Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot

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

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

Royal Wedding
(The Princess Diaries #11)
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Paperback, 400 pages, William Morrow & Co.
Genres: Contemporary, Adult

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, comes the very first adult installment, which follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding--but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare.

For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements. Mia's gorgeous longtime boyfriend Michael managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course Mia didn't need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal oui.

But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: Her grandmother's leaked "fake" wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia's father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch. Can Mia prove to everyone--especially herself--that she's not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?

My Thoughts

I didn’t technically read all of the last book, or 3-7 and 9, but I’m excited to read this. Meg Cabot is a goddess.

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December Wrap-up and January TBR

My December Wrap-up:
  1. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
  2. Perfect Lies by Kiersten White
  3. Eternal by Kristi Cook
  4. A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger
  5. Split Second by Kasie West
  6. A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young
  7. Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland
  8. Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  9. Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
  10. Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne
  11. The Darkest Touch by Gena Showalter
  12. Heaven by Alexandra Adornetto

My January TBR: 
  1. Unmarked by Kami Garcia
  2. Let the Storm Break by Shannon Messenger
  3. Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep
  4. Shadow of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
  5. Reborn by Jennifer Rush
  6. Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole
  7. Unwind by Neal Shusterman

    What books did you read in December? What books are you planning to read in January? Sound off in the comments!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Exquisite Captive
(The Dark Caravan Cycle #1)
Publication Date: October 2014
Hardcover, 480 pages, Balzer + Bray
Genres: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy

Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.

My Review

 Move over Genie! You’re outdated! Demetrios has created a world of magic, wishes, and fantasy that weaves together to make a fantastic land. To be brief, it’s a great book!

I loved how much detail was portrayed in every line. It seemed like I was learning new details about Arjinna with every word. I absolutely loved the amount of background information. The only downside to the world-building was the beginning. It was hard to wrap my head around all of the different powers and group names. I quickly got over that though. The only thing that made me angry about the world was that I didn’t get to see it in the book, just hear about it through flashbacks.

The characters in the story were good. They weren’t as fantastic as the world-building however. Nalia is a strong female lead; she just seems to not try as hard as I imagine she could. She definitely changed and had major character growth throughout the story. I didn’t like her attitude at all at first, but she morphed into someone I could empathize with. The love interests, Malek and Raif, are difficult to describe. Malek is a jerk, plain and simple. I didn’t connect with him at all and Nalia’s Stockholm Syndrome towards him annoyed me to no end. Raif on the other hand is awesome! I love that he’s a rebel; I just wish he had had an opportunity to actually show his leadership and power capabilities.

Now for the plot of the book, it seemed to take forever just to accomplish one small task. I wish more had actually happened. This ties into the world-building as well. I feel like Nalia and Raif should have actually been in their world for at least a portion of the present part of the book.

All in all, it was a great book with a few small drawbacks. I was expecting better, but I enjoyed it for what it is and will most assuredly be reading and buying the sequel.

*Note: I purchased this book for myself.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Which Team Are You? : The House of Night Edition

I basically just post a book series every week and have people vote on what team they are. I know the YA Sisterhood does the YA Crush Tournament, but I just want to find out how much you guys like one love interest over another, in one series.

Last week's poll was over Team Roth or Team Zayne from Jennifer L. Armentrout’s The Dark Elements series. Team Roth won! 

So for this edition of “What Team Are You?” I’m going to ask you who your pick of hunky man-flesh is from The House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast. 

You can choose from:

1)      Heath

or 2) Stark

OR 3) Erik

I’m Team Stark basically because I don’t like the other two and he’s sweet and loyal. If you had to choose one, who would it be, and why? If you haven’t read the books that are out right now, who do you think sounds more appealing from the Marked summary below.

After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire Water, Earth and Spirit. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is mis-using her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends (or Nerd Herd, as Aphrodite calls them).

Which Team Are You?
Team Heath
Team Stark
Team Erik
Poll Maker

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: The Christmas 2014 Edition

"Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly haul meme that is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It allows book buyers to share their accumulation of books with the online book-loving community.

Christmas is over! And of course I got books and a bunch of other stuff (mostly related to books). 

·         Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
·         Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep
·         Let the Storm Break by Shannon Messenger
·         The complete Jane Austen set.

Thanks to everyone who made my Christmas awesome!

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, December 26, 2014

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the picture.

Look at him! He’s so young! You’re favorite actors just grow up so fast. *tear*

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas for those of you who celebrate it! And a Happy Holidays for those who don't!


Your regularly scheduled posts will be back tomorrow. ;)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Replaced by Kimberly Derting

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

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

The Replaced
(The Taking #2)
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Hardcover, 368 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Romantic and action-packed, The Replaced is the gripping second installment in the Taking trilogy.

Kyra hasn't been the same since she returned from her mysterious five-year disappearance. Now, on the run from the NSA, Kyra is forced to hide out with others who, like her, have been Returned. Yet she is determined to find Tyler, the boy she loves who was also abducted—all because of her. When her group intercepts a message that Tyler might still be alive but is in the hands of a shadowy government organization that experiments on the Returned, Kyra knows it's a risk to go after him. What if it's a trap? And worse, what if the returned Tyler isn't the same boy she lost?

Perfect for fans of The Fifth Wave and the Body Finder series, The Replaced is both chilling and explosive, with creepy, otherworldly elements and twisty, psychological thrills that will have you questioning what exactly it means to be human.

My Thoughts

The first book ended on a cliffhanger, so I’m ready to get my hands on this, even though the book was kind of just okay. Good, not great. Know what I mean?

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Review: Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

Vengeance Bound
Publication Date: November 2012
Hardcover, 320pages, Simon & Schuster
Genres: YA, Paranormal

The Goddess Test meets Dexter in an edgy, compelling debut about one teen’s quest for revenge… no matter how far it takes her.

Cory Graff is not alone in her head. Bound to a deal of desperation made when she was a child, Cory’s mind houses the Furies—the hawk and the serpent—lingering always, waiting for her to satisfy their bloodlust. After escaping the asylum where she was trapped for years, Cory knows how to keep the Furies quiet. By day, she lives a normal life, but by night, she tracks down targets the Furies send her way. And she brings down Justice upon them.

Cory’s perfected her system of survival, but when she meets a mysterious boy named Niko at her new school, she can’t figure out how she feels about him. For the first time, the Furies are quiet in her head around a guy. But does this mean that Cory’s finally found someone who she can trust, or are there greater factors at work? As Cory’s mind becomes a battlefield, with the Furies fighting for control, Cory will have to put everything on the line to hold on to what she’s worked so hard to build.

My Review

Escape from an insane asylum run by a madman. Check. Travel around the U.S. to evade detection from the system. Check. Meet a cute boy. Check. Make questionable friends. Check. Have homicidal Greek revenge deities telling you to kill evil men? Check. Check. And check. Cory Graff, aka Amelie, is forced to judge the sins of men, and to carry out their sentence she uses three Furies’ power. But Cory doesn’t really want them inside her head anymore. That’s where this story starts off, with Cory trying to fit in at a new school, make friends, and keep the voices in her head content.

The plot of the story is unoriginal, but the way the story is pitched, as “The Goddess Test meets Dexter,” made me want to pick it up. While I have never seen Dexter, I have read The Goddess Test, a young adult paranormal book about the Greek gods, and I loved it! It had a fun premise, an interesting love interest, and a great background. Vengeance Bound lacks all of that. I can’t find myself connecting with the main character at all. Perhaps it is because Cory was keeping secrets from not only her school friends, but the readers of the book as well. You are not able to learn why she even has these loco Furies in her head until the last third of the book! And Ireland never mentions if there are other gods and/or goddesses out there.

Since the background of the book isn’t built up, I imagine the world Cory lives in to resemble some sort of magical realistic Earth—with the Furies being the only magical element in the world. And because the world isn’t really built up, the plot falls flat too. Throughout the story you’re waiting for something to happen and for some answers to come into play, and waiting, and waiting… Until finally they do, and it’s uneventful.

Perhaps I’m just not in the mood for this dark, paranormal thriller, or perhaps its dark, paranormal thriller-ness needs a little more in order to meet expectations.

*Note: I received a copy of this book to review from Book Review Board of Missouri. This in no way altered my opinion/review.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Book Unhaul + Giveaway

I finally did it. I went through my shelves and got rid of some books that I don't need/want/will never read again/have never read. I also realized that this would be the perfect time for a giveaway. I've laid out the rules and other info below. 

The Prize

The prize is one book from my very large unhaul. Maybe two if the winner chooses two thin, small books instead of one large one.

Witch Season 1 & 2 by Jeff Mariotte
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice
Gabriel's Inferno by Reynard
Bared to You by Sylvia Day
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Save & Broken by Ella Col
Ninth Grade Slays by Heather Brewer
Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris
Illuminate by Aimee Agresti
Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke

Left: The Unseen series*
The Taking by Dean Koontz
The Secret of Teen Power*
various college how-to guides*
The Brief Bedford Reader*
a volleyball exercise book*

Right: Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase (ARC)
The Perfect Mistress by Victoria Alexandar (ARC)
Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep (ARC)
Partials by Dan Wells (ARC)
Abandon & Underworld by Meg Cabot (ARCs)
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard (ARC)
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (ARC)

*If you would like more information about these books, please leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

The  Whispers of the Fallen by J.D. Netto
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch
Necropolis by Anthony Horowitz
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Dead Rules by Randy Russel
Impossibly by Nancy Werlin
The Fallout by S.A. Bodeen
From What I Remember by Kramer & Thomas
Dark Celebration by Christine Feehan

The Rules

-This giveaway is for US entries only. Sorry, but I'm poor and shipping is expensive.
- Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.
-The winner will be contacted within two weeks of the giveaway's end date but the prize may be shipped out a few weeks after that because I'm paying for school and wisdom teeth extraction all around the same time.
-The winner must respond to my email in 48 hours or I will choose another winner.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Which Team Are You? : The Dark Elements by JLA Edition

I basically just post a book series every week and have people vote on what team they are. I know the YA Sisterhood does the YA Crush Tournament, but I just want to find out how much you guys like one love interest over another, in one series.

Last week's poll was over Team Daniel or Team Cam from Lauren Kate’s Fallen series. And, it was a tie!!

So for this edition of “Which Team Are You?” I’m going to ask you who your pick of hunky man-flesh is from The Dark Elements series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. 

You can choose from:

1)      Roth

or 2) Zayne

I’m Team Roth because a) he’s snarky, b) he’s a demon, c) he’s hawt, and d) I love him! If you had to choose one, who would it be, and why? If you haven’t read the books that are out right now (And why haven’t you!?), who do you think sounds more appealing from the The White Hot Kiss summary below.

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne… it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

Which Team Are You?
Team Roth
Team Zayne