Waiting on Deception’s Princess (Deception’s Princess #1) by Esther M. Friesner (83)

button Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.
It’s all about spotlighting upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.
Share your books and remember to visit Breaking The Spine for more great books!

This week I’m eagerly waiting on:

Deception's Princess (Deception's Princess, #1)

Deception’s Princess (Deception’s Princess #1) by Esther M. Friesner

Expected publication:  22nd April 2014

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

From Goodreads:

Some lies lead to true adventure…

Maeve, princess of Connacht, was born with her fists clenched. And it’s her spirit and courage that make Maeve her father’s favorite daughter. But once he becomes the High King, powerful men begin to circle—it’s easy to love the girl who brings her husband a kingdom.

Yet Maeve is more than a prize to be won, and she’s determined to win the right to decide her own fate. In the court’s deadly game of intrigue, she uses her wits to keep her father’s friends and enemies close—but not too close. When she strikes up an unlikely friendship with the son of a visiting druid, Maeve faces a brutal decision between her loyalty to her family and to her own heart.

ARC Book Review: Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Adaptation (Adaptation, #1)

Title: Adaptation (Adaptation #1)
Author: Malinda Lo
Publisher:
Hodder Children’s Books
Release Date:  3rd April 2014 (original: 18th September 2012)
Genre: Young Adult, paranormal, romance
Format: ebook
Page Count: 432 (paperback)
Source: Netgalley
Rating:

4 of 5 hearts

Birds are attacking planes and dropping dead from the sky. Reese and David are trapped in an airport when the planes are grounded, and make a mad dash to drive home. On the way, a bird attacks their car, and they crash. Waking up a month later, Reese finds that she and David have weird new abilities and are being stalked by the government, and also by someone who is not the government…

Um… not sure if my above summary really describes this book that well. Sure, all the above happens, but it’s a lovely slow burn. The car doesn’t even crash until about Chapter Five or so. The book is a mish-mash of sci-fi, thriller, suspense, and contemporary romance.

I really loved the way Lo wrote all the relationships to Reese. Reese and her mother have an amazingly strong, awesome relationship, and she’s not absent like other YA parents. Reese’s relationships with her love interests (love triangle alert!) are also achingly realistic, from the embarrassment of a first crush to the swooning of a first kiss and ‘coming out’ to your mother.

Lo’s writing has the perfect balance of description, depth and action to move this book forward and she’s not afraid to skimp on the non-action details. That’s not to say that this book is primarily a romance, because it’s not. The romance definitely takes a back seat, but of course there must be some time dedicated to it. But it’s not like the first half is relationship and the second half is action, it’s all weaved through and to be honest, I thought the blossoming lesbian relationship was really sweet. Lo wrote in third person limited which made the inclusion of news items Reese was reading a clever way to insert the the extra information needed instead of switching to omniscience.

I’m not sure I can really talk about what happens in the second half of the novel without spoiling, so suffice to say that I was pretty much horrified when Reese’s liberty was denied over and over, and there was absolutely nothing anyone could do about it, which was the most terrifying aspect of the novel: sanctioned kidnapping and mandatory testing. I’m still struggling to understand why anyone would do such a thing to two minors without their (or their guardian’s) prior consent, and I also have an enormous pet peeve about the representation about a particular group of characters, and even in a sci-fi novel where I can accept birds attacking airplanes and psychic abilities, my suspension of disbelief will only go so far.

But you know what? Lo’s an amazing writer who doesn’t shy away from not whitewashing or, I dunno, ‘sexuality-washing’ her cast. Her cast of characters are as diverse as real people, with all different sexualities and all different colours, which is a lovely thing to see – and even a female President of the United States. Lo’s more progressive than most other writers out there. This book is clearly designed to set up something epic in the second book, but until I whittle down my massive to-reads pile I won’t be getting to it.

Thanks to Hodder Children’s Books and Netgalley for providing this advanced reader copy for an honest review.

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Stacking The Shelves (79)

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.
It’s all about sharing the books we’ve picked up for the week, whether they are bought, borrowed, gifted, galleys, physical or virtual.
Share your shelves and remember to visit Tynga’s Reviews where it all started to find more great books!

Won:

Black Beast (Shadow Thane, #1)

She walks the line between the hunter and the hunted.
Vampires want her blood.
Witches consider her less-than-human.
Slayers simply want her dead.
As if being in high school wasn’t hard enough, Catherine Pierce has to deal with a whole other set of problems that arise from being a shifter that hasn’t settled. Because after puberty, shifters are supposed to stop changing–and Catherine, well, hasn’t.
Even among her own kind, Catherine is regarded as a freak.
To make matters worse, she’d caught the attention of the witches’ Council because they think she’s been dabbling in dark magic because of a stupid old book that popped up at her work. And she’s been having nightmares about a terrifying man who calls himself the Shadow Thane and plans to end the world in a burst of darkness and dragon fire.
Just in case that wasn’t enough, a branch of Slayers are infiltrating Catherine’s town, under the guise of a community youth group called Sterling Rep.
Times are changing and that means, for Catherine, it’s time to Change.

Nenia Campbell is a friend of mine, but she hasn’t written any books I found appealing until this one. Luckily I won a copy in a Booklike giveaway. Thanks, Nenia!

30 Day Animorphs Challenge: Day 15

button 30 day animorphs challenge

Welcome to the Moonlight Library’s 30 Day Animorphs Challenge!
Despite Project Animorphs in 2013, I clearly do not talk about Animorphs enough.
This particular challenge is taken from the Heck Yeah Tumblr Challenges archive on Tumblr.

Day 15: Three moments that broke your heart:

Animorphs was a pretty emotional ride when I re-read them as an adult last year in Project Animorphs. I found myself surprised by how emotional I was reading Marco’s journey, especially considering he’s my least favourite Animorph. If you’d asked me this question before I re-read the books and was basing this on how I responded as a child, my first answer would be different.

Animorphs 30 The Reunion.jpgThe first moment that broke my heart was in Book #30 The Reunion, where Marco sets a trap for his mother Visser One and is then force to carry it out all the way when Jake and Cassie are unexpectedly put out of action. Marco is so brave throughout the entire book and near the end he takes the plunge to ram his mother off the top of a mountain while he’s in goat morph, trying to murder her so she’s no longer a slave to the slug in her head. He’s so convinced he’s going to murder his own mother that he even reveals his true identity, and that’s when my heart broke. When Visser One and Eva both realised Marco was an Animorph.

Animorphs 34 The Prophecy.jpgThe second moment that broke my heart was in #34 The Prophecy, when Cassie is sharing her brain with Aldrea. I’ve always thought of the Hork-Bajir Chronicles as one of the best romances I’ve ever read, and I Aldrea and Dak are my non-core OTP. I love them so hard, and their tragedy breaks my heart. I was particularly heartbroken when Aldrea, after learning to trust Cassie a little, has a nightmare about Dak and her doomed son Seerow. She wakes up and Cassie can’t help but be curious, and she pulls away in her grief. Her husband and son are long dead, and so is she, she’s nothing but a memory, and essence, not a real, complete person. But she still has nightmares, and that broke my heart.

Animorphs bk54.jpg The third moment that really broke my heart was in the final book, #54 The Beginning, when Rachel dies. She asks the Ellimist if she mattered, and he says that she was brave, and good, and yes, she did matter. Rachel was my favourite character and a role model, so having her die really upset me but having the Ellimist confirm how important she was even when she wasn’t one of the four he hand-picked to be part of the team really broke my heart. She was brave. She was good. She mattered.

Other honourable mentions include every time Marco faced his mother, when the experimented on Hork-Bajir died in Cassie’s barn (#36), when Tobias was tortured (#33), when Cassie was forced to complete a mission by herself  and then perform brain surgery on Ax (#39), when Rachel was faced with the choice to murder David (#48), and when Jake sent Rachel after Tom (#53). I’m probably missing a few.

