Saturday, August 31, 2013

manda-rae's Haul

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

I had surgery on my finger on Thursday.  And I haven't been able to read because holding a book with one hand doesn't work.  Hopefully I'll do a little better this weekend.  Happy Saturday!

From the Library:

Purchased (e-edition):

Surrender by Rhiannon Paille

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis

Genre:  YA Mythology
Daughters of Zeus Series, Book 1

Description (taken from Kaitlin Bevis' website):
There are worse things than death, worse people too.

The “talk” was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they’re a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn’t until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone.

Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.

What an original mythology telling.  Note how I say telling instead of retelling.  It's not a Persephone-Hades love story retelling, it is THE Persephone-Hades love story told in a modern day era.  And it's sweet and beautiful.

Persephone doesn't really know who she is until people come after her.  These people know more about her than she does.  This kind of forces Demeter to tell Persephone the truth about her heritage and that she will live forever as a goddess.  But a plot to kidnap her forces Hades to react without thinking.  And down to the underworld she goes to hide and learn more about who she is.

What I loved about this series:  the Underworld was cool.  I thought how it behaved was awesome.  I wish there were more dealings down there and lots more descriptions to go with it (I guess I just want to spend a couple of days there - without having to die first).  Hades - he was the bad-good guy that anyone could love.  Definitely want to see more of this romance come into play.  Really, the only thing I had issue with (besides wanting more of this story) was the climatic fight scene towards the end went too quickly.

It's never a bad thing when a reader says the only downfall to the story is it wasn't enough to sate her curiosity.  I want more!  Luckily, there's another book in this series (hurray).  Yep, off to the second one soon.

Wednesday, August 28, 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...

Unsouled by Neal Shusterman
Genre:  YA Dystopian
Unwind Series, Book 3
Neal Shusterman's website
Expectd publication date: November 7, 2013
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Connor and Lev are on the run after the destruction of the Graveyard, the last safe haven for AWOL Unwinds. But for the first time, they’re not just running away from something. This time, they’re running toward answers, in the form of a woman Proactive Citizenry has tried to erase from history itself. If they can find her, and learn why the shadowy figures behind unwinding are so afraid of her, they may discover the key to bringing down unwinding forever.

Cam, the rewound boy, is plotting to take down the organization that created him. Because he knows that if he can bring Proactive Citizenry to its knees, it will show Risa how he truly feels about her. And without Risa, Cam is having trouble remembering what it feels like to be human.

With the Juvenile Authority and vindictive parts pirates hunting them, the paths of Connor, Lev, Cam, and Risa will converge explosively—and everyone will be changed.

One of my favorite dystopian series out there that not everyone has heard of.  I love these books.  They're weird, out there, so unbelievable that you can slightly believe them.  I don't know; I recommend everyone checks out Unwind.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Goddess by Josephine Angelini

Genre:  YA Mythology
Starcrossed Series, Book 3

Description (taken from Josephine Angelini's website):
After accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count.

To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas's life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.

Um, so the only reason this is not getting 5 stars is because I had to wait a whole year between the second and third one (two years between the first and third).  A lot happens; I forget things, and I really don't have enough time to reread books before the final release.  So, I was lost for the first hundred pages trying to remember who was who.  To end my trilogy rant: I really wish publishers would release books in a series within a couple of months of each other.  I'd probably have a better time remembering the story and liking the book more.

Anywho, back to the Scions battling the gods.  This story puts an interesting twist on past-lives and who looks like who, and who's supposed to do what in the grand scheme of things.  There were some moments where I got confused and had to second guess what I was reading, but my mythology-fantasy-crazed mind quickly told that logical-thinking part to shut up and disappear.

And we finally get more of that love story that we've been dying for since the first book.  Gah, Lucas and Helen.  Finally!!!!!  Although I wish I had seen a bit more of Morpheus here.  I don't know.  The ending was epic.  I loved it, and it actually ended things for the most part.  A very satisfactory ending.

Now that the series is over, what other mythology books can I read?  Loved these books...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Glass Frost by Liz DeJesus

Genre:  YA Fantasy
First Frost Series, Book 2

Description (taken from Liz DeJesus' website):
When joined together, Cinderella's slippers grant the wearer her heart's desire. But whose wish will be granted? 

When Cinderella’s glass slipper is stolen, Queen Felicia sends her faithful steward Terrance to the real world to retrieve his love and witch-in-training, Bianca Frost. The power of the glass slipper, when paired with its mate, and in the wrong hands, could ruin the peace of Everafter. Bianca must gather every bit of magic she has learned in the past few weeks to find the slipper and protect her new love. Together, Bianca, Ming, Prince Ferdinand, and Terrance venture deep into the heart of Everafter to seek clues as to who has stolen the slipper and why. Along the way, they uncover what happened to the Seven Dwarves after Snow White married the prince, but also learn the awful risk of tampering with black magic and the high price that must be paid for magic, even when used for good.

Bianca and Terrance’s relationship is put to the test. Through the pain of suffering and loss, Bianca must determine if following her gallant boyfriend into his faraway world is in fact her heart's desire.

First, we followed Bianca into Everafter as she unwrapped the secrets of her family history, the history of Snow White that is.  And now we get to enter another fairy tale: Cinderella.  Although we still get to see other fairy tales woven into the story, and we're still a little bit focused on Snow White's fairy tale.

When Bianca is requested to appear before Queen Felicia, Prince Ferdinand's mother, she is allowed to go to Everafter as long as her sidekick, Ming, goes with her.  And we trust Ming to not let adventure get the best of her because she'd rather be alive to see the world instead of dive headfirst into danger.  And we've got the gorgeous Terrance; is loving him enough to leave your life behind you?  Bianca begins to try to answer this question as she looks to the future, will it involve him and Everafter?  And of course we've got the quirky Prince Ferdinand, who sometimes has the least sense of all until you really need it.

This series is a happy-go-lucky fairy tale adventure, from the big bad wolf to fairies to Cinderella's slipper.  The first book had to take some time setting up the characters and the setting.  And now that that was taken care of, this story was able to begin right from the start.  So I seemed to enjoy it more.  There are some dark things that happen on Bianca's quest, but good tends to prevail all in the end.  And sometimes you need a good story with a good ending; it gives us hope in our own lives (or just makes us feel good).

I'd recommend this series to those looking for a happy fairy tale adventure.  Those who swoon over true love's kiss.  And tend to like quirky characters.

Thanks goes to Liz DeJesus for providing me a review copy.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Genre:  YA Fantasy
The Grisha Series, Book 2

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

So, I will admit that my review for this is probably going to suck content-wise.  And this series has made me realize that I play favorites with my books.  This is your typical second book in a series, but I still enjoyed it.  And I don't really know why I enjoyed it so much.  Other than the fact that I like this fantasy world Liegh Bardugo has built, and I'm in love with the Grisha concept.  And possibly the Darkling...

From the first book (which I absolutely loved), Alina is on the run from the Darkling and from her title. She is a powerful person that just wants to disappear.  Only problem is there are people out there who want this power.  With the help of Mal and a new snarky character (which I also enjoyed), Alina returns home to prepare for war against the Darkling.  But she has new ideals she wants to implement.  Instead of keeping people separate based on class and type, she wants them to mingle and share strengths and weaknesses (which is a bold move).

So, I've never been one to cheer on Alina and Mal's love story.  It's been doomed since the beginning.  And the Darkling doesn't play as a big of a role in here (although I did enjoy the last scene in the book with him).  But there are plenty of other guys vying for Alina's attention.  And while I can't name names, I can tell you I like them more than Mal.  I kind of just want Alina to let Mal go like everyone else wants her to, but she's stubborn.

My only regret with this book is there isn't enough explanation about the new powers that emerge from the Shadow Fold.  The link between Alina and the Darkling isn't explained.  I need explanations people.  And now I have to wait a long time for the series finale.

Wednesday, August 21, 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...

Rogue by Gina Damico
Genre:  YA Urban Fantasy
Croak Series, Book 3
Gina Damico's website
Expected publication date:  September 10, 2013
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Description (taken from Gina Damico's website):
What comes after the Afterlife?

Teenage Grim Reaper Lex’s power to Damn souls is getting out of control. Her boyfriend, Driggs, is dead . . . sort of. She's a fugitive, on the run from the maniacal new mayor of Croak and the townspeople who want to see her pay the price for her misdeeds. Uncle Mort rounds up the Junior Grims to flee Croak once again, but this time they're joined by Grotton, the most powerful Grim of all time. Their new mission is clear: fix his mistakes, or the Afterlife will cease to exist, along with all the souls in it.

The gang heads for Necropolis, the labyrinth-like capital city of the Grimsphere. There, they discover that the Grimsphere needs a reboot. To do that, the portals to the Afterlife must be destroyed...but even that may not be enough to fix the damage. Things go from bad to worse, and when at last the fate of the Afterlife and all the souls of the Damned hang in the balance, it falls to Lex and her friends to make one final, impossible choice.

Okay, so I thought Croak was one of the cutest, quirkiest books involving grim reapers out there.  It holds a special place in my heart.  But Scorch made me feel ripped off.  I didn't care too much for it.  And I'm crossing my fingers, toes, and arms that this third novel will be good.  Don't let me down Lex...

On another note, has anyone saw the new Mortal Instruments movie?  Is it good?

Monday, August 19, 2013

My YA Life in Book TItles

So, these surveys were set up by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner, and I really wanted to participate.  So I'm going to start with this one and catch up with the A to Z Survey some other time.  Hopefully, you guys might learn something about me after reading this (or not if you don't want to).


How would you describe your 16 year old self?  Siege and Storm - I was a mess of a person trying to find out who I was by being what everyone else wanted me to be.
When You Looked Into The Mirror What Did You See:  Shatter Me - I never saw a pretty person back then.
Your 16 your old self outlook on life/motto:  My Soul to Take - What I did back then, it only affected me, right?
How You Think People Would Describe Your Personality:  Tempest

Describe An Insecurity In High School:  The Virgin Suicides - If this isn't obvious, yes I was afraid to die a virgin.
Describe Your Worst Trait As A Teen:  Furious - I had a temper, and I really didn't care who I pissed off.
Describe the contents of your diary/journal:  Some Girls Bite

Your biggest Fear:  Uninvited
You excelled at:  The Pianist - Inasmuch as a person with warped fingers can excel at it (I have amniotic band syndrome if that helps explain my hands).
You were always concerned about:  Escaping Reality
You Thought Your Life Was:  Perfect Lies

Love Life

How would you sum up your high school love life?  Showdown - Anyone who tried to flirt with me got shot down pretty harshly (I guess I never knew how to let a guy down easily).  It's also probably the reason why I didn't have many dates.
Describe your most serious boyfriend from high school?  Starcrossed
Describe your first kiss:  Sloppy Firsts - I'm describing my first kiss that involved tongue.  Too much and slimy, yuck...
Your philosophy on dating/love:  Shiver - Who wants to think about love and dating, I don't need a guy to complete me (this is coming from a 16-year-old who got married 5 years later to her high school sweetheart).
Describe Your Worst Break Up:  Dead to the World - So I was the instigator in the break up; I still learned the hard way that trying to force feelings away doesn't really work.


Your relationship with your mom as a teen:  Hunting Ground - My mom and I fought pretty hard.  In fact, most of the stupid things I did then were to piss her off.
Your relationship with your dad as a teen:  Want - My dad lived in Georgia.  I kind of didn't have a everyday relationship with him until I was moved to Georgia my senior year.
Your relationship with a sibling:  Once We Were - My brother and I kind of lived in our own worlds once he became a teen.  We kind of quit acknowledging each other.
What you thought about your parents rules/parenting style:  Crewel - Read it phonetically: it was cruel...


Describe you and your best friend at 16:  Bad to the Bone
Your Social Status:  Splintered - I had friends; I just tried not to rely on them too much.
Describe Your Group Of Friends:  Strange Angels


Your Perception Of High School Upon Entering:  Legend - All the perceptions I had of high school came from movies involving twenty something actors that had much better-looking bodies than I had in high school.  So high school was ruined for me...
Your relationship with academics:  Dark Triumph - I didn't really pay attention in high school.  I did my homework in class.  And if I was below an A in math, it's because I didn't turn in my homework.  Yes, I could do math in my head and without practice.
Your Weekends Were:  Every Day - There came a time where I quit caring about school.  Once I got the scholarship for college, I quit caring about classes.
If Your High School Life Was A Movie It would be called:  Life as We Knew It

A Class You Wish High School Would Have Offered:  The Diviners
Your Senior Year Was:  The Fault in Our Stars - Senior year was all about me trying to accept who I was and who my parents were.  They weren't the perfect things I made them out to be as a kid.  So it was a lot of acceptance from both parties (after fighting).
Describe prom:  Beautiful Creatures
When High School Ended It Was:  Pivot Point

The Future

How You Felt About The Prospect of College:  Delirium - I had no idea how I was paying for it, but I was going to go to college if my life depended on it.
How You Thought Your Life Would Be At 26 (insert whatever age you are now):  Life is But a Dream - I thought I'd be still living in Utah and probably on my second baby.  Instead, I'm in Wisconsin and afraid of kids.

Your Life Now

Describe Your Love Life Now:  Evertrue
Describe The State Of Your Friendship With Your High School BFF:  Glimmer - We still chat online, but we have our own lives to live.
Your Relationship With Your Parents Now:  The Night She Disappeared - I love my parents, but we're living our own lives in different states.  They still have kids to raise.  So I'm okay with a 'hello' every once in a while.
Your Thoughts On Your High School Reunion (either if you had it or if it’s upcoming):  I am Legend - It's going to be (wait for it, wait for it): legendary.  Hahahahaha...

Biggest Lesson You Learned In High School:  Truth
One Thing You WISHED You Had Learned:  Where She Went
Advice You Wish You Could Have Given Your Teen Self:  A Need So Beautiful
Something You Could Learn From Your 16 Year Old Self:  This is not a Test

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...