Thursday, November 29

Frost: Book Review


Wendy Desol

Candlewick Press
October 11th 2011
Young Adult | Paranormal

Official Blurb -
In this sequel to STORK, Katla Leblanc has to employ her grit, spirit, and special gifts to rescue the boy she loves.

After the drama of finding out that she's a Stork, a member of an ancient and mystical order of women, and that her boyfriend, Jack, is a descendent of the Winter People able to control the weather, Katla Leblanc is delighted when all signs point to a busy and peaceful Christmas. That is, until the snowstorm Jack summons as a gift to Katla turns into the storm of the century, attracting Brigid, a gorgeous scientist who, in turn, attracts Jack. Between the school play, a bedridden, pregnant mother's to-do lists, and keeping an eye on her aging grandfather, Katla doesn't have time to question Brigid's motives or deal with Jack's increasingly cold behavior. But Katla's suspicions mount when Jack joins Brigid on a research expedition to Greenland, and when the two of them go missing, it becomes clear that Katla is the only one who can save her beloved Jack from the Snow Queen who holds him prisoner. Adventure, romance, and myth combine in this winter escapade for teens who like a bit of fire with their ice.


The cover in no way accurately captures Brigid. She is one evil woman.

A very good climax. This book kept me wanting more with each page. I love the legends that are brought to life. It is nice that they aren't common legends to most. I would not wish her life on anyone else. Katla doesn't seem to have the most awesome or majestic powers. But she does have a fierce loyalty and determination to set things right.

Frost is a very nice sequel to Stork. I wonder just what Katla and Jack will get up to next. Just when you think they have seen it all something else magical steps out of the woodwork and sweeps them off on another adventure. Definitely worth the time to read this book.

Language: Moderate

Tuesday, November 27

Defiance: Book Review


Balzer + Bray
September 28th 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy
Official Blurb -
Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father's apprentice, Logan--the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

I am more in love with the characters than the story. There is so much responsibility on their very mortal shoulders. It is just too much, save the world from an invisible threat. Why couldn't this invisible threat have struck before all the trouble and terror they went through? Why bother searching for a weaker version of a weapon you have? 

There is so much death and blame in this story. What will be left of the characters when this is all over? I am thinking seemingly nothing.

The characters are fabulous. A villain to stir your hatred. The hero is everything you could want. A heroine who throws herself at anything. I love that the good guys don't bow to traditional standards. There isn't the whole, "Woe is me, I am blind to all danger." They are always doing their utmost to think of every contingency. Logan is especially adept at this. He is always running his case scenarios and analyzing the situation. In fact, his mind is such an entertaining place I could happily stay there. He doesn't delude himself. His battle of wits against the villain reminds me very much of a similar battle of the minds in The Princess Bride. I also like that Logan, despite the odds against him, is still hopeful and confident he can pull it off. Not in an egotistical manner but more of sure knowledge that he will leave no stone unturned to reach his goal. His confidence isn't annoying but endearing. Despite all his efforts in preparation things always go wrong. There is always one possibility he hasn't prepared for. I don't feel these strong urges to strangle the characters for being so blind. Instead I get to enjoy a deeply dangerous and strategic game. We are going to put all our cards out and dare them to outsmart us in some ingenious way. Logan is definitely the best part of this book. I mean just look at his impressive list of traits. He is a jack of all trades.
  • Good looking
  • Techie/Inventor
  • Tracker
  • Can wield an impressive display of weapons
  • Sharp mind
  • Not too much ego
  • He can make a bomb from his buttons

The ending of the story was a bit anticlimactic for me. There is so much rage invested in the villain who turns out to not be the real problem. How could there be anything worse than that guy? Thankfully amidst all this darkness and destruction there is a sliver of happiness to cling to for Logan and Rachel. I find myself wanting to protect that sliver of happiness with the same feral energy Rachel often unleashes. You know who you are Mr. Male Character, I got my eye on you and you better not try any funny business. No touchie you crazy psycho! I felt this book was a combination of man movie(breasts, action, and special effects) and girl movie(emotions and love). I did feel that there was something missing from the book when the end came but reflection on all its good stuff was sufficient for me to be happy. A good fit for just about anyone. It was well worth the long wait for publication.

