Wednesday 31 July 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #20: Burned by Karen Marie Moning

Is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

The book I'm eagerly looking forward to is:

Burned (Dani O'Malley #2) by Karen Marie Moning
Expected Publication Date: Apri1 22nd 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press

Goodreads Description: The next book in #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning's Fever series featuring beloved characters Mac and Dani O'Malley. Iced, the latest in the series, ended with a BANG and Burned will pick up right where that left off, delivering another shockingly suspenseful adventure set in the Fever world.

Story Locale: Ireland

Series Overview: Moning's new urban paranormal trilogy is connected to the world of her blockbuster Fever series that fans have grown to know and love, picking up right where Shadowfever (1/11) left off. Featuring beloved characters from the Fever novels, including Christian MacKelter, Ryodan, Mac and Barron and others, this seductive series hinges upon a powerful, tough-talking teen sidhe seer as she battles dark forces to bring justice to light.

I’m dying for this!! I can’t believe we have to wait until April of 2014 to continue the story!  That’s a year and a half wait in between books!! And did you notice, this isn't much of a story description?! Thankfully, Iced did NOT end in a cliffhanger, but still….I need more Ryodan, Dani, and Christian!  Jo can just go take a long walk on a short cliff somewhere.

This is my “must have” book.  Let me know what yours is!  Link me up and I’ll come check it out.

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Review & Giveaway: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: September 5th 2013
My rating:  4 stars

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

My Thoughts:
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was a deliciously creepy and dark story, one that made my heart race and thrill.

Tanna lives in a world that seems not too far off from our own; a time when vampires are no longer myth but present and a threat.  These vampires have been contained in our modern world into cities, Coldtowns, guarded but connected by live feeds, blog posts and news stories.  Sensationalized and romanticized, but Tanna knows the darker side of the story.  She has a sad, frightening tale of infection gone horribly wrong in her family's past.

When we meet up with Tanna, she’s like any normal seventeen year old spending her summer at parties and having fun.  This all comes to an end when she wakes up to a horrific scene, after she spent the night knocked out from drinking too much.  Now she’s on the run with her ex-boyfriend, Aiden, and a boyishly handsome vampire, Gavriel, trying to make it to one of the Coldtowns before Aiden fully changes. 

This was a dark, mesmerizing story, littered with gore and horror. Holly Black does not hold back painting beautiful and yet terrifying tale. I loved every uneasy minute. 

Tanna was an easy character to latch onto and root for as she wakes up, and everything is basically full throttle ahead from there on out.  She’s determined to do what’s right and yet stay human.  Her bizarre and powerful connection to Gavriel surprises and thrills her at the same time.  She knows he’s capable of monstrous acts, has probably committed them, but at the same time she sees what he is underneath.

"Tana's heartbeat seemed to have moved into her whole body and thrilled it with a single speeding pulse. Everything was a little blurred at the edges and she wanted---she wanted him to feel like she did, like he'd done something forbidden…"*

The romance in this story was perfect, and not overwhelming, yet enough to speed your heart rate up in whenever Gavriel and Tanna are together.  The thing about a romance that’s not in your face is that you spend time analyzing every move and glance, and every word spoke, until what you suspect and hoped for is confirmed!

This story has some twists and revelations, and danger at every turn.  I think it was a perfect balance of plot and characterization!  I was reminded a little of Sunshine by Robin McKinley (one of my favorite vampire stories) while reading this and I think it was because the way it portrayed vampires, a little strange and alien, fascinating and terrible at the same time.  Somehow the relationship between Tanna and Gavriel felt similar, too.  Can’t put my finger on exactly why, but I loved it! 

Fans of horror will love this creepy, unsettling and romantic story!!

*Quote taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy. 


I had the pleasure of meeting Holly Black at the Chicago ALA where she signed my ARC copy of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.  To show our appreciation for all of you lovely readers, I’m going to share my copy with one lucky person!  The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Just fill out the rafflecopter below.

A gorgeous Holly Black with stunning blue hair!

Monday 29 July 2013

Fire with Fire by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Fire with Fire by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date: August 13th 2013
My rating: 5 stars 

Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance. Not even close. For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before. And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn. It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn...

Burn for Burn was a book which I really adored last year; it was a fun contemporary with a different twist. I don’t know what I was expecting going into Fire with Fire, but it wasn’t this. Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian literally came out all guns blazing with this book. It was a story of three different girls coming together, but in particular the stories of Lillia and Kat really struck a chord with me.

I instantly connected with Kat and Lillia’s character in Burn for Burn, so I couldn’t wait to see how things would be different for them in this book. We barely touched upon these characters in the first book, but I really feel as if I got the chance to know them that much more. Despite Kat being tough on the outside and acting like she didn’t give a crap, I admired her strength in this book to actually go for what mattered to her most, her spot at Oberlin. It was always her mum’s dream and one that Kat wanted to fulfil. So getting Kat’s back story, and learning how much of an important role her mother and family played in her life I greatly appreciated. Her story really left a strong impression with me. I was at parts left with swollen eyelids after crying so hard.

The same can be said with Lillia’s story; my heart went out so much for these girls, as they really put their hearts on the line. Lillia really found her back against the wall in this book, she was torn between deciding with whether she should stick with what the girls had been telling her to do or whether she should listen to her heart. Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian did a tremendous job, in displaying the inner turmoil Lillia had to battle with. Her depth of feelings which she developed over the course of the book and having to constantly battle them away was so hard to watch. And then there was Alex, in my review of the first book I admitted that I didn’t know his true feelings and once again this was the case here. Alex was a great guy, who I adored from the first book, but I’m going to have to say that somebody else stole the limelight away from him in this book. I know we’ve been shown and told just how bad this other guy is and he deserved everything coming his way. But honestly my heart so went out for him. Yes he could be a punk at times, but the moments when he shared his sweet and tender side I loved! I need more of this guy right away!

Fire with Fire was a book which I thought would highly fixated upon the girls and getting their revenge. But it was a lot more than that, I loved Lillia’s and Kat’s stories, and to be honest that’s all I wanted, their stories. Whenever Mary popped up I really wanted to skip her chapters. I wasn’t able to connect with her character in the first book and this feeling just became stronger with this book. I understand she was hurt by what happened, but I think her idea of revenge just got totally got out of control in this book. I didn’t want Reeve to get hurt anymore, poor guy had already been put through so much and had his life completely side tracked because of the girls. And then when I got to know him that bit more I was even more against her plan. And as the story progressed she came across really deluded, with her lurking about and not considering that she had such great friends in front of her. However I thought I knew my feelings when it concerned Mary, but the ending just completely threw me. I honestly just don’t know what to think now.

Fire with Fire was an incredible follow up book from Burn for Burn. We’re thrown back together with a wonderful set of characters, some which just shredded away at my heart and others two in particular; Mary and Rennie which just left me enraged. With so much going on constantly, I never wanted this book to end. Also with things going off in so many directions I didn’t expect especially with that ending *shakes fist*. And the great depths we got to experience of my favourite characters made this a top read of this year for sure. I cannot wait to see where this story will go next, I’m sure there will be a lot of heartache and consequences to deal with in Ashes to Ashes. 

Saturday 27 July 2013

Review: The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

The Summer I Became a Nerd
The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication date: May 7th 2013
My rating: 3 stars

On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.

My Thoughts:
The Summer I Became a Nerd was a cute, flirty, and fun romance.  It’s also about being true to our self no matter what other people think.

Maddie has been scarred by exposing her nerdiness in the past, so she buries love of comics, sci-fi addiction, and love of all things geek.  She puts years of crafting her popular identity by becoming cheerleader and dating the high school quarterback.  All this starts to unravel when she jeopardizes her reputation by going into The Phoenix, a local comic book store in search of the newest release of her favorite comic book series. The anticipation and lusting over its release trumps her fears of being outed as the nerd she is.  Her undoing is Logan, the hot and geeky clerk at The Phoenix who she’s drawn to for all kinds of reasons.  Soon they’re hanging out, gossiping comic stories, and LARPing (Live Action Role Play).  But Maddie wants the best of both worlds and tries to have it by leading a double life and thereby risking everything good about both.

I was a little conflicted over Maddie.  I understand up to a certain point why she was nervous about sharing her love/obsession of things she considered nerdy or unpopular.  But after it became clear over the summer that she LOVED her life without the popular façade, I wondered why she kept sneaking around.  I didn’t like that it took her so long to embrace her true self when popular persona did nothing for her. She did eventually grow up a bit, but still.  On the other hand, I loved Logan!  The minute he slipped on his geeky black rimmed glasses and lent Maddie his comic book, my inner nerd was sold and swooning!  He was sweet and it was easy to see why he’s hurt by Maddie’s bouts of hot and cold.  The gradual build of their romance was sweet and dreamy and gave me a few butterfly flutters in my stomach!

This was a cute, quick, and fun story that put smiles on my face throughout.  It was a welcome change from all the drama filled books I’ve been reading lately!  I would’ve breezed right through it in one sitting had life not gotten in the way.

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