Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: Outcast by Adrienne Kress

So.... I didn't even make it through the whole synopsis before I downloaded Outcast by Adrienne Kress.  I KNEW I would like it... I described it to Grad Student as a high-school Sookie Stackhouse, and it did not disappoint ( I mean look at the cover!) GS had read The Friday Society also by Adrienne Kress, and while steam punk is not my thing, southern scifi most certainly is.  Adrienne describes it as "a romance based on mutual respect and shared interests. To me, there's nothing more romantic :)"--> YES!

After six years of “angels” coming out of the sky and taking people from her town, 16-year-old Riley Carver has just about had it living with the constant fear. When one decides to terrorize her in her own backyard, it’s the final straw. She takes her mother’s shotgun and shoots the thing. So it’s dead. Or … not? In place of the creature she shot, is a guy. A really hot guy.  A really hot alive and breathing guy.  Oh, and he’s totally naked. [This is where I stopped, I was already sold]
Not sure what to do, she drags his unconscious body to the tool shed and ties him up. After all, he’s an angel and they have tricks. When he regains consciousness she’s all set to interrogate him about why the angels come to her town, and how to get back her best friend (and almost boyfriend) Chris, who was taken the year before. But it turns out the naked guy in her shed is just as confused about everything as she is.
He thinks it’s 1956.
Set in the deep south, OUTCAST is a story of love, trust, and coming of age. It’s also a story about the supernatural, a girl with a strange sense of humor who’s got wicked aim, a greaser from the 50’s, and an army of misfits coming together for one purpose: To kick some serious angel ass.
  • Originality: 10!  This is a high score because while this book starts with demon/naked boys, it never goes batshit crazy [ side eye at GoneTwilight  and many others].  I just liked Riley and her insecurities, boy issues, and brave attitude ( I would still be hiding under the covers if I were her).  I also liked the 50's slang from our fallen angel and would definitely let him call me sweetheart.
  • Absurdity: 9.  Who are these creatures coming out of the sky? While I feared aliens, I was relieved to find some more traditional usage of biblical-ish angels, but not in the bad sort of Fallen way.  Lots happens here, all while we share pet names and moto rides with hunky boys.
  • Paranormal Romance: 9.  Please see references to naked boy in shed shot out of the sky from 1956.
  • Harry Potterness: 6.  While this was definitely a one-night/ 3/4 a bottle of wine read, I really liked it!  A perfect summer book set in the hot south with young love and a bit of a mystery.
Also, I am totally on board with what I assume will be the sequel.  I sense a love triangle coming.
FTC Full Disclosure: I received a review copy from Diversion Books. Happy reading followed. (We do not accept or receive compensation for reviews at YAF and WS.)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review: Scent of Magic by Maria Snyder

For my vacation abroad, I virtually packed Scent of Magic on my Nook (via NetGalley):

Hunted, Killed—Survived?

As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomaniacal King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confidant, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.

Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet: an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat. War is coming and Avry is alone.Unless she figures out how to do the impossible…again.

Ok. First things first.  I didn't realize Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder was part of a series.  That last line of the description... "Unless she figures out how to do the impossible…again[emphasis added]" should have been a clue.  I blame my pre-vacation eye twitch for this oversight.  Still, I chugged along, surprisingly, it was not that hard to follow.

  • Originality: 6.   This reminded me quite a bit of other books, but still, the way that magic could be sensed, and the powers, was cool
  • Absurdity: 5.  Guys, this is 100% fantasy, with bad guys, zombie warriors and magic.  Just roll with it.
  • Paranormal Romance: 7.  They can feel each other through the plants in the forest.  LIKE.  And for a change they BOTH have powers, none of that lopsided wizard/ muggle struggle happening here.  Also, Kerrick seems hunky and is at one with nature. LIKE.
  • Level of Harry-Potterness:  4.  This book is a very easy read, and given the way that they rehashed so much of the plot of book 1 that I didn't need to read it?  Not super high sophistication happening here, but considering I was on vacation, it was just fine.
FTC Full Disclosure: I received a review copy from Harlequin Publishing. Happy reading followed. (We do not accept or receive compensation for reviews at YAF and WS.)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

It is already Wednesday. Huzzah for short weeks! This Wednesday I am "Waiting On" The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.

The Bone Season (Scion, #1)
It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut (GoodReads).

