Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (52)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!

This week I'm waiting on two awesome-looking May debuts!

Wrecked by Anna Davies
Publication date: May 1, 2012

Secrets of the sea have never been sexier than this. Ever since the death of her parents, Miranda has lived on Whym Island, taking comfort in the local folklore, which claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and in its surrounding waters. Sometimes it’s just easier to believe things are out of your control.

But then a terrible boating accident takes the lives of several of her friends, and Miranda is rescued by a mysterious boy who haunts her dreams. Consumed by guilt from the accident, she finds refuge in late-night swims—and meets Christian, a boy who seems eerily familiar, but who is full of mystery: He won’t tell her where he is from, or why they can only meet at the beach. But Miranda falls for him anyway... and discovers that Christian’s secrets, though meant to protect her, may bring her nothing but harm.

Seductive and compelling, Wrecked brings a contemporary, paranormal twist to a classic enchanting tale.

Why I want it: I still have yet to read any mermaid books, and this one looks fantastic. That cover is gorgeous, too. Also, Anna is a 2012 Debut Author!

Slated by Teri Terry
Publication date: May 3, 2012

Kyla's memory has been erased, her personality wiped blank, her memories lost forever.

She's been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla's mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

Why I want it: I just discovered this a week or so ago. It sounds like a different twist on the dystopian genre. I'm really interested to find out if she actually was a terrorist! And Teri is also a 2012 Debut Author!

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Review: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Fallen Angels
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish date: April 5, 2011
Genre: YA, fantasy
Pages: 424
Series: The Mortal Instruments #4
1. City of Bones (review)
2. City of Ashes (review)
3. City of Glass (review)
4. City of Fallen Angels
5. City of Lost Souls (May 8, 2012)
6. City of Heavenly Fire (pub Sept 2014)

The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most important of all—Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her. His mother just found out he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side—along with the power of the curse wrecking his life. And they’re willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls—neither of whom knows about the other.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

City of Fallen Angels definitely starts a new chapter in The Mortal Instruments series. Jace and Clary are together, Jocelyn and Luke are getting married, Valentine and Sebastian are dead and gone, and life seems to be getting back to normal. Whatever normal is for Shadowhunters, Vampires, Werewolves, and Warlocks.

The thing I really like about this book was how it focused a lot on Simon. Up until this book, I felt like he wasn’t too developed as a character, but half of this book is about Simon and his story, while the other half is mostly Jace and Clary. Simon has a whole slew of crap to deal with because he’s the only Daylighter and now with the Mark of Cain. I really grew to love him, and not in a “Team Simon” way, but as an individual character separate from Clary.

Clary and Jace’s relationship should be sailing smoothly now that they’re officially not siblings and are free to be together (despite Clary’s mother being slightly anti-Jace). But Jace has a few of his own problems to deal with; namely, nightmares about hurting Clary and fears of becoming more like Valentine. He is very sulky and brooding in this book, almost to the point of being annoying. I feel like I should have been annoyed with him, but let’s be honest: it’s Jace. I love him too much to be annoyed.

The plot was a little slow for me. I found myself wondering throughout most of the book what the conflict was going to be. It didn’t seem like we were building up to anything. But within the last 100 pages or so, there was a big climax that put characters in danger and made the ending exciting. Although the rest of the book clearly has elements that pertain to the ending, it wasn’t enough that I could put them together as a reader or even guess what might happen. It seemed a little disjunct to me.

Regardless of the pacing of the plot, the story was great! I also loved the new characters we met, as well as how some other characters aside from Clary and Jace were developed a bit more, especially Simon. The book ended on a cliff-hanger, and the next book seems like it’ll be pretty dark. I’m excited.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (43)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

I'm reading Beth Revis' second novel in her Across the Universe Trilogy, A Million Suns. Here's a teaser for you:

As soon as the words slip past my lips, I wish I could grab them with my hands and crush them in my fists.
But I can't.
The words are there.
I've called Amy a freak, the one thing I swore I'd never do.

I debated not adding the last line for fear of spoilers, but the teaser didn't have the same effect without it. And I don't think it's too spoilery, just has some shock value (if you've read AtU). When I read these books, I surprise myself with how much I enjoy the mystery and suspense so much. I never think of myself as a reader that enjoys these genres. But I think the sci-fi aspect also has a lot to do with how much I'm enjoying this series.

Feel free to share your teasers. I'd love to see what you're reading!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: Long Night Moon by S.M. Reine

Title: Long Moon Summer
Author: S.M. Reine
Publisher: Red Idris Books
Publish date: March 2, 2012
Genre: YA, paranormal
Source: From author for review
Series: Seasons of the Moon #3
1. Six Moon Summer (review)
2. All Hallows' Moon (review)
3. Long Night Moon
4. Gray Moon Rising (expected pub Summer 2012)

Something is killing innocent people around Rylie Gresham's town. The police think it's a wild animal, but she has other suspicions. There are new kids at school, and they have a lot in common with her: gold eyes, super strength, and a habit of turning furry. It seems Rylie's not the only werewolf around anymore.

