Tuesday, January 27, 2015

[Book Blast], [Guest Post], & [Giveaway] Love, Lucy by April Lindner


I am so excited that LOVE, LUCY by April Lindner releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome guest post from the author in which she shares “Some Rules of the Road” for traveling abroad, as Lucy did in the book.

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful new book by Author April Linder, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blast also includes a giveaway for a copy of the book courtesy of Rockstar Book Tours and 3 signed JANE posters courtesy of the author. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post!


About LOVE, LUCY

Title: LOVE, LUCY
Author: April Lindner
Release date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 304
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description:

While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.

Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


About April Lindner


April Lindner is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, releasing January 27, 2015. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.



The Guest Post

SOME RULES OF THE ROAD

Like Lucy Sommersworth, the heroine of Love, Lucy, my parents gave me the gift of a lifetime: a backpacking trip to Europe. I was a bit older than Lucy—22, and just out of college—but when I arrived in Milan, Italy with a Eurail pass, a copy of Let’s Go: Europe, and a seventy-pound backpack I could barely lift, I was a wee bit terrified. Like Lucy, I spoke only a little bit of Italian, just barely enough to get by, and I wasn’t particularly good at reading maps or train schedules. Unlike Lucy, I was travelling solo.

Luckily, my journey began with training wheels. I’d just taken a college Italian class, and my professor had offered a safe crash pad for the first few days of my trip—in her family home in the Alps. Less luckily, when I reached Malpensa airport, nobody was there to pick me up. Giddy with excitement and jet lag, I wandered around the airport, eavesdropping on Italians as they hugged each other hello and goodbye, and had noisy arguments. I’d never felt more alone in my life. Where would I sleep that night if my ride didn’t show up?

Luckily, my professor’s brother arrived at last to whisk me away to the family home in Domodossola. The extended family welcomed and fed me, gave me tours of their city with its charming medieval center, helped me practice my Italian, and, when the time was right, brought me to the train station where my solo travels began for real. It was time to take off the training wheels. 

If I’d felt alone back in the airport, I was even more so on that train to Verona, a city where I didn’t know a soul. In those pre-internet days, I could disappear into thin air and nobody would even notice I was gone. The thought was chilling, but oddly exciting.

By nightfall, I’d made it to Verona. I’d figured out the public transportation, found a youth hostel, and booked myself a bed. Best of all, I had introduced myself to a handful of other backpackers. We hung out together in the hostel’s common area, sharing bread and cheese, exchanging stories, discussing the rules of the road—those bits of practical wisdom our travels were teaching us. Here are a few.


Time passes differently on the road.  Spend a few very intense hours seeing the sites with strangers and by the end of the day, those strangers have become a part of your story. Years later you’ll see their faces in your photo album and still remember stray details of the adventures you shared together, even if you can’t quite recall their names. 


Spontaneity is key.  There are few things as magical as showing up at a train station with no idea where you’re headed next, picking a random train, and hopping on. 

Janis Joplin said it best: Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.  When you’re carrying all your possessions on your back in a city where you don’t know a soul, you’re absolutely free. You can go anywhere, do anything. That freedom has its lonely moments—but it can be the doorway to all kinds of adventures.


Embrace misadventure.  As carefully as you plan there will be crazy mistakes: wrong turns, slept-through train stops, multilingual misunderstandings, and all kinds of other blunders—and these will make the best stories. My misadventures are some of my favorite memories. The time I missed curfew and had to climb into my hostel through a second-story window. The morning when, hanging out my recently washed clothes to dry, I dropped my wet underthings out the window, onto a stranger’s head. The night when, with no room to stay in, I slept on Venice’s train station steps with about a hundred other backpackers, the stars above us and the Grand Canal stretched out before us.

Would I trade that last memory for a safe, comfy night in an actual bed?  Not on your life.


