Friday, August 31, 2012

Books to Watch


Books to Watch is a feature here on Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile, dedicated to books that you should totally have on your reading list! 

Running roughly once a month, I spotlight two books. One that is already out for your reading enjoyment, and the other a book that is upcoming very soon.

Check below for previous editions!

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May 2013 - Jack Blank Series by Matt Myklusch and Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
January 2013 - Fire Baptized by Kenya Wright and Graveyard Child by M.L.N. Hanover
November 2012 - Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech and Shadow Breakers by Daniel Blythe
September 2012 - Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell
August 2012 - Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey & The Archived by Victoria Schwab





Everlasting Summer Swap!



Hi everyone! It's about that time again. 

Time to share the love, and host a swap! If you've never participated in one of these, make sure to check out the General Guidelines post first. 

Ah Summer...
It's one of the most gorgeous times of the year, and yet it seems to fly by so fast. I'd love nothing for than an everlasting summer. More time to swim, wear those sandals I totally love, and show off my tan. That's the theme of this swap!

Let's get started!

ON TO THE DETAILS:

This swap's theme is EVERLASTING SUMMER, so you'll want to create a box full of goodies that just scream Summer to you! What items embody this gorgeous time of year most?


All participates must include the following in their box:

* One Summer themed item that is wearable (Socks, pins, anything goes!)
* One Summer themed book or movie (Pick a fav romantic beach read, or mix it up!)
* A note to your swap partner!


Money Limit:

Your box must contain items that add up to at least $10. Anything beyond this limit is your own personal choice, but you are always welcome to add extras once your package has the above items.


Helpful Hints:

*Check out dollar stores. 

*Shop the dollar spot at local stores like Target or Walmart.

*Go thrift store hunting.
Just make sure the item is in good condition. (Think, "Would I want to receive this?")
*Re-gift something of yours (in good condition) that you think fits the box.

*Make something.
It's cool to include handmade! Just make sure it's something that you'd feel good receiving.


Shipping Information:

This swap is open to residents in the U.S., or those who have a U.S. mailing address. All delivery confirmation numbers must be in no later than September 28, 2012. This also means your box should be shipped no later than this date. You must procure a delivery confirmation number when sending your package, and email it to me.

READY TO JOIN?

Click here to fill out the form and get things started!

As always, feel free to spread the word! 
You can find a nifty button below to put in your sidebar or other places of your choice. Or you can use the image above.

Swap entries will be accepted until September 10, 2012.
You will receive your swap partner's information no later than September 14, 2012.


THANKS! HAVE FUN!



Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Review: Stitch

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Stitch
   *Series: Stitch Trilogy #1
Author: Samantha Durante
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: Paperback; 314
Release Date: August 1, 2012
Source: Author
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Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Nothing of Note
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HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers looking for a unique read that blends the science fiction, dystopian fiction and elements of the paranormal.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa's body screams at her to run... but yet she's powerless to move.

Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees - and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell - Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.

Because what Alessa hasn't figured out yet is that she's not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university's idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface...

The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results.

Samantha Durante's novel moved to the top of my reading list as soon as I read the synopsis. Stitch sounded like a great combination of genres. Something fresh and new! For those of you out there who are constantly reading like I am, you know the lure of anything that sounds unique. I was eager to see where Alessa's story would take me.

Let's start with what I liked about Stitch. First off, I really did love the story line. Well thought out, Alessa's story is definitely different than any that I've read before. I'm not entirely sure how to praise it without giving too much away. What I can say is that the statement that it bridges paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi is spot on. Alessa's life isn't what it seems. No matter how flawed she might feel her existence is, nothing can prepare her for what she discovers about her past.

The other thing that I enjoyed were the way that flashbacks were incorporated into the story. As Alessa's story progresses, and she uncovers more about herself, the reader gets to see into the memories that were suppressed  These flashbacks were my favorite part of Stitch. The first half of the story moves fairly slowly as the reader is introduced to the important parts of Alessa's current life. It isn't until her flashbacks start occurring that things get really interesting. This is where the dystopian element comes through, and it is fascinating.

