Monday, January 30, 2012

Pure by Julianna Baggott

Pure (Pure, #1)Pure by Julianna Baggott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I saw this ARC on the table at the Barnes & Noble where I work, and at first didn't think it could be YA as big of a book as it was. But I picked it up and read about it, and thought it sounded right up my alley. And I'm very glad I picked it up. I've not read any of this author's other books that she wrote under other names, but they don't necessarily sound like my type as I see what they were, one name is N.E. Bode, who I have seen those books, the other name is Bridget Asher. But, I will definitely be awaiting the next book in this series because I really liked this one, and am eager to see where it goes next. It's a definite dystopian, end of the world novel. I like that in this case the heroine, Pressia, is not perfect, in fact no one in this world outside the Dome is perfect. She's scarred, and burned, from the detonations, and like everyone else, she has fused to something that she was in contact with when it happened. Her arm has a baby doll as her hand. She lives with her grandfather, and as she is getting close to the age of 16, she is worried about being taken by the OSR to serve in the army to fight against the Dome. The Dome that sent messages right after the detonations that they would be back to help and save them some day. Yet, this has not happened. And the people outside have turned on those inside, hating the "Pures". Even creating nursery rhymes about catching and killing them to breathe the dust from their ashes to cure themselves. Pressia escapes when the OSR comes from her, only to run into the Pure who has left the Dome on purpose. His name is Partridge, and he has left because he believes that his father lied, and his mother survives somewhere out in the wastelands. Together Pressia and Partridge turn to a rebel named Bradwell for help. There are run ins with the OSR, and secret links to the Dome, man made special forces that are more animal than human. And while they think they've found what they've been looking for, have they really, or have they just found more questions and more reasons for revenge against the dome?
I liked how the science, realistic or not, was brought into the story. I liked that the main character, Pressia, is not a perfect beautiful outcast like in other books. Her romantic partner isn't either, he was fused with birds on his back. While I will admit it was a bit long at times, it all worked out, and there wasn't a time when I was bored. I was always eager to get back to it when I'd had to put it down. I don't know that it is "the next Hunger Games" but I do think that people who enjoyed that series will be interested in this. It is it's own type of book. As one quote on the cover says, it is more apocalyptic than Hunger Games really. And, as usual, the problem with reading ARCs is that then I have even longer to wait to read the next installment in the series!
This will count as the "P" in my participation in the A-Z Book Challenge.
And while you're here, don't forget to go sign up for my 300 Followers in January Giveway of a $15 gift card to Barnes and Noble.  I need 1 more follower by tomorrow, January 31st if this is going to happen!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - The White Glove War (Magnolia League #2) by Katie Crouch

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting! This week the book I've chosen is The White Glove War, the sequel to The Magnolia League, by Katie Crouch. Here is the blurb from

Every society has its secrets.

The members of Savannah's Magnolia League have it all: money, beauty, power, and love. Some may call them lucky, but we know better. Spells, potions, and conjures are a girl's best friends, and thanks to the Buzzards -- a legendary hoodoo family -- the Magnolias never run out of friends.

Golden girl Hayes Anderson would never dream of leaving the League or Savannah, where there's no problem that can't be fixed with a cup of Swamp Brew tea -- served in a bone china cup, of course -- and no boy who can't be won over with a Conjure Up a New Love spell.

But when danger lurks and family secrets are unearthed, Hayes discovers that her life may not be charmed after all.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, you can see my review of the book here.  I got the first as an egalley from Netgalley.  I hope the 2nd is provided as well.  This book doesn't come out until July, so it's going to be a summer read for me.

What are you eagerly waiting on this week?

And while you're here, don't forget to enter my 300 followers in January giveaway for a $15 gift card to Barnes and Noble, time is almost up to get in, and I still need 6 more followers by then to even give this away!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday #1

Feature and Follow Friday is a joint effort between bloggers to increase your blog following it is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.This week's question is:
What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get your hands on a book?
Hmm, this is a hard one.  The craziest thing I can think of is standing in line for hours to get a book at a midnight release.  I've probably done crazier things to try to meet awesome authors!  One of my favorites I follow on Twitter and I know she's from NYC, so when I went to NYC for the 1st time to visit my sister, I just tweeted and asked if she might want to meet me somewhere so I could get her authograph and meet her, and she did!  Turns out we hit it off pretty well, many things in common, and she has hung out with my sister a few times.  One time I found out last minute about an author that was going to be coming to Kansas City, and it was on a day I was out of town taking the Praxis to get another teaching certification, and I decided spur of the moment to call and reserve a spot and drove straight from where I was taking the test to the location to meet the author.  So, that's the craziest things I can think of.

While you're here, why don't you check out my 300 followers in January giveaway?  Guess I'm going to have to find a new way to get followers after this month any way if GFC is going to quit.  But for now, come and sign up and help me get to 300 followers in January!

So, what is the craziest thing you've ever done?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Once (Eve #2) by Anna Carey

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.
This week I've chosen the sequel to the dystopian teen novel Eve by Anna Carey.  I got to read Eve as an egalley from Netgalley, and would love if I get to do the same with the sequel.  Here is the plot summary from Goodreads:

Sixteen years have passed since a deadly virus wiped out most of the Earth’s population. After learning of the terrifying part she and her classmates were fated to play in the rebuilding of New America, eighteen-year-old Eve fled to the wilds and Califia, a haven for women determined to live outside the oppressive rule of the king of New America. However, her freedom came at a price: she was forced to leave Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. Eve quickly learns that Califia may not be as safe as it seems and soon finds herself in the City of Sand and the palace of the king. There she uncovers the real reason he was so intent on her capture, and the unbelievable role he intends her to fill. When she is finally reunited with Caleb, they will enact a plan as daring as it is dangerous. But will Eve once again risk everything—her freedom, her life—for love?

Brimming with danger and star-crossed romance, and featuring a vivid dystopian landscape, this electrifying follow-up to Eve, which bestselling author Lauren Kate called “a gripping, unforgettable adventure—and a fresh look at what it means to love” is sure to appeal to fans who crave the high-stakes adventure of The Hunger Games and the irresistible love story of Romeo and Juliet.

What are you waiting to read?

While you're here, don't forget to stop by and sign up for my 300 followers in January giveaway!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Death Cure by James Dashner

The Death Cure 9 Copy Floor DisplayThe Death Cure 9 Copy Floor Display by James Dashner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First I want to say that this is from my TBR pile, so fits into my TBR Reading Challenge.  I lucked out and got this book on Black Friday.  The bookstore I work at opened at midnight to have special sales, and this was one of several teen books that they had for 50% off!  20% better than my employee discount, and so I couldn't pass it up.  Now if only I could find my ARC of the first book in the series.  :-)  This will also fit into my A-Z Reading Challenge as my D book.
I think this was a good follow up/conclusion to the Maze Runner series. It had lots of suspense and action. We got to see almost all the characters again, and see how they ended up. We got some more information on why the gladers were chosen, about being immune to the Flare, etc. I wish we'd had more time with Teresa, still not sure how I feel about her. Also, without giving anything away, I wish we'd been able to get Thomas's memories back and know more about what happened. The good thing is that there is supposed to be a prequel, and I'm looking forward to reading that and hopefully learning all the things that are still stuck in my mind. I purchased a copy of the book that had some "classified" documents in the back, and so I believe that probably gave a little hint to what will be in the prequel and what happened before we jumped right into the middle of the story in Maze Runner. As I said, a good read, I'm sure most people who enjoy this series will be satisfied with how it ended.
I apologize for my kind of quick and short review, it was really good, but I had a couple egalleys and ARCs sitting in my house that I got AFTER I started this, and so I've been chomping at the bit to get started on those.  But I didn't want to quit this and go back later, I wanted to see it all the way through. 
One last thing, don't forget to promote my 300 Follower Blog Giveaway by signing up here!  Think I've got about 13 more followers to hit that last I checked.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting!  This week the book I've chosen is Insurgent, the second book in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth.  Here is the blurb from

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

I was left wondering at the end where it could go from there, and things were left so just up in the air, that I knew there had to be more coming!  This is a long wait on the publishing date, not till May!  It'd be cool if I can get an ARC of it like I did with Divergent, but it rarely happens that way.  Oh well, I'll be ready when it is out for sure!

Don't forget to enter my 300 Follower Blog Giveaway.

What book are you eagerly awaiting?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Slayer Chronicles: First Kill by Heather Brewer

First KillFirst Kill by Heather Brewer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. I have to say that I loved the Vladimir Tod series by Heather Brewerand really enjoyed it! Loved the vampire theme from a different point of view. Loved this world that she created. So I entered into the Slayer Chronicles not quite sure how I'd like it, because I kind of liked the vampires better this time, unlike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where you do root mostly for the slayer. And, I didn't really like Joss that much, which this book was about, because of how he tried to slay Vlad in the other series. But, let me say, this book totally blew my preconceived thoughts on this. You knew from the original series that Joss had become a slayer because of his younger sister Cecile getting killed by a vampire. We learn in this book that Joss's uncle Abraham actually didn't want him to be the one in the family to carry on the slayer tradition, he actually thought Henry, Vlad's best friend/drudge, or Henry's older brother would be better. I guess that is funny to me because I know how they actually are with Vlad. But after reading about Joss's life, I did get to feel that I liked him. And learning that kids were mean to him because he had this almost magical strength and endurance. Then his parents almost treating him invisible after his sister died, you can see why he became the boy we know in the Vlad Tod series. And you really get on his side when you learn about how his uncle treats him when he goes to begin his slayer training, and what that training entails. Wow, although I don't agree with some of the things Joss does with the slayers and his uncle, I can see why he is that way, and the story is so good. You know there is possible a "mole" in the group of slayers, and while you want to suspect Uncle Abraham because of what a jerk he is, there are other possibilities, and each are given in a way that makes you think, and wonder. The twist at the end, I thought was sad, and was another way that I was disappointed in how Joss reacted to his situation. But, as I said, it leads right on to where the story is going to go. Such a great story. Heather Brewer is such a great author, I can't wait to read the next in the Slayer Chronicles.
Oh yeah, this is the first book read as part of my TBR pile reading challenge.  I know it's not that old of a book, but it's one I bought, and was so excited when it came out, but then because I was in the middle of something else, probably an e-galley from Netgalley, I put it aside.  So now it counts as my TBR pile.  Great one to start this challenge with!  And it also is going on my A-Z Book Challenge as my "F" title.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First, I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but wow, how striking is this cover? And it's not just a fancy pretty picture, there are clues and hints to what is going to happen in the book on the cover, and I really like that! But on with the review. When I first started reading, I was a little unsure if I was going to like it. See, I'm not a big fan of fantasy, which to me includes books with dragons and other magical creatures. Which, this book has. I also kind of had thought this was dystopian novel, but maybe not now that I've read it, and normally I'm not a fan of "distant worlds" or other dimensions. But once I got into the story, I loved the characters, and actually got into the intrigue of what might be happening, maybe because it could be kind of sciency in a way. And I liked that. And while it didn't go quite the way I was thinking at the end, it still ended okay. And I'm ready for part 2!
Ana is our main character. In the society she was born into, souls are reincarnated over and over. There are always the same people, no one new, until Ana is born, and the soul they were expecting, does not come back. Because of this Ana's "mom" Li, treats her cruelly and calls her a "no soul". Her father leaves, and she doesn't get to know him. When Ana reaches a certain age, I think it's about 17 or 18? Anyway, it is 3 years later than the normal souls leave their parents, she finally takes off from her mother's house, to head to the city of Heart so she can try to find out why she was born. But barely leaving the house, she is attached by Sylphs, a magic creature that burns when it touches you. She gets backed up in what seems to be an unescapable situation, and she is rescued by a boy about her age named Sam. Sam takes her under his wing, even as defensive as she is, and takes her back to his house and tries to help her in her quest. He calls Ana a "new soul" and believes she has worth and value. Ana has never known anyone that gave her the chances he gives her, and even though he has secrets too, will those secrets help her, or hurt her as she learns more about his past lives? And while there are many in town who feel like her mother, and despise her for taking another soul's place, there are many good people too who treat her with respect and friendship.
Such a great book. The romance is good, I like the way the town is going, and how they keep track of their past lives. I do find it a bit weird that they get reincarnated as male or female, and can't imagine how weird that would be. But hey, it works for the story. This is the first book on my A-Z Book Challenge as my "I" title.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Challenge Wrap Up

I really only participated in one real challenge, and that was The Story Siren's Debut Author Challenge.  I did also set a goal on Goodreads to read 100 books this year, and I did, although I actually read more than that because I'm not sure I counted books I'd already read on there, but anyway.  I did meet the Debut Author Challenge, and here are the books I read:
XVI by Julia Karr
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Wildefire by Karsten Knight
Ashfall by Mike Mullin
Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz (My favorite debut author, AND I got to meet her!)
Those That Wake by Jesse Karp
Dark Parties by Sara Grant

My goal was to read 12, and I did, but there were also several more that I read that I didn't necessarily include, like The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch, Deviant by Adrian McKinty, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton, and Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon.

Hopefully I'll get my challenges done this year.  My TBR Pile Reading Challenge, and the A-Z Book Challenge.  I wonder if I can set a new goal on Goodreads?  I'm thinking to set it at 125 for this year.  Not to overdo it.  Plus, I'll be reading manuscripts for a new publishing company that should be putting out its first books this fall, so can't quite count those yet.  So, did you meet your reading goals and challenges this year?

Let's get this blog going!

Okay, I'm so close to 300 followers! I'd like to get there by the end of January, and see how much farther I can get. I will be looking for some giveaway hops to get involved with, but for now, I'm going to do my own giveaway. I'm giving one $15 gift card to Barnes and Noble away. And, for every 50 followers past 300 that I may possible get in January, I'll give away ANOTHER $15 gift card to Barnes and Noble. Sorry this isn't International. I figure I'll try those Book Depository giveaways out after I get to 500 followers, hopefully sometime in 2012. Plus, as I work for Barnes and Noble I have to support them. For now, this is my plan. Please fill out the form below by January 31st, and I plan to announce a winner a day or two after that, maybe more than one!