Thursday, June 30, 2011

Born At Midnight by C. C. Hunter

Born At Midnight by C.C. Hunter
Release Date: March 29, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams, Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen… One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.
Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.  Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…  - Goodreads.com
Loved it!  That's all I have to say.  No, kidding.  There's a lot more to say, but let me get that out there quickly.  This was a great YA debut by C.C. Hunter, and I am so happy that this is going to be a series.  The story literally took off for me, kept my attention, and had me wanting to find out, right NOW, what happens next.

Kylie was such an interesting character.  She was a teenager.  She had angst, but it wasn't overly done. It was very realistic.  Along with that, she had a very good dose of common sense and independence thrown in there that made her very intriguing and made you root for her as she works to discover just who, and what, she is.

The friends, Miranda and Della were a perfect compliment to her, and I literally laughed out loud numerous times watching the interplay between these three.  As much as I loved them, I loved, loved, LOVED the men in Kylie's life.  I love them both for different reasons.  Obviously we're going to have a love triangle here, and in most cases I'd say that's been done to death for me.  However, C.C. Hunter has crafted a new one here that had me on board almost immediately.  A good love triangle, done well, is hard to find, but I believe she's doing it.  I could see Kylie with either of these guys, and at times I find myself pulling more toward one than the other, until the other does something and I think, "no! I want him too!" 

I can't wait until later this year when the next installment titled, Awake at Dawn, comes out.  Ms. Hunter is off to a fantastic start.  I'm a fan now!

If you liked this book, you might also like:
 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. WoW posts are about books that you can’t wait to get your hands on.

This is one of my favorite posts to read on the blogs that I follow because other bloggers have found so many wonderful books that I had no idea about! I get most of those from reading Waiting on Wednesday posts. :-) I urge you to visit other blogs and read theirs to find these great lists!



Release Date: August 1, 2011
Why I love it: Mythology!

Buy it on Goodreads.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teaser Tuesday





Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:




  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from:





Haven by Kristi Cook

Release Date: Out now


Small blurb from Goodreads.com: One month into her junior year, sixteen-year-old Violet McKenna transfers to the Winterhaven School in New York’s Hudson Valley, inexplicably drawn to the boarding school with high hopes. A new school, and new classmates who will not know her deepest, darkest secret, the one she’s tried to hide all her life: strange, foreboding visions of the future. But Winterhaven has secrets of its own that run far deeper than Violet’s. Everyone there--every student, every teacher--has psychic abilities. Soon, Violet has a new circle of friends, a new life, and maybe even a boyfriend--Aidan Gray, perhaps the smartest, hottest guy at Winterhaven.  Only there’s more to Aidan than meets the eye--much, much more.




Teaser from page 41: "My mind refused to accept it.  Besides, it's not like my visions were usually so coy...I'd seen my father's death in full Technicolor glory, no detail spared.  To this day, I was still haunted by those images.  But this vision...it had somehow sped up as if it had been edited.  I had no idea what had happened between someone saying 'Now!' and the blood everywhere."
 
 

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.  Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.
The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last. - Goodreads.com

Lisa Schroeder has written another touching novel that wrings the emotion from you and reads like poetry.  Let me say at the outset, that I've typally not been a fan of books written in verse.  In most of the ones I've read, the verse was annoying and distracting to me.  But Lisa Schroeder knows how to do it well, and without pulling you from the story.

Her prose is lyrical and poetic and really makes you think as you follow along to watch the characters.  You know at the beginning that something has gone wrong in the lives of the two main characters, Cade and Amber, but you have no idea what it is.  The author doesn't bother with backstory, but instead, allows each clue and discovery reveal itself.  With each page turn, you learn a little bit more until finally, you have the complete picture.

These characters were memorable, and you really rooted for them.  Schroeder can pull on the heartstrings and did so in this story.  The only other book I've read by her was Chasing Brooklyn, and I loved it just as much.  I'm starting to become a big fan!

If you liked this book, you might also like:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

In My Mailbox (24)



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Here's what I got this week....




Dark Powers by Sara Grant
Virtue by Amanda Hocking
Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani



The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Scorch Trial by James Dashner
Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach


Leave a comment and let me know what you got this week!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Mark by Jen Nadol

The Mark by Jen Nadol
Release Date: January 19, 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today. Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them? - Goodreads.com

This was an unusual book to me in that I don't often read stories like this one.  It had an eerie quality to it, in that the heroine can see a death mark on people around her and know that they will die within 24 hours.  It raises some rather serious moral dilemmas for Cassandra, on whether or not she should tell these people, or whether she should let it go.

It was sad watching her agonize over this, even as she battles the recent death of her aunt.  She's been left all alone in the world, but is determined to stand on her own.  She's a very straightforward, quietly steady kind of girl, and I enjoyed watching someone who could be so self-sufficient at that age.  Although there are some romances in the book, they were not the main focus.

I had trouble liking one of the guys, and once you read the book, you'll probably know exactly which one I mean, but I loved the other one.  I was happy to see that this is actually the start of a series, and there is more to come for Cassandra in a future book called The Vision which will be out later at the end of the summer.

I would definitely recommend this book as being very enjoyable, and one that will make you think.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gotta Have It YA Releases: July

Okay, so I'm going to try to highlight new releases that are coming out each month.  I'm starting with July, but each week, I may find new ones I want to add, and so I might end up posting more than once for a given month.  These are titles that I am salivating over and can't wait to get.  I Gotta Have It!




From Willa, With Love by Coleen Murtagh Paratore (Release date: 7/1/11)
The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills by Joanna Pearson (Release date: 7/1/11)
Withering Tights by Louise Rennison (Release date: 7/1/11)




The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch (Release date: 7/3/11)
Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray (Release date: 7/5/11)
Zelah Green by Vanessa Curtis (Release date: 7/5/11)




Luminous by Dawn Metcalf (Release date: 7/7/11)
Wildcat Fireflies (Meridian 2) by Amber Kizer (Release date: 7/12/11)
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard (Release date: 7/21/11)




Wildefire by Karston Knight (Release date: 7/26/11)




Thursday, June 23, 2011

Head Games by Keri Mikulski

Head Games by Keri Mikulski
Release Date: January 6, 2011
Publisher: Penguin/Razorbill

Taylor Thomas is a total all-star on the court. Off-court, not so much. She may be model-tall, gorgeous and quite a catch, but try telling her that. With a showcase game and playoffs fast approaching, Taylor’s basketball career is totally on the line. She doesn’t know which way to turn first when her BFF ropes her into a fashion show and she finds herself torn between Zach, the super-tall, super-off limits basketball star and Matt, the super-sweet guy from her English class. Can Taylor stop her head from spinning long enough to strike a pose, land the boy of her dreams, and win the game? - Goodreads.com

This was one of those cute, sweet, romantic books that I love to read.  I've been on a kick lately where I've been reading a lot of really serious and dark books.  As good as they are, I often like to brighten things up by reading just this type of book. 

Taylor was such a sweet girl.  Extremely tall, making her good at basketball, and just generally a great gal.  She's one of those girls that doesn't know how pretty she is or how people would look up to her.  She doesn't see her own worth, but it's not the kind of thing where she's pathetically mopey or whiny about it.  She doesn't feel sorry for herself.  She just doesn't think she's anything special and seems fine with it.  But this is what makes her such an endearing character.

I kind of liked when he was introduced, but it didn't take me long to realize that things aren't exactly how they might appear there.  Something wasn't being disclosed.  He had to be hiding something.  Matt was such a cutey, and you can understand at first why Taylor doesn't give him much notice, other than friendship, considering the height difference.  I can see how a really tall girl/woman might have insecurities, or aversions even, to dating a guy that's shorter than they are. 

The author did a great job juggling the romance.  Which guy will she pick?  Which one is the right one?  But she also had some really nice friendship growth in here as well.  Her girlfriends made some startling realizations about themselves and each other.  This just made the story that much more engaging and believable.

A truly heart-warming and comfortable read that entertained me and kept me really happy when it was over.  Another great find by a debut author! 
If you liked this book, you might also like:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. WoW posts are about books that you can’t wait to get your hands on.

This is one of my favorite posts to read on the blogs that I follow because other bloggers have found so many wonderful books that I had no idea about! I get most of those from reading Waiting on Wednesday posts. :-) I urge you to visit other blogs and read theirs to find these great lists!



Release Date: September 15, 2011
Why I love it: Love Elizabeth
Scott, and love Dystopians!

Buy it on Goodreads.






What books are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teaser Tuesday




Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:






  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My teaser this week comes from:









Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren
Release Date: February 1, 2011



Small blurb from Goodreads.com: In Waterfall, American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in Fourteenth-Century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties. Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds... until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the Fourteenth Century and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.




Teaser from page 156: "'Gabriella,' Marcello whispered, shaking his head. 'I've never known a woman like you.  If we had met before....'."
 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison

Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison
Release Date: January 18, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin

Bridget Duke is the uncontested ruler of her school. The meanest girl with the biggest secret insecurities. And when new girl Anna Judge arrives, things start to fall apart for Bridget: friends don't worship as attentively, teachers don't fall for her wide-eyed "who me?" look, expulsion looms ahead and the one boy she's always loved—Liam Ward—can barely even look at her anymore.  When a desperate Bridget drives too fast and crashes her car, she ends up in limbo, facing everyone she's wronged and walking a few uncomfortable miles in their shoes. Now she has only one chance to make a last impression. Though she might end up dead, she has one last shot at redemption and the chance to right the wrongs she's inflicted on the people who mean the most to her.  And Bridget's about to learn that, sometimes, saying you're sorry just isn't enough…. - Goodreads.com

Let me state at the outset that I didn't really know what to expect of this book.  I had heard a little bit, but from what I had managed to glean from others, I really didn't expect to hate the lead character as much as I did.  But Bridget... she was an absolutely horrid little monster girl.  That being said, I have to then tell you that I loved this book.  Wait... I'll explain....

Yes, Bridget was terrible.  A good portion of the book follows Bridget around and allows the reader to watch her sabotage and commit atrocities to just about everyone in her life.  And while she's doing all this, you're inside her head, listening to how she justifies her actions, and listening to the mind's workings of a very unlikeable girl.  The author did a FANTASTIC job making you hate Bridget.  To be inside the girl's head and see how ugly her heart could be was the work of a truly gifted author.

Now, something happens to Bridget that causes things to reflect and truly see the badness within.  This is when the book goes from great to awesome.  For the author to be able to take a horrible character that she made you hate and then turn it around and make you love her, was absolutely amazing to me.

I think Paige Harbison has found her calling for sure as a writer.  This was a brilliantly written book. The kind that makes you think, and the kind that stays with you.  I loved it.

If you liked this book, you might also like:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In My Mailbox (23)



The Mark by Jen Nadol
Die For Me by Amy Plum
Entwined by Heather Dixon




Haunted by Joy Preble
The Ivy by Lauren Kunze
Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky


Leave a comment and let me know what you got in your mailbox this week!



Saturday, June 18, 2011

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Release Date: February 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is. Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.  She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her. Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed. - Goodreads.com

This is my type of book!!  I had read the summary for this several months ago and added it to my To Be Read list, but then when I finally got my hands on it, I'd forgotten the story by then.  So I got to discover all this book's awesomeness from scratch, with no expectations.  I was so surprised and pleased and the different elements this debut author has put into this story.  Some people might say she added in more elements than was strictly necessary, but I would argue that she used just the right amount of everything!

First of all, the story is somewhat futuristic, since Ari lives some time in the future when New Orleans has basically been decimated by a series of tornadoes.  On top of that, there's magic.  Then on top of that, there's my favorite.... mythology!!  Then add in a kick-ass heroine who is tough as nails, self-sufficient and can fight for herself, and then add in a swoon-worthy guy with an awesome heart, and you've got a spectacular mix!

I fell in love with Ari almost from the first page.  She can fight!  I loved that about her.  But she was a good thinker and a smart tactician too.  Resourceful and brave. 

When the big reveal comes and you find out the information that Ari has been trying to discover throughout the whole book, I was floored and almost giddy with excitement!  I absolutely can't wait for book two to come out, as this is one myth that I have never seen done before in fiction, and it's always been one of my favorites.

This new author has burst upon the scene with a fantastic new series here that is sure to get plenty of attention.  She hit a home run with this debut and I am loving it!!

If you liked this book, you might also like:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Publisher: New American Library

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.  As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.  And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul. - Goodreads.com

This story wasn't at all what I was expecting, but let me say, that's not a bad thing.  Sometimes I like picking up a book expecting it to be one thing and then having it surprise me so much by being completely different.  Falling Under was different, but in a good way.  There were some elements about it that I still wasn't sure about, but for the most part I liked it.

