Thursday, February 28, 2013

ARC Review: Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Unremembered 
Author: Jessica Brody
Publication: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (March 5, 2013)

Description: When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.


Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memoriesperiod. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.

Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

From popular young adult author Jessica Brody comes a compelling and suspenseful new sci-fi series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.

My Thoughts: This science fiction story was a good start to a series. A nameless young girl - sixteen and beautiful - is the only survivor of a plane crash. Or is she? She is found floating in the ocean. She is unhurt except for the fact that she has lost her memory. She doesn't know her name or where she came from or much about current pop culture. Her only possession is a heart-shaped locket with S + Z = 1609 on the back. 

Because of her violet eyes, one of the nurses in the hospital names her Violet. While she is in the hospital a boy comes to her and says he knows her and wants to help her escape. She doesn't remember him and doesn't trust him, fearing that he is one of those attention seekers who are trying to get some of the fame and media attention that now surrounds her.

Violet is put into foster care in an isolated small town to try to keep her out of the media's eye until she regains her memory. The boy shows up again and tells her that her name is Seraphina and his is Zen thus explaining the S + Z on the locket. He says that they fell in love and were trying to escape the evil conglomerate that created her making her smarter and stronger and prettier than a normal human girl. 

When danger finds her, she and Zen and her thirteen-year-old foster brother Cody go on the run. Sera doesn't know who she can trust beyond Zen and she finds his explanation for her situation hard to believe. Still, she knows that she loves him and comes to trust him.

The story includes time travel, genetic manipulation, and evil scientists. It also includes a really sweet romance. I can't wait to read more in this series to see if Sera and Zen ever find a place of safety.

Favorite Quote:
"You don't have to tell me anything if you don't want to. I'm fine just continuing to believe the fantasy I've created in my head."

I smile tenderly at him. :And what fantasy would that be?"He straightens up in his chair. "That you're a magahot alien from a far-off planet full of supermodels who's come to earth on a scouting mission because men have gone completely extinct on your planet and you're looking for another species to breed with in order to keep your superhot alien race from going extinct."

I giggle. "That's very imaginative."

He shrugs. "I read a lot of sci-fi."
I received this ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WoW: Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She has a linky widget at her site each week for your post and to make it easy to find posts by other people.

The purpose of the meme is to spotlight books that we are eagerly anticipating. It is fun to take a look at what others are waiting for. I have noticed that it has expanded my wishlist though. Be warned!
My wait for Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson will finally be over on March 12. Here is the description:
The Bluebeard fairy tale retold. . . .

When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.

Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.

Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale.
Doesn't that sound like a fascinating story?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Unremembered by Jessica Brody

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 Unremembered by Jessica Brody. I got this ARC for review from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. It will be released on March 5. Here is the description:
When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.

Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memoriesperiod. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.

Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

From popular young adult author Jessica Brody comes a compelling and suspenseful new sci-fi series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.
Teaser:
Forgetting who you are is so much more complicated than simply forgetting your name. It's also forgetting your dreams. Your aspirations. What makes you happy. What you pray you'll never have to live without. It's meeting yourself for the first time, and not being sure of your first impression.
Have you seen the trailer?

Monday, February 25, 2013

State of the Stack (Feb. 25, 2013)

This is my monthly State of the Stack post. It is my way to keep track of my review books and to hopefully reduce the stack that I have waiting for me. I take a look at my review commitments on the last Monday of each month. Please feel free to join in and let me know the state of your stack.

I keep a spreadsheet listing all of my review books. Yellow highlighted books are ones past their publication date that I still haven't read and reviewed. I use pink highlights for reviews due in even numbered months so that I can see at a glance how many I have for each month. Ideally, this keeps me from over-committing to review books.  


My Physical Review Pile

Here are my stacks of physical review copies.
Adult Books:

  1. The Spanish Revenge by Allan Topol (Meryl L. Moss Media Relations; Sept. 1, 2012)
  2. Buried by Kendra Elliot (Author; March 26)
  3. Three Sisters by Susan Mallery (Meryl L. Moss Media Relations; March 28 blog tour date)

YA Books:

  1. 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma (Amazon Vine; March 21)
  2. Finn Finnegan by Darby Karchut (author and Spencer Hill Press; blog tour date March 6)
  3. Fox Forever by Mary E. Pearson (Macmillan; March 19)
  4. Soldier Dog by Sam Angus (Macmillan; April 16)
  5. Furious by Jill Wolfson (Macmillan; April 16)
  6. One + One = Blue by M. J. Auch (Macmillan; April 30)
  7. Monument 14: Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne (Macmillan; May 28)
  8. Of Triton by Anna Banks (Macmillan; May 28)
  9. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (Macmillan; June 4)
  10. Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox (Macmillan; June 11)
  11. Neptune's Tears by Susan Waggoner (Macmillan; June 25)
  12. The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry (Macmillan; June 11)
  13. My Totally Awkward Supernatural Crush by Laura Toffler-Corrie (Macmillan; August 20)
Not pictured:
The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd (YA; Amazon Vine; Jan. 29)
Pivot Point by Kasie West (YA; Amazon Vine; Feb. 12)
Unremembered by Jessica Brody (YA; Macmillan; March 5)


My Kindle Review Pile

I noticed that something new seemed to happen this month. I have been getting emails from publishers inviting me to go to NetGalley to get their books for review. This month Minotaur Press and St. Martin's Press sent me review opportunities this way. 

Also, Amazon Publishing has started a new program called Whispercast where they send e-galleys to my Kindle. I will be receiving review books from 47North, Montlake Romance and Amazon Children's Publishing.

Here is what is on my Kindle stack in order of publication date. 

Retrieved by Amber Polo (sent from author and published 11/30/2012)
Hysteria by Megan Miranda (NetGalley; released on Feb. 5 but I'm on the blog tour for March 14)
The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen (NetGalley and March 1 release)
Seven Kinds of Hell by Dana Cameron (Adult; Kindle book by invitation from Amazon Publishing; March 12)
Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman (Adult; NetGalley via Minotaur Books; March 12)
Poison by Bridget Zinn (YA; NetGalley; March 12)
Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson (YA; NetGalley; March 12)
Crossfire by Laura Bradley Rede (received from author; Released on Jan. 12, 2013; I said I'd try to fit it in sometime in March but now it looks like it will be moving to April)
Six Years by Harlan Coben (Adult; NetGalley via Dutton; March 19)
If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch (YA; NetGalley; March 26)
The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig (Adult; NetGalley via St. Martin's Press; April 9)
The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe (YA; NetGalley; April 9)
Project Paper Doll: The Rules by Stacey Kade (YA; NetGalley; April 23)
manicpixiedreamgirl by Tom Leveen (YA; NetGalley; April 23)
Battleship: A Daring Heiress, A Teenage Jockey, and America's Horse by Dorothy Ours (Adult Nonfiction; NetGalley via St. Martin's Press; April 30)
Headed for Trouble by Suzanne Brockmann (Adult; NetGalley; April 30)
Sketchy by Olivia Samms (YA; NetGalley; April 30)
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa (YA; NetGalley; April 30)
The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston (YA; NetGalley; May 21)
The Last Girl by Jane Casey (Adult; NetGalley via Minotaur Books; May 24)
The Caretaker by A. X. Ahmad (Adult; NetGalley via Minotaur Books; May 21)
Bare It All by Lori Foster (Adult; NetGalley for Media Muscle Tour; April 30)

I Read This Month

These are listed in the order I read them. Links go to my reviews for all that have been posted already. Otherwise, the date the review is scheduled for is listed.

