Waiting on Wednesday (6)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, in which we share the book that we are anxiously waiting to be released.

I am so drawn to this book. I haven't read any of Miz Scott's work but this will be the starting point for me. Hurry up September, hurry.

Grace by Elizabeth Scott
Published: September 16th 2010 by Dutton

A fable of a terrifying near future by critically acclaimed author Elizabeth Scott.

Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom. In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate.

Told in spare, powerful prose, this tale of a dystopian near future will haunt readers long after they've reached the final page.

Teaser Tuesday (5)

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

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

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

"Gentry was two different things, and at night, I could always see that second thing better. The town was its green suburban lawns, sure, but it was also its secrets. The kind of place where people double-checked the locks at night or pulled their kids closer in the grocery store. They hung horseshoes over their front doors and put up bells instead of wind chimes. They wore crosses made from stainless steel instead of gold because gold couldn't protect them from people like me."

Ok so it's more than 2 sentences but I wanted to TORTURE YOU! The Replacement comes out September 21st 2010. Add it to your TBR!

You can read Brenna's blog here: Brenna Yovanoff

Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich

Genre:: Fiction/Mystery
Pages: 320
Publisher: June 22nd 2010 by St. Martin's Press

"I got my gun, my stun gun, my pepper spray, my flash light," Lula said. "And I got my other gun and a bread knife."
"I have an Uzi and the stink bombs,' Connie said.
They looked at me.
I had hairspray and a nail file, but it didn't stack up next to guns and stink bombs. "I have the lucky bottle," I told them.

And that's how our now seasoned bounty hunter sets off to retrieve a skip- all fluffy hair and mascara and shear dumb luck. Stephanie Plum thought being a bounty hunter might be a nifty thing to try her hand at. Actually, she thought a pay check would be a nifty thing to have and since there wasn't one in her foreseeable future she took a job as a bounty hunter for her cousin Vinnie's bail bonds shop. Handling mostly petty criminals, perverts and the occasional sicko, Stephanie has been making ends meet by hauling their delinquent butts back to the police station when said criminal fails to appear at court. She's also been blown up, shot at, kidnapped, slapped around, chased and flashed too many times to count since, well, she's not really any good at her job. At least she has one, or she does until Vinnie goes missing and if Vinnie's not there to write the bonds then there go the paychecks.

Vinnie has countless nasty habits, many that his wife won't accommodate, but one in particular that has landed him one million dollars in the hole, and a bullet in the head if someone can't come up with the money. Stephanie, Lula, and Connie really love their shoes and fast food, both of which cost money and well, disgusting as he is, he's still their boss and it falls to them to rescue him. Vinnie is being held for ransom by the notorious Bobby Sunflower, who wants his money, with interest or Vinnie is dead. But when it turns out that it's not just Vinnie with a price on his head, and someone bigger and more dangerous is after those after Vinnie, Stephanie will have to act fast and it may take more than chance and Uncle Pip's lucky bottle to save her paycheck, er cousin.

Soooooo. This is book sixteen. We've done this...sixteen times. And while the formulaic writing and monotony of the story have never bothered me before (actually it's been the opposite and I've found a sort of comfort in always knowing what I'm going to get), they bother me now and well, I was disappointed in this book.

Disappointed because we aren't getting anywhere. Disappointed because Stephanie is still a hopeless screw up. Disappointed because what fun is a love triangle with no lovin' going on? And well, disappointed because I don't really think there's an end of this series in sight. So I tell myself, there doesn't actually have to be. Evanovich has never made any promises with this series and what you see is what you get. Maybe she's building up towards something or maybe she's not. We've taken what she's given us, and liked it, for sixteen years and she doesn't have to do anything but slap a cover that says "Something Seventeen" on the next one and it'll sell a zillion. As much as I'd like to blame Evanovich, like I said, she made no promises. I still feel a little let down as a loyal fan though. I've been devoted, don't I deserve a reward? Like say....A POINT TO ALL THIS?

I think what the problem is, or well, what my problem is, is that I've started to dislike Stephanie, a character I have always adored. Her hapless antics have been entertaining but after all these years shouldn't she have learned something, anything about her job? Couldn't just one of her captures be the result of competency instead of chance? I'm starting to think that there isn't really anything to the character, that all the while we've been laughing with her, we're really laughing at her because she's a DUMBASS.

Stephanie and Morelli are in one of their many off again states and if I remember correctly they have been for awhile (last couple of books). And while that's all well and good, a girl should have a little "me" time, Stephanie has gone the way of the nun. Evanovich's books have never been heavy on the sex, and said sex was never elaborately descriptive but the heat was there and now it's cold cold cold. Sexual innuendos from Morelli, sexual innuendos from Ranger, a peck on the lips here and there and that's it. Damnit Janet. What gives?

Ranger picked up and there was a moment of silence as if he was sensing me at the other end, taking my body temperature and heart rate long distance. "Babe," he finally said.

