Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Snakeroot (Nightshade Legacy #1) by Andrea Cremer

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 a book that is a new series by an author that I really enjoy. It's one I tried to get an e-galley on Edelweiss from, but was turned down.  :-(  So now it is on my WOW List.  It is Snakeroot (Nightshade Legacy #1) by Andrea Cremer.  Here is the blurb from

Fans asked for it, and now they've got it! Andrea Cremer is continuing the story she began in in her internationally bestselling trilogy: Nightshade, Wolfsbane and Bloodrose. In this new installment, Bosque Mar haunts the dreams of both Adne and Logan, trying to escape for the Nether, where Calla, Shay and the other Guardians trapped him in the final battle in the War of All Against All. Will he turn Adne to the dark side? Will Logan reclaim his birthright? And will darkness take over our world? In a novel filled with magic, romance and breakneck action, master storytelling Andrea Cremer's newest installment will not disappoint!

I still need to read the 2nd book in the prequel series, it is part of my list for my September is for Sequels challenge, which I plan to post sign ups for in the next week or two.  So tell me, what are you eagerly waiting on this week?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Gated by Amy Christine Parker

First I will say thanks to Random House books for Young Readers and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an e-galley of this title.  This was a good book about a young person in what would most likely be called a cult situation.  In a way reminded me of the book The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams, and you can read my review of that HERE.  This was a much more involved book, and you almost, at least at first, didn't think it was such a crazy place.  In fact, the main character, Lyla, seems to really be happy there.
Now Lyla's family came to live at Mandrodage Meadows, following Pioneer, after several things happened.  Lyla's sister disappeared off the sidewalk outside their brownstone in New York City.  Then shortly after, the Twin Towers fell on 9/11.  Of course once that happened, the search to find Lyla's sister ended.  There was too much going on for the police to worry about that.  Pioneer showed up at their house around that time.  Saying that he'd seen their story on the news, and The Brethren had sent him a vision saying to help this family.  Soon, Lyla's family, along with others had decided this world was only getting worse, and they all went to help build the community that Pioneer had said would be their way to be safe when the world ended.
  From the outside it just looks maybe like an Amish community, in that they garden and have simple cabins, and keep to themselves.  But they do have electricity.  They aren't really religious, you see the Brethren are aliens that have told Pioneer who to choose and when the end of the world will come.  And how to build a Silo under their community to go into and wait once the world ends.  There are only people of a certain age, and all of the children, none are very young, at a certain point, around the age of 12 I believe, all were told who their intended spouse would be.  For some, like Lyla, she was glad it was Will, her best friend, even if she didn't have "romantic" feelings about him.  For her best friend Marie, her match wasn't anything special at first, in fact the kind of boy they hoped NOT to be matched with.  But he grew up, and got cuter.  And it all seemed like it was right. They had horses, which Lyla loved to ride hers.  They only visited the nearest town like once a month, and that was to pick up things they couldn't take care of with their own farm, and to sell furniture.  Like the Amish, they sold handcrafted furniture.  Lyla's only problem is when they practice shooting.  Lyla is fine with all of what they have to do, and she understands the people outside of the compound are evil, but shooting a person, to her that seems evil.  And so when they practice, she aims for the knees.  An idea she got from the Terminator movies.  They are allowed movies, they show them at the clubhouse, and as you can see, they are some more modern movies.  They do have books to read, and go to school as well, well school with each other.  Pioneer is not happy about her not taking the shooting seriously and even comes and stands over her until she is able to shoot the wooden "people" cutouts with kill shots, the head, the chest.
One day the sheriff from the nearby town shows up and asks to speak with someone.  With his son there, Lyla ends up being asked to give a tour of the compound to his son Cody.  There seems to be a spark between Cody and Lyla, but she fights it.  She is intended for Will, and Cody is one of the bad people, he wasn't chosen for the compound, so he must be bad, right?  Then one night Will, Marie and her intended Brian, and Lyla, all sneak out of the compound.  They're not trying to run away, they just want to go down to a more private area.  While they're out, the alarms sound back at the compound that say it is time to go into the Silo.  It's early, months early, but not knowing if it is a drill or the real thing, they run back, scared to death.  When they get there, everything is empty, and the Silo door is shut and locked.  The alarm has gone off, and the second rule is that once the door is shut and locked, they will not open it until the Brethren come to save them.  After they have given up and begin to try to figure out what they will do next, the door opens.  It seems that Pioneer knew about them sneaking out, and did this to scare them, and their families.  Their families who went into the Silo without looking for them.  This leads to a very harsh punishment for the four teens.  Even with this punishment, they mostly seem to still believe in Pioneer.  But Lyla really begins to have doubts now.  She knows she might get to see Cody again when her family goes into town on the next run.  And Pioneer shows them news clips of natural disasters that have begun to speed up, all in the past weeks, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis.  And begins to speed up the timeline to go into the Silo.
It all begins to add up now, much quicker.  Accidents and unexpected things lead to the town becoming more of an issue for them.  And Lyla begins to doubt Pioneer, and wonder if what she is doing is really right, and how can all the people outside of the compound be so bad?
A great story, very in depth look at it, and how maybe the people in the cults may get swayed, without being stupid, or gullible.  Definitely a good read.  I could see this on a few State Readers' Award Lists in the future, like the Gateway in Missouri?  Or maybe now that I'll be in Kansas, I can get them started with a high school level Readers' Award list as well.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - July 29, 2013

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  Not too bad of a haul this week, and a couple of my e-galleys I got because I saw other blogs had them, so I went and searched for them!  And I was kind of bad this week.  I bought two books, well two physical books, and one e-book that was a deal for my Nook this week.

