Friday, June 28, 2013

The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks The Spot

Author: Caroline Carlson 
Goodreads Rating: 4.80
Pages: 378
Format: ARC from BEA13
Rating: 8.5/10


Pirates! Magic! Treasure! A gargoyle? Caroline Carlson's hilarious tween novel The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society.
Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors, and she already owns a rather pointy sword.
There's only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.
But Hilary is not the kind of girl to take no for answer. To escape a life of petticoats and politeness at her stuffy finishing school, Hilary sets out in search of her own seaworthy adventure, where she gets swept up in a madcap quest involving a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn't exist, a talking gargoyle, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.
Written with uproarious wit and an inviting storyteller tone, the first book in Caroline Carlson's quirky seafaring series is a piratical tale like no other.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Claimed by the Highlander (Highlander Trilogy #2)

Author: Julianne MacLean
Goodreads Rating: 4.08
Pages: 319
Reviewed By: Amy

From bestselling storyteller Julianne MacLean comes the passionate saga of three Highland warriors sworn to fight for freedom, honor—and the women they love...

Night of Conquest

With his tawny mane, battle-hewn brawn, and ferocious roar, Angus "The Lion" MacDonald is the most fearsome warrior Lady Gwendolen has ever seen—and she is his most glorious conquest. Captured in a surprise attack on her father's castle, Gwendolen is now forced to share her bed with the man who defeated her clan. But, in spite of Angus's overpowering charms, she refuses to surrender her innocence without a fight.

Prisoner of Passion

With her stunning beauty, bold defiance, and brazen smile, Gwendolen is the most infuriating woman Angus has ever known—and the most intoxicating. Forcing her to become his bride will unite their two clans. But conquering Gwendolen's heart will take all his skills as a lover. Night after night, his touch sets her on fire. Kiss after kiss, his hunger fuels her passion. But, as Gwendolen's body betrays her growing love for Angus, a secret enemy plots to betray them both.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Posession

Author: Elana Johnson
Goodreads Rating: 3.60
Pages: 405
Format: Finished Copy from ARCycle
DNF: Page 150


Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even thinkabout kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.
But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.
This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Parasite (Parasitology #1)


Author: Mira Grant
Goodreads Rating: 4.10
Pages: 512
Format: ARC from BEA

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives...and will do anything to get them.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Darkest Path

Author: Jeff Hirsch
Goodreads Rating: 3.25
Pages: 336
Format: ARC from BEA13


USA TODAY bestselling author Jeff Hirsch once again creates a futuristic world with stunning, dramatic realism.
A civil war rages between the Glorious Path--a militant religion based on the teachings of a former US soldier--and what's left of the US government. Fifteen-year-old Callum Roe and his younger brother, James, were captured and forced to convert six years ago. Cal has been working in the Path's dog kennels, and is very close to becoming one of the Path's deadliest secret agents. Then Cal befriends a stray dog named Bear and kills a commander who wants to train him to be a vicious attack dog. This sends Cal and Bear on the run, and sets in motion a series of incredible events that will test Cal's loyalties and end in a fierce battle that the fate of the entire country rests on.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

BEA Fabulous: Brianna

Feet sore, back aching, and 100 plus books richer I have emerged after three days of BEA 2013 a different person. I feel illuminated, experienced and as if I have conquered the Everest of all conventions (this is probably a lie, the Everest of all conventions might be San Diego Comic Con which I have not yet been to).  Before, I was without the knowledge of the inside of book blogging and book reviewing. I observed from afar, knowing that I would always seriously want to get in on it. Now, I speak the language of BEA. Galleys, Drops, ARCs, BEAbrain, BEAfabulous, all became part of my daily vocabulary. In just a day, I became a pro. In two days, an expert. By day three, I had everything down. Or so I thought.

So after the longest intro ever, I can tell you a little about BEA. First of all, I was grossly unprepared. If it weren’t for the lovely Nicole, I would have gotten there only an hour or half hour before opened with no place online and no schedule. BEA is overwhelming enough but to a newbie, it is downright terrifying. Imagine being that five-year-old kid in a candy shop again with so many choices. Now imagine that there are hundreds of other five year olds all trying to grab the candy. And it’s free so you’re all extra grabby. I felt like that at BEA. For that reason, a plan is a must. Without it, you’ll drown in books and tote bags.

A few things I noticed as a first time BEA go-er.

1. As Nicole advised, suitcases are key. A medium sized one will do. This will be a lifesaver. Post I recently made on twitter: My Suitcase and I: A BEA 2013 Love Story. But seriously.

2. Talk to people while you’re waiting on line. This might be a bit obvious but you never know whom you will meet. I met my BEATP (the combination of BEA plus OTP if anyone is at all curious) on line.  Waiting on line is a pain but you have a great opportunity to share info and take a breather. A lot of BEA is running around. The lines may actually help you.