And while I'm firmly Team Morelli, there's nothing like a well place "Babe." from Ranger to make me question my fidelity.

I did enjoy seeing more of Connie in this book. Connie is not a dumbass and she knows what she's doing. It's been awhile since we've been introduced to a character that wasn't just another cartoon. I'd like to see a potentially serious love interest for either Ranger or better yet Morelli (who deserves one) that could perhaps give Stephanie a reason to give it a serious go with either of them. I'd like to see, well, I'd just like to see something different.

In My Mailbox (14)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren in which we share the books we received for the week.

Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich
From Goodreads:
Trenton, New Jersey, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has inherited a “lucky” bottle from her Uncle Pip. Problem is, Uncle Pip didn’t specify if the bottle brought good luck or bad luck....

Vinnie, of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, has run up a gambling debt of $786,000 with mobster
Bobby Sunflower and is being held until the cash can be produced. Nobody else will pay to get Vinnie back, leaving it up to Stephanie, office manager Connie, and file clerk Lula to raise the money if they want to save their jobs.

Being in the business of tracking down people, Stephanie, Lula, and Connie have an advantage in finding Vinnie. If they can rescue him, it will buy them some time to raise the cash.

Finding a safe place to hide Vinnie turns out to be harder than raising $786,000. Vinnie’s messing up local stoner Walter “Moon Man” Dunphy's vibe, running up pay-per-view porn charges in security expert Ranger’s apartment, and making Stephanie question genetics.

Between a bonds office yard sale that has the entire Burg turning out, Mooner’s Hobbit-Con charity event, and Uncle Pip’s mysterious bottle, they just might raise enough money to save Vinnie and the business from ruin.

Saving Vincent Plum Bail Bonds means Stephanie can keep being a bounty hunter. In Trenton, this involves hunting down a man wanted for polygamy, a Turnpike toilet paper bandit, and a drug dealer with a pet alligator named Mr. Jingles.

The job of bounty hunter comes with perks in the guise of Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, and the dark and dangerous, Ranger. With any luck at all, Uncle Pip’s lucky bottle will have Stephanie getting lucky---the only question is . . . with whom?

Sizzling Sixteen . . . so hot, the pages might spontaneously combust!

Insatiable by Meg Cabot
From Goodreads:
Sick of vampires? So is Meena Harper.

But her boss is making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them.

Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die (not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does).

But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side . . . a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, he already is dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own.

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . . .

If she even has one.

Restoring Harmony by Joƫlle Anthony
From Goodreads:
The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse—one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities.

Molly is relieved to find her grandparents alive in their Portland suburb, but they’re financially ruined and practically starving. What should’ve been a quick trip turns into a full-fledged rescue mission. And when Molly witnesses something the local crime bosses wishes she hadn’t, Molly’s only way home may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there’s a handsome stranger who’s willing to help.

Restoring Harmony is a riveting, fast-paced dystopian tale complete with adventure and romance that readers will devour.

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
From Goodreads:
Mackie Doyle seems like everyone else in the perfect little town of Gentry, but he is living with a fatal secret - he is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now the creatures under the hill want him back, and Mackie must decide where he really belongs and what he really wants.

A month ago, Mackie might have told them to buzz off. But now, with a budding relationship with tough, wounded, beautiful Tate, Mackie has too much to lose. Will love finally make him worthy of the human world?

Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
From Goodreads:
A devil's bargain

Easily the shyest Wallflower, Evangeline Jenner stands to become the wealthiest, once her inheritance comes due. Because she must first escape the clutches of her unscrupulous relatives, Evie has approached the rake Viscount St. Vincent with a most outrageous proposition: marriage!

Sebastian's reputation is so dangerous that thirty seconds alone with him will ruin any maiden's good name. Still, this bewitching chit appeared, unchaperoned, on his doorstep to offer her hand. Certainly an aristocrat with a fine eye for beauty could do far worse.

But Evie's proposal comes with a condition: no lovemaking after their wedding night. She will never become just another of the dashing libertine's callously discarded broken hearts -- which means Sebastian will simply have to work harder at his seductions...or perhaps surrender his own heart for the very first time in the name of true love.

Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
From Goodreads:
After spending three London seasons searching for a husband, Daisy Bowman's father has told her in no uncertain terms that she must find a husband. Now. And if Daisy can't snare an appropriate suitor, she will marry the man he chooses—the ruthless and aloof Matthew Swift.

Daisy is horrified. A Bowman never admits defeat, and she decides to do whatever it takes to marry someone . . . anyone . . . other than Matthew. But she doesn't count on Matthew's unexpected charm . . . or the blazing sensuality that soon flares beyond both their control. And Daisy discovers that the man she has always hated just might turn out to be the man of her dreams.

