Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (7)

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and it is a weekly event in which readers mention one book they are eager to get their hands on!

So for this week, I got kind of distracted by a pretty cover.... However, while the pretty cover is the thignt hat caught my eye, after reading the synopsis, I am super excited for this book. And the book is.... *drumroll*

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Release date: June 12, 2012

Summary (taken from

Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Eighteen-year-old Luddite Elliot North has always known her place in this caste system. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. But now the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress and threatening Luddite control; Elliot’s estate is floundering; and she’s forced to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliott wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she abandoned him.

But Elliot soon discovers her childhood friend carries a secret—-one that could change the society in which they live…or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she has lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay

Release Date: December 27, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Format: Hardcover (also available in eBook format)
Age Group: Older Young Adult (16+)
Buy the Book: Amazon
My wish
is to fall
cranium over Converse
in dizzy, daydream-worthy

When her parents split, Marcie is dragged from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She leaves behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father.

By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this "vacation" has become permanent. She starts at a new school where a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up. But understanding love, especially when you've watched your parents' affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? Can you even know it until you've lost it?

Love and Leftovers is a beautifully written story of one girl’s journey navigating family, friends, and love, and a compelling and sexy read that teens will gobble up whole.

Marcie is forced to leave everything she knows behind when her parents split. She has to say goodbye to her boyfriend, Linus, her friends (affectionately known as The Leftovers), and even her father and his new, younger boyfriend. She has a hard time fitting in at her new school in New Hampshire, and with her mom wallowing in depression as a result of the divorce, Marcie finds herself trying to find friends at school and be a normal teenager while playing the parent at home and watching over her mother. Her boyfriend keeps talking about how much he misses her, which causes Marcie to be more upset. She feels alone and left out, and all she wants is someone to pay her some attention and hold her. When a boy at her school starts showing some interest in her, she finds herself spending more and more time with him, and soon things start to escalate physically. But what about the love she has for Linus? Is what they have real, or will their love crumble like her parents’ did?

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Love and Leftovers. The story is told from Marcie’s point of view, and consists of her entries in her poetry journal. I do not particularly care for poetry, so I had some reservations when I started reading, but those reservations quickly vanished and I really got drawn into the story. This book is beautifully written and I really enjoyed reading it. Maybe I should try giving poetry another shot?

I really felt for Marcie. After trying to start afresh at a new school, she finds herself unable to fit in, and she feels isolated from everyone. She starts having doubts that many girls have. Is there something wrong with her? Is she socially awkward? She also starts thinking about her relationship with Linus. He never made a move on her, but doesn’t every 16-17 year boy want to get intimate with their girlfriend? Could Linus possibly be gay like her dad, which could explain why he never tried anything? Or is she just unattractive?  Her emotions came across really well through her journal, and I felt like I understood Marcie. All the pain, sadness and happiness she feels, and even the doubts she has about herself, really make her character easy to connect to. Through her journal, the reader gets to see how Marcie matures and learns from the mistakes she makes, and I really liked her growing process.

Overall, this was a really well written, cute story, and I really enjoyed reading it. I had a big smile on my face at certain times and there were other times where I laughed out loud. I would definitely check it out if you haven’t already! This was an excellent debut by Tregay and I am excited to see what she comes out with next! 
A Great Escape!

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Forgive My Fins (Fins, #1) by Tera Lynn Childs

Release Date: May 19, 2010
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Format: Hardcover (also available in paperback and eBook formats)
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Pages: 293
ISBN: 0061914665
Buy the Book: Amazon

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

Forgive My Fins is a cute, quick read about a half-human, half-mermaid named Lily. She goes ashore to learn more about her mother and human family, and also to try and find love and ‘bond’ to that one person for life. She thinks she has found her optimal mate in a fellow water lover named Brody, a guy she has loved from afar for over 3 years. She is ready to tell him her feelings and make her move, but her annoying, biker boy of a neighbor, Quince, will not give her the chance. He is constantly ruining her attempts to ask Brody to the big dance of the year, not to mention that he cannot help but constantly make fun of her. When Quince unintentionally bonds himself to Lily, her life becomes a turbulent whirlpool as she tries to deal with a range of emotions and problems brought on by the bonding. Will she get her fairy tale ending? (I should have said fairy ‘tail’ ending, no? Hehe.)

As mentioned earlier, this book is a romantic, rather quick read. The plot is very simple and rather predictable, but the story is cute nonetheless, and I really enjoyed it. I actually find it refreshing to read a short, noncomplex book every now and then, and forgive My Fins was exactly what I needed!

I have to admit that I really liked Quince (and not just because he is a biker boy, which is incredibly alluring ><). It was pretty obvious that he is one of those guys who loves to annoy and make fun of the girl he likes in order to get their attention. (Oh, boys and their ways. Do they ever grow up? XD) I felt bad for him in the beginning, since his feelings for Lily were fairly blatant and she hardly looked his way. Even though he likes to irritate her, he really cares for Lily and just wants to see her happy, and I really like that about him. I also liked Lily’s character. She is strong and resilient, and I love how she is willing to stand up for herself and those she loves. There were times when I got frustrated with her brooding for Brody and blaming her developing feelings for Quince on the inadvertent ‘bond’ that formed between them. (In my opinion, Lily blamed the ‘bond’ for her feelings a little too much, and it got to be slightly annoying.) However, I understood her concerns about the bond and Quince. She always thought she hated Quince and vice versa since he seems to get lots of pleasure from making her angry, so when she starts feeling drawn towards him, she is left pretty confused. But to be honest, I think their slow developing love is the best aspect of their relationship. Lily has known Quince for years and she has never been attracted to him. But as she starts to learn more about him, she finds herself slowly falling for him. It is not instant attraction, which is very common in most YA books today, but rather an attraction that slowly develops over time as they discover more about one another. It makes their relationship and feelings for one another seem more real, and I really respect Childs for that.

The second book in the series is Fins are Forever. I am a little wary of reading it since the synopsis mentions a possible love triangle with Brody involved (I HATE LOVE TRAINGLES WITH A FIERY PASSION, especially when one of the people should already be out of the picture), but I will give it a try. It should be another quick read for a rainy day, and I looking forward to seeing how the relationship between Quince and Lily develops further! :)
A Decent Escape

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Destined by Jessie Harrell

Release Date: November 17, 2011
Publisher: Mae Day Publishing
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook format)
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Buy the Book: Amazon
When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.

Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell.

After Psyche turns down Aphrodite’s request to marry the callous Eros, Aphrodite’s son, Psyche is cursed with a grave fate. She is to become the wife of a monster, a thing even the gods themselves fear. However, Eros accidently strikes himself with one of his arrows, falling in love with Psyche, and he creates the curse. He steals her away to a grand palace he made for her, and he visits her under the cover of darkness night provides so she can never see his face. He then tries to win her love while Psyche tries to come to terms with her destiny of being tied to a monster.

I love Greek myths, especially the story of Cupid and Psyche, so I just had to get my hands on Destined!  As with most myths and epic stories, there are many different versions of the same story, making it extremely difficult to write a good retelling. However, Harrell does an excellent job! She combined some of the versions together to make Destined and I really enjoyed it. In some versions of the Cupid and Psyche story, Pysche hurls herself off a cliff after certain events go down (which is not a satisfying ending, if you ask me). Sorry for mentioning that there is an absence of cliff diving, but would you honestly want to read a book where the main character falls to her death? (If you do, I would suggest reading some of the other versions of this story. J)

I liked Psyche and Eros a lot. Psyche is beautiful both inside and out, and I really adored her. Even with being the most beautiful woman in the world, she seems like any other girl and is rather humble. She hates being extremely beautiful, for she wants people to like her for who she is on the inside, not what she looks like on the outside. She wants the guy she’s going to be with to like her for personality and mind, and I really respect that about her. Her life has become quite a mess after Aphrodite’s offer to marry her son, and she takes it in stride, remaining strong and mature through most of it. I just really appreciated how real her emotions and thoughts were and I really liked her character. Eros was also pretty awesome. Even as the god of love, he was not saved from heartbreak when a previous lover of his left him. He is on the defensive when it comes to love, but he slowly reveals a little more about himself to Psyche. The chemistry between them took a while to build up, but towards the end of the story, I really felt the love they had for one another. Besides Eros and Psyche, I really did not care for the other characters. I did not mind Aphrodite, but I could not stand Iris. Darrell probably wanted to make her seem all clingy and annoying (I hope), and she did a bang up job.

Destined is an amazing retelling of one of the most heartbreaking and beautiful (not to mention monogamous) relationships in Greek myths. Even if you are not a fan of Greek mythology, this book is one that you will still enjoy. It is more of a love story than a myth, and I enjoyed every page. Harrell has made me a fan! She has written a short story for an anthology called In His Eyes, scheduled to come out February 14, 2012 (Valentine’s Day!!). I will definitely be checking it out!
A Great Escape!

Waiting on Wednesday (4-6)

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and it is a weekly event in which readers mention one book they are eager to get their hands on!

So when I was in Korea, I missed two WoW posts, so I am using this week's post to catch up! >< 
For this week, I have chosen......

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5) by Cassandra Clare

Release Date: May 8, 2012
Summary (taken from

In Book 5: City of Lost Souls, the Shadowhunters struggle to piece together their shattered world after a betrayal by one of their own leaves them reeling.

There is not much of a summary, but I do not care! I do not need one! I am sure I am not the only one dying to read this book. After reading Clockwork Prince and all of its awesomeness, I cannot wait for May (plus, I really need a Jace fix)!

So for the two weeks I missed, I have chosen.....

Release Date: April 2012
Summary (taken from

What if you were mankind’s last chance at survival?

Sixteen-year-old Tess lives in a compound in what was once the Western United States, now decimated after a devastating fourth World War. But long before that, life as we knew it had been irrevocably changed, as women mysteriously lost the ability to bring forth life. Faced with the extinction of the human race, the government began the Council of Creators, meant to search out alternative methods of creating life. The resulting artificial human beings, or Chosen Ones, were extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.

Life is bleak, but uncomplicated for Tess as she follows the rigid rules of her dystopian society, until the day she begins work at Templeton, the training facility for newly created Chosen Ones. There, she meets James, a Chosen One whose odd love of music and reading rivals only her own. The attraction between the two is immediate in its intensity—and overwhelming in its danger.

But there is more to the goings-on at Templeton than Tess ever knew, and as the veil is lifted from her eyes, she uncovers a dark underground movement bent not on taking down the Chosen Ones, but the Council itself. Will Tess be able to stand up to those who would oppress her, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?

The premise seems really interesting and my dystopian kick has reared its ugly head again (probably because I just finished reading Cinder- which was AWESOME, by the way). 

And the second book I chose is......

Release Date: February 16, 2012
Summary (taken from

Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy.

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that's just fine by her. She's got her friends - the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She's got her art - and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it's hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they're dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?
I love the cover to this book, and with Anna and the French Kiss mentioned in the summary, I am super excited to check this out. It just looks adorable and I love a cute, romantic read every now and then! :) Luckily, February is not that far away! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and it is a weekly event in which readers mention one book they are eager to get their hands on!

I am back!! :) Sorry for the extended hiatus, but I am back and better than ever (and also super behind in reviews). So to jump back into things, why not do a WoW post and talk about an exciting upcoming release?

For this week, I have chosen......

Grave Mercy by R.L. (Robin Lorraine) LaFevers

Release Date: April 3, 2012
Summary (taken from

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?
I decided to avoid any dystopian novels since they have recently taken over my to-read list and went with something a little more historical. Add in some elements of adventure and I am sold. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this book!
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