3. Business cards are awesome. When on line or at a booth, you may feel compelled to give out your contact info. It’s really convenient to have something handy to give out. 

4. Bring a phone charger or a portable back up charger. There are a few charging stations around that are really useful and if you were like me, tweeting and calling people all day to find out where they were, and then you’ll spend your battery quickly.

5. SCHEDULE. Do not realize fifteen minutes before BEA opens that you have no idea what you want to do. If you don’t have a preliminary schedule, you will be eaten alive by other bloggers and BEA-goers. You need to have a rough outline of the books you want, the booths you’re desperate to hit, and any signings you need tickets for. If you don’t have this, there’s a slight possibility you will go insane.

6. Grab the tote bags. All the tote bags. T
he bigger, the better. Since you will be storing your suitcases, you’ll need something to carry the books with until you can make a dump.

7. At the end of the day, you really should sort your books out. Make a few piles: the books you must have, the books you are interested in, and the books you might never read. Publishers spend a lot of time and money putting together galleys. They are there for you to take but remember that the purpose of this all is for you to read the book, review the book and fuel the buzz. So if you were not sure about a book, I would put it aside. Especially since you might not have room to take it home. Prioritize. I love free books but to be honest, there were a lot that I had to give away or return because I was sure I wouldn’t have time to get to it. That being said I still came home with about a 112 books and that’s an estimate because the books are currently scattered over my living room. Definitely put thought into where you are going to store the books. People joke about cleaning their bookshelves before BEA but it’s an actual serious concern.

8. Have fun! Duh, dude. Obvious, right? There was a point where I had to take some Tylenol because I was getting a migraine. There should be no migraines in BEA. No point.

Some books I’m uber excited about (Can’t you tell I’m a list person?):

1.     Bone Season by Samantha Shannon- I remember reading an article about this book a few months ago and being both extremely jealous of Samantha Shannon and intrigued by the book synopsis. I hope it lives up to the hype.
2.     Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- For some weird reason I thought I had to read Eleanor and Park before I could read Fangirl. When I found out this wasn’t true, I about cried I was so happy. I cannot wait to read this book. As I told Rainbow Rowell in my brief meeting at the tumblr Ya lit party, I feel like this book is perfect for us girls who call ourselves fangirls. Finally a book that addresses it without mocking it. Thank you, Rainbow.
3.     Tandem by Anna Jarzab- You’ll find at BEA, if you’re as unprepared as I was, that you come across books that you didn’t know existed and as soon as you find out about them you MUST Have them. This was the case with Tandem.
4.     The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen- This is the one book I didn’t get. I was at the Neil Gaiman talk and found that I couldn’t be in two places at once, such a shame. But I will definitely be buying this soon.

There were so many more I was excited for but I really just want to read them and then flail about them in my reviews. Because all the books look so good. I definitely judge a book by it’s cover and I really couldn’t find a book that didn’t look amazing. From the adult books I picked up all the way to some middle-grade, everything was so well put together. I’m extremely impressed.


Other BEA highlights:

1.     I SAW NEIL GAIMAN SPEAK. Besides the books and the friends I met and made, this was worth every BEA penny. He is articulate and funny in a way I hope one day to be just a tiny bit like. I Make Good Art and Fortunately the Milk. It was perfect.
cannot wait to read his new book. After the talk I was given a signed copy of
2.     GRUMPY CAT!
3.     Chelsea Handler was there and I sort of saw her. It was cool.
4.     THIS:

BEA is a must for bibliophiles. Seriously. Just do it. Either on whatever special day they designate to power readers or all three days. It’s worth it. I woke up at 5:30 each day and commuted into the suitcase back and forth with at least fifty pounds of books. And I would do it again and again. Although, thank God it was only three days. My body started to ache in places I didn’t know existed because of the carrying and hauling I did. I cannot wait for next year.


Stay tuned for my BEA book reviews!





Monday, June 17, 2013

Parallel


Author: Lauren Miller
Goodreads Rating: 4.03
Pages: 432
Format: E-ARC from Edelweiss from the Publisher


Abby Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She'd go to Northwestern, major in journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice—taking a drama class her senior year of high school—changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, miles from where she wants to be, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she's in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. Overnight, it's as if her past has been rewritten.
With the help of Caitlin, her science-savvy BFF, Abby discovers that this new reality is the result of a cosmic collision of parallel universes that has Abby living an alternate version of her life. And not only that: Abby's life changes every time her parallel self makes a new choice. Meanwhile, her parallel is living out Abby's senior year of high school and falling for someone Abby's never even met.
As she struggles to navigate her ever-shifting existence, forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn't choose, Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might just be her soul mate, and the destiny that's finally within reach.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Sound of Letting Go Cover Reveal


So today I have a super special treat for you guys. Today I am participating in a cover reveal for upcoming 2014 Penguin title: The Sound of Letting Go by Stacia Ward Kehoe. I don't often do cover reveals. In fact, this is my very first cover reveal and I am so glad that I picked this title because this cover is so beautiful and it sounds amazing, so before we get to the pretty cover part of this program, check out the synopses:

For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave.

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?


So are you ready to check out the cover?!?!?! Yeah?
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But First, a word from our sponsors:

Stacia is available on : Twitter! -- Facebook! -- Goodreads! -- Blog!
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Isn't it beautiful?! I can't wait to get my hands on it! But you have a chance to get your hands on a copy yourself! Check out the Rafflecopter below!




a Rafflecopter giveaway



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Last Original Wife

Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
Goodreads Rating: 3.72
Pages: 368
Format: Finished Copy provided for a blog tour for TLC Tours

Leslie Anne Greene Carter is the last original wife among her husband's group of cronies. They've all traded in their first wives-the middle-aged women they long ago promised to love and cherish 'til death did them part-for riper peaches: younger . . . blonder . . . more enhanced models.
Leslie is proud of her status and the longevity of her marriage. Sure the spark isn't quite as bright and sometimes takes a little longer to flame. And it wouldn't be too much to ask if her husband paid just an itty bit more attention to her desires. But there's something to be said for a comfortable and deeply familiar relationship. Or at least she thinks until the day, out golfing with her husband and his friends, she slips into a manhole. And nobody realizes that she's gone.
That one misstep opens Leslie's eyes to the sham her perfect life has become. No longer will she be invisible. No longer will she accept being taken for granted. With the healing powers of South Carolina's lush white beaches, candy-colored sunsets, and fiesty and funny residents, Leslie is going to transform herself and reclaim the strong, vibrant, sexy woman she was meant to be.
The Last Original Wife is classic Dorothea Benton Frank: an intoxicating tale of friendship and love that is as refreshing as a soothing breeze across a golden lowcountry marsh and as invigorating as a dip in cool, salty waters on a sizzling South Carolina summer day.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Possession Series Scavenger Hunt!

 photo Elanas-Button1_zpscc8012ab.gif


Today we're here to celebrate the completion of the Possession series by Elana Johnson! ABANDON came out on June 4, and I hope you've been participating in the series scavenger hunt! Today I'm bringing you one of the stops!

Once you know what city in the Association we're visiting today, GO HERE to fill out the form to enter to win today's prize (a series swag package), as well as an overall scavenger hunt prize: signed paperbacks of the entire series, as well as digital copies of the two short stories (REGRET and RESIST) that round out the Possession series + a $50 Amazon gift card.

“Emotion pumps through every scene of this thriller. Given all the urgency and action, the novel’s ending may surprise readers as the heroic adventure turns into a tragic love story.” –School Library Journal

“The end is satisfying in a full-circle way and is set up for a third novel in this world. Some recent dystopian novels with a similar them are the Matched series by Ally Condie and the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver.” –VOYA

“A thrilling, fan-pleasing sequel.” –The Deseret News

Available now!



The fight for independent thought becomes a matter of life or death in this sizzling and intense conclusion to the Possession trilogy.








Your clue for the scavenger hunt today: This city is in the Midwest Region.

And go Supernatural Snark to read a guest post by Elana and discover which city in the Association we're visiting! Then be sure to ENTER TO WIN the grand prize signed paperback giveaway + Amazon gift card.

To enter the daily swag package giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway


If you get lost, you can always go to Elana's blog to find your place. Happy hunting!




Thursday, June 6, 2013

Big Warm Welcome.

Introductions posts are always weird. It’s a little similar the beginning of a book. How should you start it? A clich√© is to introduce yourself with your name. Hi! My name is… but that’s a bit boring. Of course, there’s no other way around it, is there? I have to tell you my name at some point, otherwise, what is the purpose of the post? So, please excuse my major clich√© moment.



Hello! My name is Brianna. I’m a senior at Sarah Lawrence. I’ll be working with the lovely Nicole and Amy on the blog. I couldn’t be more excited. I absolutely love book reviews and think they are a great way for readers to test out a book before they actually start it. Book reviewing is a total art and I think a favorable review can really bolster the book to stardom, especially if the review is by the right person. Look at The Hunger Games trilogy. The books exploded after Stephenie Meyer gave her endorsement and then also when Stephen King recommended it. So, book reviewing, recommending and blogging are something I am very excited to be a part of. Especially since one day, I hope to receive many great reviews.


