Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Rewind & Review

Hosted by Bookshelvers Anonymous
After May, I think June was designated "chill time" in the blogosphere for me. Excluding the awesome book event I went to, I really cut back on blogging related things since life kicked up a notch with work and school and so much other stuff that it's been a blur. Leaving from where I left off last Rewind & Review (remember, I extended May's a little into June), here's what has been happening.

My Reviews
  • The Good, the Meh, and the DNF (three mini reviews with different reactions to them)
  • you can see, I didn't review a lot in June (but don't forget that I did have another that was attached to May's!), but I'm determined to make that up in July. 
My Meme Posts
Stuff I Was Given
  • OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Hydu (Simon Pulse via Edelweiss)
  • Gift card from Jen because although I was doing it as a gift, she still wanted to pay me back for getting her a signed Siege & Storm at the Fierce Reads tour. She is SO incredibly sweet, you have no idea. If you have never talked to her or read her blog, you are missing out in life, my friend.

Stuff I Bought 

A Few of My Favorite Blog Moments
  • Author Jessica Brody and I talked quite a bit before I met her at the Fierce Reads event...
  • ...where we hugged, chatted, and became absolute best friends...
  • ...and it's where I met LEIGH BARDUGO and got signed copies and took pictures with all the authors and I got to squeal about it all in my recap
  • Once again, really sweet bloggers on Twitter
  • And my not so favorite: being overwhelmingly busy, but that will hopefully change soon!
I've had better Junes, but this one wasn't exactly horrible...just more of a frustrating blur. I'm expecting big things with July, especially with it holding my birthday! 

Hope you all have a lovely July!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Presenting a Blogger...Roberta @ Offbeat YA

I told myself I wouldn't do too many interviews in a month, but you guys, they are just a lot of fun. I came up with a list after my last one with Lauren of people I want to interview and it's still growing. Not only do I find out more about my fellow friendly bloggers, but you all can too and even meet new ones! Without further ado, let me present Roberta from Offbeat YA

Hey Roberta! I'm so happy that you're here. Please introduce yourself and your blog.

Hi Sunny, and thanks for having me…I feel like a rockstar today. Well, just a little ;). And of course, hi everyone! I’m an ex-teenager (with a huge stress on the “ex” part) who recently rediscovered a love for YA books, especially since the genre has broadened its range quite a lot in the latest decade. I blog at Offbeat YA, which - as the name states – is a place for all the great, but not necessarily over-popular books that I manage to find and hope to pass on to you all.

Why or how did you decide to start blogging? 

I had been reading YA books regularly for a couple of years, when I finally realized that 1) some of my favourites were often overlooked by blogs and review sites; 2) I had a lot to say about them and the reasons why I loved them instead. So I decided to start my own blog, and in October 2012 Offbeat YA was born. 

That's great! I'm glad you're highlighting books that are often ignored. 

I see on your profile that you actually live in Italy! *sighs longingly* Do you feel that it's harder to be a international book blogger than it would be if you lived in America? 

Yes, definitely…because of course I’m not very likely to get ARCs or stuff like that, nor can I go to BEA and ALA events, and so on. You may wonder why I decided to blog internationally…well, I love to read books in their original version (having graduated in English, that’s not a problem), and not every one of those I’m interested in would necessarily get translated anyway (I think the YA market is way smaller in Italy)…also, I wanted to make an impact on the international community…though that amounts to dreaming big of course :).

Dream big! :) 

What genres do you love reading and/or reviewing the most? 

I’m a sucker for the weird…so I’d say, supernatural (especially stories about afterlife, coming back to life, etc.), sci-fi (not necessarily dystopian) and thriller. Having said so, it’s funny, but some of the best books I’ve read in the latest months were contemporary - a genre I rarely frequent.

Top three favorite authors? 

I tend to go for genres more than for authors, so it’s not like I can have a top three...well, of course I’m reading any Christopher Pike I can lay my hands on, YA or adult, because he may not be the best writer but I love his weird universe(s). There are novels I absolutely loved, but this didn’t prompt me to buy all the books their authors wrote. As far as adult books go, I’ve read anything Agatha Christie, except for her novels written as Mary Westmacott - but I plan on doing that too.

That was only two! 

If you could be one character in a book, without the worry of dying, who would you like to be? 

Maybe Seymour from The Last Vampire/Thirst series (Pike again), because he’s a best-selling writer but no one really knows how he looks like - he even has a number of alias, depending on the genre he’s writing a book in. I fancy myself as a successful artist living in the shadows, which may sound like a contradiction, but I tend to get embarassed by physical confrontation.

QUICK! Your house is burning and you can only grab three things (before the house crumbles down on you, everything is destroyed, etc). What would they be?

Ouch! You really hate me, don’t you? ;P Okay, let’s see. The bag I’m using when the disaster occurs, because my bag is like my third arm…or a crossover between a survival kit and a make-up station. My USB pen drive with lots of stuff saved that I may need…And then…my red pants…no, my black shirt with pink details…no, my red (again) coat…no, my multicolored pants with little hearts on them…err, on second thoughts – I should be going already!

Ha! I wasn't expecting an article of clothing. 

What song did you last listen to? 

I work as a speaker in a local radio station, so I’m constantly listening to songs, old and new…I went home from work today singing “Pompeii” by Bastille, because the darn song always sticks to my brain every time I have it in my playlist! At home I have a considerable music collection, but I haven’t listened to any of my personal records today. If I had, it would probably have been something Queen. 

What is one book that your recently read and loved? 

Deadgirl by B.C. Johnson, which I also reviewed. It’s out of print at the moment, due to the publisher shutting up shop - but Mr. Johnson is working on a new book deal, also involving a sequel. It’s the story of a girl who should be dead but it’s not…not really. She clings to life and fights in order not to disappear (literally) from the face of Earth, besides trying to save her friends from an equally hideous fate. It’s also a fun, moving, realistic portrait of a 15 year old girl dealing with first love, parents and friends, while trying to deflect the Grim Reaper’s hand of course.

Grim Reaper, you say? 

Anything else you would like to add? 

First off, thank you again Sunny for having me - I had fun answering your questions, and being interviewed for the very first time was an honour. I hope some of your readers will get curious enough to come and visit me at Offbeat YA - and if you do, guys, please don’t be shy. I love to interact, and anyone can comment on my blog. Most of all, I hope you’ll find some great new reads on there!

I feel honored that I'm the first one to interview you. It's been fun and I hope they will too!

This or That: 
Chocolate or vanilla? Dark chocolate – though I’d much rather have something salty or spicy!
Ebook or paperback? Call me jurassic, but paperback – I need my book to be physical (and my music too).
Star Wars or Star Trek? Neither...I’m not a big fan of sci-fi when it’s not on paper – especially if it deals with outer space.
Brunette or blonde? (of the boy variety) Brunette hands down...preferably with long, curly hair...unless it’s a young Roger Taylor from Queen or Jensen Ackles. I could make an exception for those two ;).
Winter or Summer? Mmh…winter is so cold…but, big shock, I’m not a fan on the seaside and the hot climate either…so, let’s say winter, since I was born on December!


So here's another blogger were able to get better acquainted with and a blog to check out. Happy reading! 


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That I've Read So Far in 2013

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I just want to start off shouting/exclaiming/shockingly gasping out saying that it's already the end of June. The end. That means it's already partway through the summer, partway through the year, and more than partway to the anniversary of this blog. Ridiculous is what I say. So far, I have read some amazing books in 2013 and hopefully I don't forget the important ones.

In no particular order: 

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Okay, it's no particular order except for THIS ONE. This one is probably the best book I've read this year and probably will remain that way for the rest of the year (except for United We Spy). I had high expectations for it and the outcome smashed through those expectations and kept on-a-going. My review will come soon, but I'm testing my patience by holding it off until closer to the release date. 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Mal. The Darkling. Strong Alana. The fantasy world. The writing. The whole book is just amazing and is why fantasy comes from fantastic. I have the sequel waiting for me on my shelf and am dying to book binge on it. So it's very probable that next week or so, Siege and Storm will also mentally be on this list. 

No, I didn't put this on here because I am absolute BFFS with the author (it's true, it's so true), but because this was so much fun to read. I'm not a fan of the title (I love my daddy), but I am a fan of the characters and the plot. I love finding and reading books that aren't complete fluff books, but aren't serious either. It was all-around enjoyable. 

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

I can't remember if I read this late December or early January, but since I posted a review on it in early January, I'll go with that. Nun assassins, romance, GREAT secondary characters, lovely writing, and just look at that cover. My only regret is that I waited so long. 

Adding one of these books and not the other seems like a no-no to me. Once again, I posted this in early January and don't know when I actually read and finished these so I'll just go by the post date. Both of these are fun and light and made me sleep deprived. All those qualities are what I love in books, especially the last one. 

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

The third book in the amazing series by my favorite author so it was already made to be awesome. The plotting, the story, the writing, the characters...I had love for it all. 

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles is a great series, not only because of the characters, but because I love the dystopian world. I love the plots, I love the different main characters, and I love the retellings!

The Rules by Stacey Kade

While it had a couple flaws (what books doesn't?), I ultimately really liked this one. It hooked me. I stayed up late reading it, gasped nearly every five seconds at the end, and wanted the sequel in my hands right away. 

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

It's more adult than YA, I know. But it really was one of the best books I've read so far. I knew it'd be good (it involves pen-paling, an orphan, and a guy who calls himself Mr. Knightley, come on), but it exceeded my expectations. I book binged. Of course, you know the "mystery" (even though I think it was meant to be obvious), but this book was so enjoyable that I still stayed up way later than I should have to finish it. Thank you, Mom. 

I thought I would have a bigger list, but I'm drawing up blanks, so unfortunately I'll stop there. However, I do know that I cannot wait until this post comes up again at the end of the year because this summer and fall, I have so many WONDERFUL books on my list to read. I'm giddy at the prospect. 

What are some books you've read so far in 2013?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fierce Reads Tour 2013 Recap

Ever since my sister told me about how the awesome Fierce Reads tour will have a stop in our state, I have been anticipating the event. Fast forward a few months and feel my despair that it might not happen. Long story short: my parents are the best and did everything to make sure I got to go.

Hopefully you will hear my appreciation and giddiness in the next sentence: I MADE IT! Excuse my jumbled up thoughts as I try to process these great moments in my life. So I arrive, get some good, on the end, front row seats that is RIGHT in front of Leigh Bardugo. The authors file in and there I am, grinning like a fool, but doing the thing where you try not to smile and end up looking pained resulting in an awkward smile.

The best example of an awkward smile.
They each introduce their book and then we get into a Q&A. Since I wrote as quickly as I could instead of recording the conversation this time, I'll just give you a rundown on what I learned:
  • When asked how they felt about trilogies and if it was the publisher's or their choice: Jessica Brody said it was a little of each. Gennifer Albin said that she has only thought of stories in three parts, thanks to Star Wars and Indiana Jones (because there were ONLY ever three of those) and it made sense for her to do a trilogy. Leigh Bardugo stated at the end that if you look, trilogies are a myth and stand-alones rule the New York Times bestseller list. 
  • When asked about their crush-worthy male leads: LB said she doesn't set out to write a love interest. She doesn't care if anyone likes him, she just values competence. "He just has to do his job! All of my male love interests have a life outside the protagonist and that's all I want." (Note: GO BARDUGO!) JB doesn't set a list of all the qualities her love interest has to have. Like LB, she gives him an agenda. EL (Emmy Laybourne) wants an honest character and hopes that's what a reader is attracted to. AB mentions abs...which made everyone start amen-ing
  • Anna Banks is working on a Sasquatch romance. 
  • When asked how old they were when they were published and when they seriously wanted to write: EL said she wrote her first novel at 38 and advised to measure in depth, not time. JB wrote a fantastic story about a puppy and a kitten when she was 7 and when she "published" it, she knew that's what she wanted to with a real book and first sold a novel at 26. "Everyone has their own timeline," she said and rewrote her book 4 times. AB agreed and started after writing a letter to the editor. GA sat down and wrote when she had nothing left to lose when she and her husband lost their jobs and was published right before her 30th birthday (happy birthday to Gennifer!). LB said she was 38 and while she wished she had written sooner, she knew that it was the best time. 
  • When asked if they were genuinely friends: LB, "No." EL, at the same time, "Yes." Then of course, the funny JB chimed in, "We're all good actresses." Note: They were all really funny together and acted as if they were lifelong friends.
  • When asked if they read other YA books and how to avoid plagiarism: AB said she hasn't read any of the great mermaid books out there just to avoid plagiarism while writing her series. GA agreed and said she can't read Divergent while she writes and reads ARCs that are out of her comfort zone. LB says that when she reads amazing YA books, she feels like, "I'm a hack and want to live in a shoe if I read something really good." 
  • When asked if the Sophomore Slump is actually hard or if they are raring to go: They all pretty much agreed that they dream about writing a standalone now. AB said the 2nd book wasn't hard for her, but the 3rd one harasses her. 
  • When asked if they would let Hollywood "trash" their novels by making them into a horrible movie: LB said that not only does Hollywood make great movies (for example: Catching Fire looks amazing), but the authors don't really have a say. Shadow and Bone is optioned by Dreamworks and she has to trust them because she has no control. EL chimed in and said it depends on the author's status. 
  • When asked how they feel about negative feedback: They all agreed that they tried not to read it. JB said that if she does read it, she goes to one of her favorite books on Goodreads and finds a crappy review on it. LB suggested to "fake it till you make it." All in all, they were unanimous in  saying that there will always be negative reviews and you just try to avoid them. 

