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Waiting on Wednesday {21}

3.28.2012
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
Expected publication: October 2nd 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers


Poison Princess centers on 16-year-old Evangeline "Evie" Greene, a privileged teenager from Louisiana. When an apocalyptic event decimates her hometown, killing everyone she loves, Evie realizes the hallucinations she'd been having for the past year were actually visions of the future — and they're still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux. As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophecy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of teens have been chosen to re-enact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it's not always clear who is on which side…


 

So this doesn't come out for awhile, but I definitely love the sound of this. And let's be honest, the cover alone probably makes most of you want to read it. ;)

The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse
Expected publication: July 10th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

A thought-provoking and exciting start to a riveting new dystopian trilogy.

As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.
This sounds like a unique dystopian, which is something I really need these days! :)

Leave a link to your WoW and I'll be sure to stop by!

~Zoey~

Review: Slide

3.26.2012
Slide by Jill Hathaway
Expected publication: March 27th 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.


Slide has been described as a thrilling mystery, emphasis on the mystery part. I have to agree - it's almost impossible to guess who the killer is, and when you do find out, it's a complete surprise - but one that makes sense.

I love the idea of sliding, and the way Jill Hathaway explains it is perfect. It's so easy to understand, as opposed to a lot of YA books lately that spend pages describing something odd about the character but never really explain it in a way where it makes sense.

However, Slide is a very short and quick read, and while sometimes that's a good thing, I don't think it really worked for this. In a longer novel, the tension could have been built up better. Not only is the romance between Vee and Zane entirely too rushed, in my opinion, but the murders are, too. If it had been longer, there could have been a few more clues. The mystery could have been so much more intense and exciting.

In terms of characters, most of the students at Vee's school simply annoyed me. Their dialogue seemed unrealistic, like Hathaway was trying too hard to make them sound like snotty popular teenagers. Vee herself was an okay character, for the most part, though I feel as if we never got to know her well enough for me to form an opinion. The same goes for Vee's best friend, Rollins - an intriguing character that I didn't mind but don't know enough about.

Overall: I feel like Slide has so much unfulfilled potential simply because the entire book was squeezed into less than 300 pages. Every moved a little too fast for me, and while the killer was a complete surprise for me, the suspense wasn't built up well enough. 2.5 stars.

 ~Zoey~

In My Mailbox {12}

3.25.2012
Been awhile since I did this, so I'm sure I'll miss out on a few books.

Also, I'm in a crappy mood and feeling too lazy to do any pictures, so . . . No pictures. :P

RAK:
The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

NetGalley:
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowan

From HarperCollins (E-books)
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson

Obviously, I have not gotten very much mail in the past three weeks :P

Leave a link to your WoW and I'll be sure to stop by!

~Zoey~

Review: Born Wicked

3.24.2012
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Published February 7th 2012 by Putnam Juvenile
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//
Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship--or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with six months to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate stars scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood -- not even from each other.
There's one word to describe my feelings on this book: Frustration. Frustration from so many different sources that I can only begin to explain them.

Cate, for one. At first, I didn't like her very much. She just didn't seem like a very three-dimensional character. I was annoyed by how much she tried to control everyone else's lives. I know she does it to protect her family, but something about it just made me angry. In the middle, I started to like Cate a little more. She became relateable, easy to understand. Towards the end, I started to dislike her again - the decisions she makes just made me so angry. However, throughout the entire book, Cate makes some tough decisions to protect those that she loves, so I definitely have to admire her for that.

Cate's sisters frustrated me the most. Most of the time, the two of them seemed reckless and unable to listen. Sure, teenagers are reckless, but I felt like they should have had a little more common sense.

I'm not sure what to say about the romance. I feel like it lacked a little fire - from all three of the people involved. I will admit that both Finn and Paul are great boys for Cate. Rather than a frustrating love triangle where I can't understand the female's reasons for liking one of the boys, I liked both Finn and Paul, in very different ways.

The plot was definitely something that kept me interested. Magic in the past, when it was something so forbidden, is not something I read very often. Jessica Spotswood handled that very well - it seemed so realistic. The Brothers are so against magic that you can't help but be tempted by it.

Overall: Plenty of people have raved about this book, but the characters frustrated me and while the plot was intriguing, I wasn't full invested in it. 3 stars.

~Zoey~

Waiting on Wednesday {20}

3.21.2012
"Waiting on Wednesday " is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Toxic by Jus Accardo
Expected publication: September 11th 2012 by Entangled Teen 


When a Six saved Kale’s life the night of Sumrun, she warned there would be consequences. A trade-off. Something taken for the life they gained. But Dez never imagined she’d lose the one thing she’d give anything to keep… And as if it’s not enough Dez finds her immunity to Kale fading, the Six brought in to help Kale learn to control his killer touch starts drooling on him the moment they meet. Worse than that? Jade can touch Kale. But bimbo Barbie is the least of Dez's problems.

After Dez and Kale got away at Sumrun, her father lost not only his most powerful weapon but an important piece of the Supremacy project. Forced by Denazen to remedy the situation, he poisons Dez and offers her a choice—surrender to Denazen for the cure…or die. Determined to find a solution that doesn’t involve being bagged and tagged—or losing someone she loves—Dez keeps the poison a secret. But when a rash of Denazen attacks hit a little too close to home, Dez is convinced there’s a traitor among them. Jade.

Sacrifices, broken promises, and secrets. Dez will have to lay it all on the line if there’s any hope of proving Jade’s guilt before they all end up Residents of Denazen. Or worse, dead...


I'm extremely nervous for this book because of the blurb since I love Dez and Kale so much - I have a feeling this is yet another book that will break my heart - but at the same time, I'm positive I'll love it because I love them both as characters so much. It sounds action-packed and amazing!


Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
Expected publication: April 10th 2012 by EgmontUSA 



Mirabelle's past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents' tragic deaths to her guardians' half-truths about why she can't return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.

In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who's a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.

But fairy tales aren't pretty things, and they don't always end in happily ever after. Mira has a role to play, a fairy tale destiny to embrace or resist. As she struggles to take control of her fate, Mira is drawn into the lives of two brothers with fairy tale curses of their own . . . brothers who share a dark secret. And she'll find that love, just like fairy tales, can have sharp edges and hidden thorns.

I'm sure everyone's seen this by now, but I don't care. I love anything to do with fairy tales. Dark and bloody fairy tales included. :D


Leave a link to your WoW and I'll be sure to stop by! :)


~Zoey~

Review: Starters

3.20.2012
Starters by Lissa Price
Published March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

HER WORLD IS CHANGED FOREVER

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

In the beginning, I was sure I would love Starters. By the middle, I wasn't so sure. And by the end, I knew I had to read the next book as soon as possible.

Starters is a unique sci-fi in the fact that it's almost easy to imagine that it's our world. There are so many similarities between their world and ours, and yet you know it's different. I wish that world in this novel had been developed a little more - there's still so much to learn about it and how it came to be - but there's plenty of other things that fill up the novel.