Sadly, although I did finish the book, I also did a lot of skimming while reading. Written in third person, Alessa's story felt detached to me. I really wanted to see inside her head, rather than just hearing what she was doing. There was ample telling, but not as much showing. As a result, I never really got to know Alessa, Janie or any of the other characters as well as I would have liked. I couldn't connect with them. Mid-way through the book things really picked up, but by that point I still wasn't invested in Alessa's struggle.

I definitely loved the premise of Stitch and, even if I didn't fall completely in love, I also think that it is a very unique story. Readers who are looking for something different, something fresh, will find a lot to love in this book. I am happy to say that I read the sneak peek to the next book in this series and it looks great! Despite any qualms I may have had, I know that I'll be back for more of Alessa's story. With the ending such as it is, I have a definite need to know what happens next.



FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An Interview with Mary Casanova and your chance to win!

Today Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile is pleased to welcome Mary Casanova! Mary's work spans from YA to Children's picture books. In other words, this is one talented lady.

Today she is here to promote her newest book, Frozen. I wrote a review of this book yesterday and I can honestly tell you that it is a gorgeously written historical fiction novel. Well worth the add to your TBR!

I'll let Mary have the floor now, and share her interview answers. Don't forget to check out the giveaway too!
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1) Hello Mary, and welcome! Let's start with something fun. If you had to choose just one color to describe yourself, what would it be and why?

I love blue of any and all shades. Blue as the lakes, rivers, ocean. Blue as the sky at dawn, midday, and deep evening. Blue as my father's and mother's and grandparents' eyes. It is the color of vast tranquil spaces and reflection.



2) What is your favorite part of being an author in general? 

I've wanted to making writing my work since I was 16. That's when I fell in love with the craft, the art of using words to create pictures in a reader's mind. Many years later, I'm still doing what I love . . . and I'm still learning the craft. 



3) Is there a book from your childhood that you still love even now? 

I still adore Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. My hands-down favorite book for young readers. It's perfect! 



4) Let's pretend that Frozen is being made into a movie. What is the tagline on the movie poster?   

Her mother was found frozen in the snow and Sadie Rose hasn't spoken a word for 11 years . . . until now. 



5) Finally, and thank you for answering my questions, what would you like to say to your readers as a parting message? 

I grew up in a family of ten kids and writing has been my way of having a voice. Maybe that's why Frozen is a story I had to write--to give voice to the voiceless--and to explore the story behind the prostitute found frozen in the snow (whose body was stood up as a joke at the start of a town meeting in the early 1900s in northern Minnesota.)

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Now, it's GIVEAWAY TIME!


Up for grabs is a copy of Frozen by Mary Casanova and, thanks to Mary's publicist, this giveaway is open Internationally! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

Winner will be chosen on September 7, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Review: Frozen

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Frozen
Author: Mary Casanova
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Pages: Hardcover; 264
Release Date: September 1, 2012
Source: NetGalley
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Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Nothing of note
---------------------------------------------
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy Historical Fiction with vivid characters and story line.

Add it: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Sixteen-year-old Sadie Rose hasn’t said a word in eleven years—ever since the day she was found lying in a snowbank during a howling storm. Like her voice, her memories of her mother and what happened that night were frozen.

Set during the roaring 1920s in the beautiful, wild area on Rainy Lake where Minnesota meets Canada, Frozen tells the remarkable story of Sadie Rose, whose mother died under strange circumstances the same night that Sadie Rose was found, unable to speak, in a snowbank. Sadie Rose doesn’t know her last name and has only fleeting memories of her mother—and the conflicting knowledge that her mother had worked in a brothel. Taken in as a foster child by a corrupt senator, Sadie Rose spends every summer along the shores of Rainy Lake, where her silence is both a prison and a sanctuary. -- More at Goodreads

The synopsis pretty much says it all, but Frozen is a gorgeously written historical fiction novel. One that quickly drew me in and kept me immersed. It takes a lot for me to really get into historical fiction normally. I'm the girl who adores quick moving plots and witty heroines. However Mary Casanova's story drew me in for much different reasons, and it was utterly refreshing.

Sadie Rose is quite the protagonist. My favorite part about her was her spirit. When the book starts, Sadie Rose is just finding her voice. This sets in motion a series of events that lead her towards finding out who she truly is. What the reader finds is a girl who has been stifled in her growth. Missing part of her past, and constantly being told what her future will be, Sadie Rose feels like her life is going nowhere. I loved watching her grow into her own, slowly discovering how to be independent. She is a pretty brave girl, especially in the 1920's!

That being said, the rich setting of this book is also one of the reasons that I enjoyed it so much. To Sadie Rose, Rainy Lake is a small and pretty drab town. However to me, the reader, it was a place of possibility. It was fascinating to see people going about their daily lives in this time period. The divide between rich and poor. The political issues of the day. This isn't just a story about a girl finding herself, it's also an opportunity to see the beginning of a great era.

My one qualm with this book, and honestly it's a small one, is that it is rather slow at parts. The mystery surrounding Rainy Lake and Sadie Rose's past keeps things flowing pretty well. However there were points where the descriptions were a bit lengthy, and slowed things down. It didn't hamper my overall enjoyment of the story however. Those who read historical fiction often will know that descriptive writing is part and parcel to the genre.

I sincerely enjoyed Frozen as a whole, and am very glad that I took the time to read it! As I said, this isn't usually my genre of choice. That's what I'm all the more ecstatic to be able to say that I truly enjoyed this book. If you are a fan of historical fiction, give Frozen a place on your reading list.



FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Book Review: What the Heck Dec?!



Media Type: Print Book
Title: What the Heck, Dec?!
Author: Elizabeth Dudak
Publisher: Orange Hat Publishing
Pages: Paperback; 264
Release Date: March 29, 2012
Source: Author
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Genre: Romance / Contemporary

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy a good, quirky romance with great characters.


Add it: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N / Book Depository
Marti Karnawski is waiting in the front office of Noteah Middle School trying to land first her teaching position, not a man. Yet one casual glance at Declan Reed - the school's droolicious social worker with bad boy looks and cocky attitude - and she can't help but fall head over in heels in crush. The fact he returns her interest, despite the other woman on his arm, poses a problem. Marti spent a lifetime trying to forgive a philandering father and understanding a mother in constant denial. She will not be the other woman - not even for one Declan Reed. Now all she has to do is convince her heart.

First off you should know that romance novels aren't usually my thing. However, every now and then one catches my eye and I give it a shot. I'm happy to say that What the Heck, Dec?! was one of those random reads. Even happier, it turns out that it was a great choice! I thourougly enjoyed it!

Still not convinced? Think romantic comedy, because that is what unfolds between these pages. Martina (Marti) Karnawski is one feisty female lead! From the moment I first met her, I knew I was destined to love reading about her. Witty, sarcastic, and downright scandalous at times, Marti is a pleasure to follow! Trying to land her first teaching position is hard enough, even navigating the two Dawns was tough, but getting by while there's a smoking hot guy in your periphery? Now that's torture!

When Declan comes into the picture, things get spicy. One of the things that makes Marti's point of view so much fun is her blatantly honest, and always humorous, descriptions of things. I know I had a crush on Declan Reed, so I can see why Marti did too. The story that develops between these two is pure book candy! Add in another gorgeous guy for Marti to swoon over, and you have a recipe for fun!

This is good old fashioned chick lit at its finest. Great characters, smoldering scenes, and tons of witty observations that will have you giggling out loud. As I said, I'm not generally a fan of this genre. However Elizabeth Dudak's book had me chomping at the bit for more! Marti alone makes this read entirely worth while. If you're a fan of romantic romps, give What the Heck Dec?! a shot!




FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Coming Soon on HDB... (8/26/12)



Hello again and happy new week to you all! It's that time again. Time to see what is coming up this week, and get you excited for the goodies that are in store! Let's do it!

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MONDAY

On Monday it's all about Elizabeth Dudak and What the Heck, Dec?! in the form of a review. Yes, yes I know I meant to review this ages ago. I can't wait to share with you how sweet and fun this book really is!


TUESDAY

Tuesday brings a review of Frozen by Mary Casanova. I wish I had the words to describe this book fairly. It's historical fiction at its finest. You'll have to wait for the review!


WEDNESDAY

On Wednesday, Mary Casanova herself stops by! She was kind enough to answer some interview questions, and she even brought along a giveaway. Make sure to stop by to win!


THURSDAY

Love Sci Fi? Thursday you'll find a review of Stitch by Samantha Durante on the blog. A mish mash of paranormal and science fiction elements, this is one that I am stoked for!


FRIDAY

Feeding my fantasy fix, Friday is all about Auraria by Tim Westover. It took me a little while to get to this one, but I'm so excited! Fantasy set in the real world? Yes please.


SATURDAY

Can you believe that it is already going to be September? WHOA! Saturday I'll recap my reading month for you and hopefully add a few new books to your TBR!


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That's it for this week! As always, thanks for following! I can't wait to find you more great reads!



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Audio Book Review: Girl of Nightmares

Media Type: Audio Book
Title: Girl of Nightmares
   *Series: Anna #2
Author: Kendare Blake
Narrator: August Ross
Publisher: Audio GO
Format: MP3 CD
Duration: 10 hours and 3 minutes
Source: Audio Go
--------------------------------------
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Violence; Swearing
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HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong... these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.

Narrator Review:
Let's start with the things I liked about August Ross. First off I never really thought about what Anna would sound like, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that Ross' voice suits her very well! Anna's background comes through fabulously. I also really liked the variations in voices between Cas, Carmel and Thomas. It makes it easy to figure out who is speaking.

Unfortunately, Ross also reads extremely slowly. It helps a lot with being able to follow along, but a book that I could have read in 4 to 5 hours became over 10 hours long. There is also very little inflection in the reading, so the story drags at points. Overall it was a fairly good rendition of the story, but I would have liked a little more excitement.

Audio Book Rating: 3/5 - It was okay. You might want to actually read this one.

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Book Review:
This is going to be a really tough review to write, since I all but flipped out praising Kendare Blake's first book, Anna Dressed in Blood. I was so very excited to see what happened to Anna and Cas after the cliffhanger that Blake left for us in the last book. As soon as I was able to get my hands on a copy of Girl of Nightmares I did! I was eager for more of the stuff of nightmares that drew me in the first time around.

What I found though was a much different book. Anna and Cas are both back. However this time they're so different, and I'll admit that it threw me off a bit. If you'll remember from my review of the first book, I loved Cas' cocky demeanor and lone wolf attitude. What can I say? I'm a sucker for boys like that. The Cas that comes through in this book is a much more lonely and sad boy. Broken, sad, a little like a lonely puppy. Where was my Cas? In the same respect, Anna was there, but also not. I can't explain without spoiling, but I missed her so much.

After a few chapters I finally got used to Cas' new attitude, and was okay with it. Blake does a great job of showing his deep need to find Anna. So I kept reading on, hoping for some scary scenes to keep me up and night and sadly nothing happened. Seriously. There are multiple chapters where nothing exciting happens at all. Now, yes, I understand why. Kendare Blake spends a lot of this book explaining the history behind Cas' athame. She also introduces a new threat in the form of a sinister society with tons of secrets. However without the visceral imagery, the haunting happenings, and the Anna/Cas interaction, I found myself bored. It made for a slow read.

It's actually not surprising to me that I didn't love Girl of Nightmares as much as Blake's first book. I loved Cas as a ghost busting bad-ass. I adored Anna as a vicious yet gorgeous apparition. Everything that I loved about Anna Dressed in Blood was missing here. I applaud the character development, and can't deny that I enjoyed learning about the athame's past. Still, this wasn't my favorite sequel. This is worth a read for closure alone though, especially if you were waiting as eagerly as I was.


Other books in the series:



FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Review: Pushing The Limits

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Pushing The Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: Hardcover; 384
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Source: Publisher
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Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Drug use; Swearing; Violence
-----------------------------------------------------
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who love a contemporary read with a lot of heart, and a lot of grit.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Where do I start? Seriously, Pushing The Limits is everything I want in a book. Great characters, solid plotting, and the type of story that makes you want to cry and smile in equal measures. This is contemporary writing at its finest. No mermaids, no werewolves. They aren't necessary here. All the reader has are Echo, Noah and their stories, and you know what? It's perfection.

