Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dear lovely readers,
As part of the Things I Can't Forget blog tour, Miranda Kenneally is back on this here blog!

book cover
Companion to Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker.

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt…with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

I posted my review of Things I Can't Forget earlier today--check it out here.

Today, Miranda will share ten things about ten upcoming characters from Things I Can't Forget and Racing Savannah (book #4 in the Hundred Oaks companion novels and will be out in December).

1. Kate Kelly: Kate is the heroine of Things I Can't Forget. Kate is 18, a recent high school graduate, and she’s working as the arts and crafts director at a summer camp, where she meets up with Matt Brown, the boy who gave her her first kiss.

2. Matt Brown: Matt is the love interest in Things I Can't Forget. Matt is 20, in a fraternity, and plays the guitar. He’s also training to run a marathon barefoot! He’s getting over a bad breakup with his ex-girlfriend when he meets Kate. Is Kate really the girl for him, or will dating again just lead to more heartbreak?

3. Emily Mansfield: Emily is Kate’s former best friend. They got into a fight after high school, and without her, Kate doesn’t know who she is anymore.

4. Ian Hot Boy With No Last Name: In Things I Can't Forget, Ian is the wild crazy guy who cracks me up. He likes to fool around with his girlfriend in inappropriate places and refers to many people as “douches,” but he has a big heart and a soft side. I never gave him a last name, but I love him. Ha!

5. Parker Shelton: In Stealing Parker, Parker doesn’t have many girlfriends. In Things I Can't Forget, she doesn’t get along with Kate at first, but as they get to know each other, is there a chance for a real friendship?

6. Savannah Barrow: Savannah is the heroine of Racing Savannah. She’s 17, a senior in high school, and she works at a high-stakes horse farm, doing everything from hauling hay to shoveling manure to mopping floors. She’s been living in the servants’ quarters all her life, but she wants nothing more than to become an exercise rider and work with the horses that compete in big races like the Kentucky Derby.

7. Jack Goodwin: Jack is the farm owner’s sexy son. Jack is being groomed to take over the farm one day, so his father makes him manage the estate and staff. Even though he’s attracted to Savannah, Jack knows he won’t be considered a responsible, gentlemanly farm owner if he goes after a member of his staff.

8. Marcus Winchester: Marcus is the villain of Racing Savannah. Marcus is a rival farm owner’s son, and he has a past history with Savannah, which doesn’t make Jack too happy.

9. Rory Whitfield: Rory works on the horse farm in Racing Savannah. He’s the younger brother of Will Whitfield (Corndog!) from Stealing Parker. Rory lives next door to Jack and Savannah and he’s Savannah’s closest friend. Rory is in the drama club and wants to sell a screenplay to Hollywood.

10. Vanessa Green: Vanessa is the younger sister of Ty Green, the love interest from Catching Jordan. Vanessa has a thing for Rory Whitfield… and is rather shocked that Rory has Star Wars sheets and sleeps with a Chewbacca stuffed animal.

Thanks for sharing Miranda! I'm super excited for Racing Savannah--December cannot come soon enough!

But for now, let's turn our attention to Things I Can't Forget. It comes out March 1st (tomorrow!!) and you're gonna want to pick it up, especially if you enjoyed Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker. If you haven't read either, no problem. Things I Can't Forget can be read as a standalone.

What a little taste of the awesome? Read an excerpt here.

Have a great Thursday everyone!

book coverE-ARC: 304 pages 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: March 1, 2013
ISBN: 9781402271908
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Hundred Oaks #3 (standalone)
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Companion to Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker.
Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…
This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt…with her.
Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

Michelle's Review:
In Thing I Can't Forget we have another page-turner read like Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker.

The novel began with Kate, a very devout Christian girl, feeling very guilty for helping her best friend do something that went against everything she believed in. Out of all of Miranda Kenneally's girls (Kate, Jordan, Parker) Kate was the hardest to like for me--her character was judgmental, had a very black-and-white view of the world and like some people called her, a "Jesus Freak." However, despite my initial dislike of Kate, it doesn't make her character any less real. Having grown up attending Bible studies and going to church like Kate, I understood where she was coming from and I know people like her in real life.

I enjoyed reading about Kate's summer in which temptations abound and her faith was tested but new friendships were also made that helped Kate's tunnel vision view of the world expand. In the end I did end up liking her, but I totally respected the fact that she stayed, at her core, herself and was able to hold on to her beliefs and principles.

As for the love interest, Matt, Kenneally created another swoon-worthy guy--although I don't know about the whole bare feet thing he had going on (I kept waiting for him to step on a thorn or a sharp twig or something while they were at the summer camp). Kate and Matt did get pretty hot and heavy in a few scenes and because of that I wouldn't recommend this novel to younger teens but there's nothing in this book that readers in high school and older will not be able to handle.

My only issue was that there were too many characters to keep up with. Besides Kate and Matt and Parker and Will, there were a slew of other camp counselors and they all had their own dramas--it was hard keeping up with who was who and what their story/drama was.

My favorite part of the novel was the friendship that formed between Kate and Parker. For those who loved Stealing Parker like myself (it's my fave out of all of the Hundred Oaks novels!), I'm happy to report that Parker and Will played large roles in this book. I love that we get an update about their relationship and where they may be heading in the future. Oh, and we also get a glimpse of Jordan and Sam Henry and get a mini update about them too.

Simply put, if you love contemporary YA romance that has a mix serious issues, drama and steamy scenes then you are going to devour Things I Can't Forget. It is a great addition to the Hundred Oaks series. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

book cover Hardcover: 305 pages 
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: October 16, 2008
ISBN: 9780525478183

Source of my copy: bought
Series: none
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues - and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.

Leslie's Review:
I've been dying to read a book by John Green for the longest time, especially since I've heard so many great things about them and his writing, and my sister and I watch his and his brother's vlogbrothers videos on YouTube. So when I wanted to take a break from reading review books, I decided to read Green's Paper Towns since it was the only book we had by him available to me at the time. Since I had been reading so many rave reviews about Green's books I had very high expectations when I picked up Paper Towns and I'm happy to say that they were met.

Let me say first that the book grabbed my interest with its great plot, characters, and writing. Green's writing is so witty and intelligent; the characters, although somewhat cliche, were funny and awesome and were developed very well. The plot, though, was great in its own way. For the majority of the book, it seemed odd and weird to me because while it was interesting, but I couldn't get the full significance of the events besides that Quentin is getting closer and closer to finding Margo. Though, that could have been just me and my inability to "read between the lines," for when I finally reached THE part--the climax--and the meaning and theme of the story was literally spelled out to me, everything finally clicked together and my first thought was, "this is an amazing book."

I'm so happy I finally got to read a book by John Green. He really does deserve all the rave reviews. I really enjoyed Paper Towns, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone who hasn't read it yet. John Green really is a talented writer, and I am definitely going to read more by him soon.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

We got new books! (21)

Sunday, February 24, 2013 with
Hi everyone,
It's "we got new books" time! Woo-hoo!! This is two weeks worth of books--we will start with the most recent week and, boy, there was A LOT of squee-ing and happy dancing.

The Hunt (The Hunt #1) and The Prey (The Hunt #2) by Andrew Fukuda (gifted),  Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo (review), The Fire Chronicle (Books of Beginning #2) by John Stephens (won), Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson (for Ambuzzador)
Exposed (Tracers #7) by Laura Griffin (review) and A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty (review)
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (gifted), The Chieftain by Margaret Mallory (won), Chaos Burning by Lauren Dane (won), How to Pursue a Princess by Karen Hawkins (unsolicited), Star Crossed by Jennifer Echols (unsolicited) and The Sherlock Holmes Handbook by Ransom Riggs (won)

We are so excited to read these, specially Siege and Storm, Exposed and A Color of White!! What did you guys get (in terms of boos) this week? Let us know and also leave your link so we can also look at your new bookshelf edition.

Michelle & Leslie

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Happy Saturday everyone!
It's Book Blogger Love-a-Thon day (hosted by Katelyn at Kate's Tales of Books and Bands and Alexa from Alexa Loves Books), which is a day of spreading the love among book bloggers. If you want a more in depth explanation about today or to join in, check out Alexa's post here.

One part of Book Blogger Love-a-Thon was being paired up with another book blogger and doing a interview swap. I have been paired up with Grace from Books Like Breathing, who is not only a book blogger but also a librarian from Staten Island! Here's more about Grace...

Write a personal bio in 140 characters. 
I am a librarian from Staten Island with a love for tea, hockey and bodice rippers.

How and when did you get started in book blogging? What genre(s) do you feature on your blog? 
I got started with my blog in 2008 when I was in library school. I took a class on the publishing industry and learned about this thing called “book blogger” and figured “I can do that”. I mainly review romance especially historical romance. I used to review more genres but I am leaning more toward being a romance only blogger.

What is your favorite kind of blog post to write? 
I love writing reviews. I love reading so naturally I love expressing my opinion about those books.

Book: Anne of Green Gables overall. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas in romance.
Movie: Silver Linings Playbook
TV show: Sons of Anarchy
Dessert: Not really a sweets person but pie is probably my favorite.

This OR That
Dog-ear OR Bookmark: Bookmark. Dog-earing is a big no-no in my book.
Hardcover OR Softcover: Softcover. Just so much easier to manage.
Physical books OR E-books: Physical. Nothing can replace the physical book for me.
Fantasy/Paranormal OR Contemporary: Neither. Historical

Thanks to Grace for answer my questions! I'm looking forward to blog hopping for more Blogger Love -a-Thon post and discovering other bloggers. Have a great weekend everyone!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

book cover Hardcover: 463 pages 
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
 Release Date: February 19, 2013
ISBN: 9781455503087
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Fuse #2
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

When the world ended, those who dwelled within the Dome were safe. Inside their glass world the Pures live on unscarred, while those outside—the Wretches—struggle to survive amidst the smoke and ash.
Believing his mother was living among the Wretches, Partridge escaped from the Dome to find her. Determined to regain control over his son, Willux, the leader of the Pures, unleashes a violent new attack on the Wretches. It’s up to Pressia Belze, a young woman with her own mysterious past, to decode a set of cryptic clues from the past to set the Wretches free.
An epic quest that sweeps readers into a world of beautiful brutality, Fuse continues the story of two people fighting to save their futures—and change the fate of the world.

Cherry's Review:
I couldn't believe that it was almost a year ago that I read Pure** and could hardly put it down. The plot was exciting and fast-paced, and the characters were fun to learn about. I was so annoyed that the book ended so quickly, and I couldn't wait to continue Pressia and Partridge's stories in Fuse.

However, after reading Fuse, I have mixed feelings about Baggott's second book. I had a really hard time trying to get through the first half of the book. There were a lot more characters that I had to get to know and a lot of details in this story that were, at times, uncessary. I still remembered what happened in the first book, but I felt like I had to reread it in order to understand the first couple of chapters of Fuse. It was also really hard to understand Pressia and Bradwell's interpretations of the clues that were left for them. I felt like no regular person would've been able to figure them out, even though it was explained in the story. It was more scientific than it needed to be.

I really struggled to finish the first half of the book, but I'm glad that I did.

The second part of the book was very exciting. There were a lot of twists to the story that renewed my excitement for the series. I had to reread several passages because I was caught off-guard and I was surprised by some of the things that I read in the story. In Pure, my favorite characters were Pressia and Partridge because of their interesting history and relationship. But in Fuse Helmund and El Capitan became my new favorite characters because their relationship with each other was funny and, at times, touching, in the craziest times. I just wish that the unnecessary details (and some unnecessary scenes) were cut out so that the excitement for the book could be continuous. Either way, I can't wait for the third and final book.

**Read Cherry review of Pure (Pure #1) here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dear fellow fantasy fans,
We have a special treat for you all. We have recently discovered a fantasy series we are very excited about. It was previously published in the UK but it has made its way to the US.

We are talking about Gillian Philip's Firebrand, the first book in the Rebel Angels series and it is out in story today!

It’s the last decade of the sixteenth century: a time of religious wars in the full-mortal world. But the Sidhe are at peace, hidden behind the Veil that protects their world - until their queen, Kate NicNicven, determines to destroy it.

Seth MacGregor is the half-feral son of a Sidhe nobleman. When his father is assassinated, and Seth is exiled with his brother Conal to the full-mortal world, they vow not only to survive, but to return to reclaim their fortress and save the Veil.

