Thursday, May 31, 2012

Countdown: 2012 Releases (18)

This weekend is going to be a blast, I can just feel it! I've got my older sister's bridal shower on Saturday and in the meantime, a whole bunch of her friends and family will be streaming in left and right for the party and many of them will be staying with me in the city. It's definitely going to be a full house, but what better way than to celebrate B's upcoming big day, right? We've got the shower Saturday afternoon and a fabulous girls' night out in the city later that night....and what's looking like a huge slumber party with the girls back at my place afterwards!

So with all the planning and coming together of last minute details I haven't had much time to catch up on my reviews for the great reads I've gotten through lately. Sorry about that but it looks like you'll have to make due with a few more countdown posts in the meantime. Eventually I'll get my act together again and will make up for it with some reviews of wonderful titles that I couldn't resist recommending to all of you readers! Plus there just seems to be no end in sight to the long list of titles that are scheduled to release before the year is out, so on with the countdown!

Countdown Pick #1: Smashed by Lisa Luedeke (08/21/2012)

A field hockey star grapples with addiction in this riveting debut that will appeal to fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak.

Stay out of trouble for one more year, and Katie Martin can leave her small town loneliness behind forever. She is a field hockey star on the fast track to a college scholarship, but her relationship with alcohol has always been a little questionable. Then trouble finds her. Alec is the most popular guy in school, and also the biggest bully—with his sights set firmly on Katie. When Alec turns on the charm, Katie thinks she must have been wrong about him.

Except that she wasn’t. On a rain-soaked, alcohol-drenched night, one impulsive decision leaves Katie indebted to Alec in the worst possible way. This debut novel is a fast-paced and compelling story of addiction, heartbreak, and redemption.

Knowing going into this one that it won't be a fast paced fun read I think is the way to go. While the pace may be a quick one, a fun read it does not sound like. These are high stakes that the author describes, but it's a title that I won't be able to pass up. I will admit that the first line of the description drew me in before I even got any future. I was a big field hockey player in high school and still love and miss the sport years later. So while I know this story won't be one surrounding the sport, it's still unique to see the main character playing a sport other than soccer or softball or something around those lines. Hopefully she'll be able to turn things around and hold on to that college scholarship she has lined up.

Countdown Pick #2: Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate (10/02/2012)

Sixteen-year-old Evening Spiker lives an affluent life in San Francisco with her mother, EmmaRose, a successful geneticist and owner of Spiker Biotech. Sure, Evening misses her father who died mysteriously, but she’s never really questioned it. Much like how she’s never stopped to think how off it is that she’s never been sick. That is, until she’s struck by a car and is exposed to extensive injuries. Injuries that seem to be healing faster than physically possible.

While recuperating in Spiker Biotech’s lush facilities, she meets Solo Plissken, a very attractive, if off-putting boy her age who spent his life at Spiker Biotech. Like Evening, he’s never questioned anything... until now. Solo drops hints to Evening that something isn’t right, and Emma-Rose may be behind it. Evening puts this out of her mind and begins her summer internship project: To simulate the creation of the perfect boy. With the help of Solo, Evening uncovers secrets so big they could change the world completely.

What have the authors cooked up with this one? Genetic testing, fast healing abilities and a scientific lab with secrets that go on forever...awesome is the word you guys are looking for here. I'm not sure how the authors have this planned out or what's really in store for their readers to uncover, but I am almost positive that it will be filled with twists and turns and revelations that will be impossible to predict. And what kind of reader doesn't love a challenge?

Countdown Pick #3: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han (09/18/2012)


Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, May left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste

I wonder how far these three girls are willing to go and what they feel will suffice as far as retribution is concerned? I guess we'll all have to pick this book up if we want to find out the answers to those questions, won't we? I'm curious to hear more about what exactly happened in detail to these three girls to get them to the point they've reached and how they plan on correcting the wrongs that were done to them. I also can't wait to see if they succeed. I'm not sure if I believe in the old saying, 'An eye for an eye' but I'll admit to not having any problem reading and cheering on fictitious characters while they try to emulate that very saying.

Countdown Pick #4: The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab (10/09/2012)

Caro Mitchell considers herself an only child—and she likes it that way. After all, her much older sister, Hannah, left home eight years ago, and Caro barely remembers her. So when Caro’s parents drop the bombshell news that Hannah is returning to live with them, Caro feels as if an interloper is crashing her family. To her, Hannah’s a total stranger, someone who haunts their home with her meek and withdrawn presence, and who refuses to talk about her life and why she went away. Caro can’t understand why her parents cut her sister so much slack, and why they’re not pushing for answers.

