This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

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This is Not a TestTitle: This is Not a Test
Author: Courtney Summers
Publication Date: June 19th, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rating: 3 stars

Ostensibly, This is Not a Test is a novel about a group of teenagers dealing with a zombie apocalypse, but in reality, the zombies are just a backdrop. This book is more about depression, suicide, and somehow finding a reason to survive against all odds. There’s not a whole lot of action, and we only meet the zombies face-to-face a couple of times – most of the novel is spent inside a fortified school, where the characters get to know each other and Sloane works through her many issues. 
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WWW Wednesdays #1

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As hosted by Should Be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

This is Not a TestI'm currently reading "This Is Not A Test" by Courtney Summers. I loved "Some Girls Are" by the same author, so I'm expecting to write another positive review! I decided to start on this book not only because it has been on my to-read list for ages, but because I just finished the game The Last Of Us, so I'm really in the mood for some post-apocalyptic survival stuff. Such a good game.

Truly, Madly, Deadly
I recently finished reading "Truly, Madly, Deadly" by Hannah Jayne, which I reviewed here. Unfortunately, I wasn't a very big fan of the novel. I had hoped for so much more and was kind of let down in every way. Oh, and I'm really not a fan of the one GLBT+ character being evil. I absolutely hate the Evil Lesbian trope and find it very offensive.

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)So, I'm one of the only YA lovers who hasn't read the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. With so many reviewers adoring it and even my friends on Tumblr enjoying it, I figured, hey, might as well finally start on it. Especially with the movie coming out -- but wasn't one of the main characters whitewashed? Oh, and that's another reason I'm looking forward to starting it! I heard there was a diverse cast! Yay!

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Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

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Truly, Madly, DeadlyTitle: Truly, Madly, Deadly
Author: Hannah Jayne
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN: 1402281218
Rating: 2 stars

After Sawyer’s football-playing boyfriend dies, she receives a note in her locker, suggesting that it wasn’t an accident. Someone may have discovered his abuse, which she kept hidden from the world. But as Sawyer attempts to remain a normal high school student, more people end up dead, and it seems to be that she has a vengeful stalker, snapping pictures of her from afar and killing those who harm her. 

I read this book in one setting over the course of a couple of hours. Not because I needed to know what was going to happen next, but because I kind of wanted to just get to the next book. It’s a shame, because I had heard many good things about this book, but I just didn’t like it at all. The mystery wasn’t compelling, the characters were one-dimensional, the romance was boring, and the villain was, quite frankly, insulting. With that said, the prose is one of the few things I didn’t have a problem with, so if my criticisms do not seem to be a big deal to you, I would say to give the novel a try. 
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Waiting on Wednesday #2

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My choice for this week is...

Title: Dance of Shadows
Series: Dance of Shadows (#1)
Author: Yelena Black
Expected Publication: November 27th, 2012
Publisher: Bloombury

Vanessa Adler isn’t so sure she really belongs at the School of American Ballet. But dance runs in her family. It’s been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. Her grandmother and mother were prima ballerinas, and her older sister Margaret was, too. That is, until Margaret mysteriously disappeared from school three years ago. Vanessa is heir to the family’s gift and the only person who can fulfill her sister’s destiny. She has no choice.

But she never could have guessed how dangerous the school is. The infamous choreographer, Josef, isn’t just ruthless with his pupils, he guards a sinister secret, one in which the school’s dancers—prized for their beauty, grace, and discipline—become pawns in a world of dark, deadly demons.

What a beautiful cover. From Black Swan to Princess Tutu, I love a tale of ballet. The darker, the better, and with ruthless choreographers, fierce competition, and demons, I could just swoon. From the little blurb, this book has my hopes high, and it looks like it has so much potential -- which I hope it realizes fully. After all, if it does, I expect that this book could be one of my favorites.

I'm just a sucker for that sort of artistic, but deadly setting.

I haven't read anything from Yelena Black before, nor have I seen this book reviewed by anyone just yet. As such, I admit, I'm a little bit nervous, because I think I would be most upset if it didn't turn out as awesome as I hope. With that said, November looks like it'll be an interesting month for books, and I will be awaiting reviews of this one in the meantime. 
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Musing Mondays #1

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Musing Mondays is a weekly feature hosted by ShouldBeReading. Each week, a question is asked, and bloggers answer it and thus reveal a little about themselves!

This weeks question is:

Do you take notes while you read?

I have just begun taking notes while I read, although they're not the most eloquent. My notes tend to be short and choppy, reflecting the fact that I'm just trying to quickly get a thought down so I can immediately go back to reading. I think I will try and change my note-taking style; perhaps using a notebook instead of a laptop, and taking clearer, more well-written notes whenever I take a break from reading. I keep having thoughts, things I want to talk about or add to a review, and then I don't write them down and I totally forget.  Continue reading →

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone [ The Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1 ] by Laini Taylor

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Title: The Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Series: The Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Publication Date: January 1st, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 0316134023 
Rating: 5 stars

[NOTE: I will have a section called “SPOILERS”. It will, as you may have guessed, feature spoilers. So, here’s your warning to look at for that, lest you be spoiled!]

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of the best books I have read this year, and the hype has definitely been earned. Laini Taylor weaves words with magic; her style is eloquent and poetic without ever going over-the-top, and I’m sure she’s going to quickly become one of my favorite authors. Beautiful prose mixed with excellent characters that are constantly developing, an enchanting setting, and an intriguing plot makes this a book an excellent start to what will surely be a wonderful and immensely magical series. 

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