I truly don't believe that there will ever be two characters that I will love so wholeheartedly as I love Echo and Noah. Both broken in their own ways, these two fit together perfectly. Echo Emerson is a shell of the girl she once was. The death of her brother, the loss of her mother, and the inability to remember how she got her terrible scars, all eat at her on a daily basis. Meanwhile Noah Hutchins is lost in his own world. Fighting the foster care system and trying his best not to get close to anyone. If there's one thing Noah knows, it's that getting close to someone means you can get hurt.

Then, they meet. Did I mention the word perfection? There's no insta-love here. Just a slow progression of two people who go from being wary of one another, to slowly trusting one another, and finally to having that pure feeling of contentment every time they're together. Echo and Noah have the type of romance that makes you sniffle and giggle in the same sentence. I'll be the first to admit that I have a massive crush on Noah Hutchins. Don't let his bad boy persona fool you. There's a great guy under there. So great in fact, that he's my new favorite male character. I dare you not to swoon.

What is really impressive about Pushing The Limits though is how well it deals with so many different issues all at the same time. Echo and Noah may be facing two very different backgrounds, but their problems are deep. Problems that range from high school issues, to the foster care system. Their lives are the type of gritty reality that a lot of teens face, and most people don't want to acknowledge. Life for these two is far from normal. It's this that teaches them that sometimes, just sometimes, you have to make your own normal.

There really aren't enough words in the world to describe my feelings for this book. You should know that love is all I have for Katie McGarry and her characters, and that I am so happy that I took the time to meet Echo and Noah. I hear that there's another book coming out from one of the other character's point of view! If Pushing The Limits is any indication of the brilliance that will be within those pages, I can't wait.





FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Books to Watch! (8/22/12)


Welcome to the first ever edition of BOOKS TO WATCH!

In this post I'll share with you two books that I am loving and think that you should keep your eyes on! One that's already out, and one that's coming up. It's all about the bookish love.

Away we go!

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OUT NOW


Mary Lindsey's Shattered Souls is one of my favorite books of last year! It's a compelling read with just the right mixture of romance and action. A must read for sure! You can find my review here.

A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger

Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

********************

COMING SOON!


Victoria Schawb's The Archived is coming January 2013 and it looks amazing! I was lucky enough to read the sneak peek and...well...let's just say that I'm chomping at the bit for more! WANT!

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.
Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous—it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

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Hopefully I gave you some great books to read now, and to look forward to! Have you read either of these? Have them on your TBR? Shout it out!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

EVERGREEN Giveaway Update!!!


As you may recall, earlier today I posted my review of Evergreen, the second book in Brenda Pandos' Mer Tales series! It's wonderful, and I KNOW you want a copy!

Lucky for you, Brenda has been sweet enough to offer up a copy of her wonderful book to you, lovely readers! One winner will take home an ebook copy of Evergreen

How do you enter? Just comment below! Brenda will choose from those of you who comment, ask her a question, or anything of that nature. Easy peasy!


PLUS

there is a HUGE giveaway going on over at Brenda's blog! You can win a $50 gift card, books, and some awesome necklaces. Go to the link below to enter!


And as always, thanks for following!

Book Review: Evergreen

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Evergreen
   * Series: Mer Tales #2
Author: Brenda Pandos
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Pages: Paperback; 275
Release Date: June 29, 2012
Source: Author
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Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Nothing of note
---------------------------------------------
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who love a great mermaid story and a fabulous romance!

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
A kingdom on the brink of war.

A king on the fringes of insanity.

A family running for their lives.

Ash and Fin’s only desire is to be together and dive into their happily ever after, though their conflicting worlds work to pull them apart. Neither is ready to convert to the other’s life: become a human or a mer. Little do they know that somewhere in Natatoria a secret holds the fine fabric of everyone’s lives together. If the truth is discovered, Ash and Fin will no longer have the luxury of waiting. They’ll be forced to choose. But will it be for loyalty or love? Or will someone else make the choice for them if they can’t decide?

Enter the watery world of treachery, greed, and the binding mer kiss as the story continues with Evergreen, book two of Mer Tales.

Ever since reading Everblue last year, I've been eagerly waiting to see what fate awaited Ash and Fin. These two have a love that is too adorable for words! It's hard not to want to root for something good to happen to them. Everblue left off with some cliffhangers happening in Natatoria. Tatchi, Fin and Ash were all left hanging in some type of precarious position. So I don't think I need to explain too deeply why I had such a deep need to see what happened! I dove right in.