Violence: Heavy
Moments Divine:
"Grief is a deep pool of darkness, and I huddle on the damp, cold floor as it sucks me under. I had something worth losing, and now that it's gone, now that they're gone, I'm realizing the life of solitude I always thought I wanted isn't good enough anymore.
I don't want to be alone.
I don't want to have only the cold comfort of my inventions to keep me company.
I want my family.
I want Rachel.
Not because she's beautiful. Not because she's my responsibility. I want her because she makes me laugh. Makes me think. Inspires me to be the kind of man I always hoped I'd be.
I want Rachel because the thought of a life without her is more than I can bear."
"But terrifying because beneath the longing lies an inescapable truth: If he is my lodestone, it's because somehow in the last few weeks I've started to rely on him. Lean on him. Need him. My heart pounds a little faster as the realization sinks in.
I need Logan.
Not because I need saving. Not because he could plan our way out of this. But because on some basic, soul-deep level within me, he is the solid ground beneath my feet. The one who will move mountains to keep his promises. The one who looks at me and sees.
I can't imagine my life without him. Everywhere I look, he's there. A constant thread binding my past, my present, and the future I want so badly to have with him.
With him.
My eyes fly open.
I'm in love with Logan."
"Best Case Scenario: I kill him on my first try.
Worst Case Scenario: I miss, and never get another chance.
Best Case Scenario it is, then."
"I love how you still think if you tell me to do something, I'll just check my brain at the door and do it."
"I've just made a fool of myself, haven't I?"
"Yes, I have." He steps back. "What is it about you that makes rational behavior so difficult for me? Never mind. Forget I asked that. You're right. It's fine."
"Don't be an idiot. Whether we live or die, we'll do it together."

Thursday, November 22

Ruby: Book Review


Amanda Burke

June 29th 2012
Young Adult | Paranormal

Official Blurb -

During the Salem witch hunts, an evil witch named Natasha Sullivan tricks a demon into confining himself inside an enchanted music box. She casts a spell that foretells that the demon will emerge in an unknown time in future after the birth of a child known as the Lumen Child. This child’s destiny is to bring light to the planet and Natasha knows that if he is killed then darkness will prevail. Natasha’s identical twin Sarah, discovers what her sister has done. Although she cannot break the spell she casts her own prophecy. It states that three witches known as the Triple Enchantresses will be born in the same time as the Lumen Child and they will be his supernatural protectors. The girls are not sisters, yet they will share a common destiny. Ruby is the story of the first witch and how she very nearly dies before discovering her true identity. Having grown up unaware of her powers, she is rescued by her loving grandmother who is also a white witch and taken back to the family estate where she learns everything she can about what her future holds. Ruby is the first in a four book series.

There were many times during this book I felt it was missing the weaving that holds the moments together. More like an oral telling where there isn't as much time to intricately weave things together and build all the emotions. Sort of in the style of and then. . .and then. . .and then. Not much going on in between everything.

My favorite part of any romance is all the build up. This romance had the essential elements but all the subtly was lacking. Which just ended up making it feel cheesy.

There was so much being thrown into the mix that I got overwhelmed. Maybe if there had been more description it wold have worked. At one point two new characters enter the scene and there is no information about them.

Esther was so overly happy and super sunny that I just couldn't like her. In fact, she seemed so impossibly good that I was certain she was evil. . . or maybe I was just hoping she was evil to justify my dislike of her.

I guess I was waiting for the bad guys to make good on their threats but it never panned out. For once the good guys had the upper hand. It wasn't even a close call. Especially if you compare it to the current close calls being written in all the dystopian novels.

Ruby sure gets some odd special powers. I must admit myself to be most interested in just how animal mimicry and hair manipulation will help her out.

It was okay at first then boring in the middle proceeds to get better the last 30 pages. After which point it ends really oddly.

Violence: Moderate

Wednesday, November 21

Books I am Thankful For. . .and a Giveaway

This is the season to be thankful so I thought I would make up a list of books I am thankful for this year. They have kept me entertained. These are in no particular order so don't get any ideas. What follows is a summary of all the five star books I read this year, so far, and a simple reason I loved them.

Reminded me why I fell in love with reading.

Edenbrooke by Juliane Donaldson


A surprise and a delight.
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins


Fracture by Megan Miranda

Finally fulfilling a secret wish in a book theme.
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Simple yet surprising romance.
Article 5 by Kristin Simmons

Blood Red Road by Moira Young


A great book based in Utah and finally a retelling of Persephone that works.
Everneath by Brodi Ashton

A long wait finally finished. Not quite what I hoped but still awesome.
Defiance by C. J. Redwine

Everything I hoped for and more.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Great sequel.
Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren

Blackwatch by Jenna Burtenshaw

Partials by Dan Wells

Fantastic finale.
The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima
(Not to mention Han as well. *sigh*)

Eona by Alison Goodman

So thankful for more from this fictional world. Also absolutely loved Sydney's innocence.
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead 

First ever ARC and amazing read.
Grave Mercy by R. L. LaFevers

Great message.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Honorable Mentions:
Until I Die by Amy Plum
Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
Darkness Before Dawn by J. A. London
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Vanquished by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

I am thankful to have something to look forward to in this next year. Here is a small list of books I am thankful to be waiting for. This list is likely full of holes where books are missing.

Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
Sequel to Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
Breaking Point by Kristin Simmons
Everbound by Brodi Ashton
Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Fragments by Dan Wells
Dark Triumph by R. L. LaFevers
Goddess by Josephine Angelini
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Blood Kissed Sky by J. A. London
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa
If I Should Die by Amy Plum
Prodigy by Marie Lu
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi (I haven't even read Under the Never Sky yet and I am excited.)
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (I think I just want to torture myself)
Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer
The Rising by Kelley Armstrong
The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

And there is a giant list of books I meant to read this year but haven't quite gotten to yet. They probably all have sequels coming out soon as well. I should probably get back to reading.

What books are you thankful for this last year?
What books are you thankful are upcoming this next year?

And it just seems right that this post also include a giveaway. Normal rules apply US only.

After Obsession by Carrie Jones
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 20

Between the Lines: Book Review

Between the Lines

Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

Simon Pulse
June 26th 2012
Young Adult | Contemporary

Official Blurb -
What happens when happily ever after... isn’t?

Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.

I really wanted to like Between the Lines. It has some really nice pictures and beautiful crisp white pages. This will likely sound crazy but they give me the feeling of comfort much like soft fluffy pillows. I just want to nestle up to them and read a great story. But it is the strangest story ever and has some really bizarre things going on. Also, I really don't care for the characters. In fact I dislike the characters heartily and couldn't bear to have them in my head any longer so I had to mark this unfinished.


Saturday, November 17

Pile Denial: 11

I am in denial.

It is ugly but it is nevertheless the state of things.

Here I will document my struggle with my book obsession. Behold my denial in all of its glory.

Pile Escalation:
Net Galley:
Renegade by J. A. Souders
Daughter of the Goddess by Rita J. Webb

Rebel Heart by Moira Young
The Pale Assassin by Patricia Elliot
Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer ( I have already read this one but I couldn't help grab a copy at the Library sale.)




Pile Reduction:
Given Away:


The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima
Renegade by J. A. Souders
Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies 

The Pale Assassin by Patricia Elliot
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Bottleneck Effect:
Rebel Heart by Moira Young

I let it go two weeks again since I last updated. I have been busy reading. More importantly I finally managed to get caught up on my reviews. Hopefully I don't let myself get so far behind again. Sucks up my reading time. The best read of the last two weeks was The Crimson Crown. I am going to miss Han. Not a great week for DNFs, two is quite a bit. Hopefully next week is good to me. I will be vacationing but hopefully there will still be time for a bit of reading.

Here are the numbers of books hanging out on my TBR pile.

Pile Truth:
Books: 45 (went down) :)
eBooks: 27 (went up) :(

How about you? Are you in denial?

Share in the comments or even in a post, just don't forget to leave a link, and help me feel a little better.

Friday, November 16

Eye Candy: LII

During the week I spot different book covers that catch my eye for one reason or another. I keep track of them all here on my weekly Eye Candy post. Most of the books featured here I have not bothered to read the synopsis for. Just plain old fashioned cover envy or not in some cases. There are the occasional covers that catch the eye but not in I want to read that book more of a oh my goodness what were they thinking.


Alexandra May

Beautiful house. I really like her hair and her eyes!

Other than this one it has been a very slow week in book covers that have caught my eye. Perhaps that means next week will be more prolific. Until then. . .

What do you think about the cover?

Like it, love it, or could do without it?

Thursday, November 15

Weather Witch: Book Tour and Giveaway

Shannon Delany's debut YA paranormal series (13 TO LIFE) has concluded and she's doing a new steampunk series called WEATHER WITCH (also with St. Martin's Press) which launches June 25, 2013 and is already available for pre-order. Delany warns that this series is darker and grittier than 13 TO LIFE, although still YA and still with romantic elements and she's asked a small group of us to share her cover and Prologue AND provide a way YOU can win some things.
Synopsis (from Goodreads)-
In a vastly different and darker Philadelphia of 1844, steam power has been repressed, war threatens from deep, dark waters, and one young lady of high social standing is expecting a surprise at her seventeenth birthday party–but certainly not the one she gets!

