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Best Of 2011

12.31.2011
First of all, I suppose I should say I've been completely absent this week because, to put it simply, I'm feeling lazy. I've spent my entire winter break watching Smallville from the very first episode. There are 10 seasons, each with 21 or 22 episodes ._.

Anyway. It's just a few hours until 2012 (for me) so I figured it was time to recap 2011 with my favorite reads of this year, in no particular order. (Please note - this is books I've read in 2011, not necessarily published in 2011. No 2012 books included, but possibly some 2010.)

(Links go to Goodreads)

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
 The characters in Obsidian are ones you'll never forget. And there are aliens! ALIENS, GUYS. The chemistry and banter between Katy and Daemon is irresistible, and Obsidian itself is even more unforgettable than the characters. Full of action and romance, Obsidian is a novel you want to pick up if you haven't.












                                                                                       Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
So Hunting Lila is kind of adorable and fun. I don't know how else to describe it. It's also got plenty of action, sure - but what really got me is the relationships between Lila and the other characters. Hunting Lila is a book that gripped me from the very first page.














Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This is one of those books I feel like I can reread over and over again. Etienne St. Clair is one of the most swoon-worthy characters I've ever read, and one of the reasons that's so is because he's not perfect, and we all know it. He's not always a hero, but he's there for Anna when it counts - and she's there for him, too. Plus, Anna's internal sarcasm is always an amusement to read.










                                                                                                                Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Gwen is an awesome heroine. I love her. I love Vic, the talking sword, more than I probably should. But in the end, it's always Logan that kills me. That Spartan boy gets to me in a way most other male characters in YA lit just . . . don't. (Plus, there's lots of action and I love Mythos Academy. But it's still Logan that sticks out.)












So maybe you think there should be more - and there are plenty of books that I've read this year and enjoyed. But these are the ones that really stick out to me - the ones I know I'll never be able to forget.

Happy 2012 ;)

~Zoey~

Review: Under The Never Sky

12.30.2011
Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Expected Publication: January 3rd, 2012 by HarperCollins
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY

The first book in a captivating trilogy, Veronica Rossi’s enthralling debut sweeps you into an unforgettable adventure.

Under the Never Sky has had a huge amount of hype. Naturally, when I saw it on NetGalley and got approved, my reaction was this -> O_O!!!!!

I love the title. I love the cover. But the book itself frustrated me to no end.

My biggest problem is that there is so much that is left unexplained. I'm not usually one that needs everything spelled out for me, but Under the Never Sky left a little too much to guesswork and inferences for me. I'm still not entirely sure how their world came to be what it is. I'm not entirely clear on what aether is. Sure, I can gather an idea from what happens with aether during the book, but it's never really explained. Nothing is explained, it felt like -_- And there are so many names to keep straight - Dwellers, Moles, Savages, Bliss, Luster (which I think is supposed to be alcohol, but I DON'T KNOW BECAUSE IT WAS NEVER EXPLAINED), and countless others. It made my brain hurt.

From what I understand, this book is classified as a dystopian novel. And from other things I understand, dystopians focus a lot on the societies they're set in. Sometimes, I felt like the only thing happening in this book was Perry and Aria (and sometimes Roar) traveling. With some fights thrown in. Which brings me back to my point above - nothing is explained properly in this book. And it makes me mad, in case you hadn't noticed -_-

Despite that, there are still aspects I like. I especially liked how some science was thrown into this book, things about the brain and stuff, and how The Realms have an effect on everyone. The beginning was awesome - definitely a great start to a book that'll hook you in.

I really like the way Aria and Perry's relationship evolves. Although their arguments start to get very repetitive in the first fourth or so, after that, it seems to evolve perfectly.

Perry is truly different from almost every other YA male character I've read. There's something so real about him, even if he has abilities that we could never dream of. He's so caring and so protective - but you have to earn his trust first, and I love that about him.

Aria, in the beginning, is a very naive character. And while that's usually annoying, for once, it fit the story. This book wouldn't have made any sense if Aria wasn't naive. Here she is, being thrown out of her world of perfection into a world of disease, sickness, violence, with no one but Perry, a Savage, to protect her. Aria grows throughout the book, and I think that's something that will probably (hopefully) continue through the rest of the series.

Overall: I have so many questions that it's ridiculous. While Under The Never Sky is an amazing and fairly original dystopian tale, I feel like it needs a lot of work. Instead of all action and fights, some time could be spent on trying to make the readers a little less confused. However, I can't ignore the fact that I enjoyed the book and that I'm dying for the sequel after that ending T__T Under The Never Sky kept me guessing the entire time, and I fell in love with the characters. 3.5 stars.


1/2

~Zoey~

In My Mailbox {3}

12.25.2011
Yeah, I know it's Christmas and everything, but I have nothing else to do but sit here and stare at my laptop since this day sucks . . .  you-know-what, so I figured I might as well do this. (Didn't take any actual pictures, though. Too lazy.)

"In My Mailbox" is hosted by The Story Siren. :)

Remember, this is actually from the past two weeks or so.

From HarperCollins:
Variant by  Robinson Wells (This is another book I won awhile back from a writing challenge on Inkpop. It was out of stock when they sent the other three books, so I just got it sent this week.)


From Robin Wasserman:
The Cold Awakening Trilogy
Skinned, Crashed, and Wired. (She was cleaning awhile back and making room for the redesigns of this series, so I got sent the old designs of the trilogy :D)



From Inara Scott:
The Candidates - signed! I've actually already read this and really liked it, so I gave it to my friend as a Christmas present. :)
ARC of The Marked. (I won these in a giveaway of hers. My ARC of The Marked is actually called The Watchers, but I asked her and she said they're the same thing, but the publishers just decided to change the title.)
 From NetGalley:
I actually got way too many things from NetGalley the past two weeks v.v So I'm not showing them all. And I'm also not showing most of the covers because it's always such a DISASTER.
//Slide by Jill Hathaway//Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe by Shelley Coriell//Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel//The Nightmare Garden by Kaitlin Cattridge//The Night She Disappeared by April Henry//
There's one or two other things I got, but I'm not in the mood to explain how.

