Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer hits stores everywhere 9.27.11. Pre-order your copy here. Download the widget here. Enter to win an Advanced Reader’s Copy here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Book Review: Shatter Me

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old-girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. [Source]

I was able to read and review an ARC of this novel through OUaT tours (see button below my rating).

Let me preface my review by saying that I have never watched (or been remotely interested in) X-Men. So I came into this novel clueless and not knowing anything about Rogue or her specific powers. Thus, I didn't quite understand Juliette's power until I read further and did some indirectly related research.

Okay, back to the review.

This novel is about Juliette, who has been in jail for 264 days. Before she was lucked up, she was poked, prodded, tested, examined, and questioned extensively. Before that, she was shunned, teased, ignored, and exiled. All because of the mystery of her touch. It causes pain, torture, and death.

The world outside the jail where Juliette is being held is not the world we know now. In Juliette's world, there is no green, and the weather is erratic. Animals and plants have mostly died off. The Reestablishment is trying to regain control over society in order to return the world to the way it used to be, or so Juliette thinks.

When a strange man, Adam, is locked inside Juliette's cell, she learns that the Reestablishment is lying. Rather than return to society to the way it used to be, they are trying to create a new society, a new way of life. Adam and Juliette reforge a bond that had been created long ago. With this new friendship, and as her life dramatically changes, Juliette must look inside herself to become who she was meant to be. She must learn to accept her mysterious condition as a power, not a curse, and she must live freely, rather than locking herself up inside her own self.

I loved this novel from page 1 to page 342, start to finish. I was instantly enthralled in Juliette's world. I couldn't put the book down! Juliette is a likable character; she is smart and strong, even though she doesn't truly realize it yet. Her childhood was sad and lonely; my heart ached for her.

Adam was so lovable, despite the fact that I truly didn't trust him until I met his younger brother. My heart ached for them, too.

Actually, now that I think about it, my heart ached a lot while reading Shatter Me. I think it had to do mostly with the author's writing style. It's not easy to read poetic/lyric narratives, but that style always seem to trigger my emotion more than simple dialogue or descriptions. Tahereh Mafi's comparisons and descriptions were magical and fluid. I saw everything that Juliette saw, and I felt everything she felt.

Warner is that kind of character that you hate to love, and love to hate. He was very well-written, although not developed yet. I am anxious to read more about his motivations, what makes him tick.

The last 7 chapters provide more of a resolution to the conflict, but they do not wrap up the novel in the least. Far from providing closure, I was left with more questions, wanting more, needing more. Castle has gathered together some powerful people, and I need to know his plan. This entire novel was most certainly set up for a sequel, and I am more than ready for it to be written.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

july14 - giveaway of a signed ARC

The Bookish Type is giving away a SIGNED ARC of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater!

Seriously squee-worthy.

Not to mention, she wrote a fabulous review.


(Or don't... because I want to win.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Once Upon a Read-a-thon Mini Challenge 5

This fifth challenge is being hosted by Wicked Awesome Books.

Here is the challenge information:
We all enjoy a good love story (don't deny it!), but sometimes the two (or three or four) characters involved in a love story struggle so much, that I just want to say, 'hey, _____ would be so much better for you!' So in the spirit of matchmaking, I'm setting you with the task of playing cupid and shooting your arrows at two characters from different books in, what I'm calling, LET'S PLAY MATCHMAKER!

Ack, I used to be good at this...

What about Lena from Delirium and Simon from The Mortal Instruments? I know Simon already has 2 girlfriends, but he and Lena are both shy and humble and quiet. They do what they are told to do and don't try to cause problems. I think they'd be so cute together!

*I also haven't read CoFA yet, so if Simon changed at all in that book, please don't burst my bubble.

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

Once Upon a Read-a-thon Mini Challenge 4

This fourth challenge is being hosted by YA Bliss.

Here is the challenge information:
So, for this one you will have to post on your blogs (I will accept posts on twitter if you dont have blog, just include @YABliss in your tweet!) your top 3 LOVE TRIANGLES.

In my opinion, a well done love triangle should be one where the choice is not clear, where you can't help but being torn yourself between both characters and you are uncertain as to which will end up being 'the one'. So if you were, lets say Team Mr. Obvious from book 1, and he ended up getting the girl and you were stoked about it because you hated Mr. Wrong all along, that is NOT a good love-triangle. That is merely A love-triangle. Got it?

I cant wait to hear your picks! To be fair and since I know these are hard to come across, if you cant think of three, two will do.

Oh. Em. Gee.

This was hard.

1. Edward vs Jacob in the Twilight Saga. Vampire babies or werewolf puppies. I was on the fence for the whole series! Even now that it's over and done with, I kinda wish we could have seen more of what life would have been like if Bella had chosen Jacob.

2. Jared vs. Ian in The Host. Seriously, I was on the edge of my seat for this entire novel. And even though I was happy about the ending, I had originally picked Jared.

That's all I have! I refuse to include any characters from the House of Night saga because, seriously... That's like an octagon with all of Zoey's flings.

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

Once Upon a Read-a-thon Mini Challenge 3

This third challenge is being hosted by The Bookish Type.

Here is the challenge information:
Your challenge, if you choose to accept it:

Pick any book from your readathon pile and write a fake synopsis based solely on the cover. The synopsis does not have to be related to the actual book at all, just the pretty, pretty cover.

Well, here's the thing. I am hardly ever not quite organized enough to be doing this read-a-thon properly. I didn't plan out the books that I'd be reading, so I don't have a read-a-thon pile.

The book I am currently reading is an ARC and doesn't have a cover yet... I can't exactly write a synopsis based on a blank page. So, I'll have to pass on this challenge.