Unable to understand Hannah, Caro resorts to telling lies about her mysterious reappearance. But when those lies alienate Caro’s new boyfriend and put her on the outs with her friends and her parents, she seeks solace from an unexpected source. And when she unearths a clue about Hannah’s past—one that could save Hannah from the dark secret that possesses her—Caro begins to see her sister in a whole new light.

This one sounds a little intimidating to me, but I'm going to give it a go. I haven't read any of Jarzab's previous work, but I've heard only good things, so I've got my fingers crossed that I'll like what I read. I'm already trying to think of possible reveals that could come out of Caro's search to find out what really happened to her sister Hannah, and what those revelations will mean for both Caro and everyone else around her....most especially Hannah herself. Curiouser and curiouser.

Countdown Pick #5: Blink Once by Cylin Busby (09/04/2012)

West is a high school senior who has everything going for him until an accident leaves him paralyzed. Strapped down in his hospital bed, slipping in and out of consciousness, West is terrified and alone. Until he meets Olivia. She’s the girl next door—sort of. A patient in the room next to his, only Olivia can tell what West is thinking, and only Olivia seems to know that the terrible dreams he’s been having are not just a result of his medication. Yet as West comes to rely on Olivia—to love her, even—certain questions pull at him: Why has Olivia been in the hospital for so long? And what does it mean that she is at the center of his nightmares? But the biggest question of all comes when West begins to recover and learns that the mysterious girl he’s fallen in love with has a secret he could never have seen coming.

Yikes, right? I'm not sure what to think of this future release to be honest. And despite being so confused, I'm also strangely excited and looking forward to figuring this one out for myself. It's got the makings of one of those reading challenges where the reader can try and figure things out before they're actually revealed. No one ever wants to see everything coming, but every once in a while it's awesome when you solve a puzzle before the answers have been given, and you're able to give yourself a little pat on the back, so to speak. This one has me wanting to do just that!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Countdown: 2012 Releases (17)

Have you guys started making your lists of new releases scheduled for 2013? I know I have a few in the back of my mind that I know are scheduled to come out next year, but for right now I've got my hands full to bursting with all these titles that are still scheduled to come out in the coming months. Every time I think it's not possible for my TBR list to get any bigger I see a few more new releases that I can't resist adding.

It's terrible because I make myself all anxious and worried that I'll never be able to get to all of these great titles and that I'll be missing out on fantastic reads and new authors that would certainly become favorites. But then I try and remind myself that everyone must go through this kind of anxiety because it's simply not possible to read fast enough to enable yourself to stay caught up on every single title you're hoping to read. It's not going to happen, but I can try my hardest to read as fast as possible while still managing to enjoy the reads, and hopefully I'll get through enough of these titles that I won't feel too far behind. Enough about my neurotic thoughts, let's get to the countdown, shall we?

Countdown Pick #1: The Raft by S.A. Bodeen (08/21/2012)

Robie is an experienced traveler. She’s taken the flight from Honolulu to the Midway Atoll, a group of Pacific islands where her parents live, many times. When she has to get to Midway in a hurry after a visit with her aunt in Hawaii, she gets on the next cargo flight at the last minute. She knows the pilot, but on this flight, there’s a new co-pilot named Max. All systems are go until a storm hits during the flight. The only passenger, Robie doesn’t panic until the engine suddenly cuts out and Max shouts at her to put on a life jacket. They are over miles of Pacific Ocean. She sees Max struggle with a raft.

And then . . . she’s in the water. Fighting for her life. Max pulls her onto the raft, and that’s when the real terror begins. They have no water. Their only food is a bag of Skittles. There are sharks. There is an island. But there’s no sign of help on the way.

Oh my gosh! How is it possible that just this small description has my stomach plummeting to my feet and my anxiety ratcheted up to the highest possible level? It's crazy and should be a clear warning that this book will be too intense for me to handle, but no. I, of course won't listen to reason and have decided that I MUST read this title when it's released. I don't want to wait a second longer to see what happens...I'm just hoping that the sharks mentioned don't play a huge part in the whole thing, because that is a HUGE fear of mine and one that I don't need to hear about in live and living color.

Countdown Pick #2: The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George (09/04/2012)

The first young adult book by a #1 New York Times bestselling author

Whidbey Island may be only a ferry ride from Seattle, but it's a world apart. When Becca King arrives there, she doesn't suspect the island will become her home for the next four years. Put at risk by her ability to hear "whispers"--the thoughts of others--Becca is on the run from her stepfather, whose criminal activities she has discovered. Stranded and alone, Becca is soon befriended by Derric, a Ugandon orphan adopted by a local family; Seth, a kindhearted musician and high school dropout; Debbie, a recovering alcoholic who takes her in; and Diana, with whom Becca shares a mysterious psychic connection.

This compelling coming-of-age story, the first of an ongoing sequence of books set on Whidbey Island, has elements of mystery, the paranormal, and romance. Elizabeth George, bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley crime novels, brings her elegant style, intricate plotting, incisive characterization, and top-notch storytelling to her first book for teens.

How could I resist a series opener right? While I haven't heard how many installments are planned for this new YA series, it sounds like it'll be a good series to get started on early. I love the talk of romance with some paranormal elements thrown in for good measure, don't you? With talk of being on the run and mysteries surrounding our main character at every turn, this title looks like it's got the potential to be a nail biter for sure, and one that will keep me up at night because I just won't be able to put it down. I'll let you know if my predictions turn out to be fact.

Countdown Pick #3: Middle Ground (Awaken, #2) by Katie Kacvinsky (11/20/2012)

In the sequel to Awaken, seventeen-year-old Maddie is in LA, is trying to stay out of trouble. But she can't quell the fire that rages within her against the digital life, and one night, a seemingly small act of rebellion lands Maddie in the place she fears the most: a detention center. Here, under the guise of rehabilitation, patients are reprogramed to accept the digital life. When Maddie discovers what goes on here, her fight shifts. She's no longer just fighting against the digital life. She's fighting for her mind, her soul, and her life. Once again, Katie Kacvinsky paints a disturbing picture of what the future holds if we're not careful.

So I have the first installment in this series and I haven't had a chance to crack it open yet. But since this sequel does not hit the shelves until November of this year I still have time to make that happen. And if I manage to finish the first book sometime soon, I'll be able to jump right into this sequel and pick up where the first left on and continue on in the adventure that Kacvinsky has painted for her readers. Have you guys checked out this series yet? What did you think? The descriptions for both the first and now this second installment sound fantastic, and just like the kind of suspense and action packed titles that I could really enjoy.

Countdown Pick #4: Blood Fever (The Watchers, #3) by Veronica Wolff (08/07/2012)


It’s the start of the fall semester, and a new crop of Acari and Trainees have descended on the Isle of Night. Watcher training has intensified, and Drew has a new roommate named Mei-Ling. But Mei-Ling harbors a dangerous secret that drove the vampires to abduct her against her will. Drew knows she shouldn’t get involved, but she can’t seem to leave her roommate to fend for herself.

Luckily, Drew has other things on her mind—like vampire Carden. A blood bond to a brawny, eighteenth-century Scottish bad boy tends to preoccupy a girl. And though she’s still figuring out what this bond means, one thing has become clear: She craves him in a major way.

But then bodies start turning up on the island. All the evidence points to the existence of a rogue vampire, and the sinister vampire Alcántara is gunning for Carden, even though Drew has proof that Carden had nothing to do with the murders. Now she has to find the true killer—without endangering Carden, Mei-Ling, or herself…

Huge, huge, huge fan of this series! I have been biting my nails for this title to finally be released and at the end of the Summer it looks like I'm finally going to get my wish. I was able to get an advanced copy of the second installment in this series, and while that was awesome, it meant that my wait for this third series installment was that much longer. So now, after trying to be as patient as possible, the release date is almost here!!! So excited to see what's in store next for Drew and the rest of the island.

Countdown Pick #5: The Syndicate by Shelena Shorts (07/09/2012)

LinkFor centuries, the Petrescu family has been protecting society from a danger that moves among the population undetected. Eighteen-year-old Vasi Petrescu has never had a problem carrying out his duty, but, when ordered to eliminate an eighteen-year-old girl, he is immediately taken out of his comfort zone.

The Syndicate has never targeted a female before, yet somehow this one has ended up on more than one hit list. Vasi would like to find out why, but there may not be time.