When I wasn't going, "WHAT?" I was trying to stay one step ahead of everyone Callie tries to figure out. There are quite a few twists thrown into Starters, and they were ones I never saw coming. There's lots of action and intrigue.

If I really think about it, the subject of Starters is kind of . . . sickening. Not in a way that made me want to stop reading, just in a way that had me wanting to read more. Enders - elderly people, basically, who happen to be over 100 years old - "rent" - or in other words, steal - the life of a desperate teenager just so they can feel young again. It's definitely a new idea to me.

Callie, the main character and narrator, is, to put it simply, awesome. She's willing to go to any lengths to protect her family. Because her feelings come through so clearly, she's very easy to relate to. She can be a kick-ass heroine, but there are times when Lissa Price reminds you that Callie is just a human being, a teenage girl trying to save her little brother.

Blake is . . . the romantic interest, I suppose. While the twist at the end involving him is by far the biggest surprise of the entire book, I wish his character had been developed a little more. I couldn't believe the relationship between him and Callie very well, simply because they hardly know each other. I am, however, very intrigued by Blake, and I can't wait to see what happens to him in the next book.

Overall: Admittedly, I spent a lot of time being confused. It seems like Starters skips around a little more than necessary. However, it's a very unique novel with a great idea and an even better narrator. I definitely recommend it to all sci-fi fans. 4 stars.

 ~Zoey~

Confusing Covers {1}

3.18.2012
We've all seen those covers where we go, "Oh, that's pretty! But . . . what is it?" So I just decided I'd show a few of those covers that have made me do that today. (Because I have nothing better to do. It's Sunday. That's my excuse.) I'll probably do this once every other week as I find more.

Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Expected publication: November 6th 2012 by Spencer Hill Press


Sam from Realm of Fiction was saying on Twitter that she thought this might be the back of a girl's neck. I always knew there was a flower, but I never had any idea about what was in the corner. I guess now I can see that it's a neck . . . A neck with a weird curve . . .  ?













Mirage by Kristi Cook
Expected publication: June 5th 2012 by Simon Pulse

Okay, so I understand that this is a butterfly and a broken mirror, but you have no idea how long it took me to figure that out. I always thought it was supposed to be a compass or something. <_<














Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Published January 11th 2011 by Razorbill


I'm sure you'll all think I'm incredibly stupid for this one, but I took way too long to realize that there are two people on the cover. I was always just looking at the pink/purple sky thing between them, and for some reason it just took forever for it to register that, HEY, LOOK. FACES.













So what about you? What covers are you confused by? (And am I really the only one that didn't understand the AtU cover? >_>)

~Zoey~

Why the Drama?

3.16.2012
It seems like every time the drama-rama between reviewers and authors is over, some other author decides to say something. And it's always on Twitter.

Warning: Slightly rant-like.

There's this thing called email. If an author wants to complain about a review they got, why don't they just email a close friend? Granted, some emails get leaked, *cough cough Leigh Fallon cough* but I really don't think that's a daily occurrence. Because, HEY, did you know that people can pretty much see EVERYTHING on Twitter? No? Well, they can.

I also think it's slightly funny how suddenly bloggers are putting those authors on their shit lists and complaining about how "egotistical" some authors are. Newsflash: Authors have a right to not like your review. They do not, however, have a right to call you out on it. Or start calling you names. (Pettiness, anyone?)

Basically: Reviewers have a right to not like a book. I admit that some of them are way more harsh than necessary on occasion, but what can you do about it? And authors have a right to disagree with a review. But they also need to realize, no, their book isn't perfect to every single person. If there was a book that every single person rated 5 stars, I would suspect brainwash. AND YOU KNOW YOU WOULD, TOO.

Anyway. I know everyone knows these things. This is basically common sense. But it still makes me wonder: If all of these facts are so obvious, why is there still so much drama? Drama-llamas are not as fun as their names are~

This picture pertains particularly well to the author/reviewer world:
(Also the llama is really cute.)

~Zoey~

Review: Article 5

3.15.2012
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Published January 31st 2012 by Tor Teen
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren't always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it's hard for her to forget that people weren't always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It's hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.


My biggest issue with dystopians is that while the world is usually described well and I get a great feel for it, I never found out how that world came to be. Why did the old world fall and transform into this terrible one? Article 5 is yet another dystopian that doesn't answer that question.

That was, however, basically the only thing I didn't like. Otherwise, Article 5 kept me interested throughout the entire book. I never got bored; I felt like I needed to keep reading and find out what happened.

I love Ember, and for me, it's becoming less and less often that I love the narrator. But Ember is a very realistic character. She cares for her family and she's afraid for them. Her emotions come through so clearly and she's so easy to connect to. What I love most about her is how much she changes throughout the book, though. She goes from being a scared and naive girl who would do anything to find her mother to being a strong and hardened character who realizes the world for what it is. And even then, she's not a robot. She still feels emotions. She still hurts, but she's changed. I absolutely love that.

Chase is . . . I don't really know what to say about him, other than I love him. To me, he's different than a lot of male YA characters. He's the bad boy and the nice guy all at the same time. And the romance between Chase and Ember is so believable. They've known each other before, but it's still not thrown right at us. Ember understands that Chase isn't the same. It happens at exactly the right pace. Doesn't take up the whole plot. Just another thing that's perfect about this novel.

Even the plot is basically perfect, in my opinion. Not predictable, but at the same time, it makes sense. There aren't twists and turns that seem like they're thrown in just because the author felt like it - when a surprise comes along, you're shocked, but at the same time you sit there and wonder how you didn't realize it earlier.

Overall: Article 5 is, simply put, amazing. It has amazing characters, an amazing plot, but it also has substance. To me, it wasn't just a mindless read. Ember is a very strong character, and I think that regardless of the fact that our lives are nothing like hers, she's so easy to relate to. 5 stars.

~Zoey~

Waiting on Wednesday {19}

3.14.2012
"Waiting on Wednesday " is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Renegade by J.A. Souders
Expected publication: November 13th 2012 by Tor Teen

Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.


Renegade sounds so amazing and unique. Exactly like the kind of thing I'd love.

So Close to You by Rachel Carter
Expected publication: July 10th 2012 by HarperTeen


Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the Montauk Project all her life: stories about the experiments that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and the people who’ve disappeared over the years. When she stumbles into a vessel that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, Lydia realizes that all the stories she’s ever heard about the Montauk Project are true—and that she’s in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history.

Alongside Wes, a darkly mysterious boy whom she is wary to trust, Lydia begins to unravel the secrets surrounding the project. But the truths behind these secrets force her to question all her choices. And if Lydia chooses wrong, she might not save her family but destroy them...and herself.


Sci-fi makes me happy.

Leave a link to your WoW and I'll be sure to stop by!

~Zoey~

Review: Shattered Souls

3.13.2012
Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
Published December 8th 2011 by Philomel/Penguin
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.


