Jul 31, 2012

Cover Reveal: Options by Abbi Glines

Two paths.
Two completely different roads.

Each one standing before me.
Each one holding a different destiny.
In life you're just supposed to choose one path.
In life you're not given the chance at choosing one specific future.
Until now.
Until me. 
Why am I different? I don't know. But I'm going to see those roads and walk down each one. When it's over I'll know which one to choose because I'll know my--options.

This is Options by Abbi Glines.

Options is the first book in a new YA urban fantasy series by Abbi Glines, the author of books like Because of Low, While it Lasts, Breathe, and The Vincent Boys

Its expected release date is February 5, 2013.

For more about Abbi Glines, please click here.

To add Options on Goodreads (you know you want to), please click here.

Now for the moment you've all been waiting for: THE COVER.

Designed by Stephanie Mooney from Mooney Designs, it's a gorgeous, stunning, and eye-catching. 

Do you want to see it?

Do you?

Well, if you insist...

Isn't it so pretty? I love how you can see what looks like a never-ending path in the background.

I'm looking forward to this book coming out--are you? Don't forget to add it on Goodreads!

Options: Coming to a bookshelf near you on February 5, 2013.

Who is Abbi? Abbi Glines can be found hanging out with rockstars, taking out her yacht on weekends for a party cruise, sky diving, or surfing in Maui. Okay maybe she needs to keep her imagination focused on her writing only. In the real world, Abbi can be found hauling kids (several who seem to show up that don’t belong to her) to all their social events, hiding under the covers with her MacBook in hopes her husband won’t catch her watching Buffy on Netflix again, and sneaking off to Barnes and Noble to spend hours lost in the yummy goodness of books. If you want to find her then check Twitter first because she has a severe addiction to tweeting @abbiglines.   Facebook is also somewhere she visits a little too often. She blogs regularly but rarely about anything life changing. She also really enjoys talking about herself in third person. 

I want to take a second to thank Abbi Glines and Julie from AToMR Book Blog Tours and A Tale of Many Reviews for letting me take part in this wonderful cover real--THANK YOU!

Jul 25, 2012

YA Crush Tourney: Round 2!

I meant to post about this forever ago, but that didn't happen. So, in case you've been under a rock or something these past few weeks...


It was close, very close, but he won! At first he was winning. Then his opponent Eddie got the lead. Then, in the last several minutes, Sam pulled through and won! It was totally awesome and wonderful, and I want to thank Eddie's advocate Chandra at Unabridged Bookshelf for putting up such a great game! It was nice working with her!

So, Sam won his first round. Now what?


This is happening on Wednesday, July 25th, and Sam is up against Adam from Shatter Me.

I have absolutely no idea how this will go. So, to help Sam win, GO CRAZY.

GO CRAZY (v): tell everyone (and everything) to vote for Sam. Post about it on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, your blog, Myspace--everywhere. Graffiti it somewhere legal. Post it on the message board at Starbucks. Shout it to the world. SPREAD THE WORD!

See my post about WHY you should vote for Samuel K. Roth here.

It would be absolutely, positively, fantastically amazing if Sam won this round and made it to the next round (where he'll go up against Will Herondale or Zachary Moore, I believe).

One last thing. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Sam truly is amazing. All bias aside, I'm 100% serious. I've reread parts of the Shiver series in preparation for this tournament, and I had completely forgotten how sweet and wonderful and crush-worthy Sam was. No. Joke. I love him. (And he loves you, too.)

A vote for Sam is a vote for...well...The Wolves of Mercy Falls!...And Sam, of course!

(Not sure what to tweet? Here's some help!)

It's a SHIVER that will LINGER with you FOREVER. Vote for Sam! #TeamSam #SamsPack #YACrushTourney http://www.ya-sisterhood.blogspot.com

And a huge huge huge THANK YOU (full of howls) to everyone who has voted and will vote for Sam! None of this could happen without you!

Jul 15, 2012

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection: Kiera Cass

Publisher: HarperCollins (HarperTeen)
Publishing Date: April 24, 2012
Pages: 327

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of a gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined. 

Initial reaction of book in one word: Sigh.

*Warning: This review contains some spoilers.*

It was kind of hard for me to get into The Selection, but I won't hold that against my opinion of the book. (I've read several books that started out slow that I ended up loving: Twilight, The Hunger Games, Uglies.) Initially, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this book, which is like The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor--except kids don't fight to the death and there's no Chris Harrison and roses. Actually, what drove me kind of crazy throughout this whole book was how similar it was to The Hunger Games:

-America is a lot like Katniss, a girl who doesn't really want to be where she is but is there because of the people she cares for.
-When I think of Gavril I think of Caesar Flickerman.
-America has two guys she likes and who fight for her (but let's face it, that's in almost every book).
-A group of girls competing for a guy until just one is left is a less violent version of 24 tributes fighting to the death in an arena.
-The maids are a lot like Katniss's crew for makeup and hair.
-I'm almost positive (but I haven't checked) that they have the same fonts.
-America realizes that there's a lot she doesn't know about Illea and its history--kind of like all the lies of The Capitol, but I never saw Illea as evil.

There are plenty of other comparisons to The Hunger Games that were almost always on my mind. However, when I finished the book I realized that it really didn't matter. So many books are similar to each other, and ideas are bound to overlap at some point. (I have several ideas for my owns books in my head that, when I think of them, have similarities to other books.) But when I read that last page and really wanted The Elite, book two, in my hands, I knew that I really liked The Selection.

This book was one of the books that is just a really nice feel-good read. (Kind of like Anna and the French Kiss or Sarah Dessen's books--they have some good and some bad but when you finish them, you just feel good.) So many girls grow up wanting to be a princess (been there, done that--the wanting part, not the becoming a princess part), and then this book comes along giving over thirty girls the opportunity to become a member of the royal family. Even though America didn't want this--or does she now?--she still becomes one the Selected and goes to live in a palace with decadent food and divine dresses. And then there's Prince Maxon, who may seem stiff and professional at first, but then you can't help falling for him. Then there's Aspen, and I don't even know what to think of him. I think I like Maxon more than Aspen, but who knows what will happen in The Elite? I can't wait for that book (please tell me there will be ARCs available), and there was so much that I liked in The Selection:

-Aspen: The way he looks at and kisses America. You want that. I want that.
-Prince Maxon: His first kiss with America. It was awkward and sweet but I loved it so much!
-The Rebels: The attacks on the palace don't just happen to show the dangers of being royal and for some action. No, I'm pretty sure they're happening for a reason and that they're looking for something. I also have a couple ideas of people who are rebel spies. (This hasn't been mentioned, but I'm sure they exist.)
-America is changing things. She's making Prince Maxon more aware of the hardships going on outside of the palace, and that knowledge hurts him to the point where he fights to make things better.
-The Maids: They're just so nice! Some people would think the maids would act invisible or be searching for juicy gossip; not these maids. They take care of America and are more like friends than the help.

In the end, I'm pleasantly surprised with The Selection. While it wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be, I still enjoyed it. Plus, I was up until 4:54 a.m. fighting sleep to finish it. In other words, it's one of those books. (That's a good thing, by the way. There are some books that I can make myself put down as it gets late. With The Selection, I'd tell myself I'd stop at the end of the chapter...and the next, and the next, and the next.) If you've read this book, let me know what you thought of it. If not, get reading and tell me how it was!

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? Yes, but not 100%.
Would I reread it? Maybe.
Would I purchase it? Yes.
Would I recommend it? Yes.

Kiera Cass
About the Author

Kiera Cass is a graduate of Radford University and currently lives in Blacksburg, Virginia, with her family. Her fantasy novel The Siren was self-published in 2009. Kiera has kissed approximately fourteen boys in her life. None of them were princes. You can learn more about Kiera's books, videos, and love of cake here.

