Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wickedpedia ~ Chris Van Etten (earc) review [@Scholastic #pointhorror]

Wickedpedia (Point Horror)
Scholastic Inc
June 24, 2014
224 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

It's the return of Point Horror for the Internet generation! Don't open the door. Don't answer your phone. And whatever you do, DON'T turn on your computer. . . .

Cole and Gavin love playing practical jokes through Wikipedia. They edit key articles and watch their classmates crash and burn giving oral reports on historical figures like Genghis Khan, the first female astronaut on Jupiter. So after the star soccer player steals Cole's girlfriend, the boys take their revenge by creating a Wikipedia page for him, an entry full of outlandish information including details about his bizarre death on the soccer field.

It's all in good fun, until the soccer player is killed in a freak accident . . . just as Cole and Gavin predicted. The uneasy boys vow to leave Wikipedia alone but someone continues to edit articles about classmates dying in gruesome ways . . . and those entries start to come true as well.

To his horror, Cole soon discovers that someone has created a Wikipedia page for him, and included a date of death. He has one week to figure out who's behind the murders, or else he's set to meet a pretty grisly end.

Wickedpedia is a fun and suspenseful tale.  Cole  Redeker, in the running for valedictorian, needs to focus on school if he wants that top honor but his mind seems only to be on Winnie, His ex-girlfriend who is now dating Cole's former friend, school soccer captain and the one she dumped Cole for: Josh.

Cole is determined to make Winnie see the error of her ways; for her to see that Josh isn't good enough for her and come back to Cole. His best friend, Gavin, though thinks Cole needs to move on and forget all about 'Whinny.' More focused on having fun and pulling pranks than school work, Gavin is always trying ot get Cole to take part.

When the opportunity to combine Gavin's love of pranks and Cole's distaste for Josh presents itself, the boys can't help but seize it. Until their fun seems to foreshadow classmates' deaths.

Now Cole has to figure out who the killer is - and what part his prank played - if he wants to save his friends and himself.

The main characters are all seniors in high school, but feel much younger. The age makes sense as they are stressing over college applications and GPAs which all plays into the plot. Their actions and dialogue, however, do make them seem several years younger. Despite what the characters are experiencing in their lives (end of high school), it seems they would be more identifiable to older middle school, junior high students.

The book itself may be best for that age as well. While some of the happenings do, possibly, bring it more to a YA level, the characters, their behavior and the story felt more upper-MG. Albeit a bloody, murder-filled upper-MG.

Certain parts of the book are predictable, but still quite fun. The very end of the book was my least favorite part, but I liked how the pieces of the puzzle came together. Wickedpedia is not a book to read if you want a complicated murder mystery or a character focused tale. t is one to read, however, if you're looking for a quick, suspenseful and fun horror tale with an intriguing premise.








thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my copy to review

Friday, September 26, 2014

Messenger of Fear ~ Michael Grant review [@MichaelGrantBks @KatherineTegen @HarperTeen]

Messenger of Fear (Messenger of Fear #1)
Katherine Tegen Books
September 23, 2014
272 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon


I remembered my name – Mara. But, standing in that ghostly place, faced with the solemn young man in the black coat with silver skulls for buttons, I could recall nothing else about myself.

And then the games began.

The Messenger sees the darkness in young hearts, and the damage it inflicts upon the world. If they go unpunished, he offers the wicked a game. Win, and they can go free. Lose, and they will live out their greatest fear.

But what does any of this have to do with Mara? She is about to find out . . .
Michael Grant's Messenger of Fear is a fun start to a new series from the author of the Gone books.

When Mara wakes up, she's unsure of nearly everything - including whether her name is, in fact, Mara. When the enigmatic young man she encounters introduces himself as Messenger but refuses to provide any other answers, her journey begins.

At first she's sure it is all a dream, but soon, Mara knows she could never dream such things. What Mara's part in it all is and how she came to be there are still to be discovered.

