Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Perfect Lies

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
     This week, my WoW is Perfect lies by Kiersten White.

Annie and Fia are ready to fight back.

The sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.

But Annie's visions of the future can't show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia's first love, Fia knows he's hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other - but that may not be enough to save them.

Two words: Yes please!

I loved Mind Games, and from the ARC reviews, THIS IS BETTER THAN MIND GAMES. *Dances* The release date is so close. I can't wait! As soon as it comes out I am driving to Barnes and Noble and getting it. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney

The Face on the Milk Carton

By Caroline B. Cooney

Blurb: The face on the milk carton looks like an ordinary little girl: hair in tight pigtails, a dress with a narrow white collar, a three-year-old who was kidnapped more than twelve years ago from a shopping mall in New Jersey.

As fifteen-year-old Janie Johnson stares at the milk carton, she feels overcome with shock. She knows that little girl is she. But how could it be true?

Janie can't believe that her loving parents kidnapped her, until she begins to piece together clues that don't make sense. Why are there no pictures of Janie before she was four? Her parents have always said they didn't have a camera. Now that explanation sounds feeble. Something is terribly wrong, and Janie is afraid to find out what happened more than twelve years ago.

In this gripping page-turner, the reader will unravel — as Janie does — the twisted events that changed the lives of two families forever

Genres: Mystery, YA, Romance, Realistic Fiction

Publication Date: February 1, 1990

Series: Janie Johnson (book 1)

Pages: 192

My Rating: 4 stars

 I saw this book one time at a friend's house and it immediately piqued my interest. Recently, I found it at my library and remembered that I had wanted to read this a couple years ago, so I got it...and finished it in a few hours. This was definitely my kind of book.

What made me unable to put this down was the whole idea the story was built around. There are kidnappings, kisses, and lactose intolerance cults. This book has EVERYTHING. And it's packed into 190 pages, so there really isn't a boring moment at all.

Is it kind of unrealistic? Yep. Does Janie really need to just ask her parents what happened instead of just freaking out all the time? Kinda. BUT I DIDN'T CARE. I was eating up every word; it was like a soap opera where you know perfectly well that this would almost never happen but you simply don't care, because it's so addicting.

Am I reading the next books? Heck yes, I'm getting them as soon as I come back to my library. It's true, this book wasn't literary genius, but it was fun to read.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Escape of Princess Madeline by Kristin Pulioff

The Escape of Princess Madeline

By Kristin Pulioff

Blurb: The Kingdom of Soron is known for many things, its rolling landscape, haunting history, fiery sunsets, and its beautiful princess. Princess Madeline woke on her sixteenth birthday to realize that her future had been planned out, a life full of privilege, royalty, and boredom... a life with a husband and knight champion that she did not choose. Using her charm, strength and stubbornness, she defies the King at every turn, determined to keep her freedom on her terms.

Freedom quickly turns to disaster as she finds herself seized by a group of wandering bandits. With the kingdom in turmoil over her capture- her Knight Champion eager to prove himself, a group of dedicated suitors determined to win her hand, and a group of exiled wizards join forces in the hunt to rescue her. Follow Princess Madeline in this adventure to find freedom and love.

Genres: Juvenile, Fantasy

Published: November 5, 2012

Series: Princess Madeline (book 1)

Pages:  120

My Rating: 2.5 stars

I felt that much of this book was cliched. There wasn't anything new here. To be fair, I have read a huge amount of fairy tales and fantasy, so it can be hard for me to call something original in this genre. But the whole running away because you don't want to get married has been done before; the Ordinary Princess is the story that comes to mind first.

I thought that Madeline acted very juvenile for her age. I didn't really like reading about her character; not because I didn't relate to her or anything like that (though I didn't), her character simply didn't hold my interest.

On the bright side, it was a quick read, and didn't take up too much of my time, so I am thankful for that. I am not sure I would recommend this, but I could see younger children enjoying this, so perhaps I would

Friday, January 24, 2014

Blog Tour Review+GIVEAWAY: Indigo Incite by Jacinda Buchmann

Indigo Incite  

Jacinda Buchmann

There are no secrets.

Sixteen-year-old Tyler believed that his extra-sensory powers were a secret, but when his twin brother, Toby, is kidnapped by a covert government agency, he realizes that he has no secrets, and he has nowhere to hide.

He’s not alone.

Now, in order to save himself and rescue his brother, Tyler must call upon the help of four strangers. Unknown to each other, Eddie, Liliana, Grace, and Sarah share a common bond. They are Indigo Children. With extra-sensory powers of their own, they must unite with Tyler in order to maintain their freedom.

Unexpected romance

They’re on the run. They’re on a mission. Romance is a distraction that Tyler can’t afford. But sometimes, the heart has a mind of its own.

Time is running out.

Will they find Toby before the agency finds them first? Find out in Indigo Incite, Book One of the Indigo Trilogy.

--Barnes & Noble:

Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Published: September 7th, 2013

Series: The Indigo Trilogy (book 1)

My Rating: 3 stars

This book was a slightly better than average paranormal. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't perfect. Still, it is better than a lot of the paranormal books that I've recently read!

I liked the idea that this was based around. Sure, it wasn't entirely original--Mind Games by Mind Games, Indigo Incite manages to bring something new to the table. I won't give away what star children are, but I will say that the idea was very unique, and a bit out there, but really cool at the same time. This is where Jacinda Buchmann really excelled; she put a new spin on everything.
Kiersten White had a similar plot--but at the same time, there were things I'd never encountered before in this book. Like the idea of star children; that part of the book is probably the biggest example I could use to show that despite the similarities to

(And even if Indigo Incite had been something I had read a thousand times, I admit I would still probably have liked it; mind reading is one of my guilty pleasures when it comes to books)

What I didn't like about the story mostly has to do with the characters. I didn't feel that they were developed enough. They were pretty static, and I never connected with them. One of the reasons for this dilemma was because there were a lot of main characters; Tyler and Toby were the real main characters, but often there would be chapters in the other prominent character's POV. I wish that the author would just have stuck with Tyler and Toby's POV so I could have gotten to know them better.

The only other problem I had with this book was that the romance happened fairly quickly. I hesitate to call it insta-love, because it wasn't exactly that quick, but I would have liked to see them slowly fall in love, not just have it happen...randomly, like it seemed to in the book.

All in all, a pretty good book! Take my dislikes with a grain of salt, as it seems like I am always a bit harsher with paranormals. I would recommend it to people of all ages.

Jacinda Buchmann lives in Arizona with her husband and three children. She graduated from Carroll College, in Helena, Montana, with a B.A. in elementary education and later received a Master’s degree from Northern Arizona University, in school counseling. After spending several years as a teacher and later a school counselor, she now spends her time writing, any free chance she can get, that is, when she’s not spending  time with her family or creating a new concoction in the kitchen.

Author links:

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blog Tour Review+GIVEAWAY: Podium Finish

Podium Finish 

PodiumFinishPodium Finish With six months until the Olympic Games, seventeen-year-old Harper's life is pretty much perfect. She's fighting for the starting spot on Team USA Women's Hockey, and for the first time ever, she has a crush on a guy who likes her back. She feels like the luckiest girl in the world, until she runs a risky play at practice and breaks her knee, thereby sentencing herself to six weeks in a cast and possibly ending her Olympic dream before it even starts. For seventeen-year-old Alex, being anything less than the best is unacceptable. That's why, after a miserable debut season at the senior level, the former junior national singles champion switches to ice dance. Her skating partner, Ace, is an "all skating all the time" type of guy, which would be fine, if he'd stop keeping secrets about the real reason he and his former partner broke up. Now is not the time for second thoughts, but how can Alex skate her best if she can’t trust her partner…or herself? As the pressure to make the Olympic team builds, the girls must rely on each other, because if there’s one thing they both know, it's that the only thing harder than skating to the top is staying there.
Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Genres:  YA, Sports, Realistic Fiction, Romance

Published: November 4, 2013

Series: N/A

Pages: 273

My Rating: 4 stars

My Review: I love watching the Olympics. I don't know what it is; watching athletes become legends, the coming together of a country, the underdog stories, or a combination of these, but I love it. (Wow, that sounded cheesy.) Podium Finish was the perfect Olympic book, and I couldn't get enough of it.

The Multiple POV: was great. I loved both Harper and Alex, and I never was rushing ahead to get to my favorite POV because I loved their stories equally. Which almost never happens with me. I always end up slightly rushing through one POV to get to the one i like better. 

The writing was AMAZING; absolute perfection. I felt like I was watching Harper and Alex instead of reading about them, which in my opinion is a true sign that a book is good.  Even if you don't know much about hockey or ice dance, you can understand what is going on.

There wasn't a single character that I felt was underdeveloped or didn't care about. My favorite character (and possibly a new book boyfriend) was Ace. Harper and Alex were both great main characters, and I felt like cheering for the half the time! The little details about them were what truly made them shine, like Alex tapping the Olympic rings, or Ace saving a teddy bear from his and Alex's first competition. (Really sweet, by the way!)

One thing that I would warn readers about is that the book didn't grab me right away. Which by no means a bad thing, especially in the Realistic fiction genre, (the beginning of Podium Finish was great in that we learned a lot about Harper and Alex) but I suppose some readers might be put off by it. It starts off a bit slower but by the end of the book I couldn't put the book down. So if you start off and the book isn't instantly amazing, KEEP READING! It builds up as it goes along. 