With a good Da Vinci Code-esque cover and an epic scale, this book will hopefully be great!
As always, thanks to Jill at Breaking the Spine for hosting WoW, which features upcoming reads we are intrigued by. What are you "waiting on"?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books We Would Like to Change the Endings To

Today for the freebie Top Ten Tuesday we are listing the top ten books we would like to change the ending to. As always cheers to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting TTT! Happy 4-day week!

Grad Student
1. The Death Cure (the third Maze Runner by James Dashner). The first two books were epic!  I was so frustrated that this book ran out of steam.
2. The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Hummmmbbeeerrtooo nooooooooo.
3. Beautiful Creatures and Twisted by Gena Showalker.. Any time of restarting of a story/amnesia/wake up and its all been a dream is a waste of time.

Crazy Camper
3a. Beautiful Creatures- LENA CHOOSE A SIDE. IT IS YOUR CHOICE. This is worth repeating.
4. Reckoning by Lili St. Crow. I refuse to believe this is how Dru and Graves leave their friendship at the end of the Strange Angels series. I am ignoring it.
5. The Book Thief- I wish (spoiler retracted) could have (spoiler retracted) and that Liesel could have kissed him.
6.  Devoured- there was ZERO need for the human heart consumption in this book. gross.
7. Books 2 onward of the Fallen series by Lauren Kate.  This one just went bat shit crazy on the reader, as I think we can all agree.

Goosie Mama
8. Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. Actually I wish I could have changed about 99% of these books, but for some reason I was feeling masochistic that month and read them all. Sad face.
9. Swamplandia by Karen Russel- thinking about that book still sends shivers down my spine. Bait and switch at its worst!
10. Loved Book 2 of the Vampire Journals series - you cannot fall in love in 3 hours, I'm sorry - what you're selling, Morgan Rice, I am just not buying. Did love the first one though (Turned)
11. Hana (a Delirium Story or Delirium #1.5) by Lauren Oliver - this was definitely a precursor to Pandemonium and Requiem, but I just cannot handle the ending (which I won't ruin for you), but it gave me the sads. Lena + Hana 4ever!

To know more see our reviews of The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson,Devoured by Amanda Marrone, Turned by Morgan RiceStrange Angels by Lili St. Crow, Swamplandia! by Karen Russel

Friday, May 24, 2013

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins was delightful. I'm in looooooooooooove with Paris, Anna, and St. Clair. I would like to Talented-Mr.-Ripley this story and make it my life. Please someone take me to Paris ASAP!

               Anna and the French KissAnna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? (GoodReads).

Level of Originality: 4. This reminds me of Meant to Be with high schoolers in love in Europe, with a bit of boarding school YA fun added in. No molds were broken here, but I sure liked this combo. Why didn't I get sent to HS in Paris?
Level of Absurdity: 2. Shockingly low! I thought that the complicated nature of liking someone you can't have was very well done and absolutely rang true as to the complicated layers of high school feelings. I also giggled a lot at all of the funny asides.
Level of Paranormal Romance 9. This is the best romantic build-up I have seen in a while. I swooned and cheered.  Would someone dreamy please give me a poetry book with this in it?!:
“I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul.”
Level of Harry Potterness: 5. For BOARDING SCHOOLS. This book is very readable and while not particularly writerly, it really pulls you in.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

 If I could travel back in time to 2011 I would visit myself and say PUT DOWN THAT STUPID VAMPIRE BOOK AND READ Blood Red Road by Moira Young. And it would have been excellent advice.

Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1)
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

I loved this book! I love the Hawks, I am impressed/terrified by Saba, and I  luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv Jack.
  • Level of Originality: 8. The desert dystopian future is absolutely enthralling. What makes this book so original is the narrative voice. At fist I was distracted by the bad grammar and drawl, but then once I got into it this voice made the book so atmospheric. It also totally submerses the reader in Saba's world and thoughts. Amazing-sauce all the way.
  • Level of Absurdity: 6. Sada's cage fighting days are pretttttty intense, and while I am happy she is a good fighter, I am not sure this is the type of characteristic a teenager has that is "surprising'. If your badass, don't you kind of have an idea?
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 9. Smoking! Jack gets to join my awesome-boys fraternity (XXXX). He is even challenging George, the ultimate rogue charmer, for best male love interest in the history of the written word. (No. Big. Deal.)
  • Level of Harry Potterness: 7. The GoodReads blurb says: " poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction" Check and check and check.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

This week I am Waiting on Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein.

Rose Under Fire
While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?

Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival (GoodReads).