While Messenger of Fear is a quick read, it's not a particularly light read. The Messenger's job is not one of fluffy kittens and rainbows. It is one of darkness, death and fear.

That Mara is not given answers to her questions about her presence or the Messenger and what he does, pulls the reader into the story that much more. As she struggles to come to terms with her present situation and what it requires of her along with why it is all happening, we learn more about her and Messenger. It is much more rewarding than having the answers simply doled out upon request.

It was easy to predict the 'revelation' that was coming towards the end of the novel. Yet, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story or the path the characters had to take to that revelation.  While we are just introduced to the characters in this first book of the series, we begin to see enough of who they are that I'm eager to read more about them and discover more of their characters in the next books.

Though it is a quick read, Messenger of Fear, will leave you with something to think about long after you have read the last page. I look forward to seeing where things go for the plot and the characters in the next book.




Other books you may also enjoy: The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade and Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans





thank you to the publisher for my copy of the book

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Made For You ~ Melissa Marr (earc) Tour Review + Giveaway [@harperteen @melissa_marr]



Made For You
HarperCollins
September 16, 2014
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/from Amazon/on Kindle/Kobo/iTunes/or B&N




Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.

Review:

Made for You was even more enjoyable than I was expecting. I was drawn to it because of the author and (let's be honest) that really fantastic cover. I was also curious about Melissa Marr writing a 'contemporary' novel. While I do think it bears mentioning that Made for You contains some paranormal elements (as I know some who are not comfortable reading any paranormal/supernatural), it is mostly a contemporary, realistic novel.

One I enjoyed even more than I expected. Eva is the 'It Girl' of Jessup, North Carolina. Her family pedigree - that is vitally important in Jessup - is the best of the best. With good looks, a nice boyfriend and good grades, Eva has it all. Including someone obsessed with her - and willing to kill.

After Eva is hit in a hit-and-run, she finds herself in the hospital, injured and unsure of what has happened, much less why it would happen, While she's recovering Eva discovers a new, confusing ability: the ability to foresee someone's death when they touch her.

If her new found ability can be believed, Eva is going to have to work to keep herself and her friends safe.

I loved that we were introduced to Eva prior to the accident. We see who she is with her friends, how she acts and how they act around her. It was a nice contrast for latter parts of the story, with both Eva's character development and how her friends behaved.

Both the characters and the story use the setting to its full advantage. Jessup is a small Southern town where who your family is - present and past - affects your reputation and how others view you. Definitely teh 'It Girl' of her high school, Eva's friends check with her before deciding what the (publicly) think about something and she knows that everyone is aware of the family she comes from - and what they then expect.

The idea that there are 'right' kinds of girls and guys, that even in high school you have to date someone from the right family, could feel dated. Yet, because of the way the characters approach it as well as how it impacts the story, it not only works but works well. It also plays in very well with the obsessed character and how they see things.

Some of my favorite parts of Made for You have to do with the friendships and the romance, both involving Eva. Who she chose to spend her time with, who she kept close and loved, said a lot about Eva and it's really enjoyable to see some of the growth her character achieves during the story.

The romance in Made for You was really great. It is a great support for Eva, while still causing some debate and concern. Fan of Colleen Hoover's Hopeless books should find in Made for You a couple they will love reading about. I really, actually, wish there was going to be more story about the two of them, in a novella or spin-off. Their chemistry is great.

With suspense, intrigue, a perfect small town setting, and really well done characters and relationships, Made for You is one to read.




Melissa Marr Bio:


Hmm, I’m never good at the bio bit. I used to teach college & bartend, now I write novels. I love to meet new people, to hear their stories, to walk through new streets and see new vistas. I enjoy art in all its guises–graffiti, surrealist paintings, classic sculptures, tattoos, interesting buildings, Renoir, photography . . . Art & nature, they feed my soul & thus my muse.