But right at the moment of sweet surrender, a scandalous secret is uncovered . . . one that could destroy both Matthew and a love more passionate and irresistible than Daisy's wildest fantasies.

Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas
From Goodreads:
Four young ladies enter London society with one common goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.

Annabelle Peyton, determined to save her family from disaster, decides to use her beauty and wit to tempt a suitable nobleman into making an offer of marriage. But Annabelle's most intriguing -- and persistent -- admirer, wealthy, powerful Simon Hunt, has made it clear that while he will introduce her to irresistible pleasure he will not offer marriage. Annabelle is determined to resist his unthinkable proposition ... but it is impossible in the face of such skillful seduction.

Her friends, looking to help, conspire to entice a more suitable gentleman to offer for Annabelle, for only then will she be safe from Simon -- and her own longings. But on one summer night, Annabelle succumbs to Simon's passionate embrace and tempting kisses ... and she discovers that love is the most dangerous game of all.

The Foretelling by Alice Hoffman
From Goodreads:
A transformative coming-of-age story that pierces the soul and heals the spirit. It is an ancient story with lessons for all time...a book that asks many profound questions, for which there are many answers.

A stunning tale of primal power and mythic beauty from a New York Times bestselling author.

Rain is a girl of the Amazon tribe of women warriors, the daughter of Queen Alina, living in a time of blood and fear. As the future leader of her people, she must seek and hold fast to her inner warrior. But amid the horrors of the battlefield, Rain is startled and mystified by the first stirrings of mercy towards the enemy--men--within her. What she encounters along the poignant and harrowing path toward her destiny--a kind young man, a strange recurrent prophecy, and a condemned baby brother--lead her, against odds, to forge mercy, love, and peace.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
From Goodreads:
It's almost the end of Miranda's sophomore year in high school, and her journal reflects the busy life of a typical teenager: conversations with friends, fights with mom, and fervent hopes for a driver's license. When Miranda first begins hearing the reports of a meteor on a collision course with the moon, it hardly seems worth a mention in her diary. But after the meteor hits, pushing the moon off its axis and causing worldwide earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, all the things Miranda used to take for granted begin to disappear. Food and gas shortages, along with extreme weather changes, come to her small Pennsylvania town; and Miranda's voice is by turns petulant, angry, and finally resigned, as her family is forced to make tough choices while they consider their increasingly limited options. Yet even as suspicious neighbors stockpile food in anticipation of a looming winter without heat or electricity, Miranda knows that that her future is still hers to decide even if life as she knew it is over.

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
From Goodreads:
While trying to score a date with her cute co-worker at the Scooper Dooper, sixteen-year-old Audrey gains unwanted fame and celebrity status when her ex-boyfriend, a rock musician, records a breakup song about her that soars to the top of the Billboard charts.

The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood
From Goodreads:
Jessamine Luxson lives with her father, Thomas, an apothecary, in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle. Thomas’s pride and obsession is his locked garden full of dangerous plants, which Jessamine is forbidden to enter.

When a traveler brings an orphan to their cottage, he claims the boy has special gifts that Thomas might value. Jessamine is drawn to the strange but intriguing boy, called Weed. Soon their friendship deepens into love. Finally, Weed shares his secret: He can communicate with plants. For him they have distinct personalities—and some are even murderous. From the locked garden the poisonous plants call to Weed, luring him with promises of deadly power.

When Jessamine falls inexplicably ill, only Weed’s relationship with the Poisons can save her. But Thomas is determined to exploit Weed’s abilities, even if it risks Jessamine’s life—or drives Weed to the brink of madness.…

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon
From Goodreads:
A haunting love story about desire, danger, and destiny.
After Renee Winters discovers her parents lying dead in California’s Redwood Forest in what appears to be a strange double murder, her grandfather sends her off to Gottfried Academy in Maine, a remote and mysterious high school dedicated to philosophy, “crude sciences,” and Latin: the Language of the Dead. It’s here she meets Dante, a dark and elusive student to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they get to know each other better, Dante can’t seem to control his attraction either, and their desires gradually deepen into a complex and dangerous romance. Dangerous because Dante is hiding a frightening secret. A secret so terrible, it has him fearing for Renee’s life.

Dante’s not the only one with secrets, though. Turns out Gottfried Academy has a few of its own… Like, how come students keep disappearing? Why are the prefect-like Monitors creeping around campus during the night? And what exactly are the Headmistress and Professors really up to? Renee is determined to find out why.

Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.


My mother used to tell me that matter was neither created nor destroyed, only transferred. She was filled with old theories that she would make me recite back to her, as if she were trying to tell me something about the world but couldn’t find the right words. I never gave them much thought until she and my father were killed, but by then it was too late to ask what it had all meant. It wasn’t until I enrolled at Gottfried Academy that I began to make sense of who I was and what I was fated to become.

Forbidden Sea ARC Giveaway!