Somebody get me a box of tissues! I am going to love this book and it is going to destroy me, just like Code Name Verity. This very well might be my favorite read this coming September.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Top Ten Favorite Book Covers Of Books We've Read

Hello and happy almost Memorial Day Weekend....errrr, Tuesday. While we wait for the long weekend, it is time again for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. (Thanks, ladies!) This week's TTT is dedicated to books with covers that we loved. It is hard to be an adult reading YA with all the terrible big faces and prom dresses, but here is a list of books we would be happy to be seen in public with. What made your list?

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks 
because its not embarrassing
"because show me a flowing hair shot that i DONT love."- Goosie Mama
Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1) The Night Circus   
because they are pretty
"For its simplicity in a world of insane graphics on YA book" -Crazy Camper
because they are badass
"Cinder because x-ray shots are super edgy....Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is pretty epic too (also Pride Prejudice and Zombies - like i said, show me some bones on the cover (errr) and i can't pick it up fast enough)" -Goosie Mama

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

While on vacation, I read Beautiful Creatures, Caster Chronicles #1, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, and while I had heard mixed responses, I really enjoyed it.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything (GoodReads).

Originality:  6. A YA book from a boy's perspective? say what? And a boy who feels quite a few emotions and love?  Maybe this should be in the absurdity section.  But overall, I enjoyed this take on witches, southern stuffyness and history, and a sprinkling of libraries and voodoo.

Absurdity:  8.  Where is this boy who have so many emotions?  in highschool?  it was just hard to BELIEVE that they have feelings like this.  BUT I tired because in my heart I wish they did, for high school girls everywhere, and anyways, there was a lot more absurdity, namely Lenas unrelenting emo-ness.  Girl, I understand you feel doomed, but man, you are way too glass-half-full for me likes.  Though, that Carrie-esq stunt the girls at the dance pulled was rough.

Paranormal Romance: 10+.  Seriously, it is all here: insta/fated love, emotional high schoolers, magic powers emerging, and some flashbacks.  I was very disappointed to how those were resolved, and I would like to go on record saying so.

Harry Potterness: 4.  OK, low score, considering I liked this.. BUT THE ENDING.  You may remember my feeling about books that RESOLVE NOTHING at the end.  huge frustration.  While leaving somethings hanging is a literary technique employed by many authors, here, we read the whole book for the last two pages to basically say, got ya good!  nothing is resolved! read book 2.  siiiiiiiiiiigh.  So, anyone read book two?  If things get resolved and the plot progresses, I am in. But if we circle around Emo-Lena for another year, I dont know if I have the mental fortitude for that...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan

The Beautiful and the Cursed

After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson has gone missing. 
No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried (GoodReads).

The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan comes out literally any moment (or just did-- it was scheduled to release yesterday). I could use a good Paris story and this sounds creepy and awesome. Let's call it a day and go buy this book (and maybe read all night).

Monday, May 13, 2013

Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

It is has taken me a while to write this review for A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Why, you ask? Because I had to cool down. This mix of Victorian boarding schools, Gothic mystery, (insipid, mean)  clique of girls, and magic made me want to THROW THINGS.  Primarily the book. 
A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)
It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to? (GoodReads).

Originality: 2. Victorian girls with sassy, wild, independent sides seem to be the only type of teenage women in YA historical fiction. Don't get me wrong, power to the ladies, but this is a frequent setup.
Absurdity:  1.5 billion. This was all crazy because it made ME crazy.
Level of Paranormal Romance: 7. You know falling for a gypsy boy ( that you can't be with, obvi) when you can commune with the spiritual world is BASICALLY a paranormal romance...because all gypsies are magical, right? Isn't that why the wizard in the Wizard of Oz pretends to be one? This is at least a truth in my brain.
Level of Harry Potterness: 1. I do not want to know more. This book was just not for me. Goosie Mama is going to totally disagree. She loved this series and flew through them. This is even better for me, because now she can just tell me what happens! Then I can know and still move on.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Book Club Recap: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Non-book-club book club happened again this week in NYC!

We read An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. And guys, GUYS, I hate to admit this, but not one of us really liked it. Sure we liked bits, but the full story just didn't do it for any of us. We talked about how this made us feel guilty, since we like John Green and loooooove The Fault in Our Stars.  Do you ever feel this way when you don't love a book you want to love?

So recap of our thoughts: I thought the flashbacks to the Katherines were boring, but I loved the shenanigans of Gunshot, TN and the repartee between Hassan and Colin. I maintain that I would basically read anything about Hassan. More Hassan!  I also thought the "...." in the dark were adorable.

One friend liked the footnotes, and another swears she is going back to finish the appendix and get a better feel for the math. So at least we liked these portions.

I would like to hear what other people thought about this book. I know Crazy Camper and her BF liked it. (See her review)

Have no fear, the book club was still a success. I mean, who DOESN'T want to drink sangria outside on Stone Street (pictured) and talk books? You would have to be crazy.

And for our next book we decided on Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Since the world is agog at the new The Great Gatsby movie, we thought we would revisit Fitzgerald. Since we have all read Gatsby more than once, we are jumping into the highly acclaimed Tender is the Night. Feel free to join us!

It is the French Riviera in the 1920s. Nicole and Dick Diver are a wealthy, elegant, magnetic couple. A coterie of admirers are drawn to them, none more so than the blooming young starlet Rosemary Hoyt. When Rosemary falls for Dick, the Diver's calculated perfection begins to crack. As dark truths emerge, Fitzgerald shows both the disintegration of a marriage and the failure of idealism. Tender is the Night is as sad as it is beautiful. (GoodReads).

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Shades of Milk and Honey (Glamourist Histories, #1)Shades of Milk and Honey is an intimate portrait of Jane Ellsworth, a woman ahead of her time in a version of Regency England where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality. But despite the prevalence of magic in everyday life, other aspects of Dorchester’s society are not that different: Jane and her sister Melody’s lives still revolve around vying for the attentions of eligible men.

Jane resists this fate, and rightly so: while her skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face, and therefore wins the lion’s share of the attention. At the ripe old age of twenty-eight, Jane has resigned herself to being invisible forever. But when her family’s honor is threatened, she finds that she must push her skills to the limit in order to set things right–and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own (GoodReads).

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal was rather like warm milk mixed with honey: sweet and soothing, but ultimately it did not tide me over (how 'bout them metaphors!?!?!)
  • Level of Originality: 9. MAGIC and Jane Austin. Hello.
  • Level of Absurdity: 7. Yo, if homegirl disparages herself ONE MORE TIME I am going to force a self confidence intervention a la Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear. I know that this is a re-imagining of Regency England, but Jane Austin lived it and gave us waaaayyyy stronger leads. This was absurdly unappealing!
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 7. This is not the case where the score reflects swoon. It reflects how obvious I thought it was that our glamour manipulators would fall for each other. Maybe I would have felt more of a build up and satisfaction in the romance, but it felt flat and obvious instead.
  • Level of Harry Potter-ness: 3. This book is nice but dull, like that girl down the hall freshman year of college who was knitting when you were listening to top 40 and wearing jean skirts and Forever 21 sparkly tops (not that it was a good idea, but you know, it was fun). This series keeps going, but I for one will hop off this train for jazzier lands/reads.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Divergent Series, Allegiant by Veronica Roth

While we don't have a cover till October (10.23.2013 if you are counting...), the name of the third book in the Divergent Series is....

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent. via

Here at YAF & WS, we loooove this  series.  Is it too soon to be waiting? And a big thanks to to Jill at Breaking the Spine for hosting WoW!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday:Top Ten Books When You Need Something Light & Fun

Hello again, Top Ten Tuesday world! We have missed you the last couple of weeks here at YAF and WS, mostly because I have had so much work I haven't had time to get things together. Opps. My bad. But here we are, getting back into the TTT, (which we love and is hosted by the awesome The Broke and the Bookish). This week is all about books that are fun, fluffy, and light. Bring on the rainbows and kittens!
                 Meant to Be

  1. The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen. Sweet swoon and happy endings.
  2. The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde.  Extreme silliness ahead (for the kiddos).
  3. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. I mean, everything she does is hilarious.
  4. Wilfair by Alysia Gray Painter: Wacky but nevertheless charmingly charming. 
  5. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. Very smart and very wacky. 
  6. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by 
  7. Stardust by Neil Gaiman. From the master of mischievous storytelling.
  8. Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill. I giggled out loud, which is pretty much inevitable with this adorableness.
Making this TTT made me realize that a LOT of YA books are broody, the world-is-ending-unless-our-brunette-heroine-can-realize-her-potential. Ouch. Now I see why we all needed to do this week's list ot share the wealth of fun books.

Want to know more about these reads? See our reviews of  The Girl Who Chased the MoonThe Last DragonslayerIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)WilfairTo Say Nothing of the Dog, and Meant To Be.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith was a charming, easy read I flew threw! I wasn't as blown away as some bloggers, but maybe it is because I came late to the game. Nevertheless, I liked this book.

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it. (GoodReads).

