Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine

Sophie & Carter
By: Chelsea Fine
Pub. Date: June 20, 2011
Publisher: Acacia Publishers
Pages: 117
Source: Bought
While other high school seniors are dreaming about their futures, Sophie and Carter are just trying to make it through each day. Carter is overwhelmed by issues at home as he struggles to support his mother. Meanwhile, next door neighbour Sophie is left to care for her three younger siblings in place of their absent and troubled mother. All that holds these two best friends together is each other, and knowing that each night they'll sit together on Sophie's front porch swing and escape from reality, if just for awhile. But as their relationship reaches a turning point and high school graduation nears, will their friendship become something more?
Sophie & Carter is one of the stories that you can read in one sitting, know how it is going to end, and still enjoy every single moment of it. I only have praise for Sophie & Carter. Even the length didn't bother me, because the story was absolutely perfect!!

Sophie and Carter are neighbors. At school they pretend that they don't really know each other because they like to pretend they are normal, but at home they are each other's protector, best friend, and family. Sophie has been having to raise her younger brothers and sisters ever since her mom started doing drugs and prostituting. Carter has to take care of his mentally ill mom ever since his father beat him and his mother so much, she has become brain damaged. Both characters are so lost but through each other they can find the peace they need and start to heal.

Told in the POV of both Sophie and Carter we learn about their sad pasts through the eyes of the other. I thought this was brilliantly done and so heartbreaking. They both broke my heart, but reading how Carter got all of his scars, just about killed me. There were tears in my eyes, and I never cry when I read!

These two damaged people deserve each other so much and I loved, loved, loved reading their story. I would recommend reading this book to every single person I meet. It's completely worth it!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: Waiting To Forget by Sheila Kelly Welch

Waiting To Forget
By: Sheila Kelly Welch
Pub. Date: October 1, 2011
Publisher: Namelos
Pages: 172
Source: Netgalley
T.J. has always looked out for his little sister, Angela. When Momma used to go out and leave them home alone, he'd lock the door so they'd be safe, keep Angela entertained, and get out the cereal and milk for her. When Momma's boyfriend got angry at them, he'd try to protect Angela. Later, at their foster homes, T.J. was the only one who knew how to coax his little sister out of her bad moods. The only one who understood why she made origami paper cranes and threw them out the window.

But now T.J. is sitting in the waiting room at the hospital, wondering if Angela, unconscious after a fall, will ever wake up. Wondering, too, if he will ever feel at home with his and Angela's new parents—Marlene, who insists on calling him Timothy, and Dan, who seems to want a different son.

Going back and forth between Now and Then, weaving the uncertain present with the painful past, T.J.'s story unfolds, and with the unfolding comes a new understanding of how to move forward.

 Waiting To Forget is a very fast and emotional read. Since there mother left them alone when she went to Vegas with her boyfriend, TJ and Angela have been in foster care. Their mother was only supposed to go for the weekend, but when she didn't come home a week later, TJ called their social worker. TJ has always taken care of his baby sister and now he is waiting in an emergency room with their adoptive family waiting to see if she is ever going to wake up.

While he is waiting for news, TJ is looking through his life book, a scrapbook that his social worker had him make before the adoption and we learn about their mom, her boyfriends, foster care, and eventually what led them to this day in the ER.

Waiting To Forget is a very touching story. We see how TJ is adjusting to his life with his new family. He doesn't feel like he fits in with them, and he feels that he is a disappointment to his new dad. He misses his mom. He doesn't ever open up to anyone and talk about his feelings. Everything about him screams sad and lonely. It broke my heart because the kid is only 12 years old.

The ending was beautiful! I could not have asked for a better ending. I think it fit perfectly and I loved watching TJ heal and gain the strength to move on from his heartbreaks. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

In My Mailbox (31)

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren to share with everyone the books they bought, borrowed, or received for review.

 Cinder by Marissa Meyer (via netgalley)

Matched by Ally Condie

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore

I got some bookmarks and stickers from the awesome Miranda Kenneally. I loved Catching Jordan so much, and I was really excited to receive these!

The wonderful Amy Plum, the author of Die For Me, sent me these signed book plates because I posted my review on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

I think this was from when I participated in The Nine Lives of Chloe King game on ABCfamily.com. Very excited to see this in my mailbox. I love this show, and that cliffhanger was CRAZY!!

~Enter My Two Giveaways~
Giveaway # 1: Win something signed by Kimberly Derting!

Giveaway # 2: Win an ARC of Legend by Marie Lu!

What did you guys get in your mailbox? Leave your link in the comments section so I can check yours out!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Review: Lord of the Wolfyn by Jessica Anderson

Lord of the Wolfyn
(Royal House of Shadows # 3)
By: Jessica Anderson
Pub. Date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 282
Source: Netgalley
Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden.

To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance.

Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.…

For practical Reda Weston, nothing could explain how reading a sexy version of "Little Red Riding Hood" catapulted her into another realm—face-to-fang with the legendary wolf-creature who seduced women. A wolf who transformed into a dark, virile man….

Dayn cursed the Sorcerer that turned him wolfyn and damned him to a lonely fate. As a beast, he mated with women to gain strength.

Strength he needed to rescue his royal parents. But as a man, he craved Reda's heated, sizzling touch. With little time left, Dayn had to either embrace his wolf to save his kingdom…or fight it to save his woman.
 Lord of the Wolfyn is the third book in the Royal House of Shadows series, and out of the siblings we have met so far, Dayn is my favorite one!

It does have a very slow start and I felt myself being bored for most of the story. Halfway into the book though, things started to pick up. The action was very fast paced and the final showdown with the evil witch was epic!

I really loved when Dayn and Reda started to get close. I really liked them together. I thought that they were perfect for each other and had a great connection.

As I said earlier, Dayn was my favorite sibling. After his parents spell took him and his three siblings to different areas, the Vampire Prince found himself able to turn into a werewolf and hiding out in the Wolf realm. Right before his father died, he told him that when a mysterious women finds him, he has four days to get to Elder to save their kingdom. 

While reading a very old version of Little Red Riding Hood, Police Officer Reda finds herself transported to Dayn's world. Now, Dayn has exactly four days to get the human Reda to trust him and get to Elder.

I am so excited to see this series come together in the fourth, and final book, Lord of the Abyss!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review: Red by Kait Nolan

By: Kait Nolan
Pub. Date: August 14, 2011
Pages: 235
Source: Author
Every fairy tale has a dark side...
Elodie Rose has a secret. Any day, she’ll become a wolf and succumb to the violence that’s cursed her family for centuries. For seventeen years she’s hidden who and what she is. But now someone knows the truth and is determined to exterminate her family line. Living on borrowed time in the midst of this dangerous game of hide and seek, the last thing Elodie needs to do is fall in love. But Sawyer is determined to protect her, and the brooding, angry boy is more than what he seems. Can they outsmart a madman? And if they survive, will they find a way to beat the curse for good?
 Red is the story of Elodie Rose, a descendent of the women who inspired the story Little Red Riding Hood. Through her families journals, she knows that when she becomes 16, her wolf gene will cause her to become crazy and she will eventually have to kill herself to save the people around her. Due to this, she won't allow herself to get close to anyone. She has no friends, and she is a very lonely girl. Now at 17, nothing has happened, and she is beginning to think she might have a chance at a real life. This all changes when she meets Sawyer. Sawyer has secrets of his own, but for the first time, Elodie is allowing herself to get close to someone while at the same time start she is starting to transform into the wolf she has been terrified of becoming.

I really liked the connection between Sawyer and Elodie. She calms the beast within him and it was nice to see him not so angry and allowing himself to heal from his mother's death. I also really loved watching Elodie find her voice. She went from being a quiet girl who allowed people to bully to a pretty awesome person and I loved reading that transformation.  

I thought Red was very original. There are a lot of YA paranormal books out there right now about werewolves, but I enjoyed Kait Nolan's take on it.

I will definitely have to check out Nolan's other books after reading Red

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Legend by Marie Lu

By: Marie Lu
Pub. Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 336
Source: ARC from publisher
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

I did not have high expectations for Legend. It looked good, but I didn't think it was going to be as awesome and amazing as it was! I loved everything about it. I wanted to read it again as soon as I finished it!

Legend is told through two different POV-June and Day. June's character took me a little while to get used too. She 100% believes in her Republic. She thinks everything they do is really for the people. She is a soldier who never knew what it was like to be poor. She is the complete opposite of Day. Day is the most wanted man in the Republic.  He is also the most feared. But really, he isn't bad at all. He hates the government and wants to piss them off. He wants to provide for his family, who thinks he is dead, and help other poor people like his family. I loved Day from the very first page. There was such a goodness about him that was very commendable with everything he has been through.

I wonder if the second book in the series is going to be about overthrowing the government, but I liked that this one wasn't about that. Legend was a perfect introduction to the world and the characters. The place where June and Day live is a very scary place.

Dystopian is not my favorite genre, mainly because it scares me, but I love the world that Marie Lu created.  I also love the simplicity of the cover and I think it worked really well with the story.

Legend is a debut that is not to be missed! It was everything that I could want in a story. I am very much looking forward to the second one!

Since I loved Legend so much and I have an extra copy of it, I want to give one away. 


Saturday, November 19, 2011

In My Mailbox (30)

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren to share with everyone the books they bought, borrowed, or received for review.


Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (via netgalley)
The Magic Warble by Victoria Simcox (via author)


Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Infatuation: A Little Military Harmless by Melissa Schroeder
Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye

That is all for me this week. What did you guys get in your mailbox? Leave your link in the comment section so I can check it out!

Also, I am running a giveaway to win something signed by the fabulous Kimberly Derting. You can go here to enter! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Follow Friday # 12

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Rachel of Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read! It's a great way to meet new blogger friends!

This weeks question is:

Question: Letter to Santa: Tell Santa what books you want for Christmas!
Hmm...Lets see. The books that I want Santa to bring are:

1. The Percy Jackson and the Olympians hardcover box set by Rick Riordan
2. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
3. Fever by Lauren DeStefano
4. All of The Black Dagger Brotherhood books by J.R. Ward

I guess that would be it. There are five books in the Percy Jackson series and nine books in the BDB. So there is a lot of books here!

Leave me a link in the comments to your Christmas List!

Also, I am running a giveaway to win something signed by the fabulous Kimberly Derting. You can go here to enter! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review: Fateful by Claudia Gray

By: Claudia Gray
Pub. Date: September 13, 2011
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 328
Source: Library

Eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, troubled family she serves. It’s 1912, and Tess has been trapped in the employ of the Lisles for years, amid painful memories and twisted secrets. But now the Lisle family is headed to America, with Tess in tow. Once the ship they’re sailing on—the RMS Titanic—reaches its destination, Tess plans to strike out and create a new life for herself.
Her single-minded focus shatters when she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets of his own. He’s in a hurry to leave Europe, and whispers aboard the ship say it’s because of the tragic end of his last affair with the French actress who died so gruesomely and so mysteriously. . . .
Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves exist and are stalking him—and now her, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.
In Fateful, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray delivers paranormal adventure, dark suspense, and alluring romance set against the opulent backdrop of the Titanic’s first—and last—voyage.
 Can I just start by saying how hard it is to read a book when you know from the beginning that half of the characters are going to die!! When the setting takes place on the freakin' TITANIC, you know there is going to be pain and heartbreak. This did not stop me from loving this story though! It was AMAZING!!

Tess is a servant girl for the Lisles family and when she arrives in New York she plans on quitting and starting a new life for herself. This is the best thing for her because Lady Lisles is a horrible women to work for. The night before the Titanic deports, Tess is attacked by a werewolf and then she finds out those same werewolves are on the Titanic and one of them wants her dead!

When Tess meets Alec, she finally feels safe, only to learn that he too is a werewolf. Oh, but Alec was wonderful and the perfect gentleman. He hates what he is and would do anything to not hurt a human being.
I loved both Alec and Tess. But I did have a problem with their relationship. All of a sudden they are madly in love and could not be apart from each other. It just didn't seem real to me. But George (an officer on the ship) and Myriam (Tess' roomate) had such a sweet, and I think, a much more realistic relationship. I would have liked to see more of them together.

Since this is obviously a story that you know how it is going to end, it didn't leave much to the imagination except knowing who was going to die, and who wasn't. I think Gray did a fantastic job showing the last tragic moments of the Titanic and the people on it.

I loved Fateful! It had a very refreshing spin on a werewolf story that has been told over and over again.   

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Review: The Glass Collector by Anna Perera

The Glass Collector
By: Anna Perera
Pub. Date: March 1, 2012
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Pages: 352
Source: Netgalley
Fifteen-year-old Aaron lives and works amid the garbage piles of Cairo.
His job?
To collect broken glass.
His hope?
To find a future he can believe in.
  Today in Cairo, Egypt, there is a city within a city: a city filled with garbage--literally. As one of the Zabbaleen people, Aaron makes his living sorting through the waste. When his family kicks him out, his only alternatives are to steal, beg, or take the most nightmarish garbage-collecting job of all.
  Anna Perera's richly detailed second young adult novel transports readers to the heartbreaking world of the Zabbaleen.
When I saw The Glass Collector on Netgalley, I requested it right away. I read Anna Perera's other work, Guantanamo Boy, which was a heartbreaking, but very real story, and I knew The Glass Collector was going to be the same.

Aaron is a 15 year old boy who lives with his abusive step family. With no one on his side, he spends his days collecting garbage, mainly glass, so that his stepfather could sell it. He dreams of an education and a better life but no there is no way out of his situation. He's hungry, dirty and lonely. It is a very sad situation, and to think that there are young boys and girls in Cairo dealing with the same things is horrific. We don't realize how much we take for granted until we read something like this.

Despite everything that Aaron has been through and experienced, he is still such a sweet kid. All you want is for his situation to get better, but as the story progresses, it just keeps getting worse.

I love that Perera isn't afraid to speak the truth. She writes about real subjects and doesn't sugar coat anything. She is passionate about what she does, and you can see that in her writing. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review: The Future of Us By Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Future of Us
By: Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Pub. Date: November 21, 2011
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 309
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviews
It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.

Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM.

Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.

Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

Anyone who grew up in the 90's could appreciate how cool this book sounds! I remember I was in the 9th grade when we got our first family computer. It had Windows 98 on it and it was slow and took FOREVER to load onto AOL. Like the main character, Emma, I was only allowed to use the internet when my parents weren't using the phone, or were not expecting a call, because being on AOL would tie up the phone line. This book brought back so many memories and those parts I really enjoyed!

When Emma's dad buys her a computer, her neighbor and best friend, Josh brings over a trial run of AOL. When she loads it to her computer and logs in, her facebook account appears from 15 years into the future. Having no clue what facebook is or why the hell so many people would put so many details about their lives on the internet for all to see, Emma and Josh look at their profiles and see their spouses, where they live, and even who their children are.

Emma, who isn't all that happy with what she sees decides to make changes in her life today, and then looks to see how that decision changed her future. I really enjoyed 1996 Emma, but 2011 is so annoying. She is one of those people that I can't stand on facebook, always complaining and putting ever single detail about their life on their status. I liked Josh. He was happy with what he saw, and didn't agree with playing with their futures.

My favorite parts of the book was the 90's references-AOL dial up, Dave Matthews Band, even people wondering if Ellen was gay! All of it brought back to many memories for me.

Overall, I enjoyed The Future of Us, I was expecting a little bit more though, but I thought the concept of the story was so original! Definitely a must read for any 90's child! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Review & Giveaway: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

The Pledge
By: Kimberly Derting
Pub. Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 320
Source: GalleyGrab
In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.
 At first, I didn't have much interest in The Pledge, but I decided to read it because I am a huge fan of Kimberly Derting's The Body Finder series. Now that I read it, I am so glad that I did! I loved it. It was very original, I thought the plot was interesting and I really enjoyed the characters.

In the world of The Pledge, the Queen rules. Her word is final and her subjects are frightened of her. In the Queen's land of Ludania, there is a class system. No one is allowed to look into the eye of someone in a higher class then them. Every class has their own language, and no one under that class should know that language. But Charlaina (also known as Charlie) can understand every single language she hears, and she has no idea why. This is very dangerous and if anyone ever found out, she would be executed.

I really enjoyed Charlie's character. There wasn't much growth between the beginning and end of the book, but I don't think Charlie needed it. She was very mature and it has been extremely hard for her to hide her powers.  She would do anything to protect her family and friends but she is still a teenage girl at heart.

Charlie's best friends are Brooklynn and Aron. I thought both of them were really interesting, but I would have liked to know more about them. With Brooklynn we definitely see another side of her, but I still didn't think it was enough.

Charlie's love interest was Max. He is a very complicated character with secrets of his own, but he was a really good guy. I didn't think the connection between Charlie and Max was very realistic, but I still loved them together.

I also loved Xander!! I hope we learn a lot more about him in the second book. Now he was one complex guy!

The Queen is merciless and terrifying. She will kill whoever stands in her way.  She is definitely an evil character, but also very interesting!

Overall, I really enjoyed The Pledge. I can't wait to read the second book, because the ending of this one was absolutely insane!


For two lucky winners, I have a passport (every single subject of the Queen's have to carry their passport around) signed by Kimberly Derting herself! I will also send The Pledge bookmark and stickers. The below picture shows the back and front of the passport with the other goodies you can win!

Please fill out the form to enter. Giveaway ends November 28, 2011.

Giveaway ended. Thanks to all who entered!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

In My Mailbox (29)

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren to share with everyone the books they bought, borrowed, or received for review.


Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan (via author)
Fairy Metal Thunder by J.L. Bryan (via author)

Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
The Bastard by Brenda Novak
(all via Netgalley)

That is all for me this week. What did you guys get in your mailbox? Leave your link in the comment section so I can check it out!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: The Moon and the Tide by Derrolyn Anderson

The Moon and the Tide
(Marina's Tales # 2)
By: Derrolyn Anderson
Pub. Date: March 28, 2011
Source: Author
Just when things seem to be all figured out, Marina discovers that there's a lot more going on behind the scenes than she ever imagined. When a terrible accident exposes her secret, she discovers that her whole life has been one big lie, and has to cope with more than one kind of betrayal.

A dangerous enemy arrives on the scene, putting her bravery to the test and forcing her to use all of her new-found talents to protect her family. Will good win out over evil? Can love triumph over jealousy?
 The Moon and the Tide is a great second novel in the Marina's Tales series. In the first book, Between the Land and the Sea, Marina learned that she is a mermaid and she has a limited amount of time to choose to become a mermaid forever, or stay human.

Marina is still going out with Ethan, who was perfectly amazing in the first book, but in this one is dealing with the fact that Marina could get hurt. He wants her to stay away from the ocean and the other mermaids. This caused a lot of issues in their relationship, and I felt the two of them spent the entire book arguing. I missed the old version of Ethan from the first book. Marina's cousin Cruz is still the same though! I loved him in the first, and he just gets better and better.

In The Moon and the Tide we learn more about the mermaid mythology and we also learn that there are many evils out there for mermaids and their human children. We also learn secrets about some very important characters.

Marina is still a very strong female protagonist and I love her for that. She knows who she is, and cares about her friends and family. Even when things are at their worst, she won't ever let them down.

My only issue was I thought the plot did not flow at nicely as it did in the first one. For me, the book didn't start to pick up until the middle of the story, but once that happened I couldn't put it down!

Overall, I really enjoyed The Moon and the Tide and I am looking forward to reading the third book in the series, The Fate of the Muse

Read my review of the AMAZING Between the Land and the Sea

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Winners of the Raven by Nuayma Jeggels Giveaway!!

The three winners of the Raven ebook by Nuayma Jeggels are:

1. Laura from The Zealous Reader
2. Rie from Mission To Read
3. Leannz0r

Congratulations! I have emailed the winners and I hope that they enjoy the book!

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