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Chaos Walking Week


Have you EVER heard a phrase that is more perfect for my bookish love than Chaos Walking Week? NO.

It is no secret that I love the Chaos Walking Trilogy like Bella loves Edward* and that I do everything within my power to get these books into the hot little hands of readers everywhere!

So, quite obviously, I am in. Details on what that means to follow, but I definitely encourage you to join me in the goodness. You can get the deets from Daphne at Loving Books.


*Yeah, I went there with the Twilight reference. But you know what? Her love for him is creepy and over the top and borders on unhealthy obsession. So it fits.
**That's from the books. You'd know that if you read them. Please read them.

Griffin Rising winner

The winner of a signed copy of Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut is


I've emailed her already and she has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is picked. Holla!

In case you missed it, here's my review of Griffin Rising and my character interview with Basil.

Thanks again to The {Teen} Book Scene and Darby for the tour and contest.

TBR Tuesday [16]

The following lovely ladies have inspired this new meme for me - inspired by "a peek at my TBR" by Jen at Makeshift Bookmark, "Waiting on Wednesday" by Jill at Breaking the Spine and "Books to Pine For" by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Here's a look at two books I have sitting in my To Be Read pile. I don't necessarily own these books, but they are books I want to read in the not too distant future. 

It just so happens that my two picks this week are both contemporary reads. I'm typically a dragons and swords and magic and super hero type of reader, but I've been known to enjoy a good contemporary read here and there! 

Band Geek Love by Josie Bloss
July 2008, Flux

All band, all the time. That's how trumpet goddess Ellie Snow has made it to senior year. No drama, no dating. Just keeping lock-step within the safe precision of the Winslow Marching Band. She's a fierce section leader now, and so over the heart-crushing social disaster of her freshman year. No boy is going to ruin Ellie's shining moment-her senior solo performance at the homecoming game.

And then Connor Higgins shows up. Not even Ellie can resist the trumpet player who could be a model for Abercrombie & Fitch. It's a hook-up made in band-geek heaven But Ellie's not ready to publicize their romance, not even to her best friends. After all, Connor's just a sophomore. What would everyone say? Breaking formation and revealing her true self would be like . . . marching on the field completely naked

Then Ellie discovers the flipside of secrets and how it feels to be shut out by the ones she loves. [Summary from Goodreads.]
Why I want to read this: As a former band geek myself, the title totally invited me in. However, there sounds like some good drama in here and plenty of cute boy action to boot - WIN.

September 2006, Dial Books

In this thought-provoking exploration of self-reliance and the nature of evil, a young boy sees that he needs to take action to save his family from his unpredictable mother. [Summary from Goodreads]

Why I want to read this: This leaves SO MUCH to the imagination. I've read some good reviews and that's enough to pique my interest. It sounds like it could be a tad heavy, but hopefully worthwhile!

Have you read either of these? If so, what did you think? 

Review: Rapid Dawn by TK Steiner

In a sentence or so: An unlikely trio of teenagers across history must join forces, despite the hundreds of years between them, to save a kingdom from destruction and psychological warfare.

Tess is a princess who is just learning to hone in her ability to receive psychic messages. This isn't an ability unique to Tess, but rather one that many people in that kingdom possess. Most use that power for good. There are others who have sharpened that ability to a razor sharp tool, ready for destruction.

Clay and John begin having strange and recurring dreams. They are in the library of a castle and move around like ghosts, but can talk and interact with each other. Their purpose is revealed and they are faced with saving a time and place that is not their own. Despite John being from the 1800s and John being from the 21st century, they must help Tess if they are to stop those whom need to be stopped.

I liked the premise of this book a whole heckuva lot. I also really dug on the whole esp thing. It reminded me of A Kid in King Arthur's Court meets Graceling/Fire. Each of the characters had a unique voice and were completely invested in defeating the bad guys.

Unfortunately, this book lacked a certain spark for me. All of the pieces were there, but it just didn't click. The writing was good, the characters were solid, and the plot was unique. I'd definitely be interested in reading books by this author in the future as I have hope that the other titles will be fun to read as well, and will hold out for that special something that makes my bookish heart swell.

