Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My February #RAK Wrap-Up

I received:

Received from the extremely generious Jennifer over at Owl Read It for RAK

Received from the very sweet Chantaal over at The Wandering Fangirl for RAK
I Gave:
To Laurie over at Reader Girls
Thank you to the fabulous Isalys and Vanessa at Book Soulmates
for hosting!

Chapter by Chapter's 1000 Follower Giveaway!

 We wanted to say THANK YOU to all our followers! 
We honestly didn't think that we would see 100 followers, let alone 1000 followers when me and Gabby decided to start this
 crazy journey called blogging!

You all, seriously, make us so happy every time you stop by the blog!  
We blog about books because we love to read, 
and we continue to do it because of your support!  

We can't wait to have you follow us to our next milestone,
 whatever that may be!

And to show our appreciation, we are so happy 
to be having this giveaway!

This contest is International as long as TBD delivers to your country.
Check here if you are unsure!
Ends April 6, 2012 at 12:01 am CST

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday - Starling by Lesley Livingston

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine,
and specifically spotlights upcoming
novels we can't wait to read.

Our WoW for this week is...

"Love is just the beginning... of the end."

Mason Starling is a champion fencer for Gosforth Academy, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Until now. When a ferocious storm rips through Manhattan and unleashes terrifying creatures onto Gosforth’s campus, Mason barely escapes alive. Without help from the mysterious stranger who appeared in the midst of the storm, she might not have made it at all. But now, in the aftermath, Mason’s life begins to spin dramatically, mystically out of control, and the only one who seems able to help her is the stranger who can remember nothing but his name: Fennrys Wolf.

As Mason and Fenn uncover more about Fenn’s past and the strange events that surround them, they realize that Mason’s family — and its dark allegiance to the ancient Norse gods — is at the center of everything. A predetermined fate seems to be closing in on Mason, but is it possible to change one’s destiny?

Readers who fell in love with Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange trilogy and those who love Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series will be captivated by the sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action of Starling.
 Expected Release Date: August 15, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
While you're here, why not check out our various giveaways
which can be found on our right sidebar!
What book are you waiting for?

Review of Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

by Aimee Agresti

Release Date: March 6, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
More information from HMH

Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.

As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?

Illuminate is an exciting saga of a teen’s first taste of independence, her experience in the lap of luxury, and her discovery she may possess strength greater than she ever knew.

** This book was provided to us by the publisher, and we were in no way paid for our review.
The review was done simply because we support and believe in the author's works**
I have a special place in my heart for angel books. Guardian Angels…Fallen Angels…All angels! Illuminate has officially been added to my list of Angel Awesomeness! Agresti’s writing style is what made this book great for me. The personalities of the characters in Illuminate were wonderfully done, and made the book even more enjoyable! The writing in the pages came to life before my eyes, and I couldn’t help but become completely enveloped into this word Agresti has created.

Agreti does a fantastic job of world building and character development that readers will come to appreciate this secret world of Angels and Demons. We are also introduced to super sexy Lucian, one of the main characters in the book. He just oozed charisma, charm and sexy. There was no way that I was not going to fall for this bad boy. There were various scenes throughout the book that had me giggling like a school girl, swooning and sighing all over the place. I love an author that can create a drool worthy character. Of all the characters though, I found that it was our main heroine, Haven, that stole the show. Her personality was addictive. Her sense of humor is one where I found myself literally laughing out loud! Her quirky come backs had me looking forward to what she would say next, as well as her undeniable loyalty to her friends…such great personality traits to have in a leading lady. And don’t get me started on Aurelia, our vivacious villain. Agresti did such a great job developing this character that I was loving her and hating her all at the same time! Definitely one of my favorite villain’s of 2012 thus far.

The plot twists in Illuminate were beautifully executed, and the buildup to the mother of all climaxes was so fun to read! The action scenes were written so well, and was described in such a way that I was able to envision them while I was reading. The scene would literally jump out the pages for me. Even the little details, like the descriptions of the rotting limbs and bodies made the book even more enjoyable…especially if you like a little bit of gore in your reads.