Sheila is giving away a signed ARC of The Forbidden Sea over at her blog, Forbidden Sea. You only have until July 1st!

The Forbidden Sea by Sheila A. Nielson
Published: July 1st 2010 by Scholastic Press

When Adrianne comes face-to-face with the mermaid of Windwaithe Island, of whom she has heard terrible stories all her life, she is convinced the mermaid means to take her younger sister. Adrianne, fierce-willed and courageous, is determined to protect her sister from the mermaid, and her family from starvation. However, the mermaid continues to haunt Adrianne in her dreams and with her song.

Yet, when the islanders find out about Adrianne's encounters with the mermaid she is scorned, for this small and superstitious community believes the mermaid will bring devastation to the island if Adrianne does not give herself to the sea.

A powerful and lyrical story of one girl who must choose between having everything and having those she loves.

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Reading Level/Genre:: Young Adult/Paranormal Fantasy
Pages: 336
Publisher: March 2nd 2010 by Hyperion Book CH

"Being a witch had definitely not been as awesome as I'd hoped it would be. For one thing, I didn't get to fly around on a broomstick. (I asked my mom about that when I first came into my powers, and she said no, I had to keep riding the bus like everyone else.) I don't have spell books or a talking cat (I'm allergic, and I wouldn't even know where to get a hold of something like eye of newt."

Witches are extremely powerful beings. They possess extraordinary abilities that allow them to control the cosmos, alter reality, re-order time and conjure up the unspeakable. No wait. Scratch that.

Sophie is a witch, and well, she can't do any of that. The only thing she's managed to do in the past four years since she's come into her powers, is get hastily shuffled out of one school and town to the next whenever her odd behavior made the locals contemplate running for their pitchforks. Now her awesome- no, awful powers have snagged her a one way ticket to Hecate Hall, an alternative type boarding school for troublesome Prodigium (paranormals). Having been a reject in the human world her whole life, it's totally unfair that she be tossed into a school full of paranormals who all know more about witchcraft than she does. Not only does everyone, including the maintenance help know more about magic than Sophie, but they also know more about Sophie than she knows herself. Raised by a human mother and a mysterious warlock father who she's never met, it isn't just her lack of magic that has Hex Hall buzzing with Sophie's arrival- it's her family's infamous past. Now, not only does she have to endure the rigors of high school, and the frustration of being a less than average witch but almost everyone is against her because of who she is- and they may not all be alive.

This book had everything you would expect from a teenage boarding school story:

1. Failure to be accepted? Check.
2. Befriended by the school's only outcast? Check.
3. Fall for the REALLY HOT GUY? Check.
4. Hated by the "in" crowd? Check.
5. An elite paranormal extermination society out to kill you and being stalked by a ghost? Well...THAT'S not standard, but Check.

Another tidbit that isn't standard issue, is the suspense that comes with being able to trust everyone and no one at any given time in the story. It was a pin-the-tale-on-the-bad-guy free for all and the author changed who you could and couldn't trust at every turn. It left my head spinning, in a good way.

Sophie is an adorable character. She is cute and clueless, all the while possessing a sharp edge that makes her unafraid to tell those who deserve it where to stick it. When the school's elite trio, Elodie, Anna and Chaston, in true The Craft form (had The Craft been cool*) pressure her to join their coven of dark witches, she has sense enough to see that everything is not quite right with their offer. But even our sharp little Sophie can't resist temptation when it comes in the form of a mysterious green clad ghost that wants to help her develop her powers.

This was a delightful little read that kept me guessing, frantically turning pages and laughing out loud. Fast paced and hysterical, it was impossible for me not to adore the little witch. Write more Miz Hawkins. And write faster.
"She's wearing a scrunchie," I said. I had rocked some scrunchies in my day, but that had been when I was, like, seven. The thought of wearing one as a grown woman was just tragic.
"I know." Jenna shook her head. "We have this theory that it's her Portable Portal to Hell. You know, she just stretches it out and steps through whenever she needs to recharge her evilness."

The sequel Demonglass, is scheduled for release in March of 2011.

You can visit Rachel Hawkin's Blog at Reading Writing Rachel.

Quotes were taken from an ARC of the book and may differ in the actual released copy.

*The Craft was not cool.

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, in which we share the book that we are anxiously waiting to be released.

Plain Kate by Erin Bow
Published: September 1st 2010 by Arthur A. Levine

The drizzle had broken into patches as they walked. As Drina scooped up the pale sand, Kate found herself standing in the smudge of shadow cast by the deadfall. She had never before noticed the way shadows gave things weight, made them look heavy and real and connected to the ground. Without hers...

She edged into the light.

Her shadow looked strange and thinned. It seemed not cast against the ground, but floating above it, like a fog. What Linay had said was true: No one would notice this, at first. It was just an uneasy little change, like the half-felt movement of a boat that slowly induces a great sickness.

Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden talismans are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade”: a dangerous nickname in a country where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the angry town, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes she can't live shadowless forever -- and that Linay's designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

Nomansland by Lesley Hauge

Reading Level/Genre:: Young Adult/Dystopian Fantasy
Pages: 256
Publisher: June 22nd 2010 by Henry Holt and Co.

I'm at a loss. I don't know what to say about this book and I find it hard to summarize since I am unable to discern a central plot line, and that perhaps is my biggest complaint with this story- it was so very vague.

We have here a futuristic society of women who have reformed their own amazonian civilization and protect it fiercely against "the enemy". The enemy is of course, the men who raped and controlled the women of the past, before the Tribulation (end of the known world). The women of this society are also the only untainted, unmutated humans left who are still able to breed healthy children. Keller is being trained as a Tracker, a ranger of sorts who defends their lands from the enemy, and other than her being the story's narrator, it's only loosely about her. Eventually the focus shifts from the rules and regulations that dominate the novice trackers (and the story never really gets back to that) when some of the girls discover a hidden pre-Tribulation dwelling that contains mysterious artifacts from the people of the past. One of the home's inhabitants was a teenage girl, like our novices, but so unlike them that her possessions enthrall and captivate the young trackers and force them to question what life must have been like for teenage girls pre-apocalypse and just how much is missing from the lives they know.

It was more a time line of vaguely connected events than one story but I was able to separate a few key elements.:

1. In the future, those of us (women), the ones that suffer no ill effects from whatever it was that destroyed the world, are forced to breed. Well, I would be shocked by this had I not already been shocked (with a high voltage taser) by it in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, which I abhorred.

2. Men are the enemy because they are believed to have controlled and raped the women of the past. However we have basically the same thing happening in this society where the rulers deal out forced artificial insemination, which all the girls live in fear of.

3. The girls discover the makeup, clothes, jewelry and other assorted frippery of a teenage girl from the past. Even when raised and bred in a new society of fierce, rugged women, we are still given to bouts of vanity and our superficial natures aren't really all that suppressed and we would easily throw all of our accomplishments away to be a beauty queen. Keller and her friends were not the only ones plagued with vanity in the story- The commissioner wore colorful flowing skirts and had a rather luxurious bedroom. Keller felt herself to be too ugly to compete in a contest of beauty but still longed to be able to. We never really get far from ourselves, even in the future.

4. The Commissioner, (the one in charge) who was ravenous in her disdain for biblical teachings and its anti-feminist overtones, approached her campaign to make her people as unlike the women who she felt the Bible portrayed with so much venom that in retrospect made her just as much a religious zealot as those she strove against. (You know I hate religion in my fiction.)

5. Even the hardest of their kind succumbed to baser instincts and sought male companionship and desired the comfort that comes with being wanted. Shallow or not, I appreciated the inclusion of the softer elements that make us female and feminine even in the harsh time portrayed in the story.

The book didn't answer a single question- not about what happened, not about what was happening, not about what would happen. Still, I can accept the ending as is, shrouded in mystery and keeping with the ambiguous air that ran throughout the story if she doesn't follow this with a sequel, which I don't feel the book warrants. Only then could I believe that the story was intentional.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I didn't dislike this book, I just didn't get it. It's dystopian YA Lit so you WANT to read it and I think you should.

I would be happy to pass along my slightly weathered ARC to a seasoned BOOK BLOGGER who lives in the US in hopes that they would be able to give it a more thorough review. Email me.


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In My Mailbox (13)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren in which we share the books we received for the week.

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
From Goodreads:
Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings. But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.

Sunshine by Robin McKinley
From Goodreads:
Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine, lives a quiet life working at her stepfather's bakery. One night, she goes out to the lake for some peace and quiet. Big mistake. She is set upon by vampires, who take her to an old mansion. They chain her to the wall and leave her with another vampire, who is also chained. But the vampire, Constantine, doesn't try to eat her. Instead, he implores her to tell him stories to keep them both sane. Realizing she will have to save herself, Sunshine calls on the long-forgotten powers her grandmother began to cultivate in her when she was a child. She transforms her pocketknife into a key and unchains herself--and Constantine. Surprised, he agrees to flee with her when she offers to protect him from the sun with magic. They escape back to town, but Constantine knows his enemies won't be far behind, which means that he and Sunshine will have to face them together. A luminous, entrancing novel with an enthralling pair of characters at its heart.

The Season by Sarah MacLean
From Goodreads:
Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued -- in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get herself into what may be her biggest scrape yet.
When the Earl of Blackmoor is mysteriously killed, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. But will Alex's heart be stolen in the process? In an adventure brimming with espionage, murder, and other clandestine affairs, who could possibly have time to worry about finding a husband? Romance abounds as this year's season begins!

Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn
From Goodreads:
Ten Things You Should Know About This Book

1. Sebastian Grey is a devilishly handsome rogue with a secret.

2. Annabel Winslow's family voted her The Winslow Most Likely to Speak Her Mind AND The Winslow Most Likely to Fall Asleep in Church.

