Thursday, February 28, 2013

Brad About Books: Revenge of the Girl With the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Expected Publication Date: March 1, 2013
Publisher: Point (Scholastic)
Format: ARC
Page Count: 261 pages
Source: Publisher

A hilarious new novel from Elizabeth Eulberg about taking the wall out of the wallflower so she can bloom.

Don't mess with a girl with a Great Personality.

Everybody loves Lexi. She's popular, smart, funny...but she's never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).

Lexi's sick of it. She's sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She's sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She's sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she's sick of having all her family's money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.

The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren't going to know what hit them. Because Lexi's going to play the beauty game - and she's in it to win it.

First off, thank you so much Scholastic for sending me an ARC of this novel!

Hilarious and witty, Revenge of the Girl With the Great Personality is a quick read about breaking out of your shell.

I read and loved Elizabeth Eulberg's Take a Bow last year - I thought it was amazing and stunning and in all ways, fantastic. I had some... different feelings with her latest book. I thought that the story would focus mainly on getting revenge on those who wronged you and blooming out of your wallflower. But what I got was a lot of pageant scenes and snobby, little girls. It just wasn't what I was expecting, so it definitely gave me some trouble.

But that doesn't take away from Eulberg's comedic writing style. She has such a witty and funny way of stringing words together and the remarks that characters make to each other. That's the biggest reason why I love her books - her writing style is so uplifting and energetic. I can't get enough of it!

Lexi was a great protagonist. I felt for her in her pain of being pushed aside by her family, and I really felt bad for her. Every time something bad would happen, I would cringe. Lexi was a stunning protagonist! But Lexi's mom and her little sister Mac? Not so much. I understand that Mac was a seven-year-old beauty queen and will be snotty by all means, but gosh, Lexi's mom was the definition of awful. I understood where she was coming at a times, but I never liked her character.

And I guess the main thing I had trouble with was the fact that it wasn't what I expecting. It was a bit too fluffy and not-my-style, but I did enjoy parts. So overall, I would definitely recommend Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality if you're looking for some fun in your reading! Elizabeth Eulberg has spun out another fantastic contemporary.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (12): Transparent

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

This week, I'm waiting on...

Transparent by Natalie Whipple
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

This one looks SO GOOD! I can't wait for it. Invisibility really intrigues me, and I'm so excited for Transparent!

What are you waiting on this week? Leave links in the comments!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Top Ten Authors On My Auto-Buy List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

Here are the top ten authors on my auto-buy list: {in no particular order!}

1. J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and The Casual Vacancy
Obviously, right? I haven't read The Casual Vacancy, but anything that J.K. Rowling writes has to be on my bookshelf.

2. Amanda Hocking -  The Trylle Trilogy, Watersong series, and My Blood Approves
I'm sure you all know by now that Amanda Hocking is one of my absolute favorite authors of all time. Anything that she writes is a must have for me. CANNOT wait for Elegy

3. Ruta Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray and Out of the Easy
I loved both of her novels, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with the next! I'm sure it'll be brilliant.

4. Beth Revis -  The Across the Universe trilogy
I adored the AtU trilogy (so sad it's over!), but I've heard that she is working on a new project, and I'm sure it'll be just as fantastic as Across the Universe! Can't wait to see what she writes next!

5. Leigh Bardugo - The Grisha Trilogy
Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm are my absolute favorite books of 2013, and I am so stoked for Ruin and Rising! She has built such a fantastic world, and I am very excited to see what her next projects are.

6. Michael Grant - The Gone series and BZRK
The Gone series is one of my favorite series ever, and BZRK is very unique as well. I hope he does more dystopian/post-apocalyptic books in the future.

7. Jodi Meadows - The Newsoul trilogy
I've said it many times, but Incarnate is my favorite book of all time, so anything that Jodi Meadows writes, I have to buy! Love the world-building and characters and gah!

8. Brodi Ashton - The Everneath trilogy
Everneath was exciting and fast-paced, and I think it would be interesting to see some more Greek mythology from her! Really, whatever else she writes, it's a must-buy for me.

9. Stefan Bachmann - The Peculiar
The Peculiar was wonderful. I would love to see some more MG from him, but I've also heard that his next project is YA; can't wait for that one either!