Theia was interesting on a couple different levels.  Although I liked her as a character, I was really surprised by how she put up with being so sheltered by her father.  Her father took this shelter business to a whole other level that I have rarely seen or heard of in modern times.  And the fact that an angst-ridden teen wouldn't have rebelled a little gave me some pause.  I wasn't sure if that was realistic the way she sucked it up.  Although she did sneak out a time or two and rebel a little I guess.  All in all though, I really did like her because she was a gentle, quiet sort of person at first, and I don't typically see that in a lot of books.  I loved that she had supportive friends that rallied around her and believed her when she needed help.

Haden was the most difficult part of the book for me to swallow.  Although I felt the dark, mysterious guy thrill a little bit, a part of him really just kinda spooked me.  The sleeping scenes where she visits him and the "people" that were there were kind of spooky.  Which I suppose was the point.  It actually took me a little bit of work to like Haden, but I hung in there and am glad I did.  Once his story comes out and you know his origins and how he feels about them, and Theia, I took to him immediately. 

This was a darker story than ones I've read recently, but not in such a way that would turn me off too much.  It made it somewhat of an eerie read, but at the same time, I kind of liked how different the tone of this book was.  I enjoyed it very much.  And I am happy to see there will be as sequel!  A very nice and complex debut novel by a new talent.

If you liked this book, you might also like:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. WoW posts are about books that you can’t wait to get your hands on.

This is one of my favorite posts to read on the blogs that I follow because other bloggers have found so many wonderful books that I had no idea about! I get most of those from reading Waiting on Wednesday posts. :-) I urge you to visit other blogs and read theirs to find these great lists!





Release Date: September 28, 2011
Why I love it: Mythology!
Buy it on Goodreads.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Teaser Tuesday




Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:





  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from:






The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Release Date: June 4, 2007


Small blurb from Goodreads.com: Life is looking up for D.J. Schwenk. She’s in eleventh grade, finally. She’s got kind of a thing going with Brian Nelson, who’s cute and popular and smart but seems to like her anyway. And then there’s the fact she’s starting for the Red Bend High School football team—the first girl linebacker in northern Wisconsin, probably. Which just shows you can’t predict the future. As autumn progresses, D.J. struggles to understand Schwenk Farm, her relationship with Brian, and most of all her family. As a whole herd of trouble comes her way, she discovers she’s a lot stronger than she—or anyone—ever thought.

Teaser from page 49: "All of the sudden, I did a double take because walking in the side door of Taco Bell was Brian, shaking the rain off his Hawley jacket and laughing with some other Hawley football players."

Leave a comment and tell me your teasers for this week!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Love Story by Jennifer Echols
Release Date: July 19, 2011
Publisher: MTV Books

She's writing about him.  He's writing about her.  And everybody is reading between the lines.  For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment? Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true. - Goodreads.com

I have long been an enormous fan of Jennifer Echols' YAbooks.  They are honest and emotional, and Love Story was no exception.  I loved the concept of two people in a writing class writing their bad history out in stories for a class to read.  This was very entertaining, and one of my favorite elements of the book.

I admired Erin as a character as, although she had grown up from privilige, she was determined to make it on her own without any help from her grandmother or her grandmother's money.  Her determination was inspiring to watch, as she worked hard on both school and her job.  Hunter was mysterious, kinda bad boy, but with a big dose of good boy thrown in as well.  The sexual tension between these two was great to read, and there were some scenes that I felt sparks crackled off the paper.  But Jennifer Echols' books always have a special spark between the two characters.  It's one of the elements she handles so, so well in her books, and makes them such a pleasure to read.  They are captivating.

If I had any gripes at all, it was the abruptness of the ending.  I would have liked to have had a bit more closure than what we got, as the ending leaves a couple things open to the imagination, although you can pretty much guess what will happen.  It's satisfying, but my black and white persona would have liked to see it spelled out in black and white.  Did this ruin the story for me in any way?  Not at ALL!

Chalk this one up to another fantastic Jennifer Echols' story, and just like with all her others, here I am sitting here wishing the NEXT one would hurry up and get released!  She may not have even written it yet, but already, I can't wait.  Awesome book!  Awesome author!

If you liked this book, you might also like:

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