Saturday, April 30, 2011

ARC Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Publication: Harlequin; Original edition (April 19, 2011)


Description: It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.


Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.


Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.


My Thoughts: This was an incredibly touching story. Kate is holding on her to dying mother with everything she has when she arrives in Eden. She can't accept that her mother is going to be gone soon. She begins school, according to her mother's wishes, and meets some other kids - James who is a lonely outsider, Dylan the school golden boy, and Ava who is Dylan's girlfriend and jealous of anyone who catches his eye. Kate accepts an invitation to a party from Ava at her mother's urging. When she finds that Ava has planned a prank, she is angry. But when Ava is hurt while diving into a river, Kate puts aside her terror of drowning to help her. Ava dies but Henry, a strange and handsome young man, offers her a bargain. He will save Ava if Kate agrees to come live with him in two weeks. She agrees.


Next thing she knows, Ava is better and Kate has a promise to keep. When her mother takes a turn for the worse, she tells Henry that she can't keep her promise. When Ava dies, Kate goes to Henry to make a new deal. Henry will give Kate time to say goodbye to her mother if she agrees to stay with him for half the year. Kate has to take a number of tests to prove that she is worthy to be Henry's companion and co-ruler of the Underworld. Unfortunately, this same deal has been offered to eleven girls before her and all of them have died. Kate will win immortality if she passes the tests and will either die or have her memory of her time with Henry erased if she fails.


This was a great story about a girl who is struggling with grief but who is determined not to lose anyone else she loves or to let others lose their loves. Kate doesn't believe that Henry is a god at first. She is strongly rational but his actions convince her. I liked how the story didn't have Kate instantly in love with Henry but gave their love a chance to grow as they learned to know each other. 


I liked the blending of Greek mythology into the story. I will admit that I don't know as much as I could about the topic but I could see Henry as Hades. I recommend this story to lovers of mythology, sad stories, and romance. 


Favorite Quote:
"It's nice to meet you."

Everything about the way she looked at me screamed she wanted nothing more than to take me out into the woods and bury me alive. "It's a pleasure to meet you, too."
I received this eARC from Harlequin Teen via NetGalley. It is available now as both a paperback and ebook at Amazon.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Book Beginning & Friday 56: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Happy Friday everybody!!

Book Beginnings
 
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Katy at A Few More Pages 

Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading. 

If you like, share with everyone why you do, or do not, like the sentence.
 
The Friday 56

Rules:
  • Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
  • Turn to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Freda's Voice
  • Post a link along with your post back to Freda's Voice
  • Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.
My closest book today is The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter. This is a 2011 Young Adult Debut novel and is about a girl who, to have more time with her dying mother, has to pass seven tests to become a goddess or die.

Beginning:
"How did it happen this time?"
Friday 56:

James seemed determined to talk me out of it, pointing out how little I knew about Henry and how he had to be a few colors short of a rainbow to even think about inviting me to stay with him for half of the rest of my life. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: Nickel Plated by Aric Davis

Nickel Plated
Author: Aric Davis
Publication: AmazonEncore (March 22, 2011)


Description: Nickel is a survivor. He has to be. For as long as he can remember, his life has hinged on the flip of a coin. Or, rather, the scribble of a social worker’s pen. He’s been through the system, even had a good dad for a few years, until he was gone, too. But Nickel remembers everything he taught him, and since the day he escaped from foster-care hell, he’s put that knowledge to good use. Just twelve years old, he makes a steady living by selling marijuana to high schoolers, blackmailing pedophiles he ferrets out online, and working as a private investigator. 


When a beautiful girl named Arrow hires him to find her little sister Shelby, Nickel figures at best the kid’s a runaway; at worst, some perv’s gotten a hold of her. He scours the internet and the streets of Arrow’s suburban neighborhood, and what he finds there is as ugly a truth as he’s ever seen. For beyond the manicured lawns, Nickel discovers children for sale, and adults with souls black as the devil. And people like that aren’t about to let some kid ruin their game. 