The Giveaway

There is a blast-wide giveaway, ending February 6th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific, for:

  • 1 copy of LOVE, LUCY to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository – Int’l
  • 3 JANE posters (signed) – US only

Enter in the Rafflecopter below...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 23, 2015

[Review] Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield 

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Series: N/A 
Release Date: September 2014

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings… 

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the 'Afterworld' to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

Before I start, I just want to say I never read a Scott Westerfield book before this. But I have heard all the great, amazing reviews from his Uglies series. I was interested in getting this book when I saw it at BookCon last year, and purchased it just recently. With all the hype and expectation, I unfortunately leave more disappointed than I thought.

The story is told in alternating chapters of protagonist Darcy Patel and the main character of the book she wrote, Lizzie. With Darcy's chapters, everything seems to fall into place for her in the beginning. She gets an apartment Day 1 of searching, she hooks up and gets together with a fellow author, whose real name she doesn't even know, a few weeks into her life in New York City, and above all, she just immediately lands an six-digit contract for a book she wrote for NaNoWriMo. And to top it all off, she's shy of 18. While prodigies in the world of novels can happen, at the rate Darcy is going, she's living the high life, without much of the hard work it takes to reach said life. However, getting insight to the world of publishing is a plus. Tours, sister debuts, signings - you see the similarities to being a rockstar, no? 

For Lizzie, I thought I was hooked when I read the first few chapters, because the concept of psychopomps (aka Grim Reapers) is an new and unfamiliar one. But as exciting as it may seem, I grew tired of hearing of Yamaraj's hotness or how shocking and tingly his kisses were. I heard it almost every chapter; if I wasn't already hearing about Darcy and Imogen's kissing, I was reading about Yama's and Lizzie's. 

If there wasn't such a focus on kissing and romance, there could have been an expansion of the plot/characters. Darcy even makes a mention of how dully her characters are described in the end - there is no true physical description of any of the side characters and even Lizzie herself. Yamaraj seemed to have it all, physical attributes and depth. Several characters, such as Agent Reyes, her dad (name unknown), and Jamie could have been explored. The world of the psychopomps could have been explored. Scenes at some points were vague and hard to imagine, especially those with Mr. Hamlyn. Although Untitled Patel is in the works, would there be a sequel, as Darcy's story is basically done? 

Lizzie and Darcy switched my interest halfway through the book. Lizzie was interesting for the first half and got more and more lovesick with Yamaraj; Darcy finally captivated my interest with her conflict/somewhat breakup with Imogen. Finally, we see the difficulties of pretending to be an adult in the big city and her development as she tries to cope. 

Alternating chapters cut into my train of thought; should they have been separated entirely, as Meg Cabot did when she wrote Mia Thermopolis's book Ransom My Heart? I am divided on the issue as Darcy makes frequent references to her novel and these references either show up before or after her chapter in her Afterworld's book. Perhaps they should have been divided into a part 1/part 2. 

Was this meant to be a parody, portraying how young authors start off, with books that aren't so great and need development? Afterworlds started off strong, and in the end, Darcy Patel's story finished stronger. But another book, maybe one separate from her author Darcy Patel, would be great to explain and further the world of death. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (15) - Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Waiting on Wednesday



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

Fairest by Marissa Meyer 
(The Lunar Chronicles #0.1)
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 27th, 2015








Goodreads Summary:
In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.


Why Fairest?
The Lunar Chronicles is my current favorite series and I can't wait to learn all about Queen Levana. I'm a huge fan of back stories- learning who they are, what made them that way. A full novel about one of my favorite villains and will full color art? Yes. Yes. YES. I can't wait for next week!

(Also we currently have a giveaway going on for the first book of the series, Cinder. You can enter here!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (6) - Top Ten Book Boyfriends

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a an original feature/ weekly meme that was created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new topic is presented and this week's is:

FREEBIE
Since this week's topic is a freebie, we have decided to do Top Ten Book Boyfriends

Alice's Picks

Valek


1. Valek from Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

2. Ash from The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

3. Jackal from The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

4. Ari from Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

5. Gavriel Duval from Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers






Yiling's Picks

Will

1. Cassel from White Cat by Holly Black

2. Adrian from the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead

3. Finn from Born Wicked by Jessica Shea

4. Wolf from Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

5. Will from Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Sunday, January 18, 2015

[Review] Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

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Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay 

Rating: 4 Stars
Series: N/A
Release Date: December 2014

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

Sleeping Beauty/Aurora has always been my favorite Disney princess. Although this book is marketed as the story of Sleeping Beauty's daughter, there is very little similarity. Remember Prince Phillip? The dashing true love of Aurora that woke her up from her eternal sleep and freed her from her curse? He has been replaced by Prince Stephan. Nope, he doesn't have any of the qualities that Prince Phillip has. In fact, he is an unfaithful husband that tricked Sleeping Beauty into marrying him and he has not one, not two, but three wives! Oh, and his stepmother is an ogre and the primary antagonist.

I was kind of disappointed with the idea that it's supposed to be a Sleeping Beauty retelling of some sort. The book would have fared perfectly fine if it hadn't been based off of a fairy tale since at the moment, the only things from the actual fairy tale are some of the names and the presence fairies. Aside from that, it wasn't a bad story at all. There weren't many draggy parts throughout and I was engrossed throughout, especially towards the last quarter of the book. As far as I know, this is a standalone book, which is great because the ending is wonderful. I can't think of how Stacey Jay could possibly continue Aurora and Niklaas's story and keep it up on par with the amount of action and adventure in Princess of Thorns.

Last but not least, the characters. Sometimes the characters are just infuriating. Why on earth would Aurora do that to Niklaas when she knows very well the consequences due to her fairy magic? (That was my attempt at being as spoiler free as possible). I know she was trying to help Niklaas but that was downright stupid. I also felt Jay could have developed some of the supporting characters some more. We saw multiple dimensions to Aurora and Niklaas, but the supporting characters, like Jor, Thyne, and others are quite boring.

I debated between giving this book a 3 and a half or 4 stars, and ultimately decided on the latter since despite its flaws, it made a great story and the idea was interesting.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

[Giveaway] Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop

dreaming of books 2015

For our Dreaming of Books Giveaway, enter the world of fairytales with an eBook of Cinder by Marissa Meyer, a book inspired by the classic tale of Cinderella.


Open internationally!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

[Review] The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost

The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost

Rating: 4 Stars 
Series: The Paladin Prophecy #1
Release Date: September 2012

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Will West is careful to live life under the radar. At his parents' insistence, he's made sure to get mediocre grades and to stay in the middle of the pack on his cross-country team. Then Will slips up, accidentally scoring off the charts on a nationwide exam.

Now Will is being courted by an exclusive prep school . . . and is being followed by men driving black sedans. When Will suddenly loses his parents, he must flee to the school. There he begins to explore all that he's capable of--physical and mental feats that should be impossible--and learns that his abilities are connected to a struggle between titanic forces that has lasted for millennia.

Co-creator of the groundbreaking television series Twin Peaks, Mark Frost brings his unique vision to this sophisticated adventure, which combines mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural.

In the beginning of the book, I was confused. The first few chapters will throw readers into sudden action with very little explanation other than the fact that Will West is a very special kid - he can run practically as fast as a cheetah, can throw images at people that change their perception, and is a super genius. Which makes him - well, you don't know that until the very end of the book. So for a good part of it, readers, expect to be confused, and just call him that "special" kid. 

He's sent to a school for all other special kids, and by this time, if you've read Harry Potter, you'll be seeing some similarities. There are the bullies, slimy and unpleasant Lyle and the track runner/jock Todd, and their stereotypical bully/antagonist behavior is made up for with Will's new friends. Mostly. Elise has her sarcasm and secrets, Nick has his jokes and silly nature, and Ajay has his technological-savvy charisma, and I found them entertaining and likable. The only one I was put off by (slightly) was Brooke, while she has believable characteristics of being extremely kind and is a stickler for rules, even I could see when she first appeared that she would be the love interest of Will's. Damsel-in-distress syndrome and a kiss for saving her in the end; I make my point. 

On that note, although the romance is more so on the side than the main part of this adventure, Will getting to kiss both the female protagonists? Really? Elise, I could forgive; she does end up "awakening" and unlocking what makes her special later on in the novel. And her secrets make it pretty obvious she's not really into Will. But the whole Will/Brooke romance felt rushed and expected. More development on this in later books would be nice.

Will's guardian angel Dave (and Dave doesn't tell us he's a guardian angel until he's allowed to, so you just think he's some otherworldly being until he does so) does most of the explaining for Will's predicament. Even then, I'm left confused. The Never-Was? Lamia? Monsters? Paladins? It all does not seem believable until the end. But I do like how Frost incorporates history (Charlemagne's Knights aka The Paladins) and monsters. Forget vampires and wizards. Will's an Initiate (I still have no idea what that really is, an unfortunate downside). 

The middle and end picked up from the very confusing beginning. I was able to actually understand what was going on as Dave explained to Will and as Will and the gang slowly uncovered the secrets of their school. And their are many more secrets to uncover, with Will's parentage coming into play. 

Now would I recommend this book? Yes and no. Yes, it was a great, quick read full of unexpected elements that deviate from the norm of witches and vampires and werewolves and incorporating historical facts into it. The characters were mostly diverse and hopefully we see more development from them in future novels. But some cons. Reading through some sections, such as Will's mind projection, were hard to imagine in the modern setting of America. If you're confused by certain aspects of the book, like the angels and the Initiates and the Hierarchy and all the things Dave the guardian angel tried to explain, it may be harder to get into this series. And even if the characterization was a positive, it also was a negative, as I stated with the romance. 

The second book, Alliance, I will be reading, to find out what awaits our heroes, and to clear whatever confusion I retained after finishing The Paladin Prophecy




Waiting on Wednesday (14) - The Heart of Betrayal

Waiting on Wednesday

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

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson 
(The Remnant Chronicles #2)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: July 7th, 2015






Goodreads Summary:
Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.


Why The Heart of Betrayal?
I read the first book in the series, The Kiss of Deception, and I absolutely loved it! It is the first 5 star I gave to a book in a long time (you can read my review here), so no doubt I am looking forward to reading the sequel. I also really want to meet the Vendan Komizar that was spoken of by the Vendans in the first book; he seems like an interesting character. Of course, I also want to see how the relationships between Rafe, Lia, and Kaden play out.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (5) - Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a an original feature/ weekly meme that was created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new topic is presented and this week's is:

Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To

Yiling's Picks
Oh man 2014 had so many great books that I meant to read but (unfortunately) didn't have enough time for. (So many books, so little time!)

1. The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski
I heard so many great things about this book and it immediately came to my mind when I saw this week's topic. I'm still pining for a copy of this book (and enough time to read it of course)

2. Messenger of Fear (Messenger of Fear #1) by Michael Grant
I actually featured this book before in a Waiting on Wednesday. (which you can check out here) Sadly I still have not gotten to it but I hope to fixed this soon!

3. City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6) by Cassandra Clare
There's so many books in the Mortal Instruments world and I think that with all of the new spinoffs of the series being announced that I just put this one out of my mind?? I did start it and I loved it, but then I started college and just had no time to finish the book. But here's to hoping that I finish it in 2015! *fingers crossed*

4. Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi
Another series that I have yet to finish but can't wait until I do. I'm afraid that I won't remember what happened in the first two books but maybe when I start reading it I'll remember everything? (Also I think that I read a spoiler about this book but I'm hoping that it was false)

5. Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch
The summary sounds so interesting! It's been a while since I read anything high fantasy but the premise sounds so appealing and I have a feeling that I'm going to love it when I read it.


Alice's Picks
1. Talon (Talon #1) by Julie Kagawa
Okay, I am so ashamed by this! Julie Kagawa is one of my favorite authors and I was looking forward to Talon for a while. I actually started it, but then college took over and I never had the chance to finish it. But I WILL read it!

2. Atlantia by Ally Condie
Based on the title and synopsis, this seems to take from the legend of the lost city of Atlantis and I have always been fascinated by that. Besides that, this book has gotten some rave reviews!

3. Defy (Defy #1) by Sara B. Larson
A prince and a sorcerer? Yes, please! I enjoy reading books that involve some type of magic in it, which is probably why I read a lot of fantasy. And that cover! It's simple yet gorgeous; the colors are very eye catching. I'll be the first to admit that I do judge a book by it's cover sometimes!

4. Death Sworn (Death Sworn #1) by Leah Cypess
Ever since Poison Study, I have become fascinated with assassins in YA literature, especially in fantasy novels (think GracelingGrave Mercy).

5. Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch
This is on Yiling's list as well, but unfortunately I also didn't get to read it. However, I have the book so I'll definitely finish it in 2015! This book is also considered "similar" by goodreads to The Kiss of Deception, which I really enjoyed so I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Welcoming our Guest Reviewer!

We are very excited to announce our new guest reviewer over here are Wonderland Novels, Raisa
We interviewed Raisa so that all of you can get to know her better.

Yiling and Alice: Welcome to our blog! Thank you so much for joining us.



Raisa: Thank you so much for inviting me. 

Y&A: So Raisa, tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

R: I'm currently a college student on a pre-med track. My favorite color is purple and my favorite animal is a cat. I love to hang out with my friends and shop. I also enjoy writing, reading, and playing video games in my spare time. And my favorite dish is seafood pad thai!

Y&A: Oh, that's great! Have you read any good books lately?

R: Well I've been so busy with college I haven't been able to read as often, but I did finish Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott Card and Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne by David Gaider.

Y&A: Yeah! We definitely understand; we actually had to take a break from blogging a few months ago due to college. Who is your favorite author?

R: I have a couple - Meg Cabot, Orson Scott Card, and John Green.

Y&A: What was your first book love?

R: I remember reading in the third grade the first Harry Potter and immediately getting into it; every time a new Harry Potter came out I would finish it in a matter of days. It led me to reading other series like The Princess Diaries and Artemis Fowl.

Y&A: Thank you again for joining our team! We look forward to reading your posts and we're sure our readers are as well! :-)

Raisa's first review will be up shortly, and in the mean time, please give her a huge welcome! 



Thursday, January 8, 2015

[Review] The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

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The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Rating: 5 Stars
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Release Date: July 2014

Goodreads synopsis:


A princess must find her place in a reborn world.
She flees on her wedding day.
She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.
She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.


The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.


Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.


The first few chapters were interesting and it got me right in, but after that, things were so draggy and slow to the point where I put it down for a day and started another book. However, I heard that the second half is better and overall, I've heard great things about this book so I really didn't want to give up on it. I continued it and boy, am I glad I did! It gets so much better in the latter half. Everything happens pretty fast and I felt so bad for Lia and teared up. :-( There are good books and then there are the books that move me to tears...and this was one of them! Mary Pearson does a great job making it seem as if I was not only reading it, but rather I was actually there watching the action unfold.

Some aspects of the world that Ms. Pearson has created remain pretty unclear and sometimes confusing, like the religious aspects and the magical elements. At the same time, however, the world of The Kiss of Deception is truly unique and I find myself wanting to know more about each Kingdom. I'd even say that this series is on the verge of being high fantasy.

As for the characters, I love Lia; in fact, I'd go so far to say that she is probably my favorite YA heroine ever. She takes her fate to her own hands while acknowledging forces beyond her control, she's caring without being unrealistically selfless, she's talented without being unrealistically excellent in everything, and she's kickass without being annoying. Bottom line, she's a realistic and easily likable character. I also love both Kaden and Rafe and I thought it was interesting how the author doesn't make it clear who's the assassin and who's the prince until halfway throughout the story; I actually thought they were the other way around based on their physical descriptions.

Normally, I'm not too fond of love triangles since the girl tends to dilly dally and lead both of them on an that annoys me to no end, but this love triangle is different. Despite both men clearly having feelings for her, I knew and Lia herself knew who she loves based on her actions and thoughts and there is no hesitation.

I will be eagerly awaiting the second book, The Heart of Betrayal, which cannot come sooner.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (13) - The Witch Hunter


Waiting on Wednesday

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

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker 
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 2nd 2015 







Goodreads Summary:
Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. When she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to die at the stake. Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can track down the person who laid a deadly curse on him.

As she's thrust into the world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and all-too-handsome healers, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate. 


Why The Witch Hunter?
The title immediately captured my attention since I love books/tv shows/movies involving magic and opposition against magic (ex. TV show Merlin, the Study series by Maria V. Snyder, etc) so I want to see how this plays out. The plot is also interesting and the concept of "witch hunters" in YA is pretty unique and something I have yet to see.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

[Blog Tour] Interview with Madeline Wynn & Giveaway



Today we have an interview with the author of Daughter of the FallenMadeline Wynn!
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About the Author
Madeline Wynn holds a master's degree in procrastination.  When she's not writing, she can be found ghost hunting, gardening and parading around her home state of Connecticut with her husband, dog and two kids.
Her latest book is the YA paranormal, Daughter of the Fallen.
For More Information

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Interview
Alice: Thanks for joining us today, Madeline.  Can we begin by having you tell us how you got into the YA paranormal genre?

Madeline:  I’ve always loved a good ghost story, so when I moved to New England I decided that I’d go ahead and take a ghost hunting class.  I was obsessed with all of those shows on TV, so I figured it would be fun.  As it turned out, it scared the hell out of me.  Not so much the whole, dead Aunt Mary hanging out on the staircase part, but the demons in the attic part.  

By the last week of class, sleep and I were no longer on speaking terms.  So I decided to go ahead and try and write a novel about all of my worst fears and the book was born. 

Alice: Is writing what you’ve wanted to do all your life? 

Madeline:  Yes and no.  I originally wanted to grow up and be the ruler of a small country, but that hasn’t really worked out.

I’ve been writing all of my life, so it’s become a part of me more than a profession, per se.

Alice: I would love to know more about your character, May Krieg.  Would you like to tell us about her?

Madeline:  She’s a teen who feels a bit like an outsider. She lives in a wealthy suburb and she’s the girl who has to shop at second-hand stores and doesn’t have the money to drop on weekly manicures and things, but she’s quirky and always the first to volunteer to work at a soup kitchen or make lunch for the homeless. 

She’s also a bit na├»ve and can be a bit too quick about drawing up assumptions about people.  That being said, even though she’s not in with the popular kids, she’s extremely devoted to the friends that she does have and would walk through fire for the people she cares about. 

Alice: Who is Jack?

Madeline:  He’s the “it” boy.  He’s got the money and the looks and the charm to rule the world.

But on the inside he’s broken.  His mother has passed away and his dad is never around, and throws money at him in the hopes that it will replace any actual parenting that he should be doing.  He’s left to his own devices all the time, so he has become very self-sufficient but also a bit cold on the outside.  He’s slow to warm up to people because on the inside he’s worried that they’ll just abandon him the way his parents have.

Alice: What are you working on now?

Madeline:  The sequel to DAUGHTER OF THE FALLEN.  The book ends on a hook so I have to make sure readers aren’t left in the dark for too long!

Alice: Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans and readers?

Madeline:  Thank you so much for reading!  I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to reach out!

Alice: Thank you very much for your time!
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Giveaway

Madeline Wynn is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
This giveaway begins November 3 and ends January 31.
Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, February 2.
Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

Top Ten Tuesday (4) - Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a an original feature/ weekly meme that was created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new topic is presented and this week's is:

Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015






1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
2. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
3. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
4. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
5. Duplicity by N.K. Traver
6. The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
7. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
8. Vendetta by Catherine Doyle
9. Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein
10. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

We wish you a happy and healthy year, and may all your dreams come true in 2015!

In 2015, we hope to improve upon this blog! But we need your help and input - complete our End of the Year Survey here.
In 2015, we will be attending BookCon again and possibly BEA in the spring, as well as other bookish events.
In 2015, we hope to read and review many amazing new books! And to kick that off...

Our first read of 2015 is...

Alice:
The Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson

Yiling:
The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
20578940


xoxo