Jul 10, 2012


Isn't that cover gorgeous, amazing, terrifying, and just plain breathtaking?

How would you like to hold it in your hands?

Luckily for you, I have an ARC of Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake that I want YOU to have.

All you have to do is enter the giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form (and hope that no ghosts come after you).

If you want to read my review of Girl of Nightmares, the companion to Anna Dressed in Blood, please click here.

Good luck to everyone!

Book Info
Author: Kendare Blake
Title: Girl of Nightmares
Publisher: Tor (Tom Doherty Associates, LLC)
Publishing Date: August 7, 2012
Pages: 332 (ARC)

Giveaway Info
US Only.*
1 entry per person, per household.
Contest ends July 18, 2012 at 12:01 EST.
There is only one copy of Girl of Nightmares available in the giveaway.
Beauty and the Bookshelf is not responsible for any lost or damaged packages in this giveaway.
Winner must respond within 48 hours of announcement or else prize will be given to someone else.

*I have had some people that are international ask to enter the giveaway. If you do not live in the US and want to enter the contest you may. HOWEVER, you will have to pay for shipping. If you can do this then you may enter.

And the winner is...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Girl of Nightmares: Kendare Blake

Publisher: Tor Teen (Tom Doherty Associates, LLC)
Publishing Date: August 7, 2012
Pages: 332 (ARC)

*This review contains some Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares spoilers. Why? Because I absolutely cannot review this book without doing so. I just can't.*

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.

Initial reaction of book in one word: WHAT?!

This book. I don't even know where to start. When I read Anna Dressed in Blood I felt that the book was about the budding relationship between Cas Lowood and Anna Korlov, and the mystery behind Anna herself. When I finished that book, I wanted more (which is typical for me when I read books). I read Girl of Nightmares and it's completely different--don't worry, that's not a bad thing. It still gave me some chills and fear while I was reading in the dark (maybe not the best thing to do if you're easily freaked out) which I liked. I feel like Girl of Nightmares was more of a mystery-thriller, with a little bit of Nancy Drew mixed in. And I liked it. No, I loved it. If you haven't read Anna Dressed in Blood, please do so before your not-so-friendly neighborhood ghost comes after you. If you have, pre-order Girl of Nightmares right now. Here's why.

How many books these days contain ghost hunters who fall in love with ghosts who drag their father's killer into Hell, taking themselves with it, and then the ghost hunter gives up everything trying to find said ghost he loves who is haunting him so he can free her and be with her? I'm going to say just about none. There are not very many books in the Young Adult genre that are like Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl Of Nightmares. These books are unique, and I love that.

That said, there are some parts of the book that I distinctly remember and must share. (SPOILERS!)

Okay, so this isn't really a scene, but I loved how I was constantly surprised. So much happened that I didn't see coming: the role of the athame; Jestine (who I originally thought was male and a killer and a backstabber); Carmel's change of heart; everything that happened in Europe; that darn Order; THE END.

Now, for some specifics. (MAJOR SPOILERS!)

When Carmel arrived in London and made a scene, I couldn't help but smile. I couldn't believe that Carmel would leave Cas and Thomas, but she did. Of course, it wasn't going to last. So when she barged in and was all angry and freaking out and handing out a piece of her attitude I just loved it. 

Suicide Forest. That whole scene was scary and creepy and really uncomfortable to read in the dark at my aunt's house surrounded by woods. However, the scene was still good. Really good. When the bodies kept getting closer and closer to Cas, Carmel, Thomas, and Jestine I was getting more and more freaked. The dead in the Suicide Forest were extremely zombie-like, which was an extra horror factor. For a second I actually thought one member of the group was going to die. (Who? Did they die? To find out, read the book.)

Believe it or not, but I thought of The Hunger Games when reading this book. When Cas and Jestine both had to go to Hell and only one could come out, I couldn't help but think of tributes going into an arena with only one coming out alive. This is totally a good thing and was totally cool! I loved it.

One of the best parts about this book was that I only had two problems with it. (I'm a picky person so this is pretty typical; no hard feelings!) 

It was missing something. What, I don't know. That's the problem. Sometimes I read a book and it lacks something, but I can't put a name to what that something is. Which makes things difficult. It might be that the book didn't have enough romance for me (I'm a hopeless romantic, what can I say?). Nevertheless, just because the book was missing something for me doesn't mean it will be missing something for you. And this book is totally worth reading again, so the missing of something isn't a big issue.

I'm a stickler with conclusions. I read books and I expect and want them to end a certain way--my way, of course. When I finished Girl of Nightmares my WHAT?! reaction was born. Then I had a sad face when I found out there will be no more Cas, Anna, Thomas, and Carmel after Girl of Nightmares. No. More. The conclusion wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I was expecting and had wanted. What did (do) I want? MORE.

I'm still new to blogging about books, so I'm not sure how well I portrayed Kendare Blake's Girl of Nightmares. However:

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? Yes.
Would I reread it? Yes.
Would I purchase it? Yes.
Would I recommend it? Yes.

Now, run along and get ready for ghosts, blood, death, comedy, shockers, a great read, and more ghosts! (Oh, and I'd like to add how much I LOVE the covers of Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares. Very poster worthy!)

For more information on Kendare Blake and her novels, please click here.

Jul 9, 2012

YA Crush Tourney: It's Time!

Welcome to Mercy Falls! Grace Brisbane is currently unavailable, so I'll be representing Sam Roth today! I'm Rachel, and you can find me here and here. For more information on Sam and the Shiver trilogy that he stars in by Maggie Stiefvater, click here. And now, my fellow YA readers and lovers, let the weakness in the knees begin!

Samuel K. Roth. 

(Did you hear that sigh all the girls in the world just made? Did you hear the sigh you just made?)

If you haven't read Shiver, Linger, and Forever, then rush to your nearest bookstore or library. But for now, you'll probably want to know a few things, like who's Sam Roth? Or, better yet, what's Sam Roth?

I'll tell you.

His Deep Side.
Sam has two personalities, kind of like Jekyll and Hyde, but he's not evil. And by two personalities (of sorts, really, since he's still Sam in Personality #2) I mean that Sam turns into a wolf. And no, it's not a Jacob Black-esque werewolf--Sam turns into an actual wolf. So he has a human personality and a wolf personality. (You've got to admit that's kind of hot.) For the most part I'll be talking about Sam as one collective personality.
Gorgeous fan art! Click for the link!
While everyone has their opinion on someone, when I think of a word to describe Sam I think of selfless. He's just so caring. (Imagine a wolf taking care of a cute little bunny. That kind of caring.) He really cares for the people he loves, especially Grace. Minor spoiler alert here: He saved Grace. He risked his life for Grace. Everything he does, from resisting turning into a wolf to living his life as a human, he does in part for Grace. With that he's also extremely determined. He fights for what he wants, for his people, for what's right. It could almost be said that his personality is Grace. Whether he's walking on two legs or four, his summer girl is always on his mind. Their love isn't some sappy nonsense: it's real and genuine and you want to have it so bad. Really, you just want Sam. Throughout the books, he's also vulnerable with fear. He's afraid of the cold, of winter. He fears turning into a wolf, transforming from coherent human to misunderstood wolf. He can't stand to lose the people he loves, and he definitely fears losing his world, the point that he revolves around: Grace. Some people look at it as weakness. But for Sam, it's part of what makes him, him.