10. Jackson Pearce - As You Wish, Fairytale Re-telling series, Purity
Jackson Pearce is in the very-high list of my favorite authors ever. Anything that she writes, it is a total auto-buy! Plus, her next novel, Cold Spell, comes out on my birthday! Woohoo!

Did you do a TTT post? I'd love to see it; leave links in the comments!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Brad About Books: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Published: April 1, 2007
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 522 pages
Source: Library

With 284 pictures between the book's 533 pages, the book depends equally on its pictures as it does on the actual words. Selznick himself has described the book as "not exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things." The Caldecott Medal is for picture books, in 2008 this was first novel to receive.

The primary inspiration is the true story of turn-of-the-century French pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès, his surviving films, and his collection of mechanical, wind-up figures called automata. Selznick decided to add automata to the storyline after reading Edison's Eve by Gaby Wood, which tells the story of Edison's attempt to create a talking wind-up doll. 

Méliès actually had a set of automata, which were either sold or lost. At the end of his life Méliès was broke, even as his films were screening widely in the United States. He did work in a toy booth in a Paris railway station, hence the setting. Selznick drew Méliès's real door in the book.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a magical and whimsical read filled with beautiful illustrations and a wonderful story for the ages. 

Hugo is such a wonderful protagonist. It's rare to find a character who is both smart and whimsical, but Brian Selznick proves to us that they still exist. He was such a fun character, and I adored every single second getting to travel with him through his adventures in the train station. Plus, I absolutely loved the setting. Inside the walls of a French train station was absolutely brilliant, and this is a world that I am dying to explore.

The illustrations are simply gorgeous. Selznick really brings the world to life with these stunning works of art, and I appreciated that they were put into the story. It made The Invention of Hugo Cabret seem real and authentic and all-around a fantastic story, since not only do we get to use our imagination, Brian Selznick shows us the world through these brilliant illustrations. 

And I know that it seems long {since it is 522 pages}, but trust me when I say that it is a very quick read. I read it in the matter of a day. I think I read somewhere that there are only 25,000 words, which is not a lot. It's an easy book to breeze through with a captivating and gripping story that will captivate readers of all ages.

If you didn't know, this novel was turned into a film (titled Hugo), which I do have to say was also just as great. But I loved the characters, the world, and the illustrations of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Everything was magnificent.

Overall, The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a must-read for everybody. Looking for something that is magical and vibrant? Then you need The Invention of Hugo Cabret in your book life.

M Y   R A T I N G :

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Brad About Books: Magic of the Moonlight by Ellen Schreiber

Published: December 27, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (Harper)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 229 pages
Series: Full Moon, #2

Beware of a bite under a full moon…
it will complicate your love life.

Celeste has more to worry about than a secret romance with a hot guy from the wrong side of town. That guy, Brandon, is a werewolf. With gossip and hostility swirling at school, it’s time to find a cure for his nocturnal condition, and perhaps the one person who can help is his scientist father. But what if a “cure” makes things worse and Brandon becomes a werewolf full time? And with rumors circulating that there are werewolves in Legend’s Run, is it possible that there is another among their classmates?

To keep Brandon’s secret safe, Celeste must hide her relationship with him from her best friends, but with the Moonlight Ball approaching, she must make a choice. Her dream is to go with her one true love—Brandon. But once the sun goes down, the clouds separate, and the full moon appears, could she really walk into the dance on the arm of a werewolf?

In this installment of the sumptuously romantic Full Moon series, Celeste faces her fears and her friends and finds out whether she’s strong enough to stand up for herself and her one true love.

The Full Moon series is a lighthearted and fun series that makes for a great paranormal romance, and this installment lives up to the hype. 

Again, Magic of the Moonlight is simply fun that is clean and lighthearted. I recommend this series to all readers, especially tweens and teens. They're short and sweet, and I know exactly what to expect from Ellen Schreiber and her works: lots of brilliant paranormal romance and tons of fun. 

Celeste finally grew a backbone in this novel. I have to admit that in the first book, Once in a Full Moon, she seemed a bit silly and naive, but gosh, she really gets fierce in this second novel! I loved how Schreiber really developed her character: she was smart, quick-witted, and really strong. And of course, the other characters were great. I really loved Celeste and Brandon's relationship, because it grew to tremendous heights and totally evolved into something bigger than what was offered in the first book.

I love the take on werewolves that Ellen Schreiber weaves together. The freaky fortune-teller makes her return, and she has an important message. Something is going to trouble Celeste's life, and once you find out what that twist is, it's spectacular! I could see hints, and I did guess what would happen at the end, but just the way that Schreiber made that scene come to life did the book for me.

Overall, Magic of the Moonlight is a great installment in this fun series. Looking for some love in your life underneath the moon? Check out these novels!

M Y   R A T I N G :

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Brad About Books: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Published: August 31, 2010
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 484 pages
Source: Library
Series: Halo, #1

An angel is sent to Earth on a mission.

But falling in love is not part of the plan.

Three angels – Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human – are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.

Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong.

The angel’s mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?

Halo is a gripping novel filled with the value of true love that made my feelings soar and my imagination run wild.

I will admit that it took sometime for me to get invested in the book. It felt a bit draggy and slow, but after our main characters, Bethany and Xavier, meet, the action and pacing definitely picked up. I loved how Adornetto put a spin on this novel of how our main characters meet each other. And another thing I appreciated about Halo was the fact that it was the girl who was paranormal instead of the guy! You don't see too much of that in YA novels, so I really thought it was neat that it was put in this book.

Talk about forbidden love. So many people are trying to stop Bethany and Xavier from developing feelings from each other - I can see why, since Bethany is an angel, but still, I couldn't believe how many people were invested into stopping a relationship that wasn't even there yet. I did enjoy our side characters: Gabriel and Ivy were excellent siblings to Bethany. Their wisdom was exquisite, and I loved how they helped Bethany along on their journey on Earth.

Speaking of which, there are some pretty freaky villains. Dark forces are on the loose and out to get our angels, but the way that Alexandra Adornetto made them feel real and definitely creepy blew my mind. I cringed everytime they were brought up, and I know that a book is filled with excellent villains if the author can do that to me.

Overall, Halo is an electric and explosive tale for the ages. I couldn't get enough of it!

M Y   R A T I N G:

Friday, February 22, 2013

Brad About Books: Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne

Published: February 2, 2012
Publisher: GP Putnam BYR (Penguin)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 309 pages

When sixteen-year-old Faye arrives at Holbrook Academy, she doesn't expect to find herself exactly where she needs to be. After years of strange waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, Faye is afraid she's going crazy. Fast.

But her first night at Holbrook, she feels strangely connected to the school and the island it sits on, like she's come home. She's even made her first real friends, but odd things keep happening to them. Every morning they wake on the floors of their dorm rooms with their hands stained red.

Faye knows she's the reason, but what does it all mean? The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain she can't trust him; in fact, he may be trying to kill her - and the rest of the world too.

Rich, compelling writing will keep the pages turning in this riveting and tautly told psychological thriller.

I hate to say it, but I was disappointed with Harbinger. Difficult and a bit confusing, I felt that there were too many plot points jumbled up and trying to soar, but they just didn't work for me.

The thing that I had the most problems with about Harbinger was simply that this book had too many elements of YA trying to mix together. Dystopian, mystery, a little bit paranormal romance, it felt forced and too messy. I couldn't keep track for the majority of the book of what the plot line actually was. I think that if only there had been one genre-element instead of a mixed group, this novel would have definitely appealed more to me.

But I did enjoy our main character, Faye. She seemed funny and quick-witted, and overall, I found her to be my favorite part of the book. I always looked forward to seeing what she was going to be getting herself into and what the author would do to her character. Harbinger had a really, really unique synopsis from the jacket and book trailer. But unfortunately, it just wasn't for my taste.

But another quality of Harbinger I enjoyed was Holbrook Academy, minus all of the jumbled up genres floating around it in. Just the Academy itself spooked me -- it seemed super eerie and creepy, and if the novel had revolved more around the scariness of Holbrook Academy, I think the novel could have been a lot better.

Overall, Harbinger disappointed me, but since it has lots of genres I would classify in it, I can see how it will appeal to YA lovers. 

M Y   R A T I N G

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Brad About Books: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Published: May 22, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 326 pages
Series: Of Poseidon, #1

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen — literally, ouch! — both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . . 

Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.

Of Poseidon is a hurricane of love and mystery, action and romance, and the perfect blend of humor and how tides can send love crashing down.

