November 30, 2013

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: June 4th, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Page Count: 432 
Source: Purchased
Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

November 29, 2013

It's Been One Whole Year.

I thought about writing a Thanksgiving post yesterday but then I was like, "No, Gaby, don't be silly, save your life story for your blogoversary, which happens to fall out the day AFTER Thanksgiving." Since I occasionally, listen to myself, I did just that and waited until TODAY to get all personal and whatever.

So. This blog. I really didn't have a plan for this blog. I mean, this time one year ago I was kind of sitting on my bed messing around on blogger thinking it'd take me another hour before I was satisfied and then I could go to bed. But then, of course, I stayed up for another 5 hours tweaking the smallest things. I honestly couldn't make myself stop. It was like, I could fix it, so I would until I literally couldn't keep my eyes open anymore.

But, honestly, how I reached the decision to blog is much less important than what it's done for me. Before I made my blog, I thought I was happy. I had one more round of finals before I graduated and then I'd be free of college and some of the people there who really made my life difficult. I had a trip to London planned. Things seemed really good. And then I launched my blog and it's like a switch flipped or something. I honestly felt better. Freer. More honest about who I am and what I love.

Oh, and that was just the instant gratification. The rest came when my friends who I knew from school or wherever else started coming up to me and being like, "You like YA? I like YA! I just never tell people that!" And that's when I started getting sad I was leaving because it turned out there were all these people there who I could have been having all these conversations with but none of us asked the right questions. (Which is another lesson in itself, of course.)

So then I was sad about leaving but I was happy also, because my blog opened so many hidden doors for me. London, BEA, that little trip to Amsterdam, my job and so many more things would have been crazy lame or might never have even happened without so many people are now probably reading these words - people I never would have met if not for Twitter and this here little blog with the funny title I'm not even sure I like most days but am too lazy to change.

What I'm trying to say, I think, is that I'm really thankful for that night one year ago when I sat down and decided I was going to do this. I'm thankful that started asking myself more of those right questions - the "What's going to make me happy?" question instead of just telling myself, "Once this unhappy thing is over you'll figure it out." (Which clearly allowed me to put off the big decisions.) And I'm thankful that this book blogging community was just here and willing to welcome me into it. I mean, nothing's better than instantly having something in common with someone else, am I right?

So. Now that I've taken up taken up all of your time with this post about the people I like and other general, emotional things about me, I'd like to take a second and Thank YOU. Maybe you're one of those bloggers I adore and talk to daily/weekly/monthly. Maybe you're an author I admire. Maybe you're a friend of mine from before blogging - one of those real life friends who reads this, whether I know it or not (because apparently some of you subscribe but don't tell me - YOU SHOULD TELL ME SO I CAN LOVE YOU PROPERLY). Or maybe you're a stranger who I might still get to know. But, whoever you are, you're part of the reason I do this and part of the reason I'm that much happier than I was just over a year ago.

So, the takeaway here is, you should know I think you're the bees knees even if we never, ever speak. I could never be more grateful if I tried.

November 28, 2013

Review: Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance

Title: Spies and Prejudice
Author: Talia Vance
Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Page Count: 304
Source: Borrowed from the New York Public Library
First Reaction: No. Just, no. I can't even believe I finished this one, even though I skimmed the end.
Fields’ Rule #1: Don’t fall for the enemy.

Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.

So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death.

But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?

With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

November 26, 2013

Top Ten Things I Am Thankful For (39)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Oh jeeze. Am I really supposed to pick only TEN things I'm thankful for? Oh well. Let's get cracking.

November 24, 2013

Veronica Mars Watch-Along Week 27

[Graphic designed by the lovely Judith of Paper Riot]
So, how does this work, super sleuths? Go check out the Watch-Along kick off post for the skinny. I'll give you a second just in case...

All caught up? Good.

In case you already know the basics and just forgot what episodes are up today, here's the list:
  • “Of Vice and Men"
  • “Lord of the Pi's"
And for NEXT WEEK:
  • "Spit and Eggs"
  • "Show Me the Monkey"

Shall we get things started?

November 23, 2013

Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1)
Author: Aimee Carter
Release Date: November 26th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Page Count: 346
Source: ARC from Harlequin Teen
First Reaction: WHAT?! Whoa. Slow down there, crazy.

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. 

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

November 22, 2013

Read All of the Library Books Challenge (Part II)

Fact: I don't like coffee. I just like saying Coffee Clutch in my best and deepest New York accent. Considering I'm a New Yorker, I'm pretty freaking good at it. So I've got my tea and I hope you have your heated beverage of choice, because it's time to gab the day away.

Okay. So. Two weeks ago I decided November would be "Read All of the Library Books" month. My progress? Unimpressive. I'm not surprised with myself. I wish I could be, but I'm not. 

November 19, 2013

Top Ten Books For My Friend Abbey (38)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Maybe 4 months ago my friend Abbey text me to ask what books she should take out of the library. She watches a lot of TV and doesn't read too much, but when she does, she looks for good, fun, YA awesomeness. Now, since she knows about my blog and what I like to do for fun (because we're actually good friends), she chose me for recommendations. However, the trip was kind of a bust - it was a last minute deal and her library didn't have many of the books I suggested on hand. So she got something for her weekend away and then insisted that I write up a list of ten or so books I thought she'd like.

However, since I'm the worst, I never got around to it. But then I saw this list and I was like OH YES I WILL WRITE THIS LIST FOR ABBEY! So Abbey, my dear, here are your recommendations. Only a couple months late.

PS: If you're kind of nerdy, love cartoon/Disney/little kid things, are endlessly entertained by the internet/youtube/tumblr, watch a lot of TV, and are an all-around awesome, fun person, this list could work for you, as well. 

PPS: I will be writing this as if I'm talking to Abbey. DEAL WITH IT.

November 18, 2013

Review: Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School #1)
Author: Gail Carriger
Release Date: November 5th, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 320
Source: ARC from BEA
First Reaction: The usual proper, steampunk-y cuteness but lacking the patented Gail Carriger punch I've come to crave.
Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?

Sophronia's first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won't Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship's boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a school trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot--one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

In this sequel to bestselling author Gail Carriger's YA debut Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail's distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

November 17, 2013

Veronica Mars Watch-Along Week 26

[Graphic designed by the lovely Judith of Paper Riot]
Hi! It’s Judith again, taking over the Veronica Mars watch-along for the second time. Why? Well, it’s Gaby’s birthday weekend! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOVE! (Have you wished G a happy birthday yet? If not: what are you even waiting for?) Anyway, this means Gaby is crazy busy doing all kinds of stuff that doesn’t involve a computer or Logan Echolls (poor girl), so she left me in charge of keyboard slamming about Logan and Veronica. I like doing that, in case you didn’t already know.

So, what’s up this week?
  • “President Evil”
  • “Hi, Infidelity”
Next week, we’ll be watching:
  • “Of Vice and Men"
  • “Lord of the Pi's"

So let's get started!

November 15, 2013

So. Many. Series. (Part II)

Fact: I don't like coffee. I just like saying Coffee Clutch in my best and deepest New York accent. Considering I'm a New Yorker, I'm pretty freaking good at it. So I've got my tea and I hope you have your heated beverage of choice, because it's time to gab the day away.

Are you guys ready for Part II of my So. Many. Series. post? In case you need a refresher, HERE is Part I. You can read about all of the series I've started, finished, am up to date on or have given up on in Part I. It's got a lot of titles on it, but not as many on this list you're about to read (or, more likely, skim). This list is all the books I own the first book of the series of (either in ARC form or finished copies form. This doesn't include my library books. Just the ones I've bought because I was like: "Oh hey, this shizz sounds baller" but then I never got around to reading.

So. Are you ready?

November 13, 2013

Review: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Crash Into You (Pushing the Limites #3)
Author: Katie McGarry
Release Date: November 26th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Page Count: 474
Source: ARC from Harlequin Teen
First Reaction: I seem to have misplaced my heart... oh, there it is, broken on the floor. Thanks for that, book. 
From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane 

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind. 

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look. 

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

World of Books: Christina + D.C. Metro Area

Everyone has their neighborhood bookstore or their local library they call home. Maybe both even. I know I do - in TWO different cities. World of Books if a bi-weekly feature that allows me - and any of YOU - to share the bookstores and libraries you love so much. If you want to be featured on World of Books too, make sure to go HERE and fill out the contact form!

Today on WORLD OF BOOKS, Christina is going to tell you all about the D.C. Metro Area bookish places. ENJOY ALL OF THE PRETTY PICTURES!

November 12, 2013

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2)
Author: Katie McGarry
Release Date: May 28th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Page Count: 456
Source: ARC from Alexa
First Reaction: You'll cry, angst, love and cry some more over this one. Ryan and Beth are just brilliant.
Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again...

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does...

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

November 10, 2013

Veronica Mars Watch-Along Week 25

[Graphic designed by the lovely Judith of Paper Riot]
So, how does this work, super sleuths? Go check out the Watch-Along kick off post for the skinny. I'll give you a second just in case...

All caught up? Good.

In case you already know the basics and just forgot what episodes are up today, here's the list:
  • "Witchita Linebacker"
  • "Charlie Don't Surf"
And for NEXT WEEK:
  • "President Evil"
  • "Hi, Infidelity"

Now onto the good stuff. 

November 9, 2013

Review: Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell

Title: Goodbye, Rebel Blue
Author: Shelley Coriell
Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books
Page Count: 320
Source: eARC from Netgalley
Rating: A great bucket list story with a fantastic life lesson attached.

Rebecca Blue is a rebel with an attitude whose life is changed by a chance encounter with a soon-to-be dead girl. Rebel (as she’s known) decides to complete the dead girl’s bucket list to prove that choice, not chance, controls her fate. In doing so, she unexpectedly opens her mind and heart to a world she once dismissed—a world of friendships, family, and faith. With a shaken sense of self, she must reevaluate her loner philosophy—particularly when she falls for Nate, the golden boy do-gooder who never looks out for himself. 

Perfect for fans of Jay Asher’s blockbuster hit Thirteen Reasons Why, Coriell’s second novel features her sharp, engaging voice along with realistic drama and unforgettable characters.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

November 8, 2013

So. Many. Series. (Part I)

Fact: I don't like coffee. I just like saying Coffee Clutch in my best and deepest New York accent. Considering I'm a New Yorker, I'm pretty freaking good at it. So I've got my tea and I hope you have your heated beverage of choice, because it's time to gab the day away.

This post (and it's Part II, which I'll be posting next Friday) is happening for a couple of reasons. 

1. Mel over at The Daily Prophecy wrote this post about all of her series. 
2. Which got me thinking about all of the series I've started and which I've dropped, which I have the next/last book but haven't read them yet, which I've completed, and which don't even have all of the books out yet.
3. So then I was sitting on the subway with my friend Jennifer (Novel Thoughts and ARCycling) and we started listing all the series we could think of that we've either started, dropped, have books on our shelves for, or are waiting on the next installment of.
4. Then we made it to my stop, I got off and I was still thinking about it. 
5. So even though it's mega late and this is not a good project for me to start, I'm going to make four categories and list all the series I can. 
6. Because I know you all care. 

November 5, 2013

Top Ten "Shut Up and Give it to Me Now" Sequels (37)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Top Ten "Shut Up and Give it to Me Now" Sequels.

You like that, don't you? Well that's how I feel about each of these books. So why don't I shut up and tell you all about which books I want to get my sticky little hands on as soon as possible.

I mean, have you read the first two books in this series? Have you? If so, you should understand why I want the world to shut up and give me the third book in the series already. 

Another third book in the series I'd like the world to shut up and give to me already, for the love of everything in the world that anyone cares about.

All right. I'm not gonna lie. I haven't read DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT yet, but DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is so fantastic and amazing that, even though I've hear book 2 in the series is very different from book 1, I'm pretty sure I just need everyone to shut up and give me this book already.

I also haven't read LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR yet. But still. Shut up and give me this book immediately. IMMEDIATELY.

Look, I could tell you why I want this book right this second, or you could shut up and give it to me. I think the latter option'll make everyone happier in the long run.

I loved the first two books in this series and absolutely loved them. What's really stressful is that Teri Terry's books are published in the UK and those on the other side of the pond will get this book much sooner than I will. So, maybe someone should shut up and give this book to me a little early, please?

Lots of series are ending soon, aren't they? Well, shut up and give me all of the series ender books now. (PLEASE AND THANK YOU.)

Okay. This is when I'm the worst. I've already read CRESS (YAY Advanced Reader Copies and Macmillan!) and I loved it so much that now I need everyone to shut up and give WINTER to me right now. (I'm not even going to be polite about it this time - that's how good this series is.)

More of me being the worst. I've already read CRASH INTO ME and I love it very much. Katie McGarry's stories are so heartbreakingly swoony that I really just the world to shut up and give me and endless supply of them for me to read. 

Remember when Maggie Stiefvater up and told everyone that she's publishing a companion book to the SHIVER trilogy about Isabel and Cole? My excitement here knows no bounds, so please shut ME up by giving this one to me ASAP.

Do you guys like my picks? Maybe there are a couple I missed but you think I'd like. If there are, be sure to let me know about 'em in the comments below.

November 3, 2013

Veronica Mars Watch-Along Week 24

[Graphic designed by the lovely Judith of Paper Riot]
So, how does this work, super sleuths? Go check out the Watch-Along kick off post for the skinny. I'll give you a second just in case...

All caught up? Good.

In case you already know the basics and just forgot what episodes are up today, here's the list:
[AKA the first two episodes of SEASON 3!]
  • "Welcome Wagon"
  • "My Big Fat Greek Rush Week"
And for NEXT WEEK:
  • "Witchita Linebacker"
  • "Charlie Don't Surf"

Now, since I liked the way Gillian recapped the end of season 2, I'm going to mash up how I do it and how she does it and do something different for season 3. Fun, yeah?

November 1, 2013

Read All of the Library Books Challenge

Fact: I don't like coffee. I just like saying Coffee Clutch in my best and deepest New York accent. Considering I'm a New Yorker, I'm pretty freaking good at it. So I've got my tea and I hope you have your heated beverage of choice, because it's time to gab the day away.

IF ONLY WE Blog Tour: Interview with Jessica Sankiewicz

Today I get to interview Jessica Sankiewicz. She's a book blogger (like me!), an author, and a really cool gal. I know this because when I sent her all my questions, she answered them in record time. So sit back and read on. And once you're done with all the reading, be sure to enter the GIVEAWAY below. Oh, and also buy Jessica's book!