3.30.2012

Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne


Title: Harbinger
Author: Sara Wilson Etienne
Pages: 309
Release: February 2nd, 2012

Synopsis:(from Goodreads)Plagued by waking visions and nightmares, inexplicably drawn to the bones of dead animals, Faye thinks she's going crazy. Fast. Her parents beleive Holbrook Academy might just be the solution. Dr. Mordoch tells her it's the only answer. But Faye knows that something's not quite right about Dr. Mordoch and her creepy, prisonlike school for disturbed teenagers.
What's wrong with Holbrook goes beyond the Takers, sadistic guards who threaten the student body with Tasers and pepper spray; or Nurse, who doles out pills at bedtime and doses of solitary confinement when kids step out of line; or Rita, the strange girl who delivers ominous messages to Faye that never seem to make any sense. What's wrong with Holbrook begins and ends with Faye's red hands; she and her newfound friends--her Holbrook "family"--wake up every morning with their hands stained the terrible brown of dried blood. Faye has no idea what it means but fears she may be the cause.
Because despite the strangeness of Holbrook and the island on which it sits, Faye feels oddly connected to the place; she feels especially linked to the handsome Kel, who helps her unravel the mystery. There's just one problem: Faye's certain Kel's trying to kill her--and maybe the rest of the world, too.
A rich and tautly told psychological thriller, Harbinger heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice in young adult fiction.

My Thoughts:
I won this book from a giveaway and I remember that when I got it in the mail, I was so excited! Not just for the story, but for some superficial reasons too. First off, the cover has a different texture than most hardcover jackets and it made the book look unique and feel nice! Secondly, the author included this nice pamphlet from Holbrook Academy and that really got me psyched about entering into this world she created and lastly, it was the first book I had ever gotten signed! I was so excited that I wanted to dance(which is a little ironic if you’ve read the book).

So, you know from all that, that my expectations were high. Were they fulfilled? Mostly. You see Harbinger is unlike any book I have ever read before in that it is paranormal, but in a completely untouched way. It’s kind of dystopian, but that’s not the central idea in the plot. A lot of it has to do with prophecy and tarot cards. I have never read a book before that comes even close to this. It was so intricately woven and had such detail that occasionally it was even a little too much for me and I felt lost. I also found the characters to be fascinating and while I did not relate to them very much, I was always eager to unravel more of the mystery in this book.

I would say that in the long run, it was a very interesting read and I am glad I read it because it truly was a very unique book, but even after finishing it, I feel kind of confused and like I might need to read the last 100 pages over again. So, I would say if it’s something that interests you, then give it a shot. It’s definitely a quality standalone novel.

In Short:
Rating: 4/5
Purchase or Check Out?: Check Out
Would I read it again?: Maybe


3.28.2012

Waiting on Wednesday #6

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Revived - by Cat Patrick
Release Date: May 8th, 2012

As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life. 
A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger — and more sinister — than she ever imagined.



I am fascinated! A girl that can cheat death and is constantly starting her life over. Sounds like a recipe for a great action-packed book! I can’t wait!
What are you waiting on?

3.27.2012

Top Ten Tuesday #4

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme started by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I’d Play Hooky With:

This is exactly the kind of book I would play hooky for! I have been excited for The Selection for months now and it is even in talks for a TV show now? It’s just too amazing! I can’t wait!













I feel about the exact same way about The Peculiars as I do The Selection, but oddly enough I only ever saw mention of this book on one other blog. I’ve never read a review about it and besides the synopsis I don’t know much. I guess the mystery draws me in perhaps.













Libba Bray is one of my favorite authors of all time, so obviously, like with any of my other favorite authors, I pine away for her new books. You add 20’s flappers and some supernatural into that mix and I am practically on the edge of my seat before even picking it up. 














This book has so much hype around it that I don’t know how anyone couldn’t already have a day set aside to go MIA to read this. Unfortunately for me, although I totally would skip everything to read this, I probably won’t be able to as it comes out the week before my final exams. 













When I think of this book, I am always reminded of The Host by Stephenie Meyer, which I read in one sitting and if I remember right, I skipped some afterschool activity in high school to finish it. I would totally do the same for this book! It doesn’t come out until September and I am already ready to have it!













I read The Goddess Test in one day last fall. I skipped all my classes and a couple meals to read it because of how much I loved it. I realize that this book is already out and I probably should have already taken a skip day to read it but I just haven’t gotten there yet. I WILL THOUGH, and when I do I probably won’t go to class or eat once again.












4. Wither
Let me tell you all, I am so close to reading Wither it’s not even funny. Everywhere I look, people say “Read Wither, it’s great!” So I finally am going to read it and I feel like when I do, I will have one of those ‘D’oh!’ moments where I realize I was stupid for waiting so long and then I forget I have obligations to the outside world so I stay inside and read all day.












This is pretty much the same situation as Wither. I need to read it, I know I need to read it, but for some ungodly reason, I just haven’t done it. I know I will love it and I know I will read it in one sitting and possibly forget about everything else, but I am being slow. 














I’ve said it before, I will say it a thousand times: Cassandra Clare is my absolute favorite author. I have an alert on my phone reminding me when her new books come out and when they do come out, I skip class and go straight to the store, purchase it, and go back to my room and read it until I am finished. I do NOT take breaks, I do NOT talk to other people, and I do NOT care what’s happening in the outside world. For when a new Cassie Clare book is in my hands, I am a shadowhunter for a day. 










The best way to describe my feelings about this book is to click that link I posted and scroll through the several .GIFs that were posted by the other zillion fans who lost their mind when it was announced that J.K. Rowling was writing a new book. I’m pretty sure she could be writing about the life of a dust bunny and I would still read it. I will most definitely be skipping whatever obligations I have in order to read this once it’s released. I’d honestly probably skip class just to find out the title of this anticipated book!

What books would you play hooky with?

3.25.2012

In My Mailbox #7


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Kristi from The Story Siren as a way to share the books you received over the past week whether for review, purchase, or borrow.

Purchased:

Unearthly - by Cynthia Hand
Entwined - by Heather Dixon

They were both .99 eBooks on my nook! I couldn’t resist, especially since I have heard several great things about Unearthly! 

What’s in your mailbox?

3.22.2012

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter


Title: The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Pages: 293
Release: April 19th, 2011

Synopsis:(from Goodreads)It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

My Thoughts:
We’ve all experienced that moment when you finish a book and you feel so awestruck that you don’t even know what you could possibly read next that would top it, right? Well, that was my reaction upon finishing The Goddess Test.

When you think of the traditional story of Hades and Persephone, you think of a cruel God kidnapping a woman and forcing her to stay in the underworld. I always think of him as heartless and evil. Well, in this book that is simply not the case. In fact, all bets are off with Gods and Goddesses; just throw out all of the stereotypes you have spent years learning about through mythology. It’s such a creative and fun book to read and I was surprised at every turn throughout the entire thing!

I will admit that at the end I got a little emotional. I won’t give anything away and if you have any sort of control over your emotions when reading, you probably won’t have the same reaction that I did, but just in case…be prepared! It’s such a great book with likeable characters, some interesting twists on traditional mythology, and the ever sexy Henry who is close to the top of my sexy YA men list!

In Short:
Rating: 5/5
Purchase or Check Out?: Purchase
Would I read it again?: Yes


3.21.2012

Waiting on Wednesday #5

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Release Date: April 24th, 2012

Everything is in ruins. A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them. So what does Araby Worth have to live for? Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all. But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does. And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

This book sounds so so good! It’s based from something written by Edgar Allan Poe and in high school I really enjoyed reading his poetry so this should be a cool twist. Plus, this plot line just sounds so delicious...it’s like a historical dystopian. I have heard so many great reviews on this book already, so now I am just waiting for it’s release!
What are you waiting on?

3.19.2012

Tempest by Julie Cross


Title: Tempest
Author: Julie Cross
Pages: 334
Release: January 17th, 2012

Synopsis:(from Goodreads)The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

My Thoughts:
Tempest is a book that I had been admiring on people’s blogs for a while now and even before picking it up there were a couple things that excited me about it. First, it is in a male POV; how often as readers do we get a YA book in a male POV? I can answer that for you, not often enough! Second, it’s a time travel book and I very seldom read any books of this topic, but give my admiration to the authors who can because I think time travel can be a really confusing topic if not done right.

One of the things about Tempest that I enjoyed was the way the story unfolded. You don’t go into the story knowing much about Jackson but through his travels through time you learn so many things about his life and then as you continue reading, those things become sort of twisted around. It makes for the book to be continuously interesting and it didn’t have very many slow places or dull moments.

I found Tempest to be a very enjoyable read. I loved the characters and even found myself a little envious of Holly and Jackson’s relationship at times. I felt connected to the story and was brought along on a crazy rollercoaster of emotions while reading this. It’s a fun book that is worth your time but not unforgettable.

In Short:
Rating: 4/5
Purchase or Check Out?: Purchase
Would I read it again?: Maybe


3.18.2012

In My Mailbox #6

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Kristi from The Story Siren as a way to share the books you received over the past week whether for review, purchase, or borrow.


Won:
Harbinger - by Sara Wilson Etienne (Thanks to Sara and Hafsah!)

Purchased:
The Goddess Hunt - by Aimee Carter

So, it’s kind of a short one this week, but it looks like I might have a lot of schoolwork coming up in the next week too, so maybe having less reading material will help me focus on writing papers! 
What’s in your mailbox?

3.16.2012

TGIF #5

TGIF! is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger from GReads! where you can recap the weeks posts and respond to a question.

Do you use Twitter or Facebook to promote your blog? How has it benefited your book blogging experience? If not, how do you promote your blog? Share your twitter handle and/or Facebook link!

I have both Twitter and Facebook to promote my blog. Twitter has been much more beneficial to my blogging experience simply because it’s much more interactive than Facebook pages are. I also have several followers on Twitter where as I only have one lonely friend on my facebook page. But, on the opposite side of that statement, I generally update my twitter daily and only update my facebook page when I post a review. I simply find Twitter easier to use and more people connect that way.

Social Networking:
Twitter: @lbandlovely

This Week’s Posts at Leather Bound and Lovely:

So sorry it’s been kind of a dry week here! I’ve had lots going on in school and it’s kept me preoccupied. Things should begin to look more normal come this time next week.

What social networking tools do you use? Feel free to leave me your TGIF links.

3.14.2012

Waiting on Wednesday #4

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
Release Date: September 4th, 2012

Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.

I’ve never read a mermaid book before and generally when I read a synopsis for one I feel uninterested in the plot. This one looks fantastic though! I love the added element of mystery and am eager to discover more about this Ezra character! Oh, and it’s always a plus when you’ve heard great reviews like I have with this book.

What are you waiting on?

3.13.2012

Teaser Tuesday #2

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!


1. “The first thing I noticed...after waking up in a pile of snow and hitting the start button on the stopwatch... was the Twin Towers, standing tall in the distance. Like some giant up in the sky had just set them right back in place. I suppressed a shudder at the sight of them and stood up.”


2. “All the money in the world couldn’t buy a perfect snowfall on Christmas Eve. Adam would probably call me careless later, but I had to see this again. Relive it.”


Page 108 of Tempest by Julie Cross
















That first teaser really struck me hard. When I first read it, I got cold chills! 
I’d really like to read your Teasers so leave me your links in the comments and I will check it out!
P.S. I am LOVING Tempest so far! 

3.12.2012

Crossed by Ally Condie

**ATTENTION: THIS REVIEW IS OF A SEQUEL AND MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FROM PRIOR BOOKS! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!**

Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
Pages: 367
Release: November 1st, 2011

Synopsis:(from Goodreads)In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.
My Thoughts:
Crossed is a really great addition to the Matched trilogy, but while it may be important to the series, it leaves you wishing you would’ve had more. The story is completely about a journey and please don’t get me wrong, it’s a great journey, it really is! However, I would have loved to have more of a solid destination point to the novel.

Let me try to explain better: Crossed is about Cassia trying to find Ky and vice versa. I was under the impression that when she found him, the story might stabilize a little, but there was just more traveling and more moving through the whole thing. It lacked a lot of action and was sort of anti-climactic. It kind of reminds me of the game, The Oregon Trail because the whole game is about surviving the journey and that’s pretty much it. Just keep traveling and stay alive and that is very much how Crossed is.

Also we, as fans of the Matched trilogy are even jipped on our obligatory mushy reunion scene with Ky and Cassia. Simply put, it doesn’t really happen. So, is it a good book? Yes, but as a fan you might feel disappointed. Is it worth reading? Yes, but only if you really liked Matched. I think this book was an okay read and I don’t regret it. I do believe that Reached(the next in the series) will be much more exciting from how Crossed ends, so I am looking forward to that.

In Short:
Rating: 3/5
Purchase or Check Out?: Purchase (just to have it to complete your series)
Would I read it again?: No


3.11.2012

In My Mailbox #5

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Kristi from The Story Siren as a way to share the books you received over the past week whether for review, purchase, or borrow.

Won:
Emily’s House - by Natalie Wright (Thanks to Natalie and Amanda)


Purchased:
Article 5 - by Kristen Simmons
Tempest - by Julie Cross
Soul Screamers - by Rachel Vincent

I was so excited about this week’s books I had a hard time deciding where to even start! What did you get in your mailbox this week? 


3.09.2012

TGIF! #4

TGIF! is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger from GReads! where you can recap the weeks posts and respond to a question.

Promote An Author: Is there a particular author you wish got more recognition? Pick one author & tell us why we should read their work.


Cassandra Clare!
I feel like she is a fairly popular YA author, but she is my favorite and if you haven’t read her books (The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices) then you should stop reading this post right now and go do it!

Not only is she a fabulous author, but she is also really great to her fans. She is always making time to answer questions, release teasers, and she even looks at and reposts fan art!


Cassandra Clare on the Internet:


This Week’s Posts at Leather Bound and Lovely:

Who is an author that you admire? Feel free to share your links in the comments!

3.08.2012

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins


Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Pages: 323
Release: March 2nd, 2010

Synopsis:(from Goodreads) Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

My Thoughts:
I love boarding school stories! I don’t know why but I got really excited when I realized that this book was a boarding school series about WITCHES! So, after putting off reading it (for reasons unknown), I finally read it and I absolutely loved it.

Hex Hall is a very nice read for many reasons but, I found it most refreshing because of how quickly it read, without lacking quality, and how likeable I found all of the characters, even the antagonistic ones. It was a nice break from what I have been reading lately. It was just so easy to love!

I will say that you should be cautious getting attached to characters in this book, because I was surprised more than once by a character’s true nature! With that being said, READ IT if you haven’t. It’s such a fabulous book and I am looking forward to buying the next in the series.

In Short:
Rating: 5/5
Purchase or Check Out? Purchase! (although I borrowed)
Would I read it again?: Yes


3.07.2012

Waiting on Wednesday #3



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Release Date: May 8th, 2012

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered. 
Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf. 
Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control. 
Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk. 
Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.

Usually, I am not very interested in werewolf novels but I really love the synopsis for this one! An added bonus is that the cover is beautiful!

What are you waiting on?