Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Giveaway! THREE ARCS!

It's Christmas time! I have a few ARCs to giveaway, and I thought, why not give some away on Christmas Day? 



Still haven't read Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian? Maybe it's Origin you still haven't had time to pick up. Or maybe it's The Raven Boys you are dying to read. Here's a chance to win all three of them.

All ARCs are from BEA, and are in pretty good condition. All you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form below! 

US/Canada only (sorry, shipping can be a little expensive)



Good Luck!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Guest Post: Feminism in Friday Society by Adrienne Kress


It’s easy just to look at the cover of THE FRIDAY SOCIETY and assume “This is all about girl power.” And that would be a correct assumption.  But there is more to supporting girls and women in the story than just the obvious kick-buttery.  Wait.  Kick Buttery.  Mmm. . . butter . . .

Let’s delve, shall we?  What were some of the elements I actively included in TFS to make it a real story about feminism and strong female characters?

1. A strong female character is a strong character.  

What I mean is we have got to the place where, in an attempt to demonstrate that female characters are strong, we make them invincible.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with a girl/woman who can kick butt.  But to have her be the best without any flaws, any weaknesses, makes her less of a person.  Humans are flawed.  To create a female kick- butt character that always wins makes her as much of a type as the damsel in distress.  She is not a three-dimensional character.  And when you have books/films/television shows where you still have only a token woman, but now she kicks butt, that’s no better than when the token woman was there to be rescued.  She’s still a token.

What I wanted to create were girls who were kick-butt but also flawed.  Who made mistakes and overcame them.  Because, also, while it’s important to see girls/women as people first, their gender second, it’s just as important for girls/women to see that they can overcome making a mistake, that they are allowed to be flawed and they can still be totally awesome.  I blogged more about the art of creating a quality female character here: http://ididntchoosethis.blogspot.ca/2012/04/about-female-characters.html

2.  Three girls who actually get along and stuff.

Something else I’ve noticed (and I’m not the only one) is that even when one sees a strong female main character, she is often the only one.  Often she is surrounded by secondary female characters whom she doesn’t get along with, who represent negative qualities (let’s not get into the slut-shaming thing at this moment, but yeah, also that) not possessed by the main character.  Likely there will be secondary male characters whom the main female character gets along with better, who understands her better and whom she respects.  Usually too the other lead in the story (if there is one) will be male.  

There is also often the perpetuated stereotype that even when girls/women are friends, they are still mean to each other.  The term “frenemy” is only really ever used with regard to women and their relationships with each other.  Evidently we are supposedly always catty with each other, stabbing each other in the back, nice one minute, mean the next.  It’s not the same as the beauty that is the bromance.

Well, I call BS.  I’ve never had that relationship with my female friends. And I have a lot of them.  Some of them have lasted my entire life. Thus I wanted to have more than one female main character, and a story where girls/women interact with each other.  But I also wanted to represent a female friendship like the one I knew. The only one that, in my opinion, is actually friendship. I wanted to show girls who liked each other, supported each other, and got along with each other. Who were able to laugh together and work as a team.  

So that’s what I did.


3.  The Bechdel Test

What is the Bechdel Test?  This is the Bechdel test.  From Wiki:

The Bechdel test is used to identify gender bias in fiction. A work passes the test if it features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man.

The reason this test is important is that most contemporary works of fiction – be it film or literature – fail this test.  Women, as I said above, tend to be a prop in the story about a man.  To further complicate things, even films or literature about women and aimed at women fail this test, because ultimately the story is about finding a man, or their love lives, etc.  Women as gender-neutral.  Women discussing other issues other than romance or men. That’s a very rare thing indeed.  Which is why I love THE GOOD WIFE so much.

I should add that there is nothing wrong with a work being centered around romance and finding a man, but the problem stems from there being very few examples of women engaging with each other about anything else.

It’s pretty easy for me in general to pass this test with most of my writing.  First, I tend to write multiple female characters into most works I write, and second, my female characters tend to be working on something that has nothing to do with a particular boy.  I am not a romance writer, I am an action-adventure writer.  So it’s a lot easier for me to write something that has nothing to do with men.  Now this doesn’t mean I don’t have characters talk about boys too.  I mean, it’s very fun to talk about boys, and the girls in THE FRIDAY SOCIETY totally talk about them occasionally.  But they also talk about other things.  Like why all these scientists in London are being murdered . . . and how they can stop it.  And also how they can save the city from certain destruction.  And how they wish they could be something more than just assistants.  And stuff.


