Saturday, July 28, 2012

Brad About Books: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

Published: July 17, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 438 pages
Series: The Land of Stories, #1

Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairytales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. 

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

So THE WISHING SPELL has officially became my favorite fairy tale re-imagining book. No joke.

I will admit, though, that the beginning was very slow. But as soon as they landed in the Land of Stories, the story just sky rocketed. Lots of action scenes can be found in THE WISHING SPELL. But the best part?  Every chapter has a meaning in the story and teaches a lesson to the reader. That's what really makes this story whole.

And Chris Colfer is definitely different than other celebrities who have written books. His writing style is very interesting, and he has crafted together a wonderful story that I would go back and re-read any day. 

I absolutely loved the Land of Stories. In this world, the fairy tale characters that we have come to love (Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc.) have continued their journey after the "Happily Ever After" in fairy tales. Cinderella is an expecting mother; Sleeping Beauty has finally been awoken and is trying to get her kingdom in order; all the other fairy tales characters have continued their journey that Alex and Connor get to be apart of.

Each character in THE WISHING SPELL has complexity to do beyond belief. Colfer put hard work into their back stories so the reader understands the characters. And each kingdom is purely awesome in this world. I loved it when the twins traveled to each different kingdom. 

And there was so many twists at the end! But it's not overwhelming (to me at least). Chris Colfer hints about so many things in the beginning, and at the end, I was like: "HOW DID I NOT CATCH THAT."

Overall, Chris Colfer's debut novel is one not to be missed. I highly recommend it if you're a fairy-tale fanatic! 

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (3): The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by the awesome Breaking the Spine!

This week, I'm eagerly waiting on: 

The Lost Girl - Sangu Mandanna 
Expected U.S. Publication Date: August 28, 2012


Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

Yes. Yes. And yes. I really want this book! I've never read a book about a person who must replace another person when they pass away. Sangu Mandanna's debut novel is one that I'm so excited for! 

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links to your WoW post in the comments section below so I can check it out! 

Happy reading! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Brad About Books: Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Published: August 23, 2011
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 379 pages

Rule #1: Do not show fear.
Rule #2: Do not show pity.
Rule #3: Do not engage.
Rule #4: Do not let your guard down.
Rule #5: They lie.

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from. Literally. 

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

POSSESS is a creepy and enthralling read that had one of the most shocking endings that I've ever read about!

I've never read a book about the "banishment" as our main protagonist Bridget likes to call it, so this was a first for me. And I really liked it! It had me on the edge of my seat for a ton of scenes (*cough* THE DOLL SCENE), and Gretchen McNeil accomplished putting goosebumps on my arms!

Let's just talk about the doll scene is POSSESS. That had to be one of the freakiest scenes I've ever read about. I highly recommend that you do not read that part of the book at nighttime, because it will freak you out beyond belief. 

The way that Gretchen McNeil crafted together her characters was really great. She put complex details into each characters while making sure that they had their flaws. Bridget was a kick-butt kind of character, but she complained a lot of the times that she didn't want this power (and to be honest, I wouldn't want it either). But I still really enjoyed every almost every character -- read the book to understand why I didn't like one specific character.

And the writing style was very scary. When Gretchen brings in the eerie voices, she wrote their dialogue in a such a way that made me a little bit frightened. And I'm not joking. Props to Gretchen McNeil for making a super scary book!

Overall, POSSESS was a very eerie and dark novel that had its moments of shocking events. Loved it!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (2): Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!

This week, I'm waiting on:

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1) - Gena Showalter
Expected U.S. Publication Date: September 25, 2012

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.
 Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.Her father was right. The monsters are real….To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies…


I mean, Alice fighting off zombies? Yes please. I need this book, and I need it now.

What are you waiting on this week? Leave links to your WoW post so I can check it out! Happy reading! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Brad About Books: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Published: May 31, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 487 pages
Source: Books-A-Million
Series: Starcrossed, #1

Set on the island of Nantucket, STARCROSSED tells the tale of Helen Hamilton, a young woman whose destiny is forever altered when she meets Lucas Delos and tries to kill him in front of her entire high school. Which is terribly inconvenient, not only because Lucas is the most beautiful boy on the island, but also because Helen is so achingly shy she suffers physical pain whenever she is given too much attention. 

Making matters worse, Helen is beginning to suspect she’s going crazy. Whenever she’s near Lucas or any member of his family she sees the ghostly apparitions of three women weeping bloody tears, and suffers the burden of an intense and irrational hate. She soon learns that she and Lucas are destined to play the leading roles in a Greek tragedy that the Three Fates insist on repeating over and over again throughout history. Like her namesake, Helen of Troy, she’s destined to start a war by falling in love. But even though Lucas and Helen can see their own star-crossed destiny, they’re still powerfully attracted to each other. Will they give up their personal happiness for the greater good, or risk it all to be together?

STARCROSSED was a great take on the Helen of Troy myth. I thought Josephine Angelini did a fantastic job with the romance between these starcrossed lovers!

I will admit that STARCROSSED is a bit slow at first. But by page 30, I was sucked into this world and I honestly could not put this book down. I actually finished it in under twenty-four hours! Angelini’s writing style is a modern, but also has a haunting feeling to it when our main character, Helen, is around her love interest, Lucas.
Let’s talk about the characters now. I really loved Helen. I thought she was strong and brave and not afraid to face her fears. And Angelini made Helen and Lucas seriously feel like starcrossed lovers to me.
And for some reason, I’m a sucker for Greek re-tellings. And I honestly don’t know why. Josephine Angelini really hit it out of the park with STARCROSSED and I can’t wait for more of her books.
The only problem I had with STARCROSSED were the very long chapters. I usually didn’t mind it, since the storyline was going so fast, but other times, it was a conversation between the characters that went on for over twenty pages. I still loved STARCROSSED nonetheless.
Overall, STARCROSSED was a great novel from this international bestselling author, and I can definitely see the hype surrounding this one. Can’t wait to read book two!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (1): Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!

This week, I'm waiting on:

Because It Is My Blood (Birthright, #2) - Gabrielle Zevin
Expected U.S. Publication Date: September 18, 2012


Since her release from Liberty Children's Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship.But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve--and her heart--will be tested as never before.

I LOVED All These Things I've Done and I cannot wait to continue with Anya's story! Gabrielle Zevin has created a world filled with strong and fierce characters that will stop at nothing to get what they want. The writing style is so marvelous and this is one of my "must have" books. If you haven't read All These Things I've Done, I highly recommend you do so! 

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links to your WoW post so I can check it out!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

2012 Booklist!

Hey guys! So I decided to do something a little bit different today; I'm going to list all the books that I've read this year!

January: 11 Books
1. Darkness Becomes Her - Kelly Keaton (3 stars)
2. Heartless - Sara Shepard (4.5 stars)
3. Never Have I Ever - Sara Shepard (5 stars)
4. A Million Suns - Beth Revis (5 stars)
5. Tiger's Curse - Colleen Houck (3.5 stars)
6. Wanted - Sara Shepard (4 stars)
7. XVI - Julia Karr (4 stars)
8. Fracture - Megan Miranda (5 stars)
9. Everybody Sees the Ants - A.S. King (3 stars)
10. The Iron Witch - Karen Mahoney (4 stars)
11. The Mockingbirds - Daisy Whitney (3 stars)

February: 16 Books
12: Bewitching - Alex Flinn (5 stars)
13. Incarnate - Jodi Meadows (5 stars) My favorite book of 2012 so far!
14. Twisted - Sara Shepard (5 stars)
15. Cracked - K.M. Walton (5 stars)
16. Wither - Lauren DeStefano (4 stars)
17. Dead to You - Lisa McMann (4 stars)
18. Delirium - Lauren Oliver (5 stars)
19. The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers - Lynn Weingarten (3 stars)
20. Once in a Full Moon - Ellen Schreiber (4 stars)
21. A Touch Mortal - Leah Clifford (4 stars)
22. Vesper - Jeff Sampson (4 stars)
23. Cinder - Marissa Meyer (5 stars)
24. Bittersweet - Sarah Ockler (4 stars)
25. Under the Never Sky - Veronica Rossi (3.5 stars)
26. Everneath - Brodi Ashton (5 stars)
27. Fever - Lauren DeStefano (2 stars)

March: 13 Books
28. Hourglass - Myra McEntire (5 stars)
29. Timepiece - Myra McEntire (5 stars)
30. How to Ruin a Summer Vacation - Simone Elkeles (3 stars)
31. Born Wicked - Jessica Spotswood (5 stars)
32. BZRK - Michael Grant (5 stars)
33. Return to Finkleton - K.C. Hilton (5 stars)
34. Isle of Night - Veronica Wolff (2.5 stars)
35. The Goddess Test - Aimee Carter (4 stars)
36. Take a Bow - Elizabeth Eulberg (5 stars)
37. Croak - Gina Damico (4 stars)
38. Gone - Michael Grant (5 stars)
39. Hunger - Michael Grant (5 stars) 
40. Slide - Jill Hathaway (5 stars)

April: 12 Books
41. Lies - Michael Grant (5 stars)
42. Abandon - Meg Cabot (3.5 stars)
43. Underworld - Meg Cabot (4 stars)
44. Divergent - Veronica Roth (5 stars)
45. Graceling - Kristin Cashore (5 stars)
46. White Cat - Holly Black (4 stars)
47. The Vicious Deep - Zoraida Cordova (4 stars)
48. Deadly Cool - Gemma Halliday (4 stars)
49. A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness (5 stars)
50. The Body Finder - Kimberly Derting (4 stars)
51. The Selection - Kiera Cass (5 stars)
52. Masque of the Red Death - Bethany Griffin (3.5 stars)

May: 12 Books
53. Starcrossed - Josephine Angelini (4 stars)
54. Insurgent - Veronica Roth (5 stars)
55. Lies Beneath - Anne Greenwood Brown (3 stars)
56. Plague - Michael Grant (5 stars)
57. Wings - Aprilynne Pike (4 stars)
58. Wake - Amanda Hocking (5 stars)
59. The Lost Hero - Rick Riordan (5 stars)
60. The Raft - S.A. Bodeen (2 stars)
61. Eve - Anna Carey (3.5 stars)
62. Spells - Aprilynne Pike (5 stars)
63. A Need So Beautiful - Suzanne Young (4 stars)
64. Paranormalcy - Kiersten White (4 stars)

June: 15 Books
65. Dreamless - Josephine Angelini (4 stars)
66. Cold Fury - T.M. Goeglein (3.5 stars)
67. Struck - Jennifer Bosworth (3 stars)
68. Vampire Kisses - Ellen Schreiber (4 stars)
69. The Girl of Fire and Thorns - Rae Carson (5 stars)
70. Desires of the Dead - Kimberly Derting (5 stars)
71. Harbinger - Sara Wilson Etienne (3 stars)
72. Hush, Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick (3 stars)
73. Beautiful Creatures - Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (4 stars)
74. Hereafter - Tara Hudson (5 stars)
75. The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket (4 stars)
76. Scarlet - Marissa Meyer (5 stars)
77. Into the Wild - Erin Hunter (4 stars)
78. Fire and Ice - Erin Hunter (4 stars)
79. The Reptile Room - Lemony Snicket (4 stars)

July: 4 Books So Far
80. Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi (5 stars)
81. Kissing Coffins - Ellen Schreiber (4 stars)
82. Vampireville - Ellen Schreiber  (4 stars)
83. Dance with a Vampire - Ellen Schreiber (4 stars)
84. All These Things I've Done - Gabrielle Zevin *Currently Reading*

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Brad About Books: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Published: September 20, 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow (Harper)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 424 pages
Series: Fire and Thorns, #1

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one. 

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will. 

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS is a fast-paced thriller that has non-stop action, blooming romance, and a storyline that is unique. Such an awesome debut!

The world-building in THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS is insane . . . but also epic, at the same time. Rae Carson has crafted together a fantasy world filled with the royal kings and queens, vicious rebels that aren't afraid of anything, and a heroine who is a believable teenager trying to find her place in this world.

The characters of this novel were complex and deep. I cared for every single character, especially Elisa. I would cheer for every character along the way, and I was so happy that Carson put hard work into her characters. While Elisa seemed immature at first, she grows so much throughout this book. She becomes stronger, fearless, and one of the toughest protagonists I have ever read about in YA literature.

Speaking of fearless, Rae Carson loves to put her characters into deep situations. No spoilers here, but there's a death in this book that left my mouth hanging wide open, wondering if that seriously just happened. I was so sad when that death occurred, but I think that's the climatic point of Elisa's strength that pushed her to be the greatest she can be.

It would have been super helpful, though, if there was a map placed in this novel. With high fantasy novels, the worlds are usually very complex, and I feel that a map would have helped this story more. I wanted to know where exactly the kingdoms were placed, and how long the jungle was that they had to cross. Nonetheless, THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS was an excellent novel.

Overall, I highly recommend you pick up THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS. If you love high fantasy (like I do), this is the perfect book for you! 

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