The Goods.
There's no denying that Sam has howling good looks. As a wolf, he's visually stunning: there's no denying that wolves are gorgeous creatures. His fur is pettable and gray, which works well with winter in Mercy Falls. And to Grace, he's never just a wolf--he's her wolf. When he's human, he's tall and somewhat lanky--in a good way. He's described as having a mop of black hair, but it's wildly attractive. Plus, he turns into a wolf every year; getting to a barber is the least of his concerns. The one thing that human Sam and wolf Sam have in common are his eyes: 

"I held on to those eyes for as long as I could. Yellow. And, up close, flecked brilliantly with every shade of gold and hazel." Shiver (1)

That's how Grace knew that Sam was Sam, how she knows that Sam is still there when she looks into the eyes of her wolf.

"I can't tell you how I knew it was him, but I never doubted it." Shiver (60)

It's hard to put in words the swoon-worthy hotness that is Sam Roth. So, here's one of many pictures that bring him to life.
Alex Turner as Sam Roth. (Stiefvater approved!)
A Music Man.
There are some things about a boy that just scream hottie. One of those is physical attraction, which Sam definitely has. He also writes songs. And sings. And plays the guitar. (You might want to wipe that drool off your chin.) The best part about his musical talent, genius, and artistry? His music is real. It isn't any of that pop-like stuff that people like Cody Simpson and Justin Bieber perform. Sam writes his own music and performs it straight from the heart and the soul. (See music sample at end of post.) It's amazing. He's amazing. And it's more than just a talent or a hobby--it's part of what makes Sam, Sam.

Weak in the Knees Yet?
If you're reading this you probably like books. (If not...well, then, welcome!) Fun fact about Sam: he works at a bookstore. If you're not jealous, you're swooning. Or both. As if it wasn't enough for him to play the guitar, he also works in the land of books. I can imagine Sam quoting famous works: "O Grace, Grace, wherefore art thou Grace?" Admit it: your crush on him just got bigger. And when you read the books you realize something: he's just a really good guy. Plain and simple. Oh, and he folds paper cranes for fun and hangs them from the ceiling. (You're about to go do that to your room, aren't you?)

In the End.
I'm pretty sure that I didn't do Sam much justice. The only way to give him the true justice he deserves is to read the books. And, all bias aside, you really should read the books: they're amazing! I was going through Shiver to find some quotes (I haven't read it an a while) and I became completely engrossed and reread parts all the way to the last page. Yeah, it's one of those books. For now all I (and Sam) can say is "Vote for Sam!" You won't regret it! 

Thanks for coming to Mercy Falls! As you leave (and, maybe, vote), here's a little song from the one and only Samuel K. Roth that he wrote for his summer girl. Enjoy, readers!

"I fell for her in summer, my lovely summer girl
From summer she is made, my lovely summer girl
I'd love to spend a winter with my lovely summer girl
But I'm never warm enough for my lovely summer girl

It's summer when she smiles, I'm laughing like a child
It's the summer of our lives; we'll contain it for a while
She holds the heat, the breeze of summer in the circle of her hand
I'd be happy with this summer if it's all we ever had."
- Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (231-232)

Feel free to share the love!

It's a SHIVER that will LINGER with you FOREVER. Vote for Sam! #TeamSam #SamsPack #YACrushTourney http://www.ya-sisterhood.blogspot.com

Click here to vote for Sam!

Oh, and don't forget--there are many blog buttons you can post on your blog or use as profile pictures! And spread the word!


Jul 1, 2012

YA Crush Tourney: Update

Hello lovelies!

The time for the YA Crush Tourney is fast approaching, which means it's almost time to vote! 

In case you missed it, I'm going to be a part of the YA Crush Tourney; I will be advocating for Sam Roth (sigh) from Shiver, Linger, and Forever by Maggie Stiefvater! (For more detailed information on this, view my blog post about it here.) 

First in updates: BUTTONS!

Avery from Avery's Book Nook was totally awesome and made THREE buttons for me! Aren't they cool? (And doesn't Sam look crush-worthy?) 

YA SisterhoodYA SisterhoodYA Sisterhood

And then I tried to make one myself, which turned out...okay. But hey--effort counts.

YA Sisterhood
Please feel free to grab a button, or two, or three, or four, and post it everywhere. (Look to the right of this post.) People need to know that Sam is up for the YA Crush Tourney!

Next up: The Tournament!

The whole thing begins on July 6. Sam's first match, however, doesn't happen until July 9.

Directly from the YA Sisterhood is the schedule itself:

**Matches will run from 12AM to 12AM Eastern time.

Schedule for Round 1
Friday, July 6th, 2012
Match 1:  Will (1) vs. Vincent (32)
Match 2:  Zachary (16) vs. Alex (17)

Monday, July 9th, 2012
Match 3: Christian (9) vs. Adam (Shatter Me) (24)
Match 4:  Eddie (8) vs. Sam (25)

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Match 5:  Four (4) vs. Tucker (29)
Match 6:  Magnus (13) vs. Tod (20)

Friday, July 13th, 2012
Match 7:  Finnick (12) vs. Kaiden (21)
Match 8: Jem (5) vs. Gale (28)

Monday, July 16th, 2012
Match 9:  Adrian (2) vs. Cricket (31)
Match 10: Alec (15) vs. Noah (18)

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
Match 11: Simon (10) vs. Etienne (23)
Match 12:  Patch (7) vs. Percy (26)

Friday, July 20th, 2012
Match 13: Dimitri (3) vs. Archer (30)
Match 14:  Ash (14) vs. Aiden (19)

Monday, July 23rd, 2012
March 15:  Daemon (11) vs. Augustus (22)
Match 16:  Peeta (6) vs. Lucas (Starcrossed) (27)

Round 2:  The Sweet Sixteen
Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
Match 17: Winner Match 1 vs. Winner Match 2
Match 18:  Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4
(Will this be Sam?)

Friday, July 27th, 2012
Match 19:  Winner Match 5 vs. Winner Match 6
Match 20:  Winner Match 7 vs. Winner Match 8

Monday, July 30th, 2012
Match 21:  Winner Match 9 vs. Winner Match 10
Match 22:  Winner Match 11 vs. Winner Match 12

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
Match 23:  Winner Match 13 vs. Winner Match 14
Match 24:  Winner Match 15 vs. Winner Match 16

Round 3:  The Elite Eight
Friday, August 3rd, 2012
Match 25:  Winner Match 17 vs. Winner Match 18 
(Will this be Sam?)
Match 26:  Winner Match 19 vs. Winner Match 20

Monday, August 6th, 2012
Match 27:  Winner Match 21 vs. Winner Match 22
Match 28:  Winner March 23 vs. Winner Match 24

The Final Four
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
Match 29:  Winner Match 25 vs. Winner Match 26
(Will this be Sam?)
Match 30:  Winner Match 27 vs. Winner Match 28

The Finale
Friday, August 10th, 2012
Match 31:  Winner Match 29 vs. Winner Match 30
(Will this be Sam?)

Last, but not least: Spread the word!

There are multiple ways to do this. One is to post a button on your blog, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, etc. (or make it your profile picture).

What is probably the BIGGEST way to spread the word is to post about it! Tell everyone: Twitter, Facebook, your mother, your grandmother, the pool boy--EVERYONE!

Ah, but what should you post? Here's some help:

Hashtags to use on Twitter:
#SamsPack #TeamSam #YACrushTourney

AND I put together a little something you can copy and paste into a tweet:
It's a SHIVER that will LINGER with you FOREVER. Vote for Sam! #TeamSam #SamsPack #YACrushTourney http://www.ya-sisterhood.blogspot.com beautyandthebookshelf.blogspot.com

For now, that's all! In the meantime, tell EVERYBODY about the YA Crush Tourney and that they should vote for Sam. (But only if they want to; we don't want people to do something they don't want to.) So tweet, tweet, tweet; post, post, post; and button, button, button! 

Until next time: