Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: When the World was Flat (And We Were in Love) by Ingrid Jonach

Looking back, I wonder if I had an inkling that my life was about to go from ordinary to extraordinary. When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.

But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind — memories of the two of them, together and in love.

When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger — and much more terrifying and beautiful — than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again. 
An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself (GoodReads).

When the World was Flat (And We Were in Love) by Ingrid Jonach is came out Sept. 3rd! I WoW-ed this book and then I got an ARC. I must have some good book Karma. I inhaled this short book and liked it pretty well, although I had my usual "I am confused by dimensions/time travel" feelings.

Originality: 8. Einstein theories, space-time continuum craziness, and murders make for one unique read. 
Absurdity: 5. Like all books about time/space travel, I roll my eyes at all theory exposition. I mean, I never really get it, but I have a baseline assumption that all alternative world stuff is ridiculous. This makes me a bad Star Trek watcher. I roll my eyes. A lot.
Level of Paranormal Romance: 10. HIGH, HIGH, HIGH. Without spoilers, this has soul-mate love across time and space going on. Which reminds me a bit of movie The Fountain, which I have not even seen, but looked super trippy.
Level of Harry Potterness: 2. OUCH. Sometimes this writing made me cringe, particularly because Lillie and her friends are kinda nasty to each other. Can we learn a lesson from Harry and love the people who matter to us? This writing does not stand out otherwise to me.

PS- Snaps for a cool title!
FTC Full Disclosure: I received a review copy from Angry Robot. Happy reading followed. (We do not accept or receive compensation for reviews at YAF and WS.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review: Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst

ConjuredOpppps so I skipped ahead in this one and kind of ruined the WOW, WHAT!?! climax moment. My bad. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed my ARC of Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst, which is now out for all.

Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined (GoodReads).

  • Originality: 6 Take a creepy Are You Afraid of the Dark carnival episode, mix with bits of The Night Circus and the Theatre Illuminate series, add in some wormholes, and sprinkle with some secret government agencies for good measure. (Aka, a recipe for originality!)
  • Absurdity: 10. I mean, wormholes AND carnivals AND secret agents!? Don't forget the courtroom showdown a la Law and Order. Of course this comes off has absurd. But it is enjoyably absurd.
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 4. Eve has some SERIOUS boy issues, but its not her fault. What do you do when your memory keeps resetting and you don't know if you are 'supposed' to kiss a boy or not? Well.....kiss them all, of course! All kidding aside, I was happy with how this romance turned out. Its sweet and sincere and lie-free. That seems like a good deal to me.
  • Level of Harry Potterness: 5. I don't usually like flashbacks, but in this book they are more like artistic pastiches than boring plot exposition. I thought they added to the feeling of the book. If you are looking for a read with a bit of a creepy, dark vibe, give this one a chance.
(If you want to know more about the carnival/ circus books mentioned above (and who DOESN'T want to read more books involving carnies!?!) see our review of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern)

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a review copy from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books via NetGalley. Happy reading followed. (We do not accept or receive compensation for reviews at YAF and WS.)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Crash into You by Katie McGarry

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)
Why are these books not Lifetime movies yet?
They would be ppeeeeerfect.
OK so I still haven't read Pushing the Limits. I know, fail. BUT, BUT it literally came in for my Nook yesterday morning. It is a sign. I loved  the second book in this series Dare You To. I am into companion novels. And also, Isaiah deserves love. The end.

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane 

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind. 

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look. 
But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other (GoodReads).

Thanks to Jill at Breaking the Spine for hosting WoW, a weekly meme that showcases upcoming publications we are looking forward to. What made your WoW this week?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: The Best Sequels. EVER.

Fragments (Partials, #2)
The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)Happy Tuesday morning, people. It is time again for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the fab The Broke and the Bookish. Today's list is all about the "Best Sequels Ever." I love a good sequel- aka one where stuff actually happens, as opposed to spinning its wheels so a series can be a trilogy. Here are our picks! What made your TTT? 

Grad Student:

1. Timepiece by Myra McEntire. Because Kaleb's POV was epic.
2. Stephanie Perkins's Lola and the Boy Next Door.
3. Delirium by Lauren Oliver was only OK. I liked the world-building, but all the schmaltz got under my skin. Pandemonium brought the action and I loved it.
4. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner, the sequel to The Maze Runner. The conspiracy got so big my eyes kept bugging. And it was awesome.
5. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson. The last book of the Millennium series, aka The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo books. This last one was jaw-dropping. What a conspiracy!  I guess I like them.

6. Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

7. I thought Graceling by Kristin Cashore was a bit heavy handed with the romance, but man, Fire got good. (and then Bitterblue- wow!)

Crazy Camper:
8. Fragments by Dan Wells. Way less DNA mumbo-jumbo.
9. Vampire Academy, Book 3, Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead. We will ignore the high school ski trip in Book 2, not that it was bad, but from Book 3 on things just kept getting better.

Want to know more? See our reviews of BitterblueFire , and  Graceling by Kristin Cashore (and Crazy Camper's addendum), Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (Grad Student's review, Goosie Mama's Review), Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, and Timepiece by Myra McEntire.
Timepiece (Hourglass, #2)Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent

Right now I feel like Rocky at the top of those steps in Philly. And not just because it is early in the morning and I am rocking a crewneck sweatshirt. It is because I feel like a champion who, against all odds, accomplished something big. I managed to finish the Soul Screamer series which are batshit cray cray 90% of the time (but I love Tod and Nash so I soldiered on.) Lets talk With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent!

With All My Soul (Soul Screamers, #7)What does it mean when your school is voted the most dangerous in America? It's time to kick some hellion butt...

After not really surviving her junior year (does "undead" count as survival?), Kaylee Cavanaugh has vowed to take back her school from the hellions causing all the trouble. She's going to find a way to turn the incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity against one another in order to protect her friends and finish this war, once and forever.

But then she meets Wrath and understands that she's closer to the edge than she's ever been. And when one more person close to her is taken, Kaylee realizes she can't save everyone she loves without risking everything she has...(GoodReads).

For the record every one of these covers hurts. While on vacation my mom literally said when she saw it "don't tell other people about this book." Not what I call a vote of confidence in my taste in books.
  • Originality: 5. Bean Sidhes started this whole mess, but Vincent has really not held back on types of paranormals. I guess this counts as original, but rest of the story lines involve v. mundane high school stuff. Bad teachers, proms, boyfriends, nasty ex-girl friends. 
  • Absurdity: 6. The Mortal Instruments film is getting flack for its 'everything and the kitchen sink' approach to paranormal mythology. This series is just the same. Hellions, alternate realms, banshees, immortality, resurrections like whoa AND nasty math teachers. It is all here friends, for better or worse.
  • Level of Paranormal Romance:10.  Reapers and bean sidhes in love, 4-eva. Immortal, beautiful and totally obsessed with each other. Reading to (LITERALLY) go to hell and back for each other. This is how paranormal romance is done. Crazy right up to the end.
  • Level of Harry-Potterness: 3. The thing I like best about these books is that they unfold over short periods of time. Usually, about a week. It keeps the plot moving and my interest! If you haven't experienced these books, at least read up until you can get a full sense of why Nash and Tod are some of the best high school crushes out there. Way to go, Kaylee.
If you want to know more, see our reviews of the Soul Singers series and book one, My Soul to Take.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: Unravel Me, by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me #2)

Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)Amid all sorts of shenanigans, I really liked Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi,  the first book in the Shatter Me series, and was excited for Unravel Me to land on my Nook!

it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life (GoodReads).

Before I even started, I had heard cries of support for Team Adam, as well as Team Warner (though debated if that even was a know who you are...)

Originality: 6- though there were some surprises in this story, it was mostly lovey dovey romance.  But the world has been built, super powers discovered, now we are at war, so I am willing to look this over.

Absurdity: 5- eh, yeah this is totally absurd, especially Juliette's wishy-washy attitude towards Adam.  Didn't we learn anything from when Edward left Bella in book 2 of Twilight? Not helping anyone. 

Bella, wallowing in the dirt when Edward left "to protect her"
Level of Paranormal Romance: 9.  So many levels of teen angst and super powers, it is quite similar to X-Men in a lot of ways.  O Adam, I love you.  Warner, you are a handsome, disturbed, but creepy.  What is Juliette THINKING?
Level of Harry Potterness: 5. While with the first book I loved the writing style, it wasn't as endearing this time, but none the less I was swept up in the story and am looking forward to Juliette toughening up a bit and making things happen in the final book.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Books On Our Fall 2013 TBR List

Can I just say HOLY MOLY HOW IS IT ALREADY September 17!?! This month is flying by! The good news is that today is Tuesday and that makes it time again for Top Ten Tuesday. Hosted by the awesome/fun/funny bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish, TTT is a way to share the books we are reading/have loved via lists. This week we are participating in Top Ten Books On Our Fall 2013 TBR List. This list is a few new releases and a few from our general reading lists.

Grad Student:

  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. More Rowell books! I am still in the love-induced afterglow of Eleanor and Park.
  • These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman and Megan Spooner.
  • Infinityglass by Myra McEntire.
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. This is a self-explanatory must-read.
                         These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)Infinityglass (Hourglass, #3)Secrets and Lies
Goosie Mama:

  • Secrets and Lies by Jacqueline Green - yeah, buddy, this is going to be a killer sequel to Truth or Dare and just the title gets me all pumped up!
  • Allegiant by Veronica Roth.
  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black - bc I love me some good old fashion zombie teen angst.
                        The Coldest Girl in ColdtownCode Name VerityThe Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)
Crazy Camper:
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Even my boyfriend is reading it with his work book club ( on my suggestion of course)
  • Any post-Harry Potter J.K. Rowling.  Apparently everyone else wants to too based on the library wait list.

We want to know what you are planning to read! Happy Tuesday, and happy reading.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

I don't know how this happened, but somehow us ladies at YAF & WS have never done a proper review of City of Bones.  With the movie out (GS was very excited....) I thought it was about time.... spoiler free of course.

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . . E
xotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

Originality: 6.  Teenage angst? Check.  Vampires, Werewolves and every other creature/demon/fairy? Check.  Love triangle? Check.  It almost feels like everything including the kitchen sink is in this book, and I probably could have done with without the vampire/werewolf aspect and stuck with the demons and shadowhunters.  Still, NYC was gritty and cool, and the shadowhunters themselves were a fresh take on the demon world.

Absurdity: 10.  Je-SUS.  At the end of this book I was gasping outloud and g-chatting GS frantically.  AMIRIGHT FOLKS?  High levels of craziness, I was unprepared.

Level of Paranmormal Romance: 7.  O Jace.... I was routing for you in a big way (Simon really needed to step up his game)

Level of Harry Potterness: 6.  I crushed this book, but then again, football has started and I came home sick yesterday, so it was a deadly combination of free time.  While the story plowed forward, sometimes the cheesy-ness and plot were just high roll inducing, yet overall? enjoyed the story.  100% renting this when it comes out.

The real important question is... do I devote time to the rest of this series??

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Audio Book Review: Bossypants by Tina Fey

Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon—from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy.

(Includes Special, Never-Before-Solicited Opinions on Breastfeeding, Princesses, Photoshop, the Electoral Process, and Italian Rum Cake!)

Bossypants by Tina Fey read by Tina Fey was just what I hoped it would be.

Narrator Voice: 10 this reflects how great it is to hear Fey read her own words. Inflection is everything. 
Absurdity: 10! Fey is hilarious and at her best in one-offs and wacky asides. They are what made me laugh the most.
Level of Paranormal Romance: Sadly, it doesn't apply. (But just imagine how awesome it would be if it did.)
Level of Harry-Potterness 3. No matter how much I love Tina Fey, I still don't love memoirs. They just don't draw me in. I think I liked this book in spite of the fact that it is a memoir mostly because I love Fey's sense of humor. If you like 30 Rock, this is for you.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Ruins by Dan Wells (Partials Sequence #3)

Ruins (Partials, #3)
What, not Kira gets cold and goes long sleeved?
Also, do they not have hair-ties in the future?

Kira, Samm, and Marcus fight to prevent a final war between Partials and humans in the gripping final installment of the blockbuster Partials Sequence.

Our time is almost up.

As the clock ticks closer and closer to the final Partial expiration date, humans and Partials stand on the brink of war. Caught in the middle, thousands of miles apart, are Samm and Kira: Samm, who is trapped on the far side of the continent beyond the vast toxic wasteland of the American Midwest; and Kira, now in the hands of Dr. Morgan, who is hell-bent on saving what's left of the Partials, even if she has to destroy Kira to do it.

The only hope lies in the hands of the scattered people of both races who seek a way to prevent the rapidly escalating conflict. But in their midst appears a mysterious figure, neither human nor Partial, with solemn warnings of the new apocalypse-one that none of them may be able to avert.

Fragments (Partials, #2)
Tank top no hair tie
Tank top no hair tie
The last book in the Partials Sequence is a thrill ride of epic proportions, as the last remnants of life on our planet fight to determine its final fate.

Here at YAF & WS, we have gotten behind Partials. enjoyed Fragments, and def cant wait for the finale! Lets make it a good one, Dan Wells! Thanks to Jill at Breaking the Spine for Hosting Waiting on Wednesday to highlight books we are anticipating! What made your list?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books We Would Love To See As A Movie/TV Show

Its time again for Top Ten Tuesday! Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this weekly event is a creative way to share books we love via  lists. This week's TTT is Top Ten Books I Would Love To See As A Movie/TV Show (set in a perfect which movies don't butcher the books we love.

Maze Runner AWESOMENESS via
Grad Student:
  • The Maze Runner by James Dasher. Annnnd, check! And so far it looks great.
  •  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The visuals would be to die for.
  • A Jennifer Echols Made for TV movie series. Going Too Far, Such a Rush ... they are perfect for TV melodrama.
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein(Oscar contender) . Starring Meryl Streep as Maddie's mother and Vanessa Redgrave as the french grandmother with the roses. TEARS.
Goosie Mama:

  • Looking for Alaska and/or Will Grayson, Will Grayson - i can't break my John Green streak now...amiright?!
  • Truth or Dare by  Jacqueline Green because this would be one hellofa awesome suspense thriller!
Crazy Camper:
  • For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund. I just think this was swoon worthy and would be best of Baz Lurman got involved.
Twitter (@ZoeyDeutch)
FYI kids. Dimitri doesn't smile. via