Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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...
Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
Genre:  YA Fantasy
The Worldwalker Trilogy, Book 1
Josephine Angelini's website
Expected publication date:  September 2, 2014
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted...which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily's life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem - one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily's identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn't understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

I absolutely loved the Goddess series.  So I'm excited to check out Josephine Angelini's next book.  It sounds so interesting and a little dark.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

Genre:  YA Mythology
Everneath Series, Book 3

Note:  Read the first two books, otherwise the description below could spoil earlier plots.

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Now that Nikki has rescued Jack, all she wants is to be with him and graduate high school. But Cole tricked Nikki into feeding off him, and she’s begun the process of turning into an Everliving herself... which means she must feed on a Forfeit soon — or die.

Terrified for her survival, Nikki and Jack begin a desperate attempt to reverse the process using any means possible. Even Cole, who they expected to fight them at every turn, has become an unlikely ally — but how long can it last? Nikki needs to feed on Cole to survive, Cole needs Nikki to gain the throne in the Everneath, Jack needs Nikki because she is everything to him — and together, they must travel back to the Underworld to undo Nikki’s fate and make her mortal once more. But Cole isn’t the only one with plans for Nikki: the Queen has not forgotten Nikki’s treachery, and she wants her destroyed for good. Will Nikki be forced to spend eternity in the Underworld, or does she have what it takes to bring down the Everneath once and for all?

And we're back to the Everneath.  I truly loved the first two books in this series.  But the conclusion to this series just didn't seem to trump them all.  Gah, I'm not good with endings.  I hate saying good bye.

Nikki has begun the process of turning into an Everliving, something Cole tricked her into.  And only Cole can keep her alive during this transition.  But while Cole and his band continue their plans of overtaking the Everneath, Nikki and Jack are planning to take down the Everneath.  But both sides have forgotten a very important team in this Everneath battle: the Queen.  They're all fighting for the Everneath, but only one will win.

From the beginning of this story, I was ready for this world.  I love Cole's character and personality however I love Jack's unconditional love.  But...  Something happens in the book that just makes me dislike one of the characters.  And I feel like things were forced into a happily ever after.  I guess in the end, I feel like the ending was forced onto me.  Grr.

This is a wonderful series to read.  The first two books are some of my favorite reads.  I just wish I could say the third trumped them all, but it didn't.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

manda-rae's Haul

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

Good morning everyone (at least it's morning time as I right this).  I hope everyone has a good weekend.  I'll be spending it reading and catching up on my reviews.

For review:

  • The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • When I was asked if I wanted to read this early, I jumped with joy and wrote an awesome fangirl response.  And then I had to erase everything and professionally accept the book.  But that didn't stop me from doing a happy dance when this showed up on my door.  I'll be reading this one soon.  Thanks goes to Dutton books.
  • Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • I recently finished this one, and I'm still not certain what to think about it.  It's definitely interesting.  And the ARC looked like the tiniest book out there, but that shouldn't fool anyone as it's almost 400 pages of goodness.  Thanks goes to Around the World ARC Tours.

From the Library:

  • Night Broken by Patricia Briggs
  • Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • I didn't realize Kelley Armstrong was writing a new novel.  Even though I crashed and burned with her last novel, I still have to continue with her books.


  • Bookmark from N Isabelle Blanco
      • That is one steamy bookmark...  And the tag line just makes it even more steamier.  Am I ridiculous if I mention that looking at this bookmark makes me slightly uncomfortable?  Yep, definitely a little ridiculousness here.  Thanks N Isabelle Blanco!

manda-rae's Past Two Weeks

Pure Textuality Convention News:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkowski

Genre:  YA Fantasy Romance
The Winner's Trilogy, Book 1

Description (taken from Marie Rutkowski's website):
Winning what you want might cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

In this world, everything is a game.  And it's all about winning.  But you never know what's at stake until you've lost it.

Kestrel, a Valorian, lives in a peninsula that was once ruled by the Herrani.  Nowadays, the Herrani have been conquered by the Valorians, and they are kept as slaves.  Being the general's daughter, Kestrel has lived an easy life and learned not to question things.  Her only worries are whether to enlist as a soldier or to marry someone.  But on the day of a slave auction, Kestrel will find she has bought more than she bargained for.

Arin, a Herrani, has spent the last ten years enslaved.  And he is ready to see his people freed.  He will do anything to free them.  But a chance meeting with Kestrel, and his world turns upside down.  What will he do to protect the beautiful things in his life?  How can he cope with calling a Valorian beautiful?

I guess I should have picked up on this from the description (or read reviews thoroughly), but this book is a massive love story.  It's like pure romance with a dash of fantasy...  Don't get me wrong; this book is a wonderful telling of a love story.  But it's just different.  I don't know how I feel about this even after finishing the book.

An excellent story to be told.  And I hear others really enjoyed this book.  As long as you're okay with the pure romance part, then you'll probably enjoy this one.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pure Textuality Convention


I will be attending the 2014 Pure Textuality Convention this year and I want to see YOU there!!! If you’re planning to go, please run out and reserve your tickets!! We have two days left to determine whether enough ticket sales will happen to save the convention. Here’s the info on the con:

The Pure Textuality Convention is a gathering of fans, authors and publishers from all over for the sake of their deep love and affection for reading. We will have Q&A Panels with some of the industry’s best authors, awards voted on by the fans, workshops for writers, a book signing/expo day, and more!

Join 40+ authors and industry professionals to celebrate the love of reading and writing!


The 14PTC is our first year throwing this convention so it relies 100% on ticket sales. We are in the middle of a ticket sales campaign featuring a couple of big giveaways:

- Anyone who purchases a general admission ticket between now and Wednesday 4/23/2014 at 11:59PM EST automatically gets entered to win an Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9".

- Anyone who purchases a general admission ticket between now and Wednesday 4/23/2014 at 11:59PM EST automatically gets entered to win tickets to Authors After Dark 2015 (Atlanta) and The Novel Experience Event (Las Vegas).

Kobo Writing Life
Pure Textuality Public Relations
Ang'dora Publications, LLC
Red Coat PR

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

Genre:  YA Science Fiction

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean, in this thrilling, surprising, and thought-provoking debut novel that will appeal to fans of Across the Universe, by Beth Revis, and The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood.

Ava has lived her life on a ship ruled by men.  She cooks, cleans, sews, and takes care of the livestock.  What she doesn't do is see the outposts and worlds the ship visits; that job is for the men.  But when a wedding deal is struck, she leaves her home ship for another.  And since the women are to know absolutely nothing, she makes a mistake by assuming she's marrying a boy from her childhood.  This assumption leads her down a path with no turning back.

After running away from her home ship, Ava finds an ally in Perpetue, a mail shipper.  Perpetue helps her escape by bringing her down to Earth.  Ava has only known Earth as something that infects and sickens people.  When she finds a thriving world there, her eyes open.  There's life outside her ship, and it's not as male-domineering as her ship was.  As Ava learns to navigate this new world, she learns more about her history.  But with this new knowledge, will Ava be able to choose the life she wants?

It was the "male-domineering" phrase that made me hesitate with this book (and the 520-page length).  I am so sick of male-domineering books; I think we need to see some books where women rule (and men have to clean the floors with their toothbrushes).  But this book is more than that.  It's pointing out a closed-off society set in a future science-fiction world.  We have plenty of closed-off societies in our current world; it's very easy to see the parallels.  Back to the book, as big as this book was, I feel like it didn't cover enough of Ava's life.  It follows her as she learns about her world, herself, and her past.  And believe me, she does a lot of growing.  I truly felt for her character and saw the heartache in her choices.

But...  Back to how I mentioned that this book wasn't big enough.  It does an excellent job of setting the background and the landscape.  But it changes so frequently that I'm left questioning things.  Like what was the point of the ship Ava grew up on?  And what happened in the past that made the women willing to submit (trust me, I'd be leading the women rebellion as fast as I could)?  It feels like important details were glossed over.  But in the end, it doesn't really affect the main point of the story.  This is a book about a girl growing, coming to terms with who she is, and deciding where she wants to be.  And then add the futuristic space setting to it.

In the end, it's a good story.  A really long book that I think would've done better as a trilogy with more explanations (me and my explanations - but hey, I want a complete story).  Gasp, it's my first standalone novel in a longtime, and I wish it were a trilogy or more?  What's wrong with me?  Anyways, I'd say pick the book up if it's got your interests...

Thanks goes to Around the World ARC Tours for providing me a review copy.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich

Genre:  Adult Detective
Stephanie Plum Series, Book 10

Description (taken from Janet Evanovich's website):
She’s accidentally destroyed a dozen cars. She’s a target for every psycho and miscreant this side of the Jersey Turnpike. Her mother’s convinced she’ll end up dead…or worse, without a man. She’s Stephanie Plum and she kicks butt for a living (well, she thought it would sound good to put it that way…)

It begins as an innocent trip to the deli-mart, on a quest for nachos. But Stephanie Plum and her partner, Lula, are clearly in the wrong place at the wrong time. A robbery leads to an explosion, which leads to the destruction of yet another car. It would be just another day in the life of Stephanie Plum…except that she becomes the target of a gang. And the target of an even scarier, more dangerous force that comes to Trenton. With super bounty hunter Ranger acting more mysteriously than ever (and the tension with vice cop Joe Morelli getting hotter), Stephanie finds herself with a decision to make: how to protect herself and where to hide while on the hunt for a killer known as the Junkman. There’s only one safe place, and it has Ranger’s name all over it-if she can find it. And if the Junkman doesn’t find her first. With Lula riding shotgun and Grandma Mazur on the loose, Stephanie Plum is racing against the clock in her most suspenseful novel yet. Ten Big Ones is page-turning entertainment and Janet Evanovich is the best there is.

This book takes off right away with Stephanie witnessing a robbery gone wrong, her car going up in flames and everyone whipping out their guns.  Once Lula and Stephanie talk themselves into locating a fugitive by driving through gang streets, there's a certain gang that notices Stephanie Plum, for better or worse.  This forces Stephanie to try to protect her loved ones by staying away.  But all Joe wants is Stephanie to stay home and lose the bounty-hunting gig.  Which of course isn't going to happen.  And we enter the Stephanie Plum entertainment world.....

I enjoyed this book because we got to know a little more about Ranger.  The story's main plot is similar to all of the others, but it's the side plots and the side characters that keep you going.  However, I do have to say this: the whole Ranger-Joe-Stephanie triangle is getting old fast.  And that's probably why I pick up these books once every other month.  I'm going to keep reading them because they're addicting, but it's the same-ol', same-ol'.

If you haven't started the Stephanie Plum series, there's 21 books out there.  I'm not even halfway through them.  So you'll be like me: on the long road of Stephanie Plum-ism.  It's a fun series to try.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

14PTC Flash Sale

Awesome news: for the next four hours, you can purchase tickets for the Pure Textuality Convention for $50.  The convention is in Minneapolis this year during the first week of October.  I hope you'll think about going.  Tickets can be purchased here, and they are included in the Amazon Fire Kindle giveaway.

Pawn by Aimee Carter

Genre:  YA Dystopian
The Blackcoat Rebellion Series, Book 1

Description (taken from Goodreads):

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

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

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

Have you ever thought about the perfect society where everyone contributes?  And those that don't are sent away.  The thiefs and criminals aren't allowed in society.  And you are ranked based on what you can contribute which also determines your class in society.  Almost sounds like the perfect world, right?  Too bad we'll never get it right.

Kitty, the second child in a family whose class only allows for one child, spent her life in a group home.  The only mother she's known she's had to share with 40 other kids.  At the age of seventeen, every kid takes a test that determines their rank in society.  The Is (those that can't contribute to society) will be sent away while the lower rankings will have mediocre jobs but a roof over their heads.  Kitty's goal is to get a IV: something that lets her stay in her town to wait for Benji to get his ranking.  Only problem is she can't read and it's a written test.  Unfortunately, she ends up a III and must leave everything she's ever known for a mediocre life.

But...  People from very high places have noticed her.  She's given the opportunity to be a VII: a ranking that only belongs to the Hart family.  Only problem is she'll have to be Masked as one as well.  She will become Lila Hart.  But once she's a VII, nothing gets easier.  Instead, everything is more complicated and nothing is as it seems.  Can Kitty handle losing her identity and taking a new one?

The description that comes with this book is good and enticing.  But there's so much more to this story than that.  This book builds on the world Kitty is in.  And once you think you've figured it out, you're thrust into Lila's world.  And while a lot of the plot twists are predictable, you're so engrossed in the world that you don't care anymore.  This is the kind of world-building I love to see.  It's as if I can throw the characters aside and think of myself in this world (as a VI of course).

This is a dystopian that doesn't disappoint.  It's fun to read, and you begin to question all those off-handed remarks you've said about your own society (or at least I did).  I'll be picking up the next one for sure.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

manda-rae's Haul

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

And another week has gone by.  I have a Zumba class in a couple of hours, but I plan on getting a little bit of reading done before that.  And then I'm going to watch the first thunderstorm of the season...  Or do yard work if it doesn't show up.

For Review:

  • Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

From the Library:

  • Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • I am dying to read this series finale.  I'm pretty sure I will finish it in one sitting.  One of my favorite mythology retellings.
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • Now that the third one's out, I think I can start this series.  I think I should make that new rule: don't start trilogies until all books have been published.  Then I don't have to wait, and the story's fresh in my mind...
  • Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano
  • Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich

manda-rae's Past Week


  • Pure Textuality Convention - You can enter a giveaway if you by your tickets now.  The convention's in Minneapolis at the beginning of October.  Are you going to go?

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