Now, he'll have to decide whether or not to keep her alive even if it means going against his own family.

The action, mystery, and conspiracy in The Syndicate will take readers on an immersing journey in which decisions are not only life changing, but irreversible.

As a big fan of Shelena Shorts and her Pace series, I was very excited to hear about this new adventure she'll be putting her readers through. How exciting and intense does this sound? I'm personally looking forward to seeing if Shorts will instill her magic touch into yet another book, much like she did with her Pace series, and what fun can be had along the way. This title sounds to me like there will be lines drawn and crossed, decisions set up and made, and a lot of chaos going on in between...the perfect equation for an exciting new release if you ask me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Countdown: 2012 Releases (16)

While I've been doing a pretty great job keeping up with my reading (if I do say so myself) while balancing all the craziness that is going on around me, there is never a shortage of books, it seems, that I'm looking forward to hitting the shelves. So I've got quite a few countdown posts in the works for this week and maybe even next week, because there just doesn't seem to be an end in sight for all the great titles that have still yet to be released this year. I can only imagine what 2013 will turn out to be like.

I've got a whole bunch of series' that I've fallen in love with and I'm aching to see how the authors will continue their adventures in future installments. Lots will hopefully be coming out next year, but for now, the new releases schedule for the rest of this year are more than enough than I can handle right now. I try to fly through a few books a week on my downtime, and I am a fast reader, but even I'm having a hard time. How does everyone do it? This is why I know my TBR list will forever continue to grow and never shrink!

Countdown Pick #1: Whispers At Moonrise (Shadow Falls, #4) by C.C. Hunter (10/02/2012)

A breathtaking new installment of the bestselling Shadow Falls series for young adults by rising star C. C. Hunter!

At a camp filled with vampires, werewolves, and fairies, Kylie Galen has always struggled to figure out what she is. Now she finally knows the truth—but she's left with more questions than answers. She doesn’t have a clue what her heritage means or how to harness her new found powers. All she knows is that she needs to sort out her feelings for Derek, the sexy half-Fae who just confessed his love, and Lucas, her werewolf boyfriend who seems more committed to his pack than to their relationship. All the while, Kylie's dealing with a group of underground rogues who want her dead and a mysterious grandfather who makes it clear he doesn’t trust the FRU . . . or Shadow Falls. Soon Kylie will have to choose: Will she stay with the new family she’s formed at Shadow Falls, or will she leave with her grandfather and embrace her destiny?

You guys know how big of a fan I am of this series. I've devoured each and every installment and I'm always left wishing the next installment was available to continue on in Hunter's journey. But sadly I am left waiting with the other readers for the next release date that always seems so far away. But that's also how you can separate a good book from a great book. If you're always shouting more, more...than you've found yourself a great book, and you need to spread the word. This series had me hooked from the start, and I'm going to be crossing my fingers that I get to check this one out sooner rather than later...hopefully I can hold out for it's release date!

Countdown Pick #2: Tilt by Ellen Hopkins (09/11/2012)

TILT is the story of three teens inter-related through their parents' family relationships and friendships. As their parents pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the kids' worlds tilt, through love--good and bad:

Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year, and decides to keep the baby?

Shane turns sixteen that same summer, and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister's impending death. Can he accept Alex's love, knowing his life, too, will be shortened?

Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

Talk about having issues to resolve and obstacles to overcome, right? Hopkins seems to be stepping out of her normal genre and bringing readers what sounds like a very realistic taken on three teens' lives and what all they must face on a day to day basis. While it doesn't sound like a book that will be fun and easy to fly through, it sounds like it has the makings of a page turner, and one that could make everyone stop and think and maybe reevaluate what's truly important in our lives.

Countdown Pick #3: Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles, #4) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (10/23/2012)

Is death the end . . . or only the beginning?

Ethan Wate has spent most of his life longing to escape the stiflingly small Southern town of Gatlin. He never thought he would meet the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, who unveiled a secretive, powerful, and cursed side of Gatlin, hidden in plain sight. And he never could have expected that he would be forced to leave behind everyone and everything he cares about. So when Ethan awakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, he has only one goal: to find a way to return to Lena and the ones he loves.

Back in Gatlin, Lena is making her own bargains for Ethan's return, vowing to do whatever it takes -- even if that means trusting old enemies or risking the lives of the family and friends Ethan left to protect.

Worlds apart, Ethan and Lena must once again work together to rewrite their fate, in this stunning finale to the Beautiful Creatures series.

The end is finally here. I wasn't sure how many installment the authors had planned for this series, but now I've got my answer. With this final installment, readers are sure to be put through their paces. These authors never cease to amaze me with how quickly they can get me involved in their writing and how I'm always left on the edge of my seat wondering what could possibly happen next, haven't these characters been through enough? I guess this time around, the authors will be wrapping things up and hopefully Lena and Ethan will get themselves the happy ending they deserve...but if they do I'm sure the authors will have definitely made them work for it.

Countdown Pick #4: Mystic City (Mystic City, #1) by Theo Lawrence (10/09/2012)

For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided. A political rebellion ignited. A love that was meant to last forever.

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

With a description like that I knew I didn't stand a chance! I of course am a huge fan of The Hunger Games and Matched series....who isn't? So if this book and series turn out to be even half as good as the two it's being compared to, than I think it sounds like we've got ourselves a winner, don't you think? I'm loving how this one sounds like there will be a fantastic mix of action and suspense, love and romance, and mystery and intrigue. I'm always up for a challenge, and the idea of our main character struggling to figure out what happened to her memories and to get them back, not to mention all that is going on around her? Sign me up for sure! Can't wait until it's release date!

Countdown Pick #5: Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini (10/30/2012)

Life altering mistakes are meant to alter lives…

When Elliot dies for the third time, she knows this is her last shot. There are no fourth-timers in this afterlife, so one more chance is all she has to get things right. But before she can move on to her next life, Elliot will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she’d rather keep buried. Memories of people she’s hurt, people she’s betrayed… and people she’s killed.

As she pieces together the mistakes of her past, Elliot must earn the forgiveness of her best friend and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves…even if it means losing them both forever.

Did you guys ever read The Five People You Meet In Heaven? I did and while it was a tough read to get through (not very upbeat obviously) it's always stayed with me in a lot of ways. This book's description sounds very close to them central focus in that book as well. I always find it interesting when people give their versions of what they think will happen when we pass on, and while I'm not saying that this is what Sabatini's take on that is, she's putting a unique spin on the ways things might go. So the idea that this character must go through these trials and tribulations in order to find her peace is something I'm very much looking forward to checking out for myself.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Countdown: 2012 Releases (15)

Great books are scheduled to hit the shelves this summer for sure!

I can't believe how many great titles are coming out and how badly I want to read them all. I'm not sure how I'm going to manage to fit everything in, but I'm crossing my fingers I'll find a way. With a great holiday weekend behind us, I'm definitely in need of some downtime and reading is the perfect cure, and an easy way to relax and unwind.

That's the plan anyways and these are just a few of the titles I'm hoping will help me relax and enjoy the few moments of quiet that come in between (sometimes rarely) all the craziness that goes on around me!

Countdown Pick #1: Run the Game by Jason Myers (06/12/2012)

In this gritty novel from the author of Exit Here and Dead End, love is a high-priced and dangerous game: Play or be played.

Alexander didn’t believe in love at first sight until he met Patti. She’s the kind of girl you hear about in songs: gorgeous, feisty, and dangerous. Being with Patti is better than any high, and he can’t live without her. But Alexander’s not the only one who wants to be with Patti. Burke ruthlessly takes what he wants and will kill to protect what is his. And he won’t let Patti go without a fight. If Patti and Alexander are going to be together, their love will come at a steep price. Because some promises are meant to be broken, and not all debts can be paid in cash….

This does not sound like a title that I would normally call my cup of tea, but for some reason, when I read the description listed, I couldn't imagine passing this one by. So I've added it to my list and I'm hoping that I won't regret it. The whole idea behind this book is one that scares me to no end, and I'm worried that it might turn out to be a little too intense for me to get through. But I also can't help but be curious as to how things will work our for Alexander and Patti and I haven't even cracked the cover yet. Definitely a good sign, would you say?