4. Being smart, logical and able to solve problems.

We’ve come to accept that girls can be smart.  This is good.  But there is still a lot of stereotyping when it comes to girls that they lack the ability to be logical or problem-solvers. I find it so truly bizarre – being a logical problem-solver myself, but also watching many, many other women being the same.  So it was important to me to show that my girls had these qualities as well.


5. The looks thing

So, I really struggled with this when creating my girls.  Should I go for the stereotype of the superhero as aspirational and make my girls conventionally attractive? Or should I go for my feminist message and make them still attractive (ultimately as cheesy as it sounds, I really do think there’s beauty in everyone), but more, you know, like how my friends and I were in high school: a bit of alright but also a bit of a teenaged mess (and I’ve never been, nor will I ever be, a size zero).

Ultimately I decided on aspirational because I did want to play to some of the superhero tropes (though it’s nice that my book is set in the past which means that curves were what was considered the height of beauty, so I didn’t have to make them a size zero to achieve this).  But what I also decided to do, to counter my “look it’s another book about pretty girls again,” was not have them be insecure about their appearance.  It’s something I find particularly frustrating in some books/films/TV shows.  There’s a girl who will go on and on about how plain she is, and yet at the same time all the guys are totally in love with her at first sight, etc.  Or worse, the character is described as “too skinny” and with wild hair or something, trying to make us think the character is unconventionally attractive, when we all know in this day and age skinny = ideal body type (which I don’t agree with in the least, but we know to be unfortunately true), and wild hair is usually just considered wonderfully thick and amazing.  And of course she’ll at some point find some dress that just looks fabulous on her, and her hair will be tamed and all will be stunned at how suddenly beautiful she is.

I think this attempt to make the main character not think she is pretty exists for a couple reasons.  

A) It demonstrates what we all feel: insecurity.  Whether we are on top of the world or not, having doubts about ourselves is natural in humans.  And let’s be perfectly honest, girls in particular feel insecure about their appearance thanks in no small part to the media that are constantly bombarding them.  It’s so hard to see ourselves as beautiful sometimes that whole self-esteem advertising campaigns need to be organized. 

B) Girls are taught that being proud of themselves and saying so is being full of themselves.  That it is arrogant to think well of ourselves, and even more so to say it out loud.  Especially when it comes to our appearance.  We must achieve, but we must be humble about our achievements.  We must look like air brushed magazine covers, but we must not let anyone know we think we look good.  

So what I did was make it a simple fact.  My three girls are beautiful.  This does affect how the men around them interact with them, especially with Nellie, but as far as the girls go they neither obsess about how amazing they look, nor do they put themselves down.  They know they look good. It doesn’t make them superior to others, it’s simply a fact of life, now let’s move on to something more important.  Like London maybe getting blown up.

6.  The kicking butt thing.

Because despite what I said above, girls can and do kick butt.  Literally.  I know female fighters, stunt performers, and almost all of my instructors for my mixed martial arts cardio class at the gym are women.  I don’t like it when kick-butt replaces personality, but, darn it all, when it’s one part of a complex person, it’s totally and completely awesome.

About the Author:
(from Goodreads)

Adrienne Kress is a Toronto born actor and author who loves to play make-believe. She also loves hot chocolate. And cheese. Not necessarily together.

She is the author of two children's novels: ALEX AND THE IRONIC GENTLEMAN and TIMOTHY AND THE DRAGON'S GATE (Scholastic). Her debut YA novel, THE FRIDAY SOCIETY, launches Fall 2012 from Dial, Penguin.

She is a theatre graduate of the Univeristy of Toronto and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in the UK. Published around the world, ALEX was featured in the New York Post as a "Post Potter Pick," as well as on the CBS early show. It won the Heart of Hawick Children's Book Award in the UK and was nominated for the Red Cedar. The sequel, TIMOTHY, was nominated for the Audie, Red Cedar and Manitoba Young Readers Choice Awards, and was recently optioned for film.

She is also one of the founding members of the geektastic website Hardcore Nerdity


About the Friday Society

Release Date: December 6th, 2012
Number of Pages:
Publisher: Dial

Be your own hero.  
An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns –and the heroines who use them all 
 Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. The three young women's lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.
 It's up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.
 
 Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Guest Post: My writing process, tips and tricks by Morgan Rhodes


My advice on writing a novel is to READ A LOT of novels similar to what you’re trying to write. Just glom them. This will help you learn structure and plotting and character arcs and what books have sold and what made them stand out to an editor. 

Whenever an idea comes to you, jot it down. You might forget it otherwise. Keep a notebook full of ideas and titles and anything else you can think of. Developing an outline of plot points will help you from getting of course in your story.

Then devote some time every day—even if it’s just a few minutes—and WRITE THE BOOK.
Warning!!! There will come a point when the book will not feel as fresh to you and you might even be bored with it. This is normal. KEEP WRITING!! I started and stopped a lot of books thinking this feeling meant that I should work on another idea. If you keep doing that, you’ll never finish anything!
Once you have the whole story done, LET IT SIT for at least a couple of weeks before reading it over. This will give you some distance from it. Then print it out and read it over like you’re reading someone else’s book. 

Then go back in and EDIT IT. It’s possible that it doesn’t work as it is and you need to rewrite it completely. I sometimes spend longer working on my second draft than I do on my first! By getting the first draft out you have the “bones” of the book. Sometimes the “flesh” needs an extreme makeover. SOMETIMES the book seems almost perfect after the first draft. Don’t be fooled, though. Edit it anyway. Go with your gut. Your gut will tell you when it’s ready.

GET A CRITIQUE PARTNER. Enlist somebody who’s not afraid to be honest and give you creative criticism to give the book a read. 

When you’re happy with your final draft, START THE SEARCH for a publisher or agent if you want to publish with a traditional house. Or you might prefer to self-publish. This is entirely up to you!

Lastly, don’t give up! Being a writer is a daunting process — even for those of us who are already published! Make sure you LOVE writing and that you LOVE your characters and READ, READ, READ!!!


About the Author:
From Goodreads

Morgan Rhodes lives in Ontario, Canada. As a child, she always wanted to be a princess -- the kind that knows how to wield a sharp sword to help save both kingdoms and princes from fire-breathing dragons and dark wizards. Instead, she became a writer, which is just as good and much less dangerous. Along with writing, Morgan enjoys photography, travel, reality TV, and is an extremely picky, yet voracious reader of all kinds of books. Under another pen name, she’s a national bestselling author of many paranormal novels. Falling Kingdoms is her first high fantasy.




Her Website

Her Twitter

About Falling Kingdoms:

Release Date: December 11th, 2012
Number of Pages: 412
Publisher: Razorbill

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power--brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:  
Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.  
Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished--and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.  
Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past--and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.  
Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword...  
The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

BlogTour: Review: The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress


The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress
Release Date: December 6th, 2012
Number of Pages:
Publisher: Dial
Source: ARC from publisher
GR Amazon – Chapters - BD
Be your own hero. An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns –and the heroines who use them all
 Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. The three young women's lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.
 It's up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.
 Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.

Five words: Charlie’s Angels meets Steampunk awesomeness! Friday Society was really a great read, with some nice twists and interesting characters. The Steampunk aspect of the book was well done, which got me even more in love with this book. I really got hooked from the beginning with those three main characters, all so different, and yet similar. The settings were perfect to set the mood of the story, and keep the mystery going.

Cora, Nellie and Michiko were so interesting to follow, and I have to say that the multiple points of view helped with that. We got to know them as individual, see how their mind worked in a way that would have made it impossible for us to understand them as well as we did. The three girls are so different, and their voices resonated differently because of that. The one narrator I did find the most interesting was Michiko, as the language barrier makes her observation, her thoughts different from those of Cora and Nelly. Then we have the fun and energetic Nellie, whose personality makes it impossible for you not to like him. Finally, Cora’s sarcastic tone and confidence made me really want to get to know her. The three girls just complimented each other nicely, to create a kick-ass team.

The story was simply fun and addicting. Never once found a dull moment that made me want to put the book down. I actually ended up keeping it by my side all afternoon and night, opening it up the moment I had a few minutes free to read a little more of the novel. Mystery, murders, and or course friendships are all the things you will find in this novel, and even more. Love may not have been a big aspect of the novel (we do get to see some little moments, but it is not a main aspect of the novel), but I was happy of that. It was nice to see this be a little more in the background, leaving more space for the blooming friendship between those girls.

This novel made me really want to read more from Adrienne Kress, and made me really hope we will get a sequel. I think those three girls still have many mysteries to share with us. I nice read I would definitely recommend!

About the Author:
(from Goodreads)

Adrienne Kress is a Toronto born actor and author who loves to play make-believe. She also loves hot chocolate. And cheese. Not necessarily together.

She is the author of two children's novels: ALEX AND THE IRONIC GENTLEMAN and TIMOTHY AND THE DRAGON'S GATE (Scholastic). Her debut YA novel, THE FRIDAY SOCIETY, launches Fall 2012 from Dial, Penguin.

She is a theatre graduate of the Univeristy of Toronto and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in the UK. Published around the world, ALEX was featured in the New York Post as a "Post Potter Pick," as well as on the CBS early show. It won the Heart of Hawick Children's Book Award in the UK and was nominated for the Red Cedar. The sequel, TIMOTHY, was nominated for the Audie, Red Cedar and Manitoba Young Readers Choice Awards, and was recently optioned for film.

She is also one of the founding members of the geektastic website Hardcore Nerdity




The Trailer:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Blogtour: Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes


Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Falling Kingdoms #1
Release Date: December 11th, 2012
Number of Pages: 412
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: ARC from BEA
In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power--brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:  
Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.  
Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished--and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.  
Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past--and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.  
Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword...  
The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?
For some books, it’s the characters that make me fall in love with the novel. For others, it is the writing. For Falling Kingdoms, it is the WORLD that made this book simply addicting. I may not be the biggest high fantasy reader (though I do read one once in a while), but this one was the most exciting one I had read in a while.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this novel is that, despite having three kingdoms, we still get a pretty good vision of them. One of the reasons we get this much knowledge of the world is the various point of vies, all of which added something really important and interesting to the novel. Yes, I was slightly lost at first, unsure where this book would take me, but this made the book that much more thrilling. It got me really excited to turn the pages and to discover what would happen next to the characters. Despite the different point of views, I did not feel like some of them were lacking. Even if the book was only 400 pages (well, 400 can be deemed short for a high fantasy like this one, as there is a world that need to be build… and because I would have taken more since it was REALLY good…) I did end up having a preference for Cleo, but it doesn’t mean I did not feel for Magnus, Lucia, Jonas and company…

The novel was a good balance of everything you could want from this kind of novel. You get some bloodshed, some romance, some family drama, and a pretty amazing world. This made me want to devour the novel, and I just kept on reading and reading until I found the next page to be blank. I read it in a matter of hours, and I was so glad to have spent the afternoon hidden in my bed with this book as my only companion.

This novel will really captive many readers, and it will bring you in a world fan of high fantasy will fast fall in love with. I’m already dying for the sequel, which will be high on my TBR list. A book I highly recommend!

About the Author:
From Goodreads

Morgan Rhodes lives in Ontario, Canada. As a child, she always wanted to be a princess -- the kind that knows how to wield a sharp sword to help save both kingdoms and princes from fire-breathing dragons and dark wizards. Instead, she became a writer, which is just as good and much less dangerous. Along with writing, Morgan enjoys photography, travel, reality TV, and is an extremely picky, yet voracious reader of all kinds of books. Under another pen name, she’s a national bestselling author of many paranormal novels. Falling Kingdoms is her first high fantasy.



Her Website
Her Twitter

Monday, December 10, 2012

2013 Books (1) : Final books in a series I just can’t wait to read


I should be studying for my Philosophy exam tomorrow, but I needed a break. I thought, “What’s better to take my mind off my studies than to think about all the books I’m excited for 2013?” Yet, there seems to be so many that I find it hard to decide which book to choose. I’ll be posting a few posts before the end of the year, each with a different theme. This first post is all about series coming to an end. Here is my top ten “Final books in a series I just can’t wait to read”

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
(March 19th)

Requiem by Lauren Oliver
(March 5th)

Boundless by Cynthia Hand
(January 22nd)

Shades of Earth by Beth Revies
(January 15th)

The Rising by Kelley Armstrong
(April 9th)

Chosen at Nightfall by C.C. Hunter
(April 30th)

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
(No official cover yet...)


A Touch Menacing by Leah Clifford
(March 5th)
Enders by Lissa Price
(July 4th)










For the tenth one, I’m a little cheating. I still haven’t started this series, but I’ve heard only good things about it. I’m waiting for the final book to come out to start it though, since I won’t have to wait in between.

Mirrored Shard by Caitlin Kittredge
(February 12th)






 Which of these books are you excited to read? Any series I should read? Any books I have forgotten that should have been there in your opinion?

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor


Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2
Release Date: November 6th, 2012
Number of Pages: 528
Publisher: Little Brown, Books For Young Readers
Source: Bought
GR - Amazon - BD
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war. This is not that world. Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it. In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life. While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope. But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?
Wow. There was something utterly amazing about this book. I fell in love with Laini Taylor’s world in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and I could not wait to fall right back in it. I do have to admit that the first part of the book was a little slow, and I had some trouble falling back into the story. Yet, which could have been helped if I had reread the first book. For once, I was happy that it took me so long to finish this book, because I simply didn’t want this book to end. Even when I was finally done with it, I couldn’t stop thinking about the story, and wondering what will happen next.

I was excited to see not only Karou’s story, but follow her friend Zuzana, see what was going on with Akiva, and many other characters. This gave such a better understanding of the world, and of what was happening at the time. I loved seeing how Karou changed through all the events of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. She became rougher, since she lost about everything by the end of the first book. And Akiva really came to life as a character in this sequel. We just learned so much about him, and we see the truth behind his past action, and I just couldn’t stop myself from falling for him.

One of the great parts of the novel is the writing, which is simply phenomenal. It brings everything to life so easily and makes the world so vivid and believable. I was simply caught by the prose used by Laini Taylor. For the second book in a series, Days of Blood and Starlight is packed with action and there is a story line that is for this book, which I think is important in a sequel. The ending leaves us wanting more, but we do get an ending for this book.

Overall, this book is simply amazing. If you still haven’t read Daughter of Smoke and Bones, you really need to sink you teeth into this series. If you have, the sequel is simply amazing and should be pushed higher on your TBR pile. I’m already dying to read the next book. Amazing series.

About the Author:
(From Amazon)

Laini Taylor is the author of the National Book Award Finalist Lips Touch: Three Times, as well as the novels Blackbringer and Silksinger. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, and their daughter.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Review: Reached by Ally Condie


Reached by Ally Condie
Matched #3
Release Date: November 13th, 2012
Number of Pages: 512
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Book
Source: Bought
GRAmazon - BD
After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again. In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times-bestselling Matched trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without. 
The bittersweet feeling of finishing a series you loved. One thing readers who love Xander will be happy about is that we get a lot more of him in this book than we did in Crossed. That made me happy, since I really really like him. In Reached, we get the conclusion to the series that we needed, even though it won’t make everyone happy, mostly because there’s a love triangle and not everyone wants the same characters to end up together.

Without giving too much away about what will happen in the final book of the series, I have to say that I was happy with where the characters ended going, and that each ending felt satisfying on some level. I won’t tell you if Cassia ended up with which character between Ky and Xander, though I do think it was kind of clear from the beginning. Despite one character being ‘rejected’ by Cassia, I do think he got a fair ending, not like some other book you might have read in past (*cough* Bloodrose *cough*). There is a growth in the characters that is believable and understandable, which is something I really wanted from this last book. This was Ally Condie’s last chance to make us understand the choices of her characters, and I have to say she did a really great job.

I think Reached will satisfy the fan of the series, and most reader will probably read it. Of course, some will get mad, some will be disappointed in the outcome of the love triangle, I think that’s a given.  Still, Ally Condie’s writing was simply captivating, and I couldn’t stop reading until I had read the last page. I cannot wait to read more from Ally Condie, to discover the new worlds she will create for us, because the world she created in the Matched Trilogy was simply amazing.

About the Author:
(From Goodreads)

Ally Condie is a former high school English teacher who lives with her husband, three sons and one daughter outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, running, eating, and listening to her husband play guitar.




Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Review: Undeadly by Michele Vail


Undeadly by Michele Vail
The Reaper Diaries #1
Release Date: November 20th, 2012
Number of Pages: 272
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: NetGalley
GR – Amazon - BD
The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird... Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite boarding school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. 
 Life at Nekyia has its plusses. Molly has her own personal ghoul, for one. Rick follows her there out of the blue, for another...except, there’s something a little off about him. When students at the academy start to die and Rath disappears, Molly starts to wonder if anything is as it seems. Only one thing is certain—-Molly’s got an undeadly knack for finding trouble...

