Mini Review: Winter Damage by Natasha Carthew

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COMMENTS

Winter Damage
Natasha Carthew
Series: None
Release Date: August 1st, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Rating: 2.5 stars
Word Rating: Okay-ish
Reviewed by: Mel

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On a frozen Cornish moor, a fifteen-year-old girl lives in a trailer with her dad and little brother. Ennor's mother left years ago, when things started to go wrong - and gradually their world has fallen apart. Now her father's gravely ill, school has closed, and Ennor knows they're going to take her brother away if things don't pick up soon. So three days before Christmas, when the wind is cold and her dad's health takes a turn for the worse, Ennor packs a blanket, a map, a saucepan and a gun into her rucksack, and sets off to find her mum and bring her home. Ennor thinks she knows where she's going. But this journey will change her life for ever - it becomes a battle for survival, a heartbreaking story of love and friendship, and a fable about not finding what you were looking for, but finding something more important instead...


Review: Shadowlark by Meagan Spooner

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Shadowlark
Meagan Spooner
Series: Skylark, #2
Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab
Rating: 3 stars
Word Rating: Much Better
Reviewed by: Kate

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Ever since she escaped the city within the Wall, Lark Ainsley's wanted one thing: to find her brother Basil. She's always believed he would be the one to put an end to the constant fear and flight. And now, hidden underground in the chaotically magical city of Lethe, Lark feels closer to him than ever. 

But Lethe is a city cowering in fear of its founder, the mysterious Prometheus, and of his private police force. To get the truth about what happened to Basil, Lark has no choice but to face Prometheus.

Facing her fears has become second nature to Lark. Facing the truth is another matter.

Lark never asked to be anyone's savior. She certainly never wanted to be anyone's weapon. She might not have a choice.


Waiting on Wednesday - Vitro by Jessica Khoury

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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 Vitro by Jessica Khoury.

Vitro
Jessica Khoury
Series: Origin (Companion)
Release Date: January 14th, 2014
Publisher: Razorbill
Waited on by: Blythe

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On a remote island in the Pacific, Corpus scientists have taken test tube embryos and given them life. These beings--the Vitros--have knowledge and abilities most humans can only dream of. But they also have one enormous flaw.

Sophie Crue is determined to visit Skin Island and find her mother, a scientist who left Sophie behind years ago. She enlists hunky charter pilot Jim Julien to take her there. But once on the island, Sophie and Jim encounter more than they bargained for, including a charming, brilliant Vitro named Nicholas and an innocent, newly awoken one named Lux.

In a race for their lives, Sophie and Jim are about to discover what happens when science stretches too far beyond its reach.


Release Day Review: Crown of Midnight

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Crown of Midnight
Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass, #2
Release Date: Today! Go get it!
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Rating: 4.5 stars
Word Rating: *clutches heart*
Reviewed by: Blythe

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An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.

But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice. 

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

Coming Attractions: Pawn by Aimée Carter

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COMMENTS
Coming Attractions is inspired by The Perpetual Page Turner's Save The Date. Coming Attractions showcases a book that is not released for a while that I've read, and gives you a sneak peek (like a pre-review, if you will) as to what I thought about the book, since I can't post the review until closer to the release date.

Pawn
Aimée Carter
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1
Release Date: November 26th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: Awesomeness!
Full review to come: in October
Reviewed by: Blythe

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YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING.

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. 

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

Getting to Know You: The Answers!

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All right.  You asked us a lot of (really, really good) questions, and we answered.  Twice.  See, we had the post completely finished and ready to go up a week ago, but then all the text disappeared.  We all secretly suspect that this is somehow my (Kate's) fault, as I am terrible with computers, but we've decided to be nice and blame it on Blogger instead.

There were a few questions that none of us could come up with answers for, so unfortunately we left those off, and we also removed a few more for brevity's sake--as this post got very long very, very fast.  I think you'll feel you know us much better after having read this--at least we hope you do!  And please, feel free to leave us a comment with your own answers to these questions if you'd like--we would love to learn more about our lovely blog readers as well!

To the answers!


Review: How I Lost You by Janet Gurtler

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How I Lost You
Janet Gurtler
Series: None
Release Date: April 23rd, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: 3.5 stars
Word Rating: Best friends... forever?
Reviewed by: Mel

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There are a few things Grace Anderson knows for sure. One is that nothing will ever come between her and her best friend, Kya Kessler. They have a pact. Buds Before Studs. Sisters Before Misters. But in the summer before senior year, life throws out challenges they never expected. And suddenly the person who's always been there starts to need the favor returned. Grace and Kya are forced to question how much a best friend can forgive. And the answer is not what they expected.

Waiting on Wednesday - The Winner's Curse

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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 The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski.

The Winner's Curse
Marie Rutkoski
Release Date: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss & Girroux
Waited on by: Blythe

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In the tradition of Kristin Cashore and Cassandra Clare comes this brilliant, unputdownable, star-crossed romance about the curse of winning.

Seventeen-year-old Kestrel is an aristocratic citizen of Valoria, a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers. Here, a girl like Kestrel has two choices: join the military or get married. Despite her skills in military strategy, Kestrel’s real passion is music.Which is why she feels compelled to buy Arin, a slave with a talent for singing, at auction. It’s not long before she finds herself falling in love with Arin, and he seems to feel the same for her. But Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for Arin is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

Movie Review: The Conjuring

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The Conjuring
Release Date: July 19th, 2013
Director: James Wan
Genre: Horror
Rating: R
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Grade Rating: A
 photo ScreenShot2013-08-12at42051PM.png

Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville. "The Conjuring" tells the true story of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga), world renowned paranormal investigators, who were called to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most horrifying case of their lives.

Waiting on Wednesday - NIL

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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 NIL by Lynne Matson.

NIL
Lynne Matson
Series: None
Release Date: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: Macmillan
Waited on by: Blythe

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On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that she has to find a way to beat the clock, and quickly.

Release Day Review: False Sight by Dan Krokos

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False Sight
Dan Krokos
Series: False Memory, #2
Release Date: August 13th, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: Intense
Reviewed by: Kate

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All Miranda wants is a normal life. She's determined to move past the horrible truth of her origin as a clone so she can enjoy time with her boyfriend, Peter, and the rest of her friends at school. But Miranda quickly learns that there's no such thing as normal - not for a girl who was raised to be a weapon. When one of her teammates turns rogue, it begins a war that puts the world in jeopardy. Now Miranda must follow her instincts - not her heart - in order to save everything she's fought so hard to keep. with the image of a terrible future seared into her mind, what will she have to sacrifice to protect the people she loves?

Joint Review/Discussion: Indelible by Dawn Metcalf

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Indelible
Dawn Metcalf
Series: The Twixt, #1
Release Date: Today (July 30th)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating: 2 stars
Word Rating: Ink-redibly boring
Reviewed by: Kate and Melanie

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Some things are permanent.

Indelible.

And they cannot be changed back.

Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.

Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future...and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

Somewhere between reality and myth lies…

THE TWIXT

OK.  So here's the deal.  I read this book and could not believe how bad it was.  I hated it enough that I decided it must have been written with thirteen year olds in mind, because younger people look at relationships differently.  Because they haven't been punched in the face by life quite as much as those of us twice their age.  Mel saw my comment and decided that, being a thirteen-year-old girl, she should give it a try.  And then we had a conversation about what she thought.  The following is our chat log.

In this conversation we may spoil some very minor plot points, and there's a bigger spoiler toward the end, but we'll mark that so you can avoid it.

Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

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COMMENTS

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Morgan Matson
Series: None
Release Date: May 4th, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Rating: 3 stars
Word Rating: This book? Meh.
Reviewed by: Melanie

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Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

 'It’s not about the destination. It’s getting there that’s the good part.'

Waiting on Wednesday - Man Made Boy

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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 Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron

Man Made Boy
Jon Skovron
Series: None
Release Date: October 3rd, 2013
Publisher: Viking Penguin
Waited on by: Blythe

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Love can be a real monster.

Sixteen-year-old Boy’s never left home. When you’re the son of Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride, it’s tough to go out in public, unless you want to draw the attention of a torch-wielding mob. And since Boy and his family live in a secret enclave of monsters hidden under Times Square, it’s important they maintain a low profile.

Boy’s only interactions with the world are through the Internet, where he’s a hacker extraordinaire who can hide his hulking body and stitched-together face behind a layer of code. When conflict erupts at home, Boy runs away and embarks on a cross-country road trip with the granddaughters of Jekyll and Hyde, who introduce him to malls and diners, love and heartbreak. But no matter how far Boy runs, he can’t escape his demons—both literal and figurative—until he faces his family once more.

This hilarious, romantic, and wildly imaginative tale redefines what it means to be a monster—and a man.

Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where each week we're given a new book-related topic, and give our top ten books relating to the week's given topic. This week's topic is the Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels.


1. The Beginning of Everything: I completely fell in love with Robyn Schneider's gorgeous debut, along with her characters, and would love to have the chance to revisit them some day. Although the main relationship was wrapped up pretty tightly by the end of the novel, there are some other lives, relationships, and perspectives (*cough* Toby's) that I would love to read about.

2. Perfect Lies: So, I wasn't a huge fan of Mind Games, but I will say that, for those of you who don't know already, Perfect Lies REALLY surprised me. In every sense of the word, this installment of Mind Games was an improvement upon the first. It is also, however, the last installment. I don't know where Kiersten White will go with Annie and Fia's stories should there ever be a third installment or companion novel, but the ending of Perfect Lies was open enough for there to be possibilities, and I'm hopeful.

3. Life After Theft: This book was so much fun for me, and I really enjoyed the character development, but that ending was just heartbreaking for me. And a little...blunt? I understand that the bluntness made the ending bear more of an impact on the reader (and it did), but I would love to see how the events of Life After Theft affects Jeff in his future.


4. September Girls: Show of hands, who is surprised to find this book on this list? You should be surprised, because, as you probably already know, I hated this book. I really, truly hated it. BUT, I would be interested in seeing how much, or even if, Sam has really "changed" after his relationship with DeeDee in a sequel. Odds are I would not read that sequel, but I would instead ask someone who has read it to tell me what happens.

5. Boundless: I want more of this couple, plain and simple. I neeeeeed more of these two. I won't specify which two, because there are people who haven't read this trilogy yet and don't know who she ends up with, but yeah. Need.

6. Harry Potter: SELF EXPLANATORY. SEQUEL. NOW. DIRECT-SEQUEL, COMPANION, SPIN-OFF, I'LL TAKE ANYTHING.

7. The Iron Fey: Yes, I know there is the spin-off/companion to this series with Meghan's younger brother, and yes, that was pretty damn fantastic, but I want more of the original crew, too. Some more Meghan and Ash novels would be nice, but what I really, really need? A Puck novel. Nothing but Puck. Puck finding his love, Puck going for a walk, Puck eating breakfast--anything. (ALSO someone please tell me I'm not the only one who think Ash looks like Topher Grace on this cover?) 

8. Golden: This is also extremely self explanatory. To say that I merely loved Golden would be an understatement, and while I know there may not be that much to expand upon in a sequel, there are some possibilities, and that's all I need. 


9. Every Day: I've been curious about what happens to A ever since the open ending of Every Day, and while I acknowledge that the ambiguity of what happens may be the point of the ending, and that the chances of a sequel are very slim, I'd be completely interested in reading a sequel to Every Day.

10. Wild Awake: This is kind of the same as Every Day--the ending of this one was open, too, but I'm pretty sure it was ambiguous intentionally. However, I would love to see what happens between Kiri and Skunk in a sequel.

What are some books that you wish could have had sequels, or more sequels, if there already are some? Let me know in the comments, and let me know if you agree or disagree with any of my above choices!

Getting to Know You

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Hello, Dear Readers!

There have been some big changes around here lately, with the addition of Kate and Mel as reviewers, and we wanted to do something to let you get to know the three of us better.  We thought a little question-and-answer (inspired by Kara and Lyn over at Great Imaginations) might be fun.

So ask away!  What would you like to know about us?  You can ask general questions of all three of us or pose specific questions to individuals.  Leave your questions in the comments, and we'll answer them in a later post! 

Mini Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

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Perfect Chemistry
Simone Elkeles
Series: Perfect Chemistry, #1
Released: December 23rd, 2008
Publisher: Walker Books
Rating: 2 stars
Word Rating: RAGE
Reviewed by: Melanie

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A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created 'perfect' life is about to unravel before her eyes. She's forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for: her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. 

Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.


Coming Attractions: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

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COMMENTS
Coming Attractions is inspired by The Perpetual Page Turner's Save The Date. Coming Attractions showcases a book that is not released for a while that I've read, and gives you a sneak peek (like a pre-review, if you will) as to what I thought about the book, since I can't post the review until closer to the release date.

Uninvited
Sophie Jordan
Series: Uninvited, #1
Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating:  Fishladders
Reviewed by: Kate

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The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.