Sep 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (7)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine 
that showcases upcoming releases that people are very much anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on a book that doesn't come out for awhile. In Julyish I won an ARC of the book, and I'm waiting for it to arrive! (They're not available yet, so it's not the sender's fault!) With Halloween right around the corner, I'm interested in all things related. So, here it is...

Title: The Nightmare Affair
Author: Mindee Arnett
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publishing Date: March 5, 2013
Pages: 352

16-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare. Literally. Dusty is a magical being who feeds on human dreams.

Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder. The setting is Arkwell.

And then it comes true.

Now the Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

I think this looks great--nightmares, a hot boy, and murder? Sign me up! Plus, the cover is gorgeous! I can't wait to read it!

What are YOU waiting on this week? Tell me in the comments!

Sep 25, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (7)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This Tuesday's theme is...

Top Ten Series I Haven't Finished

When I first heard about this topic, I was excited yet panicked. There are several series I haven't finished, so I knew I had some answers, but at the same time I wasn't sure if I had ten. But I do. And for some of them, please don't hurt me.

1. The Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber
This is one of those series that I enjoy, but don't love. It's a short, simple read, but I just don't love the writing. Why haven't I finished it? I don't really know. I think that because I don't love the books, they just don't have priority on my TBR list. But if I need a light, fun read, these are one of the books to go to.
Last Book Read: Royal Blood. (I think.)

2. The Immortals by Alyson Noel
I read the first one, then part of the second one, then stopped. I don't really know why; maybe a due date at the library? I think the first one was okay, but I didn't really love it. I'd like to finish the series, but I don't know when.
Last Book Read: Blue Moon. (Partially.)

3. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
I wish I had finished this series. I don't know why I didn't read the first after reading the second; I think I liked it, but I'm not sure how much. However, after all the Team Kilt awesomeness and with more Zachary, I want to read the others. I feel like whenever the books come around I have something else I need to read first. But hopefully I can scratch this series off my list soon!
Last Book Read: Shift.

4. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
I think I want to finish this series simply to find out what happens. I was disappointed by Across the Universe and had a hard time getting into it. It was a bit more climactic at the end, and it left me wanting answers. Otherwise, I'm not sure that I'd read the next books.
Last Book Read: Across the Universe.

5. Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith

When I read these books, I liked them. Then there was a gap between some of them, and I fell behind. Then the show came on, and it was waaay better. And now that there's the writer drama, I'm not sure that the series will be finished. Plus, I heard about things that happen. I don't want them to be real.
Last Book Read: I don't even know.

6. House of Night by P.C. and Kristin Cast
While I wasn't a fan of the writing, I liked the story in these books. However, things changed a lot from the first book to the more recent ones, and I hate when that happens. Luckily, I like them enough to finish them. Some day.
Last Book Read: Burned.

7. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
This is another one of those series where I read the first book and didn't love it. However, after a cousin saying I needed to read them and with an awesome movie trailer, I just may finish the series. Especially since it's coming to an end.
Last Book Read: Beautiful Creatures.

8. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
Oh, this series. Where do I begin? The writing style didn't bother me much in the first few books, but after Revelations, (I think) everything changed. The books became what I can only describe as too serious and historical, and I feel like the characters and their voices were lost. Some series need to end, or have gone on for too long; this is one of those series. I'll still finish it because I used to love them and read most of the books, but I'm glad it's over.
Last Book Read: Lost in Time. (Started, not finished, twice.)

9. Fallen by Lauren Kate
This series was disappointing. With the hype and the gorgeous cover, I thought Fallen was going to be amazing, and I'm sad to say it wasn't. Though I was curious to see what happened with Daniel and Luce, I read the second book; I barely remember anything that happened. I want to finish this series, but I have no idea when; it's kind of boring and not my favorite.
Last Book Read: Torment.

10. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Ah, the big one. Yes, I haven't read the whole Harry Potter series. (Yes, put a spell on me!) I read the first four books in elementary school and liked them, but I wasn't a big reader at that time. It took what seemed like forever for the fifth book to come out, and I didn't feel like picking up. I hope to sometime soon reread the first four books and complete the series, because I've heard it's kind of a big deal.
Last Book Read: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

There you have it--my top ten series I haven't finished! (Though there are more!) Tell me in the comments--what series haven't you finished?

Sep 24, 2012

Cover Reveal: Just for Now by Abbi Glines

On October 23, 2012, a New Adult book by one of your favorite authors is expected to be released. I mean, you've heard of Abbi Glines, right? Today I have you for the cover reveal of her novel Just for Now, the fourth book in the Sea Breeze series. Designed by Stephanie Mooney of Mooney Designs, here's the cover of Just for Now to hold you over until it releases. But just for now.

The day Preston Drake figured out that wealthy women paid well for a set of tight abs and a pretty face his life turned around.

The run down rat-infested trailer he had shared with his alcoholic mother and three younger siblings was now only a place he visited to pay the bills and stock the pantry with food. 

He no longer worried about his family starving or living without electricity. The money he made entertaining rich older women more than covered his family’s needs and his own. He had it all figured out. Except…

There was this girl.

She was as innocent as he was tainted.

Amanda Hardy wished her knees didn’t get weak when Preston walked into a room. She hated the fact her heart raced when he flashed his smile in her direction. He had a different girl in his bed every night. He was the kind of boy a smart girl ran from. So, why was she coming up with ways to get close to him? Even when it was obvious he wanted to keep her at a distance.

Maybe her heart knew something the world didn’t. Maybe Preston Drake was more than just a pretty face.

Now you really want the book, so to help satiate that need, here's the book trailer, designed by Hellion Works! And don't forget to add Just for Now on Goodreads!

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!

Excerpt: Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle

Hello, and welcome to Beauty and the Bookshelf! 
I'm ecstatic to be a stop on the tour for Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle, hosted by Refracted Light Reviews! Today for you I have an expert! But first, let me tell you about the books and author.

Brightest Kind of Darkness, Book 1
Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.

After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.
Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.

Find it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Lucid: Brightest Kind of Darkness, Book 2
Once Nara combines her prophetic ability with Ethan’s power to outsmart Fate at his own deadly cat-and-mouse game, she’s more determined than ever to help Ethan learn the meaning behind the raven sword tattoo that suddenly appeared on his back after their confrontation with Fate.
During her quest to uncover the tattoo’s secrets, Nara enlists the help of some new friends and discovers her own surprising connection to Ethan.
While Nara digs deeper into the mystery, her desire for answers leads her down a dangerous path full of powerful and ruthless enemies. Swept into an age-old battle, Nara quickly learns that keeping one’s enemies close can be a necessary evil, making an intangible enemy she can control far more preferable to the human enemies she can’t. 

Find it on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

P.T. Michelle is author of the young adult series BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS. When P.T. isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading or taking pictures of landscapes, sunsets and anything beautiful or odd in nature.

LINKS: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Newsletter

And now, for what you're really here for: the excerpt!

Sounds great, doesn't it? Don't forget to check it out, and before you go, enter the giveaway! Thanks for stopping by!

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Sep 22, 2012

Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Title: Ten
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: September 18, 2012
Pages/Format: 294, ARC

And their doom comes swiftly.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.
But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.
Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: OMGosh! (No spaces inbetween letters = one word.)

When I first heard about this book, I have no idea why I wanted to read it: a party full of teenagers who are stuck on an island, and someone's killing them? Spooky. Creepy. Horror. NOT MY KIND OF THING. (There's a reason I stay away from most horror movies--gore is gross and I still think that someone is watching me when I go to sleep. Thanks, Paranormal Activity.) But for some reason I wanted to read Ten. So I did. (Finally). I was prepared to be scared (check!), and while it wasn't as horrific and graphic as I thought it was going to be, for my first horror novel, Ten was murderous. (Pun intended.)

I had a little bit of trouble getting into the book, and I was slightly bored until certain things (read the book to figure out what "things" are) happened. Of course, being me, I try to find excuses for why I don't like something in a book that 1) I've been anticipating or 2) has an author I've associated with. (I'm not the best at being mean!) So my justification for this is this: in a typical horror movie with teenagers, it starts with teens partying, drinking booze, and having sex. (Not quite what happened in Ten, if you're wondering.) It begins like that to make you think nothing bad could or will happen. Also, the viewer is just waiting for something bad/scary/horrific to happen, so until that happens, it's kind of dull, but you're on edge. Everything is building up until something bad does happen, and then BAM!--you're in a horror novel, and you're scared. People always get taken by surprise, and it makes it all mesh together perfectly. My final complaint is the death themselves. I don't know why I'm saying this, but I feel like they could've been more graphic and gory. The deaths--or death?--somewhat disappointed me, and I was prepared to be super duper uber scared, and I wasn't. Of course, if they were more graphic and Friday the 13th-ish, I may not have liked that, either. (That movie ruined me. I can't do horror, like, ever.) So there's that.

Now for the positives, which totally outweigh the cons. This book accomplishes what I believe it's supposed to accomplish: telling a good, albeit scary, story, that doesn't really scar you for life. (By "scar", I mean: "I can't ever watch or read a horror novel again I'm so scared I hate Halloween my life is over someone hold me." That's why I don't read Stephen King novels.) This is a book that should not be read at night when everyone else in the house is sleeping and the only light is coming from the TV and your booklight. (Even worse, I'm on a top bunk, so I can't see if someone crawls into my room and pops up to say "Boo! I'm gonna kill you!") Yet that's exactly what I did. You know what's very little fun and not very scary? Going to a haunted house in the daylight. The same goes for horror novels. It just takes away the necessary fear factor that comes with the book. So, why you shouldn't read the book in the dark, you should. (For dramatic effect, read in the dark. Minor light okay. Or read in an huge house on an isolated island for major dramatic effect.)

The book would be nothing without the characters. (I mean, a killer on an island with no people? Boring.) I liked Meg and could kind of relate to her: she's best friends with someone (Minnie) who isn't really a great friend and who is kind of a loose cannon, and at points I was just waiting for Minnie to explode. Minnie, by the way, isn't my favorite person in the world. She's a crappy friend and a total you-know-what. Then there's T.J., who both Meg and Minnie are in love with. He seems like a good guy, for reasons I cannot share. Then there's Kenny and Nathan. Kenny is just kind of there, and Nathan's that kid in class that you hate and just want to shut up. Kumiko and Gunner are an odd but cute people, and Lori doesn't seem like the kind of person to be at such a party. Ben appears to be the cute guy there. And Vivian is like the female version of Nathan, but Miss Perfect and everything-must-go-my-way. Ugh. (Oh, and if you're reading this, Gretchen, thanks for describing a character as looking like the girl in The Ring. That definitely freaked me out at night. And made me feel watched.) I'd like to say more about the characters, but that would give too much away. *Insert evil laugh here.*

I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Ten, since it's really not my kind of thing. But for some reason, I want to read horror and thriller novels lately. And Ten helped satiate that thirst for blood without vampires and werewolves. Ten could be a number of things: a horror story for the night, a way to scare your little sister. For me, it was a great read that I devoured in the dark, hiding in my blankets, being afraid to get up and use the bathroom. The next time I'm in the middle of nowhere, I'll think of Ten and freak. That makes it a memorable book, which is always a good thing. Also, when I got to certain points in the book, I wish I could've seen my face. Seriously. First I thought I knew who the killer was. Then I didn't. Then I did. Then I didn't. Then I did. And then something happened and I was all "I KNEW IT!" I think my feet did some kicking. It's always a good thing when a book gets a reaction out of me. 

Ten was tenrifying, haunting, and a killer novel. It makes me want to read McNeil's past and future novels (especially if more are like Ten). If you haven't read this book, I suggest you get right on it. Because if you don't? Your doom may come swiftly.

And while you're here, look at the button on my sidebar (to your right!) and join the Army of Ten!

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? Pretty much.
Would I reread it? Possibly. (The only reason I say no is because I know what will happen.)
Would I purchase it? Already done!
Would I recommend it? Absolutely.

Sep 19, 2012

Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Title: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: August 31, 2010
Pages/Format: 335, Hardcover

Evie's always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours.
But Evie's about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: Pleasant.

However long ago, I started Paranormalcy but didn't finish it. I don't think it was because I didn't like it; I think it was because of a darn due date at the library. It took me awhile, but I finally picked the book back up and finished it. While it wasn't amazing, it still wasn't a bad read. And there's a main reason why.

Evie's voice. It is simply spectacular. Kiersten White portrays a teenager girl who loves pink brilliantly, with sighs and bleeps and oh my goshes. I think that's what brought me back to the book, and why I'll read the others, it's mainly because of one thing: the voice. Really, if I think about it, it's a lot like Kiersten White's voice on Twitter. So. Is she writing as Evie, or as herself? Either way, it's funny and witty and enjoyable to read.

I love some of the characters, especially Lend, of course. He's attractive (duh) and has a great personality (bonus!) and he's super nice to Evie. Reth is just a complete creepy stalker, but when he shows up I'm just waiting to see what will happen. Lend's Dad is kind and accepting, and Raquel seems to be a little too work oriented.

My problem with this book is the flow. Something would happen, and then it was like they were talking about gray and then suddenly they're talking about red, with no smooth transition. While the following may have a bit to do with me not remembering the first half of the book (which I read the first time, not the second time), I had a somewhat hard time remembering and understanding things. I never really got the whole explanation of the poem, Evie's part in everything, and the ending just kind of lost me. It was all so sudden, too quick, and didn't make a great deal of sense. 

The book wasn't spectacular, but the voice makes them readable and easy to read. I'm curious to see how the series ends, so I will read the next installments, Supernaturally and Endlessly. I did like the concept of the International Paranormal Containment Agency, and how there's one place that everyone buzzes around, and how are there so many different creatures in one book; it's kind of fun, minus the bad stuff that happens. And I totally pictured the IPCA as something like the spaceship in Zenon. I wouldn't say don't read the books, because, like I said, they're fun, and everyone has a different opinion on books. Hopefully, I like Supernaturally more.

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? No.
Would I reread it? Maybe, if I need to read something kind of fun.
Would I purchase it? If it was on sale, or at Goodwill or something.
Would I recommend it? Yes, to the right person.

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine 
that showcases upcoming releases that people are very much anticipating.

While I'm waiting on a lot of books, most of them don't have a cover or synopsis yet, and I'm totally blanking on what book I want now, that I haven't already waited on. But alas, I came up with something!

Title: Gates of Paradise
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publishing Date: January 15, 2013
Pages: 272

Schuyler Van Alen is running out of time. The Dark Prince of Hell is storming the Gates of Paradise, intent on winning the heavenly throne for good. This time he has his greatest angels by his side, Abbadon and Azrael, or as they are known in the coven, Jack and Mimi Force.
Will Bliss and the wolves she has recruited to join her win the battle for the vampires? Is Schuyler prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, the same one Michael was forced to make in Florence so long ago? Love and vengeance, duty and and loyalty, life and death, are all at odds in the gripping, heartbreaking finale of the Blue Bloods series.
I'm waiting on this book for a number reasons. 1. Because it's the last book in the series--I remember when I read the first book, Blue Bloods, and it's crazy that it's over. 2. This will hopefully motivate me to read the most recent book in the series, Lost in Time, which I've started twice, but haven't finished. 3. I'm ready for this series to be over. 

Now, I don't say that a lot, if ever. But I'm so done with this series. I feel like it's changed so much from the first novel, that the writing has become too serious, the story too historical and lackluster. I hate to say that, because I used to love this series. But it's gone on for too long, and it's time for it to come to an end, for the Blue Bloods to rest.

What are YOU waiting on this week? Tell me in the comments!

Sep 18, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (6)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This Tuesday's theme is...

Top Ten Bookish People I Want to Meet

This could go a number of ways. I could mention authors, bloggers, agents, publishers, book characters--really, the term "Bookish People" has a number of meanings. If I were to talk about bloggers I want to meet, I may insult someone by forgetting to mention them (because there are so many bloggers that would be cool to meet, and I know I'll forget someone, and I don't want to do that). So, I'll mention some authors, and which of their book characters I'd like to meet most. And maybe a few other people. (:

1. Rachel Caine
If you've seen one of my Top Ten Tuesday posts, you've probably noticed that I post about her in most every one. No, I'm not obsessed. Not really. I just love her books, The Morganville Vampires. And I still haven't met her. Since she's one of my favorite authors, this totally bites. Plus, I have, like, twenty of her books. Is it wrong of me to bring all of them when I meet her to get signed? Yes? Well, too bad.
Characters I'd Like to Meet: Shane Collins, Claire Danvers, Michael Glass, Eve Rosser, Myrnin.

2. Suzanne Collins
I'm not going to explain who she is, because I don't think I need to. I had the chance (two, actually) to go to a signing of hers when Mockingjay came out. However, I was at the time in my driving life where I wasn't comfortable driving to said location alone, and my parents wouldn't take me. So, I missed meeting Suzanne Collins. Now, I'm okay with driving to certain places alone. (Yay me!) Collins is kind of a legend--her books are awesome--and meeting her would be amazing.
Characters I'd Like to Meet: Finnick Odair, Peeta Mellark, Katniss Everdeen, Haymitch Abernathy.

3. Stephen Cole
You have no idea who this is, do you? That's a problem, because I know who he is, and you should, too. Stephen Cole is the author of the Wereling series, three short and simple but amazing books about a boy turned into a werewolf and a girl destined to be one (but she doesn't want to). His books are completely underrated (no one seems to know about them!) and it upsets me. Read them, people! And I'd like to meet him because 1) I love his books, and 2) I'd like to know where he is, besides invisible. I can't find  a website, Twitter, anything! Where are you, Stephen Cole?
Characters I'd Like to Meet: Tom Anderson.

4. Jessica Khoury
Around its release date, I read Origin (Khoury's debut novel). It was different and interesting and I loved it. And if I love a book, chances are I want to meet the author. Plus, she's one of those people who seem totally cool on Twitter (there are lots of those) and cool people on Twitter are people that I also want to meet.
Characters I'd Like to Meet: Pia, Eio, Alai, Aunt Harriet, Uncle Antonio.

5. Claudia Gray
I read her complete Evernight series--though I haven't read Balthazar yet--and while it wasn't my favorite, I still liked it. And because I own the books, I'd like to meet Claudia Gray. Also, she's a lady of awesome. While she's cool on Twitter, I'm mainly talking about her Tumblr. Are you following it? No? Why not?! Because of her Tumblr, I'm paying a bit more attention to people like James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, and I want to watch movies like Atonement and Jane Eyre. She's one of those cool people that would probably also be cool in person.
Characters I'd Like to Meet: Balthazar.

6. Becca Fitzpatrick
I love her books, the Hush, Hush saga. Maybe even more so, I love Patch Cipriano. I've always wanted to meet her, and she never seems to come to my area! I might just fangirl if I met her, so be prepared, people! While she isn't coming to Seattle for her Finale tour--it's ending!--she is going to Oregon. I may drive the three hours to meet her. And Drew Doydon, who's the Patch cover model.
Characters I'd Like to Meet: Patch Cipriano.

7. Sarah Dessen
Dessen is one of my most favorite authors and her books are amazing. I feel like meeting her would be like meeting some super famous celebrity--and in the book world, I think she is one. (Have you seen how many followers she has on Twitter?) Her novels are great contemporaries, and they contain some of my fictional boyfriends. To meet her would result in major fangirling from me.
Characters I'd Like to Meet: Dexter, Wes, Eli, Owen.

8. Simone Elkeles
Another one of my favorite authors with great contemporaries, meeting Elkeles would be just pure awesomeness (I use awesome a lot, don't I?). Her guys are made of total hotness and I love them all. Like I said, her books are awesome, and she seems super nice on Twitter and Facebook. And if you haven't read her books, oh my gosh why not?
Characters I'd Like to Meet: The Fuentes brothers.

9. Kendra Saunders
In case you didn't know, I'm a Marketing Intern (aka Marketing Minion) with Spencer Hill Press. While what I do is classified (mua-haha) I can't do it all on my own: I have a Minion Master, and that would be Kendra Saunders. It would be super cool to meet her because 1) she's my boss, and 2) we both share a love for Muse and Matthew Bellamy, which is awesome.

10. You
Yes, YOU. Like I said earlier, I can't mention a few select people, because I know I'd insult someone unintentionally by forgetting to mention them. So, I'm going to say YOU. Why? Because if you're reading this, I can only assume you're awesome. If you're reading this, chances are you have some role in the bookish world. If you're reading this, then you care enough to read what I have to say, and you're visiting my blog. So if you're reading this, I want to meet you.

Thanks for stopping by! And don't forget to comment--who do YOU want to meet?

Sep 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine 
that showcases upcoming releases that people are very much anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on several books, many of which don't have a cover or synopsis yet (The Elite, The Dollhouse Asylum). So I had to think of what book I really want. And I came up with one, in part because of all the cool stuff I learned during a chat with the author and cover model on FallenArchangel. I'm waiting on...

Title: Finale
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publishing Date: October 23, 2012
Pages: 448

Fates unfurl in the gripping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Hush, Hush saga. Nora is more certain than ever that she is in love with Patch. Fallen angel or no, he is the one for her. Her heritage and destiny may mean they are fated to be enemies, but there is no turning her back on him. Now Nora and Patch must gather their strength to face one last, perilous trial. Old enemies return, new enemies are made, and a friend's ultimate betrayal threatens the peace Patch and Nora so desperately want. The battle lines are drawn—but which sides are they on? And in the end, are there some obstacles even love can't conquer?

I feel like the first book in the Hush, Hush saga came out around the same time that Lauren Kate's Fallen did, and more of the hype was about the latter. However, after reading the two, I wasn't in love with Fallen but I was all over Hush, Hush. Now, a few years later, this phenomenal series is to coming an end, a finale. I love these books, and of course I love Patch. Part of me doesn't want to wait for this book because that means that the series is over, done, kaput. But then I remember: the end is only the beginning.

What are YOU waiting on this week? Tell me in the comments!

Cover Reveal: Reaping Me Softly by Kate Evangelista

Before I say anything, just let me say this: the cover for Reaping Me Softly is seriously stunning. But you can't see it yet. *Insert evil laugh here*

First, I have to share the deats! This exquisite Young Adult novel is brought to you by Kate Evangelista (author) and Omnific Publishing. Its expected release date is October 30, 2012--that's not too far away!

I know, I know--too much talk! But before I show you the cover, don't you want to know what the book's about? 
Ever since a near-death-experience on the operating table, seventeen-year-old Arianne Wilson can see dead people. Just as she’s learned to accept her new-found talents, she discovers that the boy she’s had a crush on since freshman year, Niko Clark, is a Reaper.

At last they have something in common, but that doesn’t mean life is getting any easier. All while facing merciless bullying from the most powerful girl in school, Arianne’s world is turned upside down after Niko accidentally reaps the soul of someone she loves. This sends them both into a spiral that threatens to end Arianne’s life. But will Niko break his own Reaper’s code to save her? And what would the consequences be if he did?
Sounds awesome, right? I know you want to read it, but you need to know what to look for in bookstores and libraries. So, I'll finally show you the cover! Drum roll, please...

Isn't this cover gorgeous and breathtaking and just awesome? I love everything about it: the font, the background, the butterflies in the cage--everything. I love it so much that I just went and added Reaping Me Softly on Goodreads. (You should, too!)

There you have it--the cover reveal for Reaping Me Softly by Kate Evangelista, out October 30, 2012. Don't forget to check it out; I'm sure you won't regret it! Thanks for stopping by Beauty and the Bookshelf!

I want to take a second to thank Katie Envangelista 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!

Sep 11, 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy/Little, Brown and Company
Publishing Date: January 2, 2012
Pages/Format: 236, Hardcover

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything? Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row. A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more? Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it. 

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: Enjoyable.

When I first heard about this book eons ago I really wanted to read it. I thought it may be a super cute, fun romance, kind of like Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. After finally reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I will say that it is not quite what I had expected and it didn't wow me, but that it was enjoyable and I finished it with a smile on my face.

The book was short, simple, and kind of to the point--it does, after all, have "statistical" in the title. It takes place in a 24-hour timespan, with several flashbacks from Hadley, who is on her way to her father's wedding to a woman she's never met. The point of view, which is third person present tense, isn't a common one, but I didn't mind it once I got used to it. I felt like I was reading from Hadley's point of view or like a narrator was telling the story, and I kind of liked that.

My main problem, though it isn't really a problem, is that the book wasn't about what I thought it was going to be about: the quick discovery of love between Hadley and Oliver, the British boy she meets at the airport. A lot of the story was about Hadley, her claustrophobia, her father's affair and the divorce of her parents, as well as the dread she feels about going to his wedding. I would've liked more of Oliver, who's a character I'd like to know more about so that I can develop a crush on him.

However, as I'm writing this review, a lightbulb goes on. Maybe this book isn't supposed to be just about a girl and boy who fall for each other in an almost unbelievable--yet totally awesome for romance suckers--amount of time. Maybe it's about how you can meet one person--and meet that person by chance, since one little thing may have made you late for something, like a plane--and that one person can change everything. They make being on a plane not so bad and scary. They make going to your father's wedding a bit more bearable. They make you realize that the wedding, and the new stepmother, really isn't all that bad. They make your view on everything better and more clear. They make you believe in love, and the statistical probability of it happening at first sight.

Prior to meeting Oliver, Hadley was a bit of a grouch and was in no way looking forward to meeting her stepmother-to-be. She thought marriage was a doozy and she wasn't too fond of her father. However, on the day she was to board a plane to London, she did something wrong--or right--and didn't make her flight on time. Because of that she met a boy, a boy who changed her thoughts on so much. 

After my lightbulb moment, I have to think about what I think of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I may have been too interested in this book pre-read that my opinions are affected. Yes, it didn't wow me. But it was a short and simple read that covered the bases from boy problems to family problems. It was cute and enjoyable, and I closed the book with a smile on my face. Plus, I stayed up late finishing it--that doesn't happen with every book. In the end, I'd say read it because your statistical probability of love at first sight--or read--may be higher than mine.

And I must say that a quote is sticking with me, and I must post it so I don't forget it: "The rest is just geography" (Page 215).

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? No.
Would I reread it? Maybe, if I'm in the mood for something short and sweet.
Would I purchase it? If it was on sale, but I don't know that'd I pay full price.
Would I recommend it? Yes, to the right person.

About the Author

Jennifer E. Smith is the author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightThe Storm MakersYou Are Here, and The Comeback Season. She earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and currently works as an editor in New York City. Her work has been translated into 28 languages, and her new young adult novel, This is What Happy Looks Like, is coming out in April 2013. Find her on her website.

Top Ten Tuesday (5)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This Tuesday's theme is...

Top Ten Books That Make Me Think

This is hard, because I could think about a gajillion things. And sometimes, I feel like thinking is a dangerous past-time. So, I'm going to mention books that make me think about something--what that is, I'll let you know!

1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I read this book my junior year of high school--so three years ago--and I loved it. I couldn't put the book down during the courthouse scene; it was amazing. This book had me thinking about life in general. What is was like to live back then, and seeing the world through a little girl's eyes. The injustice done to the black man--I haven't read it in three years, so I don't remember everything--was horrible! I remember noticing that the girl, accusing him of hitting her, I think, said it was his left hand, then his right hand. Did anyone in court catch it? No. Times back then were so different yet so similar. And then there's Boo Radley, a social outcast who's so easily accepted by a kid named Scout. I love this book so much, and if you haven't read it--why haven't you?!

2. Origin by Jessica Khoury
Immortality has been a thing since, like, ever. Usually it's with vampires though, which I think are totally rad, awesome, and, on occasion, hot. (See: Edward Cullen, the Salvatore brothers, Michael Glass.) So it was nice and refreshing to read about an immortal that didn't have abnormally pale skin and a thirst for blood. Pia, the immortal in Origin, is simply an enhanced human who won't ever die. And it wasn't done by being bitten or by magic--it was pretty much science. So I had to wonder: can the human species ever create something like a immortal? We've accomplished cloning, and so much more is yet to come. Sure, this would take time, but I can't help wondering if Origin may be a bit of a prediction of the future. As well, I got to thinking about how cool being in the Amazon would be, and how much I want a pet jaguar. (Badly. Very, very badly.)

3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
I read this book almost four years ago--eep!--so I'm trying my best to remember everything. I do remember that it was phenomenal and great and that you must read it. I feel like most people see the title and wonder what the heck it means. It's about a young autistic boy who investigates the murder of the neighbor's dog--and it's told from his point of view. To read the thoughts of an autistic boy is compelling and interesting. You see his OCD, or at least that's how I describe it, and it's just something so completely different than the usual voice. It gets me thinking because I wonder how autistic people think, and see our differences and similarities. A great thinker novel.

4. The Doll People by Ann M. Martin
I read this book a gajillion years ago and don't remember much except that a doll is missing and they all come to life. It was brought back into my memory when I saw and purchased the sequel, The Meanest Doll in the World, at Goodwill. This book made me think the same way Toy Story made me think: do toys really come to life at night? If so, how cool and creepy is that? It's not like I'd ever know--they're great at keeping you from knowing. I think this is why I have such a hard time getting rid of my stuffed animals--what if they come to life at night? That means they have feelings, and I can't hurt them! My mom thinks I'm crazy. Well, mother, I may just be right. So hmph.

5. The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine
There are several books that make me think like the Morganville Vampires does, but I chose to use this series because it's one of my absolute faves (and because I try to mention it whenever I can). In the series, humans coexist in a town with vampires. The rest of the world doesn't know about it, just the town--Morganville. So I have to wonder: are vampires real? If they are, are they my neighbors? Is the guy I've had a crush on for, like, ever a vampire? Probably not. But you never know. Nobody knows if Bigfoot is real or not; who says vampires aren't? (If you're a vampire and reading this, I think you rock. Please don't fang me or people I like. Thank you.)

6. Stolen by Lucy Christopher
If you haven't read this book, please do. It's amazing and wonderful and I just love it. In Stolen, Gemma is kidnapped by Ty and taken to the Australian outback in the middle of nowhere, where he hopes she'll fall in love with him. Strike 1: Kidnapping her. You'd think he'd be caught, since he stole her from an airport and brought her to Australia. You'd also think she could never fall in love with him. But she doesn't hate him. Is it Stockholm Syndrome? How does something like this happen? It got me thinking, and it'll get you thinking, too--if you read it. (Side note: I'm the kind of person who rooted for the romance between a girl and the guy who stole her. I know. I'm weird.)

7. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
How can this book not get you thinking? Seriously? It's a mixture of The Hunger Games and Lost before they even existed. A bunch of kids--one with "ass-mar"--get stranded on an island and go crazy. Like, seriously crazy. When I read the synopsis four years ago, I didn't think I'd like it. Lord of the Flies certainly wasn't the kind of book I'd pick off the shelf. But I liked it. A lot. It's different and disturbing, yet totally readable. It shows how people can change in dire situations, and it really is something else. Plus, there's the pig head. What is it with pigs? (I'm looking at you, Orwell.)

8. The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen
It's the turn of the century in upper-class Manhattan and I want to live there. And have Henry Schoonmaker. (Oh my gosh, sa-WOON.) This book simply made me think of the year 1900, an era I usually just skimmed past. From what I got from the books, it was a beautiful time, and to be there would be magnificent: the gowns, the parties, the forbidden romances--oh yes, there's some of that. It makes me wonder if life really was like that: an elite socialite stealing kisses with the help; a girl falling for an engaged man, who's fiancee tries to ruin everything...Did stuff like that ever happen? I sure hope so, or else life would've been prim and proper and boring.

9. 1984 by George Orwell
This book is one of the biggest thinkers in existence, hands-down. 1984 is about complete and utter control by the government, and it's absolutely crazy. Everyone's watched over by Big Brother--ah, now you know what book this is--and there are all kinds of rules and ridiculousness and just everything. I can't even put it into words. And there's all the stuff--I can't recall it--that was mentioned in the book that ended up actually happening in real life. 1984 was ahead of its time, and George Orwell was practically predicting the future. Of course, the world isn't really like this. But the question is: could it be? (Big Brother, if you're watching--I'm watching you, too.)

10. The Flappers series by Jillian Larkin
This is the same situation as number eight: I just love the world it's set in. 1920s. Flappers. Romance. Drama. Everything wonderful. I think the whole Flapper era is just stunning, and to be there would be awesome. But just with the pros, not the cons. Again, I wonder how much of this stuff actually happened. Would a white socialite really leave her life and be a flapper and live with a black piano player that she fell in love with? Could a scandalous flapper really give up her ways? Would a friend be that much of a backstabber in the 1920s? I have no idea, but I do know one thing: I love these books.

There you have it--my top ten books that make me think! What about you? What makes YOU think? Tell me in the comments!

Sep 7, 2012

Cover Reveal: Blood Curse by Kailin Gow

Kalina's blood is a gift. Kalina's blood is a curse. After finding out the source of her Life's Blood, Kalina is convinced her blood is more of a curse than ever. Her blood has awakened the source and now real evil is about to be unleashed into the world. Kalina and the Greystones have experienced victory, but now that Octavius has gone missing, it is a race for Kalina and the Greystones to stop the greatest evil that ever walked the Earth.

Welcome to the cover reveal of Blood Curse, the eighth (!!!) novel in Kailin Gow's Pulse Vampire Series! This book looks fabulous--or fangulous?--and is expected to be published January 11, 2013. I know, I know--that's in forever! But I have something to help control your impatience--the cover! And some other things. But you have to wait until I get there. 

First up: the cover!

Ohh, the font and the image and everything is just a whole pie full of awesomesauce! If you like what you see here, check out the rest of the series on Goodreads!

Second up: the author!

Kailin Gow is the author of over 100 books, with the majority of them for young adults. Her most popular series are: The Frost Series, PULSE Series, Desire Series, Wicked Woods, Steampunk Scarlett Novels, and more. A full-time author, she is also a producer, having worked in radio, television, and film. She grew up in Southern California, lived in Texas and England, and had traveled extensively around the world.

Find her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and by checking out her website!

Third up: a giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Details:
-Book 1: Pulse, signed
-Book 2: Life's Blood, signed
-Book 3: Blood Burned, signed
-US Only

Thanks for stopping by, and don't forget to check out Blood Curse and the rest of the Pulse Vampire series!

I would like to thank Kailin Gow and Ashley from The Bookish Brunette for letting me take part in this wonderful cover real--THANK YOU!

Sep 6, 2012

Cover Reveal: Focus by Alyssa Rose Ivy

If you've read the first book in The Crescent Chronicles, then you probably have a general idea of the coolness that is coming up. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the second book in The Crescent Chronicles, expected to be published in January 2013: Focus.

Freshman year of college is hard even when you’re not tied to the future king of a supernatural society.

Allie dives into college head first with Hailey as her roommate and the city of New Orleans as her backyard. As things within The Society heat up, Allie realizes that whether she’s with Levi or not, she’s in far too deep to turn back.

Sounds great, right? Hmm. But what does the cover look like? How do you know what to look for when you search for Focus at bookstores? Well, I just happen to have the cover, and I'm going to show you!

Created by PhatPuppy Art, it's a super gorgeous cover that will grab the attention of your eyes! 

Isn't it pretty? The colors are great. The font is gorgeous. All together it's totally awesome! Oh, and you should totally add it on Goodreads; you know you want to.

And don't forget about what's behind the cover: words, written by the talented Alyssa Rose Ivy.

Alyssa Rose Ivy lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. 

Find her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads!

And last but not least, a giveaway! Enter to win a a paperback copy of Flight, the first book in The Crescent Chronicles!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Details:
-1 paperback copy of Flight
-US Only

Enjoy, and be sure to keep an eye out for Focus!

I would like to thank Alyssa Rose Ivy and Ashley from The Bookish Brunette for letting me take part in this wonderful cover real--THANK YOU!

Sep 5, 2012

Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury

Title: Origin
Author: Jessica Khoury
Publisher: Razorbill
Publishing Date: September 4, 2012
Pages/Format: 392, ARC

A beautifully told, tantalizing new exploration of an age-old desire to live forever.

Pia has grown up in a secret compound hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest. She was raised by a team of scientists who bred her to be the first of a new immortal race. Now those scientists have begun to challenge her, with the goal of training her to carry on their dangerous work.

On the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia stumbles across a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home. Free in the jungle for the first time, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Unable to resist, she continues sneaking out to see him. As they fall in love, they begin to piece together the truth about Pia's origin--a truth with nothing less than deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: LOVE.

I had been wanting to get on my hands on this book since I first discovered it months ago. I finally got my hands on it days before it released, and I dropped what I was reading to read it. Before beginning Origin, I realized that I may not like the book simply because I was anticipating it so much and had high expectations because of it--that could make the book not as good as I had hoped. Boy, was I wrong.

Origin was not what I expected--which isn't a bad thing--and it most definitely did not disappoint. While waiting was excruciating, it was totally worth it. I love this book. There are just so many things about it that make it exquisite, and I'm very happy that I love this book as much as I thought I would. Here's why.

This book was composed of so many elements that made it spectacular. For one, Pia: her voice was strong, and I was able to keep up with her. She's a great character, and it was easy to step into her shoes and be Pia. It's set in the Amazon. I love the Amazon, and I love the rainforest, so the setting was practically made for me. Oh, and there are a ton of animals. I love animals; they're one of my most favorite things ever. So, this book basically spoke to me. And then there's Eio--hello. I always love when I find a new fictional boyfriend, and he definitely makes the list. There's something about him that just makes him a great guy. Of course, he looks good. And he's really just a good, nice guy. He saves Pia's life. More than once. And he loves her and wants to be with her and risks his life for her. What more could a girl ask for? Oh, yeah--he's shirtless all the time. I also really liked Aunt Harriet, among other characters; she was different for Little Cam (where Pia lives) and I think she really changed Pia in a good way.

I love how unique this book was. There's not much--if anything--like it out there, at least not in Young Adult. I wish there were more books in the Amazon and in rainforests and with exotic animals--it's what I love. Of course, then this book wouldn't be unique. But Khoury doesn't need to worry (ha, that rhymes)--this book should stand out and do well, if I have anything to do about it. This book also shows how people can control one person, and how being raised a certain way--or by crazy scientists that need to play with Play-Doh, not microscopes--can affect someone as they grow older. 

Of course, this book isn't perfect, either--but what is? My problems were very few: I had trouble keeping track of some of the names, especially since most everyone was Aunt or Uncle; all the names of plants and animals had me a little confused, and there were many (of course, I plan to Google them in the future); there was one scene that just completely lost me (however, I was also tired); the romance was a little rushed, but I have to take into consideration the fact that Eio is really the first guy Pia's ever seen around her age, and he's attractive--who could resist? Almost every book I read has some kind of complaint in it from me--it's missing something, I hated the ending, etc. While I didn't love the ending (I'm hard to please with those), it was very satisfactory. And here's the thing: I can't really find a complaint about this book. I search for something, and there's really nothing. Nothing

The main thing I noticed in other reviews is the complaint about what happens to animals in this book, and I, personally, wasn't bothered by it--and I'm a big animal lover and hater of animal cruelty. Sure, what happened was sad and not right. But the scenes really weren't that bad and graphic. Scientists everywhere run tests on animals, and they are cruel, and much worse than what was portrayed in this book. And this is fiction--that's real life. Really, I think Khoury was just being realistic: scientists need test subjects, and these ones will do anything to create an immortal race. So, if the whole animal thing was preventing you from reading Origin, please don't let it stop you.

Things about Origin from me (contains spoilers):
-Why can't I have a pet jaguar?
-Why him/her?!
-I can't remember where exactly, but I got a little teary. And it had nothing to do with animals. 
-When can I see Eio again?

In the end, I love this book. I do. I want to go out and buy a copy of it right now, even though I'm broke. I want to finish all the other books I have to read because I want to reread it already. I heard the movie rights were already optioned for Origin--so, that's happening soon, right? Because I'm going to be such a major fangirl when/if it happens. And they better do it right, or else I may have to find a certain farm of ants. (When you read the book, you should understand that.) I'm very happy with how this book turned out, and though a sequel would be cool, simply because I love Pia and Eio and everyone else--I'm content with just this one. 

Origin is a well-written story that quickly pulled me into the jungle. It is breathtaking, amazing, and just plain fabulous. Jessica Khoury wrote a great debut novel, and I cannot wait to see what she'll do next. Origin was, simply, original. If I did ratings, it would get 5/5 stars, hands-down. This is what I like to call a good book.

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? Yes.
Would I reread it? Is it acceptable to reread a book mere days after reading it? In other words, yes.
Would I purchase it? Yes.
Would I recommend it? Yes. Have you read this book? No? Then get on it!

About the Author

Jessica Khoury is of Syrian and Scottish descent, and was born and raised in Toccoa, Georgia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Toccoa Falls College. Origin is her first novel. She still lives in Toccoa with her husband Ben, where she writes and coaches youth soccer. You can visit her online at