Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (41): Dualed

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, which is brought to you by Jill at Breaking the Spine! This meme is where you can post about what book(s) you're really look forward to.

This week, I absolutely can't wait for...

Dualed (Dualed, #1)

Dualed by Elsie Chapman
February 26th, 2013
Would you live through the ultimate test of survival? 
The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life. 
Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.
Even though the release is practically a year away, Dualed totally sounds like one that's worth waiting for!  I love any dystopian novel, no matter how similar or different they may be, and this one definitely sounds different from the other ones that I've read :D

What are you waiting for today?


*Description and cover from goodreads.com

Review: The Disenchantments

Title: The Disenchantments
Author: Nina LaCour
Date Released: February 16th, 2012
Pages: 307
Rating: 4 out of 5

Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev's band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she's abandoning their plans - and Colby - to start college in the fall.

But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev's already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what's next?

Morris Award–finalist Nina LaCour draws together the beauty and influences of music and art to brilliantly capture a group of friends on the brink of the rest of their lives.

Colby and Bev have been best friends for a long time.  And as what every pair of best friends do, they made a plan- to go and travel Europe for a year after they graduated from high school and Bev does her tour with her band, The Disenchantments.  However, things don't go as planned when Bev decides to ditch their plan to backpack through Europe, leaving Colby with an open ended future.

I really liked The Disenchantments because it was about friendship, betrayal, road tripping, and trying to figure out your future, which is what I'm trying to do right now.  So, it's a pretty relatable book when you're going from that transition from high school to the real world (although, I still have a year to go, but still).

Reading about the random gigs that The Disenchantments had was really fun.  Each place had its own special memory with new people, places, or things.

I didn't like Bev that much, but I guess that's how she was supposed to come across since she kind of ditches Colby and sort of becomes distant from him.  However, I loved to other two members of the band, Meg and Alexa, who are adopted sisters, so they're not biologically related, but still look out for each other nonetheless.  Colby was a likable character.  He was kind of just a down to earth kid who was a little gullible (Example: Believing that the backpacking trip through Europe would really come through), but still really cool.

The Disenchantments takes place over the course of a week, and boy was this one week completely full of surprises and adventures.  Everything that took place was super exciting to read about that you almost forget that those millions of things happened in one week, or even in just one day.  Learning about where the relationship between Colby and Bev would go next really kept me intrigued, too.

Overall, The Disenchantments was a super fun book that would have made a great summer read.  The whole feeling of the book was carefree because of the premise of the road trip through the Pacific Northwest.  It also had that hint of seriousness because of the confusing relationship between Colby and Bev.  Either way, I really enjoyed reading this book and I hope that I'll get to read another book by Nina LaCour soon!

Cover Review:
Love the cover!  It just screams summer with the light colors, gigantic sunglasses, and rainbow t-shirt.  I also love how the title is just sort of placed on the cover.  Overall, it's a really cool and summery cover!

Cleo :)

*Description and cover from goodreads.com
**Review copy borrowed from my local library.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cover Release: Days of Blood and Starlight!

The cover for Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor was released today!

Days of Blood & Starlight
November 6th, 2012

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed "Daughter of Smoke and Bone," Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas. 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was declared a "must read" by Entertainment Weekly, was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon.com, and The New York Times called it "a breath-catching romantic fantasy."
Aaaah!!  It's amazing!  I love how it's pretty much similar in concept with the previous cover for Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and still has that slight creepiness to it.  Definitely can't wait for its arrival!

What do you think of the cover?


Monday, May 21, 2012

Summer Reads

from weheartit.com
Summer is ALMOST here!  So, for those of us in school, that means that school is almost out :D  Summer also means that we can catch up on our reading!

So, I've compiled a list of "summery" books (with some commentary) that will hopefully get you into the spirit of summer!

The Summer I Turned Pretty Series by Jenny Han - Man o man... What is there to say about this series?  Well, it's absolutely fantastic, full of romance and the beach, and, well... SUMMER.

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - for Amy & Roger, it is a road trip set in the SUMMER and nothing screams SUMMER more than a road trip!  I haven't read Second Chance Summer yet, although I have it, but I'm saving it for SUMMER because it seems like a great summery read.

13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson - this one involves tons of travelling across Europe during the course of a SUMMER!  It's really exciting and sure to keep you on your toes.


Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard - I haven't read this one either, but I've heard that it sounds good, and it involves a lot of travelling, so it should get you into the travelling spirit too :D

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour - ROAD TRIP!  It doesn't exactly have that "summery" feel, but it takes place over the course of the first few weeks of summer and involves just being free and visiting places, so this one should get you into the mood, too!

Aren't you super excited for summer now?!  I know I am!  I definitely have my summer reading list set and ready to go :)

Cleo :)

*Covers from goodreads.com

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: Born Wicked

Title: Born Wicked
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Date Released: February 7th, 2012
Pages: 330
Rating: 4 out of 5

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

Born Wicked was such a cool book set in a an alternate late 1800s, where the Brotherhood rules the world and women are either to marry or go into the Sisterhood.  Cate Cahill is in that dilemma - should she marry Paul (or even Finn?) or join the Sisterhood?  But, the problem is that she and her sisters are a witches and have been keeping this a secret every since their mother died.  Cate has all of these problems resting on her shoulders and on top of all this, she finds out that she and her sisters might be at the center of a prophecy.

I really liked almost everything about Born Wicked.  It was cute, yet serious; funny, romantic, and everything that a novel needs to be perfect.  Sometimes, Cate fell a little flat or the plot moved a tad bit slow for my taste, but other than that, it was awesome.

Cate was awesome.  Sometimes, she could get a little too caught up with all of the things that were going on in her life, but all of these things made her a strong character.  I loved, loved, loved both Finn and Paul... I think I might like Paul a bit more just because he seemed more like the more outgoing person and really, really liked Cate.  Finn obviously really liked Cate, too, but he was a little more "nerdy"... Not that there's anything wrong with nerds.  I like nerds, but I just didn't feel the same about him as with Paul.

The setting was definitely really cool.  It was set in a small New England town in the late 1800s, where carriages and fluffy dresses were still around and class was everything.  I loved the descriptions of Cate's house with the garden where she and her sisters total opposite sisters, Maura and Tess, would practice their magic in secret.

The plot was what really drew me in.  There were some less intense parts, but Cate was constantly learning more about what her future could possibly hold and was always thinking about what she has to do that would be right for her family.  Born Wicked reached a climax that was really surprising, and the ending left on such a cliffhanger... Argh.  Cliffhangers, you kill me every time.

Born Wicked was a great read.  I loved the characters, the plot, and the setting.  Sometimes the pacing was a little slow, but things would quickly pick up.  Definitely give this book a try if you're looking for a book on witches living in a super conservative society!  I'll definitely be looking forward to the release of the second one next year, Star Cursed.

Cover Review:
I honestly fell in love with this cover the minute I saw this.  I love the contrasting colors between the foliage and the girl herself.  The rose on her head absolutely pops out too with its bright red color.  Overall, the cover has this vintage-y feel with the font, the colors, and the outfit that she's wearing.  I love it!

Also, I absolutely LOVED the trailer, and is one of the very few that I have actually fully watched... So, I've decided to share it with you if you haven't seen it yet :D

Cleo :)

*Review copy bought.
**Description and cover from goodreads.com

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Starstruck: Summer Lovin' Tour

I just wanted to start off by saying that I'm sorry that I haven't been active lately.  It's that time of year when teachers start packing on the homework because school is almost over.  Oh summer, how I can't wait for you to arrive...

Anyways, on a more positive note, on Monday night, May 7th, I had the awesome opportunity to visit the Summer Lovin' Tour at the Once Upon a Time Bookstore in Montrose, California!  It was really fun and the authors were absolutely hilarious.  Jenny Han was there for the paperback release of We'll Always Have Summer, Morgan Matson for Second Chance Summer, and Jessi Kirby for In Honor.

I was debating over whether or not I should go, because I had my first AP test on Friday, which I had not studied for at all because I had no time, but I'm glad that I decided to because all of the authors were super funny, especially Jenny Han.  When they were doing a Q& A hotseat type thing with each other, she asked the other two who they would marry, date, or kill: Voldemort, Nagini, or Dobby.  After the other two authors answered, she answered the question herself and said that she would marry Voldemort because she would change his ways.  That was the highlight of my night :)

After they had their discussion, they had a normal Q&A with the audience and Morgan Matson would throw a Skittle packet at anyone who answered a picture and wanted one.  Then there was the signing and I got a picture with all of the authors (and a cupcake!)!

Did I mention that there was some pretty spectacular swag?  When you purchased a book, they gave you Summer Lovin' headphones and a Burn for Burn sunscreen (creative, huh?).  SO. COOL!

Overall, I'm totally glad that I skipped studying for the AP test for this... I mean, it was pretty awesome and funny and was THE highlight of my week :D  Don't get me wrong, I take my tests very seriously... But Jenny Han, Morgan Matson, and Jessi Kirby?  Yes please!  I'll definitely see them again if they happen to be in town :)

Have you been to any awesome signings lately?

Cleo :)

P.S. If I were a billionaire, I would have bought all of the books there... Including Jessi Kirby's because when she read her excerpt of In Honor what immediately came to my mind was "Darn... I wish I could have bought that book..." And my mom agreed with me too which is surprising because she never agrees with me on these things.