3. Sebastian's uncle is the Earl of Newbury, and if he dies without siring an heir, Sebastian inherits everything.

4. Lord Newbury detests Sebastian and will stop at nothing to prevent this from happening.

5. Lord Newbury has decided that Annabel is the answer to all of his problems.

6. Annabel does not want to marry Lord Newbury, especially when she finds out he once romanced her grandmother.

7. is shocking, 8. is delicious, 9. is downright wicked, all of which leads the way to

10. Happily. Ever. After.

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, in which we share the book that we are anxiously waiting to be released.

Want want want.

The Forbidden Sea by Sheila A. Nielson
Published: July 1st 2010 by Scholastic Press

When Adrianne comes face-to-face with the mermaid of Windwaithe Island, of whom she has heard terrible stories all her life, she is convinced the mermaid means to take her younger sister. Adrianne, fierce-willed and courageous, is determined to protect her sister from the mermaid, and her family from starvation. However, the mermaid continues to haunt Adrianne in her dreams and with her song.

Yet, when the islanders find out about Adrianne's encounters with the mermaid she is scorned, for this small and superstitious community believes the mermaid will bring devastation to the island if Adrianne does not give herself to the sea.

A powerful and lyrical story of one girl who must choose between having everything and having those she loves.

The Siren by Kiera Cass

Reading Level/Genre:: Young Adult/Fantasy
Pages: 276
Publisher: July 7th 2009 by iUniverse.com

I'm so freaking mad at this book. I really don't know where to begin, other than with telling myself not, -NOT- to get that upset, it's just a book and BAD books happen. But this one happened to ME.

I'm not going to write a proper synopsis either. I'm just going to spew. And type various things in all caps.

First, this story has a gorgeous premise- the elusive sirens that for centuries have lured sailors and ships to their deaths with their seductive voices. In this author's telling, the Ocean chooses four girls from its victims, four that ask to live and gives them the chance at a second life. They can chose to become a siren, and serve the Ocean for a hundred years or they can let the Ocean consume them. They must promise complete obedience to the Ocean, heed it's call and perform the dreadful task of taking lives in order to feed the Ocean and vow to keep it's secrets. They can only speak to each other since the sound of their voices, even their laughter can drive people to madness and costs lives. They have to sing and watch as the Ocean consumes countless victims, year after year. In return, at the end of their sentence they are allowed to return to life, at the age they were taken and live out their remaining years as a mortal. They will also have no memory of their previous life, or of their hundred years of service to the Ocean.

I was hooked on just that. All parts of the story that told of the siren's involvement with the Ocean were breathtaking. Kahlen is the one siren that has really bonded with the Ocean, truly loves her and can see past what she asks of her to do, to the heart of an immense being that gives and gives to our world so that it can exist. Kahlen finds in the Ocean, a mother that listens to her, cares for her and holds her while she cries and feels the same pain as Kahlen when she is required to take lives. For the Ocean, Kahlen is a beloved daughter, a best friend and confidant and someone who's heart and soul she loves and admires. I think I cried about sixteen times in this book. It was such a beautiful relationship, this discovery that Kahlen still has someone to call mother, a family.

From here on in we have spoilers:

Teaser Tuesday (4)

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

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

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

"They found her in the upstairs bathroom." Elodie's voice was almost a whisper. "She was in a tub, with two holes in her neck, and almost no blood left in her body."

The Line by Teri Hall

Reading Level:: Young Adult/Dystopia
Pages: 220
Publisher: March 4th 2010 by Dial

No one wants to live next to the Line- an invisible barrier that separates the United States from...what's outside. It appears only as a thin strip of dirt, grassless, stretching as far as one can see in either direction, and beyond the Line, everything looks pretty much as it does on the Property. Of course no one wants to really go to the Property either, though it's far enough from the city to escape the ever watchful eye of the harsh controlling US government, it's too close to The Line, too close to the Others.

Rachel gazes wistfully out over The Line from the safety of her hiding place in the Property's orchid greenhouse. From here she can stare out into Away, and daydream about what might exist just over the invisible barrier, but nothing ever actually happens. Until one night...
"It was real. Somebody was out there"

I'm so loving dystopian YA fiction right now. It's so inventive and fun- who knew the zombie apocalypse could be so entertaining. And while there are no zombies in The Line, Hall gives an equally as nightmarish monster to fear- the government.

In this world, there has been a huge war that leaves the United States completely bordered off and segregated from the rest of the world. Sounds oddly realistic doesn't it? And the reigning government uses terror, taxes and slavery to control the people- again, we are scarily realistic here. Maybe even scarier than zombies.

I love the ominous feel of Hall's capitalized names for things- the Line, The Property, Away, Others. Such simple little words with a lead weight feel that drops on you each time they are mentioned on the page. I swear I heard the Jaws theme song each time Rachel approached the Line.

This was a fun, quick little read- too quick to warrant a sequel. I think she could have easily put it all in one book and we would have gotten a more well rounded story than what we ended up with. The ending has one hell of a cliff hanger that I loved, but the lead up to it was choppy and very unrealistic (if I told you it would be a spoiler but I didn't like the fantasy turn of events here).

All in all, Hall is a very gifted storyteller and the book had a fairytale feel to me in regards to the way the story was told and her tone never wavered even if the plot did a bit. With such simple narration, I could easily see it being a bedtime story- if you wanted your kid to have nightmares and piss himself. I'm on board for the next book, Away and I'm really interested to see where Hall takes this because honestly, it's unpredictable- and I love that. Read this in the day time, and don't listen to the news afterwards.

In My Mailbox (12)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren in which we share the books we received for the week.

Nomansland by Lesley Hauge
From Goodreads:
Sometime in the future, a lonely, windswept island is populated solely by women. Among these women is a group of teenaged Trackers—expert equestrians and archers—whose job is to protect their shores from the enemy. The enemy, they’ve been
told, is men. When these girls come upon a partially buried home from the distant past, they are fascinated by the strange objects—high-heeled shoes, teen magazines, make-up—found there. What are they to make of these mysterious things? And what does it mean for their strict society where friendship is forbidden and rules must be obeyed—at all costs?

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo
From Goodreads:
Claire Prescott is a sensible woman who believes in facts and figures, not fairy tales. But when she agrees to present a paper to a summer symposium at Oxford on her ailing sister's behalf, Claire finds herself thrown into an adventure with a gaggle of Jane Austen-loving women all on the lookout for their Mr. Darcy. Claire isn't looking for Mr. Anyone. She's been dating Neil -- a nice if a bit negligent -- sports fanatic. But when a tall, dark and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner romantic heroine? Her chance meeting with a mysterious woman who claims to have an early version of Austen's Pride and Prejudice -- in which Lizzie ends up with someone other than Fitzwilliam Darcy -- leads to an astounding discovery about the venerated author's own struggle to find the right hero for Lizzie Bennett. Neil's unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire's journey to finding her own romantic lead. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is the story of a woman who finds that love isn't logical and that a true hero can appear in the most unexpected of places.

The Changeling Sea by Patricia A. McKillip
From Goodreads:
A young girl, bereft of her parents' care by the sea, tries her newly acquired magic skills against it. She evokes from the sea a monster—and a Prince with a strange compulsion.

Seven Tears into the Sea by Terri Farley
From Goodreads:
Beckon the sea,
I'll come to thee....
Shed seven tears,
perchance seven years....

At the age of ten, Gwen Cooke had a strange encounter with a boy with dark, slightly tilted eyes. He came to her on the beach, whispered strange words in her ear, and then disappeared. Shortly thereafter, her family moved away from their seaside home and Gwen never saw the boy again.
Now seventeen, Gwen is returning to her childhood home. Her nana asked her to come. But Gwen knows it's time to go back for another reason: She yearns for the sea. Perhaps the sea itself is calling to her. Perhaps the memory of the boy and his haunting words are drawing her back to the place they met. Perhaps it's time for her to face her destiny.

The Siren by Kiera Cass
From Goodreads:
"You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won't lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time..."
The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can't bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she's been waiting for doesn't seem nearly as important as the one she's living now.

Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1)
by Tamora Pierce

From Goodreads:
Alan of Trebond, the best warrior in the palace, is harboring a big secret: he is really a she - Alanna. But when her prince is felled by an illness, Alanna has no choice but to use her healing magic - even if it means ruining her career.

Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

Genre:: Humor
Pages: 192
Publisher: May 4th 2010 by HarperCollins

When Justin Halpern accepted a job with Maxim.com, he was suddenly free to leave Los Angeles and move in with his girlfriend in San Diego. After three years of doing the long distance thing he arrived at her doorstep, ready to elate her with his "Honey I'm home" only to be unceremoniously dumped. At a loss as to where to go, he tucked tail and went home. Home-home, to his parents.
"You know you can stay here. All I ask is that you pick up your shit so you don't leave your bedroom looking like it was used for a gang bang."

Living at home as an adult can give you an entirely different perspective on your parents and Justin began documenting all the funny crap his cantankerous father came up with. It started out on twitter Sh*t My Dad Says and 1 million followers later it translated into a book deal.
"YOU, a published writer?..Internet don't count. Any asshole can throw shit up on there."

Filled with the wit and wisdom of his very opinionated 74 year old dad, this book is a quick, hilarious read from start to finish. Mr. Halpern's opinions and anecdotes on the surface might seem crass or at times, overly harsh but behind every verbal ass-kicking he gives his son, you can clearly see that there's a lot of love and a great deal of pride.
"Don't think you can't call us unless something big happens. Don't be one of those guys, because those calls, they take a little while to happen...You're trying. You're giving it a go. That's a big deal to me. You may not think things you do mean shit, but remember that they mean shit to me, okay?"

His tough-love and "that's life" teachings are well worth the read and it's OK to admit to yourself that a lot of the things his dad says are things you wish you had the guts to admit.
On My Last-Place Finish in the 50-Yard Dash During Little League Tryouts
"It kinda looked like you were being attacked by a bunch of bees or something. Then when I saw the fat kid with the watch who was timing you start laughing....Well, I'll just say it's never a good sign when a fat kid laughs at you."

On Sportsmanship
"You pitched a great game, you really did. I'm proud of you. Unfortunately, your team is shitty....No, you can't go getting mad at people because they're shitty. Life will get mad at them, don't worry."

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, in which we share the book that we are anxiously waiting to be released.

I can't wait for this one!

Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLean
Published: October 26th 2010 by Avon

And I know absolutely nothing about it other than it's about Lord Nicholas St. John, Ralston's (from Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake) twin brother. I don't need to know anything more than that. I AM DYING FOR THIS BOOK. Oh please make October get here soon and oh please please Miz MacLean tell us about this story!!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Reading Level:: Young Adult
Pages: 352
Publisher: September 21st 2010 by HarperTeen

"I sighed. I hate the vamp jobs. They think they're so suave. It's not enough for them to slaughter and eat you like a zombie would. No, they want it to be all sexy, too. And, trust me: vampires? Not. Sexy. I mean, sure, their glamours can be pretty hot, but the dry-as-bone corpse bodies shimmering underneath? Nothing attractive there. Not that anyone else can see them, though.
He hissed. Just as he reached for my neck, I tased him. I was there to bag and tag, not to kill. Besides, if I had to carry separate weapons for every paranormal I took out, I'd be dragging around a full luggage set. Tasers are a one-size-fits-all paranormal butt-kicking option. Mine's pink with rhinestones. Tasey and I have had a lot of good times together."*

Evie is an apparently normal teenage girl with a not so normal ability. She can look at someone and see what they really and truly are. Not their real personality- who cares if someone is really a liar or up to no good- she can see past their facade and tell you if that gorgeous guy is really disguising the decaying corpse of a vampire or if that body builder isn't on steroids but is in fact- a werewolf. With her unique ability comes a not so average job. Evie works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency which tracks and tags paranormals, much like we do for endangered animals. But this paranormal profiling and tracking isn't for their safety- it's for ours.


I had so much fun reading this book and I think all the rage over it only enhanced my enjoyment because it really does rock. So why all the hype? Well I'll tell you. Apart from the absolutely freakin' fabulous cover which looks exactly like Evie, White has a real knack for involving you in her story. It's more like a video game than a book and you don't read it- you play it. White created the world but you and Evie control it. She so involves the reader that somehow she's written you into the story and you take part in an adventure that leaves your mental legs tired. Special added bonus, you get to hang out with Evie who possesses just about all the awesome there is.

Evie has got to be one of the toughest YA heroines I've met to date. She's no nonsense, edgy and persistent all the while staying within the realistic confines of a 16 year old's mentality. Often times I find YA authors, who are adults, place a teenage label on their ladies but still write them as adults, with adult reactions to situations. I find this a refreshing approach to a YA novel. White wrote Evie like a 16 year old girl, not just called her one which tells me she really gets her character. Well done. Let a kid be a kid. I'm with Evie. Why walk down the hallways of a maximum security paranormal containment facility when you can race down it by rolling in an office chair!

We have a fun little romance happening that is quirky and sweet but it doesn't interfere with the main plot, so it adds to our story, not overpowers it. Those of you not looking for romance won't mind this little addition because it's so very adorable. Evie doesn't chose the wrong guy and lose her head- she's too smart for that. Every once in awhile it's OK to fall for the good guy. They need lovin' too. And thankfully he's not a bleeping vampire.

I couldn't put it down. It's creative, quite different from all the paranormal books floating around today, its characters are unique, and Evie is so very funny. I have a spot reserved on my bookshelf and I already know you do too :)

"I'll admit the idea of her hands on my hair- her glamoured corpse hands- still bothered me a little bit. But I was trying to get over it. After all, things were a lot more complicated than they used to be. It was no longer see vamp, stun vamp, tag vamp. Now it was, ponder the philosophical implications of people who had immortality forced upon them, doomed to hang onto the coattails of humanity while having almost none left themselves. Man, no wonder they drank blood."*

*Quotes were taken from an ARC of Paranormalcy and may not be the same in the published copy.

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Laura @ A Jane of All Reads
I read excessively and hoard books like a greedy dragon. Theoretically, I also plan to use them to barricade myself against the forthcoming zombie apocalypse.

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