  • Level of Originality: 4. This absolutely feels like a rom-com, think an early Meg Ryan movie of Four Weddings and a Funeral-lite version for teens. But I am cool with that! 
  • Level of Absurdity: 1/10, depending on whether or not the idea of love at first sight makes you roll your eyes or not.
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 4. Cute without insta-love. Huzzah! (And I love the idea that the dark plane as a bubble that allows two people to connect without the weight of the world).
  • Level of Harry Potterness: 4.I was not absorbed 100% into this world, but this books feels like a more thoughtful version of Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill (see my review!). I think its a really nice contemplation of how both teens and parents might view a divorce. Hadley's feelings on her dad and having to see him as a new person in a new life got me, I felt sad and could understand her dislocation.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Reading Updates: Rooftops, Library Books, and Hammocks, Oh My!

Here I am, enjoying life last Sunday on my best friend's roof deck. Please note the awesome hammock. This is taken in the LES facing south, so that almost-finished tower on the right is the Freedom Tower (not too shabby a view, right?) The Chinatown locale also makes it nice and easy to pick up pork buns for snacks. Huzzah! While the boys watched the Knicks downstairs, I enjoyed the sun and John Green's An Abundance of Katherines, my next non-book-club-book-club read!

I hope you have a fab weekend and get some tanning/resting/reading in! :-)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review: Old Magic by Marianne Curley

Old Magic
Creepy Cover Alert!
Old Magic by Marianne Curley:

Jarrod Thornton is mesmerizing, but Kate Warren doesn't know why.

The moment the new guy walks into the room, Kate senses something strange and intense about him. Something supernatural. Her instincts are proven correct a few minutes later when, bullied by his classmates, Jarrod unknowingly conjures up a freak thunderstorm "inside" their classroom.

Jarrod doesn't believe in the paranormal. When Kate tries to convince him that he has extraordinary powers that need to be harnessed, he only puts up with her "hocus pocus" notions because he finds her captivating. However, the dangerous, uncontrolled strengthening of his gift finally convinces Jarrod that he must take Kate's theories seriously. Together, they embark on a remarkable journey -- one which will unravel the mystery that has haunted Jarrod's family for generations and pit the teens against immense forces in a battle to undo the past and reshape the future.(GoodReads).

El círculo de fuego(If I had read the Spanish edition with that castle, I probs would not have been shocked by the time travel.)

Absurdity: 8. So this book starts out in perhaps Australia? Anywho, halfway in we ended up in 13th century Scotland! SCOTLAND! Since I was reading this on an e reader there was no back blurb to let me know. I was shocked but okay with it all, even though it made for a bit of a mish-mash.
Originality: 8. See "mish mash" comment above. At least this wacky combo was new!
Level of Paranormal Romance: 2. Jarrod, for all of his magic (and thus the potential for a high paranormal romance score with our witch Kate) is a wimp and knows it. He spends 85 percent of the book letting popular kids boss him around, or at least acting in that mindset. Not a turn on, boy, and absolutely not "mesmerizing." Points deducted!
Level of Harry-Potterness 4. Meh, nothing grabbed this reader. I read this because it was available from the lib when I wanted a book late night, not for its writing or storytelling.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Double Dose!

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
It is Wednesday! Which means it is time for Waiting on Wednesday. Thanks to Jill at Breaking the Spine for hosting this weekly event to showcase upcoming publications we are looking forward to.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman just shot to the top of my TBR list. Even my boyfriend who is wary of my fiction choices can be convinced to be part of a group read if NG is involved. This book sounds epic!

THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark, from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman. 

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.  His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang (GoodReads).

AND not to ignore the YA fiction of the world, we are also looking forwards this week to Truth or Dare by 

Truth or Dare (Truth or Dare, #1)When a simple round of truth or dare spins out of control, three girls find it’s no longer a party game. It’s do or die.

It all started on a whim: the game was a way for Tenley Reed to reclaim her popularity, a chance for perfect Caitlin “Angel” Thomas to prove she’s more than her Harvard application. Loner Sydney Morgan wasn’t even there; she was hiding behind her camera like usual. But when all three start receiving mysterious dares long after the party has ended, they’re forced to play along—or risk exposing their darkest secrets.

How far will Tenley, Caitlin and Sydney go to keep the truth from surfacing? And who’s behind this twisted game?

Set against the backdrop of Echo Bay, an isolated beach town haunted by misfortune, Truth or Dare is a highly charged debut that will keep readers in suspense from beginning to end (GoodReads).