Purchased e-book:

I saw this was one of the Nook deals for only $2.99 this week, and I had to get it, even though I rarely buy e-books.  But I've been a bit obsessed with learning more about the Hatfields and the McCoys since I saw the History Channel's tv movie.  So, excited to have this to read whenever I want now!

Purchased physical books:

I saw the first book when working one day at the bookstore.  It is a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book for adults!  Anyone besides me that loved those when they were a kid?  This is much longer, so much more to choose and have happen I guess.  Can't wait to read it!  The 2nd book is from one of my favorite tv shows, New Girl.  I love that Douchbag Jar they have for Schmidt, that he has to put money in whenever he says anything like that.  So it will be fun to read through this book.

E-galleys from Edelweiss:

The first two you see above I had to go get after I saw other bloggers had gotten them from Edelweiss.  Two authors that I really have enjoyed their books, new stuff from them.  The third book is a new series by another author that I really like, so I was excited to find it today on Edelweiss when I got the newsletter to go check out new review titles.  

So how about you, what books did you add to your shelves this week?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

Now I know I'm way behind in just now reading this book, since it came out two years ago.  But I just finally got a copy with a gift card I won to use at Amazon, well, earlier this year I got it.  And I just finally got around to reading it, and once again, I totally can see why it was so talked about!  While the cover is really cool, I feel it is a book that may be good for boys, because the main character is a boy.  And the cover doesn't necessarily show as one to get a boy's attention.  But anyway, this was a good old ghost story.  But a really good one.  While there were many great pop culture references throughout the story that I loved, Ghostbusters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I believe one really good show that it reminded me of was left out, Supernatural.
The main character is Cas Lowood.  He is a ghost hunter, one who sends them on to wherever they are supposed to be, kills them if you want to think of it that way.  His father also did this, until one ghost hunt ended his father's life.  Now Cas's goal is to take over for his father, and get good enough, even better than his father if possible, so that he can go back and get the one that got his dad.  Like the TV show Supernatural, Cas and his mom travel the country following legends and local ghost stories.  Often people even send letters to Cas with places he should go try.  The ghost, Anna Dressed in Blood, as she is called, seems like it must be one of those myths that are just told to get tourists.  But no, something about it seems real, there have been more people that have died lately, meaning that Cas feels it is worth checking out.  When he gets to the town, he follows a routine.  His mother is a witch, a white witch, and so has her cat, Tybalt, that travels with them, and always leads the way into houses in order to "sniff" out any entities that might already be in the houses they move into.  Because while Cas may be there to solve one ghost issue, that doesn't mean there aren't many others there that are simpler, but could be dangerous.  The cat doesn't seem to find anything in their new house, other than maybe climbing up Cas's leg at one point in the walk around the house.  So they move in, and his mother puts a spell on the house keeping things out.
The next part of Cas's MO is to get into the school, find the most popular girl, the Queen Bee, and befriend her.  See, Cas is a good looking guy, so it's not that hard to do.  And once he's in, he can ask around about the local ghost stories.  But Cas also picks up a shadow right away.  A boy named Thomas, who actually is a bit of a warlock himself, and actually sent the tip that got Cas on his way to the town.  And Carmel, the Queen Bee, is very friendly.  But unfortunately she has an ex-boyfriend who is very jealous.  And so at the first party that Cas meets Carmel at, he gets a hit on the ghost story of Anna right away.  In fact, her ex, Mike, and his friends, Chase and Will take him right to Anna's house.  And they dare him to go all the way up to the porch.  Now of course this is no big deal to Cas.  But as he is looking in the window, Mike comes up behind  him and hits him in the head with a board, knocking him into the house, and out for a bit.  As Cas comes to, he sees Anna, and she is all that she is said to be.  She comes toward him, and he fears for his life, but she stops for some reason.  Then she sees Mike at the window, and reaches out and pulls him in, and tears him in two.  Cas tries to get out, but is still too out of it from being hit in the head.  Thomas runs up and pulls him out.  Everyone else has seen what has happened, but runs, not wanting to deal with Anna.  Right away, the next day/night, Cas goes back.  He wants to talk to Anna, he needs to know what makes her so powerful, because as it is, he knows there is no way he has the strength to kill her.  And also, why didn't she kill him, why did she let him live?  But it's more than that.  He feels a connection to her, something different about her.  And it's not just that this ghost, Anna, is different, he seems to have picked up his own Scooby Gang (thank my love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for that title), something he's never had to deal with, something that may make his job that much harder, or maybe they will come in handy, and actually help him with this new ghost.
The story was great, all the back story worked perfectly, it all set up to make you like Anna, or at least it made me like her.  And so I hoped that maybe Cas could save her, and just fix whatever was the problem behind her horrible wrath.  Again, I loved this story, and despite the somewhat "girly" cover, I will be recommending it to boys who like a good ghost story.