Ha, I look at this and go "LOOK AT ALL THE BOOKS!" But then I know I'm probably not getting anything for the next two weeks, so I suppose this is really considered my haul of a month :P

If you posted an IMM this week, leave a link and I'll check it out. Since I have nothing else to do.

~Zoey~



Review: Hunting Lila

12.23.2011
Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
Published August 4th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
//The Book Depository//

17-year-old Lila has two secrets she's prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she's been in love with her brother's best friend, Alex, since forever. Or thereabouts.After a mugging on the streets of South London goes horribly wrong and exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust - her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they've found them. Trying to uncover the truth of why her mother was killed, and the real remit of The Unit, Lila becomes a pawn in a dangerous game. Struggling to keep her secrets in a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone - there are others out there just like her - people with special powers -and her mother's killer is one of them...
 
I've seen people talk about this book everywhere, so I definitely had high expectations. And for once, I can safely say that they were met. Surpassed, even.

Hunting Lila had me from the first page. Once I'd started reading, I couldn't stop. It took me a little way to get used to the writing style - it's published in the UK, not in the US, so there were a few aspects that were a little different, but they were so easy to overlook.

People have raved and raved about Hunting Lila, and while it sounded interesting to me, I didn't really understand what was so special. And then I read it, and my face was probably like this the entire time -> O__O

The characters were all fairly well-developed to me, though I would have liked to know a little more of Alex's history. Lila is an amazing character. Easy to relate to, but at the same time, the kind of character you wish you could be. She's awkward and self-conscious around the boy she likes, just like anyone would be, but at the same time she's stubborn and determined and doesn't want to give up on Alex, even if she thinks it will never amount to anything. Lila's a pretty kick-ass character, and even when her brother, Jack, and Alex refuse to tell her anything, she's still determined to find out, just like anyone would be.

Alex made me swoon. More than once. He's so sweet, and at the same time, kind of secretive because he's trying to protect Lila. He stuck out as male character in YA because he wasn't one of those boys that slept with everything with boobs. Alex was a very genuine, adorable character.

The other characters - like Jack and Demos, for example - were great, too. They really added to the plot, and I didn't feel as if any of them were out of place or useless.

I can't decide what was the best part - the adorable romance or the amazing plot. Alex and Lila are almost too cute to handle together, and yet somehow, it's not that obnoxious kind of cute that makes you feel sick. At the same time, the plot is just so full of awesome - tons of people with different powers being hunted by people you'd never except - that I know I'll never forget about it.

Overall: Hunting Lila is everything people made it out to be and more. I fell in love on the first page. Full of plenty of action but at the same time plenty of adorableness, Hunting Lila is an amazing novel that I won't be forgetting anytime soon. (And one I'm already dying for the sequel to.) 5 stars!

~Zoey~

Triple ARC Giveaway

12.22.2011
Yeah. So. I have some ARC's I finished reading/will finish before this contest ends, and I figured I'd give them away. (I was very hesitant to giveaway my copy of Pure, but I know I'll be buying a copy when it comes out, so it's all good~)




(Links to Goodreads pages)
Switched by Amanda Hocking
Illuminate by Aimee Agresti
Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Plus some Incarnate by Jodi Meadows swag :)

*Please note:
*Giveaway is US/CAN only.
*You must be a follower via GFC to enter. Make sure to leave your GFC username.
*ARC's are not meant to be sold. If you win, don't sell them. Please.
*There will be ONE winner.
*Giveaway ends on January 12th, 2012 :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting On Wednesday {9}

12.21.2011
First of all: Yes, my hiatus didn't last two weeks, but that's mainly because I realized I have winter break next week, and since I am doing absolutely nothing, I should be able to read. A lot. :P

And second: I finished some reading over the week, so watch out for an ARC giveaway tomorrow of a few things ;)

And NOW:

"Waiting on Wednesday " is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Glimmer by Pheobe Kitanidis
Expected Publication: April 17th, 2012 by Balzer + Bray (ALSO KNOWN AS The Day Before My Birthday)

What if you forgot your identity and had to rely on other people to tell you who you were?

And what if to discover your true self, you first had to unravel a mystery so big and terrifying you were not sure you’d survive solving it?

When Marshall and Elyse wake up in each other’s arms with zero memory of how they got there or who they are, it’s the start of a long journey through their separate pasts and shared future.

Terrified by their amnesia, the two make a pact to work together to find the answers that could jog their missing memories. As they piece together clues, they discover they’re in the idyllic mountain resort town of Summer Falls, where everyone seems mysteriously happy, but as Marshall and Elyse quickly learn, darkness lurks beneath the town’s perfect facade. Not only is the town haunted by sinister ghosts, but none of its living inhabitants retain bad memories of anything—not the death of Marshall’s mom, not the hidden shame in Elyse’s family, not even the day-to-day anguish of high school.

Lonely in this world of happy zombies, Marsh and Elyse fall into an intense relationship...but the secrets they uncover could be the death of this growing love—and the death of everyone, and everything, they love in Summer Falls.

The people I work with at the bookstore said we'd definitely be selling Glimmer when it comes out, and that makes me really happy, but I am dying for this. Like, right now *-* I've heard amazing things about it. (And I'm dying of jealousy every time I see it in an IMM post)

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Expected Publication: May 8th, 2012 by HarperCollins

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.

I still like werewolves. I don't care what anyone thinks of them. They have a special place in my heart. (Probably because the first book I wrote/only book I ever finished was about werewolves.) And this book is a werewolf MYSTERY! :D 

Leave a link to your WoW and I'll check it out :)


~Zoey~

Notice: Two-Week Hiatus

12.15.2011
To quote Jodi Meadows, books are not supposed to be stressful. They're supposed to be fun.

Well, everything has been stressful lately. Reading being one of them. I'm falling so far behind and I'm so lazy that I never manage to catch up. I haven't finished a book in way too long O_O And I've got like, 10 reviews that need to be written because I just sit there and stare at them and wonder why I ever decided to do this.

So for the next one or two weeks, I'll be on an internet hiatus, for the most part. I really need to make a dent in my NetGally pile, so I'll be on my laptop, and I'll answer emails a few times a week, (and probably tweet from my English class) but I won't be posting on the blog and you won't hear from me too much.

