Waiting on Wednesday #2

12:53 PM

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. 


Musing Mondays #1

8:56 AM
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. 


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

2:36 PM

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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Enclave [ Razorland #1 ] by Ann Aguirre

10:52 AM
Title: Enclave
Series: Razorland
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publication Date: April 12th, 2011
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 0312650086 
Rating: 2 stars

[NOTE: There are mentions of rape in this review, due to the way it was handled being insanely problematic and just wrong. However, the book does not show graphic rape, and just alludes to the fact that it was a possibility for Deuce, and was in Tegan’s backstory.]

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Feature & Follow #1

9:14 AM

The Feature & Follow is a blog hop hosted by two hosts, Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read. Each week, answer a question and follow the Featured Blogs to gain more followers and meet new friends!

Q: What book(s) are you reading right now? What do you think of it?

I just finished up with Enclave by Ann Aguirre, which I will try to do a review of today. I am also now halfway through Asphodel by Lauren Hammond, as I've been having a serious craving for some Hades/Persephone. Unfortunately, I find the quality of this one to be rather lacking, and I'm not a big fan of characterization. I'm hoping it becomes better, as the prose has been increasingly less awkward, but I'm not sure quite yet.


Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

2:54 PM

Title: Going Too Far
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publication Date: March 17th, 2009
Publisher: Pocket Books
ISBN: 1416571736 
Rating: 2 stars

I read Going Too Far with complete ambivalence. I cannot say that there were a plethora of offensive, glaring faults, but I did not enjoy the story, and upon finishing, I neither had the desire to think further on what I had read, nor was I excited to review it. As such, I read this at least a week ago, and have been putting off the review until now. It might be clear by now that romance is not my preferred genre, and I do not always pay close attention to the synopsis when going into a book, especially if it has come highly recommended. This is what happened with Going Too Far – it’s a straight-forward romance, and romances rarely leave me anything other than bored.

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Waiting on Wednesday #1

9:58 PM

 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: Velveteen
Series: Velveteen (#1)
Author: Daniel Marks
Expected Publication: October 9th, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books

Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem. The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven. It’s gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.


Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days. It’ll be brutal... and awesome. But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker. 

Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules... or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

This book looks so, so good, with dark, biblical themes, a possibly unhinged and violent protagonist, and a healthy sprinkling of horror. I love the freaky setting, Velveteen looks badass and appropriately sinister, and I'm excited to meet this evil Bonesaw guy. I can't wait, October can't come soon enough! 


Touch of Power [ Healer # 1 ] by Maria V. Snyder

8:15 PM

Title: Touch of Power
Series: Healer
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publication Date: December 20th, 2011
Publisher: Mira
ISBN: 0778313077 
Rating: 4 stars

Avry is a selfless healer with a pure heart who is rescued from execution by a band of rogues. By rescued, of course, I mean kidnapped, as they intend to use her to heal Prince Ryne, whose body has been frozen in time to prevent the plague from killing him. The leader of the group – Kerrick – claims that Ryne is the only hope to put the Fifteen Realms back together, stop the fighting over who should rule, and make things right ever since the plague. Although Kerrick can be an asshole, especially if Avry is insulting Ryne (he’s very, very obsessed), these rogues are actually quite nice, so it’s not surprising that Avry becomes attached to them and learns to enjoy their company. They are a very close group and Avry slowly becomes an integral member of their makeshift family, which was very lovely to read.

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Easy by Tammara Webber [ TW: RAPE ]

2:30 PM

Title: Easy
Author: Tammara Webber
Publication Date: May 24th, 2012
Publisher: Self-Published
ISBN: 098566181X 
Rating: 3 stars

I didn’t pay enough attention to the synopsis, as I went into Easy thinking it was more of a drama about a girl dealing with the aftermath of a sexual assault as opposed to a romance. I tend to avoid books in which the plot is essentially a love story, and had I known what Easy really was, I would have definitely skipped it over. I’m thankful that I was under the wrong impression, because Easy was fabulous, heartfelt, and made me sob while reading it in the bathtub!  

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Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott [ TW: RAPE ]

9:58 AM

Title: Living Dead Girl
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publication Date: September 2nd, 2008
Publisher: Simon Pulse
ISBN: 1416960597 
Rating: 2 stars

I’m settling on 2 stars for this book, although I’ve been unsure of how to go about rating it. It had an effect on me, which makes me want to get it three stars off the bat, but then there’s the problem that I didn’t actually like it all that much, which made me consider giving it a lower score. So I’m going for the middle, but even that doesn’t satisfy me.

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Angelfall [ Penryn and The End of Days #1 ] by Susan Ee

10:42 AM

Title: Angelfall
Series: Penryn and The End of Days
Author: Susan Ee
Publication Date: May 21st, 2011
Publisher: Feral Dream
ISBN: 0983597014 
Rating: 5 stars

Angelfall is a post-apocalyptic novel in which angels have taken over earth in a reign of terror. People must abandon their old lives in a fight to stay alive, so gangs roam the streets, cars are lined up on the highway, and individuals take cover in abandoned houses until someone stronger comes along and either kills them or kicks them out. 

In this chaotic new world, our heroine, Penryn, is just trying to take care of her occasionally violent mentally-ill mother and her crippled little sister. When things get stressful, Penryn is usually abandoned by her mother, forcing her to be able to protect herself as well as her sister. This is how the story begins, when they witness a fight among a few angels, and Penryn rashly decides to help one of them (all on her own) after his wings have been cut off. All seems to be going better than could be expected, up until one of the angels flies away with Penryn’s sister.

