Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater 

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

Publishes in US: July 30th 2013 by Scholastic Paperbacks
Genre: YA paranormal
Source: library
Series? The Raven Cycle #1

Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Book Depository

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook ~blog ~book site

   I've had my eyes on The Raven Boys for quite some time because of all of the positive reviews. I decided to wait a bit for a few reasons--maybe expectations would be on par instead of reading right when hype is high, and also, I just haven't had time in my reading schedule. 

   I connected with Blue right away. I liked her voice and I could relate with feeling on the outside even if my feelings have nothing to do with the paranormal. Hers is because she hasn't been able to see ghosts or have any intuition for the supernatural world, she only amplifies that of her family. Speaking of they are so eclectic and fun to read about. It had to be hard for Blue as well because a premonition has followed her for her whole life-- that the boy she kissed/fell in love with would die. I mean talk about a dating downer and how you view yourself. 

    When it came to the Raven Boys, it took me longer to get a sense of their separate personalities and how they played into the story. Gansey is the boy that Blue saw, so it seems that I would gravitate to him, but he seems to have a split personality and I had a hard time with his ups and downs and acting so differently. I was more drawn to Adam personally. 

    I was pretty confused at times, and I know that some is probably on purpose, and honestly I would skim a bit, since I was intimidated by the size to start with.  It had that feeling that everything was slowly setting up, and honestly I am surprised that I stuck with it since I had issues that I didn't really get inside the head of and feel for the guys as separate characters but also how they work together. But I liked Blue and I liked the mystical feel to it, and wanted to know how it would play out for Blue and Gansey.

    But there was something about it, even with my gripes that I just couldn't put it down and I had to know what would happen. As the story went on I was able to finally get a grasp on some of the raven boys, but Adam continued to be my favorite. 

    There were so many twists, and changed what I thought of the different characters and the roles they played. Some of the character's actions really surprised me as well as the whole thread of her first kiss and who I thought and who I wanted it to be. I will be continuing the series, and glad I gave it a chance. 

Bottom Line: Slow set-up but loved Blue, one of the main characters, and the mystical tone.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you ever have supernatural intuition or know someone who does? Or do you not believe in that sort of thing in real life?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday, WoW

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. I also feature books that may have already released, but I am anxiously waiting to read.

This week, I'm featuring:
Falling into Place
On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road. 

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

Releases: September 9th 2014 by Greenwillow Books

What are you waiting on?

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August's $229 Kindle Giveaway Hosted by I Am A Reader.

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1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International).

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Ends 8/31/14

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review: Broken by C.J. Lyons

Broken by C.J. Lyons

Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, Scarlet has come to terms with the fact that she’s going to die. Literally of a broken heart. It could be tomorrow, or it could be next year. But the clock is ticking…
All Scarlet asks is for a chance to attend high school—even if just for a week-a chance to be just like everyone else. But Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with each slammed locker and vicious taunt. Is this normal? Really? Yet there’s more going on than she knows. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does…


Publishes in US:  November 5th 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA contemporary
Source: library
Series? No

Buy it: amazonbuybnbuymglogoicon-indiebound

Author stalk away: ~site 

    I wanted to read Broken because anything with illness usually catches my eye. The heart disease aspect is something that I have enjoyed previously in other books, and I know a bit about the long QT which is what is wrong with her. I was also curious where the book would be going with the truth about the school? If its a contemporary I really didn't understand what sort of twist it would be, but wanted to find out. 

    I liked Scarlet and I felt for her. She wanted so badly to go to school and have a shot at normal. We get her background, that homeschooling was boring and that her memories are mostly just of doctor's visits and surgeries and pills. In fact we get that a few more times than I really thought necessary but still. We have the "Set Backs" which I know are when she has been sicker and almost died, but I would have liked a bit more detail early on instead of referencing over and over. 

    Scarlet's mom is very overbearing, and I can understand her point of view as a mother, and can't even imagine if I had a daughter that sick. But they have some sweet moments, talking about her day. It is good to see a mom who is present and trying to be involved in her life, and fighting for her life and health, even though I can also see Scarlet's point of view that she could feel smothered. 

   I enjoyed Scarlet's friendships as well. I do think that there was a bit much going on in their stories, and I think that it should have been pared down a bit or explored more. But still, they were all thrown together in a mentoring group. Jordan is the peer mentor and he's fighting his own sorrow over a suicide completed the year before, and now he has her younger sister in his group. There is also Celina who Scarlet gets pretty close with even though she is quiet and reserved at times, and completely absent others. 

   The romance took the back seat, but it was good and sweet. Scarlet thought some about how kisses and such worked and it was a refreshing inner dialogue. Tony saw Scarlet past the portable AED (a machine that can shock heart back into regular rhythm.) He talked to her like she was completely normal but also accepted her limitations. 

    The ending kind of surprised me, but was the source of the suspense and mystery that the synopsis talked about. I think that it was foreshadowed some, but still I had a little bit of a hard time seeing how it played out that way. But I guess that people in that position have to have some serious sneak skills. 

Bottom Line: Good story about Scarlet, who's plagued with a bad heart trying to be normal by going back to school.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Would you put your life on the line to be normal?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: Sharing Sam by Katherine Applegate

Sharing Sam (Love Stories For Young Adults #2) by Katherine Applegate
How can you take the guy your best friend loves . . . when your best friend’s going to die?
Alison Chapman has always believed she’d fall in love hard. And she does—with Sam Cody, a new guy with a gorgeous face and brooding eyes, a guy who’s impossible to resist. When Sam asks her to the Valentine’s Day dance, Alison is elated . . . until she finds out that her best friend, Isabella Cates-Lopez, has fallen for Sam,
too . . . until she finds out that Isabella is dying. Now Alison wants Isabella’s last days to be her happiest ever—even if she and Sam have to hide their love. Even if, by sharing Sam, Alison risks losing him forever.


Publishes in US: March 9th 2004 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
Genre: YA contemp
Source: library
Series? Love Stories For Young Adults #2
Can be read as stand-alone. I haven't read the 1st book

Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Book Depository

Author stalk away: ~site

   I wanted to read this one because I am drawn to anything with cancer, and it was an interesting concept with the best friends and one boy. The cancer and death looming over Isabella. 

    My biggest issue was that Alison should have spoken up in the first place. The cheating gets to me even though this is a unique situation. I know that Alison had the best of intentions, and that she didn't want to say she had feelings for him because of the timing--the day that Izzy told her that she has cancer and its pretty severe. 

    It was an emotional book, and I connected with Alison. She is a little awkward in her own shoes, but she is okay with it. She is smart and works hard and has a dream for her future. She is mostly just the girl next door. She is loyal to Alison and they are so good as best friends. Alison has the humor to cheer up Isabella when she's feeling pretty dark. 

   I also liked Alison with her younger sister. They had a bit of a rough relationship at the beginning of the book, but I like how Sam's grandpa Morgan was something that brought them together and gave them something in common again, and avenues to talk to each other. 

   I like Sam pretty well. He is the bad boy image but he is a softie underneath. He is juggling so much and I know that he and Alison had chemistry. It was hard though when Alison asked him to go with Isabella. 

Bottom Line: Good with a couple issues. Liked the main character and friendship.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you think you could sacrifice a boyfriend for a friend who was dying?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Brandi Breathes Books Stacking the Shelves, The Sunday Post, Bought Borrowed and Bagged

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews,  check it out and sign up  here
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged is a weekly meme, hosted by TalkSupe, where I share with you the books I have bought, borrowed, or bagged. Link up with me here.

Currently Reading:
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)
source: library
What I read:
source: library
Can't Look Away
source: scholastic via netgalley

 winterspell and 100 Sideways Miles
 thanks simon and schuster

 thanks to Ms Strong, publicist

Last Week on the blog:

My week: Getting ready for track out and my daughter's birthday party!

What are you reading? Any of my books new to you or have you read any of my books? If so, what did you think?
Also, feel free to link up your blog and mailbox post.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Giveaway: Winterspell, 100 Sideways Miles and Learning Not to Drown

ARCs: Winterspell, 100 Sideways Miles and Learning Not to Drown

 -Winterspell, 100 Sideways Miles and Learning Not to Drown (Us only)
-Fill out Rafflecopter to enter
-Ends on 8/10/2014 11:59 pm EST
-If you win a review on your blog and/or amazon is appreciated but not required.

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Giveaway: Ebook Nature’s Unbalance or The Chosen by Andrea Buginsky

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Nature’s Unbalance: The Chosen Book Two by Andrea Buginsky
During a time of celebration for The Chosen, a mysterious force appears on Phantasma, threatening to destroy Nature and all of her creatures. Will The Chosen find and defeat this force and save Nature before it’s too late?

Excerpt | Reviews | Video

Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Print
Book 1
The Chosen
The Chosen Cover Final

Halli thought she was just another dwarf, living a quiet life in Drumple, her village on Phantasma. When Queen Laurali of the elves shows up, Halli’s entire life changes. She learns the truth about herself, and must quickly adapt to being a Holy Paladin in order to join The Chosen, a group of warriors selected for a mission to save Phantasma.
Now, Halli must face her biggest fears and learn to believe in herself, as will her companions. Will The Chosen be able to come together to save their world from the evil that is set on destroying it? Only time will tell.
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Social Media Links
Twitter: @andreabuginsky


-Fill out Rafflecopter to enter
-Ends on 8/22/2014 11:59 pm EST
-If you win a review on your blog and/or amazon is appreciated but not required.

*If, for whatever reason, the Rafflecopter widget does not appear, you can click on the link where it says rafflecopter giveaway and it will show up, sorry for the inconvenience.