November 30, 2012

Where's That Benji Gotten To?

Well, you may have noticed an absence of post for three days, and for that I'm very sorry! Life has been very hectic recently and I just needed to take half a week to get all the loose ends in order. So,everyone, Benji's back and has post scheduled! Yay!

November 26, 2012

Possession and Surrender by Elana Johnson Blog Tour:

Welcome to my stop on the Possession and Surrender  Blog Tour!
Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even thinkabout kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.
But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.
This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.
Possession is the dystopian that makes everybody happy. It takes what fan loves about some of the most popular books in this genre, and puts into one, complete and entertaining story. It takes the action from The Hunger Games that fans love, and combine it with the poetic sensitiveness of the Matched trilogy, with a little bit of Uglies thrown in there for good measure.

   Vi is an awesome main character. Like Katniss, she's pretty badass, and for lack of a better expression, (pardon my French), doesn't take shit from anybody. Throughout the story, we witness an amazing transformation in her character that you don't see in every book. She was definitely the best part of this novel for me.

The one flaw in this book for me was the predictability. In all fairness, YA dystopians are becoming awfully easy to predict, as they all have some of the same story patterns, so it's not as much Johnson's fault per say as it is just the way dystopians are set up.

Johnson does have a very good writing style that is easy to find a home in for YA dystopian fans. The fast paced tempo and excellent dialog make for a very interesting romp around a very well-done dystopic landscape. A fun read!
Follow that tour!

November 24, 2012

Luminosity Blog Tour: Playlist and Giveaway

Hey guys! Welcome to my stop on the Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas blog tour!
Here's a little bit about Luminosity:

My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.

The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.

But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I've already helped them win.
Luminosity Playlist
This is my playlist that I actually used while writing LUMINOSITY. You'll find I listen to a wide variety of music, but each of these songs, in some way, inspired me!

Winter Song- Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson
Back to December - Taylor Swift
What's My Name - Rhianna and Drake
Disturbia - Rhianna
The Only Exception - Paramore
Sing - My Chemical Romance
Dance in the Dark - Lady Gaga
All of the Lights - Kanye West
Handlebars - Flobots
Change - Carrie Underwood
Otis - Jay-Z and Kanye West
Super Bass - Nicki Manaj
Cheers - Rhianna
Don't You Wanna Stay - Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson

And, I thought it would be neat to give you a sneak peek into the (somewhat short) playlist of the second book, EVANESCENCE:

Safe and Sound - Taylor Swift
A Thousand Years - Christina Perri
Black - Pearl Jam
Tomorrow Will be Kinder - The Secret Sisters
Princess of China - Coldplay and Rhianna
Seven Devils - Florence + the Machine
Us Against the World - Coldplay
Here are all the songs on a Spotify Playlist:

About Stephanie Thomas:

Stephanie.jpgStephanie Thomas has been writing ever since she could put letters together to form words. When she was a small child, she would present her mother and father with self-made newspapers filled up with make believe stories and pictures. Her love for writing followed her all throughout her schooling, where she entered and won writing contests of all sorts. Stephanie decided to become an English teacher and completed her B.A. at The Pennsylvania State University. While teaching, she later went on to get her Master’s in writing from The Johns Hopkins University. She completed her very first manuscript during her graduate studies, and by the end of the program, she had completed two more. Stephanie is quick to tell anyone that she’s a born and raised Philadelphian, and her heart will always belong there. She moved to Baltimore with her husband, and they’ve been living there for the last five years with their doggie, Sailor, and their rabbit, Buns (aka “T Sizzle).
Entangled Publishing has generously set up TWO giveaways! The first of which being...
1 Ebook of Luminosity 
Then the grand prize giveaway for the entire blog tour....
A signed copy of Luminosity, A Raven Pepsi Bottle Cap Necklace, and Swag
Enter in both (or one) after the page break!

