Friday, April 29, 2011

Review: Stay by Deb Caletti

Published: Simon Pulse (April 5, 2011)
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Series: No
Source: Galley Grab

Rating: 4/5

GoodReads Summary: Clara's relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it's almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is—and what he's willing to do to make her stay.

Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won't let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough....

My Thoughts: had heard lots about Stay prior to reading it myself. I knew that it had to do with emotional abuse in a controlling teenage relationship... which I'm sure a lot of us can relate to, whether we admit it or not.

I was not at all prepared, even after reading reviews about the content of this novel. It's almost scary how realistic Clara's character is. Because I believe millions of girls out there have been in Clara's very shoes. She meets a guy, she throws caution to the wind--despite the flashing DANGER signs that surround the entire relationship--and shares everything with this boy who has quickly become the focal point of her entire existence.

When everything goes wrong, Clara's fear and dread is something you can feel in your freaking bone marrow. I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest, because I had no idea what Christian would be capable of. Again, a scary reality. Books that tell of real life horrors, things that could happen to anyone, anywhere, are the most frightening kind. Christian randomly shows up to check up on Clara. He calls her incessantly. He creates infidelities in his mind and holds grudges against her past, as if they're real threats. This is not sexy. This is not endearing.

Also, can I get a round of applause for a parent who is AWARE of his daughter's feelings, surroundings, and relationships? Good God, we need more parents like Clara's dad in YA books. Anytime he bluntly laid out the truth for her, I was internally waving a pom-pom for him. He brought so much joy to a book that was so dismal at times.

Though this book was disquieting and unsettling, I'm glad it was written. Deb Caletti has a way with words and the way she puts a name to all those feelings makes me wonder why she isn't speaking at middle and high schools throughout the nation. Controlling, abusive relationships are a dangerous thing. Caletti does not sugarcoat that or glamorize it, thank God. She is straightforward and displays Christian's jealousy, possessiveness, and destructive behavior in a way that NO ONE will think it's attractive. It isn't. I'm glad somebody got it right. Caletti is that someone. This was a beautifully written, horrifying story that will stay with me for YEARS.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Published: Katherine Tegen Books (May 3, 2011)
Pages: 496
Format: Hardcover
Series: Book #1
Source: Received from publisher

Rating: 4.5/5

GoodReads Summary: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
My Thoughts: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait just one moment and focus on what I'm about to say:

Dystopian. Chicago.

Now let us commence in a celebratory squee, because how incredible is this idea? I'm here to elaborate upon the wonder that has taken the book blogging community by storm: Divergent. It's been compared to The Hunger Games in some reviews I've read. I see that. And yet I don't see it. Divergent is one in its own, and I'm 100% certain that Divergent will be a book over which men, women, children, and teens will be all atwitter in 2011.

Roth does a bang-up job of establishing herself in the elite clique that is YA Dystopian. Beatrice, Tris, is a strong, FIERCE woman. I love that she got all up in fate's face and blasted it with a sucker punch. I did not get annoyed once being inside her head and seeing how her mind worked as she stepped outside her comfort zone and adjusted to becoming all that is her chosen faction. She's so fearless that it's inspiring, though if I were to encounter a fraction of the things she did, I'd cower in the fetal position somewhere high and dark where no one could get me. This is a seriously fast-paced, RIVETING story, you guys. There's so much danger and so many thrills that you cannot help but keep the pages turning. This book lives up to the hype, no question about it.

I got so excited about all the emotions I felt. When a book can rip out my heart and throw it into busy traffic like this one did IN THAT ONE PART*, I actually get happy because it takes a LOT to make me feel like absolute crap. Like someone had just taken my cats away from me and offered them for lunch to a bison. I don't know if bison eat cats, but I'd rather not find out.

Then there's Four. Oh, Four. What a gorgeously developed romance. From the moment he made his cameo, I thought to myself "okay, we are going to have something veeeery special to read about with these two." They feed off each other beautifully and Roth must be some sort of literary love chemist because she puts together some deliciously tingly scenes. I cannot wait to find out more, more, MORE about Four (and Tris, I guess.)

