Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WoW: The Unbound

RELEASE: JAN 28, 2014 

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she's struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn't easy -- not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she's really safe. 

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She's sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she'll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin

Victoria is another local author, who is super sweet and super talented. Her writing is beautiful, and her adult novel (Vicious) nearly topped my best of 2013 book list. The Archived delivers on it's fascinating premise, and I am eager to read more about Mackenzie's adventures! 

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, January 14, 2014

Review: Cress

RELEASE: FEB. 4, 2014

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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.

Cress got me out of my reading slump.

It's a huge hunk of a book, but I devoured those pages--one after another, until I reached the end and my heart was so full of love for Cinder and her gang.

The Lunar Chronicles is a four-book series that mainly follows a young cyborg named Cinder--as in Cinderella, the fairytale. In this futuristic society, cyborgs are seen as less than human. When a disease begins to spread across New Beijing, cyborgs are used to experiment on. Scientists are scrambling to come up with a cure, but the solution rests in the hands of a very deceptive and cruel dictator of Luna. Luna is very difference from earth, though. It is a moon empire, where its citizens have mind-influcing powers (referred to as "glamor"). The following books introduce us to characters that are inspired by three other fairytales. Scarlet follows the story of Little Red Riding Hood, and Cress follows the story of  Rapuzel. Winter, the final book, will introduce us to a character inspired by the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

For most of her life, Cress has been locked up in a satellite orbiting earth. She's a lunar without glamor--what they call a "shell"--so she becomes useful by gaining intelligence on Earthen people. And then her life changes when she makes contact with Cinder and her gang. What follows is an exciting adventure through the African Deserts. In this installment, Cinder attempts to find answers that a certain doctor can answer.

I honestly loved every moment of this book.

What makes the Lunar Chronicles stand out, though, is how Marissa Meyer manages to PERFECTLY weave the stories of six main character into a much larger one: the conflict between Earthen and Lunar people. I also love how she manages to weave aspects of the original fairytale into these books. By no means are these books perfect representation of the fairytales that inspired them, but the influence is clear.

I would also like to give a special shout-out to my favorite Lunar Chronicles character: Captain Throne. He is not perfect, by any means, but he makes me smile and I am so happy that he's more prominent in this book. Iko is, still, just as fun and amusing. And Cinder just as fantastically determined to overthrow Levana. I admire the growth in Cinder, as she comes to terms with who she is. As for the main girl, Cress: she is naive and optimistic, but without being so nauseatingly childish. She's just a young girl who lacks real-life experience. Throne and Cress just compliment each other SO WELL. I do wish there was more of Scarlet and Wolf in this installment, but I am still completely and utterly satisfied.

Marissa Meyer's books are, to put it simply, fun and addictive. Cress has been my favorite installment, and reading it has made me that much more desperate for Winter. I am so nervous and excited to see how things go down in the final book. I am also very excited to read about Winter. From what Marissa says, she's a bit…unstable. She's a lunar, the step daughter of the Lunar Queen, but she doesn't use her glamor. And that makes her go a bit crazy. It should be interesting...

To make my review more succinct, read the Lunar Chronicles. If you've already read Cinder and Scarlet, read Cress. Marissa Meyer is an utter genius for writing this series, and I will gladly read ANY book she writes. Thank you, MacMillian, for providing me a copy for review. And thank you Marissa for pulling me out of my reading slump with this book.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

WoW: Into the Still Blue

RELEASE: JAN 28, 2014 

The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi's "masterpiece" Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Times bestsellingThrough the Ever Night (

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

This series is awesome! If you haven't read the first book (Under the Never Sky)--READ IT. Now I am super pumped to read the finalie.

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.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

About Unread Books (and Excuses)

I have a confession to make: I haven't read HALF of the books I own.

I know a number of bloggers who receive TONS of books (some unsolicited). So it's understandable why their TBR pile is sky high. It's a good problem, and I know that I am not the only one.

My issue has to do with the fact that I keep BUYING books, when I have so many on my shelf to read. Why do I do this? Why can't I just finish the books I already have? It's a question many non-readers ask. But you guys--my fellow readers and bloggers--understand me, right?

No, it's not a waste of money to buy books. I would never think that. I love taking a new book home and finding a place for it on my shelf. I love opening up a new book, eager to go on a new, unexpected adventure.

What I don't love is feeling overwhelmed by all the books I want to read, knowing I don't have the time to read them ALL. I keep telling myself that I will read all the book, but it's a pretty little lie. I know that, every year, there will be more books that I want to read and add to my TBR pile. It's a cycle that never ends.

I know that others will say "What about e-books?" and "What about libraries?". The problem is that there's something different about actually owning a book and seeing it on my shelf.

So here are some of the excuses I tell myself, when I decide to buy a new book:

- I've already read this book and I HAVE TO HAVE IT ON MY SHELF. I loved this book so much!
- It's the second (or third) book in a series, and I have to complete the series.
- The cover--IT'S SO PRETTY (they say "never just a book by it's cover, but that's SO not true).
- I'll read this book……….eventually.
- There's a book signing for this author, and I HAVE to get a signed book. 

What about you? How do you "excuse" yourself when buying yet ANOTHER book? Do you have a rule for yourself (i.e. buying 1 book for every 2/3 books you read)?

For as long as there are books, though, I will keep buying them. I might have to "clean" out my shelf and donate books I don't think I'll re-read again, but for now, I'll just keep accumulating books. And read them when I can.