'Course, winter break starts December 24th, so I'm sure I'll manage to break my hiatus. :P

Hope you'll all still be here when I actually get back to posting (:

~Zoey~

Waiting on Wednesday {8}

12.14.2011
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Immortal City by Scott Speer
Expected publication: April 3rd 2012 by Razorbill

Jackson Godspeed is the hottest young Angel in a city filled with them. He's days away from becoming a full Guardian, and people around the world are already competing for the chance to be watched over by him. Everyone's obsessed with the Angels and the lucky people they protect - everyone except for Madison Montgomery.

Maddy's the one girl in Angel City who doesn't breathlessly follow the Angels on TV and gossip blogs. When she meets Jackson, she doesn't recognize him. But Jackson is instantly captivated by her, and against all odds the two fall in love.

Maddy is swiftly caught up in Jackson's scene, a world of glamour, paparazzi - and murder. A serial killer is on the loose, leaving dead Angels' wings for the police to find on the Walk of Fame. Even the Guardians are powerless to protect themselves in the face of this threat … and this time it's up to Maddy to save Jackson.

I don't care what people say about angels. I still like them. And I love the idea of this - angels out in the open, known by everyone. It's not something that's done very often. This is one of those books I'm totally lusting for O_O

Plus, I kind of love the name Jackson.

What are YOU waiting on this Wednesday? Leave a link! :)
~Zoey~

Review: Something Witchy This Way Comes

12.13.2011
Something Witchy This Way Comes by Veronica Blade
Published November 30th, 2011 by Crush Publishing [Paperback version]
//Amazon//B&N//

Brainiac Tessa McClean’s newly discovered magical powers give her an escape from her self-absorbed parents. But the thrill of being a witch fades when she learns of a rival coven and begins to suspect her own coven’s motives. Evidence tells Tessa to trust one side, but instinct drives her toward the other. When the school’s scrumptious delinquent, Hayden Anders, offers Tessa self-defense lessons in exchange for tutoring, his timing couldn’t be better. Although hanging out with him is a necessary evil in Tessa’s fight to stay alive, resisting a bad-boy she secretly yearns for might be more than she can manage. Together, Tessa and Hayden work to unravel the mysteries behind the two covens to discover why they’ll stop at nothing to lure Tessa to their side. She must form an alliance with one of the covens before it’s too late. But the wrong decision could cost Tessa the lives of all who she holds dear — including Hayden.

Honestly, even after almost a week, I'm still not sure what to say about this book. I understand why some people could . . . not enjoy this book. I had plenty of issues while I was reading it, yet I still enjoyed it.

Something Witchy This Way Comes is told in two points of view - Tessa and Hayden. While their actions made them easy discernible, I wish the writing style for their POV's had been a little different. It sounded pretty much the same for both of them. Sure, I could tell them apart, but they sounded the same.

The relationship between Hayden and Tessa is also extremely redundant. There's plenty of attraction, and the chemistry between them is awesome - but it felt like every five seconds Tessa was thinking about how hot Hayden was but how he was such a bad boy she could never love, and every six seconds Hayden was thinking about how hot Tessa was and how he could never be with her because she was a good girl. It was like Blade was trying to build up the tension but she didn't know how to after she got to a point, so she just continued to do the same thing.

That's not to say I didn't like the romance, because I did. Tessa and Hayden are one of those couples you find yourself captured by and rooting for through the entire book. I would get angry whenever they got into a fight. I liked how realistic the relationship was in the beginning - there was no insta-love, but there was instant attraction, which is something that happens constantly in life. Tessa and Hayden probably would never have crossed paths if they hadn't been forced to by the principal, but they're the couple you like to think would have ended up together no matter the case.

Something Witchy This Way Comes is also full of plenty of surprises. While the essential "bad guy" in the book was kind of predictable, there were enough other surprises and shocks to make up for it.

I'm not sure how I felt about the actual "witch" part of it all. The witches in this book definitely aren't like most - in fact, they're not even actually witches to me. I was expecting magic like the stuff in Rachel Hawkins's books or something, but it wasn't like that at all. The title kind of threw me off.

My only other complaint is that the ending seemed rushed and anticlimactic. Here we've waited this entire book for a good action scene, and it ended so quickly I'm still not even sure what happened.

Overall: Something Witchy This Way Comes was a fun, light read full of plenty of chemistry. I give it 3 stars because while I enjoyed it, there were issues I couldn't overlook. It's one of those books you should probably get from the library, if it sounds interesting to you.


~Zoey~

In My Mailbox {2}

12.10.2011
In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren! :)

Again, we're going to pretend that the quality of these pictures isn't so truly awful.

I squealed like a little girl this week, guys. Books always make awful weeks better.

From Publishers For Review:
  • Pure by Jennifer Armentrout + lots of bookmarks and a Pure guitar pick! :)
  • Illuminate by Aimee Agresti
So Illuminate was my first real ARC request, and Pure was my second. I feel so, like, legit now :P

Also, I'm in love with the guitar pick. Seriously. (I'm also in love with Seth, but that's another story.)


I also got two things on NetGalley and a few free things on Amazon, but let's face it. I'm still too lazy for them.

What did you get in your mailbox? (:

~Zoey~

Waiting on Wednesday {7}

12.07.2011
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Publication Date: July 24th, 2012 by HarperTeen
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

See, HarperTeen and I have a very love-hate relationship. I love their covers. I love a lot of covers from HarperCollins publishers. But HarperTeen seems determined to publish love triangles/characters I hate. 

But this. THIS. It sounds amazing. And fairly original, too. And I love zombies. I love them more than an acceptable amount. (Unless, of course, it's zombies vs. unicorns. Unicorns will always be superior.)

What are you waiting on? Leave a link and I'll be sure to check it out.

~Zoey~

Review: The Iron Knight

12.06.2011
The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
Published October 25th, 2011 by Harlequin TEEN
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.


To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

WARNING: Spoilers abound.

Seriously. If you haven't read The Iron Knight and you plan to, don't read this review. It will ruin the entire thing for you. I've never posted a review like this before, but this has been out for awhile, so I figure I'm relatively safe.

