Dec 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (22)

"Waiting On"  Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking  the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week I'm waiting on....

by Alyson Noel

Goodreads Blurb:
Lately strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear out of nowhere. Worried that Daire is having a nervous breakdown, her mother packs her off to stay in the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico with a grandmother she’s never met.

There she crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes who she’s encountered before...but only in her dreams. And she’ll get to know her grandmother—a woman who recognizes Daire’s bizarre episodes for what they are. A call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her grandmother immediately begins teaching her to harness her powers—but it’s an art that must be mastered quickly. Because Dace’s brother is an evil shape-shifter who’s out to steal her powers. Now Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and find out if Dace is one guy she’s meant to be with...or if he’s allied with the enemy she’s destined to destroy.

Why I need to read this one:
I will admit I was not a fan on The Immortals series, but there was something in the style of Alyson Noel's writing that I adore. I desperately wanted to love The Immortals, but I just couldn't. I am hoping that I will fall in love with this one. Doesn't it sound awesome?!
Fated will be released by St. Martin's Griffin on 5.22.12

Dec 27, 2011

Review: Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Title: Bunheads
Author: Sophie Flack
Publisher:  Poppy
Publication Date: 10.10.2011
Pages: 294
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: B+

Summary (from Goodreads):
As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet.

But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah's universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other "bunheads" in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?

I have been fascinated by dancers for as long as I can remember. Now I personally have the balance and coordination of a drunken ostrich on a good day, so dancing isn’t exactly my forte. But I love and respect the elegance of dance, both choreographed and improv. I admire the dedication people have to this sport; they constantly and consciously inflict damage and pain on their body to achieve that perfect move, that perfect moment. I found myself just as captivated by Sophie Flack’s Bunheads as surely as if I were watching a live ballet.

Watching dancers on stage or in a movie was one thing, but I wasn’t sure about how I would enjoy reading about them. I often find that when a book revolves around a specific sport or hobby that isn’t as well known, it can be somewhat offsetting to the reader. We don’t understand the technical jargon that the writer casually tosses about, but I felt Flack handled herself wonderfully. If I didn’t completely understand a move or maneuver, the rest of the description in the page was more times than not enough compensation. And while the novel does focus heavily on dance, it’s so much more than that.

Hannah struggles as a dancer translate easily to life. She’s making decisions now as a young adult that will not only shape her career, but her life. After devoting her life to dance, Hannah starts to yearn for something more. While she still loves dance, she starts to realize she’s missing the little things in life that we non-dancers take for granted regularly. When she meets Jacob she starts to really notice all those little things and that adds up into one big question: Can she have both ballet and a life of her own?

With Flack’s background as a dancer, this novel could have easily slid into the category of preachy and confusing. There is no doubt that Flack knows her stuff when it comes to ballet, but there’s a fine line between knowing and writing. I must say that Flack danced that thin line with the finesse one would expect of a ballet dancer. This book is graceful, fast, and intoxicating to watch unfold.

Buy: Amazon

Top Ten Tuesday (3)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun!

This week is...
Top 10 Books of 2011!
1. Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
I fell fast and hard for this heartpounding, romantic tale. Easily takes the #1 spot on this list. It has one of the best romances I have ever read in my life, and the sequel cannot arrive soon enough!
2. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
I never knew how much I loved the retelling of Greek mythologies until this book graced the screen of my Nook. And speaking of mythology retellings...
3. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
I know this was was hit or miss for a lot of people, but it was an intoxicating, heady story I became completely enthralled with.
4. Die For Me by Amy Plum
This was the first time I not only fell for a book and the characters, but also a city. Amy Plum did such a fantastic job describing Paris, I felt like I was there. I never wanted to visit France so badly.
5. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
I was admittedly skeptic about this series. I wasn't a fan of Adrian in the Vampire Academy series, and truth be told? I never cared much for Sydney. When I finally sat down and read this months after it came out, I felt like such an idiot. How could I ever doubt Richelle Mead's inherent awesomeness?
6. Shatter Me by Tahareh Mafi
Few books completely consumed me the way this one did. I couldn't stop reading if my life depending on it. I was late for work because I stayed up reading this book (but of course I blamed it on crazy traffic as any good blogger knows to do).
7. Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting
I love The Body Finder series, and the second book in it was just everything a fan girl could dream out. I think Violet and Jay are my favorite book couple EVER.
8. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Maybe this is cheating since this book doesn't come out until 2012, but I techincally read it in 2011, and it was EPIC. If I have one regret it's swapping this book; I wish now I could re-read it.
9. Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Begren
Lisa Tawn Begren tapped into my closeted fascination with time travel with the sprawling romance about a girl who, along with her sister, go back to the 1400s and fall in love.
10. Last Breath by Rachel Caine
I am in total awe of the Morganville Vampire series. This latest book really upped the ante in Morganville, including a major death I could have never, ever predicted. I cried, I laughed, I cheered ... Awesome.
Honorable Mentions:
1. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
2. Isle of Night by Veronica Wolff
3. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
4. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Teaser Tuesday (10)

Teaser Tuesday is weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should be Reading 
Grab your current read 
Open to a random page 
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page 
This week I'm reading...