Waiting on Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L Armentrout (82)

button Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.
It’s all about spotlighting upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.
Share your books and remember to visit Breaking The Spine for more great books!

This week I’m eagerly waiting on:

Don't Look Back

Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L Armentrout

Expected publication: 15th April 2014

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

From Goodreads:

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

Release Day Book Blitz: The Romeo Club by Rebekah L Purdy

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The Romeo Club

by Rebekah L Purdy
Release Date: 04/08/14
YA CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE 

Summary from Goodreads:

THE ROMEO CLUB is Hitch meets The Secret of My Success.

What happens when you agree to help your brother “de-nerdify” so he can catch the attention of the popular Chloe Anders, and to everyone’s surprise, he actually lands her?

And what if his equally geeky friends come running with girl wish lists of their own, offering money for your services?

Well, if you’re sixteen-year-old, Delyla Denson, then you start The Romeo Club. A secret club where she’ll teach these guys how talk, act, and be cool around girls. It’s a win-win situation.

She’ll get enough money for the awesome prom dress she’s had her eye on, and the guys, well, they’ll get dates and maybe learn how to do something other than beat the next level on their video games.

There are only two problems with this plan. One, her quarterback/track star boyfriend is getting jealous of how much time she’s spending away from him and decides to try and figure out what’s going on. And two, Delyla is kind of falling for her brother’s BFF, Trey who she’s been hanging out with a lot more. And who thanks to her help, has caught the attention of the beautiful, perfect, and popular, Portia Rickard. With Portia and Trey heating up, Delyla realizes that maybe the person she’s meant to be with has been in front of her all this time.

But falling for Trey means she’ll have to take drastic measures including sabotage, with a capital S.

Available from:

Amazon * Amazon UK

A Few Nerdy/Fun Things You Might Not Know About Me:

So I thought it might be fun to share a few facts about me that some people might know.

1)      I’m a girl gamer. Yep, that’s right, I LOVE video games. Some of my favorites are Dragon Age (1 & 2—totally geeked for 3 to come out this fall on XBOX 360), Fable III, Champions of Norrath (for PS2), and Baldur’s Gate (also PS2), I really like Beyond Two Souls (for PS3), and I play Minecraft with my kids (who got me addicted to it).

2)      My all-time favorite movies are Star Wars IV, V, VI. All the Lord of the Rings movies (including the Hobbit), The Goonies, Labyrinth, A walk to Remember, The Hunger Games, and Pitch Perfect.

3)      My first crush was Luke Skywalker from Star Wars (Don’t judge me, I was young. And besides, the dude carried a lightsaber).

4)      I collect Star Wars stuff—like mugs, stuffed toys, candy dishes, stickers, the Millennium Falcon toy, Star Wars action figures, pics, and books.

5)      My husband and I once turned our house into a “boys vs girls” warzone—complete with makeshift forts, overturned furniture, and Nerf Guns (we also used to play capture the flag in the dark when we had all 6 kids at home—SO FUN). And can’t forget “Forced Family Fun Night” where we stay up until all hours of the night playing board games!

6)      I used to write for my school newspaper and was assigned to co-write the advice column!

And now, I’ll leave you with some words of wisdom (and an awesome Star Wars pic of me and the hubby—LOL): ALWAYS LET YOUR NERD SHOW! And in the wise words of Yoda (who is awesome): “No! Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.

StarWars

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About the Author
Rebekah Purdy grew up in Michigan, where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. When not hiding at her computer and getting lost in her stories, she enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games and hanging out with her kids. She loves the unexplainable like Bigfoot, the Dogman, and the Loch Ness Monster (lots of good story material)! She admits to still having all the books she bought throughout her childhood and teen years, and she may or may not have an obsession with anything chocolate…
Author Links:

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***GIVEAWAY***
1 ebook of The Romeo Club + $10 Amazon Gift Card (UNT)

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ARC Book Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

The Falconer (The Falconer, #1)

Title: The Falconer
Author: Elizabeth May
Publisher:
Chronicle Books
Release Date:  6th May 2014
Genre: New Adult, paranormal
Format: ebook
Page Count: 336 (paperback)
Source: Edelweiss
Rating:

2 of 5 hearts

Nope. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope.

This book started off very strongly and ended up with me ragequitting. Or, I would have ragequit if the book didn’t end in the middle of the climax.

Aileana Kameron is the gorgeous (but she doesn’t know it) daughter of Scottish nobility who is impatient with all things girly and fine and prefers to trash her reputation by skipping out on important social events to slay fairies in the hopes that one day she will face the horror that murdered her mother a year ago.

Aileana was not as likeable as I wanted her to be. She constantly kept information from people who really need it to stay safe. She trashed her reputation, which in 19thC Scotland was really all a girl, even a rich girl, had. She kept referring to herself as a murderer when she’d never killed another person. She’s beautiful and clever and perfect but broken. I liked how headstrong she was and I often despaired at how constricted she was in her life. Her father only wants to marry her off and couldn’t even look at her without pain because she looks like her deceased mother. I wanted to like her more but her habit of biting her tongue to stop from expressing any kind of emotion annoyed me and I really wish she had more of a survival instinct, or at least was more open to sharing important information with the other characters.

I loved the Scottish setting. I loved the weaving of Scottish language and culture through the narrative. I loved the descriptions of Edinburgh, even though it was Steampunk-infused so not entirely historically accurate. I loved the technology. I loved how Aileana beared her scars rather than having the author helicopter her out and keeping her perfect. The writing was really beautiful.

I wasn’t into the romance. It’s not that I particularly didn’t like the fairy she ended up kissing – I won’t say ‘fall in love’ because I never felt it – it’s that I felt their relationship was so plutonic and she made a big deal out of what it was like to be faestruck, so every time she thought about kissing him I just assumed the feelings weren’t legitimate. She never waxed poetic about his personality but was completely obsessed with what he looked like. There were reasons to get swoony over his personality, too – he was fierce, protective, and loyal, even if he was an asshole that enjoyed keeping relevant information to himself for no reason other than the plot demanded it. Thank god there wasn’t a love triangle, although there sure were hints at one.

I hated the twist that made it impossible for her to achieve her goal. I hated how most of the book was sitting around waiting for the particular day the climax was scheduled for. I liked the fighting the first few times but I quickly grew bored when it didn’t move the plot forward. I was bored with the ‘romance’ because I didn’t think it was romantic at all, as I wrote above. The quiet times spent together were completely wasted and in comparison to the action scenes they were also boring. I found myself wondering if I should DNF it, but I was so enchanted by the setting and genre I wanted to keep going.

I can’t even grasp the concept of a Falconer, one literally born to hunt fairies, being unable to see their prey but the males-born Seers can see but are untrained to hunt. I think maybe there was a spell put on the Falconers that made it so they couldn’t see the fairies (to keep them safe) but I might just be making that up to make the book better. I don’t remember – I may have been skimming the book by that point.

I absolutely despised the ending. I think it was meant to be a cliffhanger but it cut off in the middle of a paragraph. I’m assuming this was a mistake and my copy was simply missing the last page, so I’ll fill in the blanks. Kiaran dies. Aileana’s neck gets snapped. The fairies escape and tear apart Scotland and then the world. The end. I simply don’t enjoy it when the main character doesn’t solve their own problems by the end of the book, and the fact that Aileana didn’t achieve her goal frustrates me so much I’m not willing to read the next book. The entire freaking book (once the Big Bad plot was revealed) built up to this massive climax and then we don’t even know if she was successful or not. It’s completely open ended and that’s why I’m ending it this way. If you can’t even write the climax I’m forced to imagine it in my head.

Thanks to Chronicle Books and Edelweiss for providing this review copy for an honest review.

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