Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Reviled by Kait Wall

The Reviled (Grim's Soldiers #1)
On a particularly unpleasant early November morning, January Ingrom dies violently by the hand of her employer. Lucky for her, this wasn't the end. Death himself offers her a deal: he'd give her back her life, if she'd agree to participate in his "experiment". Become one of his Soldiers, charged with helping or hindering the balance of life, and she'd have powers beyond her imagination. She just had to take the deal and leave her eternal peace. So she took it. Of course she did. She was dead, she wasn't insane.

However, getting her life back wasn't quite the blessing it was supposed to be. January has discovered the dangers of cultivating her powers in the form of the Reviled, people who will do anything to rid the earth of those who took Death's deal.

Things are further complicated with the arrival of the handsome Noah Franklin, a mysterious bounty hunter sent to retrieve her by her murderous employer. But when the Reviled send one of their monsters on a violent rampage through her home town, January has no choice but to work with Noah and other Soldiers like her to find a way to stop it before it destroys her and everyone she loves (GoodReads)

This first book in the new Grim's Soldiers Series by Kait Wall is due out in Jan 2014! I like the tone of the blurb. The Reviled has a weird cover, but it fits right in with my fall paranormal/fantasy reading spree. What are you "waiting on" This week? Thanks as always to Jill at Breaking the Spine for hosting WoW!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Scary Book Covers

Helllllllllllloooo and happy Tuesday. I hope you are all having a good one. Today YAF&WS is getting back into the Top Ten Tuesday action, hosted by the fab The Broke and the Bookish. This week's TT is dedicated to the upcoming spook-fest on Halloween. Below are some of the creepiest book covers we have come across. Apparently we are pretty big wimps, because we did not have a lot of scary books to choose from!

          The Uninvited Guests A Certain Slant of Light (Light, #1)
          The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1)    When the Sea is Rising Red
       The Reapers Are the Angels (Reapers, #1)   In the Shadow of Blackbirds

You might want to leave the light on when you're done with these! What made your TTT?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Review: Die for Me by Amy Plum

Die for Me (Revenants, #1)
O yes, this made me swoony.  I may be the only girl in the world to feel this way, but due to a certain past boyfriend and a trip to Paris, Paris is not the city of love in my mind, but teary-eyed train rides and rain. Yet, this silly, fluffy paranormal romance in Paris may have just relit the Paris spark and GS has agreed that we can go back, but only in the fall.

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity. When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.
Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.
Originality: 10.  And I thought I had read about  all the paranomal beings out there.  Nope. Introducing, "revenants". I also quite enjoyed the dabbling of French.

Absurdity: 8.  Even for a high-school love between teenage-girls-who-don't-know-they-are-beautiful and earth-shatteringly-handsome-paranormal-hunk, this had a LOT of eye rolls. And the eternity aspect in the book bio?  Confusing....

Level of Paranormal Romance: 10.  This is the whole point of the book folks. Don't expect anything else and enjoy it for what it is.

Level of Harry Potterness: 4.  Don't get me wrong, I actually enjoyed this book, but again, please set your expectations.  The best part is young love and loss in Paris, where there is a cafe for you to hide away with your book and nurse your heartache.  This sounds much better then commuting to work sadly or buckling down for midterms, the ways most of us most cope.

I will be reading the next one and crossing my fingers we stay away from the Fallen/ Bella & Edward traps....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Cold Spell by Jackson Pierce

This Wow (Waiting on Wednesday) is all about fairy tale retellings. I am waiting on Cold Spell by Jackson Pierce.

 Kai and Ginny grew up together–best friends since they could toddle around their building’s rooftop rose garden. Now they’re seventeen, and their relationship has developed into something sweeter, complete with stolen kisses and plans to someday run away together.But one night, Kai disappears with a mysterious stranger named Mora–a beautiful girl with a dark past and a heart of ice. Refusing to be cast aside, Ginny goes after them and is thrust into a world she never imagined, one filled with monsters and thieves and the idea that love is not enough. If Ginny and Kai survive the journey, will she still be the girl he loved–and moreover, will she still be the girl who loved him?

Jackson Pearce, author of the acclaimed SISTERS RED and FATHOMLESS, has returned with a unique vision of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen,” one about power and redemption, failure and hope, and the true meaning of strength (GoodReads).

I really liked Lili St. Crow's Nameless as well aKill Me Softly by Sarah Cross. While two very different takes on fairy tales, I enjoy imaginative retellings. And I like Grimm on TV. AND I have been wanting to read something by Jackson Pierce for a while. This book and I should get along just fine.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Unusual Character Names

Today's Top Ten Tuesday is dedicated to the most unusual names we have come across in our reading adventures. Some we love, some we think are tots wacky. Full disclosure, we come from a family of "authentic" Irish names.  Really it is only a small step from authentic/ethnic to wild and crazy. 

1. Etienne St. Claire from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. But it works for him!

2.  Montgomery "Monty" Overbove and Montgomery "Gomery" Overbove from the Wilfair series by Alysia Gray Painter. They are cousins.

3. Thursday Next from The Eyre Affaire by Jasper Fforde.

4.  Lena Duchannes from the Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. This is a great name!

5. Kai and Xander from Ally Condie's Matched trilogy. Nothing says sci-fi dystopian future like wacky names.
6. F'lar and all the apostrophe's from  the Dragonriders of Pern series by Ann McCaffery.  Your name gets shorted with an apostrophe when you become a dragon rider (enter F'nor, R'gul, F'lon).  If you know this series, please enjoy these Google images of F'lar fan art: 

7.  Blue Sargent from The Raven Boys cycle by Maggie Stiefvater.  Her name, her character, are perfect fits.  Well done. which leads us to the Raven Boys themselves, especially Gansey and Ronan.
8. Back to sci/fi and apostrophe's, Rand al'Thor from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time.  The names in this series actually prevent me from finishing, because gosh darn it I cant remember who is who!

Who made your list this week? As always, merci beaucoup to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting Top Ten Tuesday!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Review: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

The women of the Waverley family -- whether they like it or not -- are heirs to an unusual legacy, one that grows in a fenced plot behind their Queen Anne home on Pendland Street in Bascom, North Carolina. There, an apple tree bearing fruit of magical properties looms over a garden filled with herbs and edible flowers that possess the power to affect in curious ways anyone who eats them. 

Garden SpellsFor nearly a decade, 34-year-old Claire Waverley, at peace with her family inheritance, has lived in the house alone, embracing the spirit of the grandmother who raised her, ruing her mother's unfortunate destiny and seemingly unconcerned about the fate of her rebellious sister, Sydney, who freed herself long ago from their small town's constraints. Using her grandmother's mystical culinary traditions, Claire has built a successful catering business -- and a carefully controlled, utterly predictable life -- upon the family's peculiar gift for making life-altering delicacies: lilac jelly to engender humility, for instance, or rose geranium wine to call up fond memories. Garden Spells reveals what happens when Sydney returns to Bascom with her young daughter, turning Claire's routine existence upside down. With Sydney's homecoming, the magic that the quiet caterer has measured into recipes to shape the thoughts and moods of others begins to influence Claire's own emotions in terrifying and delightful ways. 

As the sisters reconnect and learn to support one another, each finds romance where she least expects it, while Sydney's child, Bay, discovers both the safe home she has longed for and her own surprising gifts. With the help of their elderly cousin Evanelle, endowed with her own uncanny skills, the Waverley women redeem the past, embrace the present, and take a joyful leap into the future. 

Sarah Addison Allen's Garden Spells is just as delightful as all of her other books. Bascom, North Carolina is freaking adorable and magical and sexy. I am ready for a roadtrip!

Originality: 6. I like the idea that plants and cooking are magical. My favorite part, however, is the sassy apple tree in the back yard. It has strong opinions and is something of a matchmaker. Try and tell me that is not original.
Absurdity: 1. But then again, I am a big fan of magical realism. If you like your books cut-and-dry contemporary, this might not be up your alley.
Level of Paranormal Romance: 7! Magic is involved.  As are delicious baked goods. As are late-night garden makeout sessions. It all makes for some excellent, subtle romance.
Level of Harry Potterness: 6. Allen knows what she is doing with her particular brand of magical realism. So some points there, and also for the fact that the tone. I like the way Allen paints pictures with smells and colors (and the aforementioned baked goods). I find this creativity engaging.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Stacking the Shelves: Crash into You and Chase

Huzzah! This weekend we have a fun ARC to feature in Stacking the Shelves. The first I am super jazzed about: Crash into You by Katie McGarry. As you might now, I am into this series (see here) and I featured this book as a WoW. The books gods have been listening, obviously. 

Check out this bit'o'summary: "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......"

My boyfriend is going golfing tomorrow. I am getting involved in this book. We both win.

Second up for "new to our shelves" news is Chase by 
Jill Knapp-Zitron.

The question that 23-year old Amalia Hastings desperately wants the answer to is: What happens to men when they move to Manhattan? Life in the new city gives Amalia a ride she is not expecting. As she tries to find her way on the little island that never sleeps, she discovers she has a harder time navigating through love then she does the streets of Greenwich Village and finds herself truly lost in the complex world of men. 
“I just want you to be happy” is one of Amalia’s least favorite phrases in the English language. She thought she had everything she needed to be so-called “happy” – a gorgeous apartment in Manhattan, a top-notch education at NYU, a group of trusted friends and Nicholas, a boyfriend who she believes is her soul-mate, but it isn’t enough. The cold, lonely city causes Amalia and her girlfriends to seek refuge in the opposite sex. Stumbling through her relationships, Amalia encounters Michael, an inconsistent friend-with-benefits. After all, the only thing consistent about New York is its beauty. 
After getting terribly lost searching for love in all the wrong places, Amalia embarks on a journey to find her strength, which leads her to detox from all things men. She quickly realizes that solely chasing love closes her off to all of the other good things life has to offer. Now she must decide – what is worth the chase? 

This book came out in August and looks delightful. As a NYC resident, and a 20-something, I hope this book does fun city life justice. What is new to your shelf this weekend?  As always, a big thanks to Tygna's Reviews for hosting Stacking the Shelves!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review: Just One Day by Gale Foreman

I read and loved Just One Day by Gale Foreman -- but be aware-- tears alert!

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay
When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines. (GoodReads).

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)Originality: 7. This could have been another "find yourself while abroad while falling for a sexy foreigner" stories, but thank goodness, it is so much more than that. Allyson, while having the burden of a weirdly spelled last name, takes us beyond that magical one day euro adventure. You see her grow up, navigate college( authors, more books about college) and while this still has a bit of an after-school-special feel about finding yourself, the characters you met along the way elevate the story.
Absurdity: 7. I don't care if you are getting down with your wild self in Europe- going off with strange boys does not end in love. It ends in a B-level slasher flick....That being said..... 
Level of Paranormal Romance: 10. Willem! Yum! I don't know if he would be as sexy in, say, a strip mall in Ohio, but good lord he is glorious. 
Level of Harry Potterness: 7. I love how this story is structured. I am dying to know more with Just One Year, which I am on the waiting list for. I cried at the end of this book. It beautifully written and moving, in a happy tears kind of way! The best kind of tears.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Teardrop by Lauren Kate

Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux's mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn't, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn't know Eureka's darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined. From Lauren Kate comes an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.(GoodReads).

Teardrop (Teardrop, #1)

GUYS!!! It is is time for a new series by Lauren Kate. As you might know, loving to hate the Fallen series is one of our fav pastimes here at YAF and WS. I like the moody atmosphere of the first Fallen book a whole lot, so hopefully a Kate book SANS Luce and Daniel will be awesome.

Teardrop is due out Oct. 22, so the wait will not be long!

As always, a big thanks goes out to Jill at Breaking the Spine for hosting Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly meme where we share our most-anticipated upcoming reads. What is your WoW this week? 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Group Read: The Dream Theives (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggi Stievfvater

Man o MAN- This book is just plain old excellent. Well written, plot twists, characters.
The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

We were VERY lucky to get an early version and Grad Student and I cannot say enough.  At one point we were text messaging photos of quotes from the pages of the book to share how much we loved what was happening.  O Gansey...


CC:  8. This story beautifully built on the world of Gansey, Cabeswater and Henrietta.   Stiefvater has created a thrilling world that is only better in this second book of the series.
GS: 8. The BARNS alone was so freaking inventive. Dream thievery is not something I want to get into as a job (scary!), but it is fascinating. And I love how Stiefvater talks about the Raven boys as a unit. And on top of it all, the descriptions of Henrietta are intoxicating. I want into this world!


CC: 2.  I don't think I ever rolled my eyes- not ONCE, which is incredible for a book about highschoolers falling in love and battling super natural forces.  It just felt real.
GS: 2. I agree. If I tried to tell someone I was reading about Welsh legends transplanted to Virginia, they might think it was absurd. But the magic feels organic and super creepy (in the best way possible) that you can absolutely believe that there is something old and powerful lurking in the mountains.

Level of Paranormal Romance:

CC: 7.  The looks and silent intentions in this book are phenomenal   As is the understanding of the power of a first kiss, but also the power of attraction and why we fall for the ones we do. Swoon worthy.
GS: 8.  So CC was surprised to hear that in addition to falling for Gansey ( I mean, I saw it coming), I really liked Ronan. There is some surprising intensity of feeling from this angsty hunk, and I like how he feels about his friends and his little brother. I am also into his tattoo, so that helps. 

Level of Harry Potterness:
CC: I loved The Raven Boys, and this love has not diminished. Dream Thieves exceeded my expectations completely.  sigh, thank goodness for good books and better sequels.
GS: 8! This writing is lyrical and so well done. You can tell Stiefvater thinks seriously about language and word patterns, and the result is just beautiful.
"Gansey threw open his door. Gripping the roof of the car, he slid himself out. Even that gesture, Ronan noted, was wild Gansey, Gansey-on-fire.Like he pulled himself from the car because ordinary climbing out was too slow.This was going to be a night."

Friday, October 11, 2013

Review: Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Going Too FarGoing Too Far by Jennifer Echols is exactly the sort of book you should pick up on a boring Sunday and consume in a single sitting. It is engaging, full of hunky boys/lust/feelings. It is a soap opera for teens in a book, and I liked it a lot. I know I am late on this one- does everyone else like it, took?

But at first I didn't think I would end up liking this book. The first fifty pages really bothered me. I thought meg was Unappealing and that the cop thing was a bit fetishy. Thank goodness there was more to this story than first impressions.


All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far...and almost doesn't make it back.
John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge -- and over....
Originality: 5. I like Echols's southern-high school-hard knocks thing. I see that it is a trend in her books now (and reminds me of the Pushing the Limits series), but this was the first Echols I read and I found it fresh.
Absurdity:  6. See my concerns re: start of the book. This book isn't going for realistic portrayal of how cops handle badly behaved teenagers.  ALSO this cover is absurd. It hurts. And I read it in paperback!
Level of Paranormal Romance: 7. Sexy cop and bad girl sounds like a themed fraternity mixer- bad news. Luckily John After the 19 yr old runner is a hunk hunky hunk. And after a whole its clear that the Officer After version of John is pretty great, too.
Level of Harry-Potterness: 3. Obviously  no muggles in this one. But this book has more going on than first meets the eye, and Echols manages to bring in some serious issues without making it forced or cheesy. I was touched and surprised.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow

In the world of Sorrow’s Knot, the dead do not rest easy. Every patch of shadow might be home to something hungry and nearly invisible, something deadly. The dead can only be repelled or destroyed with magically knotted cords and yarns. The women who tie these knots are called binders.

Otter is the daughter of Willow, a binder of great power. She’s a proud and privileged girl who takes it for granted that she will be a binder some day herself. But when Willow’s power begins to turn inward and tear her apart, Otter finds herself trapped with a responsibility she’s not ready for, and a power she no longer wants (GoodReads).

                                        Sorrow's Knot

Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow comes out at the end of October.I have wanted to read Bow's for a while- I hear good things! So I am adding this new book to the TBR list. It seems spooky and atmospheric- perfect for fall.  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, October 8, 2013

Group Read: Get Ready for the Dream Theives Group Read!

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)Those of you who are lucky enough to have already plowed through The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, we are jazzed for  a YAF and WS group read. Join us next Monday, October 14th. We are excited!!!  We loved The Raven Boys and this one DID NOT DISAPPOINT!
If you want to post your own thoughts at your blog, that is **awesome** and just let us know so we can put up links celebrating the together-ness of the internet.We will be answering our regular categories of Originality, Absurdity, Romance and Harry-Potterness (aka quality of overall book). If you want to do your own thing or even address the questions at the back of the book, go for it. It is just nice to think of people reading and thinking together about a great book.

Also, Maggie painted her car for the book... its awesome... check out her website.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: Fragments by Dan Wells

Fragments (Partials, #2)A long long time ago, in a time known as 2012, Grad Student was excited to read Fragments, the sequel to Partials.  You should know by now that I am not always on the cutting edge of new YA books, but here I am, loving the Partials series!

Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence—it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what's left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira's journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and Kira and Marcus both will discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn't even know existed.

The second installment in the pulse-pounding Partials saga is the story of the eleventh hour of humanity's time on Earth, a journey deep into places unknown to discover the means—and even more important, a reason—for our survival (GoodReads).

It is like Dan Wells read my mind, dropped all the medical mumbo jumbo down to a reasonable level and got the plot turning!

Originality: 7+, a high school for a sequel.  The voyage across the desolated US was a new adventure and a new world.

Absurdity: 7. Basically for their survival skills. Acid rain gets them and they just basically dodge raindrops and continue onward.  ( I am ignoring the TERRIBLE mutated dog thing, it reminded me too much of Gone, which I are better then that Dan Wells)

Paranormal Romance: it goes from a 3 to an 8 in the last section- with an overly aggressive kiss!  No spoilers but  I had to roll my eyes and be like ok, this MAY be plausible in a time where there are few cute new outsiders to make the moves on. Survival of the fittest? perhaps.(side note-xxxoo Samm and his feelings)

Level of Harry Potterness: 6.  This book was a great fast, engaging read.  A sequel that matched and in my opinion surpassed the first- definitely looking forward to the next in the series!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Library Updates: Too Much Homework and The Movie Version of The Host

The amount of fiction being read around here these days is shamefully low. This is what I have been reading:
Try and not to be jealous, okay? The good news is On Writing Well by William Zinsser is pretty funny. Check out this bit'o'writing wisdom:
“Clutter is the disease of American writing. We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon.” 
Willie Z being hilarious while talking about prose! The fact that I like this so much could also mean I am losing my mind. Ahh, to be a graduate student. 

In other news, I watched The Host. And I LIKED IT. What!?! I know, I know. against all odds-the plots holes, the ridiculous secret keeping, the even more ridiculous alien outfit choices-I enjoyed this movie. Mostly because of the abundance of hot guys running around the desert. And lots of love and kissing. SO MANY CUTE BOYS. Did anyone else on the planet enjoy this? Should I read this book? Lets discuss.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard was such fun to read. I am not much of traveler, but I wish I could see exotic places. Being a grad student puts a damper on the whole having-money-necessary-to-travel thing. But I love to read about people on exotic adventures. I have been refering to "going to Belize" because of this book. I use it when I do something out of my comfort zone. I get a total kick out of it! Now, on to the book:

It all begins with a stupid question: Are you a Global Vagabond? No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.
Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry to this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story. (GoodReads).

Originality: 7. I have never read a book set in ANY of these places. So this might not feel original to everyone, but I liked it.
Absurdity: 7. Ok, so striking off on your own in Central America as a high schooler is 99.99% the most ridiculous, unsafe thing to do. But hey, this is fiction. So its edgy and adventures and leads to dreamy love interests rather than killers.
Level of Paranormal Romance: 6. Rowan! Of course this former bad-boy is totally dreamy. What is the point of having a former bad boy who is lame and unattractive? T
Level of Harry-Potterness: 6. This is a basic story, but I am giving Hubbard bonus points for the very cool sketches. Sometimes I hate that stuff in books, but this wasn't corny at all. It made me feel connected to the story. and anyways, Rowan is a hunk--it is confirmed by the sketches :-).

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me #3)

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, called "a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love"

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong. (GoodReads).

This week's Waiting on Wednesday is dedicated to Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi comes out February 4th 2014. It should be epic.  Here is a cheers to Jill at Breaking the Spine for hosting Waiting on Wednesday, a way to share books we can't wait to read. What is your WoW this week?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Turn-Offs

The Unnaturalists (The Unnaturalists, #1)People, it is OCTOBER. This fact blows my mind. Is the world spinning faster or something? Anywho, the good news is its Tuesday and its time for Top Ten Tuesday. We love everything that the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish do, and this list-mania feature is a good one. This week TTT is all about book turn-offs. A book turn off is a REAL thing. Sometimes you are happy as a clam with a book until bam! Something completely turns you off -- for us that something is usually:

Grad Student:
1. flashbacks. I almost always skip them.
2. faux-Victorian-era language. Im looking at you, Steampunk....    
The Friday SocietyCrazy Camper:
3. Derogatory language.  I understand that you are trying to make a point about your character being tough, having an edge, being a jerk, but you are a writer.  use your imagination and show me this character without dropping f bombs, making homosexual remarks, or generally being an ass. 
4. Adultery- just not me thing, I have mentioned this before and books about cheaters and adultery is a turn off.
5. Too much world building, not enough action.  George R.R. Martin BARELY gets by in my opinion with his epic descriptions of food and clothing.  Everyone else, please stop and just let my imagination go for it.
6. Characters who write bad poetry that I have to read that makes them feel deep or express their emotions.  This is usual terrible poetry and there is not much worse to read in this world.
                    The Great Hunt (Wheel of Time, #2)A Crown of Swords (Wheel of Time, #7)
Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series is a CLASSIC example of uber world-building.
But on a cheerier note, the new editions of these books have much improved covers.
Good work, professional cover-pickers.