It's up to Rylie and her werewolf-hunting boyfriend, Seth, to stop the killings. But saving lives doesn't come naturally to a monster, and territory battles could risk the life of her sickly aunt--not to mention her own. Rylie has no choice but to stand her ground, protect her home, and stop the murderers before anyone else gets hurt.

Oh my goodness, the end of this one hurt my heart. I know that starting a review by talking about the ending is poor form, but, man, it made me sad! I’m so glad the next book is coming out this summer! No crazy year-long wait for the next one. Definitely a bonus of self-pubbed books.

Sara is one of my favourite self-published authors, and her take on werewolves is at the top of my list. One of my favourite things about her writing is how she describes the change from human to werewolf. Not only that, but even how she puts so much detail into the feelings inside Riley; how she can feel the werewolf stir inside of her based on the situation. Sara’s definitely a talented writer: she doesn’t just write these graphic scenes well, but she also puts so much emotion into her stories. In all of her books I’ve read, I always find myself feeling what the characters feel, and having an emotional connection to each of them. To me, that’s a good indicator of her abilities as a writer.

We saw more of Abel in this book. We got to know him a bit better as a person and he actually showed some emotion. Seth was a mixture of so many thoughts and worries that it made me sad and tired just thinking about what he had to shoulder. Then there were the new characters: Bekah and her brother, Levi, and Scott Whyte. I won’t say much about them (spoilers!), but lets just say they’re at the core of the issues in this book.

I already mentioned how the ending hurt my heart. The whole story was an emotional roller coaster ride. People dying, Riley forgetting things and sleeping too much, Abel acting strange and territorial, Aunt Gwyn getting sicker, Seth stuck between his feelings and his duty . . . I think this book was the most emotional out of them all, and I think it may be my favourite in the series, so far. I know that I’ll be holding my breath until the final book in the series, Gray Moon Rising, comes out in the summer!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (42)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

I'm finally reading City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare! I figure, with the next book coming out soon, it's about time I read it. Here's my teaser:

Even during his waking hours, he found it hard to look at Clary. She had always been able to see through him the way no one else had, and he could only imagine what she would think if she knew what he dreamed.

I'm still in the beginning of this book. I feel like it's going to be a lot different from the first three books, but I don't know how yet. Guess I'll just have to read and see!

Feel free to share your teasers with me! I'd love to see what you're reading.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton

Title: Wings of the Wicked
Author: Courtney Allison Moulton
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, HarperCollins
Publish Date: January 31, 2012
Genre: YA, paranormal
Pages: 319 (ebook)
Series: Angelfire
1. Angelfire (review)
2. Wings of the Wicked
3. Untitled (expected pub 2013)

Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.
Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.

She’s been warned.
Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes , the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.

She’ll be betrayed.
Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay.

What an explosive sophomore novel for Courtney! I was so excited to hop back into Ellie’s story and see what challenges she was going to face next. There were quite a few twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting. It was also a lot more risque than the first. I think that Courtney took some chances this time around in terms of more taboo topics, especially for YA. But the story was just as amazing. I enjoyed the romance a lot because it had more layers. It wasn’t just relationship building, it was conflict, both internal and external, and desire.

Ellie is the same kickass girl that we met in Angelfire. She’s been training and patrolling and trying to come to terms with the fact that she’s really the archangel Gabriel. Things are made even harder for her because of the distance Will is trying to keep from her. He’s afraid of the consequences from Michael if he disobeys and pursues more of a relationship with Ellie aside from the Preliator-Guardian relationship. It was easy to see the difficulties both Ellie and Will were having by trying to keep the relationship professional.

We got to see a lot more of Nathaniel and Lauren in this book, which I thought was awesome. They’re Will’s family and I feel like getting to know them helps us to understand Will a bit better. Cadan is a great addition to this novel. We met him in the first, but really get to know him in the second. We see him as a person with feelings rather than as a demonic reaper. We also learn a lot of his secrets.

The storyline was just as exciting as the first. Ellie’s got the toughest demonic reapers coming after her so that Bastian can perform a ritual that will stop her from ever being reincarnated again, by killing her soul. But Ellie still wants to hold onto her human life: her friends, her school, her family. I think that makes her a lot more relatable. Not a lot of people can relate to being a reincarnated archangel stuck in a teenaged human body, but they can relate to things in their life changing and trying to hold onto the constants. That’s one of my favourite things about Ellie as a character, and Courtney’s writing.

This review is kind of all over the place, but I basically want you to know that this second novel matches the first perfectly, that the characters and the writing are perfect continuations of the first, and that this is one sequel that you do not want to miss. Now I’m dying waiting for the next one, since Courtney left it off on a huge cliffhanger!

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In My Mailbox (38)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that gives bloggers a chance to share what books they've received in the last week. It's hosted by The Story Siren and you can find out more info about it here.

I haven't gotten any books in a while because I was in Kenya teaching. I did have a review book in my inbox when I got home, and took advantage of a sale at Chapters to pick up a few books I'm dying to read! Here's what I got:

Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver {Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon}
Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano {Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon}
Above by Leah Bobet {Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon}

For review
Long Night Moon (Seasons of the Moon #3) by S.M. Reine (ebook) {Goodreads | Amazon}
Thanks to the author for the ebook review copy!

I've already made my way swiftly through Long Night Moon and loved it. S.M. Reine is one of my favourite self-published authors, and this series is definitely at the top of my favourites as well.
As for the other books, I'm so excited to read the two sequels because the first books in these series were some of my favourite debuts from last year. I'm really excited to read Above because it's a 2012 debut and the author is Canadian! That's even Toronto on the front cover! I also feel special, because it's not even out anywhere else until next month ;)

What did you get this week?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Judging a Book by Its Cover (5)

I do Judging a Book by Its Cover randomly, when I collect several book covers that I think are worthy of being judged as awesome! You can see all my Judging a Book by Its Cover posts here.

Links will direct you to the corresponding Goodreads pages.

Black City by Elizabeth Richards | November 13, 2012
Gravity by Melissa West | October 16, 2012

Defiance by C.J. Redwine | August 28, 2012
What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang | September 18, 2012

What do you think of these covers? Which ones are you anticipating the most? Let me know in the comments!

Have a Good Weekend & Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (51)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!

This week I'm waiting on:

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Publication date: April 24, 2012

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Why I want it: Ok, that cover for starters, is fantastic. I love how her reflections have different poses, and of course that dress is fabulous. The storyline reminds me a little bit of The Bachelor and Lauren DeStefano's Wither. I think it'll be really interesting to see what Cass's "world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels" ends up looking like.

Interesting tidbit of info: The Selection has actually been picked up by The CW to be made into a TV series. Visit Kiera Cass's website for more info!

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (41)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

I'm reading the third book in my favourite self-published series right now. The book is called Long Night Moon, and it's written by the fabulous S.M. Reine. Here's my teaser:

The wolf rose in her gut at the smell of a challenger. Rylie's body seized, and she bowed her head against the strength of it.

It's not much, but as I'm reading book 3 in a series, I don't want to give you any spoilers. This one just came out on Friday and I'm really happy that I have an eARC so I could start it earlier than that. And I just finished it on Monday. Seriously, this is my favourite self-pubbed series.

Check out the acrostic I wrote for a Must Read Monday post, using the title of the first book, Six Moon Summer. You can also find my review for Six Moon Summer here, and for All Hallows' Moon (book 2) here.

Feel free to share your teasers. I'd love to see what you're reading!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Daughter
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: August 1, 2010
Genre: YA, fantasy
Pages: 288 (ebook)
Series: Iron Fey
1. The Iron King (review)
2. The Iron Daughter
3. The Iron Queen (January 25, 2011)
4. The Iron Knight (October 26, 2011)

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey--ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

I was a little afraid about what I’d find in the pages of The Iron Daughter. I was afraid to see the way Ash treated Meghan because I knew how much it would break her heart and mine, even if he was doing it to protect her. From a romantic point of view, this book was brutal. But it also kept me turning the pages because I knew Ash couldn’t keep up the facade forever, no matter how much he wanted to protect her.

And just like the first book, it was packed full of action and stuff happening. The great thing is that Kagawa can write in such a way that she can pack lots of stuff into a story without it seeming rushed or like there’s too much going on. When the plot really explodes and the ball starts rolling, it gets crazy in the Nevernever. Ash flip flops so much it’s got your head spinning. Grimalkin is useful... when he decides to show up. Puck adds confusion, and yet also comfort. And Ironhorse is a surprising ally.

Although poor Meghan is distracted by her conflicted feelings for Ash, she still manages to be a pretty badass girl who’s intent on her purpose and not willing to falter. She may be pretty damaged because of Ash, but she still have her priorities straight. First, prevent a war between the Summer and Winter Courts. After that, everything else.

I’m very interested to see where this story goes next, especially after the ending that Kagawa gave us. The titles also increase my curiosity. I can see now how “The Iron Daughter” is a good title for the second book, and now I want to see why the next is called The Iron Queen.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery