31 January, 2013

Oooh Look - Book Trailers!

I am not really the biggest fan of book trailers, but a few have caught my eye recently. I have my own opinions about which ones are good or not but I will keep those thoughts to myself. I wanted to show them though because they are all for books I am really excited about. Prodigy actually just came out this week, so you don't even have to wait for that one. I think my favorite is the trailer for Etiquette & Espionage though. I am a sucker for the English accent. :)

Take a look below and let us know in the comments which book you're most excited about. And warning, most of these are sequels so they may contains spoilers. Watch at your own risk. 

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Prodigy by Marie Lu

Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead teaser trailer (kissy face!)

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Mind Games by Kiersten White

30 January, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (3) - Etiquette & Espionage

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, Book 1)
Release date: 5 February 2013 from Little, Brown
ISBN 10/13: 031619008X | 9780316190084

Jacket copy:

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to finishing school.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea--and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right--but it's a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine's certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

Why I'm waiting:

Ever since her adult fantasy, Soulless, caught my eye (I was about to put it on the display table when I worked for Borders, but instead bought the one copy we had on release day and then ordered 2 dozen more) I have loved Gail Carriger's funny, clever storytelling. This four-book series is set 25 years before the Parasol Protectorate books, and while I have already read the novel, I can't wait to get my hands on my own hardcover copy next week.

You can read the first three chapters from Amazon (you can also find it elsewhere online).

Thuy just started doing Manicure Mondays over at RNSL Nite Lite. Her first one is E&E!

Preorder on Amazon.com | BN.com | Bookdepository.com | Add to your Goodreads shelf

28 January, 2013

YA Pride & Prejudice (More on Shame and Stigma)

(No, I'm not talking about YA Pride -- that's a few months from now, in June.)

Are you a proud reader of YA? I am! I mean, I read other things too. Graphic novels. Cat care handbooks. Sewing manuals.  But I haven't had to defend any of those, really.

Last October, I wrote a blog post called YA Shame and Stigma. It was a reaction to some comments Warm Bodies author Isaac Marion wrote on his Facebook wall. (Before you balk, I did ask him for permission to quote--I did not set out to provoke him, just to analyze his opinion and engage a community dialogue.) The post just passed 6,000 views yesterday, which is... mindboggling to me. Thank you all for reading and sharing your opinions.

I have been thinking about it a lot this week because

1) Warm Bodies hits movie theaters this weekend! AAAAAAAA! I can't wait. I'm sitting here hitting refresh on the movie theater's website every couple of hours to see if they've posted movie times yet. I'm jealous of Thuy because she's already seen it twice and it's not even out until Feb 1. I think I might be disproportionately excited...

2) The Youth Media awards were announced today, ushering a new crop of awesome books, including YA novels, to the fore. (Which Isaac will probably not read either, but, you know, he's busy writing a prequel and sequels to Warm Bodies.) Also, Tamora Pierce, who commented on the original post, won the Margaret A. Edwards award, and now I really really want to go to ALA Annual. (Another blog post about that coming up soon.)

3) Because of the movie release, a lot of people are finding the original "YA Shame and Stigma" post again, which is awesome; however a lot of people are also saying "Ugh! Now I don't want to read Warm Bodies, because of what he said about YA, which I love so much I want to marry it." And to that I say, whoa, Nelly!

Read widely and read what you want, but I think deciding not to read Warm Bodies for that reason also follows the same narrow line of thinking people apply to not reading YA. Decide not to read it because zombies freak you out--ok, fair enough. I don't read realistic fiction about terrorism for the same reason. Perhaps you don't like romance and prefer, instead, the biography of a fish. That's cool, too. But just think: the author is not the book. You may like him, you might not, but the bottom line is, I really liked his book and I recommend it highly. You may be missing out on a book you'll like by deciding to skip it. Just maybe!

I like to think I'm not so prejudiced that I'd refuse to read a book because I think, *blanket assumption* all books of that label are rubbish. (Except the Fifty Shades books, and only because it's somewhat difficult to get "in the mood" when I'm laughing so hard that I can't read through the tears in my eyes. Exception: the chicken cookbook parody, which gets me in the mood for food.)

The point of all this, if I can underline, italicize, and bold it all at once is, If you're lucky enough to live in a free country, read what you like--there are books of all kinds because there are people of all kinds. Recommending your favorite books does not mean you have to deprecate someone else's. *gets off soapbox*

4) I've read so many other reader responses to the topic and want to share them with you. There are lots of possible responses, and none of us is really wrong or right, I think. There is just our opinion, and then there's someone else's. What is YA and why should we read it? So many variations. I agree with some, but not all of these; still, I think they're all pretty valuable as part of the dialogue.

If I missed your post, please leave a link in the comments and I'll add it to the list.

Newest first:

Teen Librarian's ToolboxWhy YA? (again) Fear & Loathing in YA Literature

Muteswann: Why I Read Crime Fiction and Teen/YA Novels

Bookshelvers Anonymous: The New Adult Category Revisited (Ah, the NA category... I'm flip-flopping on this topic still. I first said Nay but I think I'm now a very cautious Yea?)

Nick Hornby via RJ Anderson via Sarah Rees Brennan (This is what happens on Tumblr.)

Word for TeensYA shame & stigma, what we're buying and why I want to go into the industry

YABliss: YA in Theaters

Reading Nook: Book & Blog News

WhatchYAreading Podcast: Do Not Read the Madness Underneath (18:42 onward... I actually have some issues with this, not with what they say about YA or Isaac Marion, but about the price of books. But, you know, they probably didn't work in a bookshop for 13 years.)

Rachel Hartman: I'm off to Calgary (Congrats on your Morris Award, Rachel!)

Jessica CorraThe Great YA Debate (I posted a comment but it didn't get published. I don't remember what I said.)

CuddlebuggeryBuzz Worthy News: 15 Oct 2012

The Readventurer: Odds & Ends on the Web: October 13th Edition

Book a Week: Let's Cut the Shit: "Young Adult" is Patently Incorrect

Pass the Chiclets:  Isaac Marion and his view of YA as a ridiculous, pointless category

Marie Lu: Another Day, Another YA Label Battle (Prodigy will be out an hour after I post this :D)

If you have links to YA reviewers' posts about Warm Bodies, which, let's face it, really crack me up especially when they gush about what a great book it is, add them to the linky. (I'm lookin' at you, TeenLitRocks. You totally give me the giggles.) I feel like the best "revenge" is to get as many as possible YA readers to read and enjoy Warm Bodies.  I know, I'm backwards like that.

If you, like me, are freezing from the toes up and need to get the circulation pumping in your extremities, read this interview from  February 2012 or another from December 2012. Grrr! Arrgh! >.< I want to like you, Isaac, but you're making it tough.

And now, because I don't want to think about this any more this week, I'm going to watch Murdoch Mysteries, which has nothing to do with YA (unless you count the episode "Bloodlust", in which some boarding school girls go gaga over some novel written by Bram Stoker).

27 January, 2013

3rd Annual Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop Sign Ups

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop
March 29th to April 5th
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Read Now Sleep Later

I'm so excited to help Kathy co-host for the first time. 

Sign-ups are open now!
  • You must host a giveaway on your site, you are responsible for obtaining a prize for giveaway and taking care of the shipping charges.
  • You must giveaway something a reader, author or blogger would enjoy.
  • Your giveaway post must include the hop image & linky (or links to the host's sites if you can't get the linky to work).
  • Please only 1 mandatory entry - all others must be optional - Keep It Simple! No long lists of things for people to do.  If you have dozens of things for people to do I will delete your blog from the linky.
  • Your post must be live by 12:01 EST on March 29th. (That is 9 pm March 28th if you live in California)
  • The giveaway must be specifically for this hop.
  • Your site must be family friendly - no erotica or 18+ sites.  Your site & giveaway must be free of steamy images and book covers.  If it would embarrass me to have my teenagers see it, it can't be on your site.
  • It is your responsibility to check the linky on March 29th to be sure you are still on the linky and that your link is accurate.  Please send me a direct link to your post when it goes live.
  • If you are using Rafflecopter set it to begin on March 28th and end on APRIL 6th. 

The rest of Kathy's standard hop rules apply.  If you have not hopped with her recently please review the hop rules here: http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com/p/giveaway-hop-rules.html

Blogs may choose to run their giveaway via comments, a google form or rafflecopter.

To sign up to host a giveaway add your blog to the linky below with your shipping info in parenthesis following your blog name.  If you forget I will assume you are shipping to US only and add (US) after your blog name.

DO NOT SIGN UP UNLESS YOU ARE COMMITTED TO POST AND HAVE WRITTEN IT ON YOUR CALENDAR!  1 in 5 bloggers who sign up never post.  Please do not be one of them. Thanks! 

If you have any questions email toobusyreading-at-gmaildotcom 

Stacked (3)

Hey y'all!

Stacked is our sister site's mailbox sharing weekly feature. I hope you are all having a marvelous week. I had an extra day off to get some reading done, so we have lots of reviews lined up--almost too many! But we'll keep some of them brief so we don't clutter up your reader feed.

For review:

Thanks so much to Egmont for including us in the publicity tour for this book. Ellison debuted last year with The Butterfly Clues and I think her sophomore novel will be even better! Keep your eye out for a review and giveaway for both books sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Pinned by Sharon G. Flake

I'm going to be writing a review for ALAN -- And probably doing a giveaway as well since I already had one, and they sent me another! I listened to Sharon read at one of Scholastic's Readers Theatres last year (authors dramatize an excerpt from each others' work and perform it for an audience). She was brilliant and I can't wait to dive into Pinned.


The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Eeeeeeee! It's here. My pre-order was waiting on the doorstep on Tuesday.


I can't resist a Kindle sale. I nabbed The Declaration by Gemma Malley, Say the Word by Jeannine Garsee, and Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller. 

Candlewick granted me Netgalley access to Mouse Bird Snake Wolf by David Almond (illus. by Dave McKean). Looks fantastic!

On Audible I picked up Ashes of Twilight by Kassy Tayler, Colin Fischer by Ashley E. Miller & Zack Stentz, and Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride. I actually already have it in print, but I have the audio for Hold Me Closer, Necromancer also and it's too fun to pass up.

Hey, I had a lot of credits to burn through :)

What about you? Anything cool pop up in your mailbox this week?

24 January, 2013

The Opposite of Hallelujah - Review

Publication date: 9 October 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ISBN 10/13: 0385738366 | 9780385738361

Category: YA Realistic Fiction
Keywords: Siblings, selfishness, faith, lies
Format: Hardcover, eBook, Audible download
Source: Netgalley

From Goodreads:

Caro Mitchell considers herself an only child—and she likes it that way. After all, her much older sister, Hannah, left home eight years ago, and Caro barely remembers her. So when Caro’s parents drop the bombshell news that Hannah is returning to live with them, Caro feels as if an interloper is crashing her family. To her, Hannah’s a total stranger, someone who haunts their home with her meek and withdrawn presence, and who refuses to talk about her life and why she went away. Caro can’t understand why her parents cut her sister so much slack, and why they’re not pushing for answers.

Unable to understand Hannah, Caro resorts to telling lies about her mysterious reappearance. But when those lies alienate Caro’s new boyfriend and put her on the outs with her friends and her parents, she seeks solace from an unexpected source. And when she unearths a clue about Hannah’s past—one that could save Hannah from the dark secret that possesses her—Caro begins to see her sister in a whole new light.

Alethea's review:

I've been an Anna Jarzab fan ever since reading her debut, All Unquiet Things. I found it to be literary, emotionally wrenching, complex and moving. I was especially intrigued to learn she was tackling another unusual topic: the homecoming of an estranged sister, not just any sister, but a Sister. I thought it strange subject matter from the get-go. What does an average YA realistic fiction reader care about a young woman taking holy orders?

Carolina Mitchell is a spoiled brat. Especially in the first half of the book, the author lets her have free rein--with all the tantrums and attitudes she exhibits, you would think she was about 7 or 8 years old and not a teenager. To Caro, her situation is incomprehensible: her sister Hannah, a virtual stranger now, has left the cloister she has lived in for eight years. She doesn't even remember how deeply she used to worship the golden girl Hannah was before, and in the face of this gloomy, withered sibling, Caro clings selfishly to all that she can hold.

I worried a little bit that the religious themes would be uncomfortable--they're not what I seek to read normally--but the author handles them with sensitivity and grace. One of my favorite characters was Father Bob, who relates to Caro in unexpected ways; he listens instead of berates and is a refreshingly positive portrayal of an authority figure in a YA novel.

I thought the elder Mitchells were very real, though some of Caro's friends are too flat to care about in any palpable way. I liked Pawel and the relationship that springs up between him and Caro, and I liked even more the fact that the romance takes a backseat to the Mitchell family's dynamics. I found the interactions between Caro, Hannah, and their mom and dad to be very touching.

The "mystery" of Hannah's vocation--the dark secret that she has to marry God to escape--is quite predictable, but the author's treatment of it from several angles renders its complexity as it boils down to the unavoidable core of Hannah's malaise. Jarzab skillfully peels away the onion skin layers of conflict, self-blame, and tragedy; I think it would take quite a cold reader to be able to look away, especially once Caro begins to grow into her role and take charge of the situation.

A lot of readers might find Caro's self-centeredness too off-putting to finish the book, but those readers would be missing the best part--a real transformation from holy terror, not into an angel, but into something more human.

I can't wait to see what Anna Jarzab will tackle next.

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Find out more about the author at www.annajarzab.com, on Facebook, and follow @ajarzab on Twitter.

23 January, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (2) - The Madman's Daughter

Release date: January 29, 2013 from Balzer+Bray
ISBN 10/13: 0062128027 | 9780062128027

Jacket copy:

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.

Why I'm waiting:

An advanced copy was pretty impossible for me to get, so by mid-December I'd resigned myself to waiting until release day. I already have a pre-order placed. Mainly I'd say the cover and title pretty much had me reeled in; throw in the words gruesome and gothic -- how can I say no?

Ok, I'll admit I have lowered my expectations a bit. I've been burned by a pretty cover before. The true test will be if I stay awake or go to sleep once I've started, and I've been going to bed pretty early nowadays. But I can't look away when I see a girl-in-pretty-dress cover with the promise of mental illness. I'm a little crazy like that.

Preorder on Amazon.com | BN.com | bookdepository.com | Add to your Goodreads shelf

22 January, 2013

Fat Kid Rules the World - DVD Giveaway (US ends Jan 26)

Oh my glob! You guys, Fat Kid Rules the World comes out on DVD on Jan 22, 2013. That's today!!! You have got to see it. 

Troy Billings is seventeen, overweight, and suicidal. Just as he’s about to jump in front of a bus, he’s saved by Marcus, a charming high school dropout/street musician. The two begin an uneasy friendship when Marcus enlists the musically challenged Troy to become the drummer in a new punk rock band. As Troy’s relationship with Marcus grows, Troy’s father becomes increasingly concerned about his son’s new friendship. 

The SXSW Audience Award winning film starring Jacob Wysocki (TERRI), Matt O’Leary (NATURAL SELECTION) and Billy Campbell (THE KILLING) in Matthew Lillard’s directorial debut based on the novel by K. L. Going and produced by Whitewater Films.

Today you could win either the DVD or the book for Fat Kid Rules the World. For the book you can choose the paperback or the audiobookPerks of Being a Wallflower also comes out on DVD on Feb 12, 2013. We will do another giveaway just before that.

Giveaway Rules:
  1. Open to US only.
  2. We are not responsible for items lost in the mail.
  3. One set of entries per household, please.
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. 

Good luck, punks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

21 January, 2013

Pushing the Limits - Review & Giveaway

Publication Date: 31 July 2012 by Harlequin Teen
ISBN 10/13: 0373210493 | 9780373210497
Category: Young Adult Realistic Fiction
Keywords: Therapy, amnesia, romance, family
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Source: Review copy, also purchased for Kindle


No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Alethea's review:

I'll be frank. I didn't like this book. I didn't like the bad attitudes of the main characters or the dramarama from their lunchroom "friends". I didn't like the requisite romance between Echo and Noah, which bordered on insta-love. Except for Mrs. Collins, their special therapist/guidance counselor, I didn't like most of the adults in the story, who I felt contributed so much to the problems that the teenagers faced, instead of helping them. However, Katie McGarry managed to push all the right emotional buttons to make me feel engaged in their story despite all that dislike. 

The cast of characters is very well-drawn and diverse. It's helpful that the author is able to differentiate everyone so well, as there are a lot of characters. Getting to know Echo and Noah through their interactions with family, friends, and virtual strangers is where McGarry excels, as the reader learns about the main characters' personalities organically. At times though, I felt like the author was hedging her bets by providing so many characters that any reader is bound to like someone in the ensemble. And when I really look at it, the romance between Noah and Echo does develop over some time; however, I still really felt like the beginnings were awkward and unbelievable. Perhaps love is just like that sometimes.

The story is told by Echo and Noah in alternating POVs. It was a bit exhausting, but in the end I think it was the clearest way to tell the story--there was so much going on between Echo's traumatic memory loss and grief over her brother's death, and Noah working himself to the bone to get his little brothers back from their foster parents... McGarry deals in details, lots and lots of details, sometimes to the point of confusion. There were times I felt like that friend who's not quite close enough to tell all your secrets to, but you do anyway because you need to tell someone.

There's language and some steamy, but not too graphic love scenes, for those of you that care about that kind of thing. I'd probably recommend it for juniors/seniors in high school (the main characters are just a few months from graduation at the start of the novel). I would have rated this one star less, but I read the whole thing in just a few hours--couldn't put it down--so I reckon I liked it more than I am willing to admit. 

If you're going to read this, bring tissues. It's definitely a tear-jerker. 

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Find out more about the author at www.katielmcgarry.com and follow @KatieMcGarry on Twitter.

One lucky duck gets to win my copy of Pushing the Limits.

Giveaway Rules:
  1. Open to US/Can only.
  2. We are not responsible for items lost in the mail.
  3. One set of entries per household, please.
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

20 January, 2013

Stacked (2)

Hey y'all!

Stacked is our sister site's mailbox sharing weekly feature. We got a ton of great stuff from Netgalley this week.

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers - You have no idea how excited I was when HMH followed through and let me download this one. It will be out on April 2 and I'm hoping Robin will come down to LA again for LATFoB so I can buy a signed copy. I've already read it and am contemplating reading it over again. It was so good! The full review will come out closer to the publication date.

Hey, if I get lucky I'll buy two and raffle off the 2nd one to you guys! ;)

The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist - I loved Dahlquist's adult fantasy novel The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters (well, part one, anyway--part two was really hard to get into). He's got one hell of an imagination. I hope I will like his YA debut, too. It looks... different.

Peregrine Harker & The Black Death by Luke Hollands - I don't pick up small press books very often, and frankly the "blurbs" for this book are a little heavy-handed with the comedy. 

 “Somebody give the boy a medal!” – King Edward VII
“What a brain! Never have I seen such an ego.” – Sigmund Freud
“A little too revolutionary for my liking.” – Tsar Nicholas II of Russia 

And so forth. You get the picture? Still, the synopsis sounds pretty good:

Peregrine Harker is about to learn you're never too young to die.
London 1908: A secret society stalks the murky streets, a deadly assassin lurks in the shadows and a series of unexplained deaths are linked by a mystery symbol…
When boy-detective Peregrine Harker stumbles across a gruesome murder he sparks a chain of events that drag him on a rip-roaring journey through a world of spluttering gas lamps, thick fog, deadly secrets and dastardly villains.
They had me at "MURDER." I'll let you know if it lives up to its own hype. Bonus points for having a cover that does not make me want to claw my own eyes out.

That's it for me this week. What did you get? Share links in the comments below.

18 January, 2013

Uncovered (2): Sister Assassin (aka Mind Games)

Hi there! Welcome to Uncovered, a feature that we do over at our sister site Nite Lite, where we feature covers we love. I'll be cross posting occasionally on RNSL when I choose to feature a YA book cover. 

This week I have the UK edition cover to Kiersten White's upcoming release. The book is called Sister Assassin in the UK and Mind Games in the US.  Most of you have probably seen the cover to the US version. I recently found the UK cover and immediately fell in love with it. While I like the US cover, this one is much more my style. I always love the illustration based covers and I love the stark black and white image. It has a real sketch quality to it. There is something really sinister and compelling in their expressions. And is it just me or do they remind you a bit of Alexis Bledel (left) and Christina Ricci (right)?  

I don't know who the artist is on this one, but it reminds me a lot Joey Hi-Fi's work. It has a similar feel to Blackbirds, a previous book on Uncovered. If any of our friends in the UK get a copy of this and could let us know, that would be great. My attempts at finding it keep bringing up pages on Assassin's Creed. :)

Comment question*: Do you prefer the US cover or UK? 

*comment question totally inspired by Lauren at 365 Days of Reading

17 January, 2013

The Raven Boys - Review

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, Book 1)
by Maggie Stiefvater
Publication date: 18 September 2012 by Scholastic Press
ISBN 10/13: 0545424925 | 9780545424929
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Category: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Keywords: Psychics, legends, love, death
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Source: e-ARC received from Netgalley, also purchased hardcover

From Goodreads:

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love. . . or you killed him.”

Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.


