Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (7)


Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

YAY! Another Vlog. 



Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander-SIGNED (thanks, Cassie!)
Moonshifted by Cassie Alexander-SIGNED ARC (thanks, Cassie!)
The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon Frater-SIGNED
Prodigy by Marie Lu (thank you Penguin!)
Through to You by Emily Hainsworth (thank you HarperCollins!)
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
White Cat by Holly Black
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

What did you all get to stack your shelves? Link me up.


Friday, June 29, 2012

Review and Giveaway: Nighspell


Nightspell by Leah Cypess 
Release (paperback): May 29, 2012


Here be ghosts, the maps said, and that was all. 

In this haunted kingdom, ghosts linger—not just in the deepest forests or the darkest caverns, but alongside the living, as part of a twisted palace court that revels all night and sleeps through the daylight hours.
 Darri’s sister was trapped in this place of fear and shadows as a child. And now Darri has a chance to save her sister... if she agrees to a betrothal with the prince of the dead. 

But nothing is simple in this eerie kingdom—not her sister, who has changed beyond recognition; not her plan, which will be thrown off track almost at once; and not the undead prince, who seems more alive than anyone else.
 

In a court seething with the desire for vengeance, Darri holds the key to the balance between life and death. Can her warrior heart withstand the most wrenching choice of all?


Nightspell got a number of mixed reviews, so I was a bit nervous when I got a copy form Leah Cypess for her paperback promotion. What if I didn’t like it? What if I, in fact, hated it? This fear forced me to push reading it off, in favor of other books until I couldn’t avoid it any longer

What Darri finds, though, is a rather withdrawn and not-so-innocent sister who has secrets of her own...

And fortunately, I enjoyed Nightspell!

Nightspell is the companion to Cypess' first book, Mistwood. You don't have to read Mistwood to understand and enjoy Nightspell. I didn't have to. Both books, however, take place in a very unique and interesting setting: Ghostland.

Yeah, my eyebrow raised at the name, too. A more unique name could have been thought up, but oh well...it is what it is.

Anyway, this world is, as you might guess, full of ghosts. But not just any ghosts. They are ghosts of people who have been murdered who can only be relieved by avenging their death. These ghosts can also take on very life-like forms (if they choose) making it hard to distinguish between the two. And now the delicate balance is strained.

Nightspell stars off with a bang. Darri, a Princess from a foreign country, has decided to travel and take the place of her younger sister, Callie (who resides in Ghostland as the promised bride to the Ghostland Prince, once she is old enough). Darri simply cannot imagine her precious and innocent younger sister in a land filled with the dead.

This book isn't full of action, but there are still many twists and turns that I didn't expect. For those who are interested in court intrigue and mystery, this might be the book for you. But I can't write a review without addressing some of the book's faults...

First, is a lack of connection with Darri. This story alternates between three POVs (Darri, her brother Varis, and her sister, Callie). It's safe to say, though, that Darri is the "star". For some reason, I didn't connect with her, or the love she claimed to have for her little sister. Neither was I convinced of Darri's supposed "barbaric" upbringing, according to Ghostland residents. My biggest gripe, however, lies with the "death" of two particular characters. I didn't mind their death, just their killer's motivation. Even after Cypess explains, I still didn't completely understand the whys and hows.

There is also a noticeable lack of romance. And actually, I'm glad that this differed from typical YA books in that way. Usually, though, a lack of romance ought to be replaced by a strong human bond/connection. The relationship between Darri and Callie was supposed to substitute for the lack of romance, but like I said, it fell short. It lacked depth. I was also somewhat disappointed by ending....

Sure, there are ways that Nighspell could have been more policed and the writing more effective. But I still recommend Nightspell to certain readers who enjoy fantastical world-building and ghosts. 


RATING: 3.5 SLICES 



AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY: Leah Cypess was kind enough to provide a signed hardback copy. Enter below to win, or head to your nearest bookstore for a copy. The paperback version is now out. Sorry, giveaway is open to only US entries. Winner has 48 hours to respond with mailing address. If I get no response, I reserve the right to choose another winner. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WoW: Taken by Erin Bowman

Waiting on Wednesday: Taken by Erin Bowman
Release: April 16, 2012

- - - -
There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends...and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?


- - - -

The cover for this book was released this past week, and I LOVE IT! The colors, the rising K...just, WOW. And if you read the summary, it's refreshing to know that the book is from a guy's POV. That's a rare thing in YA, and I am excited! This looks thrilling, mysterious, and fun. Too bad I'll have to wait until April 16 to get my hands on this lovely book. <333

What are you all waiting on this wednesday?

AND DON'T FORGET TO ENTER MY GIVEAWAY!

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Book bloggers present upcoming books they can’t wait to read and share their enthusiasm about new releases.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

250 Blog Follower Givaway! Clues for Prize Pack One

Okay, first off: thank you to all my followers! To celebrate, I am doing a massive giveaway.

But it won't be "easy".

I have three prize packs, two ARCs each, but YOU have to figure out what's in each pack. How? Once a week, for three weeks, I will provide three clues. Each set of clues correlates to one prize pack, and at the end of three weeks, I will announce the prize packs and the winners. Sound good? Okay, let's get started!

Rules:
1. Must be a blog follower.
2. There will be three winners.
3. Winners live in the US (I will do a international giveaway soon. I promise.)
4. Winners must responded within 48 hours, otherwise, I reserve the right to pick another winner.
5. First winner gets prize pack 1, second winner gets prize pack 2, and third winner gets prize pack 3.
- - - - -
The first clues for prize pack one:
1. Both ARCs are by the same author.
2. Think FIRST the trolls and then the mermaids.
3. Author was previously self published.

If you can guess the two ARCs, you get two extra entries! Come back next week for prize pack two clues for another two entries. 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 25, 2012

Recommendation: This is not a Test

This is not a Test by Courtney Summers 
Release: June 19, 2012

- - - -

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. 

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?


- - - - 

How do I even BEGIN to describe my experience while reading This is Not a Test?

First off, this book is not for the faint of heart. This book is a zombie novel, yes, but the intensity rests on the inner conflict and desperation of a group of teens just trying to survive. Sure, this book has some blood and gore, but it's not the focus. It's not the purpose.

This is Not a Test is a book about Sloane Price. She suffers from abuse and depression. All she wants is to die when the zombie apocalypse begins. In a series of events, though, she ends up with a small group of people from school and they make a fort at Cortege High. What does Sloane have to live for, though? Her sister ran away, her mother's dead, and there's absolutely no hope for her.

And as the story continues, that hope begins to diminish even more. People die, people who didn't deserve to die, who unexpectedly fell prey to zombies or other threats. What I find interesting, however, was that by the end, there was a sliver of hope. The ending was bittersweet--more bitter than sweet--as Sloane begins to realize the worth in living.

This book had me in a wreck. I cried, I gasped, and I found myself so invested in this group of mismatched and flawed teens. There's Cary, the "leader", impulsive Trace, and his sister Grace. There's Harrison, the crier, Rhys, the strong but silent guy, and (of course) Sloane. They are an unlikely group of people, and their interactions alone made this a fascinating read.

What book review would be complete without mentioning Courtney Summer's brilliant writing? I got shivers and I had a strong desire to read her beautiful (and gruesome) prose out loud. It's THAT good. The fragmented and choppy sentences made for a very intimate read that complement the pace of the book.

I will end by saying that I'm not usually a huge fan of zombie novels. I don't mind blood and gore (being a nurse) but I'd rather not read about it. So, take it from a non-zombie lover: this book is MUST READ. This is the first book of Courtney's that I've read and she now has a fan for life.

RATING: 5 SLICES


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (6)

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My first Stacking the Shelves VLOG (and yes I said V-Log. And YA'LL. haha). Either way, I hope it's not a huge train wreck/failure. And for those of you who would rather not watch the video, I've complied a list of the books and bloggers mentioned.



Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (bought)
Wake ARC by Amanda Hocking (won from Nikki Wang of Fiction Freak)
The Raven Boys ARC by Maggie Stiefvater (traded with Kristan of Lost Among the Shelves)
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (traded with Krystal of Live to Read)
The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver (for review via Edelwiess: Thank You Harper Collins!)

Thanks so much for stopping by! Leave a link below so I can see what you got this week! Happy reading. :D

P.S. THANK YOU TO ALL MY FOLLOWERS! I'VE REACHED 250, AND I AM SO SHOCKED! TO CELEBRATE, I WILL POST A GIVEAWAY WITHIN THE NEXT DAY OR TWO. AND IT WILL BE EPIC. I PROMISE. <333

Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund 
Release: June 12, 2012


- - - - -
It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.



But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.Inspired by Jane Austen's persuasion, 

"For Darkness Shows the Stars" is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it

- - - - - -

First, I will say this: you do not have to read Persuasion to read For Darkness Shows the Stars.  In fact, the book might be more enjoyable if you did not read it. But before I get ahead of myself, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book despite a few glaring issues.

For Darkness Shows the Stars is a retelling/futuristic interpretation of Jane Austen's last published book: Persuasion. At the heart of the story is duty to family, duty to heart, and (most importantly) second chances. There are a lot of similarities between Elliot North (of For Darkness Shows the Stars) and Anne Elliot (of Persuasion). Both are admirable characters. They are not unique, they do not "stand out", but they are both exceptionally real. 

Years ago, a genetic experimentation lead to a phase called the "reduction". Those who went through the experimentation process became "reduced"--unable to speak, think, and act properly. They lack normal mental capacity. After the reduction, scientific experimentation was prohibited and it is now seen as an act of defiance against God. These reduced people often produce reduced offspring, but every once in a while, a normal child is conceived. These are considered "Posts". Elliot North, the main character, is neither of these. She comes from a family of Luddites who shunned the scientific experimentation during the reduction, and as a result, found themselves responsible to care for both the Reduced and the Posts. It's a society that very much resembles the slavery/post slavery period with plantains, servants, workers, etc.

This is all an interesting concept, but confusing at first, and that is one of my first complaints. I loved the world, but I felt a little overwhelmed by all the facts and a little confused by the facts that were left out in the beginning. Once I understood, though, I was completely and utterly engrossed. 

Elliot, as I said, is the daughter of a Luddite. When she was younger, she befriended a Post boy named Kai. They were friends, and Elliot fancied herself in love. In a series of events, Kai left and Elliot made the decision to stay for the sake of her family. When Kai comes back into her life, the flurry of memories and emotions make her present situation infinitely more complicated. I'll spare the details and just say I loved Kai and Elliot. I could FEEL Elliot's heartbreak, I could FEEL the chemistry. There are times when I wanted to throw the book because of how Kai treated Elliot and vice versa, but I couldn't stop reading. 

I would also like to compliment Peterfruend's writing. There are moments that made me want to highlight passages because they were that good! And I loved reading the letters between Kai and Elliot when they were younger. It made their past seem that much more real...

Unfortunately, there is one letter that did not measure up to my expectations: the very last letter Kai writes to Elliot. It's written in the present, and it's beautiful in itself. The biggest disappointment comes from he fact that I read Persuasion first. In persuasion, Wentworth writes a letter in which he confesses everything. I will spare the details, but I will say this: the letter in For Darkness Shows the Stars didn't measure up. It's hard to explain why without giving spoilers, but the letter was probably my biggest disappointment of the whole book (hence, my rating). 

I encourage everyone to read this book, though: fan of Persuasion or not. Again, the beginning is a bit rough to get through, but I think the pay out is worth it in the end. 

RATING: 4 SLICES



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WoW: Crewel

WoW: Crewel by Gennifer Albin 
Release: October 16, 2012

- - - - 

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.


- - - - 

Holy COW. This sounds like nothing I've read before. NOTHING. And I cannot wait to read this book. I'm not a huge fan of the cover, but the concept is really intriguing. Weaving time? Spinsters? Count me in! The rave reviews that have been posted so far have made me even more excited. So, what are you all waiting on this Wednesday? I'd like to know!

- - - -
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Book bloggers present upcoming books they can’t wait to read and share their enthusiasm about new releases.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway


This giveaway will highlight the wonderful books coming out during the month of June. There will be ONE winner and that winner can pick any ONE june release. Listed below are just some suggestions. You don't have to pick from them, so long as the book that the winner picks is released during the month of JUNE.


Rules. 
1. Must be 13 years or older.
2. Must live in the US
3. Winner respond to e-mail with address within 48 hours.
(I reserve the right to pick another winner if there is not response after 48 hours)

      



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 18, 2012

Recommendation: Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Release: June 5, 2012


- - - - 
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. 

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. 


Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart

- - - - 

I absolutely loved this book. Go. Buy it now.

Ah, but you're here for a more substantial review. Aren't you? *sigh* Well, excuse my attempt, because about 90% of this will be gushing praise.

Shadow and Bone employs fairly cliched plot devices: an orphaned girl, a dormant power, and a main character that is destined to save her world.  Despite this, Shadow and Bone is incredibly unique and...magical. In fact, I get jealous when thinking about this book and its impressive story--which I will now try to explain (because, honestly, the summary doesn't do the book justice).

