Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday (26): The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish event hosted by Breaking the SpineThis is a meme that many book blogs participate in to goggle over highly anticipated upcoming releases and fabulous covers and authors!
 
I surprise myself when I say I am actually not obsessive over The Ruby Circle's release date. Without a doubt, I do want to read it, but I don't feel that sense of hurry or immediacy to do so that I feel like I have with other releases this year. Perhaps it is because I see the Bloodlines series as a mirror of Vampire Academy, and since I've re-read the latter series so many times, I've ruined part of my excitement for The Ruby Circle. Perhaps I need a good series read-over to get pumped again.
 
 
The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)Goodreads Synopsis:
 
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world.
 
 
 
I probably joined the fandom of the Vampire Academy around Spirit Bound's release. Mead certainly has taken her creation far with the twelve novels the world will have after TRC, and I will most certainly be sad to see the series end without a concrete promise for the future. Mead has stated before that she considered writing more books set in the VA world, but as of yet we have no conclusive answer for that.
 
Can't wait for The Ruby Circle, coming February 10th!
 
Steph

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Release Day: Burned (Fever Series #7) by Karen Marie Moning

Here is to the surreal moment when, after the slight bout of waiting's misery, Burned by Karen Marie Moning is in the world for the public taking. Here is to the small eternity that Fever fans endured, only to find themselves emerging from the end of a long, dark, and damp tunnel to find the glorious reward that awaits them. Perhaps like the Unseelie King, fans feel that the constant vigil on the countdown for what feels like a millennia, is but a small price to pay for the eternity we receive in return--that is--the forevermore existence of Burned in our minds.

I won't be sleeping much this week. I will be stalking my poor postman. I won't be writing those papers with a ticking time limit until the absolute deadline. Reading this highly anticipated novel will be my sole focus (perhaps unfortunately for the rest of the world), until my eyes glide off the last word and page to only glaze over and voraciously await the next installment. I have no qualms with this book. KMM made us wait, but I believe she will deliver. 


Burned (Fever, #7)Goodreads Synopsis: 
 
It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing.

MacKayla Lane would do anything to save the home she loves. A gifted sidhe-seer, she’s already fought and defeated the deadly Sinsar Dubh—an ancient book of terrible evil—yet its hold on her has never been stronger.

When the wall that protected humans from the seductive, insatiable Fae was destroyed on Halloween, long-imprisoned immortals ravaged the planet. Now Dublin is a war zone with factions battling for control. As the city heats up and the ice left by the Hoar Frost King melts, tempers flare, passions run red-hot, and dangerous lines get crossed.

Seelie and Unseelie vie for power against nine ancient immortals who have governed Dublin for millennia; a rival band of sidhe-seers invades the city, determined to claim it for their own; Mac’s former protégé and best friend, Dani “Mega” O’Malley, is now her fierce enemy; and even more urgent, Highland druid Christian MacKeltar has been captured by the Crimson Hag and is being driven deeper into Unseelie madness with each passing day. The only one Mac can depend on is the powerful, dangerous immortal Jericho Barrons, but even their fiery bond is tested by betrayal.

It’s a world where staying alive is a constant struggle, the line between good and evil gets blurred, and every alliance comes at a price. In an epic battle against dark forces, Mac must decide who she can trust, and what her survival is ultimately worth.


For those who haven't picked up a Fever book, here is my recurring ode that pleas you to do so. My next post may be a review of this; a torrential outpour of my jumbled feelings. Perhaps it will take me weeks to process instead. As soon as my pre-order arrives, I will be diving into my reading retreat. This is an absolute must-read!

Steph

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (25): The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish event hosted by Breaking the SpineThis is a meme that many book blogs participate in to goggle over highly anticipated upcoming releases and fabulous covers and authors!
 
Haven't done a WoW in a while, but I am literally sitting on my fingers just waiting for this book to come out. I haven't been able to immerse myself in any new series simply because I'm dying for The Return (well, this and Burned by Karen Marie Moning) so badly to console my chronic Post-Covenant Stress Disorder. I was ecstatic to hear that Jen was going to write a spin-off over lovely Seth...but I can't believe we're finally rolling around to its release day! 

Goodreads Synopsis:
 
The Return (Titan, #1)The Fates are cackling their bony asses off…

It’s been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they’ve given him have been violent and bloody–which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He’s got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.

Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy’s deal might be, but it’s a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.

But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.

Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.
 
 
*Sighs*. I don't know how exactly I'm going to carry this book in public with that slightly misleading cover, but I also don't think I have the constitution to wait until the afternoon everyday to crack the cover. In fact, I'll probably be snuggling in a corner with this book every free waking moment I have no matter my location. 

The early review's of this have been stellar, and I expect no less than the ingenuity and humor that was part of the Covenant Series. I really didn't like Seth until the end of Sentinel, but I am entirely eager to get any dosage of this spin-off medicine. The new Titan Series is going to be New Adult, perhaps meaning steamy times ahead with Seth?

Jen posted that those who pre-order The Return--which of course I have--will get a special Alex and Aiden Bonus Scene (This is necessary.) after the release of the book. We've got a few more weeks to go, and thus a few more weeks to snag that little incentive chapter before it is too late! The Return is out on February 17th, a fitting few days after Valentine's Day. Can't wait!

Steph

Friday, November 28, 2014

Review: Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements, #2)Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Steph's Rating: 4 stars
Overall: 4 stars

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: October 21st 2014
Pages: 446

Goodreads Synopsis:

Every touch has its price...

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

Review: 

Looking through my blog, you would realize that I am a die-hard fan and addict of Jennifer L. Armentrout. I think I've given pretty much every single book she's written a happy five out of five stars and then go on to make run-on sentences about why you must read her books. I was actually tempted to give this book a 3-3.5 stars, but my more-than-slight bias to JLA might have effected that rating...Okay, so I didn't give her a perfect score this time, but Stone Cold Touch is still undoubtedly an excellent time-passer that might keep you up a little while to finish. 

The biggest reason why I felt like this wasn't a round 5 was because this book seemed like an intermission. It's a perfectly lengthy book (longer than book one, I believe), but I felt like there was lots of fluff for the purpose of pure fanservice rather than content that tied to the plot more. I'm not complaining about fanservice necessarily, since it was interesting to read *wink*, but we don't really learn anything more about Lilith, the Lilin, and how Layla's heritage affects her abilities. There were only a small number of major points I think JLA really wanted to hit with this book, and while achieved, overall I thought Stone Cold Touch was stalling for time and trying to draw out the suspense. 

Some of said "fluff" is devoted towards gearing up the love triangle subplot between Layla, Zayne, and Roth. I thought it was relatively well written out, but it did feel like a ping-pong match at times between Zayne and Roth since the scenes with Layla just kept on jumping back and forth between the two guys. I've been reading around, and I do see that lots of people have been jumping ship to Team Zayne. For what reason? I myself, do not know. To me, Zayne seemed like an entirely different character from the one we got to know in the first book. Yes, he's known Layla for a lot longer than Roth has, but I don't think that is enough of a reason for him to be her significant other. I saw him mostly as an annoying fly buzzing in a growing relationship between Layla and Roth, and while he was sweet throughout the book, I just don't get as good as a vibe from him. (P.S. Roth is just a darling.)

The big build-up point of this book, of course, was the end. As in the last chapter. Or how about the Very. Last. Page. I actually saw the ending coming a few chapters before, but it's still a killer even when you expect it. The series is only going to be a trilogy, but I think it's safe to say that the end of STC is where the turning point of the story is, and I'm very excited to where Jenn is going to lead this to. Right now though, I see too many unanswered questions and I'm a little worried that the last book is going to end up a bit rushed to fit in all the last minute content. Despite this, I still think this ending is going to be explosive. JLA has once again proven herself to be the queen of throwing wrenches into her stories at the most inopportune times for her readers. The wait for Every Last Breath is going to be excruciatingly difficult, but I cannot wait to see how Layla's story will end!


Steph

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas Cover!

I never found out if there was an actual "cover reveal" for A Court of Thorns and Roses for blogs, but nonetheless, I ended up finding an interview with SJ Maas and the cover for this book on USA Today! I am a super-fan of her books, so I am eagerly awaiting her next fantasy series! She says it incorporates a mash-up of lots of fairy tails, including Beauty and the Beast. Here is the cover and synopsis, the link to her interview/the original post is below:


Synopsis:

When 19-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. 

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it ... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever. 

Perfect for fans of Kristen Cashore and George R.R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

Um. Kristen Cashore? Geroge R.R. Martin? Yes, please, and thank you! It seems she's carrying on her Fae theme that is present in the Throne of Glass series, but is making it a more central part of the story. Personally, I like how the cover is eerie and wicked looking, but I wish the girl on the cover wasn't so cartooned-looking. It's pretty much the same sentiment as her first series: I think her books can be geared towards older teens and adults too and the covers downplay the seriousness that is actually present in the books.

Can't wait for this next year--hopefully it'll help pass the time for the next ToG book as well :)

Original Post with Interview:


Steph

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Release Day: Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Happy Release Day to Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout! It's no secret Dani and I are extremo fans of her--and this book is definitely one of the books we have been looking forward to the most this year. I can't wait to get some more......Bambi....! I'm ecstatic to get started on this book (AHEM Amazon--whenever your delivery package decides to turn around, preferably in the next ten minutes...), yet at the same time, it's sad to know that after STC, the only book left in this trilogy is Every Last Kiss.

Regardless, can't wait to get started!

Here's some Stone Cold Touch quick info:

Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements, #2)Synopsis:

Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted,
but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…




About Jennifer L. Armentrout:  
 
# 1 New York Times and International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.
 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Review: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Glass CastleThe Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Steph's Rating: 5 stars
Overall Rating: 5 stars

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Scribner 
Publication Date: January 17th, 2006
Pages: 288

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette's brilliant and charismatic father captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want the responsibility of raising a family.

The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

The Glass Castle is truly astonishing--a memoir permeated by the intense love of a peculiar but loyal family.

Steph's Review: 

I believe this is the first time I've ever reviewed a nonfiction book on this blog. We don't even accept review requests that are nonfiction book, but after reading The Glass Castle, I'm debating changing that to not accepting nonfiction except memoirs. 

If this book were fiction, I don't think it would've been as big of a hit as it was. The writing is phenomenal, but if this were only crafted out of sheer imagination, I don't think I would be able to say it was a particularly notable work.

But that's the problem. This book is real--a memoir that recounts events in Jeannette Walls's tumultuous childhood and includes both the bad and the good. I read this and I could not believe that anyone could have such an eventful life in so little time, how children so young in numbers were mature beyond even those who had lived a lifetime. The nomadic lifestyle, the questionable schooling, the financial state--or rather, lack of thereof, the safety issues, the bullying, the hunger, the simple joys, the successes the children have even though they faced this in their entire childhood. It definitely fits the, "Perspective, get some", quote.  Every single chapter of her life--and there are many, many short and powerful chapters--is a completely different adventure to tell. It seems that the Walls's family has suffered every kind of hardship, but have also found happiness in ways the average person would never experience.

No matter how well she writes this book, I don't think anyone will truly understand Walls's life except her own family. On the surface, it seems just like a story about a highly dysfunctional family who happens to do everything opposite of what conventional mainstream society says to do. It's a feat to do such a thing, but at the same time, Wall's reveals to us that nothing was as simple as it seemed. Her two parents are both free and nomadic souls and also seem to have no idea what family is yet at the same time, understand what family is more than anyone else. I don't know if it was Walls's intention to paint an ugly picture of her parents (although I hated both her mother and father by the end), but that was what I felt was expressed through her words.

Her father, Rex, is book-smart and cheeky. He has his moments of brilliance and an undying dream of building The Glass Castle for his family to live in. Fine. Rex Walls's is also an alcoholic, has no idea what street-smarts are, and has absolutely no clue how to take care of his family. Her mother, Mary, doesn't want the responsibility to take care of a family despite having four children. She's selfish, whines, and is more childish than any of her kids. The young siblings have to learn how to fend for themselves and stand on their own two feet. They have to figure out to swim before it's too late.

Even with this not-present parenting, this family always stuck together throughout the odds. Even when the family fought. when the children were unhappy, they always ended up back together until the tipping point. This story was stupendous--a look into a life that you would not expect when looking at someone for the first time in the face. Inevitably, this memoir is a life-changer. It sends a message to readers that people might have experiences that we could never imagine: quite frankly, to never judge a book by its cover.
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