Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Videos of the Week

Friday, July 29, 2011 with
One of the book videos of the week is a trailer for book I just discovered yesterday. It's called The Taker by Alma Katsu.

Since the discovery I've been dying to read it. It's neither young adult nor a romance novel but it sounds soooo good! I love the trailer too.

I do wish they would've slowed down on the words though and made it more readable (can't really read the dark words on the dark background). They made two different trailers for The Taker and you can check out the other one here. I prefer the one above though because it tells you more about the story.
thetaker
True love can last an eternity... but immortality comes at a price...

On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting another quiet evening of frostbite and the occasional domestic dispute. But the minute Lanore McIlvrae—Lanny—walks into his ER, she changes his life forever. A mysterious woman with a past and plenty of dark secrets, Lanny is unlike anyone Luke has ever met. He is inexplicably drawn to her... despite the fact that she is a murder suspect with a police escort. And as she begins to tell her story, a story of enduring love and consummate betrayal that transcends time and mortality, Luke finds himself utterly captivated.

Her impassioned account begins at the turn of the nineteenth century in the same small town of St. Andrew, Maine, back when it was a Puritan settlement. Consumed as a child by her love for the son of the town’s founder, Lanny will do anything to be with him forever. But the price she pays is steep—an immortal bond that chains her to a terrible fate for all eternity. And now, two centuries later, the key to her healing and her salvation lies with Dr. Luke Findley.

Part historical novel, part supernatural page-turner, The Taker is an unforgettable tale about the power of unrequited love not only to elevate and sustain, but also to blind and ultimately destroy, and how each of us is responsible for finding our own path to redemption.
******

The other video this week is the teaser for Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

It's a 17-second teaser so it doesn't tell you much but I really like the graphics and the intense/suspenseful music. I've also been reading early reviews of this book and I'm intrigued. It's like nothing I've read before.

Here's the teaser:

abandon
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

What do you guys think of these book trailers? Do you want to read either books or both?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

themagnolialeague Hardback: 348 pages
Publisher: Little Brown

Release Date: May 3, 2011
ISBN: 9780316078498

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: 1st book in the series
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
After the death of her free-spirited mother, sixteen-year-old Alex Lee must leave her home in northern California to live with her wealthy grandmother in Savannah, Georgia. By birth, Alex is a rightful, if unwilling, member of the Magnolia League, Savannah's long-standing debutante society. She quickly discovers that the Magnolias have made a pact with a legendary hoodoo family, the Buzzards. The Magnolias enjoy youth, beauty and power. But at what price? As in her popular adult novels, Crouch's poignant and humorous voice shines in this seductively atmospheric story about girls growing up in a magical Southern city.


Leslie's Review:
I was really excited to read this book because of its gorgeous cover but I wasn't quite sure what to expect since I've never read anything involving hoodoo magic and I didn't know what that was. Now that I have read it, the cover and its synopsis didn't prepare me for how awesome--and oddly refreshing--a read The Magnolia League turned out to be.

This book had many things that stood it apart from other books I've read. First, the book mentioned two settings--the commune farm in northern California that Alex grew up in and the majestic mansion of Alex's wealthy grandmother, Miss Lee, in Savannah, Georgia. Both settings were very opposite from each other and I liked how their differing atmospheres played a key part in shaping Alex's character throughout the book. As for the plot, it was full of surprises and twists that kept me turning the pages to find out what will happen next. But the ending was the most surprising and I was nervous to read it because I anticipated something bad and big was going to happen. When I finally brought myself to read it... OMG!! I can't wait for the next book--even thinking about it now I'm filled with impatience for the wait.

The characters were a big part of what made this book so interesting for me. I loved them all. I loved Madison's snarky character and Hayes's genteel manners. I loved Dex for his dorky weirdness and how he was Alex's only friend who didn't criticize her interests from the very first day they met. Thaddeus (the love interest) was also great but I wish he and Alex started talking sooner in the story because I didn't really get to know his character until they started dating. Towards the end, though, I was finally beginning to get a hint of what he was like. I hope I get to read more about him in the next book. And of course there's Alex. Alex was the most interesting heroine I've ever read this year. She is this hippy girl from California suddenly plunked in the South. Throughout the book I would get so annoyed with her (like the other characters) for her stubbornness and her habit of not taking things seriously. But when she wasn't trying my patience, she was a very strong and brave. She's insecure about herself and in the ending scene I was truly nervous and scared for her so I guess that meant I cared for her character.

The Magnolia League had great settings, fantastic characters and a thrilling plot. The whole premise of hoodoo magic and its deadly consequences and the mysterious secret societies, I was really into it and it was fantastic. I know there's some mixed reviews about this book but it worked for me--it left me speechless and then wanting more. Katie Crouch ended this book with an incredible cliffhanger and now I can't wait to see what will happen next. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mass Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: August 2, 2011
ISBN: 9780425240496
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Highland Pleasures #3

Synopsis (from author's website):
Lord Cameron Mackenzie is intrigued when he finds the pretty widow, Ainsley Douglas, hiding in the window seat of his bedchamber. Cam remembers Ainsley Douglas all right—six years ago, he’d caught her in this very bedchamber, during a house party in the Mackenzies’ Scottish manor. Enchanted by her ingenuous excuses, he decided to seduce her, but stopped shy when she’d made a rather touching appeal about her “good husband who didn’t deserve to be heartbroken.”
Later, Cameron learned that her visit to his bedchamber was part of some female intrigue against him, the kind his late wife used to practice. Ainsley protested her innocence, but Cameron’s anger made him never want to see her again. Now she’s back, at another houseparty—and Cameron finds the gray-eyed minx in his bedchamber, again. Her excuses are just as ingenuous, but this time Cameron is determined to teach her a lesson.
They have unfinished business, Cameron tells her. He asks her how many of her many buttons she’ll let him unclasp, promising that before the houseparty is over, she’ll be asking him to undo them all.
Ainsley’s dismay is real. She’s on a mission to prevent embarrassment to Queen Victoria, and time is running out. Though the needs he’d stirred long ago during her unhappy marriage rise again, she knows it would be foolish to fall for love-them-and-leave-them Cameron Mackenzie.
But he asks her a question that challenges her beliefs about love and happiness, and she finds herself risking all to be with the black sheep of the Mackenzie family.


Michelle's Review:
I fell in love with the wild and tortured and oh-so-sexy Mackenzie brothers after reading the second book in the series, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage. I quickly devoured The Many Sins of Lord Cameron once I got my hands on a copy. As soon as I started reading I was reminded once again that Ms. Ashley can pen a damn excellent romance. A hero to die for? Check. A strong heroine who can hold her own? Check. A wonderful cast of secondary characters? Check. A heart-melting story that will make you happily sigh, laugh and cry? Check. A book you won't want to end because you'll have to say good-bye to the characters you've grown to love until the next book? Check. Yup, as expected (and I had high expectations), this novel is one of the best romances I've read this year.

Cameron is the most tortured and scarred hero I've read in a while and is pretty much the opposite of fun-loving, laughing Mac from Lady Isabella. As you learn more about his past and his deranged first wife, which was painful to read, you come to understand why he is the way he is. Ainsley herself has her own painful past and after her much older husband dies she went to work for Queen Victoria. She hides herself in drab gray clothing but she is a lot more than what her mouse-ish fa├žade lets on. She is strong yet gentle and can stand on her own not just with Cam but also with the wild and eccentric Mackenzie family. She may be my favorite heroine in the series yet. These two had chemistry crackling from chapter one and a combination of their mutual desire, lust and genuine love makes this novel a steamy (you're going to want to turn up the fan for this one) yet surprisingly sweet romance.

Some of favorite scenes, though, were ones with Cam's son Daniel. He is a bit wild, having grown up with the Mackenzie brothers and often gets into scrapes. But Daniel is growing up fast. There was this scene towards the end when Daniel and Cam really talk pretty much for the first time. Cam realizes that his son, despite everything that happened in the past and being raised by him and his brothers, is okay and turning out to be quite the strong, confident young man with a good head on his shoulders. This scene made me cry and it's not very often (hardly ever) a romance novel can do that to me. Besides Daniel (who will get his own book in late 2013 according to the author's website), the whole Mackenzie clan is back and growing. There was also a scene between Hart and Eleanor, whose book is the next in the series, that just about killed me because I have to wait another year for it to come out.

The Many Sins of Lord Cameron is another winner from Jennifer Ashley. It's well-written with interesting, multi-dimensional characters that you won't soon forget. It's romantic and heartfelt, steamy and sexy with just the right amount of humor. I absolutely love this book and I cannot get enough of the Mackenzies! I highly recommend you pick up this novel next week Tuesday (August 2nd) when it comes out in stores. 5 out of 5 stars


**The Many Sins of Lord Cameron is a standalone novel. You don't need to read the first two books in the series to enjoy it but it's better reading experience if you're read at least one book in the series so you kind of know the history of the brothers.**
Why I covet this book: I came into the Hex Hall series a little late. Early this year I've sworn off paranormal YA because every book in the genre I came across seemed to be just another rehashing of the Twilight plot. But with all the great reviews I was curious about Hex Hall and picked it up. I was just blown away by how good it was! It's a paranormal that was witty and has a refreshing tongue-in-cheek humor, great world building, fantastic characters and so not another Twilight. In short, Hex Hall and Demonglass (the second book in the series) are two of the best books I've read this year and I cannot wait to read the final book in the series, Spell Bound.

spellboundSpell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins
(out March 13, 2012)
Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

LOVE how the all covers in the series match. Wouldn't these three look so pretty in your shelf next to each other?
hexhall demonglass spellbound

For more info and to read an excerpt about Spell Bound and the rest of the series, visit the author's blog. Clicking on any of the covers will take you to the book's Goodreads page.


What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.


"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series I am going to be doing here.
It will feature books I am very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is similar to the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. However, some of the books may already be published and others may still be in pre-order. I will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. Click on the WoW image on the left to join in!

Monday, July 25, 2011

starstruck ARC: 244 pages
Publisher: Delacorte

Release Date: July 12, 2011
ISBN: 9780385738501

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: none
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Gwendolyn "Dough" X doesn't think she has much going for her—she carries a few extra pounds, her family struggles with their small bakery in a town full of millionaires, and the other kids at her New Jersey high school don't seem to know that she exists. Thank the stars for her longtime boyfriend, Philip P. Wishman—or "Wish." He moved away to California three years ago, when they were 13, but then professed his love for her via e-mail, and he's been her long-distance BF ever since. At the beginning of her junior year, though, Wish e-mails that he's moving back to Jersey. Great, right? Well, except that Dough has gained about 70 pounds since the last time Wish saw her, while Wish—according to his Facebook photos—has morphed into a blonde god. Convinced that she'll be headed for Dumpsville the minute Wish lays eyes on her, Dough delays their meeting as long as she possibly can. But when she sees Wish at school, something amazing happens. He looks at Dough like she's just as gorgeous as he is. But Wish is acting a little weird, obsessed with the sun and freaked out by rain. And the creepy new guy working at the bakery, Christian, is convinced that there's more to Wish's good looks than just healthy eating and lots of sun. He tells Dough that a mark on Wish's neck marks him as a member of the Luminati—an ancient cult of astrologers who can manipulate the stars to improve their lives. Is Wish and Dough's love meant to be—or are they star-crossed?


Leslie's Review:
Gwendolyn "Dough" Reilly's longtime, long-distance boyfriend Wish is moving back to California for their junior year. Dough is happy, right? Wrong. How can she hide the 70 pounds she gained since the last time they saw each other? Or that she has not friends and no one notices her at school? Not to mention the fact that Wish has morphed into a total blonde god. But when Wish finally sees Dough, he doesn't break up with her the minute he lays eyes on her like she thought he would. Rather he thinks Dough as gorgeous as he is. Is he blind? Wish also has been acting very strange with his obsession with the sun and being freaked out by the rain. Then, Christian, the new guy working at Dough's family bakery, is convinced that Wish is a member of the Luminati--an ancient cult of astrologers that manipulate the stars to make their lives better. Could Christian be right? What will happen to Dough and Wish's love if he is?

First, the characters. I thought Dough's character was most enjoyable and I loved reading about her embarrassing moments, along with her sarcastic narration, that I found myself giggling to throughout the book. The creepy guy Christian turned out to be not so bad and I found myself liking him enough that a small part of me wished that a bit of a romance happened between him and Dough. As for Wish, besides looking like a "blonde god," he also was a good, supportive friend and boyfriend to Dough. I loved their relationship in the book because they were best friends first before becoming something more. Wish was my kind of hero and I was little jealous of Dough for having such an amazing boyfriend.

I liked the premise of this book because not only was this book about accepting yourself but it had a bit of a twist with the Luminati and the mystery of why Wish was acting weird. Starstruck was an easy read that I finished within days. The best part was Dough's first-person narration which was full of humorous sarcasm. Unfortunately, it took me about the first third of the book to really get into it. I couldn't quite get into the story and after I put it down, I wouldn't be eager to pick it back up. After I got over that hump in the beginning, the story started to grab my attention and I thought it was a good read over all.

Starstruck reads more like a contemporary novel with a touch of fantasy and magic which I thought was a nice mix. It has an enjoyable and unique plot, wonderful characters and a great message about accepting yourself. This was my first book by Cyn Balog and I'm definitely planning to read her other books soon. Suggestions? 3.75 out of 5 stars

Saturday, July 23, 2011

In Our Mailbox (36)

Saturday, July 23, 2011 with
Hi everyone! We hope you're all having a wonderful summer. Sadly, it's almost over for us. Leslie goes back to school on August 2nd as a sophomore and I am starting a new phase of my life (more on that on a later post).

Anyway, I haven't participated in IMM for weeks and that's because this month I've been getting maybe one or two books a week. I thought it would be better if I waited till the end of the month to do one big IMM. I hope you all enjoy the vlog:


For Review
Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake
Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray
The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley

(I already read Lord Cameron and it was sooo good! I'll be reviewing it this coming week.
You're gonna want to mark your calendars, it comes out on August 2nd.)

Garden of Secrets by Barbara Freethy
Vanished in the Night by Eileen Carr
The Lady of the Storm by Kathryne Kennedy
Tempted by Elisabeth Naughton
(A big THANK YOU to Tor Teen, LBYR, Pocket/Simon & Schuster, Sourcebooks Casablanca, and Berkley/Penguin for sending me the books.)

Won
Abandoned by Meg Cabot & bracelet
My Irresistible Earl by Gaelen Foley
Seven Secrets of Seduction by Anne Mallory

Other Books Mentioned
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
The Fire Lord's Lover by Kathryne Kennedy (not shown)


Please let us know what books you got this week and we'll be sure to check them out. Happy reading everyone! :]


inourmailbox
"In My Mailbox"
is a weekly event that gives book bloggers a chance share with each other what books got added to their to-be-read pile for the week. It was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie and hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Today we are featuring something different from the usual young adult books trailers we usually post here [almost] every Friday. Children's picture books trailers! Children's picture books have the some of the most cutest book trailers out of all the book genres.

This first one is for Ollie & Moon by Diane Kredensor and it's super cute!

Loved the trailer! Cute, right? Here's the blurb:
olliemoon
Ollie and Moon are best friends, and Ollie loves surprising Moon almost as much as Moon loves guessing Ollie's surprises. Today, Ollie has the best surprise yet for Moon, and she can't wait to guess what it is! As they gambol through the streets of Paris, hints about the surprise accumulate every step of the way. Will Moon guess Ollie's surprise before they reach it? Tickled readers will be guessing right alongside Moon!

Diane Kredensor is an Emmy award-winning children's television director and artist. She was inspired to write this "buddy story" by her love of people, her love of travel, and her love of cheese! The distinctive art style features Diane's bold, stylized characters superimposed atop Sandra Kress's charming photographs of Paris. French words and landmarks add to the fun. This delightful friendship story will keep readers laughing as they join Ollie and Moon on their cumulative guessing game through the City of Light.

This next one has a scarrry monster and it's the SUBSTITUTE TEACHER!! This trailer is for Substitute Creacher by Chris Gall. I love the illustrations on this one.


So awesome! Here's the blurb:
substitutecreacher
The troublemaking students of Ms. Jenkins' class arrive at school one day to discover a substitute creacher has come to put a stop to their monkey business! He regales them with mind-boggling stories about his former students who didn't follow the rules: Keith the glue-eater, Zach the daydreamer, and Hank the prankster, to name a few. But even this multi-tentacled, yellow-spotted, one-eyed monster's cautionary tales about the consequences of mischief-making can't seem to change the students' wicked ways until he reveals the spookiest and most surprising story of all: his own.

Chris Gall's vibrant artwork leaps off the page with a dynamic comic book aesthetic that will grab both parents and monster-loving kids!


We love reading children's books. Sometimes when we go to the library we usually spend twenty minutes in the children's section just browsing the children's picture books.

That was a nice little break from YA and romance trailers, right? LOL. But no worries, we'll be back with a YA trailer next week. Let us know what you think of the Ollie & Moon and Substitute Creacher trailers. Do you still read children's picture books? Do you have a favorite (ours are the David books by David Shannon)?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

missperegrine Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books

Release Date: June 7, 2011
ISBN: 9781594744761

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: none
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.


Michelle's Review:
Before I get into what I thought of the plot, characters and such I first want to mention how beautifully put together Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is. Keeping with the vintage photographs within its pages, the book itself looks like a vintage book that you might see in an old library if you remove the dust jacket. I love the overall look and feel of the book.

I admit to looking through the pictures first before actually reading the novel. I wondered how the creepy (sometimes disturbing and freaky) photos would work in the story but when I finally actually read it they did. The photos were part of the experience that is Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I think some might be put off by the pictures though (especially those who don't like to read scary story) but don't let the pictures fool you, this novel is NOT a horror story. Instead it was a fantastic adventure story with a whimsical quality to it and right from page one it grabbed me and wouldn't let go until the very last page. The plot was fast-paced and the back story of how Miss Peregrine's Home came to be was fascinating. I loved the characters, especially the peculiar children and their unusual abilities. All the characters have their own personality and you just grow to love them.

