Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Brad About Books: Fated by Alyson Noël

Published: May 22, 2012 (hardcover)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: Paperback; finished copy for review
Page Count: 368 pages
Source: Publisher
Series: Soul Seekers, #1

Strange things are happening to Daire Santos. Crows mock her, glowing people stalk her, time stops without warning, and a beautiful boy with unearthly blue eyes haunts all her dreams. Fearing for her daughter’s sanity, Daire’s mother sends her to live with the grandmother she’s never met. A woman who recognizes the visions for what they truly are—the call to her destiny as a Soul Seeker—one who can navigate the worlds between the living and dead.

There on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico, Daire sets out to harness her mystical powers. But it’s when she meets Dace, the boy from her dreams, that her whole world is shaken to its core. Now Daire is forced to discover if Dace is the one guy she's meant to be with...or if he’s allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy.

Big thanks to St. Martin's Press for sending me a copy of FATED for review! Thanks guys; you're super awesome!

FATED brings life into ancient curses and enthralled me with its unique plot. Alyson Noël has crafted together a world that makes me giddy with joy and cringe with terror. FATED is a very promising start to this new series!

Daire was one (if not, my most favorite) part of this book. Yes, she is pretty much a jerk to her mom, but she absolutely redeems herself towards the end. I loved how she wasn't quick to forgive or be so trusting towards anyone; especially since she's thrown into a very insane situation.

Because trust me when I say that this book is crazy. Her grandmother threw something very huge at her in the book, and what impressed me the most about Daire was that she didn't go willingly into this situation, but she wasn't a complete brat about it. She knew what she had to do, and she did it. That's what made Daire feel like a great protagonist for me.

But I did have one problem with FATED: it was hard to get into the book. I couldn't completely connect with the storyline, and I would find myself not remembering things from a few pages ago. Luckily whenever we get to a scene inside a mountain (no spoilers), everything clicked into place and the storyline flowed much easier.

And I really loved the relationship between Daire and Dace. They had a spark of chemistry that made it stand out from other romances I've read in other YA titles, so props to Alyson Noël for making that happen in FATED! And another thing that makes this novel shine was the ability of walking inbetween the living and the dead. How cool is that?! I wouldn't want to have that ability myself, but Noël did a near-flawless job at capturing me into this world of the living and dead spirits. 

And the ending! Wow! Endings are a very important thing to me in a book, and FATED has one of the most action-filled scenes I read in 2012! It was absolutely brilliant. 

Overall, FATED does take some time and effort for diving into the story, but once it takes off, it easily becomes one of the most interesting and unique books I've ever read. I can't wait to see what will happen next to the characters as the series grows!

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Brad About Books: Asunder by Jodi Meadows

Published: January 29, 2013 (today!)
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (Harper)
Format: ARC
Page Count: 416 pages
Source: RAK
Series: Newsoul, #2

Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.

ASUNDER is a stunning sequel with a great plot and surprises at every turn. Jodi Meadows is a master of stories!

If you don't know this about me, INCARNATE (book one) is my favorite book of all time. ALL. TIME. So when I got ASUNDER in the mail as a RAK, I was freaking out and started reading immediately. I was sucked back into the world of Range and all of its inhabitants: speaking of which, the sylph were super eerie in this book! I don't see how Meadows managed to make them even more spookier, but she pulled it off excellently.

Ana? She became such a fierce and kick-butt character in this sequel. I will admit that she does have her flaws in book one, but oh my, she absolutely redeems herself in ASUNDER. And Sam is just so nice to Ana, it makes even more cooler in my book. Plus, anything with piano/music in books adds extra bonus points for me, and Ana and Sam do duets in the book!

But I did have one slight problem: I absolutely adore ASUNDER, but there was something about INCARNATE that gave me some kind of spark of reading-love and hope for other fantasies like it. So I guess I like INCARNATE just a little bit more than ASUNDER.

But please don't get me wrong: ASUNDER is a fantastic sequel. I will admit that I sometimes have troubles with sequels, but I had zero trouble with this one. The writing style was just as great, and the stakes are raised even higher. Speaking of which, THE PROBLEMS ARE RAISED SO MUCH HIGHER IN THIS BOOK. There are a lot of evil and cruel jerks in this book that Jodi Meadows put in there that made me cringe because of how twisted they were, and gosh, they were so evil to Ana and Sam! And because of the ending of INCARNATE, we have a new problem in ASUNDER: newsouls are coming into the world, filling everyone with fear. And let me say that the newsouls are probably my favorite addition to ASUNDER.

And once again, Meadows packs an insane ending! I was on my seat the entire time, because Jodi knows how to write an ending!

Overall, ASUNDER is just as brilliant as its predecessor. I don't know how I'll be able to stand the wait for book three!

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Want to check out other opinions on ASUNDER? Here's some links to some bloggers who also reviewed ASUNDER!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Brad About Books: The Prey by Andrew Fukuda

Expected Publication Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: Finished Copy for Review
Page Count: 304 pages
Source: Publisher
Series: The Hunt, #2

For Gene and the remaining humans—or hepers—death is just a heartbeat away. On the run and hunted by society, they must find a way to survive in The Vast... and avoid the hungry predators tracking them in the dark. But they’re not the only things following Gene. He’s haunted by the girl he left behind and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side.

When they discover a refuge of exiled humans living high in the mountains, Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe. Led by a group of intensely secretive elders, the civilization begins to raise more questions than answers. A strict code of behaviour is the rule, harsh punishments are meted out, young men are nowhere to be found—and Gene begins to wonder if the world they’ve entered is just as evil as the one they left behind. As life at the refuge grows more perilous, he and Sissy only grow closer. In an increasingly violent world, all they have is each other... if they can only stay alive.

THE PREY is an electric and fierce sequel. With a fast-paced story and insane things happening, Andrew Fukuda created a wonderful sequel that left me hanging at the end. 

What I loved about THE PREY was the necessity to survive. With the humans on the run, I have to admit that I feared the worst for them. Andrew Fukuda kept me on the edge of my seat through the course of the entire novel, making me guess what would happen next while I was trembling with fear.

That's another thing: THE PREY has its jumpy and scary moments! I mean, a world full of vampires determined to cause havoc to everything, Fukuda was excellent at making me get frightened a time or two!  And the exiled humans were very eerie and part of the reason why THE PREY is a bit terrifying. They're just really freaky! 

I have to admit, though, Gene annoyed me quite a bit in the book. They were on the run, but Gene made me want to punch him in the face a couple of times in the book. It may sound brutal, but I couldn't believe that he turned into a little bit annoying. However, Sissy was great and made up for Gene. Sissy was one of my favorite parts of the entire book, just because of all the sassy dialogue and excellent character development. 

THE PREY is also another ending that shocked me! Read the book, and your jaw will also fall open. Andrew Fukuda's THE PREY is simply a brilliant sequel!

Overall, THE PREY lives up to the hype it deserves. Although the main character got on my nerves some, it didn't stop me from loving this book.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Brad About Books: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Read from October 28 to October 30, 2012
Expected Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Format: ARC
Page Count: 336 pages
Source: Given a Copy
Series: Archived, #1

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.

THE ARCHIVED is a cinematic and brilliant novel that takes readers on a journey to the one of the most unique worlds in YA literature. Victoria Schwab has masterfully created a beautiful novel with twists and turns that will leave readers breathless all the way to the epic and shocking ending.

Can I just say that the whole world of the Archive was simply great? Schwab did a great job at weaving together this wonderful world -- in fact, The Archive is one of my favorite YA worlds ever. It's one world that I would love to visit and see everything about it; that is if the Librarians would let me in. It's so eccentric and fascinating. I couldn't get enough of it.

Mackenzie was just a well-rounded, wholesome, and great character. I immediately connected with her and was super happy to join her on her crazy journey. Mackenzie is one of those main protagonists that is so easy to love; she's quirky, mysterious, and has a heavy responsibility on her hands that she tries her best at. That's what made me fall hard for Mackenzie.

And also, the Librarians? Super creepy. Like, you don't even understand. But THE ARCHIVED has something that is rare to find on the shelves of YA fiction nowadays: you will never find another book like this. Never. This novel is so original and unique, it blew my mind. The world-building was fantastic, the writing was beautiful, and the entire novel itself is one of my favorite reads.

The ending? What was that?! I'm just dying now for the sequel, because trust me when I say, THE ARCHIVED has one of the most brutal yet brilliant endings. 

Overall, THE ARCHIVED is a special kind of book. I adored every second that I was reading it, and I fell in love with the world itself. I am so stoked for book two!

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Monday, January 21, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Blurred by Tara Fuller! (Kissed by Death, #2)!

Thanks to Entangled Press, I have the chance to do the cover reveal for the anticipated sequel to Inbetween by Tara Fuller, Blurred

Ready to see it? 

Because it's amazing.


Isn't it great? I love it so much! I especially like the black smoke running across the center and the typography and everything. Whoever designed this awesome cover, props to you! 

Here's the blurb for Blurred.

Cash is haunted by things. Hungry, hollow things. They only leave him alone when Anaya, Heaven’s beautiful reaper, is around. Cash has always been good with girls, but Anaya isn’t like the others. She’s dead. And with his deteriorating health, Cash might soon be as well.

Anaya never breaks the rules, but the night of the fire she recognized part of Cash’s soul—and doomed him to something worse than death. Cash’s soul now resides in an expired body, making him a shadow walker—a rare, coveted being that can walk between worlds. A being creatures of the underworld would do anything to get their hands on.

