“Waiting On” Wednesday: Frozen

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature that is hosted by Breaking the Spine  and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  This week my pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

51kalsGU2AL__SY300_Frozen By Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Synopsis:
Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like
much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But
some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour
hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors,
never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.
At the
heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way
out. Like many, she’s heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They
say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise.
More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her
darkest secret comes to light.
But passage to the Blue is treacherous,
if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries
led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit
await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to
each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this
fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.
You can purchase Frozen here:
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Pushing the Limits Book Review

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Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Series: Pushing the Limits

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Published: July 31, 2013

Pages: 416

Synopsis:

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

My Thoughts:

This book was intense, and I loved every second of it. There were several very serious issues addressed in this book such as foster care, abuse, mental illness, and death. The author handled all of these tough subjects really well, and I appreciated how she was able to present and discuss them in a very appropriate and emotional way.  There was never a dull moment, the plot and the characters just kept getting more complex and interesting. Even the characters that I was supposed to hate, I loved. They were all so fun to read and no matter what they did I wanted to keep reading and know more about them. The relationships of the characters were all also written really well, complex, and they all grew and changed at some point.

The relationship between Echo and Noah was especially absolutely amazing. I really loved how the author switched back and forth between Noah and Echo’s point of view. By doing that I got to see how they both truly felt about each other and why they did the things that they did to one another. Usually we only get to see one side of a relationship in books, so it was really nice and refreshing to be able to see both sides. Their relationship was just so great and felt real. It was never simple, and grew a lot instead of them just falling in love and it being perfect. They had ups and downs and the feelings were raw and again so real. The romance was also raw, steamy, and intense. I could not get enough of them together and was so sad when the book ended because I wanted to keep reading about their relationship.

In the majority of YA books the parents are either nonexistent and ignored the whole book, or are unrealistically unaware. So, I really loved that the parents were such a huge part of this book. They were important to the story, and so added to the very realistic nature of the book as a whole. Echo’s mother’s mental illness, her father’s second marriage, Noah’s horrible foster life, Echo’s trauma are not uncommon thing in real life and the way that the author dealt with them is something that I think is really important in YA novels. There are so many teens going through and so I really appreciate and love a book more when they talk about those types of things, because it gives those teens characters to relate to and connect with.

Overall, I really loved this book. It was real, romantic, tough to read at times, and had a of real and intense events taking place. I highly recommend it and can not wait to read the rest of the series.  This is a great contemporary read that discusses real and important issues, but also has a great story and an amazing romance.

Rating: 5 Stars / 5 Stars

You can purchase Pushing the Limits here:

http://amzn.to/130jHWh

Top Ten Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the link to go to their site to see the original list for today and check out other blog’s Top Ten Tuesdays.

This Weeks Theme: Top Ten Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List

There a ton of books being released this summer that I am super excited for. In this list I will include only books that are being released or have already been released in June, July, and August that I am most excited for. Tell me what books you guys are excited about reading this summer, and let me know what you think of my choices!

9780373210718_p0_v2_s260x420 Ink by Amanda Sun

Release Date: June 25, 2013

Synopsis:

Ink is in their blood.

On the heels of a family tragedy, Katie Greene must move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

When Katie meets aloof but gorgeous Tomohiro, the star of the school’s kendo team, she is intrigued by him…and a little scared. His tough attitude seems meant to keep her at a distance, and when they’re near each other, strange things happen. Pens explode. Ink drips from nowhere. And unless Katie is seeing things, drawings come to life.

Somehow Tomo is connected to the kami, powerful ancient beings who once ruled Japan—and as         feelings develop between Katie and Tomo, things begin to spiral out of control. The wrong people are starting to ask questions, and if they discover the truth, no one will be safe.

9780062235657_p0_v2_s260x420 The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

 Release Date: July 2, 2013

 Synopsis:

 Money can’t buy a good first impression.

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers learned early that the rich are not to be trusted. And after years of studying them from behind the cash register of her mom’s porcelain-doll shop, she has seen nothing to prove otherwise. Enter Xander Spence—he’s tall, handsome, and oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and the fact that he seems to be one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But just when Xander’s loyalty and attentiveness are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. With so many obstacles standing in their way, can she close the distance between them?

9781442457324_p0_v3_s260x420 OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

Release Date: July 23, 2013

Synopsis:

When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he’s her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.

But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can’t stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic…and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a lot about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she’s obsessed.

Bea tells herself she’s got it all under control. But this isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion. The truth is, she’s breaking down…and she might end up breaking her own heart.

9780545334815_p0_v1_s260x420 The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford

Release Date: July 30, 2013

Synopsis:

A new breathtaking novel from Natalie Standiford about love and trust during the Cold War.

Laura Reid goes to Leningrad for a semester abroad as Cold War paranoia is peaking in 1982. She meets a young Russian artist named Alexei and soon, with Alexei as her guide, Laura immerses herself in the real Russia–a crazy world of wild parties, black-market books and music, and smuggled letters to dissidents. She must keep the relationship secret; associating with Americans is dangerous for Alexei, and if caught, Laura could be sent home and Alexei put under surveillance or worse. At the same time, she’s been warned that Soviets often latch onto Americans in hopes of marrying them and thus escaping to the United States. But she knows Alexei loves her. Right?

