Crimson Frost- Jennifer Estep
I am so INVOLVED in the Frost series it is not even funny. I’d give up a letter to go to Hogwarts if I could go to Mythos instead.
Our gypsy girl, Gwen, has grown so much and it is wonderful to watch her progression from misfit to heroine over the course of these books. She isn’t perfect but she is so relatable and endearing. Her supporting cast is hard to beat too—Daphne, Carson, Logan, even that insult spouting sword Vic. Crimson Frost picks up where Dark Frost left off, and we FINALLY have a first date between Gwen and the Spartan Logan. Well what happens on this first date defies imagining. If you’re on the side of good, and you ought to be, you spend most of this book annoyed and frustrated at red tape, idiot adults and moronic bureaucratic processes. That being said, throughout this book I felt Gwen was closer to disaster than all the previous ones. Not only is there a threat to her life, but there is a questioning of her character, her intentions, her self. As always though, Gwen faces her trials with grace and unrelenting determination. I loved every second of it. I will warn that the ending GUTTED me. Devastated. I may not get out of bed tomorrow sad. Yet hope endures.
The world of Mythos, even with evil Reapers and a freed Loki, feels like home. I relish every word of this series and cannot wait, seriously CAN.NOT. (hint, hint) to find out what happens next.
Crimson Frost is out now from Kensington Publishing. Get your copy here!
e-Galley provided gratis by Kensington Publishing via Netgalley.
Real Mermaids Don’t Need High Heels- by Hélène Boudreau
Real Mermaids Don’t Need High Heels is the third book in the Real Mermaids series. I will say that it most certainly helps if you have read the first two books before reading this one; there is quite a bit of back-story and character connections that make much more sense if you read the series in order. I thought THIS book, however, was adorable. Jade has quite a bit of gumption for a fish out of water (pun intended). The friendships are strong throughout the book but in particular between Jade and Cori, the romantic entanglements age appropriate and the high school nerves accurate for the new freshmen. While I was skeptical of the ability of a 14 year old to spearhead and complete a revolution in a day, I relished Jade’s time on land navigating the problems of high school dances, school elections, sports teams and the big dance. I would highly recommend this series for pre-teen and early teen readers interested in mermaids or just looking for a fun, silly, easy read.
Real Mermaid’s Don’t Need High Heels is out from Sourcebooks on February 1st . Pre-order your copy here.
E-galley provided gratis by Sourcebooks via Netgalley
Georgetown Academy by Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz
I don’t even know where to start with Georgetown Academy apart from the fact that I wish I could have gone to school there. Think Gossip Girl meets D.C. politics. Yes and yes and yes! The story rotates among several characters all with parents in politicians in D.C. This group of elite, privileged students function as much on scandal and PR spin as they do on fashion. Did you just die a little because I did. The clothes! DEAR GOD THE CLOTHES! They only thing hotter than the fashion is the rumors and maybe a certain makeout scene. Ellie is my favorite character with her sweet nature and torn heart. Evan is the budding journalist and the will she/wont she sell her best friend up the river for her big break question is gripping! Brinley is the resident mean girl and while she might be a self-important, queen bee she manages to run GA but not her own life well. Even I feel a bit bad for her. Taryn is the naive new girl and most certainly a threat to the existing social order. The boys too run the gamut from good, to bad, to gay, to douchey. I sincerely couldn’t get enough of this tangled web they have weaved. I immediately bought Book 2. Georgetown Academy is the perfect read to keep you busy while waiting for Santa to arrive so get it now!
eGalley provided gratis via Coliloquy.
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Firstly, let me apologize that a hurricane got in the way of this post going live. So forgive the Halloween reference.
With Halloween rapidly approaching, I was craving a good creepy read. What’s creepier than zombies? Nothing. But seriously, rotting flesh: gross. I was so happy that I chose Alice in Zombieland because frankly I’m OBSESSED. I love the way that Showalter has taken aspects of the traditional Wonderland story and twisted them to fit into this world. The white rabbit and Kat are two that spring to mind. Alice Bell is way cooler than the original Alice, though with they share the same curiousity. She’s kick ass, stubborn, witty, smart, and yet vulnerable, kind and emotional. Her counter-part, one Mr. Cole Holland, is tough, strong, did I mention HOT yet? He is definitely well matched by Alice. I really, really enjoyed their story though I’m worried Showalter is going to make us readers jump through some flaming hoops before we’ll get to have a happy ending for these two. I cannot believe I need to wait an entire year for the next book!
Alice in Zombieland is available now. Get your copy here.
ARC proviceded gratis by Harlequin Teen.
The Gleaning- Heidi R. Kling
I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour for Two and Twenty Dark Tales, a charity anthology from Month9Books that re-imagines classic Mother Goose nursery rhymes in a delightfully creeptastic way. I’ve previously reviewed the book and you can check out my thoughts on it here. I’m pleased to present for your reading pleasure an interview with Georgia McBride, author and publisher for Month9!
1. Where did the idea of a compilation of dark version of Mother Goose tales come from, and how did you find the awesome collection of authors on this book?
I have always thought of Mother Goose rhymes in particular as being dark, and not necessarily comforting. As for the authors, I simply sent an email asking writerly friends I’ve made if they wanted to participate. I was pretty surprised by the response.
2. The stories in this book were creepy in a variety of ways. I think it’s perfect for the Halloween season. Which story in the anthology did you personally find the most scary or disturbing? Why?
It might sound self-serving, but I’ve read many reviews that say Little Miss Muffet, my story, was rather disturbing. Some have called it downright gross. That’s probably because my poem, Humpty Dumpty wasn’t featured in the galley version of the book. It is equally disturbing and extremely sad. Thinking about it chokes me up.
3. If there was a theme song for Two and Twenty Dark Tales what would it be?
Them Bones by Alice in Chains.
4. Month9Books has stated that there will be a charity anthology like Two and Twenty Dark Tales every year. How did you reach this decision, and can you explain the publication’s commitment to charity anthologies? Do you have an idea of what you’re going to do next?
Yes! Next year’s anthology is called Very Superstitious: Myths, Legends, and Stories of Superstition. Proceeds from sales of the first 5,000 copies will be donated to SPCA International. We will continue to publish a charity title annually. We believe we can make a difference, one word at a time.
5. Where do the proceeds for Two and Twenty Dark Tales go to? Can you tell us about this charity?
, an organization close to my heart, that fosters the advancement of young adult literature around the world.
6. You currently wear many hats—author and publisher being two of those. How do you balance your various responsibilities, and which do you like the most? Why?
Balance is hard, but necessary. As a writer, I am responsible to myself, my agent, and in some ways, my family. As a publisher, my responsibility extends to Month9Books authors, their agents, their families, our staff, our distributor, our partners. It is a heavy weight, but I carry it gladly and with pride. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
7. What forthcoming release from Month9Books are you most excited for?
Is it wrong to say my own? Praefatio releases May 2013.
8. This is a free and open question. Tell us something original, unique, interesting. Whatever you want to share.
Hmmmm. I have size 10 feet. My fave super hero is Batman. I have a huge crush on Jared Leto. When I was in high school, I wanted to change my name to Stephanie. Don’t know if any of the above makes me original, unique, or interesting.
Thank you to Georgia and Month9 for that awesome interview! Be sure to order your copy of Two and Twenty Dark Tales today!
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
And be sure to check out the other tour stops for more interviews, guest posts and prizes!
The Scorpio Races- Maggie Stiefvater
I waited a long time to pick up this book, but I am SO SO SO glad I did. I have always loved Maggie’s writing and her stunning prose continues in The Scorpio Races. She has a talent for stringing words together in a musical way. I actually listened to this book as an audiobook which is harder for me to like generally. However, the writing was so lovely and the narrators’ voices so perfect for the characters, I refused to get out of my car because I needed to keep listening. Seriously, I sat there for an hour just to hear more. Steve West should make a recording of him reading the dictionary because I’d buy that just to listen to the soothing timbre of his voice. I don’t think I’ve been that relaxed in ages. Fiona Hardingham is amazing too.
But I digress, the story of The Scorpio Races is unique. The capaill uisce are dangerous sea horses who who run on blood lust and the siren call of the sea, and they are as lethal as they are beautiful. Sean and “Puck” are beyond endearing protagonists. They are both loyal, protective, fierce, passionate and stubborn. It’s a perfect match. I am head over heels for this story, for the Thisby island, for Kate Connolly and Sean Kendrick, and for the deadly Scorpio race that rules them all. I only wish I had entered their world sooner.
This book is out now from Scholastic. The audiobook is from Scholastic Audio. You can get your copy here.
The Lost Prince- Julie Kagawa
Julie has done it again! The Lost Prince is a continuation of Iron Fey series focusing on Ethan, Meghan’s younger brother. OH EM EFF GEE is this book awesome. If you’re a fan of the Iron Fey you’re going to have plenty of beloved characters return, some great references to previous books and in particular the novellas, and best of all you get to return to the amazing Never Never Julie has created for us. Let’s all take a moment to appreciate Ethan who while damaged by the fey (who wouldn’t be!) is totally swoon worthy and heroic. He is self-sacrificing, protective, brave, and at times a petulant child. I found his voice to be particularly interesting, actually far more so to me than Meghan’s was I think. His trusty sidekick and love interest is probably my favorite current heroine in any book series right now, Kenzie. Girlfriend is tough as nails and slow to reveal her vulnerabilities. I’ve decided we’re soul sisters. My heart’s already breaking for the two of them because it’s hard to see how they can possibly have a happy ending. The Lost Prince is a great start to Ethan’s story and I for one cannot wait to find out what twists and turns Julie has up her sleeve for this one!
The Lost Prince is due out October 23rd from Harlequin Teen. Pre-order your copy here.
e-Galley provided gratis via Netgalley.
I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for Stephanie Lawton’s Want. My review is directly below this so be sure to check that out as well as enter to win your own e-copy of Want. There’s some music links embedded in my review so make sure you listen to them at the appropriate breaks. And check back next week when I’ll be putting up a WANT photo tour of Alabama.
WANT Review: Want is dark, twisted, gripping and psychologically fascinating. The book is a sensory experience centered primarily on music but including taste and color and other sounds as well. I was lucky enough to actually read this book while I was driving through Alabama and so I have a true appreciation for the setting now. When you get to Alabama this is the song that comes to mind:
Instead what you have is surprising and lovely and more like this:
Mobile here acts as the gilded cage superficial and pretty on the outside but rotting within. The importance of appearance, of perception by the community and the negative consequences of social hierarchies are all fundamental to the story (think “A Rose for Emily”). Honestly it is impossible for me to picture this story outside of the South. Now I wonder what is lurking behind all that sweet tea and southern charm. As for characters, our heroine is flawed but lovable and has two equally lovable men vying for her. The artistic geniuses (Julianne and Isaac) are both disturbing in their own ways and watching them battle themselves and each other throughout the book is like watching a train wreck. You know it is all sorts of terrible and tragic and cannot end well but dear god you cannot look away. There are so many tough topics that are covered that looking back I’m not sure how Lawton was able to accomplish it all! She manages to touch upon depression, mood disorders, abuse, pedophilia, self-mutilation, slander and suicide all in one plot line. I was uncomfortable the whole way through—a sign it was done well. Sarcasm provides moments of comic relief but never lets you fully come down from the emotional rollercoaster. There was something of Romeo and Juliet here as well, not the tragic lovers but definitely in the flawed action or inaction of the adults that surround them resulting in dire consequences. I will say the ending made me quite happy which was a necessity in my opion. Music fans, piano fans, Alabama fans, psychology fans, or fans of books like Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers or any Ellen Hopkins will definitely love this one. Overall: A
WANT to know more synopsis:
Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche. Julianne can’t understand why Isaac suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it before she inherits her mother’s madness. Isaac knows he must resist his attraction to a student ten years his junior, but loneliness and jealousy threaten his resolve. Their indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past. Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?
WANT Author Bio:
After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting. A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles. On her thirtieth birthday, she mourned (okay bawled) the fact that in no way could she still be considered a “young adult,” so she rebelled by picking up Twilight and promptly fell in love with Young Adult literature. She has a love/hate relationship with Mardi Gras –where does all that money come from?–and can sneeze 18 times in a row.
WANT THE BOOK Giveaway: Rafflecopter here
WANT More Tour Stops: Be sure to check out the other tour stops since every stop has a e-copy giveaway!
July 15-Bookish Brunette-Guest Post
July 16-Wake Up At Seven-Interview
July 17-The Book Vortex
July 19-Literary Exploration-Character Guest Post
July 20-Rumor Has It
July 21-Dreaming in Reviews
July 22-Ladybug Storytime-Guest Post
July 23-Pageturners Blog
July 24-Magnet4Books-Guest Post
July 25-Novel Thoughts Blog
July 26-BookandaLatte-Guest Post
July 27-BlookGirl-Guest Post
July 31-Alluring Reads-Guest Post
August 1-Well Read Reviews
August 2-Sarah Reads Too Much
August 3-Book Brats-Interview
August 5-Girls in the Stacks-Podcast
August 6-The Readiacs-Interview
August 7-Great Imaginations
August 8-Book Twirps-Guest Post
August 10-MundieMoms-Guest Post
August 11-The Aussie Zombie
August 12-YA Sisterhood-Song Lyric Interview
August 13-The Story Siren-Interview
Goodreads WANT: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13432653-want
Goodreads Stephanie Lawton: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5601445.Stephanie_Lawton
Stephanie’s Website: http://stephanielawton.com/
Stephanie’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/StephanieLawtonWriter
Stephanie’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Steph_Lawton
InkSpell Publishing Website: http://www.inkspellpublishing.com/
Seizure- Kathy Reich
Seizure is the sequel to Virals, which if you haven’t read it is fantastic—think Bones style but YA but less socially awkward. Seizure picks up not that long after Virals ended but this time there’s pirates yo! GIRL PIRATES! and Treasure hunting! and murders and medieval manuscripts! and some paranormal elements too. If you don’t know I’ve actually started tearing up I’m so overwhelmed by the awesome—-it’s perfect. Modern day sassy female uses historical artifacts and cunning to find sassy female pirates long lost treasure which may or may not include the most famous medieval manuscript of all time. And it is set in Charleston, where I’m headed this week. DEAR LORD THE BOOK WAS WRITTEN FOR ME.
But in all seriousness, I loved this group of friends from the very start; they kind of remind me of the meddling kids from Scooby-Doo and there’s something Nancy Drew-ish about Tory. They are all so different in personality but complimentary as a team and the friendship aspect is the glue that holds these books together. There are some surprising reappearances, some serious dilemmas, and I’m definitely left thinking there are some potential threats coming along for our little wolfpack in future books. All in all it was an entertaining read that hit all the right notes for me. I will definitely be continuing with this series.
Seizure is out now from Razorbill. Get your copy here.
Endlessly (Paranormalcy #3)- Kiersten White
In Endlessly, Evie is back to being brave and kicking butt. She’s quite angry (and at times whiny) about being manipulated. She faces a pretty big decision in this book and while she kicks and screams her way through it, in the end you know shes the kind of person who will do what is necessary to help others. Her and Lend are great together and there’s a comical obstructive plot twist for them this time around that was genuinely amusing. Reth and Jack find some redemptive qualities and in the end I felt really bad for Reth. On top of all the faerie court drama, the paranormals demands, and trying to have a real teenage experience, the IPCA are facing new internal threats which quickly pull in Evie and company. I had been disappointed in Book 2 to find Evie less sure of herself than she was in Book 1, and it is so good to have the original Evie back, or as close to it as we’re going to get. The story was a good one, fast moving and nicely tying up the series.
Endlessly is due out from HarperTeen July 24th. Pre-order your copy here.
ARC provided gratis via Heidi at YA Bibliophile
Silver (Bandia #1)- Talia Vance
With a plot this racy, Silver felt like a steamy YA romance rather than just another paranormal story for me. Not that it’s a bad thing. There’s a good faerie story with vulnerable leading lady, Brianna, and a boy that’s a suddenly reformed lothario, Blake. I liked both of them, though it took me some time to like them together. There’s a Romeo and Juliet aspect to the plot with feuds threatening the lovers very lives. And then there’s a saucy Brit who may as well be named Mayhem for all the conflicts he initiates. The premise of the Danu story was actually quite a smart commentary on the interpretation or misinterpretation of oral histories. I feel like I learned a bit more about the Irish myths with this one, and I love the idea of power over the four ancient elements (that’d be what I’d wish for if I could have a superpower). Best of all is the interesting ending with lots of potential for future books. Fans of Carrier of the Mark and Mephisto Covenant will definitely like this one as well.
Silver is due out September 8th from Flux Books. You can pre-order your copy here.
eGalley provided gratis by Flux via Netgalley.
The Goddess Legacy- Aimee Carter
I’m not that into short story collections but The Goddess Legacy goes a long, long way in giving us key background information on all the gods and goddesses before Kate came along. In fact, it’s necessary reading in order to get the full picture and motivations. You understand Calliope way better and almost feel bad for her, you find out how Ava came to love Nicholas, and you find out more about Henry which is never a bad thing. I enjoyed the different stories and different points of view immensely. I feel like I know these characters better for having read it and it makes me super excited for the next book. Frankly there’s only one party in this story who comes out looking like an a**hole and it makes me hope that he/she will get what is coming to them.
The Goddess Legacy collection is due out from Harlequin Teen on July 31st! Pre-order your copy here.
e-Galley provided gratis by Harlequin Teen via Netgalley.
Goddess Interrupted- Aimee Carter
Goddess Interrupted is Book 2 in the series and picks up about 6 months after The Goddess Test. Kate is flawed, short-sighted, and rash, but she’s growing on me anyway. At times I thought she was whiny and demanding as a child, but whenever I thought that she’d have this great moment of strength or bravery to combat that impression. Henry is sooo interesting and there’s less of him here than I’d like. I’d love a deeper peek into his psyche but his stoicism doesn’t allow us that often. The glimpses we do get are so wonderfully heartbreaking. The plot of this book is classic Greek revenge but the threat feels way more ominous than the first book. The ending here is brutal and leaves you desperate to know what will happen next. Goddess Interrupted solidified this as a series I’ll keep reading.
Goddess Interrupted is out now! Get your copy here.
Book provided gratis via BEA.