Jordan Astraea, who has lived out all of her life in Philadelphia’s most exclusive neighborhood, is preparing to celebrate her birthday with friends, family and all the extravagance they might muster. The young man who is most often her dashing companion, Rowen Burchette, has told her a surprise awaits her and her best friend, Catrina Hollindale, wouldn’t miss this night for all the world!

But storm clouds are gathering and threatening to do far more than dampen her party plans because someone in the Astraea household has committed the greatest of social sins by Harboring a Weather Witch.

Here is my sneak peek for the Weather Witch Book Tour:

Prologue (Part THREE--read part one at Beneath the Cover, and two at Xpresso Reads)

Holgate, Pennsylvania

Marion found his voice but it was not the one he usually heard coming from his mouth. This voice was thinner, tighter and squeaked out between his parched lips when he asked, “And you, who are you?”

“Brandon of House Dregard--Bran,” the other said, long fingers drifting over the table and pausing to stroke the handle of one wicked tool before tapping the neck of the next in the long line. “But more importantly, I am the one who will free you from being Grounded. I am the Maker.”

“I cannot be Made,” Marion insisted. “I practice no witchery. I am no magicker. My line is pure. I am no Weather Witch.” His broad hands balled into fists, he tugged at the leather straps pinning his wrists against the coarse wood, but the bindings would not give.

To read more, go to Paranormal Indulgence November 16!
Details on the Giveaway:

Want something special from Shannon? She'll send signed swag to 2 commenters I select AND then there's this:

Looking for a cool stocking stuffer for a reader in your life?

For the first 17 people who comment on each of the blog posts in this short tour AND send Shannon proof you’ve pre-ordered WEATHER WITCH (send proof to: info [AT] shannondelany [DOT] com) you will score a personalized gift pack from Shannon including: A personalized, limited edition chapbook including the Weather Witch Prologue and part of chapter one; signed 13 to Life postcards; additional assorted swag from other great authors Shannon adores; and some other Weather Witch-inspired treats to brighten your day.

Learn more about Shannon and her books at

Destined: Book Review


Aprilynne Pike

May 1st 2012
Young Adult | Paranormal

Official Blurb - 
Tamani looked at her gravely, and reached up to tuck her hair behind her ear.

He hesitated for an instant, then his hands found the sides of her face, pulling her to him. He didn't kiss her, just held her face close to his, their foreheads resting together, their noses almost touching.

She hated how much it felt like good-bye.

Laurel now knows the truth: Yuki is a rare Winter faerie, the most powerful--and deadly--of all, and Klea plans to use her to help conquer and destroy Avalon. But Klea's reach extends far beyond one wild Winter faerie. With Tamani, David, and Chelsea by her side, Laurel prepares to face what may be Avalon's final days, in the stunning conclusion to the Wings series.

I think it was the bittersweet end that pulled this down from a four rating, so it's more of a three and a half. The ending fits really well, but it was a bit more realistic than I was ready for. Otherwise, what a ride this story turned out to be. Poor Tamani, he really took one roller coaster of a ride but in many ways it shaped him well.

Aprilynne was not afraid to wield a scythe in this book. Don't get too worried, she does spare all the right characters, but outside of that it is all out bloodshed.

Sadly there wasn't time for much fairy stuff this go-round. At each turn they are responding to threats to their lives and wading through a bloodbath. I missed the fairy culture and all the fun of the blossoms. There is a little bit of fall magic there at the end. It was nice to see Laurel do her magic.

It was a nice conclusion to the series. I am happy with it. While reading it I had a hard time putting it down and there was plenty of action that kept the pages flying by.

Violence: Moderate

Moments Divine:
"No, I . . . Forget Laurel for a minute. Just listen to what I'm saying. I don't know if Davide will ever love you. But it he does, if he really does, it won't matter how pretty or exciting someone else might be. If he really loves you, you can't lose. Because he won't see anyone as even remotely comparable to you."
I love pages 183 through 197. Such heartrending emotions and moments for Tamani.

Wednesday, November 14

Winning the City: Book Tour - Special Excerpt

Winning the City (Redux)
Theodore Weesner
Aster + Blue Editions
March 2013

It’s Detroit, 1961. Fifteen-year-old Dale Wheeler, the son of an unemployed, alcoholic autoworker, has big dreams of leading his team to the City Basketball Championship. But his dream is shattered when Dale—the co-captain and top point guard—is cut from the team to make way for the son of a big money team sponsor. His life in a tailspin, Dale finds a helping hand in Miss Furbish, the beautiful homeroom teacher whose well-meaning kindness gradually builds into a potentially dangerous passion. And in his lowest times, Dale gets a final shot at his dream: A hardscrabble team of street-ballers that may have what it takes to win the City Championship.
As a part of the book tour I have an excerpt to share with you today. The excerpt contains chapter one and two. Enjoy.

Swearing: Moderate



This is it. Today is the day. The first practice of the year after school in the boy's gym. Time to show the speed, do the deed, take the lead! All these weeks and months Dale has been able to think of little else. Since last spring.
Since forever. Now it’s his turn to be the oldest, the biggest, the best. Tryouts. But he’s a returning starter and is sure as hell not trying out. He'll be leading the way, making them pay! His excitement is such that for days on end he has been telling himself to be cool. Time to be cool and not a fool. For playing it cool is the only tool...if you’re out to win the entire goddamn city.
Dale Wheeler is fourteen all the same, and whatever energy he may be bringing to his talking-the-talk temperature he doesn’t know how not to dream. He’s grown an inch and a half since the season ended last year and is growing still. In this instant he’s pushing up through five-nine. Sitting at his desk in school he can look at a forearm and see it growing larger, stronger, longer. Can pump up bicep-pears before the bathroom mirror at home. One on the left, one on the right! Pop, pop! Pow, pow! Hey, hey, get outta my name is Dale Wheeler and I came to play! Besides confidence Dale can call up conviction in his mind and heart. Secret power leading the way, making his day! Call me cocky and I’ll make your fat ass pay!
Dale knows he’s good. There’s no doubt he’s done the work. Like a saver saving every penny, he’s given himself to little else. At times it seems it’s all he’s done, all the time, is work-work, practice-practice. And work some more. And worked on anyway. Worked into work. Sweated into sweat all over again, before taking his shower, doing his homework, dreaming his dream. For work, as every athlete knows, is the key. The more you practice the luckier you get. Acquire the moves, absorb the steps...and when the time comes you'll hit the groove no matter some hee-haw in the stands sputtering about luck and the bounce of the ball.
Dale has done it, is doing it, will do it. For an athlete is what he is. Maybe he’s only fourteen but he knows what he knows and he knows it’s his turn to take them all downtown to win the city! "Here comes Wheeler," cries the Sportscaster on high. "He takes the shot! no--he fakes the shot! He fakes the shot!! He drives! shoots! SCORES! SCORES!! SCORES!!!"
Even in his sleep at night Dale dreams of winning the city. Moments and moves from outdoor pickup games under the lights (amazing things happen in outdoor pickup games) blend in his dreams into games indoors rocking with all the students and teachers he has ever known or passed in the hallways of Walt Whitman Junior High. Waking from a dream with his mind full of rainbows he reminds himself not to go off the deep end. To settle down.
Don't be a fool, play it cool! Playing it cool is the only tool!
Everything is a game. Life, Dale knows, is a game all the way and everything that happens depends on how you play. It’s something else he knows he knows. He has no notion of himself as a thinker, or as a smart ass ninth-grader either, but he knows what he knows and he knows that everything is a game. That playing it cool is the only tool...when you’re out to rule.
(Okay, maybe he is a smart ass, but whoever won the city who wasn’t?)


Coming in late from working second shift at Chevy Plant Ten--a weaving silhouette filling his bedroom doorway--Dale's father invites his sleepy-time son into the kitchen for a Coney Island dog. Could anyone in the world more appreciate the taste of a Coney Island dog in the middle of the night than an ever-voracious fourteen-year-old playmaker, ball handler, first string guard?
As on every other night, Dale practiced at the park until the lights went out…before shooting a few in the dark. Dribbling home, into and out of illumination under corner streetlights, driving one telephone pole after another, pulling it back at the last minute (all but the dream), he showers with the landlady's hose, reviews his school notebook at the kitchen table, and hits the sack dreaming his dream...into which swamp there appears the purveyor of tender words and unconditional love in his life. "Hey sleepy time pal...come have a Coney Island dog with your old dad."
Daylight is in Dale's eyes and it’s time to rise and shine...despite a spur picking at his mind. Clomping into the bathroom to wash and brush, he detects "I Fall to Pieces" circling his father's phonograph in the living room and sinks within, as always, to the old cry of loss haunting their handful of rooms at an off-beat hour. The message is familiar: His father is up yet and loaded, is emotional and sentimental, drunk and dangerous. With no one else upon whom to visit his sad memory of Dale's runaway mother visiting his pickled brain, his father is waiting for him to appear. In Dale's adolescent mind another lyric begins circling the breaking day: 'You get loaded...and I fall to pieces.'

