Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Reboot (Reboot #1)

Looking for a fast-paced, thrilling ride of a read?   If so, Amy Tintera's Reboot should be your next read!  I know, I know...Zombies?  But wait, not really!  Only if the Zombies of your mind are realistic, teenage, self-healing, lethal soldiers who have so many more dimensions than what you imagine.  That, partnered with exhilarating fight scenes, witty and lovable characters and an evil corporation that is not all it seems; creates this one of a kind novels not to be missed!

Summary Courtesy of Goodreads
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). 
Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum. 
The perfect soldier is done taking orders.
Tintera does a surprisingly awesome job creating a very believable world for Wren and Callum that gives you a front row seat into the action from page one.  She has a visually descriptive way with words that builds this beautifully horrific world and within that world grows something that seems nearly impossible to find, but against all odds, our main characters stumble into each other's lives (or non-lives) and set course for an exhilarating ride!

I absolutely cannot wait for the next in this exciting series!  A great addition for YA Readers everywhere!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Night Circus

Wow...what can I honestly say, but wow!   The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is absolutely spellbinding.  Talk about creating a whole new world...Morgenstern created a whole new universe and makes it dance and sparkle!  I absolutely adore this novel and the characters created within the pages.  What a richly woven story that plays out so vividly in my mind.  The scenes are so wonderfully and masterfully painted within the words of these pages that my imagination goes into overdrive.  This is one book that I will never forget.

Summary Courtesy of Goodreads:
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.
If twists of fate, epic challenges, strategic maneuvering, enduring love, and magic intrigue you then this is the book for you!  Be prepared enter into a world that will capture you and have you holding onto the edge of your seat until the very end!  Morgenstern is enchanting and The Night Circus is pure magic that will be enjoyed on those rainy nights, a low key weekend or even in your summer beach bag!

As a side note, in honor of Audiobook month, let me also highly recommend the audio version of The Night Circus!  One of my all-time favorite Jim Dale, narrates this masterpiece and brings a new life to the story with his excellent narration, pace and characters.  An audiobook to enjoy over and over again!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)

For those Cinder fans, the second book of the Lunar Chronicles, Scarlet is not to be missed.  This is also a perfect summer re-read of those of you itching for the third book in the Lunar Chronicles Series, Cress by Marissa Meyer releasing February 2014.  

Summary Courtesy of Goodreads:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Let me just say, wow!  I could not put this one down!  I absolutely adored Scarlet!  Meyer did an amazing job with the characters throughout this novel and the way she wove Cinder's story into Scarlet's was also masterfully done.  Scarlet, like Cinder, is one strong girl who is not to be underestimated!  The pace set in this book from the get go will have you on the edge of your seat until you finish the last page.  I will say, originally, I had expected Scarlet and Cinder's paths to cross a lot earlier in the book, but the way it was written worked.  Again, a great addition to the series that adds depth and intrigue and another piece of the puzzle.  I cannot wait to start reading Cress to fall in love yet again!

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Faking Normal

Today we're participating in the exciting cover reveal of Faking Normal by Courtney Stevens:

Designed by Laura Lyn DiSiena

Here's what the publisher (HarperTeen) has to say about Faking Normal:
Alexi Littrell hasn’t told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does. At school, nobody sees the scratches or her pain. The only person she connects with is the mysterious Captain Lyric, who writes song lyrics on her fourth-period desk for her to complete. With pencil marks and music, Alexi carves out a comfortable space for herself as she and the Captain finish each other’s songs – words on a desk feel safer than words spoken aloud. But when Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend who understands her better than anyone. He has secrets of his own and knows all about suffering in silence. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally speak up. With her powerful, moving debut novel, author Courtney C. Stevens emerges as an extraordinary new talent to watch.
Faking Normal will be released from HarperTeen on February 25, 2014. Yes, this is earlier than the date listed on Amazon.

About the author:

Courtney C. Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an adjunct professor and a former youth minister. Her other skills include playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, and being an Olympic torch bearer. Faking Normal is her first novel.

The goods on the Cover Reveal Contest: You don’t know me. Twitter doesn’t know me. Facebook doesn’t know me. Goodreads doesn’t know me. Amazon pre-sales doesn’t know me. (This is one of the great challenges of being a debut author.) Please help change my anonymity by placing Faking Normal on the radar of readers, bloggers, reviewers, and you know … people who like to win stuff. A few deets on the prize packageThe winner receives: - A signed ARC of Faking Normal - A hand-painted cover rock by Court - Signed postcard - Silicone “Channel Your Brave” bracelet Since hand-painted cover rock isn’t usual book swag, I thought you might want a little background. In my little family, we paint rocks for significant events. I currently have three different book rocks that someone in my family made. One for when I got an agent, another for when I went out on submission, and finally one for when we sold Faking Normal. I thought it would be cool if I shared the tradition with one lucky winner by making a cover-inspired rock.(You might also be interested to know the bottom of the rock contains a spoiler: some of the first lyric quotes written by the main character and her Captain Lyric.) Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter below. (U.S. only. Giveaway ends July 8, 2013.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway You can find Courtney here: Email – Twitter Tumblr Facebook And she would love if you would add Faking Normal to your Goodreads shelf and pre-order Faking Normal on Amazon.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Since You Asked...

Maurene Goo's, Since you Asked...Releases in a few days (June 25, 2013) and was actually much better than I had originally anticipated and the ending definitely leaves you wanting more...

Summary Courtesy of Goodreads:
A humorous, debut novel about a Korean-American teenager (Holly Kim) who accidentally lands her own column in her high school newspaper, and proceeds to rant her way through the school year while struggling to reconcile the traditional Korean values of her parents with contemporary American culture.
I will say that it took me till about 1/3 of the way into the book to really get hooked (in fact I remember looking down and noting the point where it really picked up and thinking, "yay!"), but keep with it and you will be rewarded with some really wonderful moments of surprising humor.  Goo really captures the essence of high school quite perfectly (the cliques, the pressures, the false facades and of course, the real friends) and the family life made me laugh and re-read portions out loud to whomever I was around. I know it's so cliche, and we often complain about it, but I really did miss the love interest element.  It was sort of there, but very slightly and just when you thought there would be something more, it abruptly ended, leaving me wanting more...sequel?

All in all, this is a great summer read to toss into your beach bag and enjoy a good laugh and look into Holly Kim's Crazy But Lovable Asian-American Family!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cover Reveal: Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)

Okay, so we might have to wait until 2014 to get the last installment of the Never Sky Trilogy, Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)  in our hot little hands, but to keep you going, here is some eye candy for the week!  

Also, for those of you frothing at the mouth, you EW is hosting a free preview of the first three chapters!!  So although we have to wait 7 months for the official release, we can at least get a little summer teaser here!  And for those of you who have yet to start the series, you have 7 months until the last one comes out, so read?  Set? Read! This series is NOT to be missed!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Testing (The Testing, #1)

Okay, so you know those books that you read where they catch you right from the get-go and before you know it you’re thinking, “What? The end already?”  Joelle Charbonneau creates that exactly in her new YA series, The Testing (The Testing, #1).  A lot of the elements of the testing are remnant of some of the great YA books that adorn our shelves.  Think, Divergent meets Hunger Games but without the love triangle bit.

Summary (Courtesy of Goodreads):

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?  
The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career. 
Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one.  
But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.
I really enjoyed the characters Charbonneau created within the pages and the various settings she invited us into.  The Testing has it all: the strong and intelligent female lead, the love interest with secrets of their own, the supportive and morally thoughtful family, a corruptive system that has risen out of the rubble of horrific world wars and a secretive group of people who are rising up against the system.  

I, for one, cannot wait to read what Cia will uncover next and what new challenges await her in Independent Study (The Testing #2).

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pretty Girl - 13

Wow.  All I can say, is wow.  I had to take a moment (or a few) after finishing Pretty Girl - 13 by Liz Coley.  While the YA genre is papered with dystopians and fairytales come to life, Pretty Girl - 13 is a raw and disturbingly realistic look into the world of an abducted girl, Angie who returns to her life not remember anything, at least at first.  This is a good reminder that sometimes the best stories are not that of make believe but rather, the ones that make us stop and think about the realities that haunt and surround us in this world, horrific as they may be. 

Summary courtesy of Goodreads
Reminiscent of the Elizabeth Smart case, Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological mystery about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity. 
Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods alone on a Girl Scouts camping trip. Now she's returned home…only to find that it's three years later and she's sixteen-or at least that's what everyone tells her. 
What happened to the past three years of her life? 
Angie doesn't know. 
But there are people who do — people who could tell Angie every detail of her forgotten time, if only they weren't locked inside her mind. With a tremendous amount of courage, Angie embarks on a journey to discover the fragments of her personality, otherwise known as her "alters." As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: When you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the parts of yourself that are responsible?
Coley does an impeccable job building Angie's personal journey in this psychological thriller this novel.  It is so realistic that at times I honestly had to put the book down to catch my breath or re-read parts so I wouldn't miss any key parts. This is definitely not a book for the weak-hearted, but it is a great story of strength, perserverence and survival.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices)

The YA genre today is papered with stories of witches, zombies, vampires, etc, but Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices) by Cassandra Clare was surprisingly refreshing.  Yes, there are elements of the supernatural fantasy and yes, there are vampires and warlocks but it is done in a way where although that is part of the storyline it is not overwhelming.  The characters are wonderfully developed and the background is so exquisite that at times you actually feel like you're reading a movie (I love it when a book takes me to that visionary place)!  

As generally expected, there is a female protagonist who does not know her power in the beginning but that knows she is of some importance fairly early on.  There is also an element of a love triangle building, however in this book there is very little romance (I imagine throughout the series this will grow).  Clare, does an excellent job at growing the intensity and providing ample twists and turns throughout the book to keep the reader fully engaged.  The pace picks up drastically near the end and it leaves you hungry for much more!  I cannot wait to sink my teeth into the next in the series, Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, Book 2) 

Summary (Courtesy of Goodreads):
Orphan Tessa Gray, sixteen, crosses the ocean from New York to find her brother Nate in Victorian London, her only possession a clockwork angel necklace from her mother. She is ignorant of her power to transform; the Dark sisters are not. They kidnap her for the Magister, who wants to marry Tessa and claim her power.

Shadowhunters, warriors of angel blood, battle demons and keep the peace in the Downworld of vampires, warlocks and other supernaturals. Orphan teen Shadowhunters Jem, Will, and Jess rescue Tessa and agree to help save Nate. Vengeful vampire Lady Camille Belcourt and her current lover, warlock Magnus Bane provide entrée to the Magister's secret Pandemonium Club.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1)

Looking for a refreshing, humorous and thoroughly brilliant read?  If so, and really if you have a pulse and enjoy a good laugh now and again, then pick up Gail Carriger's debut YA novel, Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1). One of Goodreads YA Novels of 2013, Etiquette & Espionage proved to be engaging, unique and hilarious through and through!  Carringer builds a distinctive set of lovely characters in a beautifully created world!

Summary (Courtesy of Goodreads):  
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 a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners—and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage—in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.

Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail Carriger's legions of fans have come to adore.

Carriger's Victorian paranormal steampunk style will keep you engaged and loving each and every page.  I mean really, who doesn't crave a strong and intelligent female lead, friends from unexpected places, a bit of paranormal, poofy dresses, an adventure, an adorable pet and of course a light sprinkling of infatuation (but not overly done)?  One of my favorite reads of 2013!  You will most likely love this book, but don't take my word for it, try it yourself. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Georgetown Academy, Book Three

If you enjoyed Georgetown Academy, Book One and Georgetown Academy, Book Two than you will love Georgetown Academy, Book Three!  We are brought back into the lives of Ellie, Brinley, Taryn and Evan as they attempt to escape the political pressures of DC to Vermont for a ski trip – easier said than done! Book Three keeps the reader on their toes from the beginning until the very end! 

Etting and Schwartz do an amazing job building completely believable characters and settings.  I would say that having the two completely different points of view and writing styles really adds to this series.  One might think it would be disjointed, but that is not the case!  Their writing is so dynamic and flexes and grows as does the characters throughout the book and series.  We really see the characters become more and more real throughout this series. I love seeing the girls continually grow and mature!  I cannot wait for book four (releases tomorrow!!) especially as it finally feels like the puzzle pieces are finally falling into place.  Could a happy ending for all be possible?  Book Four releases tomorrow, June 11th, 2013 so read this because tomorrow you'll have the next one to devour!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Testing Guide (The Testing)

So this book that I've been talking about launching is finally out and ready for your eyes!  I often times will pick up the free eintros or side novellas to find out more information and insight and to see if the writer's style and premise of an upcoming book is worth reading.  Let me start by saying that after reading The Testing Guide by Joelle Charbonneau, I immediately went and picked up The Testing! What a world Charbonneau builds in this story! Think, Divergent meets Legend meets an aspect of the Maze Runner...

This ePrequel is fairly short and an easy read (goes by too quickly!).  As a bonus, it also includes the first few chapters of The Testing to really get you hooked! Add it to your kindle today, here is the link:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Elite (The Selection, #2)

So, the long awaited sequel to The Selection finally arrived on the scene and did not disappoint!    by Kiera Cass was an exceptionally well-thought and wove the reader through unexpected twists and turns, not to mention, donned another exquisite cover!  I can only imagine the next one...maybe white (wedding and red white and blue....just saying)? 

Summary (Courtesy of Goodreads):

The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Selection. 
Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea. 
America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide. 
Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Cass continues with Prince Maxon, America and Aspen love triangle that will keep the romantics salivating for more, but also introduces more themes of rebellion and revolution that prove to be exhilarating and keep you on the edge of your seat, ready to devour the remaining pages.  All of the main characters develop beautifully and we even learn a little more about some of the secondary characters that provide interesting.  There is a twist that you will not see coming and of course, master of her craft, Kiera Cass leaves a definite bridge to  that will debut 2014.  We here at All Booked Up cannot wait to get our hands on the final book of the series to find out who will American ultimately choose: Prince Maxon or Aspen...or neither...