I wouldn't have though it possible, but Evergreen may be my new favorite in the series! The pure adrenaline that fuels these pages is hard not to become addicted to. No one in this book ever gets a moments rest! Treachery, promises, chases, love, it's all here. It's like watching the best kind of action movie unfold. With the addition of mermaids. Do I have your attention yet? My favorite part was finally uncovering what being "promised" actually means. Oh no, you won't get the answer from me. Go read it for yourself!

Best of all, Pandos not only brings back all of my favorite characters (*swoon* Fin) but also introduces some new ones to keep things fresh. She seamlessly meshes together the two stories, so that it is like you never left in the first place. If I had one complaint at all, it's that I missed Tatchi. She's one of my favorite characters because of her awesome attitude, and she doesn't really make an appearance here too much. It's my hope that in the next book we will see more of her! I'm guessing, and no spoilers here, that we will. I'll just have to impatiently wait and see!

Truly, if you're looking for a great mer-themed read, I highly suggest Everblue and the whole Mer Tales series! Brenda Pandos proves that you may think you know everything there is to know about mermaids, but you probably don't. The perfect beach read is right here waiting for you! Go pick up a copy.


Other books in this series:
Everblue (Mer Tales #1)

For a list of Brenda's books, click!











FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Coming Soon on HDB... (8/20/12)


Yes, I know this is way late and I apologize lovely followers! It's down to 2 months before our wedding, so if I'm gone a lot or scatterbrained (more than normal) you know why. Bear with me! I'm still here :).

Let's see what's coming up this week...


TUESDAY

Tomorrow you'll find a review of Brenda Pandos' Evergreen on the blog. This is the sequel to Everblue which I LOVED last year! Can't wait!


WEDNESDAY

What books should YOU have your eye on? Let me rave at you a bit, and hopefully add some new reads to your TBR!


THURSDAY

Another review today, this time of Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. I have one made up word for you about this one: "OMGLOVESOMUCH". I think that speaks for itself.


FRIDAY

Friday is all about Katie McGarry herself! You'll get to read a Q&A with her and...*drumroll please* ENTER TO WIN A COPY OF THE BOOK! Squee!


SATURDAY
MYSTERY POST

(Essentially this means I don't know what's going up this day... Stay tuned to find out!)



Saturday, August 18, 2012

Book Review: Throne of Glass

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Throne of Glass
   *Series: Throne of Glass #1
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Pages: Hardcover; 416
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Source: NetGalley
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Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Violence, Mild Language
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HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who love a strong female character, and amazing adventure!

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Where do I start? Throne of Glass is such a stunning whole package that I'm not even entirely certain how to put my feelings into words. Does "omg-that-was-so-amazing-swoon" count as a coherent statement? Didn't think so. Suffice it to say that this is one of my absolute favorite books of the year, and probably of forever! Let the fangirlish rambling ensue.

First off, I absolutely adored Celaena. It's completely fair to say that she makes the book. She is the epitome of everything that I love in my female characters! Raised as an assassin, and condemned to the salt mines, it's more than accurate to say that Celaena is a bit rough around the edges. She's strong, cunning, and as charismatic as they come. Gorgeous, and yet completely capable of killing you in an instant. However underneath her gorgeous, yet rough, exterior beats the heart of a loving person. Celaena has a soul, and it makes her that much easier to love.

If it wasn't enough that I was enamored with the main character, my love for Throne of Glass was cemented when I met the rest of the characters who surround her. From a feisty young warrior princess, to a love struck Captain who tries to play gruff, right down to the spoiled Prince. Every single one of Sarah J. Maas' characters are expertly written. They have vivid  and unique personalities. It's like you can see them moving around on the page. This is what I want when I read! Characters to believe in. Characters who keep me coming back.

Setting this book on maximum overload, and thus fully earning my full five star rating, is the gorgeous world that Maas builds for her characters. Her descriptive writing is spot on and never overdone. Sweeping plains, desolate mines where workers go to die, and castles made of glass that stretch to the heavens. Reading Throne of Glass is like watching a movie. It all flows together into something more perfect than I have words for. It's all too much and, yet, just enough.

Let's get one thing straight. I love Fantasy. I love well-written characters. This book has both of those elements, and so much more. There is no doubt in my mind that Throne of Glass will be my favorite book of the year. Nor that I'll have a copy that I read incessantly until it falls apart. It's that good. Get this please, and for the love of everything bookish will someone please make a movie? If you are looking for a book that will taunt you, begging you to read just one more page, you need Throne of Glass.




FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Friday, August 17, 2012

52 Days of 52 Reasons to Love Jessica Brody and Her Books! (Plus a giveaway!)



Hello there fellow bibliophiles! Today you have the pleasure of being introduced to a new book by the fabulous Jessica Brody AND have a chance to win! Read on!


1 of the 52 Reasons to Love Jessica Brody and Her Books….for 51 other reasons, visit In Bed With Books (August 16th), The Hiding Spot (August 18th), and Novel Novice (August 19th), and stay tuned for more!
Today's Reason:
Jessica sang background vocals on ABC's TV commercials for "Shrek the Halls" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".


About 52 Reasons to Hate My Father (FSG, July 2012)

Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Blvd either.

Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteenth birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.

In a hilarious “comedy of heiress” about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and, regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have 52 reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.


Want more?
You can read an excerpt of the book, or take a look at the trailer below!


The Giveaway:
One lucky U.S. winner will take home a copy of 52 Reasons to Hate My Father! I'll pick a winner on August 24, 2012. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Book Review: So L.A.



Media Type: Print Book
Title: So L.A.
Author: Bridget Hoida
Publisher: Lettered Press
Pages: Paperback; 384
Release Date: June 20, 2012
Source: TLC Book Tours / Author
--------------------------------------------
Genre: Contemporary

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who love reality tv, and are okay with satirical humor


Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Magdalena de la Cruz breezed through Berkeley and built an empire selling designer water. She’d never felt awkward or unattractive… until she moved to Los Angeles. In L.A., where “everything smells like acetone and Errol Flynn,” Magdalena attempts to reinvent herself as a geographically appropriate bombshell—with rhinestones, silicone and gin—as she seeks an escape from her unraveling marriage and the traumatic death of her younger brother, Junah. Magdalena’s Los Angeles is glitzy and glamorous but also a landscape of the absurd. Her languidly lyrical voice provides a travel guide for a city of make-believe, where even Hollywood insiders feel left out.

Like a lane change on the 405 freeway during rush hour, Bridget Hoida skillfully navigates the impossible. In So L.A.Hoida offers both a satirical and sympathetic portrait of contemporary Los Angeles through the penetrating prose of her female protagonist. Evoking a dynamic and materialist landscape, So L.A. introduces readers to the unforgettable voice of an extremely talented new writer.
At first glance So L.A. might draw you in with its gorgeous cover. It might entice you with its chick-lit feel. However I can promise you that what is in these pages is so much more than that. A mixture of dry satirical humor, and a no-holds-barred look at the culture that is L.A., this is a story that is hard to define. What I can say, is that it is brilliant.

I think it's fitting that I read this book while sitting in a 60 story sky rise in Downtown L.A. Overlooking the hub of the busiest parts of Wilshire Boulevard. This is the setting that Hoida chooses for her book, and it works wonders with Magdalena's story. From small town girl, to big city business owner, Magdalena's point of view is a fresh and honest take of the high society that is Beverly Hills. Her life is by no means perfect. Sure, she has the perfect shoes, the perfect house and even the perfect nose. She soon finds though, that all those things don't add up to a happy life.

It's honestly hard to like Magdalena because of how exasperating she can be sometimes. She is definitely a character that you want to save and slap in equal measures. Trying, and failing, to cope with the death of her brother is all that Magdalena does the majority of the book. However, it's definitely true to life. She tries to fill the gap with things, with fake people, with fake smiles. All the time falling deeper and deeper into the craziness that her life has become.

In the end So L.A. is about hiding from oneself. About changing what is on the outside to try to compensate for what's on the inside. I won't say that Magdalena's story is happy. It does show how easy it is to fall into a life that isn't your own. About how easy it is to feel lost, but hide it from the outside world. Briget Hoida's book may look like chick-lit at first glance, but it's infinitely more than that. I loved it, and I think you will too.



FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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