This novel has something for everybody: fast-paced adventure, mystery, unusual characters, magic with just a dash romance. It's spooky and quirky and touching all at the same time. The writing was slightly awkward at times but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story. I highly recommend it. 4.5 out of 5 stars

If my review didn't convince you, check out the book video:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

sometimesithappens ARC: 320 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: July 12, 2011
ISBN: 9781442413146

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: none
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
On the last day of her junior year, Hannah's boyfriend Sebastian dumped her. Facing a summer of loneliness, Hannah turns to her best friend Ava for comfort. Ava does what BFFs do: she stays by Hannah's side...until it's time for Ava to head up to Maine for the summer. Also left behind is Ava's boyfriend, Noah, who's such a great guy he gets Hannah a job at the diner he waits tables at. Slowly, Hannah comes out of her funk thanks to Noah's good conversation and their fun times at the diner. But things get complicated when their friendship turns into attraction--and one night, into a passionate kiss.
The novel opens on the first day of senior year; the day Hannah is going to see Ava, Sebastian, and Noah all in one place. Over the course of the day secrets and betrayals are revealed, and alliances are broken and reformed. In the end, everyone is paired up once again, but not the way you might think...


Michelle's Review:
After reading and thoroughly enjoying Lauren Barnholdt's Two-Way Street, I was really excited to read Sometimes It Happens. Plus I really like what I like to call the "Something Borrowed" (after the Emily Giffin novel) plot where two girls are the best of friends and then the "good girl" friend/heroine ends up "stealing" her more extrovert BFF's boyfriend. I'm always curious how an author will tackle it. To me it's not an easy plot to pull off because the reader, still needs to like and care for the heroine even after she steals her best friend's boyfriend and the boyfriend himself needs to be swoon-worthy enough that it's believable for a girl to throw away years of [if somewhat unbalanced] friendship for him.

And that was what happened in Sometimes It Happens. Hannah was the introvert, "nice girl" and she was best friends with Ava, who was more outgoing and has a take-charge kind of personality. Ava had her good qualities and was not a horrible girl but I did immediately take to Hannah. There were hints that there was a disparity in their friendship throughout the book but I wish their friendship was explored more. Hannah did grow as a character--in the beginning of the book she's very depressed about her boyfriend cheating on her and their break-up and she's very dependent on Ava (who was really her only friend). By the end, she did learn to stand up on her own without Ava, formed new friendships, was stronger and more assertive. As for Noah, he was such a sweetheart--he's definitely crush-worthy. I really enjoyed watching him and Hannah start to develop feelings for each other as they worked and spend time together in the summer. There were a lot of ups and downs for these two as they both fought their feelings for each other but I thought the development of their relationship (from friendship to love) was well-done.

The novel's chapters alternate between the first day of senior year and the summer before senior year. Hannah narrates the story in first person in both instances and I did like the set up of the book, though I preferred reading the summer parts because of the Hannah and Noah cuteness. Yes, Lauren Barnholdt did pull off the "Something Borrowed" plot though I thought the situation between Hannah and Ava was tied up too neatly in the end. The ending was one of those [spoiler--highlight to read →] "happy sigh" types but I wish there was an epilogue (maybe during their high school graduation) just to see how everyone is doing. Overall, this book was a quick, entertaining read with a really sweet friendship-to-love romance. If you're looking for a summer read with lots of friend and boy drama, look no further than Sometimes It Happens. 4 out of 5 stars
Why I covet this book: I absolutely loved the first book in the series Delirium. And I am so eager to read Pandemonium after that cliffhanger ending in Delirium.

Seriously, it's torture how some authors end books like that then make us wait (in this case) a whole year for the next book to come out. Then again, some books are worth the wait.


pandemoniumPandemonium by Lauren Oliver (out March 6, 2012)
Lauren Oliver captivated readers with Delirium, the first book in a thrilling dystopian trilogy in which Lena Haloway dared to fall in love with Alex and escape the cure, the government-mandated procedure that renders a person immune to the disease of love. Lena and Alex staked their lives on leaving their oppressive society, but only Lena broke free.

Pandemonium continues Lena’s gripping story. After escaping from Portland, Maine, Lena makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community, where she transforms herself into a warrior for the resistance. A future without Alex is unimaginable, but Lena pushes forward and fights, both for him and for a world in which love is no longer considered a disease. Swept up in a volatile mix of revolutionaries and counterinsurgents, Lena struggles to survive—and wonders if she may be falling in love again.

Full of danger, forbidden romance, and exquisite writing, Lauren Oliver’s sequel to
Delirium races forward at a breathtaking pace and is sure to appeal to fans who crave the high-stakes action of The Hunger Games and the bittersweet love story of Romeo & Juliet.

I absolutely love that cover and it will look so pretty next to the new cover of Delirium (which I prefer to the original). Here it is in case you haven't seen it yet:
delirium

A concern though after reading that synopsis. It says "Swept up in a volatile mix of revolutionaries and counterinsurgents, Lena struggles to survive—and wonders if she may be falling in love again." What? She's falling in love again? Does this mean with another guy? Possibly one of those revolutionaries and counterinsurgents she meets in the Invalid community? I hope not. Please no love triangles. One of the reasons I enjoyed Delirium so much was because there was no love triangle. Plus I really, really liked Alex's character.

I guess I'll just have to see when I read it. March can't come soon enough.

For more info and to read an excerpt about Pandemonium, visit the author's blog. Clicking on the cover will take you to the book's Goodreads page.


What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.


"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series I am going to be doing here.
It will feature books I am very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is similar to the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. However, some of the books may already be published and others may still be in pre-order. I will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. Click on the WoW image on the left to join in!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Interview with author Laurel McKee

Monday, July 18, 2011 with


We would like to welcome author Laurel McKee here on our blog today. Her new book is Lady of Seduction, book #3 in the Daughters of Erin series featuring the Blacknall sisters. She is part of the Forever Historical Blog Tour and we are so happy to be able to ask her a few questions.

5 songs in Lady of Seduction soundtrack.
--I love this question! I always make soundtracks when I start my books to help put me in the story's mood.

