30 Apr 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (2): Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book

(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. To join in on this weekly meme, visit the blog here)

Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Made Me Buy/Pick Up A Book

As a big impulse book-buyer, this should be an easy list for me to create. So here goes:

'Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian/Apocalyptic' - I fell in love with this genre the second it was introduced to me, so if anyone tells me a book is dystopian or (post-)apocalytic, then I don't think twice. It all started, unsurprisingly, with The Hunger Games. I admit it wasn't until the movie was announced that I truly paid attention to the book and discovered the genre of post-apocalyptics. They just feel so real and 9.9 times out of 10, I enjoy them.
Some of my favourites: Divergent series by Veronica Roth, Legend by Marie Lu, Yesterday by C.K. Kelly Armstrong

'Paranormal' - Vamps, werewolves, fey, shapeshifters. You name it, I'm in.
A few of my favourites: The Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare, Iron Fey series and Blood of Eden series by Julie Kagawa.

'Fairy-tale re-telling' - Who doesn't love fairy tales? One of my favourite things with fairy-tale retellings is comparing the re-telling to the original tale and seeing the changes and twists the author created to make the stories their own.
A few of my favourites in this genre: Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor.

'Characters with unique powers' - Not witches, per se, but I do love those too, any characters with an inhuman ability intrigues me. Do one or more of the characters have special and unique powers that make them inhuman? Can they control the weather, blast ice from their fingers, or have premonitions? Yes? Then I'm sold. Generally this genre ties into the paranormal and the character is alien or part-something that gives them these powers (fey, angel, etc), but sometimes they are just unique/were experimented on. Either way, I love love love it.
A few of my favourites: Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi, Frostbite by Lynn Rush (release date: September 17, 2013), Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

'Fantasy - Dragons/Medieval/Castles/Kingdoms/Magic' - Any book with one or more of these incorporated into them are ones I will pick up off a shelf. Fantasy is my absolute favourite genre, and one I have loved since forever.
A few of my favourites: Tamora Pierce's 'Tortall' novels, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, Legacy trilogy by Cayla Kluver, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

'Similar to/For fans of [a book/series I loved]' - This is probably an obvious one, but I'm using it anyway. If you tell me a book is similar to one of my favourites, I will check it out. Simple as that. It's how I've discovered most of my favourites in the first place.
For example: The Hunger Games led to me Divergent and Legend and Shatter Me and a long, long list of books.

'"I really loved this book/some other compliment" - says one of my favourite authors' - If I see a quote and the name of an author I love of on the cover of a book, I will take the book a lot more seriously. I love what the author has written, so I trust their opinions on other books enough to give them a try. So far this has done me no harm.
Examples: Marie Lu's a quote on Taken by Erin Bowman, Cassandra Clare's quote on Claudia Gray's Fateful -- admittedly I've yet to read both of these, but they are the two books closest to me and I'm not going through my entire shelf, haha.

One-word titles - For a reason unknown, books with a single word as the title draw me to them. I don't buy these titles without question, but they are the ones I will pick up off the shelf to read the blurb of when I'm browsing.

'Love-triangle' - Yep, these are my guilty pleasure. Of course I like there to be more to a story than just the romance bit, but if the blurb on the back mentions a character and two love interests, it's a quick sell for me. They're just fin complications, and I don't mind that they're overdone in YA books. Of course, most of the time I end up rooting for the one person the main character doesn't choose, but there you have it.

'Mythology' - Done. Sold. Instant buy. I love mythology; it was my favourite thing we ever covered in my English classes (oh, how I don't miss school, though). Greek, Roman, Egyptian, etc. Love. It. Of course, Greek Mythology seems to be everywhere, but I love the others, too. In fact, if anyone knows of any novels/series that incorporate mythology that isn't Greek-derived, I am very open to recommendations. Egyptian especially.
Some favourites: Rick Riordian's novels (though I've not read them all, but I do own them and bought them without question), The Goddess Test series by Aimee Carter, and for some reason I'm drawing a blank, so moving on...

And that's it. There's my top ten words/topics that instant make my buy or pick up a book.
I've probably forgotten a few, but I've reached my ten so I'll leave it at that.
And of course, I'm curious: how about you guys? Link me to your TTT - I want to see the similarities in our lists (and differences!) :D
And of course, I'll return all comment love <3

28 Apr 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (5)

(It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly blog meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. Each Monday participating blogs post about which books we are currently reading and our reading plans for the week. You can sign up at Book Journey by clicking here)

Last week I finished:

Yesterday by C.K. Kelly Martin.
I posted a review yesterday (ha-ha), which you can read here.
I really enjoyed this book and rated it 4/5 stars, and I'm looking very much forward to the sequel. Anyone who loves action- and adventure-filled apocalyptics/post-apocalyptics/dystopias will enjoy this one.

It was not a productive reading week, I'll be honest, but I'm midway through Scrap by Emory Sharplin (e-galley), which I am enjoying immensely -- fans of Tamora Pierce's novels and Morgan Rhodes' Falling Kingdoms will love this one!.

Apart from Scrap, this week I plan to read:

Ironskin by Tina Connolly

Steampunk Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast is the best way to describe this novel (the first in a steampunk fantasy series). I started this last night and so far it's great. I've never read Jane Eyre and I don't see myself ever doing so (just never been a fan of the 'classics' - fought my way halfway through Pride and Prejudice before giving up entirely), but for those like me, I can assure you it is not necessary. It's the steampunk fantasy parts that drew me to it.
Expect a review on this one for sure.

Click for Goodreads blurb.

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau (e-galley)
I plan to read this one once I finish Scrap. The Testing is due out June 4th and sounds really interesting:

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.

So I'm hoping this week will be more productive than last, especially since I really need to start making a dent in my TBR pile. The fact that I buy a few books a week certainly doesn't help! It's a disease, I tell you. But not one I want cured.

So what are you all reading this week?
And if you've read any of the above, let me know! I'd love to hear your thoughts (the non-spoilery ones, of course). Leave me your link to your IMWAYR in the comments and I'll be sure to return the comment love <3

Review: Yesterday

Title: Yesterday
Series: Yesterday
Placement in Series: 1/?
Author: C.K. Kelly Martin
Format: Hardcover
THEN: The formation of the UNA, the high threat of eco-terrorism, the mammoth rates of unemployment and subsequent escape into a world of virtual reality are things any student can read about in their 21st century textbooks and part of the normal background noise to Freya Kallas's life. Until that world starts to crumble.

NOW: It's 1985. Freya Kallas has just moved across the world and into a new life. On the outside, she fits in at her new high school, but Freya feels nothing but removed. Her mother blames it on the grief over her father's death, but how does that explain the headaches and why do her memories feel so foggy? When Freya lays eyes on Garren Lowe, she can't get him out of her head. She's sure that she knows him, despite his insistence that they've never met. As Freya follows her instincts and pushes towards hidden truths, the two of them unveil a strange and dangerous world where their days may be numbered. Unsure who to trust, Freya and Garren go on the run from powerful forces determined to tear them apart and keep them from discovering the truth about their shared pasts (and futures), her visions, and the time and place they really came from.
(Only slightly spoiler-y -- nothing that would ruin the book or anything major with the plot, I promise)

A mix of time-travel sci-fi, apocalyptic, and Canada (!!!!), Yesterday by C.K. Kelly Martin was a fascinating read. It opens up with a prologue that pulls the reader right into the action, with the main character, (futuristic) Freya, in serious distress (her brother has just been taken from her through sickness, and she is being taken somewhere unknown with her mother for protection).
The book then takes us to the life of 1985 Freya, who has just moved from Australia to Canada to start over after her father died. Except nothing feels right to Freya; she has all of these memories from her past, but feels no connection to them. Then on a trip to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum, for all of you non-Canadians/Torontonians/GTA'ers), she catches sight of someone who seems very familiar to her, someone who she is sure she knows, but cannot place her finger on how or why or from where.

The first few chapters take us through Freya's mind, as she seemingly becomes crazier and crazier - getting headaches, passing out, stalking a familiar-looking guy... But once she musters up the courage to confront the guy, things take a tail-spin downhill as Freya is forced to go on the run just as everything is finally clicking into place.

I found myself pulled so far into the book that one minute I would look at my clock and it would be 11pm (I'm a night reader), and what would feel like only a few minutes later I would look again and it would be past 2am (I didn't mean to be a morning reader!). The action and suspense of Yesterday dragged me in. Though I was certain I knew what had happened to Freya (I don't think it was supposed to be much of a secret to the reader), I found myself gripping the pages wanting to know what would happen to Freya, how she would remember, if she would remember, and how she would convince Garren (the aforementioned familiar-seeming guy) what she felt was true.

This book was an interesting mix of suspense and action and mystery, with just the right amount of romance. Yes, there is romance (Of course!). The relationship between Garren and Freya is gradual, which made it entirely believeable (no insta-love here!). And a nice plus for those of you sick of romance in YA - it far from overshadows the rest of the story. Natural, gradual relationships are always the best (and most believeable), and Yesterday has just that (because let's be honest: who doesn't want a little - or a lot of - romance in their reads?).

What I found most interesting was the future C.K. Kelly Martin dreamed up for this book. It is not until the midpoint of Yesterday where the reader finally learns (and Freya remembers) where she came from. While it is all thrust upon the reader at once, I enjoyed the few pages of world-building. They were well-written and intriguing, and since they were thrust upon Freya, it made sense they were thus thrust upon the reader. I have seen reviews where other readers did not enjoy the dumping of information all at once, but I found no issue with it, for it made sense with the story. The future world the author built seemed entirely realistic (although I pictured this future being a lot more far off then under eighty years, but you never know!) and threatening, which is what I love when it comes to dystopias and (post-)apocalyptics.

There is one small thing I want to mention/point out that really impressed/pleased me with this book. One character (Garren) has two moms (married to each other), and it was written in in the best way. There was no special mention, no paragraph or anything about how this was unnatural to some or anything. It just was. He has two moms and Freya and every other character accepted it without question. I admit I was waiting for the paragraph I assumed would follow the mention of his moms to say something about the fact that he has no dad or how this happened or anything (especially considering that part of the book took place in what used to be the USA before the UNA-United Nations of America) was formed, and gay marriage is still not legal/accepted everywhere in the States yet. If there's one thing we can hope the future takes from this book, it's that amount of acceptance. And I just wanted to point that out because I thought it was awesome.

And of course I have to add in a little bit about the book taking place so close to where I was born, raised, and still live. I have read some books that take place in Canada, but this is the only I've read that's taken place so close. And even though I did not exist in 1985, it was fun reading about street names and subway stations and places (Eaton Centre and The ROM most specifically) I've been to/know of. That's something I'll miss when it comes to the sequel (date TBA, title: Tomorrow).

Rating: 4/5
I recommend this book for: Highly recommended for those of you who love action, sci-fi, and apocalyptics. Heck, even if you only like 2/3 of those elements.

Where you can buy this book:

In Canada:

In the USA:
Barnes and Noble

Book Depository (free shipping world-wide)
For your e-reader:

27 Apr 2013

Stacking the Shelves (3)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where book bloggers share the books they've added to their shelves this week (physical or electronic).

These are the books I've added to my collection this week...

Purchased from the bookstore:

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

A customer recommended this series to me a while ago, and I finally picked it up, enouraged by my staff discount and the fact that the hardcover had gone on bargain for $7.99
Um, yes, please!

Arclight (Arclight #1) by Josin L. McQuein

No one crosses the wall of light . . . except for one girl who doesn’t remember who she is, where she came from, or how she survived. A harrowing, powerful debut thriller about finding yourself and protecting your future—no matter how short and uncertain it may be.

The Arclight is the last defense. The Fade can’t get in. Outside the Arclight’s border of high-powered beams is the Dark. And between the Light and the Dark is the Grey, a narrow, barren no-man’s-land. That’s where the rescue team finds Marina, a lone teenage girl with no memory of the horrors she faced or the family she lost. Marina is the only person who has ever survived an encounter with the Fade. She’s the first hope humanity has had in generations, but she could also be the catalyst for their final destruction. Because the Fade will stop at nothing to get her back. Marina knows it. Tobin, who’s determined to take his revenge on the Fade, knows it. Anne-Marie, who just wishes it were all over, knows it.

When one of the Fade infiltrates the Arclight and Marina recognizes it, she will begin to unlock secrets she didn’t even know she had. Who will Marina become? Who can she never be again?

To be honest with you, I had decided to buy this book on impulse right when I saw the cover. I looked at it and my first thoughts were: "That's a teen book. I want to read it because teen book. OMG WHAT A PRETTY COVER". So as you can see, my first impression was clearly an intelligent basis for why I bought this book. But then I read the blurb and I was double-sold. But seriously, guys, if you ever see this book in person, you will understand my fascination with the cover. Pure cover porn!

Taken (Taken #1) by Erin Bowman

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

Via Netgalley:

True by Erin McCarthy

When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.

Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…

Release Date: May 7, 2013

Fyrelocke: Jack Boomershine and the Prophecy Untold by R. Christopher Kobb

In a cave, deep within the cliffs of Brighton, lies a curious stone. No ordinary rock, the Fyrelocke has a dark and intricate past.

Twelve-year-old inventor Jack Boomershine believes it a practical joke when a mysterious text message directs him to it. But finding this powerful stone sets in motion an entangled clockwork of events that draws him ever deeper into an adventure in which his inventions are useless.

As things spin out of control, Jack must find his way through a hidden world of magic with vehicles that fly themselves, a telepathic creature—and an ancient evil with an unfathomable plan, determined to ensnare Jack in it.

Sounds like a fun and adventurous read for younger teens (and those like me who don't care about the target audience, but love an interesting read).
Release date: May 24, 2013

Very excited to read all of the above :D

What books did you guys all get this week?

23 Apr 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (1): Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like MORE/LESS Than I Did

(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. To join in on this weekly meme, visit the blog here)

Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like MORE/LESS Than I Did

I'm excited to be joining in on this meme, and I like that I'm starting out with this topic! I'll start with the negative, so bare with me.

The books I enjoyed less than I thought I would...

Beautiful Creatures (and the entire Caster Chronicles series) by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia.

I like the idea of this book, but the writing wasn't there. There was too much description where there didn't need to be, and the books were so slow-moving it felt like nothing even happened. Add that to endings that were virtually the same "cliff-hanger" for each book (except the last), and *yawn*

Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld

This whole series, again, was a huge disappointment. The first book was decent, but this series had so much potential! It could have been an adventurous and inspiring book where the main character and everyone in the society/world realised that looks were not everyone, so surgery was completely unnecessary and just something the government stuck in everyone's mind to make them all mindless identical drones, but instead the series was about how much of a special snowflake the main character was, when for me she was unlikeable (but not more so than her best friend Shay) and annoying, and her ability to evade the brain modifications was never really explained.

The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

This is turning into series I liked less than I thought I would instead of books, haha.
And yes, I had to do it, guys. With the hype this series was getting back before all of the books were out, I had to check it out (my friends in the outernet would not shut up about this series, after all). Interesting story, but the writing and characters just put this on my thumbs down list. I used the Breaking Dawn cover because it was the book of the series that angered me most. Talk about a cop-out ending (build-up to a vampire war that's stopped with one's power to shield everyone? Boring!).

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Borrowed this one from a friend back in university, and reading it put me into the worst reading slump of my entire life (I didn't read anything for several, depressing months afterward). I couldn't finish this book. The writing was dull, the plot boring, and man, did it drag. It went from an interesting idea (my reaction to the book's blurb) to me not caring about any of the characters. And when a friend later told me how it ended, I am glad I never wasted more time reading it, because like my friend said, it would have made me angry, and I was happy just not caring.

Immortal City by Scott Speer

A book where angels are celebrities and humans pay for their guardianship? This idea sounded great and I was expecting to enjoy this fluff read. But I didn't. The writing was seriously lacking and the characters were flat. I tried giving the sequel a chance and couldn't make it more than 50 pages in. So this one makes it onto this list, regrettably.

The books I enjoyed more than had I expected to...

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This one had been recommended to me like crazy, but me, not being much of a sci-fi reader (at the time), was apprehensive. However, the premise was cool (a cyborg Cinderella?), and so I finally picked it up. And loved every second of it. The rest of the series too is great, and this book is the one that made me realise I can enjoy sci-fi.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The first book in a vampiric dystopia by the author of another series I thoroughly enjoyed, The Immortal Rules caught my eye. I was hesitant, however, because while I love dystopias, I thought I was done with vampires. Julie Kagawa changed my mind on that one, because this book is amazing! And the sequel? Even better (and it comes out at the end of this month!). If you haven't given this series a shot yet, I highly suggest you do, even if you think you're done with vampires and dystopias. It was an easy 5/5 stars from me.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

What can I say? After my experience with her Twilight Saga, I just did not have high hopes for this book at all. But my mom bought it back when it was still available in hard cover, and with the movie having been announced, I figured I might as well give it a shot. And this book is one of my favourites I have read this year so far. Meyer's writing has improved immensely, and the characters were actually likeable. She's supposed to be writing sequels, but I'd be cool if this were the only one as well. Funny enough, as much as I enjoyed this one and she impressed me with it, I'm hesitant about the sequel. We'll see!

The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner

I knew I would enjoy this series, I just did not think I would like it as much as I did. When it came around to the second book and I began hating a main character with all my being, I was terrified the protagonist would end up forgiving the character. But when the main character stayed as adamant about that character as I did, it was such a relief. That's just one small element as to why I enjoyed this series so much, but I felt the need to point it out (vaguely so as not to spoil anything for anyone who has yet to read this series -- which you should totally do, like right now). I still need to read the prequel, but I will get to that one. Eventually.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

"What? She didn't expect to enjoy Harry Potter? Huh?"
If that's what you're thinking, then I am sitting here with a knowing smirk. I know, right? But I did not expect to enjoy this series even one tenth as much as I did. Back in 6th grade, a friend of mine would not shut up about this series (I believe PoA was out by then - in hardcover, but not GoF had not even been released). So what did I do? I turned my 'I'm-not-going-to-read-or-even-like-a-book-that-has-so-much-hype-for-the-pure-reason-of-I-don't-even-know' defences and refused to read the books. Until about a month or so later when my mom bought the first two books through a Scholastic book order for my brother (because there was a train on front and my brother liked trains). So while my brother read Philosopher's Stone, I was like well all right. I'll read Chamber of Secrets. AND IT FRUSTRATES ME TO NO END THAT I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE READING THE BOOKS IN ORDER FOR THE FIRST TIME! I should have told my friend Meriam way back when that I wanted to borrow her copy of the first book so that I could have that experience! My one real regret in life, guys, was not picking up this series when it was first recommended to me. And reading it in order. It hurts, guys. It hurts.

So those are the books I thought I'd like more/less than I did.
Thoughts? Concerns? And which books did you guys choose for this week's Top Ten Tuesday?
I'm loving this meme already!

21 Apr 2013

It's Monday! What are You Reading? (4)

(It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly blog meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. Each Monday participating blogs post about which books we are currently reading and our reading plans for the week. You can sign up at Book Journey by clicking here)

Last week I finished:

Homo by Michael Harris - It was not one I planned ahead to read, but I wanted to give it a try. Contemporaries are not my favourite genre; they need fabulous writing and a kicking plot line to keep me interested, or a twist (some fantasy/sci-fi element that makes them not 100% contemporary). Homo was an LGBT contemporary that I neither liked nor disliked. It was good and I did enjoy reading it, I just felt like not much happened. I really prefer to have my contemporaries include a second non-contemp genre, and with the lack of depth in characters and plot, I found it okay. I gave it 3/5 on Goodreads. It had enough to keep me reading; never once did I want to stop reading, so that's something.

I guess that's all I read last week.
I have less than 100 pages left in Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

And I tried to read Natural Born Angel (Immortal City #2) by Scott Speer, but I just couldn't do it, guys. I don't want to bash the book, but if you want to know why I had to stop 50 pages in when I usually force myself to read even the worst books (especially if it's in the middle of a series), you can see what I wrote on Goodreads here.

This week I am reading:

Scrap (netgalley e-arc) by Emory Harplin
On the brutal streets of Hellip, a village in the vast empire of the cruel King Ibis, you either become good at running from the king’s Blackcoats or you die. This is the lesson that twelve-year-old Tucker Scrap, abandoned as an infant among the orphans of Hellip, learned early. Along with her friends Ash and Kally, Tucker spends her time keeping one step ahead of the unjust laws, stealing what she needs to survive, and pondering her own unknown origins—and those of the enchanted bracelet with which she was found... (click for full description)

I love fantasy, so I'm already loving Scrap. I like the way Emily Harplin writes, and I already love the character Ash, who I've only just met in the novel (which frightens me because the blurb says he disappears *cries*). Excited to see where it goes!

Yesterday by C.K. Kelly Martin
THEN: The formation of the UNA, the high threat of eco-terrorism, the mammoth rates of unemployment and subsequent escape into a world of virtual reality are things any student can read about in their 21st century textbooks and part of the normal background noise to Freya Kallas's life. Until that world starts to crumble.

NOW: It's 1985. Freya Kallas has just moved across the world and into a new life. On the outside, she fits in at her new high school, but Freya feels nothing but removed. Her mother blames it on the grief over her father's death, but how does that explain the headaches and why do her memories feel so foggy?... (click for full description)

I've realised I cannot read two books of similar genres at once or I will get them mixed up, so I've chosen to read a post-apocalyptic sci-fi/contemporary (can it still be classified as contemp if the time travel is between the '80's and the post-apocalyptic future? haha).

I realise last week I was reading Jennifer L. Armentrout's Opal (Lux #3) but have not included it in the above. I have less than 100 pages left to read and hope to finish it the night I am writing this post (Sunday night) so I don't want to say I'm reading it if I finish it and I don't want to say I've finished if I don't manage to read it tonight. Consider me "unofficially" finished.

So how about you guys? What are you reading this week?
And if you've read any of the above (specifically Yesterday since it's already out), let me know what you thought of them (holding back the spoilers, of course). :)

Happy reading!

20 Apr 2013

Stacking the Shelves (2)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where book bloggers share the books they've added to their shelves this week (physical or electronic).

These are the books I've added to my collection this week...

Purchased from the bookstore:

Angel Burn (Angel #1) by L.A. Weatherly

   "Willow knows she's different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people's dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. she has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself does. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces and that he's one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil."
Angel Fire (Angel #2) by L.A. Weatherly

And that's it for this week. No new e-books for me, just two lovely hardcover books I managed to get from the bargain shelf at my local bookstore.
Book 3 of this series, Angel Fever, is out November 12th, 2013, so I'll be reading these two sometime before then.
I almost didn't have any new books this week, but last night my mom asked me if I wanted to do something dangerous. I guess going to the bookstore with a credit card, but I guess I was close, because we did end up at the bookstore, haha.

Have any of you read the Angel series by L.A. Weatherly? They sound pretty interesting, and I do love the paranormal, so we'll see how these turn out :)

18 Apr 2013

Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Eternity Cure
Series: Blood of Eden series
Placement in Series: Book 2/3
Author: Julie Kagawa

Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

This book is one of those books which was just so good I want to give you all copies and sit and watch you read it while trying to remain expressionless, but really I will be sitting next to you hitting your arm and saying with wide, crazy-eyes: "I KNOW, right?! THAT part!"

But I'm going to try to get my thoughts out on this book in a slightly more coherent way, because you all need to read this book. Because you just do.

If you have yet to read the first book in the Blood of Eden series (The Immortal Rules) by Julie Kagawa, I suggest you do that first if you want both my review and the book itself to make any sense. You can read my review on The Immortal Rules here.

(Note: The following has very few spoilers.

What I liked about The Eternity Cure:
Once again Julie Kagawa's writing continues to amaze me. I seem to forget each time I open one of her books just how visually descriptive and real her writing is, then I start reading and it's like eating a perfectly baked fudgey brownie after months of not having any (I really like brownies and I'm hungry, okay? No judging). It's descriptive without being too descriptive, and the action scenes (which there are a lot of) are perfect. She makes you feel like you're there (though you might not always want to be, based on some of the things that happen and what the characters are seeing!) and are a part of the action.

What I did not like about The Eternity Cure:
The fact that I have to wait a year from now for the next book. Seriously, I have zero complaints about this book.

What I loved about The Eternity Cure:
Jackal! And the plot itself. Without spoiling too much, I will say this: The Eternity Cure starts not too long after where The Immortal Rules ends, and Allie, now a vampire who should not be able to dream, keeps having 'dreams' about her sire, Kanin. He is in trouble, and so she sets out to find him, following the bond that connects them. But when she finally reaches her destination, what she finds is far from what she expects! She stumbles upon Jackal, her vampire 'brother' whom she faced off against in the last book (and nearly did not make it). He requests her help in finding Kanin, whom Jackal is also searching for, and they set off to find their sire, putting aside their differences (or not really, based on the massive amounts of humourous - at least to me - bickering that is exchanged between them).
On their journey to find Kanin, we discover a bit more about Jackal (and in my case, start to fall in love with him - he is just too entertaining, despite how incredibly evil he can be) and even meet up with a few figures from Allie's past.
Also, a new string of the Red Virus has broken out and it affects not only humans, but threatens the vampire population as well.

The book is full of plot twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat (or at least sitting up in my bed clutching my Kobo), and just when you think everything is fine and phew, we can relax now... Nope! Julie Kagawa rips that chair right out from behind you and leaves you slamming hard onto your backside on the floor. And I loved every second of it.

You see a lot of Allie's development as a person (er, can we still call a vampire a person?) and a vampire in The Eternity Cure, and some shocking development in a few other characters (whom I will not mention because spoilers) as well.

The reappearance of Jackal was one of the best things to happen to this book. He is annoying and hilarious and sassy, and even though he did many unforgiveable things in The Immortal Rules, I could not help but like him in a very different way from the rest of the characters. I want to say more, but I know it will count as a spoilers, so I will just leave it at that. All I will add is this: more Jackal, please!

Rating: 5/5
I recommend this book for: Anyone over the age of 15 (some violence/language/themes that might not be suitable for younger readers) who has read The Immortal Rules (why read the sequel without first reading the book that started it all?)

Where you can buy this book:

In Canada:

In the USA:
Barnes and Noble


For your e-reader:

15 Apr 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #3

(It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly blog meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. Each Monday participating blogs post about which books we are currently reading and our reading plans for the week. You can sign up at Book Journey by clicking here)

Last week I finished:

Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I am going to do a full series review on this one, so look out for that sometime after I finish Opal.

Frostbite (Touch of Frost #1) by Lynn Rush (e-arc). This book is not out until fall, so expect a review closer to the release date. I will tell you this: ah-may-zing. Such a great book. I can't wait to share my review with you all. Definitely one I will be buying once it's out!

This week I am reading...

Opal (Lux #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
     I started this one last week but I'm not too far into it yet. I was focusing more on completing Frostbite (and reading two books simultaneously with similar-ish themes was causing me to mix up a few things, oops!) but I'll be picking this one back up tonight! Terrified and excited to see how this series ends. I know I'll miss Daemon either way. ;)

     If you read my review on the first book in the Immortal City series by Scott Speer (if not you can do so here), you'll know I wasn't the biggest fan of the book. However, the plot remained interesting enough for me to want to know how the second book plays out (and if the writing improves and if we get more background into the protagonists friendship with her bestie, beecause boy, did their compatibility baffle me). This book is not out until April 23rd, but I procured a copy from netgalley. Look out for a review on this sequel in a future post. Hopefully it does not disappoint!

What are you guys reading this week?

14 Apr 2013

Stacking the Shelves (1)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where book bloggers share the books they've added to their shelves this week (physical or electronic).

Well, I figured it was about time I joined in on this meme. I picked up a few more books to add to my overflowing bookshelf (I really need to invest in a second one). They are:

Purchased From Bookstore:

Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers #1) by Michelle Rowan

Cinders and Sapphires (At Somerton #1) by Leila Rasheed

Via Netgalley:
Scrap by Emory Sharplin

That makes five books total this week if you include the book haul I did earlier in the week. (All book hauls will now be Stacking the Shelves posts from hereon out simple because it's a lot more fun to participate in a  meme with all of the other book bloggers out there - and it is a much more organised way of doing so).

What books did you buy this week?
Have you read any of the above titles? Let me know what you thought of them - I haven't heard much buzz about either, but they both sound pretty interesting. Here's hoping they're inpulse buys that pay off :)

10 Apr 2013

Book Haul #4: Branching Out

It has been a while since I have done one of these! The hiatus had a lot to do with it (also because every time I tried filming one of these, my camera battery would die, so I think I have given up on video blogging these for the time being).

Earlier in the week I picked up two non-YA titles from work:

Angelopolis (Angelology #2) by Danielle Trussoni
I feel kind of silly because I went and bought the second book (knowing it is the sequel) to this series without first having Angelology, however my bookstore did not have Angelology in stock (okay, they did have one copy, but the corner edge of the cover was slightly bent) so I ordered it online in hardcover.

It seems the Angelology cover format is different from Angelopolis, so I will have the paperback of this one and the hardcover of Angelology on my shelf and I guess I'll just have to deal with that...
Anyway, this series sounds interesting. It's a little outside of what I usually read, specifically it's an 'adult fiction' series and not YA. Hopefully I like it. I mean, it sounds really interesting and I'm usually right (with the exception of a select few books I've made the unfortunate decision to buy), so we'll see.

The plot involves nephilim, which I except will be written different than those I enjoy of Cassandra Clare's, but it sounds like something I will enjoy and Angelopolis is currently a best-seller at the bookstore company I work for, so it had that going for it.
It will probably be a while before I get to these.

Cold Magic (The Spiritwalker Trilogy) by Kate Elliott

I have officially ventured into the heavy sci-fi/fantasy world by picking this one up. Especially since it sounds to be an intriguing mix of both sci-fi and fantasy (or at least science and fantasy, which I know isn't technically the same). I am very proud of myself to have made this venture (I mean, I own the Song of Ice and Fire novels, though I've yet to read them - hey, don't judge! Have you seen my to-be-read pile? Maybe I will do a tour of it next week. Let me know if the comments if you'd like to see that).

Excited to read this one, since it is right up my alley. The paperback I picked up is currently selling at 4.99 at my work, so I couldn't resist picking this up, and I think I'll dive into it sooner than I'd originally planned.

So those are the only two (three if you count the online order of Angelology) books I picked up this week. I've been trying to keep my book-buying to a minimum (I don't even want to think about how much I've spent on books since I got this bookstore job - it's amazing what a little discount can do to ease the money-spending conscience! Haha!).

Have you read any of the above series? If so, what did you think of them?
Even though I've dubbed this blog a YA and NA review blog, there might be a review of either of these two in the future (most likely Cold Magic), so keep an eye out for those.

8 Apr 2013

It's Monday! (#2) Here is What I am Reading

(It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly blog meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. Each Monday participating blogs post about which books we are currently reading and our reading plans for the week. You can sign up at Book Journey by clicking here)

This week I am reading...

Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I started this one last week, but put it on hold while I read another book, and I'm excited to get back to this series!

I am also starting to read...
Frostbite (Touch of Frost #1) by Lynn Rush
Format: e-arc
Amanda gives a whole new meaning to cool…

Amanda Smith is sick of getting chased from town-to-town. So when she lands in tiny Trifle, Arizona, she hopes it’s her last move for a long time. Despite hating the smallness of the town, she settles in and finds a best friend, and even a boyfriend. Normality at its finest.

But for a girl who can shoot snow from her hands and lift a two-ton truck over her head like a bag of feathers—normal is not an option.

The scientists who murdered her mother come barreling into Amanda’s quiet life. She must decide if she’ll run again or stay and fight. The price of either choice might be her life or the lives of those she’s come to love…

I am intrigued to start this one! Once I have finished it, I will not be posting a review until much closer to the release date. Frostbite is due to be released September 17th, 2013.

As for next week, I have not yet thought that far ahead, but more than likely I will pick up the final book in the Lux series (Opal) by Jennifer L. Armentrout.
I am open to suggestions, however, and if you want to take a look at my to-read/own shelf on my goodreads account (see it here) and see something you'd like me to read next, leave the title in the comments below!

5 Apr 2013

Cover Reveal: The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

Earlier today Hollywood Crush of MTV.com announced the official cover reveal of book two in the Call of the Forgotten series (and book six of the Iron Fey series).

After reading The Iron Fey series last year, Julie Kagawa quickly became one of my favourite authors (I also love her vampire dystopian series, Blood of Eden, which I highly recommend. You might think you're done with dystopians and with vampires, but you won't be once you start The Immortal Rules!).
When The Iron Fey series 'ended' with Iron Knight, I, along with many other members of the Iron Army (the self-dubbed fandom name of readers of the Iron Fey series), didn't want it to end.

And the Iron Army was luckily and happily resurrected when Julie Kagawa announced that she would be continuing the series with new books featuring Meghan Chase's younger brother, Ethan Chase.

The first book, The Lost Prince, of the new series, Call of the Forgotten, was released fall of last year. It was, in my strong opinion, amazing, and I, along with the rest of the Iron Army, am anxiously awaiting the second book, The Iron Traitor (originally called The Traitor Son).

There is not yet a description released for The Iron Traitor, but you can see the cover in all of its gorgeousness (and sexiness!) by visiting hollywoodcrush.mtv.com's exclusive cover reveal post here.

Go on. This post will be waiting when you get back...




Was anyone else expecting to see Ethan and not Keirran?
I for one and super stoked that they chose to go with Keirran on the cover, even though the books are not told from his perspective. I am jumping-up-and-down-in-my-chair excited to read this book (and also terrified - traitor son/iron traitor? Julie Kagawa, what do you have in store for us??)

The Iron Traitor comes out in November 2013, so there is still a few months' wait. Why not check out Julie Kagawa's other series, Blood of Eden, while you're waiting? (If you haven't already) The Immortal Rules is already out and the second book, The Eternity Cure, will be out May 1st. Check out my review of The Immortal Rules here. And look out in the near future for a review of Eternity Cure. I'm more than halfway through and it is great!

So what do you guys think of the reveal?
And hmm... What do you think?
Ethan? or Keirran?

The Iron Traitor cover looks a lot more similar to the original Iron Fey series covers, don't you think? Lost Prince's is too, of course, but the placement of the title reminds me a lot more of the Iron Fey series. I like it.

4 Apr 2013

Wasteland by Lynn Rush

Title: Wasteland
Series: The Wasteland Trilogy
Placement in Series: Book 1/3
Author: Lynn Rush
Bound by the blood contract his human mother signed four centuries ago, half-demon, David Sadler, must obey his demonic Master's order to capture fifteen-year-old Jessica Hanks. But as he learns more about her, he realizes she may be the key to freedom from his dark enslavement.The only obstacle-Jessica's distractingly beautiful Guardian, Rebeka Abbott. He must not give in to their steamy chemistry, or he will lose his humanity. But fresh off a quarter millennia of sensory deprivation as punishment for not retrieving his last target, he may not be able to resist temptation long enough to save what's left of his human soul.

This book was unlike anything I've ever read. I meant to read it a lot sooner than I did, but it had been sitting on my Kobo e-reader (which I tend to forget I own and have books on -- oops!) for months. Finally, obviously, I picked it up, and of course, I am glad I did! I have been following Lynn Rush on her Twitter and Facebook and her blog, and participated in many of her #GetRushed parties (you guys should really check them out! I've discovered lots of great authors by doing so, and heard of even more intriguing books!), and she's great fun to interact with. But enough about that - let's get to the book!
(Caution: This review is slightly spoilery. If you are like me and don't like even hints at what happens, you might want to come back after you read this book. Which you should totally do. Read this book. And then come back ;) )

What I liked about Wasteland:
The plot was really intriguing. Like I said, Wasteland is unlike anything I'd ever read before. A half-demon bound by contract to his Master, forced to retrieve his Mark (humans Master wants to make demons), and if he fails, he is subjected to centuries of torture? Definitely unique, which was refreshing. David, the complicated half-demon, was also very well-written. Even though I had no idea where the story was going to take me, I was confident enough in David to stick with him. The way his character was written made me feel like I was inside his mind, feeling what he felt, hearing/seeing/touching what he heard/saw/felt. And I was certainly rooting for him all of the way.

What I did not like about Wasteland:
There were a few parts in the writing where I felt more could have been added. I came across a few scenes throught the first half of the book that made me feel I missed a page, because one moment we're in David's head, and the next he's slashing a demon without any textual indication that demons were there. Some things happened a little too fast that I had to back up to make sure I did not miss a paragraph or skip a page on my e-reader.

There were also some certain character choices (as in choices the characters made) that frustrated me a little, and this is just me shaking my finger at the characters themselves. Most specifically (and my only point for this matter, actually) whenever Beka and David went off to have their 'sexy times', the timing was not always the most appropriate. I mean, I understand that they were both deprived, but come on guys, your friend is dying and needs your help! Not so much a negative point against the book as a 'really, characters?'

What I loved about Wasteland:
I think my favourite part about this book were the characters, especially how they interacted with one-another. I want to say Beka and David were my favourite pair, but there was always a smile on my face when it came to the David and Russel scenes. I'd love to read more about these two, because I feel they will be good friends (and it was always a laugh seeing David get irritated with Russel calling David his King).
I would love to read more about Jessica, as well. I felt almost as if Beka and David are her parents, the way they care for her, and it was the sweetest thing. It was refreshing to read about a main character, also, who wasn't fighting for his life to save the woman he loved romantically. He fought with her and saw her as an equal (which I cannot say for all books, and loved every minute of it in Wasteland!) as they tried to save Jessica together. Beka's strength as a character was great as well. Even when David tried telling her no, you have to stay behind, she stood her ground (or air, if they were flying ;) ).

I also really enjoyed the action-packed fight scenes! They were so vividly written I was cringing whenever weapons struck flesh (whether or not I knew that flesh would heal quickly) and doing my best not to skip ahead to make sure all of the characters came out of it okay (and felt strongly for them when they did not).

I can't wait to read the rest of this trilogy. All I know about it is that the next two books involve different main characters. I'm excited to meet them, although I'm going to miss David and Beka.

Overall, interesting story with some great characters whom I will miss if they do not make appearances in the next two books. Man, though, Beka and David need to sort out some of their priorities ;) I mean I know they had both been sexually-deprived for centuries, but there are times (like when the person they are supposed to be protecting is dying and time is of the essence) when it is not the time for sexy times, haha.

Anyway, I look forward to reading the rest of this series, and I do recommend this book to all of you (who are of the maturity level and can handle the more NA scenes).

wasteland rating: 3.5/5

Have you read Wasteland yet? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Caution: Comments may include spoilers.

Where you can buy this book:

In Canada:
(see Kobo)

In the USA:
Barnes and Noble


For your e-reader:

1 Apr 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #1

(It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly blog meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. Each Monday participating blogs post about which books we are currently reading and our reading plans for the week. You can sign up at Book Journey by clicking here)

This week I am reading...

Wasteland by Lynn Rush (Wasteland #1)

Bound by the blood contract his human mother signed four centuries ago, half-demon, David Sadler, must obey his demonic Master's order to capture fifteen-year-old Jessica Hanks. But as he learns more about her, he realizes she may be the key to freedom from his dark enslavement.The only obstacle-Jessica's distractingly beautiful Guardian, Rebeka Abbott. He must not give in to their steamy chemistry, or he will lose his humanity. But fresh off a quarter millennia of sensory deprivation as punishment for not retrieving his last target, he may not be able to resist temptation long enough to save what's left of his human soul.

I am about halfway through this e-book, but since I do not yet have the next books in this series, I will have to put the Wasteland books on hold. I am enjoying it so far, and am curious to find out where the book goes from here.

I try not to read multiple books at once, but it is a habit I am having difficulties breaking, especially now that I've started to read one book on my breaks at work and one at home before I sleep. So the second book I am devouring is...

Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux #2)
Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…
The series that made me desperately miss book blogging! Again, I am halfway through this book and loving it completely. Who can stay away from Daemon Black? As much of a jerk as he can be, he is an irresistable one (perhaps that is why) I love to read about. And having a main character I, as a book blogger, can seriously relate to? Makes the reading experience that much better!

After this I have a pile of 70+ unread books (and growing - the curse/blessing of working at a bookstore with a discount - oops!) to attack, but more than likely I will be reading the following titles:

Opal (Lux #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa, procured very gratefully from Netgalley (see my review of book #1, The Immortal Rules, here)

Frostbite (Touch of Frost #1) by Lynn Rush, the e-arc I was lucky enough to get my hands on