I have read a couple other reviews that lurved the book, so keep that in mind.
Melanie's Book Addiction
My Guilty Obsession

Fave Quote: "Something special was going on, and he couldn't wait to find out what it was." (Clay 385 of 2770 on Kindle)

Fix er up: I just needed that spark for all of the pieces to fit together and win me over.

Title: Rapid Dawn 
Author: T. K. Steiner
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Publishing Info: Published on Kindle, October 2011

[FTC Notice: I accepted a .mobi file of this book for honest review from the author. I was not compensated in any way. Thanks, TK!]

Add it to the list [39]

Add it to the list is my way of doing In My Mailbox hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a chance for bloggers to share bookish goodness they got in their mailboxes, from the libraries, friends, or wherever. Take some time to check out the link up and find some new reads and new bloggers!

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
From Lindsi at Books, Sweets, and Other Treats. 

I am red now. It was her first thought of the day, every day, surfacing after a few seconds of fogged, blessed ignorance and sweeping through her like a wave, breaking in her breast with a soundless roar. Hard on its heels came the second wave, crashing into the wreckage left by the first: he is gone. 

Hannah Payne’s life has been devoted to church and family. But after she’s convicted of murder, she awakens to a nightmarish new life. She finds herself lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes—criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime—is a sinister form of entertainment. Hannah is a Red for the crime of murder. The victim, says the State of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the father, a public figure with whom she shared a fierce and forbidden love. 

A powerful reimagining of The Scarlet LetterWhen She Woke is a timely fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of the not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated, and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned but chromed and released back into the population to survive as best they can. In seeking a path to safety in an alien and hostile world, Hannah unknowingly embarks on a journey of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith and love. [Summary from Goodreads]

YOU GUYS. A Scarlet Letter re-imagining with crazy elements and self-discovery?
I die. 

Have you read this? Be sure to let me know your thoughts and check out the other bookish awesomeness over at The Story Siren!

Review: Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut

in a sentence or so: Griffin is a Tarrae Angeli; a guardian angel, if you will. until he passes the biggest test of his life when he turns 16, he is under the wing of his mentor Basil. saving humans, meeting girls, and constant training keep Griffin busy, but his former mentor isn't quite done with his cruel and unusual treatment of the young angel.

Griffin thought he was useless. a poor excuse for an angel. barely able to control his powers, surely unable to protect humans from harm, Griffin believed every harsh and hurtful word his mentor Nicopolis spat at him.

then he met Basil. slowly he comes to trust a new mentor and begins to feel sparks of hope. of purpose. of confidence. maybe he'll get this angel thing down after all, as long as Basil is there to help him. it seems like he's just starting to get the hang of things when a new family moves in across the street. which, wouldn't you know it, happens to have a cute girl that is just Griffin's age and a professor who just happens to be researching the Terrae Angeli.

in addition to saving lives, training and strengthening his abilities, laying low from his previous mentor, and navigating the first-love seas, he must also keep a tight lid on who he and Basil truly are...but at what cost?

i liked the relationship between Basil and Griffin because it was very familial, yet encouraging and supportive with splashes of humor and wit. i was always rooting for Griffin and was hoping with every page that he'd just believe in himself and be proud of who he is!

for a quick, light read with fun characters and a dose of magical creativity and wit, give this one a go!

fave quote: "You know, life would be a lot easier if we could just...be ourselves," he said, struggling to his feet and joining his Mentor on the bench.
Basil handed the rest of the cold drink to Griffin. "Lad, that's true for the whole world." (50)

fix er up: this book lacked an urgency or greater sense of direction. i enjoyed reading it, but i wasn't really sure where we were headed.

title: Griffin Rising (Book One: Earth)
author: Darby Karchut
publishing info: June 2011, Twilight Times Books
genre: Fantasy

[ftc notice: i received a copy of this book from the author as part of the blog tour hosted by The {Teen} Book Scene. thanks, Darby!]

Character Interview: Basil from Griffin Rising

Today, I'm interviewing a British guardian angel tasked with training an extremely talented, yet extremely complicated, young man named Griffin. Their story begins with Griffin Rising. 

L: Hey Basil! As Griffin's mentor and friend, I have a few questions for you. I hope that's okay! 

B: Why, of course, miss. And before I begin, let me express my gratitude to you and your followers for inviting me. It is my great pleasure to talk with you today.

L: To say that Griffin's past was a dark one is an understatement. What are some other things that set him apart from the previous Tiros you've mentored?
B: In spite of enduring three years of abuse at the hands of his former Mentor, Griffin has managed to emerge from that hell with his heart and soul intact. His capacity for finding the good in every situation and every person is a testament to his resilience. He is a true Terrae Angelus in full sense of the word.

Griffin is also remarkably gifted in the use of his Elements. At thirteen, he was able to do things with Fire most of my other Earth and Fire apprentices were not able to until they were much older.

On a lighter note, he also has a wicked sense of humor and enjoys, as you Americans say, yanking my chain.
L: What do you find to be the most challenging thing about being Griffin's mentor?

B: At first, I had to gain his trust – he was dreadfully fearful of me due to his life with Nicopolis. But that eventually passed, although he still has trouble handling any criticisms or reprimands. He may always carry those scars inside of him.

Nowadays, I am dealing with a bit of adolescent attitude from him. We’ve been butting heads more than ever before. Secretly, I find it all amusing, but please do not tell him that.

L: What is the most rewarding thing about mentoring this unique Tiro?

B: Why, watching him grow into the fine young Terrae Angelus he was meant to be. And working with him in the field on missions. With our complimentary Elements (I am Wind and Water, he is Earth and Fire), we are quite an effective team.

L: What are five things you hope for Griffin in his future?

B: What any father would wish for his child:
Joyful labor. Peaceful sleep. Lasting friendships. Principled ethics. And a life well-lived in service of others. (We are guardian angels, after all.)
L: What words of advice do you find yourself constantly giving Griffin?

B: No texting while flying.
L: What do you do when you're between Tiros?

B: I usually travel back to England to reconnect with my ancestral homeland and catch up with old friends.
L: Thank you!

B: And many thanks to you, Miss Lisa, for this opportunity. I’ve enjoyed myself immensely.

Contest closed on 2/29.

Be sure to check out the complete story in Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut.

Thanks to The Teen Book Scene for hosting this tour!

Review: Kings of Colorado by David E Hilton

In a sentence or so: William Sheppard reflects back on his life as a boy growing up on Swope Ranch Boys' Reformatory after stabbing his abusive father.

Will sees a horse dying in the middle of a busy street after the trailer carrying the horse was hit by a SUV. Cradling the dying horse's head in his arms and comforting the animal as it passes drudges up old memories. Memories that Will would rather he not remember. Will knows by thinking his memories, let alone writing them down, they will become freshly vivid and intense and overwhelming - even after fifty years. He also knows he has to do it in order to get justice, maybe even revenge, for his closest friends.

In a balance of memoir and narrative fiction, Will takes the reader on his emotionally raw and overwhelming journey. Starting at only 13, Will is arrested for what many readers will believe is a justifiable crime. None the less, Will is sent to a reformatory to serve out a two year sentence. Those two years bring pain, injustice, heart break, unspeakable tragedies and so much hurt. They also bring friendship, an increasing awareness of the world and the adults who run it, and self discovery.

This book made me ill. I do mean that as a compliment, by the way. By having the main character reflect back on his past, we get an account of how things really went down without the dialogue feeling forced or the emotions feeling too adult. The horror these kids went through - brought on by themselves, from their peers, or the adults who ran the place - was gut-wrenching to read. It's an incredible story and fantastically written, so despite the gnawing ache of nausea in my stomach, I read on. I always read on because Will's story demanded to be heard.

This book is not for the weak of heart. Hell, it's not even for the strong of heart. This is a book that exposes the real hurt and insanity and twisted desire for pain that exists in our world. I never felt like any of it was too over the top either, or that none of it couldn't possibly be real. Which, of course, was the worst part of all.

If you're looking for an emotionally intense and compelling and ultimately rewarding coming-of-age story told from an adult perspective, give this one a read. I can't stress enough how well written and balanced this book is in terms of action, plot, hurt, hope, and confusion. Really, it's fantastic. Just make sure you take frequent breaks to look at pictures of rainbows or unicorns or something.

Fave Quotes: 
"In the summer of 1963, when I was thirteen, I stabbed my father in the chest with a Davy Crockett Explorers pocketknife." (OPENING LINE. I know. pg. 1)
"Horses came and went, delinquent boys came and went. The boys broke the horses, Swope Reformatory broke the boys." (pg. 25)

Fix er up: Truly, this was so well written. The hits just kept coming and coming and it was too much for my heart to bear sometimes.

Title: Kings of Colorado: A Novel
Author: David E. Hilton
Publishing Info: Paperback released Jan 2011 from Simon and Schuster
Genre: Adult Fiction, Coming of Age, Drama

[FTC Notice: I received a finished copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review to celebrate the release of this novel in paperback. Thanks, Amanda!]

Add it to the List [38]

Add it to the List is my take on In My Mailbox hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Publishing Deets: April 2012 from Balzer and Bray (Imprint of HarperCollins)
I read this as part of the tour hosted by The {Teen} Book Scene

Publishing Deets: February 2012 from Poppy (Imprint of Little, Brown)
I won this from Jess at Gone with the Words. THANK YOUUUUU.

Get your geek on

You guys, sometimes The Hub just rocks the casbah. This is one of those times.

YALSA has published its list of 2012 Popular Paperbacks with sub-categories like Forbidden Romance and Sticks and Stones. My personal favorite, of course, is Get your Geek On.

The list of 2012 YA paperbacks that are all about the nerd. Books with asterisks are on the Top Ten Popular Paperbacks for 2012 list. 

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Twisted. Speak. 2008. $9.99.978-0142411841
Do muscles make the man?  
Bancks, Tristan. Mac Slater Hunts the Cool. Simon & Schuster. 2011. $6.99. 978-1416985754
Can the geeky inventor be cool enough to land a job as a professional trend-spotter?
Banks, Piper. Geek High. NAL Trade. 2007. $9.99. 978-0451222251
It’s not all about academics.
Beal, Susan. World of Geekcraft: Step-by-Step Instructions for 25 Super-Cool Craft Projects. Chronicle Books. 2011. $19.95. 978-0811874618
Crafts for the geek in all of us.
*Black, Holly and Cecil Castellucci (ed.) Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2010. $8.99. 978-0316008105
Short stories for all the geeks and nerds out there.
Brande, Robin. Fat Cat. Ember. 2011. $9.99. 978-0440240334
Be your own science experiment.
Burton, BonnieThe Star Wars Craft Book. Lucas Books. 2011. $20.00. 978-0345511164
May the force be with you and your crafty self.     
Chmakova,Svetlana. Dramacon Vol 1. TokyoPop. 2005. $9.99. 978-1598161298
What better place for love than an anime convention?
Dessen, Sarah. Along for the Ride. Penguin. 2011. $8.99. 978-0142415566
There is more to life than perfect grades.
Doyle, Larry. I Love You, Beth Cooper. Ecco. 2009. $7.99. 978-0061236174
Can the geek get THE girl?
*Falkner, Brian. Brain Jack. Ember. 2011. $9.99. 978-0375843679
End of the world, hack no!
Green, John. Paper Towns. Speak. 2009. $9.99. 978-0142414934
Is Q following the map to love, or the map to nowhere?
Going, K.LFat Kid Rules the World. Speak. 2004. $6.99. 978-0142402085.
Troy trades suicide for rock stardom.
Halpern, Julie. Into the Wild Nerd Yonder. Square Fish. 2011. $9.99. 978-0312653071
Choosing D&D over poser punks.
*Loux,MatthewSidescrollers. Oni Press. 2006. $11.99. 9781932664508
Three gamers fight football jocks and a cat from Satan to save the day and win the girl.
Lyga, Barry. Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy & Goth Girl. Graphia. 2007. $8.99. 978-0618916528
Fanboy finally meets his match in Goth Girl.
Luen Yang, GeneLevel Up. First Second. 2011. $15.99. 978-1596432352.
From gamer to gastroenterologist.
Mancusi, Mari. Gamer Girl. Dutton Children's Books. 2010. $7.99. 978-0142415092
What’s a girl to do when her only reality is virtual?
Portman, Frank. King Dork. Delacorte Press. 2008. $8.99. 978-0385734509
Imaginary rock star.
Scott, Keiran. Geek Magnet. Speak. 2009. $8.99. 978-0142414170
When KJ starts fending off her geek admirers, she also starts to lose some of her best friends.
Soto, Gary. Accidental Love. Graphia. 2008. $6.95. 978-0152061135
She's a feisty Latina; he's a shy nerd- they're a match made in geek heaven.
St. Onge, CassieJane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever. Random House. 2011. $8.99. 978-0375868917
Jane's unlife as a nerdy vampire sucks.
Tahmaseb, Charity and Darcy Vance. The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading. Simon Pulse. 2009. $8.99. 978-1416978343.
Geeks in super short skirts.
Wittlinger, Ellen.  Parrotfish. Simon & Schuster. 2011. $8.99. 978-1442406216
From girl to guy, with the help of a geek.
Zadoff, Allen. Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have. Egmont USA.  2011. $8.99. 978-1606841518
jock for a few months, geek for life.

Did I add every single book on this list to my TBR list on Goodreads? YOU KNOW IT. But I'm hoping you find AT LEAST one or two that you want to give a whirl too. 
If you've read any of these, let me know! I'd love to know where to start to get crackin.

Street Cred

TGIF is hosted by Ginger at GReads! Not only is she the coolest blogger around, but she's also the creative mastermind behind this meme in which we share some bookish thoughts and musings to celebrate the end of the work week. 

This week, the lovely Ginger asks:

Book Blogger Pride: What do you take pride in when it comes to blogging?

In short, I try to take pride in everything I do when it comes to my blog. I'm all about my street cred.

Now, let me ramble about that a bit.

There are a few things that I think make my blog unique. Let's discuss.

I don't do it for the followers. Honestly. I blogged when the only people who read this were my husband and our good friend Eriks. HEY BUDDY! I do this because I like processing books in written form, and I found a community of people who like that too. Those people are what I like to call "the best".
Do I sometimes get down on myself for not having (what I consider) to be a high number of unique hits or followers or whatever other stat I'm focused on for the moment? Of course I do. I'm human. And then I remember that I do this for ME and for THE LOVE OF BOOKS and for HAVING FUN. When it becomes a competition or a chore, I'm done.

Of course, I publicly proclaim to be a nerd. You knew I was going here. BUT the reason that I go there is because I like to add a little flavor to the mix by having nerdy pieces crop up here and there. Some bloggers like to integrate cooking or music or art with their blogs. For me, it's gaming and geekery. Thanks for being my friend anyway.

Honesty, Respect, and Integrity. I reread every review I write to make sure it meets these three criteria. Am I being honest about the book? If I am being honest, am I doing so in a respectful way that will treat others opinions kindly? Am I being true to who I am and what I love about books and blogging and the rest of the whole wide world so that I can continue to claim a blog with integrity? Yeah, I kinda take this stuff seriously from time to time. You might not always be able to tell from the CAPS lurve I have, but the truth is I am all about kindness and respect and integrity - in the blogging world and in real life.

What about you? What do YOU take pride in when it comes to blogging? What do you look for in others blogs as proof that they take pride in their blog? Holla at me in the comments and be sure to link it up over at GReads!

Review: Floors by Patrick Carman

In a sentence or so: When the whimsical and wacky founder of the Whippet Hotel goes missing, it’s up to young Leo to piece together a series of clues that only one who truly loves and appreciates the Hotel could solve.

Leo and his dad live in and serve the Whippet Hotel. As the maintenance man’s son, Leo is very familiar with most of the quirks and oddities and peculiar occurrences within the hotel. What’s more than that – Leo loves each and every inch of the hotel. From the pinball room to the cupcake room to the puzzle room to the garden room, Leo appreciates the eccentricities of each and every floor…if not each and every guest.

Leo’s journey begins when he finds a package in the duck elevator that is addressed to him. He doesn’t know where the series of clues will lead him, but he is desperately hopeful that Mr. Whippet will be waiting at the very end of it all.

Think Charlie and The Chocolate Factory in a hotel, complimented with an affinity for ducks and a swiftly earned and fiercely loyal best friend – and you have FLOORS in a nutshell. The hotel is pretty rad in and of itself, the guests are quirky as all get out, AND there’s a roaming team of ducks who are led by the coolest duck around, Betty.

Leo’s discovering of clues and exploring the floors are what drove the plot. Underneath that layer, however, are subtle explorations of human relationships, gently reminding the reader to do what you love, be unabashed about who you are, and believing in yourself and those who love you. Really, it doesn’t get much better than a quirky and whimsical book that leaves you with a warm feeling in your heart. Oh wait, it totally does when you ADD AWESOME DUCKS.

Fave quote: "The problem with Blop - besides the fact that he really would not stop talking - was that he was a sneaky little robot." (pg. 93)

Fix er up: Some of the characters felt unnecessary to the plot. However, this is the first in a series (though this is certainly a great stand alone), so perhaps they will have their chance to shine at a later time.

Title: Floors
Author: Patrick Carman
Genre: Middle Grade, Friendship
Publishing Info: September 2011, Scholastic

[FTC Notice: I received an ARC of this book from April at Good Books and Good Wine. I was not compensated for this review.]

Show the love

The fabulous peeps over at YA Highway are having a Blog Lovefest to celebrate Valentine's Day. Obviously, I am ALL IN.

But before I get to the blogs, let me share my bookish love. Of course, as with all things in which I need inspiration, I turn to Pinterest.

And now, for my blogging loves. Chances are if you agree with at least one of the following, we are meant to be friends.
In order to keep this completely and totally fair, I am going to pick the five bloggers that have updated their most recently (as of this very moment) on my blogroll and tell you why I adore them and their blog...

Read. Breathe. Relax. - I adore Lisa because her reviews are unique, her other posts are creative yet remain ardently bookish, and because she is a nerd at heart. 

The Infinite Shelf - I adore Kay because she is crafty and creative like I aspire to be, draws some ridiculously amazing comics, and isn't afraid to be honest - yet remain completely respectful - in her reviews. 

YA Bibliophile - I adore Heidi because she adores Star Wars and Chaos Walking and middle grade students. In addition to sharing all the loves of mine, she is also sweet as saccharin and a great mood booster any day.

GReads! - Ginger is like, THE source of my adoration. Each and every day I think of something new I want to talk to her about our share with her or fangirl with her about. She really and truly feels like a friend to me. On top of that, her reviews are awesome and this kid knows her contemps.

Tripping Over Books - I adore Amy because her blogging style is eerily like mine (which is AWESOME), she loves the fantasy reads, her commentary and reviews on books are thoughtful and hilarious. Also, I think we might be the same person almost 99% of the time. 

I invite you to participate with the YA Highway Blogger Love today and spread the love around! If you link it up over at their blog, you're also entered to win some sweet YA books. Give, and you shall receive. HOLLA.

Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

In a sentence or so: Meghan discovers she is part fae and thrust right in the middle of a crazy conflict between the Summer and Winter courts, as well as a third court that no one – fae or human – knows exists.

Meghan Chase thinks she’s leading a normal, if supremely disappointing, life. She has a relentlessly upbeat best friend, a loving mother and stepfather and a sweet little brother. After having been publically humiliated by the cutest boy in school on her sixteenth birthday, she thinks her day has hit rock bottom…but it hasn’t.

It’s not until her little brother is replaced with a changeling that she learns she is the daughter of a Faery King. Meghan discovers she is a half fey princess and that her bestie Robbie has been protecting her. Meghan journeys into the world of fey with determination to get her brother back. The journey will be hard, complicated, dangerous, and life-threatening. The journey will also include a dark prince from the Winter court who is ridiculously gorgeous…so it’s not ALL bad.

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a fae book. And you know what? I missed it. A LOT. I missed reading about the different courts and creatures and things like CHIMERAS and CHANGELINGS and OTHER COOL THINGS.

Meghan had a genuine teenage voice and reacted to this onslaught of information in a totally believable way. This definitely has some familiar elements for paranormal readers: she doesn’t know she’s special, she requires a guide to tell her information, things have to be explained to her so that the reader can understand them as well, a love triangle, etc. For some reason, these did not bother me in the slightest. Either I’ve been avoiding books like this for long enough that I can read it without getting annoyed, or Julie Kagawa packaged it in such a way that I just didn’t care! Also, her sassy and rad guide Grimalkin is a cat. HE RULES.

For anyone out there who has yet to read The Iron Fey series, it starts off fabulously. I was hooked into the story and the pace was a perfect blend of action, information, character development, and emotional connections. If it isn’t obvious, I’ll be digging into the next book in the series pretty dang soon.

Fave quote: "What if I can't?" I whispered. "What if the Iron King truly is invincible?" 
"Then we will all die," said the Elder Dryad, and faded back into her oak. The other dryads left, leaving me alone with a cat, a prince, and a stick. I sighed and looked down at the wood in my hands.
"No pressure or anything," I muttered. (pg. 279)

Fix er up: The only thing that bothers me in the slightest in all of this was near the end. Again, for those who haven’t read this, I will spare you a spoiler. For those who have, I’m referring to the big nosed girl at the coffee shop. What the what?

Author: Julie Kagawa
Publishing Info: 2010, Harlequin Teen
Genre: Fantasy

I read this book as part of the Rewind and Review feature hosted by Ginger at GReads! and myself. HOLLA at reading books out of my tbr!

[FTC Notice: I read a finished copy of this book that I borrowed from the amazing and awesome and fantastic Yani at The Secret Life ofan Avid Reader. I was not compensated in any way for this review.]

Add it to the List [37]

Add it to the List is basically the same thing as In My Mailbox hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Books mentioned: 

Blogs mentioned:

Kids by Sleigh Bells

Review: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

In a sentence or so: On her way to deliver back a box of ticket stubs, bottle caps, a stolen sugar container and other mementos from their whirlwind relationship, Min writes a letter to Ed about why they broke up.

Min met Ed at a party for her best friend Al. Ed is the star of the basketball team and Min adores vintage films. Ed is part of the in-crowd with a bit of a player reputation while Min has a group of arty friends and hangs mostly on the fringes. She never thought he’d notice a girl like her, but he did. Ed never thought he’d buy a girl a camera just because she wanted it, but he did. Neither of them thought they’d be so head over heels so quickly…but they were.

Like all relationships, Min and Ed's brief courtship had highs and lows and everywhere in between. Min relives the best and the worst of them through her letter to Ed and patiently and passionately explains why they broke up.

I loved the concept for this book. You know their relationship ends, so reading about it from the beginning and knowing its doomed provided an original take on puppy love for me. Neither Min or Ed are perfect or blameless, which makes them authentic and relatable.

While at times the book felt like it was written from a much older perspective, I still loved the idea and execution of this story. I found this to be emotionally rich and invested easily with the characters. The fresh take on a doomed puppy love was absorbing and surprisingly fulfilling.

There are illustrations that create additional layers to the read that weren’t included in this ARC, but did come in postcard form. If you’re interested in getting one of these postcards from yours truly, be one of the first five people to leave a comment with your email address and I’ll contact you so I can send one your way!

Fave quote: "Here we are at the bottom, almost empty. It's like confetti, these dried remnants you find in the street for a party no one invited you to. But they used to be, I can admit, part of something beautiful." (pg. 325)

Fix er up: While I did enjoy Al as a character, I wasn’t a huge fan of the secondary role he played. I won’t spoil anything for potential readers by sharing further…but if you have read this, let me know so we can discuss!

Author: Daniel Handler
Illustrator: Maira Kalman
Publishing Info: December 2011, Little, Brown for Young Readers
Genre: Relationship, Romance

[FTC Notice: I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher through Amazon Vine. Thanks Little, Brown {much love AS ALWAYS} and Amazon!]

Nerd love

Chances are, you know Valentines Day is coming up.
Chance also are that you have a nerd in your life that you love.

Show them the love! Here are some ideas for you. You're welcome.

Venn Diagram of love. Awwwwwwww!
Source here. I found it via this website.

For the dudes! YAY BATMAN!
Source here.
8 bit flower bouquet - it will never die!
Source here.
Schrodinger's Cat tee! For the Will Grayson, Will Grayson fans out there...
Source here.

8-bit heart necklace!
Source here.

Add it to the List [36]

Add it to the List is my personalized version of In My Mailbox hosted by the fantastic Kristi over at The Story Siren.

I received this as part of co-hosting the DAC ARC Tours Blog.

I received this from April at Good Books and Good Wine because she knows how I adore middle grade fantastical goodness. Thanks, April!

I received this from the publisher and will be hosting a giveaway in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
Thanks again to Grand Central Publishing!

Have you read any of these books? Please share your thoughts!

Which witch? Mrs. Which!

There was a faint gust of wind, the leaves shivered in it, the patterns of moonlight shifted, and in a circle of silver something shimmered, quivered, and the voice said, "I ddo nott thinkkk I willl matterrialize commpletely. I ffindd itt verry ttirinngg, andd wee hhave mmuch ttoo ddoo." (pg 52).

And that, my bookish friends, is the first we see of the massively rad and magical Mrs. Which.

Mrs. Which embodies one of the most memorable and unique aspects of the book A WRINKLE IN TIME - magical awesomeness. She often appears as a shimmer and her speech is drawn out and sets her apart from everyone else within the story. She's got more knowledge than any of the other characters (okay, except maybe Charles Wallace but NO ONE has more knowledge than that kid) yet she allows them to discover the answers on their own with little nudges along the way. She has high expectations of the children because they are capable of GREAT THINGS. She knows that and she allows them to find that out for themselves.

Did I mention that she appears as a shimmer? Okay, just making sure you picked up that little tidbit of awesomeness. 

Sure, there are tons of magical and awesome things that go down throughout A Wrinkle In Time, but for me it all comes back to Mrs. Which.

If you haven't read this series yet, I recommend it as highly as I possibly can. It's magical and creative and beautiful and wonderful and absolutely breathtaking. It's just so classic and timeless. You can read it if you're 8, 18, 28, 58 or 108. You will adore Meg, Calvin (swoooooon), Charles Wallace and all of the other intelligent and quirky characters. I just know it. 

If you HAVE read the series, you will love the 50th Anniversary Edition. It's got all the glory of the original, as well as some fantastic extra nuggets of goodness. 

About the 50th Anniversary edition:
The 50th Anniversary Commemorative edition features:

       Frontispiece photo*†
       Photo scrapbook with approximately 10 photos*†
       Manuscript pages*†
       Letter from 1963 Caldecott winner, Ezra Jack Keats*†
       New introduction by Katherine Paterson, US National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature  †
       New afterword by Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter Charlotte Voiklis including six never-before-seen photos †
       Murry-O’Keefe family tree with new artwork †
       Madeleine L’Engle’s Newbery acceptance speech

* Unique to this edition                † never previously published

To see all of the other stops on the 50 Years, 50 Days, 50 Blogs celebration, click here!

A special thanks to Big Honcho Media for inviting me to be a part of this. I LOVE this series to the nth degree and I want the world to love it too!