Waiting on Wednesday - Darkest Fear

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine where we post upcoming releases we're highly anticipating. My pre-publication selection for this week's Waiting on Wednesday is Darkest Fear by Cate Tiernan.

Darkest Fear
Cate Tiernan
Series: Birthright, #1
Release Date: January 7th, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Waited on by: Blythe

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Vivi’s animal instincts are her legacy—and maybe her downfall—in this start to a romantic fantasy series that will appeal to fans of The Nine Lives of Chloe King.

Vivi has known the truth about her family—and herself—since she was thirteen. But that doesn’t mean she’s accepted it. Being Haguari isn’t something she feels she’ll ever accept. How can she feel like anything but a freak knowing that it’s in her genes to turn into a jaguar?

Now eighteen, Vivi’s ready to break away from the traditions of her heritage. But all of that changes with the shocking, devastating deaths of her parents and the mysteries left behind. Vivi discovers family she never even knew she had, and a life open with possibility. New friends, new loyalties, and even romance all lay ahead—but so do dangers unlike anything Vivi ever could have imagined.

Review: Extremities by David Lubar

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Extremities
David Lubar
Series: None
Release Date: July 23rd, 2013
Publisher: Tor
Rating: 1.5 stars
Word Rating: As scary as Dora
Reviewed by: Blythe

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Master of the macabre David Lubar turns his attention to dark and twisted tales for teens with Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge.

A group of high school girls takes revenge on their sadistic gym teacher in the most fitting way possible. Two stowaways find themselves on a ship for the dead. An ancient predator stalks the wrong victim. Here are thirteen tales of death, murder, and revenge from the fertile and febrile imagination of master storyteller David Lubar—his first story collection for the teen audience.


Reader's Choice Review #3: All Our Yesterdays

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Reader's Choice is a weekly meme inspired by Christina at Reader of Fiction's Sadie Hawkins Sunday, where you, the readers of this blog, get to choose what we read and review on the blog each Saturday/Monday, depending on the circumstances.

All Our Yesterdays
Cristin Terrill
Series: None
Release Date: August 1st, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Rating: 5 stars
Word Rating: Excuse me as I adsjkl;
Reviewed by: Melanie
Recommended by: Aneeqah of My Not So Real Life

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"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside. 

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was. 

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

But it's the last line that makes me scramble for the toilet in the corner of my cell. "You have to kill him."

Showcase Sunday (42)

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COMMENTS
Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicki at Books, Biscuits, and Tea, where we showcase what books we've gotten over the course of the week, whether it be bought, received from the library, from the publishers for review, etc.

For Review:




Replica: I have heard pretty mixed to negative things about this one, but I'm definitely willing to give it a shot, considering I do tend to like dystopians and haven't read one in quite a while. Thanks, Tor!

Kinslayer: Um, yeah. I'm definitely excited for this one. While Stormdancer took me a while to get into, once I got into it it was gorgeous and awesome. And now that I have a physical ARC of this one I can flip back to the glossary and the list of characters in the front, which I couldn't really do with Stormdancer with my e-galley last year. Thanks, Thomas Dunne Books!

Extremities: I already read this one, and honestly, I wasn't a fan at all. There's a note/warning on the back saying that this book is strictly not for children, so I got excited thinking it would be horrifying and for adults. Noooope. Review to come on the blog pretty soon. 1.5 stars for this one. But thanks, Tor!

White Space: The Matrix meets Inkheart? Um, YEAH. Enough said. Thanks, Egmont!

The Brokenhearted: So I heard really bad things about this one but I'm far too curious to not give it a chance, and if I hate it, I'll DNF it since I know it won't get better. Thanks, HarperTeen!

Ask Again Later: This sounds like Pivot Point but with DATES, which is all I really need to know about this book. Thanks, HarperTeen!

These Broken Stars: I was initially unsure about this one because I wasn't a fan of co-author Meagan Spooner's Skylark, but then the reviews started coming in from trusted friends and I knew I had to have this one. Can't wait to start it! Thanks, Disney Hyperion!

Charming: From what I know I'm pretty sure this is about a prince from a line of dragon slayers, which sounds pretty awesome to me. Thanks, Orbit!

What did you get this week? Let me know in the comments, or leave a link to your haul, and I'll check it out as soon as possible!

Review: The Truth About You and Me

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The Truth About You and Me
Amanda Grace
Series: None
Release Date: September 8th, 2013
Publisher: Flux
Rating: 2 stars
Word Rating: *yawn*
Reviewed by: Melanie
 
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Smart girls aren't supposed to do stupid things.

Madelyn Hawkins is super smart. At sixteen, she's so gifted that she can attend college through a special program at her high school. On her first day, she meets Bennet. He's cute, funny, and kind. He understands Madelyn and what she's endured - and missed out on - in order to excel academically and please her parents. Now, for the first time in her life, she's falling in love.

There's only one problem. Bennet is Madelyn's college professor, and he thinks she's eighteen - because she hasn't told him the truth.

The story of their forbidden romance is told in letters that Madelyn writes to Bennet - both a heart-searing ode to their ill-fated love and an apology.

Mini-Review: The Beginning of Everything

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The Beginning of Everything
Robyn Schneider
Series: None
Release Date: August 27th, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Rating: 4.5 stars
Word Rating: DAAAAAAMN
Reviewed by: Blythe

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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.

Review: Taste Test by Kelly Fiore

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Taste Test
Kelly Fiore
Series: None, I think?
Release Date: August 27th, 2013
Publisher: Walker Children's
Rating: 1.5 stars
Word Rating: *cringe*
Reviewed by: Blythe

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If you can grill it, smoke it, or fry it, Nora Henderson knows all about it. She’s been basting baby back ribs and pulling pork at her father’s barbeque joint since she was tall enough to reach the counter. When she’s accepted to Taste Test, a reality-television teen cooking competition, Nora can’t wait to leave her humble hometown behind, even if it means saying good-bye to her dad and her best friend, Billy. Once she’s on set, run-ins with her high-society roommate and the maddeningly handsome—not to mention talented—son of a famous chef, Christian Van Lorten, mean Nora must work even harder to prove herself. But as mysterious accidents plague the kitchen arena, protecting her heart from one annoyingly charming fellow contestant in particular becomes the least of her concerns. Someone is conducting real-life eliminations, and if Nora doesn’t figure out who, she could be next to get chopped for good. 

With romance and intrigue as delectable as the winning recipes included in the story, this debut novel will be devoured by all.


Waiting on Wednesday - Nearly Gone

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COMMENTS
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine where we post upcoming releases we're highly anticipating. My pre-publication selection for this week's Waiting on Wednesday is Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano.

Nearly Gone
Elle Cosimano
Series: None
Release Date: March 25th, 2014 
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Waited on by: Blythe

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Bones meets Fringe in a big, dark, scary, brilliantly-plotted urban thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end.

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon—she'll be next.

Review: Six-Gun Snow White

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Six-Gun Snow White
Catherynne M. Valente
Series: None
Release Date: February 28th, 2013
Publisher: Subterranean
Rating: 5 stars
Word Rating: Gorgeous
Reviewed by: Kate

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From New York Times bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente comes a brilliant reinvention of one the best known fairy tales of all time. In the novella Six-Gun Snow White, Valente transports the title's heroine to a masterfully evoked Old West where Coyote is just as likely to be found as the seven dwarves.

A plain-spoken, appealing narrator relates the history of her parents—a Nevada silver baron who forced the Crow people to give up one of their most beautiful daughters, Gun That Sings, in marriage to him. With her mother's death in childbirth, so begins a heroine's tale equal parts heartbreak and strength. This girl has been born into a world with no place for a half-native, half-white child. After being hidden for years, a very wicked stepmother finally gifts her with the name Snow White, referring to the pale skin she will never have. Filled with fascinating glimpses through the fabled looking glass and a close-up look at hard living in the gritty gun-slinging West, readers will be enchanted by this story at once familiar and entirely new.

Of Beast and Beauty Blog Tour Stop: Guest Post

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I'm really glad and excited to be taking part in Rockstar Book Tours' blog tour for Stacey Jay's Of Beast and Beauty. I am currently reading Of Beast and Beauty and it is absolutely original and gorgeous so far, and the world (which is on an alien planet) is so interesting and captivating. In fact, I found the world in the novel to be so interesting and captivating, that for the guest post I asked Stacey Jay what her inspiration was for writing her Beauty and the Beast retelling on an alien planet. Check out what Stacey has to say after some information for Of Beast and Beauty!


Of Beast and Beauty
Stacey Jay
Series: None
Release: July 23rd, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Purchase: Amazon | BD | B&N

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In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

Waiting on Wednesday - Thornhill

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine where we post upcoming releases we're highly anticipating. My pre-publication selection for this week's Waiting on Wednesday is Thornhill by Kathleen Peacock.

Thornhill
Kathleen Peacock
Series: Hemlock, #2
Released: September 10th, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Waited on by: Blythe

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Mac can’t lose another friend. Even if he doesn’t want to be found.

The ripple effect caused by Mac’s best friend Amy’s murder has driven Mac’s new love, Kyle, to leave Hemlock and disappear from her life forever. But Mac knows that Kyle plans to enroll in a rehabilitation camp, where he can live with other werewolves. She refuses to accept his decision, especially since the camps are rumored to be tortuous. So she sets out in search of Kyle with a barely sober Jason—and Amy’s all-seeing ghost—in tow.

Clues lead Mac to find Kyle in a werewolf den in Colorado—but their reunion is cut short by a Tracker raid. Now Mac and Kyle are trapped inside the electric fences of Thornhill, a camp for young werewolves. As she devises an escape plan, Mac uncovers dangerous secrets buried within the walls of Thornhill—and realizes that the risk to the people she loves is greater than ever before.

Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Eleanor & Park
Rainbow Rowell
Series: None
Release Date: February 26th, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Rating: 3 stars
Word Rating: Disappointment
Reviewed by: Melanie
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Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.


'"I want everyone to meet you. You're my favorite person of all time."'


Showcase Sunday (41): *hyperventilates*

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COMMENTS
Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicki at Books, Biscuits, and Tea, where we showcase what books we've gotten over the course of the week, whether it be bought, received from the library, from the publishers for review, etc.

For Review:



Panic by Lauren Oliver [Coverless]


All That Glows: I haven't read very many stories of the Fae, but I have liked what I've read, so I'm looking forward to this one! Also, Fae with British history influences? Count me in! (Though the last sentence of the synopsis on Goodreads scares me a lot--"For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love." Whyyyyy? 

Elusion: I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS ONE. It sounds like what Under the Never Sky would be if it focused more on life inside the pods, and that just sounds so fascinating and awesome. AND THE COVER. 

Perfect Lies: Okay, so I intensely disliked Mind Games. But curiosity got the best of me with this one when I saw it downloadable, and I snatched it. I also started it immediately with a "let's-get-this-over-with" mindset and honestly, it's really not that bad. Not bad at all, actually. I wouldn't say I like it so far just yet, but what I can say is that it is definitely an improvement upon Mind Games. Maybe this one was written in ten days as opposed to Mind Game's nine. 

Dear Killer: This is about a serial killer, and the end of the synopsis says it's a psychological thriller, so YES PLEASE.

House of Ivy & Sorrow: I didn't like Transparent all too much. But I really, really like witches. So I'm giving Natalie Whipple a second shot and am going into this one with a good amount of anticipation. WITCHES!

Her Dark Curiosity: !!!!!!!!!! I loved The Madman's Daughter, and after the heartbreakingly awful cliffhanger it ended on, Her Dark Curiosity easily became one of my most highly anticipated 2014 releases. SO EXCITED. Fingers crossed it doesn't end on another heartbreaking and awful cliffhanger.

Fake ID: This is about...a criminal teen? I don't know much about it, honestly. I just skimmed the synopsis. From what I've gathered it sounds interesting, the title intrigues me, and the last sentence about the killer possibly being the MC's father sounds awesome, so I have high hopes for this one!

Avalon: I liked Mindee Arnett's debut The Nightmare Affair well enough, and have kept an open mind towards reading her other novels, and this sounds awesome awesome awesome. Spaceships! Teenage mercenaries! JOSS WHEDON IS IN THE SYNOPSIS!

Cruel Beauty: Beauty and the Beast? Um yes please. 

The Promise of Amazing: I have a feeling this one will be either incredibly adorable or insufferably cheesy and cliché, but I guess I'll have to find out which one it is once I read it!

No One Else Can Have You: This sounds like SO. MUCH. FUN. Seriously. A murder mystery? And in a small town? Want. Want want want. 

Not A Drop To Drink: I've been dying to read this one for a while, and I'm so excited to finally be able to get around to it. I've been meaning to read an awesome and original dystopian novel lately, and this sounds like just that. (And it's got awesome reviews to back it up.)

Uninvited: A gene that classifies you as a murderer? The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report? Now that just sounds too good to pass up. 

Chasing Shadows: Ah, a good old-fashioned revenge story dealing with grief and insanity. I've been craving one of those since Premeditated, so I can't wait to get to this. I hope it whets my revenge story appetite!

Pieces of Me: I'll be honest, I wasn't too sure about this one at first. It sounded a bit too wacky and the synopsis alone confused me, but I figured I would at least give it a shot, and if it is as weird and confusing as the synopsis initially suggested, I'll abandon it. 

Panic: I wasn't a huge fan of Delirium, but I loved her prose in it, and the main downfall for Delirium was my lack of connection to the plot, characters, and I found the pacing to be too slow, but I hope those won't be issues with Panic. Based on the synopsis, I think it's safe to say a lack of connection with the plot won't be an issue for me, nor will slow pacing, but I hope I can connect to the characters.

HUGE thank you to HarperTeen for all the awesome titles!

What did you get this week? Let me know in the comments, or leave a link to your haul, and I'll check it out as soon as possible!

Review: Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor

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Prep School Confidential
Kara Taylor
Series: Prep School Confidential, #1
Release Date: July 30th, 2013
Publisher: St. Martins Griffin
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: Unexpected
Reviewed by: Melanie
 
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In this breathtaking debut that reads like Gossip Girl crossed with Twin Peaks, a Queen Bee at a blue-blooded New England prep school stumbles into a murder mystery.

Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne couldn't care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.

When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.

 
'It's not hard to think like a criminal. But I guess if you want to get technical about it, I am a criminal.'

Waiting on Wednesday - Perfect Ruin

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COMMENTS
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine where we post upcoming releases we're highly anticipating. My pre-publication selection for this week's Waiting on Wednesday is Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano.

Perfect Ruin
Lauren DeStefano
Series: Internment Chronicles, #1
Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Waited on by: Blythe

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On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.