Website/Goodreads/Facebook/Twitter

Check out the rest of the tour: Tour Schedule & Links





US/Canada Only
Ends October 7th
Enter with Rafflecopter

Prizes:

  • All 5 of Melissa's Wicked Lovely books (paperback), 
  • The Desert Tale - Wicked Lovely companion book (paperback), 
  • A hardcover copy of Made For You


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday [@KatherineTegen @jodimeadows]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine



My pick for this week:


The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
published March 10th, 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.

I am pretty fond of princess stories. A fantasy, secret princess story with stealth and danger? Sounds even better. I am looking forward to The Orphan Queen.


What is your pick this week? Let me know in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Beautiful Ashes ~ Jeaniene Frost audio review [@BlackstoneAudio @HarlequinBooks @Jeaniene_Frost @taviagilbert]

The Beautiful Ashes (Broken Destiny #1)
Harlequin
August 26, 2014
304 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Blackstone Audio
Tavia Gilbert, narrator
8 hrs 21 mins, Unabridged
add to Goodreads/buy from Audible

In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who's bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn't mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn't: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…

The Beautiful Ashes is the beginning of Jeaniene Frost's new NA Broken Destiny series. Not a spin-off to her Night Huntress series, this is a whole new series with new characters, new supernaturals and new stories.

Ivy has spent her whole life seeing things that no one else seemed to see. After her sister goes missing, though, Ivy finds out the truth: what she sees aren't hallucinations at all. They're real.

To save her sister, Ivy will risk anything and anyone.

There is quite a bit of background given in The Beautiful Ashes but with it being the start to a series (a paranormal series) I, actually, liked getting the information.  The world Jeaniene Frost has imagined is very creative and well thought out. It's nice to receive some of Ivy's history, to understand what makes her character different. I liked discovering the parts of her past and what brought her to the beginning of the book. It makes her inclusion in this previously unknown side of the world more logical and helps her actions to fit.

What we find out about Adrian's character and those 'parallel realms'  add to the story, as well. It is through Ivy's curiosity that much of the information is unveiled and that seemed a great way for readers (and the character) to find things out.

While the 'journey' of the novel was about Ivy finding and rescuing her sister, the ultimate resolution of the book was a bit underwhelming. While the path to that point made the story possible and the ending is just fine, it isn't what I'll remember about the book.

Both The Beautiful Ashes characters and the world created are intriguing enough and had (more than) enough questions presented regarding their past and their personalities, that I am looking forward to the next book.

Tavia Gilbert does a really nice job narrating. Ivy's character is twenty years old and Gilbert does a good job sounding that age. The different emotions of the character come across very well and both her pacing and diction work nicely and aren't distracting. I have not listened to other Jeaniene Frost audiobooks, but Tavia Gilbert also narrates (nearly all of) those. If you have listened to any, including the Night Huntress series, at least know its the same narrator.






Thursday, September 18, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After ~ Stephanie Perkins review [@PenguinTeen @naturallysteph]

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3)
Dutton
August 14, 2014
339 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Anna and the French Kiss review
Lola and the Boy Next Door review

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, √Čtienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series

Stephanie Perkins writes some fantastic contemporary romance YA noels. The series started with Anna and the French Kiss and continued with (possibly my favoritest of favorite books) Lola and the Boy Next Door and now concludes with Isla and the Happily Ever After. Though it is  a 'series,' each of the books can be read as a standalone. The main characters from the previous book(s) do appear and are a part of the new characters' lives, so new readers won't have the backstory.

While both Anna and Lola were very realistic, great romances, Isla and the Happily Ever After felt a bit less fairy tale. The characters are still perfect, mainly because they have flaws and are not perfect. There is still the falling in love that will make you fall in love with the characters.

But there's also difficult moments, the characters struggles with their relationship, each other and, even, themselves.

Isla drew me in right from the beginning. I love that when the story starts, she is not quite herself. Yet, if she had not been in such a state, things never would have happened as they did and such a perfect setup could not have taken place. I was immediately pulled into Isla's story and her life. Her friendship with Kurt, her issues with her sister, her crush on Josh all come together to make her a very realistic character, person but still cooler and more interesting than most.

