Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 32: The Wicked and the Just

Waiting on Wednesday is brought to you by Jill from BreakingTheSpine. This weekly meme highlights the books we are awaiting the publication of. Here is what I am waiting for this week:

Title: The Wicked and the Just

Author: J. Anderson Coats

Publication Date: April 17th, 2012

Summary: (goodreads) Cecily’s father has ruined her life. He’s moving them to occupied Wales, where the king needs good strong Englishmen to keep down the vicious Welshmen. At least Cecily will finally be the lady of the house.

Gwenhwyfar knows all about that house. Once she dreamed of being the lady there herself, until the English destroyed the lives of everyone she knows. Now she must wait hand and foot on this bratty English girl.

While Cecily struggles to find her place amongst the snobby English landowners, Gwenhwyfar struggles just to survive. And outside the city walls, tensions are rising ever higher—until finally they must reach the breaking point

My Thoughts: Captivating title. Love it. And anything set a place that has monarchs grabs my attention. I don't know what my intrigue with Kings and Queens is, but this has a cool storyline. And that cover looks so strong! I cannot wait to read this. And it is coming out really soon! Yay!

P.S: Sorry for the lack of review posts lately. It is Finals week, but then Spring Break will be here! Til then, happy reading!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 31

This weekly meme is hosted by Jill over at BreakingTheSpine. The purpose? To highlight the novels we are most eagerly awaiting the release of. Here is what I am waiting for today:

Title: Venom

Author: Fiona Paul

Release Day: October 3rd, 2012

Summary: (goodreads) Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, access to the best balls, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancĂ©, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

But when Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of secret societies, courtesans, and killers. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin. . .and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancĂ©, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

My Thoughts: The setting is Italy! I find that to be enticing of its own accord and especially Renaissance times with ball gowns and colorful masks. The cover is beautiful too. But what really makes me want to read this book is the murder mystery. I don't know why, but I was obsessed with Nancy Drew in elementary school and I still can't get enough of lame cop shows like Psych or Grimm (it is kinda a or Monk! I love Monk, but I digress. So, yes. Mysteries for the win! And Renaissance Italy. And yeah, of course, the romance.

What are you waiting for? :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters

Author: Meredith Zeitlin

Source: Publisher

Summary: (inside cover) So let's say you're fourteen and live in New York City. (Well, technically you live in Park Slope, Brooklyn, which is very close to and almost like Manhattan...except not.) You'd think your life would be like a glamorous TV show, right? And yet...

You don't have a checking account, much less a personal Black American Express Card. No fake ID, either--not that you'd pass for twenty-one in a million years, even if you did. The only couture in your closet is a Halloween costume your mom made out of an old laundry bag when you were eleven. You've never been to a club or had a drink served in a martini glass or, frankly, done anything really NYC-ish at all.

You definitely don't have any secret powers, or friends who are vampires, or magical weapons stored in your parents' basement. You're about as normal and totally boring as a human being living in the most exciting city on the planet could possibly be. In other words? You're me: Kelsey Finkelstein.

But don't despair, people--I'm starting high school in less than a week! This is going tot be the year that I live up to all of my untapped potential--finally. I have to say...I'm feeling almost optimistic.

Review: Sometimes you just need an empowering, giddy read that actually makes you want to clean your room happily. With Kelsey as the narrator for this novel, you will feel that way when you finish reading Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters. For a fourteen-year-old, Kelsey is surprisingly resilient and honest of a character.

She goes through the stages of crushing on one guy, and experiencing the pain of betrayal in losing a friend, and she does what freshman should do during their first year of high school. That is, putting yourself out there. Finding a niche. I was certainly not expecting to love this book. Like? Yes. But love? It went beyond my expectations for a book on freshman year. Awesome!

Although there was heartbreak, Kelsey dealt with it maturely. She didn't have a whiny voice that only complained. Kelsey's rationale kept this song (story) from becoming repetitive or boring. There is just so much fun to be had living vicariously through Kelsey. She goes through some hurt, but then recovers.

Although her recovery is replaced with planning for revenge, Kelsey still manages to make friends at her new high school, attend parties, deal with more hurt, join theater and get entangled with the school newspaper, then go to more parties. There were plenty of laugh out loud moments courtesy of our sarcastic Kelsey. She is someone anyone would love to have as a friend. And I'm very glad that I got to know her. I recommend to those looking for an easy read, for a funny narrator, or for a book that will make you feel good. Happy reading!

Rating: 1 2 3 4 4.5 5
(The romance was a bit rushed near the end although understandable, so not a 5.)

Friday, March 9, 2012

all these things I've done

Author: Gabrielle Zevin

Source: Library

Summary: (goodreads) In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss,life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidentally poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.

Engrossing and suspenseful, All These Things I've Done is an utterly unique, unputdownable read that blends both the familiar and the fantastic.

Review: Perfection in every way. A riveting, action-packed plot, realistic narration, unique characters and emotionally-charged writing create Anyaschka Balanchine's story.

At 16, the toll of being surrounded by leaders of organized crime shows in Anya's voice. She opens up to us, the readers, and surprises with her maturity, self-reliance and loyalty to her family. Taking care of her "delicate" older brother, her younger sister Natty and her dying grandmother while staying on friendly terms with the mafiya side of her family while not getting involved is a huge responsibility and burden. But her strength makes her able to see past her difficulties, so she can protect those she loves with whatever abilities and knowledge on the organization her father left before becoming a victim of it himself.

The main character is so level-headed and practical and realistic! Always careful in thinking out her every move. But this inner strength doesn't change that she is only 16. Her slip-ups are what remind us that we are all human.

Anya's temper flare-ups are few and even when she knows she has gone too far, her thoughts continue to spill, speaking her mind while trying to restrain herself. Her cynicism comes with good cause because of the losses she has endured, but slowly Anya begins to see that there are things worth fighting and giving pride up for.

And air of mystery surrounds the book creating a suspenseful, entertaining read. The characters are all three-dimensional and special in their own way. Yuji Ono is one of my favorites, because he was very sympathetic of Anya, but I also got to see his frustrated side making him whole.Goodwin Delacroix's romantic idealism rivaled the practical-ness of his own father who was very much like Anya. Scarlett is a wonderful best friend, trying her best to be there for Anya. Even Jacks, a villain, is clearly himself. Conniving, pathetic, yearning for acknowledgement, and cowardly manipulative.

Zevin's world of illegal chocolate and caffeine is not very hard to imagine through this book. It is just like the present, but tweaked where the details are what create the right atmosphere for this novel. Anya's strength of character, the sayings her father told her, her spirituality because of her mother's memory and her discovery of love through her Nana make this novel a highly recommended read.

Rating:1 2 3 4 5

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 30

This is a weekly meme showcasing the books we are eagerly awaiting the release of. It is hosted by Jill over at BreakingTheSpine so visit to link up with other bloggers :) Here is what I am waiting for this week:

Title: Masque of the Red Death

Author: Bethany Griffin

Release Day: April 24th, 2012

Summary: (goodreads) Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

My Thoughts: This book sounds really interesting to me because the lead comes from a life of privilege. For her to find the way in which the city's destruction affects her, I think will be quite a journey. Secrets and mystery add to the intrigue and I hope for an excellent adventure!