Monday, November 10, 2014

Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire #1)

Wow, what a thrilling ride!  Who can resist a royally good story?!  Laced with slight history but packed with a punch of adventure, heartbreak, drama and political games Queen of Someday by Sherry Ficklin is sure to have you falling in love!

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:

ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES...

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

I really had to take a step back from this one because O-M-G this book really has it all!  From the get-go the world building absolutely took my breath away.  From her idyllic childhood to the thrilling journey to Russia, Ficklin really does an outstanding job setting the scene and fully immersing the reader.

I’m not sure what’s going on but recently all of my favorite books or rather most YA books in general are featuring a kick ass heroine who is faced of course with adversity and tough choices that affect not only her but those that surround her.  This one does not fail me on that front.  Sophie really has her set of enemies throughout and one of her greatest enemies is herself.  Will she find the courage to take destiny by the horns?  She definitely is one spit-fire of a girl destined to be a queen! 

Without giving too much away, I can honestly say that I FULLY recommend this one!  Filled with so much good that will have you on the edge of your seat until the very last page…and even then I secretly was wishing the final pages would start to fill themselves in with more!  I can’t wait for #2! 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

For the Love of Books!


I may be late to the party by saying this but it seems a whole MONTH has escaped me!  I do promise more reviews to come!  Seriously this time!  To be upfront, it's not the reading that has lapsed...I have been reading so many EXCELLENT books that are slated to come either this fall/winter/spring!  We really do live in such an amazing world where there are such creative and imaginative writers at our disposal!  I truly am so THANKFUL for all these amazing writers/publishers/agents/etc. 

Lately (especially since it is the month of November) I have given some thought to those things that we really are so luck to have.  I challenge you all to think of one thing a day for the rest of this month that you are thankful for.  This is nothing hard or challenging but it is something that I think in our busy lives we often overlook or don't reflect on.  

So for today, let me say that beyond living in a world where we are spoiled with creativity and imagination, I am also deeply thankful for my family.  Now I don't have kids and my actual family is quite small, but I want to say beyond my immediate family I am thankful for my urban family (i.e. girlfriends, classmates, those that aren't blood related but that I honestly do consider family) and my bookish family (that's YOU)!  Thank you to you all, whether you are a fellow blogger, writer, publicist or a lover of YA that has somehow stumbled upon my little blog!  

Here's to a November filled with reflection of THANKS!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Part-Time Princess


Looking for a fun summer read that is sure to make you swoon and melt your heart?  Look no further!  Pamela DuMond introduces a new smashing series that is sure to win your heart with Part-Time Princess (Ladies in Waiting: #1)!  Royalty, makeovers and two princes fighting over one girl?!  Sign me up!  PTP is a fairly quick read that will keep you up all night wondering which frog will turn into the prince of Lucy's heart!

I was initially drawn to this one based on the topic.  I am a sucker for a romantic comedy of sorts and this one looked like it would not disappoint!  Our main character Lucy is full of spunk and is completely LOVABLE and the IRRESISTIBLE and SWOON WORTHY bad-boy Nick is just so delectable!  And really, can you even pass up the chance for a HUNKY heir to the throne, Cristoph?  Choices, choices, choices...only thing is they both think she's someone she's not...

I mean seriously...check out this cute cover?! I LOVE IT!  And come on, I need more princess stories in my life!  I was definitely pleasantly surprised by how much I truly enjoyed this novel.  Witty, funny, full of characters (big and small) that you are sure to love and love to hate...but don't take my word for it!  Read here for the killer synopsis.

Summary Courtesy of Goodreads:
Two Princes are in love with her. Too bad she’s an imposter…

Hold tight to your tiara, grab your scepter and be prepared for the New Adult hilarious, modern-day romantic-comedy ride of your life!

Rated PG-13 and mildly R for:

Sexual innuendo.
Hot Guys.
Hot Guys who are Princes.
Flirting.
Romance.
The occasional naughty word.
The occasional naughty royal fantasy.
The occasional naughty deed.
Romance.
Castles.
Ladies-in-Waiting.
Parties!
Cocktails.
A puppy.
Gowns.
Intrigue.
Chocolate.
Champagne.
A Royal Wedding!
Comedy.
Sexiness.
More Romance.
And—a Happily-Ever-After Ending (Just not the way you expected it!)

Lucy Trabbicio’s a down-on-her-luck, young, American, former biker-bar cocktail waitress desperate to find a job. Lady Elizabeth Billingsley hires Lucy to travel to Fredonia, the tiny jewel of a country in the Alps, for ten days ‘tops’ to impersonate her.

Say what? How the heck is that going to happen?

In the mother of all makeovers, Elizabeth’s people teach Lucy how to dress, walk, talk, eat, be coiffed and even get naked like a European Lady.

The goal?

To keep Crown Prince Cristoph Timmel interested in Elizabeth until she finishes her unexpected, pressing personal business in the States.

But fate intervenes… Lucy meets and is wildly attracted to sexy, bad-boy Nick on the oh-so-long flights to Fredonia. Unfortunately for Lucy—Nick and Elizabeth have a hot sexual history, which Nick wants to immediately resume.

Prince Cristoph proposes marriage. What's an imposter girl to do? Elizabeth insists that she’ll make it back home in time for the wedding. Lucy accepts Cristoph’s proposal and is on the fast track to becoming a Princess but continues to fall for the wrong Prince of Fredonia—Nick. When another tiny glitch arises—someone’s trying to kill her.

The only folks helping Lucy are her wild, party hard, take-no-prisoners Ladies-in-Waiting.

When the real Lady Elizabeth decides she’s not marrying Cristoph and never returning to Fredonia, Lucy’s faced with an uncomfortable decision—continue her deception, marry the prince she’s not in love with and live a dream life albeit without Nick, her dream guy? Or tell the truth and return to poverty and oblivion?

A modern day sexy fairy tale with romance, twists and turns, LOL moments, a few tears and an empowering ending.

So what are you waiting for?  Seriously.  Part-Time Princess will have you swooning over two dreamy men that are sure to have you lusting after them and wondering which one will sweep Lucy off her feet or if there will be any sweeping at all once they learn of her BIG secret.  Will this be a betrayal too big to overcome?  These pages are also filled with the loyal and the catty "ladies in waiting" and of course there's someone after Lucy's life...but who could it be?  Guess you'll have to dive in and read to find out!  Pick it up, grab your fav snack and dive into something juicy!


HUUUUUUGUE thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for this opportunity!



To see others blogs involved in this tour check out: 

September 22nd
-Bad Bird Reads >>Review
-Nick’s Book Blog >> Playlist
-A Little Bit of R&R >> Guest Post
-Cindy’s Love of Books >> Review
-Indie Authors You Want to Read >> Excerpt
September 23rd
-Book Briefs >> Review
-Dandelion Dreams >> Review
-Fic Talk >> Excerpt
September 25th
-Pieces of Whimsy >> Excerpt
-Tome Tender >> Review
-Underneath the Covers >> Interview
-Future Slayer Girl’s Butt-Kicking Reviews >> Review
September 26th
-Journey with Books >> Review
-Watcha Reading >> Interview
-A Journey Through Pages >> Review
-Broadway Girl Book Reviews >> Review
-All Booked Up YA >> Review

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Moving...AGAIN!

Lovely blog readers, I must apologize for my lack of posting as of late.  We are in the process of moving to another house and things have just been waaaay hectic and chaotic to sit down and compose myself enough to post on the blog.  In good news, I have been reading some FABULOUS novels that I cannot wait to share with you but for now, I must pack....and pack and pack... I feel like all I own is books upon books and they're heavy and take forever to pack up!  Oh the joys of moving.  One upside to e-books my friends is the ease of just putting your e-reader in your purse, but if you're like me, you cannot part with the wonderful characteristics of a physical book, flipping those pages and the smell of paper and ink...




To tide any of you over that are dying to find a good read to start check out some of these (full reviews to come):

1. The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black - I LOVE LOVE LOVE these two authors and they really do not disappoint in this magical adventure!  This is book one of the series and I cannot wait to see what happens next!  Good/Evil/Magic/School/Friends/Plot Twists/ETC

2. Heir of Fire by the BELOVED Sarah J. Maas - Do I really need to elaborate?! AMAZING/Heart Wrenching/AMAZING/DID I SAY AMAZING? Definitely not one to miss esp if you have read the rest of the series...if you have yet to start the series, I HIGHLY suggest you start...like yesterday!

3. Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White - Okay bookies, this one is fantastic!  You will love this.  Trust me.  Elements of Magic, themes of race and class. This definitely had a hint of Cassandra Clare mixed with an element of Howl's Moving Castle. Magical in so many ways, this is not one to miss!

4. The Falconer by Elizabeth May - Have you read this one?  No?  Why not?  You should!  Amazingly strong female lead who rises from a tragedy with a vengeance and thirst for revenge.  Fast paced and exhilarating!

There are so many amazing books coming out this fall too that I CANNOT wait to share with you!!  Oh you will swoon, you will cry, you will laugh and cringe!  Fall 2014 is looking spectacular!  I should be up and running again end of September (possibly earlier - hopeful)!  I am still active on Twitter (@allbookedupya) and regularly run contests and giveaways and will post little burbs about what I'm reading..nothing as indepth as the blog posts, but if you need your bookish fix come chat with me! 

Anyway, back to packing and packing and packing...Happy reading! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)

How, how, how had I thought I had already posted a review of the lovely THE KISS OF DECEPTION only to find out I never did!  Oy!  Let me start off by saying, if  you’re a fan of fantasy and epic adventure than you best not miss Mary E. Pearson’s amazing magical skill at writing!  Definitely one of the top 10 for 2014 IMHO, Pearson will build you a kingdom so rich and full and then throw in fantastic characters that you will love to hate and fall in love with and to top it all off she will tell you a story so amazing and lush and then she will strategically place little twists and turns that will not only keep you engaged but on the edge of your seat!  This is definitely not one to miss… Don’t trust me? Read on…


Summary courtesy of Goodreads:
A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.
Okay so let’s start with the cover, because we all know I DEFINITELY judge my books by the cover and this one DOES NOT disappoint! First of all look at that sky!  We’ve all been there and trust me when I say, that sky spells brewing STORM! I mean really, and check it out, our girl Lia staring right into the eye of the storm even with pursuers clearly in the background! 

As if the cover hadn’t been indication enough let me just say, this book is….FREAKING AWESOME! Seriously though, this novel was amazing and well written.  Definitely well thought out.  What was my favorite part?  Well beyond the princesses and arranged marriages it was the CHARACTERS!  Omg!  I fell in love with our little heroine.  She’s our princess, but not dainty and simple minded and liking everything pretty but rather this courageous ball of spunk that decides, “no I will not marry if not for love” and sneaks out and finds herself in a world that she can call her own…that is until they come for her.  She is so headstrong and capable at the same time.  She and her AMAZING servant Pauline set off on the adventure of their lifetime and because of courage, wit and smarts is able to really do quite anything the set their minds too…too bad the prince and the assassin are also fairly intelligent. 

Honestly though, the characters are truly amazing but the setting is nearly just as brilliant!  Pearson’s world building is seriously crafted to near perfections.  I can taste and smell the tavern and on the dusty roads I was there too!  It was like reading a movie with your eyes but feeling it in your body.  So well done.  I cannot say enough good things about this novel.  You really need to try it out yourself. Seriously, you will not be disappointed.  So what are you waiting for?  …GO! ☺

 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2)

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

It's that time of the week again, WAITING ON WEDNESDAY! Hooray! Anyway, this week I am eagerly waiting on Rick Yancy's The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2)! For those of you who've been following for a while you know how much I ADORED The 5th Wave and let me be the first to tell you my anticipation is just growing for this second installment! I mean come on...talk about a CLIFFHANGER and if you're like me, you're probably dying to know what happens....Come on September!!

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

Right?! Amazing! Oh I just cannot wait. This sounds Ah-Ma-Zing and oh that cover...it's just GORGEOUS! Love everything about it from the font choice to the colors EVERYTHING! I may even have picked up a poster that I will be giving away on my Twitter account (@allbookedupya)...so if you're not already following there, check it out!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Jewel (The Lone City #1)

Wow! Wow, wow wow! If you're looking to lose yourself in a beautiful dream-like world that is so horrifically lovely then The Jewel by Amy Ewing is the book for you!  I was so looking forward to this read and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Amy Ewing will get you...hook, line and sinker! 

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.


We meet Violet, #197 of 200...one of the elite - top 10. She is not a name but rather a number, a slave of sorts breed and trained to be the best that money can buy. Violet's fate lives in the surrogate system but all is not as it seems...will she be able to survive the Jewel and save herself before it's too late? Violet plays several different roles/faces within this novel...she is daughter, sister, friend, surrogate, love, damsel in distress, musician but most of all survivor. She has smarts, talent, beauty and strength but can she overcome the Jewel?

The plot is amazing and moves at a wonderful pace...not too slow but not rushed either. I absolutely fell in love with Violet and the world she comes from and the world she lives in - although horrific as it may be, it's fantastically built! The overall idea of this auction for surrogates is really quite horrible. It is not fully explained what has caused the royals not to have babies (bad water, toxins, inbreeding) however it does say that they are unable to have children thus the need for the surrogates. 

I instantly fell in love with this GORGEOUS cover.  Love the way her face shines in all of the many faucets and how it almost hugs her in a little nest.  She looks trapped, exposed, alone but none-the-less stunning. Just breathtaking.  
I will warn you, this leaves you with the mother of all cliffhangers and I for one cannot wait to read the next installment! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1)

So I must be honest, I've been extremely good about READING books this summer but entirely too bad about POSTING reviews about them. So slowly but surely I am catching myself up! This next review up has been receiving a ton of praise and the movie rights were just recently purchased by Warner Bros and already signed is the famed Emma Watson. Yes, that's THE actress from the beloved Harry Potter films and what's better is that the producer is none other than the Harry Potter director, David Heyman! So without further delay, let me introduce you to Erika Johansen's The Queen of the Tearling!

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive.

The Queen of the Tearling introduces readers to a world as fully imagined and terrifying as that of The Hunger Games, with characters as vivid and intriguing as those of The Game of Thrones, and a wholly original heroine. Combining thrilling action and twisting plot turns, it is a magnificent debut from the talented Erika Johansen.

Let me start by saying that I am always a little skeptical when a novel has film rights before it's even out available in book form. I mean come on right? How do you know this will even be any good or that the public will support it, but let me tell you, all of that worry is for nothing. The Queen of the Tearling is an EPIC adventure that includes magic, a thrilling chase, intrigue, a fierce intellectual heroine and loyal sub characters who you will fall for in an honest and heartbreaking way.

The plot is absolutely phenomenal. The pace isn't dragged out and as the story moves along it's almost as if puzzle pieces click into place. I love, love, LOVE stories like this! And what I loved even more? The Queen of the Tearling is one of the few novels that I remember where the main character is not devastatingly beautiful and Kelsey actually is described as "carrying a little extra weight." So realistic and refreshing. I know we all love a beautiful future queen/princess but honestly, this is just one of the many reasons why I fell in love with Kelsey. She is so perfectly imperfect and wields the power to make change in this flawed future that is so wonderfully laid out. Johansen really does a superb job world building. From the first page until the very last the Tearling Kingdom and Mortmesme are masterfully built and imagined by this glorious author! What sorcery is this?

Now, I know I've been saying nothing but praise for this lovely novel and really there is not much in my mind that I would change but I will warn, that in this world where we are presented with so many novels filled to the brim with love triangles and epic romance stories this one is definitely lacking. That is not to say that I felt like anything was missing, but if that's something you're looking for I will warn you that this element is barely there. There are hints here and there, but this is at the other end of the romance spectrum.

All that being said, this is definitely a series to keep you eye out for! What an original story with engaging characters and an incredible world that I cannot wait to dive into in the rest of the series!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Happy Birthday Harry Potter!

 
In honor of our favorite Gryffindor, today's post will be in honor of the young wizard that started it all...HARRY POTTER!  Mr. Harry Potter who was marked with the iconic lightning bolt scar turns 34 today and I can honestly say that MY YA journey would not be complete without HP!  HUUUUUGE thanks to the wonderful J.K Rowling (who also has a birthday on 7/31) for creating the most magnificent world building my imagination has been able to roam in and creating such beloved characters that really nearly became real to me.  This definitely was my introduction to FANGIRLING and midnight releases and dare I say, even costuming.  So again, Happy Birthday to one character that has had a lasting effect on my personal reading preferences!


Now, what, my friends to do on this momentous day? Have you considered...

1.  Baking your own Happy Birthday Harry cake?  I love this cake and its imperfections. Gotta love that goofy and adorable Hagrid!



2. How about re-watching your favorite HP movie!  Of course my fav is #1!  Harry was so little and cute and this truly introduced us to the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter!  Gotta love the magic that was and is Diagon Alley!  Which is your favorite?



3. Re-Readathon the books!  Oh the books!  They made us laugh and cry and have heartbreak all over ourselves.  These books are worth their weight in gold IMHO!  Have you seen the new covers that are going to be released with artwork by Johnny Duddle?  *drools*



4. Have you seen the amazingness that is Harry Potter world in Orlando, FL OMG!  I went a couple years back and I have to tell you, the butter beer is AMAZING! The ride lines can get long, but oh so worth it!  Gotta pick yourself up a wand too!  AND...they just opened up Diagon Alley!  I need to get myself back there clearly!  Definitely a good alternative to the "happiest place on earth."

 
*Photo courtesy of AP

5.  And one wouldn't be the other without a visit to WB Studio Tour in London!  I totally did this a couple years back too and it was amazing.  Much more "Museum-like" but amazing none-the-less just without any rides. 

 
 
So what are you doing to celebrate Harry Potter's birthday?  Let the celebration being!!!!
 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Young Elites

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Okay, so when I first caught wind of this project I could barely contain myself and now, well let's just say my need to have this book adorn my shelves has grown ten-fold!  I CANNOT wait for October.  Why you ask, well on the blessed 7th day of October this mortal world will be blessed with the release of The Young Elites by none-other than our beloved Marie Lu (author of the amazing Legend Series).  *Swoons*
 
If I were to pass from this world before this release date a big regret would be having never turned the pages of this book.  Melodramatic you ask, why yes, yes I am, especially when it comes to amazing authors with outstanding talent.  This one definitely looks like it will follow in the legendary footsteps of it's predecessors.  I mean, okay, come on check out this synopsis.
 
Summary courtesy of Goodreads:
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.
 
Right?  I know!  I could barely contain myself either!  A league of young elites who might possess magical powers? YES!  Sign. ME. UP! Marie Lu, welcome to the world of fantasy!  I'll leave you with this quote from Krys from Bibliopunkreads: "This book is all the things, reckless and brave and breathtaking."  Okay, shelved for TBR and October, please, please, please come quickly!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Branded (Sinners #1)

So if you're like me and the summer kinda gets you in a contemporary mood but at times you need a little break, then you should check out Branded (Sinners #1) by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki!  Although this was released a year ago it just went through a cover/reBRANDING...haha get it? and OMG I LOVE LOVE LOVE this revamped cover. So sexy and intriguing!  Love that it shifts the focus from the dystopian world view of the last cover to more about Lexi and focus on our strong heroine.

Summary Courtesy of Goodreads:

Fifty years ago The Commander came into
power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society.

To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded according to their sins. Sinners are forced to live a less than human existence in deplorable conditions, under the watchful eye of guards who are ready to kill anyone who steps out of line.

Now, LUST wraps around my neck like thick, blue fingers, threatening to choke the life out of me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit, and the Hole is my new home.

Constant darkness.

Brutal and savage violence.

Excruciating pain.

Every day is a fight for survival.

But I won’t let them win. I will not die in the Hole.

I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.


What an exquisite novel that really explores what I can only equate to hell. Charged and branded for a crime she did not commit - LUST, Lexi Hamilton is sent to the Hole and there endures the worst of society. She is however, guarded and protected by handsomely strong soldier, Cole and his crap for brains guard dog Zeus and from within the depths of this hell she does find strength.

The characters are so well developed and really have a life all their own.  I fell instantly in love with Cole...tough exterior but as the story progresses his walls slowly crumble and we get to see a man in love, but a tortured love none-the-less.  Lexi is everything you can want in a strong female lead.  She's not overly whiny, has a mind of her own but doesn't make everything due to her cause and endures more than I think would be possible.  I also have to give a shout out to Zeus.  LOVE him.  I know he's a dog, but wow, I want him to be my dog.  Protector, comforter, lover (not in that way)...true companion till the end.

With so many twists and turns and amazing world building this story feels so fresh and raw. Well done on so many levels. There are some seriously hot moments in this book and equally terrifying ones as well. This is definitely not a series to miss!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Orphan Queen

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Okay so I *Promise* I will update reviews soon…life has just been, well a tad bit crazy.  That being said, I could not go without my WoW!  So without further ado….

This week I am eagerly anticipating the release and addition to my bookshelf, THE ORPHAN QUEEN by none other than the lovely and very talented, Jodi Meadows!  We all know her as beloved novelist for the Newsoul trilogy: Incarnate, Asunder and Infinite and now it looks as if she’s done it again this time venturing into the land of deadly royals and adventures of epic proportions! 

I cannot wait to get my little paws on this read (I mean just look at this cover! Absolutely stunning!!) and curl up for a day just devouring this one!  I love love love these types of books…adventure, princesses, deadly spies, romance and MAGIC! EEeeee!  Definitely so excited! Hurry hurry hurry!  I need 2015 to be here NOW!  Wah…2015!  I need to work on being patient… ;-)



Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Queen of Someday


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


For those of you who love historical period pieces with a twist, Queen of Someday by Sherry Ficklin definitely looks like one amazing read!  Loosely based on Catherine the Great, this one looks to have all the good fixins' of a wonderful historical romance YA! 

Before we dig in too far though, can we all just take a moment to marvel at this cover!  Holy hotness!  Yowza!  If one can judge a book by it's cover than this one looks steamy!  Beyond the cover though, this looks to have all of the classical elements: romance, betrayal, action, mystery, intrigue... the list goes on and on!

I always kinda chuckle at book descriptions but this one does provide a fair amount of insight...so yes, Queen of Someday...mark as TBR and coming to shelves in early October!

Summary Courtesy of Goodreads:

ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES...

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Perfected

Imagine a world where people are bought and sold.  Not quite slaves, but more like pets - Human companions for the rich and famous.  That is exactly the disturbing future that Kate Birch imagines in Perfected.  This beautifully crafted novel explores a world where these “pets” are genetically engineered for their calm demeanor, short stature and grace and sold to the highest bidder. Troubling and alarming this examines the coming of age of one of these na├»ve pets as the way she views the world around her changes and crumbles.

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:

Perfection comes at a price.

As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

For fans of Keira Cass’s Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.


I really instantly fell in love first with the premise of Birch’s novel…I mean who can beat this horrific future where humans are made to be pets for the uber wealthy?  The second thing that really captivated me about this one was the cover.  Simple, clear, clever and GORGEOUS!  Perfected reminded me of a few futuristic books that look at genetically modified people but Birch does it in a different way where there is a bit of controversy around the idea of human “pets.”   There are parts of this book where it really keeps you on the edge of your seat.  I personally expected the evil/creepy to be lurking around the corner for Ella but it never really came to that which on one hand was like “whew…” but on the other hand I really did expect a bigger conflict on that front...I mean really, what type of people buy human companions...Creepy people, right?  The only thing that I would say is lacking is that the romance between Penn and Ella didn’t really do it for me.  There wasn’t really a long period of time where the two really got to know each other and build their relationship.  The relationship that they did develop was sweet and Penn really is more than just the typical rebellious bad boy but it just seemed to happen so fast.  I like my love stories drawn out I suppose...

The world building was quite good and allows the reader to really dive into the world that surrounds Ella.  At first nothing seems wrong, but then she begins to see the world for what it really is.  This is a perfect beach or vacation read.  The story reads fairly quickly and the ending will really get your heart pounding.  I really am eager to read the sequel as I’m thinking the best is yet to come! 

 

 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Talon (Talon #1)

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Wow, so RL is getting crazy, but of course not too crazy for this book lover to have a Waiting on Wednesday!  Today, I am eagerly anticipating Talon by Julie Kagawa and published by beloved Harlequin Teen.  This one is not coming out until late October (why oh why must I wait so long???) but I will patiently wait. Afterall, the best things in life are worth waiting for…or is it “comes in small boxes” or “are free”?  Hmmm, anyway, I’ll go with the waiting for bit! 

So why, All Booked Up are you so eagerly anticipating THIS one?  Well, let me start by saying I absolutely adore Julie Kagawa!  I recently started following her on twitter and she makes the most AMAZING little cute dragons…and that leads me to the next reason why….DRAGONS!  Who doesn’t love a good novel about dragons?!  They’re probably my most favorite mystical creature.  So intelligent and mysterious and often misunderstood. 

The story line slightly is reminiscent of Seraphina which I also absolutely adored…uhhhh I need this TODAY! I mean just take a look-see at this amazing summary!  What’s not to like?!  Definitely adding this to the TBR pile and waiting at the edge of my seat for this one!

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:
Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.