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Once Upon a Read-a-thon Mini Challenge 2

This second challenge is being hosted by The Musings of ALMYBNENR.

Here is the challenge information:
I have chosen twelve books that I have read and enjoyed and chopped up the book cover images. All you have to do is correctly identify all twelve book covers from left to right, number one being in the top left corner and number twelve being in the bottom right corner.

Once you’re sure you have the right answers, fill out the form below. There will be a space for you to list your answers, in order. Don’t worry, there’s a giveaway associated with this mini challenge! Out of the people who correctly identify the covers, one person will be randomly chosen to win any one of the books used in this challenge from The Book Depository (that means, as long as they ship to your country, you can win…check here)!

You can see the collage of cropped book covers HERE and try to list them all. I won't be listing all of my guesses here because I don't to give away any answers if I have them right. Good luck to the other participants!

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

Once Upon a Read-a-thon Mini Challenge 1

This first challenge is being hosted by IB Book Blogging.

Here is the challenge information:

There are so many YA books with mythology in them, that I decided to do a challenge based on that common theme.

There will be two winners today. The winners will each get to choose from four mythology books that I have in my giveaway pile. They include an ARC of Die for Me by Amy Plum, an ARC of Wildefire by Karsten Knight, Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini, Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton. That sounds awesome, right?? You can post your response to the questions on your blog, twitter, or facebook. Winners will be selected at random from each linky after the read-a-thon ends on July 13th at 11:59 p.m. Make sure to answer both questions and put your link to the answers in the linky below Question 2.

Mini Challenge Question 1:
What is your favorite type of myth (Greek, Roman, Egyptian etc)?

Mini Challenge Question 2:
What is your favorite book with some type of mythology in it?

My answers:

My favorite type of myth is Greek. I'm not sure why. Basically, I enjoy all types of myths, especially Native American and Egyptian. But I have this book about Greek gods and goddesses that I devoured when I was a kid, and the stories just speak to me.

My favorite book with some type of mythology would be that book I devoured when I was a kid! The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus by Aliki. I haven't had a chance to read the Percy Jackson novels yet, but I am hoping to get around to it.

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

Monday, July 11, 2011

Once Upon a Read-a-thon Starts Today!

Well, it actually started already. But I've been uber-busy all day. So I didn't get to update this morning like I had planned.

I've been reading on my laptop (I ♥ nook for pc) during downtime. I've also been reading blogs intermittently, if that counts.

I'm honestly not sure what I'll be reading tonight, since all of my current books being read for review are on my laptop, which I usually don't bring home during the week. I might just grab a random novel off my TBR shelf.

Here's hoping for a better update tomorrow!

Also, if you want to join in, go to Pure Imagination, Reading Angel, or Candace's Book Blog.

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Guest Post: Graham Parke on Publishing

Author Graham Parke is giving away several COOL prizes for the summer! Read his thoughts on getting published. Then check out his website for more information on the giveaways.

Is It Like Listening To You Talk?

As you probably know, to become an internationally best-selling author, you need to sell three books. This is not an easy task, but once you’ve managed to rack up these three sales, the rest is more or less a done deal.

Now, these sales themselves will not put you on the best-seller lists. They won’t even put you within a million spots of the bottom of the lists, but what they will do, and what they do every time, is spark a slowly growing buying frenzy that will get you there.

These three people will love your book, they will tell another five people, who in turn tell another seven. Within roughly four-and-a-half weeks, you finally make your first million.
That’s how it happens. Every single time.

But, how does an author tackle this monumental task? Where does he find these three readers?

I myself was quite lucky. When my novel appeared on Amazon I already knew over five people! What’s more, some of these people even liked me... somewhat. So I set out to become an internationally best-selling author by convincing at least three of these five people to buy my novel.

I started with my mother. Of all the five people I knew, I probably knew her the longest. I showed her my Amazon page and she nodded approvingly. She did not, however, make any attempts to buy a copy. So I logged on for her, navigated back to my novel’s page, and left the mouse pointer conveniently positioned over the BUY button.

She read the novel description again, searched-inside-this-book, and nodded some more. When I asked her if she’d like to buy a copy, she scrunched up her nose and said;

‘But what if I don’t like it?’
I told her not to worry. ‘It’s a really good book,’ I said. ‘I should know. I’ve re-written it like 50 times. It’s really funny and interesting.’
My mother wasn’t convinced. ‘I’m not really into comedy writing, though,’ she said.
‘It’s not just a comedy,’ I pointed out. ‘It has a real story; it’s a mystery. And it has twists and turns and believable characters.’
My mother hesitated. ‘Maybe I should just play it safe and buy another Stephen King novel…’

I ended up having to offer a personal money-back guarantee, and purchase a copy using my own credit card for the time being, but she finally cracked. I’d made my first sale!

Next, I prodded my wife. Although she did like words in general, she wasn’t sure she was up for reading and entire book full of them. ‘Is this like your usual stuff?’ she wanted to know.
‘What usual stuff?’
She shrugged. ‘I don’t know. Is it like listening to you talk?’
‘What’s wrong with they way I talk?’
‘Nothing. It’s just, well, sometimes you talk a lot of nonsense.’
I waved it away. ‘Don’t worry,’ I said. ‘I am much more interesting and ‘telligible’ on paper.’

Long story short; my second sale is almost in the bag. Now I just need to find one more person to buy my novel, and I’ll be set for life!

Check out the Summer of Gomez!

Get free books and win a Kindle or iPod.

As reviewers have been calling “No Hope for Gomez!” the perfect summer read - light, fast, fun - I decided to give this summer's Gomez readers some exclusive content and the chance to win prizes.
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