November 22, 2012

Review: Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Black City by Elizabeth Richards
Release Date ~ 11/13/2012
Format ~ ARC
Publisher ~ Putnam
Source ~ Publisher for review
Purchase It!
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.
In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.
When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.
   Vampire apocalypse stories are one of the synopsis ideas that have been seriously growing this year. Julie Kagawa's The Immortal Rules series got the ball rolling and novels such as The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda, and now Black City by Elizabeth Richards is another notable title. I mean, when you think about it, it's an absolute goldmine for the publishing industry. What have been the two biggest themes in YA in the past ten years? Most of us would say vampires and dystopias. And then you put them together? Boom! You can't get enough of them... and though a few of them have been too similar for my liking, Elizabeth Richard's Black City was pure genius.

   Though the beginning wasn't jaw-dropping amazing and there was no huge event that shouted "If you put me down now you're going to regret it for the rest of your life!!!", it was likable enough and Richards did an excellent job world-building. Though at first Ash's voice is a little disconcerting and not the norm in YA, but once you settle down to it becomes a lot more natural.

    On the notes of characters, Ash and Natalie were perfect for the story and I couldn't imagine it being narrated differently. Both of them are rather shattered souls that have lived hard lives filled with trauma and depression and all that bad stuff. You can't help loving both characters.

   This book had *such* an epic climax. Like edge-of-your-seat, can't put the book down, the-phone's-ringing-but-who-really-gives-a-damn-I've-got-me-a-book-to-finish feeling. And yes, I did just invent a new feeling. Jealous much? But seriously, make sure you've got all you've need to get done done before you start reading the last 100 pages of this book because you will not want to stop.

 Elizabeth Richards' Black City was a very strong and stellar debut that introduces characters and a world you care about. Well worth a read!
Cover Comments:
This cover is nothing special at first, then when you read the book you get it and think "hey, that's awesome!"

November 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine
This week's pick is:
Splintered by A.G. Howard
Release Date ~ 1/1/2013
Publisher ~ Amulet Books
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

   I love all the adaptations of classics that are popping up these days! All this different worlds springing from those of the classics are really cool to read about and I love seeing what spin or take the authors will put on the familiar story. And this sounds like a really epic paranormal adventure. And that cover, ohh... that cover is just plain gorgeous! I love the use of green and the like. I think I'm getting an ARC of this, and I can't wait to read it!

November 20, 2012

Top Ten Books/Authors I'm Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Top Ten Books/Authors I'm Thankful For
Top Five Favorite Books
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This book is just pure amazing and is definitely a book every teen should read, and I think everyone can relate to the story.
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I'm forever grateful to Cinder and Marissa Meyer for an adaptation of Cinderella with Cinderella not being a doormat.
Want to Go Private?
Want to go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman
Another one every teen should read, but this as a cautionary tale. What happens in this book is seriously freaky!
Witch Eyes (Witch Eyes, #1)
Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey
It never ceases to amaze me that such an awesome book is set in my small town.
Velveteen by Daniel Marks
I'm just thankful for this one because it's so damn epic and was one of my favorite books of the year!
Top Five Authors I'm Thankful For
Leah Clifford
Leah Clifford (Author of A Touch Trilogy)
Leah's sarcasm and wit makes me die everyday. Her books aren't half-bad either.
Cassandra Clare
Cassandra Clare (Author of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices)
Some may say her books lack good writing, and sometimes they may be right, but they always provide a good escape.
Lauren DeStefano
Lauren Destefano (author of The Chemical Garden Trilogy)
Both of Lauren's books are wonderful! I can't love them enough!
Ally Condie
Ally Condie (author of the Matched Trilogy)
Ally has proved to the world that a dystopian can be more poetic then violent!
Suzanne Collins
Suzanne Collins (author of The Hunger Games Trilogy)
It's a given.

November 18, 2012

Movie Review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part Two

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part Two
Director ~  Bill Condon
Release Date ~ 11/16/12
Writers ~ Melissa Rosenberg (Screenplay), Stephanie Meyer (Novel)
Starring ~ Kristin Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner
The epic love story between Bella Swan and Edward Cullen concludes in this final installment of Stephenie Meyer's best-selling series. DREAMGIRLS' Bill Condon directs this second segment of the two-film adaptation.
My views on the Twilight franchise change more often then Mitt Romney contradicts himself. So in short, my opinions on Twilight change a lot. When I first started reading the saga at the prime young age of eight, I was very enthralled, but then, near after the release of the Eclipse movie, I, just like many of us, was suffering from a major twi-hangover. Breaking Dawn Part One was just okay, but nothing special, though when you split a story into two movies, it hardly ever is. But I have to admit, in Breaking Dawn Part Two, the franchise did itself proud.

The first thing I want to say is I applaud Kristin Stewart for taking a few classes and actually becoming a near decent actress. Of course, the vampire role allowed her to shine a lot more then her mundane human role, so maybe she actually was just concealing her somewhat-okay acting skills. Robert Pattinson was just okay, but nothing memorable in his performance. Taylor Lautner was somewhat stomach-able but I think that had to did with keeping his shirt on more then in the other movies then anything else. Of course, Ashley Greene, the hottest vampire ever, blows them all out of the water as Alice, who is smoking hot and badass as usual. (Big Alice fan right here.) The girl who played Renesme was good, but of course all she had to do was act cute, so, I'm not really sure if that's considered "skilled" or not. As for the rest of the cast, no complaints but no really extraordinary performances.

The screenplay was not poorly written, with okay dialog, not as much mushy cheesy love lines as usual (though there are still a fair few). The jokes were okay and I may of mildly snicked are a few of them. Just a few of them mind you.

I did really like the soundtrack on this one. Green Day, Passion Pit, and others all had strong songs that matched the movie nicely. The perfect mix of genres, with some louder and some softer songs. Though a few of them were cheesy when placed with certain scenes, the music itself was nice and I've actually added the album on Spotify.

Even though I knew the whole epic battle scene was just Alice seeing the future from the books, the way they set up that was so well done, and I didn't know there brains were capable of such mind-screwing and audience. I know every guy who was dragged there by the theaters were like "this is gonna suck majorly" then during the battle scene "Holy shit, this is pretty awesome" then once they see it was a prediction "it went back to sucking."

Also, I just want to point out, this may seem petty, but as someone who lives in the Forks area, it does not snow that much in Forks! It rains a ton, but we're lucky if we see three snowfalls a year...
*End Spoilers*

The ending of this saga was like a Valentine card that sings, dances, gives you chocolate, and smells like roses. Way over the top, but cute in it's own OTT way.  Though it wasn't perfect, it was a great way to put the whole saga in a nutshell (literally) and give closure to this franchise. Though you may not like the franchise, I don't think there's truly anyone in the YA book world who isn't grateful to Stephanie Meyer and the gang for this story, because it has created a splurge of a million very good paranormal stories.

All in all, Twilight does itself proud by Breaking Dawn Part Two. By far the best movie in the franchise, though Eclipse remains to be my favorite book.

November 15, 2012

Darkness Falls Blog Tour Stop: Guest Post and Giveaway

Sorry this post is going up late. My account was hacked and was blocked off for 24 hours. I am finally getting the chance to post it now! Cheers! :)
Welcome to my stop on the Darkness Falls Blog Tour
About Wilde's Army
"Hello, Katriona." Those two words spark fear in Katriona Wilde and give way to an unlikely partnership with Perth, the man she's been traded to marry for a favor. Saving her true love and protector Arland, her family, and their soldiers keeps her motivated, but the at-odds duo soon realizes trust is something that comes and goes with each breath of Encardia's rotting, stagnant air. The moment when concern for her missing sister spirals out of control, all thoughts of trust are pushed aside and she finds herself trapped by the daemon tricks Perth warned her of. However, rescuing those she loves is only half the problem. Kate still must get to Willow Falls, unite her clashing people, and form an army prepared to fight in order to defeat Darkness. When so many she's grown fond of die along the journey, her ability to play by the gods' rules is tested. How will she make allies when the world appears stacked against her? And will she still be Katriona Wilde, the girl with fire?
Guest Post from Krystal Wade
Love and War
Many people might think being tossed into a new, dark, war-torn world would be miserable, but I'm here to tell you, life is what you make of it. No matter who you are or where you live.
Katriona had everything: College, a horse farm that would one day be hers, a good family, a best friend who was always there for her.

Nothing to complain about.

But somehow, stumbling into Encardia only made her realize what she didn't have, something she'd longed for in dreams, something most girls think about when they're playing with Barbies: love.

Times for her in this new world were frustrating. She's forced to adapt to life underground, without sunlight, without the comfort of friends or family. However, the longer she stayed in Encardia, the more she built a life of her own, the more she grew into the strong woman who yearned for release. Katriona fell in love with more than just the hero, she fell in love with his soldiers, with the women and children, with his family, and with the world itself.

It is, after all, her birthplace.

Still, the losses do take a toll on her, and when so many close to her perish in the final battle, Kate struggles with her identity, with who she is and wants to be in the end, and where she wants to live.

Wars and death have a way of changing people.

Krystal Wade can be found in the sluglines outside Washington D.C. every morning, Monday through Friday. With coffee in hand, iPod plugged in, and strangers–who sometimes snore, smell, or have incredibly bad gas–sitting next to her, she zones out and thinks of fantastical worlds for you and me to read. How else can she cope with a fifty mile commute?

Good thing she has her husband and three kids to go home to. They keep her sane.
Kismet and Krystal have generously set up giveaways for your entering pleasure! Enter after the page break, good luck!

Gratitude Giveaway Hop: Win Asunder by Jodi Meadows

Welcome to my stop on the Gratitude Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
So... it's that time of the year again. Where it's time for us to give thanks to all those wonderful things in our lives. Though there are many things that I love, my followers are one of my most coveted friends. You guys always make me so happy, and really blogging wouldn't be worth it if people didn't read it. So, as a way to thank you guys, I'm going to giveaway one ARC of a 2013 sequel that I'm sure everyone is eager to get their hands on... and it is...
Asunder by Jodi Meadows
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.
In this second book in the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.
So there you have it. Enter after the page break. Good luck!

November 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
This week's pick:
The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
Release Date - 3/5/2013
Publisher - Tor Teen
Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.
Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.
Then Eli's dream comes true.
Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.
   Okay. This one just sounds like all kinds of epic. A supernatural boarding school? Win. Someone that creeps into people's nightmares? Win. Murder mystery? Total win! This book sounds a lot like Slide by Jill Hathaway but also very different and unique. I love mysteries that have a paranormal element to them, and novels involving dreams are generally enjoyable too.
I love the design on this cover!  It looks very whimsical with the dove and trees. And I love the purple coloring! This is definitely going to be one I'm going to be pining for!

November 13, 2012

Review: Reached by Ally Condie

Reached by Ally Condie
Release Date - 11/13/12 - TODAY!
Format - ARC
Publisher - Dutton Children's Books
Source - Publisher
After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.
In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times-bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.
    This trilogy has been one that has always been very close to my heart. The first book, Matched, was one of the first books I read when I started this blog way back in January of 2011, and when I got an invite from the publisher to get the advanced readers copy, I was so excited. Then, just a few days ago, in the middle of a sporting goods store, I finished the book and this trilogy, and started crying. Of course, that's not the best thing to do in the middle of a sporting goods store, as all the sports jocks give you odd looks, but, you know... it is the Matched Trilogy.

   I know a lot of readers who loved Matched, felt a little betrayed and uncomfortable with the way Ally Condie took the trilogy. Those readers seemed to of fell in love with Ally Condie's brilliant idea that "Hey, maybe a dystopian can be a bit more intellectual then just complete action?" and didn't like that there was a lot more action in the second book, Crossed. I however, didn't mind that though. That said, action lovers will want for nothing, I do feel like the people who loved the first book for the reason I mentioned above will not be disappointed. Reached went back to the roots of this trilogy.

   The character development we watched in Reached was great. One flaw in lots of series is that by the final book, the characters have fully formed and there is no room for development. Reached was completely the opposite, and not only were characters transformed, new relationships and characters were introduced to heighten such a great story.

  Everything built up to where this story was ultimately destined to end. And though you may not like it for any reason, you smile with a tear in your eye because you know it simply couldn't of ended any other way. There was a sense of finality that though we may not like, is so often missing in ending books that still leaves you yearning and disappointed because the story didn't fully come to a close. Though Reached leaves plenty up to the imagination, there's nothing that keeps you up at night thinking "So, wait, wait, it's over, and we didn't even get to find out how THAT happened?!".

  This was a bittersweet ending to one of the best and biggest trilogies in the YA world in the past five years. No matter what Ally Condie decides to write next, she is still most definitely an author to watch. So I'll leave you with this...
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it HAPPENED! ;]
(Though it will be impossible not to cry.)
Cover Comments:
Though the elegance that existed in the first two covers is not there anymore because of the violent nature of the cover, the cover design and colors are still one of the best. And the font continues to rock...

November 12, 2012

Crossed Read-a-Long Week Three Discussion Post

Hey guys! So it's the final week of our Matched and Crossed read-a-long, and in just one day you all will be able to read Reached. I finished my galley just a few days ago, and I have to say, it was very bittersweet but the trilogy couldn't of ended better. By now, you should of finished Crossed. This is what we are discussing, so if you haven't, beware of spoilers. Crossed ends wickedly in my opinion and it doesn't give you any choice in whether or not you're going to be reading Reached. Also, I just want to say how fun this read-a-long has been with all you guys! Your excitement can't help but be contagious! A special shout-out to the fantastic Penguin Teen publicity department and Ally Condie for giving us endless support that helps make this event possible and many times more fun through donating prizes, spreading the word, or simply being awesome. So, on to discussion!
Quick note:
Remember. This is a celebration of Ally's wonderful books. Feel free to critique them however you may like. But keep in mind, any mean comments directed at Ally, Enna and I, Penguin Teen, or your fellow read-a-longers will be DELETED and you will be bared from future discussions. We're not trying to sound serious, we just want this to be DRAMA-FREE!
Now that we have that out of the way, here's this week's question:
By now, you've had two whole books with plenty of plot twists to make up your mind about the love triangle in this trilogy, so, what team are you on: Xander or Ky?
Awesome! First anser the question in the comments, then fill out the rafflecopter and answer the question at Enna's blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

November 11, 2012

Pivot Point by Kasie West Giveaway

Hey guys! It's giveaway time! 
Here's what's up for grabs:
1 ARC of Pivot Point by Kasie West
Addison Coleman's life is one big "What if?" As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It's the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie's parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with–her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the "Norms," or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it's not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school–but she never wanted to be a quarterback's girlfriend. When Addie's father is asked to consult on a murder in the compound, she's unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she's willing to live through...and who she can't live without.
 Enter after the page break! Good luck!

November 10, 2012

Book Haul (20) Plus Harper Sales Rep Dinner of Awesome!

Hey guys! Book Haul is back after a few weeks because tonight I had dinner with a HarperCollins sales Representative  author Kristin Halbrook (The Nobody butUs) , and some local bloggers all had dinner and she gave us A TON of 2013 Harper winter releases and we chatted about books a ton! Anyway, first a photo from the event then we'll get to all the books I got!
From left to right:
Audra from The Society, Holly (Barnes and Noble Bookseller), Sarah from Sarah's Random Musings, Kristin Halbrook (author of Nobody of Us), Kristina from Kristina's World of Books, Rachel from Beauty and the Bookshelf, me, and Jasmine from A Room With Books

The dinner was really fun, but now onto all the ARCs I got:
City of A Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster
The Madman's Daughter by Megan Sheperd (Two Copies)
Wasteland by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan
Revolution 17 by Gregg Rosenblum (Two Copies)
Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley (Two Copies) 
Nobody but Us by Kristin Halbrook (Four Copies)
Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan
Rise by Anna Carey
Impostor by Jill Hathaway
Taken by Erin Bowman
Asunder by Jodi Meadows
Requiem by Lauren Oliver
Pivot Point by Kasie West (Two Copies)
Shadows in Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
Mind Games by Kiersten White (Two Copies)

November 7, 2012

Crossed Read-a-Long Week Two Discussion Post

Warning: As with all read-a-longs posts, there may be spoilers for all parts of this trilogy up to the current reading. 
Hey guys. It's the second week in the Crossed read-a-long and guess what? Just ONE week til Reached is released. I'm reading my ARC right now and it is over the moon amazing, yet very bittersweet to see such a great series end. Now, moving on... it's week two in the Crossed read-a-long and week five in the overall read-a-long of these two books. It's going really well and I love all the answers and interactions I'm seeing! By now you should have read to chapter 35 of Crossed! Now that you've done that, let's discuss!
Side Note First:
Remember. This is a celebration of Ally's wonderful books. Feel free to critique them however you may like. But keep in mind, any mean comments directed at Ally, Enna and I, Penguin Teen, or you fellow read-a-longers will be DELETED and you will be bared from future discussions. We're not trying to sound serious, we just want this to be DRAMA-FREE!
Now, this week's question:
Throughout this series, music and poetry play a very big role and while reading them I always have plenty of different songs playing in my head that remind me of what I'm reading. Choose one song that's relevant to our current reading of Crossed and explain why. If it's meant for a certain scene, what scene is that?
Awesome! First enter the question, then fill out the rafflecopter and answer the question at Enna's blog!
And remember. Because Reached is released next Tuesday and Enna and I are both part of a special promotion for that which we need to work on, our final week's discussion questions are on 11/12, not 11/13. Next Monday, not Tuesday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

November 6, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
Hermione from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Ever since I read the Harry Potter books, I've sort of had a big fictional crush on her. Smart and awesome!
Twilight (Twilight, #1)
Alice from Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Though don't get me started on Bella, I always though Alice was one badass chick. Plus she was one of the nice vampires and all.
Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)
Juliette from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Man, Juliette is cool. Plus she's straight out of X-men but less geeky!
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)
Cinder from Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cinderella has always been depicted as a complete doormat who can't think for herself or take any courage to stand up to anybody, and I will never stop loving Marissa Meyer for making her totally the opposite!
Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)
Johanna from The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Johanna doesn't take (pardon my French) shit from anybody and I love it. She'll take you down!
Reached (Matched, #3)
Cassia from The Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie
Cassia is my kind of girl. First she is all trusting of the society then she has a complete transformation. Love that in a character!
Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon, #1)
Emma from Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Few people can kick your ass and say "Oh, my sweet goodness" at the same time. Hardcore. 
Struck (Struck, #1)
Mia from Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
A girl who's been struck by lightning a bunch of times and survived  does not sound like the kind of girl you want to cross!
Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
Tris from The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
Simply dauntless.
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
Katniss from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Katniss, The queen of badass.

November 5, 2012

Non Reluctant Ramblings - "So, You're Young, and You're a Guy, and you Run a Successful Book Blog?''

Today I felt in a rambling mood so I decided to do a rambling/discussion piece... the topic:
"So... You're Young, and You're a Guy, and you Run a Successful Book Blog?"

This is something that people say to me so very, very often. I admit it. Hell, I embrace it. I probably belong to the smallest minority on the planet. Group #1 = Blogger. Sub-group #1 = Book blogger. Sub group #2 = Male book blogger. Sub group #3 = Teenage male book blogger. So... I'm going to brake down what all this means.

What It Means to My Readers
Though I know the vast majority of my readers are not teenage boys, I hope my posts give somewhat of a true teenage boy perspective to them. Though I'm not as picky as most teenage boys are about having girl making characters and seemingly "girly" plots, I'm going to judge a book different then a teenage girl would, most of the time. Though me and a teenage girl might like the same book the same, in our reviews, I might point out different highlights (or lo-lights) then she would. I'm not saying either perspective is better (as most of the reviews I read are written by females), these are just facts. And I hope that somewhere, in the sea of all my awesome female readers, there's one guy saying "Hey. This book looks good.". 
What It Means to My Fellow Bloggers
It means that though my blog may be more successful then their's, it still means they're superior. Though I don't measure followers/hits as success, I still have suspicions a lot of bloggers don't take me seriously because, yes, I am young. Though I do have a bunch of friends that treat me just like equals (<3 you guys!) I still sometimes feel belittled in the community. But truth be told, I don't really care. I'll share my opinions just like everyone else. And I know a lot of bloggers that could not keep up the active everyday content I have been able to keep up for almost two years.
What It Means to Authors
I actually find a lot of authors like some of the "perks" of having a "true teen boy" perspective on their books. Because a lot of kids may trust opinions that came from other kids more then adults. Though I'll read a book based on an adult's opinion, some others might not, or might not want to. Though sometimes when I meet authors at first (this has happened a few times) they find it disconcerting, then they see that I can act professional in my reviews/interviews/general handing of an author and we become great friends. 

So, there you have it...  a peek inside the life of a male teenage book blogger.

November 4, 2012

Interview with Emmy Laybourne, author of Monument 14 and Giveaway!

Hey guys! Today I'm very pleased to welcome Emmy Laybourne, author of Monument 14 for an interview and then a giveaway for the audiobook of Monument 14! So read on!
Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.
Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.
But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

What part of Monument 14 was most enjoyable for you to write?
I really loved writing Max's little stories. Everything else took a lot of concentration and even courage, sometimes, but Max's stories just poured right out of me.
Do you find it hard to write from a male point of view?
Let me put it this way - I find it easy to write from Dean's point of view. He is someone I know really well, and when he starts to tell the story of what's happening in the Greenway in Monument, CO, all I have to do is get out of the way!

What are you most surprised about the life of a published author?
Everything about the success of Monument 14 has come as a surprise to me - a delightful surprise. I wrote a book, and I tried to make it the best book I could possibly write - and it turns out people like it. It turns out that teenage boys even like it! I guess that has been the greatest gift - getting emails from guys who love the book. Sometimes I get emails from the mothers of guys, saying that their sons have never engaged with books, and that their kids are up all night reading and re-reading M14. That makes me feel like a million bucks!

What projects are you working on now?
I've finished the sequel to Monument 14, which is called Sky On Fire. I've been asked by Macmillan to write a third M14, so that's up next. I will start work on it next week, actually...

Describe Monument 14 in three words. GO!
Fast. Scary. Family.
About Emmy
Emmy Laybourne's first novel, Monument 14, will be published by Feiwel and Friends, a division of Macmillan, in June 2012. The sequel, Monument 14: Sky On Fire, is expected to be released in the summer of 2013.
Emmy began her writing career as a playwright. The first play she wrote and performed was called, The Miss Alphabet City Beauty Pageant and Spelling Bee. The New York Post said it, “restores faith in our country’s comedic future.” The Daily News called it, “hilariously clever.”
Her next play, Smorgas-Bourne, landed Emmy a starring role in the Paramount feature film, Superstar, opposite WIll Ferrel and Molly Shannon.
As an actress, Emmy went on to have featured roles in the films “Nancy Drew,” “The In-Laws,” and “Lucky Numbers.” She was a season regular on the NBC sitcom “DAG,” and performed original comedy on Comedy Central, MTV, and VH1. She has improvised with the Upright Citizens Brigade, Chicago City Limits and the Heartless Floozies.

Emmy has performed original comedy material throughout LA and New York, including the song she sang with her brother, Sam, “We Can’t Make Love Because We’re Related.”
In addition to writing YA novels, Emmy is currently a Lyricist in the prestigious BMI Musical Theater Writer’s Advanced Workshop, writing a musical called "The Midnight Princess" with composer Paul Libman. 
Emmy has generously donated one audiobook copy of Monument 14 for giveaway here on The Non Reluctant Reader. Enter after the page break. Good luck!
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