2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge



I search around for a YA reading challenge and found a 2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge at FOR THE LOVE OF YA blog. This is one of my favorite challenges and I was beyond happy to find another one. For those that are interested Here are the rules: 1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate. Create a post about the challenge and link your challenge post up in the linky below. --Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post. 2. There are four levels: --The Mini YA Reading Challenge – Read 12 Young Adult novels. --The "Fun Size" YA Reading Challenge – Read 20 Young Adult novels. --The Jumbo Size YA Reading Challenge – Read 40 Young Adult novels. --The Mega size YA Reading Challenge – Read 50+ Young Adult novels. 3. Audio, eBooks, paper, re-reads all count. 4. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed. 5. The Challenge starts on January 1, 2011 and goes until December 31, 2011. Here is my list: (I will post as I go along)




  1. .Matched


  2. .Tempestuous


  3. .Wishful Thinking


  4. .The Iron Queen


  5. .The Lost Saint


  6. .Unearthly


  7. .Anna and the French Kiss


  8. .Mad Love


  9. .The Iron Witch


  10. .Clockwork Angel


  11. .Enclave


  12. .Cryer's Cross


  13. .By These Ten Bones


  14. .Desires of the Dead


  15. .Mockingbirds


  16. .Wake Unto Me


  17. .What I saw and How I lied


  18. .Thirteen Reasons Why


  19. .The Goddess Test


  20. Strings Attached


  21. Red Glove


  22. The Dark and Hallow Places


  23. The Devil's Kiss


  24. Fallen Under


  25. City of Fallen Angels


  26. Die For Me


  27. The Gathering


  28. Ten Miles Past Normal


  29. Divergent


  30. The Iron Thorn














Thank you, and I hope you get a chance to participate also.






END of 2010 Survey



I have seen this blog post on The Broke and the Bookish blog besides some other bloggers of whom I look up to.

1. Best book of 2010 - The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. Hands down. The only book I got for all of my friends.

2. Worst book of 2010 - This book that I am placing on this list was well written and had received much praise it seriously disturbed my sense of peace and messed with my mind. The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith. I don't believe I could ever recommend it to anyone.

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2010 - There are a few that I was can place on this list but the one that stands out for me is The Scorch Trials by James Dasher. That book truly left me with more answers than questions.

4. Most surprising book of 2010 - The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. I had believed that the YA market was oversaturated with Faery stories but I was totally wrong. I adore this series to pieces

5. Book you recommended to people most in 2010 - I talked up The Sky is Everywhere, The Body Finder, Dear Dylan and Please Ignore Vera Dietz for each holds a special place on my "love" list.
6. Best series you discovered in 2010 - The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. The books in this series keep getting better and better.

7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2010 - My favorite hands down is Jandy Nelson. Not only is her book THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE one of my all time favorite reads but she is a sweatheart and always a pleasure to talk to.

8. Most hilarious read of 2010 - This is really easy for me Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green. I laughed out loud on several ocassions and could not get enough of TINY.

9. Book that made you cry the hardest in 2010 - I know that when I read The Secret year by Jennifer Hubbard that I had several tissues moments that I could not stop crying.

10. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2010 - Wither by Lauren Destefano, darkly imaginative and thrilling.

11. Book you most anticipated in 2010 - Hands down Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead. I had to find out what happened next and I was sitting on pins and needles all year waiting for it.

12. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2010 - I adore this spooky cover for The Replacement by Brenna Yavanoff. It totally set the town for this creeptastic novel.
13. Most memorable character in 2010 - Tiny from Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I just love him to pieces.

14. Most beautifully written book in 2010 - Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margie Stohl. Their writing style is simply brilliant and richly descriptive.

15. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010 - Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu. It made me look into hoarding in a way I never had before.

16. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read - The Prince of Mist by Carlos Luis Safron because that book really had me wickedly scared...yikes.

2011 Audio Book Challenge

Due to the fact that I have a wicked commute I rely on my beloved Audio Books to help keep me sane. I love my Young Adult books and have enjoyed some of my favorite reads that way. So I was happy that I found this great Audio Book Challenge on Teresa's Reading Corner BLOG. I included a snippet of the post and a link for those interested in joining. The 2011 Audio Book Challenge will run from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011.





I'm going to go ahead and continue with the same levels that were previously established:






Curious: 3 Audio Books



Fascinated: 6 Audio Books



Addicted: 12 Audio Books



Obsessed: 20 Audio Books






Call me obsessed for I am signing up for 20 Audio Books, Is anyone joining me? To find out more, choose your level of participation and add your name HERE









2011 AUDIO BOOK LIST



(will post as books are ravenously devoured)









  1. Matched






  2. Tempestuous






  3. The Iron Queen






  4. The Lost Saint






  5. Clockwork Angel






  6. Delerium






  7. Cryer's Cross






  8. What I saw and How I lied






  9. Thirteen Reasons Why






  10. Strings Attached






  11. The Devil's Kiss






  12. The Iron Thorn

















































2011 Debut Author Challenge






Yes! it is that time of year again. Out with the old and in with the new list of challenges for the incoming year. Next year promises to be an amazing year for the YA genre and the list of Debut Authors are most inspiring. The Story Siren is gracious enough to host the 2011 Debut Author Challenge and for those that are interested you can read the rules and register HERE










This is my ever growing list of Debut Authors for this challenge:










  1. Cynthia Hand UNEARTHLY 1/4/2011





  2. Myra McEntire HOURGLASS 6/13/2011




  3. Karen Mahoney THE IRON WITCH 2/8/2011





  4. Courty Allison Moulton ANGELFIRE 2/15/2011





  5. Kelly Keaton DARKNESS BECOMES HER 2/22/2011





  6. Kim Harringon CLARITY 3/1/2011





  7. Ruta Sepetys BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY 3/22/2011





  8. Heather Dixon ENTWINED 3/29/2011





  9. Lisa Cach WAKE UNTO ME 3/31/2011





  10. Megan McCafferty BUMPED 4/26/2011





  11. John Stephens THE EMERALD ATLAS 4/26/2011





  12. Veronica Roth DIVERGENT 5/3/2011





  13. Josephine Angelini STARCROSSED 5/31/2011





  14. Amy Plum DIE FOR ME





  15. Tara Hudson HEREAFTER 6/7/2011





  16. Karyn Henley BREATH OF ANGEL 6/21/2011





  17. Karsten Knight WILDFIRE 7/26/2011





  18. Victoria Schwab THE NEAR WITCH 8/2/2011





  19. Kendare Blake ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD 9/11





  20. Jocelyn Davies A BEAUTIFUL DARK (fall)





  21. Kiki Hamilton THE FAERIE RING 10/11





  22. Anna Sheehan A LONG SLEEP (fall) OMG! Cannot wait for this one





those posted in red are already read and reviewed


Waiting on Wednesday: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

For the final week of this year I have selected STARCROSSED by Josepheine Angelini, a novel that I have been pining for. I cannot wait to read this novel filled with romance and greek mythology. The cover is gorgeous and the synopsis has my mind spinning for more.


Melding incandescent romance and an updated twist on Greek mythology, this dazzling debut sets sparks flying with its combination of starcrossed lovers, powerful paranormal abilities, and an ancient blood feud.
Set on the island of Nantucket, STARCROSSED tells the tale of Helen Hamilton, a young woman whose destiny is forever altered when she meets Lucas Delos and tries to kill him in front of her entire high school. Which is terribly inconvenient, not only because Lucas is the most beautiful boy on the island, but also because Helen is so achingly shy she suffers physical pain whenever she is given too much attention.

Making matters worse, Helen is beginning to suspect she’s going crazy. Whenever she’s near Lucas or any member of his family she sees the ghostly apparitions of three women weeping bloody tears, and suffers the burden of an intense and irrational hate. She soon learns that she and Lucas are destined to play the leading roles in a Greek tragedy that the Three Fates insist on repeating over and over again throughout history. Like her namesake, Helen of Troy, she’s destined to start a war by falling in love. But even though Lucas and Helen can see their own star-crossed destiny, they’re still powerfully attracted to each other. Will they give up their personal happiness for the greater good, or risk it all to be together?



Merry Christmas!!


Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday's to all of my followers. I hope this has been a great year for everyone and that the next year will be better.

Sneak A Peek Saturday: The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that lets you "peek" into an upcoming book. Sometimes it is a chapter or two and sometimes a little less.

This week I have selected a book that has some amazing buzz attached to it. The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens is an up and coming adventure story whose book rights have already been sold in 32 countries.

The prologue is now available and I know that once you read it you will be twisting to read more.

Just click on the book cover and enjoy.


APRIL 5, 2011

Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.

Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.

Until now.

Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world...a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.

The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma's extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.


THE EMERALD ATLAS WEBSITE

Mockingjay Contest


Happy Sunday and holiday greetings to everyone. I have wonderful contest opportunity that I want to share with everyone. I have several copies of MOCKINGJAY that I want to give away to express my gratitude to my followers and adoration for this book.
Contest Form and Rules are located HERE good luck and may the odds be in your favor!
Thank you, Scholastic for these books.

Sneak a Peek Saturday: WAKE UNTO ME by Lisa Cach

Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that lets you "peek" into an upcoming book. Sometimes it is a chapter or two and sometimes a little less.
This week I am have selected WAKE UNTO ME by Lisa Cach. When I first saw the cover to this novel I was instantly smitten, it is hauntingly gorgeous. Then, I read the synopsis and knew I had to read it. I wanted to thank Lisa Cach who informed me that the entire prologue and the first page of chapter one were available for everyone's viewing pleasure.
Just click on the gorgeous book cover below and enjoy!

Coming in March, 2011

Caitlyn Monahan knows she belongs somewhere else. It’s what her dead mother’s note suggested, and it’s what her recurring nightmares allude to. Desperate to flee these terrifying dreams—and her small town—she accepts a spot at a boarding school in France. Only, when she arrives, her nightmares get worse.
But then there are her amazing dreams, so vivid and so real, with visits from an alluring, mysterious, and gorgeous Italian boy from the 1500s. Caitlyn knows they are soul mates, but how can she be in love with someone who exists only in her dreams?
Then, as her reality and dream world collide, Caitlyn searches for the real reason why she was brought to this school. And what she discovers will change her life forever.



So what do you think?
Are you as hooked as I am?
If so then Pre-Order HERE

Congratulations!



To Sarah from Miss Page Turner's City of Books blog from Germany for winning the Party Like it's 2011 contest.

I wanted to thank everyone for entering and to stay tuned for I have another contest coming up soon.

The Dark Days of Supernatural TOUR


CALIFORNIA
Copperfields, Petaluma
Thursday, January 13, 2011 4-7pm
Cynthia Hand and Ellen Schrieber


DARK DAYS OF SUPERNATURAL TOUR
WASHINGTON

Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 2:00
BORDERS
Redmond Towne Center
Redmond, WA
With Ellen Schreiber, Kimberly Derting and Cynthia Hand

MINNESOTA
Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 7:00pm
BARNES & NOBLE
HarMar Mall, 2100 North Snelling Avenue
Roseville, MN
With Claudia Gray, Kimberly Derting and Courtney Allison Moulton

ILLINOIS
Friday, March 18, 2011 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Anderson's Bookshop123 West Jefferson AvenueNaperville, IL
With Claudia Gray, Courtney Allison Moulton and Kimberly Derting

FLORIDA
Saturday, March 19, 2011 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Books & Books
265 Aragon AvenueMiami Beach, FL
With Claudia Gray, Courtney Allison Moulton and Kimberly Derting

For more details visit Pitch Dark on:
Facebook
Twitter

Waiting on Wednesday: Future Imperfect by K. Ryer Bresse

Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

04/26/11

Future Imperfect

by K. Ryer Bresse



Ade Patience can see the future. Pretty cool, right? But there’s one small problem. During his latest vision, he sees himself murdering a classmate from his high school.

When 17-year-old Ade Patience knocks himself unconscious, he can see the future. However, he’s also addicted to the high he gets when he breaks the laws of physics. And while he’s seen things he’s wanted to change, Ade knows The Rule: You can’t change the future, no matter how hard you try.

His memory is failing, his grades are in a death spiral, and both Ade’s best friend and his shrink are begging him to stop before he kills himself. Luckily, the stunning Vauxhall Rodolfo recently transferred to his school and, just like Ade saw in a vision two years previously, they’re destined to fall in love. It’s just the motivation Ade needs to kick his habit. Only... things are a bit more complicated than that. Vauxhall has a powerful addiction of her own. And after a vision in which Ade sees himself murdering someone, he realizes he must break the one rule he’s been told he can’t. Ade and Vauxhall must overcome their addictions and embrace their love for each other in order to do the impossible: change the future.

