December 30, 2013

Review: Defy by Sara B. Larson

Defy (Defy #1)
Author: Sara B. Larson
Release Date: January 7th, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic
Page Count: 336
Source: ARC provided by publisher on NetGalley
First Reaction: Mmmm NOPE.
A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

December 29, 2013

4th Annual End of the Year Book Survey – 2013 Edition!

This is my very first end of the year survey. Based on all of the questions I just copied and pasted from Jamie's blog (Jamie being the creator of this lovely survey), I'm pretty sure I'm in for it. And to make things a bit harder, I think I'm going to challenge myself: I will do my very best to not answer the questions with the same 5 books. I'm also going to try giving just one answer to each question. Except for the best book question. There will be genres for that. Or approximations of genres.

So. Sit back, relax and read on, because these questions and the challenge I've created for myself are the real deal.

December 28, 2013

Review + ARC Giveaway: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Being Sloane Jacobs
Author: Lauren Morrill
Release Date: January 7th, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books For Young Readers
Page Count: 334
Source: ARC Provided by Paper Lantern Lit
Rating: The most adorable of the adorables, if not a bit unbelievable.
Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn’t sure she’s ready for a comeback. What she does know is that she’d give anything to escape the mass of misery that is her life.

Now meet Sloane Devon Jacobs, a spunky ice hockey player from Philly who’s been suspended from her team for too many aggressive hip checks. Her punishment? Hockey camp, now, when she’s playing the worst she’s ever played. If she messes up? Her life will be over.

When the two Sloanes meet by chance in Montreal and decide to trade places for the summer, each girl thinks she’s the lucky one: no strangers to judge or laugh at Sloane Emily, no scouts expecting Sloane Devon to be a hero. But it didn’t occur to Sloane E. that while avoiding sequins and axels she might meet a hockey hottie—and Sloane D. never expected to run into a familiar (and very good-looking) face from home. It’s not long before the Sloanes discover that convincing people you’re someone else might be more difficult than being yourself.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

December 27, 2013

The Problem with Recommending Books Is...

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.

I have this thing where I'll never recommend one book to everyone. Because, well, everyone I know is super different and I don't think there's one book that'll really do it for everyone. Not even The Book Thief. Proof: I gave it to my dad and he put it down half-way through. He said to me, "Gaby, I know what happens. Everyone dies." He's not totally right, but I guess the man's read enough World War II books to get the gist of it. But what it really boils down to is that he doesn't like books that remind him or real, sad things.

December 26, 2013

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Release Date: February 4th 2014
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Page Count: 560 
Source: ARC borrowed from Jeremy & Jeffrey
Rapunzel's tower is a satellite. She can't let down her hair - or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker – unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

December 19, 2013

Review: Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle

Title: Let it Snow
Author: John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle
Release Date: October 2nd, 2008
Publisher: Speak
Page Count: 352
Source: Borrowed from the New York Public Library
Rating: Walking in a Winter Wonderland
Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

December 18, 2013

World of Books: Christina + Atlanta, Georgia

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 I bring you CHRISTINA from Reader of Fictions. And SHE brings you bookish places in Atlanta, Georgia. Or, rather, she brings you LITTLE SHOP OF STORIES. Get the jeallies ready, folks, you'll need 'em.

December 17, 2013

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013 (42)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
There are so many authors who belong on this list. And a lot of them are authors I'm sure a lot of you read in 2012 for the first time. The story there is that I used to read a lot in high school and kind of stopped in college. None of my friends were big readers and I wanted to hang out, not be the girl on the side alone. So it was only when I started blogging a little over a year ago that I started picking up all the big authors/new, interesting titles. I think I've made a pretty decent dent in the books everyone's lost it over and my bookshelf is carrying the weight of many author names that I'm sure will end up my list next year. But until then here's my (bizarrely all female) list of crazy obvious names that make up my Top Ten (+5) New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2013.

December 16, 2013

Review: Ex-Mas by Kate Brian

Title: Ex-Mas
Author: Kate Brian
Release Date: October 6th, 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Page Count: 224
Source: Borrowed from the New York Public Library
Rating: A snow-tastic book full of road trips and runaways.
Seventeen-year-old Lila Beckwith's parents just left for vacation, and Lila's all set to throw the holiday party of the season. But when her Christmas-obsessed little brother, Cooper, discovers that global warming is melting the North Pole, he and his best friend, Tyler, take off on a runaway mission to save Santa.

Lila has to get Cooper safely home before her parents get back on Christmas Eve. But the only person who can help her is Tyler's older brother, Beau — a.k.a. Lila's musician, anti-everything ex-boyfriend.

It'll take more than a Christmas miracle for Lila and Beau to overcome their differences and find their fugitive brothers. But could a journey destined for disaster help these polar opposites fall in love...all over again?

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

December 14, 2013

Review: If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

Title: If I Lie
Author: Corrine Jackson
Release Date: August 28th, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Page Count: 276
Source: Purchased
First Reaction: I'm just gonna sit here and cry for a little bit, okay?

A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

December 13, 2013

Am I Over TV?

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.

It's been a little while since I sat down to have a little chat with you guys. I got distracted by a #Readathon, my blogoversary and this silly little Library challenge I tried to do (but I only made it through like 4 of the 16, so whatever, we're going to maybe pretend it never happened, okay?)

But just because it's been a while doesn't mean I don't have things to talk about with you people anymore. I DO. I REALLY DO.

So what's going on in my crazy brain this week? 


December 12, 2013

Review: Going Rogue by Robin Benway

Title: Going Rogue (Also Known As #2)
Author: Robin Benway
Release Date: January 14th, 2014
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Page Count: 320
Source: ARC from Publisher
First Reaction: EEEEEEEE *sigh* Perfection.
Being permanently based in a local New York City high school as an undercover operative has its moments, good and bad, for 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver. Pros: More quality time with her former mark-turned-boyfriend Jesse Oliver and insanely cool best friend, Roux. Getting to spend quality time with her semi-retired and international spy honorary uncle, Angelo. Cons: High school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. But when Maggie's parents are falsely accused of stealing priceless gold coins, Maggie uses her safecracking skills to try and clear their names. Too bad it only serves to put her and everyone she loves in danger. Maggie and her "new team" flee to Paris where they must come up with a plan to defeat their former allies.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

December 11, 2013

Review: Winger by Andrew Smith

Title: Winger
Author: Andrew Smith
Release Date: May 14th, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count: 439
Source: Purchased
First Reaction: WHOA. O.O
Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.

With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.

Filled with hand-drawn info-graphics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

December 10, 2013

Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR - AKA The Next Ten Books I Plan to Read (41)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
I am NOTORIOUSLY BAD at sticking to these TBR lists. I actually don't know why I do them anymore. They're mostly just really embarrassing because I get to the end and I see how terribly I've failed. So I think I'm just going to list the next 10 books I think I'll be reading and leave it at that. (Winter technically starts in like two weeks, right? This totally works.) So. Here's my next ten books (not including the one I'm reading right now: GOING ROGUE by Robin Benway).

December 8, 2013

Veronica Mars Watch-Along Week 29

[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:
  • "Poughkeepsie, Tramps and Thieves"
  • "There's Got to Be a Morning After Pill"
And for NEXT WEEK:
  • "Postgame Mortem"
  • "Mars Bars"

Ready for the good stuff? AND GO.

December 7, 2013

Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet (Scarlet #1)
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Release Date: February 14th, 2012
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Page Count: 292
Source: Purchased
First Reaction: Cross dressing, retellings, thieving and all of the other things I abso-freaking-lutely love.
Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

December 6, 2013

Holiday #Readathon Mini Challenge: Holiday Snuggle Buddy

My good friend Liza asked me to host a mini-challenge for her Holiday #Readathon. Now, since I love challenges and readathons and holidays and giving things away to all my lovely followers, I said yes on the spot. But before you enter my mini-challenge, you should probably:

All set? Good.

So. Are you ready for your challenge? Here is it:

“If you could spend the holidays with one favorite book character, which one would it be and what would you do?” 

Personally, I'd love either Levi from FANGIRL or Peeta from THE HUNGER GAMES to come keep me warm this winter ;)

As for the Prize: You'll get your pick of ONE book from The Book Depository with an incredibly swoony boy/girl/kissing in it! So scroll yourself down to the Rafflecopter/comment box and win yourself a book!


~ To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below (which also requires you to leave me a blog comment answering the challenge question).
~ You must be 18 years or older or have a guardian's permission to enter.
~ The winners will be chosen randomly. Once chosen, the winners will be emailed. They will then have 48 HOURS to respond, otherwise another winner will be chosen.
~ The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.
~ I reserve the right to disqualify anyone who tries to cheat the system. I WILL be checking the winning entry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

December 5, 2013

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Title: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Release Date: December 10th, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Page Count: 374
Source: ARC from BEA
First Reaction: I'm pretty sure my jaw is still on the floor from all the twists and turns in this book. This is just the swooniest and least predictable amazing sci-fi book I've read in the longest thing.
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.
Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

December 3, 2013

Review: The Vow by Jessica Martinez

 The Vow
Author: Jessica Martinez
Release Date: October 15th, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Page Count: 432
Source: Purchased
First Reaction: Oh jeeze my poor freaking heart is battered at the end of this one.
No one has ever believed that Mo and Annie are just friends. How can a guy and a girl really be best friends?

Then the summer before senior year, Mo’s father loses his job, and by extension his work visa. Instantly, life for Annie and Mo crumbles. Although Mo has lived in America for most of his life, he’ll be forced to move to Jordan. The prospect of leaving his home is devastating, and returning to a world where he no longer belongs terrifies him.

Desperate to save him, Annie proposes they tell a colossal lie—that they are in love. Mo agrees because marrying Annie is the only way he can stay. Annie just wants to keep her best friend, but what happens when it becomes a choice between saving Mo and her own chance at real love?

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

Top Ten 2014 STANDALONE Releases I'm Dying to Read (40)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
So a couple weeks ago Top Ten Tuesday asked me to make a list of Top Ten "Shut Up and Give it to Me Now" Sequels. Obviously, I did that. (And I thought up 10 really REALLY AMAZING books for that list.) The problem now is that most of the books on that list come out in 2014 and I'd hate to be repetitive. Therefore, if you want to know what 2014 SEQUEL releases I'm freaking out over, please click that link (I'll also have a recap list at the bottom of this post, so you can also scroll down). But for RIGHT NOW I'm gonna do a 2014 STANDALONE Release list.

Also, for the record, these are listed by release date. So.

December 1, 2013

Veronica Mars Watch-Along Week 28

[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:
  • "Spit and Eggs"
  • "Show Me the Monkey"
And for NEXT WEEK:
  • "Poughkeepsie, Tramps and Thieves"
  • "There's Got to Be a Morning After Pill"

Let us begin.