This is not a book you'll want to miss. If you haven't read it already, hurry up and pre-order it. If it doesn't get to you in time, then rush out to the store on May 3rd and give it a nice big hug. This series is the real deal and Veronica Roth has only just begun. BRANG IT!

* = Yeah. THAT part. YOU WILL KNOW.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Your Makeshift Bookmarks (2)

Your Makeshift Bookmarks is derived from two things: a) my obvious blog name and tendency to use inane objects to mark my pages. And b) Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner's inspiration (and suggestion!) to start a blog feature where you all can show off the awesome, random crap you use for bookmarks.

Today, I have the kickazz, the snarktacular Pam from Bookalicious stopping by in vlog-form to share her bookmarks (and around here, we use that term pretty loosely :)

Flattened Dixie Cup? That is awesome. I love it.

Thanks, Pam, for participating in my little ol' feature and showing us the shizz you use to bookmark one of your many, MANY review books! If you guys haven't heard of her (ha, right!) or talked with her on Twitter, you're missing out. Pam brings the LOLs to an unfathomable degree and her blog is wicked sweet!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Jeri Smith-Ready Dishes on Awesome Shade-y Music + GIVEAWAY!

Holy crap, you guys. Jeri Smith-Ready agreed to do a guest post for me.
But that's not all.
She agreed to do a guest post for me ON MUSIC.
She agreed to do a guest post for me on music FOR SHADE.

This is kind of a big deal. I need to go pass out and/or do somersaults outside.
Time to let the infinitely more eloquent Jeri take over.


Thanks to Jen for hosting my very last purely SHADE guest post before the release of SHIFT!

I have a special reason for being here, discussing the topic of readers and music. You see, last year Jen made me cry. She blogged about a song that made her think of my YA paranormal novel SHADE, “I Remember” by Damien Rice. Go read the post now if you haven’t, and watch the video. It’s all beautiful.

As I said in the comments, not only did the song itself blow me away, but I was so, so touched that Jen thought of SHADE when she heard it. It meant that the book and the characters were real to her.

Music and books are just different ways of telling stories and exploring emotions. For me, songs can drill down deeper into feelings, whether they’re pure and explosive or complex and paralyzing. I wish I could be half the storyteller someone like Damien Rice is.

SHADE, of course, has an official soundtrack, which consists of songs or bands mentioned in the book with a few extra tunes to flesh things out. I wanted to make sure every major turning point in the book had a musical “marker.”

Then I put out a call for soundtrack suggestions that would go toward a “readers playlist,” made up of songs that reminded readers of SHADE. The response was great—people answered on my blog, in e-mails, and on my publisher’s teen-reader site, Pulse It. Based on their contributions and what was available on, I put together this reader playlist:

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

(This playlist is available—with bonus track!—for purchase from iTunes’s iMix site. Note: I make no money off the sales of my iMixes—I just like to spread the word about bands I love.)

Isn’t it awesome? Readers rock!

I tried to put the songs in order of where I thought they would correspond to the book, at least as I interpreted them, so that the playlist itself would tell a story. For instance, “Come On Get Higher” by Matt Nathanson is near the beginning, when Logan and Aura’s future looks bright and carefree. Then “Just Friends” by Gavin DeGraw is clearly about Logan figuring out the Zachary means more to Aura than just a study partner. And “Roses” by Meg and Dia had to occur near the hospital scene, for obvious reasons (obvious if you’ve read SHADE, and if you haven’t stay tuned for a chance to win a signed copy).

But of course I also tried to make the songs flow into each other and give the soundtrack a good rhythm. That’s part of the art and fun of building a playlist—I guess it’s a lot like being a DJ. Just like with a book, I sometimes have to cut some of my favorite songs (scenes) because they make it drag on too long, or just don’t fit the overall feel.


(please review contest/privacy policies prior to entering)

Answer Jeri's questions below and leave your email for a chance to win!

So what about you? Do certain songs make you think of characters in your favorite books or movies? Do you listen to movie soundtracks to remind yourself of your favorite scenes? Do you make up playlists for books or look for authors' playlists online?