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
"These people died alone, and they're the only ones who know how it happened - them and whoever was responsible. Someone else should know." pg. 45
Unrqaveling will be available 4.26.12 from Balzer + Bray
*Quote taken from Advance Reader Copy and may not be the correct page in the finished copy*

Dec 26, 2011

Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Title: Everneath
Author: Brodi Ashton
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 1.24.2012
Pages: 370
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Mythology
Series: Yes (Everneath #1)
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: A-

Summary (from Goodreads):
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

Here’s the thing: I read a synopsis and go into a book with a preconceived idea of what I’m getting myself in for. Most of the time I’m right on. Sometimes I’m disappointed, and other times I am completely surprised (in the good way). I started this book kind of disappointed but by the end was completely and totally enthralled.

I felt the beginning moved too slowly. Much like the way Nikki was slowly returning to her former life and waking up from a hundred year nightmare, the book sort of dragged and was confusing at times. Nikki seemed too wishy-washy. She came back for Jack, but she was drawn to Cole. I’m not gonna lie—I’m a girl who likes to know which couple she’s shipping early on, and this one kept me guessing. So few romantic triangles can do that anymore, and I found myself somewhat annoyed with Nikki and her inability to choose.

As the story progressed (say 1/3 of the way in), things really started to pick up. Nikki started to find who she was and stand up for herself again, and as soon as that shift happened I was hooked. Watching her come alive was exciting and thrilling. I loved the way she pined for Jack and bantered with Cole. When she decided to fight against going back to the Everneath, I fell in love with Nikki.

This is a book that is very much the first in a series. It has a rough start because Brodi Ashton is tasked with explaining a century in a few pages. Ashton had to create a new world (Everneath), beings that live in it (Everlivings), a heroine I could cheer for, and a guy I could fall for (and no, I’m not telling you which one). All in all? I’d say she succeeded with flying colors. I cannot wait for book #2! I have a feeling that one will be even better than the first.

Buy: Amazon

Dec 22, 2011

Review: Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

Title: Bloodrose
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher:  Philomel
Publication Date: 1.3.12
Pages: 414
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Series: Yes (Nightshade #3)
Source: ARC from a friend

Rating: B

Summary (from Goodreads):
Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is.

I feel fairly confident in saying I felt like this game was the YA Superbowl. You had Team Ren and Team Shay, both teams fierce and loyal (and gorgeous), and both vying for Calla’s love. Each team had to overcome huge obstacles and trials, but by the beginning of Bloodrose, Andrea Cremer has each team setting up on opposites ends the field. There’s that obligatory moment where they shake hands and make nice for the sake of the game, but you know they want to rip each other’s heads off and be the victor.

I will tell you that I am solidly Team Ren … but that’s as far as I’ll go. I won’t be revealing or alluding to which guy wins Calla in the end. I will also say I’m done with the football analogy. Onto the review:

The way Cremer’s mind works is astounding to me. This entire world she created with wolves and witches and magic is just so incredible, it’s almost beyond words. But I think that the most amazing part is how realistic it seems. She doesn’t gloss over facts or summarize them: A good chunk of this book is dedicated to mapping out this world she has crafted and molded. Cremer definitely doesn’t skimp on the details. I vividly pictured every scene in my mind as sure as if I were watching a movie.

That’s not to say this book is all narrative and storytelling. Anyone who has read the first two books in the series knows that Cremer is a master of piling on the action, the drama, and the romance. Oh, wow, the romance. I think Cremer’s writing would make a nun blush, but definitely keep reading. You can’t not read these books once you start.

My biggest issues was I felt like Calla wasn't the same girl she was in book 1. I know that characters evolve and change, but I felt like her shift wasn't for the better. As an alpha, she got better. But as a person ... she kinda sucked. She did a lot of things that irritated me, especially when it came to Ren and Shay.

I am desperately sad to see this series end. I could have read about this world (and these characters) forever. In three books I truly came to love and adore each of these characters. I know I will definitely miss reading out their adventures in the future. Whatever Cremer has in store next, I will happily delve into.

Buy: Amazon

Dec 20, 2011

Literary Critique Giveaway!

Are you an aspiring writer? Then you definitely need to check this out:

Win a literary agent or acclaimed author's feedback on your unpublished manuscript for young adult or middle grade readers.  This rare opportunity is being offered to the six winners of an essay contest recently announced by the literacy charity Book Wish Foundation.  See for full details.

You could win a manuscript critique from:

-Laura Langlie, literary agent for Meg Cabot
-Nancy Gallt, literary agent for Jeanne DuPrau
-Brenda Bowen, literary agent and editor of Karen Hesse's Newbery Medal winner Out of the Dust
-Ann M. Martin, winner of the Newbery Honor for A Corner of the Universe
-Francisco X. Stork, winner of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award for The Last Summer of the Death Warriors

-Cynthia Voigt, winner of the Newbery Medal for Dicey's Song and the Newbery Honor for A Solitary Blue

All that separates you from this prize is a 500-word essay about a short story in Book Wish Foundation's new anthology, What You Wish For.  Essays are due Feb. 1, 2012 and winners will be announced around Mar. 1, 2012.  If you win, you will have six months to submit the first 50 pages of your manuscript for critique (which means you can enter the contest even if you haven't finished, or started, your manuscript).  You can even enter multiple times, with essays about more than one of the contest stories, for a chance to win up to six critiques.

If you dream of being a published author, this is an opportunity you should not miss.  To enter, follow the instructions at

Good luck and best wishes,
Logan Kleinwaks
President, Book Wish Foundation

Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop!

This giveaway hop is hosted by the aweomse people from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Oasis for YA. It will run from Dec. 21 - Dec. 27, 2011 (yes, I'm posting a little early). I'll choose the winner on Dec. 28, 2011.

This one is INTERNATIONAL! So best of luck and have a fabulous holiday!

The Prize:

You can win any book of your choice, up to $15 USD from:

if you live in the US,

if you live outside the US! That means this giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository ships free to you. Not sure? Check this list HERE.

The Rules:

Must be a public GFC follower - I will be checking! ;) 

*Bonus entries:
+1 - Follow Me on Twitter
+2 - Reply to any of my reviews

I will contact the winner via email and they will have 48 hours to reply to my email before another winner is chosen!

That's all you need! Oh, and fill out the form:

Now, keep on hopping: HOP LIST

Dec 19, 2011

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Obsidian
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher:  Entangled
Publication Date: 12.6.11
Pages: 266
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Alien
Series: Yes (Lux #1)
Source: Ebook

Rating: A

Summary (from Goodreads):
Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don’t kill him first, that is.

I need to get this out of the way: OMG!!!! I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! *squee*

Ahem. Now, onto the more adult and thought-out review:

This book completely took me by surprise, but I don’t know why. I love the alien concept (anyone remember the TV show Roswell, or better yet, the book series it was inspired by Roswell High by Melinda Metz?), the narrator is a book blogger, and it’s by Jennifer L. Armentrout. One of those things alone would make me go into a happy book coma, but combined they created a novel that sucked me in from the first sentence and still has me wondering about it 24 hours after I finished reading.

Katy is just fantastic. I loved reading about the world through her eyes. Granted, she got a bit annoying at times (what teenager doesn’t have their moments?), but for the most part I adored her. She’s funny, smart, and did I mention a book blogger? I loved that Armentrout was able to write how I feel every time I open the mailbox and see a packing envelope stamped MEDIA MAIL or the way I can gush about books all day long to my blogger friends, but I can’t to my family and real-world friends because they would smile, but never get it.

The alien twist on this made me giddy, I kid you not. Daemon and Dee and all their alien friends delighted me to no end. Daemon could be a total ass, but he also had this incredibly loyal and protective streak that awed me. He and Katy could be arguing so vehemently I thought they would come to blows, and then the next minute they were practically tearing each other’s clothes off. Their relationship was such a rollercoaster, and I’m a theme park ride junkie. I could read about them all day.

Once again Armentrout has sucked me in by her fantastical storytelling. She creates such visceral, emotional characters that the reader can’t help but love them. This woman is literary gold in my book and can do no wrong. Next book, please!

Buy: Amazon

CoverCrazy (1)


We hate to admit we do it, but we all judge a book by its cover. It's the initial selling point of the book - the first thing we see that grabs our attention so we pick it up off the shelf. This meme is a fun little way to show off those books that were blessed by the cover gods, hosted by The Book Worms.

This week's cover I adore is:

The Selection by Kiera Cross

OK, go ahead and stare. Yes, it's that freaking gorgeous. But I sounds like the cover is doing the novel justice because the description sounds just as intoxicating as that amazing art.

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

It's Monday! What are you reading?

This awesome little meme was created by Book Journey and is a great way to tell everyone what you read the past week are currently reading, and plan to read next.

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Bunheads by Sophie Flack
Slide by Jill Hathaway

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Switched by Amanda Hocking

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Vampire's Kiss by Veronica Wolff

What about you?

Dec 16, 2011

Follow Friday (9)

Question of the Week:
When you're done reading a book, what do you do with it? (Keep it, give it away, donate it, sell it swap it...?)

I'm a notorious book hoarder. It's not just books I've read, but I buy books the way people buy groceries. The running joke in my family is that my room is going to fall through into the living room below me one day. In the past hardly ever got rid of books.
I've gotten better about it now. I donated a bunch of books (several boxes of children's books and adult titles that were simply collecting dust) to a couple different organizations. Since I started blogging I've made a conscious effort to swap more books. It's a great way the meet fellow bloggers and grab titles I might have missed.

I seldom lend out my books, especially the ones I know I want to keep. I've had several books ruined by family and friends. Maybe I'm just crazy, but I want my books in pristine condition. I lent a box-set series to a friend of mine and when I got them back, all the spines were broken, the box was torn, and some of the pages were dog-eared. I was furious.

When I first started getting ARCs, I got kind of insane and decided I had to keep them all since they were special. I have thankfully moved on from that. Now I swap them out when I'm done and only allow myself one shelf on my bookshelf to house ARCs.

Of course that plan will be blown out of the water when I go to BEA, but for now I'm good! ;)

Dec 15, 2011

Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: 12.1.11
Pages: 288
Genre: Contemporary, Sports
Series: No
Source: Purchased ebook

Rating: B+

Summary (from Goodreads):
What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though - she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team... and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

Ever since I heard about this, I wanted to read it. Not only because it represented a strong female lead who was willing to tackle (ha, get it?) some intense issues, but because I felt a personal connection to it. The idea Miranda Kenneally presents (a female football star in a traditionally male role) seems so radical, but I actually had the pleasure of seeing this happen.

When I was in high school, one of my friends tried out for and made starting quarterback of our varsity football team senior year. Unfortunately she tripped and fell down some stairs at home a week before the opening game and broke her ankle, thus benching her for the season. But I remember how awed and excited the school was about her playing, and how protective her male teammates were of her.

I think that was my favorite part of Catching Jordan; watching the way Jordan interacted with her teammates and the way they took up for her. She was their leader on the field, but their sister off. She had amazing relationships with these guys, but each one was unique and Kenneally did a fantastic job of that. I love how awkward and unsure she made Jordan, especially when I came to girly things (like kissing and dresses). I fell hard for Jordan and this entire story. Watching her struggle as she discovered first love and what I meant to be loved was a joy.

I will say that the plot is a little predictable and some of it was borderline cheesy, but every now and then you need a novel like that. Something that is light and fun and fluffy, that just makes you feel good. This is going to be one of my go-to books when I need a fun fix, and one I will happily reread over and over.

Buy: Amazon

Dec 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (21)

"Waiting On"  Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking  the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week I'm waiting on....
Social Suicide
by: Gemma Halliday
Here's the Goodreads blurb:
Twittercide [twit-er-sahyd]: the killing of one human being by another while the victim is in the act of tweeting.

Call me crazy, but I figured writing for the Herbert Hoover High Homepage would be a pretty sweet gig. Pad the resume for college applications, get a first look at the gossip column, spend some time ogling the paper's brooding bad-boy editor, Chase Erikson. But on my first big story, things went...a little south. What should have been a normal interview with Sydney Sanders turned into me discovering the Homecoming Queen-hopeful dead in her pool. Electrocuted while Tweeting. Now, in addition to developing a reputation as HHH's resident body finder, I'm stuck trying to prove that Sydney's death wasn't suicide.

I'm starting to long for the days when my biggest worry was whether the cafeteria was serving pizza sticks or Tuesday Tacos...
Why I need to read this one:
I fell in love with book #1 in this series, Deadly Cool. It was fast, fun, flirty, and fantastic. Basically everything I look for in a book. Fans of the show Veronica Mars definitely need to check out this series ASAP!
Social Suicide will be released by HarperTeen 4.24.12