# # #

He has no choice but to make his way into the kitchen that offers the only exit from their attic apartment...down the backside of the landlord's house to driveway, sidewalk, refreshing air. He enters without making a sound. His father stands there. Head hanging, he’s leaning to the wall, his chin on his chest. How long has he been on his feet? His neck looks rubbery as his head lolls to one side, a grin comes on like a dim light as he says: "Don't I know you from somewhere?"
Dale opens the refrigerator, explores possibilities, ignores his father as he does at times like these. Life with an alcoholic. Life with Patsy Cline's heartbreak lining the air they breathe: 'You want me to forget...pretend we've never met.'
"You're the guy stood me up!" his father tells him. "Thas who you are! Bring home a treat for the only person in the world plays tunes on my weary old heart...get left standing at the counter." 'You walk by...and I fall to pieces...'

Dale remembers then and says: "I fell asleep! That’s what I did!"
"Musta been dreaming about something a hell of a lot better looking than a Coney Island dog," his father tells him.
"Basketball," Dale confesses, deciding all at once to share his high hopes with his father. "I was dreaming about basketball, winning the City…which is what we're gonna do!"
"Basketball?" his father asks. "You say basketball? Did I hear you say basketball? Is that what I heard you say?"
"It's my big year at school!" Dale tells him.
"First time I knew anything would keep you from your favorite middle-of-the-night snack. Surprised it wasn't something better looking than a fat old basketball."
"I'm the biggest at school this year!" Dale tells him. "I've been working like a demon while everybody else has done practically nothing. Been working all summer, all fall. Gonna lead the way, make em pay!" Dale did not add how proud he hoped to make his father, or how his dream included saving his father's life, too, to a modest degree. Turning things around. Leading them to the promised land.
'You tell me to find...someone else to love.
Someone who'll love me, too...the way you used to do.'
Continuing to grin, his father squints. "Son...gotta tell ya. Hope you dream other things, too. Don't wanna put all your eggs in one basket."
Dale nods, indicates that he knows, is cool, isn't a fool...know all about eggs and baskets. Doesn't he?

Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, November 13

Renegade: Book Review


The Elysium Chronicles #1

Tor Teen
November 13th 2012
Young Adult | Dystopian

Official Blurb -
Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie.

Her memories have been altered.

Her mind and body aren’t under her own control.

And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

When I began reading this book I was thinking it was going to be about witches. Not really sure where that came from but it affected my feelings toward the book. Very conspiracy theory. What if we were all brainwashed? What unspeakable horrors are hiding in our locked memories?  In typical brainwashing fashion the victim has no idea who they are or what occurred in their past. So nothing is as it appears.  On top of all of that drama there is a very strong female Adolf Hitler vibe in this story.

The feelings that develop between Evie and Gavin seem a bit too quick under the circumstances. Unless there is some truth to special bonds being formed when under very high stress situations.

The villain is crazy. Certifiable, which makes everything she does seem less calculated evil and more unbalanced chaos. The villain has almost no understandable motives. Maybe that is why she doesn't seem scary. I suspect, however, that she is merely a convenient puppet. We are going to find that Dr. Friar is really the mastermind.
The book seems to come full circle. Poor Evie is really no better off mentally. It makes me wonder if another book would have Evie fighting to return to Mother. If she can't remember what brought her to this new people she might think she was kidnapped and try to make her way back. How sad and pointless would that be?

This book confuses me. Maybe the book has the ability to Condition the reader. So while I thought it was the inhabitants of the book having to deal with the threat of Conditioning it turns out that I was suffering brainwashing while reading it. The book was sufficiently engaging that I read it in one day. Yet I have next to no desire to follow the characters further. I don't feel they ever developed enough to demand my loyalties.  In the end I felt the book was odd. It left me with a feeling of 'Meh'. I even had a very hard time figuring out how to rate it. Not even sure who to recommend this book to either.

Language: Moderate
Sexual: Mild - Moderate

Monday, November 12

Obsession Confession: Swag

Swag -

When I first started book blogging I had absolutely no idea what swag was. It sounds swanky yet it was a completely unfamiliar word. I found myself having one of those senior moments that I dread so much. How is it possible I could feel so old when I am certainly still young (enough)? Well with a bit of persistence I finally got a grasp on this swag business. As I have come to understand it swag is anything related to the book without being the actual book. For example: jewlery, keychains, bookmarks, t-shirts, pens, seed packets, flashlights, guitar picks, book plates, posters, stickers, etc. Once I figures this out I was left with a complete lack of understanding as to why I would want these items. 

