Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book Review: The Jewel

The Jewel (The Lone City #1)
Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Page Count: 358
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Dystopian, Fantasy

Okay, I admit that I may have picked this one up solely based on the cover. I really wanted to know who this girl was and why she looked so sad. I hesitated when I saw this had a dystopian spin to it since I typically am not the Lark who jumps on that genre, but I decided to read outside of my comfort zone. I'm so glad I took a chance on this one. It was entertaining, thought provoking, and creepy.

Violet Lasting lives in a world where choices do not exist unless you belong to the royal class. Her society functions like a caste system with one interesting twist. The royals cannot have children so they must purchase surrogates to carry a baby for them. These surrogates always come from the poorest sector of the society. The girls with the potential to be successful surrogates are identified through blood tests that are administered at the onset of puberty. If a girl is identified as a potential surrogate, she is taken from her family and sent to live in a facility that will educate and train her for her future role. The girls are ranked before the auction and those with the highest rankings fetch millions of dollars. Violet's story begins on the day before she is sent to auction. Once she is purchased, Violet becomes the property of the Duchess of the Lake, one of the most powerful and vindictive women in the Jewel. The Jewel is the most wealthy sector of this society. Violet is in awe of the extravagance, but soon finds that The Jewel hides dark and violent secrets.

Book BFF: Dovey

Book BFF was created by Larks Andrea, Paula, and Jen to showcase some of our favorite ladies & was originally inspired by Book Boyfriend. We'd love it if you'd join us featuring your favorite Book BFFs and leaving links so we can check out your posts. We will be alternating between Book Boyfriends, Book BFFs, and Throwbacks on Thursdays. 

This week my Book BFF is Dovey from Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson.
Read my review of the book here
My ideal image of Dovey is the little girl from the Cheerios commercial, 10 years from now.

Given name: Billie Dove Greenwood
Nickname: Dovey

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Book Review: One Kick

One Kick
By: Chelsea Cain
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 19, 2014
Page Count: 320
Source: ARC Provided By Publisher
Genre/Audience: Thriller, Recommended for 18+

Buy It: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound

The first thing you should know is that I loved One Kick and read it cover to cover in less than 18 hours. I finished the book weeks ago and the characters and settings are still on my mind. The second thing you should know is this book is, from what I understand since this was my first experience with her, unlike Chelsea Cain's usual fare (I don't do gore), so leave any prejudice related to that behind you. With an incredibly fast paced plot and a protagonist who has just the right balance of anger, psychosis, fight, and vulnerability, One Kick is definitely one of my 2014 favorites. 

Waiting on Wednesday: Afterworlds

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where she spotlights upcoming releases.

This week I am waiting on:
By: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon Pulse


I've read four different series by Scott Westerfeld, all of which are very different projects. I have loved every one of them. Westerfeld writing about someone being able to slip between this world and a fictional one sounds like the beginning of something incredible. I must read this. 

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings… 

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the 'Afterworld' to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Review: Trial By Fire

Trial by Fire
(The Worldwalker Trilogy #1)

Author: Josephine Angelini
Published By:  Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date:  September 2nd, 2014
Page Count:  384 pages
Source: Arc Kindly Provided by the Publisher Through Netgalley
Audience:  Young Adult Fantasy

Even though I was severely distracted by life while reading this story, I still really liked it.  I couldn’t wait to escape back into the story of Lily, Lillian, Rowan, Tristan, Juliet and company.  And it was easy to fall right back in even if I only was afforded a few pages each day.  It flowed nicely and held my interest without any work.  I haven’t read anything by this author before, so I was really looking forward to this and was not disappointed.

The concept of this story was somewhat complex but also unique from anything I’ve ever read before—an interesting spin on witch lore, and the well-known history of Salem, Massachusetts.  Alternate universes are something I’m sure we’ve all wondered about…and this story took those musings to task.

Teaser Tuesday: Falling Into Place, Horns, Sinner, Masquerade, & 100 Sideways Miles

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Usually, soccer allowed her to forget. She fell in love with the sport because of the way it consumed her, swallowed her whole, grabbed all her attention and stored it in a sphere that they chased and kicked and passed between them like a secret. She obsessed over the unpredictability. She was wholly addicted to adrenaline.

~ Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang, Kindle Location 1100 (ARC)

Ig twisted his goatee, nervously considering. He still didn't know if he could do it over a phone, if the influence of the horns could be shot from a radio transmitter and bounced off a satellite. On the other hand, it was a well-known fact that cell phones were tools of the devil.

~ Horns by Joe Hill, pg. 325

Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Review: Of Monsters and Madness

Of Monsters and Madness
Published By: EgmontUSA
Publication Date: September 9, 2014
Page Count: 288
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Historical Fantasy

I was initially attracted to this novel because Annabel Lee has always been one of my favorite pieces of Poe's work. I thought this was going to be a retelling of the poem. I was looking forward to finding out how Jessica Verday would bring this famous female to life. I was slightly shocked to realize that this novel does have a character named Annabel Lee, but it isn't a true retelling. 

Annabel Lee was born in England, but she moved to Siam with her mother when she was six. Her father was never part of her life, but one day she receives a letter inviting her to his home in Philadelphia. When Annabel's mother succumbs to illness, Annabel makes the long journey to meet her father in the United States. Life in her father's home is full of dark secrets.

Cover Crazy: Compulsion

The purpose of Cover Crazy is to feature a cover each week for us to admire its beauty. I really like this idea since there are so many great covers out there! Cover Crazy is a meme that was started by The Book Worms.

I know the monochromatic scheme of this one won't appeal to everyone, but to me, it's the best part of this luxurious cover. The richness of the texture in this image would be lost if a full color palette was used, so the lovely golden hue is just right. I like the path leading straight into all of that perfection, and that the pair are enjoying the seclusion right in the middle of that path. This cover makes me anticipate the book all the more!

Please leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts on this cover.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Magic Lamp Sunday 7/27/14

We discovered this meme at Ya-Aholic, where it ran on Fridays. It sounded like a fun addition to our lineup, but fits better here on Sundays. This is based on the basic Magic Lamp = 3 wishes idea. Since there are so many of us, though, we're just taking one each per week. 

If we had a Magic Lamp, we'd wish:   

Paula: I wish I had grown up with a dad who wrote a wildly popular book. Inspired by 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith.

Nicole: I wish I could do magic. Inspired by The Magician's Apprentice by Trudi Canavan. 

Andrea: I wish that I owned a mansion in Louisiana. Inspired by The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan.
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