Reading Road Trip: Washington

I joined into the Reading Road Trip on Day 1, and here I am again, almost at the very end.  This time I get another state that is a favorite, and it is because one of my favorite series takes place here, Twilight.  But that's of course not all that is cool about Washington.  While the state flag is kind of boring (in my opinion), I still want to include it!

  • Like the flag shows, the state was actually named for George Washington, and is of course the only state named after a president.
  • Its nickname is the Evergreen State.
  • The capital city is Olympia, while Seattle is the largest city.
  • Mt. Ranier is there, and is the highest point.  But it also includes Mt. Saint Helens, a volcano that erupted back in 1980.  And when I visited it a few years ago, it was active again, although nothing has really happened.
  • The state fossil is the Columbian Mammoth.
  • As it is summer, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you that it is where the world's first soft-serve ice cream machine was located.
  • You probably know that Starbucks was founded in Seattle.
  • Washington contains the only rainforests in the continental United States.
  • It became the 42nd state on November 11th, 1889.
  • The state of Washington is one of only 7 states that doesn't levy a personal income tax.  (Hmm, maybe I need to move there)
Some famous people from Washington state are:
  • Bob Barker, the original host of The Price is Right
  • Octavia E. Butler, a science fiction writer, Orson Scott Card - author of Ender's Game and other science fiction books, Ann Rule- best selling author of true crime books, Gary Larson - cartoonist and creator of The Far Side, and Chuck Palahniuk - author of Fight Club.
  • Famous singers such as Jimi Hendrix, Bing Crosby, and Kurt Cobain.  And a favorite rapper of mine, Sir Mix-A-Lot.
  • Bill Gates, one of the world's richest men
  • Several actors and actresses such as Anna Faris (Loved her in What's Your Number, based on the book 20 Times a Lady), Rainn Wilson from The Office, and Joshua Jackson from Dawson's Creek and more recently Fringe.
  • Apollo Anton Ohno, US Olympic Speed Skater, also starred on one season of Dancing With The Stars.
Unlike my giveaway at the beginning of the month, I will only be keeping this one going for a week.  You will have a choice of one of the books below, they include books by authors from Washington, or that take place in Washington.  And it is International as long as The Book Depository ships to you.
  • Beyond the Far Side, It Came from the Far Side, or The Hound of the Far Side by Gary Larson
  • Any book from the Ender that is available in paperback
  • Any paperback copy of any book from the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
  • Any paperback true crime story by Ann Rule
  • The Boyfriend ListThe Boy Book, or The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart
  • Stuck in Neutral or Cruise Control by Terry Trueman
  • Misfit by Jon Skovron
Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter.  There are no mandatory entries, in fact the first one is free!  You may choose to follow my blog or any of the other choices for more entries though.  And when you're done filling it out, you can click on the button on the sidebar to go to the other stops on the tour.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Morning Star (Katerina #3) by Robin Bridges

First I have to say thanks to Random House and Delacorte Press for allowing me to get an e-galley of this to review from Edelweiss.  I loved the first book in this series, The Gathering Storm,  that I got as an e-galley from Netgalley.  And then I never saw a chance to get the 2nd book, The Unfailing Light, so I just got behind on the series.  Then back in the spring I saw book 3, The Morning Star, available on Edelweiss, and so I had to request it.  And then in order to be ready to read it, I checked the 2nd book out from the library to read.  You'll see in my review of the 2nd one, that it wasn't hard to catch back up to remember what had happened.  It definitely reminded you without having to have a little summary at the beginning.  But I was very excited to be able to read on to the 3rd book right away.
In the 3rd and final book, Katerina, or Katiya as she is called by her family and friends, is working with Dr. Bamaev, as she is still not really being allowed to go to medical school because she is female.  Prince Danilo is in prison after what happened at the end of book 2.  Her mother had become the striga at the end of book 2, and Katiya found out that she did know of the fact that her daughter was a necromancer, and all about the Dark and Light Court supernatural things that she had seemed so oblivious to before.  There is a new ballerina who seems to bewitch all who come to watch, including the tsarevitch, who Katiya's friend Alix is in love with.  Fortunately she does not seem to be able to catch Katiya's love George's fancy.  And George has finally told his father that he wishes to marry Katiya.  When she goes to talk to his father, he tells her he would approve, IF she will give up her dream of going to medical school.  It is not proper for a woman, especially a royal wife to do that.  Katiya doesn't want to give up her dream, especially when she sees that George is still sick from the battle with Danilo in the last book.  And so, she decides to turn down her chance to marry George, in order to save his life.  George won't have that though, and when it gets so dangerous that they require her to leave and go to a safe place with the tsar, he takes her on a side trip so that they can get married, and then George promises he will let her study whatever she wants.  But while they are at the church, and George is saying his confession to the reverend, Katiya is kidnapped.  Turns out Danilo is no longer in prison, but he is also no longer Danilo, he has been possessed by Konstantin.  And they are after the Morning Star, which is the sword that Lucifer used when he tried to defeat God.  As it is a sword made in heaven, it will be impossible to destroy, and also comes with an army of Grigori, the fallen angels who now serve the sword. Konstantin knows he can defeat the tsar becoming the bogatyr as he did in the first book if he has the sword.  And they must go to Egypt to find it.  Along the way they discover other groups are also looking for it.  Danilo/Konstatin says that he will be marrying Katiya on the trip, but he needs her to be "innocent" for the ritual.  He tells her that she will be ruined now, everyone will know that she has been alone with him, even if they do have the bewitching ballerina as her chaperone.  There will be a war, no matter what happens.  Katiya knows she must get the Morning Star away from Konstantin in order to help the true tsar keep his throne.  And in the end, you know it must turn out the way you would think, but I won't give away just how.
Again, I loved this story.  And there was Egyptian mythology used in this story as well, which is really cool.  I like how not all the "bad" stuff was tied up with the final battle.  And how the story went on for a bit to solve this afterwards.  But not in a boring way, in a way that I always seem to want to know what happens next.  The final part of the book tells of the actual "true" history of these people, and shows just how well this author told and added to the story with her plot.  A great series, one I will continue to recommend!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #9 2013

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! This week's question/activity is:

What do you do with your books after you’re done reading them?

Well, I keep most of them.  I love my books!  Some I loan to my friends to read, but then they come back home to me.  I'm trying to get better about some though.  If it's something I don't know that I'll read again, and maybe I can trade it for a book that I really want, I will often put them on YA Book Exchange.  I've also used some as giveaways too.  When I was a classroom teacher, sometimes I would put them in my classroom for the students to read.

How about you, where do your books go?


Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Katerina Trilogy, Vol. II: The Unfailing Light by Robin Bridges

So, it's been awhile since I read the first book in the series, The Gathering Storm, as an e-galley from Netgalley.  But when I began this sequel, I was able to pretty much remember what had happened, and the way that the story itself kind of "reviewed" past events was seamless and only enhanced the story.  I had to check this book out from the library, because I was able to get an e-galley of the third book from Edelweiss, and I had to read on!
In this story we begin with Katerina excited that she will not have to go back to Smolny Academy, because she will be getting to leave Russia to attend medical school in Switzerland.  So for the summer her family is traveling together, and she is with her cousin Dariya, who also will not have to return to school because she will be a lady-in-waiting for the Grand Duchess Miechen.  On their travels they go to visit a cave, inside the cave Katiya, as she is called by her friends and family, gets lost, and sucked in to the Graylands, where the evil Konstantin is waiting, and hoping to get loose.  When she finally gets back to the real world, she finds out that the Tsar has decided she can't leave to go to medical school because it is not safe for her, as well as he wants her close by in case he needs her necromancer skills as well.  So back she goes to school, and not happily.  She still feels for the Tsar's son George Alexandrovich, but knows that since she is of the dark court and he is of the light court they cannot be together.  Something his mother has made abundantly clear in her dealings with Katiya.  Plus she is still stuck with the connection with the evil Prince Danilo who she was tricked into being part of his blood ritual, and who wants to marry her.  There are times when the connection comes in handy.  While the Empress has put a spell on the school to protect those within, unfortunately there is a ghost loose in the school, and Katiya is unable to do much about it, because the spell also keeps dark magic from happening within the school.  All the time there, students get irritable and sick, partly because of the ghost.  Alix, one of her new roommates that we met in the last book, also seems to have a bit of secret.  Getting so ill at one point she is taken home from school.  While Katiya must miss fabulous balls because the Empress wants her to stay there, she is finally allowed to go home for Christmas break.  She has learned from her brother that George may be involved in some dark magic.  Danilo also says this is true.  But she is unable to learn more as much as she tries.  When everyone is back at school from the break, there is a new chef.  One that Katiya has heard great things about his food.  And everyone now seems to be in a great mood, almost unnaturally great.  Only Katiya seems to figure out that it has something to do with the food, and the cook is actually using his Fae powers to help everyone not feel the effects of the ghost.  Of course now Katiya must figure out the secrets, why is Alix so secretive, is the cook really there to help?  And finally, is her beloved George safe, or is he going to the dark court just to win her over in what he thinks she needs for them to be together?  In this book we still have the vampires or blood drinkers, the dead that Katiya has brought back, and now, werewolves.
Once again a great adventure of a story.  And I'm so glad that I'm getting to start the 3rd book right after the 2nd!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday: Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted at Pen to Paper Blog, in which we feature a book we can't wait to get off of our wish list and onto our shelves!  I normally participate in Waiting on Wednesday sponsored by Jill at Breaking the Spine, but the book I am talking about this week is one that isn't a new book, not a new release.  In fact, the book I've chosen this week is by an author that I feel like I'm way behind the bandwagon on and need to get going!  Especially since everyone yesterday was going on about how this book is going to be a movie!  So this week I've chosen Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout.  In case you are also behind with this author like I am, here is the blurb from

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don't kill him first, that is.

So, what book or books are on your wishlist this week?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Teaser Tuesday - July 23rd, 2013

I am not really sure how to answer the question for the Top 10 Tuesday this week, and I'm  not quite finished with the book I'm reading in order to post a review today.  So, since my goal was to post every day this summer, I'm going to join into a new meme, Teaser Tuesday.  Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser:
"I wondered if Miechen kept Dariya close because of her relationship with me.  Was the grand duchess spying on me through my cousin?"
~ p. 119, "The Unfailing Light (Katerina Trilogy Vol. 2)" by Robin Bridges.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

First thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an e-galley of this.  I've read another book by this author, Allison Hewitt is Trapped, and I enjoyed the zombie story.  So when I saw the info about this on Edelweiss, and heard it was going to be like Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, I immediately requested a download of it.  And it was a pretty good, twisty plot story.  It comes out at a good time, after the recent hit TV show American Horror Story had its 2nd season take place in an insane asylum.  My only disappointment is that not all the photos for the story were part of the e-galley.  Although I definitely understand why that was probably the case.
The main character is Dan Crawford.  Dan is attending a summer institute called New Hampshire College Prep.  It just so happens that the dormitory the high school students are staying in is called Brookline, and was once an insane asylum.  One that has some really bad history, and the town really would like to see it destroyed.  Dan doesn't seem to have a lot of friends from what he sounds like at the beginning.  And his roommate Felix is a bit odd he feels.  But at the mixer the first night he meets a girl named Abby.  And she introduces him to the friend she made on the bus trip there, Jordan.  Now, when Dan first got to his room, there was a picture in the drawer where he put his belongings.  It was what looked like a doctor maybe, with his eyes scratched out.  And his roommate said he'd seen some cool stuff down in an office that was from the old asylum.  So when Dan tells Abby about this, she immediately thinks it sounds like a fun trip.  It takes a bit of convincing, but they get Jordan to go as well.  Once down there they find more pictures, and old files, and weird things start to happen.  Abby finds a picture that just speaks to her for some reason.  Dan begins having dreams where he seems to be seeing things from the warden's view point in the past.  And that's not all.  When they get caught for being down there by one of the Hall Advisers, a day or so later, he is found dead.  And not just dead, but kind of posed, the way a serial killer that had once been at the asylum used to do to his victims.  And when Dan tries to ask townspeople more about the asylum, he runs into some issues.  One is when he tells them his name.  See Daniel Crawford was the name of the last warden, the one who was doing so many horrible things to the patients.  What is really bothering Daniel is why he has the same name, why such a huge coincidence?  And as he is adopted, there is no telling if there was some relationship between him and this guy.
In the end, it is definitely left a bit open, because I would like to know exactly what his relationship is, and while they thought they'd solved the mystery, something happens at the end that leads you to think otherwise.  A good creepy story, and I can't wait to actually see the book in print with all the pictures, and then I'll be eagerly awaiting a sequel, I hope!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - July 21st, 2013

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected. This week I hit the jackpot on Edelweiss and Netgalley, but only got one physical book.  Let's start with the huge haul I got from Edelweiss:

E-galleys from Edelweiss:

First is Uninvited by Sophie Jordan, the first in a new series that is described as The Scarlet Letter meets The Minority Report.  Sounds intriguing!  Next is House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple.  Haven't read anything by this author before, but it sounds interesting!  Now the 3rd book I was so excited when I found it, In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin.  I love, love, LOVE this series so far.  So much that, since my first two books were ARCs, I emailed the publisher and asked if I could get an ARC for the 3rd and final book so that I would have a matching set.  Unfortunately the publisher emailed me back and said they wouldn't be making physical ARCs.  So, I was extremely pleased to see it available as an e-galley, although I will have to go out and buy a copy when it is published, because I do love the series, here are links to my reviews of book 1 and book 2.  The next book you see is Resistance by Jenna Black, which is the sequel to Replica.  As I know I've mentioned before.  I always hate when I've read the first book in a series early as either an e-galley or an ARC, but then have to wait for the next book to actually be published. Because there are so many new books I get as e-galleys that expire, I often then end up not getting around to the 2nd and 3rd books until I make myself go buy them, which isn't often that I have the money to do that. So, as a librarian, I've had to remind myself, that I can check them out, I don't have to own them all.  And the last book I got from Edelweiss this week is Expiration Day by William Campbell Powell.  This is a bit of a dystopian/futuristic science fiction story.  

E-galleys from Netgalley:

The first book, The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, is the sequel to The Dream Thieves.  This is the book that made me soooooo sad I wasn't able to make it to BEA this past summer.  I entered so many giveaways for this book from people who did get to go, but sadly didn't win.  So, I was so excited to see this available.  Of course, like the one I mentioned above, I will have to buy a copy of this once it is published as well.  The 2nd book here is All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill, which I've been seeing a ton about it on other blogs.  In fact, when I first requested it, I actually requested the Australian version I think, so I was denied, but only because it was for people in Australia.  I did some more searching on Netgalley and found the American version and again requested, this time getting approved.

Actual physical book:

This is a book I was lucky enough to win from this summer's Armchair BEA.  Can't wait to read R.L. Stine's re-imagining of a Shakespeare classic.  

