Sunday, June 30, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - June 30th, 2013

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  And I have a HUGE haul this week.  Well, it feels like it anyway.  First, I want to share something that I came home to find sitting on my front porch on Tuesday:

I saw this box, which as you can see has a Fierce Reads sticker on the lower right side corner of the top of the box.  And I was really excited because Fierce Reads are some awesome books.  Well when I opened it up, this is part of what I saw:

It is a kit to host my own Fierce Reads party!  Also containing four books, one of which I've been really, really, eager to read anyway!  And this is really exciting, because I'm hoping that maybe I can use this box as part of my new high school librarian job to help get kids in the library for reading other than research.  I'll be giving away the things in the box at that event if I'm able to have it.  But, I may have to read through at least 2 of the books myself before I give them away.  Is that wrong?  If you can't tell, the 4 books are:  Of Triton (Poseidon #2) by Anna Banks, Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) by Emmy Laybourne, Unremembered by Jessica Brody, and Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo.  Sky on Fire is the one I'm really excited about as I loved the first one.  And I'd also really wanted to read Unremembered.  And if you remember from last week, I got the UK version of Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), so that is cool too. I guess just in case many of the students have read the first in the series for those sequels, I may have to get copies of those too to give away.  

From Netgalley:

I've not read any other books by this author, but with the tagline of "Breakfast Club meets The Walking Dead," how could I pass up this zombie book?

From a Shelf Awareness contest:

This looks like a great book for teens, and I did get some bookmarks to go with it.  Could be another book I give away as a librarian this year!  

Traded for at YA Book Exchange:

It's been a while since I read I Am Number Four, but now I can add The Power of Six to my September is for Sequels challenge this year.  I heard a lot about Shards and Ashes at the RT Convention back in May, so when I saw there was one available on the YA Book Exchange, I immediately looked to see if I had anything from that trader's wish list.  

Books I purchased:

Now, I really want to not have very many times that I post books I've purchased, as I really don't need to be buying anything. But, I am a HUGE Marx Brothers fan, and something I often do when I have down time at the bookstore where I work is search the database for new books on them.  This one popped up, and wasn't really that expensive, and so even though I already have 4 or 5 other Marx Brothers books sitting on my TBR shelf, I decided I had to have it.  The other book is another love of mine, dachshunds.  I'm always looking for new dachshund books at work also, and when I saw this in the computer, I had to order it and buy it too.  Aren't they so cute?!

Whew!  That was a lot to share!  What about you, what will you be adding to your bookshelves this week?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge by David Lubar

First thanks to Macmillan-Tor Forge and Netgalley for allowing me to read an egalley of this book of short stories.  I am very grateful in this case because of how good the stories are.  They remind me in a way of how good Stephen King's short stories are.  Some of the stories were really scary, and they were in no way wishy-washy little kid "scary" stories.  In fact it warns even in the beginning of the book that it is not for little kids.  I would say probably no younger than 7th or 8th graders, about ages 12-13 and up.
Let me tell you about a couple of my favorite stories.
The very first story is one that I really liked.  It's called Running Out of Air and it is kind of a revenge story, but one that I think kids can relate to.  It's about a really horrible, mean gym teacher.  And she is hard on all the girls.  Especially one with asthma.  She is so hard on the girl that one day she collapsed in class and they had to have an ambulance come take her to the hospital.  The girl's friends tried to stick up for her, and all that did was get them a worse grade.  So one night the main character, Deeva, stayed late at school, and saw the four girls also at school late.  You see Betty, the girl with asthma was in bad shape, but the teacher, Ms. Pelham didn't get in trouble at all for what happened.  So the girls have come to get the teacher back for this.  They tape her hands up with masking tape, and tell her she has to race them.  If she can beat them in one lap, then they'll let her go.  But it's not just being tied up, they want her to feel what it was like when Betty was trying to run with asthma.  So they tape a plastic bag around her neck.  You can guess what happens from there.
There's a really good story about teenagers who have to stay in a haunted house over night for a reality tv show to make money.  And, well, is the house really haunted?  One guy who has watched all the episodes, thinks he knows how it works, and plans to win.
There's a story about a boy who lives with a dad that abuses his mother, and his plan to take care of the problem.
A story about a beautiful girl who moves to the school and seems to make the boy she is with as happy as can be.  Until he seems to do something so reckless it is almost suicide.  Then she goes to a friend of his, and the pattern seems to repeat.  Until, our main character gets the beautiful girl.
There's a story about what seems to be a Chinese good luck/bad luck or really maybe a supernatural creature that is killing people in the import/export business.
There are 13 stories in the book.  Some are shorter than others, but all have a good little kick at the end.  One or two, kind of predictable, but still in a good, scary way.  Can't wait to recommend this to people who are looking for good scary stories.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #7 2013

Feature and Follow Friday is sponsored by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  The purpose of this event is to learn about the two featured bloggers each week, as well as to increase your own blog following by joining in on the fun! This week's question/activity is:

Q: What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback etc?

Honestly, I still love actual, physical books.  Up to this point, I've mostly used my Nook e-reader for reading e-galleys.  I am beginning, with having overflowing bookshelves, to see that honestly, it might be just as good to get some books as e-books.  But so far, I really hate to spend on an e-book what it costs for a paperback.  So mostly I only buy e-books if they are on sale, or the little in between stories that only cost from $1-3.  I used to only enter giveaways that were for specific books too.  But now I've begun to see that if it is a GC for Barnes and Noble, so that I can order for my Nook, I will enter for it.  I also figure from now on, I may not buy actual books unless it is an author that I always buy for, or if I know I'll get a chance to meet them and get it autographed.  I say that, but we'll see how long that lasts.

How about you?  What kind of books do you prefer?

As for what type of follow I prefer, probably GFC.  But if you want to do something else, I like Networked Blogs and Bloglovin.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday and My Own Mr. Darcy Cover Reveal and Giveaway


This week I'm participating in a Book Blast for this book, and so as part of the Cover Reveal, I thought I'd add this as my Waiting on Wednesday for this week.  As always Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  Be sure to scroll to the very bottom of this post to enter the giveaway!

After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren’t Mr. Darcy enough.

Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she’s dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.

Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist.

She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

Excerpt 1

Janessa folded her arms and looked at me for so long I started to squirm. “What?”
“I wish you’d look at yourself. You’re ruining your life with this stupid obsession.”
“I’m not obsessed.” I stood up quickly, nearly tipping my chair over. I rinsed my plate and put it in the dishwasher. I could feel Janessa’s eyes on me the entire time, but I refused to look at her. “And just because I’m not interested in this guy doesn’t mean my life is ruined.”
“Let me guess. Was he blond?”
“Knock it off.”
“Too short?”
“He wasn’t short. I’ve got to go.” I left the kitchen with Janessa on my heels.
“Was he too cheerful?”
“Oh brother. I’m not having this conversation with you.”
Janessa grabbed my arm and turned me toward her. “Yes, you are.”
“I’m going to be late for work.”
“Then we’d better talk fast.”
“I don’t have anything to say,” I said.
“Then I’ll talk. You listen. You have to start giving these guys a chance.”
I folded my arms tightly. “I give them a chance.”
“You give them one date, two at the most. But you’re not really giving them a chance because your mind’s already made up before you even go out.”
I was getting annoyed. “I don’t have time for this conversation again.” Janessa was practically reciting word for word what she’d said after my last date. And the one before that.
“Lizzie. If you don’t want to have the same conversation, do something different. Shake things up a little.” She smiled and did a little shimmy. I refused to smile no matter how silly she looked.
“How do you suggest I do that?”
“If this guy… What’s his name?”
“If Chad calls you back, go out with him again.”
“I don’t see the point.”
“Did you get a serial killer vibe from him?”
“No, I got a nice-guy-that-doesn’t-deserve-to-be-led-on vibe from him.”
“Nice guys are good. So you’ll say yes, right?”
“If I’m not interested, it wouldn’t be fair to say yes.”
“Oh knock off the baloney. You haven’t been fair to a guy since high school. You’re just afraid if you get to know a guy, you might like him. And wouldn’t that be awful? Was Chad funny?”
“Yes, he was funny.”
I sighed. “I don’t know if I’d call him handsome, but he was cute.”
“Cute is good. Especially if he was funny. So go out with him again.”
“You act like it’s all up to me.” I walked to the closet and collected my purse. Like a tiger leaping on her prey, Janessa pounced at the bowl on the entry table and grabbed my car keys. “This isn’t funny, Janessa. I’m going to be late for work.”
“Then let’s make a deal. You agree to go out with him ten times before you toss him aside and I’ll give you your keys.”
“Ten times? No way.”
“That’ll give you time to get to know him.”
“You’ve got to be kidding.”
“I’m serious, Lizzie. Ten is a good number. In that amount of time, you can make a real decision. Instead of one based on a stupid movie.”
Now Janessa was skipping through a minefield. “It’s not a stupid movie and I’ve got to go.”
“It’s the stupidest movie in the world if it ruins your life.”
“Nothing’s ruining my life and I’m going to be late. Give me my keys and we’ll talk about this later.” A little tussle ensued as I tried to rescue my keys from her clutches. I almost had them when she darted to the bathroom and shut the door hard and fast, locking it behind her. “This is real mature.”
“I don’t care about mature. You’re my best friend, Lizzie.  I love you and I’m trying to save you from yourself.”
I banged on the door. “Give me the keys. Now.” My voice had become shrieky.
“I’ll give you the keys as soon as you promise you’ll go out with him ten times.”
“I doubt he’ll ask me out again.”
“Why? Were you a jerk?”
“Are you sure?”
I hesitated, knowing I hadn’t been very good company. “I’m pretty sure.”
“If he doesn’t ask you out, you have to ask him.”
“No way am I asking out a guy ten times. No way!”
“You just have to ask him out once. If he doesn’t return the favor you can move on. But you have to be nice to him and give him a reason to want to ask you out again.”
“This is the dumbest idea you’ve ever had.”
“Listen Liz, I’m doing this for you. Give a guy a chance before you give him the old heave-ho.”
I leaned my head on the door. “Just give me the keys. Please.” Now I was whining.
“You’re the one keeping yourself from your keys. And probably true love.”
I looked at my watch. Now I’d have to risk a speeding ticket or get to work five minutes late. I wasn’t sure which was worse—a ticket from a police officer or a tongue-lashing from Delia.
“Fine. I’ll go out with him again if he asks me.”
“If he doesn’t ask me, I’ll ask him?”
“Right. And how many times will you go out with him?”
“Way too many,” I said under my breath.
“I can’t hear you.”
“Ten times. If he asks me.”
The door cracked open. “And you’ll be nice to him?”
“Whatever you say. Now give me the keys.”
Janessa emerged from the bathroom and triumphantly dropped my keys into my outstretched hand.
“You’re an idiot,” I said.
“An idiot that loves you and wants you to be happy,” she said. She turned and headed down the hall. “Someday you’ll thank me,” she sang.
“If I don’t kill you first.” I slammed the door behind me.

Excerpt 2

It was a busy Monday morning. I was looking out at the line of waiting customers when he walked in. I gasped, shut my thumb in my cash drawer, and then tried not to cry while Mr. Sandoval from a hearing aid store asked me if I was okay.
When I finished Mr. Sandoval’s transaction, I looked at him again. He was taller than anyone in the room. Of course. His hair was dark and a little disheveled. It was hard to see from where I was, but his eyes looked like they were blue. And best of all, he didn’t smile. He looked gorgeously unpleasant and impatient. He looked around the room and his eyes met mine. Still he didn’t smile. My heart was racing. He looked perfect.
I did my best to time it so I’d be his teller. I went a little too fast with one customer and accidentally shorted her a twenty dollar bill. I tried to concentrate as I corrected the transaction. I slowed way down on the next customer, but just when I thought I was finished and would be able to help him next, my customer asked me to break a ten into change. He walked up to Courtney’s window while I counted out nickels and dimes. Furious, I stomped my foot. Not too loudly but enough to release a little of my frustration.
I listened closely as Courtney helped him to see if I could learn anything, but he hardly spoke. He gave a terse nod when Courtney thanked him for coming in and turned on his heel and left. He had excellent posture and a nice, confident stride.
I finished with my customer, and then before anyone else could step forward, I picked up the phone and dialed Courtney’s extension. She glanced at her phone’s display and looked over at me curiously.
            “Who was that?” I whispered when she picked up the receiver.
“Elizabeth, look how many customers there are.”
“I know. Just tell me who that was.” I watched as Courtney picked up her last transaction slip.
“His name is Matt Dawson.”
“Is he married?”
“I have no idea,” Courtney said.
“Was he wearing a ring?”
“I didn’t look. What’s going on, Lizzie?”
“I just need to know about him.”
“Well, I don’t know anything about him and Delia’s watching us. I’ve gotta go.”
Matt Dawson. Matt. Matthew. Like Matthew Macfadyen. Dawson. It was pretty close to Darcy. The only way it could be better is if his name was Fitzwilliam but I’d never met a Fitzwilliam in my life.
Matt Dawson.
This had to be a sign.  

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wings by Aprilynne Pike

This is the first book by Aprilynne Pike that I have read, and I must say I wasn't disappointed at all!  I got a copy of this at the RT Convention back in May of this year.  I've actually not really been a fan of fairy or fae stories.  Not that I mind when they are in other stories, but I haven't actively sought out those types of stories.  I'm finding more and more that maybe it is time to give them more of a chance.  I gave this book a pretty high rating, 5 stars, on Goodreads because I picked it up this morning, and pretty much barely stopped until I was done late this afternoon.  It was that good.  I read one comment that said it was a very simple story, and I guess it was.  But, as a former science teacher, I loved how this put science into the mythology behind fairies.  Very unique to me, but again, as I haven't read a lot of this type of creature, maybe it's not.
So, the main character is Laurel, and she has just moved to a new town with her mom and dad, actually her adoptive parents.  Up until this year she has been home-schooled by her mother.  But now that she's in high school, her mom doesn't feel like she can teach as much that Laurel needs as if she goes to a real school.  At first Laurel really isn't happy about it.  But what is nice is that she makes a friend right away.  A very nice boy at school named David.  David is in her Biology class, which Laurel can tell from just opening the book and paging through it that she is going to be struggling.  But David doesn't seem to mind her strange habits, the fact that she only eats vegetables and fruits and drinks Sprite.  That she wants to eat outside instead of in the cafeteria because it is too loud and she just feels that she gets refreshed with the time outside.  He even gets his group of friends, some of them at least, to eat outside with her.  Things seem to be going well, she's making friends, kind of fitting in.  Then one day she gets a zit or some kind of bump on her back.  This is weird, as even though her body has developed, hips, etc., she's not really gone through puberty, never had a period, acne, etc.  But she decides this is normal, and decides not to worry about it.  Until it gets bigger.  And then one morning she wakes up, and the bump is gone, but now she has petals, actually a flower, growing out of her back.  Now, here is where I'm not quite sure I'd have done the same, but instead of talking to her parents about it, she talks to David.  And David is pretty intrigued.  The science geek in him wants to look at it under a microscope.  And he does, and it is a plant.  Soon, he begins to wonder other things about Laurel, even as she does herself.  When Laurel and her parents go back to the old house, she runs into a really interesting boy in the forest behind the house, named Tamani.  He tells her some more stuff about herself, tells her she is a plant, that she is a fairy.  When she shares with David, they begin to do more research into it.  You'd think maybe this is the big deal of the story, but no, Laurel also learns that she needs to keep her parents from selling the land, that it needs to remain her property to protect something.  But when her dad gets sick, and the hospital bills begin adding up, her mother has to sell just to get the money.  But this leads to a dangerous situation.  Life and death, and also to Laurel learning even more about her past and what may be in store for the rest of her life.
Like I said, I loved the science and mythology in this story.  It was a quick, easy read.  One that grabbed me and made it hard to put it down.  I know I'm a bit behind on this series, and if you are as well, you need to grab it and check it out!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

I'd seen these books on the teen shelves in the bookstore where I work for awhile, and always wondered.  Then last December I went to the Scholastic Warehouse sale and got it for half price, which was a good deal.  I finally got around to reading it this past week, and all I can say is, I can't believe it took me so long!  This was a book that hooked me, and when I'd pick it up and say I was just going to read a little bit, I'd get so into the story that when I looked up to see what time it was, I'd read longer than I planned!  In fact it was so good I had trouble finishing the e-galley that had a deadline before I finished this.
The main character is Alexis, and she lives in a really cool, but really kinda creepy house.  She's kind of one of those girls who are goth, but not really, but she isn't a fan of the "in crowd", like the cheerleaders.  Especially since one year they made a slide show about being healthy, and featured her best friend as the before picture in a fat slide, and made her move away.  Alexis likes to take pictures, in fact her cool house has its own dark room so that she can even develop her own film.  And she does that, doesn't use the digital cameras, does it the old fashioned way.  Her family is interesting.  Her dad seems to hardly be there, as well as her mom who is trying so hard to get ahead at work and get a big promotion that she spends all her time there, and when she's home she's doing things to help her get ahead at work.  Alexis is a high schooler, I'm guessing 15 since she doesn't really drive.  She has a younger sister in middle school, named Kasey.  Kasey has been getting weirder every day.  At first Alexis just thinks it is part of being a middle school age.  But when she hears a rumor from one of the hated cheerleaders at school, about how Kasey's friend, the cheerleader's little sister, actually got hurt at their house because Kasey hit her over a doll, she starts noticing other weird things going on in the house.  Like when her sister wanders to the basement for like no reason, she goes down with her and tells her a story.  A story that is kind of creepy and just comes to her.  Kasey has been also getting really obsessed with dolls as well.  And soon Alexis notices that Kasey is acting weird, the way she speaks, walks, and even thinking her eyes are green instead of their normal blue at times.  While all this is happening, one of the cheerleaders, Megan, seems to know what is going on, and reaches out to Alexis to help her.  And then there is a boy at school, Carter, the class vice president, who seems to kind of like her, and he is cute.  And when she is around him, they seem to get along seamlessly.  Things at home get scarier, their father is in a car accident that the police soon say isn't an accident.  And then Kasey says she is going to tell the police that Alexis did it.  They find a connection between the house and Megan.  And in the end, Alexis must get through all the history of the house and the town, and even her family, in order to try to save her sister, and stop anything bad from happening to anyone else in the town.
I loved the main character, which normally I don't always like the girls who are so anti-social, but this girl wasn't the kind that irritates me.  She was snarky and sarcastic in a way that I know she's someone I'd like to hang out with.  And the meet cute with Carter, and really just all of her relationships were pretty realistic to me.  A fun, but spooky, and well set up ghost story, and I can't wait to read on.  I have the 2nd one from that same book sale.  So will just have to find the third one when I get to it!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - June 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. So far so good with my goal of keeping up this summer! So, let's see, this week I did okay.  Got a couple books in the mail, approved for one from Netgalley, and two from my sister in NYC.

From Netgalley:

Just love that cover, and it sounds like a great book!

Won in contests:

Now actually, I only got the first book of the two that you see above, but what is so cool. about it, is that it is the UK version of the book you see on the right.  So I thought that was kind of cool.  I won this book from EM Castellan in the Best Book Ever Giveaway Hop.

I also won Envy by Gregg Olsen from Jenn Renee Read in the Shower of Books Giveaway Hop.

Books from my sister in NYC:

I'm always a book behind with the Sookie Stackhouse books because I refused to buy them in hardcoveer when I'd only had them in the small paperback.  But, being kinda poor this summer, I gave in and asked to borrow my sister's hardcover.  Unlike me, she doesn't want to wait, and so usually buys them when they come out.  And then she bought The Great Gatsby, and I asked to borrow it now that I've seen the movie I wanted to compare.

So, I think that's a pretty good haul for the week!  How about you, what new books did you get this week?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Underworld (Abandon Trilogy #2) by Meg Cabot

I actually received this book from the YA Book Exchange website.  It came from Sri Lanka, so took a little longer than expected to arrive.  But fortunately I got it in time to get it read before my e-galley of the final book in the trilogy, Awaken, expires.  And you can check out my review of the first book in the trilogy, Abandon, HERE.
In book 2, we begin with Pierce down in the Underworld with John.  He brought her here to keep her safe from the Furies, one of which had possessed her grandmother.  But Pierce isn't sure if she wants to stay there and have to leave her family forever.  When John offers her breakfast she eats, not realizing that the myth of Persephone eating a pomegranate and being stuck there wasn't quite correct.  According to John, it is any food, and so unknowingly she has now made it so that she has to stay.  But she is worried about what might happen to her family while she is gone, and what will they think about her going missing?  And then the weirdest thing happens, when she finds her backpack, somehow her cell phone is working!  Well, kind of.  It keeps showing her a video of her cousin Alex trapped in a coffin and screaming for help as he runs out of air.  So she tries to find John to convince him to take her back to the surface to save her cousin.  Along the way she meets some of his "friends" or as they used to be, his shipmates.  See John used to be part of a ship's crew.  And some of them ended up with him, helping him get the newly dead on their way to wherever it is they are going in the afterlife.  So, seeing the video of Alex, John gives in and takes Pierce back to try to save her cousin.  Going back isn't as easy as she'd hoped.  The Furies are still looking for her, and what Pierce saw on the phone hasn't happened yet.  So they have to try to convince Alex not to do whatever revenge plan he has.  There are also some other subplots that really tie into the story, as well as helping Pierce learn more about John and who he really is/was.
It kind of started a bit slow, but once they got back to town and started interacting with Pierce's family and learning all the stuff about John's past and the town's past, it got really good.  And now I'm very anxious to read my e-galley of the 3rd book.  Now because the book I got was actually published outside of America, I have to share what the cover of the book I actually have looks like below.  And, while we're at it, I also want to show my picture from when I met Meg Cabot and got the first book in the series.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #6 2013

Feature and Follow Friday is sponsored by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  The purpose of this event is to learn about the two featured bloggers each week, as well as to increase your own blog following by joining in on the fun! This week's question/activity is:

Q: Share your favorite literary quote!

There are so many that I love.  The one that I include in my signature line in my email is:
  • Quot libros, quam breve tempus which means So many books, so little time.
So what is your favorite literary quote?  Also, I like the new buttons they have for how blogs prefer to be followed.  But since I have two preferred ways, I'll just put both, prefer GFC or Bloglovin.  But any kind of follow is fine!  At the moment I'm not sure how to set it up for email follows, so there is no option for that.  But Networked Blogs or Linky Followers work too!  I'm just glad to have new followers!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Proxy (Proxy #1) by Alex London

First thanks to Penguin Young Readers and Netgalley for allowing me to read an e-galley of this book.  This is a dystopian type of thriller, one for boys, with the main characters being boys.  However, and though I have no problem with it, something that might be an issue for some people is that the main character, Sydney, he is gay.  It's not really any way that could be considered "in your face", in fact it fits into the story perfectly, and really isn't much different than any other teen romance story.  Actually there really isn't anything other than a kiss or two, and those aren't even really in what you'd call really romantic settings actually, like you'd think of a romantic scene in a movie or book, not so much.  But beyond that, let's talk about the story.
As I mentioned, the main character is Sydney, or Syd as he prefers to be called.  Syd is an orphan who was brought into the city and given a chance to go to school by becoming a Proxy for one of the rich kids, or as they call them, Patrons.  What that means is that his debt will be worked off by taking the slack, the punishment for anything his Patron, who is named Knox, does wrong.  Instead of Knox getting spanked, or punished in any way really, Syd gets the punishment, Knox does have to watch though.  One main type of punishment in this world is being given shocks, I'm guessing it is basically like a cattle prod or taser type of weapon.  And Knox is basically always in trouble it seems.  At first before Syd understood why he was being punished when he hadn't done anything, he had cried.  But soon when he learned just why it was happening, that he was having to pay off his debt of living basically, he vowed not to let them see him cry.  And unlike Syd's friend Egan, Syd does nothing else to add to his debt.  Once he reaches a certain age, I think it was 17 or 18, he will be free of his debt, and have no more to do with this.  But unfortunately, his Patron has done something that will change this.  Knox gets drunk or drugged up and steals his father's car to impress a girl, Marie, and he has an accident.  When he wakes up, he finds that Marie has died, and he has to watch his Proxy, Syd, get a horrible punishment.  More of the shocks at one time than ever.  And not only that, Syd must now go to a prison/reform center, to fulfill Knox's sentence for killing the girl.  And this will go WAY past the time he was supposed to be free.  So Syd decides he must escape.  And when he is able to get away, he finds his friend Egan.  Egan has a friend who can help Syd get a fake ID so that he can hopefully get out of the city and save  his own life.  Turns out this friend is a Patron, and guess who it is, Knox.  So as he figures out who Knox is, because while Knox has had to watch him be punished, Syd has never seen Knox, he determines that he must kidnap Knox and use him as his hostage to get away.  Along their attempt to get Syd to safety they will learn that there is more to Syd's background than he knew, and that it is something very important in why Knox's day is so eager to find and catch him.  Knox will learn more about himself, enough to maybe grow up a little.  Egan will come back to help them with their getaway.  And the end it kind of about redemption in a way.
While I believe that they can still go on with the story, I think that it also ended in a way that it doesn't have to go on, and that is kind of nice.  The ending reminded me of the Star Trek Movie where Spock and Kirk talk about how the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or vice-versa.  I also was really ready for Egan to betray Syd at the end from the way Syd had described Egan's need to get as much tech, or "lux" things as they described them in the book.  But I was pleasantly surprised that although Egan made some bad choices, he truly seemed to be the friend Syd thought he was until the end.  Definitely a fun story, with some great ideas about how to save a system of debt like this society in the story is made up of.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Liberator (Dante Walker #2) by Victoria Scott

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  This week it was easy to pick my book to talk about because of one of the last books I finished last week, The Collector by Victoria Scott.  You can read my review if you haven't yet by clicking on its title.  Now that I've just finished it, I'm sooooo ready to read the 2nd book and find out what happens next.  Luckily for me it comes out in August, so only about 2 months to wait.  Here is the preview from Goodreads:

Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn't like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance.

When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard.

With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.

It'll sure be interesting to see what happens next with Dante and Charlie.  Hoping Dante can continue to be what he is like with Charlie.
So, what book are you eagerly awaiting this week?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles #1) by Kat Zhang

I ended up checking this book out from the library because I was able to get an egalley of the 2nd in the series, and so of course needed to read this first.  I'd been interested in the series for a long time, the premise sounded really good.
Now I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a futuristic world where something has happened to cause people to be born with 2 souls, or if it is kind of an alternate world where that is just how things are.  I do know that it is after a war, where people fought those who kept both souls, or hybrids as they call them, and it is America.  In this world, by the age of 4 or 5, the dominant souls usually begins to take over and the recessive soul goes away.  But sometimes, as in Addie and Eva's case, the recessive soul is still hanging around in the background.  But they have to be careful, and no one can know because they would take them away and "fix" them.  And Addie and Eva don't want to make any trouble for their family because their younger brother Lucas  is sick, and they don't want to do anything that would keep their family from getting what they need to help him.  But one day one of the weirder girls at school, Hally, seems to start being around them all the time.  And one day she gets them to come home with her, and the tea she gives them, well, it knocks them out.  Or more specifically it knocks Addie out, and lets Eva come to the surface.  After it wears off, Hally and her brother Devon invite them to come over to learn more about how to help Eva come out and be able to sometimes control their body.  They know about this because they too are hybrids. Hally and Lissa, and Devon and Ryan.  The drug was easy to get because their mother is a nurse.  But they should have been more careful, because Hally and Devon are also considered a foreign race, and that makes them more dangerous to those trying to "cure" the hybrids.  And one day Hally does something, runs off by herself, and is caught. When she's caught, then they come after Devon.  And soon they show up at Addie and Eva's house.  They tell her parents they just want to do some tests, and they'll only be gone for a few days.  But once the girls get to the place/compound, 2 days gets extended.  And they find out from talking to their father that their brother was able to get on a list for a surgery for something to help him.  All because they let the girls go, and let them keep them.  Turns out this place may not be actually curing the kids.  And some kids may not be making it past the actual surgery to help them supposedly.  While all 3 of them, or you might say 6, are there, soon they must make a plan to get out before one of them is put under the knife.
A very interesting story.  I'll be interested to see where it is going next.  And maybe there will be more to answer my original question, and maybe it's not needed.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Collector (Dante #1) by Victoria Scott

I got to meet the author of this book and get a copy at the RT Convention this past May.  I'd been following the author, Victoria Scott, for awhile, I believe on Twitter?  On her blog and such for sure.  So I had to get this when I saw her.  Now, it sounded like a really interesting story, and I was excited to read it.  But, and this is the only bad thing about it, when I got started reading, I had a bit of trouble getting into it at first.  I just didn't think I'd like this cocky, arrogant soul collector named Dante.  But, as I had lots of time to read this on this past Saturday, enough so that I read the whole thing in one day, you can guess that eventually, and actually, pretty quickly, I was hooked.  I liked the way this Dante was pretty honest about what he was doing, and it wasn't like a "love at first sight" even though she was really dorky he could tell she was really cool and perfect for him.  That happens so often in books that it gets old really quick.  In fact I recently had to give up on a book that started like that.  This book was true and honest to what the characters would be like in my opinion.  And how totally dorky Charlie Cooper is?  Just perfect.  I actually felt a real connection with her, as I know I was that dorky in high school.  So, here is a summary of the story:
Dante Walker is a soul collector, one of only 6.  Basically he goes around putting seals on people's souls and once they get so many, he can collect the soul and they have no choice but to go to hell.  But people who have souls that aren't quite so full of the seals that come from sinning get a choice when they get there, and can often be chosen to go to heaven.  Dante has been given 10 days to collect the soul of a teen girl named Charlie Cooper.  This is something new, and Dante can't quite figure out why in the world his boss, guess who that is, would want this girl so bad.  While he's there working on her, he notices that some of these people are getting these pink sparkly seals on their souls, seals he's never seen before.  And not only that, he has this strange feeling that another Collector is stalking him.  And word from his best friend is that if he doesn't complete this job, the one that will also get Dante a promotion, one that will keep him from ever having to go back into hell, that there will be literally "hell" to pay.  The circle that Dante described as being made of ice.  Now Dante was a cool kid when he was alive, and so of course he can see how this Charlie is treated like she is by the other kids at her school.  But for some reason, he begins to feel protective of her.  He justifies it by telling himself that she is his to corrupt, not these other people's punching bag.  He at first thinks the pink sparkly seals must somehow be coming from Charlie, but soon learns that there are more mysteries in this world that his boss never let him in on.  And he had thought he was the right hand man.  As his 10 days draw to a close, Dante finds it harder and harder to want to complete this assignment, especially as he learns more about what the reasoning is behind it, and also gets to know Charlie and her friends and family more.
As I said, I read this in one day.  Yes, I did end up with lots of time to read on Saturday, but normally I might be interrupted by playing on the computer, watching tv, etc.  Not with this book though, any time I had, I read.  Anything on tv was background stuff.  I highly recommend this book if you haven't read it, and I can't wait to read on in the series!
And because you know I have to share, below I've got my picture with the author, as well as her autograph in my book.