Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it spotlights upcoming books that we as readers are anxiously awaiting...

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
Genre:  YA Paranormal Fantasy
Shades of London Series, Book 2
Maureen Johnson's website
Expected publication date:  February 26, 2013
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Description (taken from Goodreads):
After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Devereaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance. But Rory's brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she's become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades—the city's secret ghost-fighting police—are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it's too late.

I'm definitely looking forward to this book because we're going to jump from a slightly historical fiction view to a more paranormal theme.  I want to know more about these ghosts.  And while I haven't seen very good reviews for this second book, I'm still crossing my fingers that it'll blow me away like the first one did.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Scorch by Gina Damico

Genre:  YA Paranormal Fantasy
Croak Series, Book 2

Description (taken from Gina Damico's website):
Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to Damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But now Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home. To escape the townspeople’s wrath, she and her friends embark on a wild road trip to DeMyse. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex. Her best chance at escape would be to stop all the senseless violence that she caused—but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to the bloodshed? 

This book didn't really have the feel of being a second novel in the beginning.  But once you hit the cliffhanger ending, you realize you've been strung all along into the typical second novel.  That was one issue for me.  My other issue was I had forgotten what happened in Croak, and this book didn't make it easy for me to remember.

We have the same witty characters you learned to love in Croak: Lex, Driggs, Uncle Mort, etc.  But the town's afraid and starts to revolt against them.  It's kind of a adults-against-teens fight, which I also didn't care for.  But we still see the same dark humor and sarcasm that we saw in the first book.  The only difference is they're constantly running away from the fight in this book.

Don't get me wrong, things do happen in this novel.  But for every little explanation you got, more questions came up.  And they finally stopped running towards the end, and what I thought was the real story came out.  But there was only twenty pages left which told me to expect the cliffhanger.  It still stunk though.  Mixed emotions on this one.

Challenges:  Paranormal Reading Challenge

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it spotlights upcoming books that we as readers are anxiously awaiting...

Mind Games by Kiersten White
Genre:  YA Paranormal Fantasy
Kiersten White's website
Expected publication date:  February 19, 2013
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

This book sounds a little interesting.  A mix of paranormal and dystopian attributes.  I'm hoping for some awesome goodness.  Plus, the cover's interesting...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Giveaway: Back to the Future

How many books out there from different eras have you read?  Do you have any recommendations for me?  Well, I'd like to feature a book that I absolutely adored a while back.  The winner will be able to select this book or a book of his/her choosing (up to $15) from Amazon/TBD.

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Note:  Winner will be able to select above book or book of choice (up to $15) from Amazon/TBD.

The details:
  1. This contest is open to everyone (international included - as long as The Book Depository/Amazon ship to you).
  2. Entrant must be 13 years of age or older.
  3. Giveaway ends on Monday, January 28.
  4. You can enter via the Rafllecopter form below. Ways to enter include:
    1. Follow my blog via GFC/Linky. Leave how you follow and your user in the Rafflecopter comments section.
    2. Tweet about the giveaway. Leave a link to your tweet in the Rafflecopter comments section.
    3. Leave a comment.  Answer the question: Which books from different eras would you recommend for me?
  5. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond with logistics.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

manda-rae's Haul

Stacking the Shelves consists of books we received in the last week, hosted by Tynga's reviews.

I'm currently in Georgia picking up my new used car.  It'll be a fun 14 hour drive home to Wisconsin on Sunday.  But anyways, I will enjoy my time with my family while it lasts.  Hope everyone had a good book week (and got more reading time in than I did)!

Gifted (from the Holiday Card Exchange hosted by Turning the Pages):

  • Christmas Card from Pragya at Reviewing Shelf - This card came all the way from India.  It's traveled further than I've ever traveled in my life.  Holy smokes.  Happy this gal thought of me!  Thank you!

From the Library:

  • Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • Did you know there's a movie coming out?  When I went to see The Hobbit, the preview for this movie along with the preview for Star Trek was the highlight of my night (I'm really not a fan of LOTR which also extends to The Hobbit).  So yes, I'm looking forward to the movie.  And no, I haven't read the book yet...
  • Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction edited by Carrie Ryan
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • I must admit that I do not do well with short story compilations.  But I really grabbed this book for the sole purpose of reading Richelle Mead's short story.  Who knows, I may read the whole book, but I'm not sure that I may pull much from it.

Purchased (e-edition):

Cora: The Unwilling Queen by Amy Hutchinson
The cover and the description made me grab it instantly.  I mean, who doesn't like a good Persephone/Hades retelling?

manda-rae's Past Week


The Dog: Gizmo
Well, he's old news.  But since he decided to show up in everyone of my shots, I thought I'd get an actual picture of him.  He decided to lick my Beautiful Creatures book after I took the picture.  I think he's decided on what I'm reading next...

Friday, January 18, 2013

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Genre:  YA Fantasy/Dystopian
Hybrid Chronicles, Book 1

Description (taken from Kat Zhang's website):
I shouldn't exist... But I do.

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t…

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable–hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet…for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

I didn't realize that this is from Eva's point of view.  The soul that doesn't control her body.  Instead, she spends her life watching Addie live it.  I can't imagine that would be like to have a passenger seat in my own life.  To watch myself interact with people I hate, kiss ugly boys, etc...

So the whole idea of having two souls in one body is super original.  It's a weird concept to grasp.  And I had a very hard time accepting it throughout the novel.  And that's probably why I didn't like it as much.  Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of twists/turns that occur in this book to keep you interested.  It's just you only see a glimpse of explanation when it come to two souls and settling.  And I never really understood what was so wrong with not settling.  So it was hard for me to believe the story line I guess.

For a unique concept and interesting plot, I definitely recommend this one.  Just keep an open mind and cross your fingers that the second book does a better job at explaining things.

Challenges:  Dystopia Reading Challenge

Monday, January 14, 2013

As They Slip Away by Beth Revis

Genre:  YA Science Fiction
Across the Universe Series, Book 0.5

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Taking place on the spaceship Godspeed before Amy Martin wakes up and Elder takes leadership, this novella describes life at the Hospital during Eldest's reign. Focusing primarily on background characters, readers will see fan-favorite characters Harley, Orion, Victria, and more.

Selene is a singer on a spaceship that only values people who can provide important skills that enhance survival. As her friends--fellow "loons" in the Hospital--start to join apprenticeships to turn their skills into valuable labor, Selene is sent with a handful of other students to learn about the importance of art from the Recorder, Orion. The assignment pairs her with a young sculptor, Luthor, and their dangerous romance proves just how terrifying living trapped on a spaceship under the rule of a heartless dictator could be.

This tragic tale explores the background of a previously unknown character, linking the history of the ship and its residents to Amy and Elder, giving depth to the world of Godspeed.

Woah...  This is a very short novella, but it is super emotional.  It gives more background knowledge to the ship, Godspeed.  And we also get a feel of what life is like for its crew.  However, it's too short (like all novellas).

I finished reading this book with a sour taste in my mouth.  Having your actions and self-worth be weighed against what you can do for the ship is awful.  My rights to live and be happy shouldn't be any less than another person's just because that person is smarter and can contribute more.  Agh, this book got a strong reaction from me.

But I finished it wanting to know more about these side characters.  Beth Revis could probably write a whole new series from Harley or Kayleigh's point of view.  Granted if she wrote something from Luthor's point of view, I would probably burn the novel before ever reading it....

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey

Genre:  Adult Urban Fantasy
Agent of Hel Series, Book 1

Description (taken from Goodreads):
The Midwestern resort town of Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload; not to mention fairies, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess.

To Daisy Johanssen, fathered by an incubus and raised by a single mother, it’s home. And as Hel’s enforcer and the designated liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, it’s up to her to ensure relations between the mundane and eldritch communities run smoothly.

But when a young man from a nearby college drowns—and signs point to eldritch involvement—the town’s booming paranormal tourism trade is at stake. Teamed up with her childhood crush, Officer Cody Fairfax, a sexy werewolf on the down-low, Daisy must solve the crime—and keep a tight rein on the darker side of her nature. For if she’s ever tempted to invoke her demonic birthright, it could accidentally unleash nothing less than Armageddon.

This book is the beginnings of a new paranormal series.  And since I liked Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series, I thought I'd give it a try.  But I don't think I connected with the book as well as I could have.  It could definitely be that I read it at the wrong time in my life, or I just really couldn't connect with the characters.

Pemkowet: the paranormal tourist city.  And Daisy is right in the middle acting as a liaison for the human community and the human community.  Life kind of gets complicated when you're a half-breed.  And did you know that Daisy has a tail?  Personally, I found the tail moments a little annoying.

Anyways, this city has your fairies, vampires, werewolves, ghouls, and paranormal underworld.  This book does a really good job of giving you a glimpse of all the different paranormal creatures, but it doesn't seem to go into enough depth.  One of the ghouls, Stefan, was totally eye-catching.  I wanted to know more about his story, but we don't really get into it.  And the steamy werewolf: Cody?  Same issue here.

This book is very much an introduction into a new paranormal world.  It's an easy read, a nice paranormal who-dun-it plot, but it doesn't really go into much depth.  I think I'd be more attached to the second book if I decide to pick it up...

Challenges:  Paranormal Reading Challenge

Saturday, January 12, 2013

manda-rae's Haul

Stacking the Shelves consists of books we received in the last week, hosted by Tynga's reviews.
I've been working a lot of overtime at work in an attempt to afford my new used car...  But I have been reading a little bit in my spare time.  Hopefully, the reading continues or picks up a bit.  Happy weekend everybody!

From the Library:

  • Scorch by Gina Damico
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • Croak was a really cute read.  So I absolutely couldn't resist when I saw the second one come out.  Unfortunately, this a series not many have read, and I think a lot of people should pick up the first one.  I'll let you know how the second one goes.

manda-rae's Past Week
(It's kind of pathetic, but it's a result of my horrible bad luck with cars...)


  • Bringing YA to You (It's a group of authors letting you vote where they should go next for a tour stop.)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it spotlights upcoming books that we as readers are anxiously awaiting...

Vortex by Julie Cross
Genre:  YA Paranormal Fantasy
Tempest Series, Book 2
Julie Cross' website
Expected publication date:  January 15, 2013
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Jackson Meyer has thrown himself into his role as an agent for Tempest, the shadowy division of the CIA that handles all time-travel-related threats. Despite his heartbreak at losing the love of his life, Jackson has proved himself to be an excellent agent. However, after an accidental run in with Holly—the girl he altered history to save—Jackson is once again reminded of what he's lost. And when Eyewall, an opposing division of the CIA, emerges, Jackson and his fellow agents not only find themselves under attack, but Jackson begins to discover that the world around him has changed and someone knows about his erased relationship with Holly, putting both their lives at risk all over again.

So I remember reading the first one in one or two days.  And I absolutely loved it.  Plus all of the important stuff happened on the day I happened to get married.  So, anywho...  Looking forward to reading this one.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bringing YA to You

Have you ever wished that a big YA book tour would make a stop in your hometown? Well, here's your chance for that wish to come true! YA2U is a program that features five award-winning and best-selling authors who are holding a contest to see what city they should visit in an exclusive tour stop!

The authors are collecting votes from January 1 to February 15, and any city in the continental US or any Canadian city that has an international airport can win an exclusive visit from all five authors, including an author panel and book signing! Entering is super easy--and if you help spread the word about the contest, you can also enter win a signed copy of all of their books (TEN signed books in total!)--and the book contest is open internationally!

And they want to have an event in your home town! To participate, just got to the YA2U website and let them know what city you want them to come to. And while you're there, help spread the word about the contest and you can be entered to win all of their books--TEN signed books in total!

Here's why the YA2U Team should come to MY hometown!
They should come to Madison, WI because I live here (obviously).  Plus, they can come out, sign books, freeze their butts off, and be thankful they don't live here in the winter.  Also, we have lots of snow which means they can make snow angels.  You have to make snow angels at least once every winter (or think about making them while drinking hot cocoa and sitting next to a roasting fire).  In short, they should come to Madison because it would make my day and year...

Why should the YA2U Team come to your hometown? Why not join in the fun today and share with others about this program and your hometown. The more votes your town gets, the closer you are to having your very own personal tour stop! Vote for YOUR town here!

And if you help spread the word, you can also participate in the book giveaway. Tell them that you learned about YA2U from me and we both get extra entries in the contest!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

manda-rae's Haul

Stacking the Shelves consists of books we received in the last week, hosted by Tynga's reviews.

So the last time I posted about the books I received was three weeks ago.  And a lot has happened since then.  Let's just say Christmas was a pure downer for me.  Prior to Christmas, I was on vacation visiting family in Utah.  For the most part, I was sick.  Food poisoning tends to completely incapacitate you.  And then the drive home right before Christmas, my car broke down in the middle of nowhere.  Long story short, I worked a lot of overtime to pay for the car getting fixed.  They didn't fix it very well, and it never made it home.  It was an eventful Christmas full of work and stress.  And now I'm attempting to find a new car and survive while being carless.  Oh, and I'm working a million hours of overtime, so I can afford a new one.  Hence, I really haven't been reading lately.  But I'm getting back into the habit.  I certainly miss it.  And since I go into work today, I won't be able to reply to your hauls until later tonight or tomorrow.  Here's to hoping everyone's new year has been going better than mine...

Gifted (from the Husband for Christmas):

  • Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • Ooh, shiny cover.  I remember this book had caught my interest a while back.  The cover is certainly intriguing.  And my husband was attempting to get me books that I didn't know about but would find interesting.  And I think he succeeded.
  • The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • An Alice in Wonderland remake.  I honestly can't say I've heard of it.  You think I would have with that cover.  My husband did an awesome job at surprising me.
  • Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • You know when you have those rants where you keep thinking I need to buy this book.  I must have this book.  I'm going to die if I don't get this book.  And then you never get it?  Well, apparently my husband remembers said rant of mine...

Gifted (from the Holiday Card Exchange hosted by Turning the Pages):

  • Christmas Tree Card from Carrie at Sweet Southern Home - I love the card.  Thanks for thinking of me!
  • Ornament Card from Kimberly at Turning the Pages - The card was beautiful.  And this card exchange was such a fun idea.  Thanks for setting it up!
  • Winter Town Card plus bookmark from Candy at Purple Shadow Hunter - Thanks for the holiday wishes.  I truly needed it to combat my Scrooge spirit.  And the card was beautiful.
  • Merry Christmas card plus Christmas tree spong and recipe from Anna at Herding Cats and Burning Soup - So the sponge came in a pill, and I was a little nervous to see what it was.  I mean, who sends pills in the mail?  And it turns into a Christmas tree sponge, how adorable!  I loved it.  And I plan on trying the recipe out asap.  Thanks for the goodies!

Purchased (e-edition):

The Grimm Diaries Prequels by Cameron Jace
I picked these up when they were 99 cents.  I mean they're all retakes on fairy tales, right?  You can't go wrong there...

manda-rae's Past Three Weeks
(Again, my life has been quite eventful which prevented me from a lot of reading and blogging.)



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