Not too bad of  a haul.  Can't wait to dig into these book!  How about you? What books did you add to your shelves this week?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I'd wanted to read this book since I first saw the ad for the movie that came out earlier this year with Leonardo DiCaprio.  But just never got around to it.  Plus, I'd also decided lately not to read books right before the movies, just because I'd been disappointed so often, e.g. The Hunger Games movie.  I know many people probably read this at some point in school, but it was not one that I ever read, so my sister ended up buying it, and then she sent it to me to read.  Honestly I can say that the movie was pretty much identical to the book.  As I read the book, I was like, yeah, nothing new, this happened like this in the movie, and so on.  Oh yeah, there were a few differences, like his dad at the end of the book, but not the movie for example.  But pretty much it was like the actually made the movie straight from the book.  The scene in the movie where he Gatsby is taking his fancy shirts out of his drawers and closets and then throwing them at Daisy and the narrator of the story, Nick, I figured that must be something to give the movie a more dramatic scene, but no, that was actually in the book.
I don't know if I should actually tell you the story, like I kind of do on my other reviews, since this is a classic.  Basically, Nick moves to New York, into a tiny little cottage that is next to a huge, elaborate mansion.  Nick's second cousin, or some sort of relation, named Daisy, and her husband Tom who Nick knew in college, live across the bay from him in a fancy house.  The big mansion next to Nick's cottage is owned by a man named Gatsby that no one seems to really know much about.  And every weekend Gatsby throws huge parties that people from all over come to, even without being invited, they just show up!  Turns out that Gatsby once knew Daisy and was in love with her, and she with him so it seemed.  But at the time he was too poor to marry her, as she came from a well to do family.  But now he has made his fortune, and has come back to try to win her back. Even though she is married and has a child, he is convinced that once she sees him and what he now has to offer, she will come back.  Of course there is all kind of drama and things don't go the way they are supposed to.  A kind of tragic love story I guess.
Not a bad book.  But I'd definitely recommend just seeing the movie if you're going to do one of the two.  And if you're going to do both, probably seeing the movie first will help you get through the book with its style of writing a bit easier.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #8 2013

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! This week's question/activity is:

Book Vacay: Where is the best destination reading spot for you? (Where do you like to go to read other then your home)

I actually can read anywhere, so it doesn't matter to me.  The beach isn't always nice because of getting sand everywhere.  And right now, until I lose weight, I'm not going to be caught dead in a swimsuit anyway, so no pool either.  Now when I'm eating by myself, which is a lot since I live alone, I like to read.  And sometimes the puppies bother me, bark at me, beg for food, etc.  So I often like to take my book and go eat out, even just a cheap fast food, or a Panera, just to be able to get out and read in peace.  One thing I liked when I visited my sister in NYC is that it is pretty normal for people to eat out by themselves and be reading, and I didn't feel as weird doing that there, as I do sometimes here in Kansas City.

What about you, where is your destination reading spot?