I have to say that Of Poseidon was really funny! Not sure for yourself? The words "intoxicated walrus" pop up twice in the first chapter. Yeah, it's pretty hilarious the way our female protagonist, Emma, uses it in context. And throughout the rest of the book, witty dialogue and humorous events occur that actually made me laugh out loud. I wasn't expecting that from this book, but I'm super happy it was thrown in there!

A key thing that really intrigued me about Of Poseidon was the way of how we get both Emma - a normal girl living on the land with an average land - and Galen's - a merman from a sea kingdom up on land to find a girl who can communicate with fish - side of the story. It was really interesting being inside their heads and seeing how they progress in their life. And I loved the way that our main characters meet - literally running into each other and a shark attack. Pretty epic, if I do say so myself.

I adored the Sea Kingdom! Anna Banks does an amazing job at describing and making the kingdom come to life; I could see this book rolling as a movie in my head the entire time. The growth of Emma and Galen's relationship was fantastic to read about to. This book is in no way insta-love; their feelings for each other develop over time, and I really appreciate that the author did that.

The twist at the end?! My mind was blown. In short, the very last line of the book made my jaw fall open and just think wow. That's how I knew it was a great book.

Overall, Of Poseidon was brilliant from its waves of mystery down to its massive hurricanes of romance. I can't wait to see where the series goes next!

M Y   R A T I N G

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (11): The Whatnot by Stefan Bachmann

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

This week, I'm eagerly waiting on...

The Whatnot (The Peculiar, #2)
by Stefan Bachmann
Release Date: September 24, 2013

Since no synopsis has been released for The Whatnot, I'll provide my own little summary of the first book:

In The Peculiar (book one), we meet a changeling in a changeling-banished world where he is all alone and gets himself noticed, leading him to be hunted down by the people who want to kill him. With the help of the only friend he's ever known, he will try to save his world and the world against him. And in the sequel, The Whatnot, I'm expecting lots of creepiness and war-fighting-scenes!


Here's a story: I had major foot surgery back on August 15. I started The Peculiar on August 16 and read it within 24 hours. It leaves on a MAJOR cliffhanger, and at the time, no sequel had been announced. So there I was, in a hospital bed with a large cast wrapped my foot and taking pain medicine for my foot, and absolutely heartbroken. Because I didn't think there was another one, and it really sadden my mood. I adored and loved The Peculiar - so much to where it's my favorite middle-grade book. 

So when The Whatnot was announced, I wanted to bounce up and down and freak out and do a happy dance. Unfortunately, I was still in the cast, so that wasn't going to happen. But I sure wanted to. The Peculiar was phenomenal, and I can't wait to see what happens in The Whatnot. September needs to hurry up and get here because I can't wait any longer for this one!

Plus, LOOK AT THAT AMAZING COVER. Isn't it pure art?!

Did you do a WoW post? I'd love to see it; leave links in the comments!

Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Top Ten Favorite Characters in X Genre

Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish!

This week's topic is Top Ten Favorite Characters in X Genre, and the genre I chose was Paranormal Romance!

In no particular order, here are my selections:

1. Emma - Of Poseidon 

Emma is super funny, loves to swim, and has a really great personality. I fell in love with her in Of Poseidon, and I can't wait to see where her story goes next in Of Triton!

2. Clara - Unearthly

Not only is she an angel, Clara has a great outlook on life and has this way of cheering up people and just being awesome. I'm dying to know what happens to her in the rest of the series.

3. Ellie - Angelfire

She slays monsters with awesome swords and is very kick-butt. Need I say more?

4. Lena - Beautiful Creatures

Lena is so mysterious and quiet, but once you get to know her, she seems like an awesome, awesome character with all these powers and a need to protect people she loves. And since I saw the movie yesterday, I'm on a Caster Chronicles kick. Lena is fantastic!

5. Ethan - Beautiful Creatures

I think if I could pick one guy from YA literature to have as a friend, I would pick Ethan. Ethan is just really awesome and seems like somebody who would be great to have as a friend. Plus, I would get to see Lena if I were friends with Ethan, which I see as a total win. So I guess I want to be Link?

6. Blue - The Raven Boys

Does this count as paranormal romance? I would consider it PR. Even if Blue will kill the one she loves, she is epic and fantastic in every way throughout the book. 

7. Karou - Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Karou is just so weird and different, but I thought that she was a wonderful character in DoSaB. Even if I couldn't tell sometimes whether to root for her or against her, I couldn't help but really like Karou.

8. Eden - A Touch Mortal

Gosh, Eden is such a difficult character to describe. What I really liked about Eden was that she didn't take crap from anybody and could stand her ground, but also had her weak moments where she cried. Because those are what humans do. Leah Clifford did a fantastic job at creating Eden!

9. Calla - Nightshade

Calla is another kick-butt character who can also transform into a wolf (hello? Awesome points awarded). Gah, Calla is another one of my favorite characters.

10. Gemma - Wake

I love swimming, so when I started this series by one of my favorite authors ever and learned that one of our protagonist loves to swim (the cover also gives it away), I instantly connected to Gemma, and I adore her character. 

Did you do a Top Ten Tuesday post today? I'd love to see it; leave links in the comments!

Happy reading!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Brad About Books: Mistwood by Leah Cypess

Published: April 27, 2010
Publisher: Greenwillow (Harper)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 304 pages
Series: Mistwood, #1

The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood.

But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat.

Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.

Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

Mistwood is a whirlwind of a fantasy adventure with fun characters and a tale for the ages. I couldn't put it down!

Mistwood starts with immediate action and never seizes to let up. I was instantly emerged into this world, exploring the epic fantasy parts of it with the castles and ghosts and everything brilliant about it. Mistwood has everything I love it in a fantasy novel: castles (love!), supernatural creatures, and an excellent protagonist that I could connect with.

Because Isabel is a really awesome for the fact that she doesn't remember her past. People tell her she is the "Shifter", the one and only person who could save their kingdom. And the really interesting thing is that she doesn't know how. And I loved how Cypess brought up that question and played upon it, diving deeper into it all the way up to the fantastic climax.

And Rokan is another stunning character! He's a prince with a haunting past that made his character development soar higher as Mistwood progressed. But not only are our main characters great; even the minor characters are fantastic and well-developed. Not a single one annoyed me. Not even our villain! (Which I will not spoil, since the villain is almost kept a secret for the majority of the book.)

The ending. Mind. Equals. Blown. I couldn't turn those pages fast enough, and once something wicked about a character is revealed, I was amazed and stunned just at how well Leah Cypess pulled it off. Just everything about Mistwood is mind-blowing, but my favorite part is the world, especially the world of the Mistwood. It's original, unique, and unlike anything I've ever read about it. That's why Mistwood is so special to me.

Mysterious and wonderful, Mistwood is a must-read for fans of fantasy. One of my favorite reads of 2012. Beautiful and mesmerizing! 

M Y   R A T I N G 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Brad About Books: This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

Published: August 23, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 298 pages
Source: Library
Series: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, #1

Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein. They are nearly inseparable. Growing up, their lives are filled with imaginary adventures...until the day their adventures turn all too real. They stumble upon The Dark Library, and secret books of alchemy and ancient remedies are discovered. Father forbids that they ever enter the room again, but this only piques Victor's curiosity more. When Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is not be satisfied with the various doctors his parents have called in to help. He is drawn back to The Dark Library where he uncovers an ancient formula for the Elixir of Life. Elizabeth, Henry, and Victor immediately set out to find assistance in a man who was once known for his alchemical works to help create the formula.

Determination and the unthinkable outcome of losing his brother spur Victor on in the quest for the three ingredients that will save Konrads life. After scaling the highest trees in the Strumwald, diving into the deepest lake caves, and sacrificing one’s own body part, the three fearless friends risk their lives to save another.

Dark and twisted, This Dark Endeavor is a haunting and chilling read that embarks question of what madness and insanity truly are.

I have to start off by saying that this book starts off with a bang. It may be my favorite first chapter ever, just because of the events. Here's a snippet of the first chapter:

"Why?" I asked her. "Why was it only me you attacked?"
"Because it is you," she whispered, "who is the real monster."

Insane, right? But it's not just in the first chapter; so many crazy endeavors (hah!) happen to our characters throughout out the course of the novel. Some would be lighthearted, but for the majority, you can count on morbid and dark events to come in This Dark Endeavor

Victor was such an awesome character! It's rare to find male protagonists in YA, and when I do find one whose simply a great person and a strong character nonetheless, I am always impressed of how the author pulls that off. Victor is that one character who is always in the shadows: I don't know if I would want him as a friend if I were living inbetween these pages. He's really awesome, but then again, he's going into madness.

