Blog Tour Stop!: Review – “The Kiss of Deception” by Mary E Pearson


unnamedTitle: “The Kiss of Deception”

Author: Mary E Pearson

Publication Date: July 8, 2014 (Macmillan – North America)

Genre: YA, high fantasy

Source: Publisher-provided ARC

Summary: In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

☆: 4.5/5 stars – a really awesome new series has just begun!

Review: Definitely different fare from Pearson, whose Jenna Fox series is the only work I’d read from her so far. I’m happy to say that “The Kiss of Deception” blows all of her previous work (that I’ve read) totally out of the water, and adds some more wonderful content to the very small YA high fantasy canon. With Lia as a wonderfully dynamic character leading the charge, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t drooling over the next installment and wanting it right now. If you’re looking for some awesome new YA high fantasy with a great female MC (or even if you’re not), go ahead and give “The Kiss of Deception” a try.

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Review: “Teen Spirit” by Francesca Lia Block


18054018Title: “Teen Spirit”

Author: Francesca Lia Block

Publication Date: February 4, 2014 (HarperTeen – North America)

Genre: YA, paranormal

Source: Publisher-provided finished copy

Summary: After Julie’s grandmother passes away, she is forced to move across town to the not-so-fancy end of Beverly Hills and start over at a new school. The only silver lining to the perpetual dark cloud that seems to be following her? Clark—a die-hard fan of Buffy and all things Joss Whedon, who is just as awkward and damaged as she is. Her kindred spirit.

When the two try to contact Julie’s grandmother with a Ouija board, they make contact with a different spirit altogether. The real kind. And this ghost will do whatever it takes to come back to the world of the living.

☆: 4/5 stars – a refreshing standalone that harkens back to the days of “Weetzie Bat”.

Review: This one was fun, guys. The writing style and light yet dark feeling to “Teen Spirit” left me with the feeling I first felt when I picked up the “Dangerous Angels/Weetzie Bat series” omnibus when I was 12. I fell in love – though it’s not to say I never fell out of love with my mentor’s writing style. “Teen Spirit” is very similar to “Weetzie” in that sense of light reading, yet heavier (and in this book), somewhat darker content for the reader adjusted for easy digestion. I think a lot of “Weetzie” fans dissatisfied with recent efforts might really like this one. Regardless of where you stand, Block’s newest effort is gorgeous, haunting (no pun intended), and will leave you with a sense of utter peace once you turn that last page.

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2014 Pasadena Teen Book Fest Blog Tour: Spotlight on Katherine Ewell


p.txtHey, everyone! Welcome to my stop on the 2014 Pasadena Teen Book Fest Blog Tour! Sadly, I thought I was going to be able to go to the festival this year (its inaugural year), but due to work, am not able to. So, here’s an interview with the lovely Katherine Ewell (whose debut, “Dear Killer”, is on sale now!) instead. I loved “Dear Killer”, and the review for that will be up quite soon. So look forward to that.

Anyway! Let’s get to the interview. I’ve tried to keep things as spoiler-free as possible for new readers.

And if you’re able to, try to make it to the Pasadena Teen Book Fest if you live in Southern California, since I can’t, and tell me all about it! I’ll be quite jealous of you, I promise. More information on the Fest following the interview.

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Giveaway! “Legend” & “Prodigy (Legend #2)” by Marie Lu!


Hey there, folks!

The guys at Penguin Teen/Penguin Young Readers USA have been kind enough to supply the following – a set of the paperback editions of the first two books in the “Legend” trilogy by Marie Lu – “Legend and “Prodigy” – so I thought, why not do a giveaway? I love this trilogy, and I can’t wait to see what happens when it’s finished developing into either a movie or TV show (things seem to be a bit fuzzy on that front).

Anyway, the details:

What you’ll be getting – the first two books in the trilogy in paperback format.

What do you have to do to get these?

1. Live in the US only. As far as I know, at least. Penguin Teen is sending these out, so…yeah.

2. Leave a comment, stating which book is your favorite, OR, what your favorite character is and why! (Try to keep it spoiler free). Don’t forget to leave your contact info – name and email – when you do!

3. For an extra entry, retweet the following: RT @usagiko WIN A #LEGEND PRIZE SET FROM @PENGUINTEEN & @MARIE_LU here! http://wp.me/p13UyI-36c. Don’t forget to link me to your retweet in your initial comment entry!

4. Wait for me to pick a person and win!

That’s it for now! I’ll announce a winner next week!

Double Trouble Review: “Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3)” and “Unite Me (Shatter Me #1.5, #2.5)” by Tahereh Mafi


13188676 18481271Title: “Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3)” and “Unite Me (Shatter Me #1.5, #2.5)”

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Genre: SERIOUSLY AWESOME, dystopia, YA, fantasy/sci-fi

Publication Date: February 4, 2014 (both – HarperTeen – North America)

Source: Publisher-provided finished copies

Summary:

IGNITE ME: Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them dowPerfect for fans of Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me trilogy, this book collects her two companion novellas, Fracture Me and Destroy Me, in print for the first time ever. It also features an exclusive look into Juliette’s journal and a preview of Ignite Me, the hotly anticipated final novel of the series.

UNITE ME: Destroy Me tells the events between Shatter Me and Unravel Me from Warner’s point of view. Even though Juliette shot him in order to escape, Warner can’t stop thinking about her—and he’ll do anything to get her back. But when the Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment arrives, he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner cannot allow.

Fracture Me is told from Adam’s perspective and bridges the gap between Unravel Me and Ignite Me. As the Omega Point rebels prepare to fight the Sector 45 soldiers, Adam’s more focused on the safety of Juliette, Kenji, and his brother. The Reestablishment will do anything to crush the resistance . . . including killing everyone Adam cares about.n, she’ll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew – about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam – was wrong.

☆: UNITE ME – 4/5 stars – a must-have for any “Shatter Me” series fan!

IGNITE ME: 5/5 stars – because who am I kidding? This was ridiculously awesome.

 

Review: Now that, ladies and gentlefolk, is an ENDING. Between “Ignite Me”, “Infinite” by Jodi Meadows, and “Into the Still Blue” by Veronica Rossi, I definitely have three contenders for best concluding trilogy books of the year. But Mafi goes all out in this last installment of “Shatter Me” trilogy – so much so that there’s bullets flying everywhere, as well as broken hearts, and a main character that has made such an amazing progression/evolution that just remembering it takes my breath away. There’s also “Unite Me” (the paper publication of the novellas) to talk about, and we’ll get to those in a bit. But seriously, guys, one of the best novels of the year? It has to be “Ignite Me”.

 

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Blog Tour Stop!: “A Mad, Wicked Folly” by Sharon Biggs Walker


Hey, everyone! Welcome to my stop on the “Mad, Wicked Folly” blog tour! I’m currently reading the book, and man, I’m loving what I’m seeing. Golden Age/Fin de Siecle France, England, and art, as well as challenging traditional female roles? Yes, please. Also, THAT COVER.

Today we have Walker talking about first seeing the cover for the book, which is kind of awesome. You do see authors talking about “yay, cover art” on twitter, but here I feel like we get a good, in depth look at the process, too. Which is awesome. So, without further ado, let’s see how Walker feels about her cover – after the jump.

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Review: “The Winner’s Curse” by Marie Rutkoski


16069030Title: “The Winner’s Curse”

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Genre: AWESOME, YA, Fantasy

Publication Date: March 4, 2014 (Macmillan – North America)

Source: Publisher-provided ARC

Summary: Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

☆: 4.5/5 stars – I NEED BOOK TWO NOW.

Review: While this one started off kind of slow, “The Winner’s Curse” is one of those books that sneaks up on you and won’t let go until the very last page. It’s almost a remarkable leap when compared to “The Shadow Society” in terms of nearly every technical area of writing. Plus, you have a wonderful high fantasy/political intrigue that would make George R R Martin quite proud. “The Winner’s Curse” is definitely one of my favorites of 2014 so far, and for good reason. I’m definitely hungering for that next book. NOW.

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