I prefer a GFC or Bloglovin' follow, but any way you choose is fine with me!  And while you're here, make sure to enter my Reading Road Trip giveaway HERE.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Shade of the Moon (The Last Survivors #4) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Before I begin, I have to say thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an e-galley of this book.  I had been looking forward to this book since I heard there was going to be another book in what I had called the Life As We Knew It series.  I remember reading the first book when it won the very first year of the Truman Book Award in Missouri, and really loving it!  So much that I read it with my students for a few years.  Until The Lightning Thief was a nominee, and then that book became my read along, until The Hunger Games, and so on.  And then the 2nd book in the series, The Dead and the Gone, came out, and I loved that, and even sometimes, if we had time, read that with my students as well.  It was such a great look at the story from a different point of view, as well as a different environment. When the 3rd one came out later, This World We Live In, it too had a very interesting story and pulled the different characters from the two books together.  Actually, as I've only read the 3rd one once, there were some things I didn't quite remember as I read this 4th one.  So I will probably have to go back and read through it again now.  I had some trouble reading this book, and I'll explain why after I finish telling you about the story.
So basically it's about two years or so since the last book, and four years since the meteor struck the moon, knocking it closer to the Earth, and messing life up for everyone.  Jon is living with his step-mom Lisa and younger brother Gabe, in an Enclave city, using the passes that were supposed to be for Alex, Julie, and his older brother.  But Carlos was still working as a guard, and Alex left, giving the passes to Lisa and Jon's father.  Then Julie died at  the end of the last book, (something I kind of, but didn't really remember, so need to go back and re-read).  So when Jon's dad also died, the passes were given to Lisa, Gabe, and the rest of the family chose Jon, as they always had, because he was the youngest and they figured he had the best chance to go on and do something.  Jon had always kind of been taken care of, given the most food when they were living alone as a family in their house, not made to do as much work.  And now, he still has it better than the rest of his family.  He gets to live in an Enclave.  Everyone else, his mom Laura, his sister Miranda and her husband Alex, they live in what people call a "grub" town.  It's where the "worker" people live.  Alex drives a bus for the "Clavers", as the people where Jon live are called.  Miranda works in the greenhouses, and is pregnant now.  His mom teaches at the high school for the grub kids.  In the Enclave, Lisa works finding places for the domestics, grubs who clean and cook and take care of the children in the Enclave.  They live with their families until the weekend when they get to go home for a night or two.  The kids here will go to school, then to a college type of school where they will learn the things needed to help keep the society going.  But they are treated as if they are special, and better than the grubs.  They even treat the grubs really bad.  Jon doesn't think much of it at first, it is just the way it is.  Even though the rest of his family lives in a filthy apartment, with roaches, and barely enough food to eat.  And he lives with someone that cooks and cleans for him.  A new girl moves to town, Sarah, and he is instantly interested in her.  But is told by his friends he can't be friends with her, because her father is the reason one of them's grandfather lost their job.  So he sneaks around in secret to be with her.  From Sarah, Jon learns to begin to question more the whole Claver vs. Grub issues.  Things hit a head when at a soccer game that Jon is playing in the grub town where his family lives, a student dies on the field.  And then a riot breaks out, and soon the guards are killing grubs that get in the way.  Things get really bad, to where his family soon begins fearing for their lives, and it is a justified fear.  They decide to get out of town.  To a town that Jon's older brother Matt knows of where it is different, where everyone is treated equally, and works together to help the town and people.  But along the way there are many obstacles, and trying to overcome them, Jon finally comes to terms with what kind of a person he wants to be.
Now, writing a review of this is hard.  The first half of the book being told by Jon, well, it is really hard to like him.  While from what I remember of him mostly from the first book, he was just the annoying younger brother, and so while he might have been irritating, I didn't like or dislike him.  But in this book, you can see just how spoiled he has been, and how he really needs something to bring him back to reality.  And I even posted on Goodreads at the halfway point that something needed to happen in the 2nd half to make me like both Jon, and really kind of the book.  The romance between Jon and Sarah was a bit rushed I think.  I know that in times like they're living, maybe romance does move quicker, but we weren't really given what we needed in the writing to maybe see it.  This book, unlike the others in the series that were more apocalyptic type stories, is similar to a dystopian story.  You've got your new society with the rules to help get life back to normal, but there are good and bad things about it.  And if you are in the good part, the clavers, then you like it, and you feel that the grubs wouldn't have anything if it wasn't for the clavers, so you think this is just the best way.  So maybe that is why I struggled with it as well.  I was so used to the more survival type of story from the first books.  And also part of my issue may have been from how long it has been since I read the 3rd one.  The end of the story really ties it up well, and gets more back to what I expected from these stories.  So, I'm glad that I didn't give up halfway through, because the ending really saved it for me.  You'll need to read it yourself and decide what you think, but I think that if you've read the rest of the series, you can either just stop, and not go on, or you can also read this, and get further with the characters.  I feel it could also be open to another book.  I don't know if it is something that would happen. But it is definitely left open in my opinion.  Oh yeah, one final thing.  I wondered why Jon was playing soccer instead of baseball like he had in the first book.  It's not really explained, it's just that all the teams play soccer.  Jon still talks about liking baseball, so that isn't completely gone.  And probably soccer makes a more dramatic sport to play than baseball, so that is why it was chosen for the story.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday: Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted at Pen to Paper Blog, in which we feature a book we can't wait to get off of our wish list and onto our shelves!  I normally participate in Waiting on Wednesday sponsored by Jill at Breaking the Spine, but the book I am talking about this week is one that isn't a new book, not a new release.  I'm a huge fan of Dean Koontz, and the Odd Thomas stories are some of my favorite.  However, I am now 2 books behind because of a mistake my mom made at Costco a while back. Okay, I can take part of the blame too.  She called to ask what the name of the new book was, and she gave me a title, but I wasn't paying close attention, and I told her yes, but it was the title before.  So she brought home the wrong one.  But hey, she brought back a paperback, and she should have known the newest book would have been a hardback.  But oh well.  So, actually I'm going to feature two books this week, the two latest Odd Thomas books:  Odd Apocalypse, and Deeply Odd.  Here are the blurbs about these two books from

The stallion reared over me, silently slashing the air with the hooves of its forelegs, a creature of such immense power that I stumbled backward even though I knew that it was as immaterial as a dream. . . .

The woman astride the ghostly mount reaches out desperately, the latest spirit to enlist the aid of Odd Thomas, the unassuming young fry cook whose gift—or curse—it is to see the shades of the restless dead, and to help them when he can. This mission of mercy will lead Odd through realms of darkness he has never before encountered, as he probes the long-held secrets of a sinister estate and those who inhabit it.


Once presided over by a flamboyant Hollywood mogul during the Roaring ’20s, the magnificent West Coast property known as Roseland is now home to a reclusive billionaire financier and his faithful servants. And, at least for the moment, it’s also a port in the storm for Odd Thomas and his traveling companion, the inscrutably charming Annamaria, the Lady of the Bell. In the wake of Odd’s most recent clash with lethal adversaries, the opulent manor’s comforts should be welcome. But there’s far more to Roseland than meets even the extraordinary eye of Odd, who soon suspects it may be more hell than haven.

A harrowing taste of Roseland’s terrors convinces Odd that it’s time to hit the road again. Still, the prescient Annamaria insists that they’ve been led there for a reason, and he’s promised to do his best for the ghost on horseback. Just how deep and dreadful are the mysteries Roseland and her masters have kept for nearly a century? And what consequences await whoever is brave, or mad, enough to confront the most profound breed of evil? Odd only knows. Like his acclaimed creator, the irresistible Odd Thomas is in top-notch form—as he takes on what may well be the most terrifying challenge yet in his curious career.

Following the explosive success of "Odd Apocalypse, " here is the gripping new adventure of Odd Thomas, Dean Koontz's most celebrated character.

