Blog Tour Stop! “Crewel” Redux: Gennifer Albin on her life post-pub!

CrewelButtonHey, everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Gennifer Albin’s “Crewel”, Redux! I was able to get an interview out of her about her life post-publication, and how it may or may not have changed. Remember, the “Crewel” ebook  is on sale right now through all e-outlets through February 12th (Tuesday), so if you haven’t bought and read it already, what are you waiting for! You can get more information on this smokin’ hot deal here!

Now, presenting: Gennifer Albin on life post-pub after the jump!

Continue reading

BOANW is on board for the “Crewel” Redux Blog Tour!

CrewelButtonHey, everyone! In celebration of “Crewel” on sale in e-book format, Macmillan is doing another blog tour to promote it. And we’re on it! Yay! We’ll be sitting down with Gennifer  this coming Monday (February 11th) and talking about some stuff with her, and it’ll be very cool.

SO, you haven’t read “Crewel” yet. Okay. Uh. Cool. So, here’s your chance – at least, in e-book form! From February 7, 2013 to February 12, 2013, “Crewel” is on sale in e-book form through all major outlets. If you want more information to get in on this smokin’ hot sale, go here. You can also watch the book trailer, get more information on how to connect with Gennifer and the Crewel World series there, too. Definitely worth a visit if you haven’t already!

And on this blog tour, I’m in excellent company. Here’s the complete schedule of book blogging bros participating:

Thursday 2/7

Friday 2/8
Bewitched Bookworms

Saturday 2/9

Sunday 2/10
IB Book Blogging

Monday 2/11
Birth of a New Witch
 (yay, that’s us!)


So be sure to come back on Monday and see what Gennifer says in her interview!

Stacking the Shelves: Week 29

stackingWe are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you’re anything like me, you are probably hoarding books and even though you are excited about your latest book arrival, it might be a while before you get to review it and Stacking The Shelves is a good way to express your undying enthusiasm for those titles! (Hosted by!)

Week 29: Here’s what landed on my shelves this week!

♡ Library/Swapped/Gifted/Bought/Etc:

stslib291. “City of a Thousand Dolls” by Miriam Forester – via ARC swap (thanks!)

2. “How to Lead a Life of Crime” by Kristen Miller – via Librarything/Penguin (thanks!)

3. “The Lost Prince” by Julie Kagawa – gifted

4. “Teen Wolf: On Fire” by Nancy Holder – gifted

5. “The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2)” by Michelle Hodkin – gifted

♡ DVDs:

1. “Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season” – gifted

2. “Prometheus” – netflix (not pictured)

This is part two of my birfday gifting. Thanks to my mom, Librarything/Penguin, and my ARC swap partners because all of this stuff is pretty damn awesome. I can’t wait to get reading!

Continue reading

Review: “Colin Fischer” by Edward Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz

13589178Title: “Colin Fischer”

Author: Edward Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz

Genre: YA, contemporary, tough stuff, mystery

Publication Date: November 1, 2012 (Razorbill/Penguin – North America)

Source: Traded-for ARC


Colin Fischer cannot stand to be touched. He does not like the color blue. He needs index cards to recognize facial expressions.

But when a gun is found in the school cafeteria, interrupting a female classmate’s birthday celebration, Colin is the only for the investigation. It’s up to him to prove that Wayne Connelly, the school bully and Colin’s frequent tormenter, didn’t bring the gun to school. After all, Wayne didn’t have didn’t have frosting on his hands, and there was white chocolate frosting found on the grip of the smoking gun…

Colin Fischer is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, and his story–as told by the screenwriters of X-Men: First Class and Thor–is perfect for readers who have graduated from Encyclopedia Brown and who are ready to consider the greatest mystery of all: what other people are thinking and feeling.

☆: 4/5 stars – a fun mystery and a refreshing look at autism within YA lit!

Review: To say I’m a fan of Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz’s work for television and film would be an understatement. Some of my most adored series and movies (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”, “Fringe”, “Thor”, “X-Men: First Class”) have been at least partially written by them in some capacity or another. So when I found out about this book – about an Aspie boy no less – I was definitely intrigued. The difference in screenwriting and novel writing are bigger than most would think – in screenwriting, you get visual stage directions, letting the camera do all of the work for you. In a novel, you have to write every single part of that sensory input out because you don’t have a camera doing that work for you. I have friends that are screenwriters, and  some of their biggest issues that I’ve found while reading their manuscripts have been with sensory language and input because of them being so used to relying on stage directions/the camera to do some of the most important work for them in a novel. Which I should say, isn’t a bad thing, just a common issue. So I was a little anxious to see how Miller and Stentz would do on a non-visual medium with their impressive writing skills.

I wasn’t disappointed. Not in the least. If anything, I was really surprised at how well the two did. And that’s always a happy thing. “Colin Fischer” has been pitched as a “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” for the YA set – and I have to say, while that’s accurate, I found this book to be happily more equally balanced between Fischer’s issues continuing to adjust to being mainstreamed (I’ll go into that later) and to finding out more about the mystery presented before him with the gun and the cake. Miller and Stentz did a fantastic job from this Aspie girl’s POV, so it’s definitely one contemporary YA book I’m proud to have in my library.

Continue reading

Review: “The Lost Prince” by Julie Kagawa

Title: “The Lost Prince”

Author: Julie Kagawa

Genre: YA, Paranormal

Publication Date: October 23, 2012 (HarlequinTeen – North America)

Source: NetGalley Review Copy

Summary: Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’s dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday.

☆: 4.5/5 stars! A wonderful return to one of my favorite YA fantasy worlds!

Review: I’ll admit, when I finished “The Iron Knight”, I was pretty bummed out. Yeah, I got an HEA that I could live with (and that also seemed credible, considering the genre), but I just didn’t want to leave this world behind. Then “Lost Prince” got announced, and I got excited. But also suspicious. I’ve had problems with some long-running series (the “Sookie Stackhouse” mysteries and “The Dresden Files” to name just two) that it’s where I get to a point where I feel like the series has lost all of its freshness, and it feels like the author is writing the same book over and over again from a certain point forward. However. I am very happy to report that this is NOT the case with “The Lost Prince”, and if anything, had me guessing and kept my interest at pretty much every single important plot point in the book. If you’re a fan of the “Iron Fey” series, what are you waiting for? Ethan won’t wait for you forever!

Continue reading

Usagi’s Best of 2012 list!

You’ve waited for it, and now here it is in its entirety! Coming at you, here are my picks for the best of 2012 in all the categories (all the things!), with my top five to ten books for each category. You can find all of these books (and their reviews) under the “best of 2012” tag here on the site. Those that haven’t been reviewed will be in italics. Note that these lists are not in any kind of numerical order.

And now, without further ado, here’s the best of 2012!

Continue reading

Author Interview: Chris Howard on Social Commentary in YA, His Influences for “Rootless”, and more!

authorinterviewsIt’s no secret that I totally adored friend of the blog Chris Howard’s debut YA effort, “Rootless”, and all of the story and imagery contained therein.  So when he accepted my request for an interview, I was pretty excited to pick his brains on so much stuff. See what that stuff is under the jump!

Continue reading

Review: “The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart (Magic Most Foul #2)” by Leanna Renee Hieber

Title: “The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart”

Author: Leanna Renee Hieber

Genre: Gothic, YA, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, PNR, Steampunk

Publication Date: November 1, 2012 (Sourcebooks Fire – North America)

Source: Publisher-provided finished copy

Summary: For Natalie Stewart, a normal life has never seemed so far away. Her only solace, Lord Jonathan Denbury, is wanted for murder. To clear his name, Denbury must return to England and assume the role of his demon doppelganger. But Natalie begins to doubt his true motives, especially as a new gentleman begins whispering in her ear. Natalie and Denbury may be able to visit each other in their dreams, but they can’t escape the darkening shadows. Amid spontaneous explosions, friends turned enemies and dangerous secrets revealed, there’s still a demon who has Natalie’s scent, and someone is trying to resurrect the ultimate evil.

☆: 4.5/5 stars – a great ending to a great duology – so sad to see this world go!

Review: Wow. I really liked the first book in this duology, “Darker Still” because of its throwback Gothic feel, and I love that Gothic is regaining its footing as a subgenre in YA right now.  But with “The Twisted Tragedy of Natalie Stewart”, it not only trumps its predecessor, but ends on an awesome note that really, really is going to make me miss this world and am sad that this duology is over with. Even if you haven’t read the first book, be sure to check this release out.

Continue reading

Review: “The Inexplicables (The Clockwork Century #5)” by Cherie Priest

Title: “The Inexplicables (The Clockwork Century #5)”

Author: Cherie Priest

Genre: Adult, Steampunk/Alternate History, Zombies

Publication Date: November 13, 2012 (Tor/Macmillan – North America)

Source: Publisher-provided finished copy

Summary: Rector “Wreck ‘em” Sherman was orphaned as a toddler in the Blight of 1863, but that was years ago. Wreck has grown up, and on his eighteenth birthday, he’ll be cast out out of the orphanage.

And Wreck’s problems aren’t merely about finding a home. He’s been quietly breaking the cardinal rule of any good drug dealer and dipping into his own supply of the sap he sells. He’s also pretty sure he’s being haunted by the ghost of a kid he used to know—Zeke Wilkes, who almost certainly died six months ago. Zeke would have every reason to pester Wreck, since Wreck got him inside the walled city of Seattle in the first place, and that was probably what killed him. Maybe it’s only a guilty conscience, but Wreck can’t take it anymore, so he sneaks over the wall.

The walled-off wasteland of Seattle is every bit as bad as he’d heard, chock-full of the hungry undead and utterly choked by the poisonous, inescapable yellow gas. And then there’s the monster. Rector’s pretty certain that whatever attacked him was not at all human—and not a rotter, either. Arms far too long. Posture all strange. Eyes all wild and faintly glowing gold and known to the locals as simply “The Inexplicables.”

In the process of tracking down these creatures, Rector comes across another incursion through the wall — just as bizarre but entirely attributable to human greed. It seems some outsiders have decided there’s gold to be found in the city and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get a piece of the pie unless Rector and his posse have anything to do with it.

☆: 4/5 stars – a great way to round up all of the characters in this series so far, and bring them one of their biggest battles yet!

Review: Okay, so I admit I missed the last installment in this series previous to this one, but I was really relieved to find that I was able to pick right back up again and sink back into the world that is the “Clockwork Century” series without feeling lost or confused. This is definitely one of the best volumes yet, bringing together everyone from all of the previous books and novellas, and really making this world feel full and entirely whole. While I did have a few gripes, “The Inexplicables” delivers wonderfully, and leaves us on a a semi-cliffhanger, promising us more. At least, I hope that’s what that epilogue was, anyway.

Continue reading