Thursday, January 31, 2013

Audio Review: What We Saw At Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Author: Jacquelyn Mitchard
Narrator: Rebecca Gibel  
Title:What We Saw At Night
Publisher: AudioGo
Format:Unabridged Audio
Length: 7 hrs, 39 mins
Publication: 2013
Source: Publisher via Audiobookjukebox

Allie Kim suffers from Xeroderma Pigmentosum: a fatal allergy to sunlight that confines her and her two best friends, Rob and Juliet, to the night. When freewheeling Juliet takes up Parkour—the stunt-sport of scaling and leaping off tall buildings—Allie and Rob have no choice but to join her, if only to protect her. Though potentially deadly, Parkour after dark makes Allie feel truly alive, and for the first time equal to the “daytimers.” 

On a random summer night, the trio catches a glimpse of what appears to be murder. Allie alone takes it upon herself to investigate, and the truth comes at an unthinkable price. Navigating the shadowy world of specialized XP care, extreme sports, and forbidden love, Allie ultimately uncovers a secret that upends everything she believes about the people she trusts the most.
Thoughts:Allie, Rob and Juliet live like vampires. They sleep during the day but the night is there to do as they please. Why? Well they have a skin disease that prohibits them from being in the sun and at some point they will possibly die from it. So, they go out in the night to seek some excitement and they start taking more risks and one night while scaling a building they discover what appears to be a murder but thinking they may have misinterpreted what they saw, they shrug it off...until it happens again and the world that they've created for themselves begins to unravel. 

Okay, so I wasn't that drawn into 
What We Saw At Night and on occasion found myself trying to figure out what exactly it was about. Sometimes Juliet would disappear and not talk to Ally or Rob and they would whine about it. Or Ally would get upset with how close Rob and Juliet seem and she would ignore them and they would go weeks without talking before the white flag is thrown up. Juliet also is keeping secrets from everyone and it's easy to tell all is not well with her. Now, the plot is composed as a mysterious puzzle piece that connects to each of the characters. The story comes across gloomy in tone, the characters appear to harbor this overwhelming sadness about their life and it translates well through the Gibel's portrayal of the work. The ending left me thinking what just happened, so I feel there has got to be another book coming out. Overall, the narration moves along steadily and Gibel does a good job of distinguishing between the characters, though some sound slightly similar. Friendships get tested in this coming of age murder mystery and destinies become defined.

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Found by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Title: Found (The Crescent Chronicles, # 3)
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Expected release date:  Summer 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Cover Designer: Once Upon a Time Covers
Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours

Book Description:
Levi might be hot, strong, and have a cool set of wings, but it's not enough to make up for keeping Allie in the dark.

Allie's tired of being left with more questions than answers. She's tired of loving a guy who refuses to level with her. Most of all, she's tired of her life spinning out of control.

Desperate to save Jess no matter the personal cost, Allie has to face the possibility that the only one she can trust is herself.

Author Bio:
Website Twitter | Facebook Goodreads
Alyssa Rose Ivy is a Young Adult and New Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. 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. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

(pick one of Alyssa Rose Ivy's books listed below)

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Waiting On" Wednesday #2: Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers
Release Date: April 2, 2013

Goodreads Synopsis
Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons.

But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats.

What new release are you pining for?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Excerpt & Giveaway: Moonstone by Marilee Brothers

A sickly mom. A crummy travel trailer. High school bullies and snarky drama queens.  Bad guys with charming smiles. Allie has problems. And then there’s that whole thing about fulfilling a magical prophecy and saving the world from evil. 

Welcome to the funny, sad, sometimes scary world of fifteen year old Allie Emerson, who’s struggling to keep her act together (not to mention her mom’s) in the small town world of Peacock Fats, Washington. A zap from an electrical fence set off Allie’s weird psychic powers. The next thing she knows, she’s being visited by a hippy dippy guardian angel, and then her mysterious neighbor, the town “witch,” gives her an incredible moonstone pendant that has powers only a “Star Seeker’ is meant to command. 

“Who, me?” is Allie’s first reaction. But as sinister events begin to unfold, Allie realizes she’s got a destiny far bigger than she ever imagined. If she can just survive everyday life, in the meantime.
Chapter One
One minute, I’m on a ten foot ladder adjusting the TV antenna on the twenty-four foot trailer behind Uncle Sid’s house where I live with my mother, Faye. The next minute, I sail off the ladder, graze an electric fence and land face-down in a cow pie. Swear to God.
Though groggy and hurting, I rolled onto my back. A window in the trailer cranked open and I heard my mother scream. “Allie! Ohmigod! Somebody call 911!”
I was surprised Faye managed to open the window. She’d spent most of the last two years in bed since, at age thirty-one, she Retired From Life. But really, call 911? We had no phone and I was the only other person in the area. Who was she talking to? Blaster the bull?  I smiled weakly at the thought of Blaster in a phone booth, punching in 911 with one gigantic hoof.
Okay, technically, I landed in a bull pie, not a cow pie. The mess dripping off my face was compliments of my Uncle Sid’s prize bull, speaking of which…
It was then my wits returned. I felt the ground vibrate, heard the rumble of hooves. I reared up to see a half-ton cranky bull racing toward me, head down, mean little eyes fixed on my prone body.
Faye continued to scream shrilly. I moaned and crawled toward the fence, looking over my shoulder at Blaster who bore down on me like a runaway train. When I tried to stand, I slipped in the wet grass and landed on my belly. Oh God, he was just inches away. I wasn’t going to make it! I rolled into a ball and screamed, “No, Blaster! Go back! Go back!”
Laying on the wet grass, trembling with terror, I watched as Blaster stopped on a dime, blew snot out of his flaring, black nostrils and released a thunderous blast of flatulence—that’s what my teacher, Mrs. Burke, calls farting—and, of course, the reason Uncle Sid named him Blaster. 
“Back off, Blaster,” I said between shallow, panicky breaths. “Good boy.” 
I hoped the “boy” comment wouldn’t tick him off, what with his fully-developed manly-bull parts dangling in full view as I lay curled on the ground looking up. Yuck! 
Suddenly my vision narrowed and grew dark around the edges.  It was like looking down a long tunnel with Blaster front and center, bathed in light. A loud buzzing filled my head. The next moment,  Blaster took a tentative step backward, then another, walking slowly, at first, then gradually picking up speed until he was trotting briskly backwards like a video tape on slow rewind. 
Mesmerized by the sight, I sat up and watched Blaster’s bizarre retreat back through the tunnel. At that precise moment, I should have known something strange was going on. But hey, I was a little busy trying to save my life. 
As I crawled under the fence, my vision returned to normal and the buzzing faded away. I stood and swiped a hand across my sweaty face. At least, I thought it was sweat until a trickle of blood dripped off the end of my nose. Surprised because I felt no pain, I touched my face and found the blood was oozing from a puncture wound in the center of my forehead.
Click to read more

Author Bio:
A former teacher, coach and school counselor, Marilee lives in Washington State and writes full time. Her books include Castle Ladyslipper, a medieval romance, The Rock and Roll Queen of Bedlam, winner of the 2010 Booksellers Best award for romantic suspense, Moonstone, Moon Rise, Moon Spun, Shadow Moon, and Midnight Moon. Marilee is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Pacific Northwest Writers Association and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. 
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Amazon | BN

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Young Adult Giveaway Hop!

Dance of Shadows
Etiquette & Espionage
Mind Games

Your choice of one the FOUR books!

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Post #1

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. 
~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~

Last Week on the Blog

Win signed copies of the Taker & the Reckoning by Alma Katsu
The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard
20 Authors, One Awesome Giveaway: Win a Kindle Fire HD
Gilded Wings Tour Giveaway!
Book Blast Giveaway: The Princess of Egypt Must Die by Stephanie Dray

For Review
Etiquette & Espionage thanks to Little Brown Books for Young Readers(ARC)
Hysteria thanks to Walker Childrens via Netgalley
Pantomime thanks to Strange Chemistry via Netgalley
I think I like this meme, so hopefully I'll be a better about planning ahead with posts. That is my goal for this year and to not overload myself. So, far this year is looking good! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Review: Broken by A.E. Rought

Author: A.E. Rought
Title: Broken
Publication: January 8, 2013
Publisher:  Strange Chemistry
Source: Puvlisher via Netgalley

Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.

A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry’s boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetary and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.

When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she’s intrigued despite herself. He’s an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely…familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel’s. The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there’s something very wrong with Alex Franks.

And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks’ estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.
Thoughts: Emma grieves for her boyfriend Daniel still after his tragic death. She's visits the graveyard every night to feel closer to him but she only prolonging her grief. Right when she's poised to finally let him go, he begins to haunt her in the form of Alex Franks, the new hot guy at school who seems to be intrigued by her as well. Alex reminds her so much of Daniel by the small things he does be it opening her tricky locker or those hazel eyes that look so much like the boy she loved. No matter how much she tries to fight the growing pull towards Alex, she never sees the danger that comes with knowing him. Who is Alex Franks and why does her heart yearn for him? 
Determined to understand Alex, she decides to hunt down answers on her own  and is confronted by horror more grotesque and darker than she could ever imagine. 

The story is okay, Emma took too long to put the pieces together that were right in front of her face. Broken moves along at a slow pace and it took me a moment to get into it. The twist on Frankenstein is just as disturbing as the original maybe more. The romance between Alex and Emma seems immediate and intense. What I like about this book is that the parents are present and involved participants in Emma's life and Alex's father is too hands on in his life. Overall the love story in combination with the horrifying events that transpire make for an interesting ride for those that like this type of fiction. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Author:  Veronica Rossi
Title: Through the Ever Night
Series: Under the Never Sky #2
Publication: January 8, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.
Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

Thoughts:Aria must chase a myth in order to save Perry's nephew, Talon and the people of Reverie. She's conflicted in whether she should inform Perry that she is nearby but in a change of heart she sends a subtle message that only he will understand. Perry has a heavy load now that he is Blood Lord but his thoughts and heart remain focused on the girl he cares for. They long to be together but the circumstances of who they are and where Aria comes from keeps getting in the way. He wants her to come to the Tides with him and she agrees on one condition...that they pretend as if they feel nothing but friendship and shared duty to save Talon. Aria knows that she is a threat to everything Perry has gained and one   mistake could lead to him losing it all, but things just may be meant to fall apart regardless of what they do. A story of courage, family and love...Aria and Perry must face their fears and decide if the love they share can survive their sacrifices.

The story picks where Under the Never Sky ended with Aria and Perry having gone their separate ways. Aria has changed into a fearsome female lead; it's nice to see her grow into a strong capable young woman, even though she harbors her own uncertainties about where she belongs. It's also nice to delve more into Perry's emotions and insecurities. The interactions between characters and their emotional depth make this a great read. Rossi has crafted a heart tugging read. I think that anyone can identify with the turmoil, vulnerability and loss that these characters experience. The writing is detailed and transpires fluidly from page to page and I think most readers will enjoy the way the author has balanced the chemistry among the characters as they connect with one another. Overall, good read with action and romance that I would recommend to fantasy and sci-fi lovers.
4.5 stars

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum

Author: Gregg Rosenblum
Title: Revolution 19
Publication: January 8, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.
Headstrong seventeen-year-old Nick has spent his whole life in a community in the wilderness, hiding out from the robots that have enslaved mankind. But when the bots discover the community's location, he, his tech-geek younger brother, Kevin, and adopted sister, Cass, barely make it out alive—only to discover that their home has been destroyed and everyone they love is missing.
All survivors were captured and taken to one of the robots' Cities. The siblings have been hearing tales about the Cities all their lives—humans are treated like animals, living in outdoor pens and forced to build new bots until they drop dead from exhaustion. Determined to find out if their parents are among the survivors, Nick, Kevin, and Cass venture into the heart of the City, but it is nothing like they've been told.
As they live among the bots for the first time, they realize they're fighting for more than just their family. The robots have ruled for too long, and now it's time for a revolution.

My name is Cass; I've lived in the wilderness all my life with my two brothers, Nick and Kevin, and my parents. My parents aren't my real parents but I love them as if they were.
When I was an infant they took me in after robots killed my family. My brothers and I have been taught all our lives how to survive out in the wild on our own. We lived constantly in fear of being discovered by robots, moving from location to location trying to stay a step ahead, only to have our world come crashing down too soon. We never saw it coming, in one horrible moment, the comfort that I've come to know vanished right before my eyes. Now, forced to run in the chaos, my parents vanish. I can't lose them, too...not this time! I know in my heart that they are alive and my brothers and I will find them. Those robots better watch out, a new Revolution is about to happen. Welcome to my life.

A story about robots taking over the world, immediately made me think of the movie I, Robot. Rosenblum does a good job of building the world in which the characters live and I liked the overall concept of this book, though the pace of the writing is slow in the beginning. Things start to pick up towards the middle and end when all the action starts happening. My favorite character would have to be Cass; she intrigues me with her innocence and determination. I think this has the potential to be a good series because the ending opens up a whole new realm of possibilities and brings forth the question; what are the robots really up to? Revolution 19 is okay but more than likely I will read the next one to find the answers to my questions. 
It was okay

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Release Date: May 28, 2013

Goodreads Synopsis

"I dare you..." 

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does.... 

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him. 

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

What new release are you pining for?

Review: Everblossom by Larissa Hinton

Author: Larissa Hinton
Title: Everblossom
Publication: August 11th 2011 
Source: Author for honest review
Rating: 2.5

An anthology that will quench your thirst for more than the ordinary. 
Everblossom is a journey through poems and short stories that may seem ordinary on the surface but dig a little deeper and the world not only shifts. It changes. 
From the author who brought you Iwishacana/Acanawishi, she now brings you a dash of everything from dark fantasy to the paranormal to even romance. So prepare yourself to delve into the three stages of the flower from bud to blossom then back to seed, you'll go through them all with a whole new perspective on what it all truly means.

I always say that poetry goes over my head and this anthology has not changed that, so needless to say I didn't get it. However, the short stories were easier for me to follow and most of them are dark, weird and eerie in nature. Hinton has accomplished getting the reader interested in wanting more of the stories in how she describes each scene in the height of a major turning point. This writing style leaves the reader to formulate their own ideas of how or why these events transpired the way they did. Overall, the anthology is alright, not much for poetry but that's just me. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Author:  Veronica Rossi
Title: Under the Never Sky
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Publication: January 3, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Borrowed
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Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

Thoughts:Aria is desperate to find her mother and she reaches out to the only person that she thinks can find her the answers, Soren, the son of one the Reverie leaders. Soren takes Aria and some of their friends to an unauthorized Realm and things spiral out of control quickly; leading to a big cover up and Aria getting thrown outside to fend in the wild. She finds her savior and enemy in outsider Perry, who blames her for the loss of his nephew, Talon but sees her as the means to getting him back. So, thus a truce is made and they look to help each get back those they love, if they can survive the Aether and each other. 

The interactions between Aria and Perry make me visualize this story like a modern day Beauty and the Beast as she refers to Perry as a savage. Also, the fact that he's quieter and she's so curious about her surroundings and his world and he's less inclined to talking. However, gradually over time they begin to develop an understanding of one another and see where some of the misconceptions about their people come from. It's nice to see Aria appreciate and experience the beauty of the real world after never being able to in the Realms. A funny moment is when something changes in her body and she thinks she's dying, HA! I think Rossi has created a touching group of characters and the message I got from this story is about truth and judging people without knowing for yourself who they truly are.

I found myself wondering what in the world Aether was, so hopefully the author will clear that up in the next book. The creation of the Realms and the use of the Smarteye seems really cool. The idea of being able to visit different places would eventually get tiresome because they can't really feel anything, so not for me...I'd prefer the outside world to that any day. The writing paces along steadily and the story is believable (I could really see this happening in the future). Overall, the world building and the characters are realistic enough that a reader of this genre may like it.

Liked it
Next in the series

Monday, January 21, 2013

Getting to know all about me #2

This particular meme is hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer.
10 words that describe yourself?

Favorite TV Shows?
I recently got hooked on Games of Thrones, I've only watched the first season but I want to read the books before I start the next one. I am a big fan of Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Switched at Birth, New Girl and something else I can't remember right now.

If you could take over the world, would you?
No, that would be too much. I want to enjoy life.

Who was the first boy you kissed?
Yuck, rather not think about that but I will tell you we didn't like each other, so I was baffled that he wanted to kiss me.

How do you unwind?
I like to sit outside when the weather is nice and just look at the sky or listen to music and think.

Feel free to leave a comment with your answer to any of these questions, I would love to know more about you. If you want to ask me questions, you are more than welcome to do that as well:)

Audio Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Author: Laini Taylor
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Title: Days of Blood & Starlight
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Format:Unabridged Audio CD
Length:  15 hrs, 22 mins
Publication: 2012
Source: Library

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is--and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Karou is in love with Akiva and no matter how hard she tries these feelings makes her hate herself. She believes that because of her relationship with him, she lost the only family she knew. Now, determined to hurt her enemy, she is the only hope the chimaera have at defeating the angel army but at what cost. Karou is so consumed with building the army that she never thinks to ask what they are doing on their raids. She's surrounded by chimaera and they see her as a traitor. As events begin to spiral out of control, Karou may just find that the devil that you know may not be the best ally. 

Karou is an intriguing character; she's strong but possesses this innocence that allows her to trust the wrong people. She does however have a caution button that triggers from time to time but she has herself in a tricky situation between doing what's right for her people or blindly hoping that her efforts will help the chimaera can win this war. My favorite scenes though few are between Karou and Akiva, it's something about the turmoil of forbidden love that's deliciously appealing. Hopefully, they will be together in the end, though there may be another guy in the running for Karou's heart. Taylor has created a well-rounded group of characters that I think anyone can enjoy but I have to say that my favorite character to is Zuzana, she just has such vibrancy and humor about her and I think this balances the seriousness of Karou. 

Khristine Hvam did an excellent job of bringing Karou and crew to life. I wasn't distracted by the various tones and accents used to differentiate between male and female characters. Now, I'm really particular about audiobooks, a good narrator can hold my attention but a great one has the ability to allow me to see the words in my mind and visualize the story. Hvam accomplishes this with ease and clarity. I found myself not wanting to end the journey that had begun, so I sat in the car until either the track ended or the disc. Overall, I think the sound production for this was fantastic. I loved how the author transitioned to different characters, while still maintaining the fluidity of the reading and I hope she does the interpretation for the next book. 
4.5 stars
Loved it!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Review: Return to Me by Justina Chen

Author: Justina Chen
Title: Return to Me
Publication: January 15, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
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And there it was again, the troubling notion that I barely knew the people I loved.

Daddy's girl Rebecca Muir has long known exactly what she wants to do after high school: attend the prestigious architecture program at Columbia University, 3000 miles away from her home. But as the end of school nears, things are no longer so clear cut-she's just fallen in love with the perfect guy, Jackson; her dad has gotten a new job in New York, so her whole family is following her to the east coast; and she's having trouble ignoring her premonition that something terrible is coming.

And it soon becomes clear why: shortly after the move, her father reveals that he's leaving them, and Rebecca is left to pick up the pieces of her former life. When everything can change in an instant, Reb doesn't know what path to follow or whom to trust--and she must begin to search for what she really wants to do with her life.

Thoughts: This is a beautiful coming of age story about a young girl realizing who she is and understanding the role that the women in her family play in her life. Rebecca has been told that the women in her family are cursed, and that every man they love will leave. Sadly, the week that she moves her father deals a crushing blow that will alter them forever. She now doesn't trust her own judgment or her boyfriend, Jackson. She thinks he will hurt her the way her father did her mother. Rebecca desperately tries to sort through her anger and pain in order to cope with her father’s deception. Will she be able to open up her heart and heal before she loses the one person that truly gets her?

This isn't a romance but a story of loss and rediscovery. Rebecca has many questions about the next phase in her life; she is at that point between moving from a child into adulthood. I believe that this type of uncertainty any teenager transitioning from high school to college will relate to and any adult on the cusp of a new beginning. Rebecca's trust has been shattered, which will cause her to reevaluate her life and open up to fresh opportunities and adventures. This is a great book about generations and familial relationships, and how sometimes tragedy can make the bonds stronger. A slow read not to be plowed through but paced to digest the messages in the text. An okay read about following your dreams. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Book Blast Giveaway: The Princess of Egypt Must Die by Stephanie Dray

It's the two-year anniversary of the publication of Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray, the first in her Cleopatra's Daughter series! It is time to celebrate ALL of Steph's wonderful novels about strong ancient-Egyptian women.  

Two years ago, Stephanie Dray introduced the world to Cleopatra's daughter in the critically acclaimed historical fantasy novel, LILY OF THE NILE. In the award-winning sequel, SONG OF THE NILE, her dynamic and messianic young queen grew in power as she attempted to wrest back her mother's throne and return to Egypt. This year, Dray will complete the trilogy with DAUGHTERS OF THE NILE, which follows Selene on her journey as a fiercely protective mother, a powerful priestess and a queen with a unique historical legacy to bequeath to her heirs.

To commemorate and celebrate the book birthday of LILY OF THE NILE, she is giving away a free Young Adult novelette to her readers this January. THE PRINCESS OF EGYPT MUST DIE tells the beginnings of the reign of Arsinoe II, one of Cleopatra Selene's ancestral heroines and it is not to be missed. Join in the celebration of these ancient queens by grabbing your free copy now!

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And if you're a fan and would like to be a member of Ms. Dray's street team, with chances to win special prizes in exchange for your help promoting her work, please sign up here.

With her parents dead, the daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony is left at the mercy of her Roman captors. Heir to one empire and prisoner of another, it falls to Princess Selene to save her brothers and reclaim what is rightfully hers…
In the aftermath of Alexandria’s tragic fall, Princess Selene is taken from Egypt, the only home she’s ever known. Along with her two surviving brothers, she’s put on display as a war trophy in Rome. Selene’s captors mock her royalty and drag her through the streets in chains, but on the brink of death, the children are spared as a favor to the emperor’s sister, who takes them to live as hostages in the so-called lamentable embassy of royal orphans…Now trapped in a Roman court of intrigue that reviles her heritage and suspects her faith, Selene can’t hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her flesh. Nor can she stop the emperor from using her for his own political ends. But faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined honor her mother’s lost legacy. The magic of Egypt and Isis remain within her. But can she succeed where her mother failed? And what will it cost her in a political game where the only rule is win or die?Berkley Trade January 2011 (Trade Paperback, 430 pages)# ISBN-10: 0425238555# ISBN-13: 978-0425238554

Sorceress. Seductress. Schemer. Cleopatra’s daughter has become the emperor’s most unlikely apprentice and the one woman who can destroy his empire…
Having survived her perilous childhood as a royal captive of Rome, Selene pledged her loyalty to Augustus and swore she would become his very own Cleopatra. Now the young queen faces an uncertain destiny in a foreign land.Forced to marry a man of the emperor’s choosing, Selene will not allow her new husband to rule in her name. She quickly establishes herself as a capable leader in her own right and as a religious icon. Beginning the hard work of building a new nation, she wins the love of her new subjects and makes herself vital to Rome by bringing forth bountiful harvests.But it’s the magic of Isis flowing through her veins that makes her indispensable to the emperor. Against a backdrop of imperial politics and religious persecution, Cleopatra’s daughter beguiles her way to the very precipice of power. She has never forgotten her birthright, but will the price of her mother’s throne be more than she’s willing to pay?Berkley Trade October 2011 (Trade Paperback)# ISBN-10: 0425243044# ISBN-13: 9780425243046

Before she became one of Egypt's greatest queens, she was a lonely princess who ached to belong...
Princess Arsinoe came of age in the glittering court of Ptolemaic Egypt. Abused by her ruthless sister, a pawn in the dynastic ambitions of her father, and dismissed by the king who claimed her for a bride, young Arsinoe finds herself falling in love with a young man forbidden to her. She dreams of a great destiny, but if she is ever to rule Egypt, she must first survive the nest of vipers otherwise known as her family.
December 2012 (Digital Only) ASIN: B00AE01M5S
Steph is graciously giving away a digital copy of The Princess of Egypt Must Die to anyone who wants to download it, along with a bottle of Egyptian perfume for one lucky winner! 

Enter to win below:

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