Countdown Pick #2: Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard (06/14/2012)

"In the tradition of John Knowles's A Separate Peace."--Publisher Weekly, Starred
"One of the best young adult books I've read in years."--Pat Conroy
William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist

At the beginning of his junior year at a boys' boarding school, 16-year-old Alex is devastated when he fails to save a drowning friend. When questioned, Alex and his friend Glenn, who was also at the river, begin weaving their web of lies. Plagued by guilt, Alex takes refuge in the library, telling his tale in a journal he hides behind Moby-Dick. Caught in the web with Alex and Glenn is their English teacher, Miss Dovecott, fresh out of Princeton, who suspects there's more to what happened at the river when she perceives guilt in Alex's writing for class. She also sees poetic talent in Alex, which she encourages. As Alex responds to her attention, he discovers his true voice, one that goes against the boarding school bravado that Glenn embraces. When Glenn becomes convinced that Miss Dovecott is out to get them, Alex must choose between them.

Talk about your high levels of anxiety! But I do enjoy a great mystery every once in a while. And this one sounds like it's got all the right ingredients to leave me guessing until the very end. I'm curious to see how the teacher will play into this story and how crazy things may get. I'm already wondering what really happened at the river and how their friend ended up drowning...was it accidental or not? Only time will tell, but luckily this release date is not too far away.

Countdown Pick #3: Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt (07/12/2012)

This novel opens on the first day of Hannah’s senior year, but the story really starts on the last day of her junior year. That’s when Hannah not only gets dumped by her boyfriend, Sebastian, but she also finds out her best friend, Ava, is going to be gone for the entire summer. But Ava’s boyfriend, Noah, is definitely around—and such a good guy that he snags Hannah a job at the diner where he works. Hannah and Noah move from coworkers, to friends….and one night, to something more.

Now it’s back to school, where Hannah will see Sebastian, Ava, and Noah all in one place. Over the course of the day secrets and betrayals are revealed, and alliances are broken and reformed. In the end, Hannah will learn a lot about love, friendship…and herself.

The cover kind of drew my attention on this one and for a strange reason. The girl on the cover actually looks a lot like someone I know and I honestly found myself doing a double take to see if it was really her. I was thinking my friend would have some explaining to do, but that wasn't the case. Despite my reasons, once I had take a look at this title's description, I was interested. And this one sounds juicy but also like it'll have a somewhat tear jerker element to it. All in all it's one I want to check out for myself.

Countdown Pick #4: The Rise of Nine (The Lorien Legacies, #3) by Pittacus Lore (08/21/2012)
It all began with nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorians—who scattered on Earth and went into hiding. They look like ordinary teenagers, but they have extraordinary skills. The Mogadorians killed Number One, Number Two, and Number Three. They tried to kill Number Four ... and failed.

Number Four (aka John Smith) has now teamed up with Number Nine, while Six has gone off to find the others. With the Mogadorians hot on their trail and time running out, they must find a way to come together, before it's too late. Power in numbers will save them all.

I'm just a fan of this series without a doubt. I was sad to see that the movie version of the first book didn't do all that well in the theaters because I was really hoping to see the rest of the series made into a movie as well. But regardless, the books are still holding my attention and making me feel like not all science fiction is out of my comfort zone after all. Not normally the genre I sway towards, this series had me holding my breath from the very beginning and I'm curious to see where the series will take readers next.

Countdown Pick #5: The Kill Order (Maze Runner, # 0.5) by James Dashner (08/14/2012)

Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares seared the earth and mankind fell to disease. "The Kill Order" tells the story of that fall.

“The prequel is something that has churned in my mind since before "The Maze Runner" was even complete. It's been hard to keep it a secret! I'm excited to finally share the news and I can't wait for my readers to see how it all began," shared author James Dashner.

Now I've had the series opener on my shelf since around when it first hit the shelves and I've yet to read it. I know, I know, this is terrible! But when I saw this title would be coming out this Summer, I knew it was a sign. I decided to hold off just a little bit longer before I started the series so that I could read this title first. I figured I'd start off with the prequel and then dive right into the series. That sounds like a solid plan don't you think? It's what I've got and I'm going to go with it. For those of you who haven't been slacking like myself and have made your way through this series, how was it? It is everything everyone says? Will it live up to all the hype I keep hearing about?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

In My Mailbox (54)

This is a meme that I first heard about from Kristi over at The Story Siren and immediately wanted to jump on board. I'm always picking up new books, because I Linknever tire of reading, but the other thing I like about this meme is that it gives everyone an opportunity to check out what other book fanatics, bloggers, etc... got for themselves. I've gotten great recommendations from this meme and hope that keeps up in the future.

Here's what I got, what did you guys get this week?

For Review:

Blazing the Trail (The Dragon Diaries, #3) by Deborah Cooke (Thanks to Deborah)

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and Zoë Sorensson’s love life is heating up. Cute, loyal, and understanding, wolf shifter Derek is pretty much the perfect guy. He likes Zoë, and he knows what it’s like to have to keep a secret. Yet, Zoë can’t help but wish it was rebel rocker Jared asking her to the Valentine’s dance instead. But Jared’s too busy playing hot and cold with her heart, calling Zoë his dragon girl one minute and then taking special interest in her best friend the next.

Zoë is just about ready to breathe fire, especially once she uncovers a new threat that targets her friends. Although Zoë thought the Mages were defeated, they’re back and have invoked an old spell to give them new power—they plan to eliminate all shape shifters on the night of the big dance. Now, Zoë must lead an alliance of young shifters to battle the Mages and figure out exactly what—and who—she wants, before it all goes up in smoke…

Before You Go by James Preller (Thanks to James)

The summer before his senior year, Jude (yes, he’s named after the Beatles song) gets his first job, falls in love for the first time, and starts to break away from his parents. Jude’s house is kept dark, and no one talks much—it’s been that way since his little sister drowned in a swimming pool seven years ago when Jude was supposed to be watching her.

Now, Jude is finally, finally starting to live. Really live. And then, life spins out of control. Again.

Acclaimed author James Preller explores life, death, love, faith, and resilience in his first young adult novel that will grip readers from the book’s dramatic first few pages to its emotional end.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!!

I hope you guys have some fun stuff planned for this holiday weekend! I was lucky enough to be able to take off work yesterday and I headed to the beach Thursday night. It's one of my good friend's birthdays so we're celebrating with the sun and the sand, and crossing our fingers for great weather and super tans to go with it! I had my bags packed and made sure I had at least two books with me to make sure I never ran out of something to read during the trip. I'm not sure how much reading time I'll really be able to squeeze in, but I'm hoping that at some point while I'm soaking up the sun I'll be able to tear through a few pages at the same time.

Enjoy the holiday and thanks to all of our service men and women out there!!

Happy Reading Everyone!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Countdown: 2012 Releases (14)

I still can't get over how quickly this year is already flying by. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago that I was counting down the days until Summer finally got here, and look at it is. My Summer is already looking jam packed with friends getting married and all the festivities that go along with that. But also exciting is all the great books that are scheduled to hit the shelves.

I can't believe how many great titles are coming out and how badly I want to read them all. I'm not sure how I'm going to manage to fit everything in, but I'm crossing my fingers I'll find a way and at least if I have some traveling to do for these weddings I'll be sure to have plenty of great reads to take a long with me to pass the time, right?

That's the plan anyways and hopefully I'll have some down time as well in between all the fun festivities lined up to squeeze in a book or two on a night in, curled up on my couch unwinding from all the craziness!

Countdown Pick #1: Snow White and the Huntsman by Lily Blake (06/05/2012)

A breathtaking new vision of a legendary tale. Snow White is the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen who is out to destroy her. But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training in the art of war with a huntsman who was dispatched to kill her.

Most of us have been read the tale of Snow White as kids by our parents. If you weren't read the story, I would be shocked if you haven't seen the Disney version! It was never one of my favorites when I was little, mainly because it scared me. Snow White running through the forest, the trees coming to life and grabbing at her, etc... It was all too much for me, and don't even get me started on the evil queen and tempting people with poisonous's probably still why I'm not a huge fan of the fruit. But now that I'm older and less inclined to let a Disney movie scare me, I'm really looking forward to both the new movie version, as well as the adapted book. Charlize Theron is going to blow me away with her evil queen, I've got no doubt!

Countdown Pick #2: Arise (Hereafter, #2) by Tara Hudson (06/05/2012)

Amelia—still caught between life and death—must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers…and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life...a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.

This is a series that I've been really excited to check out. Of course with the second installment in the series now just around the corner, I think it just might be a good time to dive right in. It's always nice when you find a great book and then realize the other installments in the series are already on the shelves, and there's no long wait to see what will happen next. Have you guys read the series opener for this one? Did you enjoy it? The whole idea behind the novels sounds interesting and intriguing to say the least, so I can't wait to check both the series opener and this one out, and soon! And be sure to head over to Goodreads if you haven't already and enter the contest for your chance to win a copy of this title!

Countdown Pick #3: Tempest Unleashed (Tempest, #2) by Tracy Deebs (06/05/2012)

Tempest Maguire is happy with her decision to embrace her mermaid nature and live among her mother’s clan within the ocean’s depths. Even though training to one day ascend the throne for the aging mermaid queen is rigorous, she finds refuge in the arms of Kona, the selkie who first opened her up to her mermaid side. But when word comes that one of her brothers has been gravely injured on land, Tempest immediately rushes to his side—which also brings her back to her old flame, Mark. And in her absence, a deadly battle begins raging at the hands of Tempest’s old nemesis, the sea witch Tiamat. As the dangerous war erupts, Tempest’s two loves—Kona and Mark, sea and land—will collide for the first time, both to protect her and to force her to choose.

Yet another series that I need to get started on. If the second book is going to hit the shelves in less than a month, I will hopefully have time to dive into the series opener, just in time to finish up and head straight to the store to pick this baby up. I've always been a fan of mermaids and the underwater worlds that authors create, and I'm sure this one will be no different. Fun to be had by all, and from the sounds of it some intense action as well. I'm not sure how I feel about this cover at the moment, but maybe it'll grow on me.

Countdown Pick #4: Monument 14 (Monument 14, #1) by Emmy Laybourne (06/05/2012)

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.

But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

Slightly terrifying to think about, but it also sounds like a wild ride that I wouldn't want to miss. I can't seem to get enough of the dystopian like novels lately, and I've already added this one to my list. Just the description on the back got to me. I think we're all guilty of taking things for granted and forgetting to let people know how we feel especially simply because we all think we have all the time in the world, when we know that's just not true. So this one's been added the list, and if you guys decide to check it out, let me know what you think! If you are interested, Goodreads has a contest up for the chance to win yourself a copy of this title, so head on over and give it a shot.

Countdown Pick #5: Vicious Little Darlings by Katherine Easer (06/05/2012)

Sarah Weaver wasn't looking forward to starting at an all-girls school. But that was before she met Maddy. Maddy and her best friend, Agnes, are fun and rich and interesting-and for some reason, they seem to really like Sarah. Before long, Maddy and Agnes have moved Sarah into a big house off campus, where they cook together, buy each other presents, and share each other's secrets. So why does Sarah feel like something's bizarrely wrong? As more and more cracks start to show in Maddy's and Agnes's perfect veneers, Sarah notices some strange and disturbing things: Maddy's compulsive lying, Agnes's obsession with Maddy, and the deterioration of their friendship. And just when Sarah begins to question her own sanity, things turns deadly. Fans of Pretty Little Liars will devour this juicy debut novel.

We've got a debut here everyone! I can't wait to see what kind of writer Easer is and where she decides to take her readers. There's a contest at Goodreads for this title as well for a chance to win a copy for yourself if you're interested, you can head on over there and sign up. I'm anxious to see what these girls have in mind for their plans of revenge, and to see if the punishment so to speak meets the crime. I can't help being a fan of this kind of thing, the whole concept of the fiction sense of course. Looking forward to checking this one out one hundred percent!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Unearthly (Unearthly, #1) by Cynthia Hand

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees...

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honest and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

What a page turner! I've got to hand it to Cynthia Hand on this was unique and interesting, compelling and very moving and had me staying up late into the night reading so I could find out what would happen to Clara and the rest of Hand's fantastic characters. I love a good story about Angels, but this time around I'll admit the spin that Hand put on why there are Angels on earth and the "purpose" each of them has really piqued my interest. I was so excited as I read on to see what new clues Clara would be given and how everything would pan out for her and her purpose on Earth.

I will say Tucker took me by surprise. I was all ready to be planted firmly in the Team Christian side of things, and that went right out the window about half way through the book. While I think both characters are great and the way they interact with Clara made for some very interesting and entertaining reading, I'm still going to say that Tucker won me over in the end.

To make matters worse, Hand threw me for a loop with the last quarter of her book. Wow, can you say intense action? I was on the edge of my seat so anxious to see what choices Clara would make, how they would turn out for her and what the consequences of everything would turn out to be. Now of course Hand left her readers with a cliffhanger, and one that has me ready to get to the store so I can pick up where this opener left off, with her second installment, Hallowed. I can't recommend this series opener enough!

I gave Unearthly (Unearthly, #1) 4 shamrocks!!!!


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