1) "I'll Tell Me Ma" (trad. Irish song)
2) "Fools Rush In" (Bow Wow Wow)
3) "The Lake Isle of Inishfree" (another traditional Irish song--Cherish The Ladies has a great version)
4) "Only Girl (In The World)" Rihanna
5) "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" Billie Holiday

4 adjectives to describe Caroline.
1) Smart/bookish
2) Cautious (until she finds out how fun adventure can be!)
3) Youngest (daughter)
4) Curious

3 adjectives to describe Grant.
1) Handsome (of course!)
2) Brooding
3) Chivalrous (reluctantly)

2 favorite characters from Lady of Seduction and why.
Besides the hero and heroine?? I did like Maeve, the talkative Irish maid, and Mademoiselle Victorine, the flirtatious Frenchwoman (I sort of wonder what happened to her when she went back to France...)

1 favorite scene from Lady of Seduction.
I confess--I do like the love scene where Caroline ties Grant up! But I also love the scenes where they ride across the wild Irish landscape...

Thanks for answering our questions, Laurel! Fellow romance lovers, to learn more about Laurel's books, check out her website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Here's the synopsis for Lady of Seduction by Laurel McKee (in case you missed it from our earlier post:

ladyofseduction
It's a mad, ill-advised journey that leads the usually sensible Lady Caroline Blacknall to the legendary isle of Muirin Inish, off the windswept coast of Ireland. Even so, she doesn't expect to find herself shipwrecked and then rescued by a man she believed she would never see again. A man who, long ago, held her life in his hands . . . and with it, her heart.

Reformed rake Sir Grant Dunmore knew he could never forget the beautiful woman he once endangered nor will he ever forgive himself. But history seems doomed to repeat itself, for as long as Caroline stays on the island, she is trapped in a secret plot that could forever free Ireland-or turn deadly for all. And yet, now that she is in his arms again, how can he dream of ever letting her go?
And be sure to check out the first two books in the Daughters of Erin series:
countessofscandal duchessofsin

And of course for a chance to win ALL three books in the Forever Historical Blog Tour go to our earlier post. There you can fill out a form for a chance to win set of these books:
tamedhighlander temptationsscoundrelladyofseduction


Before we announce the winners, we would like to welcome our new followers. We hope you'll decide to stay with us. We feature both young adult and romance novels here on the blog. We usually post 2 reviews a week and post book related stuff between reviews. If giveaways are your thing, we have a few of those a month and there will be a big one coming up in September when we celebrate our 2nd blogoversary.

Okay, enough chit-chat. The winner of our BlogFest 2011 giveaway... drum roll please... is

#184 Dinda_SI

And because we reached our goal of 1,000 followers (thank you all so much!), there's a second winner and it's...

#48 Sophia

Congrats to you both! You both should have received an email from us. Please respond in the next 48 hours with your shipping address. If we don't get an email back in 48 hours, we will pick new winner(s).

Thank you all so much for making BlogFest 2011 such a success. Remember, we'll have another big giveaway in September to celebrate our blogoversary (yes, it will be international). We hope you'll help us celebrate then. :)


Do you read historical romance like you eat potato chips? Can't get enough historical romance? Then this blog tour is for you! Forever is featuring three romance authors and their new historical romance releases. Read on for a chance to win ALL three books!

We were lucky enough to be able to interview one of the authors--Paula Quinn. Her new book is Tamed by a Highlander, book #3 in the Children of the Mist series.

5 songs in the Tamed by a Highlander soundtrack.
Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri
Addicted by Kelly Clarkson
Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars
When We Dance by Sting
Mist Covered Mountains by Scot Cawthorn

4 adjectives to describe Connor.
Charming
Determined
Confident
Perceptive

3 adjectives to describe Mairi.
Loyal
Passionate
Unyielding

2 real-life historical figures that will make a cameo in Tamed by a Highlander.
King James Stuart
William of Orange (King William III)

1 favorite scene from Tamed by a Highlander.
“Do ye see that?”

She narrowed her eyes and then she took a step forward. Was that a rooftop? A chimney?

He took her hand before she could ask him and led her and their horses through the thicket. They emerged in an open field grass and lush carpets of bluebell and poppies. It was so beautiful that Mairi had to stop to take it all in. He urged her onward, bringing her to where the field slopped downward into a small vale.

Mairi stopped again, and this time, Connor remained still at her side as she gazed at a small manor house nestled in the center of the vale, surrounded on every side by more bluebells and tall yellow flowers that swayed in the misty breeze.

“’Tis…” She caught her breath and fought the sudden sting behind her eyes.

“Aye?”

“...the bonniest place I have ever seen. Who lives there?”

“I do.”

She turned to look at him, unsure if she heard him right. “Ye?” When he nodded, she shook her head. “I thought ye lived at Whitehall? How…? When…?”

He smiled. “I began building it seven years ago.” He curled his fingers around hers again and picked up his steps.
Thanks for answering our questions, Paula! Fellow romance lovers, to learn more about Paula's books, check out her website and follow her on Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook.

Here's the synopsis for Tamed by a Highlander:
abandon
A LOVER'S PROMISE
Connor Grant left his first love in the Highlands, vowing to return after serving in the king's army. Seven years later, he is still fighting for the crown, and his victories are legendary-both in the battlefield and in the bedroom. Yet he's never forgotten his bonnie lass. And he certainly never expected to see her amidst the splendor of the British royal court: beautiful, breathtaking, and tempting him past the point of no return.

A LADY'S DESTINY
The night he left, Mairi MacGregor banished Connor from her life forever. Now her heart belongs only to Scotland. As part of a secret alliance, she journeys to London in search of information . . . only to find herself face to face with the one man she swore she'd never trust again. Though Mairi's body still craves Connor's touch, she can't forgive his betrayal. But a traitor lurks in their midst and to protect her beloved Highlands, Mairi must make a leap of faith and join forces with Connor-even if it means losing her heart to him again.
Check out the other two historical romances in the tour. Here's the synopsis for Lady of Seduction by Laurel McKee. It's the third book in her Daughters of Erin trilogy.

ladyofseduction
It's a mad, ill-advised journey that leads the usually sensible Lady Caroline Blacknall to the legendary isle of Muirin Inish, off the windswept coast of Ireland. Even so, she doesn't expect to find herself shipwrecked and then rescued by a man she believed she would never see again. A man who, long ago, held her life in his hands . . . and with it, her heart.