The Iron Fey is one of my favorite series. I don't care what anyone says - it always has been. But The Iron Knight . . . I don't even know how I feel about it. Reading things from Ash's POV was amazing, just as I expected. And I loved Puck, and I loved everything they had to go through to make sure Ash got his soul, and I love the way Kagawa portrayed Faery, (or the Nevernever, as it's often called in this series) but Kagawa did something I can't stand.

She basically turned this book into a love triangle. I know that's okay with some people. And I know some people will claim there was already a love triangle between Puck/Meghan/Ash, but I never really saw that as a real love triangle because I always thought it was fairly obvious Meghan would end up with Ash. But in The Iron Knight, with Ariella in the picture . . . Urgh. URGLES. This series has always been so awesome, but then this love triangle just suddenly pops up in the last book.


Most of the time, it felt like Ash wasn't on this journey to be with Meghan. He was just on it because he made a vow, and that vow can't be broken. That angered me to no end. He's determined to get a soul, and then suddenly BAM. Ariella is back and it's like he doesn't even care about Meghan anymore. 


And Ariella . . . I can't figure her out. She's one of the most selfless people in the series, but she's also one of the most selfish. 


I wish we could have seen more of Kierran. I know Julie Kagawa is doing a spin-off of Ethan's story, but I hope Kierran is involved in that somehow. 


And of course, my favorite characters were the talking animals. The banter between Grim and The Big Bad Wolf was a lot of fun to read, and I'm hoping they're somehow involved in the spin-off, too.


Overall: I can't, in good conscious, give this book a rating. There were so many parts I loved about it that make me want to give it 5 stars - Getting to see things from Ash's POV, the awesome way the Nevernever was portrayed. The plot was amazing and kept me guessing the entire time. But the way Ash acted and the sort-of love triangle makes me want to knock way too many stars off the rating - and that wouldn't be fair, because I'm so biased against love triangles these days that I can barely look past them to see the good in a book. Therefore, I refuse to give The Iron Knight.

~Zoey~

Cover Reveal: Onyx

12.05.2011
You know what makes me really happy? The fact that I got to see this cover on Saturday night ;)

Jennifer L. Armentrout is like a writing machine or something. I really think she is. And I totally love Entangled Publishing for not making us wait a year for the sequel like most books.

Obsidian, the first novel in the series, releases December 6th, 2011. (Or, y'know, TOMORROW.) But we've got the cover to the sequel already!

I think I'm in love.

And we've even got a sneak peek at the official blurb!

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

In case you haven't heard about the first novel, Obsidian, (what's wrong with you??) here you go:

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication Date: December 6th, 2011
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Check out my 5 star review HERE.

Am I the only one that pictures Daemon almost exactly as he is on the cover? o.o I kind of wonder what would have happened if I'd never seen the cover before I read it.

~Zoey~

2012 Standalone Reading Challenge

12.04.2011
It seems like every new release is part of a trilogy or series. But there are quite a few standalones releasing next year as well - they're there if you look for them! So why not have a Standalone Reading Challenge?

The Standalone Reading Challenge is hosted by Icey Books and Britta from I Like These Books.  You can find out more information and sign up HERE.

Anyone who knows me knows how irritated I've been getting about how everything has a sequel, so this challenge is basically perfect for me.

What I intend to read for the challenge:
  • The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
  • The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
  • This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
  • A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
  • Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
  • The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
  • Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
  • For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
  • In Honor by Jessi Kirby
  • Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
  • My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
  • Partials by Dan Wells
  • Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
  • Fated by Sarah Alderson
The challenge only requires you read 15 standalones, so I chose 15 for this list, but I'm hoping I can read more. I need a break from all these trilogies and stuff :P

~Zoey~

Review: The Karma Club

The Karma Club by Jessica Brody
Published April 27th 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. Do good things and you'll be rewarded, do something bad and Karma will make sure you get what you deserve.

But when Maddy’s boyfriend cheats on her, nothing bad comes his way. That’s why Maddy starts the Karma Club, to clean up the messes that the universe has left behind. Sometimes, though, it isn’t wise to meddle with the universe.

It turns out Karma often has plans of its own. 

The Karma Club is an extremely quick and light read. It's not full of deep emotions or complex twists and turns, but that doesn't mean it's not enjoyable. I had a lot of little problems with it, but they were just that - little. 

I love the idea of The Karma Club, since, essentially, it's all about giving people what they deserve and how revenge doesn't always work out. When Maddy decides she wants revenge on her cheating boyfriend and ropes her friends into it, you kind of know that something is going to go wrong.

The main problem I think I had was the relationship between Spencer and Maddy. Spencer sort of falls flat as a character because we know next to nothing about him or his personality. Maybe that's because he's not a huge part of the book, but I still wish he could have had more of a personality. 

And we never get to find out why her boyfriend cheated. He barely says two words throughout the entire book. And since the cheating incident is basically the foreground for everything, I feel like that's something we should have been told about.

Maddy had a narrative that was easy to read through. Her emotions weren't very deep, but she was a fun character, which was something I really liked. She was pretty easy to relate to, too. I know some people think she should have been more torn up about her boyfriend, but I think I would've been more angry than sad, too. I definitely would have wanted revenge. I think the way Maddy and her friends went about it might have been a little childish, though.


Overall: I really don't know what to say about The Karma Club. It's not one of those books that's going to stick with me - it's forgettable. But at the same time, I really enjoyed it while I was reading and finished it in one sitting. It wasn't something I felt like I'd read dozens of times, so I give it 3 stars. 

~Zoey~

In My Mailbox {1}

12.03.2011
"In My Mailbox" is hosted by The Story Siren, though I'm sure you all already know that :)

I never really intended to do this meme, but to be honest, I just needed something to post since it's taking me so long to write these two reviews :P Let's try and pretend the picture isn't such bad quality, yeah? My camera doesn't like me so I had to use my laptop.

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready (library)
Die For Me by Amy Plum (Received from HarperTeen for winning an inkpop writing contest)
Maine Squeeze by Catherine Clark (Received from HarperTeen for winning an inkpop writing contest)
Firelight by Sophie Jordan (Received from HarperTeen for winning an inkpop writing contest)

I also got approved for a few things on NetGalley, but let's be honest here, I'm way too lazy to include them.

What did you get in your mailbox? :) (Chances are it's stuff much more interesting than mine.)