From the beginning Isla and Josh's romance is the kind that you want to read about, that you dream can actually happen. Yet, there were moments when I was not sure how I felt about them together (and because of that, how I felt about the book). There were times when it was hard to know if this thing they wanted and you, as a reader, wanted was really what they needed.

In spite of those moments of indecision - or possibly because of them - I really, really enjoyed Isla and the Happily Ever After. I hate that there won't be any more stories with the SOAP students but I couldn't be more pleased with how Isla and Josh's story happened and how it all concluded. (Okay, maybe I could if there had been some sort of bonus Lola and Cricket epilogue but I just love them that much.)





Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday [@DisneyHyperion @AmieKaufman @MeaganSpooner]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:

THIS SHATTERED WORLD by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

published December 23, 2014 by Disney Hyperion
The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.


I absolutely loved These Broken Stars and am eagerly anticipating more epically amazing, space travelling, star-crossed romance from these authors!

What's your pick for this week? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

The Vault of Dreamers ~ Caragh M O'Brien (earc) review [@MacKidsBooks @CaraghMOBrien]

The Vault of Dreamers (#1)
Roaring Brook Press
September 16, 2014
432 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.

The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success: every moment of the students' lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students' schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What's worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.
The Vault of Dreamers has a cover that is beyond attention capturing and a synopsis that sounds incredibly promising, but somehow the book left me wanting.

Fifteen-year-old Rosie Sinclair has left her old lif behind and is now studying at the prestigious Forge School. That also means she's one of the newest stars on the Forge Show. Rosie's new boarding school is not only a well known arts school, it's the stage for a top reality show. Every moment of the student's lives - save for bathroom stalls and showers - is filmed and broadcast live.

For Rosie, accepting the cameras seems a small price to pay for the education she'll be receiving. But, when she skips her mandated sleeping pill one night and finds that Forge - school and show - may not be as presented, those same cameras are now a hindrance. How can she ever find out what's happening while the students sleep if her every moment her every word and deed, is recorded for all to see?

The dilemma Rosie faces when thinking something nefarious is happening at her new school is very well done: should she stay or should she go? Between what we are shown of her life in Doli, the talks with her parents, even her own thoughts, and the great opportunity that Forge is, it is easy to understand why she feels torn.

The question of whether Rosie can be fully believed is also nicely presented. There are just enough hints, around the edges of the story, from other characters, that the Forge School and the Show are not as they appear. Yet, we also have reason to question Rosie and her assertions.

Yet, something never quite fell into place with The Vault of Dreamers. I liked Rosie's story, I liked her ambitions and the struggles she had with relationships, but it was hard to connect with her character. Something about her remained wooden, almost detached. Linus and Burnham were two of my favorite characters, Burnham, especially. His interactions with Rosie were engaging right from their first moment. I enjoyed how things developed between them - including the setbacks. His character's story was also interesting and I really wanted to know more.

Some of why I did not know how much to believe Rosie was that she seemed more disturbed, more outraged over what was happening than what she uncovered seemed to warrant. Yet, we could see that something was happening, but it did not feel like we knew enough - or that what we did know was enough -  to merit quite her level of unease.

Things do come together at the end, but it seemed almost too many answers then with too many questions during the rest of the book. Still, The Vault of Dreamers is such a readable book, you won't want to put it down. Even as I wanted something more to be there or to take place, I kept reading. Some to see how it all ended, but mostly because it's an intriguing, compelling story that pulls you in from the start.

I am looking forward to seeing what transpires in the sequel and I hope some of the secondary characters return, in one way or another.

(Also? For a school for creative people, I wish we had been able to see more creating happening. That didn't detract from the story, but it would have been a nice addition.)








thank you to the publisher for the egalley through NetGalley to review

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars Unforgettable Moments [@TheFaultMovie]


First it was Time's #1 Fiction Book of 2012 and on the Winter 2012 Kids' Next List, now a major motion picture that EW called, "The Greatest Romance Story of this decade," The Fault in Our Stars is out today, September 16th on Blu-ray and DVD.

Starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, The Fault in Our Stars is based on the novel by John Green.

As part of The Fault in Our Stars Ambassador Program, I helped come up with a list of favorite moments from the film, those parts you just want to see again and again . . .

Have you seen the movie already? Or read the book? What parts can you not wait to relive? Let me know below (and use the rafflecopter) for a chance to win a Little Infinities Extended Edition Blu-ray of TFIOS.


My favorites? Well here's one each for the book and the movie:

from the book
 "You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are." (p 123)

from the movie
I, of course, love Hazel and Gus but his speech to Monica's mother - along with why it happens -is one of my favorite bits.


The Fault in Our Stars movie summary:
Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. (IMDb)




Giveaway:
Open to US/Can residents only
One winner will receive extended edition Blu-ray

Monday, September 15, 2014

Day 21 ~ Kass Morgan (earc) review + excerpt [@lbkids @Kassmorganbooks]

Day 21 (The Hundred #2)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
September 16, 2014
320 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon (tomorrow)

(Excerpt after the review)

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries -- until now. It's been 21 days since the hundred landed on Earth. They're the only humans to set foot on the planet in centuries...or so they thought. Facing an unknown enemy, Wells attempts to keep the group together. Clarke strikes out for Mount Weather, in search of other Colonists, while Bellamy is determined to rescue his sister, no matter the cost. And back on the ship, Glass faces an unthinkable choice between the love of her life and life itself. In this pulse-pounding sequel to Kass Morgan's The 100, secrets are revealed, beliefs are challenged, and relationships are tested. And the hundred will struggle to survive the only way they can -- together.

Day 21 is the sequel to last year's The 100 (you can find my review here), the Hundred series is what the CW show The 100 was inspired by.

If you both read The 100 and are watching the show, chances are it will be a bit confusing at first to jump back into the book Hundred's world. Things are the same enough to obviously be the same world but characters are different (merged, replaced, altered) enough that remembering which storyline fits where can take a second. Luckily, they are different enough and enough recap is given, that you'll be back in the book's world quickly.

I really love that we're pulled right back into their stories without a time lag. So much happened after the landing on Earth - good, bad, dangerous, unknown - and I'm really happy this wasn't an example of, 'and now it's two months later and they have done x, y, and z.' We are able to continue on this journey of discovery with them--discovery of both the world they now inhabit and of each other.

Readers and the characters now know that the hundred are not the only people on Earth. The questions remains: Are they safe? Can those already on the planet be trusted? Or are they an enemy? It's the answers to those questions that bring about interesting events and really tell who the characters are.

New relationships were introduced and old relationships challenged in The 100 and now we can see when all of those relationships are put even more to the test. We are once again given peeks into the characters' pasts (aboard the ship). Those glimpses bring a fuller understanding of life on the ship, how that society functioned, as well as who the characters are. We get a good idea of their character prior to landing on Earth and can see how they've stayed true to themselves . . . or how they've changed.

Though they are all criminals, there are a lot of differences in the hundred and we really see that come out in Day 21. From how they react to danger to how they treat each other, there are clearly some you would want to with you to rediscover a planet and others you'd really hope were on another mission.

One of the things I did not like so much about The 100 was its lack of surprise. There just were not a lot of startling revelations, either because they were too strongly foreshadowed or they just didn't happen. In Day 21, though, there were quite a few surprises ind unexpected turns of events and discoveries. The things that were not surprising were because they had happened on the show so they're happening in the book seemed to follow.

The ending of Day 21 holds so much potential for what is to come. Based on what the characters have uncovered, all of the promise that holds for what is (possibly) to come and everything that transpired right up until the end, I'm really hoping there will be a Book 3 and soon! I cannot wait to read it.