We’ll draw a winner May 13, 2011 from the comments to win a copy of the SHADE paperback, which was just released this month. And be sure to check out my blog tomorrow for a link to Logan’s playlist, “Sucks to Be a Ghost (Sometimes),” kicking off the SHIFT blog tour.

Thanks for listening!

Jeri Smith-Ready’s next release is SHIFT (May 3), the second in the YA ghost trilogy that began last year with SHADE (which just came out in paperback April 5). She loves to hear from readers, so please visit her at her site, or better yet, on Facebook or Twitter, where she spends far too much time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Published: Harlequin Teen (April 19, 2011)
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Series: Book #1
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Rating: 4/5

GoodReads Summary: It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

My Thoughts: So I'd heard a bit of early hype about The Goddess Test through some trusted bloggers.

I love it when hype is justified. And that cover is breathtaking.

The book starts out awfully heavy. Kate's mom is extremely sick and has been given only a limited number of months to live. Kate basically goes through each day expecting her mother to die. That being one of my largest fears, it really tugged at my heart. Aimee Carter did a great job of showing us Kate's grief and fear of life without her mother. I won't lie to you, my eyes welled up at least twice in the first half of the book. I was a little nervous that I'd get bored with Kate in the beginning, but she proved to be a strong, determined girl. She is smart and determined and will do ANYTHING for her mother. I love selflessness in a protag. Though I do think she adjusted to her new surroundings and situation way too quickly, as if it were the most normal thing in the world.

The romance in TGT is something of an rarity in YA--the girl is seeking out the guy, where the guy is resisting. And I'm not talking the "I can't love you because I'll kill you" pseudo-resisting. I'm talking "she's just a friend" resisting. THIS IS GOOD STUFF, PEOPLE. The intrigue is played up and it is pretty frickin' suspenseful. Not to mention that the resistance is not only an amazing Muse song, but fuels the SLOW BUILD that I love ever so much. And it makes you love Henry all the more.

The one thing that bothered me was the friendship with Ava. Maybe I'm evil, but if some chick pretended to be my friend and then vengefully--and unjustly--taunted me with my biggest fears (my two biggest are spiders and tornadoes. Picture a tornado of spiders. PICTURE IT.) Seriously. Yeah, no thanks. I went through the first 3/4 of the book despising Ava.

I do wish I would've brushed up a bit on my Greek mythology and the 13 Olympians before reading this book, but how was I supposed to know exactly what to read? I thought my freshman year of high school class would be enough. Halfway through the book, I remembered that I usually ditched the first half of the school day, so I missed that class. HOWEVER, this did not detract from the experience. I will be anxiously awaiting book two, despite the fact that I TOTALLY called the ending of book one.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Even Bloggers Need a Holiday...

"After aaaaaall that we've been throooooough, I will make it up to you.

Just imagine me singing that to you guys for the next few weeks. Starting Friday, I'll  be taking me a nice little blogger sabbatical... which doesn't actually make sense, because I will be doing school junk and finals and working the whole time. Blah.  However, being in my mid-20s, it’s finally time to prioritize and take care of the stuff that determines my future first.
Anyway, this isn't a permanent thing and it's something I've been tossing around in my brain for a few weeks now. I'll still be on Twitter and what not, so you'll find me there! But I won't be posting for about 3 weeks, until the semester is over and then it's summertime.
And I'll have fun, fun, fun till my daddy takes the T-Bird away.
I'll miss you guys, but I shall return!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review: The Time-Traveling Fashionista by Bianca Turetsky

Published: Poppy (April 5, 2011)
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Series: Book #1
Source: From publisher, for honest review

Rating: 3/5

GoodReads Summary: When Louise Lambert receives a mysterious invitation to a traveling vintage fashion sale in the mail, her normal life in suburban Connecticut is magically transformed into a time traveling adventure.