This edgy thriller introduces a canny, precocious anti-hero, the likes of which young-adult readers have never seen. 


My Thoughts: I thought this was a great story. I fell in love with Nickel from the first moment I met him. He is truly a hero for today's world. Nickel is a survivor who triumphed over a horrible foster home situation. He is living on his own at age twelve and surviving just fine around the edges of the normal world.


He grows pot and blackmails internet perverts for money. But, really, what else can a twelve year old do for money? He also does some private investigation work. Being a kid is often an asset because kids are often overlooked. If a kid needs him, he works for free. Arrow comes to him because her 11-year-old sister Shelby is missing. Nickel takes the case and is quickly involved in a nasty situation where kids are for sale and the adults are villains of the blackest sort. 


I liked the way Nickel managed to arrange his life. I liked that he did have friends but that even his friends knew very little about him. I did keep having to remind myself that he was twelve though. He is very articulate and has a great sense of survival. 


This was one book that I couldn't put down that has some lessons for a lot of kids. I look forward to sharing it with my high school students who want to read about the gritty side of life. 


Favorite Quote:
It was getting cold out, winter sending out tendrils of its coming storm. Winter doesn't bother me, neither do summer or spring. Fall weather, though, weather like this, I hate it. If spring is birth, summer is life, and winter is death, then the fall is dying. The world fades around you, exploding with red and orange colors before wasting to nothing. The snow I can deal with, but watching the world around me die and get swept up terrifies me in ways that I can't explain.
I got this book for review from Amazon as a part of the Amazon Vine program. You can get the paperback or the Kindle version there. 


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

ARC Review: Strings Attached by Judy Blundell

Strings Attached
Author: Judy Blundell
Publication: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (March 1, 2011)


Description: From National Book Award winner Judy Blundell, the tale of a sixteen-year-old girl caught in a mix of love, mystery, Broadway glamour, and Mob retribution in 1950 New York.


When Kit Corrigan arrives in New York City, she doesn't have much. She's fled from her family in Providence, Rhode Island, and she's broken off her tempestuous relationship with a boy named Billy, who's enlisted in the army.


The city doesn't exactly welcome her with open arms. She gets a bit part as a chorus girl in a Broadway show, but she knows that's not going to last very long. She needs help--and then it comes, from an unexpected source.


Nate Benedict is Billy's father. He's also a lawyer involved in the mob. He makes Kit a deal--he'll give her an apartment and introduce her to a new crowd. All she has to do is keep him informed about Billy . . . and maybe do him a favor every now and then.


As she did in her National Book Award-winning What I Saw and How I Lied, Judy Blundell traps readers in a web of love, deceit, intrigue, and murder. The result? One stunner of a novel.


My Thoughts: This was a fascinating look at New York in 1950 through the eyes of 17-year-old Kit Corrigan. Kit is the youngest of the Corrigan Three - triplets whose mother died at their birth. They were raised by her father Jimmy and her Aunt Delia. Their father made them public celebrities just because they were triplets. They got product endorsements and appeared at county fairs and other public celebrations. It was a way for the family to make money during the Depression but life was still hard. Kit embraced the performing life and is determined to become a Broadway star. 


At first when I began the story, I thought that I had missed a previous book. There were so many allusions to previous events. As I kept reading, I discovered that there were numerous flashbacks in the book that helped me fill in the blanks. It did make the start of the book confusing and difficult for me. Once I got past them and started getting the big picture, I enjoyed the book much more. 


The story is both a coming-of-age story and a story that does include, as the product description says, deceit, intrigue, and murder. Kit gradually learns family secrets that had been concealed from her all her life. She also gradually becomes involved with the Mob through her connection with Nate Benedict. It all starts with asking for and taking favors. 


The Corrigans and the Benedicts have been involved since before the Corrigan Three were born. Jimmy, Delia, and Nate Benedict had been friends during Prohibition when they were bootlegging and running alcohol down from Canada. Delia and Nate had a romance but didn't marry because Nate wasn't going to go straight. They separated and their lives took much different paths. Nate became a successful lawyer who worked for organized crime. Jimmy, Delia and the kids lived a difficult, hand-to-mouth life.


Their lives entwined when Nate saves Delia from a hurricane. Their lives entwined again when Kit meets Billy who is Nate's son and they fall in love. But Billy has secrets of his own, anger issues and is jealous of Kit's other friends. When they fight, Billy runs off to join the Army and Kit runs to New York to start her search for stardom. 


This was a complex but entertaining book filled with memorable characters and interesting situations. Readers who enjoy historical fiction would enjoy this one. 


Favorite Quote:
Nate waited by the stage door. I couldn't tell by his face what he was thinking. I'd known Billy's mood before he said hello, if he was happy or sulky or crazy to see me. Nate's face was as clean as if he'd just scrubbed his feelings off with a washcloth. He was nothing like his son.
I got this book through my participation in the Amazon Vine program. It is available in hardcover, ebook, and Audible versions.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop Winner

Thank you to all 303 people who entered my Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop contest. Random.org tells me that the winner is #5 on the list.
Congratulations to Orchid who blogs at the Haunting of Orchid Forsythia.

I have emailed her and am eager to see what book she chooses.

Teaser Tuesday: Nickel Plated by Aric Davis

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week my teaser comes from Nickel Plated by Aric Davis. I got this one from Amazon as part of their Amazon Vine program. Here is the product description:
Nickel is a survivor. He has to be. For as long as he can remember, his life has hinged on the flip of a coin. Or, rather, the scribble of a social worker’s pen. He’s been through the system, even had a good dad for a few years, until he was gone, too. But Nickel remembers everything he taught him, and since the day he escaped from foster-care hell, he’s put that knowledge to good use. Just twelve years old, he makes a steady living by selling marijuana to high schoolers, blackmailing pedophiles he ferrets out online, and working as a private investigator. When a beautiful girl named Arrow hires him to find her little sister Shelby, Nickel figures at best the kid’s a runaway; at worst, some perv’s gotten a hold of her. He scours the internet and the streets of Arrow’s suburban neighborhood, and what he finds there is as ugly a truth as he’s ever seen. For beyond the manicured lawns, Nickel discovers children for sale, and adults with souls black as the devil. And people like that aren’t about to let some kid ruin their game. This edgy thriller introduces a canny, precocious anti-hero, the likes of which young-adult readers have never seen.
 I have just begun this but I already like Nickel's voice. He is a tough kid doing what he can to survive on his own at age 12.


Teaser:
I rode, my backpack full of pot and my mind full of missing sisters, my heart full of nothing. 


Monday, April 25, 2011

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop
April 20th to 25th


Welcome to my stop on this Giveaway Blog Hop.

I am giving away a book of your choice (up to $20 USD) to anyone who can get books from The Book Depository. You can choose whatever book you are most longing for today.

Here are the rules:

  • Be age 13 or above
  • Be a GFC follower of Ms Martin Teaches Media
  • Fill out the form below


Entries are accepted until midnight April 25. The winner will be chosen using random.org and emailed. Check out the other participating blogs here.


ARC Review: Favorite by Karen McQuestion

Favorite
Author: Karen McQuestion
Publication: AmazonEncore (April 1, 2011)


Description: Five years have passed since Angie Favorite’s mother, Laura, disappeared without a trace, and Angie still hasn’t recovered. Sure, things look normal on the surface—she goes to school, works her summer job, and argues with her older brother Jason—but she can’t shake the feeling that Laura didn’t leave by choice. Angie’s dad does the best he can, but his work as a musician keeps him on the road and away from home, where it’s up to Angie’s grandmother to keep an eye on the kids. She can’t be with them all the time, though, and she can’t help Angie when she is snatched from a mall parking lot by Scott Bittner. The girl narrowly escapes, and Bittner is arrested, but he takes his life in jail before he can offer an explanation for his crime. When his mother contacts Angie, begging forgiveness on her son’s behalf, the girl agrees to meet with her in hopes of finding answers to the seemingly random attack. But when she arrives at the massive Bittner estate, she is overcome by an unshakeable sense of foreboding…


My Thoughts: This was a nice middle grade/young adult mystery. Angie Favorite has not had an easy life. Her mother disappeared on the day of Angie's 11th birthday. No trace of her had been found. Six years later, Lily lives with her brother and her grandmother. Her dad is a struggling musician who travels a lot with his band. 


One day, when Angie was picking up some dry cleaning, a man named Scott Bittner tries to abduct her. He tries to take her from the parking lot but Angie manages to get away. Unfortunately she is hurt in the attempt. The attack leaves her with a damaged wrist, hairline fracture of the skull, and anxiety attacks. She soon learns that the attempted kidnapper has committed suicide but it doesn't bring her any closure or relieve her anxiety.


Then, the kidnapper's mother contacts Angie to try to apologize for her son. She is a rich woman who lives in a fortress-like house. Angie very reluctantly agrees to meet with her. Mrs. Bittner immediately tries to get involved in Angie's life. This is made possible because her grandmother and fiancé are off on a cruise (non-refundable tickets). Angie's dad was supposed to be staying with her and her brother but he got a call from LA that someone wanted to buy some of his songs and he had to go. 


Angie is a strong, smart character. I think that this book would be enjoyed by mystery lovers of all ages. 


Favorite Quote:
So many times I thought of what I'd say to Scott Bittner when I saw him face to face. Usually I pictured it happening in the courtroom when they sentenced him to eighty years in prison. I wanted to tell him that I no longer felt safe unless other people were with me, that unexpected noises made me jump, that I had bad dreams every single night. And I had questions: How could you do this? Why did you do this? And finally: Why me?
I received this book from Amazon as a part of the Amazon Vine program. It is available as a paperback and an ebook


Sunday, April 24, 2011

In My YA Mailbox (April 24, 2011)

The weekly In My Mailbox post is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is fun to see what everyone else gets in their mailboxes, shopping bags, and library visits. Click on the link to The Story Siren's site to see the rules and join in the fun.

I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow when you see all the wonderful books everyone gets. You will discover lots of great blogs and lots of books that you won't be able to live without.


I added only three books to my enormous TBR mountain this week.
The Pack by L. M. Preston was on sale for the Kindle this week for $.99. I have been looking at the Young Adult science fiction story for a while and decided to buy it now. 

Defiance by Lili St. Crow is the fourth in the Strange Angels series. I have been reading this series and need to know what comes next for the characters.

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja by John Flanagan is the most recent (10th) in the Ranger's Apprentice series. I love this middle grade/young adult fantasy series and can't wait to begin this book. 

That was my week. What did you get?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Review: Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut

Griffin Rising
Author: Darby Karchut
Publication: Twilight Times Books (April 14, 2011)


Description: For Griffin, it’s time to angel up. 


Armed with the power to control the ancient elements of Earth and Fire, sixteen year old Griffin is determined to complete his apprenticeship and rise to the rank of Terra Angeli.

But first, he must overcome a brutal past if he is to survive in this world. Will the perseverance of his mentor and the love of a mortal girl give 
Griffin the strength he needs to triumph? 


My Thoughts: What a great story! I picked it up and couldn't put it down until I had finished to book. Now, I really want the sequel Griffin's Fire (which isn't out until April 2012) because I need to know what is next for Griffin.


Griffin was such a wonderful character. He begins as a small, frightened boy who has been abused by his first Mentor Nicopolis. He begins to blossom and become a confident young man with a great sense of humor when he is moved to his new Mentor Basil. Basil is training him to be a terrae angeli by building up his confidence and working on his skills. His strengths are Earth and Fire which are nicely complimented by his Mentor's Wind and Water. They make a great team rescuing humans. But Griffin never forgets that he will be tested in a Proelium when he is sixteen to see if he remains a terrae angeli or has to become a human.


This story which is mainly told in Griffin's, Basil's and Katie's journal entries talks about his life and how his life changes when a young girl named Katie and her family move in next door. He is her first boyfriend and she is his first girlfriend. Their relationship exhibits all the signs of first love. It would be a perfect relationship if only Katie believes in angels -- but she doesn't at first. Their relationship is also complicated by Nash Baylor - the football star who also has a crush on Katie. Nash is jealous of Katie's relationship with Griffin. 


Nicopolis is also a problem for Griffin and Basil. Basil and Nicopolis were Tiros together and have disliked each other ever since. Terrae angeli have free will and Nicopolis has used his to become a cruel bully. He has it in for Griffin. And he is the one who is chosen to supervise Griffin's Proelium...


This was an exciting and entertaining story that I am eager to share with my middle schoolers and high schoolers. It was great entertainment with a positive message.


Favorite Quote:
I would rather deal with a twenty car pile-up. On the interstate. In a blizzard. With food poisoning, even, rather than taking a fifteen-year-old Tiro shopping. He whined the entire time and refused to purchase anything but jeans and tee shirts. Jeans, I might add, that hang halfway off his bum. He's going to look quite ridiculous during a rescue when his pants fall down.
I received a copy of the print book from the author for review. It is available at the Kindle Store in an ebook version now. The print version will be available in June 2011.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Book Beginning & Friday 56: Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut

Happy Friday everybody!!


Book Beginnings

Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Katy at A Few More Pages 

Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading. 


If you like, share with everyone why you do, or do not, like the sentence.

The Friday 56


Rules:
  • Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
  • Turn to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Freda's Voice
  • Post a link along with your post back to Freda's Voice
Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.
The book in my hand today is Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut. It was sent to me by the author for review and has been sitting on my review stack for quite a while now. You can buy it in the Kindle Store at Amazon here.
Here is the product description from the author's web site.

For Griffin, it’s time to angel up.

 Armed with the power to control the ancient elements of Earth and Fire, sixteen year oldGriffin is determined to complete his apprenticeship and rise to the rank of Terra Angeli.
 

But first, he must overcome a brutal past if he is to survive in this world. Will the perseverance of his mentor and the love of a mortal girl give Griffin the strength he needs to triumph? 
Beginning: 
"Um...Basil?" said the teen, pushing his dark hair out of his eyes. He glanced around the abandoned parking lot, its rotting blacktop camouflaged by a layer of snow, then looked up at his tall companion. "I think your pant leg's on fire." 
Friday 56:
He's not such a dweeb after all. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: Hex: A Witch and Angel Tale by Ramona Wray

Hex: A Witch and Angel Tale
Author: Ramona Wray
Publication: CreateSpace (January 29, 2011)


Description: Like most girls at Rosemound High School, seventeen-year-old Lily Crane is acutely aware of Ryder Kingscott. Hands down the cutest guy in school, Ryder is cool, mysterious, and utterly untouchable…especially for Lily. For when she touches someone, Lily instantly learns all about their lives. And while such a skill might seem nifty, in truth it is wrecking Lily’s life. So she is shocked when Ryder asks her out — and even more shocked to discover he has a rival. Lucian Bell is the gorgeous new kid who can’t take his eyes off of Lily. Being pursued by two hotties should make a girl happy, but Lily is skeptical. The boys act as if they've met before, hating each other with a passion that could only be rooted in a dark, dangerous past. A past full of terrible secrets. The kind of secrets that could get a girl killed.


My Thoughts: This was a complex paranormal romance with the love triangle that seems to be common to the genre. I love Lily's voice. She seems like a very well-grounded 17-year-old despite a number of problems. She is not able to touch anyone with reading them, feeling their pain, and passing out. She is also able to do spells and make healing candles for her mother's occult store. She has one really good friend - J - who is also on the far side of normal. She has a good relationship with her parents.


Boy number 1 is Ryder. He is the hot guy at school who goes his own way and does his own thing. Lily describes him as "James Dean with better hair." One day he decides that it is time to approach Lily. They have been watching each other for a year. Lily is reluctant at first. She wonders "why now?" and "what about the no-touching thing?" She soon learns that she can touch him and they become the latest hot couple at school. She falls head-over-heels in love and he returns her feelings.


Boy number 2 is Lucian Bell. He is a new arrival at school who also takes one look at Lily and begins courting her. He shows up wherever she is and is constantly trying to convince her to be with him. For me, he had something of a creepy vibe that it takes Lily a while to see. He is also able to touch her. But, when he does, she sees visions of their past. 


The story begins with a hex. A boy who is engaged to a girl falls in love with her sister. The sister loves back but is filled with guilt. The girl catching them together and curses them to never be together. Lucian shows Lily her past lives and tries to convince her that they belong together and Ryder is the halfling angel called by curse to kill her.


This was an interesting story. I liked the emotional intensity. Lily has to decide who she should believe. The story is filled with twists and turns. I think that this one will appeal to fans of Twilight and others of the current crop of YA paranormal romances. Recommended for the romance lover!


Favorite Quote:
And the bottom line was that I trusted Ryder. Even in the middle of whatever was happening, of the unknown, I trusted him enough not to care where he took me. Timbuktu even, was alright with me, as long as we were together. Call it instinct, call it early onset dementia, but being with him felt a lot like belonging. I'd never experienced anything like it before. Heck, I'd never been able to touch someone else and not have my brains liquefy inside my skull before. How could I not trust him? 
I received this book from the author for review. It is available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WoW: The TBR Stack

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It gives us a chance to spotlight books that we are eagerly anticipating.


This week instead of going to my Amazon account to see what I have pre-ordered, I am going to feature my TBR stack. These are the books that I have already purchased and that are waiting for me to choose them as the next book I read. 


These are only the YAs that I have purchased since the start of this school year. To the right you can get a hint of the adult books that I have purchased and not yet chosen to read.
Click on the image for a larger view.
When I ordered each of them, it was because they intrigued me. I really wanted to read them. But my eyes are much bigger than my brain. I can't read as fast as I can buy.
If you were to choose for me, which one should I move to the top of the stack to read next?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Hex: A Witch and Angel Tale by Ramona Wray

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week is from Hex: A Witch and Angel Tale by Ramona Wray. Here is the product description: Like most girls at Rosemound High School, seventeen-year-old Lily Crane is acutely aware of Ryder Kingscott. Hands down the cutest guy in school, Ryder is cool, mysterious, and utterly untouchable…especially for Lily. For when she touches someone, Lily instantly learns all about their lives. And while such a skill might seem nifty, in truth it is wrecking Lily’s life. So she is shocked when Ryder asks her out — and even more shocked to discover he has a rival. Lucian Bell is the gorgeous new kid who can’t take his eyes off of Lily. Being pursued by two hotties should make a girl happy, but Lily is skeptical. The boys act as if they’ve met before, hating each other with a passion that could only be rooted in a dark, dangerous past. A past full of terrible secrets. The kind of secrets that could get a girl killed.

The Teaser:
There was no going back for me, not anymore, not ever. After all, ignoring a guy is kind of hard to do when you're convinced he wants to kill you.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Getting Organized

I have discovered a new avoidance tactic -- getting organized. I have been spending time organizing my reading rather than reading.

Thus far, I have sorted out all of the books I have received for review. I have made a pile of those I will never get to for the Teachers' Book Shelf at my HS. One of the English teachers brought in a bookshelf for the Lounge and encourages donations of books. Here are the ARCs I'm adding on Monday. These are adult books that I have received mainly from Shelf Awareness. (Note to self: Stop asking for adult books! You never actually read them.)
This leaves the young adult books (and one lone adult book for a blog tour) shown here in my physical Review pile:
If that were all I had for review, I would be breathing a sigh of relief. However, my NetGalley Collection on my Kindle adds another 12 books and Adobe Digital Editions (living on my laptop) adds still 3 more titles. 

My spreadsheet of review titles which is organized by when the review should be done says I have 27 books still to read and review. I searched around and just moved one from the "my YA books" pile to the review pile. I am also currently reading one. 

It is great getting books to review from authors and publishers. When I was a new blogger, I always used to envy fellow bloggers who talked about getting ARCs. But when does feeling honored change over to feeling overwhelmed? I think I am pretty close.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In My YA Mailbox (April 17, 2011)

The weekly In My Mailbox post is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is fun to see what everyone else gets in their mailboxes, shopping bags, and library visits. Click on the link to The Story Siren's site to see the rules and join in the fun.


I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow when you see all the wonderful books everyone gets. You will discover lots of great blogs and lots of books that you won't be able to live without.

I began the week slowly but my mailbox started filling up at the end of the week.


I got these this week:
Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany - This is a sequel to a book that I really liked last year.

Corsets & Clockwork is an anthology of steampunk stories by some of my favorite young adult authors and adult authors who have also begun to write for young adults.
Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes by Maureeen Johnson was free for my Kindle this week. I have never read it and thought I would add it to the stack.

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong is the first book in a new young adult series. I really like her books and am eager to read this one.

I got these two print books fore review this week:
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier -- This is a time travel story.

The Tomorrow Girls: Behind the Gates by Eva Gray -- From the description this one seems to combine boarding schools and dystopias. Should be interesting!

That was my haul this week. What did you get?


Saturday, April 16, 2011

ARC Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Enclave
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publication: Feiwel & Friends (April 12, 2011)


Description: WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE 


In Deuce's world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed 'brat' has trained into one of three groups-Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear--to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She's worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing's going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce's troubles are just beginning.

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn't like following orders. At first she thinks he's crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don't always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she's never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce's perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy... but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she's ever known.




My Thoughts: In Part I of this novel we meet a young girl - Brat 15 - who has reached the age of fifteen and is finally given a name and a job. She becomes Deuce and a Huntress. Hunters patrol the territory, kill Freaks, and bring back meat. She has trained to be a Hunter for 7 years. She is partnered with another Hunter named Fade. He is sort of an outcast because he wasn't raised in the enclave. He was kept when he showed up because he was useful to the group. Deuce begins the story completely loyal to the enclave and very obedient but some actions she sees the governors of the enclave take disillusion her. At the end of Part I she and Fade are exiled from the enclave on some trumped up charges and are forced to go Topside.


In Part 2 Deuce and Fade decided to travel north to look for more people. Fade's father used to tell him stories about a safe place north. But before they can go north they have to avoid the gangs who have taken over neighborhoods in the city. The gangs make the citizens of the enclave seem benevolent. Girls are only Breeders for the gangs. Deuce and Fade beat off an attack by a gang but Deuce is captured. Another young woman helps her escape but when the gang finds them again, they are all attacked by Freaks. They need to work together to survive. After the fight only the gang leader, Fade, Deuce and .... manage to survive. 


This was an interesting dystopia. Aguirre says that she was inspired by the events of Katrina in New Orleans when those who were able evacuated and others were forced to stay. Those who left were the well-to-do and those who stayed were the poor. This dystopia ends on a hopeful note which is more satisfying to me than those that end less positively. I will be eager to find out what happens next for Deuce, Fade and their friends. 


Recommended for fans of dystopias.


Favorite Quote:
"They're going to kill him," he said hoarsely.

And how I wished I didn't know that -- or care. As a Huntress, I wasn't supposed to. I should care about the greater welfare of the enclave. My job existed to keep our citizen's safe. Protection didn't extend to brats we found in the tunnels, unless they were like Fade, strong enough to survive on their own. We couldn't afford to feed and care for weaklings. 
I received this book for review for Feiwel and Friends. It is available at Amazon in hardcover or ebook.