I've seen a lot of reviews giving high praise to Shattered Souls, so I know it's not an awful book. I guess it just wasn't for me.

If I could use one word to describe this book, it would be "blah." I don't have a lot of hate for it. I don't have a lot of love for it. When this is all over, I probably won't give Shattered Souls a second thought. I'll be reading the second book, since it will feature different characters, but this one definitely wasn't for me.

Alden - and most of the others in the book - don't see Lenzi as Lenzi. They see her as Rose, the woman she's supposed to be because of reincarnation. Reincarnation isn't usually a subject that works for me in the first place, so that may have had something to do with my feelings about Shattered Souls. But they all hold Lenzi on such a high pedestal, expecting her to be exactly like Rose, even though they know she's not. What bothered me the most is that, sure Lenzi complains about it a little bit, but only in her narration. She never really does anything about it.

Lenzi simply didn't interest me. At times, she could be a very strong character, but for the majority of the book I thought she was boring and whiny. I wish she would have stood up for herself a little more, and not just when it came to Alden. Alden didn't interest me any more than Lenzi - I didn't get a very good feel for his character, but I didn't like the way he was constantly trying to tell Lenzi what to do. Alden was very sweet and caring at times, but for the majority of the book, I just . . . wasn't interested in anything about him.

The secondary characters - Alden's friends - were much more interesting to me, but you they're not in the book very often, so it hardly matters.

I also liked the idea of Speakers, people who help ghosts move on and the way that the Speakers actually get points for helping the spirits move on. I thought that was fairly unique and fun to read about.

Overall: I was bored. If this sounds like something you'd enjoy, however, you should definitely pick it up, because plenty of people I know have loved it. it just wasn't for me. 2 stars.

~Zoey~

Review + Giveaway: The Weeping {Blog Tour}

3.09.2012
The Weeping by O'Dell Hutchinson
Published March 6th 2012 by H, C & B Publishing

Twenty years ago, Catherine Whitley was the victim of a horrible crime. Betrayed by her friends, including the boy she loved, she was left to die when the Rock Harbor Opera House caught fire, taking a disturbing secret with her to her grave.

Seventeen-year-old Heath Ingram was driving the night his Jeep careened off the road, killing three of his closest friends. Once a popular, outgoing athlete, Heath now suffers from severe depression and crippling anxiety. His parents decide to send him to stay with his uncle in Rock Harbor, Oregon for the summer, praying that by getting away he will be able to put this awful tragedy behind him.

When Heath starts working at the newly renovated Rock Harbor Opera House, he meets Molly, a young dancer who awakens in him a desire to start over and move on. But, when he begins having visions of a half-burned girl in a white dress, he starts to think he may be slipping even further over the edge.

As the apparent hauntings become more intense, Heath begins to fear for his safety. With the help of his friend Josie, Heath discovers an unsettling secret that ties the mysterious girl to both their families. When two of their friends die unexpectedly, Josie and Heath realize that something, or someone, is after the children of those who wronged Catherine, and they are next.

Heath Ingram dreams of fire. He smells smoke everywhere. The Weeping grips you right from the beginning because the action starts right away, and it's not in a bad way. It's not like you're being thrown right in, but the beginning leaves you intrigued and feeling like you have to keep reading.

I have to admit that I loved the fact that The Weeping is in present tense. Most books are in past tense and O'Dell Hutchinson handles present tense very well.

Heath, the main character and narrator, is broken, in a way. He blames himself for killing his friends, but one thing I really like about him is that he wants to heal. He wants to get better instead of wallowing in his misery. But he can't heal overnight. He talks to a psychiatrist; he still blames himself sometimes. Heath's pain seems very realistic to me. While I didn't really feel any connection to him at all, I still enjoyed his narration.

The secondary characters are also pretty awesome. Heath makes some great friends in Rock Harbor, most of which do very surprising things.


Sometimes, though, The Weeping was very confusing. Heath would be walking somewhere and then suddenly he was hearing things and outside while I had no idea what was going on.

This book threw a lot of surprises at me. While most of it was awesome, I wish the huge reveal at the end would have had a little more foreshadowing. Maybe I just missed all of it, but that surprise just seemed random to me, something done out of convenience.

Overall: The Weeping surprised me - because of all the twists and simply because I was surprised by how much I liked it. The ending left me wanting more, and there was plenty of mystery. 4 stars.



And H, C & B Publishing is kindly offering a signed hardcover of The Weeping! Just fill out the Rafflecopter to enter - US/CAN only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


~Zoey~

ARC Giveaway: Unraveling

3.08.2012
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Expected publication: April 24th 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.

But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.

From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.


I ended up with another ARC of this, so now I'm going to give it away! US/CAN only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


~Zoey~

Waiting on Wednesday {18}

3.07.2012
Timepiece by Myra McEntire
Expected publication: June 12th 2012 by EgmontUSA

A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.


Kaleb's point of view. 'Nuff said.

Anyway, I enjoyed Hourglass so much, and Kaleb was my favorite character, so I'm positive I'll love Timepiece in June. :)

The Glimpse by Claire Merle
Expected publication: June 7th 2012 by Faber & Faber (UK) 

Once you've seen into the future, can you change your destiny?

In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.

Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.

Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society and into the pits of the human soul. And as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper's abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before.

I think it's fairly obvious why I'm waiting on this one. It sounds amazing and unique.

Leave a link to your WoW and I'll be sure to stop by!

~Zoey~

Review: Hourglass

3.06.2012
Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Published June 14th 2011 by Egmont USA
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

One hour to rewrite the past . . .
 
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?


*Possible spoilers*

I did not think I was going to like this book. In fact, I thought I might end up writing a huge rant on all the issues I had with it.

But that didn't happen.

I actually enjoyed Hourglass. I had plenty of issues with it, but they were all so little compared to the good things.

I'm still iffy on Emerson, the main character and narrator. Sometimes I liked her; she handled her situation very realistically. Emerson has spent the past few years thinking she's crazy, and like any normal person, when she finds out she's not, she takes some time to adjust. She doesn't just throw herself right into it. I also like that she doesn't do the opposite and spend all her time whining about it. She can be a very strong and brave character, but at the same time she's realistic because she worries about what's happening, like any sane person would.

The times I disliked her the most were when she was around Michael and Kaleb, the two . . . love interests, I suppose. To be honest, I don't believe Hourglass is a real love triangle - it's fairly obvious that her feelings for one boy are a lot stronger than her feelings for the other. But around either boys, Emerson seemed a lot weaker and too much like a stereotypical lovesick teenage girl to me.

Kaleb is definitely my favorite character - no surprise there. I'm so excited for Timepiece since it's in his point of view *-* Kaleb is the flirty boy - but he's also broken and trying to find a way to get through the loss of both of his parents. Michael, on the other hand, I found slightly boring. Him and Emerson have a lot of chemistry together, but as a character himself, I wasn't very interested.

