Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Dead Girls Detective Agency

Finally! Wednesday is here! I missed the last "WoW", but now there is time...for a bit anyway. As always, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from BreakingTheSpine used for highlighting yet-to-be-released book titles. Here is what I am waiting for today:

Title: The Dead Girls Detective Agency

Author: Suzy Cox

Release Day: September 18th, 2012

Summary: (Goodreads) When Charlotte comes to after being pushed onto the subway tracks, she is informed by a group of teenage girls that she is dead…they all are. Meet the Dead Girls Detective Agency. With the support of these dynamic girls—including fashionable Lorna, who can’t wait to find out if the devil actually wears Prada, and nerdy Nancy, who insists on staying in limbo to help out other girls—Charlotte follows leads and tracks down clues to solve her own murder. With plenty of juicy mysteries and some pretty cute guys, readers are sure to fall in love with this fun and suspenseful page-turner! 

My Thoughts: The afterlife and mysteries together sounds like a really fun combination! From what little I can glean from that summary, it seems like a lighthearted read with maybe some funny moments. I am looking forward to solving the mystery along with Charlotte and meeting the other quirky characters.


Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley (Not murder mystery, but cute and funny.) Review

Between by Jessica Warman (Mystery. More serious and contemplative.) Review

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Contest Alert: Nicolas and Co.

I just got an email from Kevin McGill about his book Nikolas and Company: The Merman and the Moon Forgotten. He will be giving away 1000 signed copies of his book geared toward middle and young adult readers!


Here is the e-mail below!


Take The Ride: 1000 signed copies of Kevin McGill’s Nikolas and Company will be given away on July 6th.
I explain more in the announcement video: (Also, you can watch my book go into space!)

July 6th, Aero Studios will mail 1000 free, signed copies of my book, Nikolas and Company: The Merman and The Moon Forgotten to those who get their orders in first. You don’t have to pay for the book, or shipping and handling. All you have to do is be between the ages of 10 and 17 (If you know someone between 10 and 17, feel free to order for them), and live in the US (adults can also get a free digital copy)


Oh, and you also have to LOVE crazy, fantasy adventures about a fourteen-year-old boy being chased by monsters aboard a shuttle launch, automaton legged mermen walking on land, and travelling down murky waterways deep underground…on the moon!  Don’t know what I mean? Well, here’s a little teaser video for The Merman and The Moon Forgotten:
    What do the reviewers think? Click here.


- Take The Ride
Kevin McGill

There you have it, folks! Get in your orders for all of those readers who you know will absolutely love this!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Burning Blue

Hey, guys...I've been keeping this one to myself. Obsessed with it really. I hadn't seen it around the blogosphere much, so I thought I would share since that is only right. I REALLY WANT THIS BOOK. Breath-taking cover. Sly, intriguing synopsis. Ahhh! Anyways, today is Wednesday (check your calendar if you don't believe least it is Wednesday in my part of the this second in the fabric of time). "Waiting on Wednesday" is a meme hosted by Jill from BreakingTheSpine, so visit her page to link up! Here is what I am very anxiously awaiting the release of this week...and until it is published:

Title: Burning Blue

Author: Paul Griffin

Release Day: October 25th, 2012

Summary: (goodreadsWhen Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that—he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in—and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself

My Thoughts: Words cannot express how much I long to have this on my bookshelf. I love the premise an the book cover SO MUCH! And I like the how the summary doesn't make point out that it is about minority, (they have Latino last names),  characters, but makes it sound like simply a story that we can all pick up. I do hope there are some cultural things in the actual book since that is always fun. I just like that it isn't so obviously "not white", although I noticed that...Maybe because most books make it about that? Hmm...anyways. Can't wait!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mad Science Institute

Author: Sechin Tower

Summary: (goodreadsSophia "Soap" Lazarcheck is a girl genius with a knack for making robots-and for making robots explode. After her talents earn her admission into a secretive university institute, she is swiftly drawn into a conspiracy more than a century in the making. Meanwhile and without her knowledge, her cousin Dean wages a two-fisted war of vengeance against a villainous genius and his unwashed minions. 

Separately, the cousins must pit themselves against murderous thugs, experimental weaponry, lizard monsters, and a nefarious doomsday device. When their paths finally meet up, they will need to risk everything to prevent a mysterious technology from bringing civilization to a sudden and very messy end

Review: Expertly written. Soap is my favorite character EVER! Who knew circuitry and robots could be this fun? This book seriously blew all of my expectations out of the water. I openly acknowledged being a reluctant science-fiction reader, but Mad Science Institute is changing that and I cannot wait to read more.

The stilted dialogue in the beginning was imperative in creating Soap's shy and awkward character. Through  the narration, we know she is a typical teenager, but struggles to outwardly make connections with people her age, because of her amazing genius ability. I could not stop laughing at how absurd Soap sounded trying out a formula she had concocted with which to meet-and-greet the students at her new school. I could practically see her squirming as she tried to act natural, and sat bewildered at why her carefully constructed plans didn't turn out how they were supposed to. Hilarious! Being a socially awkward person myself, I found a kindred spirit in Soap.

Although Soap is the nerdy outcast of her school, she doesn't fit any stereotypes perfectly, just like humans cannot be simply categorized and thrown in a rigid box. Victor is a little older than her and acts the part of the sulking, quiet intellect working intensely on his own mysterious projects, but we later get to know what goes on inside his head and he turns out to be quite the interesting fellow. Quirky! On the other hand, Nikki, the third student of the Mad Science Institute wears pink lab coats, commands attention, and can hold her ground pretty well in a fight. Their unique motivations and ability to defy easy description create the students that Dean, Soap's cousin, is charged with looking after. He is mostly brawn, but certainly caring. The book alternates from narrating what is happening to Dean and then to Soap, so they spend little time actually together during the story, but the family connection is there in throughout the novel.

Plot-wise, this book never has a dull moment. The villains are a bit obvious although they come in unexpected shapes and sizes. A plot involving the crippling of the world as we know it requires a huge conspiracy involving many people and lots of time. Soap grows in character doing  things she never imagined she would do (chew germ-y, gritty, gross gum from off pavement) in order to achieve a sense of fulfillment. All the characters bring something to the table, and together with the thrill of the fast pacing, Mad Science Institute becomes a story you keep going back to.

Recommended to fans of Steampunk, science-fiction, or comedic drama. Although this book is in current day, there is an otherworldliness to it that will appeal to readers.
Rating: 1 2 3 4 4.5 5 (Dean's character wasn't as...developed as it could have been. Almost perfect.)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Silver Phoenix

Author: Cindy Pon

Source: Library

Summary: (goodreads) No one wanted Ai Ling. And deep down she is relieved—despite the dishonor she has brought upon her family—to be unbetrothed and free, not some stranger's subservient bride banished to the inner quarters.

But now, something is after her. Something terrifying—a force she cannot comprehend. And as pieces of the puzzle start to fit together, Ai Ling begins to understand that her journey to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams isn't only a quest to find her beloved father but a venture with stakes larger than she could have imagined.

Bravery, intelligence, the will to fight and fight hard . . . she will need all of these things. Just as she will need the new and mysterious power growing within her. She will also need help.

It is Chen Yong who finds her partly submerged and barely breathing at the edge of a deep lake. There is something of unspeakable evil trying to drag her under. On a quest of his own, Chen Yong offers that help . . . and perhaps more.

Review: I've finally gotten my hands on this one. The library has always been my absolutely best friend in books.

This fantasy book is filled with so much action and unimaginable landscapes. The enemies of Ai Ling enter our world to fight against her and they clearly are really out of place in this setting, but then the setting itself changes to being another world. The description of what the other beings look like is detailed and paint quite a warped image of them. The description was incredible and images were vivid.

Ai Ling is a strong-willed person who is surprisingly composed in front of all types of monsters, figurative and literal. Her independence sets her on a path that will force her to grow up faster than she should have to, and she will learn so much about who she really is, but it will require all of her wits and also physical strength to achieve her goal.

I liked it a whole lot! But I was a tad put off by the lack of characterization. It took me most of the book to connect with Ai Ling while I felt closer to Chen Yong really quickly. Character driven stories appeal more to me, so if you are more for plot and adventure and constantly something happening, this one doesn't lack that. Overall, a compelling storyline that has me scrambling for the second installment in spite of the characters.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Thursday, June 7, 2012


YA for the YAt Heart: GIVEAWAY! SHARING THE COURTNEY SUMMERS LOVE!: Okay, people, this is it! We are only a couple of weeks away from Courtney Summer's official release date for This is Not a Test! (June 19...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Velveteen

Here we have another week gone by. "Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at BreakingTheSpine! This is a great way to share the books you are eagerly awaiting the release of. Here is what I'm waiting for today:

Title: Velveteen

Author: Daniel Marks

Release Day: October 9th, 2012

Summary: (goodreadsVelveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that's not the problem.

The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it's not a fiery inferno, it's certainly no heaven. It's gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn't leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what's really on her mind.


Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she's figured out just how to do it. She'll haunt him for the rest of his days. 

It'll be brutal . . . and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen's obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she's willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can't help herself when it comes to breaking rules . . . or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

My Thoughts: Murder and revenge? Sounds like this heroine may be a very strong character. The setting itself is quite interesting as well. Why did she end up in Purgatory? What jobs are these souls assigned in a place that sounds like ruins? And who is the really cute guy she might fall for? I'm seriously itching for this book! Pleeeaaassseee somebody give it to me!!! This is supposed to be the first in a series, so hopefully it lives up to my expectations and then never ends. I cannot wait to pick this one up.

What are you waiting for this week?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Armchair BEA 2012 Introduction

Hey, there! I am participating in Armchair BEA this year and hopefully I will be more active instead of just a spectator. Interviews are scary. I tend to not be able to say much or give enough of an answer that describes just me. Oh well! This still sounds fun and I hope the practice is helpful!

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

Introductions are very difficult for me...Hello! My name is Isabel (Do I sound overly chipper?)! I will be turning 19 in July (although some of my friends think I'm better suited to be a 5 year old). I'm studying at a community college and hope to get into the medical field in the next two or three years...or maybe I will take out loans and go experience the University Life. I don't know yet, but book blogging is something that will probably stay very constant in my life.

I have been blogging for about three years now and cannot imagine not doing so. Blogging was something I definitely never thought I would get into and I never expected to create connections with other bloggers as much as I have. I got into blogging because another book-loving friend, Wdebo, started up her own blog and wanted to share the experience with me! I figured that having a place to write my thoughts and keep track of the books that I have read would be worth creating this site. Plus it would give me a place to use the HTML coding I learned in my after school Computer class (the only thing I can use is the break and hyperlinking...Good thing it  wasn't a graded course).

2. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?

Currently...I am reading Tiger's Destiny (Book 4 in the Tiger's Curse series by Colleen Houck), although I'm barely on page 2. Love this series though! I just finished Betrayal by Gregg Olsen which is a really good mystery. Favorite book this year? I usually do not read self-published books, but I am so glad I got Mad Science Institute by Sechin Tower. This book was amazing in every way. Great characters. Quirky Villains and so much fun with lab experiments gone horribly wrong. Definitely my favorite read of 2012 so far!

3. Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

Umm...these are the hardest kinds of questions. I'm allergic to avocados? Only slightly. As long as I eat them in other foods then I'm alright, but by themselves it isn't good. My mouth feels all tingly and my gums hurt. Less than pleasant. I'm also a Korean Drama and Pop addict...but if you read my blog often...then you already know that. 

Whenever I get asked "What is something unique about you?" at school for the ice-breakers on the first day of class, I always talk about book blogging. That is pretty much it...I'm not much for extra-curricular activities :)

4. What is your favorite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)? this question disguised to mean "What is unique about your blog?"? Because then I don't know what to say. I guess I will have to come up with a creative something this summer. My favorite meme to participate in is "Waiting on Wednesday" though! That is something. Goodreads is great for keeping track of the to-read pile, but "Waiting on Wednesday" really helps to remind me about the really awesome books that I will regret if I do not pick them up when they come out. Love that meme!

5. Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?

I don't write much other than reviews, but here are a couple that I am particularly proud of.

Mini-drama Reviews is a post I love because I talk about my Asian Drama obsessions. I give little reviews on some of my favorites. For those who watch Korean dramas especially, you may know that they all follow a sort of formula, therefore, I think it is note-worthy that I managed to say something general about each, but at the same time give my opinion on that unique drama with specifics. 

all these things I've done is one of my recently favorite reviews...mostly because this book was incredibly good. This review was easy to write with passion because of how much the book moved me. I feel like that emotion came out in my writing and gave it more dimension. Really liked that one.

6. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?

Soap from Mad Science Institute. She would be even more awkward than me at introducing herself. But I would feel a whole lot more comfortable being able to relate to her!

7. What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?

HOGWARTS. I would love to go to a school where there are towers and a forest and it is dark and paintings talk to you and there are uniforms so I don't have to go through the hassle of putting an outfit together in time and having a banquet hall...and I think I would really get along with Hermione.

8. Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

 I used to love the Middle-Grade reads that crossed over to YA and now I like the YA that can start to cross over into the Adult category. I think that may be due more to me growing up a little versus blogging. I also see  myself being more and more attracted toward the classics because of all the dorky literary references that I could understand and make.

FYI: I don't usually use this many ellipses. And this turned out to be more like a book about me...well there you have it. That's meeeee!!!!