The lines between life and death are blurring, and Anaya and Cash find themselves falling helplessly over the edge. Trapped in a world where the living don’t belong, can Cash make it out alive?

And now, the author herself!

Kissed by Death Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/KissedByDeath?fref=ts 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Brad About Books: Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Read from December 17 to December 18, 2012
Published: January 8, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: ARC
Page Count: 352 pages
Source: Borrowed From Blogger
Series: Under the Never Sky, #2

It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.

Just WOW! Did you love Under the Never Sky? Prepare to be blown away by the electric Through the Ever Night!

Gosh, I was sucked immediately back into this fantastic and eccentric world. I loved the first book, and I was super happy to discover that this sequel was even better than its predecessor! The characters are simply amazing, and I fell hard for this book. So hard that it ended up on my Top 12 of 2012 post!

The writing style? Veronica Rossi can do no wrong. I got connected with this story because of all the drama and action going on; not to mention Aria and Perry's relationship. Through the Ever Night is simply a masterpiece of a sequel: it was executed very well, had great pacing, and a storyline I had no idea where was going to be taken.

And the suspense of what was going to happen next killed me so bad: so bad that I had to finish this book in 24 hours. And the characters of Aria and Perry grew so much and they became so much stronger. I felt all of the feels in TTEN, because so many emotions are packed into this excellent sequel.

So many twists! So many turns! I have officially declared Veronica Rossi (in my book) the Queen of YA Suspense and Surprises, because oh my, there were so many surprises in this book! I was on the edge of my seat during the entire book, and I loved it!

Overall, Through the Ever Night is one of the most magnificent sequels I have ever read. So well crafted and wonderfully amazing, fans will not be disappointed by this genius next installment in a fast-paced and fantastic series.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (9): Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey

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

This week, I'm waiting on...

Ashes on the Waves - Mary Lindsey
June 27, 2013
Philomel (Penguin)
387 pages

Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever.

With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied; but, the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make a wager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial—and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.

Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling poem Annabel Lee, Mary Lindsey creates a frighteningly beautiful gothic novel that glorifies the power of true love.

I. Need. This. No, you don't understand: I. NEED. THIS. 

This book sounds phenomenal, and I want this book so bad. I don't know how in the world I'll be able to survive until the end of the June, because I seriously need this book. I am super stoked about it, and I can't wait for it!

(also, that cover, that title, that shade of blue, that typography, everything looks fantastic on the cover)

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your WoW posts down in the comments so I can check it out!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Brad About Books: The 13th Sign by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

Expected Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Format: ARC
Page Count: 272 pages
Source: Publisher

What if there was a 13th zodiac sign? 

You’re no longer Sagittarius, but Ophiuchus, the healer, the 13th sign. 

Your personality has changed. So has your mom’s and your best friend’s. 

What about the rest of the world? 

What if you were the one who accidentally unlocked the 13th sign, causing this world-altering change—and infuriating the other 12 signs?  

Jalen did it, and now she must use every ounce of her strength and cunning to send the signs back where they belong. Lives, including her own, depend on it.

(I want to say a big thank you to Macmillan for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thanks guys! You rock!)

THE 13TH SIGN is unlike any kind of book you will ever read. Filled with a clever protagonist and outstanding pacing, THE 13TH SIGN is one of kind a book that should definitely be on your radar!
I mean, wow. The pacing is incredible in this book! I read in this book in a matter of 24 hours, simply because I couldn't set the book down. The first chapter was very enticing, and the rest of the book got even better. THE 13TH SIGN definitely shines out from other books. 

Jalen was such a great main character! I loved traveling with her through her insane journeys throughout this novel as she tried to fix her problems (and believe me, the problems were huge in this book!), and I thought that the author did a brilliant job at weaving together Jalen's personality and such. I look for a few things in novels, more specifically in middle-grades (since anything can basically happen in MGs): a cunning and clever main character, a unique story idea, a well-crafted together world, and a special element that can be found at the end of the book.

THE 13TH SIGN had all that and more.

I was just a bit hesitant to dive into this book, just because I don't pay attention horoscopes. But the great thing about THE 13TH SIGN is that it isn't all about horoscopes and futures and whatever; it's about saving yourself and the ones you love and trying to fix your wrongs. That's why I love this book.

And that ending was CRAY. Can I just say that? CRAY CRAY. I was on the edge of my seat during the entire last-part of the book, and I adored every single second of it.

Overall, THE 13TH SIGN is definitely a must-read middle grade. Looking for something that's never been done before? Or something that will blow you away entirely? THE 13TH SIGN hits shelves very soon, and I highly recommend you pick yourself up a copy!

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