Which I loved that madness is touched upon in This Dark Endeavor. So many qualities of losing your mind are woven in throughout the story, and some things flipped my mind upside down. This book takes a very sharp and dark turn towards the end, and I thought I was imagining stuff. But nope, Kenneth Oppel takes us to the edge with one particular part of the story that made my jaw fall open.

Overall, This Dark Endeavor is a morbid, yet epic, tale that's part mystery, part what-in-the-world is happening. Looking for something to bend your mind? This Dark Endeavor is the way to go.

M Y   R AT I N G

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Brad About Books: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Published: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt (Macmillan)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 358 pages
Series: The Grisha Trilogy, #1

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

Warning: this review contains excessive amounts of fanboying.

SHADOW AND BONE is an utterly mind-blowing and captivating debut that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. It's now on my favorite books of all time list!

Alina... oh, what is there to say about our kick-butt protagonist? Alina is such a great and well-rounded character, which added to the epicness of this debut. I was always rooting for her and never once doubted her in any situation. The Darkling is an insane character: he's freaky, morbid, crazy, and fantastic. I can't figure out if he's a villain or good guy... gah, Leigh Bardugo has made amazing characters!

The writing style is brilliant. I was sucked into this culture of Russia and felt like I was walking around with these characters, and Bardugo has crafted together a mesmerizing and phenomenal world. Speaking of which, I absolutely adore the world of the Grisha! It's original and brilliant and there are not enough words to describe how much I loved the world... and this book.

If you think that YA is starting to repeat itself, you obviously haven't read SHADOW AND BONE. I have been pushing this novel onto everybody as of late, and I don't see that stopping anytime soon. The fact is, simply, that this novel is amazing. You will never find a book like this one, and if you have not picked it up yet, you must pick this up!

Overall, SHADOW AND BONE has become of my favorite novels ever. Mysterious, lush and gripping, SHADOW AND BONE is a must-read.

M Y   R A T I N G:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Brad About Books: Under Wildwood by Colin Meloy

Published: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 559 pages
Series: Wildwood, #2

No synopsis here, because this review will be spoiler-free, even if you haven't read book one, WILDWOOD! (You can click on the book's title above to go to the goodreads synopsis)

UNDER WILDWOOD started off with a big bang, but slowly started to drag. While the first one was busting at the seams of imagination, UNDER WILDWOOD had moments with little action and slowed down pacing.

Like I said, the first book in this series (Wildwood) had so much life and imagination. The fantasy elements were perfect and everything about it was whimsical, adventurous, and made for a stunning book. But with its sequel, the story began to drag.

And by storyline that dragged, I mean the introduction of a new character into the chronicles: Mr. Unthank. Nothing about Mr. Unthank and his factory has magical qualities to them, and I started to question why his story was there in the first place. I wanted to see what Curtis and Prue were up to in the awesome and epic Wildwood instead of reading about some grouchy old man wanting to destroy the forest.

But don't get me wrong, this is not a bad sequel: it's still a great book! Prue and Curtis were still excellent characters, and I would say that their plotline was even better in this book. The stakes are raised insanely, and the concept of what they must do in order to save their newfound world was thrilling. Plus, Prue and Curtis as a team always make for a great novel.

And dark assassins coming after our beloved characters? Um, yes please. There were some twists in UNDER WILDWOOD that I did not see coming, and I really loved how Colin Meloy took us onto a new journey in the wonderful Wildwood. And I do mean literally a new place, since we are diving under the forest. The thing I loved the most about WILDWOOD was the entire world-building, and not only in book two do we get to see more of that world, we get to discover an entire new world underneath the already rich-land. That would have to be my favorite part of this series.

The illustrations are gorgeous as always. Carson Ellis does a phenomenal job at representing and drawing the story. Her art style is very unique, and I can't get enough of it! I would love a WILDWOOD graphic novel, just filled with her illustrations!

Overall, UNDER WILDWOOD is a great sequel, with the exception of the new added storyline. I'm now excited and nervous to see what happens in book three!

M Y   R A T I N G:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Collective Book Haul!

Today turned into insanity somehow, so instead of a review, I leave with you my latest book haul!


Books Purchased:

For Review:
(thanks Abrams!)

(thanks Scholastic!)

(thanks St. Martin's Press!)

(thanks Harper!)



(thanks Macmillan!)

Happy reading!