Jan 30, 2014

{Review} The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Maureen Johnson
Pages: 304
Publisher: Speak
Format: Paperback
Source: B&N
Age Group: YA
Date Published: December 10, 2013

After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Deveaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get back to her friends. But Rory's brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she's become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades--the city's secret ghost-fighting police--are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it's too late. In this follow-up to the Edgar Award-nominated THE NAME OF THE STAR, Maureen Johnson adds another layer of spectacularly gruesome details to the streets of London that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

Jan 29, 2014

{WoW} Perfect Lies by Kiersten White

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we book bloggers talk about upcoming releases we are excited for. This week I'm looking forward to:

Publisher: HarperTeen
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Age Group: YA
Expected Publication: February 18, 2014

Annie and Fia are ready to fight back.
The sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.
But Annie's visions of the future can't show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia's first love, Fia knows he's hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other - but that may not be enough to save them.

Jan 28, 2014

{Top Ten Tuesday} Top Ten Characters I'd NEVER Want To Trade Places With

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and today's theme is "Top Ten Characters I'd NEVER Want To Trade Places With."

1. Katniss Everdeen - I figure this one's pretty darn cliche, but come on. No one wants to be in the Hunger Games! I'm kind of a softy, and I don't think I could survive seeing so much death and destruction. (The Hunger Games)

2. Sam Temple - As the leader of the FAYZ, Sam has to make a lot of big decisions. Many of which involve the deaths of other people. He has to handle starvation and the threat of his evil twin coming to kill him. I'd be terrified. I could never, would never want to take his place. (Gone)

3. Juliet Moreau - Her dad's a nutcase who experiments with vivsection on animals. She has two boys pining for her (score), but neither are what she thought they were. The island she ends up on is terrifying and dangerous, because of her madman of a father. Who is also a jerk. I couldn't trade places with her for all the money in the world. (The Madman's Daughter)

Jan 27, 2014

{Review} Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Lauren Morrill
Pages: 304
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Age Group: YA
Date Published: November 13, 2012

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.
It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").
But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.
Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

Jan 24, 2014

{FF} Feature and Follow Friday (24)

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow
The Feature & Follow blog hop is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers

Jan 23, 2014

{Review} Vortex by S.J. Kincaid

S.J. Kincaid
Pages: 390
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Age Group: YA
Publication Date: July 2, 2013

The impossible was just the beginning. Now in their second year as superhuman government weapons-in-training at the Pentagonal Spire, Tom Raines and his friends are mid-level cadets in the elite combat corps known as the Intrasolar Forces. But as training intensifies and a moment arrives that could make or break his entire career, Tom’s loyalties are again put to the test.Encouraged to betray his ideals and friendships for the sake of his country, Tom is convinced there must be another way. And the more aware he becomes of the corruption surrounding him, the more determined he becomes to fight it, even if he sabotages his own future in the process.
Drawn into a power struggle more dramatic than he has ever faced before, Tom stays a hyperintelligent step ahead of everyone, like the exceptional gamer he is—or so he believes. But when he learns that he and his friends have unwittingly made the most grievous error imaginable, Tom must find a way to outwit an enemy so nefarious that victory seems hopeless. Will his idealism and bravado cost him everything—and everyone that matters to him?
Filled with action and intelligence, camaraderie and humor, the second book in S.J. Kincaid’s futuristic World War III Insignia trilogy continues to explore fascinating and timely questions about power, politics, technology, loyalty, and friendship.

I'm really enjoying this series! I love the characters, and I love this world. In Vortex, Tom is growing up a little, which means interesting character development. The series took a little bit of a darker turn (yes, even darker than Blackburn and the memory culling), and I'm loving it. Of course, Kincaid kept the lighthearted humor that I, personally, loved from the first book. The only difference is that Tom's problems are getting even more serious. He needs to stay alive, and we all know he's going to be a major player in the war. When and how? Not sure. But I know it's coming. If you've read the first book, you know its coming. And with that possibility on the horizon, Tom's mistakes are more weighted and have bigger consequences. The decisions he's faced with are heavier and more adult. How he deals with that is interesting, and I like reading about it.

Vortex only had one plot line, unlike Insignia, but I was still enraptured by the book, I was still on the edge of my seat to see what Tom's gonna do next. Tom, Vik, and Wyatt are all Middles now, which means new rooms. My favorite part of the whole book is when Wyatt sends out a program so that everyone will see pictures of her and embarrassing pictures of Vik all over the walls of his new room. They're all friends, and they play these stupid pranks on each other and I love it. In the midst of World War III, these kids (and we readers) need that lightheartedness to lighten up how serious the situation is becoming. 

Yuri, of course, is still a Plebe, but he's there with the gang when most of the adventure happens. Yuri is so flippin cute. I love him. He's such a dork, but he's a smooth dork, and I love it (the whole horse face debacle is so funny). I feel so bad for him throughout the book, more than even in Insignia, because his friends are moving on without him. He's still positive, though, and that's really important. I love his addiction to working out, and how he's forever supportive of Tom and Vik. And how he's dating Wyatt (insert loud fangirling here). I just adore Yuri.

Even Elliot really grows as a character, and he's not around all that much. He's interesting, and his choices and influence on Tom are really important to the progression of the book. I'm really curious to see what happens with his character in the last book.

Blackburn is more complicated than I gave him credit for, after what we found out about him and the way he treated Tom in Insignia. I really, really liked him in the first book. And I still like him. It's like, he could be a villain, but he's so twisted and screwed up that I can't hate him. He does a lot of good things, and the way he treats Wyatt is really interesting. I have mixed feelings for Blackburn. The main villain continuese to be the corporations fighting in the war, no surprise there. 

So yeah. I really love this series! Lots of actiony goodness, and pranks galore. Oh, and we get to see Medusa again (which is great, because I love her). 

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Jan 22, 2014

{WoW} The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we book bloggers talk about upcoming releases we are excited for. This week I'm looking forward to:

The Unbound (The Archived #2)
Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Age Group: YA
Expected Publication: January 28, 2014

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.
Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she's struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn't easy -- not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she's really safe.
Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She's sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she'll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?
With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.

Jan 21, 2014

{Top Ten Tuesday} Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and today's theme is "Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist."

1. Lady Pirates - So, there's this Tumblr post, and I can't find it right now to give credit to whomever wrote it, but it's about wanting the story of lady pirates. I've read The Assassins Curse, which was great, but I want more. And TAC isn't on the water much. I want the story of ruthless lady pirates who pillage and steal and are cruel, but awesome, you know? Like Elizabeth Swan. Except I don't recall Elizabeth pillaging, but you get the gist.

2. Girls in SPACE - I loved Ender's Game and I recently read Insignia, which were about boys. I loved them, but what about girls in similar plot lines? Girls who accidentally kill people. Girls who are the government's secret weapon. Girls who fight intergalactic wars. I love YA heroines, and I want one in Ender's position. In Tom's place. Ya feel me?

3. Spies - I know there are tons of spy books out there, but I want more. I love spies and spying and gadgets. Those are so fun.

Jan 18, 2014

{Review} Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

S.J. Kincaid
Pages: 466
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Format: Harcover
Source: Library
Age Group: Young Adult
Date Published: July 10, 2012 (my birthday it's a sign)

More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom’s drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible.Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone’s been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he’s offered the incredible—a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom’s instincts for combat will be put to the test, and if he passes, he’ll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War Three. Finally, he’ll be someone important: a superhuman war machine with the tech skills that every virtual-reality warrior dreams of. Life at the Spire holds everything that Tom’s always wanted—friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters—but what will it cost him?
Gripping and provocative, S. J. Kincaid’s futuristic thrill ride of a debut crackles with memorable characters, tremendous wit, and a vision of the future that asks startling, timely questions about the melding of humanity and technology

Jan 4, 2014

Operation Vitro

On Skin Island, even the laws of creation can be broken.
On a remote island in the Pacific, Corpus scientists have taken test tube embryos and given them life. These beings—the Vitros—have knowledge and abilities most humans can only dream of. But they also have one enormous flaw.
Sophie Crue is determined to get to Skin Island and find her mother, a scientist who left Sophie behind years ago. With the help of Jim Julien, a young charter pilot, she arrives--and discovers a terrifying secret she never imagined: she has a Vitro twin, Lux, who is the culmination of Corpus's dangerous research.
Now Sophie is torn between reuniting with the mother who betrayed her and protecting the genetically enhanced twin she never knew existed. But untangling the twisted strands of these relationships will have to wait, for Sophie and Jim are about to find out what happens when science stretches too far beyond its reach.

Hey guys! So Jessica Khoury is having a ginormous giveaway for Vitro called Operation Vitro (I've been tweeting about it all day). It's very similar to the Origin Olympics, which I participated in (woohoo). It's super fun and creative, and if you're as psyched about Jessica Khoury's new book as I am (and as broke as I am) this giveaway is perfect for you!

You can go to www.corpusnetwork.com for all the deets and to enter! The entry tasks range from tweeting about the giveaway to making an outfit for the book! It's all really fun and cool (this is actually an entry :D), so join in. Or don't and let me win things. That's cool, too.
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