Can't wait until tomorrow (its release) to get started on Day 21? Get started with the excerpt below:


Excerpt & Author Bio:

Chapter 1 - Wells
by Kass Morgan
Author of The 100 and its sequel Day 21


No one wanted to stand near the grave. Although four of their own were already buried in the makeshift cemetery, the rest of the hundred were still disturbed by the idea of lowering a body into the ground.

No one wanted to stand with their backs to the trees either. Since the attack, a creaking branch had become enough to make the anxious survivors jump. And so, the nearly one hundred people who'd gathered to say good-bye to Asher stood in a tightly packed semicircle, their eyes darting between the corpse on the ground and the shadows in the forest.

The comforting crackle of the fire was conspicuously absent. They'd run out of firewood last night, and no one had been willing to venture out for more. Wells would've gone himself, but he'd been busy digging the grave. No one had volunteered for that job either, except for a tall, quiet Arcadian boy named Eric.

"Are we sure he's really dead?" Molly whispered, edging back from the deep hole, as if worried it might swallow her up as well. She was only thirteen but looked younger. At least, she'd used to. Wells remembered helping her after the crash, when tears and ash had streaked her round cheeks. Now the girl's face was thin, almost gaunt, and there was a cut on her forehead that didn't look like it'd been properly cleaned.

Wells's eyes flashed involuntarily to Asher's neck, to the ragged wound where the arrow had pierced his throat. It'd been two days since Asher died, two days since the mysterious figures materialized on the ridge, upending everything the Colonists had ever been told, everything they thought they knew.

They had been sent to Earth as living test subjects, the first people to set foot on the planet in three hundred years. But they were mistaken.

Some people had never left.

It had all happened so quickly. Wells hadn't realized anything was wrong until Asher fell to the ground, gagging as he swiped desperately at the arrow lodged in his throat. That's when Wells spun around -- and saw them. Silhouetted against the setting sun, the strangers looked more like demons than humans. Wells had blinked, half expecting the figures to vanish. There was no way they were real.

But hallucinations didn't shoot arrows.

After his calls for help went unheeded, Wells had carried Asher to the infirmary tent, where they stored the medical supplies they'd salvaged from the fire. But it was no use. By the time Wells began frantically digging for bandages, Asher was already gone.

How could there be people on Earth? It was impossible. No one had survived the Cataclysm. That was incontrovertible, as deeply ingrained in Wells's mind as the fact that water froze at 0 degrees Celsius, or that planets revolved around the sun. And yet, he'd seen them with his own eyes. People who certainly hadn't come down on the dropship from the Colony. Earthborns.

"He's dead," Wells said to Molly as he rose wearily to his feet before realizing that most of the group was staring at him. A few weeks ago, their expressions would've been full of distrust, if not outright contempt. No one believed that the Chancellor's son had actually been Confined. It'd been all too easy for Graham to convince them that Wells had been sent to spy for his father. But now, they were looking at him expectantly.

In the chaos after the fire, Wells had organized teams to sort through the remaining supplies and start building permanent structures. His interest in Earth architecture, once a source of annoyance to his pragmatic father, had enabled Wells to design the three wooden cabins that now stood in the center of the clearing.

Wells glanced up at the darkening sky. He'd give anything to have the Chancellor see the cabins eventually. Not to prove a point -- after seeing his father shot on the launch deck, Wells's resentment had drained faster than the color from the Chancellor's cheeks. Now he only wished his father would someday get to call Earth home. The rest of the Colony was supposed to join them once conditions on Earth were deemed safe, but twenty-one days had passed without so much as a glimmer from the sky.

As Wells lowered his eyes back to the ground, his thoughts returned to the task at hand: saying farewell to the boy they were about to send to a much darker resting place.

A girl next to him shivered. "Can we move this along?" she said. "I don't want to stand out here all night."

"Watch your tone," another girl named Kendall snapped, her delicate lips drawn into a frown. At first, Wells had assumed she was a fellow Phoenician, but he'd eventually realized that her haughty stare and clipped cadence were just an impression of the girls Wells had grown up with. It was a fairly common practice among young Waldenites and Arcadians, although he'd never met anyone who did it quite as well as Kendall.

Wells turned his head from side to side, searching for Graham, the only other Phoenician aside from Wells and Clarke. He didn't generally like letting Graham take control of the group, but the other boy had been friends with Asher and was better equipped than Wells to speak at his funeral. However, his was one of the few faces missing from the crowd -- aside from Clarke's. She'd set off right after the fire with Bellamy to search for his sister, leaving nothing but the memory of the five toxic words she'd hurled at Wells before she left: You destroy everything you touch.


© 2014 by Alloy Entertainment


Author Bio

Kass Morgan, New York Times bestselling author of The 100 and its sequel Day 21, received a bachelor's degree from Brown University and a master's from Oxford University. She currently works as an editor and lives in Brooklyn, New York. For more information please visit http://alloyentertainment.com/ and follow the author on Twitter




thank you to Anna at FSB Associates for the egalley, through NetGalley, for review and excerpt to post




TFIOS Exclusive Intro [@TheFaultMovie]

It's Monday morning, usually one of the least fun parts of the week . . .

But what  this Monday morning how about the John Green and Josh Boone intro to The Fault In Our Stars Extended Version to introduce you to the week?

Hope you enjoy - and don't forget TFIOS is out on Blu-ray tomorrow (when I'll have another fun TFIOS post you really don't want to miss!).




video provided by Fox and ThinkJam as part of my participation as a TFIOS Ambassador

Friday, September 12, 2014

Blood of My Blood ~ Barry Lyga (earc) review [@barrylyga @lbkids]

Blood of My Blood (Jasper Dent #3)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
September 9, 2014
480 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Synopses and my reviews for I Hunt Killers (#1) and Game (#2) - if you want to remain spoiler-free check out those posts, not this one!

Jazz Dent has been shot and left to die in New York City. His girlfriend Connie is in the clutches of Jazz's serial killer father, Billy. And his best friend Howie is bleeding to death on the floor of Jazz's own home in tiny Lobo's Nod. Somehow, these three must rise above the horrors their lives have become and find a way to come together in pursuit of Billy. But then Jazz crosses a line he's never crossed before, and soon the entire country is wondering: "Like father, like son?" Who is the true monster?

The chase is on, and beyond Billy there lurks something much, much worse. Prepare to meet...the Crow King.

What could be worse than having your father, perhaps the most notorious serial killer or the police after you? Having both your father, the serial killer and law enforcement trying to get you. Such is the situation Jasper "Jazz" Dent, son of the infamous Billy Dent, faces in Blood of My Blood

When Game, the second book in the trilogy ended, Jazz, his best friend Howie and girlfriend Connie were all in danger, perhaps mortal danger. Can they save themselves and each other?

Blood of My Blood has (at least if you ask me) a creepier cover than the previous two books and it is a great reflection of the story inside. Both of the other books had blood, murder and some squicky descriptions of both, the trilogy's conclusion pushes things even further. It is definitely an older YA novel.

Yet some of what you may not want to read, those bits that really push things, are also some of what make the book so good. It seems to all be coming together for Jazz - what being raised by a serial killer means for who he is and who Howie and Connie think he's capable of being.

Now with his dad, Billy, back in the picture, not only are they, Connie, especially, in physical danger, Jazz will have to truly confront what being Billy Dent's son means for him.

Not to mention the Crow King.

The more things come together, the clearer it is that none of them can end this on their own.  As unconventional (and unsupported) as their relationships have been, they have always been there for each other. Is that still possible or have things - and Jazz - finally gone too far.

Blood of My Blood is a terrific conclusion to the Jasper Dent trilogy. More of Jasper's past  - things hinted at in the other books - is revealed and a new light shed on some earlier events, as well. The characters, from Jazz and Howie and Connie to G William and Hughes and beyond, really shine. The action and the course the story follows really have them at some of their best.

To keep this spoiler-free, I will just say that how everything came together and was concluded was brilliant. It is not all something you see coming, fits the characters and the series very well and does both justice. Blood of My Blood is a great way to end a series and one you should absolutely read (after reading I Hunt Killers and Game, of course).




Digital copy received for review from publisher through NetGalley - thank you.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday [@bloomsburykids @trishdoller]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:
The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

Arcadia “Cadie” Wells has one primary goal in life –– to escape the sleepy Florida town where she was born and raised. Since her mother's death, she's sacrificed her boyfriend, her spot on the soccer team, and even her plans for the future to raise her little brother and help her still-grieving father. On a rare night out at a party at the local state park, Cadie meets a couple of good-looking tourists and impulsively agrees to join them on their road trip from one end of Florida to the other. But when their adventure goes tragically wrong, Cadie’s new goal is to make it home alive.

The Devil You Know will be published by Bloomsbury on June 2, 2015.

add it to your Goodreads / pre-order from Book Depo / or Amazon


I really love Trish Doller's writing and I also really like reading thrillers; now the two are combined in The Devil You Know. The few reviews already up on Goodreads make it sound really, really good, too. I can't wait to read it.


That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Link me to your post or tell me in the comments!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Of Monsters & Madness ~ Jessica Verday (earc) review [@EgmontUSA]

Of Monsters and Madness
EgmontUSA
September 9, 2014
288 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

A romantic, historical retelling of classic Gothic horror featuring Edgar Allan Poe and his character Annabel Lee, from a New York Times best-selling author.

Summoned to her father's home in 1820's Philadelphia, a girl finds herself in the midst of a rash of gruesome murders in which he might be implicated. She is torn romantically between her father's assistants-one kind and proper, one mysterious and brooding-who share a dark secret and may have more to do with the violent events than they're letting on.''

O It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

"Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe

Annabel Lee, one of Edgar Allan Poe's creations, comes to life in Jessica Verday's Of Monsters and Madness. Raised, in a faraway land, with little to no knowledge of her father, now sixteen Annabel has come to Philadelphia and her father's home.

Almost immediately upon her arrival, things are not as she had expected. Unfamiliar with how a proper lady should act and finding her family quite other than she had imagined, there is a lot of adjustment to be made. Yet, even as she tries to better understand her father and please him, his assistants and his work intrigue her.

Annabel is a really well conceived character. Not only has she grown up somewhere with quite different customs than early 19th-century Philadelphia, she has interests not common (or not commonly professed) to a girl of that time. Her interest in medicine gives Annabel something (else) that makes her different, shows a great deal about who she is in how it impacts her decisions, and facilitates some of the best parts of the story.

Despite the synopsis's mention of Annabel being 'torn romantically,' the romance in Of Monsters and Madness did not quite work. Everything seemed to happen very, very quickly. While Annabel would not be as held back by social norms as another girl, it still felt odd. The characters had little interaction and there did not seem to be that 'spark' or much chemistry between them. The 'kind and proper' character, especially, felt flat.

The connection between the two assistants seemed obvious from nearly the start. I think I would have liked this (that we 'knew' almost right away) if they - the one especially - had been more developed or there had been more of Annabel's thoughts or feelings about them. Perhaps it is because the book reminds me quite a bit of The Madman's Daughter and the 'love triangle' presented there worked much better.

Though the romance did not work for me, the friendship parts of the story were some of my favorite. While things did happen just as quickly, the characters seemed to have more interaction and there was something there that they just worked. I also liked both character enough, as well as what they brought out in each other, that I did not really care that the book's romance aspect wasn't working.

Of Monsters and Madness is an incredibly readable story. I really loved some of the characters, as well as their unique and interesting backgrounds and histories and what their stories became once woven together. The romance of Of Monsters and Madness did not work for me, but the rest of the book was entertaining and I'm eager to see what happens in the sequel. I really hope for more of Annabel's story and for one character, in particular, to once again take part.




Other books you may also enjoy: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd and Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson



digital review copy received from the publisher via NetGalley


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