After a brief encounter with two witchy salesladies and donning an evening gown that once belonged to a beautiful silent film star, Louise suddenly finds herself onboard a luxurious cruise ship in 1912. As Alice Baxter, the silent film star, Louise enjoys her access to an extensive closet of gorgeous vintage gowns and begins to get a feel for the challenges and the glamour of life during this decadent era. Until she realizes that she's not just on any ship-- she's on the Titanic!

Will Louise be able to save herself and change the course of history, or are she and her film star alter ego, destined to go down with a sinking ship in the most infamous sea disaster of the 20th century?
My Thoughts: First off, I'm gonna need someone to tell me how I can get my hands on a dress that allows me to travel back to Titanic time. Or at least circa 1999. Because I'd like to do the whole "King of the World" thing and see if Leo felt really embarrassed doing that.

No can do? Ah, well.

I was 100% shocked that Louise knew as much about fashion as she did. I knew "jeans" and "t-shirt" when I was 12, but she was hardcore about some vintage clothing and ancient outfits that had stories behind them. One thing that I tended to skim over were the lengthy descriptions of the outfits. I don't care what kind of neckline a certain dress has. I'd have preferred some elaboration upon Louise's character development over that. However, I am not a style-conscious, so you savvy fashionistas may eat this up!

But the full-color photos? The cover? SWOON. The book is beautiful even when you remove the jacket cover! I love looking at pretty things, and these drawings were so breathtaking that I do believe I skipped over the descriptions and flipped straight to the photos. You guys, this book made me long for the picture books of yore. When your brain didn't have to try and figure out exactly which shade of blue a characters eyes were or how they style their hair, because it's drawn out beautifully for you on the next page.

I enjoyed reading about Louise as 1912 teen superstar Miss Alice Baxter, but especially the parts where she interacted with real Titanic passengers, such as Captain Smith, John Jacob Astor, and the Strauses. Have I researched these folks in real life? Of course not, but I remember them from the movie and that, in itself, was appealing to me. Louise's budding friendship with Anna, the maid, was a very sweet one. Though the fate of the Titanic didn't change at all in this book, I'm glad there was a silver lining in Anna. It's refreshing to read a book where the plot is centered on friendship instead of romance.

The Time Traveling Fashionista was a surprising little gem with a great premise and intricate, beautiful illustrations as a bonus. Not to mention a very quick read! Though it felt a little young for my tastes, I can say that this will likely be a must-buy for the younger YA and MG crowd.

And by the way, check out my dear friend Capillya's blog. She's featured TTTF's cover designer, Alison Impey!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Your Makeshift Bookmarks (1)

Once upon a time not too long ago, Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner said to me "I enjoy your blog name, because I use all kinds of crazy crap for my bookmarks. You should totally have a feature where people can show off the random stuff they use!" (Or something along those lines.) Thus it was born. I contemplated the idea of doing a post where I showed off the stuff I used, but Jamie is awesome and suggested making it a meme.

Since Jamie is the one to credit for this, I thought I'd ask her to debut the feature.

Isn't she hilarious? I think so :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In My Mailbox (24)

In My Mailbox is hosted by the The SENSATIONAL Story Siren.

It's been a great week, guys! Unbeknownst to me when I first arrived, Half Price Books was having a 20% off YA sale (on top of the, y'know, half pricedness of the books) so I picked up the following.

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston (already own and read the paperback, but this is the hardcover and it was $4!)
Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
Deadly Little Games by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Ultraviolet by RJ Anderson
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Spine Bookcase from CSN! WOO! I put it together all by myself and I'm pretty effing proud. Please ignore the cat bowls :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dark Days of Supernatural: My Amazing Experience

I know, I know. It's been several weeks since Dark Days. I apologize for the delay, but hey. Maybe it's just taken me that long to conjure up the words to describe what an incredible time I had.

Lynn arrived at my parents' house around 2:00ish. I still hadn't bought a freaking outfit, so we ran up to Target and she told me what was considered "cute" nowadays. So I bought that. Then we rushed into the car and headed towards Naperville. We rocked out to Britney Spears the whole freaking way, because that's what we do. We did end up getting lost on the way there and rolling through some unideal areas ("Quick. Don't look like you have money." "Right. Because the brand new Ford Fusion doesn't give that impression or anything.") After a lot of speeding (nobody in Illinois does the speed limit, so I hopped right on that trend!), we finally made it to Ted's Montana Grill, albeit about 20 minutes late.

Honestly, meeting all these bloggers was little putting on an old hoodie. It was comfortable. I mean, I talk to enough of them on Twitter every single day, so it was really like we were old friends. I knew it was going to be an awesome day when Anna was the first one to greet me with a huge hug. Lots of love for that Anna girl! So we all just sat around, talking about Dark Days, blogging, and books. Like I said, old hoodie. It's a good feeling to be around a bunch of bookish, like-minded people who aren't going to raise an eyebrow to you when you talk about how much you loved a YA book. Can I please hang out with you guys everyday?

After dinner, we headed over to Anderson's Bookshop, where it was sixteen million degrees and standing room only. That's fine. Our blogger group of about 14 dominated the back of the room and marked our territory with miscellaneous jackets, purses, and books. We're definitely a force to be reckoned with.

The Q&A was awesome and Jasmine and Lynn asked some really great questions. After that, we got the opportunity to get our books signed and chat with the authors a little bit. Honestly, authors are so freaking awesome because they're NORMAL PEOPLE. Who would've thought that ordinary folk like us could create entire worlds? Authors are totally celebrities to me, so I tried not to stumble over my words when it was our turn to go up there.

Ellen Schreiber, me, and Kimberly Derting

Claudia Gray, me, and Courtney Allison Moulton

After the signing, we browsed the shelves, walked around, and ultimately ended up sitting in a circle, taking up another massive piece of space. Anna and I were tweeting Carla (who may or may not have been partaking in some cocktails) and we wanted to salute her. We decided upon lyrics from one of the greatest songs of our generation, "Tipsy" by J-Kwon, which just so happened to be situationally appropriate. For Carla, at least.

Anna and myself

All in all, an extremely fun night. I got to hang out with some awesome bloggers, fabulous authors, and my IRLBFF. By the way, did I mention that I got to meet The Story Siren? I was pretty stoked about that. After all, she's only my blogging idol. Nicest person ever, by the way. And HILARIOUS.

Kristi and myself

Tara and me.. I was obviously way more excited to meet her than she was to meet me :)

Me and the single most awesome friend I've ever had for the last 15ish years.

I'm officially addicted to author signings and meeting bloggers. If you aren't following these people already, please do it now. They're pretty much the greatest on earth!

Anna from Anna Reads
Tara from Fiction Folio
Kristi from The Story Siren
Susan from Wastepaper Prose
Jasmine & Jacinda from Reading Housewives of Indiana
Heidi from YA Bibliophile

Go ahead. Ask us anything.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Published: Katherine Tegan Books (February 15, 2011)
Pages: 453
Format: Hardcover
Series: Book #1
Source: I purchased this book

Rating: 5/5

GoodReads Summary: This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.
My Thoughts: Hi kids. Do you like violence? No, not the psychotic Eminem circa 1999 kind. The fun, heart-thumping, "kill the scary monster" kind! If so, look no further! Because Courtney Allison Moulton makes epic battles come to live right before your eyes. Not to mention super delicious romantic moments between Khopesh sword-wielding redhead Ellie and her om nom guardian Will. I'd warn you that you WILL (haha) potientially develop a crush on Will. And by "potentially," I mean "definitely."

Hands down, I know this is going to be a 2011 Top Ten Favorite. Maybe I'm a weirdo, but I love fight scenes. I am the chick fist-pumping during a UFC fight and clapping whenever someone's face gets split open. Angelfire was right up my alley with the chopping and the slicing and the gratuitous use of the word "impale." This book has everything that I want. EVERYTHING. Not a dull moment around. Not a boring character in sight. I've read reviews where people thought the battle scenes were too much. Uh, is there such a thing?

Ellie and Will have to be one of my favorite YA couples of all time. The constant push and pull of "will they or won't they? I bet they will... THEY'D BETTER!" And yes, there's the forbidden love aspect, but YOU GUYS! This is seriously, SERIOUSLY forbidden! I can't say much more without spoiling a ton, but you'll see. YES, YOU WILL. Courtney must have a Will of her own lying around somewhere, because she knows exactly what to write and exactly how to make her characters real and raw and irresistable.

And I feel we've got much, much more to hear from Cadan. I'm totally excited to hear more about him and also Ellie and Will's past. Ellie has a firm grasp on her humanity now, but what was she hundreds of years ago? Was she a raging killing machine? What happened between her and Will over the span of hundreds of years?

I have insider information. This book was very flirty, yet innocent. But when I met Courtney at Dark Days of Supernatural, she confessed that she turns up the heat in the sequel, Wings of the Wicked. I may or may not have danced and emitted high pitched noises when this tidbit fell upon my ears.

If you like LOTS of intense action scenes, exhilirating "OMG JUST KISS ALREADY" romance, and swoonworthy guys named Will, please do yourself a favor and read this book.

Also, I invite you to count the number of times I used the word "Will" in this review.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Peek at My TBR (8)

Disclaimer: these are books that I WANT to read and are on my TBR list, not books that I necessarily own (unfortunately!) And if I do have any of them on my shelf, I'll specify :)

A Peek At My TBR is a feature inspired by Waiting on Wednesday by Jill at Breaking the Spine and Books To Pine For by The Story Siren. I did WoW for awhile, but honestly, there's never only one book I'm "waiting" on. And a lot of the books that I "pine for" aren't just up-and-coming books. There's still a ton of oldies but goodies that I'm just now discovering or want to read soon, and I feel like those deserve some recognition as well as the fresh meat.

Enthralled by A Large Handful of My Favorite Authors
Published: September 20, 2011
I figured someone was pulling my leg when I heard early buzz about an anthology that included some seriously talented YA authors (Melissa Marr? Jeri Smith-Ready? Rachel Caine? Are you trying to send me into a euphoria-induced coma?) So much goodness packed into one little book just couldn't be possible. But then that cover came out and confirmed it. And it just so happens that JSR and MM are contributing short stories about Shade(it'll be from Logan's PoV! *(@($@!!! ) and Wicked Lovely, respectively. OMG. This is going to be one of those books that I'm going to hug and whisper sweet nothings to, once I get it in my arms.

Entangled by Cat Clarke
Published: January 6, 2011
I do have this book. I fell in absolute love with that cover. I'm loving the red hair, the nails, the cover model's sweet ass eye makeup. It's been chillin' on my shelves and somehow got buried under the rest of my mountain of books. It shall be dug out, though. I must read this. A love story. Friendship. DARK SEKRITZ! It pretty much has everything that I find intrigued in a novel, plus amnesia for bonus points.

Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead
Published: August 30, 2011
The long, long wait for book 6 in the Georgina Kincaid series is ALMOST at its end. You may know, I did a Waiting on Wednesday post for this book a few months ago, before the cover was revealed (pun!) Well, honestly. I like mine better. The colors are weird and I hate that cover model. A succubus is supposed to be GORGEOUS. After all, her main purpose in life is to... well, you know. This chick looks like someone you'd find in that ratty strip club down a dark alley. And she looks kind of manly, to be honest. All of that aside, this is a fantastic series. Not that any of us have come to expect anything different from Ms. Mead. I cannot wait to find out what happens to Georgina and Seth, because their journey has been a difficult one. I hope they get their happy ending.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Dude, I know the Charlie Sheen drama is past its prime, but seriously. I just wanted a chance to use this image on the blog JUST ONCE. Never again.

Drumroll, please.

The winner of the ENTIRE Wicked Lovely series is....

#9 Annette!

The winner of The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan is....

#2 Misha!

You both are bitchin' rock stars from Mars and I'll be emailing you shortly for your addresses! Remember, if I don't hear from you within 48 hours, I'll have to pick another winner!

Reasons You Should Go Out Today and Buy Shade

Folks, the time has arrived. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready comes out in paperback today. If you know me or follow me on Twitter, chances are you've heard me raving to anyone who'll listen about this book. It's pure, delicious angst. You can read my fangirly review HERE or listen to the song I've dedicate to Shade HERE. I think you need to find sometime today to go out to your local bookstore and purchase this.

"Why?" you ask. Well friends, if my incessant, borderline incoherent review didn't convince you, let me enlighten you.

(Before I get into my list, let me tell you how you can get it FO FREE: Head over to Lindsi's contest and ENTER NOW.)

It's cheaper than the hardcover.
Dude. I've driven past a gas station in the past couple months and cringed and MAYBE shed a tear. I know your wallet's a-hurtin'. Mine is, too. "But Jen, Shade is HARDCOVER, bro! That's like SEVENTEEN DOLLAHS and I'm not feeling like giving up a meal for my children tonight." FRET NO MORE! The paperback is only $9.99! That's not even counting those 33% off coupons that Borders sends out multiple times a week. You'd be cheating yourself if you didn't go buy it immediately. Plus, if you read it, you'll be happier with life in general. And happiness is contagious. Soon everyone you know will be smiling. And everyone THEY know will be smiling. And hate will be completely eradicated by the end of 2011. So you see, if you buy Shade, you alone will be to thank for world peace.

The redesigned cover is less confusing.
Sure, I didn't know what kind of extremity the cover was depicting on the hardcover (it's an arm, btw.) But on the paperback, you clearly see it's a girl with two arms. The legs are nowhere to be seen. Also, I love her dress.

Two Dudes. One Irish. One Scottish. Two times the badassness.
I'm not one to obsess over book boys (mostly), but JSR writes them so prettily that I can't NOT get a little excited to read about them. Okay, a LOT excited. Let me elaborate. Logan is Aura's rocker boyfriend who can shred the frickin' life out of a guitar and sing. Sure, you can't hear it, but CAN YOU IMAGINE!? And he's angsty and broody and flawed. Those are my favorite kinds of characters! Then there's Zachary, the Scottish transfer student who doesn't pronounce his Ts and rolls his Rs because THAT'S WHAT HE DOES. Everytime I see " no' " instead of "not," it registers in my brain as "Zachary is ten times more awesome now, because I've just been re-reminded that he's Scottish and accents are sweet.

Because JSR isn't afraid to steam it up a little.
You know what I mean.

I cannot even explain to you the myriad emotions I felt while reading this book. It stayed with me long, LONG after I finished it. There's love. There's sadness. There's grief. There's that feeling where your whole entire life is shattered. There's regret. There's hope. There's despair and desperation. And so, so much more. And JSR's word make you feel all of it. It's like she's writing about your life, even if you've never lived what Aura has lived.

Jeri herself has mentioned that "White Blank Page" by Mumford and Sons hits very close to home when it comes to Logan.
Have you heard the song? Dude. Here. Then read the book and come back and listen to it. You'll see.

I cried more in Shift than I did in Shade. And that's serious.


Won't somebody please think of the children and GO BUY THIS BOOK FOR THEM (and yourself.)

Check out Jeri's Website! (it has cool things and extras.)
Follow Jeri on Twitter! (She's really, really nice.)
And if you STILL need more convincing, check out my fellow Street Team member, Lindsi from Books, Sweets, and Other Treats and she'll verbally attack you (politely) with reasons as well :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

In My Mailbox (23)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story SIren.

Only one book this week. I'm not sure why I haven't been buying any lately. I think I may have some mental problem, because this self-restraint is ridiculous! Luckily I did get some AMAZING titles from NetGalley and GalleyGrab, which make up for the lack of physical books that I received/purchased this week!

For Review
Karma by Cathy Ostlere (Thank you, Cathy! Also, this is my very first verse book. I'm really excited because it sounds incredible!)

From NetGalley/Galley Grab
Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready (DEVOURED THIS. Finished last night. Cried multiple times. Love, love, LOVE this series.)
Stay by Deb Caletti
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Have a great book week, you guys! And for us college students! ONLY A MONTH UNTIL SUMMER <33333