The plotline, however, is amazing, and the ending completely surprised me. I didn't see it coming at all, but it wasn't a surprise in a disconcerting way. The way Myra McEntire portrays time travel is very unique and explained in a way that's easy to understand. (Read: It doesn't make my brain want to explode.) I loved learning bits and pieces about throughout the book as more information was revealed.

Overall: I was surprised by this book. Hourglass is the story of a girl on a mission - to go back and change the future, sure, but she's also redefining herself. Emerson changes from the girl who thinks she's crazy into a strong character who risks everything. While I'm almost positive I'll enjoy Timepiece even more, Hourglass is a unique and compelling read. 4 stars.

~Zoey~

Review: Croak

3.05.2012
Croak by Gina Damico
Expected publication: March 20th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.

He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.

Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.

Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?
Croak is another fun book. It seems I've been reading a lot of those lately, and I'm still not tired of them.

Lex is definitely a unique character. She's not a hardcore delinquent, but she's rebellious enough to stand out from other YA characters - and other teenagers in general. She's funny and sarcastic, but curious and serious when she needs to be. She's just a great character altogether.

What's really amazing is the way Lex changes throughout the book. In the beginning, she's so dead-set against moving to Croak. She's kind of whiny and grumpy about it. But her character grows so much throughout the book - she learns that she can't do everything on her own, and she learns to think of Croak as her home, becomes a dedicated Reaper. The way she matures throughout the book is something I haven't seen very much of lately.

The secondary characters add so much to the story. Lex's Uncle Mort is by far my favorite - he's a very memorable character. Funny and sometimes dramatic, he's not someone you could forget about while reading. Driggs is also another great secondary character - and his meeting with Lex and was possibly my favorite moment of the book simply because it's so funny. Drigg and Lex's interactions throughout the book are addicting and add so much to the story - whether it's something funny or something serious.

Croak seemed to me like it might be predictable, at first. But once I got into it, it definitely threw me for a few loops with its twists. I love that a fun book like this can still surprise me even while it's entertaining me.

Overall: Croak is a funny novel with the perfect amount mystery in it. With entertaining yet dedicated characters, it's definitely a novel you don't want to miss out on. 4 stars.

[And yes, I was purposely vague. I'm determined to make you all go out and buy this.]

~Zoey~

In My Mailbox {11}

3.04.2012
In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren :)

I almost didn't do an IMM this week, simply because I'm so lazy. As it is, I'm not posting any pictures. Because I'm lazy. :P All the links will go to Goodreads, as usual.

From the library:
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
The Wood Queen by Karen Mahoney

Won:
Dark Eyes by William Richter - Thank you Anna at Literary Exploration!

From NetGalley: 
Ack, I'm so bad. I just keep on requesting things from NetGalley >:(
Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
White Witch by Trish Milburn

I also got some freebies for Kindle, but I'm too lazy. :P

And there we go. I'm almost positive I won't be getting anything this week, so don't except an IMM next week! Leave a link to your IMM and I'll stop by.

~Zoey~

Review: Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters

3.02.2012
Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by
Published March 1st 2012 by G.P. Putnam's Sons


Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny.

Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary throughout her disastrous freshman year will have you laughing out loud—while being thankful that you’re not in her shoes, of course…

 Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters is obviously not the type of book that's going to evoke a lot of emotion in you. It's a fun, quick read, and the narrator, Kelsey, is the type of person I wish I had been my freshman year. (Which, awkwardly enough, actually wasn't that long ago . . . .)

Kelsey is very easy to relate to. She's afraid of making a fool of herself, but at the same time she wants to make her mark while she's in high school. I think we all feel that way at some point - or maybe at a lot of points. But the thing about Kelsey is that she actually does try to make her mark - she's a lot more outgoing than I ever have been, and in that sense, she's definitely a role model of sorts. I just wasn't a fan of her narration, simply because of the writing style of this book - it was annoying at times because Kelsey's narration seemed very childish sometimes. I'm pretty sure I didn't think like that when I was fourteen. (And I would know. Like I said. It wasn't that long ago.)

I did, however, love Kelsey's relationships with her friends. They were very realistic - friends fight all the time and still manage to laugh together and remain friends. The only issue I had with that aspect was that I think Kelsey forgave Cassidy, a friend who betrayed her in a way, too easily. Just once, I'd like to see a relationship that doesn't get fixed at the end of the book -_-

The best part of this for me is probably the soccer aspect. Having been a soccer player myself, I understand Kelsey's need to not be on the measly little freshmen team. I could understand her competitive streak and her frustration at losing her spot and being forced into the goalie position. It was easy for me to connect to her during those points.

Overall: Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters is full of awkward moments, those typical freshman-like moments, and even some romance. Kelsey's freshman year is everything I wish mine had been; I just wish the writing and narration had been a little more mature. Definitely something you should read if you want something quick and fun. 3.5 stars. 

~Zoey~

Review: Wanderlove

3.01.2012
Wanderlove by Kristin Hubbard
Publish date: March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back. 

I think I had a huge problem getting into Wanderlove because I'd set the bar too high. I've been reading a lot of paranormal-type things lately, so I was excited to read a contemp. book, and one with a roadtrip? HUZZAH! I couldn't even fathom the idea that this would be anything less than perfect. So when I started reading it and found my attention drifting, I kind of just forgot about Wanderlove and only read about two pages a day for the first 150 pages or so. It was kind of ridiculous.

I felt like the beginning focused too much on Toby. Of course, after what he'd done, I suppose she would be focused on that all the time, so I can't really count that against Wanderlove.
 
And yet I do, simply because I wanted the story to move. All the focusing on Toby made me feel like the plot was already at a stand-still before the book had even really begun.

When Bria started her traveling, I was a lot happier. She wasn't as focused on Toby; she thought about other things. It made the book more interesting.

But I still felt like the plot was moving too slow. There was just so much I wanted to skim over, so much that didn't hold my attention.

Although I loved the fact that Bria was an artist. Kristin Hubbard did an amazing job in that aspect - she made it seem very realistic. Bria thought the way I think an artist thinks. She sees something beautiful, and she thinks about how she could draw it. 

The relationship between Rowan and Bria was kind of amusing. They had plenty of reasonable conversations that could have easily taken place between people who were just friends, but then they have these sweet little moments and you would be rooting for them to just start kissing already. And Rowan was kind of funny. Not laugh-out-loud funny, but funny enough that I can deem him funny, if that makes sense ;)

(Also, I love the drawings in this book. Just sayin'. They were awesome and they really added to the story.)
The secondary characters were great. I loved how different they all were and how they all fit in perfectly. In some books it feels like secondary characters are put there for no reason, but not in this book.
 
Overall: I can see a lot of people liking this book. It's interesting, watching Bria heal, in a sense, throughout the book. The romance is very believable and not rushed, which I loved. I just didn't find myself interested with a lot of the book, probably because I couldn't relate to Bria very much. The book gets bonus points for being in present tense, though! :D I love books in present tense, and Hubbard did a very good job at writing it. 2.5 stars.
 

3.28.2012

Waiting on Wednesday {21}

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
Expected publication: October 2nd 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers


Poison Princess centers on 16-year-old Evangeline "Evie" Greene, a privileged teenager from Louisiana. When an apocalyptic event decimates her hometown, killing everyone she loves, Evie realizes the hallucinations she'd been having for the past year were actually visions of the future — and they're still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux. As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophecy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of teens have been chosen to re-enact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it's not always clear who is on which side…


 

So this doesn't come out for awhile, but I definitely love the sound of this. And let's be honest, the cover alone probably makes most of you want to read it. ;)

The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse
Expected publication: July 10th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

A thought-provoking and exciting start to a riveting new dystopian trilogy.

As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.
This sounds like a unique dystopian, which is something I really need these days! :)

Leave a link to your WoW and I'll be sure to stop by!

~Zoey~

3.26.2012

Review: Slide

Slide by Jill Hathaway
Expected publication: March 27th 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.


Slide has been described as a thrilling mystery, emphasis on the mystery part. I have to agree - it's almost impossible to guess who the killer is, and when you do find out, it's a complete surprise - but one that makes sense.

I love the idea of sliding, and the way Jill Hathaway explains it is perfect. It's so easy to understand, as opposed to a lot of YA books lately that spend pages describing something odd about the character but never really explain it in a way where it makes sense.

However, Slide is a very short and quick read, and while sometimes that's a good thing, I don't think it really worked for this. In a longer novel, the tension could have been built up better. Not only is the romance between Vee and Zane entirely too rushed, in my opinion, but the murders are, too. If it had been longer, there could have been a few more clues. The mystery could have been so much more intense and exciting.

In terms of characters, most of the students at Vee's school simply annoyed me. Their dialogue seemed unrealistic, like Hathaway was trying too hard to make them sound like snotty popular teenagers. Vee herself was an okay character, for the most part, though I feel as if we never got to know her well enough for me to form an opinion. The same goes for Vee's best friend, Rollins - an intriguing character that I didn't mind but don't know enough about.

Overall: I feel like Slide has so much unfulfilled potential simply because the entire book was squeezed into less than 300 pages. Every moved a little too fast for me, and while the killer was a complete surprise for me, the suspense wasn't built up well enough. 2.5 stars.

 ~Zoey~

3.25.2012

In My Mailbox {12}

Been awhile since I did this, so I'm sure I'll miss out on a few books.

Also, I'm in a crappy mood and feeling too lazy to do any pictures, so . . . No pictures. :P

RAK:
The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

NetGalley:
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowan

From HarperCollins (E-books)
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson

Obviously, I have not gotten very much mail in the past three weeks :P

Leave a link to your WoW and I'll be sure to stop by!

~Zoey~

3.24.2012

Review: Born Wicked

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Published February 7th 2012 by Putnam Juvenile
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//
Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship--or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with six months to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate stars scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood -- not even from each other.
There's one word to describe my feelings on this book: Frustration. Frustration from so many different sources that I can only begin to explain them.

Cate, for one. At first, I didn't like her very much. She just didn't seem like a very three-dimensional character. I was annoyed by how much she tried to control everyone else's lives. I know she does it to protect her family, but something about it just made me angry. In the middle, I started to like Cate a little more. She became relateable, easy to understand. Towards the end, I started to dislike her again - the decisions she makes just made me so angry. However, throughout the entire book, Cate makes some tough decisions to protect those that she loves, so I definitely have to admire her for that.

Cate's sisters frustrated me the most. Most of the time, the two of them seemed reckless and unable to listen. Sure, teenagers are reckless, but I felt like they should have had a little more common sense.

I'm not sure what to say about the romance. I feel like it lacked a little fire - from all three of the people involved. I will admit that both Finn and Paul are great boys for Cate. Rather than a frustrating love triangle where I can't understand the female's reasons for liking one of the boys, I liked both Finn and Paul, in very different ways.

The plot was definitely something that kept me interested. Magic in the past, when it was something so forbidden, is not something I read very often. Jessica Spotswood handled that very well - it seemed so realistic. The Brothers are so against magic that you can't help but be tempted by it.

Overall: Plenty of people have raved about this book, but the characters frustrated me and while the plot was intriguing, I wasn't full invested in it. 3 stars.

~Zoey~

3.21.2012

Waiting on Wednesday {20}

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

Toxic by Jus Accardo
Expected publication: September 11th 2012 by Entangled Teen 


When a Six saved Kale’s life the night of Sumrun, she warned there would be consequences. A trade-off. Something taken for the life they gained. But Dez never imagined she’d lose the one thing she’d give anything to keep… And as if it’s not enough Dez finds her immunity to Kale fading, the Six brought in to help Kale learn to control his killer touch starts drooling on him the moment they meet. Worse than that? Jade can touch Kale. But bimbo Barbie is the least of Dez's problems.

After Dez and Kale got away at Sumrun, her father lost not only his most powerful weapon but an important piece of the Supremacy project. Forced by Denazen to remedy the situation, he poisons Dez and offers her a choice—surrender to Denazen for the cure…or die. Determined to find a solution that doesn’t involve being bagged and tagged—or losing someone she loves—Dez keeps the poison a secret. But when a rash of Denazen attacks hit a little too close to home, Dez is convinced there’s a traitor among them. Jade.

Sacrifices, broken promises, and secrets. Dez will have to lay it all on the line if there’s any hope of proving Jade’s guilt before they all end up Residents of Denazen. Or worse, dead...


I'm extremely nervous for this book because of the blurb since I love Dez and Kale so much - I have a feeling this is yet another book that will break my heart - but at the same time, I'm positive I'll love it because I love them both as characters so much. It sounds action-packed and amazing!


Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
Expected publication: April 10th 2012 by EgmontUSA 



Mirabelle's past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents' tragic deaths to her guardians' half-truths about why she can't return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.

In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who's a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.

But fairy tales aren't pretty things, and they don't always end in happily ever after. Mira has a role to play, a fairy tale destiny to embrace or resist. As she struggles to take control of her fate, Mira is drawn into the lives of two brothers with fairy tale curses of their own . . . brothers who share a dark secret. And she'll find that love, just like fairy tales, can have sharp edges and hidden thorns.

I'm sure everyone's seen this by now, but I don't care. I love anything to do with fairy tales. Dark and bloody fairy tales included. :D


Leave a link to your WoW and I'll be sure to stop by! :)


~Zoey~

3.20.2012

Review: Starters

Starters by Lissa Price
Published March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

HER WORLD IS CHANGED FOREVER

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

In the beginning, I was sure I would love Starters. By the middle, I wasn't so sure. And by the end, I knew I had to read the next book as soon as possible.

Starters is a unique sci-fi in the fact that it's almost easy to imagine that it's our world. There are so many similarities between their world and ours, and yet you know it's different. I wish that world in this novel had been developed a little more - there's still so much to learn about it and how it came to be - but there's plenty of other things that fill up the novel.