A quick little history of moi: In addition to being an avid reader and aspiring YA novelist, I am a Senior Associate Editor at a literary magazine called First Inkling. I’m one of the submissions managers, which means that I read a lot. However, a lot of what I read are mostly short stories and poems written by undergrad and grad college students. I love it and the magazine has definitely helped widen my reader palate. I went from reading primarily YA fiction-and mostly paranormal-to reading literary fiction, memoir, non-fiction. I realized that as an editor I needed to become well read and as a young woman right out of high school only reading things that resembled the Hunger Games or Harry Potter really wasn’t going to help me. I’m so glad that I became less picky, although I am still just a bit. I suppose the only way to really get over that is to keep reading.


I’ll try to bring a variety of books to the blog. Currently I am in the middle of The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers, an excellent literary fiction novel about two young soldiers serving in Iraq at the beginning of the war. After that I’ll try to move onto some YA books because I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. I haven’t read Divergent yet! Gasp!

I’m a big fan of dystopian stories, but who isn’t currently? I’ve always enjoyed the paranormal romance a la Meg Cabot as well. However, writers like Gayle Forman and Lauren Oliver have done an excellent job in creating this sub genre of real life/magical realism novels such as If I Stay and Before I Fall that I find really fascinating. I also love discovering new writers, no matter the genre. A lot of my job at First Inkling is discovering the great writers before they’ve been published and still in school. So I’m very interested in reading first novels or books by writers who haven’t hit that buzz yet. That being said, I’m pretty much down for reading anything as long as the story interests me. I’m willing to get over my picky.

As far as introductions go, I think that’s about it. I really want to thank Nicole for allowing me to co-blog with her. To commemorate the start of the blog, I went to BEA for the first time. I met some pretty amazing people. I can't wait to tell you about it. I gathered books to review for Paperback Princess but I also worked with the Young Adult Review Network. I live tweeted them updates from the expo and shared my amazement and excitement. I'll tell you more about it in my next post! Until then, happy reading!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Pilgrims of Rayne (Pendragon #8)


Author: D.J. MacHale
Goodreads Rating: 4.15
Pages: 560
Reviewed By: Amy
When Bobby Pendragon first arrives on the tropical world of Ibara, he finds paradise. There is beauty all around and the people of Ibara are blissfully happy. It's not long before Bobby discovers, however, that they are also blissfully...oblivious.

The leaders of Ibara are keeping a devastating secret from their people, one that gives Saint Dane all the opportunity he needs to launch his final assault on Halla.

While Bobby struggles to learn the truth in time to thwart Saint Dane, Courtney Chetwynde desperately searches for Mark Diamond. On the heels of a shocking tragedy, Mark has disappeared. Worse, he seems to be under Saint Dane's influence. It's up to Courtney to find Mark and stop him from making a grave mistake that could change the future of all existence.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Beautiful Child

Author: Torey Hayden
Goodreads Rating: 4.16
Pages: 385
Reviewed by: Amy


In the tradition of David Pelzer's A Child Called 'It' comes the unsettling story of a mute, almost catatonic seven-year-old and the special education teacher who tries to save her from the silence and abuse of her world.

Hayden has chronicled experiences from her long career as a special education teacher in several books, including One Child and The Tiger's Child. Successes in this difficult and often frustrating field can be few and hard won, a fact which Hayden deftly illustrates while simultaneously offering hope and joy in small victories. This time she brings to life the story of a scruffy seven-year-old, Venus, who is so unresponsive that Hayden searches for signs of deafness, brain damage or mental retardation. The author is relentless in her attempt to diagnose the cause of Venus's 'almost catatonic' state, which is punctuated by occasional violent outbursts. In this first-person narrative, Hayden also shares her own thoughts, worries and reflections on the strained relationship with a mismatched classroom aide, creating a rich tapestry of the dynamics of a group of special needs youngsters and the adults who try to help them.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Her Highness The Traitor

Author: Susan Higginbotham
Goodreads Rating: 3.81
Pages: 323
Format: Finished Copy from Publisher at BEA12
As Henry VIII draws his last breath, two very different women, Jane Dudley, Viscountess Lisle, and Frances Grey, Marchioness of Dorset, face the prospect of a boy king, Edward VI.
For Jane Dudley, basking in the affection of her large family, the coming of a new king means another step upward for her ambitious, able husband, John. For Frances Grey, increasingly alienated from her husband and her brilliant but arrogant daughter Lady Jane, it means that she—and the Lady Jane—are one step closer to the throne of England.
Then the young king falls deathly ill. Determined to keep England under Protestant rule, he concocts an audacious scheme that subverts his own father’s will. Suddenly, Jane Dudley and Frances Grey are reluctantly bound together in a common cause—one that will test their loyalties, their strength, and their faith, and that will change their lives beyond measure.


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