A great twist on angel tales, Illuminate will keep your eyes glued to the pages, anticipating the next turn of events. Fans of angel books will completely devour Amiee Agreti’s Illuminate. I cannot wait for the next installment!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Review of Partials by Dan Wells

Partials by Dan Wells
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
More info from HarperCollins

Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out.

When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.

Combining the fast-paced action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Battlestar Galactica, Partials is a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question--one where our sense of humanity is both our greatest liability, and our only hope for survival.
 ** This book was provided to us by the publisher, and we were in no way paid for our review.
The review was done simply because we support and believe in the author's works**

I was very excited to start this book…VERY excited. And not only because it’s a Dystopian.  Ok, ok…maybe because it was a Dystopian, but still.  This book was fantastic!  The beginning did grab my attention instantly, and held it for the duration of the book.  Partials was jam packed with action, suspense, humour, and unbelievable twists.  There were plot twists all over the place.  I loved it!  I was gasping, and reeling, and trying to speed read just to get to the end.  I needed to know what was going to happen, where everything was leading to, what the outcome for our heroine, Kira Walker would be.

Dan Wells writing was amazing.  He put together an unforgettable story that has left me crying out for more.  I need to know what is going to happen next!  Wells does a fantastic job of describing a world where the existence of mankind hangs in the balance and where a world of engineered organic beings identical to humans called Partials are the reason why all of the world’s population is nearly extinct.  Unable to pro-create, Kira and a band of misfits venture out in search of a cure.  Exceptional world building and character development are just a few things that made this book extraordinary.

One of my favorite characters in this book is Marcus, Kira’s boyfriend.  Pretty much anything that comes out of his mouth is comedic relief.  I found myself constantly looking forward to seeing what he would say next.  There was one part in the book where I was cracking up!  It was a pretty tense moment in the book, my eyes glued to the pages wondering how they were going to get out of a sticky situation, and out of Marcus’ mouth is “My contribution was to somehow refrain from peeing myself. You can thank me later.”  Hilarious! 

In the end, my absolute favorite character is our leading lady, Kira.  Reminiscent of Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games, she is one tough cookie and determination is her best quality.  She doesn’t put up with crap, and she’s not one of those heroines who is  blinded by love.  In this case, love is what leads her.  Love for her best friend’s baby…love for humanity…love for the future. 

And did I already bring up the plot twists?  Just when I thought I had it all figured out, Wells turns it all around and presents a whole new picture that leaves you reeling!  And ummmm, yes I totally crushed on a Partial.  Don’t judge me.  Read the book, meet Samm and I dare you to tell me you didn’t crush on him too…

Overall, Partials was a fantastic read that I am so happy to have had the opportunity to read.  Fans of The Hunger Games and Dystopian reads will completely devour Partials.  Expected release date for the next installment, Fragments, is September 2013.  The wait is going to be brutal!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cover Reveal - Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas

Thanks for stopping by the blog for the cover reveal for Luminosity
by Stephanie Thomas and Entangled Publishing!

Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Entangled Publishing

"My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was

immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At
the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings.
And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t
been the same since.

The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the
Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from
everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us
all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.

But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling
in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I
think I’ve already helped them win."

What'd you think of the cover?
Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading!

In My Mailbox #19

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by
Kristi over at The Story Siren.
Head on over for more details on how to join!

This week we received:
For Review:
Hunted - Cheryl Rainfield - Tour Stop April 16 (+1 copy for giveaway)
Casey Barnes Eponymous - E.A. Rigg (Received from the author)

Ember - Madison Daniel
Vaempires Revolution - Thomas Winship - Tour stop April 20

Talisman of El - Alecia Stone (Thank you  Centrinian Pub)
Embrace - Cherie Colyer - Tour Stop April 18

The Peculiars - Maureen Doyle McQuerry (Thank you to Abrams/Amulet Books)
This Is Not A Test - Courtney Summers (Thank you Macmillan)

Auracle - Gina Rosati (Thank you Macmillan & Gina <3)
Monument 14 - Emmy Laybourne (Thank you Macmillan)

Something Strange and Deadly - Susan Dennard (Thank you HarperCollins)
Signed copy of Half World - Hiromi Goto - WON (Thank you Razorbill Canada)
Signed All's Fair in Vanities War Bookmarks

Bought at The Book Depository

While you're here why not check out our various giveaways
happening on the side bar!
What's in your mailbox? Feel free to leave your
IMM link in the comments

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blog Tour: Being Human by Patricia Lynne - Review & Giveaway


Thanks for stopping by the blog for my Tour Stop for
Being Human by Patricia Lynne hosted by Ever After PR!

