Thursday, October 31, 2013

ARC Review: The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Traitor
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication: Harlequin Teen; Original edition (October 29, 2013)

Description: IN THE REAL WORLD, WHEN YOU VANISH INTO THIN AIR FOR A WEEK, PEOPLE TEND TO NOTICE.

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as "normal" as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for—his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, "normal" simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all. 


My Thoughts: Julie Kagawa is a cruel, cruel woman! THE IRON TRAITOR is an engaging story with the sort of writing that draws this reader in and immerses me in the story. The writing becomes transparent to me and I live the story. That being the case, I fall in love with the characters and ache for them as they are trying to solve major problems. And they do have MAJOR problems!

Ethan Chase doesn't want to be involved with the fey. After being kidnapped by faeries as a small child and being rescued by his sister Meaghan, he would be happy to live his life with no contact with faeries at all. He is used to making himself an unpopular loner to keep people away from him since he believes that will keep them safe from the faeries who plague his life. But one girl doesn't follow the plan. Kenzie is smart, persistent, has worked her way into Ethan's life and is dying from leukemia. Ethan now has a girlfriend who is a major part of his life - a girlfriend he wants to protect with everything in him.

Ethan's nephew Keirran goes missing and everyone is afraid that his is going to do something rash to save the life of the faerie he loves. Annwyl is an exiled faerie of the Summer court and is going to fade away if Keirran doesn't do something. Keirran is ready to pay any cost to save his girlfriend's life even though their romance is forbidden.

Ethan and Kenzie get swept into Keirran's problem because they are friends and that is what friends do. Together they have all sorts of adventures in the Nevernever and face many dangers. The biggest dangers for both Ethan and Keirran might be the dangers to themselves as they decide how far is too far to go to save someone they love.

Be warned that this story ends on a cliffhanger of major proportions and will leave the reader aching for the next book in this series. I loved the story and highly recommend it. 

Favorite Quote:
Kenzie scared me, infuriated me, challenged me, and faeries or no, I couldn't imagine a world without this girl. I love her more than anything else in my life. 
I got this eARC from Harlequin Teen via NetGalley. You can buy your copy here. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Have You Read the Goblins Wars Trilogy?

Have you had a chance to read the Goblin Wars trilogy by Kersten Hamilton? I think it is one of the best series I have read since I began reviewing books. I haven't seen very much written about it though.

The series began with Tyger, Tyger in 2010. Then was followed by In the Forests of the Night in 2012. The trilogy concluded with When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears last August.

Here is the description of Tyger, Tyger:
Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems. 

Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming. 
Here is the description of In the Forests of the Night:
The battle against goblinkind continues . . . but which side will Teagan be on?

Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have made it out of Mag Mell alive, but the Dark Man’s forces are hot on their heels. Back in Chicago, Tea’s goblin cousins show up at her school, sure she will come back to Mag Mell, as goblin blood is never passive once awoken. Soon she will belong to Fear Doirich and join them. In the meantime, they are happy to entertain themselves by trying to seduce, kidnap, or kill Tea’s family and friends. Tea knows she doesn’t have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn or her family to be tortured and killed. A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growing stronger inside her. But as long as she can hold on, she’s still Teagan Wylltson, who plans to be a veterinarian and who heals the sick and hurting. The disease that’s destroying her—that’s destroying them all—has a name: Fear Doirich. And Teagan Wylltson is not going to let him win.
Here is the description of When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears:
Locked doors are opening, and magical creatures are tumbling through mysterious portals from Mag Mell, the world-between-worlds, into the streets of Chicago. Meanwhile, the romance between seventeen-year-old Teagan, who is part goblin, and the alluring bad boy Finn Mac Cumhaill is heating up . . . which is awkward, to say the least, considering he is bound by a family curse to fight goblins his entire life. Celtic mythology, adventure, and paranormal romance fuse in the electrifying finale of the critically acclaimed Goblin Wars trilogy.
To make it easier to give this amazing series a try, Tyger Tyger is the book of the week at Apple this week. It will also be free for your Kindle or Nook.

Have you read this series? Are you interested in giving it a try?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • 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 The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa which is being released today. This is the latest in her Iron Fey series.

Teaser:
Right. This was the whole boyfriend thing. Picking her up, taking her to dinner. Normal going-out stuff. So why was I suddenly terrified?
Here's the description:
IN THE REAL WORLD, WHEN YOU VANISH INTO THIN AIR FOR A WEEK, PEOPLE TEND TO NOTICE 

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as "normal" as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for—his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again.  

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, "normal" simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

State of the Stack (Oct. 28, 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.

Here is my Review Books Spreadsheet. 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. I created a second sheet for the books I got at ALA and am slowing getting those read and reviewed.


My Physical Review Pile

I am back to using three shelves for my physical copies of review books this month. 
Shelf 1
Shelf 2
Shelf 3
My Kindle Review Pile

These are the books waiting on my Kindle.
Iris by Scott Stabile (July 31)
Pawn by Aimee Carter (Nov. 26)
Crash Into You by Katie McGarry (Nov. 26)
Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe (Dec. 17)
Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder (Dec. 31)
Alienated by Melissa Landers (Feb. 4)

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. The Russian Endgame by Allan Topol
  2. Slayers: Friends and Traitors by C. J. Hill
  3. The Stranger You Know by Andrea Kane
  4. The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr
  5. A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway
  6. Horde by Ann Aguirre
  7. The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins
  8. The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa (Oct. 31)
  9. Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach(Oct, 31)
  10. Foreplay: The Ivy Chronicles by Sophie Jordan
  11. The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Nov. 2)
  12. The Widow File by S. G. Redling (Dec. 26)
  13. Altered by Gennifer Albin 
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. Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci (10/1; Feb. 25, 2014)
  2. Unforgotten by Jessica Brody (10/3; Feb. 25, 2014)
  3. Cress by Marissa Meyer (10/4; Feb. 4, 2014)
  4. Pawn by Aimee Carter (10/5; Nov. 26)
  5. Sekret by Lindsay Smith (10/14; April 1, 2014)
  6. Alone by Kendra Elliot (10/14; January 7, 2014)
  7. Wild Justice by Kelley Armstrong (10/14; Nov. 26)
  8. Darkbeast Rebellion by Morgan Keyes (10/16; Sept. 24)
  9. Blood Bound by Keshia Swaim (10/16; Oct. 8)
  10. The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson (10/22; Sept. 10)
  11. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira (10/22; April 1, 2014)
  12. Plus One by Elizabeth Fama (10/22; April 8, 2014)
  13. The Rule of Three by Eric Walters (10/22; January 21, 2014)
Next Month's Plan

Here is what is on the stack to be read in November.
Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger (Nov. 5)
The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle (Nov. 5)
Twinmaker by Sean Williams (Nov. 5)
Extracted by Sherry Ficklin (Nov. 12)
Uncrashable Dakota by Andy Marino (Nov. 12)
Wild Justice by Kelley Armstrong (Nov. 26)
Pawn by Aimee Carter (Nov. 26)
Crash Into You by Katie McGarry (Nov. 26)


This was a break even month. I read as many review books as I added to the stack. I am hoping to read more than I add next month and in December. Some of the books on my stack have been out in the world for quite a while already.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Stacking the YA Shelves (Oct. 27, 2013)

Tynga of  Team 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 is what I added to my stack this week.
I got both a print and Kindle copy of Allegiant by Veronica Roth. The print copy was immediately donated to my Middle School/High School Media Center and was checked out as soon as my aide got it into the system. The first reader has already told me he didn't like it as well as Insurgent. As for myself, I still haven't read Insurgent which is also on my Kindle.

I got four review books this week too.
The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson was sent to me by the author. This book was released on September 10 and is described as "Part medical mystery, part survival story, and part Dickensian adventure."

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters was one I asked for from Macmillan. This book will be released on Jan. 21, 2014 and is a post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction story.

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira was a surprise arrive by my Macmillan contact. This contemporary will be released on April 1, 2014.

Not pictured because it doesn't have a cover yet is Plus One by Elizabeth Fama. I had requested this one from Macmillan. It will be released on April 8, 2014.

I added a couple of books to my professional collection this week too.

What did you add to your stack this week?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

ARC Review: Altered by Gennifer Albin

Altered
Author: Gennifer Albin
Publication: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (October 29, 2013)

Description: Deadly Secrets
Tangled Lies
Woven truths

Life. Possibility. Choice. All taken from Adelice by the Guild—until she took them back.

But amid the splendid ruins of Earth, Adelice discovers how dangerous freedom can be. Hunted by soulless Remnants sent by Cormac Patton and the Guild, Adelice finds a world that’s far from deserted. Although allies are easy to find on Earth, knowing who to trust isn’t. Because everyone has secrets, especially those Adelice loves most. Secrets they would kill to protect. Secrets that will redefine each of them. Torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must choose what to fight for.


Altered is Gennifer Albin's thrilling sequel to Crewel. Adelice is about to learn how tangled up her past and future really are. Her parents ran to protect her, but nothing can save her from her destiny, and once she uncovers the truth, it will change everything.

My Thoughts: ALTERED is the sequel to CREWEL and, apparently, the middle book in a trilogy. I found that this one was not as interesting or exciting as the first book. I think part of my problem was that I read the first book so long ago that I no longer remember the details and the relationships among the characters. I felt that many of the events were filled with undercurrents that I missed because I didn't remember the first book.

The story begins with Adelice, Jost and Erik arriving on Earth. They quickly learn that Earth was not abandoned as they had been taught. It has a number of refugees and a number of other people who were left behind when Arras was formed. They also learn that there is a small underground determined to separate Arras from Earth.

They quickly fall under the influence of Kincaid who controls the solar collection and, thus, the possibility of survival for those still on Earth. They learn the Kincaid himself is in exile from Arras and that he wants to cut the connection with Arras to get revenge. Kincaid wants Adelice because she has skills that will help him accomplish this goal.

Adelice struggles with her role regarding Earth and Arras. She doesn't want the responsibility of making these tough decisions. She also learns something new about her family. She also has troubles in her relationships with Jost and Erik - brothers who don't get along. 

Fans of CREWEL will probably want to continue this story. They should be prepared for lots of talking, an indecisive main character, and not very much action. 

Favorite Quote:
"Words," Erik says.

Of course he's right. The books in my parents' cubby. I'd boasted of reading them, but I never considered why they were contraband. Words can tell a story. But they can also convey an idea.

"Words are dangerous," I say.

Erik nods.

"But they're also beautiful," I say, holding the book out to him. "You said so yourself. How can the Guild turn their backs on poetry?"
I got this ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. You can buy your copy here

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Memes: Altered by Gennifer Albin

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 Altered by Gennifer Albin has reached the top of my Review stack. This is the sequel to Crewel. I got it from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. Here is the description of this Oct. 29 release:
Deadly Secrets
Tangled Lies
Woven truths

Life. Possibility. Choice. All taken from Adelice by the Guild—until she took them back.

But amid the splendid ruins of Earth, Adelice discovers how dangerous freedom can be. Hunted by soulless Remnants sent by Cormac Patton and the Guild, Adelice finds a world that’s far from deserted. Although allies are easy to find on Earth, knowing who to trust isn’t. Because everyone has secrets, especially those Adelice loves most. Secrets they would kill to protect. Secrets that will redefine each of them. Torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must choose what to fight for.

 Altered is Gennifer Albin's thrilling sequel to Crewel. Adelice is about to learn how tangled up her past and future really are. Her parents ran to protect her, but nothing can save her from her destiny, and once she uncovers the truth, it will change everything.
Beginning:
They abandoned Earth.
Friday 56:
It's their eyes that scare me. Pupils dilated and stretched past the irises, extending into an infinite nothing. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

ARC Review: Horde by Ann Aguirre

Horde
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publication: Feiwel & Friends (October 29, 2013)

Description: The epic conclusion to Ann Aguirre's USA Today bestselling trilogy. 

The horde is coming.

Salvation is surrounded, monsters at the gates, and this time, they're not going away. When Deuce, Fade, Stalker and Tegan set out, the odds are against them. But the odds have been stacked against Deuce from the moment she was born. She might not be a Huntress anymore, but she doesn't run. With her knives in hand and her companions at her side, she will not falter, whether fighting for her life or Fade's love.

Ahead, the battle of a lifetime awaits. Freaks are everywhere, attacking settlements, setting up scouts, perimeters, and patrols. There hasn't been a war like this in centuries, and humans have forgotten how to stand and fight. Unless Deuce can lead them.

This time, however, more than the fate of a single enclave or outpost hangs in the balance. This time, Deuce carries the banner for the survival of all humanity. 


My Thoughts: What a great ending to this post-Apocalyptic trilogy! Deuce has found a home and a family in one of the remaining human towns but the muties (Freaks) are gathering together into a horde to attack. Deuce is sent on a mission to try to get help from another human town. She travels with Fade, Stalker, Tegen and some others to try to get help. They return too late to save the town but they do manage to rescue some survivors including Deuce's new family. They take refuge in a town of soldiers where Deuce is determined to take the war to the horde.

Deuce, Fade, Tegen and Stalker along with the few volunteers they can gather travel to the other remaining towns to try to recruit an army. They have little success until they change tactics and decide to hold one piece of ground. They gradually begin to build a reputation and gather more followers. They are still vastly outnumbered by the horde though.

This book is filled with battles. I liked that they were realistically written and that the heroes suffered privations, were wounded, and had doubts about their choices. I loved the relationship between Fade and Deuce. Despite the fact that he had been tortured and traumatized when he was captured by Freaks, his determination to get over the trauma so that he could be with Deuce and Deuce's determination to help him in any way made a great romance. 

I loved watching the way the characters grew through the course of this series and was pleased and satisfied that there was a happy ending. Fans of post-Apocalyptic fiction will definitely want to read the whole Razorland trilogy. Readers will enjoy the journey and the characters. 

Favorite Quote:
I gathered the last of my nerve and concluded, "It's only a sure defeat when you stop trying. We need an army that fights for the whole world, not one town, and I mean to raise it. Your colonel has given me her blessing to recruit from your number. If you join up, from this point, your loyalty will be to this cause only. Step forward, brave souls. It's time to do the impossible once again."
I got this ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Horde by Ann Aguirre

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • 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 Horde by Ann Aguirre. This is the final book in the Enclave trilogy. Here is the description of the Oct. 29 release:
The epic conclusion to Ann Aguirre's USA Today bestselling trilogy. 

The horde is coming. 


Salvation is surrounded, monsters at the gates, and this time, they're not going away. When Deuce, Fade, Stalker and Tegan set out, the odds are against them. But the odds have been stacked against Deuce from the moment she was born. She might not be a Huntress anymore, but she doesn't run. With her knives in hand and her companions at her side, she will not falter, whether fighting for her life or Fade's love.

Ahead, the battle of a lifetime awaits. Freaks are everywhere, attacking settlements, setting up scouts, perimeters, and patrols. There hasn't been a war like this in centuries, and humans have forgotten how to stand and fight. Unless Deuce can lead them. 

This time, however, more than the fate of a single enclave or outpost hangs in the balance. This time, Deuce carries the banner for the survival of all humanity. 
Teaser:
"What's it like out there?"

"A slaughter." In the moonlight, his scarred face looked pale. "And I swear that there are even more than there were out on the plains."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Stacking the YA Shelves (Oct. 20, 2013)

Tynga of  Team 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.

I added four books to my stack this week.

I bought Revealed by P. C. and Kristin Cast even though I haven't read Destined or Hidden yet. They have been sitting on my TBR mountain since they were published. I think it might be time for a House of Night marathon to get caught up.

I received three books for review. Early this week I got Sekret by Lindsay Smith from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. I had been seeing this one on lots of mailbox posts and was beginning to believe that the copy I requested had been lost in the mail. I thought an espionage thriller about a girl with psychic powers sounded really cool.

When I arrived at my vacation home, I discovered two review books that arrived after I left at the end of July. Waiting for me were:

What did you add to your stack this week?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

ARC Review: The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr

The Cutting Room Floor
Author: Dawn Klehr
Publication: Flux (October 8, 2013)

Description: EXT. THE FROSTS’ FRONT PORCH - NIGHT
The camera moves in on RILEY FROST, a beautiful 17-year-old girl with long dark hair, crying on the porch step.
RILEY (voiceover)
The gossip has spread far and wide. My secret girlfriend publicly dumped and outed me at the same time, and now I’m on social death row. But that’s not the worst of it. My favorite teacher, Ms. Dunn, was murdered at school. Now I’m beginning to feel like I’m trapped in a whodunit movie. And I can’t help thinking that Ms. Dunn’s killer is close by.
CUT TO:
CLOSE UP: DESMOND BRANDT
DEZ, a handsome 17-year-old boy, peers through  his window at RILEY.
DEZ (voiceover)
I do this a lot—watch my life through the eyes of a director. I want to be that one person in charge. I wish I didn’t crave control. But I do . . . badly. And though I might not be able to control Riley, I can help get her to where she needs to be. Convince. Persuade. Protect. I’ll make Riley love me, even if it means I have to play the villain.

My Thoughts: This story was a combination of thriller and romance taking place in a high school outside the Twin Cities. It is told in the first person by two narrators. Desmond Brandt wants to be a film director and sees everything as though it were a movie.  Riley Frost is an actress who is going through some issues with her sexuality. She has just had a very public break-up with her girlfriend which has made her a pariah in her high school. She is also still reeling from the death of her favorite teacher who was murdered at the school.

Desmond and Riley grew up next door to each other and have been best friends since they were pre-schoolers. Desmond wants to change the relationship because he has fallen in love with her. Riley doesn't see this because of the other relationship turmoil in her life. 

Between working on their final film project, Riley trying to find out who killed her favorite teacher, and problems with the mayor's daughter who is harassing her in the name of Christianity, this story is filled with action and tension.

THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR was a compelling page turner. Because of the writing style, I was watching the story unfold as the characters did which really built the tension and kept me reading late into the evening. It was filled with all sorts of drama, even beyond the film that was being made.

I recommend this one to thriller lovers and those who like relationship stories. 

Favorite Quote:
Love is simple and complicated and easy and hard. People do great and terrible things all in the name of it. Love, to be cliché. makes the world go round.

But mostly, love is honest. It has to be.
I got this ARC at ALA. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Memes: The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr

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 I am spotlighting The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr. I got this ARC at ALA. I have been hearing good things about this mystery. Here is the description:
EXT. THE FROSTS’ FRONT PORCH - NIGHT

The camera moves in on RILEY FROST, a beautiful 17-year-old girl with long dark hair, crying on the porch step.

RILEY (voiceover)


The gossip has spread far and wide. My secret girlfriend publicly dumped and outed me at the same time, and now I’m on social death row. But that’s not the worst of it. My favorite teacher, Ms. Dunn, was murdered at school. Now I’m beginning to feel like I’m trapped in a whodunit movie. And I can’t help thinking that Ms. Dunn’s killer is close by.

CUT TO:


CLOSE UP: DESMOND BRANDT


DEZ, a handsome 17-year-old boy, peers through  his window at RILEY.

DEZ (voiceover)


I do this a lot—watch my life through the eyes of a director. I want to be that one person in charge. I wish I didn’t crave control. But I do . . . badly. And though I might not be able to control Riley, I can help get her to where she needs to be. Convince. Persuade. Protect. I’ll make Riley love me, even if it means I have to play the villain.
Beginning:
If my life were a movie, this would be the opening scene: a guy and his friend at the mall food court waiting for their dates to get back from the bathroom.
Friday 56:
This year, our story is badass—a seven-minute short about an outcast girl's journey to popularity.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

ARC Review: Teardrop by Lauren Kate

Teardrop
Author: Lauren Kate
Publication: Delacorte Press (October 22, 2013)

Description: The first in a new series by Lauren Kate, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fallen series, TEARDROP is an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.

Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux's mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn't, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn't know Eureka's darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined.


My Thoughts: TEARDROP was in interesting beginning to a new trilogy by Lauren Kate. I liked the way it added paranormal elements to a contemporary story. 

I enjoyed getting to know Eureka Boudreaux. I felt so bad for her as she was grieving for her adored mother. I sympathized with her as she struggled to fit in with her father and stepmother.  While she loved her young twin half-brother and half-sister she had never connected with her stepmother Rhoda. I could understand how grief had made her pull into herself and even attempt suicide. I could understand how grief had pulled her away from her friends and the things she used to love doing. She is lucky enough that her friends Cat and Brooks have stuck with her and aren't making her feel worse by feeling sorry for her. 


As is the case in so many young adult novels these days, there are two boys who are involved in her life and candidates for her affection. Brooks is her best friend and has been since they were small children. The new boy in her life is Ander who is quite a mysterious character. Ander is also where the paranormal starts coming into this story. He is a Seedbearer - beings who have power to control the wind, are from the lost continent of Atlantis, and who are determined to save humanity from the actions of the descendant of Selene's Tearline. The Seedbearers believe that Eureka is that descendant and that her tears will destroy the world. Ander has spent his life watching Eureka and, while watching, he has fallen in love with her. His love won't let him allow the Seedbearers to kill her.

To make things even more complicated, some on the lost continent of Atlantis are able to use their minds to invade human bodies. They want Eureka to bring humanity's destruction. One is using Brooks' body to try to make that happen. Since Eureka doesn't know that, she sees Brooks' actions as another betrayal of her trust.

I am eager to see where these trilogy goes because I feel invested in Eureka and her story. 

Favorite Quote:
She found the back corner of a bench where she'd be the least claustrophobic. She remembered what Ander had said under the tree about being cocooned. She couldn't relate. The entire world was too tight a space for Eureka.
I got an ARC at ALA and an ARC from Amazon Vine. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Teardrop by Lauren Kate

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • 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 Teardrop by Lauren Kate. I saw this ARC at ALA and also received a copy through Amazon Vine. Here is the description of this October 22 release:
The first in a new series by Lauren Kate, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fallen series, TEARDROP is an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.

Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux's mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn't, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn't know Eureka's darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined.
Teaser:
Since Dad's remarriage four years ago, Eureka had survived an armada of therapists. A life ruled by three adults who couldn't agree on anything proved far messier than one ruled by just two.