April 26, 2013

The Rules by Stacey Kade

The Rules (Project Paper Doll, #1)
The Rules by Stacey Kade
Series: Project Paper Doll, #1
Source: Publisher for review
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
1. Never trust anyone.

2. Remember they are always searching.

3. Don’t get involved.

4. Keep your head down.

5. Don’t fall in love.

Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane’s survival—and that of her adoptive father—depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans in a small Wisconsin town, to hide in plain sight at her high school from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) “project.”

But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts her in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief’s son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening—and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules…
In the beginning, I wasn't sure that I would like The Rules. I didn't know anything about it, and the premise sounded kind of strange. But I was game to give it a shot. And I'm really glad that I did, because it surprised me! Turns out that I kind of like alien books. ;)

When I turned the first page, I had this sudden realization (love those!) "I'm going to like this book. Anything that starts out with such a bang deserves to be loved." Glad to see that my first thoughts weren't wrong.

I really liked Ariane as a character. At first she was kind of cold, but she gradually grew to be more human, and I loved her for that. She was vulnerable and strong, powerful yet weak-- this girl was a complete contradiction, but it worked for her!

Zane was also a good character-- but in a totally different way. He was more...I don't know, human? Whatever it was, it made him a great match for Ariane. He kind of balances her out, in his own way.

Dr. Jacobs and Rachel kind of freaked me out, though. They were both so power hungry, and the way that they were was downright scary! Nothing could get in their way, for fear of being bowled over. That's a good kind of villain-- but I have to say that Dr. Jacobs was far superior in that respect to Rachel. She was more of a high school bully.

On another note, I really loved the world building in this one-- it was pretty vividly imagined, right from the start!

All in all, The Rules was a superbly written book-- and I would recommend it to paranormal lovers.
"You have the option to be bored, to not care, instead of dreading every day. It's the powerful versus the powerless and guess which side you're on. ~ Pg. 165, ARC

April 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #17

Fairy Godmothers, Inc.Fairy Godmothers, INC. by Jennifer Wardell
Series: N/A
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Publication Date: April 27, 2013
In a world where fairy tale situations are as much a fact of life as death and taxes, everyone knows hiring Fairy Godmothers, Inc. is the best way to assure that your beautiful daughter or enchanted frog of a grandson will get the happily-ever-after he or she deserves. Sure, sometimes a little love potion is required to make sure those quotas stay up, but what Prince Charming doesn’t know won’t hurt him.

Kate, an experienced Fairy Godmother, who’s enough of a romantic to frustrate her rigidly rule-bound boss, has just received a specialty assignment from one of the company’s board of directors. Cinderella—Rellie for short—was placed with an appropriately wicked stepfamily years before, and now needs the dress, ball, and handsome prince to complete her happily-ever-after. The fact that Rellie isn’t sure this is her dream come true—balls are fun, but princes tend to be less interesting than fluffy bunnies—isn’t something management considers a problem.

Complicating things a bit is Jon, the youngest son of the royal family, who meets Kate, and is smitten, but isn’t quite ready yet to reveal his true identity. After all, it’s his older brother Rupert who’s supposed to marry Rellie, which means pretending to be a lowly civil servant will give him the chance to spend more time with Kate. (As long as he can get the ball arranged, and stop Rupert from getting himself into trouble over his “self-actualization” business, he should have the perfect opportunity to explain everything and get started on making a little magic with the Fairy Godmother of his dreams.)

But, of course, things never ever happen as planned.
I love the idea of this-- an agency that sends out fairy godmothers to work with fairytales. It sounds tres magnifique! Plus, there's going to be romance of the fairytale variety!

April 22, 2013

Smart Boys and Fast Girls by Stephanie Rowe

Smart Boys & Fast Girls
Smart Boys and Fast Girls  by Stephanie Rowe
Series: The Girlfriend's Guide to Boys, #4
Source: Traded for
Publisher: Smooch YA
Publication Date: September 30, 2005
Meet Natalie Page, the girl all the boys love. As a friend.

When Natalie makes the varsity cross country team, she's certain she's about shed her reputation as a social zero. Hey, the captain of the boys' team has started driving her home from school and she's getting invited to senior parties, right?

There's just one problem.