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10:37 AM
Sorry I've been MIA, I've been starting a new year of school, as well as moving into a new apartment. But another review is coming today, and then hopefully everyday after! :)


Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers [ TW: RAPE ]

10:26 PM

Title: Some Girls Are
Author: Courtney Summers
Publication Date: January 5th, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 0312573804
Rating: 4 stars

I love characters that everyone else hates. I love the asshole jocks, the douche villains, and especially, the evil popular girls. So a book where the main character is one of the mean girls? Even though it could go so terribly, terribly wrong, I am immediately intrigued.

And thankfully, Some Girls Are got it so very right.

Regina Afton is one of the most popular girls in school, being the best friend and second-in-command of Anna Morrison, the school’s queen bee. Her clique is deliciously vicious – they start rumor campaigns, they destroy reputations, they ruin lives. Regina and her friends are those girls that everyone loves/hates. However, one party changes Regina’s social status overnight, when Anna’s boyfriend comes very close to raping her. In her desperation, Regina goes to the only person she can, Kara, a frenemy and member of her clique. This was the wrong move, and Kara takes this opportunity to ruin her reputation by convincing Anna that Regina had sex with her boyfriend behind her back. 

So begins Regina’s exile from her friends.

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Wake [ Dream Catcher #1 ] by Lisa McMann

11:44 PM

Title: Wake
Series: Dream Catcher
Author: Lisa McMann
Publication Date: March 4th, 2008
Publisher: Simon Pulse
ISBN: 1416953574 
Rating: 1 star

Janie is a teenage girl with a tough life. In addition to being poor and having a drunk, emotionally negligent mother, Janie has the burden of experiencing the dreams of others. If someone falls asleep and begins to dream, Janie comes right along for the ride. This becomes a huge problem when she begins to experience someone’s nightmares, which affect her so strongly that she has violent seizures.

This book sounded so interesting! Dreams are so fascinating, there are so many directions to go, and with the addition of horrible nightmares? It just seemed like such a great concept. The execution, however, was most disappointing, and I really struggled with finishing this book. It’s a short book, too, and I just wanted to drop it. I have the entire series, so I’m in the midst of debating whether or not I’m enough of a masochist to go ahead and read them, too.

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Graceling [ Graceling Realm #1 ] by Kristin Cashore

11:39 PM

Title: Graceling
Series: Graceling Realm
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publication Date: October 1st, 2008
Publisher: Harcourt
ISBN: 015206396X 
Rating: 3 stars

Some people in the Seven Kingdoms are born with a “Grace”, an extreme skill that manifests itself at a young age, and is marked by heterochromia. One can be graced with a multitude of different things, from cooking to dancing to mind-reading. Our heroine, Katsa, is graced with killing, and she is exploited as King Randa’s personal assassin slash torturer. Unexpectedly, she meets a graced fighter, and she cannot help but become his friend. 

The world of Graceling is fascinating, and one of the strongest points of the novel, although fans of intricate worldbuilding ala George R.R. Martin are bound to be disappointed. 

I found the prose to be quite lovely, and I believe Kristin Cashore is a talented author. With that said, the pacing was occasionally problematic, and I often felt that there was too much about Po and Katsa’s relationship and not enough about the actual plot.  It was so relationship-driven that I sometimes felt like that was the plot itself, as opposed to saving the Seven Kingdoms from an evil king with a dangerous Grace. 

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Sisters Red [ Fairytale Retellings #1 ] by Jackson Pearce

8:09 AM

Title: Sisters Red
Series: Fairytale Retellings
Author: Jackson Pearce
Publication Date: June 7th, 2010
Publisher: Little Brown
ISBN: 0316068683
Rating: 3 stars

I wanted so, so much more from this book than it gave me. I expected an epic sister relationship, badass girls, horror, creepiness, some sort of monster-of-the-week type of format, and a new favorite book. I was so let down; I was given very little of what I was looking for.

Sisters Red is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling. The main characters are Rosie and Scarlett March, two teenage werewolf hunters. Scarlett is scarred – like, actually scarred, not typical YA fantasy scarred – from an encounter with a werewolf in her childhood. She lives for the hunt, and she loves nothing more than killing the wolves. Rosie, on the other hand, mostly hunts because she feels like it’s her duty, and because she feels like she owes her life to Scarlett. They are close with a fellow hunter, Silas, who is close to Scarlett’s age, and like Rosie, does not live for the hunt.

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The Mockingbirds [ The Mockingbirds #1 ] by Daisy Whitney [ TW: rape ]

6:35 AM

Title: The Mockingbirds
Series: The Mockingbirds
Author: Daisy Whitney
Publication Date: November 2nd, 2010
Publisher: Little Brown
ISBN: 0316090530
Rating: 2 stars

The Mockingbirds was intended to be a quick read while I was sitting in Starbucks one day with a craving for some high school drama. I had seen mixed reviews for the book, so I went into it not expecting a whole lot. Unfortunately, my expectations were met.

Our protagonist is Alex, a teenage girl at a boarding school that demands excellence. After a night partying and drinking, she is raped by another student – Carter. The first part of the book primarily deals with the question of whether she was raped or not, as she cannot recall the details, and is, at first, unsure of if she just made a mistake or if Carter took advantage of her. Eventually she decides that, yes, it was rape, as she was in no state to consent, and so she calls on the Mockingbirds, a sort of secret society at Themis Academy that try and punish other students.

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