Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cover Love #8

Hosted by Bookshelvers Anonymous

Author: Trish Doller

Publication date: September 24, 2013

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children

Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.

So this cover was just revealed and when I saw it, I had insta-love. I love how the picture is faded and I have a couple ideas of what the yellow dots are. In my mind, they're either: ashes, lights, or stars...but I think that, mostly, they're representation of stars. 

It just seems so pretty and contemporary. I also love when they have those teasers at the top of the cover, as long as they aren't cheesy. 

What do you think of my pick? What's your Cover Love this week?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week for Top Ten Tuesday, the topic is the top ten authors on your auto-buy list. Basically, if this author came out with a new book, you will buy it without doubt. For me, this is hard to consider since I'm very stingy with my money. The library is my absolute best friend. So I'll be honest, this is more the list of authors that I probably will auto-buy. When it comes to money, I'm very patient. 

In no order:

1. Ally Carter
Honestly, if anyone know me, even a little bit, you know that she'll be on this list. I actually think she's only author I have preordered without reading the book first. I own every hardcover YA book of hers and even own a couple duplicates. In the words of Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars, I would read your grocery list. 

2. Jen Calonita
Another contemporary author that I tend to push in people's faces. Her Belles sequel, Winter White, was actually preordered too, now that I'm thinking about it. Thanks to WinterHaven Books, I'm getting the third preordered in a giveaway! But really. She writes humorous, time-sucking, fun books.

3. Marissa Meyer
Not only are they sci-fi and dystopian, but her books are fairytale retellings! Can you get even more awesome? I have an autographed copy of Cinder and Scarlet should be on its way now. It might be a bit premature since I've only read one book of hers...but come on, she's fantastic. 

4. Jessica Brody
Okay, I'm sorry, this is probably another premature pick. I just finished her 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and it was so enjoyable. She has such a hilarious voice and captures my attention. I have to catch up to her other books, but I know to go to her if I want a laugh. 

5. Meg Cabot
I know, I know. Another contemporary author? Another author I have pushed in people's faces multiple times? I know! But how could I not include her on here? She's hinted on Mia's blog of another Princess Diaries book. I think you all know that I would: 1) Scream, 2) Cry, and then 3) Preorder. 

6. Robin Benway
I adored her two books, Audrey, Wait! and The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June, but was a bit disappointed with Also Known As. However, I still think she rocks and would be jumping up and down in my seat to read another book of hers. 

7. Robin LaFevers
I read Grave Mercy and loved it! While I'm not too sure of Dark Triumph since I heard some questionable things about it, you can't argue that Ms. LaFevers writes wonderfully. She comes up with assassin nuns, people!

8. Tahereh Mafi
She writes so beautifully, it blows my mind. I ate up Shatter Me and Destroy Me and YES, I know that I haven't read Unravel Me so it contradicts this list. However, I am aching to read it. I'm just waiting for giveaways...and to get past this big pile of book commitments that I already have so I can fully enjoy it. 

9. Suzanne Collins
I know that it should never be expected that an author write exactly like she did before. She shouldn't have the same story-lines and so on. BUT if Ms. Collins sucks me in and does as an exquisite job as she did in The Hunger Games or just as a great storyline, I will be preordering that baby. Middle grade? No. YA? Yes, please. 

10. John Green
I'm pretty sure he'll be on a lot of people's lists today. I've reviewed The Fault in Our Stars and will be highlighting it in March for an event so it's safe to say that I beyond love it. He's a witty writer that not only makes you think, but stay entertained. I shamefully admit that I haven't caught up with his other books, but I will, I promise!

BONUS: 11. Robin Jones Gunn AND Lori Wick

Okay, technically it's #11 and #12, but I didn't want to look like it's too much. Robin Jones Gunn probably isn't for most people on here since she writes Christian, but I adore her romances and YA books. Also, she writes Adult which I unashamedly admit that I adore. As for Lori Wick, she hasn't written in a while, but her beginning series are some of my absolute favorites (thanks to my mom for introducing me!). Her last few haven't been that grand, but hey, she can make a comeback. And I'll be there waiting. 

What do you think of my list? Would you agree or disagree?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Review: THE LOOK by Sophia Bennett

Title: The Look

Author: Sophia Bennett

Publication date: March 1, 2013

Publisher: Chicken House

Source: an ARC e-galley for an honest review via NetGalley and its publisher

When Ted is spotted by a model agency, she can’t believe it. At the same time her gorgeous sister, Ava, is diagnosed with cancer. With her world turned upside down, Ted has a lot of growing up to do, some of it in five-inch platforms. Can she be a supermodel and a super sister? Or will she have to choose between fame and family?


Ted is the opposite of beautiful. She has caterpillar eyebrows, frizzy hair, and is at an awkwardly tall height. Her older sister, Ava, on the other hand, is gorgeous. While in a park [], a model scout comes up to Ted and offers her his card. Thinking it as a scam, they quickly go home and try to not think about it.

However, two things happen. Ava discovers she has cancer and Ted is suddenly caught up in the fashion world.

This second cover was actually the one I saw first and the one on NetGalley's e-galley. Along with the synopsis, this cover didn't prepare me for what was in the book. By reading the synopsis and looking at this second cover, I thought I already knew what was going to happen. What I thought was that there would be tension between the "rightful model" sister and the actual modeling sister. I thought Ted would be glam and caught in a whirlwind while Ava would be jealous and sick. 

My thoughts on how this story would be like was different from what really happened. Ava was supporting and was the first one to find out. Ava actually nagged and pushed Ted to do it. Ava was Ted's backbone. 

I did like the story and the characters along with picturing their lovely British accents in my head. I don't exactly know why, but I love hearing about the modeling world. After reading Airhead by Meg Cabot, I was sucked even further. The Look was interesting in the way that I learned more about it, however it didn't go too deep. 

You see, it took a while for Ted to actually start the beginning process of it. When she finally did, the modeling was spotty. She went to go-sees and had failures until one day, she was a run in with someone and she's magically turned into a big hit. 

Personally, I was expecting more of the model world. She had an actual, high-stakes modeling job, but when you read the book...well, all I can say is that you'll see how it ends. I wish I could say more about her choices in the ending and you will probably guess how it turns out way before it happens, but I'm not pro-spoilers. 

While covers are almost never hand-in-hand with the descriptions in the book (at least that's how it always happens for me), this one disappointed me by not correlating either. On the left is a fierce girl with straight, short, and blonde hair. Ted obsessively talks about her "warrior" Xena face, but she definitely doesn't look like that. Even after her first makeover, Ted still has frizzy hair, it's just not as bad. I picture her as Mia in the movie version on The Princess Diaries.

So while some people think it's minor, I love my book covers. I like to stare at them and when they don't go well with the actual characters, it causes conflict in my brain. 

Another thing I had a problem with was Nick. I had no attraction towards him and couldn't care less if he went to go die under a rock. Apparently, he was supposed to be super sexy and mysterious mixed with edgy and rebellious. 

He showed a few appearances and when he did, I was ready for him to leave. His attitude towards Ted and modeling and later Ava? That basically made it final that I did not like him. I finished The Look in bed and do you know what I thought of as I went to sleep? Nick. Not in a dreamy way, but in a way that everyone knew to not place Nick anywhere near me. I mentally ranted at him in my head that I knew if he was real, I would be tackling him. 

Then the romance in Ava's life was sweet, but later confusing. And Ted's best friend and Cally? Don't even get me started. She uses the whole "She's always just wanted to be your friend and is now jealous of you." line that I abhor. Honey, Cally has been a jerk and a snob, also incredibly stupid for getting a tattoo in honor of the immature Dean. Why the author felt the need to suddenly tie up anything with Cally and Dean and make them all buddies for life, I have no clue.

While I had problems with the issues stated above, this was a good novel. I really grew to like Ted and Ava as well as their world. I cared for Ava's health and Ted's new life, even though her insecurity was wearing thin on my nerves. 

Verdict: A cute book with a great sister relationship, but a few issues with the other characters.

Will YOU read this? 

**Note: I accidentally said "Silas" when I really meant Nick. My fault on that and I edited it out. I did a horrible blogging thing by waiting to review this and the names from different books kept slipping up in my head. My it's a good thing everyone makes them :) 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Author Interview: Stacey Kade (+ Review!)

Thanks to the awesome Lisseth from ReadAHolicZ
Today I have the awesome privilege to interview Stacey Kade, author of The Ghost and the Goth trilogy and not-yet-released Project Paper Doll: The Rules. First, I will be giving a mini-review of her latest book, Body & Soul, the last book of the series. At the bottom is my interview with Stacey!

Title: Body & Soul

Author: Stacey Kade

Publication date: May 1, 2012

Publisher: Hyperion

The final book in The Ghost and the Goth Trilogy!

The Ghost
I’ve been trapped in the body of Lily “Ally” Turner for a month now. Talk about a fashion crisis on an epic scale. What worries me more, though, is sometimes I catch Will looking at me like he thinks I’m Lily...or that he wishes I were. Without the good looks of my former self, I don’t know who I am, or if who that is is good enough. I need out of this mess. Now.

Will and I have been looking for a solution, one that would separate me from Lily without killing her. But it’s not going well. Then, when it seems like things couldn’t get any worse, we run into Misty, my former best friend and boyfriend-stealer extraordinaire, who claims she’s being me. Seriously?

I’m determined to get to the bottom of who’s pretending to be the spirit of Alona Dare (while I’m pretending to be someone else) and then get the heck out of this body. Or die trying...

The Goth
I’ll admit it. It’s really weird to look at Alona but see Lily. I do know the difference, though, contrary to what Alona might be saying. And Alona is more than a pretty face to me, not that she would believe that.

Our one lead for some help in this messed up situation might be a page torn from the yellow pages-—the “Psychics” section-—I found in my dad’s stuff. One of the “fakes” seems a bit more real-—and odd-—than the others. Before I can investigate further, though, Alona is off and chasing a ghost that’s probably nothing more than a figment of Misty’s guilty imagination. Now Lily’s family is freaking out because she didn’t come home, my mom is ordering me to stay out of it, and something is definitely wrong with the person formerly known as Lily “Ally” Turner...


I'll get right to it: while the second book fell a bit flat for me, this last installment of the series left me sleep-deprived from staying up late to finish it.

Body & Soul picks up where the second one left off, with Alona being in Lily's body and in turn, creating "Ally." Will and Alona are trying to find a way to get Alona free and Lily's body safe, but nothing seems to work and all the psychics and paranormal gurus they go to are fakes. But then a selfish ghost comes along and sidetracks them, making Will rethink his opinions on what Alona is doing with Lily's body and making Alona a bit more attached to her circumstance.

I have to start out saying that I began reading this series liking Will better. I thought he was the main voice, he was more sensible and likable, and he was the one I would stick by throughout the series. However, what ended up happening was Alona started yanking me to her. Don't get me wrong, I still liked Will, but Alona definitely became top dog. She grew less selfish, still had an edge, and made me laugh. I smirked with her and felt as if we were rolling our eyes in unison at other people. Along with all of that, I could see where Alona was coming from while Will's nobility grew to be more of annoyance for me. 

Because I don't think Alona would do a high-five.
While this series is definitely a light, fun read, all of the books grew to be so much more in my mind. I emotionally invested in the characters and was sucked right into the plot. Speaking of the plot, I'm all about romance and instantly ponder on how the main guy and the main girl will end up together. The great thing about Will and Alona was the fact that any sort of attraction and romance between them didn't end up center stage. It was there, yes. It just didn't hog the limelight or become the focus of our attention and worrying, which was very refreshing to me. 

Light and fun read? Yes.
Great characters? Yes.
A twisting plot with refreshing aspects? Yes.
A humorous writing style? Yes.

If you're okay with all of the above, I suggest you read it. 

Verdict: A great ending to a great series that did not disappoint. 

I just want to show off my pretty new button again :)
Now I have the pleasure of interviewing the author, Stacey Kade!

Sunny: Hello, Stacey! Please introduce yourself with a short bio.

Stacey Kade: Hi! I'm Stacey Kade. I wrote The Ghost and the Goth trilogy as well as the upcoming Project Paper Doll series, which starts with The Rules. I live in the Chicago suburbs with my husband and two greyhounds. And I hate mushrooms, squishy fruit, and soggy bacon. 

S: Ick, I so agree on the mushrooms.

The plot for The Ghost and the Goth series is so interesting and sucks you in, but how did you come up with it? Did something in particular make the ball start rolling?

SK: I keep a writing journal to jot down little snippets of things that run through my head. Most often, for me a story, starts with a bit of dialogue or the voice of a character. One day, before I'd even thought about the concept for G&G, I heard something like this: Staring up at the undercarriage of a bus that killed you is a sucky way to spend your afterlife.

From that, I knew my main character was a ghost and had some pretty serious attitude. :) It all developed from there.

S: Personally, I love how you heard Alona's voice so distinctively before the concept even begun. I love hearing about the ways authors get their ideas and how it all comes about. 

Did you go into the series liking one character more than the other then having the opposite to be true when you wrapped it all up in the last book?

SK: No, I loved (and still love) them both. That being said, at times, both of them gave me moments when I wanted to scream and pull my hair out in frustration. :) For whatever reason, Will was generally easier for me to write, probably because his experience in high school is closer to mine (minus the whole ghost thing, obviously).

S: It's been about a year since Will and Alona have last been published. Do you ever miss writing about them?

SK: Yes! All the time. But I feel like their story ended in a good place, where they needed to be, so I try to remember that when I'm missing them. :)

S: Very true!

Okay, I have to mention your upcoming book, Project Paper Dolls: The Rules. It sounds amazing! Where did you come up with that idea?

SK: I knew I wanted to write science fiction set here on Earth, in the present day. (It's not a dystopian or post-apocalyptic story. They live in Wisconsin.) I'm a huge fan of X-Files and Roswell, both of which have similar elements to The Rules.

But I also wanted to do something a little different. I wanted it to be less about aliens vs. humans or saving the planet and more personal, more focused on the characters.

In high school, the thing I remember most is this horrible fear that I'd somehow slip up and expose who I really was and then everyone would know how incredibly uncool I was. (It wasn't really a secret--I carried Star Trek novels in my book bag--it just felt that way.)

For The Rules, I wanted to take that concept and put some substance behind it. For Ariane, there really are serious and deadly consequences if she makes a mistake and reveals who she really is. She is an alien/human hybrid created in a lab and raised there for the first six years of her life. Even though she escaped ten years ago, she still has to be very, very careful that she doesn't do anything to draw attention to herself or the lab will recapture her.

I also think that high school was a time in my life when I was very much trying to figure out who I was. And there were rules coming in from all directions: school, parents, friends, etc. You can't possibly follow all of them. Some of them directly contradict each other. So, you're forced to chose and by doing so, you're choosing who you are or who you want to be. The kind of life you want to live, the limits you will accept.

Even though Ariane has an explicit set of rules that she must follow (1. Never trust anyone, 2. Remember they are always searching, 3. Don't get involved, 4. Keep your head down, 5. Don't fall in love), Zane's life is equally dominated by rules, though they are often unspoken. Rules from his father, rules from his friends, all of them trapping and caging him. Limiting his life.

Both of them have to choose what rules they're going to follow and which ones they're going to break, even though there's no safe answer, no guarantee that they're making the right choices. :)

S: Your answer makes me so much more impatient for April than I was previously and that's really saying something.

Was it hard to not write about Alona and Will anymore and move on to different characters?

SK: It was a little scary. I'd gotten to the point where I knew Will and Alona well enough that I felt like I could predict their thoughts and reactions pretty easily. Starting with new characters, who really didn't bear any resemblance to Alona and Will (a deliberate choice on my part), felt sort of like jumping off into empty space. Thrilling, but also terrifying. But the truth is, I only knew Alona and Will that well because I'd written three books with them. I didn't know them at all in the beginning, either. You only get to know the characters better by writing about them, so that's what I did. :) Getting to know someone new is one of the best (and most difficult) parts of writing, I think.

S: That's a really good thing to remember. So writers, don't be afraid!

What's one book that you have recently read that you absolutely loved?

SK: The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke. Such an amazing book. It broke my heart and remade it. I loved it.

S: Anything else you want to add?

SK: A HUGE thank you to all of you who read my books! I have a dream job and it's because of you. :) (Please, pretty please check out The Rules when it comes out on April 23. You, yes, you specifically, will be my favorite.)

This or That: 

Chocolate or vanilla? If it's ice cream, I have to go with vanilla. I love chocolate EVERYTHING, except ice cream. I know, it's weird. 

Ebook or paperbackI love the smell of paper and ink and the feel of the book in my hands. Plus, I'm not scared to take it into the bath tub or to the beach. 

Star Wars or Star Trek? Both. I can't choose! :) My first crushes were on Luke Skywalker and Captain Kirk. (Now, I'm like, what was I thinking? Han Solo and Spock, FTW!)

Brunette or blonde? If we're talking about boys, dark hair. Always. :) If we're talking about me, I'm so pale that anything other than blonde (or the strawberry blonde I am) would make me look like a walking corpse. Minus the gory wounds. Hopefully. 

Winter or summer? Oh, no question. I can't stand being cold! 


I would just like to say thank you to the wonderful Stacey Kade for being so nice and agreeing to appear on my blog. Also, you heard her up there: whatever you have to do, preorder or wait until April 23rd, check out The Rules! It sounds amazing, I doubt you want to miss out on her gift of awesomeness.

Have you read any of Stacey Kade's books? What do you think of the interview? 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #12

Hosted by Pen to Paper

Author: Leila Rasheed

Publication date: January 22, 2013

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

One house, two worlds...

Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies’ maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can’t help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada.

For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name—but it would mean giving up her one true love . . . someone she could never persuade her father to accept.

Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All those secrets are waiting . . . at Somerton.

1. It's historical.
2. It's about "ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams" along with "dutiful smiles and glittering jewels" and secrets! 
3. I already love the dynamic with Rose and Ada.
4. A rich family coming back to their home in over a decade and finding trouble. 
5. People have compared it to Downton Abbey

Did anyone just see that last line? DOWNTON ABBEY! 

What are YOU wishing for this week?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions #1

Hosted by For What It's Worth and Midnyte Reader
While stumbling across blogs, I came across this meme where book bloggers, like myself, can make confessions. Every other Monday, the hosts post a topic and that's when we come in and share more about it on a personal level

This week's question: How has blogging and reviewing changed your reading habits? Do you read a genre now that you wouldn't have tried prior? Or have you been turned off by a genre you used to love?

My answer:

In my pre-blogging days, I would reread the same authors and books, not knowing exactly how to expand and feeling quite comfortable in my little book space. I did feel a little disappointed when I finished a series and realized that I was left without a book to read.

Now being a blogger, I have such a big stack of books to read that it feels impossible to finish them all. NetGalley, library, recommendations from many! On the bad side of this, I realized that I haven't found any time to reread my favorites. I feel as if they're my pets and I haven't shown any affection to them while I'm watching over someone else's animals for a while. It makes me a bit sad.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that my sister Shelver is actually having a reread month in May where we get to reread without any pressures. Stay tuned for more details later.

As for genres, I think it goes with my explanation for rereading. While I still have subgenre preferences, I've expanded my tastes more. Instead of having all contemporary on my shelf with The Hunger Games, I now have The Farm, ARCs of The Hunt and The Different Girl and will be having Cinder with my Sarah Dessen, Ally Carter, and Jen Calonita books on there as well. The second genre question made me think a little harder. While I read YA, I read Adult even more so in my pre-blogging days. Now with NetGalley and the blog (which is dedicated to only YA), I haven't been able to read Adult as much and once again, reread my favorites. But I'm not turned off by the Adult genre, time just seems to be an issue. Besides that, I don't think I'm particularly turned off by a genre as I am careful. My tastes have broadened, but when I read, I seem to put it under a microscope.

Which leads in to my next point about how I process books antithetically now. Before, I would read a novel. That's it. Read it and put it up. If someone asked me about it, I would give a noncommittal response unless it was a book that I fell in love with to the point of being lumped in fandom. If someone asked me what I liked or disliked about it, I wouldn't be able to pinpoint it. "I just like it, okay?" Or the other way around of disliking it. I didn't know how to figure out what made me exactly like or dislike it. Sure, sometimes I would be able to say something intelligent about the characters or the plot or dialogue. I would read something that the characters repeatedly did and think, "That's stupid, I don't like that." But the idea of writing a review for a book was more than daunting.

Now? It's not as if I sit down and ten minutes later, I'm up. I still have to think about what exactly I didn't or did like about a book. But this time, I actually think about it while I'm reading it. Sometimes I even take a picture of it. I still keep reminding myself to actually write things down as I read like so many great bloggers do, but I haven't reached to that point of organization yet. I process my novel so differently now though that I think of every book as a "review book" before I even turn the first page.

So the answer to the confession question: a big, fat YES.

It amazes me how one thing can change another thing. I become a blogger and my tastes have broadened, my reading habits change, and my love of books has intensified.

To all you bloggers and even blog-lurkers, has YOUR reading habits changed? Are they like mine?

Comment below! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bunch O' Giveaways #1

This is a post dedicated to showing you all the amazing giveaways out there! I've done giveaway roundups before, but now this has a cool button and a name, I thought it would make it all official. Below are giveaways I've checked out. Without trying to sound like a salesman, I do have to warn you to hurry. They all end at various times.


1. Bookshelvers Anonymous's One Year Blogoversary. *throws confetti* Shelver is celebrating the birthday of her magnificent blog and she's doing it by doing a giveaway! The prize? $25 worth of books sent to anywhere. Those $25 can be divided up to numerous books or one set. It can be sent to anywhere in the US, Europe, or even Hungary. You don't want to miss it

2. Sarah Elizabeth's Bookshelf's 1,000 Followers Giveaway. Sarah Elizabeth's Bookshelf is also celebrating something monumental: 1,000 followers! The most amazing part for us readers and followers is that we get 30 euros of books which translates into 40 US dollars. I'd be happy to celebrate that.

3. The Reader's Den's Dark Days Giveaway. Not only did they share with us about the amazing author event with four incredible authors, The Reader's Den is doing a giveaway! The authors of Through the Ever Night, Unravel Me, Boundless, and Everbound were there so their books are the prize. Great prize, right? 

3.5. Monstrous Beauty Audiobook Giveaway. With a superb mini-review, The Reader's Den has also gifted us with another giveaway, this one being the audiobook version of Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama! Mermaids, creepiness, and a voice that brought the right emotion for each scene, at least according to Rachel. 

4. Writer of Wrong's The Madman's Daughter Giveaway. If you haven't read any of Gillian Berry's reviews, I recommend you go do so now. No matter if the book is awesome to okay to "ugh, I hated it!" Gilly makes me laugh all the time. First, read her review then enter the giveaway to this SIGNED ARC that I'm dying to read. 

5. Live to Read's 100+ Giveaway Gail Carringer. Krystal and Rachel have been saving up books just for this occasion. So yes, they are giving away 100 or so books. One of them being Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carrginer. I don't know about you, but I'm dying to read this one.

6. Paperback Treasure's Two Year Blogoversary. You get to pick one out of ten books they're offering. Not just any ten, mind you. No, ten amazing books that I would claw through crowds to get my hands on. Oh, the pretties. 

7. Claire Reads' One Year Blogoversary. Another blogging birthday, folks. There will be FOUR winners and they each get to pick a book from a list of books that she has read and loved over the past year. You can look at the list here and enter in the giveaway!

8. Making the Grade Reviews' Scarlet Blog Tour Giveaway.MTG reviews is participating in the highly praised Scarlet's blog tour. As you can guess since I'm highlighting her here, she's giving away a copy of Scarlet, but she's also giving away Cinder as well. Two books in the same series in the same giveaway? Win.

9. Cuddlebuggery's One Year Blogoversary. To celebrate their one year anniversary, Kat and Steph from Cuddlebuggery are giving away multiple things on multiple days. My two favorite giveaways so far are the Veronica Rossi and Leigh Bardugo giveaways. Win an eReader of your choice is pretty awesome too. 

10. Bewitched Bookworms' Three Year Blogoversary. Like Cuddlebuggery, the nice people at Bewitched Bookworms are giving away multiple things in multiple posts. One is a Kindle Fire and one is a stack of books. Go check it out.

11. Sparkles and Lightning's Valentine's Day Giveaway. Tons of great romance books to pick from and from what I read, possibly a few winners. It sounds fantastic! 

12. The Story Siren's Jennifer E. Smith's Valentine's Day Blog Tour and Giveaway. To all of you who don't know, Jennifer E. Smith is the author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and the highly anticipated This Is What Happy Looks Like so The Story Siren is giving away BOTH books! 

13. Anatea's Bookshelf's Happy Valentine's Day with a Giveaway. Not only is Valentine's Day a great day for lovers and showing your love and all that, it's also a great day for giveaways. Anatea's Bookshelf decided to give away one cute romance book for all her lovely readers. 

14. Once Upon a Prologue's Mila 2.0 ARC Giveaway. Molli Morgan from Once Upon a Prologue is being the super nice, generous person she is by giving away an ARC of Mila 2.0! I don't know about any of you, but I have been wanting to read this book...deeply. 

15. Mundie Moms' Fourth Blogoversary. It's their fourth birthday bash which means giveaway time! And may I say that this is an awesome giveaway, my friends. A box full of 2013 ARCs, a SIGNED ARC of Gayle Forman's Just One Day, and published copy of Veronica Rossi's Through the Ever Night. Absolutely wonderful. 

16. Winter Haven's Authors' Love Fest Giveaway. Like I said, Valentine's Day is a great day to have a giveaway. At Winter Haven Books, they're giving away three YA contemporary books where you choose the books from the authors they mention. Great authors means great books!


17. On Starships and Dragonwings' Ally Carter Giveaway. While I saw this giveaway after I posted this, I HAVE to add it because it's such an awesome giveaway. Two signed books (actually, one is a chapter sampler) by my favorite author, Ally Carter. Also, she added Q&A with her (more like tidbits about Carter). 

18. Bookfever's New Blog Look Celebration Giveaway. Bookfever is celebrating their awesome new blog design with an even more awesome giveaway!

I just listed NINETEEN giveaways (remember, The Readers Den has two!). Do you know how many possibilities you have to win some really awesome things? Stupendous, I know.

What are YOU hoping to win? 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cover Love #7

Hosted by Bookshelvers Anonymous
Considering it's not only Fairy Tale February over at Alice in Readerland (something you must check out if you haven't) and Valentine's Day today, I thought it would be fitting to do a fairy tale retelling cover today. Most fairy-tales are about love.

Title: Towering

Author: Alex Flinn

Publication date: May 14, 2013

Publisher: HarperTeen

At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.

Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her. 

Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.

Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now. 

Not only do I love the synopsis, but the cover catches my eye. I'm a huge fan of Rapunzel, especially after Tangled came out, so I get excited seeing her long, blonde hair. You see the tower in the background and everything seems so dreamy with the snow. While I'm not a big fan of her face, I still like this cover.

Happy Valentine's Day! 

What cover do you love this week? 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Review: PERFECT SCOUNDRELS by Ally Carter

Title: Perfect Scoundrels

Author: Ally Carter

Publication date: February 5, 2013

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it's that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting--or stealing--whatever they want. No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale's family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother's billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there's no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won't let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother's will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company's fortune. So instead of being the heir--this time, Hale might be the mark. Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she's willing to save her boyfriend's company if it means losing the boy.


That's right, folks. The third book in Heist Society is out and I got it the day before the publication date thanks to the joys of preordering and my sister gifting it to me for Christmas. Who cares if it's a Christmas present a little over a month after December 25th, it's ALLY CARTER, GUYS! 

The story starts out with the gang in the middle of a con. Hale uses the g-word (girlfriend) and Kat is taken aback by it. She likes Hale, but the world girlfriend is foreign to her. However, we don't get far until Hale receives news of some kind and leaves in the middle of a con. Big no-no. We find out though that poor Hale's beloved grandmother just died. During all of this, we get flashbacks to when Kat and Hale first meet. Hale has always felt like the black, unwanted and uncared for sheep of the family. The only exception is Hazel Hale, his grandmother. While Hale was born into the family, Hazel married into. Despite those two differences, they always had a connection of feeling lonely in their tycoon family. 

Being an Ally Carter fanatic, who likes to shove her books into friends' faces and has to restrain herself from tackling anyone who hasn't read the books, it's hard to look at this book objectively. So I'll try to be more organized with my thoughts. 

The characters. Oh, what a lovely bunch of characters. I want to be part of the Bishop family and have such lovable friends. 

-Kat. The MC, the leader of the con, the talented thief. Once again, I love Kat. She has a big heart and while things conflict her, she tries to do the right thing for everybody. Yes, she made me get tense when she decided to not share a few things with a certain person in the beginning, but that soon was resolved. And yes, she started to flow to the MC whining territory. However, unlike other MCs, she checked herself and Ally Carter was going to address it unlike other authors who think it's perfectly acceptable for MCs to have a blow-out, pity party. 

Her father was right, and Kat knew it. But she was also a little mad that he'd broken off a perfectly good pity party with logic. 

-Hale. Kat will always be the MC, but Hale started to get more of a spotlight on him in Perfect Scoundrels. Unfortunately, it was because he was the target. Someone conned him. Through it all, like any normal person, Hale would start to become not like the good Hale we knew. In grief, he does stupid things like break into an office on a whim or get drunk. With anyone else, I might squint critically at his actions. But with Hale? He was so vulnerable and confused, I wanted to give him a hug. 

It might be incredibly biased and too sentimental on my part, but I also think it's sweet how close Hale and Kat are. Besides his grandmother, he hasn't had a real family. Marcus is definitely loyal and you see a closer bond as the story progresses between the two, but you can see how different Hale's relationship with Kat is from the other people in his life.

And even though Hale has some moments that make us fear Hale and Kat's relationship, there are smoochy scenes that will leave you smiling from the cuteness. 

May I also add, what's with him being called Scooter? I don't remember an explanation on this, but I'm determined to find out. Hopefully I'll snag an interview with Ally Carter and ask, if not, somebody please find out.

So she rose and walked around the table, brought her hand to his face, and kissed him. 
"Why shouldn't she choose you?" Kat forced a smile. "I did." 

-Gabrielle. I seriously love this girl. I wasn't sure of her in the first one, grew to like her even more in the second book, but this one? She blew me away! She gave Kat reality checks, told it how it was, and while gentle when it was necessary, she was tough. I cheered for her when she went up against the heartsick Kat and was thrilled every time I saw her name on the page. She was definitely one of my favorite characters. 

"What I mean, dear cousin, is that maybe you want Hale to get out of his family's business because that is the only way to keep him in yours."

-The Bagshaws and Simon. Hamish, Angus, and Simon are also such lovable characters. The Bagshaws are the kind of characters you want to cheekily grin with and squeeze them in your arms. They're the dorky, lovable guys that make you remember why secondary characters are so important. Same goes for Simon. 

"Don't worry, Kat," Hamish said. "You're about to feel much, much worse."

-Marcus. Okay, you know how I said the Bagshaws and Simon are the reminders for how secondary characters are such an important factor? Well, Marcus is definitely another reminder. Once again, he's another character I want to hug, even though he doesn't seem like the huggable type. He reminds me of Joe from the movie The Princess Diaries. He's so sweet and loyal, but you know there's determined toughness underneath. 

I just really like this scene.
"I don't care if we lose the company, miss. But I would care a great deal if we lost the boy."

-Eddie, Bobby, and the rest of the the Bishop family. Like I said in the beginning of all this, I would love to be a part of the Bishop clan! Eddie is strong and the head of the family while Bobby's protective father shines through which I adored. Who doesn't love protective male family members? But I especially loved how different members of Kat's family came to help with the con and help Hale. There was a specific moment near the end with her family that made me want to shout, "BOO YAH!" 

The insult slid off Bobby like water. "So, you know, kid, according to thief culture, if you're going to court Kat, you now owe me two dozen goats."

-Garrett. I can't say much for him without spoiling too much, but you must know that I despise him. 

"The maid," Garrett cut her off. "I know. I know. You're...noble." 
"Yeah. You should try it sometime," Kat said.

The plot was amazing, as usual. Such impossibilites happening and twists and turns. They run all these different cons and then you feel doom seeping in at one (or several) point. I was sucked in and wishing that everything would turn out alright. And the twists and turns are fantastic, trust me. The only negative that creeps up is how it might be anti-climactic. I was too entertained and enthralled in the story to actually care, but it might disappoint others. Oh, and something else that I can't mention that made me groan with frustration.

The writing was wonderful and so different from how she writes the Gallagher Girls, but I adore it just the same. I love the way it's like episodes and I love how Ally Carter narrates. It's simply beautiful. 

Verdict: Another score for Ally Carter!

Have you read any Ally Carter? Have you read Perfect Scoundrels yet? If so, what did YOU think?