But even the Veil’s power can’t protect the brothers when the brutal witch-hunts begin…

Let's learn more about Gillian Philip and Firebrand.

Photo source: Goodreads
Hi Gillian! Welcome to our blog!
Hi Michelle and Leslie, and thanks for inviting me!

What were your favorite classes when you were in high school or college?
This is going to sound like a writer’s cliche, but I loved English. And I could never get to write enough stories. I was really lucky in my teachers - there was Mr Hall, a really droll bearded guy whose classes were so much fun. We (especially the girls) used to try to outdo each other trying to shock him with our stories, but of course we never succeeded because he was unshockable. And there was Mrs Dutch, who was could be quite scary but who never stopped encouraging me to write, while reining in my worst excesses. If it hadn’t been for her I’d never have had faith in myself.

Sadly I was completely rubbish at Maths, and had I not married an accountant I’d be in jail by now for tax return incompetence.

What is the best thing about living in Scotland? And what is a not-so-great thing about living in Scotland?
I love Scotland to bits, and missed it enormously when I was an expat for twelve years. I’m going to have to resort to cliche again and say that the best part is the landscape, though not just the countryside. I live in the Highlands, which is of course beautiful, but so are the cities - Glasgow is so vibrant and full of contradictions, Edinburgh just classically beautiful. The landscape’s full of inspiration, whether it’s a gorgeous wilderness or a run-down alley in a city. But I love being a Brit too - there are places in England I’m crazy about, like Bristol and Newcastle and of course London. I like loads of aspects of being British and Scottish - the TV and newspapers, the arts scene, the political system, the national character...

As for what’s not-so-great... I know people usually say ‘the weather’, but living in Barbados for years I found I really missed the seasons, so now I try not to get annoyed with rain and snow. Being way up in the north of Scotland means it takes ages to get anywhere, and I’d like to see my friends in the south a lot more often. So that’s a drawback. And sometimes I get really cross with the TV and newspapers, the arts scene, the political system, the national character... (see what I did there?)

Uh-huh. Lol. We live in Hawaii and we know exactly what you mean about the non-changing weather (we have never seen snow or experienced a true autumn season). 

Is it true that book 2 is harder to write than book 1? Did you have a harder time writing the sequel to FIREBRAND?
That’s kind of a complicated answer where the Rebel Angels series is concerned! The thing was that I wrote BLOODSTONE (under a different title) long before I wrote FIREBRAND. It started with a whole different concept and plan, but Seth, who appeared as a minor villain originally, completely took over the story. I found I had to write a prequel, to find out what happened to Seth in his early years; then the ‘prequel’ turned into the foundation for the whole series. So everything changed, and I had to rewrite BLOODSTONE pretty much from scratch. So I guess it was hard, but not in the usual way because I had the skeleton of the book there already. It was more a case of changing the focus.

Generally though I think it’s true that it’s much harder to write a second book. I had a contemporary crime novel out in the UK, called Crossing The Line. It was pretty much a success, critically speaking anyway, and I found that writing the follow-up to that was a nightmare!

If you can hang out with any character in FIREBRAND, who would it be and what will you do together?
I ought to say Seth because I fancy him and he’s my favourite character. But I think he’d be kind of cranky. I couldn’t take him to the movies because he’d sit there bitching about the plot or the special effects, and then in the restaurant afterwards he’d be bound to be rude to someone. So I’d probably have a happier evening with Conal, who’d be a complete gentleman and would listen to me bitch or rave about the movie instead.

What is your favorite scene in FIREBRAND?
Because I have a really soft spot for the animals, I’d probably say the part where Seth masters his kelpie, or when Conal and Seth find the wolf-pups. But I also kind of like the part where they leave Kate’s fortress and, without giving spoilers, there’s some violence. Seth’s just so darn cocky and rude, and it’s very him.

Thanks Gillian for answering our questions. We are looking forward to reading Firebrand--it sounds amazing and the Goodreads reviews have been positive.

