Saturday, July 20, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (7/20/13)

Stacking The Shelves is hosted over at Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
  • Create your own Stacking The Shelves post. You can use my official graphic or your own, but please link back to Tynga’s Reviews so more people can join the fun!
  • You can set your post any way you want, simple book list, covers, pictures, vlog, sky is the limit!
  • I am posting Stacking The Shelves on Saturdays, but feel free to post yours any day that fits you.
  • Visit Tynga’s Reviews on Saturday and add your link so others can visit you!
  • Visit other participants link to find out what they added to their shelves!
Here is what I got this week:
In the After (In the After #1)
In The After by, Demitria Lunetta
The Book of Broken Hearts
The Book of Broken Hearts by, Sarah Ockler
Ashes on the Waves

Friday, July 19, 2013

Author Interview: Sarah Tregay

Sarah Tregay, YA Author, LOVE AND LEFTOVERS a novel in verse
Sarah Tregay. Author of Love and Leftovers
About Sarah Tregay
Raised without television, I started writing my own middle grade novels after I had read all of the ones in the library. I later discovered YA books, but never did make it to the adult section. When I'm not jotting down poems at stoplights, I can be found hanging out with my "little sister" from Big Brothers Big Sisters or stressing over performance classes at a model horse show.
I have both a Bachelors and Masters of Fine Art in graphic design, and my obsession with typography and layout naturally translates into formatting poetry on the page.
I live in Eagle, Idaho with my husband, two Boston Terriers, and an appaloosa named Mr. Pots.
I had the pleasure of being able to read Sarah's debut novel, Love and Leftovers, this past summer. It was a great novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay in stores now
You can check out my review of Love and Leftovers here.

Interview with the Author, Sarah Tregay:

1. What are 5 fun facts about yourself?
I grew up in Buffalo, New York, home of the chicken wing.
I own an Appaloosa named Mr. Pots. He lives in my backyard and mows the grass.
I collect plastic horses, also known as Breyers, and I resculpt and paint them.
I was a reluctant cheerleader for one season of high school basketball. I have no rhythm.
I moved to San Diego after I graduated from college and experienced my first winter without snow.
 2. What is the best thing about being an author?
Being an author has given me opportunities to meet people I may not have met otherwise—from readers to librarians to other authors—and we have a connection, loving to read or write.
3. If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Oh, this is a hard one. I’m so bad at titles I’m hoping my publisher will name my next book.
4. What was your favorite book as a teenager?
HOMECOMING by Cynthia Voigt was one of my favorites.
5. What do you prefer to do in your free time when you are not writing?
I enjoy riding my horse, gardening, and playing ball with my Boston Terriers. I collect model horses and paint them with pastels. I dabble in illustration.
6. Did you always know you were going to be a writer? If not what did you want to be when you were growing up?
I started writing novels in fifth grade when I imagined that I had already read all of the good books in the library. But I didn’t pursue becoming an author for two reasons. First, my stories were intensely private. I let friends read them, but I didn’t want them published. Second, my mother was an artist and I understood how hard it could be to make a living in the arts.
When it came time to choose a major in college, I chose graphic design—a creative field where you can earn a living—but I didn’t give up my love for writing, I just write in the evenings and on weekends.
 7. What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Any tips?
Writing isn’t easy, and it’s never perfect the first time. So don’t give up. Keep writing. Do read other books and stories like yours to see how it’s done. If you have a chance to learn more about writing, grab it! I’ve learned tons from conferences, workshops, and talking to other writers.

I think this tip works for both types of writers, meaning those who outline and those who “write by the seat of their pants,” but I am a complete “pantster” so I’m not one hundred percent sure.
Since most stories take place over time, make use of a calendar. (It can be a paper one or a software version.) Write down what happens to your character on Monday in the Monday box, then the same for Tuesday, etc. Pretty soon you’ll have a summary of your story. And if you need plot points A, B, and C to happen before the homecoming game on Friday, you can plan ahead before you write.
This technique is good for catching mistakes, too. For example, you don’t want your story to have two Thursdays in the same week.

My wish
is to fall
cranium over Converse
in dizzy, daydream-worthy
(If only it were that easy.)
When her parents split, Marcie is dragged from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She leaves behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father. By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this "vacation" has become permanent. She starts at a new school where a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up.
But understanding love, especially when you've watched your parents' affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? can you even know it until you've lost it?
Starred Review From School Library Journal:The author does a terrific job of keeping the plot moving by using poetry to her advantage. Reluctant readers will appreciate the brevity while poetic souls will appreciate the format. full review
–Kimberly Castle-Alberts
Stark County District Library, Canton, OH
From The Horn Book Guide:
The first-person verse narration wrought with satisfying angst makes Marcie’s woes and joys palpable. full review
From Booklist: This first novel may make teenage readers’ hearts beat a bit faster. full review
— Ann Kelley
From Publisher's Weekly:
With multiple shredded relationships and friendships, there’s more than enough angst to go around, as Marcie rages against the decisions her parents have made, as well as her own. full review
From Kirkus Reviews:
A verse novel with real depth to accompany all that white space. full review
From VOYA:
Although the words are simple, the themes of Love and Leftovers are not. full review
—Ed Goldberg
From the Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books: [Marcie's] story is thus as credible as her voice, and readers will relate to her complicated but accessible heartbreak, as she, like her parents, makes mistakes and struggles to fix them. full review—Karen Coats


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (7/17)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Here is what I am eagerly anticipating this week:
The Beginning of Everything
Title: The Beginning of Everything
Author: Robyn Schneider
Pages: 330
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Publication Date: August 27th 2013
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.
Check out more about this upcoming book here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review: The Rules for Disappearing

The Rules for Disappearing (The Rules for Disappearing #1)
Title: The Rules for Disappearing
Author: Ashley Elston
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 320
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

“He hugs me tight while I look behind him, scanning faces like I did a few seconds ago. And like I will do for the rest of my life.” 

    The Rules for Disappearing is a thrilling book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, wanting to know more. 

    The Rules for Disappearing by, Ashley Elston follows the story of a girl in her senior year of high school. Her family has been in witness protection for the last year and has been six different people in six different placements. Packing up, moving, and running from who ever is after them has started to take a toll on her and her family. Her little sister is barely talking, her mom is drinking all her worries away, and her dad just does not know how to handle them. She has recently been placed in Louisiana and she decides that this must be their last placement. She will find out and fix whatever got them in this mess, so they can finally go home. But she is not expecting this small rural town to actually start to feel like home to her and she is really not expecting Ethan Landry to steal her heart. On a whirlwind adventure together they start to piece together what really happened to her family to get them in this mess and how they can get them out of it. 

    First things first, I LOVED this book. I had never read a book that took place in witness protection so I jumped at the chance to read it since it sounded so interesting. It drew me in from the first page and did not let me go till the last page was turned.
    I really liked how Elston wrote the plot of this book. It starts out that we know the family is in witness protection but we do not know why. That helped add more suspense to the book because I was dying to find out the whole time. Elston also was able to put suspense in the book with out being over the top about it and that made me enjoy it more because it seemed more realistic. 

    I know most of us probably can not relate to being in witness protection, but the book also had parts that were very relate able. For example through out a lot of the book the main character had a lot of feelings that teens could relate too like, being alone, feeling lied too, feeling helpless, hope, and love. People can also relate to the struggles of trust in the family. 

    One of the most important things in a book is the characters. The characters in this book were phenomenal. The main character was very relate able. She had her struggles but was also a very strong and independent person. Her little sister was beyond adorable and added a great background character for the story. The love interest for the main character, Ethan Landry, was a definite heartthrob. He was kind and caring, but he was also daring. The relationships between the characters was great too. There is a great romance between two of the main characters which shows lots of chemistry. There is also a great big sister, little sister relationship in the book.

    The author left plenty of room for more suspense in the next book. She transitioned the books at the end beautifully. She ended the story in the first book but left a great cliffhanger for a new journey to start for the main character in the next book. There were many twists and turns in this book and I cannot wait for more in the second one. 

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This weeks teaser is from Our Song by, Jordanna Fraiberg
Our Song"You can do it," he said, softer this time, like he knew what had happened, why I was afraid. (pg.175) 

Check out more about this book here.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: The Boyfriend App

The Boyfriend App
Title: The Boyfriend App
Author: Katie Sise
Pages: 312
Genre: Contemporary/Romance
Publisher: Balzer & Bray

    The Boyfriend App is a charming book portraying the ideas of loss, hope, and of course high school romance. 

    The Boyfriend App follows the story of Audrey who is in her senior year of high school and desperately wanting to get out of her small hometown. But a couple years ago Audrey's father passed away and her mother is barely able to pay the bills making her chance at going to college very slim...unless she can get a scholarship. And just her luck a big company is holding a contest to see who can design the best mobile App and the winner gets a full scholarship to college. Audrey enters the contest immediately and starts brainstorming ideas. Audrey then comes up with the perfect App for any teenager,The Boyfriend App. But creating this App has more of an effect on her life than she ever thought possible.
     Most people told me that this book was just a fun fast read. But being completely honest it just dragged on and on for me. It did have it's good aspects of being funny and genuine in places but it just did not do it for me.
     A lot of the characters were great. My favorite was the protagonist, Audrey. She was relate able and had a touch of humor to her narration. I also liked her cousin Lindsay who was full of energy and opinions. Sise also created the perfect high school mean girl, Audrey's ex best friend Blake. But I also like how in the end Blake turned out to have somewhat of a good heart at times.
    The storyline originally sounded intriguing and fun to me. But after reading it I'm sad to say it didn't work. A lot of the book just did not seem very realistic to me and that made me enjoy it less. Parts of the book seemed over the top and exaggerated and kind of turned me off.
      The Boyfriend App I think had potential, with the unique plot and great characters but it just didn't come together.
2 Stars **

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Stacking The Shelves


Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
Here is what I got throughout the week:
Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X, #1)
Gameboard of the Gods by, Richelle Mead
Pretty Girl-13
Pretty Girl-13 By, Liz Coley
Flirting in Italian (Flirting in Italian #1)
Flirting in Italian by, Lauren Henderson
Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)
Born Wicked By, Jessica Spotswood
The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1)
The 5th Wave By, Rick Yancey

What do you all get this week?


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Into The Dark Book 1: Title and Cover Reveal (and ARC Giveaway)

Bree Despain has finally announced the cover and title for her new book coming out in the spring! She has even given us a short synopsis so we can finally find out what it is going to be about! So finally Bree Despain presents to us the amazing cover of ....

The Shadow Prince
(Book One of the Into The Dark series) . . .

Coming March 11, 2014 . . . .

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails.  As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

A pulsating romance of epic proportions, Bree Despain’s The Shadow Prince will leave her fans breathless for the next book in the Into The Dark series.
[Please note: this is not the official finalized summary of the book.]

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about The Shadow Prince! And the cover literally made me scream with joy when I saw it. Many thanks to the crew at Egmont USA for designing something so incredibly amazing to encapsulate how I feel about this book. It's a story I've been mulling over for several years and it's kind of a combination of all of things I love from Greek mythology to Avatar: The last Airbender, Supernatural to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, hot princes, and indie music. And I just have to say that Haden is by far my most favoritest (yes, that's a word) character I have ever written.

The Shadow Prince will be released on March 11, 2014 but it is already available for pre-order on Amazon HERE. And I am sure it will be up soon on B&N and IndieBound soon.

But a few of you won't have to wait that long!
Bree Despain is giving away ARC's on her blog! So go here for a chance to enter and win a copy of it!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2)
Title: Untold
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: The Lynburn Legacy # 2
Genre: Fantasy:
Pages: 336
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: August 29th 2013
Free from bonds, but not each other

It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?
You can check out more about the book here.

Review: The Rules

The Rules (Project Paper Doll, #1)
Title: The Rules
Author: Stacey Kade
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 416
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
“The trouble with rules, though, is that you'll always be tempted to break one- for the right reasons, due to unavoidable circumstances, because it feels as if there's no other choice. And once you break one, the rest seem like so much broken glass. The damage is already done.”
Stacey Kade, The Rules
    The Rules written by Stacey Kade really caught me by surprise. I'm usually not very into books in the sci-fi genre but I will admit something about this one made me love it.

    The Rules follows the story of Ariane Tucker. Ariane was an experiment (half alien, half human) at a company called GTX. She was held captive there for years until a security guard helped her escape. Now in present day she is living with the security guard who saved her from GTX and going to high school like any normal teenage girl. But what Ariane has to go through is far from normal. She has a set of rules she always goes by to make sure to stay under the radar and not get discovered by GTX. This all works perfectly for Ariane until Zane Bradshaw steps into her life. Zane and Ariane originally team up together to get back at the mean girl at school. But along the way they fall head over heels for each other. As a result Ariane starts to break all her rules. And before she knows it things will be revealed that will make Ariane realize that nothing is at it seems and that she is in danger more than ever before.

    I was hesitant to read this book at first since I don't usually read sci-fi but I am so glad I took a chance on it because I ended getting completely engrossed in this book. One of the things that I think pulled me in was the main character, Ariane. She was a strong female heroine but at the same time she had inner turmoil. I liked this about her because she could be a badass chick but then you could also relate to her. Zane was also a great factor in this book. He showed that on the outside somebody may look like they have the best life possible but on the inside they still have troubles, just like everyone else. Zane was a tough but somewhat shy guy at points and I liked that about him. I also loved that this book was written in alternating point of views. It allowed you to see the story from all aspects and helped you get a better grasp on the world the book took place in.

    I thought that Stacey Kade wrote the book brilliantly too. There was a lot of stuff going on in this book and a lot of crazy scenarios but she wrote it in a way that was not over the top. She also wrote it so it was a real page turner but not in a way that the plot moved too fast or was overwhelming. Her way of writing made it intriguing but easy to follow.

    This book was a perfect dose of every thing. It is a mixture of sci-fi but also coming of age, and it had a complicated romance with intrigue and action weaving it all together. This book kept me turning the page non stop till the end and now I'm so mad I have to wait to read more. I will be counting down the days till the next book, so I can read what happens next!

    Stacey Kade has now converted me into reading more Sci-fi because of how good this book was. I highly recommend it to any reader out there no matter what genres you prefer. You will love it, I guarantee.

4 Stars ****