Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

From Goodreads: When Sybella arrived at the doorstep of St Mortain half mad with grief and despair the convent were only too happy to offer her refuge - but at a price. The sisters of this convent serve Death, and with Sybella naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, she could become one of their most dangerous weapons. But her assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to the life that nearly drove her mad. Her father's rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother's love is equally monstrous. But when Sybella discovers an unexpected ally she discovers that a daughter of Death may find something other than vengeance to live for ... 

My Rating: 4.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: After reading and loving Robin LaFevers’ Grave Mercy way back when it was released, I knew that sooner or later, I’d read Dark Triumph, the second novel in the His Fair Assassin series. While I was a bit bummed out that it wasn’t about Ismae and Duval, I was curious to learn more about Sybella, who I found fascinating in Grave Mercy.

Whereas the political backdrop was such a large part of the story in Grave Mercy because of Duval’s presence and his association with Brittany’s Duchess Anne, Dark Triumph focuses more on Sybella’s narrative. It’s therefore much easier to mentally keep track of all the characters, but it becomes harder to know what is happening at court since Sybella has been assigned to d’Albret’s household. She does eventually make her way to court though, where we get to see Ismae and Duval.

As much as I loved Ismae in Grave Mercy, I love Sybella even more. Her story is so sad and awful that you not only can understand the reasoning behind her choices in the past, but also admire her resiliency. 

As well, I loved the romance. Although I thought that Sybella developed feelings for Beast a little too quickly considering her backstory, it’s easy to see why she did. Unlike the men she is surrounded by, Beast is loyal, honourable, and courageous. Another thing I liked about the romance was that Sybella fell for Beast based on his personality rather than his looks and acknowledges that he isn’t and will never be labelled as handsome. But, this was very realistic because as a man who is overcome by bloodlust on the battlefield, it makes no sense for Beast to not be a physically scarred warrior.

A fantastic companion novel to Grave Mercy, Dark Triumph was released in April 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. 

Comments About the Cover: I really like the tagline and how deadly Sybella looks. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Stolen Songbird

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme held by Jill at Breaking the Spine to feature upcoming books that we can't wait to get our hands on.  

Title: Stolen Songbird 
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Date of Release: April 1, 2014

Goodreads Description: For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined. Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity. But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader. As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever. 

Why am I waiting? Besides Jensen being a Canadian author, I love fantasy and haven't read a book involving trolls yet.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

Guest Post: Rebecca Behrens

First Daughter Audrey Rhodes is convinced that living in the White House is like being permanently grounded. Except with better security. What good is having your own bowling alley if you don’t have anyone to play with? After the Secret Service cancels the party she'd spent forever planning, Audrey is ready to give up and spend the next four years totally friendless - until she discovers Alice Roosevelt’s hidden diary. Alice was a White House wild child, and her diary tells all about her outrageous turn-of-the-century exploits, like shocking State visitors with her pet snake and racking up speeding tickets in her runabout. Audrey starts asking herself: What Would Alice Do? The former First Daughter’s outrageous antics give Audrey a ton of ideas for having fun ... and get her into more trouble than she can handle!

Today, I'd like to welcome Rebecca Behrens, the author of When Audrey Met Alice to my blog. Rebecca is here to talk about whose name she would have used when she was a tween if she had to ask herself, "What would ______ do? 

In When Audrey Met Alice, Audrey finds inspiration in former First Daughter Alice Roosevelt’s wild antics and high spirits. Struggling to find her place in the White House and the world, she asks herself, What Would Alice Do? But if I’d asked myself What Would ______ Do? when I was a tween, whose name would I have used?

I was Audrey’s age during the Clinton presidency, so I might’ve asked myself What Would Chelsea Do? And for a bookish, slightly shy kid like myself, Chelsea would probably be a better fit than Alice Roosevelt! Chelsea was just twelve years old when the Clinton family moved into the White House in 1992. She lived a fairly quiet life there with her parents and Socks the cat, although once in a while she was photographed at public events or walking home from a high-profile trip to the bookstore. But Chelsea did have some fun while she lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. She recently revealed on The Rachael Ray Show that she had her first kiss while living in the White House, which led to a First Boyfriend, too.

Some mid-nineties fictional characters might’ve inspired my actions a little more. When I was a tween, one of my favorite TV shows was The X-Files, and I was a huge fan of Agent Scully. She was smart, brave, and independent - and I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. (Well, except for some of the scarier paranormal stuff.) In fact, my best friend and I were convinced that the unoccupied house next door to hers was haunted. We asked ourselves What Would Scully Do?, and spent our free time skulking around it investigating, even trying to find ways to sneak inside - until the new owners moved in.

Tween-me did ask What Would Clarissa Do? to inspire how I dressed. And thanks to Clarissa Explains It All’s unique ‘90s style, that meant a lot of bright colors, scrunchies, and occasionally crimped hair.

As a teenager, I found more inspiration from Daria Morgendorffer and Jane Lane of MTV’s Daria. That’s still one of my favorite shows. Daria didn’t teach me how to snark, but the show definitely encouraged me to embrace it.

If I were a teenager today, I’d probably be inspired by talented young actresses like Jennifer Lawrence and writer/bloggers like Tavi Gevinson (of Rookie). And I like to think that tween-me would be inspired by prominent women in politics and government today, such as Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gabrielle Giffords, and Olympia Snowe - grownup-me admires them. I also think Diana Nyad is a great role model - she’s the world record long-distance swimmer who finally completed her goal of swimming (without a protective shark cage!) from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida last year - 35 years after her first attempt, and at age 64. That’s stick-to-itiveness! Whenever I feel like things are not necessarily going according to my plans, I ask myself, What Would Diana Nyad Do? She’d keep on swimming. 

Thanks for dropping by, Rebecca! 

A bit about Rebecca (as found on her website): Growing up in Wisconsin, Rebecca Behrens dreamed of becoming the following: a zoologist, an Olympic swimmer, or an author. One out of three isn’t bad! Today she lives in New York City, where she works as a production editor for children’s books. Some of her favorite things are: the beach, bright shoes, running, doughnuts, and laughing.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Love and Other Foreign Words

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme held by Jill at Breaking the Spine to feature upcoming books that we can't wait to get our hands on. 

Title: Love and Other Foreign Words
Author: Erin McCahan
Publisher: Dial
Date of Release: May 1, 2014 

Goodreads Description: Sixteen-year-old Josie lives her life in translation. She speaks High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Break-ups, and even the language of Beautiful Girls. But none of these is her native tongue--the only people who speak that are her best friend Stu and her sister Kate. So when Kate gets engaged to an epically insufferable guy, how can Josie see it as anything but the mistake of a lifetime? Kate is determined to bend Josie to her will for the wedding; Josie is determined to break Kate and her fiancé up. As battles are waged over secrets and semantics, Josie is forced to examine her feelings for the boyfriend who says he loves her, the sister she loves but doesn't always like, and the best friend who hasn't said a word--at least not in a language Josie understands. 

Why am I waiting? I loved McCahan's debut novel I Now Pronounce You Someone Else when I read it way back in 2010 and have been patiently waiting for her sophomore novel. I hope the four years of wait will be worth it!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mini Reviews: Consume by Melissa Darnell and Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

From Goodreads: Tristan Coleman has survived the change from Clann magic user to vampire, much to Savannah Colbert's joy - and despair. By changing the Clann's golden boy and newly elected leader, even to save him from death, she has unleashed a fury of hatred and fear that they cannot escape. As the Clann and the vampire council go to war, Tristan and Sav face a new threat - a fracturing of the all-consuming bond they share. To fight for peace, they must forge a new trust and risk everything to take down their deadliest enemy, even as they must run for their lives. Soon they will learn that some bonds are stronger than love - and some battles cannot be won without sacrifice.

My Rating: 2 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Although I didn’t love Crave or Covet, I’ve kept up with Melissa Darnell’s The Clann series because of their cliffhanger endings. The final book in the trilogy, Consume, was arguably the weakest from all three novels. There was very little action for most of the book because Tristan and Savannah were on the run with their families. What frustrated me more though was that they kept having to come back to their hometown for what I felt were very contrived reasons to move the plot along. Additionally, the romance in Consume was rather nonexistent since Tristan and Savannah were angry with each other for a large portion of the book. 

Consume was released in August 2013 by Harlequin Teen. 

In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (Harlequin Teen) for free via NetGalley.

From Goodreads: Mel is horrified when Francis Duvarney, arrogant, gorgeous, and undead, starts at her high school. Mel’s best friend, Cathy, immediately falls for the vampire. Cathy is determined to be with him forever, even if having him turn her could inadvertently make her a zombie. And Mel is equally determined to prove to her BFF that Francis is no good, braving the city’s vampire district and kissing a cute boy raised by vampires as she searches evidence in this touching and comic novel.  

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: After seeing so many novels with heroines falling for vampires, Mel from Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan’s Team Human clearly stands out. Unlike her supposedly smart best friend Cathy who automatically falls for the new vampire attending their school, Mel can’t comprehend why anybody would want to be a vampire and continually discourages her friend from engaging in a romance with Francis. Although she seemed almost prejudiced against vampires, I generally liked Mel because I found her to be snarky and very loyal. Through her interactions with Kit, a human raised by vampires, Mel also comes to realize that not every vampire is evil incarnate.

An entertaining satire about vampire romances, Team Human was released in July 2012 by HarperTeen.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

From Goodreads: Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket. Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking. But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life - not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet. 

My Rating: Between 3 and 3.5 hearts for the first half; 2.5 hearts for the second half 

Thoughts on the Novel: Alienated by Melissa Landers began quite promisingly. However, my interest slowly waned over the course of the novel because the plot became kind of repetitive with Aelyx and Cara going to school and seeing Humans Against L’eihr Occupation protesters on the way, being snubbed by their classmates at school, and then coming home.

The latter portion of Alienated also received a lower rating because it became more focused on the romance. I really liked Aelyx and Cara’s relationship early in the novel when they were slowly getting to know each other since neither person made a good first impression on the other. As soon as they hooked up though, the pacing of the romance changed dramatically. For example, after not being ready to give up her virginity to her boyfriend (who she breaks up with later), Cara is all too willing to do so after just one makeout session with Aelyx! Spoiler: Nor was I entirely thrilled that she chooses to give up everything and leave Earth so that she can stay with Aelyx and then forgives him so easily after he betrays her. I wanted her to have a reaction more like Karou's from Laini Taylor's Days of Blood and Starlight and make Aelyx work for her forgiveness.

Although smart and stubborn, I felt that Cara was a bit naïve as well. Just because the L’eihrs provided a drug that cures cancer, she only briefly wonders what the L’eihrs might eventually want from humans. Cara also never became really curious about Aelyx’s suspicious looking nightly activities or followed him to see what he was up to, despite reports of crop failure around all the areas where the L’eihr exchange students were living.

I liked Aelyx a bit more because I was able to relate to him better. While Cara perceives him as robotic in the beginning, his own POV shows that he isn’t very happy about being sent to Earth as an exchange student. (I’d be too if I was a more advanced species!) Slowly though, his interactions with humans causes him to not only become more proficient at expressing emotions, but also forces him to change his mindset.

Alienated will be released by Disney Hyperion on February 4, 2014. 

Comments About the Cover: It’s nice and simple. I think Aelyx’s half is more eye-catching, but Cara’s half is more relaxing.  

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Disney Book Group) for free via NetGalley.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Side Effects May Vary

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme held by Jill at Breaking the Spine to feature upcoming books that we can't wait to get our hands on. 

Title: Side Effects May Vary 
Author: Julie Murphy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Date of Release: March 18, 2014 

Goodreads Description: When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs - however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission. Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?  

Why am I waiting? Although this one deals with cancer, it sounds like it may be more humourous than depressing. I'm really curious to see what Alice's bucket list consists of and to find out how she deals with the consequences of her actions once she goes into remission. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: If I Should Die by Amy Plum

From Goodreads: I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself. Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France’s immortals, and willing to wage a war to get what they want. It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him. After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying - to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others - so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me?

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Though the cliffhanger ending of Amy Plum’s Until I Die seemed ominous, I had a feeling that the revenants would somehow find a way to make things alright in If I Should Die. I guess this is where I was disappointed by the pacing of If I Should Die. Not only did it seem a little too easy for Kate to uncover the mythology that had been lost to the revenants for centuries, but too much time was also spent on trying to deduce its interpretation. As a result, that left Plum only about 20% of the book to squish in a huge showdown between the numa and the revenants and to somehow conclude the Revenants series.

Another reason I was disappointed by If I Should Die was because of the lack of resolution with Jules, one of my favourite characters from the trilogy. It was kind of obvious through the series that he developed some feelings for Kate, but I always assumed it was more of a crush. Falling in love with Kate though seemed a bit out of character for him. Admittedly, I haven’t read the novella Die For Her so it’s entirely possible that his change in feelings are more believable there.

While it may seem so far that I didn’t like If I Should Die, that’s actually not the case. I thought the romance was still sweet, and continued to enjoy the presence of the other revenants. I also really liked the greater inclusion of Kate’s family into the revenants' affairs. It’s just that in comparison to Die For Me and Until I Die, the finale was slightly underwhelming. 

If I Should Die was released by HarperTeen in May 2013. 

Comments About the Cover: I like it better than the cover of Until I Die, but don’t think it’s as pretty as Die For Me’s. Also, I think the model’s pose is a bit weird. 

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Review: Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

From Goodreads: Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world. The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do - and they are just as determined to stay together. Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost. Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission - because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most. 

My Rating: 4 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Having loved both Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night, Veronica Rossi’s Into the Still Blue was one of my most anticipated reads of early 2014. So when I saw the ARC was available on Edelweiss, I requested it and crossed my fingers that I would be approved.

One of the reasons I love the Under the Never Sky series so much is because of the continued growth of the characters. While Through the Ever Night showed the development of Perry as a leader, Into the Still Blue enables Aria to blossom into a leader as she encourages the Dwellers she and Perry have saved from Reverie to integrate with the Tides and assume some responsibility for finding Cinder.

Another reason why I love this series is because of the relationships. Though the romance between Aria and Perry continued to be steamy, I liked it even more that they were no longer keeping it a secret in Into the Still Blue. As a result, they had more time and opportunity to open up to each other to resolve their problems.

As great as the romance between Aria and Perry is however, I love their individual friendships with Roar even more. In Into the Still Blue, you finally get to see just how strong these bonds are as Roar and Perry’s friendship is finally tested due to their differing reactions to events in Through the Ever Night.

Although Into the Still Blue wasn’t quite the explosive ending that I hoped for, I thought Rossi did a good job of incorporating some twists that didn’t make the story entirely predictable. Overall, I was left satisfied with how Rossi wrapped up the Under the Never Sky trilogy.  

Into the Still Blue will be released by HarperTeen on January 28, 2014.  

Comments About the Cover: I like how the covers for this series match each other and have slowly become a darker blue. I think the tagline of Into the Still Blue is a bit cheesy though.   

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss.   

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Fire and Flood

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme held by Jill at Breaking the Spine to feature upcoming books that we can't wait to get our hands on. 

Title: Fire and Flood
Author: Victoria Scott
Publisher: Scholastic
Date of Release: February 25, 2014

Goodreads Description: Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying - and she's helpless to change anything. Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race. The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place? 

Why am I waiting? Although the premise reminds me a bit of The Hunger Games, I love stories involving quests. Also, from Scott's website, I know that this book features creatures called Pandoras that each Contender gets. I really enjoy stories where the main character's pet plays an important role and hope that Pandoras can talk, which would make them even more awesome.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

From Goodreads: Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is - and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it. In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life. While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope. But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream? 

My Rating: 5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Since I loved Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, another sequel that I caught up on over my winter break was Days of Blood and Starlight. Besides having more of Akiva’s perspective *cue my inner fangirl screaming*, I loved that Days of Blood and Starlight was a much darker read with some very surprising twists. 

Although the main perspectives remain Akiva's and Karou's, Days of Blood and Starlight enables you to get into the heads of other major and minor characters too. I really loved this because it showed how war can affect people in such different positions of life. Through these different perspectives, the novel introduces you to new characters like Ziri and Jael and fleshes out some of the secondary characters from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I particularly enjoyed reading the perspectives of Liraz and Zuzana, and hope that their perspectives are included in Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Days of Blood and Starlight also lacks the insta-love romance that was present in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. In fact, considering how badly he betrayed her, I love that Karou doesn’t forgive Akiva! At the same time though, I love that Taylor leaves open the possibility of redemption for Akiva.

A sequel that definitely doesn’t suffer from the dreaded middle book syndrome, Days of Blood and Starlight was released in November 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Comments About the Cover: I love how everything is in shades of black and white except for the painted mask and the author's name, which therefore really stand out.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Mini Reviews: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott and Broken by C.J. Lyons

From Goodreads: Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with. But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her. Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge. Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?

My Rating: 2 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Before I began blogging, one of my favourite YA contemporary authors was Elizabeth Scott. I’m pretty sure though that I haven’t read any of her novels since I began blogging so I decided to give her latest book, Heartbeat, a try.

Considering Heartbeat is such a character-driven novel, it’s essential that the reader love – or at least, like – its protagonist. Unfortunately, the interesting premise of Heartbeat was utterly ruined by the character of Emma! She was so incredibly mean to her loving stepfather and all woe-is-me that I didn’t even want to connect with her! (The fact that I totally disagreed with her logic may have also contributed to that.) As well, I didn’t like the romance. I thought that Caleb and Emma should have just stayed as friends because I didn’t really feel the chemistry between them.

Heartbeat will be released by Harlequin Teen on January 28, 2014. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Harlequin Teen) for free via NetGalley.  

From Goodreads: The only thing fifteen-year-old Scarlet Killian has ever wanted is a chance at a normal life. Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, she has never taken the school bus. Or giggled with friends during lunch. Or spied on a crush out of the corner of her eye. So when her parents offer her three days to prove she can survive high school, Scarlet knows her time is now ... or never. Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with every slammed locker and every sideways glance in the hallway. But this high school is far from normal. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does. 

My Rating: 3 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: I think I would have liked C.J. Lyons’ Broken better if it had been a straight up contemporary about a girl with Long QT trying to live a normal life with an overbearing mother or if the thriller elements had come in earlier in the novel. Had Broken been a contemporary (which is what I would have preferred), Lyons could have dealt with themes like bullying and having a seriously ill family member with more depth. On the other hand, if the thriller aspect hadn’t taken so long to come into play, there could have been a bit more suspense and the ending may not have been so rushed. Since neither of these situations occurred and I completely forgot that Broken was marketed as a thriller, the plot twist was slightly unexpected. With only one suspect in the novel, however, the only mystery was their motive. 

Broken was released by Sourcebooks Fire in November 2013. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Sourcebooks) for free via NetGalley.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme held by Jill at Breaking the Spine to feature upcoming books that we can't wait to get our hands on. 

Title: Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times 
Author: Emma Trevayne
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Date of Release: May 13, 2014 

Goodreads Description: Ten-year-old Jack Foster has stepped through a doorway and into quite a different London. Londinium is a smoky, dark, and dangerous place, home to mischievous metal fairies and fearsome clockwork dragons that breathe scalding steam. The people wear goggles to protect their eyes, brass grill insets in their nostrils to filter air, or mechanical limbs to replace missing ones. Over it all rules the Lady, and the Lady has demanded a new son - a perfect flesh-and-blood child. She has chosen Jack. Jack’s wonder at the magic and steam-powered marvels in Londinium lasts until he learns he is the pawn in a very dangerous game. The consequences are deadly, and his only hope of escape, of returning home, lies with a legendary clockwork bird. The Gearwing grants wishes. Or it did, before it was broken. Before it was killed. But some things don’t stay dead forever. 

Why am I waiting? I'm not going to lie, but a huge reason that I'm attracted to this novel is because of the cover! I also love steampunk, and think the premise of this one sounds very intriguing and mysterious.