As June approaches–when Laura must return to the United States–Alexei asks Laura to marry him. She’s only nineteen and doesn’t think she’s ready to settle down. But what if Alexei is the love of her life? How can she leave him behind? If she has a chance to change his life, to rescue him from misery, shouldn’t she take it?

9781595146656_p0_v2_s260x420SYLO by D. J. MacHale

Release Date: July 2, 2013

Synopsis:

THEY CAME FROM THE SKY
parachuting out of military helicopters to invade Tucker Pierce’s idyllic hometown on Pemberwick Island, Maine.

They call themselves SYLO and they are a secret branch of the U.S. Navy. SYLO’s commander, Captain Granger, informs Pemberwick residents that the island has been hit by a lethal virus and must be quarantined. Now Pemberwick is cut off from the outside world.

Tucker believes there’s more to SYLO’s story. He was on the sidelines when the high school running back dropped dead with no warning. He saw the bizarre midnight explosion over the ocean, and the mysterious singing aircraft that travel like shadows through the night sky. He tasted the Ruby—and experienced the powers it gave him—for himself.

What all this means, SYLO isn’t saying. Only Tucker holds the clues that can solve this deadly mystery.

LOOK TO THE SKY
because Pemberwick is only the first stop.

9780316090568_p0_v2_s260x420The Rivals by Daisy Whitney

Release Date: July 2, 2013

Synopsis:

When Alex Patrick was assaulted by another student last year, her elite boarding school wouldn’t do anything about it. This year Alex is head of the Mockingbirds, a secret society of students who police and protect the student body. While she desperately wants to live up to the legacy that’s been given to her, she’s now dealing with a case unlike any the Mockingbirds have seen before.

It isn’t rape. It isn’t bullying. It isn’t hate speech. A far-reaching prescription drug ring has sprung up, and students are using the drugs to cheat. But how do you try a case with no obvious victim? Especially when the facts don’t add up, and each new clue drives a wedge between Alex and the people she loves most: her friends, her boyfriend, and her fellow Mockingbirds.

As Alex unravels the layers of deceit within the school, the administration, and even the student body the Mockingbirds protect, her struggle to navigate the murky waters of vigilante justice may reveal more about herself than she ever expected.

9780525953685_p0_v1_s260x420Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Release Date: June 4, 2013

Synopsis:

The first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series has all the elements that have made her bestselling Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

9780545284127_p0_v4_s260x420Awaken by Meg Cabot
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Synopsis:

Death has her in his clutches. She doesn’t want him to let go.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera knew by accepting the love of John Hayden, she’d be forced to live forever in the one place she’s always dreaded most: the Underworld. The sacrifice seemed worth it, though, because it meant she could be with the boy she loves.

But now her happiness — and safety — are threatened, all because the Furies have discovered that John has broken one of their strictest rules: He revived a human soul.

If the balance between life and death isn’t fixed, both the Underworld and Pierce’s home back on earth will be wiped away. But there’s only one way to restore order. Someone has to die.

9780062093028_p0_v1_s260x420 Vortex by S. J. Kincaid

Release Date: July 2, 2013

Synopsis:

S. J. Kincaid has created a fascinating dystopian world for Insignia, her futuristic science-fiction adventure series. Earth is in the middle of WWIII, battling to determine which governments and corporations will control the resources of the solar system.

Teen Tom Raines grew up with nothing, some days without even a roof over his head. Then his exceptional gaming skills earned him a spot in the Intrasolar Forces, the country’s elite military training program, and his life completely changed.

Now in Vortex, the second book in the series, Tom discovers that the Pentagonal Spire, where he and his friends are being trained as superhuman weapons, is filled with corruption. He is asked to betray his friends—the first real friends he’s ever had—for the sake of his country.

Will he sacrifice his new life to do what he believes is right?

9781442451278_p0_v4_s260x420Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

Release Date: July 9, 2013

Synopsis:

Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal.

Unless it isn’t. Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling one day. And you don’t keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you’re supposed to have the other person to lean on.

Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind. And neither of them is prepared for what’s coming on the road ahead…

Dance of the Red Death Book Review

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Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Series: Masque of the Red Death

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Published: June 11, 2013

Pages: 336

Synopsis:

Bethany Griffin continues the journey of Araby Worth in Dance of the Red Death—the sequel to her teen novel Masque of the Red Death.

In Dance of the Red Death, Araby’s world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city.

Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though it could destroy her and everyone she loves…or it could turn her into a hero.

With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death series with a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.

My Thoughts:

Usually when reading series I break the books up and read the series over a period of time. With this series, though, I picked up this book right after reading the first one, and read the novella when I finished this one. I love the world, characters, writing, and story of this series that I just could not get enough of it. The writing is absolutely beautiful and I can not wait for the author to write more books.

The vivid darkness and gloom of the world in this series is phenomenal. I loved reading the horribly depressing world filled with two terrible plagues that is illuminated by an amazing love triangle. Although in the first book the love triangle is not very complex in the first book, in this book it tore my heart and made it so hard for me to decide who Araby should choose. There were many twists and turns in her relationships with the two boys that kept changing my mind and could not choose which one to trust. All of the characters, even the side ones, were written really well and were interesting and added vastly to the story.

In this installment of the series, the characters each grew from the first book and surprised me with some of the things they did. Araby especially surprised me. She was much stronger and took more risks to help the people she loved and herself than in the first book. Every aspect of the book grew more complex and so was really suspenseful and the story took several turns that I was not expecting. There was much more romance, but it was never too much and added to the story instead of taking away from it. I loved the romance, battles in the relationships, and how the loved triangle played out and concluded. I also loved how the main story of the plague concluded. I was not expecting it to turn out the way that it did, and was pleasantly surprised how the author decided to end  and conclude things.

I really loved this conclusion to the series, and highly recommend this book and the series as a whole. The story is very dark for a YA book, and I enjoyed that since it is something that is not very common for YA.

Rating 5 Stars / 5 Stars

You can purchase Dance of the Red Death here:

http://amzn.to/12EhEbr

34 Pieces of You Book Review

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34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Published: September 4, 2012

Pages: 336

Synopsis:

There was something about Ellie…Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance—and kept watch.

Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are thirty-four clues she left behind. Thirty-four strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. Thirty-four secrets of a brief and painful life.

Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they confront the past, they will discover not only the darkest truths about themselves, but also what Ellie herself had been hiding all along….

My Thoughts:

Fans of Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons Why will love this novel. It has a lot of the same elements as that novel and is very dark and haunting as well. I really loved the multiple points of view and how each chapter of the book starts off with one the scraps of paper from Ellie’s box. The book is very dark and I thought that the author handled the tough and delicate subjects really well, which is something that is hard to come by especially in young adult literature.

The characters were my favorite aspect of this book. They were all really well developed and written, complex, and I had strong feelings, both good and bad, towards all of them. I also loved the story and how each of the five characters were connected to each other, and how they affected and felt about one another. The connections they each had were very real and I loved how complex they were.

With that being said, though, I did not like this book as much as I though I was going to. Although the story and characters were amazingly written and interesting  I was kind of bored the whole time. Nothing really happens in this book at all. There is a huge event, Ellie’s death, before the book takes place, and so the whole time all the characters are doing is mourning about it and thinking back to the good and bad times that they had with her. I wish that the book would have taken place before and during that time instead.

Even though I did like the times that they reflected back on her and were mourning, it was just too much and dragged on. Nothing new was taking place, and I struggled through certain parts of the book since I was so bored of just reading flashbacks and characters crying. But, again, with that being said, I still did enjoy reading this book and do recommend it to readers who enjoy darker and depressing books like 13 Reasons Why. I just personally enjoy book where there are a lot of events currently taking place, but did love and appreciate the dark and haunting nature of the book.

Rating 3 Stars / 5 Stars

You can purchase 34 Pieces of You here:

http://amzn.to/1aZXHE4

“Waiting On” Wednesday: Curtsies & Conspiracies

New WoW

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by breakingthespine.blogspot.com, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

51lljJjPJrL._SY300_

Cursies & Conspiracies

By Gail Carriger

Publication Date: Nover 5, 2013

Synopsis:

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.

What upcoming releases are you excited for?

The Registry Book Review

The RegistryThe Registry by Shannon Stoker

Publisher: William Marrow Paperbacks

Published: June 11, 2013

Pages: 336

Synopsis:

Welcome to a safe and secure new world, where beauty is bought and sold, and freedom is the ultimate crime

The Registry saved the country from collapse, but stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained to fight and never question orders.

Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous questions. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom.

All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.

My Thoughts:

This book has one of the more interesting and unique dystopian worlds that I have read, and I really enjoyed the way that the author decided to describe its world. Instead of dragging the book on with explaining everything about the world, at the beginning of each chapter there is an excerpt from the two different sets of rules/expectations for girls and guys. I thought this was very unique in showing the world that the characters live in.

There was never a dull moment in this book, and I was constantly on the edge of my seat. Through the author showing both the stories of the escapee and pursuer, it created so much suspense. It showed just how close the chase was and made it hard to book down since I had no idea if Mia was going to get ahead of Grant in time. I have never read a book that showed both sides of that before, and really enjoyed it.

The romance and love triangle is really unexpected and done well. Most of the time I hate love triangles, but I loved this one and it made me so heartbroken and conflicted the whole time. I wanted Mia to be with one guy, but then would change my mind and want the other because I was so scared that the first one would leave her. I can not wait to read the next book in the series to see how the love triangle affects the rest of Mia’s journey.

I did really love the characters and how complex they were, but did not really feel connected to any of them. All of the characters lives were very fascinating to read about and developed really well. I was heartbroken by some of them and their sacrifices and losses. I loved the story so much, but just wish that I could connect with and feel fully for at least one of the characters. I hope that in the next book I will experience that, and that it will be just as action packed and unique as this one was.

Rating: 4 Stars/ 5 Stars

You can purchase The Registry here:

http://amzn.to/153bUu0