Review: Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins

Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3)Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
Publication Date: March 13, 2012
Page Count: 327 pages
Format: Hardback
Published by: Hyperion Book CH
Source: Borrowed From Library
Challenge: September is for Sequels

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

My Thoughts:

How sad am I that the Hex Hall series has concluded? Very. Yes, I know there will be a Spin Off series, but it's just not the same.Spell Bound is the third and final book in the Hex Hall series. Unfortunately, I didn't think it was the best book in the series, but it was still a good read.

The Hex Hall series is full of wonderful and imaginative creatures and kick-ass characters. The world is both scary and magical - entertaining is putting it mildly. I really grew to like the characters while reading Hex Hall. Reading Demon Glass made me fall in love, more with some characters than others, but still. In Spell Bound, both old and new characters all come together to help Sophie stop the demon-raising Casnoffs.

Sophie is so full of snark and humor, especially at the most inappropriate moments. While I have enjoyed this aspect of Sophie, there were quite a few times that her snark and attitude fell a little flat and didn't work in that particular situation. At least Sophie has a good amount of fear of her own powers and the whole supernatural world, and displays some common sense when dealing with life or death situations. That's always a plus. Jenna is still being a wonderful best friend, and is a great sidekick for Sophie. Archer, still arrogant and sexy, has the doting boyfriend act down pat. I enjoyed learning more about his background. And Cal was just, oh so very... I want him for my own. There. I said it. But I have to ask you Cal - why? WHY? why why why why sniffle

While I thoroughly enjoyed reading Spell Bound, I felt it lacked the quality of the first 2 books. The ending was never in doubt, since we knew the good guys would come out on top, but it didn't leave me satisfied. I didn't like the resolution of the Sophie/Archer/Cal love triangle. I'll just leave it at that. I felt the final battle was too short - I wanted to read more action! I definitely recommend reading Spell Bound if you have read the first 2 books in the series. Or go ahead and read the entire series, because it really is very good and different.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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Review: What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

What I Didn't SayWhat I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

Publication Date: May 7, 2012
Page Count: 336 pages
Format: ebook
Source: ARC from author via NetGalley

Synopsis From Goodreads:
Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat.

His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He's been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it's too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again.

When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he'll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn't limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she'll help him learn that not being able to talk isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she'll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn't say before, even if he can't actually say it.

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What a great book! This was such an amazing and inspiring story, and I loved every second of it. It's so genuine and heartfelt, my emotions were all over the place.

What I Didn't Say is told from Jake's POV, which I absolutely loved. Jake's life is changed forever after a car crash. Everything that he took for granted was taken away from him. What I liked the most was that Jake did not wallow in self pity or have a 'woe is me' attitude. Of course, there were moments of frustration for Jake, and there were times where he felt defeated. But he tried to stay very positive and used the accident to turn his life around. His family and friends were really great in helping him with his new 'normal'. Jake found great strength in their love and support. Even though his future plans changed drastically due to the accident, he didn't let his disability stop him from moving on with his life and making new plans and achieving new dreams. Jake really matured throughout the story, and I absolutely loved him by the end. I felt that Jake's inner dialogue really added an extra layer to the emotions that he was feeling and made him appear more mature and thoughtful.

The girl that Jake loves, Sam, was a strong and likable character. At times I thought that she needed to let the people around her ease her burden. She really wanted to do everything for herself and show that she didn't need anyone. When Sam and Jake begin spending time together, they slowly learn how to support and encourage each other. Sam learns that it's okay to sometimes depend on someone else. I really loved the progression of the relationship because it felt so real. I found myself really cheering them on.

The writing was very good and the pacing was perfect. The chapters jumped around a bit - they went from the present to the past and back again. It was a little odd, but not too jarring or out of place. In the end I did appreciate the glimpse of Jake's life and personality before the accident. It really accentuated just how much things had changed for him.

This was a wonderfully heartfelt and emotional story. It is so sweet at times, but is is kept from being too overly dramatic by the realness of the situations. The characters were very well written and very believable. If you are a fan of contemporary YA books, then you should definitely read this!

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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Cover Reveal - Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Check out the cover reveal AND read an exclusive excerpt of Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman at EW.com


Just One Day expected publication: January 8th 2013 by Dutton Juvenile

Synopsis of Just One Day from Goodreads:
A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon.

The second book in this series, Just One Year, is due to be released in Fall 2013.

Synopsis of Just One Year from Goodreads:
Companion to JUST ONE DAY. It will be in Willem's POV.

"Can you fall in love in just one day? Can you become a new person? How about in just one year? In JUST ONE DAY and its companion novel JUST ONE YEAR, sheltered American good girl Allyson “LuLu” Healey and easygoing actor Willem De Ruiter are about to find out against a guidebook-worthy array of foreign backdrops. Equal parts romance, coming-of-age-tale, mystery and travel romp (with settings that span from England’s Stratford upon Avon to Paris to Amsterdam to India’s Bollywood) JUST ONE DAY and JUST ONE YEAR show how in looking for someone else, you just might wind up finding yourself."

I am so excited to read this series! I loved If I Stay and Where She Went, so I hope this new series will be just as amazing.
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Waiting On Wednesday (45) Hysteria

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

My choice for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:


Hysteria by Megan Miranda

Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: February 5th 2013 by Walker Childrens

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Mallory's life is falling apart. Her boyfriend was stabbed. He bled to death in her kitchen. Mallory was the one who stabbed him. But she can't remember what happened that night. She only remembers the fear . . .

When Mallory's parents send her away to a boarding school, she thinks she can escape the gossip and the threats. But someone, or something, has followed her. There's the hand that touches her shoulder when she's drifting off to sleep. A voice whispering her name. And everyone knows what happened. So when a pupil is found dead, Mallory's name is on their lips. Her past can be forgotten but it's never gone. Can Mallory live with that?

This sounds very interesting! I read Fracture by this author earlier this year and liked it well enough. I recently discovered that Fracture is getting a sequel, titled Vengeance, sometime in 2014.

What are you waiting on this week?
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Teaser Tuesday (7)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

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

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Dangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard
Hardcover
262 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Razorbill

He stares straight at me with that intense smile of his, and my heart lodges in my throat. "Your time is nearly up, Harper."

That is the first line of Dangerous Boy, which I just finished reading. The story is pretty creepy and weird and I think it's a perfect book for this time of year.
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Sunday Updates (9)



Inspired by features from The Sunday Post from Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Sunday Summary from Book Twirps.

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Received For Review:
Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1) by Darynda Jones
I have not read anything by this author before, but for some reason I am really excited to read this!

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Second Chance (First Comes Love #2) by Katie Kacvinsky
Free eBook from Amazon. The blog tour for Second Chance is coming up in November!

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Purchased:
Autographed (and doodled in!) hardback of The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater.
I already read an eARC, but I still want to sit down and read this one again.

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Borrowed from Library:
Inbetween (Kissed by Death #1) by Tara A. Fuller
Over You by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Reviews Posted:
Through To You by Emily Hainsworth
Rivals and Retribution (13 to Life #5) by Shannon Delany
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Review: Rivals and Retribution (13 to Life #5) by Shannon Delany

Rivals and Retribution (13 to Life, #5)Rivals and Retribution by Shannon Delany
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Page Count: 320 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed from library
Challenge: September Is For Sequels

Synopsis From Goodreads:

In Rivals and Retribution, the fifth book in the 13 to Life series by Shannon Delany, Pietr and Jessie will find themselves caught in a pack war with a new breed of werewolves.

Jessie Gillmansen is in trouble again and she's in for the fight of her life--and Pietr's! With Marlaena’s dangerous wolf pack putting more pressure on the Rusakova family, change is inevitable and when it comes, it brings a heavy price that forces Alexi into action to save his youngest brother's heart, head, and life. In the stunning conclusion of this celebrated paranormal series two werewolf families fight for control of the small town of Junction, control of each other and--most elusive of all--control of themselves.

My Thoughts:

I have had so many ups and downs with the 13 To Life series. The first book introduced us to the characters and sets up what happens in the rest of the series. There was not much action until the last 30 pages or so and really left off on a cliffhanger. The second book was a little scattered and all over the place. Too much stuff going on, too many characters involved, and new plots introduced. Surprise, surprise, the second book also ended on a cliffhanger. The third book I really enjoyed. It was more focused, had a better plot, and the writing was much clearer. It also had dual POV between Jessie and Pietr's brother, Alexi. I loved getting to know Alexi better and I found him fascinating. The fourth book I really didn't like so much. Not only do we have Jessie and Alexi's POV, but we get an added POV in a new character, Marlaena. It was a jumbled mess that I didn't enjoy sorting through. And a neutered Pietr was just so boring!

So what did I think of the 5th (and final) book in the 13 To Life Series? To be honest, I was less than impressed. The first 70 pages or so were dedicated to rescuing Jessie (yes, AGAIN). With the story told from the same 3 POVs as book 4, and perspective changing literally from page to page, it was hard to get immersed in the characters or the story. I also felt that Marlaena's POV took too much focus away from Jessie and the Rusakovas.

Since I don't really like any of the new characters (the new pack), I don't care about them. It's hard to read a book that is one third (or more) about characters you don't give a shit about. I found myself wishing all of the Rusakovas, Jessie, and her friend, Amy, were written with the same care and attention that was in the first 3 books. The romantic relationships also suffered from lack of attention by the author. Jessie and Pietr were at a horrible point in their relationship in book 4, and it never improved in book 5 (which makes me sad.) Max and Amy didn't have anything important going on with their relationship. Alexi is over and done with acting like an ass, so we get none of the smoking and drinking and acting all Russian every time he thinks about Nadezhda. I thought he was more interesting (and hot) when he was dark and moody. Basically, everything that I had grown to love about these couples in the first 3 books was missing here. Also missing was the closeness of the Rusakova family, and that was something that I really felt the loss of.

I'm not at all satisfied with the final book of this series. So many subplots were introduced throughout the series that it was a little hard to sort through who knew what by the end. All of the goings on were cleaned up nice and tidy by the last page. I just wish things hadn't been previously dropped and then randomly picked up in book 5, only to have a simple, yet effective, resolution. It was just too easy. The ending was rushed and gave me no satisfaction.

You definitely need to read this book to have closure if you've read the first 4 books in the series. Why give up now, right? Overall, I did love the series, but I didn't always agree with (or enjoy) the the things that were going on. I felt a lot of ups and downs over the course of reading this series. I loved exploring the relationships, both personal and familial, in the first 3 books. The complete neglect that these relationships suffer through in the last 2 books is just wrong and it really breaks my heart.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Waiting On Wednesday (44) Star Crossed (Stargazer #1) by Jennifer Echols

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

My choice for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

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384 pages
Expected publication: February 26th 2013 by Pocket Books

Synopsis From Goodreads:

The first novel in a sizzling new series about a public relations firm, the stars they represent, and everything they’d rather keep private.Wendy Mann loves her job rescuing celebrities from public relations scrapes. She grew up with nothing, and now she’s drawn to glitz, glamour, and a lighthearted lifestyle. She speaks her mind, so she’s just the tough cookie to tell stars the truth about how other people see them, even when they don’t want to hear it. But after six years at the top of her game, Wendy crosses the line. A star she was sent to save rebels against her and nearly gets her fired. To salvage her job, she must rehabilitate the career of a singing starlet with a penchant for posting inappropriate photos of herself and arguing online with her famous ex. Problem is, the ex is represented by Wendy’s arch nemesis from college, the hot and haughty Daniel Ito. And both stars are scheduled for a collision course on national television, broadcast live from Las Vegas.

Daniel’s uneasy when he hears Wendy Mann from his firm’s most hated competitor has been brought in to revive the career of his client’s ex-girlfriend. Daniel must win at any cost. And if he has to seduce Wendy to smooth the way to their partnership, he’s willing to sacrifice himself for the cause. But Daniel doesn’t count on the scorching heat between them—and when they get to Vegas, all bets are off.

It has a cover! I'm SO excited. I really, really can't wait to read this! Eeeeeekkkk... It's the first book in a new series by Jennifer Echols and it's actually not YA. This series features young professional adults. I must repeat - I am so excited!

What are you waiting on this week?
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Teaser Tuesday (6)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

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

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Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins

Hardcover, 327 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Hyperion Book CH

"You can call yourself whatever you want." ~ Mom
"Okay. Sophie Awesome Sparkle-Princess it is." ~ Sophie
page 70


Sophie is back and full of wit and snark! I love all of the humor tossed in with the life or death situations. I put off reading Spell Bound until recently, and now I'm really sad to see this series end.
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Review: Through To You by Emily Hainsworth

Through To YouThrough To You by Emily Hainsworth

Publication Date: October 2nd, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: 272 pages
Format: eBook
Source: eARC provided for review by Balzer + Bray

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life: helping him rebuild his identity after a career-ending football injury, picking up the pieces when his home life shattered, and healing his pain long after the meds wore off. And now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv.

The apparition’s name is Nina, and she’s not a ghost. She’s a girl from a parallel world, and in this world, Viv is still alive. Cam can’t believe his wildest dreams have come true. All he can focus on is getting his girlfriend back, no matter the cost. But things are different in this other world: Viv and Cam have both made very different choices, things between them have changed in unexpected ways, and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.

My Thoughts:

I really didn't know what to expect when I first started reading Through To You. I usually read more contemporary stories, but I can handle a bit of paranormal now and then. I thought the plot was original and intriguing, and the writing was good enough to hold my attention throughout.

The protagonist, Camden, really faces a lot of challenges in his life. He is moody and depressed after a string of hardships, the last being the death of his girlfriend, Viv. He is mopey and angst filled for almost the first half of the book. I kept reading because I was certain his disposition would improve as the story went along and he discovers the parallel world and 'his' Viv. I did have a lot of sympathy for Camden, and I could understand his grief up to a point. I also realize that his extreme feelings of loss are of his own doing - after making Viv the center of his universe, he was completely lost without her.

It's not until about halfway through the book that the storyline really picks up. I was very intrigued by the appearance of the portal to the parallel world. I was wondering how it would come about and how it would work. Camden's forays into the portal are very interesting. I won't go into too much detail because I don't want to give away the entire plot. Suffice it to say that Camden realizes that things are not as they seem on the other side. I could definitely understand Cam's interest in the parallel world - in his mind it was his opportunity for a second chance.

The writing is really good, and I love the idea of a parallel world. I really felt the story wasn't as great as it could have been. The Goodreads synopsis spoils the parallel universe, so by the time we get to that part in the book there is no shock or surprise. We already know what is going on, so now what? With the element of surprise taken out of the reader's hands, Through To You failed to deliver the suspense and drama that would have made it really stand out.

I would definitely recommend this book to fans of paranormal books. Even though it's not completely gripping and edge-of-your-seat compelling, it's still very entertaining. It was a fast and easy read, and interesting enough to keep me reading to the end.

eARC provided for review by Balzer + Bray.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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September New Release Giveaway Hop


Welcome to my stop on the September New Release Giveaway Hop, which is hosted by Book Twirps & Refracted Light Reviews.

I am giving away 1 copy of

(I read it and loved it and I want to read it again! It was so good. I want everyone to read and enjoy it and ooh and aah and gush to the extreme with me.)


Contest Rules:
  • The hop runs September 15th through July 30th.
  • Giveaway is International as long as The Book Depository ships to your country.
  • Must be 13 years of age or older to participate.
  • Fill out the Rafflecopter entry below.
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen.
  • Be sure to check out the linky below and visit all of the participating blogs.


    a Rafflecopter giveaway






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    Review: Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy #1) by Anna Banks

    Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon, #1)Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy #1) by Anna Banks

    Publication Date: May 22nd, 2012
    Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
    Page Count: 336 pages
    Source: Library

    Synopsis From Goodreads:

    Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen — literally, ouch! — both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . .

    Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.

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    I had been eagerly anticipating reading Of Poseidon for months. The premise is very unique and interesting. Sadly, it was less than I expected and I was terribly disappointed. I usually enjoy stories that are told from both the female and male POVs, but this time it just didn't work for me. The change in POVs was very noticeable and distracted me while reading. It also made the writing feel a bit clunky at times. But there was quite a bit of humor and snark that I did enjoy, so that was good.

    I really liked the mermaid aspects of this book, and learning more about the underwater world (which there was not enough of) and Syrena mythology (which there may have been too much of). I had a hard time keeping some of the facts straight about Poseidon and Triton because I am not familiar with them.

    I had a problem connecting with or relating to any of the characters. That just made it harder to find something - anything really - to enjoy about this book. I liked Emma well enough - she is strong willed and stubborn. Galen didn't do anything for me. I guess he was supposed to be strong and manly and good looking like a God or something. But that is not enough to make a great character, and when he opened his mouth I found him less attractive. His overbearing attitude bothered the crap out of me, so I don't think I have anything nice to say about him.

    I did not care about any of the relationships in Of Poseidon. You would think with so many characters, and the mating and what not, brotherly love, friendships and so on, there would be a relationship to grab on to and enjoy. There wasn't. I was extremely bothered by the overall theme throughout the book that women had no say in their own lives. That they are objects and the men decide everything for them. Oh hell no, not in MY world!

    Overall, this was a very disappointing read for me. I'm not sure if this is a series that I will continue reading. I know not everyone will have issues with it like I did. This book is sure to appeal to some, so read it and form your own opinion.

    And if I never read "Ohmysweetgoodness" again it will be too soon.

    My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
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    Waiting On Wednesday (43)


    Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

    My choice for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:



    Blind Spot by Laura Ellen

    Hardcover, 336 pages
    Expected publication: October 23rd 2012 by Harcourt Children's Books

    Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


    Synopsis From Goodreads:
    There’s none so blind as they that won’t see.

    Seventeen-year-old Tricia Farni’s body floated to the surface of Alaska’s Birch River six months after the night she disappeared. The night Roz Hart had a fight with her. The night Roz can’t remember. Roz, who struggles with macular degeneration, is used to assembling fragments to make sense of the world around her. But this time it’s her memory that needs piecing together—to clear her name . . . to find a murderer.

    This unflinchingly emotional novel is written in the powerful first-person voice of a legally blind teen who just wants to be like everyone else.

    Why I Want To Read It:
    Laura Ellen uses her personal experience with macular degeneration as the basis for Blind Spot. That, and the fact that she actually used to live in Fairbanks, Alaska, should make this an interesting read. And a murder mystery? I'm in!

    What are you waiting on this week?
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    Book News: Second Chance (First Comes Love, #2) by Katie Kacvinsky

    Katie Kacvinsky, author of First Comes Love, has wrote and self published the follow up story, Second Chance (First Comes Love #2). I read First Comes Love earlier this year and really enjoyed it. You can read my review HERE. I can't wait to read Second Chance and find out what happens next with Gray and Dylan.

    You can purchase your copy of First Comes Love HERE on Amazon.
    You can purchase your copy of Second Chance HERE on Amazon.com. It's only $2.99!

    First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky

    Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

    Synopsis From Goodreads:
    Like his name, Gray is dark and stormy. Dylan, a girl always searching for what's next, seemingly unable to settle down, is the exact opposite: full of light and life. On the outside, they seem like an unlikely couple. But looks can be deceiving and besides, opposites attract.

    What starts as friendship, turns into admiration, respect and caring, until finally these two lone souls find they are truly in love with each other.

    But staying in love is not as easy as falling in love. If Dylan and Gray want their love to last, they're going to have to work at it. And learn that sometimes love means having to say you're sorry.
     

    Second Chance by Katie Kacvinsky

    Synopsis From Goodreads:
    Can two drastically different, imperfect people be perfect for each other?

    It’s been four months since Gray and Dylan have seen each other. Dylan’s been traveling in Europe, while Gray has college, baseball, and a life rooted in one place. Gray’s determined to forget Dylan, the girl he fell in love with in FIRST COMES LOVE. Besides, how do you make a relationship work with an independent loner?

    Just when he decides he’s over her, Dylan makes an unexpected entrance back into his life, hoping their steamy romance can start right where it left off. Gray realizes you can tell your mind to do one thing, but you can’t always convince your heart to follow. Dylan realizes she finally has to make a choice between freedom and her relationship with Gray.

    Hilarious, intense, inspiring, and emotional, SECOND CHANCE shows that love is a journey, and there are never clear road signs or maps to guide you along. You can only navigate with your heart.



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    Review: The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

    The UnquietThe Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

    Publication Date: July 17th, 2012
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Page Count: 388 pages
    Format: ebook
    Source: eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

    Synopsis From Goodreads:

    Sixteen-year-old Rinn Jacobs has secrets: One, she’s bipolar. Two, she killed her grandmother.

    After a suicide attempt, and now her parents' separation, Rinn and her mom move from California to the rural Ohio town where her mother grew up. Back on her medications and hoping to stay well, Rinn settles into her new home, undaunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn's bedroom. At school, her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends—yet not to her—Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be "touched" by Annaliese...or if Annaliese even exists.

    With the help of Nate Brenner, the hunky “farmer boy” she’s rapidly falling for, Rinn devises a dangerous plan to uncover the truth. Soon reality and fantasy meld into one, till Rinn finds it nearly impossible to tell the difference. When a malevolent force threatens the lives of everyone she cares about--not to mention her own--she can't help wondering: who should she really be afraid of?

    Annaliese? Or herself?

    My Thoughts:

    I was really looking forward to reading The Unquiet, and I really wanted to love it, but in the end I thought it was just okay. The premise is enticing and there is plenty of drama and angst - enough to make things interesting and to keep me reading to find out what happens next. The writing is very descriptive and keeps the story entertaining.

    The author does manage to keep up the creepy factor throughout the book. I just felt that the story kept going and going without any sort of resolution in sight. I want to compare it to any of the scary movie series where the characters are killed off one by one, and the rest of them never get a clue and figure out who's doing it and how to survive. The viewer can't look away, even though they know what's coming. That's how I felt while reading The Unquiet.

    I liked Rinn as a character, although I never personally connected with her. As the story progressed, I really started wondering how reliable Rinn was as the narrator. Was she delusional? Where these things really happening, or was it all in her imagination? Rinn was on so many drugs to help her bipolar disorder, and the way she described things going on around her it was as if she was watching from outside her body. The reader has no way of knowing if the goings on were real or just really weird!

    Overall, I did enjoy reading The Unquiet, and I am interested in what Garsee will write next. I definitely recommend The Unquiet if you love scary and creepy! You will get your fill with this book.

    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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    September is for Sequels Challenge


    I am excited to participate in the September is for Sequels Challenge at Lisa Loves Literature. The objective is to read and review a minimum of 4 sequels between the dates of September 1st and 30th, 2012.

    Rules:
    Complete rules can be found on Lisa Loves Literature. The book must be a sequel - it can be any # in the series, just not the first book. Prequels can count if they came out AFTER the first one in the series. You can do e-books, even ARCs or e-galleys, as well as good old fashioned books. And the little 1.5 novellas that are often published as e-books count too.

    There is a signup link and even a giveaway on Lisa's BLOG, so be sure to sign up!

    These are the books I currently plan on reading in September for this challenge:
    1. Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins Read My Review HERE
    2. Covet (The Clann #2) by Melissa Darnell I only read to page 188 before I stopped. I'll have to pick this back up and try again.
    3. Rivals and Retribution (13 to Life #5) by Shannon Delany Read My Review HERE
    4. Second Chance (First Comes Love #2) by Katie Kacvinsky
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    Winner! Back to the Books Giveaway Hop

    There were over 1300 entries for this contest, which is spectacular! Thank you to everyone who joined my blog as a new follower. And a really BIG Thank You to all of my old followers! Thank you all for your wonderful comments regarding what book you are looking forward to reading in September. (The Raven Boys is a must read! hint hint)

    Don't worry if you didn't win this time. I have plenty more giveaways in the works, including follower appreciation giveaways.

    The winner is:
    Entry #836 Pixie S.

    Winner has been contacted and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway
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    Follow Friday (18)


    Follow Friday is a weekly feature hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. It's a great way to discover new blogs and make new friends.

    If you’re new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

    Q: What are you reading right now? How do you like it?


    I am currently reading Rivals and Retribution (13 to Life #5) by Shannon Delany. I am not enjoy it at all! Pietr lost all of his appeal in book #4, and he still hasn't regained his personality or found his balls. Pietr and Jess are so lame as a couple right now that I don't even care if they are together. That makes me sad because I loved them in the first 3 books.

    Book #5 (like book #4) changes POV between Jessie, Alexi, and Marlaena. My problems with this is that the POV changes almost every page, so it's hard to jump from one character to the next, and it makes the story very choppy. And I don't give a shit about Marlaena and her POV. She is a waste of time and space and I don't understand why she has become one of the main voices of the last 2 books. Also, Alexi was hotter than hot in book #4, but now his POV adds nothing to the story - his parts don't have any of the inner dialogue and turmoil that it did before. We get juicy bits like "We all stood around looking at each other" and "We all crammed in the car and I drove..." Downright compelling. Only NOT. It's filler.

    I am past 200 pages currently and things aren't looking good for this book. Someone save me...
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    Review: Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams

    WaitingWaiting by Carol Lynch Williams

    Hardcover, 352 pages
    Published May 1st 2012 by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

    Source: Borrowed from library


    Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

    Synopsis From Goodreads:

    After her brother’s death, a teen struggles to rediscover love and find redemption in this gripping novel.

    Growing up in Africa and Latin America as the children of missionaries, London and Zach were as close as could be. And then Zach dies, and the family is gutted. London’s father is distant. Her mother won’t speak. The days are filled with what-ifs and whispers: Did Zach take his own life? Was it London’s fault?

    Alone and adrift, London finds herself torn between her brother’s best friend and the handsome new boy in town as she struggles to find herself—and ultimately redemption—in this authentic and affecting novel from award-winning novelist Carol Lynch Williams.


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    Waiting should come with a box of tissues. It is certainly one of the most heart wrenching books I have ever read. The subject matter is heavy, as I expected, and it's just so sad. Waiting is written in verse and is a very quick read. I loved the flow of the writing, and the story felt so real and believable.

    I really felt for London and what she was going through. Her grief was so overwhelming and all consuming. She is one of those people who feels every emotion so strongly that it makes it a struggle just to get through the day. She had a very tough journey through some really hard times, and you can't help but want her to come out stronger on the other side.

    I liked London's new friends, Lili and Jesse. They seemed to know what London needed more than her old friends did. And Zach's best friend, Taylor, really wanted what was best for London. He was very caring, and he felt Zach's loss as much as London did. There was really no love triangle. It was more like which way does London want to travel - the hard road or the easy road. The easy way would be to pursue a relationship with Jesse. He is new to town and being with him doesn't bring back memories of her brother. However much she really want to be with Taylor, it is painful because so many of her memories of Zach are tied up with him.

    Waiting is a look at the absolute worst part of a family that is grieving the loss of one member. It is a challenge just to get through each day. They are all so dysfunctional, but none of them seek the professional help that is desperately needed. London's mother is absolutely off her rocker and needed some serious mental help. She completely falls apart after Zach's death, and no one can get through to her. She hasn't spoken to London in a year because she blames London for her brother's death. The Dad isn't much help. He buries his head in the sand and tries to pretend his family hasn't fallen apart. Through London's memories, we learn that Zach had problems of his own that their parents tried to pray away. Taking some sort of action (as opposed to praying) would have helped this family tremendously.

    Overall, I did enjoy reading Waiting. Once I started, I couldn't stop reading because I wanted to know what had caused so much turmoil in this family. It was painful at times, and eye opening, but I had to learn the truth. It was an emotional journey, and I loved that the ending was both hopeful and bittersweet.

    My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
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    Waiting On Wednesday (42) Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1)


    Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

    My choice for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

    Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1) by Darynda Jones

    Paperback, 320 pages
    Expected publication: October 2nd 2012 by St. Martin's Press
    Synopsis From Goodreads:

    Ten years ago, Lorelei's parents disappeared without a trace. Raised by her grandparents and leaning on the support of her best friends, Lorelei is finally beginning to accept the fact that her parents are never coming home. For Lorelei, life goes on.

    High school is not quite as painful as she thinks it will be, and things are as normal as they can be. Until the day the school's designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it, standing outside her house in the dark, night after night. Things get even more complicated when a new guy—terrifying, tough, sexy Jared Kovach—comes to school. Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity. What does Jared know about her parents? Why does Cameron tell Jared he can't have Lorelei? And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real? Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Darynda Jones's first foray into the world of teens will leave readers eager for the next installment.

    Why I Want To Read It:
    I have been reading a ton of great reviews for this book. I haven't read anything from Darynda Jones before, but I am willing to give this a chance.

    What are you waiting on this week?
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    Top Ten Tuesday (12) Fall TBR


    Top Ten Tuesday brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.

    Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR:

    In no particular order:

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    1. Crewel (Crewel World #1) by Gennifer Albin
    I have an eARC of this that I really need/want to read.

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    2. Black City (Black City #1) by Elizabeth Richards

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    3. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

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    4. Touched (Sense Thieves #1) by Corrine Jackson
    I still have to get a copy of If I Lie by Corrine Jackson that came out last week.

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    5. Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
    It seems as though I have been waiting for this since forever! I can't wait to read it.

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    6. The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2) by Michelle Hodkin

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    7. This Dark Endeavor (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein #1) by Kenneth Oppel
    8. Such Wicked Intent (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein #2) by Kenneth Oppel
    I just borrowed This Dark Endeavor from the library. I hope I like it!

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    9. Nevermore (Nevermore #1) by Kelly Creagh
    10. Enshadowed (Nevermore #2) by Kelly Creagh
    I bought Nevermore when it came out (a long, long time ago) but didn't read it at that time because the sequel was so far off... now I can read the first 2 and pine for the 3rd.

    Read More »

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