You'll also have a chance to win an e-book of Being Human!

For Tommy, there is only one thing he needs to do: survive.

Only surviving isn't that easy. The hunt for blood can be tricky when humans know to fear the night. Desire sits on the edge of his mind, urging him to become the monster humans think he is. Vampire Forces, a special branch of police, is determined to turn every vampire to ash. Tommy included.

The only human Tommy can trust is his twin brother. A bond connects them, and with Danny's help, Tommy starts to understand the human world he struggles to survive in. He'll learn what friendships means and feel the sting of betrayal, find that sometimes the worst monsters are very human, and come to understand that family means more than blood.

Tommy just wants to survive and he knows what he needs to do. But with the number of humans that mean more to him than a meal growing, he'll learn there's more to life than simple survival. He'll discover being human doesn't mean being a human.
** This book was provided to us for an honest review and we were in no way paid for it.
The review was done simply because we support and believe in the author's works**

I was not quite sure what to expect when I started reading this book.  Sure, I struggled along in the beginning…questioning what the author was doing, why the characters did what they did, acted the way they did, spoke the way they did…but that line of questioning sure didn’t last long!  I found myself completely immersed in this world!  A world where we see the world through the eyes of a newly made vampire, and let me tell you…it was pretty darn interesting!

Patricia Lynne gives us a very believable insight on the thought process of a new vampire by the name of Tommy, and how he struggles with the loss of his humanity.  The one person who is helping him in holding on to what little humanity he has left (if any) is his twin brother Danny.  What I really enjoyed about this book was how we see how much Tommy still care for his twin and what he would do, and just how far he would go save the only family he has left.
Lynne’s writing is fantastic, and provides the right amount of description and feeling that will capture the reader’s attention, and hold it.  There is so much emotion poured into the pages of Being Human that there are parts where readers may relate.   I did go through many emotions in this book, but the two that really came out strong was anger and sadness.  Reading about how the human’s felt about vampires and comparing that to the feelings of Tommy was simply heart breaking at times.
The book is divided up into 4 parts where we see the start of Tommy and his brother where we are introduced to the brothers and learn just how important they are to each other.  The second part shows us the struggles that Danny has in college with have a vampire for a brother, and Tommy’s struggles with understanding Danny’s need for a normal life.  The third part shows us more of what humanity Tommy has left in him, and his attempts in trying to understand what he’s feeling.  This part was the most intense for me, and you will see exactly why when you grab your own copy!  And the forth part, well, let’s just say that tears were shed…
Fans of the vampire genre will come to appreciate what Patricia Lynne has written and will get a firsthand glimpse of what the world looks like through the eyes of a vampire.

This post has been approved by Ever After PR

Cover Reveal - Streamline by Jennifer Lane

Thanks for stopping by the blog for the cover reveal for Streamline
by Jennifer Lane and Omnific Publishing!

Streamline by Jennifer Lane
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Omnific Publishing
Jennifer Lane's Blog
Twitter: @JenLaneBooks

Seems like Leo Scott has it all: looks, brains, and athletic talent. He’s captain of his high school swim team with a bright future in college and beyond. But Leo has secrets. His mother’s crippling car accident has devastated his family and left Leo to deal with his father’s abuse, battered and alone.
Leo’s girlfriend Audrey Rose is poised for her own share of success. As one of Florida’s top high school swimmers, Audrey dreams of college swimming stardom. But there’s an obstacle to her glorious rise to the top. Her number-one supporter--her father--is in prison for murder.
Part murder mystery, part tale of young love in a military family, this gripping story takes readers on a journey from Pensacola to Annapolis. Leo and Audrey must band together to rise above the adversity they encounter and find their true selves in the process. When everything’s on the line . . . streamline.
What do you think?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Feature & Follow #19

Feature & Follow Friday is a book meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.
#FF is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort
between bloggers. In order to join in the fun, all you need is well . . . A book blog
(yay us!)