Failing geometry? How utterly uncool. If she doesn't get her grades up she's off the team...and back to being a high school nothing. Matt, her new tutor, is making the nightmare even worse. He's totally hot, but he thinks sports are idiotic and that Natalie's a flake.

Now Natalie finds herself in even more trouble. To get her parents off her back she's told them she's dating Matt. But he's already got a girlfriend, and being linked with a geek isn't going to help her social life.... or is it? The rumors are about to spin out of control, and Natalie better figure out how to outrun them. And fast.
I actually ended up liking Smart Boys and Fast Girls  a bit more than I expected. At first, I really wasn't sure about it. It didn't start out very good, what with that terrible cliquishness in the beginning, and that the "bomb" so to speak was dropped within the first few pages. But I kept reading in the hope that it would would get better. And I definitely think that it did.

At first, I was convinced that this was going to be an overly simplistic book. And it was fairly simple, but I found that I liked it like that. Everyone had such a straight-forward way of going about things-- there was no beating around the bush here!

Well, accept for the obvious beating, you know. Speaking of which, Natalie and Matt's faux-relationship was so adorable. It was predictable, but it was just the cutest thing that I can think of right off. I liked them as separate characters too, though. Natalie is her own brand of awesome, even if it's clear that she doesn't really think too much about how her decisions impact others. And they do. But Matt-- even if he's too young for me, that boy is so sweet.

I liked that none of their interactions ever felt forced, no matter how far-fetched their plotting was. And that ending was absolutely perfect. It was sappy and cheesy and wonderful-- the best kind of ending.

All in all, Smart Boys and Fast Girls  was a cute and satisfying read. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who's looking for a little fluff!

April 19, 2013

Astarte's Wrath by Trisha Wolfe + Giveaway and Sneak Peek!

Astarte's Wrath
Astarte's Wrath  by Trisha Wolfe
Series: Kythan Guardians, #0.5
Source: Author for review
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: March 2, 2013
A tragic love story.

Two thousand years before Dez Harkly developed her secret powers, Guardian Astarte was vowed to protect by the binds enslaving her to the Egyptian pharaohs. Discover the prophecy that originated from a very different time, and spans generations to link two very different girls.

This is the beginning.

Set against the backdrop of the Battle of Actium, in the city of Alexandria, Star struggles with her guardian duties as her feelings for the newly named pharaoh of Egypt grow deeper. Not only is Caesarion her duty, he’s the son of Cleopatra, and he’s human. All of which makes their love forbidden.

But when a conspiracy linked to Caesar creeps into Alexandria, Star must choose between helping her fellow Kythan free themselves of their servitude, and protecting her charge—the last pharaoh—while Egypt burns around her.

New Adult/Mature YA: sexual content, drinking, drugs, violence, language, death, and other mature content intended for readers 17 and older. Astarte's Wrath is a companion novel to Destiny's Fire, but can be read as a standalone novel.
I have so many things to say about Astarte's Wrath. At first, I was so, so worried! A few small things had changed since I first read it in the beta format, but I don't really think that it impacted my love of this book very much at all. My only complaint was that it was slow in the beginning.

Astarte, Xarion and Phoenix were still fairly good characters, in my opinion. I still thought that Phoenix and Xarion were swoony (more on that later), but I think that Astarte lost a little something between my first reading and the second. Maybe it's just me, though. Sometimes I have trouble re-reading books. I still liked her, though! I like the conflict that she feels about all of her decisions. That strikes me as really realistic, even if I may not agree with her all the time.

I gotta say, though. LOVE that there wasn't a love triangle!! I can't stress that one enough, honestly. Back to Phoenix and Xarion, though. I don't know why I find Phoenix so appealing, but I do. Maybe it's because he's a moody bad boy type. But Xarion is easier to explain for me-- he just makes a really good love interest! I love a good forbidden love story anyway, so it was a given that I would love this one. Some of those scenes were downright HAWT.

But I have to say that my favorite part was the carefree moments that were intermixed into the story. Like the party, which was an awesome carefree kind of scene. They make more of an impact on me. I liked the action too, though. On another note, I never saw that ending coming. O.O

All in all, Astarte's Wrath  was a satisfying read-- it had enough action, romance, and carefree moments to keep my happy, and it also had a nifty little map in the front. I was bound to love it-- history retellings rock!
Trisha WolfeAbout the Author:
Trisha Wolfe is the author of the YA Steampunk DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific Publishing), the NA Historical/Supernatural ASTARTE'S WRATH, and the upcoming YA Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, October 2013. Her NA Dark Fantasy OF SILVER AND BEASTS available May 2013.

She’s the creator of YA Bound, a promotional site for the Young Adult genre. Also a member of SCWW and The Apocalypsies. Check out www.TrishaWolfe.com for more on her books and bonus material. Follow Trisha on Twitter @TrishWolfe and like her Facebook page for updates. 

Buy Astarte: Amazon || Barnes and Noble || Kobo

Sneak Peek: Bath Scene from Xarion’s POV

Star narrows her eyes at me, her full, bottom lip puckering out the way it does when she’s in serious thought—and though I’m listening to her words, all I want to do is trap that bottom lip between my teeth. Nip it and caress it with my tongue.

“I knew you’d say that,” she says. “And that is precisely why I didn’t want you to know.” She raises her hand from my chest and swipes the wet hair from my forehead. Her body subtly moves against me with this action, and it drives me wild. “A possible retaliation by the guardians is just one more weighted burden on top of the many you already carry. You don’t need the added strain. Let me deal with Candra and the Kythan. They’re my kindred. As long as I’m their equal—in both power and status—I can protect you.”

This woman—the woman I’ve loved my entire life—is my protector. She not only guards against physical threats, but watches over my mental wellbeing. But I cannot allow her to carry all my problems alone anymore. I want to be her guardian, to be the one to comfort her when she’s fearful, and protect her against this world.

I tilt my head and suck in a deep breath. “This is why you won’t be with me.” I want her to admit it. If she finally confesses that our titles and her battle with the right course of action have been the only reasons for her kept affections, then by Gods…help me from laying her out on this tile and taking her—making her mine. I won’t stop.

She nods.

“This is the only reason.” She nods again, and that is all the conformation I need. “Then I refuse to let them keep us apart for one more moment.” I grasp her face between my hands and claim her lips with mine.

Her lips are soft and warm as I achingly coax them into a fevered kiss, unable to hold back my desire for her. I had planned for our first kiss many times, imagined it over and over. The way I would caress her lips slowly and lovingly, conveying my affections. But every emotion I have ever felt for Star rushes to the surface all at once, and I can’t slow. I won’t. I won’t allow her a moment to question our actions, to reconsider us. I’m going to kiss her senseless—kiss the reason right out of her infuriatingly rational head.

Help Trisha and the Tuff Girl Legion get to 50 reviews on Amazon for the full scene release of the “Bath Scene” on Trisha’s blog! You can bookmark the bonus material here!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

April 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #16

The Falconer (The Falconer, #1)
Title: The Falconer
Author: Elizabeth May
Series: The Falconer, #1
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: September 19, 2013
Goodreads||The Book Depository
Lady Aileana Kameron can sing, paint prettily, and murder the fae as easily as dancing a waltz. But how far is she prepared to go for vengeance . . . ?

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

18-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined to a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery kills her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season. Between a seeming endless number of parties, Aileana slaughters faeries in secret. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, every night she sheds her aristocratic facade and goes hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But she never even considered that she might become attracted to one. To the magnetic Kiaran MacKay, the faery who trained her to kill his own kind. Nor is she at all prepared for the revelation he’s going to bring. Because Midwinter is approaching, and with it an eclipse that has the ability to unlock a Fae prison and begin the Wild Hunt.

A battle looms, and Aileana is going to have to decide how much she’s willing to lose – and just how far she’ll go to avenge her mother’s murder.
I'll admit it, I mostly want to read  The Falconer for the cover. Isn't that just the most bad-a eighteenth century book cover you've ever seen? It's perfect, with all the fire and the look of determination on the girl's face...it's totally beautiful. And I'm a sucker for stories about faeries. ;)

April 16, 2013

Email Update

Hey guys!

I just got the news from my sister yesterday-- she hasn't been receiving blog updates in her inbox. She said it's been awhile. When she said that, I started thinking about it-- and I'm subscribed to make sure that nothing goes wrong. (Lotta good that does-- if I'm not paying enough attention to my own updates. Naughty, naughty.) I was like this:

So, Blogtrottr is no longer working consistently. I've opened Feedburner back up, even though I'm super leery about all of this-- hopefully it'll work, though. It's been my RSS for a few weeks now, and I've had no problems. So, if you'd like to continue getting email updates consistently, you should subscribe again through Feedburner. Thank you SO SO MUCH for reading this, and possibly subscribing again! (:

April 15, 2013

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Dualed (Dualed, #1)
Title: Dualed
Author: Elsie Chapman
Series: Dualed, #1
Source: Sarah from Book-A-Holic
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Goodreads||The Book Depository
You or your Alt? Only one will survive.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.  Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.

I wasn't impressed with Dualed. Even today, just eight hours after finishing this book, I don't have much to say about it. It was just boring. That pretty much sums up all of my problems.

The main characters, West and Chord were mediocre at best. I didn't feel the little "romance" going on between them, and I just didn't like them as characters. West is supposed to be oh-so-tough and strong, but I didn't get that from her. Most of the time, it just seemed like she was trying to be something she wasn't, and Chord just seemed to be added in so that he could stalkishly try and help her complete. The whole story line was just off the grid.

I have so many questions-- for instance, PK's (peripheral kills) occur fairly often. So what happens if an idle is killed in a PK? Does s/he's alt just automatically complete? Do they die? What on earth happens? Another thing that I'm not so clear on-- the creation of the alt system. It was touched on a little in the beginning of the book, but I never really got it. In theory, the alt system was created when a drug that everyone was given made everyone infertile, so the alts are a genetic creation. But how did the government get everyone to take this drug? It sounds like it was corrupt way before this book began....

On another note, the action was okay. It just couldn't keep me occupied-- I was literally always wandering off and leaving this book face-down. The only time that I could focus was when I was noting all the things that bothered me never.

All in all, this just wasn't for me. The action was too boring, the storyline didn't make sense, and the characters had no depth. It did, however, have a good ending. I feel like everything that could possibly be wrapped up was. That is all.
All for peace. Fighting ourselves in here, so we don't have to fight the world out there. ~ Pg. 19, ARC

April 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #15

Leap of Faith
Title: Leap of Faith
Author: Jamie Blair
Series: N/A
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Goodreads||The Book Depository
Now that Leah Kurtz has a place to call home, there’s no way she can tell the truth.

That her name is Faith, not Leah.

That she’s seventeen, not nineteen.

That the baby isn’t hers—she kidnapped her.

She had to kidnap Addy though. She couldn’t let her newborn sister grow up like she did, with parties where the drugs flow all night and an empty refrigerator in the kitchen holding nothing but pickle juice and ketchup packets inside.

She can’t risk losing Chris—the only guy she’s ever given herself to completely—by telling him she’s been lying. He’s the most generous person she’s ever known, and he’s already suffered the tragic deaths of his mom and infant sister.

But being on the run with a newborn catches up with her when a cop starts asking questions, and Chris’s aunt finds a newspaper article about Faith and a missing baby. Faith knows it’s time to run again—from Chris and the only place that’s ever felt like home.
Issues. I love issue books, and this one just looks like it's chocked full, doesn't it? I'm excited to see what will happen with Faith and her baby sister-- and Chris. I wonder if I'll be disappointed...or if it'll live up to that rocking awesome summary? A girl can hope, right?

April 8, 2013

My Beautiful Hippie by Janet Nichols Lynch

My Beautiful Hippie
Title: My Beautiful Hippie
Author: Janet Nichols Lynch
Series: N/A
Source: Publisher for review
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: January 15, 2013
Goodreads||The Book Depository
Inspired by Lynch's students' fascination with the sixties, in which they wear sixties styles and T-shirts with sixties rock stars, and listen to sixties music; set in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco, with a 15-year old female protagonist who's an aspiring pianist that falls in love with a hippie; representing themes that echo today with traditional values vs the counterculture, the morality of wars in general and the Vietnam War in particular and the effects of the women’s movement on American society.
I have to admit-- this wasn't exactly what I expected. I had myself psyched out about this book, because I thought that there was no way it could end on a good note. Thankfully, I was wrong, and it ended on a fairly good note. But for some reason, I had it in my head that when Joni met Martin-- well, I figured Martin wasn't as hippie as we'd like to think. Turns out that he was, though. Which was nice, because I was afraid that this was going to be a novel of abuse.

And it wasn't, so that was great.

I thought that it was realistic. What must it have been like in the summer of love? LSD is everywhere-- and who would want to do that? (Seriously, if LSD makes you retreat into your mind, I won't be having none. My mind is a scary place without that, thank you very much.) Pot is everywhere too-- and it's talked about in this book. Drug references/use, check.

I think that my only problem with My Beautiful Hippie  was that Martin holds all the cards on Joni. He's a straight-up hippie, meaning he's traveling, etc. And all she wants is for him to stay, ultimately winding up with her being hurt by him.

And Joni was pretty cool, so that just sucked.

Joni was actually one of the high-points of this book-- she had a rocking personality. She's rebellious, she tie-dyes her own clothes, and well, she was just a cool main character for a book like this. She made a good flower child-- and I liked most of the secondary characters too. Most notable, Pete rocked. He's such a nice guy. Unfortunately, there's just not much for me to say about My Beautiful Hippie.

All in all, I enjoyed this "blast from the past", but it wasn't particularly for me, you know?
"I've found it's just the same after a few times. I'm not going to learn anything else by doing more. Sure it's beautiful-- a good trip is. The mind expands to show you a million possibilities. You feel 'one' with everybody. But then you come down. Every time, you come down and you're the same, with your same problems." ~ Pg. 45, ARC

April 5, 2013

Lauren Yanofsky Hates the Holocaust by Leanne Lieberman

Lauren Yanofsky Hates the Holocaust
Title: Lauren Yanofsky Hates the Holocaust
Author: Leanne Lieberman
Series: N/A
Source: Won via Librarything
Publisher: Orca Books
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Goodreads||The Book Depository
Lauren Yanofsky doesn't want to be Jewish anymore. Her father, a noted Holocaust historian, keeps giving her Holocaust memoirs to read, and her mother doesn't understand why Lauren hates the idea of Jewish youth camps and family vacations to Holocaust memorials. But when Lauren sees some of her friends--including Jesse, a cute boy she likes--playing Nazi war games, she is faced with a terrible choice: betray her friends or betray her heritage.

Told with engaging humor, LYHH isn't simply about making tough moral choices. It's about a smart, funny, passionate girl caught up in the turmoil of bad-hair days, family friction, changing friendships, love--and, yes, the Holocaust.
Lauren Yanofsky Hates the Holocaust  was an interesting read, but it wasn't all that I hoped it would be. I guess that I just expected it to be more profound, or for it to be...I don't know, just more? In the end, I liked this one but I didn't love it. The ending was a little too abrupt, and the character relationships could have been better. But those are the only problems that I had!

I liked that the focus of this book seemed to be growing up and finding yourself. All of the things that Lauren experience have probably happened to all of us, and that made her a good character. She was completely honest with herself, and she had a no fear way of looking at life. She knows exactly what she wants, even if she isn't always able to immediately achieve it. One thing about her did bother me, though. She's able to so easily dismiss her heritage (she's Jewish), but she keeps coming back to it over and over.

I don't think that I would be able to dismiss my heritage-- even if I did continually come back to it. Not in my cards, you know? But Lauren tried so hard to be different, and she kind of was. For a teenager, she has some really complex thoughts about heritage and such-- but I definitely believe it! I loved seeing a racial minority for once!

And in the end, I think that Lauren really did grow as a character-- and I respect her as one. She made some good choices, even if they weren't always something that her friends agreed with. All in all, I liked this, even if I didn't love it!
"Burning something doesn't make history or memory go away." ~ Pg. 193

April 4, 2013

Every Day by David Levithan

Buddy read with Sarah! Woohoo! *imagine awkward dancing* Check out Sarah's review too! (:

Every Day
Title: Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Series: N/A
Source: Traded for
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Goodreads||The Book Depository
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.
I feel like Every Day was written just for people who are romantic. People want to believe in true love, along with loving the same person even when they're in different bodies. What's my problem with that, you ask? Nothing. I want to believe it too. But I had a hard time believing it in this book. Our main characters, A and Rhiannon, simply fell in love way too fast. Page 22, first day meeting each other for A, and 5 days later for Rhiannon. I do not believe in love at first site, so that was a little off the grid for me.

Rhiannon was a little off the grid for me too. She seems nice and fun, but she doesn't have enough development as a character to really work for me. Neither does A, in a sense.

However, I was willing to play along with that. And I learned that A is apparently not a teenager, because no teen that I know talks metaphorically. He (I say he) thinks philosophers' thoughts, which makes him kind of unbelievable. I just have issues with that kind of telling, because no teenager says things like that! At least, none I know.

Which brings me to my third point-- we get to see so many different lives, and yet it's not like we're experiencing it. It's like we're being told about all the things going on. I never really felt like I could get immersed in the story, which was unfortunate. It kept me reading, though. I did really want to know what happened, because the premise was just so unique!

I feel like the ending was perfect. It all worked out so fantastically, which makes me oh-so-happy! I was really afraid that A was going to do something stupid, but it turns out that he didn't, so yay! It all worked out, even if it wasn't exactly the way that I expected.

All in all, I enjoyed Every Day, but I expected a little more.
I want to get back to her. I want to get back to yesterday. ~ Pg. 47, ARC

April 3, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #14

Not a Drop to Drink
Title: Not a Drop to Drink
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Series: N/A
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Goodreads||The Book Depository
Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.
Hahaha, remember how I love dark dystopian? Welcome to the world of scary, crazy books. I'm so ready for this-- and I think that the cover really works with the summary, so hopefully it works with the book, right? DUDE. Jodi Meadows said to be ready, I'm ready. So ready. @_@

April 2, 2013

That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard

That Time I Joined the Circus
Title: That Time I Joined the Circus
Author: J.J. Howard
Series: N/A
Source: Publisher for review
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Goodreads||The Book Depository
Lexi Ryan just ran away to join the circus, but not on purpose.

A music-obsessed, slightly snarky New York City girl, Lexi is on her own. After making a huge mistake--and facing a terrible tragedy--Lexi has no choice but to track down her long-absent mother. Rumor has it that Lexi's mom is somewhere in Florida with a traveling circus.

When Lexi arrives at her new, three-ring reality, her mom isn't there . . . but her destiny might be. Surrounded by tigers, elephants, and trapeze artists, Lexi finds some surprising friends and an even more surprising chance at true love. She even lucks into a spot as the circus's fortune teller, reading tarot cards and making predictions.

But then Lexi's ex-best friend from home shows up, and suddenly it's Lexi's own future that's thrown into question.

With humor, wisdom, and a dazzlingly fresh voice, this debut reminds us of the magic of circus tents, city lights, first kisses, and the importance of an excellent playlist.
I wanna go join the circus now! I've always really liked the idea of traveling around, so That Time I joined the Circus  hit me in a really good way. In a kind of great way, actually. It was ridiculously fun to get lost in Lexi's world, even if it was only for a little while. I found Lexi to be a rocking character, and I can honestly say that her musical taste isn't all that shabby-- I'll definitely be looking up some of those songs that I didn't know!

I loved that music had so much to do with this one-- I'm a total music geek, so seeing so much music in a book was fabulous! We even get songs quoted to us at the beginning of every chapter. ;)

I have to admit that my only real issue with this book was Lexi, though. She thought that she was forever invisible and alone, etc., but when she joins the circus guys start falling all over her! I can't stand that in a character, but I'll make an exception for Lexi-- because as I said before, I did like her, even if she wasn't the most amazing, flawless character ever.

I also liked all of the secondary characters! We're introduced to a really big cast of characters right away, but I never found myself getting them mixed up. They all appear to have their own distinct personalities, and I loved the way that they interacted with Lexi.

I loved the way that this was written! Few authors do flashbacks well, this is a known fact. But I think that J.J. does it very well! I never got confused in the flashbacks, and I finished each one with either a new fact to think about, or a new need to figure out more. I had most of it figured out, but I'll tell you that some of them threw me for a loop.

BUT SPOILER'S, y'all! I cannot reveal those, alas. All in all, That Time I joined the Circus  was a ridiculously fun read-- and it's going to go on my favorites shelf.