In a sinister encounter with a rogue truck driver tricked up like a rhinestone cowboy, Odd has a disturbing vision of a shocking multiple homicide that has not yet been committed. Across California, into Nevada, and back again, Odd embarks on a riveting road chase to prevent the tragedy. Along the way, he meets--and charms--a collection of eccentrics who become his allies in a terrifying battle against a sociopath of singular boldness and cleverness--and a shadowy network of mysterious, like-minded murderers whose chilling resources seem almost supernatural.

I hate being so far behind in the series!  I'd buy them on my Nook, but my mom will want to read them too.  Plus, I pretty much own all the Dean Koontz books, except for these two, and his Frankenstein series, which I have no desire to read.  So, the first one is paperback, will probably go ahead and buy it, if my mom doesn't buy it soon.  

So how about you?  What books are on your wishlist this week?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quarantine: The Loners

I won this book in a giveaway awhile back.  I wasn't quite sure if it was more of a zombie, post-apocalyptic, etc. type of book. Well, no zombies.  But that was okay. I have to say this was one of the most original stories I've read in awhile!  I really enjoyed it.  In fact, I think last night my dreams were all about figuring out a place to live and stay safe in case of a zombie apocalypse or whatever.  This was a page turner, I mean once I picked it up, I had trouble putting it down to do anything else.  At work last night on break, it was really hard to put the book away when I had to go back to work.  This would be a great book for boys, I know a lot of dystopian/post-apocalyptic are often with female main characters, but not this one, it is really from two boys, brothers' points of view.
The main characters are David and his brother Will.  David used to be a star athlete at his high school.  Until his mother died in a car accident and his life changed.  Sports and parties just didn't seem so important.  That is until he checks his girlfriend Hilary's phone.  And there is a text from one of his teammates.  So he shows up at a party, his first one in months, only to see Hilary standing with Sam, very close, hands all over each other.  He gets so upset that he punches Sam, and basically his former teammates drag him away and out of the party.  Then the first day back to school, he is already being ostracized by the athletes.  Which he hates for the sake of his younger brother Will, since it is his first day in high school and he doesn't want to ruin his high school career.  But shortly after school starts, it doesn't really matter, there is a huge explosion in the east wing of the school.  The teacher that Matt is talking to at the time begins to die, coughing up blood, and very quickly is gone.  As Matt runs to find Will, Will finds him, and they run to the entrance to leave the school.  But as they run out, there are soldiers there, and as students try to flee, the soldiers shoot them.  They yell for them to go back into the building.  The students who haven't been shot, or didn't escape into the wooded area on the sides of the school go back in and wait.  Soon they find out that a teen escaped from a nearby lab and came to the school.  This teen had a virus that was highly contagious, as with the teachers, it would immediately kill any adults or young children.  So their attempt was to stop it by blowing up the part of the school they'd seen him enter.  Meanwhile they are making the students stay in the school because this virus is so dangerous, all the students are now infected.  The powers that be have created a machine that can tell the students when it is safe for them to leave, and also dangerous for them to stay because they will no longer be immune to the virus.  The students call this their graduation date.  And it is close to the time when they would be a senior and able to graduate.  The scientists put a giant tent around the building, as well as sealing all but that front door shut, and even that can only open when a student passes the graduation check.  Inside the school, gangs form.  Food is dropped off, I think it is every two weeks, and there is always a stampede to get the food, as well as other supplies, such as clothing, cleaning, hygeine products.  And soon students join together to help get what they need.  But some people aren't able to join groups, they are the Loners.  Now your biggest group is the Varsity, made of all the male athletes in the school, except David, as he is on the outs because of what happened with Sam, who becomes the leader of the Varsity.  There are the Pretty Ones, all the pretty girls.  The Nerds, the Geeks, the Sluts, the Freaks, the Skaters, and I think those are the main groups.  They've all staked out places for their groups to live, and protect each other. They also offer services in order to trade for things they want.  You can guess some of the trades by their names.  David and Will are kind of on their own at first.  And David finds a way to survive by washing the blood out of the other people's clothes.  Will is very unhappy that his life has been reduced to this, and that he can't find a group because of David.  Sam still seems to have it out for David, and it gets worse when David accidentally kills one of the athletes when he saves Lucy.  Lucy was a Pretty One, but got kicked out for not being the "girlfriend" to a guy as she was expected to.  So David and Will take her in.  Not that they have much room for her in the elevator where they're living.  But news of David's feat spreads, and the other Loners think that maybe together they could form their own gang and offer protection for each other that way.  At first David doesn't want to, but soon he sees that this is a good idea, and so a new gang is formed.  The whole time Sam continues to go after David.  And David and Will continue to have issues, now about the girl, Lucy.  And it all comes to a big head when suddenly the food/supply drops stop and people stop getting to graduate.  Because if they don't graduate, they will die, and it happens to a few students.  It's up to Will and David to overcome their differences, as well as their obstacles with the other gangs and their environment, to try to save themselves as well as their friends.
Again, this is so original.  And interesting to see what happens, and how these teens turn on each other.  In a way, I saw it compared to The Hunger Games, and I would say to combine that with Lord of the Flies, and you've got a bit of an idea on this.  Great story, and I can't wait to read on in the series.  The 2nd book came out this summer I think, so I'll probably put it on my list for September is for Sequels challenge.