When I wasn't going, "WHAT?" I was trying to stay one step ahead of everyone Callie tries to figure out. There are quite a few twists thrown into Starters, and they were ones I never saw coming. There's lots of action and intrigue.

If I really think about it, the subject of Starters is kind of . . . sickening. Not in a way that made me want to stop reading, just in a way that had me wanting to read more. Enders - elderly people, basically, who happen to be over 100 years old - "rent" - or in other words, steal - the life of a desperate teenager just so they can feel young again. It's definitely a new idea to me.

Callie, the main character and narrator, is, to put it simply, awesome. She's willing to go to any lengths to protect her family. Because her feelings come through so clearly, she's very easy to relate to. She can be a kick-ass heroine, but there are times when Lissa Price reminds you that Callie is just a human being, a teenage girl trying to save her little brother.

Blake is . . . the romantic interest, I suppose. While the twist at the end involving him is by far the biggest surprise of the entire book, I wish his character had been developed a little more. I couldn't believe the relationship between him and Callie very well, simply because they hardly know each other. I am, however, very intrigued by Blake, and I can't wait to see what happens to him in the next book.

Overall: Admittedly, I spent a lot of time being confused. It seems like Starters skips around a little more than necessary. However, it's a very unique novel with a great idea and an even better narrator. I definitely recommend it to all sci-fi fans. 4 stars.

 ~Zoey~

3.18.2012

Confusing Covers {1}

We've all seen those covers where we go, "Oh, that's pretty! But . . . what is it?" So I just decided I'd show a few of those covers that have made me do that today. (Because I have nothing better to do. It's Sunday. That's my excuse.) I'll probably do this once every other week as I find more.

Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Expected publication: November 6th 2012 by Spencer Hill Press


Sam from Realm of Fiction was saying on Twitter that she thought this might be the back of a girl's neck. I always knew there was a flower, but I never had any idea about what was in the corner. I guess now I can see that it's a neck . . . A neck with a weird curve . . .  ?













Mirage by Kristi Cook
Expected publication: June 5th 2012 by Simon Pulse

Okay, so I understand that this is a butterfly and a broken mirror, but you have no idea how long it took me to figure that out. I always thought it was supposed to be a compass or something. <_<














Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Published January 11th 2011 by Razorbill


I'm sure you'll all think I'm incredibly stupid for this one, but I took way too long to realize that there are two people on the cover. I was always just looking at the pink/purple sky thing between them, and for some reason it just took forever for it to register that, HEY, LOOK. FACES.













So what about you? What covers are you confused by? (And am I really the only one that didn't understand the AtU cover? >_>)

~Zoey~

3.16.2012

Why the Drama?

It seems like every time the drama-rama between reviewers and authors is over, some other author decides to say something. And it's always on Twitter.

Warning: Slightly rant-like.

There's this thing called email. If an author wants to complain about a review they got, why don't they just email a close friend? Granted, some emails get leaked, *cough cough Leigh Fallon cough* but I really don't think that's a daily occurrence. Because, HEY, did you know that people can pretty much see EVERYTHING on Twitter? No? Well, they can.

I also think it's slightly funny how suddenly bloggers are putting those authors on their shit lists and complaining about how "egotistical" some authors are. Newsflash: Authors have a right to not like your review. They do not, however, have a right to call you out on it. Or start calling you names. (Pettiness, anyone?)

Basically: Reviewers have a right to not like a book. I admit that some of them are way more harsh than necessary on occasion, but what can you do about it? And authors have a right to disagree with a review. But they also need to realize, no, their book isn't perfect to every single person. If there was a book that every single person rated 5 stars, I would suspect brainwash. AND YOU KNOW YOU WOULD, TOO.

Anyway. I know everyone knows these things. This is basically common sense. But it still makes me wonder: If all of these facts are so obvious, why is there still so much drama? Drama-llamas are not as fun as their names are~

This picture pertains particularly well to the author/reviewer world:
(Also the llama is really cute.)

~Zoey~

3.15.2012

Review: Article 5

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Published January 31st 2012 by Tor Teen
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren't always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it's hard for her to forget that people weren't always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It's hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.


My biggest issue with dystopians is that while the world is usually described well and I get a great feel for it, I never found out how that world came to be. Why did the old world fall and transform into this terrible one? Article 5 is yet another dystopian that doesn't answer that question.

That was, however, basically the only thing I didn't like. Otherwise, Article 5 kept me interested throughout the entire book. I never got bored; I felt like I needed to keep reading and find out what happened.

I love Ember, and for me, it's becoming less and less often that I love the narrator. But Ember is a very realistic character. She cares for her family and she's afraid for them. Her emotions come through so clearly and she's so easy to connect to. What I love most about her is how much she changes throughout the book, though. She goes from being a scared and naive girl who would do anything to find her mother to being a strong and hardened character who realizes the world for what it is. And even then, she's not a robot. She still feels emotions. She still hurts, but she's changed. I absolutely love that.

Chase is . . . I don't really know what to say about him, other than I love him. To me, he's different than a lot of male YA characters. He's the bad boy and the nice guy all at the same time. And the romance between Chase and Ember is so believable. They've known each other before, but it's still not thrown right at us. Ember understands that Chase isn't the same. It happens at exactly the right pace. Doesn't take up the whole plot. Just another thing that's perfect about this novel.

Even the plot is basically perfect, in my opinion. Not predictable, but at the same time, it makes sense. There aren't twists and turns that seem like they're thrown in just because the author felt like it - when a surprise comes along, you're shocked, but at the same time you sit there and wonder how you didn't realize it earlier.

Overall: Article 5 is, simply put, amazing. It has amazing characters, an amazing plot, but it also has substance. To me, it wasn't just a mindless read. Ember is a very strong character, and I think that regardless of the fact that our lives are nothing like hers, she's so easy to relate to. 5 stars.

~Zoey~

3.14.2012

Waiting on Wednesday {19}

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

Renegade by J.A. Souders
Expected publication: November 13th 2012 by Tor Teen

Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.


Renegade sounds so amazing and unique. Exactly like the kind of thing I'd love.

So Close to You by Rachel Carter
Expected publication: July 10th 2012 by HarperTeen


Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the Montauk Project all her life: stories about the experiments that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and the people who’ve disappeared over the years. When she stumbles into a vessel that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, Lydia realizes that all the stories she’s ever heard about the Montauk Project are true—and that she’s in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history.

Alongside Wes, a darkly mysterious boy whom she is wary to trust, Lydia begins to unravel the secrets surrounding the project. But the truths behind these secrets force her to question all her choices. And if Lydia chooses wrong, she might not save her family but destroy them...and herself.


Sci-fi makes me happy.

Leave a link to your WoW and I'll be sure to stop by!

~Zoey~

3.13.2012

Review: Shattered Souls

Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
Published December 8th 2011 by Philomel/Penguin
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.