Okay, I seriously hate doing this kind of review, but Undeadly just did not work for me. It felt really messy, and annoyingly so. There were too many things that stopped me form really getting in the story, and the first thing that really got on my nerves from the beginning was the narrator’s voice. Without that part, I think I could have enjoyed the novel. The thing is, she sounded like the kind of people I just can’t stand. That’s not good.

Sadly, the characters didn’t really impress me either. Like the characters, they sounded wrong. The main character, Molly, seemed really innocent (not in the good way), or to say it plainly, stupid. That got on my nerves form page one, and it never stopped. That doesn’t start well. After that, the other characters sounded strange way to often for me to really like them. Even her diaries entries sounded bad. The characters simply made me cringed way to often in this novel to really enjoy it. And I cannot not talk about Rick, a character whose addition I didn’t completely understand.

Now, I do have to say the premise of the book, and the world the story was set in had a lot of potential. I liked the idea of the necromancy, the gods, the powers and everything else related to the story. Yet, I’m not sure how it all fitted in the world. Being a necromancer seems really normal. I would have liked a little more back-story, to really understand the world completely.

Overall, I have to say that this novel ended being disappointing. The summary sounded simply amazing, yet the novel didn’t. This book might please many readers, but I’m definitely not one of them. Sadly, I won’t be picking up the sequel. A novel full of potential that sadly didn’t satisfy me.


About the Author:
(from Goodreads) 
Michele Vail writes young adult paranormal fiction about zombies and reapers.
She likes reading, dogs, cats, board games, ghost-hunting shows, and Halloween. She believes in magic, in the impossible, and in the restorative powers of chocolate.
Michele lives happily-ever-after with her Viking and their family.



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review: The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker


The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker
The Liar Society #1
Release Date: March 1st, 2011
Number of Pages: 368
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Bought
GR - Amazon - BD
Since when do the dead send emails? Kate Lowry's best friend Grace died a year ago. So when she gets an email from her, Kate's more than a little confused. To: KateLowry@pemberlybrown.eduFrom: GraceLee@pemberlybrown.eduSubject: (no subject)Kate,
I'm here... sort of.Find Cameron. He knows.I shouldn't be writing.Don't tell. They'll hurt you. Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace's death was more than just a tragic accident. She teams up with a couple of knights-in-(not-so)-shining armor-the dangerously hot bad boy, Liam, and her lovestruck neighbor, Seth. But at their elite private school, there are secrets so big people will do anything to protect them-even if it means getting rid of anyone trying to solve a murder...

The Liar Society was really the perfect book to get me out of my reading funk. There is about everything you can look for in a high school mystery book: Drama, secrets, boys and ‘mean girls’. This book will get you hooked form the first few pages, making you wonder about the mystery buried in this private school.

One of the troubles I often have with these kinds of book is often the main character. Here, Laura and Lisa Roecker really created a character that I absolutely adore. If Kate has one thing, I think it’s guts. And determination. Kate really impressed me with her personality, and her ability to get the help she might need (there is nothing more annoy to me than a character that never needs help and get everything done on her own.  We all need help once in a while.)

Okay, I did got a little annoy at her for something appearing like she was manipulating Seth into doing what she wanted him to do (I really like Seth!). On the other side, I think Seth is intelligent enough to know when he is being used…. One other character that I really liked was Liam, who has the bad boy with a good heart appearance perfected. Still, this trio really worked perfectly with the novel, and the dynamic between those three was just so much fun.

Lisa and Laura really kept me guessing until the end, throwing us into different directions every few chapters. Another interesting point to the book is the uses of the flashback, which really help us, get our own idea of Grace. It was nice to see her a little, since you can be sure that her best friend’s opinion of her would be biased, especially after her death. You want to remember the good side, not the bad usually.

Despite its sequel, this book doesn’t give you the feeling of being incomplete. It is hinted that there is more to come, but the main story of The Liar Society is completed within this novel, which is always a good thing. No mean cliffhanger here! 









About the Authors


Lisa and Laura Roecker are sisters-turned-writing-partners with a passion for good books, pop culture and Bravo programming. Not necessarily in that order. Lisa has always been a phenomenal liar and Laura loves to write angsty poetry, so writing for young adults seemed like a natural fit. The sisters live in Cleveland, Ohio in separate residences. Their husbands wouldn't agree to a duplex.