For more info on how to participate, click the button above,
seriously you can't miss it.
This week's question:
Q: Activity!!! Take a picture or describe where you love to read the most…

For myself, I love to read in bed...covers all around me...where it's nice and quiet and peaceful!
For Gabby, we have a couch with 2 reclining seats. 
You can always find her laid back with a book in hand. 
I'd take pics but both areas are occupied with people watching the hockey game!  lol

While you're here, why not check out our various giveaways
which can be found on our right sidebar!

Young Adult Paranormal Activity Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to my stop for the
Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Hop
Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter for
a chance to win your choice of one of the following:

This contest is International as long as TBD delivers to your country.

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Review of Possessions by Nancy Holder

The It Girl meets The Exorcist in this chilling, haunted boarding school tale

New-girl Lindsay discovers all is not right at the prestigious Marlwood Academy for Girls. Ethereal, popular Mandy and her clique are plotting something dangerous. Lindsay overhears them performing strange rituals, and sees their eyes turn black. It doesn't help that the school itself is totally eerie, with ancient, dilapidated buildings tucked into the Northern California woods, a thick white fog swirling through campus. There are hidden passageways, odd reflections in the windows at night, and scariest of all is the vast lake rumored to have captured the ghost of a girl who drowned many years ago.

What Lindsay doesn't yet realize is that Mandy and her cohorts are becoming possessed by spirits who have haunted the school for two hundred years. Spirits who want someone dead...

And that someone is Lindsay 

I have wanted to read Possessions for as long as I can remember (meaning when I discovered it on Amazon, because I like to look at books for fun sometimes—but beside the point).  Possessions had all the major components required to create a scary horror story. Freaky boarding school that used to be an Asylum for Wayward girls (and has student room’s unlocked doors 24/7)? Check. Powerful Rich Girl Queen Bee? Check. Dead people? Checkito. Did the story scare the lovely young lady reviewing this novel? Occasionally. I will say that from the start of the novel (which included two quotes that creeped me out for reasons unknown) I was already hyped up to get my socks knocked off, because that happens when you get freaked out.

I will say that the main character and main antagonist, Lindsay and Mandy, are pretty unforgettable in my mind. Lindsay, because she definitely changes the traditional heroine mold.  She was portrayed spunky, serious and willing to face the horrors that might be waiting within Marlwood. Also, Lindsay was one of the characters that seemed to still have a spine and soul and seemed very “real” compared to some of the rich girls who came off shallow and stupid. Mandy, on the other hand, was devious, a traitor and the ultimate toxic friend (don’t know what that is? Google is your friend).

She was one of those characters that were just created for you to hate, she waved her money and good looks around and could talk about you behind your back and then smile to your face, pretending that you two are still two peas in a pod… Let us not forget the part where Mandy is possessed and also in love with her literally crazy brother (Incest alert).

But all in all, both of the characters were total opposites of each other and I was thinking “whoa nice one” loved that bit most of all.

Thanks to author Nancy Holder, I was more than able to feel the emotions that came from Lindsay when she thought of the loss between her and her mother or the shame and sorrow that came from when she thought about her ex-toxic friend Jill and ex-boyfriend Riley hooking up in her own house. Main point is that I found it more than easy to gather emotion and to feel whatever it is that Holder wanted the reader to be feeling. Not to mention the way she described the creepy setting of Marlwood Academy and the strange apparition that would appear in Lindsay’s window.

The only real issue I had with the novel was that I felt that it took too long to become frightening and to reach the climax point. For most of the novel, I was hoping that something really horrific would happen, and when something horrific did take place I was kind of wishing that I wasn’t so tough because I didn’t really bat an eyelash. But other than that I was in love with the novel. That being said it totally lived up to my expectations and for that I am over the moon! Oh! And it sets itself up for a sequel (one of the three best types of endings, if you ask me). Overall a great read.