Reformed rake Sir Grant Dunmore knew he could never forget the beautiful woman he once endangered nor will he ever forgive himself. But history seems doomed to repeat itself, for as long as Caroline stays on the island, she is trapped in a secret plot that could forever free Ireland-or turn deadly for all. And yet, now that she is in his arms again, how can he dream of ever letting her go?
The synopsis of Sue-Ellen Welfonder's Temptation of a Highland Scoundrel. It's the second book in her Highland Warriors series.
temptationofahighlandscoundrel
The second book in the Highland Warriors trilogy, in which three heroes make a pact to insure that a rival clan doesn't take over their glen and cause destruction. At the same time, three women will plot to marry these heroes to help insure peace.

In TEMPTATION OF A HIGHLAND SCOUNDREL, Kendrew Macintosh's reputation precedes him: he wields an ax with deathly precision, strikes fear into his enemies, and lusts after beautiful women. But Kendrew has never met someone whose passion rivals his own-until an unexpected encounter with a mysterious woman. Unfortunately, he soon discovers that the vixen is Isobel Cameron, daughter of an enemy clansman. Their relationship is forbidden and Kendrew breaks away immediately. Isobel has her own scheme. She has lusted after Kendrew for some time and plans to draw the fierce warrior back into her arms. But in the darkness, villainous forces are at play--an enemy is determined to keep the two lovers apart, even if it means death.

Do you want to win all three historical romances: Tamed by a Highlander, Lady of Seduction & Temptations of a Highland Scoundrel?

Thanks to Brianne and Hachette, I have 2 sets to give away.

Hurry and get your entry in! This giveaway is running for ONE WEEK ONLY.
To enter, fill out the form:
Click HERE if you cannot see the form above.

IMPORTANT: See "Special Giveaway Policy" for complete rules and disclaimers. By entering the giveaway, you agree to the terms stated on that page. Thanks for entering and good luck!

Friday, July 15, 2011

BlogFest 2011 Giveaway

Friday, July 15, 2011 with
Labels:
Update: If we reach 1,000 followers by the end of BlogFest there WILL BE a second winner who will win their choice of one of the Prize #3 books.


It's BlogFest 2011 time!! We had so much fun last year that we decided to participated again this year. Check out what you can win:
Prize #1: Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld (US only)
It includes all 4 books in the series: Uglies, Pretties, Specials and Extras.


Prize #2: Box of YA Books (US only)
It includes the following titles:
Torment (Fallen #2) by Lauren Kate (ARC)
Passion (Fallen #3) by Lauren Kate (ARC)
Abandon by Meg Cabot (Hardcover)
The Ivy by Lauren Kunze & Rina Onur (Paperback)
Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (Paperback)
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (Hardcover)
The Emerald Atlas by John Stevens (ARC)
Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell (ARC)
(All are brand-new except for Ten Miles which is gently read.)


Prize #3: A choice of any ONE (1) book from above. (Open Internationally)
Titles Include (all are paperbacks):
The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley
Snapped by Laura Griffin
Vanished in the Night by Eileen Carr
Archangel's Blade by Nalini Singh
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The Duff by Kody Keplinger
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
The YA books are personal favorite of ours and the romances are titles we will be reviewing in the near future. This prize is open anywhere Book Depository will ship. All the romance novels and the paperback of Anna & the French Kiss are all pre-orders.

Excited?? Go forth and enter! One (1) lucky reader will win their choice of one of prize #1, #2 or #3.

Giveaway Rules:
  • MUST be a blog follower to enter.
  • Leave a comment with your choice of which prize pack you want to win and your email address so we can contact you if you win.
  • Please leave only ONE comment.
  • Prize packs #1 & #2 are open to US addresses only.
  • Only prize #3 is open internationally (open anywhere The Book Depository will ship--see the list of countries here).
  • Ends July 17 at 11:59 PM EST. The winner will be announced soon afterward.
  • As always, the winner will be chosen using random.org.

For more BlogFest giveaway goodness checkout these blogs:
Michelle's Book Blog
Middle of the Road Reviews
Minding Spot
Missie
Mom vs. the Boys

For a complete list of blogs participating in BlogFest 2011, go to A Journey of Books. To help you track which blogs you've visited go to BlogFest 2011 Tracking Site--each blog that you track as having visited earns you an entry into a special giveaway!

Thank you for visiting our blog. Good luck and happy BlogFest!! :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

huntress ARC: 296 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux

Release Date: June 7, 2011
ISBN: 9780374399054

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: none
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
PLEASE READ THIS! MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!
Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment. Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure. But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else be the one to decide which book I read for English. Or whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: Chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated! Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever. But don’t take my word for it, read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.


Leslie's Review:
I've never read a book by Jessica Brody before but when I read the synopsis of My Life Undecided, I was super excited to read it. Asking people to make my decisions for me was sort of a fantasy of mine so I wanted to see how the story will play out. I found My Life Undecided to be an enjoyable and entertaining read that I just couldn't put it down. I laughed at Brooklyn's embarrassing mishaps and in my head I began to sound like my mom telling Brooklyn "I told you so" whenever she made the wrong decision once again and screwed things up for herself even more. But I was frustrated with the way she was unable to make a decision for herself and I wanted to reach in and grab hold of Brooklyn to shake some common sense into her. Nevertheless I thought Brooklyn was fun-loving and witty throughout the book. I enjoyed reading about her and her life. By the time I reached the end of the book, I had grown to love her and was a bit sad to leave her. She had grown into herself so much.

One of the reasons why I was so eager to read this book was because I was hoping that it will make me feel better about making decisions. I'm the opposite of Brooklyn--when making big decisions I think and rethink everything. I'm always afraid of choosing the wrong thing, messing things up for myself and having people reprimand me for not choosing right. Heck, I'm scared of making mistakes period (I'm a perfectionist). Reading about Brooklyn made me realize that it's okay to make mistakes, it's okay to make the wrong decisions sometimes because that's the only way to learn from your mistakes and how to make things right. Reading this book made me feel glad--it's a feel-good kind of book for me.

Pick up My Life Undecided. It's an enjoyable, feel-good read with great writing. It has humor, a great character in Brooklyn, a cute romance with a cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way-guy (Brian is just my kind of guy!) and lots of heart. 4 out of 5 stars
Hi everyone! It's Leslie and I am so excited because we have Jessica Brody on our blog today answering our questions. I recently read her newest release My Life Undecided, which I really enjoyed (I will be posting my review of it later today). It's about a girl who starts a blog for other people to make her decisions for her, like what book she would read for English class and bigger decisions like who she'd date! Intrigued? Read on as we ask Jessica more about My Life Undecided.

Okay, without further ado, here is Jessica...
jessicabrody
Q: Hi Jessica! Welcome to our blog. Please tell us about the very first book/story you penned. How old were you when you wrote it and what happened to it?
A: Hi! Thanks for having me on your blog! Excited to be here. The very first story I wrote was in the second grade. It was called “The Kitty and the Puppy” and it was about, not surprisingly, a kitty and a puppy, who run away from home. Not the most creative title, I know. I even “published” it using cardboard, wallpaper and electrical tape! Here’s a photo.


Q: What gave you the idea for My Life Undecided? Was it inspired by an event or an accumulation of ideas through the years?
A: This book was definitely one of those “aha!” moments that I hear writers talk about. My husband and I were watching TV, an ad for a reality show came on and I said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a reality show where you could vote on what the characters did. As in, “who they went out with?” or “Whether or not they forgave their backstabbing best friend.” Like American Idol meets The Hills. We both agreed although it would be cool, it wouldn’t be practical from a production standpoint since they shoot those reality shows months before they air. I was not deterred though. I said, “Fine, I’ll write it as a book,” and then marched up the stairs and in ten short minutes, wrote a page-long synopsis for what would become MY LIFE UNDECIDED and sent it to my editor. She wrote back right away saying that she loved it and the book was born!

Q: When you were fifteen years old, what was one of the biggest life decision you had to make? Did anyone help you make the decision? Was there a time when you put making a decision about your life into someone else's hands?
A: Great question! I have to think WAY back for this one. I think the biggest decision I had to make was whether or not to stay with my boyfriend. When I was a sophomore, I was dating a senior (how scandalous!) and he was going off to college the next year. So I was trying to decide whether or not stay with him and try to make it work. But I think he ended up kissing another girl at the end of the year, which made the decision pretty easy!

I’m not sure I ever put my decisions in someone else’s hands but I’ve always had a lot of supportive people around me and I’m constantly asking for their advice. Even today. My parents and husband are wonderful for that. I’m always bouncing ideas off of them and getting honest responses. But there have definitely been times when I wanted to just throw my hands in the air and have someone else take the wheel!

Q: Does your main character, Brooklyn, have a quirk that is entirely autobiographical? Is she or another character in the novel (possibly the cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy) inspired by a real-life person or persons?
A: Yes! Brian (the cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy) is actually somewhat inspired by a guy I dated my freshman year of high school. I kind of kept him in the back of my mind as I was writing the novel. And the weirdest thing about it is I hadn’t spoken to him since high school but for some odd reason, while I was in the middle of writing this book, he found me on Facebook and reached out. I think his ears were majorly burning!

Q: Are you working on a new story? Can you tell us a little about it?
A: Oh yeah! I just finished editing my next book, which will be out next summer. It’s called 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER and it was recently optioned for film! Hoorah! It’s about a spoiled teen heiress, famous for her partygirl antics and tabloid headlines, who’s forced by her ever-absent mogul father to take on a different low-wage job every week for a year, if she wants any hope of receiving her trust fund. It was really fun to write.

And right now I’m working on the book after that which is the first in a new teen sci-fi trilogy called UNREMEMBERED. I can’t wait for this one either!

Thanks so much for the fun interview! I look forward to seeing it on your blog!

Thank you so much for stopping by our blog and answering my questions, Jessica! To learn more about My Life Undecided check out its website: http://mylifeundecided.com/. For more about Jessica's other books, read sneak peaks, watch book trailers and other fun stuff check out her website. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

I'll be posting my review later today but for now here's the cover, synopsis and book trailer of My Life Undecided:
mylifeundecided
PLEASE READ THIS! MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!

Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment.

Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure.

But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else be the one to decide which book I read for English. Or whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: Chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!

Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.

But don’t take my word for it, read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.

Wasn't that an awesome book trailer?! Don't forget to add My Life Undecided book on your wishlist or check it out in your favorite bookstore.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

huntress ARC: 268 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins

Release Date: June 21, 2011
ISBN: 9780062008244

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: 1st book in the series
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be Forgotten...Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger. But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become--her mark on this earth, her very existence--is in jeopardy of disappearing completely. Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny--no matter how dark the consequences.


Leslie's Review:
If you read the blurb of A Need So Beautiful, you would think that it's nothing you've ever read before in YA paranormal with angels--you would be right. When I began reading this book, I was instantly fascinated by Charlotte's powerful Need that controls her completely and was captivated by the fate of the Forgotten (which was Charlotte's destiny). With such an interestingly new take on angels, I couldn't wait to learn more about these Forgotten angels, to understand what the Need does to Charlotte and the people she's helping, and to find out what will happen to Charlotte when her destiny finally calls. The whole Need and Forgotten aspect involving angels was truly something I never encountered before and it made this novel a refreshing read.

But of course, the reader can only gather that information as the main character is discovering it herself and Charlotte spent most of the book denying her destiny. Whenever Charlotte learned more about the Forgotten she would get so stubborn and deny all of it, vowing to find a way around her horrible destiny. I'd probably feel the same way as Charlotte if put in her position but I was a bit frustrated with her. However, I did admire her for her strength, courage, and her gift of the Need even though she saw it more as a curse than a gift. Charlotte has a boyfriend, Harlin, who she's totally crazy about. Harlin himself is a rough and scruffy kind of guy--he owns a motorcycle, he dropped out his private school, has a job and living on his own--he has those bad boy qualities but he's good guy. I can see him as being swoon-worthy to a lot of girls but he's not my type of guy so I didn't fall for him. I thought their romance was a little melodramatic but those who love their romance in their young adult read will definitely love Charlotte and Harlin.

The novel ended in an inevitable cliffhanger and I can't wait to return to Charlotte's world and read what will happen next in A Want So Wicked (the next book in the series). A Need So Beautiful is truly a compelling read with its exciting plot, unique and refreshing take on angels and an ending that left me wanting more. Ms. Young needs to write faster because I want the sequel NOW. 4 out of 5 stars
Why I covet this book: I recently read Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side and I enjoyed it very much. Jessica Rules the Dark Side is the sequel and I can't wait to read all about Jessica and Lucius again. They were a great couple.

Also, the purple cover is perfect and beautiful. So awesome that it matches the red cover of the first book in the series.


jessicarulesJessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (out January 2012)
The highly anticipated sequel to Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.

When Jessica Packwood found out she was a Romanian vampire princess, she had the shock of her teenage life. Turns out that was the easy part. Now, married to Prince Lucius Vladescu, she has to claim her throne and convince a vampire nation she’s fit to be their queen. But Jess can’t even order a decent meal from her castle’s Romanian staff, let alone deal with devious undead subjects who would love to see her fail.

And when Lucius is accused of murdering a vampire Elder and imprisoned without the blood he needs, Jessica finds herself alone, fighting for both their survivals. Desperate to clear her husband’s name and win his release, Jess enlists the help of her best friend Mindy Stankowicz and Lucius’s mysterious Italian cousin, Raniero Lovatu. But both of them are keeping some dark secrets. Can Jess figure out who to trust – and how to rise to power – before she loses everything, including the vampire she loves?

Full of romance, mystery, and danger, the highly anticipated sequel to Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side shows that sometimes a princess has to earn her “happily ever after” – with a sharpened stake in hand.


For more info and to read an excerpt about Jessica Rules the Dark Side, visit the author's website. Clicking on the cover will take you to the book's Goodreads page.

Why I covet this book: I have yet to read Clarity (the first book in the series) but it's on top my TBR pile and I'm so excited to read it.

Maybe I shouldn't feature Perception until I've actually read Clarity but when the cover and synopsis for Perception was revealed last week Friday and I just fell in love with both. I love my mystery stories and this one sounds fantastic.

I love how they kept a few of things from the first cover for this cover which I think is great and ties both books.

perceptionPerception by Kim Harrington (out March 2012)
This hotly anticipated sequel to CLARITY delivers another dark, paranormal mystery.

When you can see things others can't, what do you do when someone's watching you?

Everybody knows about Clarity "Clare" Fern. She's the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past.

Only Clare would rather not be a celebrity. She prefers hanging back, observing. Her gift is not a game to her.

But then someone starts playing with her head . . . and heart. Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns. Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare's pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare's hopeful ex-boyfriend who'd do anything to win her back?

One thing is certain. Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon. Because the messages are becoming sinister, and a girl in town has suddenly disappeared.

For more info about Perception, visit the author's blog. Clicking on the cover will take you to the book's Goodreads page.


What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.


"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series I am going to be doing here.
It will feature books I am very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is similar to the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. However, some of the books may already be published and others may still be in pre-order. I will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. Click on the WoW image on the left to join in!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

huntress ARC: 352 pages
Publisher: Walker Children

Release Date: June 21, 2011
ISBN: 9780802798398

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: none
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.
Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?


Michelle's Review:
Set in during the Victorian Era, Haunting Violet follows Violet Willoughby, a daughter of a fake medium, who reluctantly participates in her mother's, Celeste Willoughby, elaborate schemes to deceive others into believing they can communicate with their dead loved ones. When Violet's mother was invited in the home of Spiritualist Lord Jasper, Celeste not only sees it as an opportunity gain new clients but for her daughter to make an advantageous marriage that will financially and socially help their family--Celeste wants nothing more than to be accepted in the fashionable society as a respectable lady. Although Violet did attract the attention of a proper young man, she cannot stop thinking about Colin, an orphaned boy her mother had took in from the streets and who Violet grew up with. But soon Violet realize that she can see and communicate with real spirits when the ghost of a murdered girl makes herself know to Violent through frightening visions and violent acts. Good thing she has her friend Elizabeth by her side who has a penchant for adventure. But Violet dare not let anyone know of her new found gift except for Colin, who understands her more than anyone. As the ghost gets more violent, Violet knows she must solve the mystery of her death before the murder strikes again.

I liked the character of Violet right from the beginning. She grew up with a mother like Celeste who was selfish, self-serving, sometimes mercenary and I felt bad for her. She had to assist her in fake seances which often felt made her feel guilty having to dupe innocent people but she knows that the ruse was the only way they get their income and so she does what her mother tells her. She was under her mother's thumb in the beginning but by the end of book, she came to her own and I liked seeing that growth in her character. The romance between Violet and Colin was really sweet and one of my favorite parts of the book. Those who are not fans of a romance in their reads, no worries, the story is not centered on Violet and Colin's romance and it's more a natural progression of their friendship. I really liked how their romance came to be, that they were best friends before they realize their feelings for each other.

As for the angry ghost, she was truly frightening as she always appeared to Violet drowned with the bruises from her murderer. There were some scenes that were truly scary like when Violet was in her bedroom and the ghost made the illusion of filling the bedroom with the pond water so that Violet was "drowning" too. If it was a movie, I'd be covering my eyes with my fingers during the angry ghost scenes. The mystery itself was easy to figure out but that could've been just me because I like to solve puzzles and I like to work them out in my mind. The setting of the novel, which was during the Victorian Era and for most of the book at a manor house in the country, really help set the tone for this Gothic ghost story--I pictured in my mind the whole novel being dark and somber with a film of fog over everything outside and I really like that atmospheric feel the author conveyed.

A thing that fascinated me was the elaborate smoke and mirrors act that Violet, Colin and Celeste put on. The whole Spiritualist thing really happened and was quite popular back then. There were really people like Celeste in the Victorian Era putting on this act and people were so desperate to hold on to their loved ones that already passed away that they let themselves be convinced that they really were talking to the dead. Or to some people "talking to the dead" was a form of entertainment. I thought that part of the novel felt authentic and was very well-researched by the author.

Haunting Violet was my first novel by Alyxandra Harvey and I quite enjoyed her writing--it was very readable and she can tell a good story. I found this novel to be a delightful and engaging read--part ghost story and part mystery with great characters and a sweet romance. I enjoyed the time period in which it was set and the world of Spiritualist (fake or otherwise) fascinating. I don't know if there will be a sequel because the story line was concluded quite nicely [Yay! No crazy cliffhangers!] but I wouldn't mind revisiting Violet's world again. 4 out of 5 stars