I entered the book blogging world because I LOVE to READ. Why would I want these items that AREN'T books? So I just skipped all these little trinkets with a small shake of the head. But as I sunk farther and farther into the realm of books I soon found that this thing called hype makes all the difference. When there is a bunch of hype going on concerning some book suddenly the swag is a must have. Suddenly it is like getting a tiny glimpse of that celebrity through the crowds. You begin thinking if this is as close as I can get to this party I will take it. Subtract the hype and you just have a pile of trinkets. 

Now I have become selective of the swag that interests me. To each their particular poison. I am not the biggest fan of posters. I like the fun little jewelry trinkets, not the rubber wristbands. Stickers are fun if they say something clever. I probably already have more bookmarks then I will ever need but I don't mind adding another handful or so.

What I want the absolute most is a t-shirt. In fact I want many book t-shirts. The first t-shirt I saw and coveted was from the Iron Realm series. Ever since I have tried and failed many times to get any number of book t-shirts. I love t-shirts and would gladly go around every day sporting digs from all the best books. That old saying from grade school comes to mind. Well if you love "insert thing" so much why don't you marry "insert thing"? Well I can't marry books but I would gladly wear a book t-shirt. If only I could figure out how to get my hands on some.

What do you think about swag?

Any particular type of swag that gets your attention better than others?

Friday, November 9

Eye Candy: LI

During the week I spot different book covers that catch my eye for one reason or another. I keep track of them all here on my weekly Eye Candy post. Most of the books featured here I have not bothered to read the synopsis for. Just plain old fashioned cover envy or not in some cases. There are the occasional covers that catch the eye but not in I want to read that book more of a oh my goodness what were they thinking.


Sharon M. Draper

I also saw a book cover that had this same butterfly on a guys arm. He had a tatoo of it and part of the tattoo was coming to life and peeling off his arm. While neat I just had a hard time with this particular butterfly lending the guy a masculine air. But back to this cover, I like the emotion it captures. How would you feel similarly situated?


Fiona Paul

I don't think this is my type of book but I really like this cover. Much better than the other. This dress is fabulous.

Night School

C. J. Daugherty

Now this is a book I want to read. It doesn't sound really original but I think the combo of the cover and the blurb has me intrigued.

The Moon and More

Sarah Dessen

Such a care free and warm feeling emanating from this cover. It almost seems like if I could just read this book I would find the same emotions for myself.

You Look Different in Real Life

Jennifer Castle

This might perhaps be the first time that the colored highlights have seemed almost natural. Almost makes me want to go out and get some bright pink highlights as well.


Katherine Longshore

This book looks a bit. . .umm. . .much for my tastes. But the cover certainly conveys abandon.

After Daybreak

J. A. London

How can this cover be out already? I haven't had a chance to read the prequel to this one. The jury is still out on this cover. It comes across a bit bleak. I have so little to judge it on, having not read the previous book. But even so it does get me excited to read more in this storyline.

The Demon Lover

Juliet Dark

This book is definitely out of my interest range but I love the range of blues. Lovely.

What do you think about the covers?

Like it, love it, or could do without it?

Thursday, November 8

Eve: Book Review


Anna Carey

October 4th 2011
Young Adult | Dystopian

Official Blurb - 
Where do you go when nowhere is safe?

Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth's population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school's real purpose--and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she's ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust . . . and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a future that is both beautiful and terrifying. Readers will revel in "Eve"'s timeless story of forbidden love and extraordinary adventure.

That was a dumb ending. There are so many post-apocalyptic stories out there right now. This one is a tame kitten next to its sisters. Every edge seems blunt, dull, and a bit less terrifying than it could be. All the dangers seem more like Santa Claus, a bit imaginary. Just a bunch of made up stories to fill the gaps and keep us in line. The poor girls at that school are so conditioned to believe the oddest tales. It amazes me that no matter how much she has seen to the contrary she is still feeding herself one big lie. What gives her the idea that a happy ending is possible? No such luck sweetheart.

Eve is a bit annoying. A perfect girl, teacher's pet, who is high maintenance. She leaves messes everywhere she treads and lets others clean them up. Her countenance is a textbook definition of damsel in distress. There is no fight to her. She breaks so easily and is lucky that none of the threats never occurs.
Caleb is hard to swallow. Dirty hardly describes his true state. More like he is kin to the earth, he is that dirty. It doesn't sound the least bit attractive or snuggly. I wonder about him, what he is really thinking? Did his mind undergo a complete change toward Eve? He freely admits she isn't his type but doesn't hold to his declaration. How could he even know his type? There isn't a girl around and they certainly aren't raining from the sky for him to figure it out. Even when he is supposedly friendly toward her he isn't very emotional. He is hard to read. I guess he is a very restrained individual.

This story reminded me of The Host by Stephenie Meyer during the underground portion. An entire group of boys living secretly in an underground tunnel system. When they come to the old couple coming to their rescue and bringing them into their big house I was very strongly reminded of Article 5 by Kristen Simmons. I kept expecting betrayal around each corner.

Mostly I just wanted to slap the characters. Eve for all her talk of Romeo and Juliet and their downfalls. Going on and on about how she understands the importance of a moment and that she won't waste it. Umm, yeah. . . way to waste plenty of them.

The whole scenario didn't work well for me. An all powerful king turning all their girls into brainwashed broodmares and all boys into labor camp slaves. Really? Could people really be so scared they would just let that happen? How could they sanction that? To not ever fall in love or even see the opposite sex? Not to have families? That sort of thing is programmed into our very cells. How could a society exist like that?

In the end with all the hype and having met the extremely entertaining author this book was a let down. It felt like the bones of a young adult story but it was written with juveniles in mind. So it ended up as a shaky mix of the two. At least it was a relatively quick read.

Violence: Moderate

Moment Divine:
"Leif was funny, once," he said. "Really funny. We'd spend all day deconstructing buildings, brick by brick, and loading the materials onto trucks to be hauled to the City of Sand. Leif used to make up these songs while we worked." Caleb looked over his shoulder, his cheeks ruddy with a sudden smile. "What songs? What are you laughing about?"
He turned back around. "You don't want to know."
"Try me."
"Fine. But don't say I didn't warn you." He cleared his throat in mock seriousness. "My," he crooned, his voice completely out of tune, "balls are sweating, my balls are sweating, I can't keep my balls from sweating, noooo, noooo, noooo!"
"Why is that funny? What are 'balls'? Like the ball of your foot?"
Caleb pulled at the reins of the horse and fell forward, his back heaving up and down with laughter.
"What? What is it?" I asked.
It took a moment for him to compose himself. "It's . . ." he said, his face crumpled. "Like these things that . . ." he paused, as if deep in thought, and then shook his head suddenly. "No, I'm sorry, I can't. It's just funny, Eve. Trust me."

Wednesday, November 7

Obsession Confession: The Holy Graile of Events

Blog Events

We all envy those who throw them and wish we had thought of it first. It looks so easily and magical. But is it really?
Try putting together your own blog event.

I think I just might.

And so began my giant quote battle. An entire month of polls, posts, and giveaways.

The things I learned:
  • Authors are super busy. So busy in fact that if you hope to get them to participate you better ask six months in advance. Which is crazy insane. I didn't even have my little idea until three months in advance. I thought I was doing so good. Makes me wonder if I better hurry and get my next event together now so that I can have more author participation. The bigger the author the harder it is to get them involved. Makes sense and I am glad to know they are off writing the next awesome book.
  • Getting a positive response from and author is just as awesome as getting an ARC. Such a high, and quite possibly addictive!
  • Your idea may not be as brilliant as you think.
  • People might actually not participate.
  • You will have days you just want to cancel the whole thing because no one cares but you.
  • Response turn out will follow the party invite rule. At best a third will respond. 
  • Keep it simple. 
  • There will be more work involved than you anticipate.
  • By the end you are ready for a break/vacation.
  • Wrapping up a giant event is more work than it would appear.
  • Despite all the negatives you will have moments when you want to do it again.
  • You will gain new friends.
  • Throwing the event will open your creative flood gates. So many new event ideas will cross your mind.
  • Some authors have an immense devoted fan base.
  • Authors are super nice and often happy to have their books included.
  • You will question your motives for throwing the event.
  • Reading time will be limited.
I have a new found appreciation for all these blog events floating about the blogosphere. Throwing such a shindig is no small feat. I think this one month gig was enough to drain all desire to blog right from my system. I swallowed more than I could chew. Or certainly more than I could sustain. So now where do I go from here. Well hopefully I have learned a thing or two. I don't imagine I will be doing this anytime soon. I will be lucky to keep up my usual posts. Throwing a blog event is not for the faint hearted. I used to wonder why so many bloggers would start some immense event and then never follow through. There have been a couple of times I volunteered to be a part of the ordeal and never saw it come to fruition. It made me a bit sad. With my experience I can now say bravo to those of you who sustain this sort of energy. Thanks for keeping us entertained.