Same book, 2 covers.  Which one do you prefer?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday - Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine,
and specifically spotlights upcoming
novels we can't wait to read.

Our WoW for this week is...
There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

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

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

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

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

Expected Release Date: July 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
While you're here, why not check out our various giveaways
which can be found on our right sidebar!
What book are you waiting for? 

Review of The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Meyers

The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Meyers
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Seventeen-year-old Jocelyn follows clues apparently from her dead twin, Jack, in and around Seale House, the terrifying foster home where they once lived. With help from childhood friend Noah she begins to uncover the truth about Jack's death and the company that employed him and Noah.

Jocelyn's twin brother Jack was the only family she had growing up in a world of foster homes-and now he's dead, and she has nothing. Then she gets a cryptic letter from "Jason December"-the code name her brother used to use when they were children at Seale House, a terrifying foster home that they believed had dark powers. Only one other person knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn's childhood crush and their only real friend among the troubled children at Seale House.

But when Jocelyn returns to Seale House and the city where she last saw Noah, she gets more than she bargained for. Turns out the house's powers weren't just a figment of a childish imagination. And someone is following Jocelyn. Is Jack still alive? And if he is, what kind of trouble is he in? The answer is revealed in a shocking twist that turns this story on its head and will send readers straight back to page 1 to read the book in a whole new light.

** This book was provided to us by the publisher, and we were in no way paid for our review.
The review was done simply because we support and believe in the author's works** 

When I read what The Vanishing Game was about, I immediately felt drawn in (and I hadn’t even read the first page yet *shocked face*). To me, it sounded like some sort of psychological mind game mystery novel where the reader would be guessing and guessing until BOOM! You face the dark truth of what is really supposed to be happening in the novel. However I will tell you later on in the review if this novel was as mind tricky as I believed it to be.

So first off, I absolutely fell in love with the beginning of the novel. It starts with a prologue that is just haunting and begins to explain the relationship between the main character Jocey and Jack. Jocelyn being the tomgeek main character (look up the word seeing as how I learned it from the novel itself; cool word by the way) and Jack being her deceased brother.  But from the start of the novel, we are also lead to believe that maybe, just maybe, Jack might still be alive. That caught my attention completely. That and the fact that we also get thrown into watching Jocey stalk Noah and end up being choked by him before uttering the words “Third Freak”. Strange? A little bit. Engaging? Completely.

What I did loved about Myers writing style was the way we really got to see the way the main character thought more than most novels, meaning that instead of constantly being drowned in setting details (Ex: Look how blue that wall is, it’s so blue that I was thinking of the sky or the color of some flower I smelled when I was six.) Instead we got to see so much thinking and I found that so exciting! I could really feel the emotions that Jocey felt when she thought of her brother Jack or the way she felt when she began to fall for Noah. 

I couldn’t resist the mystery that came with the plot...what is Seale House really? A now burned down haunted house? Is there a monster in the cellar? While I won’t give you the answers to those questions (you can find them when you read the novel) I can say that the mystery that came with the plot was just great. All of the Jason December clues and letters that Noah and Jocey came across had me going into my complete Riddler mode (Yay for Batman references!) hoping that I could find out the clues before the characters did. Of course, I was incapable of doing so *sad face*. Let’s also add in the fact that I loved that how to understand the plot and Jason December letters, you get to see flashbacks of the hell that Noah, Jack and Jocey had to endure when they lived in Seale House.  With each flashback I could feel by heart get wrenched or I would end up scowling when I saw how cruel Hazel ended up being.

The only major issue I had was that occasionally I would end up losing interest in the plot when I would feel like it was starting to lose pace but (yes a big but) right when I would begin to notice that I was losing interest, Meyers would drop a new twist or cliff-hanger on me, leaving me begging for more to read.

You won’t believe the ending that had me both gasping and frozen from being so shocked, that you’ll end up finishing the novel with complete satisfaction. All in all, a great read especially for fans of mystery and thrillers. I personally hope for a movie…
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