Friday, February 28, 2014

Reading Review - The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

Goodreads                          Author's Website

My Rating - Four Stars

Today's review is of The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd. When I first picked this up, I had thought it was a historical fiction, which typically isn't among my favorite genres. However, I found out soon after that this book is actually a retelling- which many of you know I love. The Madman's Daughter is actually a retelling of The Island of Doctor Moreau, and this entire trilogy is retellings of the grim and creepy nature. In short, this is a series I should have known about long ago, and honestly a lot of my reactions throughout the first part of the book were astonishment, wonder, and 'Why didn't I pick this series up sooner?'. I've yet to read The Island myself, but I'd certainly like to after finishing this book.

The protagonist is Juliet Moreau, the daughter of the infamous doctor. She's struggling to survive in London in the aftermath of losing her parents and the enormous scandal her father left. Juliet is a really interesting character- as the story progresses she has an intense internal conflict. Juliet is a really interesting character to read about and journey alongside. She wasn't my favorite protagonist, as I felt she would become so mired in her thoughts and puzzlings that sometimes there would be more lengthy narration than interesting action furthering the plot. However, Juliet is generally an interesting and unique narrator with a moral dilemma and an internal conflict that drive her character throughout the novel.
The other characters added to the eerie and strange atmosphere of the island. Montgomery and Edward were always intriguing when they had a scene with Juliet. The doctor was an infuriating character, but definitely added a unique presence in the group. The characters interacted well, and scenes with multiple people in it were always interesting and engaging to read. However, the scenes when Juliet is alone and narrating her thoughts sometimes dragged on and slowed the pacing of the story. Since Juliet is unaware of any of the island's mysteries, following her along as she thinks about everything and doesn't come up with a conclusion wasn't as compelling as the rest of the novel. These instances slowed the plot down for me, although whenever other characters came into the scene there was a lot of mystery and suspense throughout.

I gave this book four out of five stars, and I ended up going to get the sequel shortly thereafter. In case you were curious, the sequel Her Dark Curiosity is said to be a retelling of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. The third and final installment is going to be a Frankenstein retelling. I am really excited to continue on with this series, and read more of these eerie retellings!

Have you read any retellings like this? What did you think? 

From the paper world,

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Ah, Wednesdays. A time to look ahead at some wonderful books that are coming. I'm talking about Waiting on Wednesday, the weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, and it's a lot of fun to post these weekly and talk about some exciting upcoming books. This week is yet another conclusion to a series- there seems to be a lot of series wrapping up this year. For this week? Let's talk about the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Reading Review - Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier

I reviewed Ruby Red the other day. That's the first book in the Precious Stone trilogy by Kerstin Gier, more commonly known as the Ruby Red trilogy. This is a great time traveling series. This review is for Ruby Red's sequel, Sapphire Blue. THERE ARE SPOILERS FOR RUBY RED AHEAD. I would suggest checking out my Ruby Red Review if you're curious about the series, although I'll tell you now that I really enjoyed Ruby Red. Now, let's talk about Sapphire Blue!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Character Chat - Top Five Book Boyfriends of 2014

As it is February, the month of love, and the Book Blogger Love-A-Thon that recently happened included a love letter to your book boyfriend, I thought it appropriate to introduce this new segment to the blog. Character Chat is going to be my discussions about various wonderful characters I've encountered through the books. Also, this feature will be talking about books I've read this year, so that way it can be a continual feature that I revisit in the coming years. So, there will be a chat on book boyfriends for 2014, 2015, etc. Now, I know it's very early in the year, but I want to do this and start the series, so without further ado...

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1)Raffe is hilarious, strong, and surprisingly tender throughout Angelfall. He has some really adorable moments, but he is also a tough warrior with a very sarcastic side. The banter between him and Penryn is probably one of my favorite aspects of this novel, and I would love to travel around with Raffe and trade wit. He's also got a soft side, and there are glimpses of that throughout the book that made me want to hug him. So, I think that Raffe would definitely have to be one of my book boyfriend picks thus far in 2014.

Sam is completely adorable. He is so sweet, kind, and gentle! Also, he's very musical, and any scene involving him and an instrument was beautiful. Sam's a great character because he's amazing and understanding, but also flawed. He has his doubts and fears, but he is a strong person anyways, and his character is really admirable. Numerous times throughout this book, I have wanted to just give Sam a hug. 

Cress (Lunar Chronicles, #3)Ah, another hilarious and sarcastic one with a sweet side. Yes, Thorne made himself my favorite character in this book. He's got a very dry wit, yet also is capable of gentleness and compassion. Thorne is a character that I love because he's very funny and snarky, but also because he's more than what many people think of him. He's brave and intelligent, very resourceful, and even if he isn't the best at something he's determined to try. Thorne radiates charisma and charm, but beneath all the fluff he's also got a lot of strong qualities. I can't wait to read more about him in Winter!

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)Ok, so I'm reading this book now, and I'm only just over 50 pages in. But, Warner has been a favorite of mine since Shatter Me. Before Destroy Me even came out I wanted to know more about Warner because who Juliet thought he was didn't seem to match with some of what Warner said and did. He is passionate and complicated, but he's also got a sensitivity and understanding to him that makes him an even more amazing character. And yes, I'm loving him so far in this book and will continue to do so. Warner is a fantastic book boyfriend! Also, thus far in Ignite Me, he has stolen every scene he is in and definitely remained my favorite character in this series- Warner is absolutely wonderful!

Unhinged (Splintered, #2)Look who is number one on the book boyfriend list. Morpheus, you aren't even surprised, are you? If you look in some other blog posts, you'll see constant mentions of Splintered, Unhinged, The Moth in the Mirror, and general Morpheus love. I've even written a love letter to him as a challenge for the Love-A-Thon. Morpheus is witty, dark, mysterious, and yet is loving and loyal. One can never guess what Morpheus will do, but he has certainly swept me off my feet. He will probably be my number one book boyfriend for a long time to come, so Morpheus will certainly be staying around the blog and fluttering through more posts! Also, this cover features Morpheus!

There is the beginning of the character chat saga! Now, I want to hear from you. Have you read these books? Loved these guys? Who are your book boyfriends? Let me know!

From the paper world,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Reasons I Love Being a Book Blogger and Reader

This is an awesome installment of The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday and I'm very excited to talk about it. This is the week to talk about the reasons I love blogging, and the reasons I love reading. Since these are two of my absolute favorite past times, I am more than happy to do this week's. Let's get started.
Both of these lists are in no particular order, and I decided to do five reasons why I love blogging and five why I love reading. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon - Farewell Until Next Year

Sadly, it is the end of the Book Blogger Love-A-Thon...
However, this weekend has been absolutely amazing. As a new blogger, I was completely amazed by all the participants, their enthusiasm, and the general love and support for book blogging. You guys are all awesome. Seriously, if you just stopped by and checked out a post, or if you commented or tweeted, or followed... I was really touched. All the notifications I got and interactions with other bloggers made this weekend so memorable. I loved this. As a new blogger I found not only a ton of new book blogs to follow (a blog roll page is now in the works so that I can share some awesome blogs with you all) but a ton of book bloggers who are all so kind, happy to talk about books, and very supportive. 
Honestly, I was in a bit of a creative slump this past month. I was really worried because I felt like I was running out of ideas and I'd only been blogging a few months. However, after this weekend, I am so excited about everything. This community is so wonderful, and now I'm excited to share my thoughts and ideas again. One example? I debuted a new series on the blog called Wanderlust in Words. Now, this is an idea from before this blog even came about, back when I was just coming up with ideas and getting excited about even starting a book blog. But I never posted it, because of this reason or that. Well, I didn't have anything planned for the mash up challenge, and I thought that this supportive and awesome event would be a good time to test it out. The response absolutely amazed me. I was getting a bunch of comments on how much you all loved it, loved the name... and I'm definitely excited to continue the series. That meant so much to me.
So, it's the end of this event. But luckily, this is a yearly thing, and awesome book blogs and bloggers are always around year round. So, to all my fellow new bloggers, I say talk to some other bloggers, and share your love of books. There's a really awesome crowd of people out there. To everyone who's stopped by, you are amazing. I've loved talking to all of you, and I can't wait to see what this year brings us all. Thank you to Alexa and Katelyn for a truly wonderful event.

From the paper world,

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon - Letter to Myself Mini Challenge

How's everyone enjoying the Book Blogger LoveAThon? I'm so excited for this next mini challenge! This is a letter to either your past or future blogging self. Since I've been blogging for a few months, I want to write a letter to myself for my one year blog anniversary. Then, when we get to that point this coming autumn, I can feature the letter and respond to it. So, without further ado...

Dear Future Self,

Hello! How has the blog been going? I can't believe it will have been a year of blogging once you read this! Right now, I'm writing this for the Book Blogger LoveAThon, and so far I've participated in several blogging events. I stayed up for 24 hours reading, I've done Bout of Books, and I'm so excited for everything else that's to come. 

What's been your favorite read of the year? Have you had a good reading year? I know that I'm excited for more of blogging; meeting other bloggers and making friends, as well as sharing my love of books. So, I hope you enjoy your blog anniversary, congraulations on having come so far, and I wish you more happiness to come.

From the paper world several months back,

Now, I want to hear from you guys- what was your first year of blogging like? If you're still a new blogger like me *waves* then tell me how it's going. I hope you all are enjoying the Love-A-Thon as much as I am!

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon Mini Challenge and Wanderlust in Words Introduction

Need to travel but can't get a ticket? Welcome to Wanderlust in Words, where some amazing books can take you to your favorite cities without the jet lag. 

Welcome back to the Book Blogger Love-A-Thon! I honestly didn't think I was going to be participating in this mini challenge, but I've had this post I've wanted to share for awhile, and so I decided it was time to put it out there.

Hey, everyone! I'm so excited to start Wanderlust in Words! This is an idea I had when I was originally coming up with series I wanted to do for the blog. It was one of my favorites, and so I'm glad that I'm able to share it with you all now! I want to start this feature with the city and books that first inspired me to make it - Prague.

Prague is a city I hadn't read many books about until a little while ago. But I've read two particularly wonderful books set in this city, and so I wanted to share them with you today.

The Book of Blood and Shadow
The first book is The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman. This is a thrilling mystery about a girl named Nora who finds her life completely changed. Her friend is killed mysteriously and Nora's boyfriend is charged with murder. Nora sets out to prove his innocence and journeys to Prague as she seeks the truth behind this mysterious turn of events. I loved how this book was one I couldn't predict. The characters weren't my favorite, but the story was unique and the focus on Prague was incredible. I remember snatches of seeing the city and world building as Nora delved into the mystery, and I loved this. I think that this is a good mystery and introduction to the city of Prague.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

The second book is The Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. This series is beautiful. It's written in a way that's artistic, poetic, and engaging. The protagonist, Karou, made me want to dye my hair peacock blue and live in Prague. I loved being in Prague with Karou. It seems so creative, a blend of the ancient and the quirkiness of Karou and her friends. Her life in the city was so much fun to read, and definitely made me love this Prague.

So there is the first of Wanderlust in Words. I wanted to try something that combined my love for travel with books, and I hope you guys enjoyed. If you've read any books set in Prague, what were they? 

From the paper world,

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon - Mad Lib Mini Challenge

There are some really great mini challenges for this LoveAThon, and so I'm back with my second of the day! This is the Mad Lib Challenge, and so, here we go! If you aren't familiar with mad libs, or it's been awhile, basically I've picked random words with prompts (for example, I'm asked for an adjective and I say old) without knowing how they'll be put into a story. If you want to do this, pick the needed words without seeing how they fit into the story, then put them in and let me know what your story says in the comments!

Ok, are you ready? Here's the story without my words in.

One day, I was VERB ENDING IN -ING with BOOK BOYFRIEND #1. Out of the blue, a NOUN came out of nowhere! It was so ADJECTIVEADJECTIVE and ADJECTIVE. At first, we were afraid, we were petrified, but we PAST TENSE VERB. We hopped on RANDOM MODE OF TRANSPORTATION to make our getaway. 

As we escaped, we turned up the radio because A CATCHY TUNE came on and made me VERB. Everything was extremely smooth sailing until an ANIMAL appeared in the middle of the road. We swerved to avoid it, but while BOOK BOYFRIEND #1 stayed on SAME RANDOM MODE OF TRANSPORTATION, I got thrown onto my side in the woods.

I couldn't get up, and felt ADJECTIVE as I lay there staring up at the trees. What was I going to do? I heard a WORD DESCRIBING A SOUND among the leaves, and felt EMOTION. Surely, this was going to be my end. As my eyes fluttered shut, the last thing I saw was a head of COLOR hair and COLOR eyes.

When I woke up again, I was on a PIECE OF FURNITURE. My body hurt a whole lot less, and I could sit up. There was a NOUN and NOUN in the room, along with FOOD and DRINK. The door suddenly opened to reveal BOOK BOYFRIEND #2, a concerned look on his face. I blushed and averted my gaze, but he VERB and said, "Don't be shy. It's okay."

He came over to sit by me, and we started talking after I told him my name. We chatted about HOBBY 1,HOBBY 2 and HOBBY 3 and realized we had a ton in common! I thought he was ADJECTIVE and couldn't help feeling a little swoony. 

Just as he reached out for my hand, the door crashed open and in came BOOK BOYFRIEND #3. "Don't let him charm you away, my love!" He yelled, running at BOOK BOYFRIEND #2. They each had KITCHENWARE in their hands and began to fight. "Stop!", I yelled, feeling so EMOTION. They didn't listen to me. Before I could intervene, BOOK BOYFRIEND #2 fell to the floor and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

"What was that?" I asked, staring at the empty space. BOOK BOYFRIEND #3 dropped his weapon, and came over to me. "Magic, but you are safe now, PET NAME." He hugged me close, and I suddenly knew that this was the real deal and not just a dream.

Just as LOVE SONG started playing in my head, I woke up. I cursed my ADJECTIVE luck. Why had it only been just a dream?

And now, here's my version - 

One day, I was reading with Morpheus. Out of the blue, a tree came out of nowhere! It was so oldgraceful and inconsistent. At first, we were afraid, we were petrified, but we strolled. We hopped on Hagrid’s motorcycle to make our getaway. 

As we escaped, we turned up the radio because Best Day of My Life by American Authors came on and made me leap. Everything was extremely smooth sailing until an phoenix appeared in the middle of the road. We swerved to avoid it, but while Morpheus stayed on Hagrid’s motorcycle, I got thrown onto my side in the woods.

I couldn't get up, and felt calm as I lay there staring up at the trees. What was I going to do? I heard a pop among the leaves, and felt nervous. Surely, this was going to be my end. As my eyes fluttered shut, the last thing I saw was a head of purple hair and green eyes.

When I woke up again, I was on a couch. My body hurt a whole lot less, and I could sit up. There was a cat and jump rope in the room, along with pizza and green tea. The door suddenly opened to reveal Captain Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles, a concerned look on his face. I blushed and averted my gaze, but he blinked and said, "Don't be shy. It's okay."

He came over to sit by me, and we started talking after I told him my name. We chatted about making flower crowns,skydiving and book blogging and realized we had a ton in common! I thought he was nice and couldn't help feeling a little swoony. 

Just as he reached out for my hand, the door crashed open and in came Sam from Incarnate. "Don't let him charm you away, my love!" He yelled, running at Thorne. They each had forks in their hands and began to fight. "Stop!", I yelled, feeling so puzzled. They didn't listen to me. Before I could intervene, Thorne fell to the floor and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

"What was that?" I asked, staring at the empty space. Sam dropped his weapon, and came over to me. "Magic, but you are safe now, dear." He hugged me close, and I suddenly knew that this was the real deal and not just a dream.

Just as I See the Light from Tangled started playing in my head, I woke up. I cursed my makeshift luck. Why had it only been just a dream?

 Well, that was certainly interesting. You know, some of it actually makes sense. Except for the part with purple hair and green eyes. That just sounds like a deranged Furby... Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this fantastic adventure, and my dream with Morpheus, Thorne, Sam, and some forks and green tea. This was such a fun challenge to do! Let me know if you did this in the comments!

From the paper world,

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon - Love Letter Mini Challenge

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon 2014
It's time for more Love-A-Thon festivities! This is a mini challenge that sounds very Valentine's Day appropriate- write a love letter to your book boyfriend. It's probably no surprise to many that Morpheus of the Splintered series is going to receive this letter.

Dear Morpheus,
My dear, you are amazing. You steal every scene you are in, and from the beginning you stole my bookish love. Any time I walk past a top hat, I think of you and your Wonderland magic. I find myself calling for a Swooning Hat any time you show just how strong, loyal, and loving you are. I am a mothling, and happily love to read about you and your daring adventures. 

Before I ever picked up the books that happily led me to you, I heard tales of this series back in 2o12. I finally found the book, and dove into the strange, enchanted world you call home. My dear, you were witty, charming, mysterious...There was not a moment in the book when I could predict what you would do next. I cheered out loud to see you on the cover of Unhinged. That book showed the world how loving and dedicated you can be. Happy Valentine's Day to you, Morpheus.


There's my attempt at a love letter to Morpheus! Here's a little info about who this guy is, and I'll include the sequel's cover that stars him!

Splintered (Splintered, #1)Unhinged (Splintered, #2)

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Who's your book boyfriend? Let me know down in the comments! Stay tuned for more of the Book Blogger Love-A-Thon, and find even more of the participating blogs over at the hosts', Alexa and Katelyn.

From the paper world,

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon - Interview with Nicole!

Hey everyone, and welcome! The Book Blogger LoveAThon is an awesome event put together by Alexa and Katelyn. I saw the sign ups for this awhile ago, read about it, and got so excited. A blogging event for everyone to celebrate book blogging and meet other book bloggers? Yes, please! One of the aspects of this event is the Interview Swaps.
My interviewing partner was Nicole of Paperback Princess. So, without further ado, here is my interview with Nicole!

How has your reading changed since you started blogging?

I used to read mostly adult books and would dabble in the YA world, but since I started blogging and going to conferences, I would read mostly YA. Once in a while I can sneak in an adult book, but it's so rare.

Looking back, what is some advice you would give to a beginning blogger?

Promote. Promote. Promote. You need to get your name out there and do everything you can to get people to notice you. As much as people don't like to talk about it, blogging is hugely a numbers game. It also doesn't hurt to get out there and meet new people.

What's been one of the most rewarding blogging experiences you've had?

Meeting my best friends. I really can't imagine what my life would be like without Hannah and Lexie who have been there through thick and thin. I lost my uncle while I was at BEA this past year, and I broke down in their arms and they were there for me. No number of publisher connections or conversations with authors will change how they have been the best thing to come out of blogging.

What are your thoughts on blog tours, and what's your favorite that you've participated in?

I really like blog tours. I think that they are a great way to see what other bloggers are out there. It's also a great way to get some exposure. My favorite would have to be a tie between The Flower Reader by Elizabeth Loupas because it was the first time that the author had ever commented in my review, and I just remember being euphoric at my college graduation that this had happened. I also adored participating in the blog tour for Mindee Arnett's The Nightmare Affair because it got me close to one of my closest author friends. 

When did you fall in love with reading?

I'm not sure I can remember a specific time that I realized I was in love with reading. My mother worked in a bookstore while I was growing up, so I always had a love of books. I can remember being in 8th grade and constantly borrowing books from my English Teacher's classroom and actually getting yelled at for reading during class.

What's one fictional world you'd love to live in?

This one is a no brainer, clearly it is Harry Potter's world. Clearly.

What's your favorite part about your blog?

I just got a new blog design, so that. That is my absolute favorite right now about it. I also love the name, not to toot my own horn.

You have one minute to write as much about yourself as you can. The clock starts now!

So one minute to talk about myself? I'm a 22 year old paralegal living in the heart of NYC. I've got a niece and a nephew who I love more than anything and my life is pretty great. I really fell in love with blogging after attending BEA12 which really changed my outlook on blogging. Without having joined I wouldn't have met so many great people.

So, there was my interview with Nicole! It's been so much fun to meet her and talk, and after emailing for awhile I really want to go to BEA! Thank you so much to Nicole for being a wonderful interview partner, and I hope you all will stay tuned for more Book Blogger Love-A-Thon fun!

From the paper world,

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Top Ten Tueday - Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon

I will be the first to admit- on the whole, I don't like romance genre books and it takes a good contemporary to get my interest. Regardless, I have books with male characters that I love, so I thought those would be perfect to include in this list. Welcome back to The Broke and the Bookishs's Top Ten Tuesday and today's theme is Top Ten Books that will make you swoon.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Reading Review - Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

The Precious Stone trilogy is one that I started awhile back, read and then forgot about, and then was curious when Booktube exploded with these books. Ruby Red was a book I'd read awhile ago, but I reread it this past November and I thought I would share my thoughts. This is the first book in the trilogy, and the sequels, Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green, are already published. This series is originally German, by the way. It's a great time travel series!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Reading Review - Angelfall by Susan Ee

Welcome back! Today's review is going to be on a book I read during the Bout of Books. That is Angelfall, by Susan Ee. I think that this was her debut novel, so even though I deviated from my set TBR, I did stay with the theme. I read this book with Kerrie, and it was a lot of fun and the book is wonderful. Initially, we had thought to read about six chapters a day, but we both wanted to read on, and suddenly six became twelve which became random six chapter sprints throughout the day as we wanted to know more about the novel. Here's the cover and official Goodreads synopsis -

It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Recommended for ages 16 and up.

Angelfall on Goodreads      Visit Susan Ee's Website

 Angelfall is a post apocolyptic novel about Earth after angels have come into the world. The main character is a survivor of the ensuing chaos, and she, along with her family, are struggling to survive in a world now overrun by violence and destruction. Penryn, the protagonist, is a determined, loyal character who is trying to save her family and find some hope for a life. In the midst of all this, Penryn's younger sister is abducted by some of the angels. Now, Penryn is allied with another, injured angel in order to rescue her sister. Raffe, the angel, is sarcastic and enigmatic, but also endearing and a really interesting character to read about. Together, these two have a great dynamic. They were entertaining, but also had good character development and their characteristics and personalities complemented the other's well. The supporting characters in this book were also very well written. For example, Penryn's mother is very different from any YA character I've read, and whenever she was involved, the entire scene could be different depending on what she did. The characters in this book were very well done. They were interesting, dynamic, and worked well together.

Overall the pacing of the book was good as well. It was difficult to stop reading, and I was really interested in what was going on, and how the world building and story went well together, neither overshadowing the other. However, I did have a problem with the ending. I'm going to keep it spoiler free, but at the very end, things seemed a little unlikely in the turn of events. It felt like some of the practical qualities that had been included in the world and character building were lost. That did affect the way the story ended, but it wasn't something that drastically hurt an otherwise fantastic novel.

I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. Again, my problem was with the execution of the ending. Regardless, it obviously didn't hurt the overall quality of the book too much, with such a high rating, and this is definitely a series I'm looking forward to continuing. The sequel, World After, is already published, and so Kerrie and I have plans to pick that up soon. I'm very excited to continue on with the series and I would recommend it!

From the paper world,

Monday, February 3, 2014

Giveaway - Celebrating the Launch of ALIENATED By Melissa Landers

ALIENATED Launch & NOOK Giveaway!


Hey, fiction lovers. I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m thrilled to announce that my debut YA sci-fi romance, ALIENATED, is finally available from Disney-Hyperion! Cue the dancers and toss the confetti, because it’s been a long wait!

In a nutshell, ALIENATED is the story of valedictorian Cara Sweeney, who gets more than she bargained for when she agrees to host the nation’s first intergalactic exchange student, the gorgeous but emotionally-stilted Aelyx (pronounced A-licks) from planet L’eihr. The tone is light and humorous, but I explore some deeper themes as well.

What do reviewers have to say?

“The storyline is out of this world and character development paired with authentic voice is superb. Filled with intrigue and suspense, this book will appeal to both sci-fi and contemporary YA fiction fans.” –VOYA

“Interstellar relations heat up in this start to a new romantic science fiction series. Landers [explores] larger social, ecological, and ethical issues in this tense, fast-paced read.” –Booklist

“The perfect blend of sizzling romance, action, and suspense.” –#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

“Smart, funny, and epic. I am now awaiting contact from planet L’eihr.” Julie Cross, bestselling author of Tempest.

“Intergalactic exchange students? Yes, please! I fell in love with this story and couldn’t put it down.” Jodi Meadows, author of Incarnate.

If you like hot, swoony science fiction as much as I do, I hope you’ll give ALIENATED a try. It’s now available in stores and online.

Barnes & Noble:
Book Depo (free international shipping):
Indie Bound:

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a Nook Simple Touch. I’ll even throw in a $25 gift card to Barnes &am Noble so you can fill your new e-reader with whatever you want!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now for the fine print: This giveaway is open to US residents only. (Sorry, international friends, but you need a US billing address to buy digital content on the Nook.) Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

Melissa LandersMelissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information, or just to say hello, visit

What I'm Looking Forward To - Most Anticipated Reads of February 2014

It's another installment of getting excited for some books coming out this month! February has some amazing series continuations I've been looking forward to, and there are tons of books I can't wait for. As with January's, these are not all the YA releasing in February, these are just some of my favorites. If you want a much more comprehensive list that shows most of the YA releases every week, I would recommend the This Week in YA Youtube Channel. Now, on to my picks for February!