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.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

There are some books that you can pick up and put down and read at leisure...Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before is that one of those least not in my case!  I could not stop reading this one! So many FEELS!! Once I started it was full steam ahead, all engines a go and I ended up staying up into the wee hours of the morning just to live in Han's world a little longer!  This is such a great coming-of-age story that will hit the hearts of so many - definitely not one to miss!

Summary Courtesy of Goodreads:
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

I ADORED the characters! There is so much of me (and every girl who went through middle/high school) in Lara Jean. She goes through so much change when her older sister Margot moves away for college.  I loved reading about the ever shifting dynamic of this cross-cultural family and their interactions throughout.  You will absolutely fall in love with this family.  Reminded me a bit of an updated version Little Women (all the sisters, Kitty is SOO little Amy and Josh is so Teddy-ish)! And can I just mention Peter for a second?  I seriously have a crush on this fictitious character.  Bit by bit I really ended up falling for Peter as I moved further into the depths. He's really well developed (character-wise) and wow...he surprised me!  I was not expecting to like him as much as I do.

The Plot was engaging, realistic and really kept things moving along. I can only imagine the series of events that would take place if all of the sudden all of my crushes read my Diary or something like that...ahhh! Gives me heart palpitations just thinking about it! And the sub-plot of the story, date one guy to get the other jealous, it has been done before, but let me assure you, this is so much more than that! What starts off as a solution to a problem that was set off by Lara Jean's letters going out ends up as so much more. There are some serious twist and turns that you don’t see coming, and some that you do but they're still every bit as wonderful!

All in all I really enjoyed reading this one.  Surely one of the top contemporary reads of the year.  This one is light and refreshing with a dash of real life to keep us all grounded. I HIGHLY recommend this one and cannot wait for the sequel (which I did not realize was a sequel until about 5 mins ago - EEE!). So what are you waiting for?! GO!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)

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

Today (and really everyday) I have been waiting on Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas! I would typically save this post for closer to the release date, but honestly I could not contain myself any longer.  I want this book...need this book...lust for this book in the most outrageous way!  Ever since BEA and all those posts where everyone seemed to get their hands on this beloved jewel I have been longing to hold this one in my hands and thumb through the pages and savor Maas' wonderful story telling abilities!  So yes, for all those reason I am eagerly awaiting HoF!  If you have yet to begin this series, I strongly recommend starting...or wait until the books are completed, because let's be honest, the waiting is KILLING me!  Can it be September yet?
So why, you ask am I waiting on this one so much?  Well with the state I was left in after reading Crown of Midnight, I really really really MUST know what is going to happen next!  CoM really left us with such a cliffhanger that it's nearly impossible to contain my eagerness.  Anyway, Maas is a master with her words and world building and characters and the plots and twist and turns and...oh, EVERYTHING!

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hitting the Shelves: The Murder Complex

Today's the day we've all been waiting for!  The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #1) by Lindsay Cummings hits shelves today!  You all heard how eager we were to introduce The Fear Trials (The Murder Complex novella) the other day and now our main event makes it's debut.  

Now the question you might all be asking is, "why are you so eager to read The Murder Complex?"  Let me tell you! Now as you may or may not know, thrillers are not generally my thing, but this one had me at dystopian.  I am such a fan of the genre and Cummings new novel does not sound like it will disappoint my appetite...and if that doesn't get you, what about the fact that this sounds to be a fantastic story of survival?!  Yes, who doesn't like a seriously kick a$$ heroine?  And did we mention the tragic love interest?  I mean come on, with a tag like, "She's trained to survive, he's programmed to kill" hello?!  *gimme, gimme*

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:
An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

  Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

  The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

  Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

So really, can you blame me?  I thought not!  Add this to your TBR list or go out and buy it today!  Don't tell me that you're bored this summer because there are wonderful books out there just waiting to be read!  So, what are you waiting for?  Go! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1)

Winter is coming! What a phenomenally epic read of momentous proportions!  This book is definitely NOT to be missed!  I cannot sing enough praises for Sara Raasch's Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1).   This one has it all: epic journey, hottie princes and kings, kingdoms to conquer, slaves to free, kick a$$ leading lady with a fiery nature, and a mysterious ancient magic!  Who could ask for anything more?

Summary Courtesy of Goodreads
A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

This story all begins long long ago in a faraway land where Kings and Queens rule the land and have powerful magic that they pass down to their gendered kin.  Everything changes the night Kingdom Winter is conquered and the Winterians are enslaved.  Only 25 are able to escape and one of those 25 is our main character, orphan Meira.  She is feisty, fiery, headstrong, quick-witted, sharp-tongued and always acts like she has something to prove...but I love all that about her!  We also have the strong and silent Winterian General, Sir.  A man of few words who's main goal is to protect the future King, Mather.  Mather is a dashing, strong fighter, with a sense of duty and some serious guilt for being born of the wrong gender to inherit the kingdom magic to free his people.  Through this journey this pack meets up with impossible odds, ruthless leaders, a lofty goal in mind and the courage and strength of an army 10 times the size.   This little group with huge heart goes a long way.  Who doesn't love to root for the underdog that's fighting evil? 

Beyond the main story, Raasch does an exceptional job world building. I mean like WOW!  Descriptions throughout the novel are impeccably well-done and I recall thinking, "I could see this playing out in a movie."  Let me be clear when I say I do NOT think every well done book should be made into a movie, but i could honestly feel the ground tremble during battles and taste the gritty air at the slave encampments and feel the crisp air of Winter. Spectacularly done! 

With twist and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end, Snow Like Ashes is aimed to please!  Think of this as a Game of Thrones, meets Throne of Glass with a hint of Shadow and Bone!  I can't wait to get my hands on book 2!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

We Were Liars

Where do I even start with this one without giving too much away? I completely, 100% and entirely LOVED every moment of WeWere Liars by E. Lockhart!  I haven't read a book like this in such a long time that it actually really caught me by surprise. This is not to be missed! Do not overlook this book. It's so wonderful and full of mystery and intrigue. I don't want to give anything away, but trust me, this is worth a read! 

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:
A beautiful and distinguished family.

A private island.

A brilliant, damaged girl;
a passionate, political boy.

A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.

A revolution. An accident. A secret.

Lies upon lies.

True love.

The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Wow, right?!  Even just that summary...You really don't know what to expect when you pick this one up but let me tell you, utterly fantastic....FANTASTIC you hear?  Okay, so you're asking, "but why is it fantastic?" Again, without giving too much away, (1) the world-building is out of this world.  I mean I can remember actually feeling like I was on this East Coast island soaking in the summers.  (2) The pacing is well executed.  The way we go back and forth between present time and past time as Cadence relives her memories is done in a non-choppy kind of way, which I appreciate. (3) The ending is jaw-dropping.  That is all I will say, but you will not be disappointed.  The only thing that felt a little rushed and a hair unreal, was the romance...but beyond that I just had so many *FEELS* for this book in general.  I completely teared up on a beach with this book and had one of the worst/best book hangovers that I seriously kept thinking back on this book.  Seriously, I really have nothing but good things to say about this novel.

All in all, I definitely think this is one to give a shot if you've been on the fence.  It reads like an onion with many layers and lots of depth, secrecy and intrigue.  Think...Fight Club meets Memento meets The Sixth Sense crossed with Gossip you will have to read! :)