutilations, and even the last names of the victims.

And no one knows who it could be.  The killer has managed to keep completely anonymous. But then, when Rory and her roommate sneak out one night to keep watch from the roof of the boy's dorm at their school, she sees something...someone.

The only problem is that no one else saw the person, and now Rory's the only real witness in a city gripped with Rippermania.

I loved Johnson's writing.  I haven't read her stuff for ages, and I'd forgotten how much I loved her books.  Rory is an incredibly well-rounded character.  She's flawed and sweet but she stands on her own two feet and has some of the best backstory asides I've ever heard.  I was completely engrossed with her tales of her wacky family back home in Louisiana.

I also loved the relationships she forged at her new school in London, especially those with her new roommate Jazza, and the sweet love interest Jerome, and then later with Boo, Alistair and a bunch of other characters that are awesome, but I don't want to mention because I don't want to spoil anything.

Seriously, read this book.  It's awesome.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cleopatra's Moon - Vicky Alvear Shecter

"The Luxe" meets the ancient world in the extraordinary story of Cleopatra's daughter.
Selene has grown up in a palace on the Nile with her parents, Cleopatra & Mark Antony—the most brilliant, powerful rulers on earth. But the jealous Roman Emperor Octavianus wants Egypt for himself, & when war finally comes, Selene faces the loss of all she's ever loved. Forced to build a new life in Octavianus's household in Rome, she finds herself torn between two young men and two possible destinies—until she reaches out to claim her own.
This stunning novel brings to life the personalities & passions of one of the greatest dramas in history, & offers a wonderful new heroine in Selene.

Years ago I took a course on Ancient History. This is the part that they missed.

The course I took on ancient Rome of course mentioned Cleopatra and her involvement and influences in history, but I don't recall anything said about her as a mother.

Frankly, I had no idea that she was a mother.

Cleopatra's Moon is a fictualized account of the life of Cleopatra's daughter, Cleopatra Selene, and it spans from her childhood at the beginning of the fall of Cleopatra's reign, through the years that followed, as she and her brothers are moved to Rome and "cared for" by the emperor Augustus' family.

Selene goes from being the only daughter of the most powerful woman in the world to a prisoner in a land that has painted her mother as an evil seductress.

It was a real treat to get to see through the eyes of a lesser-known character in history. The author has made this story so detailed that I found myself just falling into the world, being absorbed into the history of it.

This was such a great read. It was engaging and detailed and the author has managed to create a character out of a historical figure that was strong yet sympathetic, and I loved watching Selene interact with her family, her captors, and her friends. All of the relationships were so dynamic and different that I couldn't put it down.

I loved this one. Such a great read. I can't wait to see more from this author.

5/5 stars. Highly recommended for history geeks.


Waiting on Wednesday - Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

Described by Richelle Mead as “utterly captivating,” Unearthly received outstanding reviews, garnered accolades from New York Times bestselling authors, and was named an Indie Next Pick. In this heart-wrenching sequel, Cynthia Hand expertly captures the all-consuming joy of first love—and the agony of loss. This beautifully woven tale will appeal to fans of Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Aprilynne Pike.

I adored Unearthly, the first book in this series, and I don't know about you, but I cannot wait to get my hands on book two.  I need more Tucker in my life STAT.

What are you waiting on this week?  Let me know in the comments.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Guest Post - Vicky Alvear Shecter

I have a treat for you today, my lovelies.  Vicky Alvear Shecter, author of the fabulous YA historical novel Cleopatra's Moon was kind enough to stop by the blog for a guest post.  Here's what she had to say:

Thank you, Geekgirl, for hosting me on your blog. I figure if there is any place where I can fly my “history geek girl” flag, it’s here, right?

I’m a total geek about ancient Egypt and the ancient world. To give you an idea of my level of geekdom, when the Tut exhibit came to Atlanta, I got seriously choked up as I stood before artifacts I had only ever read about. (I think the security guard was worried for me.)

Anyway, non-history geeks will sometimes ask me what I find so fascinating about the ancient world. I blubber on about the breathtaking artwork, the mysterious rites, the almost magical sense of “otherness.” But it’s more than that. I’m also moved by the connection through time and space of one human being to another.

So when I started my novel, Cleopatra’s Moon, my focus was not on the “otherness” of ancient Egypt, but the experience every girl must face at one time or another—separating from mom and carving our her own identity—no matter the era.

Of course, the fact that Selene’s mother just happened to be the last queen of Egypt added another layer of fascination for me.  I’ve written non-fiction before, but there was something almost magical for me about writing fiction. I allowed myself to sink into the “experiences” of being in ancient Egypt and ancient Rome—reveling in the smells, sounds, tastes, sights and sensations of these beautiful and brutal worlds.

My hope is that readers will lose themselves in these other worlds and, at the same time, find their secret inner experiences mirrored as well.

Cleopatra's Moon is out in stores now, and it's an amazing, engrossing read.  My review will be up tomorrow, and I urge you to pick it up.

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic in training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws threaten to launch what’s left of humanity into civil war, and she’s not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will discover that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

Dan Wells, acclaimed author of I Am Not a Serial Killer, takes readers on a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question—one where our humanity is both our greatest liability and our only hope for survival.

I know this one isn't out for awhile, but it sounds sooo good.

I'm excited.

Are you?

What are you waiting on this week?


Sunday, September 4, 2011

In My Mailbox (September 4th)

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

Another great week for my mailbox!  So happy!

Here's what I got this week...

Ah, dystopian, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways...1...2...3!

Thanks so much to Penguin Canada and Scholastic Canada for these books!  I'm thrilled and I can't wait to start reading them.

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


Friday, September 2, 2011

Lockdown Giveaway Winner!


Sniffly Kitty!


You have 48 hours to email me your U.S. / Canadian mailing address at, or else I'll have to pick a new winner.

Thanks to everyone for playing!

Happy Reading!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cover Watch - The Springsweet!

The Vespertine's sequel just got a cover!

Look at it!  Look at the pretty!

So pretty!  And a lot lighter in both shade and form than the first book.  What do you all think about that?

My photo
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!