Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stacking the Shelves


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to show what your book haul for the week looks like!
Bought:
Evercrossed (Kissed by an Angel, #4)ForgottenPaper Towns

Forgotten by Cat Patrick
Paper Towns by John Green
Evercrossed by Elizabeth Chandler

Friday, June 29, 2012

No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz


No Safety In NumbersTitle: No Safety in Numbers 
Author: Dayna Lorentz
Publisher: Dial 
Release: May 29, 2012
Pages: 263
Series: Yes
THANKS TO PENGUIN CANADA FOR THE REVIEW COPY.
Buy It!
Synopsis:

Life As We Knew It meets Lord of the Flies in a mall that looks just like yours

A biological bomb has just been discovered in the air ducts of a busy suburban mall. At first nobody knows if it's even life threatening, but then the entire complex is quarantined, people start getting sick, supplies start running low, and there's no way out. Among the hundreds of trapped shoppers are four teens.

These four different narrators, each with their own stories, must cope in unique, surprising styles, changing in ways they wouldn't have predicted, trying to find solace, safety, and escape at a time when the adults are behaving badly.

This is a gripping look at people and how they can--and must--change under the most dire of circumstances.

And not always for the better.

Review:
This book intrigued me from the very beginning. It's summary, on the ARC, talked about it being like Contagion (a biological thriller movie) and Lord of the Flies (a survival story), neither of which I have seen/ read, but it seemed unique in the vast realm of Young Adult books. And when I read it, I found it to be a thrilling contemporary book that should not be missed.

The symbol universally recognized as the one for toxins is featured on this cover. To further the feel of danger, yellow and red were used in harsh tones to call to the curious eye even more. Beneath the toxic symbol you can see the outlines of people trapped in the mall looking stressed and wanting to leave, add that to the rough paper texture and Sharpie marker-like title font and you have a very cool looking cover.

Lately I've been reading a lot of books from multiple points of view and this one was no exception. I loved the diversity shown in the characters; they were all hugely different in personality as well as backgrounds. Some of them grew relationships with each other whilst in the mall, but all of them just wanted to get out. It was this mutual interest that really brought the characters together, otherwise they didn't have very much in common at all. It was really interesting to see how they changed as their stay in the mall grew longer and longer and how they reacted to the stresses that accompanied it. The characters could not have been better written to fit this story: they were like any other person, but they were thrown into the insane and frightening situation of being exposed to a deadly virus and not knowing much about it.

I was under the belief during the majority of this book that it was a standalone book until the very end when it was clear that there would have to be more. The book starts off with a bang (bad bomb pun, I'm sorry) with the discovery of a biological bomb and the lock down of the huge mall. It was very well paced with the exception of a few slow spots where uncertainty over their situation overrode the plot. The writing made everything seem very real; it really was able to draw the reader's attention to it while still remaining fairly elusive about what the outcome could be in the future. The end was one that I will not forget anytime soon; it was a true cliffhanger that both surprised me and made me immediately want more.

I really enjoyed this book, and any one in need of a good thriller will too. I give No Safety in Numbers a 4/5 for gripping me from the beginning all the way to the end. Now, pardon me while I go wash my hands a few million times.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Follow Friday





So Follow my Blog Friday is a meme held by Parajunkee and it's where you answer the weekly question and then link yourself and you go and check out other blogs of your interest.


Q: Birthday Wishes — Blow out the candles and imagine what character could pop out of your cake…who is it and what book are they from??


Easy- Adrian from Vampire Academy and Bloodlines. He's good looking, a bad boy and intelligent at times! What more can a girl ask for?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer


Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)Title: Cinder 
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends 
Release: January 3, 2012
Pages: 387
Series: Lunar Chronicles #1
Synopsis:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Review:
When Cinder came out, it was surrounded by all sorts of amazing hype that made me a little skeptical of the book. How could it be that great? Well, I finally took the dive and picked it up and read it and the only bad thing about it was the fact that I had not read it earlier.

The cover is an interesting one, while I read it I had many people ask about the book and tell me that the cover caught their eye. It features Cinder's foot in a very red glass slipper, paying homage to the original tale involving the glass slipper. Also, it is easy to see the mechanics beneath Cinder's skin, immediately telling the reader that the story is about a cyborg. I love the font they used for the title and the author name; both carry a fantasy, futuristic feel to them that matched the book well.

As you may have guessed, the main character's name was Cinder. Cinder was a cyborg living in New Beijing sometime in the far future. Even though her 'family' had treated her like dirt for the duration of her living with them, she still retained hope and a good personality when it would have been easy to just be bitter and down on herself. Cinder was a very strong character who was highly enjoyable to read about, just as many of the characters were in the book. Prince Kai was another favorite of mine because he didn't take no for an answer, but he didn't put a new love before his priorities with the kingdom. These qualities made him realistic as well as a great love interest. The relationship dynamic between these two was very interesting, as they didn't get far into it before the book ended, not doing the whole 'instant love' shebang that's very popular in books today.

The premise was amazing and unique, for a retelling, and it was truly delivered by the great writing and plot. The writing made me form instant bonds with the characters, holding me to them emotionally, making me feel for the characters from the beginning. It was these bonds that hooked me into every page, and kept me there until the very end. And by that I mean that I was wanting more at the end, but the cliffhanger left me wanting the next book instantly. The pacing of the plot was spot on, it couldn't have been done better. There were no slow parts and there was always something occurring or building. From beginning to end there was no shortage of twists and turns that made Cinder a book that you don't want to miss.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an awesome retelling of a classic fairytale with a twist, or simply to anyone. I give Cinder a 5/5 for making me die for the next book in the series.


Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event held by Jill over at Breaking The Spine! It's all about those books you just can't wait for and are counting down the days till they come out.  


This week I chose:


The Lost GirlEva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Interview with Wesley King, author of The Vindico


1) What inspired you to use the Villains more than the Heroes in this story?
The VindicoI’ve always had a fascination with literary villains, particularly conflicted ones that don’t just have an “evil to be evil” philosophy. So many heroic characters have the same backstory (traumatic, isolating event in childhood that eventually leads to triumph), that often the villain leaves the most room for creativity. I thought that having teens training to be super villains was a great chance to explore all the grey areas of good vs. evil.

2) How do you feel about the comparisons to X-Men?
I welcome them! I was a huge X-Men fan growing up (I still am), and I definitely think many of the same themes are in The Vindico. X-Men really set the stage for flawed heroes and conflicted villains, and I loved the vulnerability of those characters. When my agent proposed the tagline X-Men meets The Breakfast Club, I thought it was perfect.

3) Which point of view was your favorite to write from?
That’s a tough one. You really become attached to the characters, and because I’ve already written the sequel, I’ve had even more opportunity to get to know them all. I do enjoy writing from Hayden’s perspective, because his personality is so totally unlike mine and I find something deeply satisfying about his complete lack of boundaries. 

4) Which character was your least favorite to write from?
I suppose I connected least to the super villains themselves, though they all have their humanizing characteristics. That side is explored even more in the sequel, and I think readers will come to identify with characters they wouldn’t have expected.

5) Which of the action scenes was your favorite?
Hmm, I never thought of that. They do come fast and furious at a point, and I paid a lot of attention to making sure the reader could follow along and envision everything as it was happening. The final, climactic battle was a lot of fun to write, but I think the initial raid on the League mansion might be my favourite. There’s a lot of tension and some very important developments built into that scene.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Vindico by Wesley King


The VindicoTitle: The Vindico 
Author: Wesley King
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile 
Release: June 14, 2012
Pages: 272
Series: Yes
THANKS TO PENGUIN CANADA FOR THE REVIEW COPY.
Check it Out!
Synopsis:

X-Men meets The Breakfast Club in this darkly humorous adventure

The Vindico are a group of supervillains who have been fighting the League of Heroes for as long as anyone can remember. Realizing they're not as young as they used to be, they devise a plan to kidnap a group of teenagers to take over for them when they retire--after all, how hard can it be to teach a bunch of angsty teens to be evil?

Held captive in a remote mansion, five teens train with their mentors and receive superpowers beyond their wildest dreams. Struggling to uncover the motives of the Vindico, the teens have to trust each other to plot their escape. But they quickly learn that the differences between good and evil are not as black and white as they seem, and they are left wondering whose side they should be fighting on after all . . .

With fast-paced action, punchy dialogue, and sarcastic humor, this high-stakes adventure from a talented new YA voice pulls you in from the first page.


Review:
I initally read the summary for the book a short while before I read it; it had me at "X-Men" (in case you didn't know, I am a huge fan of Marvel superheroes!). With the interesting premise of telling a story from a multiple quasi-villain point of view, I read and adored this awesome tale of coming of age under the most unusual of circumstances.

The cover was one definitely designed to draw the eyes of both boys and girls, creating a greater demographic for the book. The color was one that I really liked; it was between fuchsia and red with lighter lightening streaks through it. It also transcended the gender boundaries; it had draw for both boys and girls, rather than just one or the other. The whole thing came together wonderfully, and it will no doubt draw readers to it with ease.

The story was told through five points of view; that of James, Lana, Sam, Hayden, and Emily. They were all very different people, but they were all thrown together when they were abducted by The Villains. Did I have a favorite character? No: I loved them all that much! All of them could be related to on some level and the were very much like-able. The ability to make a reader sympathize with the characters is a great skill and something that I look for in a book, which was achieved in this one. The Villains were also brilliantly written; they weren't just stereotypical bad guys, they had depth and back stories that were very intriguing.

The story was fantastic and quick to action, and the writing was just as good. There were plenty of action packed scenes, but there was also a good mix of emotional ones to bring balance to the plot. It featured nearly perfect pacing along with writing with an attention grabbing style. It was clear in the writing that every character was equally as important, none were favored by the plot or the writing. The author was also able to give every single character a different personality without making any of them too similar; a difficult task considering how many characters were in the book. I cannot wait for more of the history between the characters as well as more of the quick plot in the sequel!

I strongly recommend that fans of superheroes or anyone looking for a unique Young Adult title. I cannot wait for the next book in the series, but until then, I give The Vindico a 5/5.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Stacking the Shelves


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to show what your book haul for the week looks like!


This week I had the fun experience of attending Catherine Knutsson's book launch! It was a blast and I'll be doing a full recap of it later this week.


For Review:
The Blessed (The Blessed, #1)Embers and Echoes (Wildefire, #2)
Embers & Echoes by Karsten Knight
Blessed by Tonya Hurley


Won:
Why Aren't You Sweet Like Me?
Why aren't you sweet like me? by Carrie Nyman


Bought:
Keeping Secrets
Keeping Secrets by Alyson Noel

Friday, June 22, 2012

I'm Back!

Hey everyone! I finally finished exams, meaning that I CAN BLOG AGAIN! I'm really excited to be back and able to share some new reviews with you guys! Watch out for a new book haul on Saturday, and be sure to check out the guest post from this week too!


Why I love to read YA, guest post by Sherry Soule





“Why I LOVE the Young Adult Genre”
Hi everybody, I’m author, Sherry Soule—waving from the SF Bay Area, where it can get pretty foggy. And I can’t believe that summer’s finally here, and even with the fog burning off by afternoon, I’m cranking the air conditioner and chatting on Twitter about my love of reading.
Thanks for letting me visit today as part of my epic Moonlight Mayhem Blog Tour. It’s an honor to be a guest and meet all these awesome booklovers.
Thus far, my tour has been so much fun for me and all the followers that participated. It is nice seeing the familiar names in the comments at each stop. For those of you who haven’t heard of my super fun blog tour it's not too late to join the fun!



Twitter Hashtag: #MMBlogTour

Since I was a child, I recognized that books were a way to travel to other worlds and have remarkable adventures, and I’ve been in love with both reading and writing ever since. Even though, I am older (don’t ask me “how” old), I’ve always loved reading YA literature. I am on a constant literary diet that mostly consists of the young adult fiction genre, but I’ve been known to occasionally stray into paranormal/romance or horror adult categories.
I love reading YA because I can experience excitement, romance, and fantasy through the eyes of a teenager, and because I think most novels in this genre are fast-paced and thrilling, and they are often written in a style that is both engrossing and easy-to-read, with story-driven or character-driven plotlines. I also love that there are so many books created into a series nowadays, so that you can keep sharing more adventures with your favorite characters.
Could my love of YA be simply because I’m still stuck at age 17, a teenager-at-heart in disguise?
Yup. And like many of you, I’ve read hundreds of YA books (you’re NEVER too old to read young adult novels, IMHO) and I can’t actually say I didn’t enjoy them all. Some I loved and I mean “LOVED”, and even felt compelled to email the author to let her know how much I enjoyed her book. Other novels became good friends that I didn’t want to ever part with, so they adorn my bookshelves and wait patiently to be reread again one day. Others were simply read and then disregarded with a contented smile. I am never embarrassed to buy YA books (although I buy most of my books online @ Amazon) in bookstores or carry them around with me. I love the genre and always have. Always will.
I realize that we all have different tastes in literature. Most of you will have varied genres that you read and other genres that are like old friends, and probably some of my favorite books are simply your satisfied sighs and forgotten reads. That is what makes the world of YA so dang fascinating. Each one of us will enjoy different types of characters, plots, and of course, a writer’s voice, the way ONLY they can tell a story.
Personally, I like to read and write darker, edgier YA novels. I like to read and write anything with a paranormal theme and it must have romance. I write to connect with readers that love paranormal/romance themes, too.
Below I’ve listed a few of my favorite YA authors and major influences, in no particular order:
Jennifer L. Armintrout
Kate Evangelista
Angeline Kace
Carolyn MacCullough
Lauren Kate
Stephenie Meyer
Christopher Pike
Lili St. Crow
Lois Duncan
L. J. Smith
Ellen Schreiber
Joan Lowery Nixon
Kiersten White
Alyson Noel
Amanda Hocking
I mainly read the paranormal genre (obviously), add that with a dash of dystopian, a healthy dose of horror, but rarely contemporary genres; however, I enjoy anything that has romance. I am a firm believer that reading has the power to change the world.
As you can probably tell if you’d read my books, I tend to write dark, tormented heroines. I love the angst of a female protagonist trying to come to terms with some dark secret or horrific event in her past, and usually, she ends up facing this fear, weakness, or threat, with a strong, hot hero by her side. I also enjoy writing suspense and romance, with a dash of horror or paranormal. Oh!—and I love to create an evil villain that is unquestionably devious, but complex. My antiheroes always possess some redeeming features. Because of these factors, I think it makes them much more interesting villains. And my heroines are typically intelligent, snarky, and full of fight. Like my girl, Shiloh Ravenwolf in the Spellbound series—she’s feisty, witty, and kickbutt. You gotta admire Shiloh’s spunk and determination. When I grow up, I wanna just like her…or a vampire, or a ninja. Not sure which…


MOONLIGHT MAYHEM Blurb:

Otherworldly Creatures. Dazzling Magic. Fiery Romance.
Shiloh Ravenwolf thought she was getting used to the strange events in Whispering Pines, until the full moon brings another surge of supernatural threats to her coastal town. Ferocious wolves, deadly necromancers, and shambling zombies have descended upon the neighborhood, so Shiloh needs to gain control of her magical abilities—fast!
It sucks that she has a crippling fear of the dark, which for a demon hunter can be an epic problem.
When her classmates are attacked by a mysterious creature and her father is murdered, Shiloh vows vengeance. Forcing her phobias aside, she forms an unlikely coven of supernaturally gifted teens to help her eradicate this menace. Except that's not all Shiloh has to worry about. She’s battling a different monster within herself and struggling not to become the very thing she fights: evil.
But with demon blood inside her—anything can happen…

Moonlight Mayhem is the second novel in the unforgettably epic Spellbound series



Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:
Official Spellbound Series Universe: http://thespellboundseries.blogspot.com
Twitter @WriterSherry: http://twitter.com/writersherry
Watch these Awesome Book Trailers/YouTube: http://youtu.be/5uqVXKygvUs


I love hearing from other avid YA readers at my blog. You can even send me an email with any questions you have about the Spellbound series and or if you just want to drop me a line and tell me how much you enjoyed one of my stories via email. Or join my Twitter, @WriterSherry for a fun chat!  Hope you enjoyed this post. Now go feed your mind and read a book! Preferably mine. J

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fated Audiobook

Fated (Soul Seekers, #1)
Hey everyone! Have you read my review of Fated? If not, click here. As you can tell, I liked the book, having read it a while back. To read it was one thing, but to hear part of the audiobook brought a whole new dimension to the story, bringing it alive with the great voice acting, as heard in the clip below. I don't know about you guys, but I think I may have to pick this one up!


Check it out: Amazon USA Amazon Canada



What did you think?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Interview with Courtney Summers, Author of This is Not a Test

This is Not a Test
1) What inspired you to write about the apocalypse?
I really, really love writing about characters dealing with extreme situations and
there's not much more extreme than a zombie apocalypse.  I knew exploring that would be
an opportunity to push people to their limits and I'm at a point in my writing where
that's one of my favourite things to do.  My poor characters!  They never have it easy.

2) What drew you to write for young adults?
I wrote three books before Cracked Up to Be and none of them are published (and never
will be, hopefully! They were terrible!), and the first two were adult books with
distinctly YA voices so I was drawn to YA before I actually realized I was and I think
I'm drawn to it because it just fits.  That's not to say I'll never write adult fiction,
but for now the stories in my head are best suited to the YA category.  I LOVE reading YA
too, and they always say write the book you'd love to read.

3) What was the most difficult part of This is Not a Test to write?
I can't say because it would be a spoiler, but I can tell you that the book itself was
just generally difficult to write.  I'm a big zombie fanatic so when I decided to write a
zombie book myself, I felt a lot of pressure to do as right by the genre as I could.  It
was pretty stressful at points.

4) Do you ever find yourself putting little parts of yourself into your characters?
Probably in some characters more than others, but if I've done my job right no one will
be able to tell which ones.  :)
 

5) Which character was your favorite to write?
In This is Not a Test, my favourite character to write was Sloane.  She needed to be or I
wouldn't have been able to write her at all.  My next favourite was Trace because he's so
abrasive.  I love how he just said whatever he was thinking, no matter how hurtful it
was.  Out of all of my books, my favourite character is always the one I'm in the process
of writing.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Anna!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Brief Hiatus

Hello everyone!


Long time no see! I know I have neglected my blog a lot in the past little while, but it is with good reason: exams. I thought I'd be able to continue updating through this time, but I have been proven completely wrong, and for that I am sorry. 


What's the point of this post, you ask? Well, I've decided on taking a brief hiatus (which you may have gotten from the title of this post). It'll only last two weeks, giving me time to properly focus on my exams. I have a few posts scheduled for you to enjoy, but I will not be writing any new ones for two weeks.


I cannot wait to come back during the summer and review a ton of books for you guys!


Thanks for your understanding,
Anna Tee
The Bursting Bookshelf

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Forbidden by Syrie and Ryan James


ForbiddenTitle: Forbidden 
Author: Syrie and Ryan James
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release: January 24, 2012
Pages: 410
Series: None
THANKS TO WUNDERKIND PR FOR THE REVIEW COPY.
Synopsis:


She should not exist.
He should not love her.
Claire Brennan has been attending Emerson Academy for two years now (the longest she and her mom have remained anywhere) and she's desperate to stay put for the rest of high school. So there's no way she's going to tell her mom about the psychic visions she's been having or the creepy warnings that she's in danger.
Alec MacKenzie is fed up with his duties to watch and, when necessary, eliminate the descendants of his angelic forefathers. He chose Emerson as the ideal hiding place where he could be normal for once. He hadn't factored Claire into his plans. . . .
Their love is forbidden, going against everything Alec has been taught to believe. But when the reason behind Claire's unusual powers is revealed and the threat to her life becomes clear, how far will Alec go to protect her?

Review:
Being familiar with the name Syrie James, but having never actually read anything by her, I didn't know what to expect going into the book. I hadn't read any angel books as of late, so I was quite looking forward to the book for just that reason.

I love the cover of this book! It's very different than other books of the angelic variety; this one had less of a dark feel to it and more of a feature on blue and green tones. It also didn't show what the cover model was thinking or what emotion she was portraying, giving the book an air of mystery. Apart from the model, the theme wasn't a super simple, modern look. It was more of a fantasy and older feel, giving it a romantic vibe. There's also the little swirl at the bottom of the second 'd' in the title that really tied the cover together.

Character-wise, the book had it's few drawbacks. I loved the two main characters Alec and Claire a lot, but I felt that some of the secondary characters were very undeveloped. Alec was amazing; supernatural and hot, he was a perfect combo. He also had the feeling of uniqueness that is hard to find in characters. Claire was also fun, she made a good protagonist and had a strong feeling to her. The relationship between the two was slow going and not instant, making me enjoy it even more. Apart from select secondary characters, the rest of the characters were enjoyable and well written.

Honestly, I didn't know who wrote what. Often with dual authored books it's fairly simple to tell where one's writing begins and where the other ends, but it simply wasn't that easy in this book. The writing was phenomenal, but the story was even better. It was well paced, but perhaps more romantic than adventurous.  I'd recommend this book to anyone who has either lost faith in the angels of YA or who would like to try the genre out. I give Forbidden a 4/5.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Stacking the Shelves


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to show what your book haul for the week looks like!


This week I had the fun experience of attending Catherine Knutsson's book launch! It was a blast and I'll be doing a full recap of it later this week.


For Review:
Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3)
Endlessly by Kiersten White

Bought:
Shadows Cast By StarsWill Grayson, Will GraysonThe Perks of Being a Wallflower13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)Forever Summer (Laguna Cove & Cruel Summer)

Shadows Cast by Stars by Catherine Knutsson
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Forever Summer by Alyson Noel
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
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