COVER LOVE: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

This awesome cover was just revealed today and I am in LOVE!!! I cannot wait to read it and those feeling the same way can read a tiny excerpt HERE

Contest Reminder

This contest is for a copy of:
Across the universe by Beth Revis
Unearthly by Cynthia hand
Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer
This contest is open internationally and will end on December 15th PST
ENTER HERE
or use the side bar contest button
GOOD LUCK

REVIEW: Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

LAST SACRIFICE by Richelle Mead

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 594 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill (December 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • Rating: YYYYY

  • She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir Princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardian to come.

    Now the law has finally caught up with Rose- for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

    But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back… and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your life is about saving others, who will save you?

    REVIEW (spoilerific)

    Last Sacrifice was THE novel that I have been waiting for all year, nay it has been the novel I have waited to read since completing the very first Vampire Academy novel and I was not disappointed. If anything I was saddened by the knowledge that this story arc is over.

    Rose Hathaway is my favorite kick ass heroine for she totally projects life into a story page and I adored seeing her grow and mature before my very eyes. Rose's trials and tribulations came to startling culmination in the last novel, Spirit Bound and I was unsure how Rose could survive when all the odds were stacked against her. Then as I delved into Last Sacrifice I am mesmerized, pleasantly surprised to witness Rose's family and friends join forces to help clear her name.

    Not only does Last Sacrifice bring back old enemies and friends but some new characters as well. In fact, an unrestrained community that we never knew existed comes into light showing us how Moroi, Dhampirs and human can co-exist. It was a great twist to an already established society for this series and I hope it gets further explored in the new spin-off series...or not.

    I was more than pleased that Rose and Dimitri received their happy ending, that Lissa became the Queen that she was always entended to be and that justice was ultimately served. Although Last Sacrifice gave me a satisfying ending, some of it's pretty bows were left a bit frazzled producing some loose strings. Yes, there were some casualties along the way and one of them was my dear Adrian. I adored him, came to love and admire him, so you can believe that I was crushed by his heartbreak. Yet, it was inevitible we all knew that Rose and Dimitri were made for each other I only hope that Adrian will find the love he so richly deserves.

    At last I want to thank Richelle Mead creating a fantastic series, for giving me endless hours of amazing storytelling with an unforgettable cast and awe-inspiring heroin that I will be chatting up with anyone that wants to discuss (and I will want to discuss, believe me).

    Last Sacrifice is the ultimate read for all Vampire Academy fans, it is a fast paced roller-coaster ride of a story with unforseen plot twists and turns that will leave you hugging your book to your chest and making you want to read it all over again.

    Sneak A Peek Saturday: TRAPPED by Michael Northrop

    Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that lets you "peek" into an upcoming book. Sometimes it is a chapter or two and maybe less.



    This Week I am presenting TRAPPED by Micheal Northrop. The cover is speaks volumnes and the premise is creepy interesting, thus I am hooked. Then I read this excerpt and I am left with wanting to read the rest of the book NOW.

    Just CLICK on the book cover and enjoy.


    The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive....

    Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn't seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision....

    Fallen Angels Contest Winner

    I did a horrible thing. I hosted a contest and never announced the winner. I truly believed I had taken care of this but upon further inspection I realized that I did not pick a winner. So, without further delay.

    The winner to my Fallen Angel contest is Tina from Fantastic Book Reviews blog

    Happy Thanksgiving Contest Winner

    The winner of my Happy Thanksgiving contest is ORCHID from Haunted Orchid blog.

    REVIEW: Entice by Carrie Jones

    For those interested bookmarks are being given away to a few lucky people who comment
    ENTICE by Carrie Jones
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (December 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599905531
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599905532
  • Rating: YYY

  • Zara and Nick are soul mates, meant to be together forever. But that's not quite how things have worked out. For starters, well, Nick is dead. Supposedly, he's been taken to a mythic place for warriors known as Valhalla, so Zara and her friends might be able to get him back. But it's taking time, and meanwhile a group of evil pixies is devastating Bedford, with more teens going missing everyday. An all-out war seems imminent, and the good guys need all the warriors they can find. But how to get to Valhalla? And even if Zara and her friends discover the way, there's that other small problem: Zara's been pixie kissed. When she finds Nick, will he even want to go with her? Especially since she hasn't turned into just any pixie. . . She's Astley's queen.


    REVIEW

    Upon finishing Captivate I was most eager to return to the world of Pixie kisses, love, loyalty and danger. So, upon receiving ENTICE I quickly delved into it, wanting to know what happened next to Zara and her friends.

    I could not believe the cliff hanger ending in Captivate that I had to sit on for nearly a year. GAH!!! Zara had agreed to be pixie kissed by Astley (thus making her a Queen) so that she could save Nick. ENTICE quickly begins right where we were left off with Zara and her friends, Cassidy, Dev and Issie attending the Winter Ball. We are a scant few pages into the story when mayhem ensues and you are left looking at Zara with surprise and awe. The girl that recited phobias and was sheltered by her were boyfriend and friends was no longer present and in her place was a fierce Pixie Queen that meant business.

    As the story progressed I witness Zara's struggle to try and find Nick, to find acceptance with her new Pixie status among her family and friends and to understand the conflicting feelings she has towards Astley. I began to admire her more and more, amazed at how she does not let fear rule her life as she once had. I also became a big supporter for Astley, at first I questioned his motives believing that he was too good to be true but I was left with a bit of a "crush" for him by the story's end. Issie and Dev are as darling as ever and Cassidy provide that bit of supportive relief that round out this memorable cast of characters.

    While I enjoyed returning to this world that Carrie Jones has created I found that I did not care for how certain events played out in ENTICE. I know that everything is centered on locating Nick and bringing him back to the world of the living but the storyline became a bit redundant with Zara constantly getting into one horrible event after another in her quest to find Nick. I questioned her motives just as her mother had. Was Nick worth everything she was going through, especially when she had no idea how he would react to her new Pixie status? I know it weighed heavily on my mind and by the story's end I did not feel that it was properly explored leading me to believe that we will have yet more adventures to encounter with Zara and her band of friends and Pixie King.

    For those that are fans of this series I feel that you will admire the changes in Zara but you will have conflicted feeling as to whom Zara should end up with
    .






  • Nick or Astley poll HERE


  • Entice excerpt HERE



  • Waiting on Wednesday: The Cellar by A.J. Whitten

    Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

    This week I have selected THE CELLAR by A.J. Whitten. I always on the look out for a read that is on the edge of darkness and this one looked to fit the bill. The cover also adds to its ominious mystery. I cannot wait for this book.

    What is your WOW for this week?


    05/02/11

    The Cellar

    by A.J. Whitten


    Everyone at school can’t stop talking about how hot Meredith Willis’s new next-door neighbor, Adrien, is. But Meredith can’t help but think there’s something strange about the cool, sophisticated new guy, and those sunglasses he constantly wears are the least of it. Every time he’s around, Meredith sees things—terrifying things that nobody else seems to notice. And when she dares to sneak a look into the windows of his house, she sees something in the cellar that makes her believe that Adrien might be more than just a creep—he may be an actual monster.

    But her sister, Heather, doesn’t share Meredith’s repulsion. Heather believes Adrien is the only guy who really understands her. In fact, she may be falling in love with him. When Adrien and Heather are cast as the leads in the school production of Romeo and Juliet, to Heather, it feels like fate. To Meredith, it feels like a bad omen. But if she tries to tear the couple apart, she could end up the last place she’d ever want to be: the cellar. Can Meredith convince her sister that she’s dating the living dead before it’s too late for both of them?

    REVIEW: SIREN by Tricia Rayburn

    SIREN by Tricia Rayburn

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA (July 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606840746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606840740
  • Rating: YY 1/2



  • Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything--the dark, heights, the ocean--but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is until Justine goes cliff diving one night near the family's vacation house in Winter Harbor, Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

    Vanessa's parents want to work through the tragedy by returning to their everyday lives back in Boston, but Vanessa can't help feeling that her sister's death was more than an accident. After discovering that Justine never applied to colleges, and that she was secretly in a relationship with longtime family friend Caleb Carmichael, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor to seek some answers.

    But when Vanessa learns that Caleb has been missing since Justine's death, she and Caleb's older brother, Simon, join forces to try to find him, and in the process, their
    childhood friendship blossoms into something more. Soon it's not just Vanessa who is afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes home to a string of fatal, water-related accidents . . . in which all the victims are found grinning from ear to ear.

    As Vanessa and Simon probe further into the connections between Justine's death and the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance, and that will change her life forever.


    REVIEW

    I am always on the prowl for a fascinating paranormal read and with the current market being saturated with Vampires, Werewolves and Fairies it was refreshing to find a story focused on the mythical creatures of Sirens. Unfortunately I was left with a lackluster tale that failed to keep me enthralled.

    SIREN centers on Vanessa, a girl that is highly phobic who is trying to cope with the recent death of her older sister. Although this story focuses on Vanessa's mission to discover the reason for her sisters' demise I never can relate or understand her because her grief does not seem authentic and her fears are unfounded. My lack of concern for her character spread out onto this story's pages and I could not even find enjoyment in the romantic aspect of this story that normally would have my rapt attention.

    Another issue I encountered with SIREN is the lack of Siren lore and story building. They are posed as shallow and conniving creatures but without the seductive dark edge that normally is synonymous with their kind. I wish that their motiviation had been a bit more complex and meaningful for this story would have had a stronger base.

    What I did enjoy about this story is the tension that seemed to slowly build and escalate. The slow pace was key to providing the dramatic edge that ultimately kept me anchored to the story. I only wish that it was enough to keep my interested in subsequent SIREN books that I cannot confess to keep reading.

    Contest Reminder

    Happy Thanksgiving! Contest

    This contest is for THREE signed books Paranormalcy by Kiersten White Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers Firelight by Sophie Jordan Contest Open to US entrants only and ends December 6th Midnight PST.
    To enter please fill out the form HERE

    REVIEW: Misguided Angel by Melissa De La Cruz

    Misguided Angel by Melissa De La Cruz

    Reading level: Young Adult
    Hardcover: 272 pages
    Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (October 26, 2010)
    Language: English

    Rating: YYY 1/2


    After inheriting the dark Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler fled to Florence--with her forbidden love, Jack. Now the two of them must embark on the mission Schuyler was destined to complete: to find and protect the seven gates that guard earth from Lucifer, lord of the Silverbloods.

    As the Blue Blood enclave weakens yet further, fate leads Schuyler closer to a terrifying crossroads--and a choice that will determine the destiny of all vampires.


    REVIEW

    I Immediately rushed into reading MISGUIDED ANGEL because I could not wait to see what would happen next due to the killer cliffhanger from it's series predecessor and although the synopsis leads you to believe that the series concentrates on Schuyler I am glad to report that that is not the case.

    MISGUIDED ANGEL does begin with Schuyler and Jack and their mission abroad to find and protect the gates but it only for a few chapters before returning to Mimi and the conclave in New York. Once back New York you realize how weak and frightened the Bluebloods have become. Mimi steps into power, but she believes it is temporary for Micheal will return yet before she can sink her teeth into power a horrible threat surfaces and Mimi will need all the help that she can get. Amongst those that she turns to is Oliver, once she knew that she could not use him to retrieve Jack and Schuyler she realized that he would prove to be a worthy ally. This new threat also brings in a new character Deming Chen, and I really enjoyed her storyline in this book and cannot wait to see what will happen with the following books in the series.

    My issue with this novel was the filler like novella intro and ending to this book. Jack and Schuyler's storyline was stale and tiresome, ending on the same note as the story began with. Jack should have just stayed behind because it would have made for a better story if it all stayed within the NYC limits. Another thorn in my side is the issue with Schuyler's mom Allegra. Does no one ever wonder about her...where she is at? and Bliss is absent (off on a mission) but no one knows that.

    I enjoyed the middle section of this book for I enjoyed how it gave a new outlook on Mimi and another favorite character, Oliver. Together they were an unlikely duo that came together for a worthy cause and ended up for lack of a better word, friends. Mimi was never a character that I cared for but the last few books in the series has shown how much she has changed and grown. I now cannot wait for the next novel because of how certain issues were left unresolved that could prove promising for Mimi and her conclave and yes I want to know what happens if she should ever see Jack again.

    For fans of this series I know that this book provides a few more hours of Blueblood adventure I only wished that it was a bit more substantial.

    REVIEW: The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa De La Cruz

    THE VAN ALEN LEGACY by Melissa De La Cruz

    Reading level: Young Adult
    Hardcover: 384 pages
    Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (October 6, 2009)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 1423102266
    Rating: YYY

    With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss's true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. Not to worry, love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it?

    Jack and Schuyler are over.

    Oliver's brokenhearted.

    And only the cunning Mimi seems to be happily engaged.

