Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Something Wicked Comes: Giveaway and Review of Outpost (Razorland #2) by Ann Aguirre



I'm so excited to be a part of Something Wicked Comes, hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and Babbling About Books.   I'm posting my review of Outpost (Razorland #2) by the fabulous Ann Aguirre; and, after the review, I have a giveaway for you guys!  Thanks so much for stopping by!






Title:  Outpost (Razorland #2)
Author:  Ann Aguirre
Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends
Published:  September 4, 2012

Amazon B&N | The Book Depository

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Deuce’s whole world has changed. Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn’t fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.

To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.

Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.


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As a huge fan of Enclave, I confess I had a bit of trepidation about beginning Outpost. Would it measure up to its predecessor, and would it be as thrilling? It did and it was. Within the confines of Salvation, I felt trapped, repressed, and restless right along with Deuce. So many rules and so many people out to break this feisty, headstrong huntress. But then, I fell in love with the Oaks family, with Longshot, and with the safety and security the walls of Salvation provided. If ever there was a heroine who deserved a measure of safety, to be loved unconditionally, and to have a family… it’s Deuce.

As safe and cozy as it seems within the walls of Salvation, danger still lurks outside. The walls must be protected around the clock to keep the freaks away. Deuce wants nothing more than to put her training and huntress abilities to good use; so, when the time comes for the growers to leave the safety of Salvation for the fields and plant the seeds for the crops that will keep them all fed… she jumps at the chance.
 
“I was, after all, born to be a Huntress.”

For all of Deuce’s toughness, she was so endearing at times and had so much to learn about people, what to do when she wasn’t fighting, and… boys.
 
“If so, I couldn't imagine how the opposite gender managed
to get out of bed in the morning.   They might be lovely to look at,
but clear thinking wasn't their strong point.”

The fields is where the action really begins and some terrifying truths are revealed. In Outpost, we learn so much more about what happened to the world and about the freaks. The delivery of this information was impeccable. No worries about the dreaded middle book information dump - this new knowledge is exciting and enthralling.

Fade made me love him even more than I did in Enclave.

“The warmth of his palms on my back
made me want to arch like a sleepy cat.”

But my heart broke for him more than once in this story.

“He hid so much, this boy of mine.”

Even though I was wary of Stalker in Enclave, I still liked him. While I found myself liking him even more in Outpost, I never saw him as a love interest, so I believe those who fear and loathe triangles have nothing to worry about here.

“I wasn’t yours, and I’m not his either. 
I’m a Huntress… not an old knife that can be traded.”

Still, I love reading about Stalker and I think his story is every bit as intriguing as the other characters’. I wasn’t a fan of Tegan early on, but I grew to be - especially at the end. Truthfully, all of these characters are just so absorbing I can’t help but love reading about each and every one of them.

I shed so many tears during the reading of this book, but I love that Ann Aguirre can get me that emotional over this story and her amazing characters. I’m so excited for the next book in this series, but I also want to prolong the wait so that their story never ends.

chelesiggy

And now for the giveaway!  Fill out the Rafflecopter form for your chance to win a $25.00 gift card from your choice of Amazon or Barnes&Noble.  Thanks for entering and good luck!
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Extraordinary Rendition by Paul Batista (Blog Tour and Excerpt)

I'm pleased to be a part of the blog tour for Extraordinary Rendition by Paul Batista, who has kindly shared an excerpt from his exciting book. 




Title:  Extraordinary Rendition
Author:  Paul Batista
Publisher:  Astor + Blue Editions LLC
Expected Publication Date:  May 1, 2013

Purchase:  Amazon Barnes & Noble
 
When Ali Hussein—suspected terrorist and alleged banker for Al Qaeda—is finally transported from Gitmo to the US mainland to stand trial, many are stunned when Byron Carlos Johnson, pre-eminent lawyer and the son of a high-profile diplomat, volunteers as counsel. On principle, Johnson thought he was merely defending a man unjustly captured through Rendition and water-boarded illegally. But Johnson soon learns that there is much more at stake than one man’s civil rights.

Hussein’s intimate knowledge of key financial transactions could lead to the capture of—or the unabated funding of—the world’s most dangerous terror cells. This makes Hussein the target of corrupt US intelligence forces on one side, and ruthless international terrorists on the other. And, it puts Byron Carlos Johnson squarely in the crosshairs of both.

Pulled irresistibly by forces he can and cannot see, Johnson enters a lethal maze of espionage, manipulation, legal traps and murder. And when his life, his love, and his acclaimed principles are on the line, Johnson may have one gambit left that can save them all; a play that even his confidants could not have anticipated. He must become the hunter among hunters in the deadliest game.

Written by no-holds-barred-attorney Paul Batista, Extraordinary Rendition excels not only as an action thriller, but as a sophisticated legal procedural as well; tearing the curtains away from the nation’s most controversial issues.

Provocative. Smart. Heart-pounding. A legal thriller of the highest order.

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Excerpt from Extraordinary Rendition:

When the guard left, the iron door resonated briefly as the magnetic lock engaged itself. Byron sat in a steel folding chair. Directly in front of him was a narrow ledge under a multi-layered, almost opaque plastic window, in the middle of which was a metal circle.

Ali Hussein seemed to just materialize in the small space behind the partition. Dressed in a yellow jumpsuit printed with the initials “FDC” for “Federal Detention Center,” Hussein, who had been described to Byron as an accountant trained at Seton Hall, in Newark, was a slender man who appeared far more mild-mannered than Byron expected. He wore cloth slippers with no shoelaces. The waistband of his jump suit was elasticized—not even a cloth belt. He had as little access to hard objects as possible.

He waited for Byron to speak first. Leaning toward the metal speaker in the partition and raising his voice, Byron said, “You are Mr. Hussein, aren’t you?”

The lawyers at the Civil Liberties Union who had first contacted Byron told him that, in their limited experience with accused terrorists, it sometimes wasn’t clear what their real names were. There were often no fingerprints or DNA samples that could confirm their identities. The name Ali Hussein was as common as a coin. It was as though genetic markers and their histories began only at the moment of their arrest.

“I am.” He spoke perfect, unaccented English. “I don’t know what your name is.”

The circular speaker in the window, although it created a tinny sound, worked well. Byron lowered his voice. “I’m Byron Johnson. I’m a lawyer from New York. I met your brother. Did he tell you to expect me?”

“I haven’t heard from my brother in years. He has no idea how to reach me, I can’t reach him.”

“Has anyone told you why you’re here?”

“Someone on the airplane—I don’t know who he was, I was blind-folded—said I was being brought here because I’d been charged with a crime. He said I could have a lawyer. Are you that lawyer?”

“I am. If you want me, and if I want to do this.”

All that Ali’s more abrasive, more aggressive brother had told Byron was that Ali was born in Syria, moved as a child with his family to Lebanon during the civil war in the 1980s, and then came to the United States. Ali never became a United States citizen. Five months after the invasion of Iraq, he traveled to Germany to do freelance accounting work for an American corporation for what was scheduled to be a ten-day visit. While Ali was in Germany, his brother said, he had simply disappeared, as if waved out of existence. His family had written repeatedly to the State Department, the CIA, and the local congressman. They were letters sent into a vacuum. Nobody ever answered.

Byron asked, “Do you know where you’ve come from?”

“How do I know who you are?”

Byron began to reach for his wallet, where he stored his business cards. He caught himself because of the absurdity of that: he could have any number of fake business cards. Engraved with gold lettering, his real business card had his name and the name of his law firm, one of the oldest and largest in the country. Ali Hussein was obviously too intelligent, too alert, and too suspicious to be convinced by a name on a business card or a license or a credit card.

“I don’t have any way of proving who I am. I can just tell you that I’m Byron Johnson, I’ve been a lawyer for years, I live in New York, and I was asked by your brother and others to represent you.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
 Paul Batista, novelist and television personality, is one of the most widely known trial lawyers in the country. As a trial attorney, he specializes in federal criminal litigation. As a media figure, he is known for his regular appearances as guest legal commentator on a variety of television shows including, Court TV, CNN, HLN and WNBC. He’s also appeared in the HBO movie, You Don't Know Jack, starring Al Pacino.



A prolific writer, Batista authored the leading treatise on the primary federal anti-racketeering statute, Civil RICO Practice Manual, which is now in its third edition (Wiley & Sons, 1987; Wolters Kluwer, 2008). He has written articles for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The National Law Journal.

Batista's debut novel, Death's Witness, was awarded a Silver Medal by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). And his new novel, Extraordinary Rendition, is now being published—along with a special reissue of Death’s Witness—by Astor + Blue Editions. 
 
Batista is a graduate of Bowdoin College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and Cornell Law School. He’s proud to have served in the United States Army. Paul Batista lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.
 
 



 
Thank you to Astor + Blue Editions LLC, Paul Batista, and Lauren Marceau for sharing this excerpt from Paul's thrilling new novel, Extraordinary Rendition.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Katertot's Review of The Adventure of the Norwood Builder by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

 


Title: The Adventure of the Norwood Builder
Author:  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Source: Of People Literature, Fourth Edition

Amazon  Barnes & Noble

Katertot's Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are visited by "the unhappy John Hector McFarlane", a young lawyer from Blackheath who has been accused of murdering one of his clients, a builder called Jonas Oldacre.


In spite of the fact that the evidence against young Mr. McFarlane is quite convincing, Sherlock Holmes, after questioning a number of people associated with McFarlane and Jonas Oldacre, uses his legendary investigative powers, along with a ruse to reveal the real culprit and clear the young lawyer.
 


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In this Sherlock Holmes adventure, Mr. Holmes and his assistant Watson are investigating the murder of Jonas Oldacre, a very wealthy architect in Norwood. Lestrade and Higgins, two other detectives in Sherlock Holmes's town, have found John McFarlane guilty of this murder. John McFarlane is the person who Jonas Oldacre left everything to in his will (which no one really understands, because McFarlane and Oldacre had never met). McFarlane begs Holmes to help him and insists he did not murder Jonas Oldacre. He seems innocent… but a young man who learns he is going to invest all the riches of a wealthy man when he dies would certainly want to receive these riches as soon as possible… right?

I discovered Sherlock Holmes last year when I was in the seventh grade and I am a little obsessed. I love reading the adventures of Sherlock and Watson! These stories never disappoint. The Adventure of the Norwood Builder was a short but entertaining story. This was an excellent installment in the Sherlock Holmes collection, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

The story was so well-written that I never expected the huge twist at the end. But when I thought about it, it really was “Elementary, dear Watson!” Readers who enjoy mysteries, suspense, and anything Sherlock Holmes would definitely love this story!
 
 
 
 
This was a story from one of my school books, Of People Literature (Fourth Edition).




katessignature

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 7: Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting



Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,
that showcases our most anticipated upcoming releases.





Title: Dead Silence (The Body Finder #4)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Expected Publication: April 16, 2013

 Amazon |  B&NThe Book Depository


Violet thought she’d made peace with her unique ability to sense the echoes of the dead and the imprints that cling to their killers…that is until she acquired an imprint of her own. Forced to carry a reminder of the horrible events of her kidnapping, Violet is more determined than ever to lead a normal life. However, the people who run the special investigative team Violet works for have no intention of letting her go.

When someone close to Violet becomes a suspect in a horrific murder, she finds herself pulled into a deadly hunt for a madman with an army of devoted followers. Violet has survived dangerous situations before, but she quickly discovers that protecting those closest to her is far more difficult than protecting herself.

The Body Finder series has been praised as a “delectable blend of mystery and romance” (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books), a “fast-paced, compelling read” (ALA Booklist), and as “imaginative, convincing, and successful suspense” (Kirkus Reviews). With a perfect blend of romance, intrigue, and suspense, Dead Silence continues this gripping series, delivering unexpected twists that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.



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After devouring (and gushing about) the first three books in The Body Finder series last week, it won't come as a shock to my friends that I am dying for April 16th to roll around.  I can't stop thinking about Jay and Violet, and that's making this an even more difficult wait.

What book are YOU waiting to get your hands on?  

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth




Title:  Insurgent (Divergent #2)
Author:  Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: May 1, 2012

Amazon  |  B&N  The Book Depository

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2

One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

"New York Times" bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian "Divergent" series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

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I had been not-so-patiently awaiting the release of Insurgent ever since I finished Divergent ... which I read cover to cover the day it was released, so it was a long, excruciating wait.

I love that Insurgent places the readers exactly where Divergent left us. Everyone is reeling from the aftermath of what has just occurred, and we see first-hand how these characters are being affected by recent events and how they are going to cope with everything they’ve lost. While I enjoyed Insurgent, I missed Divergent’s change of pace and some of the characteristics that made me fall so hard for these characters. There were a few times I wanted to knock Four’s and Tris’s heads together, because they weren’t doing the things I wanted them to do or having the conversations I wanted them to have. Although, if I were doing the writing, their story would end up complete romantic fluff, so we’re all lucky that Ms. Roth is the brilliant best-selling author and I am just a humble fangirl.

I loved the deeper look into Four that this sequel brought us. He goes through tremendous character development, and, just when I think I can’t possibly love him more, he says or does something that proves I can.
 
“‘Sleep,’ he says. ‘I'll fight the bad dreams off if they come to get you.’
‘With what?’ ‘My bare hands, obviously.’”

I was a huge fan of Tris in Divergent, but she went through some extreme changes (and not all of them favorable, in my honest opinion). I hope she will get back on track for the next book and regain the confidence that made her such an admirable heroine in Divergent.

“It reminds me why I chose Dauntless in the first place:
not because they are perfect, but because they are alive.
Because they are free.”

Insurgent definitely had a couple of jaw-dropping moments for me, and that, along with Ms. Roth’s masterful story telling, made this a very enjoyable sequel. Although this book didn’t quite measure up to Divergent, Four and Tris remain one of my favorite fictional couples.
 
“Cruelty does not make a person honest,
the same way bravery does not make a person kind.”

I was afraid my beloved story was taking a certain turn, and when I realized my fears were warranted in the big reveal at the end, I felt like the story lost some of its originality. However, that won’t be enough to keep me from counting down the days until the third installment! I am 100% invested in these characters and this incredible author.

“And sometimes, if you want the truth, you have to demand it.”

chelesiggy

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Teaser Tuesday 7: The Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


This week's teaser comes from the following book:
 



Title:  The Book of Lost Souls (Ivy MacTavish #1)
Author:  Michelle Muto
Publisher:  Dreamscapes, Ink
Published:  March 6, 2011

Amazon  Barnes & Noble

When teen witch Ivy MacTavish changes a lizard into her date for a Halloween dance, everything turns to chaos. And when no one is powerful enough to transform him back except Ivy, it sparks the rumor: Like father, like daughter. Ivy has heard it all before - that her father, who left when she was seven - was involved with the darkest of magic.

Making the rumors worse, someone uses an evil spell book to bring back two of history's most nefarious killers. Ivy's got a simple plan to set things right: find the real dark spell caster, steal the book, and reverse the spell. No problem! But she'll have to deal with something more dangerous than murderous spirits that want her and her friends dead: the school's resident bad boy and hotter-than-brimstone demon, Nick Marcelli. Nick's offering Ivy more than his help with recovering the missing book - he's offering her a way to ditch her scaly reputation as a lizard-lover. Demons are about as hard to handle as black magic, and as Ivy soon discovers, it's going to take more than a lot of luck and a little charm if she wants to survive long enough to clear her status as a dark witch, get a warm-blooded boyfriend, and have her former date back to eating meal worms before the week's end.

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My teaser is:

"'What do you want, Nick?'
The corner of Nick's mouth eased into a grin that made
Ivy's insides somersault unexpectedly.
'You...'"
                                   -pg. 56

 
 I do like a man who knows what he wants!  I'm really enjoying this book and can't wait to learn more about Ivy, her friends, and especially Nick!
 
I'd love to know what your Teaser Tuesday is!





Monday, October 22, 2012

The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #1) by Julie Kagawa




Title:   The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #1)
Author:   Julie Kagawa
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Expected Publication:  October 23, 2012


Amazon | B&N  | The Book Depository

My Rating: ★★★★  1/2


Don’t look at Them.  Never let Them know you can see Them.



That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’s dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday.
 

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I was always fond of Meghan Chase’s little brother Ethan when I was reading The Iron Fey series. Such a loveable kiddo. I can’t tell you how many times I wondered, “What about little Ethan?” Well, that sweet little boy is all grown up in The Lost Prince. Now, he’s a sullen teenager, complete with snark and a grown-up attitude. He keeps everyone at arms’ length, and he’s just a tad bitter about everything he went through as a kid. 

Ethan is starting a new school… again. The major difference this time is that his plan to keep his classmates away with his off-putting attitude fails miserably with one particular student: Mackenzie St. James. Kenzie is way too curious to pass up an opportunity to get to know the mysterious Ethan Chase and find out all of his secrets. Kenzie has a secret of her own, and she’s not afraid of anyone or anything. Throw in a half-phouka named Todd who also wants to befriend him, and Ethan realizes his loner status isn’t going to be so easy to hold onto.

Ethan is surprised when Kenzie shows up at his Kali tournament to take notes and photos for the school paper. The fact that I’m completely athletically challenged made how much I enjoyed reading about Kali a wonderful surprise. Kali is a Filipino martial art that Ethan participates and excels in. I had never heard of it until I read The Lost Prince, and Kagawa’s stunning imagery and vivid details made it so easy to picture. The patterns described reminded me of a beautiful choreographed dance, and I felt as if I were in the audience watching Ethan’s gorgeous demonstration.

Shortly after the demonstration is where Ethan’s real adventure begins. No matter how hard he has tried to avoid the fey, there’s no fighting fate; and Ethan finds himself returning to the one place he said he never would.

This is Ethan’s story, and it’s a great one.

While the book belongs to Ethan, there are several cameos and surprise visits from our most beloved characters of the Iron Fey series. I’m not naming any names, though, because the fun is in the discovery and squealing like a fangirl enjoying those moments immensely.

Ms. Kagawa is the queen of chapter cliffhangers. For me, that whole “I’m really going to bed when I reach the end of this chapter” plan is an unachievable goal and one that I quickly gave up on. It was impossible to not continue to the next, and the vicious cycle continued until I’d reached that last page. One lost night of sleep is well worth it when you are in the Nevernever and this author is telling the story. Fans of The Iron Fey series will enjoy returning to the magical land Ms. Kagawa created.  This author's talent and creativity continue to blow me away.

Since The Lost Prince is from Ethan’s POV and gives us a peek into his inner thoughts, it doesn’t take long to realize that, deep down, he’s still the sweet boy we all love; however, I really don’t want to say anything else because I’m a stickler for avoiding those dreaded spoilers. I’ll close with mentioning how much I love that the fey pay tribute to Shakespeare:

“…the great Bard, the mortal who opened people’s minds, again to magic.
Who made humans remember us once more.”

So, if you see a glimmer in the forest or, for a split second, glimpse pointed ears on your next door neighbor, thank Julie Kagawa for helping us remember the fey and keeping their magic alive ;-)

Thank you to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

chelesiggy

Thursday, October 18, 2012

This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers



Title:  This Is Not a Test
Author:  Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Published:  June 19, 2012

Amazon B&N The Book Depository

My Rating: ★★★★★

 It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going.

Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

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“'This is not a test. Listen closely. This is not a test.'
But I think she's wrong. I think this is a test.
It has to be.”

I love zombie and end-of-the-world books, so I was extremely excited to begin reading This Is Not a Test. I quickly discovered that this novel is not just about zombies. It is not about the dead nearly as much as it is about the living. It’s human nature down to its very core. A group of teens have barricaded themselves in their school and are forced to wait out this nightmare and just try to survive.

“We eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner to the soundtrack
of our own impending death.”

This book was so intense and so heartbreaking. We are given a front row seat to Sloane Price’s devastating home life with her abusive father. Sloane is tragic and she is broken, but she is stronger than she gives herself credit for. I ached for her and I rooted for her.

“I woke up and the last piece of my heart disappeared.
I opened my eyes and I felt it go.”

The group of kids she has banded with is unique and every one of them fascinating and easily absorbing. I felt as though I was experiencing their emotions right along with them - wondering what they were going to do next, feeling their hopelessness and their fear, as well as their bravado, while they listen to the monsters outside trying to get in. Most want to live to see another day, but one just wants it all to end. I couldn’t help but wonder which fate most people would choose.

Courtney Summers is an amazing talent. She made me cry, made my heart nearly beat out of my chest, and, above all, made me think. This is hands-down one of the most intriguing “zombie” novels I’ve come across. I don’t want to share anything else, because you need to see for yourself how things unfold. This Is Not a Test contains something for everyone, which is a pretty impressive feat. I can’t wait to check out more of this author's work.

“Sometimes you catch something specific like the screams
and cries of people trying to hold on to each other before
they're swallowed into other, bigger noises.
This is what it sounds like when the world ends.”

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

chelesiggy 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (6): Boundless by Cynthia Hand



Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,
that showcases our most anticipated upcoming releases.





Title: Boundless (Unearthly  #3)
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher:  Harper Teen
Expected Publication: January 22, 2013

 Amazon |  B&NThe Book Depository


The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.



Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfil her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.


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 This will be bittersweet for me.  While I can't wait to read Boundless and see how the story ends, I'll be so sad to say goodbye to these characters.  This is a story I would love to read forever.
  
What book are YOU waiting to get your hands on? 
I'd love to know, so leave me a link in the comments!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Author Spotlight and Book Excerpt: Black Crow White Lie by Candi Sary

Today on the blog, I'm very excited to tell you about the lovely author that I recently became acquainted with, Candi Sary, and share an excerpt from her book, Black Crow White Lie.  I met Candi a few months ago on Goodreads, and she is just phenomenal and a joy to interact with.  I can't wait to begin reading Black Crow White Lie and become a fan of the author, because I am already a huge fan of the lady herself. Enjoy the excerpt and then show Candi some love by following her through the links below.




Title:  Black Crow White Lie
Author:  Candi Sary
Publisher:  Casperian Books
Published:  October  2012

Purchase:
 Amazon |  B&NCasperian Books


"I could feel tiny stars gather in my hands..."

Carson Calley grew up living in Hollywood motels with his fortune-telling mother, who is full of stories about their former lives together and prophesies about his future.


"We were Indians--Californian Indians. This pale skin was once native brown. And these legs of yours were once big and strong so that you could run after deer and shoot them with your arrows, and then bring the meat back to me. You were destined to be the great medicine man, the great healer who would take away all the pain and disease and suffering of our people."

Believing his mother's yarns, Carson becomes a healer, with the people of Hollywood waiting in long lines to see him, but a purpose built on lies and exaggerations can't last...or can it?

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Excerpt from Black Crow White Lie:

"I had a nightmare about red ants eating away at my hands. It woke me up. Trembling, I hid my fisted hands in the small space between my neck and my chin. I stared at the empty pillow on her side of the bed. Peeking up at the small clock, I could barely make out the time. Our cheap motel room was lit only by the dull glow of the neon outside our window.

1:09 a.m. She should have been back by now. I relaxed my chin a little, but still kept my hands close to my neck. I stayed that way for almost twenty minutes, until I heard her key in the door. She stumbled in and rushed to the bathroom. She flushed the toilet over and over to cover up her vomiting. It didn't work this time."

 
About the Author:
 

Candi Sary was born and raised in San Pedro, California. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with a degree in psychology and has been a finalist in several writing competitions, including the William Faulkner—William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition (where Black Crow White Lie made the top 6 finals), the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards, and the Dahlonega Literary Festival Novel Contest. She lives in coastal Southern California with her husband and two children. Sary can often be found surfing out in the waters of Newport Beach.


You can find Candi here: 
Blog   |  Twitter   |  Facebook

 
 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Weekend Reads

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The Body Finder series has been my obsession this week, so I'll be finishing
 the third book this weekend before our family arrives:




Title:  The Last Echo (The Body Finder #3)
Author:  Kimberly Derting
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Published:  April 17, 2012

Amazon B&N | The Book Depository

In the end, all that’s left is an echo.

Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet’s talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it’s Violet’s job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice.

When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by “the girlfriend collector” she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new “relationship” and Violet may have caught his eye....


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Katertot also has a new obsession, so she is reading:





Title:  The Adventures and the
        Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
Author:  Sir  
Publisher:  Sterling Publishing
Published:  October 1, 2004

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

It’s elementary—there’s no more intriguing detective than Sherlock Holmes, with his unequalled powers of deduction, and no better mysteries than the tricky ones that only he can solve. Here are some of the finest Holmes stories, recounted by his trusty friend and assistant, Dr. Watson.

 


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What book are you planning on curling up with?
Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! 
We'll see you Monday!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Call of the Wild by Jack London



Title:  Call of the Wild
Author:  Jack London
Publisher:  Macmillan
Published:  1903

'Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and . . . he felt compelled to turn his back upon the fire, and to plunge into the forest.'

Half St. Bernard, half sheepdog, Buck is stolen away from his comfortable life as a pet in California and sold to dog traders. He soon finds himself aboard a ship, on its way to Northern Canada. Surrounded by cruelty, Buck's natural instincts and behaviour begin to emerge as he works as a mail carrying sled dog, scavenging for food, protecting himself against other dogs and sleeping out in the cold snow.

 

Sold to a group of American gold hunters who are inexperienced living in the wilderness, the dogs are treated badly and as misfortune besets them, Buck is saved by John Thornton. Indebted to his new master, Buck remains by Thornton's side, saving him from drowning and protecting him with fierce loyalty throughout their time together. However, Buck can not deny the strong lure of the wilderness around him.

Exciting and action-packed, THE CALL OF THE WILD explores the timeless relationship between man and dog, and the inevitable draw of primitive instincts that pull Buck away from civilization and humanity towards the lawless and harsh wilderness.


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For my recent school book report, I chose to read Call of the Wild.  Since I'm filling in for my mom this week while she recovers from the flu, I thought I would share my report with all of you.  I'd love to know if any of you read this amazing classic when you were in school! ~ Katertot
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Call of the Wild by Jack London is the heart-wrenching story of Buck, a spirited St. Bernard/sheepdog who is abruptly transferred from his comfortable life in a loving home to the cold, harsh snowy terrain of Alaska, where he accompanies several people along the way as part of a sled team. The reader plainly sees, in Buck’s journey, that hard work always makes it possible to accomplish something difficult.

Buck (from whose perspective the story is told) is used to common dog things: running in the sun, walking with his boys, lying at the feet of his master. This story, set in 1897, really begins when a money-seeking gardener’s helper, Manuel, sells him to a strange man. Buck travels across the country for a long time, being abused along the way. When Francois and Perrault buy him and Curly the New-foundland for use in a husky sled team, Buck realizes that his life is about to take a very interesting turn. Once in Alaska, Buck is faced with the hardships of the job of a husky: freezing snow and weather, small amounts of food, long distances to run every day, etc. Although Buck’s recently-acquired life and tasks have taken a serious toll on him and, at times in the past, overcome him, he soon realizes something important, which is also the moral of the story: No matter what events transpire in life, it is always possible to overcome or work through them if you try hard enough. Determination is key; never give up, because you can always come out the victor over a hardship in life.

Eventually, when Buck and his new master are in the forest, Buck realizes something he never did before: he was never meant to be a pet. He is finally where he belongs. Even though he never listened, he has always been beckoned by the call of the wild.

Several heart-breaking, amusing, and tense events all stood out in this book, making it even more enjoyable and not just a story about a determined dog. Unexpected twists and turns keep the reader interested most of the time, though the story did tend to drag a bit in certain places; but in no time, the story sped back up and put me right back on the edge of my seat. The writing in Call of the Wild was beautiful and extremely descriptive. Jack London had a true gift for writing. Even if the reader is not a fan of dogs or fast-paced, heart-pounding adventure, this book is sure to win them over, because it contains something for all readers.

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