Saturday, January 28, 2012

Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson

Laurel Daneau has moved on to a new life, in a new town, but inside she’s still reeling from the loss of her beloved mother and grandmother after Hurricane Katrina washed away their home. Laurel’s new life is going well, with a new best friend, a place on the cheerleading squad and T-Boom, co-captain of the basketball team, for a boyfriend. Yet Laurel is haunted by voices and memories from her past.

When T-Boom introduces Laurel to meth, she immediately falls under its spell, loving the way it erases, even if only briefly, her past. But as she becomes alienated from her friends and family, she becomes a shell of her former self, and longs to be whole again. With help from an artist named Moses and her friend Kaylee, she’s able to begin to rewrite her story and start to move on from her addiction.

Incorporating Laurel’s bittersweet memories of life before and during the hurricane, this is a stunning novel by one of our finest writers. Jacqueline Woodson’s haunting—but ultimately hopeful—story is beautifully told and one readers will not want to miss.

Since I've started combing the depths of YA fiction I haven't yet read a drug/addiction/disorder book. This is my first, so I'm kind of a newbie. But I have to say that this book is pretty powerful. I've never struggled with a serious addiction, but I've seen enough people succumb to it. One thing I've noticed that holds true across the board is that addiction is the symptom of a different problem or hurt, and you get to see what that hurt is for Laurel in this book. Although this is pretty grim subject matter the book is written with a hopeful tone.

This book showcases the downward spiral of Laurel. And it's painful to read. The whole time that she is telling her story, how she ended up addicted to moon (meth), I just feel so much sadness for her. I mean, this is real life. Everything is so bleak and covered in a sheen of sadness, but then along comes Moses. His character seemed to shine a light onto the pages, and you see how he has such a great effect on Laurel even when she's at her lowest low.

This book takes you on a journey through addiction. I've seen addiction from the outside, but this book is a raw glimpse into what is going on inside the head of an addict. I'm still playing parts of it through my mind. I guess you could say it's haunting my thoughts a bit. I have three kids of my own that I pray never face this kind of struggle. We all have pain in our lives in some form and deal with it in different ways, but hopefully in a healthy and productive manner.

Publication Date: February 2, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source: Thank you to Penguin Books for spotlighting this book during ALA Midwinter and making it available!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Author Interview: James Fryar (Patrick Patterson and the World of Others)

I'm so glad to have the Author of Patrick Patterson and the World of Others on my blog today! James Fryar has created an imaginative world within his book that captures your attention. You can see my review here. I was excited to hear the answers to a few questions that had formed in my head while reading. Thanks for humoring me, James!


My Tower of Books
First of all, I loved your book. I know this is kind of standard as far as questions go, but how did the idea for Patrick Patterson and the World of Others pop into your head?

James: First, let me say that I'm very happy that you enjoyed it!

It's hard to say how the idea initially popped into my head; I don't know that I can remember a specific time or place that I first thought of it. All I know is that for as long as I can remember, I've had a particular scene in my head. I won't reveal anything, but it's the scene where Patrick is attacked at school. I was just intrigued by the implications of what it could mean. Something that simple--Patrick Patterson is attacked by a mysterious person--becomes a host of interesting questions. Why is Patrick being attacked? Who is the mysterious attacker? Where are they all from? And it goes on and on. From there, I built out in either direction and very soon, I realized that I had more than one book.

My Tower of Books: What inspired the science fiction aspects of book?

James:Well, I've always been intrigued by space. I'm no science expert, but I've always had very deep feelings of awe when reading about the breadth of space. There's a sense of something mythical when you just sit and stare at the night sky. It's literally breathtaking. You suddenly feel very small. I wanted to communicate that feeling in my book.

MToB: Some of the characters in this book seem to me that they could possibly be based off of personalities that you have encountered in real life. Am I right? and is it fun to translate them from life to the pages of your book?

James: Truth be told, there were only two characters (I won't say which two) that were based on specific, real people. That was fun to do. All the other characters
were, I'm sure, shades of real people I've encountered. It's impossible for my
subconscious to not filter through my writing.

MToB: I'm fully expecting many more books in this series and more adventures for Patrick. How is the next book coming along

James: It's coming along very well, Thank You! This story will be a trilogy. Perhaps there will be room for other adventures in the future, but this particular story arc is planned for three books. As I previously said, I quickly realized that I was really writing more than one book. This is so true. Before I'd even finished The World of Others, I was already working on the second and third book. It's very gratifying to have a perfectly clear picture of where you're going and I'm excited to have others eventually read it!

MToB: I ask a lot of people this next question out of curiousity. Do you have a favorite place to write or do you just fit it in whenever you can?

James: Typically, I enjoy writing in coffee shops or bookstores, but I can really work just about anywhere if I have the right music in my ears. It's really the music that affects me more than the location. 9 times out of 10 I'll be listening to a band called Sigur Ros while I write. They're an incredible band from Iceland, unlike anything else I've ever heard. Very ethereal music; it just takes you to another world. Check 'em out if you haven't heard of them!

MToB: When you aren't writing what are some things you enjoy spending your time on?

James: It sounds cliche, being a writer, but I love to read. Anything that intrigues me--nonfiction, thrillers, YA, grand fantasy--I'll check out. As long as it's well-written, I'll read it. I'm a big cinephile, too. I love movies. My film tastes are very eclectic, just like my book choices: Gone With The Wind, The Godfather, Avatar. As long as it's a well-told story, I'm on board. I'm a big foodie as well and love to try new and unusual foods and restaurants. And my wife and I travel as much as we can. My goal is to see the entire world before I die. There's a big world out there and I aim to see it all.

It's all about stories with me, whether you tell it through books, film, food, or youcreate your own with the life you lead. Saint Augustine said something like, "The world is like a book and those that don't travel, read only one page."


To connect with James check him out on Twitter.

You can find out more about Patrick Patterson and the World of Others on Amazon or B&N.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: Incarnate (New Soul #1) by Jodi Meadows

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

I'm on a role here with the books I've read lately. This is another great one. This may be my first Fantasy-ish YA novel. I love the Fantasy genre in general, but since I've read so many good ones it takes a lot to impress me. Incarnate is really unique and memorable. The idea of having souls that carry on from generation to generation is done just right in this novel. The ins and outs of it all make sense and are believable (which is a must for me). I was intrigued from the first page and was not disappointed after all was said and done.

Ana is the leading lady of this novel. She has grown up with the world's worst mother and has a lot of issues because of this. When you first meet her she is leaving and striking out on her own to find answers to a list of questions that she's had for years. While she's getting into trouble on her journey she is rescued by Sam (ahhhhhh...Sam...) and that starts the beginning of their relationship.

Ana and Sam have a deep connection. It's not electric or immediate from the start, and their attraction to each other is real. While their budding relationship is a large portion of the story, the actual plot is hugely important and it all weaves together perfectly. Whether or not you believe in reincarnation is a non-issue. The book isn't trying to persuade anybody, it's just telling an amazing story.

Incarnate strikes a great balance and is such a fresh idea. It's another one that will keep you reading late at night. Worth the trip to your bookstore, for sure!

Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: Thanks to Harper Collins for making this novel available at ALA.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Late to the Party Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive.

I loved this! Loved. It. I know pretty much everybody has already read this one, and now I'm a part of that club. I've had it on my list for awhile and finally got tired of waiting to get to it. I finished it in less than 4 hours...I literally could not put it down. After I was done it felt like I was having to acclimate back into the real world because I had been so immersed in this novel.

This is the best example of a utopian society gone horribly, scarily wrong. It's all totally believable and heartbreaking. I can't think of one thing I didn't like about the book. Rhine is awesome. I love how she makes her decision and sticks with it, despite how difficult it will be. Lots of great characters in this one.

If you also have this on your list, but haven't found the time yet...make the time. You won't regret it. Plus, Fever comes out in February and you need to be ready ;-)

Publication Date: March 22, 2011
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Source: My own tower of books

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Giveaway Winners!!

The winners are . . .
Sarah K.
Yay!! You each get a book of your choice from The Book Depository :-D
They have both been notified by e-mail and will have 72 hours to claim their book before a different winner is chosen.
Thanks so much to everyone that entered, and I'm sure I'll have another giveaway before too long.

Friday, January 20, 2012

MG Review: The Tide Changers by Sandy Green

For a thirteen-year-old kid who lives right by the ocean, Ford Kahr has never been a great swimmer. In fact, he sinks like a rock in the water. He’s actually afraid to swim in the ocean after his dad, a marine biologist and experienced scuba diver, disappeared off the shore of their hotel in Cape Lore, New Jersey, three years ago.

As klutzy as Ford is in the water, his older brother Jag is a junior swimming champ, and his younger sister Mercedes has a mystical connection to the water that Ford can’t explain. But when Jag swims out to investigate the disappearing island past the jetty, Ford uncovers an amazing secret that puts a new spin on his relationship with the ocean. The ocean harbors a whole other world beneath its surface that Mercy and Ford must explore – hoping they’ll find some clue to the disappearance of their father and the astonishing secret they share about the water.

Legends of underwater people and stories of scary sea monsters push Ford and his sister to discover the truth about what’s really out there in the ocean depths.

This is a very original idea for a story. Ford's father is lost while scuba diving and has been gone for years. As a result, Ford is terrified of drowning. When his brother has an unfortunate accident while exploring the beach near their home, it's up to Ford and his sister, Mercy, to save him. They discover an amazing secret about themselves that will lead to adventure, excitement and danger. Ford shows bravery and also some good old-fashioned common sense :) He does things he never imagined he would be able to and sees his family in a whole new light.

Like I said, this is a very unique idea. I don't want to get into the source of the secret that is discovered for spoilery reasons, but I really liked this. I think it's a great, adventurous read that any Middle Grader would enjoy reading, either alone or with a parent. My only complaint is that the story feels like it's over when there are still so many places left to be explored within the world of the book. I do realize MG can't be hundreds of pages long, so maybe a sequel would fix that :)

Publication Date: December 18, 2011
Genre: Middle Grade, Paranormal
Source: Thanks so much to author, Sandy Green, and Penumbra Publishing for my review copy.

To find out more about this book and the Author visit her website Here or her blog Here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

I never thought I would be reluctant to dive back into a paranormal read, but after reading this book that is exactly how I feel. This is a contemporary book that is so amazingly sexy and sweet. I was burning through the pages to find out what would happen, but also feeling sad that it would end at some point.

The premise could be compared to a Romeo and Juliet type scenario. Two people from different worlds fighting for their love against all odds. I don't want Shakespeare fans to punch my face, but this book took that idea to another level.

I never knew how sexy a Spanish/English mix could be or someone being called 'mamacita', but, WHOA!! It really is. Alex is a gang banger that lives life as the bad boy. When he meets Brittany she awakens his inner softie, and he becomes SO . . . yum!

The chapters alternate their perspectives, and after I was introduced to each of them I felt this manic glee and tingly anticipation because I knew they would eventually get together...and I knew it would be a great ride. I was right :)

Do not miss out on this book. Read it right now and if you don't like it, I want to know why! :)

Publication Date: December 23, 2008
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Source: My own tower of books

Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: Frost by Marianna Baer

Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school begins with a shock: Frost House, her cozy dorm of close friends, has been assigned an unexpected roommate: confrontational, eccentric Celeste Lazar. But while Leena’s anxiety about a threat to her sanctuary proves valid, it becomes less and less clear whether the threat lies with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind, or within the very nature of Frost House itself. Mysterious happenings in the dorm, an intense triangle between Leena, Celeste, and Celeste’s brother, and the reawakening of childhood fears, all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measures to feel safe. Frost is the story of a haunting. As to whether the demons are supernatural or psychological . . . well, which answer would let you sleep at night?

I was hooked from the first page of this book when the main character, Leena is describing Frost House as a 'little old lady'. I really liked the writing style and descriptions used throughout the book. Like the one I just mentioned, some descriptions are quirky, and others did a good job of creeping me out.

So . . . I'm not a huge fan of being scared. But I really love to be healthily freaked out :-) And that is what this book did for me. When the story starts out, Leena's voice in the book is mature and trustworthy. Somewhere along the way she slowly starts to unravel, and I found myself questioning if the problem was within her mind or something else entirely.

At the beginning of the story Leena, out of nowhere, spazzes out and claims the closet in the room she's sharing. 'Mine,' she thinks . . . and that pretty much set the tone of the whole book for me. By the time Leena is going inside the closet to talk to her wooden owl figurine, I just wasn't sure who was crazier. Leena? Her roommate? Her boyfriend(ish type person)? Or are all the strange things happening the product of a possessed house?

Frost is a psychological thriller, with elements of romance and (for me) horror. What is more scary than the thoughts going through someone's mind, especially when you aren't sure if they're completely sane. I had high hopes for this one, and it definitely lived up to them.

Publication Date: September 13, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Thriller, Romance
Source: Good, old public library.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Review: Patrick Patterson and the World of Others by James Fryar


"A match was struck in the distance, bringing light to what was otherwise darkness. "

And so begins the tale of Patrick Patterson. For almost thirteen years, he's lived a quiet, simple life in the tiny town at the edge of Texas, called Farwell, but he is suddenly whisked away by a rag tag group of warriors and others across the United States to discover his true identity and a destiny clouded in mystery.

Never in his wildest dreams did he think that he'd walk through an underground city filled with citizens from across the universe, contend with powerful enemies from the edge of the galaxy, or travel to the Arctic Circle on a high speed train.

Now, he must decide what he truly desires and whether he even wants to take up the mantle of hero...or alien.

I was truly amazed by this book. It is such a perfectly blended mish-mash of so many different things. It all works together to create a quirky, unique and fun book. It's like an intergalactic fantasy/paranormal novel geared towards MG/YA. I feel like I've found a shiny gem that I want to show off :)

Patrick Patterson has gone through twelve years of his life with his head down. He lives in a boring farm town, and a good day for him is avoiding the jerkiest guy at his school. One day his whole world is shaken up, and he is taken on a wonderful and dangerous adventure to find out who he truly is. A premise that you've heard before, but it seems very fresh in this telling. Patrick is a character that you can relate to and root for. The other characters hold their own and add the extra spice to this book.

Ok, I pretty much just loved this one. The characters, the world, plot, imagery. It was all great. You know that happy feeling you get when you're reading a book and you mentally congratulate yourself for finding it and knowing it rocks? Well, this is that book for me. My only complaint is that I don't think the cover gives you a glimpse as to what you're in for. It doesn't quite fit the quirkiness of the book.

It's the first book in what will be a series, and I really see great things ahead for it and for the author. I can't wait to read the next book, 'Patrick Patterson and the Search for Infinity'. Check this one out!

You can check out the author on his website and find out more about his books here.

Publication Date: October 3, 2011
Genre: YA, MG, Fanasy, SciFi
Source: Thanks to the author, James Fryar, for my review copy!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: Lifting the Wheel of Karma by Paul H. Magid

Joseph Connell is a gifted high school athlete from Montana, loved deeply by his family, yet tormented by nightmarish visions he can neither explain nor escape.

He believes the answer to what threatens to crush him can be found in the knowledge possessed by a mystical old wise man, who lives deep within the remote Himalayas of India.

If Joseph is ever to find the peace he so desperately seeks, he must get this wise old man to reveal what he truly knows, but that will not be easy…for this sage knows far more than he admits.

I was taken along for the ride in this touching and inspiring story of a young man's journey to find answers. Sometimes the journey is the answer, and sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself.

The first time you see Joseph he is in the midst of a fantastical and terrifying dream. He's had them since he was a young child. I could feel his frustration and sadness at having to cope with these disturbing visions for most of his life. Joseph suffers a personal tragedy that further shakes his outlook on life. This prompts his journey to India to find a man that feels like his last hope.

I really loved the imagery throughout the novel. Especially when the scene shifts to India. I have always thought of India as being very exotic, and it was nice to have it brought to life in this book. Joseph's mentor, Lahiri, was a very colorful and intriguing character. Their student/mentor relationship is tried when Lahiri finally gives up all his secrets.

The blend of reality and the mystical will leave you guessing as to where the story will end up. A profound commentary about the differences between being alive and truly living.

Publication Date: January 1, 2012
Genre: Inspirational, Coming of Age
Source: Thanks so much to Tribute Books for my Review copy!

Paul H. Magid web site:
Paul H. Magid Facebook:!/profile.php?id=100002979900843
Lifting the Wheel of Karma Facebook:
Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:
Lifting the Wheel of Karma blog tour site:

The author has generously provided 3 paperback copies of Lifting the Wheel of Karma to give to my readers.
Ends 1/30

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday 1/13

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. Head over to one of their blogs to see how you can join in!

This week:
Many readers/bloggers are also big music fans. Tell us about a few of your favorite bands/singers that we should listen to in 2012.

Answer: I've only really developed a music taste in the last few years. Here are a few bands/songs that are played pretty heavily on my ipod.

Civil Twilight: Check out 'Letters From the Sky'
Katie Costello: Check out 'Stranger'
Blitzen Trapper: Check out 'Furr'
Fleet Foxes: Pick a song...all amazing
Bon Iver: Ditto
Deer Tick: Check out 'Baltimore Blues, No. 1'
Metric: Check out 'Help I'm Alive'
Mumford & Sons
Iron & Wine

Obviously this isn't stuff on my workout playlist (LMFAO, Kesha, Pitbull, Katie Perry, Lady GaGa, 3OH!3, etc.), but this is my 'listening to music' music. It inspires my writing and makes me feel good. I'm sure there are some other ones I forgot. Oh, like Adele, but everyone knows she's amazing. That's a given :-)

Who are you listening to?

Guest Post by Kate Fuentes: Through the Eyes...

I am so happy to have Kate Fuentes on My Tower of Books today! She is the author of the Elements Trilogy, a YA Fantasy series. Her debut novel, Elements:The Beginning, was released April 2011. She has followed with Elements:Veil of Darkness, book two, and will release Elements:Kingdom of Aqueous in the spring of 2012.

Her post will offer you a glimpse, a small slice, of what life can be like for a woman that plays many different roles in her own life. Enjoy!

Through the Eyes…

Dawn sends her refreshing beams of light soaring blindingly through the window pane to seek its vengeance on those who defy the morning call. Your body repels the movement and ventures a last stand against the daily ritual by sending spasms of pain jolting through your limbs and popping your joints. You pull the warmth of the covers away from you only to expose the chill waiting anxiously to pounce its victim before you can wash the night away in the comfort of the shower. Sheets of alluring water trickle down your skin to rid you of the hours spent tossing away in a dreadfully dreamless state. A twinge of relief pulls its way out of the chasms of darkness and surfaces for a moment before the shrill of small voices shatter the blissful atmosphere. Children bellow loudly, asking where their shoes are and what the plan shall be for breakfast. A small eruption of emotions commandeer the kids and a tiny fight breaks out over who shall get the last applesauce for afternoon lunches.

Time has played a cruel trick and you no longer have but five minutes to ready yourself for the day. The world will have to see you as intended, a haphazard shell of a woman reporting for duty. After the family taxi and chauffer, a.k.a. mom, has delivered the children safely to school, she drives calmly and quietly to work only taking a moment in the parking lot to appreciate the quietness of the car. AAAAHHHHH…

Clock in for work, sit down in front of the computer and hope the two of you are on pleasant terms. Pray the electronic device has pity on you and doesn’t crash. Answer the clanging phone, scour the list of ‘things to get done’, watch the clock slowly tick down the minutes until lunch, quickly fill your body with nourishment, count down remaining hours until 5pm.

Jump in the car and dread the onslaught of traffic waiting to swallow you into the abysmal lines of smog and lights. You clench your jaw and create a massive headache with a slight ringing in your ear and hope you remembered to take out a meat product of some sort for your famished brood awaiting your arrival. Open the door to the clicking of eight legs of excited canines rushing to greet you and snag your leggings with no hope of repair. Another five dollar investment down the tubes. Note to self: go to store, buy more leggings! You hear the rush of wind coming toward your face and duck at the last moment. The blur of a football and the grunt of the receiver standing inches away alerts your mind you are indeed home. The sight of your body passing through the game of toss-back now attracts the attention of the two starving boys and they can no longer hold back their cries of hunger. Dinner is the number one item on the agenda. Slip off your gorgeous platform heels and place them out of danger from the slobbering teething puppy.

Halfway through food preparation, kiss your spouse wandering in from work and continue the dinner service. Eat, talk about our day, clean up dinner, assist with homework, bellow out orders for showers and bedtime. Prayers, kiss the kids and turn off all the lingering lights left on inside the house…everywhere. An hour or two of adult time passes then the whisper begins to tickle your ear and call you like a tempting siren. Words fill your tired mind and beckon to be released in a fury. Your fingers twitch in anticipation, your stomach convulses in excitement. The story is captive inside your head and must be unshackled or risk being lost forever. Time is again your enemy, but now it passes by quickly only to reveal the blaring clock saying 2:30am. It felt like sheer moments had passed by instead of four hours. Adrenaline has been tapped out and your body gives in. The cycle must begin again and you must relinquish your control to the sanctum of sleep. Goodnight sweet story, until we can meet again.

The remnants of a wife, mother, worker, writer….

By Kate Fuentes, author of Elements, a young adult fantasy series

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: The Between by L. J. Cohen

High school senior Lydia Hawthorne is less than grateful when Oberon has her snatched from the Mortal world and she finds out she's actually Fae. And not just any Fae, but a trueborn with enough inherent magic to tip the balance between the warring Bright and Shadow courts.

But that's their game and she doesn't want to play by their rules. Together with Clive Barrow, a Bright Court Fae with embarrassing family ties to the Mortal world, Lydia fights to regain her old life. Oberon and Titania get far more than they bargain for when Lydia fuels her magic with the very Human power of love and loss, challenging the essential nature of Faerie itself.

This was such a pleasant surprise of a book for me! I really don't read much faerie fiction, and wasn't sure what to expect. I ended up loving it . . . well, actually, I loved it from the beginning.

First of all, the story is just amazing. It has so many intricacies that make the world and characters very rich. The world of Faerie is filled with intrigue and power struggles. I would say it has 'Good' and 'Evil', but when it comes to the Fae I'm just not sure there is a 'Good'. There are those that have the capacity for it. Aileen and Aeon are examples of characters like that.

Lydia is a great female lead. She lives a normal-ish life in the Mortal world, totally unaware of anything different. She just wants to stay away from the creeper following her at school. No matter how much she goes out of her way to avoid Clive, he always ends up knowing where she is. Is it weird that I think hot guys stalking girls is ok, but if they're not good looking it's just creepy? :-) Moving on! It turns out that Clive ISN'T just some random Creeper, and he lets her in on the fact that the Mortal world isn't all that's out there.

Clive and Lydia have a complicated and tangled relationship, mainly because of Clive's past and his obligations in Faerie. I liked seeing how Lydia had such an impact on Clive throughout the course of the novel. She was like a tornado or hurricane, changing the landscape of Faerie (and the Fae) by the sheer force of her actions and morals. Also, on some female level, I just really like reading about strong and, in this case, powerful women.

The Between is a great new YA find for me! I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the second book in this series.

Find out more about The Between:
Barnes & Noble

You can connect with author L.J. Cohen by visiting her website ( or blog (

Publication Date: January 13, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Source: Thanks to the author, L. J. Cohen, for my review copy!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Review: Borrowed Heart by Linda Lamberson

Evie Sanders is pretty good at heeding that gnawing feeling she gets when trouble rears its head—or at least she used to be. Things change when she meets Quinn Harrison one morning after class. Evie would never do anything intentionally to hurt her long-distance boyfriend or jeopardize their relationship, but she finds it increasingly difficult to resist Quinn. Just when things can’t seem to get any more complicated, Evie is involved in a fatal car accident. Yet, her death marks a new beginning—and her new existence as an immortal. It’s not long before Evie and Quinn’s paths cross again, and she finds herself trying to walk a fine line between bending the rules she must now obey and breaking them.

I have a ton of good things to say about this book, but I'll start with the cover. There is something about it that I just love! After I got it in the mail, I kept picking it up to admire and fast-flip through the pages. I realize that has nothing to do with the inner I will move on :-)

The concept behind the plot of this story is fresh and unique. It's got a lot of familiar things in it, but sets itself apart in many ways. Evie is a plain-ish type girl going to college, minding her business when she meets Quinn. He makes her heart thump...but she has a boyfriend. She wants to do the right thing, but ends up dead in the process (I'm condensing here... ;-) Luckily, death is not the end for Evie.

As I said before, I really liked the idea behind this book. There were a ton of characters that I loved....and one or two I loved to hate. There's Evie's mentor, Peter. He is a figure of security for Evie, but still has a bit of mystery surrounding him. Evie is brash and thoughtless sometimes, but always for doing the things any normal person would. Her self-control is iffy at best...and I like that! On to Quinn. The first part of the book I found myself unsure of his motives and I didn't know a whole lot about him. Later on he becomes more transparent and, in turn, pretty darn sexy.

There was one part (towards the end) where I was telling my book 'Noooo!!'. I won't say why because that would spoil the fun, but I think there will be a lot more 'No-ing' in the next book.

A strong story that gains momentum as it goes along. I am very looking forward to Book 2!

Publication Date: August 4, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: Thanks so much to the author, Linda Lamberson, for my review copy.

Check out Borrowed Heart on:
Amazon - ebook $2.99
Barnes & Noble - ebook $2.99

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday 1/6

Feature & Follow Friday is a fun meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. Head over and see how you can join in!
This week:
Question of the Week: Go count the number of unread books sitting on your shelf. How many?
Answer: Oh no....*gets up to go count books* Alright, there are 59 'to be read' books on my shelf (and stacked by my bed). But if we are counting eBooks, that number is closer to 9o-ish.
That just sounds daunting. Or really awesome :-) Eye of the beholder, so to speak.
How many unread books are lounging around your house?

200 Follower Giveaway!!! (Woo-hoo!)

I am so excited to be celebrating my 200+ followers! Thanks to every one of you. I've enjoyed reading your blogs and getting to know some of you better. The book blog community is the best one to be a part of, in my opinion :)

To say 'Thank you', I am hosting this Giveaway. Want to know what the prize is?? Hmmm?

I always like getting to choose books from The Book Depository . . . so that is what TWO lucky winners will get to do! Two winners will get a book of their choice up to $13 from The Book Depository. This Giveaway is international as long as TBD ships to your address.

Giveaway ends January 19th at Midnight.

Good luck, everyone!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

'Late to the Party' Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

Wowzas. This book is utterly amazing and brilliant. I voraciously read it and am looking around for seconds. I'm sad that I'm not still reading about Tris and Four. The initiation is over and a whole crud-load of stuff has gone down. Now I want to see what happens next.

Tris is a bad-ass. I want to be her. As I was reading, she made me feel powerful and strong. I was cheering for her and mentally pumping my fist at her achievements and choices. Her voice is so strong and true throughout the whole book. She made me want to stand up for who I love and what I believe in. This book gave me chills. So great!

Then there's Four. Oh, man. He is so strong and tough, yet not afraid to be caring. The way he is with Tris is true perfection. He pushes her to be her best, even when it's uncomfortable and not what she wants to hear. There were quite a few moments with them that I had to read a few times before moving forward :)

I know I should have read this book ages ago, but better late than never. Can't wait to read the next one!!

Publication Date: May 3, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Source: This was a borrowed book.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Review and Giveaway: The God King by James West

Heroes are not born, they are forged in the fires of apocalypse...

In the heavens above, the three moons crash together, streaming fire and death in their wake; below, the seas rage as the roiling face of the world shatters. After Prince Varis Kilvar steals powers to transform himself into a god, chaos reigns from the king's city of Ammathor to the forbidding walls of the Black Keep. At his heels marches a demonic army torn from the very bowels of the Thousand Hells, and the risen God King uses terror to stake his claim over all lands.

Betrayed and bound to Varis by powers he does not understand, mercenary Kian Valara is forced to masquerade as the world's savior, while a beautiful Sister of Najihar prepares him for his last battle. Victory against a living god is far from certain, but vengeance? For Kian, when the battle rage falls upon his soul and the sword hilt is hot and alive against his palm, vengeance is never out of reach.

Another Fantasy win for me with this book. It has a well-thought out world and characters. Something very important in Fantasy novels is that while being fantastical, everything is still believable within the 'rules' of the world. That stands true for The God King.

Kian is a born-tough kind of man. He's survived many physically and mentally trying things in his life. He may not be leading man handsome, but he draws you into the story all the same. I really liked his history and relationship with Hazad and Azuri. They have gone through many things together throughout their lives that have formed a brotherly bond.

Not to forget the female lead in the novel, Ellonlef. She is capable, strong and smart. A woman you can root for and not be annoyed by :-) She finds herself tied to Kian in unimagineable ways after he saves her from being captured by a group of less than savory men. She starts him on his path to stop the evil Prince Varis, now known as The God King, before he destroys the world as they know it.

A wonderful Fantasy novel, from an author I've never read before but plan on keeping an eye out for future books. The God King has a story that will keep you reading and throw in some surprises along the way.

I still (as of right now) have SIX eBook copies to giveaway. Click HERE to go to my giveaway page. If you are one of the top 10 people to comment, the book is yours :-) Check it out!
Publication Date: November 11, 2011
Genre: Fantasy, Adult
Source: Thanks to the author, James West, for my review copy!

ALA Midwinter 2012 in Dallas!

I am so excited to be attending ALA Midwinter this year! Luckily for me, it is being hosted in Dallas, and therefore is super close to where I live. This will be my first bookish event, and I've been counting down until I finally get to go :-)

My sis, Jessi, over at The Elliott Review got to go to ALA this past summer in New Orleans, and it sounded like such an amazing time to meet authors and other peeps from the blogging community. We are very excited to go to ALA Midwinter together!

If you happen to be going to Midwinter check out this post by Jen over at I Read Banned Books. You can get some good info and links. Plus, you can sign up in her linky to rsvp for dinner Friday night :-) Should be a great time!

What bookie event are you excited about for this year?