  1. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  2. The Buckhorn Legacy by Lori Foster
  3. Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson
  4. Die for Me by Cynthia Eden
  5. Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
  6. Til the World Ends by Julie Kagawa, Ann Auguirre, and Karen Duvall
  7. Lycan Unleashed by Tiffany Allee
  8. Double Crossed by Ally Condie
  9. Stone Cold Revenge by Jess Macallan
  10. Mind Games by Kiersten White
  11. Released by Amber Polo
  12. Dualed by Elsie Chapman

I Added These Books

These are listed in the order I received them. Links go to Amazon. Date received and date published are listed in parentheses.

  1. Die for Me: A Novel of the Valentine Killer by Cynthia Eden (1/31: February 12)
  2. The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd (1/31; January 29)
  3. The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen (2/4; March 1)
  4. Neptune's Tears by Susan Waggoner (2/4; June 25)
  5. Three Sisters by Susan Mallery (2/4; March 28 review date)
  6. My Totally Awkward Supernatural Crush by Laura Toffler-Corrie (2/7; August 20)
  7. The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry (2/7; June 11)
  8. 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma (2/7; March 21)
  9. The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig (2/8; April 9)
  10. Battleship: A Daring Heiress, A Teenage Jockey, and America's Horse by Dorothy Ours (2/8; April 30)
  11. The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston (2/10; May 14)
  12. Seven Kinds of Hell by Dana Cameron (2/15; March 12)
  13. The Eternity Code by Julie Kagawa (2/17; May 1)
  14. Six Years by Harlan Coben (2/20; March 19)
  15. Bare It All by Lori Foster (2/21; April 30)
  16. The Last Girl by Jane Casey (2/23; May 21)

I Am Currently Reading

I have been having a hard time picking my next book. I have read a few pages of The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen (6% while I was out to dinner), The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd (61 pages a week ago) and Unremembered by Jessica Brody (17 pages before bedtime last night). I think I will be continuing Unremembered first.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stacking the YA Shelves (Feb. 23, 2013)


Tynga of Tynga's Reviews hosts this meme to spotlight the books we receive each week. I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow when you see all the wonderful books everyone gets.

Here are the books I got this week.
I took advantage of two Kindle Daily Deals this week and bought Beautiful Redemption by Kami Stohl and Margaret Garcia. I have the other book in the Beautiful Creatures series already and just needed this one to be complete. I also bought Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry. I have been curious about this book for a while but haven't had a chance to get it before.
I also received two print books this week. I had ordered Shards and Ashes by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong a while ago because it is filled with stories by authors I like. I was happy when it arrived this week. I received Me and Earl and they Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews which won a Cybils Award in the YA category.
Finally, I got The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa from NetGalley for review. I am so eager to read this April 30 release. I thought The Immortal Rules was excellent.

What did you get this week?

ARC Review: Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Dualed
Author: Elsie Chapman
Publication: Random House Books for Young Readers (February 26, 2013)

Description: Two of you exist. 

Only one will survive.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.


My Thoughts: My thoughts on this book are going to be more scattered than normal because I haven't come to a clear conclusion about what I feel about it. 

I thought that the world building was intriguing. As a result of some previous conflict, the city of Kersh has become a walled city to keep its residents safe from whatever is happening outside. It has also determined that all of its citizens should be able to fight in case the outside tries to take it over. The solution is extreme. When couples want to have a child, they go to a center which designs their child by combining the genes of their parents and the next couple that wants a child which results in two identical children each raised by a separate couple. Only one of the children can survive to become a "complete." Sometime between the age of about 12 and 20 a trigger will be tripped and the child will have 31 days to kill its "Alt." Failure to do so will result in the death of both Alts. Therefore, the whole adult society is composed on people who have already killed their Alt. According to the authorities, this will be to the social good as the strongest will survive.

I thought the main character West Grayer was well-drawn. West is a fifteen-year-old girl who has watched her whole family die. Her mother was an accidental kill as she got in the way of a couple of Alts trying to kill each other. She lost an older brother and younger sister when their Alts proved better at killing. Her father commits suicide because he can't deal with the loss of his wife and children. 

When the story begins, West is living with her older brother Luc and training to survive her own challenge. When she and Luc go along with their friend Chord when his test begins, Luc is killed in the fight but Chord survives. West is traumatized and withdraws from Chord. She decides that she won't let anyone close to her again because then she won't be hurt. She wants to protect Chord from being caught in any potential crossfire too. 

West decides to become a Striker. Strikers are underground assassins who are hired to kill Alts which is not what the government wants but somehow overlooks. West performs a number of contracts and then her own challenge begins. She continues to fulfill Striker contracts while avoiding her own Alt. She doesn't feel ready—cold enough—to meet her Alt to decide which will live. During this time Chord tries to help her and stay close but West is determined not to involve him. 

Where I am conflicted about the story is all centered around West. This book was so emotionally painful to read that I had to keep setting it down and walking away. It hurt to see West try to remake herself into what her society demanded of her. I ached for the loneliness that West felt. And I absolutely hurt for the choices she needed to make.

Readers have a tense, gritty, emotional experience in store that will haunt their dreams and thoughts for quite a while.

Favorite Quote:
"When there's a completion, do you think of it more as an Alt having to die, or an Alt getting to live?

"I don't get it," Luc said, shrugging. "They're the same thing."

"But it's not."
I got this eARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Memes: Dualed by Elsie Chapman


Happy Friday everybody!!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week Dualed by Elsie Chapman  reached the top of my review stack. I got this 2013 Debut novel from NetGalley. It will be released on February 26. Here is the description:
Two of you exist.

Only one will survive.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.
This book has been compared to lots of books I have read—The Hunger Games, Matched, Divergent—and one I haven't—Lord of the Flies. I am eager to see if I like it as much as the books it is being compared to.

Beginning:
I've buried nearly everyone I love.
Friday 56:
Right now, unnatural completions at the hands of strikers don't happen often enough for them to warrant too much of the Board's manpower. As far as they know, at least.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

ARC Review: Also Known As by Robin Benway

Also Known As
Author: Robin Benway
Publication: Walker Childrens; 1 edition (February 26, 2013)

Description: Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. 

Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.

My Thoughts: I just loved this funny contemporary story. Maggie is a spy. She is also seventeen. She and her parents have traveled the world working for the Collective—a super-secret organization. Her mother is an excellent hacker, her father has a gift for languages, and Maggie is an excellent safe-cracker. Their latest case—and Maggie's first solo job—has her entering new territory. She has to go to high school! Maggie is enrolled in an exclusive New York City private school where she has to befriend Jesse Oliver in order to find out if his magazine owner father is going to publish an article that will out Maggie and the other spies who work for the Collective.

Maggie wasn't expecting to find a friend or to fall in love with her target. Almost the first person she meets at the school is Roux who is a friendless poor little rich girl. Their personalities click and Maggie becomes her only friend. It is a nice benefit that she has also known Jesse since they were pre-schoolers. When Maggie meets Jesse, she is immediately attracted to him because he is smart and nice and funny. She goes to his Halloween party and manages to find a flash drive in a hidden safe but she also gets closer to both Roux and Jesse making her feel really guilty about the secrets she has to keep.

I loved the humor in this story. I still break out laughing when I think about Jesse and Maggie's first date and ice skating. While I was reading that scene, I had to keep setting my Kindle down to wipe away the tears of laughter that kept blurring my vision. 

I loved the relationship that Maggie had with her parents and their friend Angelo. It was clear that they were both loving and supportive and Angelo filled the role of a benevolent uncle. Maggie's relationship highlighted the bad relationships that both Jesse and Roux had with their parents. Roux's parents had more or less abandoned her. She lived alone in a luxurious penthouse apartment with a housekeeper who didn't work evenings or weekends. Lots of Roux's problems came from her innate loneliness and her desire to find someone to love her. Jesse's parents had just been through a divorce. His father was so obsessed with his business that he didn't talk to Jesse and his mother has disappeared out of his life.

Readers of contemporaries will find much to love in the novel. I look forward to sharing it with the students in my high school media center.

Favorite Quote:
He spoke the same way my dad did whenever he was annoyed with me. Short sentences. Because the effort. Of Talking. Is just. Too much.
I got this book from Walker Childrens via Netgalley. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WoW: Finn Finnegan by Darby Karchut

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She has a linky widget at her site each week for your post and to make it easy to find posts by other people.

The purpose of the meme is to spotlight books that we are eagerly anticipating. It is fun to take a look at what others are waiting for. I have noticed that it has expanded my wishlist though. Be warned!
Finn Finnegan by Darby Karchut will be released on March 12. I am eager to read Darby's first middle grade title. Here is the description:
Finn (not bleedin' Finnegan) MacCullen is eager to begin his apprenticeship. He soon discovers the ups and downs of hunting monsters in a suburban neighborhood under the demanding tutelage of the Knight, Gideon Lir. Both master and apprentice are descendents of the Tuatha De Danaan, a magical race of warriors from Ireland. Scattered long ago to the four corners of the world, the De Danaan wage a two thousand year old clandestine battle with their ancient enemy, the Amandán, a breed of goblin-like creatures.

Now with the beasts concentrating their attacks on Finn, he and his master must race to locate the lost Spear of the Tuatha De Danaan, the only weapon that can destroy the Amandán, all the while hiding his true identity from his new friends, Rafe and Savannah, twins whose South African roots may hold a key to Finn's survival. Armed with a bronze dagger, some ancient Celtic magic, and a hair-trigger temper, Finn is about to show his enemies the true meaning of "fighting Irish."
I am a big fan of Darby's YA books and think this one sounds excellent too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Also Known As by Robin Benway

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 Also Known As by Robin Benway. I got this eARC from Walker Childrens via NetGalley. Here is the description:
Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.

Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.
Teaser:
I cracked my first lock when I was three.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Characters in Science Fiction

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a topic will be posted and one of the Broke and Bookish bloggers will answer.

Link back to The Broke and the Bookish and add your post to the linky.  You can check out what everyone else has to say about the topic and make some new bloggy friends too.

Top Ten Favorite Characters In Science Fiction

Science fiction is one of my favorite genres. I have been reading it since I was a middle schooler. Though I did take a number of years off and mix in lots of other genres along the way. These are my favorite characters:

From Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series:
  1. Cordelia Naismith - Cordelia first appears in Lois McMaster Bujold's Shards of Honor (now more commonly available as Cordelia's Honor). When we first see her she is a ship captain for the Beta Colony exploring wormholes. When Barrayarans destroy their camp, Cordelia has to make it across the planet with one of the Barrayarans and one of her own crew who was gravely injured. I like her strength, sense of humor, and her compassion.
  2. Miles Vorkosigan - We actually first meet Miles before his is born in Cordelia's Honor. But we get to know him in all his hyperactive glory in The Warrior's Apprentice (Young Miles includes it and another Miles story too.) He is born deformed in a society that routinely kills "mutants" and he is a political plot magnet given that if something happens to the Emperor Miles is in line for the throne. What I love about Miles as a character is that he is fantastically brilliant, incredibly loyal, makes a bunch of mistakes but usually manages to twist the consequences to his own and Barrayar's good. 
  3. Lord Ivan Vorpatril - Ivan spends most of the series as Miles' disparaged cousin. He is known in the family as "that idiot Ivan." Ivan portrays himself as easy-going, shallow, apolitical and bland. It isn't until the last few books that Ivan shows some depth and, in Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, comes into his own. I admire his efficiency and his political acumen as I completely lack both.

From Sharon and Lee and Steve Miller's Liaden Universe books:
  1. Aelliana Caylon - Aelliana is a mathematician who is abused by her brother who is the nadelm of his clan. When we first meet her in Scout's Progress, she is too thin, too timid, and completely lacking in self-confidence. However, she is also bright and very courageous. Her story can be found in The Dragon Variation.
  2. Theo Waitley - Theo is a young woman who is a misfit in her world who has the dream of being a pilot of starships. Her story begins in Fledgling. I like Theo because she is both smart and determined. 
  3. Daav yos'Phelium - Daav is Delm of Korval in Scout's Progress when he falls in love with Aelliana and a character who reappears in various books in the Liaden Universe series. He was a Scout which makes him an incredible pilot, explorer, and practical scholar. He also has a quirky sense of humor and a massive sense of responsibility. He might be my favorite book boyfriend. (He also happens to be Theo's father though she doesn't know him by that name.)

Assorted other characters:

  1. Talia - Talia is a runaway from a religious commune when she is chosen by a Companion to be a Herald of Valdemar. We meet her first in Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey when she goes from an unwanted and unappreciated child to a confident young woman.
  2. Menolly - We meet her in Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey when she becomes the first female Harper on Pern and rediscovers fire lizards who were the ancestors of Pern's dragons. This is another story of a young, unappreciated girl who fights for her dreams.
  3. Beka Cooper - We meet her first in Terrier by Tamora Pierce. She is learning to be a member of the Provost's Guard and had the ability to talk to ghosts. 

Who are your favorite characters?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions: Reading Habits (Feb. 18, 2013)

Book Blogger Confessions is a new Monday meme started by Tiger at Tiger's All-Consuming Books and Karen at For What It's Worth. Pam from Midnyte Reader joined with Karen to host this meme when Tiger changed the focus of her blogging. The purpose of the meme is best stated by Karen here:
"Tiger and I thought it might be time to start a meme to discuss some of the frustrations that are unique to book bloggers. What happens when the hobby you love becomes more of a chore?
This meme will appear on the first and third Mondays of the month. One of the hosts will give us a question to respond to and a linky for sharing our responses and developing community.

This week's question is: How has blogging and reviewing changed your reading habits? Do you read a genre now that you wouldn't have tried prior? Or have you been turned off by a genre you used to love?


One major change that blogging or, more exactly, reviewing has made to my reading habits is that I do much less re-reading. I used to routinely re-read certain book series each year and sometimes more than once a year. Now my review stack is so tall that I don't have a chance to read any of my old favorites. I have to admit that I am tempted every once in a while to push the review books aside and get lost in some of my old favorites.

I have always read a variety of genres—romance, mystery, science fiction, young adult—and that hasn't changed. Opening myself up to review books has introduced me to a wonderful new selection of authors and some new genres too. I was reading urban fantasy before the genre boomed and I am still reading lots of it. Paranormal romance is just a subdivision of romance and I have come to love that genre too. I read less straight science fiction but I still enjoy character-driven space opera and have added a new love for dystopian fiction.

I still haven't developed a love for classic literature or anything that could be described as "chick lit." No one can read everything. So I am glad to leave those genres to the people who enjoy them.

How have your reading habits changed since you began blogging?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stacking the YA Shelves (Feb. 17, 2012)

Tynga of Tynga's Reviews hosts this meme to spotlight the books we receive each week. I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow when you see all the wonderful books everyone gets.

Here are the books that followed me home this week. The first four books are Kindle Daily Deals that happen to be books that I have already read but I wanted to own a Kindle copy.
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross - I read the eARC and never got a finished copy.

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater - I have an autographed copy on my shelf but wanted the convenience of having a copy on my Kindle.
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers - I just read an ARC of this one and thought it was very good.

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen - I read the ARC but never got a finished copy.
I got my print copy of The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead this week too. 

Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale was another Kindle Daily Deal but I haven't read this one. 
I bought a Kindle copy of I'd Tell You That I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter because I have never read it. It was brought to my attention again when I read Double Crossed by Ally Carter.

Override by Heather Anastasiu was my other print purchase this week. 
I bought The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden by Jessica Sorensen for my Kindle after I read a review. I thought it sounded good and couldn't pass up the $.99 price.

The received The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston for review from Hyperion Books via NetGalley.

What did you add to your stack this week?