    REVIEW (slightly spoilerific)

    This review seems a bit late bit it took me a bit of time to finish it. The fact that it took me four months to get through this novel should have been a good indication that I was not into it. I tried to force the issue but it just would not happen. I was finally able to get past the first few chapters and finish it.

    This novel picks up a whole year after Revelations finished it's mind blowing cliff hanger and is told from three alternating points of view. Schuyler, and her world traveling adventures with Oliver as they evade the venators. Bliss, struggling with the "visitor" as she tries to find a way to protect the ones she loves. Mimi, and her sojourns as a venator trying to find the missing watcher.

    Although The Van Alen Legacy has good pacing it is not a nail biter of a read and it is a bit confusing. It is definately my least favorite of the series. I did not enjoy the fact that there was this year gap inbetween books. I felt a disconnect from the beginning and I could not mend the gap. Then my big beef is the part about Schuyler's mom waking up from her coma. Ok, now this woman was out of comission for years then she wakes up and it's totally passed over as nothing major??? Now, that I don't get...are you kidding me? Aside from that I did enjoy the growth that Mimi has shown I actually began to like her. I wanted her to be happy, to bad she realized whom she loved a moment too late, but I have hopes that in the end she will find her happiness.

    Despite my issues I will read the next book Misguided Angel because The Van Allen Legacy ended with a killer cliff hanger and I have become attached to it's characters. If your a fan of the series you will blaze through and become shocked by it's suprising twists and turns just don't expect to be dazzled.

    REVIEW: The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith

    THE MARBURY LENS by Andrew Smith

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312613423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312613426
  • Rating: YYYY

  • Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is
    his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury.

    There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.

    Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid
    he’s losing his mind.

    Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.

    But it’s not.

    REVIEW

    Roll, tap tap tap....

    Andrew Smith has done something to my brain.

    Upon finishing THE MARBURY LENS I knew I had witnessed one of the most genuinely disturbing and upsetting books that I have ever read and although it is nightmarish beyond my comprehension I will not soon forget it.

    Andrew Smith has penned a novel that explores the depths of what a traumatic experience can do to the human psyche. Jack Whitmore narrowly escapes a depraved situation that ultimately brings on the death Jack's captor, innocence and peace of mind. He then travels to England where he meets a mysterious individual that gives him a pair of glasses and Jack's tenuous grip on his sanity begins to slide on a downwards spiral into Marbury. The world of Marbury that Jack is transported into by way of the Marbury Lens is brutal, bone chilling and horrifically visualized. In it's stark desert landscape is a frightening war and Jack is responsible for two young boys that become his soul purpose of survival in Marbury. As the story progresses you witness Jack's grasp on reality slipping...hours and days are lost and Jack does not remember anything, but I cannot forget.

    As I sit hear writing this vivid flashbacks haunt me. I am still trying to figuring it all out. Was Jack able to survive Marbury or did he descend into madness. Only by ready THE MARBURY LENS can you try to decide. I only know that once you begin reading you will addicted to it's pull as Jack was.

    While THE MARBURY LENS is unlike anything that I have read (I actually had to put it down for a few days and read it in sparse bits) I recognise the talent that Andrew Smith has. He was able to write a novel that seriously mindfucks you. For as remarkably unforgettable as THE MARBURY LENS is I do not believe it is the literary material that I would have my 15 year old godchild read due to the fact that I believe it had some twisted mature subject matter. I am an older woman and yet I could not stomach alot of what I read. I pushed myself to finish but I am not at peace with that choice.

    WELCOME HOME, JACK.

    Waiting on Wednesday: Welcome to Bordertown

    Now this book looks too good to pass up. I cannot wait.


    WELCOME TO BORDERTOWN

    Edited by Holly Black & Ellen Kushner

    with Introduction by series creator Terri Windling

    Introduction - Terri Windling

    Introduction - Holly BlackBordertown Basics (Letter from the Diggers)