I've seen a lot of reviews giving high praise to Shattered Souls, so I know it's not an awful book. I guess it just wasn't for me.

If I could use one word to describe this book, it would be "blah." I don't have a lot of hate for it. I don't have a lot of love for it. When this is all over, I probably won't give Shattered Souls a second thought. I'll be reading the second book, since it will feature different characters, but this one definitely wasn't for me.

Alden - and most of the others in the book - don't see Lenzi as Lenzi. They see her as Rose, the woman she's supposed to be because of reincarnation. Reincarnation isn't usually a subject that works for me in the first place, so that may have had something to do with my feelings about Shattered Souls. But they all hold Lenzi on such a high pedestal, expecting her to be exactly like Rose, even though they know she's not. What bothered me the most is that, sure Lenzi complains about it a little bit, but only in her narration. She never really does anything about it.

Lenzi simply didn't interest me. At times, she could be a very strong character, but for the majority of the book I thought she was boring and whiny. I wish she would have stood up for herself a little more, and not just when it came to Alden. Alden didn't interest me any more than Lenzi - I didn't get a very good feel for his character, but I didn't like the way he was constantly trying to tell Lenzi what to do. Alden was very sweet and caring at times, but for the majority of the book, I just . . . wasn't interested in anything about him.

The secondary characters - Alden's friends - were much more interesting to me, but you they're not in the book very often, so it hardly matters.

I also liked the idea of Speakers, people who help ghosts move on and the way that the Speakers actually get points for helping the spirits move on. I thought that was fairly unique and fun to read about.

Overall: I was bored. If this sounds like something you'd enjoy, however, you should definitely pick it up, because plenty of people I know have loved it. it just wasn't for me. 2 stars.

~Zoey~

3.09.2012

Review + Giveaway: The Weeping {Blog Tour}

The Weeping by O'Dell Hutchinson
Published March 6th 2012 by H, C & B Publishing

Twenty years ago, Catherine Whitley was the victim of a horrible crime. Betrayed by her friends, including the boy she loved, she was left to die when the Rock Harbor Opera House caught fire, taking a disturbing secret with her to her grave.

Seventeen-year-old Heath Ingram was driving the night his Jeep careened off the road, killing three of his closest friends. Once a popular, outgoing athlete, Heath now suffers from severe depression and crippling anxiety. His parents decide to send him to stay with his uncle in Rock Harbor, Oregon for the summer, praying that by getting away he will be able to put this awful tragedy behind him.

When Heath starts working at the newly renovated Rock Harbor Opera House, he meets Molly, a young dancer who awakens in him a desire to start over and move on. But, when he begins having visions of a half-burned girl in a white dress, he starts to think he may be slipping even further over the edge.

As the apparent hauntings become more intense, Heath begins to fear for his safety. With the help of his friend Josie, Heath discovers an unsettling secret that ties the mysterious girl to both their families. When two of their friends die unexpectedly, Josie and Heath realize that something, or someone, is after the children of those who wronged Catherine, and they are next.

Heath Ingram dreams of fire. He smells smoke everywhere. The Weeping grips you right from the beginning because the action starts right away, and it's not in a bad way. It's not like you're being thrown right in, but the beginning leaves you intrigued and feeling like you have to keep reading.

I have to admit that I loved the fact that The Weeping is in present tense. Most books are in past tense and O'Dell Hutchinson handles present tense very well.

Heath, the main character and narrator, is broken, in a way. He blames himself for killing his friends, but one thing I really like about him is that he wants to heal. He wants to get better instead of wallowing in his misery. But he can't heal overnight. He talks to a psychiatrist; he still blames himself sometimes. Heath's pain seems very realistic to me. While I didn't really feel any connection to him at all, I still enjoyed his narration.

The secondary characters are also pretty awesome. Heath makes some great friends in Rock Harbor, most of which do very surprising things.


Sometimes, though, The Weeping was very confusing. Heath would be walking somewhere and then suddenly he was hearing things and outside while I had no idea what was going on.

This book threw a lot of surprises at me. While most of it was awesome, I wish the huge reveal at the end would have had a little more foreshadowing. Maybe I just missed all of it, but that surprise just seemed random to me, something done out of convenience.

Overall: The Weeping surprised me - because of all the twists and simply because I was surprised by how much I liked it. The ending left me wanting more, and there was plenty of mystery. 4 stars.



And H, C & B Publishing is kindly offering a signed hardcover of The Weeping! Just fill out the Rafflecopter to enter - US/CAN only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


~Zoey~

3.08.2012

ARC Giveaway: Unraveling

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Expected publication: April 24th 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.

But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.

From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.


I ended up with another ARC of this, so now I'm going to give it away! US/CAN only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


~Zoey~

3.07.2012

Waiting on Wednesday {18}

Timepiece by Myra McEntire
Expected publication: June 12th 2012 by EgmontUSA

A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.


Kaleb's point of view. 'Nuff said.

Anyway, I enjoyed Hourglass so much, and Kaleb was my favorite character, so I'm positive I'll love Timepiece in June. :)

The Glimpse by Claire Merle
Expected publication: June 7th 2012 by Faber & Faber (UK) 

Once you've seen into the future, can you change your destiny?

In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.

Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.

Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society and into the pits of the human soul. And as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper's abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before.

I think it's fairly obvious why I'm waiting on this one. It sounds amazing and unique.

Leave a link to your WoW and I'll be sure to stop by!

~Zoey~

3.06.2012

Review: Hourglass

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Published June 14th 2011 by Egmont USA
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

One hour to rewrite the past . . .
 
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?


*Possible spoilers*

I did not think I was going to like this book. In fact, I thought I might end up writing a huge rant on all the issues I had with it.

But that didn't happen.

I actually enjoyed Hourglass. I had plenty of issues with it, but they were all so little compared to the good things.

I'm still iffy on Emerson, the main character and narrator. Sometimes I liked her; she handled her situation very realistically. Emerson has spent the past few years thinking she's crazy, and like any normal person, when she finds out she's not, she takes some time to adjust. She doesn't just throw herself right into it. I also like that she doesn't do the opposite and spend all her time whining about it. She can be a very strong and brave character, but at the same time she's realistic because she worries about what's happening, like any sane person would.

The times I disliked her the most were when she was around Michael and Kaleb, the two . . . love interests, I suppose. To be honest, I don't believe Hourglass is a real love triangle - it's fairly obvious that her feelings for one boy are a lot stronger than her feelings for the other. But around either boys, Emerson seemed a lot weaker and too much like a stereotypical lovesick teenage girl to me.

Kaleb is definitely my favorite character - no surprise there. I'm so excited for Timepiece since it's in his point of view *-* Kaleb is the flirty boy - but he's also broken and trying to find a way to get through the loss of both of his parents. Michael, on the other hand, I found slightly boring. Him and Emerson have a lot of chemistry together, but as a character himself, I wasn't very interested.