Find Gillian and learn more about her novels on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

Check out the book trailer Tor had made for Firebrand:

Now for the giveaway: Thanks to Tor, one (1) lucky winner get a copy of Firebrand! Open to US only and ends Mar. 9th. **Come back everyday to earn more entries.**
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great week,
Michelle & Leslie

Thursday, February 14, 2013

book cover ARC: 280 pages 
Publisher: Simon&Schuster
 Release Date: January 15, 2013
ISBN: 9781442441852

Source of my copy: won
Series: The Memory Chronicles #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend ... and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her.
Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.

Leslie's Review:
The premises of Level 2 sounded really interesting and new so my sister and I put it on our TBR list and even featured it in one of our "Books I Covet" posts. I had high expectations for this book, and sadly, not many of them were met.

I like happy endings, so I'll start with the bad and finish with the good.

Things I didn't like:
  1. The beginning was really overwhelming for me because the events happened so suddenly, so fast, and so surprisingly (but not in a good way). The sudden action made me go back and check if I skipped twenty or so pages. Maybe the beginning was suppose to be exciting and suspenseful, but for me, it was confusing and crazy.
  2. There was not much character development in Level 2. The only character that had any kind of development was Felicia, the main character. The other characters, however, were merely described, judged by Felicia, or were such static characters that there was no need for development. This disappointed me because I like forming my own opinions about the characters instead of relying on descriptions or the main character's judgements.
  3. I couldn't relate to or connect with Felicia as much as I wanted to. She was a very conflicted, stubborn, and oblivious character. And I was so annoyed by her constant mention of Neil that I didn't fully support her and Neil's relationship. (However, after I finished the book and reflected on it, Felicia and Neil's relationship was actually really nice and sweet.)
Things I did like:
  1. I like the way the author wrote. I thought her writing style of the book was easy and flowed well.
  2. The world building was great. I really liked it and thought it was really interesting and refreshingly different.
  3. The general plot-line was good. Despite the overwhelming beginning, I thought the plot was interesting and enjoyable.
  4. The ending was good too, though I wish it was stretched a little more or there was a more gradual move from the falling action to the resolution. Otherwise, the ending was nice but kind of bittersweet.
  5. I enjoyed learning about Felicia through her memories. Her memories helped me connect with and sympathize with her somewhat (though I wish I was able to connect with her more). 
The things I liked about Level 2 were what kept me reading the book. However, I don't think I'll be continuing The Memory Chronicles series--or I won't make a conscious effort to get book 2. Although I don't plan on continuing with her series, I will be on the look out for other books by author Lenore Appelhans because I do like her writing style.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book We Covet: Reboot by Amy Tintera

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 with
Why we covet this book: As soon as we read the synopsis we knew we have to read Reboot--we just love the premise. Wren sounds like a scary heroine and we can't wait to meet her.

book cover
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.
Reboot will be released on May 7, 2013 from HarperTeen. For more info and news about the novel, visit check out the author's website. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.

What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.

"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series we do here every Wednesday. It will feature books we are very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is basically the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, but we just like the title "books we covet" better. We will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Splash into Spring with Real Mermaids + Giveaway

Monday, February 11, 2013 with
Hello everyone,
We are part of the Splash into Spring-Fling blog tour to celebrate the release of Real Mermaids Don’t Need High Heels, the third book in the Real Mermaids series by Hélène Boudreau.

Michelle posted her review of Real Mermaids Don’t Need High Heels here earlier this morning--check it out if you haven't already! [If you're interested, Michelle also reviewed Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings (book 1) here back in 2010.]

As part of the blog tour, we are giving away ALL THREE books in the series to one lucky reader!
book cover
First zit. First crush. First…mermaid’s tail?

If she hadn’t been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail?

Most. Embarassing. Moment. Ever.

Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But this revelation raises a serious question: if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?

Jade is determined to find out. But how does a plus-sized, aqua-phobic, mer-girl go about doing that, exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend Cori, and her crush, Luke?

This summer is about to get a lot more interesting…

book cover
Jade begins her summer confused. Yes, there's that whole "will this be a leg-day or a tail-day" kind of confusion, but Jade's got even bigger problems: it's been three weeks since Mom returned to the ocean with no news of her whereabouts. Plus, it's been twenty-one days since Jade first kissed her mer-boy Luke and now-nothing.

Will Mom find the enchanted tidal pool that will allow her to become human? And why is Luke acting so weird?

The SEAquel to Helene Boudreau's critically acclaimed Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings is as energetic and fresh as a salty sea breeze.

book cover
The only thing that terrifies Jade more than the ocean is dancing at the Fall Formal. Because Jade has two left feet—er, flippers. Who knew being a high school freshman is even more awkward than being a plus-size aqua-phobic mer-girl? At least her only drama is of the human variety...

Or not.

The Mermish Council has just declared that all land-dwelling mers but return to the ocean. Pronto. But there's no way Jade is going to let her mom, or Luke, her...boyfriend? mer-guy-friend?, disappear into the deep, dark ocean. Again. After all, a girl's got to have a date to her first dance.

If Jade can stop mer-mageddon, finding a plus-size dress that doesn't look like a shower curtain should be a piece of cake.

Don't you guys just love the covers? They are so bright and fun to match the story.

The giveaway ends February 28. Open to residents from the US and Canada only. Enter using the Rafflecopter below. **Come back everyday to earn more entries.** Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

book coverE-ARC: 320 pages 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Release Date: 2/1/2013
ISBN: 9781402270246
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Real Mermaids #3
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

The only thing that terrifies Jade more than the ocean is dancing at the Fall Formal. Because Jade has two left feet—er, flippers. Who knew being a high school freshman is even more awkward than being a plus-size aqua-phobic mer-girl? At least her only drama is of the human variety...
Or not.
The Mermish Council has just declared that all land-dwelling mers but return to the ocean. Pronto. But there's no way Jade is going to let her mom, or Luke, her...boyfriend? mer-guy-friend?, disappear into the deep, dark ocean. Again. After all, a girl's got to have a date to her first dance.
If Jade can stop mer-mageddon, finding a plus-size dress that doesn't look like a shower curtain should be a piece of cake.

Michelle's Review:
I read and liked Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings (book 1) back in 2010. It was a quick, fun read and I liked the character of Jade. When I was asked to review Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels, I was a bit worried because it's been a while since I read Toe Rings and I have not had a chance to read book 2. However, it was very easy to get back into Jade's world and figure out what I had missed, so reading book 2 was not really necessary for me.

What I liked about High Heels:
1. Jade. She doesn't really get anything stand in her way and she stands up for her friends. I like reading a middle grade novel with heroine like Jade.

2. The action. There was never a dull moment in High Heels. There was always something going on and while there's some drama, it wasn't too dramatic.

3. The cute romance between Jade and Luke. It was nice to see Jade and Luke happy together and their kiss in the end was sweet.

What I didn't like about High Heels:
1. Problems were too easily solved or too abruptly solved with the sudden appearance of a character or a revelation.

Overall, it was a fun and light read sprinkled with humor. I think young girls who love mermaid stories will enjoy the Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels and the other books in the series. Also, I think this series might appeal to middle grade girls who are reluctant readers because of its fun covers, the story was told in an easy-to-read, upbeat prose, the plot was straightforward and fast-paced and fairly short 240 pages. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Michelle has new books! (20)

Sunday, February 10, 2013 with
Hello friends,
I got more books this week and I think they are pretty awesome! Check it out.

Physical Books:
Plastic Polly by Jenny Lundquist (for review) 
No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie (for review but it arrived more than a week after the date I was slated to review it--will still read and review it I just don't know when)
Fuse (Pure #2) by Julianna Baggott (for review and the lovely folks at GCP actually sent me both the ARC and a finished copy but my friend who LOVED Pure snatched up the finished copy) 
Shadows in the Silence (Angelfire #3) by Courtney Allison Moulton (it's signed! for The End is Here promo with Epic Reads)
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (bought at a library book sale--I couldn't resist!)

Digital Books:

I bought Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu because I want to read more middle grade books and I just fell in love with the cover of Breadcrumbs. I also bought Easy and Tammara Webber and On Dublin Street by Samantha Young as my birthday books** since both have been under my radar for quite a while and I heard they are excellent.

I got an e-galley for Legacy of the Clockwork Key by Kristin Bailey, When We Wake by Karen Healey, Emblaze (Violet Eden Chapters #3) by Jessica Shirvington and Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane #5) by Elizabeth Hoyt for review.

**I turned 26 on Groundhog Day. To celebrate my friends (we are all in library school together--yay for future librarians!!) and I went to the Punahou Carnival and we went to see Warm Bodies movie (which I really enjoyed).

Did you get new books too? I'd love to see them so please leave a link. Happy reading everyone!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Leslie's Review: Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

Friday, February 8, 2013 with
book coverHardcover: 368 pages 
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: March 13, 2012
ISBN: 9780062066064

Source of my copy: won from giveaway
Series: Pretty Crooked #1

Synopsis (from Goodreads) 
Willa’s secret plan seems all too simple: take from the rich kids at Valley Prep and give to the poor ones.
Yet Willa’s turn as Robin Hood at her ultra-exclusive high school is anything but. Bilking her “friends”-known to everyone as the Glitterati-without them suspecting a thing, is far from easy. Learning how to pick pockets and break into lockers is as difficult as she’d thought it’d be. Delivering care packages to the scholarship girls, who are ostracized just for being from the “wrong” side of town, is way more fun than she’d expected.
The complication Willa didn’t expect, though, is Aidan Murphy, Valley Prep’s most notorious (and gorgeous) ace-degenerate. His mere existence is distracting Willa from what matters most to her-evening the social playing field between the have and have-nots. There’s no time for crushes and flirting with boys, especially conceited and obnoxious trust-funders like Aidan.
But when the cops start investigating the string of burglaries at Valley Prep and the Glitterati begin to seek revenge, could he wind up being the person that Willa trusts most?

Leslie's Review:
Pretty Crooked was my first Robin Hood modernization, and since I'm not familiar with the story, I wasn't sure what to expect. But the premise of the book sounded interesting and fun, and so, I decided to give it a try.

Pretty Crooked turned out to be exactly as it sounded--it was light, fun, and humorous and I really enjoyed it. I really liked the writing style of debut author Elisa Ludwig because it was easy and playful and it flowed well. The characters, although cliche and predictable, were very funny and cool. And I found Willa to be such a delight. She had a spunk like none of the other heroines I've ever read recently. I admired her individualistic character, and I easily related and connected with her. Her mission to "even out the playing field" was, although not rational and ethically right, made for a humorous and enjoyable plot that never lost my interest. And **ohmigosh** Aidan Murphy = total dreamboat. Sigh. I loved him, and I rooted for him and Willa all throughout the book.

I recommend Pretty Crooked to anyone wanting a fun and light read--if that is what you are looking for then this book will surely deliver. I enjoyed this book so much that I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Pretty Sly (it will be coming out in March so it won't be long now!). I look forward to reading more about Willa and her crazy missions and as well as more fun books by Elisa Ludwig.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Why we covet this book: Even though there's a lot of sci-fi young adult novels, we haven't really found one that we really like. It sounds like After Eden has different take on time travel and we want to give it a try.

book cover
Eden Anfield loves puzzles, so when mysterious new boy Ryan Westland shows up at her school she's hooked. On the face of it, he's a typical American teenager. So why doesn't he recognise pizza? And how come he hasn't heard of Hitler? What puzzles Eden the most, however, is the interest he's taking in her.

As Eden starts to fall in love with Ryan, she begins to unravel his secret. Her breakthrough comes one rainy afternoon when she stumbles across a book in Ryan's bedroom - a biography of her best friend - written over fifty years in the future. Confronting Ryan, she discovers that he is there with one unbelievably important purpose ... and she might just have destroyed his only chance of success.
After Eden will be released on July 4, 2013 from Bloomsbury. For more info and news about the novel, visit check out the author's website. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.

What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.

"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series I am going to be doing here. It will feature books I am very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is similar to the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. However, some of the books may already be published and others may still be in pre-order. I will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. Click on the WoW image on the left to join in!

Monday, February 4, 2013

book cover ARC: 316 pages 
Publisher: Sourcebooks
 Release Date: February 1, 2013
ISBN: 9781402273436

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: none
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines, drawing comics and feeling invisible. She's desperate for soccer star Mark to notice her. And when her BFF texts Mark a photo of Blaze in sexy lingerie, it definitely gets his attention. After a hot date in the back of her minivan, Blaze is flying high, but suddenly Mark's feelings seem to have been blasted by a freeze-ray gun, and he dumps her. Blaze gets her revenge by posting a comic strip featuring uber-villain Mark the Shark. Mark then retaliates by posting her "sext" photo, and, overnight, Blaze goes from Super Virgin Girl to Super Slut. That life on the sidelines is looking pretty good right about now...

Leslie's Review:
The blurb on the back of the ARC copy my sister and I received was pretty vague so I had no idea what to expect from Blaze. I was also in a bit of a reading slump as I was started Blaze, which caused me to have a slow start in reading it. Fortunately, this book turned out to be a great read!

At first, I was a little annoyed by the main character Blaze. Although I loved her comic-love geekiness, her naiveness and desperation in the beginning of the book irked me. After reading the first couple chapters, I already knew that Mark was bad news and that Blaze can do so much better. It was hard watching her drool and obsess over Mark while he used her and I just wanted to reach inside the book and shake and talk some sense into Blaze. Thankfully, she eventually realized Mark for who he really was. After that I rooted for her throughout the rest of the book as she became stronger, tougher, and wiser. And I especially supported and admired Blaze for her courage and perseverance when times got rough. She was a great and a refreshingly different heroine to read about (and brownie points for her for her awesome name).

I absolutely loved Blaze's "Soccer Cretins"--her brother Josh, and his friends Andrew, Dylan and Ajay. They were the greatest bunch of 13-year-old soccer boys I've ever heard and read of. I loved how they supported and protected Blaze in their own touching yet adolescent-boyish way, especially Josh, who became my favorite character in the book. I really liked his and Blaze's sibling relationship.

Blaze turned out to be a surprisingly great read--the plot was interesting and great, although it did drag a little at times and the climax came later than I hoped; the writing style was good and understandable; and the narration (Blaze's voice) really reflected Blaze's character, down to the geeky-ish talk and comic book references, which I thought were entertaining (and thank goodness each reference was explained because otherwise I, a non-comic book reader, would have been completely lost). I recommend Laurie Crompton's debut novel Blaze to anyone who loves comics and/or a fun read about a geeky and awesome girl.
Dear friends,
As part of the Blaze blog tour, we have author Laurie Boyle Crompton. Her debut novel is called Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) and she's going to tell us why Blaze is a "comic book cool" character.

Blaze’s character showed up in my mind like Blam! Pow! “Tell my story!” She’s really into comics and is sort of stuck in her life as an outsider, but she isn't ashamed of being a geek. She displays her superhero buttons proudly and is constantly drawing and reading comics. I couldn't wait to write about her. Of course, working on a project where studying comic books counted as research was a bonus!

My step-father has this Ah-mazing! collection much like the one Blaze’s dad has in the book and I remember staying up late at night reading through stacks of them as a kid. I would try to tell my friends about these awesome characters like the Silver Surfer and Iron Man, and I’d even try to imitate Thor’s Norse God way of speaking. This was before the movies made these guys more mainstream and I was definitely on the fringe with my obsession, but when I’d find another comic book nerd we had an instant bond.

© 2012 Anne Cain
As I was writing, Blaze surprised me when she fought back against Mark the way she did and I knew at that point I could just allow her character to take over. Of course things don’t go as she plans, but no matter what tight spots she finds herself in, she uses comic books to guide and empower her. Readers who aren't into comic books will definitely still enjoy Blaze, but my hope is that she will inspire them to check out comics for themselves, too!
About Blaze the novel:
Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines.
Blaze has always wanted her to life to be a little more X-Men/Jean Grey-cool rather than the reality: nerdy chick that drives a mild-mannered brown minivan (aka the Subatomic Superturd of Steel) for her brother and his friends, the Soccer Cretins, and spends all her time drawing comics. Then, super-hot soccer god Mark takes her on a couple of dates, and Blaze is certain her life is finally beginning. But when he uses her and dumps her, Blaze creates a comic book starring Mark the Shark that has everyone talking.

Mark retaliates online, and suddenly Blaze is gigabytes deep in an epic online battle to the (social) death. Mark may have humiliated Blaze supervillain-style, but he quickly learns geek girls always get revenge.
It was a great read! I will be posting my review of Blaze later today--please check out my full review.

For more about the author, check out her website at