Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cover Reveal: United We Spy by Ally Carter

Oh. My. Gosh. You guys. I am having a minor fangirl attack at the moment. Okay, okay. A MEGA fangirl attack. I just need to let out a little scream.

Why, you ask? Because, of course, the title, description, and cover reveal for the last book in the Gallagher Girls series was released today. Yes!!!

Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever.

This cannot come out soon enough!! I can't wait!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cover Reveal: Champion by Marie Lu

This is so strange, to be posting a cover reveal on the final book of one of my favorite series. But I'm so excited for this book and the cover is amazing! Without further ado, I shall get straight to the point.

The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion? 

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

Don't you love it? Don't you?! I love it. So much.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Taming of the Tights by Louise Rennison

I simply adore this series. It is, in a sense, a guilty pleasure of mine, or a way to relive younger days. I think everyone should definitely give this series a try; it's guaranteed to make you chuckle and grin like an idiot.

Without further ado, here is the wonderful cover.

Gadzooks! It's another term at Dother Hall for Tallulah and her mates. But can they keep their minds on the arts with all those boys about...After the thing-that-will-never-be-mentioned last term, Tallulah is keen to put all thoughts of Cain behind her. But that seems like that the last thing he wants. Their performing arts college may have been saved by Honey's mystery benefactor, but for how long is anyone's guess. So will Tallulah finally get to wear those golden slippers of applause or will Dr Lightowler swoop down on her glory days? And with Seth and Flossie forever snogging, Vaisey and Jack loved-up and Phil and Jo fondly biffing each other can Tallulah resist the call of her wild boy? Don your craziest tights and Irish dance your way to some surprising and hilariously unexpected answers...

Hardcover256 pages
Expected publication: August 13th 2013 by Harper Teen

Doesn't it look great? I love the amusing covers.

Well, I suppose I shall have to anxiously wait for this. Sigh...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Yes, the first book is still sitting in my TBR pile. But I felt the need to go ahead and put this baby on display! It's just too awesome-looking not to do it. Plus, since I just heard about it today, I am far too ecstatic not to tell at least someone about it.

Obviously I chose you guys.

The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

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... 

Can you guys just look at this cover a moment? Just gaze at it as I am doing at this exact moment. Ponder the amazingness that has been made. Also, can I just mention that I am so relieved there is not a sudden cover change? It really grates on my nerves when publishers do that, because none of my books would match anymore!

Putting that aside, I love how the ravens just seem to fly from him, his very being. He is the raven.

Okay, sorry. I was on a little fan craze at that moment.

Anyway, I cannot tell you how excited I am for this. There are no words. If you're excited for it as well, comment below and tell me what specifically you can't wait to see more of in this series!

Until later,

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review: A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Description: This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, A Dog’s Purpose touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here?
Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey’s search for his new life’s meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8-year-old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog.
But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey’s journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders—will he ever find his purpose?

Language: Mild (hardly any)
Violence: Moderate
Sexual: Mild (From the dog’s view, it says that he sees a couple “wrestling” on the couch and thinks nothing of it, but the dog falls asleep after mentioning that. Also, it says something about a “new game” that the dog discovered, which he soon lost interest in after being fixed)

There is a reason this novel was on the top list of 2o1o on GoodReads! I just cannot get enough of this story, with its interesting and fresh premise and lovable dog as the narrator.

The reason I picked up this book was because I was hoping this would make me smile. You see, I find it difficult these days, with stress and drama, to find a reason to smile, especially since fairly recently one of my best friends, who had been with me since I was a baby, died (my dearest dog). I was also hoping I would get some closure. But this book did so much more than make me smile; it made me laugh, grin even, and feel close to tears a few times. People were right to say that this is a story you will not forget.

Never once have I had mixed feelings about this novel: it was all love for it. Considering I’ve never read a book with the dog as the heroine, I wasn’t exactly certain what to expect. It was a little out of my comfort zone, but I am so relieved I took the plunge and dove right into this incredible story. Although it is quite short (at roughly three hundred and twenty pages), you will fly through the pages, and I am not sure whether it is the story itself or the amusing writing style that makes it so addicting. It did not take me long at all to complete this novel.

Whether you are quite familiar with Mr. Cameron’s works or you just love dogs, I can guarantee that this will move you and leave you with a comforting and settling feeling.

Cover: I love the simplicity of it. Refreshing.

Setting: Whether it’s the Yard, the loving home, or anywhere else, this dog faces new excitement and troubles along the way.

Characters: The dog. I love that dog. The owners were unique as well.

Storyline: Several adventures from the eyes of a dog.

Writing: The loose and easy-going writing style purposely tells us that dogs truly are simple creatures.

Surprises: I was impressed that there were a few surprises in this novel.

Overall: 4.5 stars. This is definitely one of my favorite reads of 2013 so far, and I won’t hesitate to pick up the second book.

Recommended: I would recommend this book to all dog lovers out there, along with the loyal fans of this author.

Review: Fly Away by Kristin Hannah

Description: Once, a long time ago, I walked down a night-darkened road called Firefly Lane, all alone, on the worst night of my life, and I found a kindred spirit. That was our beginning. More than thirty years ago. TullyandKate. You and me against the world. Best friends forever. But stories end, don’t they? You lose the people you love and you have to find a way to go on. . . .

Language: Moderate/Heavy
Violence: Moderate (deaths, drugs, comas, etc.)
Sexual: Moderate (mention of sex and molesting, but never specifically shown)

We all know those books; the ones of which you cannot help but fall in love with because of the enchanting, yet far from complex, writing style and the lovely characters that surround the pages and twist the story until it is completely its own, and not about the past story of Firefly Lane. I can tell you, without a doubt, that this is certainly one of those books.

This isn’t one of those stories that you can easily place on the shelf or toss aside and just forget with a shake of your head. It is an emotional roller coaster that you will not want to escape from. It pulls out your heart straight from your chest and shakes it up before returning it to its rightful place, with a dull ache and warmth of memories to flood your soul.

I was reading some reviews recently, and quite a bit of people stated rather unfairly that the pacing was slow, the plot was reused so much that it was a tangled and shredded mess, and there were more than a few still parts of flashbacks. Yes, the pacing was incredibly slow at some parts, but that brought forth character growth and brought me up to speed with the previous book, which I have not had the privilege to read yet. Sure, the plot may have been used before, but I do not believe that it was written exactly like this—how could something be written with such emotional triumph to the soul as this one? How could there be such original and relatable characters, as this one has? And perhaps there were flashbacks; in fact, it took up the majority of the book. But like I previously stated, it caught me up to the charming storyline and I did not mind reading about their past lives at all.

So, is this story for everyone? No. Why, then, should you bother giving it a try? Because I believe that this is a beautiful story told through the crumbled lives that is uplifting and overall satisfying, that you will never know you can enjoy or not unless you pick up the book and open to the first page.

Cover: The cover appears to be very nice beside the first novel, simple but captivating.

Setting: The story is set in several occasions, but I’d prefer to just put the original location: Firefly Lane.

Characters: All of the characters in this story are original and have their own personalities and backgrounds. You may assume dreadful facts about many of these characters, but as the story progresses you will learn their reasoning and suddenly be unable to judge them on their pasts. The author purposely does this before telling you the full story, letting you see the world through their broken gazes.

Storyline: A family and best friend learn to cope with the death of their precious relative.

Writing: The writing style of Kristin Hannah is unlike any that I have read before. It is not the most intellectually stimulating, but it is rather addicting and flowed so nicely and wonderfully that it in itself was beautiful in its own way. People tell me that her other books are better, but if it is, then I will be both astonished and pleased with this new discovery.

Surprises: This story is not one that will completely shock you, although there are some surprising moments. I did not find a large quantity of it; however, the surprises could have been wavered from trying to catch up with the different sides of everyone.

Overall: 4.5 stars. The only reason I did not give it a full five stars is because of the characters’ unique stories that seemed to pop back and force sporadically.

Recommended: I would recommend this to all fans of Firefly Lane (not to mention Kristin Hannah) and anyone who wants a refreshing and emotional read that will leave you satisfied with the ending and scanning the shelves for more pieces by this bright author.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Description: “Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.

In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.

Language: Moderate
Violence: Moderate (about eating disorders, death, etc.)
Sexual: Mild

This book touched a lot of issues, not just my own but for many other teenage girls (and some boys) who feel as though they will never be perfect until they lose that last pound. There was a time that I was a bit like Lia was— not as bad as she was with her eating habits (counting calories, stepping on scale and checking weight twenty times a day in hopes of achieving those goals, etc.), but if I continued there would be a high chance I would be like her today, or worse.

I believe that the beginning of the story can be a very big trigger for someone who is immune to or struggling with an eating disorder, and especially someone who is bullied or just wants this for themselves. If you want to begin this story, I feel I have to be honest with this. Eating disorders are not something to play around with; they are very dangerous and can very well leave you alone in a dirty old motel room dead, such as Lia’s friend. Because I know more about eating disorders than I’d care to admit and I know how it works extremely well by now, this novel did not affect me as much as it could others who are new to this or struggling with it. But it still had a large significance to the reason I had to stop telling myself what I was doing was wrong and to stop doing it. Even though I still feel bad about eating, whether it is a larger portion or a minimum, I know what could happen if I stop overall and I definitely know I do not want this to happen.

This being admitted, just beware before you begin this. But I do believe that this is a good book for someone to read. It touches on a level that many people are afraid to get into, and I respect the author for going into the deepest depths of the story. If you are as empathetic as I am, you will be swimming in the wide sea of transitions and countless issues that you have faced or are on the weak level of fronting.

Cover: I like the cover, because it is unique and has that feel to it that makes you want to crack that spine and read the book from start to finish.

Setting: The setting was never mentioned, but as it was snowing and the author is also from this specific location, I would assume the novel takes place in New York.

Characters: The lead character in the story, Lia, although a strong girl, obliviously forces more problems onto herself instead of washing them away in the sink her blood goes down the drain into. She cannot go to her father, who watches her every move as though she were some spectacle until wary observation, nor can she go to her stepmother or her real mother, the woman who basically abandoned her. Her younger sister is adorable and tries to help Lia in ways only a young child will try. Although their commitment to her is unwavering, Lia shoves their love and help away from her as she continues on, not wanting to be the girl everyone labels fat and ugly. She doesn’t accept any help until it is forced upon her by those she never expected would enter into her life and would comfort her the way they did.

Storyline: The storyline is a sad but relatable and touches on issues some authors have been afraid to pursue. It is quite helpful in some aspects, but you should beware with the beginning because it can be a trigger to the gun that is bulimia and depression.

Writing: The descriptions in the book enthralled me, especially the ones about food and her cutting (as horrible as it may sound, this has always interested me), and the imagery was utterly amazing. It has just the right amount of simplicity in some areas and the perfect amount of definition in others.

Surprises: There might be a few surprises to many others who have never read reviews or heard about this specific story before, but considering I have foolishly done this, the ending was a bit spoiled for me. It did, however, end the way I would have liked for Lia and those who care about her.

Overall: 4.5 stars. A very moving piece, this story is not one that anyone can easily forget after reading. Do not pick this book up if you are squeamish, for it has cutting and several disorders mentioned.

Recommended: I would recommend this story to the older teen crowd or those who are more mature, as it has serious issues involved in it, and those who are either struggling with the same problem or have a friend or family member who are, so they could help and advise them.