~Zoey~

12.31.2011

Best Of 2011

First of all, I suppose I should say I've been completely absent this week because, to put it simply, I'm feeling lazy. I've spent my entire winter break watching Smallville from the very first episode. There are 10 seasons, each with 21 or 22 episodes ._.

Anyway. It's just a few hours until 2012 (for me) so I figured it was time to recap 2011 with my favorite reads of this year, in no particular order. (Please note - this is books I've read in 2011, not necessarily published in 2011. No 2012 books included, but possibly some 2010.)

(Links go to Goodreads)

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
 The characters in Obsidian are ones you'll never forget. And there are aliens! ALIENS, GUYS. The chemistry and banter between Katy and Daemon is irresistible, and Obsidian itself is even more unforgettable than the characters. Full of action and romance, Obsidian is a novel you want to pick up if you haven't.












                                                                                       Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
So Hunting Lila is kind of adorable and fun. I don't know how else to describe it. It's also got plenty of action, sure - but what really got me is the relationships between Lila and the other characters. Hunting Lila is a book that gripped me from the very first page.














Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This is one of those books I feel like I can reread over and over again. Etienne St. Clair is one of the most swoon-worthy characters I've ever read, and one of the reasons that's so is because he's not perfect, and we all know it. He's not always a hero, but he's there for Anna when it counts - and she's there for him, too. Plus, Anna's internal sarcasm is always an amusement to read.










                                                                                                                Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Gwen is an awesome heroine. I love her. I love Vic, the talking sword, more than I probably should. But in the end, it's always Logan that kills me. That Spartan boy gets to me in a way most other male characters in YA lit just . . . don't. (Plus, there's lots of action and I love Mythos Academy. But it's still Logan that sticks out.)












So maybe you think there should be more - and there are plenty of books that I've read this year and enjoyed. But these are the ones that really stick out to me - the ones I know I'll never be able to forget.

Happy 2012 ;)

~Zoey~

12.30.2011

Review: Under The Never Sky

Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Expected Publication: January 3rd, 2012 by HarperCollins
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY

The first book in a captivating trilogy, Veronica Rossi’s enthralling debut sweeps you into an unforgettable adventure.

Under the Never Sky has had a huge amount of hype. Naturally, when I saw it on NetGalley and got approved, my reaction was this -> O_O!!!!!

I love the title. I love the cover. But the book itself frustrated me to no end.

My biggest problem is that there is so much that is left unexplained. I'm not usually one that needs everything spelled out for me, but Under the Never Sky left a little too much to guesswork and inferences for me. I'm still not entirely sure how their world came to be what it is. I'm not entirely clear on what aether is. Sure, I can gather an idea from what happens with aether during the book, but it's never really explained. Nothing is explained, it felt like -_- And there are so many names to keep straight - Dwellers, Moles, Savages, Bliss, Luster (which I think is supposed to be alcohol, but I DON'T KNOW BECAUSE IT WAS NEVER EXPLAINED), and countless others. It made my brain hurt.

From what I understand, this book is classified as a dystopian novel. And from other things I understand, dystopians focus a lot on the societies they're set in. Sometimes, I felt like the only thing happening in this book was Perry and Aria (and sometimes Roar) traveling. With some fights thrown in. Which brings me back to my point above - nothing is explained properly in this book. And it makes me mad, in case you hadn't noticed -_-

Despite that, there are still aspects I like. I especially liked how some science was thrown into this book, things about the brain and stuff, and how The Realms have an effect on everyone. The beginning was awesome - definitely a great start to a book that'll hook you in.

I really like the way Aria and Perry's relationship evolves. Although their arguments start to get very repetitive in the first fourth or so, after that, it seems to evolve perfectly.

Perry is truly different from almost every other YA male character I've read. There's something so real about him, even if he has abilities that we could never dream of. He's so caring and so protective - but you have to earn his trust first, and I love that about him.

Aria, in the beginning, is a very naive character. And while that's usually annoying, for once, it fit the story. This book wouldn't have made any sense if Aria wasn't naive. Here she is, being thrown out of her world of perfection into a world of disease, sickness, violence, with no one but Perry, a Savage, to protect her. Aria grows throughout the book, and I think that's something that will probably (hopefully) continue through the rest of the series.

Overall: I have so many questions that it's ridiculous. While Under The Never Sky is an amazing and fairly original dystopian tale, I feel like it needs a lot of work. Instead of all action and fights, some time could be spent on trying to make the readers a little less confused. However, I can't ignore the fact that I enjoyed the book and that I'm dying for the sequel after that ending T__T Under The Never Sky kept me guessing the entire time, and I fell in love with the characters. 3.5 stars.


1/2

~Zoey~

12.25.2011

In My Mailbox {3}

Yeah, I know it's Christmas and everything, but I have nothing else to do but sit here and stare at my laptop since this day sucks . . .  you-know-what, so I figured I might as well do this. (Didn't take any actual pictures, though. Too lazy.)

"In My Mailbox" is hosted by The Story Siren. :)

Remember, this is actually from the past two weeks or so.

From HarperCollins:
Variant by  Robinson Wells (This is another book I won awhile back from a writing challenge on Inkpop. It was out of stock when they sent the other three books, so I just got it sent this week.)


From Robin Wasserman:
The Cold Awakening Trilogy
Skinned, Crashed, and Wired. (She was cleaning awhile back and making room for the redesigns of this series, so I got sent the old designs of the trilogy :D)



From Inara Scott:
The Candidates - signed! I've actually already read this and really liked it, so I gave it to my friend as a Christmas present. :)
ARC of The Marked. (I won these in a giveaway of hers. My ARC of The Marked is actually called The Watchers, but I asked her and she said they're the same thing, but the publishers just decided to change the title.)
 From NetGalley:
I actually got way too many things from NetGalley the past two weeks v.v So I'm not showing them all. And I'm also not showing most of the covers because it's always such a DISASTER.
//Slide by Jill Hathaway//Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe by Shelley Coriell//Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel//The Nightmare Garden by Kaitlin Cattridge//The Night She Disappeared by April Henry//
There's one or two other things I got, but I'm not in the mood to explain how.

Ha, I look at this and go "LOOK AT ALL THE BOOKS!" But then I know I'm probably not getting anything for the next two weeks, so I suppose this is really considered my haul of a month :P

If you posted an IMM this week, leave a link and I'll check it out. Since I have nothing else to do.

~Zoey~



12.23.2011

Review: Hunting Lila

Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
Published August 4th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
//The Book Depository//

17-year-old Lila has two secrets she's prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she's been in love with her brother's best friend, Alex, since forever. Or thereabouts.After a mugging on the streets of South London goes horribly wrong and exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust - her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they've found them. Trying to uncover the truth of why her mother was killed, and the real remit of The Unit, Lila becomes a pawn in a dangerous game. Struggling to keep her secrets in a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone - there are others out there just like her - people with special powers -and her mother's killer is one of them...
 
I've seen people talk about this book everywhere, so I definitely had high expectations. And for once, I can safely say that they were met. Surpassed, even.

Hunting Lila had me from the first page. Once I'd started reading, I couldn't stop. It took me a little way to get used to the writing style - it's published in the UK, not in the US, so there were a few aspects that were a little different, but they were so easy to overlook.

People have raved and raved about Hunting Lila, and while it sounded interesting to me, I didn't really understand what was so special. And then I read it, and my face was probably like this the entire time -> O__O

The characters were all fairly well-developed to me, though I would have liked to know a little more of Alex's history. Lila is an amazing character. Easy to relate to, but at the same time, the kind of character you wish you could be. She's awkward and self-conscious around the boy she likes, just like anyone would be, but at the same time she's stubborn and determined and doesn't want to give up on Alex, even if she thinks it will never amount to anything. Lila's a pretty kick-ass character, and even when her brother, Jack, and Alex refuse to tell her anything, she's still determined to find out, just like anyone would be.

Alex made me swoon. More than once. He's so sweet, and at the same time, kind of secretive because he's trying to protect Lila. He stuck out as male character in YA because he wasn't one of those boys that slept with everything with boobs. Alex was a very genuine, adorable character.

The other characters - like Jack and Demos, for example - were great, too. They really added to the plot, and I didn't feel as if any of them were out of place or useless.

I can't decide what was the best part - the adorable romance or the amazing plot. Alex and Lila are almost too cute to handle together, and yet somehow, it's not that obnoxious kind of cute that makes you feel sick. At the same time, the plot is just so full of awesome - tons of people with different powers being hunted by people you'd never except - that I know I'll never forget about it.

Overall: Hunting Lila is everything people made it out to be and more. I fell in love on the first page. Full of plenty of action but at the same time plenty of adorableness, Hunting Lila is an amazing novel that I won't be forgetting anytime soon. (And one I'm already dying for the sequel to.) 5 stars!

~Zoey~

12.22.2011

Triple ARC Giveaway

Yeah. So. I have some ARC's I finished reading/will finish before this contest ends, and I figured I'd give them away. (I was very hesitant to giveaway my copy of Pure, but I know I'll be buying a copy when it comes out, so it's all good~)




(Links to Goodreads pages)
Switched by Amanda Hocking
Illuminate by Aimee Agresti
Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Plus some Incarnate by Jodi Meadows swag :)

*Please note:
*Giveaway is US/CAN only.
*You must be a follower via GFC to enter. Make sure to leave your GFC username.
*ARC's are not meant to be sold. If you win, don't sell them. Please.
*There will be ONE winner.
*Giveaway ends on January 12th, 2012 :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

12.21.2011

Waiting On Wednesday {9}

First of all: Yes, my hiatus didn't last two weeks, but that's mainly because I realized I have winter break next week, and since I am doing absolutely nothing, I should be able to read. A lot. :P

And second: I finished some reading over the week, so watch out for an ARC giveaway tomorrow of a few things ;)

And NOW:

"Waiting on Wednesday " is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Glimmer by Pheobe Kitanidis
Expected Publication: April 17th, 2012 by Balzer + Bray (ALSO KNOWN AS The Day Before My Birthday)

What if you forgot your identity and had to rely on other people to tell you who you were?

And what if to discover your true self, you first had to unravel a mystery so big and terrifying you were not sure you’d survive solving it?

When Marshall and Elyse wake up in each other’s arms with zero memory of how they got there or who they are, it’s the start of a long journey through their separate pasts and shared future.

Terrified by their amnesia, the two make a pact to work together to find the answers that could jog their missing memories. As they piece together clues, they discover they’re in the idyllic mountain resort town of Summer Falls, where everyone seems mysteriously happy, but as Marshall and Elyse quickly learn, darkness lurks beneath the town’s perfect facade. Not only is the town haunted by sinister ghosts, but none of its living inhabitants retain bad memories of anything—not the death of Marshall’s mom, not the hidden shame in Elyse’s family, not even the day-to-day anguish of high school.

Lonely in this world of happy zombies, Marsh and Elyse fall into an intense relationship...but the secrets they uncover could be the death of this growing love—and the death of everyone, and everything, they love in Summer Falls.

The people I work with at the bookstore said we'd definitely be selling Glimmer when it comes out, and that makes me really happy, but I am dying for this. Like, right now *-* I've heard amazing things about it. (And I'm dying of jealousy every time I see it in an IMM post)

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Expected Publication: May 8th, 2012 by HarperCollins

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.

I still like werewolves. I don't care what anyone thinks of them. They have a special place in my heart. (Probably because the first book I wrote/only book I ever finished was about werewolves.) And this book is a werewolf MYSTERY! :D 

Leave a link to your WoW and I'll check it out :)


~Zoey~

12.15.2011

Notice: Two-Week Hiatus

To quote Jodi Meadows, books are not supposed to be stressful. They're supposed to be fun.

Well, everything has been stressful lately. Reading being one of them. I'm falling so far behind and I'm so lazy that I never manage to catch up. I haven't finished a book in way too long O_O And I've got like, 10 reviews that need to be written because I just sit there and stare at them and wonder why I ever decided to do this.

So for the next one or two weeks, I'll be on an internet hiatus, for the most part. I really need to make a dent in my NetGally pile, so I'll be on my laptop, and I'll answer emails a few times a week, (and probably tweet from my English class) but I won't be posting on the blog and you won't hear from me too much.