Now for my favorite part: the meet and greet! I My mom and I got to go first and Leigh Bardugo was the first author so when we met her, my mom mentioned Shelver and Bardugo excitedly chatted about her. I was also there to get my wonderfully sweet friend Jen (from Starry-Eyed Revue) a signed Siege and Storm so when I told Bardugo that it was for "Starry-Eyed Jen," she exclaimed, "OH! Starry-Eyed Jen? I love her!" My smile was so wide, I felt like I was Jen. Then it came time to tell her who I was and I was slightly nervous because what if I said that we talked before and she doesn't remember me? But she did! She even proved it by saying that I was the giraffe. It was one of the proudest moments of my life. Since I always make things a bigger deal than it is, here is a picture of not only myself with Bardugo, but also my face.

She was extremely nice, chatting with me, offering buttons, and even a really cool bookmark. Of course, she also signed my pile of books. I would show those pictures, but my computer is being extremely stupid and slow so just get the best metaphor you can think of for "slow" and times that by about ten.

Then we move on to Gennifer Albin who has a really cool-sounding book, but I unfortunately haven't read it. However, she was also really sweet and even chimed in on our giraffe conversation. And right next to her was Anna Banks who I haven't read her series either, but as you can see, I was so happy from the event that I couldn't even keep a complete straight face.

Jessica Brody was the third and one of the nicest people I have EVER met. I come up, tell her who I am, and she was the one who was excited. We had been talking on Twitter and was just as nice (if not more so) in person than she was on Twitter. She instantly gave me hug (huggers unite!) and took a picture with me. 

And then realized that we never got a hugging picture so we did another one and this hugging picture is probably the best picture I have ever been a part of. Note: I would also like to add that she tweeted out to be not long after to post the picture. I have decided that we would be the perfect best friend pair. (Play along, Jessica!) 

By the time I got to Emmy Laybourne, there was a separate line for her and I couldn't wait because my mom and I had to travel to my grandparents' house (she didn't want to get there late and neither did I). However, as I was leaving, Jenna (from Jenna Does Books) was on the side and I got a quick photo with her.

It really is great that my icon was a giraffe considering that I'm 5'10". 
All in all, the whole event was greater than I expected. I was able to meet some amazing authors, snag swag, meet a nice blogger, and get my books signed. I might have even annoyed my mom on the ride to my grandparents' by chatting about the event, the authors, the pictures, and by dissecting everything I said along with what they said.

Technically, it was a recap, but even more so, it was my way of squealing and getting excited all over again by positing it on here. I thank you all for reading because if not for this blog, not only would I have not been able to have such amazing experiences, but I also wouldn't have an outlet to go to.

Happy reading! I suggest you read the Fierce Reads' authors' books! 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cover Love #18

Hosted by Bookshelvers Anonymous

Title: Predmediated

Author: Josin McQuein

Publication date: October 8, 2013

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists.

Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why.

Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan.

Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.

Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage.

Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire.

By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.

Why I love: 

The synopsis is very creepy and unlike what I usually read and gravitate towards. But the cover illustrates it so well and I can't help being drawn to it. The dirty, broken window with the girl's face solemnly looking through. She doesn't look like she has any regrets with what she just did and it's making me intrigued even more, forcing me to reread the synopsis many times. Her hair looks a bit gray to me though, which I'm not a fan for. I'll overlook it. If you're not a fan, reread the synopsis while glancing up at the cover, that might solve your problem. 

What cover are you loving this week? 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books at the Top of My Summer TBR Pile

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
It's been summer for a while now, but while making this list, I can't help exclaiming, "It's suuuuummeeeerrtimeeeee!"

So here's my list of books that I fully plan on reading this summer. New or old, I'm determined to read them.

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

I received an ARC of this one from the publisher a few months ago and have been staring at it on my bookshelf for a while now. Since I couldn't review this one until closer to the release date, I have been holding it off. However, I can't wait any longer and shall be devouring it soon. A space romance sounds summer-y to me. 

Zits: Chillax by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman 

This came out about a month ago, but I've been wanting it ever since I heard there was going to be a new Zits book. Sure, it's comics. I don't care. I can picture myself going to the beach and reading this to my heart's content. 

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Sequel to Shadow and Bone. The author is Leigh Bardugo. Do you REALLY need more information? Fine. I fell in love with the first book, I have heard only positive things about this one, I just bought Siege and Storm, and recently met Bardugo. I'm anticipating the swoon-age. 

Camp Boyfriend by J.K. Rock

I read the prequel novella on my iPad and was surprised how much I got into it because A. I usually am not as invested with ebooks as regular ones and B. My expectations weren't high. Since I already know I like the story and the main character, I look forward to this one even more. Summertime is specifically for camp books. 

The Program by Suzanne Young

A dystopian society about teen suicide with romance (obviously). Count me in! Actually, I was basically counted in months ago when I first saw it and started pining over it. I will buckle down and make sure I have this book in my hands in this summer. 

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

It hasn't been in my library nor have I been able to get an interlibrary loan on it. That won't stop me though even if if I have to write a letter to my library, stating my absolute need for it. It sounds amazing since I love the original Persuasion and I'm a huge fan of retellings. Also, my sister snagged the companion book at BEA so I do have that waiting for me too. 

Unspoken by Sarah Brees Brennan

I feel like I see this one on at least one positive Top Ten Tuesday list a week. Additionally, I know that my trusted blogger friend Gillian LOVES this book so there's another incentive. I, Sunny, pledge that I will stop procrastinating and read this book by its rumored amazing author. Also, it involves an imaginary friend/love interest. Bonus points for originality and a great cover.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

When I made its companion novel my Cover Love last week, I was bombarded by great comments saying that I HAVE to read this one. Of course, I also have my sister swooning about it whenever it's even mentioned. WWII stories (and anything related to WWII because hello, Captain America) are my thing and I'm excited just thinking about it. 

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson 

LOOK! It's a male author. I don't have many chances to read books by men so I'm looking forward to this one. Also, the real reason is because it's a twisted superhero story. Thank goodness for BEA and sisters because my sister's copy is only a foot away from me right this second. 

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

Once again, thanks to BEA and Shelver going, she got this for my mom. My mom raved about this one and it sounds like the perfect light read. It's technically in letter form, but it reads like any contemporary, first person fiction. If you want to be specific, it could also be considered New Adult, but not with all the sexuality that NA is known for. And it involves Jane Austen references! WIN. 
EDIT: As this is about to be posted, I already finished this one. Yay for me who actually wrote her Top Ten Tuesday way earlier than usual! Also, the book? Absolutely addicting. 

Honorable mentions: The Archived by Victoria Schwab (I've had it on my shelf for the longest time and NEED to read it), Everbound by Brodi Ashton (I love sequels and this is another one), Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers (another sequel that I can't wait to read!), A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan (repeatedly recommend by my other trusted blogger friend Alice)

What's on your summer TBR list? 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Good, the Meh, and the DNF

Considering that I am not the greatest at promptly writing a review after I read a book, I have had some books completely unreviewed while others took a a bit longer than normal to write, trying to remember things about it. So instead of trying to write a full review on something that I don't have much to say on, I decided mini reviews would be the best route again.

The Good: 

Title: Defiance

Author: C.J. Redwine

Publication date: August 28, 2012

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.

When Rachel's father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city's brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father's apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

Mini review:

I either see trusted bloggers squeal about this book or excitedly exclaim over its not-out-yet sequel, Deception. I love the cover, I love the plot, I love the reviews on it. So why did I start it so late? I think it all boils down to expectations and wanting to leave it in some reverend spot in my mind. Why taint the image of it? However, I knew I had to buckle down and read it.

Defiance completed my expectations and went beyond it. It sucked my time away, left me in Rachel's world long after I finished it, and made me wanting the sequel instantly. I know there are negatives, there always is, but I was too enamored by the book that I did not care or notice that much. The POVs switched from Rachel to Logan, which I liked since I wanted to see both of their thoughts. Rachel was stubborn, feisty, and strong. Of course, along with that, she sometimes let her emotions and thinking dictate her actions, which can be stupid. However, that's what happens when you receive a strong heroine. Logan was sensitive, strong, and cute all wrapped up in one. I honestly don't see how you can want more from him.


The Meh: 

Title: The Elite

Author: Kiera Cass

Publication date: April 23, 2013

Publisher: HarperTeen

Source: an ARC sent from Skye via YA Book Exchange

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Mini review: 

With The Selection, I had annoyances reading it, but since I was addicted to the idea of it (reality TV is a guilty pleasure of mine and so are competitions), I tried to just enjoy the book. But when I was done reading it, I couldn't stop being aggravated with it. Despite all that, I wanted to read the sequel because it's like one of those interesting, but yucky snacks where you can't stop eating it, but you don't really know why you continue to do so.

I can basically recap with these short sentences: America can't make up her mind about either guy. Maxon is beyond patient. Aspen resembles something slimy in my mind. Marlee's "shocking" revelation was like strobe lights in a cave (that make sense, don't deny it). The King was despicable. The rebels got better, but not to the standard I wished for. I was completely annoyed with America at least 90% of the time.

I just have to touch on one point before I move on to the next review and this might make it longer than "mini," but it has to be said. I wanted to grab a microphone and preach to the thousands after continual "feeling complaints" from America. The thing with America is that everything is based on her feelings of the moment. Unlike Rachel from Defiance, there is no backbone to them. She hops from boy to boy, back and forth, based on how she is feeling at the time. Maxon makes me so happy, I want to stay with him forever. Oh, Aspen always made me happy. Aspen is making me not feel good, I want to be with Maxon. Maxon is making me feel upset, I want to be back with Aspen. Aspen makes me feel safe, I should be with him forever. I love Maxon so that should make me feel happy, right? 

FOR THE LOVE OF CUPCAKES AND ALL THAT IS WRITTEN BY ALLY CARTER. She literally complained once, "Can't he see how unhappy he's making me?" I wanted to throw my ARC at the wall right then and there. You should never be with someone who's mistreated you, used you, etc. However, it makes me sick that so many girls are fawning over this behavior and I honestly hope they don't replicate it. Because, guess what, the key to having a long-lasting relationship is not based on feelings. It is not based on happiness. Ask any couple who has been married for a long period of time (no, that is not 3 or 7 or 10 years) if they were ever unhappy. Think to the elderly couples who have been married 50 or 60 years. Through thick and thin, in sickness or in health, for richer or for poor, through happiness or sadness, they stayed together.

If everyone based their relationships on whether or not they're happy, everyone would be alone. You should never base your decisions on how happy it makes you feel. Happiness comes and goes. Joy stays more constant, but relationships will struggle and that person will make you wish for a baseball bat in your hand sometimes. You stick through it.

Verdict: I have to rate it a "meh" because I still want to read the third book, but I felt that America's whininess tainted the whole book even more so. 

The DNF: 

Author: Gwen Hayes

Publication date: March 1, 2011

Publisher: New American Library

Source: an ARC provided through ARCycling.

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

Mini review: 

I first want to thank ARCycling for giving me this book and for the blogger who donated it.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get into it. I try to give books a chance and several chapters, but I don't think I even reached chapter 5 before I had to grab a different book. There are many books in my TBR pile that I need to catch up on so I simply did not want to sit through something that I had no connection to. 

We are shown and told repeatedly in the beginning of how sheltered Theia is, but I think it went too far in such a short period. I was bored. I wasn't invested, I didn't care, and I am truly trying to be polite, but Theia's narration was dull. I felt like I was wasting precious reading time. Yes, maybe I should have given it more time and maybe Theia would get better. However, I don't have regrets on it. 

I do suggest people give it a shot though. While I may DNF it, someone else might eat it right up. 

Verdict: What more can I say than I that I DNF'd it? 

Check back later this week for my Fierce Reads 2013 Tour recap! There shall be pictures :) 

Happy Father's Day! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #17

Hosted by Pen to Paper

Title: Tandem

Author: Anna Jarzab

Publication date: October 8, 2013

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Everything repeats.
You. Your best friend. Every person you know.
Many worlds. Many lives--infinite possibilities.
Welcome to the multiverse.

Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather's stories of parallel worlds inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real--until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will.

To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she'll be trapped in another girl's life forever. As time runs out, Sasha finds herself torn between two worlds, two lives, and two young men vying for her love--one who knows her secret, and one who thinks she's someone she's not.

The first book in the Many-Worlds Trilogy, Tandem is a riveting saga of love and betrayal set in parallel universes in which nothing--and no one--is what it seems.

Why I want: 

Really, it all comes down to the synopsis. A multiverse? The description makes me restless in my chair and I'm intrigued that the character has to "slip into the life of an alternate version of herself," but I'm already dreading the love triangle. Sometimes a love triangle is necessary, sometimes not so much. I'm seeing them too much lately so I'm even more wary. However, that doesn't stop me from making grabby hands whenever I see someone has it or snatched it up at BEA.

What are you wishing for this Wednesday?