Mysticism and reality blur together as Blue is inexorably drawn into a flock of Raven Boys, rich kids from the local prep school. All of her short life she's known to stay away from them--they are troublesome and self-involved, entitled little bastards. She meets Gansey and his boys who seem no different at first glance, but there is more to them than meets the eye. They are drawn together by Gansey's interest in the ley line that runs through their town, and the mythical king they hope is buried there. Unlike the rest of her family members, Blue can only amplify, but not wield a psychic's skills; to the boys she is like a generator and a beacon all in one. The allure of the unknown and the forgotten allows Blue a taste of what she has been missing.

I stopped caring what the novel was about less than a quarter of the way through the book. I lost myself in the river of words and let the Raven Boys sweep me away from the coach-class airplane cabin I was sitting in, into a warm haze of fast cars, hot tempers, and wild magic. I can see where some readers might have complaints: everyone's overeducated, too-cool-for-school, white, and forking out wads of money along with their ten-dollar words and Latin--Latin! Spoken by a supernatural arbor, no less. Unbelievable is an understatement.

What I did care about was the characters: Adam and his pride, refusing to take handouts from Gansey. Gansey, who seems genuinely unaware of the value of money, but very aware of the value of life. There's angry, damaged Ronan and the waifish, smudgy Noah. There's Blue and the impending heartbreak of losing someone she doesn't even love yet. Don't even get me started with Blue's aunts and cousins. I hope someone buys the film rights and makes one hell of an ensemble-driven movie.

What is it about, really? I can't even say. Faith and uncertainty, power and money, hurt and healing, life and death? The Raven Boys is about all these things, and nothing at the same time. All I know is that I couldn't put it down, and that when I was finished, I couldn't let it go.

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book. (I also purchased a hardcover copy.)

Visit the author online at www.maggiestiefvater.com and follow her on Twitter @mstiefvater

16 January, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (1) - The Archived

Release date: January 22, 2013 from Hyperion
ISBN 10/13: 1423157311 | 9781423157311

Jacket copy:

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous-it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

Why I'm waiting: 

I downloaded the sneak peek on Netgalley for The Archived, the first in a new series by the author of The Near Witch. I loved it! It was a little confusing at first: note that Da = grandpa and Mac's mentor and Dad is her father, who is not a Keeper and is not even aware of that world. I finally figured it out; hopefully it was just my inattention and not some continuity mistake that caused that confusion.

Mac is an angsty teenager which some readers may find instantly unappealing, but she isn't that way without reason. Two people she loves very much have passed on, and her mother has decided that part of the grief process involves pulling up stakes, moving to an old hotel, and starting a new business. Mac ends up focusing on "work", chasing down escaped Histories and putting them back where they belong; having some sort of access to the dead and gone both comforts and grieves her. I liked the fast pace and the exposition of the Archive's rules through flashbacks and encounters with various escapees.

Apart from the clever, suck-you-right-in worldbuilding and the creepy feel of the Narrows, I just really love Victoria Schwab's lyrical writing. It also doesn't hurt that one of the characters reminds me of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor :)

I can't wait to get the copy I preordered so I can find out what happens!

I have to admit, it also made me a lot less GRR-ARRGH at Disney-Hyperion that they now allow free access to sneak peeks rather than just declining every blogger request. The sneak peek was very generous and long, so I was able to get a really good idea of whether or not I wanted to buy a copy of the book. Thanks, DH.

Preorder on Amazon.com | BN.com | bookdepository.com | Add to your Goodreads shelf

Bridge to Books Presents: Get A Clue!

Hello all you SoCal readers. We just wanted to let you know about a really fun event happening On Friday, Feb 1 in Pasadena. Get A Clue! is sponsored by Bridge to Books (headed by RNSL's very own Alethea and Aly from Kid Lit Frenzy). Bridge to Books organizes awesome local events that bring together authors, educators, booksellers, and readers. 

The first event of the year is Get A Clue! This is going to be a really fun mystery event that would be perfect for 7 - 12 year olds (give or take a couple of years). Participants will get to solve a mystery with seven great
MG authors. Authors include:

Kevin Emerson (The Fellowship for Alien Detection)
Kristen Kittscher (The Wig in the Window)
Leslie Margolis (Vanishing Acts: A Maggie Brooklyn Mystery)
Gordon McAlpine (The Tell-Tale Start (The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe))
Kathleen O’Dell (The Aviary)
Shawn Thomas Odyssey (The Wizard of Dark Street)
Ellis Weiner (The Templeton Twins Have an Idea)

We hope that you can make it. We'd also appreciate you spreading the word any way you can. 

You can tweet the message: 
Get A Clue! Solve a mystery with 7 great MG authors on Feb 1 in Pasadena, CA. Get your tix now! http://bridgetobooks.org/get-a-clue/ @frootjoos

Official blurb and details below. Thanks!

Love a good whodunit? Join us on February 1 and solve some mysterious mysteries with seven middle grade authors, while learning a little bit about what makes up a good story.

Books will be for sale through Once Upon a Time Bookstore and time will be set aside for autographs. Snacks and drinks will be available (for a small cash donation) throughout the event.

Solve the mystery first and you could win the secret prize! (What could it be?)

Costumes–ahem!–disguises are encouraged but not required.

Ready to get a clue? Get your ticket today!

RSVP on Facebook

Donate to the event

14 January, 2013

New Year, New Follower Giveaway (INTL ends 1/22)

Hey all!

If you're already a follower, this is going to be a really easy giveaway to enter. The more ways you follow, the more chances you have to win!

To celebrate the new year, we are giving away up to $20.13 worth of books to 1 winner--anywhere that bookdepository.com ships! Your pick... you could even choose a shiny new hardcover! If you do your math right, you might be able to get two books :)

Just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Thank you so much for reading our blog! We have a ton of new reviews ready to go in the next few days, so check back for more great book recommendations soon.


  1. Open internationally
  2. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!

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Comment questions: What's your favorite thing about our blog? Any suggestions for the coming year?

13 January, 2013

Stacked (1)

Hi everybody!

Thuy over at our sister site started doing "Stacked" last year instead of "In My Mailbox"--it's essentially the same thing but we have our own cute graphics ;)

I got a crazy lot of books in December but it's too much to recount now, I'm just going to tell you what I got recently.


Splintered by A. G. Howard - As an Alice in Wonderland fan, how can I pass this by? I don't care much for the cover but it's very striking.


I was trying to cut back but there was so much new stuff! I got Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci, Snorkeling with Sea-Bots by Amy Lemke, Change the World Before Bedtime by Mark Kimball Moulton, Luz Makes a Splash by Claudia D'avila, Cow Boy by Nate Cosby, and The Archived (sneak peek ) by Victoria Schwab. I've read all of them already and I have to say they're all pretty good! I will be posting reviews for each of those books this week. I also got but have not finished Bad Machinery: The Case of the Team Spirit by John Allison.

That's it for me for this week. Did you get any books you're excited to read?

10 January, 2013

January Kindle Fire Giveaway

20 Amazing Authors plus more than 100 of the Best Bloggers have joined together to bring you 1 Amazing Giveaway!

The winner will have the option of receiving a Kindle Fire HD (US Only)

Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)

This giveaway is sponsored by these Awesome Authors:

The Essence (The Pledge, #2)Alaina Claiborne (British Agent Novel #1)Excuse Me, My
Brains Have Stepped OutUncontrollable (#2, Nature of Grace
series)Hunted (The Guardian Legacy, #3)Cliffhanger (The Belinda & Bennett
Mysteries, Book 1)I Was Here—Before You CameEverlostBlood OathReaper's Novice

(Soul Collector #1)BulletproofLancaster
HouseTwo HalvesMurder
on Potrero Hill (A Peyton Brooks' Mystery, #1)Bellyache: A Delicious TaleKill ShotSkid Out (Heavy Influence Trilogy, #0.5)Between (Crossroads Saga, #2)Dragon Stones: Book One of the Dragon Stone Saga (Dragon Stone Saga, #1)Rapunzel Untangled

The Essence by Kimberly Derting

Alaina Claiborne by MK McClintock

Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out by Pandora Poikilos

Uncontrollable by S.R. Johannes

Hunted by Ednah Walters

Cliffhanger by Amy Saunders

I Was Here - Before You Came by Camelia Miron Skiba

Everlost by Brenda Pandos

Blood Oath by T.L. Clarke

Reaper's Novice by Cecilia Robert

Bulletproof by Jeff LaFerney

Lancaster House by Taylor Dean

Two Halves by Marta Szemik

Murder on Potrero Hill by M.L. Hamilton

Bellyache by Crystal Marcos

Kill Shot by Anne Patrick

Skid Out by Ann Marie Frohoff

Between by Mary Ting

Dragon Stones Saga by Kristian Alva

Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy C. Bennett

Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).

Ends 1/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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