    Welcome to Bordertown - Terri Windling & Ellen Kushner

    Shannon's Law - Cory Doctorow Cruel Sister (poem) - Patricia A. McKillip

    Voice Like a Hole - Catherynne M. Valente

    Stairs in Her Hair (song*) - Amal El-Mohtar

    Incunabulum - Emma BullRun

    Back to the Border (song) - Steven Brust

    Prince of Thirteen Days - Alaya Dawn Johnson

    The Sages of Elsewhere - Will Shetterly

    Soulja Grrrl: A Long Line Rap (song) - Jane Yolen

    Crossings - Janni Lee Simner

    Fair Trade (Comic) - Sara Ryan & Dylan Meconis

    Lullabye: Night Song for a Halfie (song) - Jane Yolen

    Our Stars, Our Selves - Tim Pratt

    Elf Blood - Annette Curtis Klause

    The Wall (poem) - Delia Sherman

    Ours is the Prettiest - Nalo Hopkinson

    We Do Not Come in Peace - Christopher Barzak

    A Borderland Jump-Rope Rhyme (poem) - Jane Yolen

    The Rowan Gentleman - Cassandra Clare & Holly Black

    The Song of the Song (song) - Neil Gaiman

    A Tangle of Green Men - Charles de Lint

    “Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

    Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

    Tales of a Ravenous Reader

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    I am an avid reader from Northern California and if you are a publisher and would like to have your YOUNG or NEW ADULT book reviewed, please email me. I accept ARCs, as well as books that have already been released. I am also more than happy to do author interviews, guest posts, and contests to promote your book as long as they are in the Young and New Adult genre. Please check my review policy prior to sending me an email, thank you. curlyshoe(at)gmail(dot)com

    2014 Reading Challenge

    2014 Reading Challenge
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    Upcoming YA Bay Area Book Events

    I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA and NA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is best to verify all events prior to attendance.

    2014

    OCTOBER

    LAUREN OLIVER
    A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland
    Wednesday, October 1 @ 7pm

    LAUREN OLIVER
    Book Passage in San Francisco
    Thursday, October 2 @ 12:30pm

    LAUREN OLIVER and JANDY NELSON
    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Thursday, October 2 @ 7pm

    JANDY NELSON, NINA LaCOUR and STEPHANIE KUEHN
    Hicklebee's in San Jose
    Friday, October 3 @ 7pm

    SARA FARIZAN
    Books Inc. on Market St.
    Friday, October 10 @ 7pm

    JAMES FREY with John Hanke, VP of Google's Niantic Lab
    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Saturday, October 11 @ 6pm


    BECCA FITZPATRICK, CHRISTINA LAUREN & KIERSTEN WHITE
    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Sunday, October 12 @ 3pm


    LITQUAKE: Why YA is good for the Mind, Body and Soul with Lana Adlwan, Hannah Jayne, Tim J Myers, Jandy Nelson and Mitali Perkins
    Hotel Rex in San Francisco
    Sunday, October 12 @ 3:30


    FIERCE READS TOUR with GENNIFER ALBIN, NIKKI KELLY, JESSICA BRODY and MARISSA MEYER
    Linden Tree Books in Los Altos
    Monday, October 13 @ 6:30pm

    PAOLO BACIGALUPI and A.S. KING
    Bookshop Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz
    Wednesday, October 15 @ 7pm

    RICK RIORDAN (ticketed event)
    Fox Theatre in Redwood City
    Wednesday, October 15 @ 7pm

    CORY DOCTOROW and JEN WANG

    Mrs. Dalloway's in Berkeley
    Thursday, October 16 @ 7:30pm

    MARIE LU
    Face in a Book in El Dorado
    Thursday, October 16 @ 7pm

    A.S. KING and PAOLO BACIGALUPI
    Sports Basement on Bryant in SF
    Thursday, October 16 @ 6pm

    MICHELLE GAGNON with Cara Black, Juliet Blackwell and Susan C. Shea
    Borderlands Books in SF
    Saturday, October 18 @7:15-8:15pm

    SCOTT WESTERFELD
    This is a TICKETED event purchase tickets HERE
    Books Inc. Opera Plaza in SF
    Wednesday, October 22 @7pm

    GARTH NIX and MICHAEL GRANT
    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Thursday, October 23 @ 7pm

    JANDY NELSON
    Book Passage in Corte Madera
    Friday, October 24 @ 6:30pm

    KENDARE BLAKE
    Linden Tree Books in Los Altos
    Saturday, October 25 @ 4-5:30pm
    (it is appreciated if you RSVP in advance so they can provide seats and plan for aromatherapy supplies!)

    SARA RAASCH, KASIE WEST AND CORRINE JACKSON
    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Monday, October 27 @ 7pm

    What I am Reading Now

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