The plotline, however, is amazing, and the ending completely surprised me. I didn't see it coming at all, but it wasn't a surprise in a disconcerting way. The way Myra McEntire portrays time travel is very unique and explained in a way that's easy to understand. (Read: It doesn't make my brain want to explode.) I loved learning bits and pieces about throughout the book as more information was revealed.

Overall: I was surprised by this book. Hourglass is the story of a girl on a mission - to go back and change the future, sure, but she's also redefining herself. Emerson changes from the girl who thinks she's crazy into a strong character who risks everything. While I'm almost positive I'll enjoy Timepiece even more, Hourglass is a unique and compelling read. 4 stars.

~Zoey~

3.05.2012

Review: Croak

Croak by Gina Damico
Expected publication: March 20th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.

He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.

Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.

Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?
Croak is another fun book. It seems I've been reading a lot of those lately, and I'm still not tired of them.

Lex is definitely a unique character. She's not a hardcore delinquent, but she's rebellious enough to stand out from other YA characters - and other teenagers in general. She's funny and sarcastic, but curious and serious when she needs to be. She's just a great character altogether.

What's really amazing is the way Lex changes throughout the book. In the beginning, she's so dead-set against moving to Croak. She's kind of whiny and grumpy about it. But her character grows so much throughout the book - she learns that she can't do everything on her own, and she learns to think of Croak as her home, becomes a dedicated Reaper. The way she matures throughout the book is something I haven't seen very much of lately.

The secondary characters add so much to the story. Lex's Uncle Mort is by far my favorite - he's a very memorable character. Funny and sometimes dramatic, he's not someone you could forget about while reading. Driggs is also another great secondary character - and his meeting with Lex and was possibly my favorite moment of the book simply because it's so funny. Drigg and Lex's interactions throughout the book are addicting and add so much to the story - whether it's something funny or something serious.

Croak seemed to me like it might be predictable, at first. But once I got into it, it definitely threw me for a few loops with its twists. I love that a fun book like this can still surprise me even while it's entertaining me.

Overall: Croak is a funny novel with the perfect amount mystery in it. With entertaining yet dedicated characters, it's definitely a novel you don't want to miss out on. 4 stars.

[And yes, I was purposely vague. I'm determined to make you all go out and buy this.]

~Zoey~

3.04.2012

In My Mailbox {11}

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren :)

I almost didn't do an IMM this week, simply because I'm so lazy. As it is, I'm not posting any pictures. Because I'm lazy. :P All the links will go to Goodreads, as usual.

From the library:
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
The Wood Queen by Karen Mahoney

Won:
Dark Eyes by William Richter - Thank you Anna at Literary Exploration!

From NetGalley: 
Ack, I'm so bad. I just keep on requesting things from NetGalley >:(
Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
White Witch by Trish Milburn

I also got some freebies for Kindle, but I'm too lazy. :P

And there we go. I'm almost positive I won't be getting anything this week, so don't except an IMM next week! Leave a link to your IMM and I'll stop by.

~Zoey~

3.02.2012

Review: Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters

Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by
Published March 1st 2012 by G.P. Putnam's Sons


Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny.

Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary throughout her disastrous freshman year will have you laughing out loud—while being thankful that you’re not in her shoes, of course…

 Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters is obviously not the type of book that's going to evoke a lot of emotion in you. It's a fun, quick read, and the narrator, Kelsey, is the type of person I wish I had been my freshman year. (Which, awkwardly enough, actually wasn't that long ago . . . .)

Kelsey is very easy to relate to. She's afraid of making a fool of herself, but at the same time she wants to make her mark while she's in high school. I think we all feel that way at some point - or maybe at a lot of points. But the thing about Kelsey is that she actually does try to make her mark - she's a lot more outgoing than I ever have been, and in that sense, she's definitely a role model of sorts. I just wasn't a fan of her narration, simply because of the writing style of this book - it was annoying at times because Kelsey's narration seemed very childish sometimes. I'm pretty sure I didn't think like that when I was fourteen. (And I would know. Like I said. It wasn't that long ago.)

I did, however, love Kelsey's relationships with her friends. They were very realistic - friends fight all the time and still manage to laugh together and remain friends. The only issue I had with that aspect was that I think Kelsey forgave Cassidy, a friend who betrayed her in a way, too easily. Just once, I'd like to see a relationship that doesn't get fixed at the end of the book -_-

The best part of this for me is probably the soccer aspect. Having been a soccer player myself, I understand Kelsey's need to not be on the measly little freshmen team. I could understand her competitive streak and her frustration at losing her spot and being forced into the goalie position. It was easy for me to connect to her during those points.

Overall: Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters is full of awkward moments, those typical freshman-like moments, and even some romance. Kelsey's freshman year is everything I wish mine had been; I just wish the writing and narration had been a little more mature. Definitely something you should read if you want something quick and fun. 3.5 stars. 

~Zoey~

3.01.2012

Review: Wanderlove

Wanderlove by Kristin Hubbard
Publish date: March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back. 

I think I had a huge problem getting into Wanderlove because I'd set the bar too high. I've been reading a lot of paranormal-type things lately, so I was excited to read a contemp. book, and one with a roadtrip? HUZZAH! I couldn't even fathom the idea that this would be anything less than perfect. So when I started reading it and found my attention drifting, I kind of just forgot about Wanderlove and only read about two pages a day for the first 150 pages or so. It was kind of ridiculous.

I felt like the beginning focused too much on Toby. Of course, after what he'd done, I suppose she would be focused on that all the time, so I can't really count that against Wanderlove.
 
And yet I do, simply because I wanted the story to move. All the focusing on Toby made me feel like the plot was already at a stand-still before the book had even really begun.

When Bria started her traveling, I was a lot happier. She wasn't as focused on Toby; she thought about other things. It made the book more interesting.

But I still felt like the plot was moving too slow. There was just so much I wanted to skim over, so much that didn't hold my attention.

Although I loved the fact that Bria was an artist. Kristin Hubbard did an amazing job in that aspect - she made it seem very realistic. Bria thought the way I think an artist thinks. She sees something beautiful, and she thinks about how she could draw it. 

The relationship between Rowan and Bria was kind of amusing. They had plenty of reasonable conversations that could have easily taken place between people who were just friends, but then they have these sweet little moments and you would be rooting for them to just start kissing already. And Rowan was kind of funny. Not laugh-out-loud funny, but funny enough that I can deem him funny, if that makes sense ;)

(Also, I love the drawings in this book. Just sayin'. They were awesome and they really added to the story.)
The secondary characters were great. I loved how different they all were and how they all fit in perfectly. In some books it feels like secondary characters are put there for no reason, but not in this book.
 
Overall: I can see a lot of people liking this book. It's interesting, watching Bria heal, in a sense, throughout the book. The romance is very believable and not rushed, which I loved. I just didn't find myself interested with a lot of the book, probably because I couldn't relate to Bria very much. The book gets bonus points for being in present tense, though! :D I love books in present tense, and Hubbard did a very good job at writing it. 2.5 stars.