'Course, winter break starts December 24th, so I'm sure I'll manage to break my hiatus. :P

Hope you'll all still be here when I actually get back to posting (:

~Zoey~

12.14.2011

Waiting on Wednesday {8}

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Immortal City by Scott Speer
Expected publication: April 3rd 2012 by Razorbill

Jackson Godspeed is the hottest young Angel in a city filled with them. He's days away from becoming a full Guardian, and people around the world are already competing for the chance to be watched over by him. Everyone's obsessed with the Angels and the lucky people they protect - everyone except for Madison Montgomery.

Maddy's the one girl in Angel City who doesn't breathlessly follow the Angels on TV and gossip blogs. When she meets Jackson, she doesn't recognize him. But Jackson is instantly captivated by her, and against all odds the two fall in love.

Maddy is swiftly caught up in Jackson's scene, a world of glamour, paparazzi - and murder. A serial killer is on the loose, leaving dead Angels' wings for the police to find on the Walk of Fame. Even the Guardians are powerless to protect themselves in the face of this threat … and this time it's up to Maddy to save Jackson.

I don't care what people say about angels. I still like them. And I love the idea of this - angels out in the open, known by everyone. It's not something that's done very often. This is one of those books I'm totally lusting for O_O

Plus, I kind of love the name Jackson.

What are YOU waiting on this Wednesday? Leave a link! :)
~Zoey~

12.13.2011

Review: Something Witchy This Way Comes

Something Witchy This Way Comes by Veronica Blade
Published November 30th, 2011 by Crush Publishing [Paperback version]
//Amazon//B&N//

Brainiac Tessa McClean’s newly discovered magical powers give her an escape from her self-absorbed parents. But the thrill of being a witch fades when she learns of a rival coven and begins to suspect her own coven’s motives. Evidence tells Tessa to trust one side, but instinct drives her toward the other. When the school’s scrumptious delinquent, Hayden Anders, offers Tessa self-defense lessons in exchange for tutoring, his timing couldn’t be better. Although hanging out with him is a necessary evil in Tessa’s fight to stay alive, resisting a bad-boy she secretly yearns for might be more than she can manage. Together, Tessa and Hayden work to unravel the mysteries behind the two covens to discover why they’ll stop at nothing to lure Tessa to their side. She must form an alliance with one of the covens before it’s too late. But the wrong decision could cost Tessa the lives of all who she holds dear — including Hayden.

Honestly, even after almost a week, I'm still not sure what to say about this book. I understand why some people could . . . not enjoy this book. I had plenty of issues while I was reading it, yet I still enjoyed it.

Something Witchy This Way Comes is told in two points of view - Tessa and Hayden. While their actions made them easy discernible, I wish the writing style for their POV's had been a little different. It sounded pretty much the same for both of them. Sure, I could tell them apart, but they sounded the same.

The relationship between Hayden and Tessa is also extremely redundant. There's plenty of attraction, and the chemistry between them is awesome - but it felt like every five seconds Tessa was thinking about how hot Hayden was but how he was such a bad boy she could never love, and every six seconds Hayden was thinking about how hot Tessa was and how he could never be with her because she was a good girl. It was like Blade was trying to build up the tension but she didn't know how to after she got to a point, so she just continued to do the same thing.

That's not to say I didn't like the romance, because I did. Tessa and Hayden are one of those couples you find yourself captured by and rooting for through the entire book. I would get angry whenever they got into a fight. I liked how realistic the relationship was in the beginning - there was no insta-love, but there was instant attraction, which is something that happens constantly in life. Tessa and Hayden probably would never have crossed paths if they hadn't been forced to by the principal, but they're the couple you like to think would have ended up together no matter the case.

Something Witchy This Way Comes is also full of plenty of surprises. While the essential "bad guy" in the book was kind of predictable, there were enough other surprises and shocks to make up for it.

I'm not sure how I felt about the actual "witch" part of it all. The witches in this book definitely aren't like most - in fact, they're not even actually witches to me. I was expecting magic like the stuff in Rachel Hawkins's books or something, but it wasn't like that at all. The title kind of threw me off.

My only other complaint is that the ending seemed rushed and anticlimactic. Here we've waited this entire book for a good action scene, and it ended so quickly I'm still not even sure what happened.

Overall: Something Witchy This Way Comes was a fun, light read full of plenty of chemistry. I give it 3 stars because while I enjoyed it, there were issues I couldn't overlook. It's one of those books you should probably get from the library, if it sounds interesting to you.


~Zoey~

12.10.2011

In My Mailbox {2}

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren! :)

Again, we're going to pretend that the quality of these pictures isn't so truly awful.

I squealed like a little girl this week, guys. Books always make awful weeks better.

From Publishers For Review:
  • Pure by Jennifer Armentrout + lots of bookmarks and a Pure guitar pick! :)
  • Illuminate by Aimee Agresti
So Illuminate was my first real ARC request, and Pure was my second. I feel so, like, legit now :P

Also, I'm in love with the guitar pick. Seriously. (I'm also in love with Seth, but that's another story.)


I also got two things on NetGalley and a few free things on Amazon, but let's face it. I'm still too lazy for them.

What did you get in your mailbox? (:

~Zoey~

12.07.2011

Waiting on Wednesday {7}

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Publication Date: July 24th, 2012 by HarperTeen
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

See, HarperTeen and I have a very love-hate relationship. I love their covers. I love a lot of covers from HarperCollins publishers. But HarperTeen seems determined to publish love triangles/characters I hate. 

But this. THIS. It sounds amazing. And fairly original, too. And I love zombies. I love them more than an acceptable amount. (Unless, of course, it's zombies vs. unicorns. Unicorns will always be superior.)

What are you waiting on? Leave a link and I'll be sure to check it out.

~Zoey~

12.06.2011

Review: The Iron Knight

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
Published October 25th, 2011 by Harlequin TEEN
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.


To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

WARNING: Spoilers abound.

Seriously. If you haven't read The Iron Knight and you plan to, don't read this review. It will ruin the entire thing for you. I've never posted a review like this before, but this has been out for awhile, so I figure I'm relatively safe.

The Iron Fey is one of my favorite series. I don't care what anyone says - it always has been. But The Iron Knight . . . I don't even know how I feel about it. Reading things from Ash's POV was amazing, just as I expected. And I loved Puck, and I loved everything they had to go through to make sure Ash got his soul, and I love the way Kagawa portrayed Faery, (or the Nevernever, as it's often called in this series) but Kagawa did something I can't stand.

She basically turned this book into a love triangle. I know that's okay with some people. And I know some people will claim there was already a love triangle between Puck/Meghan/Ash, but I never really saw that as a real love triangle because I always thought it was fairly obvious Meghan would end up with Ash. But in The Iron Knight, with Ariella in the picture . . . Urgh. URGLES. This series has always been so awesome, but then this love triangle just suddenly pops up in the last book.


Most of the time, it felt like Ash wasn't on this journey to be with Meghan. He was just on it because he made a vow, and that vow can't be broken. That angered me to no end. He's determined to get a soul, and then suddenly BAM. Ariella is back and it's like he doesn't even care about Meghan anymore. 


And Ariella . . . I can't figure her out. She's one of the most selfless people in the series, but she's also one of the most selfish. 


I wish we could have seen more of Kierran. I know Julie Kagawa is doing a spin-off of Ethan's story, but I hope Kierran is involved in that somehow. 


And of course, my favorite characters were the talking animals. The banter between Grim and The Big Bad Wolf was a lot of fun to read, and I'm hoping they're somehow involved in the spin-off, too.


Overall: I can't, in good conscious, give this book a rating. There were so many parts I loved about it that make me want to give it 5 stars - Getting to see things from Ash's POV, the awesome way the Nevernever was portrayed. The plot was amazing and kept me guessing the entire time. But the way Ash acted and the sort-of love triangle makes me want to knock way too many stars off the rating - and that wouldn't be fair, because I'm so biased against love triangles these days that I can barely look past them to see the good in a book. Therefore, I refuse to give The Iron Knight.

~Zoey~

12.05.2011

Cover Reveal: Onyx

You know what makes me really happy? The fact that I got to see this cover on Saturday night ;)

Jennifer L. Armentrout is like a writing machine or something. I really think she is. And I totally love Entangled Publishing for not making us wait a year for the sequel like most books.

Obsidian, the first novel in the series, releases December 6th, 2011. (Or, y'know, TOMORROW.) But we've got the cover to the sequel already!

I think I'm in love.

And we've even got a sneak peek at the official blurb!

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

In case you haven't heard about the first novel, Obsidian, (what's wrong with you??) here you go:

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication Date: December 6th, 2011
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Check out my 5 star review HERE.

Am I the only one that pictures Daemon almost exactly as he is on the cover? o.o I kind of wonder what would have happened if I'd never seen the cover before I read it.

~Zoey~

12.04.2011

2012 Standalone Reading Challenge

It seems like every new release is part of a trilogy or series. But there are quite a few standalones releasing next year as well - they're there if you look for them! So why not have a Standalone Reading Challenge?

The Standalone Reading Challenge is hosted by Icey Books and Britta from I Like These Books.  You can find out more information and sign up HERE.

Anyone who knows me knows how irritated I've been getting about how everything has a sequel, so this challenge is basically perfect for me.

What I intend to read for the challenge:
  • The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
  • The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
  • This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
  • A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
  • Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
  • The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
  • Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
  • For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
  • In Honor by Jessi Kirby
  • Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
  • My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
  • Partials by Dan Wells
  • Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
  • Fated by Sarah Alderson
The challenge only requires you read 15 standalones, so I chose 15 for this list, but I'm hoping I can read more. I need a break from all these trilogies and stuff :P

~Zoey~

Review: The Karma Club

The Karma Club by Jessica Brody
Published April 27th 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. Do good things and you'll be rewarded, do something bad and Karma will make sure you get what you deserve.

But when Maddy’s boyfriend cheats on her, nothing bad comes his way. That’s why Maddy starts the Karma Club, to clean up the messes that the universe has left behind. Sometimes, though, it isn’t wise to meddle with the universe.

It turns out Karma often has plans of its own. 

The Karma Club is an extremely quick and light read. It's not full of deep emotions or complex twists and turns, but that doesn't mean it's not enjoyable. I had a lot of little problems with it, but they were just that - little. 

I love the idea of The Karma Club, since, essentially, it's all about giving people what they deserve and how revenge doesn't always work out. When Maddy decides she wants revenge on her cheating boyfriend and ropes her friends into it, you kind of know that something is going to go wrong.

The main problem I think I had was the relationship between Spencer and Maddy. Spencer sort of falls flat as a character because we know next to nothing about him or his personality. Maybe that's because he's not a huge part of the book, but I still wish he could have had more of a personality. 

And we never get to find out why her boyfriend cheated. He barely says two words throughout the entire book. And since the cheating incident is basically the foreground for everything, I feel like that's something we should have been told about.

Maddy had a narrative that was easy to read through. Her emotions weren't very deep, but she was a fun character, which was something I really liked. She was pretty easy to relate to, too. I know some people think she should have been more torn up about her boyfriend, but I think I would've been more angry than sad, too. I definitely would have wanted revenge. I think the way Maddy and her friends went about it might have been a little childish, though.


Overall: I really don't know what to say about The Karma Club. It's not one of those books that's going to stick with me - it's forgettable. But at the same time, I really enjoyed it while I was reading and finished it in one sitting. It wasn't something I felt like I'd read dozens of times, so I give it 3 stars. 

~Zoey~

12.03.2011

In My Mailbox {1}

"In My Mailbox" is hosted by The Story Siren, though I'm sure you all already know that :)

I never really intended to do this meme, but to be honest, I just needed something to post since it's taking me so long to write these two reviews :P Let's try and pretend the picture isn't such bad quality, yeah? My camera doesn't like me so I had to use my laptop.

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready (library)
Die For Me by Amy Plum (Received from HarperTeen for winning an inkpop writing contest)
Maine Squeeze by Catherine Clark (Received from HarperTeen for winning an inkpop writing contest)
Firelight by Sophie Jordan (Received from HarperTeen for winning an inkpop writing contest)

I also got approved for a few things on NetGalley, but let's be honest here, I'm way too lazy to include them.

What did you get in your mailbox? :) (Chances are it's stuff much more interesting than mine.)

~Zoey~