Review: “Blue Lily, Lily Blue (Raven Cycle #3)” by Maggie Stiefvater


17378508Title: “Blue Lily, Lily Blue (Raven Cycle #3)”

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA, magical realism, contemporary, AWESOME

Source: ARC from publisher

Publication Date: October 21, 2014 (Scholastic – North America)

Summary: There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

☆: 5/5 stars – SO MANY FEELS YOU GUYS.

Review: Guys, I just…I can’t even with this series anymore. But in a good way. So much heartbreak, but it feels so good. This book (which I guess, is kind of a middle book? out of four?) just proves Stiefvater’s prowess and her unstoppability in terms of keeping a story going with no loss from when you put down the previous book and start the next. With the plot getting crazier, more puzzle pieces falling together, and more doom and gloom gathering, “Blue Lily” is an AWESOME addition to the series, and it makes me hanker for book four even more. Trust me. You want this book.

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Review: “Passionaries (The Blessed #2)” by Tonya Hurley


17860324Title: “Passionaries (The Blessed #2)”

Author: Tonya Hurley

Publication Date: January 7, 2014 (S&S – North America)

Genre: YA, retellings, AWESOME

Source: Publisher-provided finished copy

Summary: Agnes, Cecelia, and Lucy watched as Sebastian sacrificed himself for what he believed in. Will the girls trust that their destiny as saints and martyrs and perform the miracles as Sebastian instructed? Or lose faith in themselves and each other in his absence? Time is running out for them to make a decision, and the fate of the world lies in the balance.

☆: 4.5/5 stars – a great middle book to this trilogy!

Review: Man. If you guys liked book one, “Passionaries” is definitely going to knock your socks off. Going to places that I didn’t think Hurley would go in this retelling/modernization of the lives of three Catholic saints, “Passionaries” shows the lives of three girls forever changed and now with the weight of the world on their backs with all of the creepiness that I was hoping for. If there’s an awesome retelling middle trilogy book out there for the year, it’s definitely this one.

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Blog Tour Stop!: “Mortal Danger” – Ann Aguirre on Beauty, Plastic Surgery, and More!


MortalDanger-BlogTourBanner[1]Hey, everyone!

I’m quite happy to be hosting this stop on the “Mortal Danger” tour – I LOVED the start of this new series from Aguirre, who’s already proven herself with the “Razorland” trilogy as a capable YA author (and her NA stuff, so far, ain’t too bad neither).

So, I asked Aguirre to write a guest post. She chose the topic of beauty. Let’s hear what she has to say on it after the jump!

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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!