Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Storm (Swipe #3) by Evan Angler

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 I've chosen the 3rd book in a series.  The publishing date is this coming May, so not really that long of a wait compared to some!  I was able to read the first two from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Publishing, so it would be cool if this one shows up there too!  The first book was Swipe, and the second one was Sneak.  And here is the blurb from  

In a future United States under the power of a charismatic leader, everyone gets the Mark at age thirteen. The Mark allows citizen to shop, go to school, and even get medical care--without it, you are on your own. Few refuse to get the Mark. Those who do . . . disappear.

Logan Langly went in to get his Mark, but he backed out at the last minute. Ever since, he's been on the run from government agents and on a quest to find his sister Lily, who disappeared when she went to get her Mark five years earlier. His journey leads him to befriend the Dust, a vast network of Markless individuals who dissent against the iron-grip rule of the government. Along the way to the capital to find Lily, the Dust receive some startling information from the Markless community, opening their eyes to the message of Christianity and warning that humanity is now entering the End of Days.

In "Storm," Logan and his friends are the leaders of the Markless revolution. But while some Markless are fighting Chancellor Cylis' army, the Dust is busy trying to find a cure for a horrible epidemic sweeping through the Marked. And it's difficult for them to know who to trust, especially when they aren't sure if Logan's sister Lily, one of the commanders in Cylis' army, is on their side or not. And all across the nation--and the world--the weather is become less stable, and a storm is brewing that bigger than any of them could have ever imagined....

Not sure if this is a final book in a trilogy, or if this will be a longer series.  As it reminds me of the Left Behind series, maybe this is also intended to have several books.  I'm okay with that!

So what books are you eagerly awaiting this week?  And while you're here, make sure to enter my 1000 Follower Giveaway that ends tomorrow at midnight!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Life in the Fat Lane by Cherie Bennett

This is a book I got as a strip cover from the bookstore where I work.  The premise sounded really interesting, and it was, to a point.  The main character is Lara.  Lara was a beauty pageant winner, she was thin, beautiful, and according to beauty pageant "rules", she was sweet to everyone, even the fat and the ugly.    Then all of a sudden, she starts gaining weight.  And it doesn't matter what she eats, or how much she exercises, she keeps gaining.  One week, she doesn't even eat hardly anything, even using laxatives.  And yest she still gains. It turns out to be a disease called Axell-Crowne Syndrome (not a true diesease), and it isn't her fault.  But she goes from 118 pounds, to over 200 pounds.  And it isn't just her weight, her popular friends?  They turn on her.  Her boyfriend?  Even he says while he still loves her, he doesn't think he's "in love" with her.  Even the fat girl at school, well, she even said to Lara's face that she hoped she got fat.  Her mom and dad at first don't seem to care.  Her dad doesn't seem to understand that it's not her fault, and keeps badgering her about not eating so much and making sure to exercise.  Lara learns that her dad has been cheating on her mother, and when he said he'd quit, he didn't.  Only Lara's friend Molly sticks by her side.  At first, her brother seems sympathetic.  He never liked his "perfect" family before.  But soon when he is getting teased about Lara, he begins being hateful too.
Finally her parents decide that in order to get their marriage working again, they must move away from the woman that was the issue.  So they move, making Lara have to move.  Now she is the fat girl at the school, where no one knows she was the homecoming queen just last year, and that she was a beauty pageant contestant.  She gets called names, but is taken in by a couple of the other outcasts.  Here we see just how shallow Lara really is, even when before she was trying to hard to be "nice" to everyone.  Her new piano teacher is really fat.  And Lara tries hard not to be disgusted by her.  She soon finds out that the piano teacher has a hot boyfriend, and she just can't understand it.  But being around these new musical people, she soon finds a new group of friends, and actually begins to feel happy.  Even when her family gets disrupted again. Her father leaves, saying that he's going to stay married, but go to his mistress.  Her mother doesn't quite know how to handle it, and this leads to the music teacher, Suzanne, helping Lara, and becoming a bit closer friend.
At the end Lara does finally figure out how the way she's been thinking all along isn't right, and begins to change her thinking.  Her Axell-Crowne disease may be going into remission at the end of the book, as she begins losing weight, but we're never given that for sure diagnosis.  I wanted to hate Lara's shallowness.  But I have to admit that I too have had those kind of thoughts. Wondering how someone could let themselves get so far along with weight.  Not that I am in any way close to being a beauty queen, or skinny.  And I hate when I think that way.  Want to slap myself.  So it's easy to see how realistic this book sadly is.  A good read I think for people with weight issues, or even for kids who don't understand what they're doing is bullying.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sneak (Swipe #2) by Evan Angler

I have to say thank you to both Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Publishing for allowing me to read this e-galley.  This book actually came out last September, so when I saw it was still available on Netgalley a couple months ago, I jumped at the chance to read it, the same way I had read the first one in the series, Swipe.  I actually think I may have liked this book a bit better than the first.  Which as I've commented  before, the 2nd book in a series often seems like just a bridge to the 3rd book, and I usually am not as happy with.  But I feel like this one, although still kind of an "on the road" book, as Logan and the rest of the Dust are on a search to find Logan's sister Lily, really had a lot to it.
Logan goes to try to find her on his own at first, as he kind of got the rest of the markless kicked out of where they'd been staying, and made their lives harder.  So he figures they won't be happy to see him.  And so because of this he tries to make sure he goes unknown to the smaller groups.  He gets to one group and is turned in.  It is because of this that he is almost caught.  His old friend Erin, who is the daughter of one of the high ranking officials, is glad to hear of where he is, and she wants to help them catch him and convince him to come back and get marked.  The next place that Logan gets to, with the help of his friend Hailey, is where Erin and her father catch up with him.  Unfortunately, one of the people that has been helping them is killed, and Logan just sees Erin as a traitor now.
Erin still really just wants to get her whole family back together, and it comes true when her father gets demoted for all the failures he's had in capturing Logan and the other kids and markless.  Turns out the Markless have their own way of communication.  They've begun using what is an extremely old form of technology, radio, including foxhole radios.  I really enjoyed reading about this, as I'd had several students create one this school year for one of their projects.
Logan and The Dust are looking for Acheron, the prison where the markless are taken.  Where Logan was told at the end of the first book that his sister had been taken.  So he is on a mission to rescue her and bring her out safely.  Things may not be quite as they seem though.  The prison is well hidden, and the stories of how people are punished there are many and seemingly far fetched.  Or are they?
You'll have to read on to find out.  And as usual, we're left hanging, waiting for the next book to come out.  We do get more with the religious part of the mark in this book.  And I'm glad to see it done the way it is.  I love how much more realistic this seems to me than the Left Behind series seemed.  Not that I didn't love those books as well, this just seems more realistic.  And at times, some of it seems to be getting closer and closer to happening.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #2) by Maureen Johnson

Of course I have to start out by thanking both Penguin Young Readers, and Netgalley for letting me read the e-galley of this book in December 2012.
I was very excited when I saw this book was available on Netgalley.  I am a big Maureen Johnson fan from following her on Twitter, as well as the other books I've read of hers always show her sense of humor and are fun to read because of that.  I liked the first book in the series, The Name of the Star.  However, I must admit that I was a little disappointed with this one.  Not quite sure why.  I agree with one of the reviews on Goodreads, that it is kind of a normal 2nd book in a series, setting up for the 3rd one.  Especially with how it ends. But I won't give that away.
Anyway, Rory is back.  She's home with her parents recovering from her attack by the ghost that was perpetrating the Jack the Ripper murders in the first book.  But she wants to go back to school, back to her boyfriend and friends.  Back to the new friends she has, Boo, Callum, and Stephen who also can see the dead, and who helped her with the Jack the Ripper case.  Only, something new has happened.  While the terminus, the device used to send ghosts to their final resting place, all of them have been destroyed as far as anyone knows.  But Rory, well, she may be able to replicate their power.  Something happened in the bathroom where she was stabbed.  Something that created a crack in the floor, something that now whenever she goes to touch a ghost, they disappear.  This happening helps her be able to get back to school.  Thorpe, the big guy behind Stephen's group, gets her Therapist to say she is ready to return.  And once she's back, he sees, or is told her new skill, and the group is saved from possible destruction.  One murder has occurred nearby, and while at first, Stephen doesn't see it as anything odd, Rory discovers the past and how below the school there used to be a mental hospital.  And she wonders if these ghosts could be coming out and affecting or causing problems.  Along the way Rory realizes that she is so far behind at school.  She did no make up work while she was with her parents, and comes back right before the final exams.  Plus, a boyfriend, something she's never really had.  All in all, with the terminus issue, she's just pretty stressed.  And Charlotte, the other girl who was part of the attack in the bathroom, tells Rory about her therapist, Jane.  And one day, in a fit of panic, Rory goes to see this Jane.  And she seems like a great help.  She leaves feeling much calmer and ready to handle what comes next.  But is Jane really as good of a person as she seems?  That remains to be seen.
Okay, I won't give much away.  But there is a part where Rory even talks about how she knows when people are really deluded, gives examples from her life in Louisiana, but then doesn't see the person she should be worried about?  I don't know.  The book seemed really short, and not a lot of excitement until the end.  And even then, that went quick!  I don't know that I like the way it ended, or what was decided at the end.  Of course, I'll have to read on, because I have to know what happens next.  But I don't feel that we got quite as much of Rory's personality in this one, at least not as much as what I remember liking about the first book in the series.  So, my recommendation is, if you like Maureen Johnson, and the first story, go ahead and read on.  It's worth it.  But, I wouldn't recommend this as a first book to start reading.  Good, but not great.  I had trouble reading, it wasn't one that I had trouble putting down.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

     First let me thank both Netgalley and Random House for letting me read this egalley, and read it WAY before the book comes out.  I'm writing this review in July 2012, and as of now it isn't due to be published till February 2013.
     The book is kind of marketed to those who like the Hunger Games, and I can see it.  It is a dystopian novel, and in this future, at least from what I can tell, something has happened that has forced the people to live within a barrier of some sort, and outside the barrier they are fighting.  Not sure if it is other people/countries or monsters, etc.  We're not given a lot of info about that.  I do see that this is listed on as the first in a series, and even though to me it ended at a good part to not have to go on, it would also be good since there are several things, such as what they're fighting against, that can be answered if we go on.
     Our main character is West Grayer, and like all other kids, she is growing up with her schooling being her training for the day she will get her assignment.  You see, this society wants the strongest fighters they can get for whatever this war is they're fighting.  So, when parents decide they want to have a kid, they must go to a center to sign up, and then with another couple, they end up with twins, or alts.  Each family raises their own kid in their own way, and has no contact with their alt.  Until the day they get the assignment.  This can happen any time between the ages of 11 and 20 I think from what I read.  Once they receive their assignment, they have 1 month to kill, or be killed by their alt, and if both are still alive after that end date, they will die because of something implanted inside of them.  Survival of the fittest, whoever is left will make the society a good fighter, or at least a more deserving citizen to be given a job and food, etc.  West lost her mother to a completion, she was in the way when someone killed their alt.  Her older brother and younger sister both lost to their alts, the horrible thing that her younger sister was only 11 at the time.  And as we begin the book, she has also lost her father, to suicide, and it is just her brother Luc and their friend Chord left for a family for her.  Chord has just gotten his assignment, so they are trying to help him figure out how to beat his alt.  They can't help him, an assisted kill or AK is not really allowed.  Another thing not allowed is revenge killing, you cannot go after the alt just because they killed your brother or sister in completing their assignment.  There are however, something called Strikers.  These are hired by wealthier people, to kill their own alts before they are killed and so they don't have to kill them or get themselves into danger.  When a tragic event takes place at Chord's completion of his assignment, one that West feels guilty of, she decides to become a Striker.  She figures it will prepare her for when she gets her own assignment.  Strikers aren't really "legal".  They just are.  This does help her get practice, and money, until she gets her own assignment.  Now she has a month, and instead of being ready to go and end it right away, West kind of puts it off.
     I think the story was very good.  It had a lot of action, and suspense, and you really wanted to know what would happen next.  I can definitely see the fans of the Hunger Games enjoying this.  It was a little difficult for me though.  If you've read other reviews I have done on either dystopian or post-apocalyptic type books,  you know that I kind of want to know WHY things are the way they are.  In this book, I don't really understand creating 2 of every person at birth.  How would that help the government save money?  Doesn't make sense to me.  And all the killing that can go on just out in the middle of the public.  I just don't see how a society could ever be okay with that.  And how in the world you could ever control the killing.  If people decide to do a revenge killing, why wouldn't they also just go kill the people in charge as a rebellion? I don't know, that's the issue I had with the book.  I'll probably have to read on, eventually, probably in 2 years, to see if that is ever explained in a way that makes better sense to me.
     But all in all, a good read if you can overlook that issue.  Once I let go of that thought, then I was able to get pulled into the story.  And I wanted to know if West would ever get the guts up to kill her alt, to confront her, or if she'd fall behind or figure another way out.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Undead by Kirsty McKay

Another cool ARC I got from BEA last summer, and just hadn't been able to get to until now.  Unfortunately, it's not autographed.  So that means I'll take it in and put it on my "check out" shelf in my classroom for my students to borrow.
This is a book for people who like zombie stories, as you can definitely tell from the title.  Although I guess it could be about vampires too.  It has some good humor, the zombie back story is pretty good, and it goes back even further than we know until the end.
The main character is Bobby, at first you know it's a girl, but then the name throws me for a bit, and some of the way the story goes is a bit gender neutral.  Bobby is not the cheerleader on the cover, that is Alice, or Malice as she is called by Smitty, kind of the bad boy of the school group.  And the other main character is Pete.  Bobby has just moved back to England from living with her family in the States.  And her parents idea is to send her on a school field trip right away!  They're heading home from a ski trip in Scotland.  The bus stops at a roadside restaurant to get some food.  Bobby doesn't want to get off and deal with the other kids who have been so rude to her the entire time.  She ends up left on the bus with Smitty, who is made to stay there because of his behavior.  Their teacher goes in to get Smitty some food, and it seems that is when all hell breaks loose.  Everyone inside the restaurant all of a sudden has turned into zombies, which Smitty and Bobby don't quite realize for sure until Alice shows up at the bus banging on the door to let her in.  The bus driver goes out to try to help, but gets attacked and falls.  They think he's okay, so let him back on and try to help him.  While barricading the bus doors to keep themselves safe, they stay there and kind of watch as things seem to go from bad to worse, to kind of calm.  They attempt to go to the gas station for help, and end up finding Pete hiding there.  They blow up the gas station to try to clear any zombies out there.  Then they head back to the restaurant, and after checking it to make sure they're safe, they set up what they think is a safe area to stay.  Pete thinks it is all a set up, that everyone ate something in the cafe and got turned into the zombies.  They find the restaurants security cameras and do some investigating.  They figure out what might be going on, just as another zombie shows up and chases them back to the bus.  From there they end up adding two more to their group, a girl a bit older than them and her younger brother, and soon they even have to leave the bus. They walk on looking for a safe place, and find a castle.  But the castle soon turns out not to be as safe as hoped.  They run into the people who may have begun this whole epidemic, and learn things about each other that are important to the whole story.
Okay, good story, but I had a bit of confusion with Bobby's family.  At the beginning it is Bobby's father telling her to go on a trip, so that would be right before the trip, right?  But then at the end we find out that Bobby's father died, so the timeline on that is a bit confusing.  But other than that a pretty good, edge of your seat, zombie tale.  There is going to be a sequel, good thing because you're totally left hanging.  I'd call this a quick, fun read for people who enjoy zombie stories.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Asunder (New Souls #2) by Jodi Meadows

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting. As I'm trying to do more of these this year, this is my 2nd one of the year.  This week I'm choosing a sequel to a book I was able to read early from Netgalley.  I haven't seen the sequel available on there, so I'm guessing I'm just going to have to wait till it actually gets published.  The first book was Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, and you can read my review of it HERE.  And below is the blurb from

Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.

Again, what a beautiful cover!  I can't wait to read it!  What books are you waiting for this week?

And before you leave, I've extended my 1000 followers giveaway contest to run till the end of the month, so go enter to win one of my eagerly anticipated new releases from January or February HERE.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Goddess Inheritance (Goddess Test #3) by Aimee Carter

This is a series I was a bit behind on reading.  I didn't even get started until last summer, when I knew I was going to get the chance to meet the author, Aimee Carter, at BEA.  So I started reading them as soon as I got to NYC to visit my sister last year, and was hooked!  I read right through the first one, and all the others that were available at the time, even the short story that was only available as an e-book.  So I was very excited when I saw that The Goddess Inheritance was going to be available on Netgalley.  So I have to thank Harlequin Teen for once again allowing me to read one of their awesome titles early!!
Warning!  If you haven't read any of the series yet, there will definitely be spoilers, so you might want to stop now!!
We left off with Kate being pregnant with Henry's child, thanks to Ava working her powers.  But Calliope now has Kate held prisoner at Cronus's palace, or island where he escaped to from Tartarus.  Kate doesn't think that Henry knows she is pregnant with his child, and Calliope intends to take the baby and then kill Kate.  But Cronus is grateful for the little bit of kindness that Kate had shown him when he was able to escape, and wants to keep her as his queen, even as he intends to take revenge on his children, and probably ultimately destroy the humans.  Kate must figure a way to help the council fight him.  But also she now wants nothing more than for her child, who she names Milo, to be safe.  Even if she never gets to see him, if she must sacrifice herself to be Cronus's partner, as long as he gets to be with family, Henry, her mother, then she will be happy.  However, without Calliope, and Ava who is there with Calliope, seeming to be her partner, the council is not sure how they can beat Cronus.  Ava says she is on their side, only there to try to save Nicholas, Calliope's son, and Ava's husband.  While Kate is able to escape with the help of Ava, she is unable to take Milo with her.  And now must scheme to figure out how to save her son.  She also must figure a way to save Henry, as Calliope was able to injure him with a weapon that Nicholas helped her forge, that will kill the gods.  So while the council wages small battles, and searches for other gods on earth to help them fight, Kate goes after other Titans to try to find a cure for Henry.  If she can save Henry, then she can go to be with Cronus knowing Milo will be with his father.  But like all of the Goddess Test books, there are twists and turns at all points, and it is not at all predictable.  There are deaths at the end, some good, some sad.  But in all a good ending.  Although, I think there is some stuff I wouldn't mind seeing continued on in future books.  Hint hint.

All in all, if you haven't picked up this series yet, you need to get busy!  Once this book comes out, you'll be able to read them all right in a row, without even having to wait in between!  Another great story, while not my favorite of the whole series, Carter once again does not disappoint!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday 2013 #1

My first one of the new year!  One of my goals is to try to make sure I post more each month this year than I did each month last year.  So let's see how that goes.  Feature and Follow Friday is sponsored by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  The purpose of this event is to learn about the two featured bloggers each week, as well as to increase your own blog following by joining in on the fun!  Here is this week's question:

Q: Who is your favorite villain from a book?

Hmm, this question is hard.  Most of the time I don't really like the villains.  I've always been a good girl.  So,  maybe it is Eric from the Sookie Stackhouse books, at times he kind of is the bad guy.  And I did always love Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he was such a good villain!  And I say he counts as from a book, because I've read all the Buffy books.  From Harry Potter I'd have to go with Snape, even though he didn't turn out to be the villain really truly.  

So, what do you think?  Do you have a favorite villain?

And hey, while you're here, don't forget to go check out my 1000 Follower Giveaway!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

1000 Follower Giveaway!

I reached 1000 followers back in December, but I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to give as a prize, so I've been thinking about that.  And finally, I decided, I'm going to give away one of the books that I've been looking forward to most for the year 2013.  I'm only going to do up until the first week of March, so that the winner won't have to wait too long for their prize!!  So, I have a total of 9 books you can pick from.  A few are already out, so that will speed up your prize delivery.  So, the only thing you have to do for this giveaway is be a follower.  Those who already are, it's a quick typing in your name and clicking the button!  If you're not a follower yet, it's easy enough, click on the GFC Join this Site link on the right hand column and you can enter!

Just fill in the Rafflecopter below!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

UnWholly (Unwind #2) by Neal Shusterman

Wow, what a sequel.  The ending of the first book, Unwind, kind of left off at a hanging point, but at the time I believe it was still a stand alone book.  When I found out there was going to be a sequel I was very excited!  And not just a sequel, it is going to be a trilogy.  And this second book, UnWholly, definitely left off hanging.  I have to start with the fact that it didn't start off that great though.  It took a bit to really get back into the story.
We begin with a brand new character, Mason Starkey.  His parents have decided to have him unwound because of all the trouble he's gotten into.  And it's not like he's even their real child.  He was storked.  He is able to get away when they take  him, even killing the Juvey Officers.  And so begins his trip on his own.  Eventually he will get taken to the airplane graveyard where Connor and Risa from the last book are still taking care of the AWOLs.  And once there, he will decide that he is better than Conner, and begins scheming to take over.
The 2nd character we're introduced to is Miracolina.  She is a tithe, like Levi was in the first book, and like him, she is pretty devout in her belief that she is meant to be tithed and that it is horrible when she is "saved".  She is taken to live with other tithes that are being protected in an old mansion, where they are using Levi as their inspiration.  Levi is only there because his brother that he was living with is hurt, and while he doesn't want to live with parts from Unwound kids, Levi and his parents want him to.  So, when Levi's parents come to take over, Levi must leave now.  And he is taken in by this group.  Levi is trying hard to get through to Miracolina.  To where he even begins to wonder what in the world he is doing.
And the 3rd new character we meet is a new kind of person.  He is made up completely of unwound parts.  The people who made him chose all the good parts, the legs of a swimmer, brains and internal organs also of very healthy or intelligent people.  And even his face is made of lots of different skins, to show that he is a mixture, his hair as well.  At first he must figure out how to talk, because he knows like 5 different languages. And he's able to associate things with memories, but it takes a while to learn to speak again.  At first his introduction to society doesn't go well, so they come up with a new plan, to put him in ads and make him look really "cool" and then once everyone wants to be like him, bring him out again.  They also want to find him a mate, a companion.
In the end all of our characters end up somehow interacting with each other, or else affecting the others because of what choices they've made.  The ending was great, and left me wanting so much more!!  I see a Waiting on Wednesday post for book #3 coming up soon!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Lives We Lost (Fallen World #2) by Megan Crewe

Attention, there will be a few spoilers if you haven't read the first book yet!!  So read on with caution.
Once again I am thanking Netgalley, as well as Disney for letting me read the e-galley of this book.  I really like the publishers that let all the books in the series be available on Netgalley.  For a kind of selfish reason, when I get to read a book early like this, I hate when I have to wait for the next book in the series even longer, because I don't get it as an e-galley.
This book basically picks up where the first one, The Way We Fall, left off.  Kaelyn is not alone with her cousin Meredith.  But not completely, her friend Tessa is there.  And also, her new boyfriend, Gavin, who in the first book was one of the guys that did the runs to get the food deliveries from the mainland before they stopped being delivered, is also living there.  We learned about one of her best friends, Leo, in the first book.  He makes it back to town at the beginning of this book.  And also moves in with the little family.  Since Kaelyn's father passed away, she now is having the time to go through the box of his stuff she got from the hospital.  And she finds the keys to his lab that she thinks has a vaccine he was working on.  She gets in, finds it, reads his notes on it, and decides she must get it to their friend Nell at the hospital.  Nell is very excited to hear of the cure, but says there is no one left on the island that would be able to help with it.  So Kaelyn figures she must get it to the mainland for someone to help.  She plans at first to just take Leo and go.  We know that Kaelyn is immune, as well as Meredith.  But none of the others are.  Unfortunately a guy named Tobias shows up when they are leaving to tell them that some military people are going to bomb the island as they blame the whole virus outbreak on them. So all of them leave, to be safe.  Once on the other side, both Tessa and Leo are given two of the vaccines. Gavin refuses to take one.  And so their journey begins.  Tobias travels with them, bringing his vehicle, I'm thinking it's a Hum Vee?  And all the provisions and supplies he can.  Leo has warned them that even the mainland isn't what it used to be.  People are dangerous.  And in one of the first towns where they stop to get gas, they find out this is true.  When they walk back to their vehicle, it has been disabled, and now they must walk.  It's winter and snowy, so they find some sleds, and pack all their belongings on them to move.  But again they must hide away from the road so that these people don't come after them.  See, they let slip that they have a vaccine, and now that is all these other people want.
Along the way they do come across some friendly people at an old artists' colony.  These people are self sufficient, and even have a greenhouse.  Tessa ends up wanting to stay behind with the greenhouse, and because of the danger, Kaelyn wants Meredith to stay there and wait until they get back from either Toronto or wherever they must end up going to find help with this.

And so a new journey is set on.  With someone from the colony joining them.  And even we hear from Kaelyn's brother, not even sure how he got to where he is, but he still does his best to help her.

I won't go on anymore about the story.  Just to say that it does end on a bit more of a cliffhanger this time I feel.  Which is good.  Because now I'm even more eager to read on!  I really liked the kind of road trip in this story.  I love stories like that.  And I feel the way the towns and few people out there were, was pretty realistic.  A great story, and if you haven't read the first one, The Way We Fall, you need to go get it and be ready for when this comes out in February.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Prodigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  I haven't participated since last October!  Wow!  But then the last few months have been pretty busy.  The book I've chosen this week is a sequel to a book that I can't believe took me so long to read!  I'd been seeing lots about Legend by Marie Lu on other blogs early last year.  And then I was lucky enough to get a copy when I was at BEA last summer, not autographed, but still. It sat on my TBR shelf until this fall, when it happened to be a nominee for my state's Library Association awards for middle grades, the Truman Award.  And then, I picked it up, and couldn't put it down!  I read it when I went to visit my sister in NYC in November.  And as I finished it, I have a good idea it might be in the top 3 of the students' choices from the final list for next year, if not the overall winner.  You can read my review of it HERE.  Anyway, without further ado, here is the blurb about Prodigy from  

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

Sounds so good!  And, share with me, what book are you eagerly awaiting this week?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate

I got this as an Advanced Reader's Edition through Shelf Awareness from an imprint of MacMillan, Feiwel and Friends.  And I'm ashamed to admit, that once again, I was behind on my reading, and just now got to it, almost 3 months after it came out.  It was a good story, and really a pretty quick read.  The story kept me interested the whole time.  However it was a bit different than I expected.  Not in a bad way, just not quite the way I'd expected.  And while I'd kind of assumed it would be a stand alone novel, it does end at a place that is a good stopping place, at the end of the book it showed a page that say the story will continue in Adam and Eve.
Eve is our main character.  Her actual name is Evening.  Her friends call her E.V.  She doesn't like being called Eve.  The story begins with her being hit by a car.  She is rushed to a hospital, where soon her mother, who is the head of Spiker Biopharmaceuticals shows up to take her back to their research facility.  Supposedly it is because she trusts the doctors there better.  But soon Eve learns it is because she has somehow healed much better.  Her leg had been basically severed from her body.  Her arm crushed.  A boy named Solo lives at the facility.  His parents had once worked there, but died in a car crash.  Which he and Eve soon realize that it was the same car crash that killed her father as well.  Solo was taken in by Eve's mother, and lived at the facility.  Since he's been there, he wants to seek revenge for his parents' death.  He sees Eve's mother as an evil woman, using science to create things that aren't natural, stealing his parents ideas.  Now, the research facility has come up with all kinds of cures for diseases, so it is doing good work.  But there is some genetic research going on.  And Solo plans to blow the place wide open.  Until he meets Eve, and becomes her friend.  At that point he's not sure if he wants to hurt her.  While Eve is staying there to "heal" her mother puts gives her a project to play with.  To create the perfect boy using some software that they want tested to see if a normal person could use.  This is a highly advanced system.  Actually using the genes on the chromosomes to develop a person.  So Eve works on this, calls him Adam, makes him perfect looking, intelligence, personality.  All while trying to help out her friend Aislin.  Aislin has her own issues, a boyfriend who is dealing drugs and keeps getting either taken to jail, or in trouble with the drug suppliers.  To the point that Aislin even gets beat up by these guys.  So Eve makes her come stay at the facility to be safe.  While Aislin is there, they basically finish Adam, not all the way, but mostly.  And, Eve and Solo soon learn it isn't safe for them there.  Well, not after Solo does some spying into one of the scientist's computers, and gets caught.  But the footage he finds, well, it is shocking and disturbing.  When he shares it with Eve, and they realize their danger, they must decide whether to leave and leak the information to the public, or what to do.
I won't say anymore.  You need to read it yourself.  I kind of hoped for more of the science stuff, and not as much of the type of danger stuff.  But all in all it was a good story.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Thief of Auschwitz by Jon Clinch

I got this title from Netgalley, I believe right before they changed?  Or maybe right after they changed their site and I began having issues.  I can't find it on there anymore, so I have no idea how to share my review or who the publisher is that I would share it with.  I believe it comes out on January 15th, so at least I know I'm within the amount of time I'm supposed to review it in.
I've always been fascinated with the holocaust, probably since I read The Diary of Anne Frank.  And whenever I get a chance to read a new book about it, I usually take the opportunity.  This was pretty much a normal story.  We hear a bit about life before the camps, and then we end up with life in the camp.  Life is miserable as always.  They lose all their belongings, get their heads shaved, and the men are separated from the women, and the children are separated as well, basically sent to die as soon as they reach the concentration.  The story is about Max's family.  His father, mother, and sister.  His father used to be the best barber in the area where they lived.  His mother was a great artist.  But once they get to the camp, of course, all that is gone.  And his sister Lydia is gone as soon as they reach the camp.  Max lasts because his father sees that kids going to the one side, probably aren't making it.  So he tells Max to lie about his age, Max is tall, so he is able to pass.  Max and his father have no idea about Eidel or Lydia.  Eidel, his mother, assumes that Max was lost too.  And one day she chooses to send a message to Max's father, Jacob, to ask him how they will live without their kids.  It is at this point that she finds out Max lived.  Jacob learns of what could be called the cushier jobs, and begins to try to get the job of cutting the Nazi officer's hair, and getting the easier job.  Up until then he and Max have been digging a huge ditch that they're told is to connect to a new women's camp.  Hard labor.  Eidel has been working in the kitchen in the women's camp.  At one of the officer's houses, the painting of Lydia is hanging, and when Jacob sees it, he almost loses it.  Soon the officer talks about how he wishes he could find someone to paint a portrait of his family that is as great as this one.  When Max is in an accident and breaks his leg, Jacob sees a way to possibly save him from being taken to die now that he can no longer work.  He tells the officer that it was his wife who painted the portrait and asks for a chance to take care of his son.  The officer gives him the chance and brings Eidel to the house.  When Eidel sees the portrait, she faints, and tells them that it was her daughter.  Well of course the German family doesn't want a portrait of a Jew hanging in their house, so even though they get her to do the painting, they take the portrait down and send it back to the store where they found it.  Max is given time to heal and almost really special treatment because of his mother doing the portrait.  But it soon turns that Eidel is having problems painting the portrait, it's been so long, not to mention these are the enemies.  So while she paints a good portrait when she is there, at night she sketches what she really feels with them, creating monstrous evil people in her bunk.  One day it gets out that she has done this, all the way up to the officer, and he is so angry that he burns the bunkhouse down.  While he is having Eidel finish the portrait.  Jacob is now sure his family won't have long to live after she's done.  So, he encourages Max to escape.  And Max does leave, but not without stealing the painting from the store first.  He goes off and becomes a painter/artist in his own right.  And interjected within the story are the modern day chapters about him getting ready to have his own big retrospective at the National Gallery in Washington DC.
The story was what you'd expect.  Reading about the camp and horrors and way of life there was interesting as usual.  Interesting and horrifying.  But the way they did the Max "present day" chapters mixed in was confusing at times.  It took my mind a minute to readjust.  I think part could be due to reading it as an e-book, and that maybe in an actual physical book where you can see the actual pages separating them it wouldn't be so bad.  And there's this part where he talks about an Uncle's paintings in the present day, that kind of seemed a little unnecessary to the story, in my eyes anyway.  A quick read, and one that people who often read about the holocaust will probably want to read.  The title is a bit misleading, as I expected an actual story about a thief.  And really I think the only true theft was the painting being stolen at the very end, and this was after Max had left Auschwitz.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

I am a huge, huge, HUGE fan of Maggie Stiefvater.  And really, I need to just go read all of her books whether they sound like something I'd like right off the bat or not.  This book is proof that whatever the synopsis might say, her stories are way more than what they say they are about.  The same thing happened with The Scorpio Races.  It just didn't sound like "my kind of story".  But it was sooooooo good!  And this one was really good too.  One I couldn't put down.  It was really involved though, and there were times I was a bit puzzled, or went back to refresh my memory about something.  Part of that was probably because I was in my read as fast as I can because I need to know what happens mode.
I was really excited to read this book because a year or so ago, the author put a tweet out asking for different last names.  She said she wanted one for a small character in a  new book.  I didn't see many people responding, so even though I'm not the biggest fan of my last name, I tweeted it to her.  She asked me the origin of it, and then asked if she could use it.  I was like, OF COURSE!!!!!  I checked back with her a few months later to see if the character had still survived, and she said yes.  Here is a picture of those tweets:

But then, sadly, when I got to see her at BEA this past summer, she had some sad news for me, the character had been cut.  She told me what part it would have been with, and I found it as I read.  But it was sad.  Here is how she autographed my book that day at BEA after giving me the bad news:

She did say that Brenna Yovanoff, another awesome author that she is friends with, had fought to keep the character in the book, and Brenna was there and even confirmed it.

Okay, on with the book review!  There are a few main characters.  Really, Blue, a girl from a family of psychics is the main character.  She has been told by her psychic family and their friends for as long as she can remember, that the first boy she kisses will die.  Now, Blue hasn't really found a boy to love enough to kiss yet, but in this book, she will meet & find a boyfriend, that she must keep from kissing.  The other main characters are boys from the private boys school in Blue's town.  Their names are Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah.  Gansey of course is not his first name, but the name he prefers to go by.  All of the boys except Adam are rich, or come from rich families anyway.  Gansey owns an old factory building that he has set up apartments in.  And all but Adam live there.  Adam is poor, lives in a trailer home with his parents, of which we find out that his father is a physically abusive alcoholic.  Gansey wants Adam to come live with him, but Adam wants to move out on his own, not from someone giving him charity.  Every year Blue and her mother go to the ghost road, where a line of people who are not yet dead, walk and say their names.  They write them down and then know who will die.  This year Blue goes with her aunt who has recently moved in, Neeve.  And she sees Gansey's ghost.  Turns out that Gansey is looking for the ghost road, which is what he calls a ley line.  He is looking to find an ancient king, that if found, will grant one wish?  Gansey just really wants to find it.  Adam is hoping to get the wish.  Noah is a bit odd, and we find out later on just why.  Ronan has a feud with his older brother having something to do with when their father died.  We're not quite given the exact reason, at least I didn't really find it.  And they aren't the only ones looking for this ley line, and the king, Glendower.  There is one of the teachers at the boys' school, Aglionby.  He used to be an Aglionby student himself, until his father lost their fortune.  And now he is back teaching there, and is very bitter.
There are so many twists and turns, it keeps you on the edge of your seat.  The characters are all really well developed so that you get to know them very well.  I'm so glad it is part of a series, because not everything is wrapped up at the end, and I need to know where this goes!
If you liked other Maggie Stiefvater books, you're going to enjoy The Raven Boys as well.  And to finish out my review, here is my picture with Maggie at BEA 2012.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Vengeance (Transcend Time #2) by Michelle Madow

So this is the 2nd "book" in the Transcend Time series by Michelle Madow.  I wrote in my review of the first one about getting to meet the author last year at BEA, so I won't bore you about that again.  The reason I say book in quotation marks is because it is really just a short story.  When I ordered it in to the bookstore where I work, I was disappointed to see how small it was.  I actually was worried that it was just a sampler, and not a real book, and I was afraid I'd get in trouble for ordering it in.  But I was wrong, it is the actual short story in book form.
The premise is a good one.  It picks up with Lizzie's friend Chelsea at the point where Lizzie tried to explain the connection that she had with Drew, and why they were now dating.  And the story is about Chelsea wanting to get back at  her best friend.  We learn that there was another time that Chelsea felt she stepped back from a boy for Lizzie, although Lizzie didn't ever know how Chelsea felt.  But this time Lizzie knew, and that is what hurts Chelsea.  And Chelsea has found a new ally, Shannon.  One of Jeremy's new friend's girlfriend.  Someone that Lizzie never could quite get to like, as much as Jeremy asked her to try.  But Shannon has someone in her life who also knows about past lives.  And she helps Chelsea to realize that she has one, and that things aren't going the way they did last time, which was in Chelsea's favor.
I'm very interested to see how this leads into the 3rd book in the series, Timeless, and hope that I can get that ordered into my store soon now that it has been released.
Short review I know, but, short story!