Alina is normal. She's an orphan and a (not so very good) apprentice mapmaker. She grew up with her childhood friend (and crush), Mal. When the two of them attempt to travel across "The Shadow Fold" with their regiment, Alina reveals a dormant power that brings hope to the citizens of Ravka. And just like that, the poor orphan girl is whisked away to the capital to be trained as a Grisha: one of the magical elite that practice the "small science".

What I loved most about this book was how Bardugo was able to literarily translate Light vs. Dark to words on a page. It's quite impressive and, as I said, makes me seethe with jealousy. I also really enjoyed the characters. Alina may see herself as a nobody, but she eventually grows to embrace her unique power. Not only that, but she accepts herself as worthy of love and respect.

I also found The Darkling awfully mysterious and fascinating. Did I expect the plot twist in the second half of the book? Yes, a part of me did. But it was really interesting to see how the characters reacted. And Mal. Oh, Mal. He makes very short appearances, but every time, I found myself smiling. He is never far from Alina's heart, making his presence felt with each page I turned.

I could honestly go on and on about how amazing this book was! But seriously? Go and see for yourself!

RATING: 5 SLICES 



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (5)



Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.


Hello everyone! Welcome to my Stacking the Shelves. I've got some exciting books to showcase, so let's get started...

Bought: 
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (signed copy, ordered from books of wonder) + Shadow and Bone Button AND Map of Ravka**
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Won: 
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (via Bloomsbury twitter promotion giveaway)





For Review: (e-ARCS courtesy of NetGalley and Random House--THANK  YOU!) 
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Velveteen by Daniel Marks


That's it! Thanks for stopping by. What did you all get in your mailbox? I'd love to know! 

**Button says "Steel is Earned"

Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: The Goddess Test


The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter 
Release: April 19, 2011

- - - - 

EVERY GIRL WHO HAS TAKEN THE TEST HAS DIED.

NOW IT'S KATE'S TURN. 

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 that 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 suceeds, she'll become Henry's future bride and a goddess.

IF SHE FAILS..



- - - -


I've seen rave reviews about this book, but honestly, I didn't like it.

The book starts off with Kate Winters moving into an unfamiliar city and caring for her very sick mother. I had no issues with this, because I'm pretty close to my mother. I could relate to Kate's desire to stay beside her mother day in and day out.

By the time Kate starts her new school, though, things become incredibly conventional and unrealistic. Kate is no beauty queen, no social butterfly, but she immediately catches Dylan's eye and his ex-girlfriend (Ava) is jealous. This jealousy leads Ava to do something pretty reckless, and Kate eventually makes a deal with a mysterious man to save her life. If this sounds a little weird and crazy, then yes, it is.

Turns out, the mysterious man is Henry (aka Hades). He wants Kate to live in his manor for a few months out of each year. That's his deal for saving Ava's life.

What I don't get is why Kate makes the deal in the first place. And I don't get why Ava suddenly becomes friends with Kate. And don't get me started on the fact that Henry is a virgin! Really? I think that could have been left out and it would have bumped my rating up a half a star. Oh well. I also didn't like how almost every person was connected to a Greek god or goddess. Again, very contrived.

Also, supposedly, Kate isn't grated immortality. Not yet. No, the simple mortal has to go through a series of "tests" to see if she is worthy to be Henry's queen. I won't spoil this book for those who still wish to read it, but I found the tests incredibly disappointing. Not to mention, lame and out of place because these tests are based off the seven virtues and this does not mix with greek mythology.

I'm not against Greek mythology. I find it fascinating. What Aimee Carter seemed to suggest in this book, however, is that these Greek gods and goddesses were "perfect" and that is why they are immortal. If you take a look at Greek mythology, you find that Greek gods and goddesses are just glorified human beings. They all are jealous, power-hungry, selfish, and far from "virtuous".

*rolls eyes*

Honestly, I don't think I will be continuing with this series. I hate writing negative reviews (and I don't write them often) but I really didn't enjoy this as much as I hoped.

RATING: 2 SLICES 



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WoW: Level 2

WoW: Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
Release: January 15, 2013

- - - -

Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next. Along with her fellow prisoners, Felicia passes the endless hours downloading memories and mourning what she’s lost—family, friends, and the boy she loved, Neil.

Then a girl in a neighboring chamber disappears, and nobody but Felicia seems to recall she existed in the first place. Something is obviously very wrong. When Julian—a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life—comes to offer Felicia a way out, she learns the truth: a rebellion is brewing to overthrow the Morati, the guardians of Level 2.

Felicia is reluctant to trust Julian, but then he promises what she wants the most—to be with Neil again—if only she’ll join the rebels. Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself in the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind


- - - - 

This sweet cover was revealed two weeks ago, and BOY OH BOY is it fantastic. I find the girl's pose a bit awkward, but...fascinating at the same time. She looks angry, defiant, and sad at the same time! Anyway, enough about the cover. Did you read the synopsis? And doesn't sound exciting? I'm not a huge fan of angel books, but this doesn't really seem to be so much about angels as it is about life, good vs. evil, etc. And I like that! Can't wait to get my hands on this come January. What are you all waiting on this week? 

- - - -
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Book bloggers present upcoming books they can’t wait to read and share their enthusiasm about new releases.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Recommendation: Anna and the French Kiss


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins 
Release: December 2, 2010


- - - -
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?
- - - -


Anna and the French kiss got a lot of buzz upon its release. And for the longest time, I ignored it.

Why, oh why, did I do this? *sigh* Because, to be perfectly honest, Anna and the French managed to rekindle my love for YA contemporaries. It's that awesome of a book. Is it cliched? Perhaps. But cliches are not always bad if handled by an author like Stephanie Perkins.

In Anna and the French Kiss, Anna is forced to spend her senior year away from her home, her family, and friends. She's sent thousands of miles away to a boarding school in France. Wait a minute. France? I WOULD HAVE DIED TO GO TO FRANCE. e'hem. Anna is far from pleased, however, and wants more than anything to be "home".

Anna's encounter with Meredith, Josh, Rashmi, AND Etienne (*SWOON*) is where the story really begins. Slowly, but surely, Anna falls for the already taken Etienne. And honestly, guys, I WANT to say more but it would take all the fun out of this book. 


Suffice to say, I loved the characters, I loved the romance (Anna and Etienne have such great chemistry), and I loved that Stephanie Perkins chose Paris as the stetting. If you are looking for something light and fun that will warm your heart, do yourself a favor and read Anna and the French Kiss. Or read it again, if you want to. My only gripe is that both Etienne and Anna were sometimes indecisive about their feelings for each other (more Etienne). This could have made the book incredibly predictable, boring, and long-winded, but somehow Perkins managed to weave together a magical story. These faults I find make Anna and Etienne incredibly flawed and real. Which I like. 


*sigh* If only the cover could convey how awesome this book is! I think the cover is pretty...meh. 


RATING: 5 SLICES 



Sunday, June 10, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (4)


Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.


Hey guys. It's been so busy this past week, so that's why there was no review Friday. I was studying for my Nursing Board Exam and interviewing for a job (which I got! YAY!)

But despite my hectic schedule, I managed to procure an impressive book-haul this week. Take a look....

Books I Bought: 

Legend by Marie Lu
Leisl and Po by Lauren Oliver (absolutely GORGEOUS cover!)
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Books Traded: 

Shadow and Bone (ARC) by Leigh Bardugo

Books for Review: e-ARCs from NetGalley and Edelwiess  

Spark by Brigid Kemmerer (Thank you K-Teen)
Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazer (Thank you Flux)
Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale (Thank you Bloomsbury)
Butter by Erin Jade Lange (Thank you Bloomsbury)
What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang (thank you HaperCollins!)
Defiance by CJ Redwine (thank you HarperCollins!)

(I will add pictures or a video either tonight or tomorrow).

What do you all think? I literally jumped up and down for joy when HarperCollins approved me for What's Left of Me and Defiance. Both were featured on my WoW and I have been dying to get my hands on a copy! So yay! What did you all get to stack your shelves? I want to know. :D

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Giveaway: Debut Author


There are a TON of awesome debut authors this year. And I am extremely proud to giveaway a copy of on my favorite debuts: Storm my Brigid Kemmerer. If you haven't read it yet, here's your chance. Check out my review here, and see if it's the for you. Then enter in the giveaway and you could win! Plus, I'll throw in some signed bookmarks for the lucky winner.

Rules:
1. Must be 13 years or older
2. Must be a blog follower
3. Must live in US
4. Winner must respond within 48 hours of e-mail with address (otherwise, I reserve the right to choose another winner). 




a Rafflecopter giveaway