Four stars for an exciting read that exceeded all my expectations. Podium Finish is a book I would easily recommend!

Excerpt: Alex

Ace knocks a couple minutes later.
"He-ll-o, Juliet," he says.
"Wrong routine, Genius."
"Oh, that's right. We already kicked butt at that one."
Ace and I are sitting in fifth place, by the narrowest of narrow margins. Lindsay and Cory are behind us in sixth, 1.22 points back.
"Have you ever seen such a narrow margin in the Olympics?"
"No," he says. "That's crazy close, eh?" He sits down on my bed. This is the first time he's been in my room here.
"How'd you know that was my bed?"
"All the pink." He tosses a pillow at me. I brought two of my pillows with me to make this place feel a little more like home — my OTC home, not my Connecticut home. That place hasn't felt like home since I left, maybe even before that.
"Well, make yourself comfortable because we need to talk strategy."
"World domination strategy?"
"Would you stop joking? And yes, if we win the Olympics that would sort of be like world domination."
"Sorry. Jokes are just how I deal with the stress," he says. "I don't know what you want to strategize about. We need to skate as well as we can. Hopefully as well as we did at Nationals. Obviously this is a much bigger competition."
"Okay, what score do you think we'll need to make the podium?"
"At least tie our PB from Nationals to have a chance, but ideally higher. It's gonna be tough, Alex."
"No one ever said winning an Olympic medal would be easy."
"Look, I know you like to de-stress by crunching numbers, but if you try to predict everyone's scores, you're going to drive yourself crazy, lose sleep, and it will all be for nothing, so how about another kind of crunching numbers?"
"Like what?"
He shifts his weight to his side, digging his elbow into the mattress and pulls a deck of cards out of the back pocket of his jeans.
"Poker. If you win, we do a spy routine next year. If I win, it's a western theme."
"Western? What am I going to wear? Daisy Dukes?"
"You better win then."

Beth Pond author pic   
Author Beth Pond Beth Pond graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Hendrix College in 2012. In 2013, she taught in South Africa for 9 months as part of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant. Pond is currently completing her coursework at the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing MFA program. Her debut novel, Podium Finish, was released from Astraea Press in November 2013. When she’s not writing, Pond enjoys martial arts (she’s a black belt) and serving as a volunteer coach for her brother’s special needs baseball team.  

 Praise for Podium Finish Podium Finish is unlike any other book I have read, period. It is amazing that Ms. Pond could take two very different characters who are pursuing two completely different sports and tie them together as roommates at the Olympic Training Center. ~Crystal, Books are Sanity
This is a great, fun book! This story is really 2 stories in one - bonus! ~Shelley Walker, Goodreads
This book was truly enjoyable to read. ~Michele, Amazon Review
 Podium Finish is one of the best books I have read in a very long time. I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. ~Ana, Amazon Reviewer  

Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/9/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lumière by Jacqueline Garlick



By Jacqueline Garlick

Blurb:  One determined girl. One resourceful boy. One miracle machine that could destroy everything.

After an unexplained flash shatters her world, seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth sets out to find the Illuminator, her father’s prized invention. With it, she hopes to cure herself of her debilitating seizures before Professor Smrt—her father’s arch nemesis—discovers her secret and locks her away in an asylum.

Pursued by Smrt, Eyelet locates the Illuminator only to see it whisked away. She follows the thief into the world of the unknown, compelled not only by her quest but by the allure of the stranger—Urlick Babbit—who harbors secrets of his own.

Together, they endure deadly Vapours and criminal-infested woods in pursuit of the same prize, only to discover the miracle machine they hoped would solve their problems may in fact be their biggest problem of all. 

Genres:  YA, Steampunk, Adventure, Romance

Published: December 12, 2013

Series: Illumination Paradox (book 1)

Pages: 335

My Rating: 4 stars

A free copy was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Lumìere was an amazing read-full of some good ol' steampunk goodness! (I think it's starting to become one of my favorite genres)

First off, the characters were fun to read about and very likable. The main character, Eyelet, doesn't waste time being a damsel in distress. She can stick up for herself, and she's intelligent. Urlick is not your everyday hero, but I was rooting for him nonetheless. He and Eyelet make a good pair.

The book kept my attention-I never once got bored; my eyes were always glued to the page. It's full of romance, action, mystery, and much, much more.

I can honestly say this book isn't like anything I've read before. Yes, I've read steampunk, but never a steampunk book like this!

The cliffhanger--ahhh, the cliffhanger. Why, why, why must there be a cliffhanger? (i'm just kidding, I actually kind of like cliffhangers; they usually ensure that the next book starts off well.)

I really liked this book. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA.