Waiting on Wednesday #2: The Program


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly feature created by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm waiting on:
The Program by Suzanne Young.
Expected Publication: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Dystopian.

Goodreads Summary:
Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. 

With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in.

And The Program is coming for them.

Why I'm excited: I love YA dystopian novels! Something about the genre really intrigues me. Especially ones that are possible futures for our world. You never know, right?

What are you waiting on this week?


Cover Reveal: Belladonna by Fiona Paul

This one was just revealed TONIGHT!
It's the sequel to Fiona Paul's first novel, Venom which was released today (and which I am SO excited to get my hands on)!
Here it is:

Isn't it GORGEOUS!? A beautiful follow-up to the gorgeous Venom.

Here's the blurb from Goodreads:

The second book in the Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy.

Cassandra follows a trail of clues about the mysterious Order of the Eternal Rose to Florence. There she runs into a few familiar faces, including Falco, who is now working for a nine-fingered woman known as Belladonna. When Cass discovers Belladonna is involved in the Order, she won’t rest until she discovers the shadowy society’s true purpose, knowledge that will put her—and everyone she loves—in terrible danger.

Get excited! It'll be out in 2013!
Visit Fiona Paul's blog in the meantime for updates: http://fionapaulbooks.blogspot.ca/


Stacking the Shelves #2 - Oct 28, 2012

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly post by Tynga's Reviews showcasing your new books!

Links go to Goodreads.

This week I picked up a few more books... more than I should have, really. But there's no such thing as having too many books, right?

Black Moon by Jessica McQuay
Format: ebook

Goodreads Summary:

"Am I losing my mind?"

Paige couldn't help but question her sanity. What other explanation could there be for her hearing a conversation held barely above a whisper in the back of a classroom full of students? What about coming home to find one of those very classmates lying in wait in the darkness of her home, ready to attack her? 

Confused, frustrated and feeling every ounce of her social ostracism, Paige confides in the one person she's always been able to count on: her mom. But when her mom reveals a deeply rooted, unbelievable family secret, Paige discovers her world is filled with more than she ever imagined possible. A world where fairytales live alongside nightmares and secrets are the glue that binds them together. Suddenly no one is who they seem and Paige is faced with more questions than answers. Can she survive in a world filled with creatures scarier than anything she could imagine and where deceit runs as thick as blood? Or will the truth send her over the edge?

This one I received from the author (thanks Jessica!) in exchange for a review, which will be up hopefully in early November, along with a giveaway! Keep your eye out for that!

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
Format: paperback

Goodreads Summary:

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

I spotted this one on the sale rack at my local library for a dollar and couldn't resist picking it up! It's hard to say no when a physical book is that inexpensive!

Wanted (Pretty Little Liars #8) by Sara Shepard
Format: hardcover

Goodreads Summary:

Former best friends Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily, who lost their best friend and leader, Alison, years ago when she disappeared, find themselves in grave danger when they pursue the truth about Alison.

I own the first seven in the series, so when I noticed this one on sale for $6 for the hardcover, I figured it was a good buy!

Possession by Elana Johnson
Format: hardcover

Goodreads Summary:

Vi knows the rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even "think" about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

I've passed by this book countless times in the bookstore and never really thought twice. Then I saw the summary on Goodreads and as a sucker for dystopian novels, I decided I might as well pick it up!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Format: paperback

Goodreads Summary:

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

I know, I know. I'm waaaaay behind on this one. I've been meaning to get this book since it came out and just never actually picked it up. With the final books coming out this month though, I knew it was about time to get to reading this one!

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Format: hardcover

Goodreads Summary:

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

Yes, I picked up the first two. Figured that if I was going to start, I might as well really start! Plus this one was $6 for the hardcover and that's hard to turn down!

So that's my Stacking the Shelves for the week! What new books did you pick up this week?


Want to Win Some Books from The Book Belles?

Sure you do! Who doesn't?
You should go check The Book Belles out!

Go visit them!: http://www.thebookbelles.blogspot.ca/2012/10/1000-followers-giveaway.html

They're hosting a 1000 follower giveaway where the winner gets to choose one of 6 prize packs, each with 3 books in it!
Your choices include books like the ones below and more, so make sure you go take a look!




Review: Truth (XVI #2) by Julia Kerr

Truth (XVI #2) by Julia Kerr.
(Sequel to XVI).
Published: January 19, 2012 by Speak.
299 pages.

Goodreads Summary:
Nina Oberon's life has changed enormously in the last few months. When her mother was killed, Nina discovered the truth about her father, the leader of the Resistance. And now she sports the same Governing Council ordered tattoo of XVI on her wrist that all sixteen-year-old girls have. The one that announces to the world that she is easy prey to predators. But Nina won't be anyone's stereotype. And when she joins an organization of girls working within the Resistance, she knows that they can put an end to one of the most terrifying secret programs the GC has ever conceived. Because the truth always comes out . . . and the consequences can be deadly.

My Review:

My first issue with this novel is that it is labelled the "companion" novel to Kerr's novel XVI. This is absolutely a sequel, not a companion, having picked up right where XVI left off. Had I not read XVI, I would have been absolutely, hopelessly lost. As it was there were details I had forgotten which made some parts early in the novel confusing for me. Do not wait long between reading the two novels. Since neither is particularly memorable, reading this one will be difficult following a long break after the first.

The main character, Nina, seems to have almost nothing going for her. Almost everything that can go wrong in her life, does. I won't go into detail as it'd spoil it but her life is quite depressing. However I didn't feel for her as much as I would have liked to, often because of her attitude. She is constantly jealous and upset with her boyfriend, Sal, for basically everything he does, yet as soon as he returns from being away for his rebellion work, she doesn't say a word about it. I do, however, like Nina's conviction in her belief that girls and just as strong and capable as boys are (and that she was clearly labelled as being influenced by feminism. No trying to hide the fact, which was appreciated). That conviction is what leads to the one and only time she stands up against Sal (finally).

I did enjoy the character of Martin, Nina's boss at the Art institute. He seemed to be the most genuine and realistic character. He was probably my favourite, which says something about the book as he was quite a minor character. I also enjoyed how Kerr portrayed the ignorance of the upper-tiers towards the lifestyles and feelings of the lower-tiers, showing that they couldn't truly empathize with something they had never experienced.

The general society frustrated me. The "sex-teen" idea, which is that once a girl turns sixteen she gets a tattoo advertising to the world that she is legal and allows men to prey on the girls with tattoos without any consequences for them; while in no way appealing, is not a terrible one for the basis of a novel (although it is not really the basis of this one; it just seems to really come up when convenient). However, the fact that the entire society takes zero action against anyone assaulting (or worse) young "sex-teens" because of their age is utterly repulsive. Another aspect that bothered me was that the term "sex-teen" wasn't just a nickname the teens had for it, it was what the president of the "Governing Council" referred to them as in a news interview. Hearing the president-figure call teenage girls "sex-teens" is pretty disgusting. The majority of the culture of the novel was something I had trouble getting past.

Kerr's foreshadowing is in no way subtle. It was not difficult to call what was going to happen before it did, which made the novel lack the intrigue and interest-piquing qualities it needed. Miss Maldovar's character, for example, was too obvious. The clear clues about something being off made me speculate wildly throughout the novel, which made the big reveal about her at the end very unsurprising and anti-climactic. I also wish she had chosen a different word for the vehicles than "trannie". There MUST have been something better she could have used. Which leads to my mixed feelings about the vocabulary used in the novel. While there were some sophisticated words that sixteen year-olds often wouldn't use, they were mixed in amongst awful "future" teen slang that almost made me ashamed to be a teenager. Even more unfortunate: it's not very different from the teen "future slang" other authors today are using. That left me disappointed.

The ending was also disappointing. Again, I will not spoil anything except for the fact that it left hanging just about every loose end possible. One situation that annoyed me throughout the book with a girl name Paulette was never tied up, which made the ending very unsatisfying for me. I had figured there would be some sort of resolution. I guess this means there will likely be a third book in the series, but I'll only be reading it if I'm really desperate for something to read.

All in all, I had hoped for more from this novel, therefore:
2 Stars.


Review: The Name of the Star

I figured that since yesterday for Waiting on Wednesday I featured the sequel to The Name of the Star, I should put up my review for this one!

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Pub Date: September 29, 2011.
372 pages.
Genre: YA Paranormal fiction.

Goodreads Summary:

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago. 

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

My Review:

Maureen Johnson's Jack the Ripper novel has fear gripping the hearts of not only the characters in the book, but the reader as well. It is a modern imagination of the Ripper legend with an impersonator attacking London whom the police are unable to catch, or even identify, just as it was with the original. Johnson's writing provides the chilling suspense that is required to truly cover such a creepy topic. She also adds a twist that could have been very cheesy and left with plenty of loose ends, but she tied up the ends enough to make it a complete story but still leave room for a sequel, and covered the "otherworldy" aspects very well, fitting with the paranormal genre instead of creating a phoney wanna-be.
There were a few inconsistencies that I noticed, but they were minor and in the end did not really take away from the story. I definitely enjoyed the characters she created, including the strong lead, Rory. Most girls wouldn't have the bravery to face all the unbelievable things that Rory does. I also enjoyed that there was a romantic aspect in the novel but that it was kept quite small and wasn't the main focus: the Ripper plotline and the paranormal twist were always kept in the spotlight, which I appreciated.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed the novel and would recommend it to those who enjoy paranormal fiction, especially those interested in (but not too invested in) the Jack the Ripper story, as this is like a modern re-imagination.

4 Stars!


Waiting on Wednesday: The Madness Underneath

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly feature created by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #2) by Maureen Johnson.
Expected Publication: March 28, 2013.

Goodreads Summary:

When madness stalks the streets of London, no one is safe…

There’s a creepy new terror haunting modern-day London. Fresh from defeating a Jack the Ripper killer, Rory must put her new-found hunting skills to the test before all hell breaks loose…

But enemies are not always who you expect them to be and crazy times call for crazy solutions. A thrilling teen mystery.

I'm very excited for this one! I read the first Shades of London novel, The Name of the Star, at the recommendation of a friend and I thought it was great! It was a fresh re-imagination of the Jack the Ripper mystery with a new twist, and I'm looking forward to seeing where Johnson takes the storyline and the characters first introduced in The Name of the Star.
Luckily, March isn't too far away! Only 5 more months!

P.S: Keep an eye out for my review of The Name of the Star tomorrow. Maybe after reading it you'll be waiting on The Madness Underneath too!


Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking

Switched (Trylle Trilogy #1) by Amanda Hocking.
Paperback, 318 pages.
Pub Date: July 12, 2010 (original).
                January 3, 2012 (my edition).
Pub by St. Martin's Griffin.

Goodreads Summary:
When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.

Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.

Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…

My Review:
From the prologue at the very beginning this book caught my attention. The prologue describes Wendy's sixth birthday party and her mother's attempt to kill her. It built my excitement and my intrigue into how the story would play out from there.
It's clear early on that Wendy is not your average teenage girl, yet she acts like one and feels the same things that average teen girls do. She's quite self-conscious in the moments that I would be, which really helped me appreciate her character. She's also very believable in the way she adapts to the complete overhaul of her life. When she is told the truth about who (or what) she is, she doesn't accept it right off the bat, but she sees little things in her life that point her towards the possibility. She slowly comes to terms with the change and stands up for what she believes, instead of immediately throwing everything she knows away because of a hot guy. She's very strong-willed and is not afraid to fight for what she wants, or to prove to people that they are wrong about her. I think she's a great character because she's so real and because even after everything she goes through, she still has heart and can recognize the good people in her life.
What about the hot guy I mentioned earlier? Finn, who is called a "tracker", is sent for Wendy to tell her the truth about who she is and to take her to her "tribe", if you will, the Trylle. There always seems to be some sort of chemistry between the two hiding just under the surface, but, since we see the story from Wendy's perspective, Finn seems to be completely playing her hot and cold. He gives her looks that make her face flush and her heart thump, then tells her that his being near her is "just his job", which everyone else maintains that he does very well. I liked the dynamic between them, even though it sometimes felt like Wendy was being jerked around.
I really enjoyed the Trylle world that Hocking created. Even though it is part of our world, it has its quirks and details that make it unique. The society is very specific, with a strict hierarchy that plays an important role. The Trylle themselves are interesting, with qualities that completely make sense with who they're supposed to be (such as not enjoying wearing shoes and only eating natural foods). Overall it seems like a beautiful place, but with some real issues.

There was also a bonus story included in the edition I picked up, called "The Vittra Attacks". I thought this was a really neat addition to the book as it gave a completely different perspective on the storyline and introduced a new character that I think we'll be seeing more of in the next two Trylle books. The only thing I would've asked for from this was more information/explanation, but I suppose Hocking can't give it all away yet!

I thought this book was really well written, with honest emotion and great characters.

I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys this type of YA fiction, but especially for fans of Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush series as there are some similar dynamics and ideas.

4 stars!



Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but I have all sorts of ideas for this blog. I've come up with giveaways I want to do, features I want to try, blog hops I want to participate in, and a couple authors I want to feature (one has agreed already!). However, I can't do all that without your support. I'll need to build up a bigger following before I can really do any giveaways or author features, otherwise nobody will see them! So please, if you're interested, take a second to follow me via GFC or to spread the word about my blog. I would appreciate it tremendously. I promise it will only get better and I will have exciting things coming! 

Thanks everyone :)


Stacking the Shelves - October 22, 2012

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly post by TYNGA'S REVIEWS showcasing your new books! 
Links go to Goodreads!

This week I stopped by the book store and just couldn't help myself.

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff.
Pub Date: Sept 21, 2010.
Pub by Razorbill/Penguin Group.
Hardcover, 343 pages. 

I kept seeing this one on the shelf and wondering, "Should I? Maybe? Next time?". Then when I went in this time, it was on sale, so I figured I'd get over all the inner debating and just pick it up! I've heard it's very creepy, so we'll see how that goes!

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer.
Pub Date: October 27, 2009.
Pub by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR).
Hardcover, 184 pages.

I first heard about this one from a book hop/feature done on another blog and it sounded like a cute read. I noticed it for cheap at the book store and thought I should give it a try! 

The Host by Stephenie Meyer.
Pub Date: January 1, 2008.
Pub by Little, Brown and Company.
Hardcover, 619 pages.

I'll admit, I held off on this one for a while (clearly) after reading the Twilight series. I didn't want to bother with more like that. However, I've heard better things about this one. Also, apparently there is a possibility of two sequels, so I figured I should get caught up.
All that plus the fact that it was on sale for a third of the price plus I got bonus points for the store's rewards card; I figured it was time!


Review: Ten Cents a Dance

I thought I'd get started here by posting a review of a book I read recently and absolutely loved!

Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher

Goodreads Summary: 
With her mother ill, it’s up to fifteen-year-old Ruby Jacinski to support her family. But in the 1940s, the only opportunities open to a Polish-American girl from Chicago’s poor Yards is a job in one of the meat packing plants. Through a chance meeting with a local tough, Ruby lands a job as a taxi dancer and soon becomes an expert in the art of “fishing”: working her patrons for meals, cash, clothes, even jewelry. Drawn ever deeper into the world of dance halls, jazz, and the mob, Ruby gradually realizes that the only one who can save her is herself.  A mesmerizing look into a little known world and era.

My thoughts: 
I thought this was an absolutely fantastic novel! I never wanted to put it down. I absolutely loved the main character, Ruby. It has been a long time since I read a novel with such a strong, outspoken, independent spitfire of a female lead! She knows when to speak up and she's not afraid to slug someone who gets in her way, yet she has her heart in the right place. She had me cheering for her the whole way. Another thing I loved was the author's descriptions. Christine Fletcher has a gift for bringing the setting alive around a reader. I could see and hear and almost smell every scene. It was enthralling. The plot moved along quickly enough that I was never bored; there was always something happening or something on Ruby's mind to mull over. The concept was exciting, the pace was quick but not rushed, and there was plenty of excitement and attitude to keep a reader interested. Love love loved it!

Rating: 5 Stars!

Get it here:

Here We Go...

This is officially the first post of my very first book blog! I'm still getting used to all the html and whatnot, so forgive me while I try to pretty it up! Currently a work-in-progress but I hope to have it fully operational very soon :)
Feel free to comment with recommendations of what you'd like to see on the blog! I'll do my best to make it appealing.