Banned Books Week Hop

28th Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Banned Books Week

banned books 2012

“Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.” – ALA Website

For many other resources and for more information on all events happening for and during Banned Books Week, visit BannedBooksWeek.org

This giveaway hope is hosted by I Read Banned Books & I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

I wanted to focus/spotlight one particular often challenged book this week. This book has appeared on top ten challenged books lists for the years 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. That’s five years on top ten lists!! This book is incredible and I wish everyone would read it. So because of all this, I’ve decided to give away a copy of….

perksmovietiein

YES! I will give away 2 copies of this book, PLUS! It is open internationally (anywhere The Book Depository ships only).

And another plus, for me at least, is that I’ll be watching the movie this weekend!! CANNOT WAIT!

Check out the movie trailer!

Enter the giveaway!

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Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Waiting on Wednesday: Undone

26th Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday: Undone

Waiting on Wednesday: UndoneUndone by Cat Clarke
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: May 6th 2014
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Jem Halliday is in love with her gay best friend. Not exactly ideal, but she's learning to live with it.

Then the unspeakable happens. Kai is outed online ... and he kills himself.

Jem knows nothing she can say or do will bring him back. But she wants to know who was responsible. And she wants to take them down.

A searing story of love, revenge and betrayal from a bestselling author.

So this info is for the UK release only. Sadly I didn’t find anything about a US release, though I didn’t spend too much time looking, to be honest…so if you find out anything, let me know! :D

The first thing that caught my attention is the gorgeous cover! I love how the letters are like ribbons wrapped around her arms. I also love the caught-in-motion look. Then, the synopsis. Wow. This story sounds incredible intense and emotional.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Entice by Jessica Shirvington

25th Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Entice by Jessica ShirvingtonEntice by Jessica Shirvington
Series: The Violet Eden Chapters #2
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: September 4th 2012
Pages: 438
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

Violet Eden is Grigori - part angel, part human. Her destiny is to protect humans from the vengence of exiled angels.

Knowing who to trust is key but, when Grigori reinforcements arrive, it becomes clear everyone is hiding something. Even Lincoln. The only thing Violet does know: Phoenix's hold over her is more dangerous than ever.

The race to find the one thing that could tilt the balance of power brings them all to the sacred mountains of Jordan, where Violet's power will be pushed to the extreme. And the ultimate betrayal exposed.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a series that started out lukewarm for me then have me completely freaking out about it’s amazing sequel. Nope, I’m sure there hasn’t been.

Entice took the story to a whole new level. Now that Violet is settling into her powers and no longer under the influence of Phoenix, she has become a truly admirable heroine. Sure, she still feels unsure about a lot of things, but when she knows she’s right on about something, her confidence shines. I really loved her growth in this book. Another added element to Entice was the addition of more characters closer to Violet’s age in the Grigori world. I cannot express to you how much I loved Spence in particular. He was truly endearing, even in his crazier moments.

I was really happy to see Violet and Lincoln explore their feelings for one another. Oh, boy, did they explore!! And even though Phoenix is still in the picture, it didn’t feel like much of a love triangle in this book, which I enjoyed. I will never complain about more Lincoln and less Phoenix, so please, Ms. Shirvington…more Lincoln, please! :D

Entice did feel like a whirlwind of a mission for this characters. There was a lot going on, and a lot to keep in mind for the rest of the books to come in this series. Never once did I find myself lost though. The pacing was perfect and definitely made for an unputdownable book!

While Entice might not end on the happiest of notes, I still found myself hopeful for these characters. I see a lot more crazyness to come in the next installment, but hopefully also a lot more of the steaminess I thoroughly enjoyed this time around. Fantastic sequel! I can now confidently say that I’m a fan of this series.

Check out the trailer!

Enter the Giveaway!

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About Jessica Shirvington

Jessica Shirvington is the author of THE VIOLET EDEN CHAPTERS also known as THE EMBRACE SERIES, stand alone novel, BETWEEN THE LIVES and has an exciting new duology called DISRUPTION on the way in 2014.

An entrepreneur, author, and mother living in Sydney, Australia, Jessica is also a 2011 & 2012 finalist for Cosmopolitan’s annual Fun, Fearless Female Award. She’s also one of the lucky few who met the love of her life at age seventeen: Matt Shirvington, a former Olympian and current sports broadcaster for Foxtel and Fox Sports. Married for twleve years with two beautiful daughters, Sienna and Winter, Jessica knows her early age romance and its longevity has definitely contributed to how she tackles relationships in her YA novels.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Bitsy Words: Treachery and Aftermath by Andrea Cremer

24th Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Bitsy Words, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Bitsy Words: Treachery and Aftermath by Andrea Cremer

Bitsy Words: Treachery and Aftermath by Andrea CremerTreachery by Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade #2.5
Published by Philomel
Pub Date: December 13th 2011
Pages: 34
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Ansel’s world is falling apart. The Nightshade pack led by his parents has been violently destroyed. His sister, Calla, abandoned her little brother, leaving him to answer for her crimes. And the Haldis pack that would have been his future is irreparably broken by Calla's betrayal. Suffering at the hands of the Keepers, Ansel is losing everything he's ever loved. The only chance he has to save himself means an alliance with his tormentors, and repaying Calla in full for her treachery.

 

This is a great continuation of what happened after the end of Wolfsbane. Ansel AND Ren…my heart breaks for them. :( The emotions are so freaking palpable!! This novella is worth every penny.

 

 

Bitsy Words: Treachery and Aftermath by Andrea CremerAftermath by Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade #3.5
Published by Philomel
Pub Date: July 31st 2012
Pages: 18
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Picking up where Bloodrose left off, this short story delves into the aftermath of the final battle between the Searchers, the Keepers and the Guardians.

Adne is haunted by her past actions, Logan is running for his life, and the Searchers still don't feel safe. What they thought was the end of the War of All against All may just be the beginning of something even more sinister...

 

HOLY CRAP!! THE ENDING!! For all of you who, like me, DIED A LITTLE INSIDE because of the outcome of a certain favorite character…YOU MUST READ THIS NOVELLA!! Also, if you’ve read RIFT, you’ll recognize a couple of the names mentioned and will make you even more anxious for RISE.

 

 

About Andrea Cremer

Andrea Cremer is a New York Times and international bestselling author. She spent her childhood daydreaming while roaming the forests and lakeshores of Northern Wisconsin. She now lives in Manhattan, but at heart she will always be a small-town girl.

Andrea has always loved writing and has never stopped writing, but it took a horse and a broken foot to prompt her to finally write the novel she’d always dreamed of writing. Prior to becoming a full-time novelist, Andrea resided in the academic world where she taught early modern history.

When she’s not writing, Andrea tries to master difficult yoga poses, wanders through Central Park, and hunts for new music to provide the soundtracks to her novels.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Necromancing the Stone Blog Tour: Playlist and Giveaway!

21st Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Blog Tours, Guest Posts, Tunes for Books

Necromancing the Stone Blog Tour: Playlist and Giveaway!

Necromancing the Stone Blog Tour: Playlist and Giveaway!Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride
Series: Necromancer #2
Published by Henry Holt BfYR
Pub Date: September 18th 2012
Buy the book! | Goodreads

With the defeat of the evil Douglas behind him, Sam LaCroix is getting used to his new life. Okay, so he hadn't exactly planned on being a powerful necromancer with a seat on the local magical council and a capricious werewolf sort-of-girlfriend, but things are going fine, right?

Well . . . not really. He's pretty tired of getting beat up by everyone and their mother, for one thing, and he can't help but feel that his new house hates him. His best friend is a werebear, someone is threatening his sister, and while Sam realizes that he himself has a lot of power at his fingertips, he's not exactly sure how to use it. Which, he has to admit, is a bit disconcerting.

But when everything starts falling apart, he decides it's time to step up and take control. His attempts to do so just bring up more questions, though, the most important of which is more than a little alarming: Is Douglas really dead?

I am always super excited to learn what songs inspire these awesome authors while writing their books, so I asked Lish for her playlist and she delivered such a fun, eclectic mix! Check it out below!

gwtw-separate-line

As many of you might know, the chapter titles from both Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and now Necromancing the Stone, come directly from song titles or lyrics. This makes constructing a playlist for the book quite easy, but it also makes me realize that I have a lot of chapters. Hm. Perhaps I should have done this sooner…

Anyway, below I’ve listed the chapter titles from Necromancing the Stone along with the name of the performers and, in some cases, which versions I prefer. I enjoy a wide range of music and I think this list shows that. Hope you like it! (I have left them as they are for the chapters, so some are the actual song title while others are snippets of lyrics. Hope that’s not confusing!)

1) Welcome to My World– Nerf Herder. I think this song–and this band in general–with its geeky, sweet outlook and pop culture references, fits Sam perfectly.

2) Come on-a My House, My House, I’m Gonna Give You Candy– Rosemary Clooney. My old roommate used to have this on vinyl and we’d dance around to it while we got ready to go out sometimes. I love the oddness of this song and I’m glad I got to include it.

3) Hello Darkness My Old Friend– Simon and Garfunklel. There was a Paul Simon song in the last book. Clearly, I like the man.

4) Our House, Was Our Castle and Our Keep– Madness. Man, I love Madness.

5) Let’s Get Together and Feel All Right– Bob Marley

6) Every Time it Rains, it Rains Pennies From Heaven– Everyone has recorded a version of this song. Everyone. My favorite, though, is the Louis Prima version. It’s just so upbeat. I love it. Plus I’m pretty sure they yell “macaroni” at some point, and I’ve always wondered why.

7) Smoke On the Water– Deep Purple

8) Slow Ride– Foghat

9) Another One Bite the Dust– Queen. ‘Nuff said.

10) Soul Doubt– NOFX. I’m a big fan of pop punk, and NOFX in particular. I love that they can talk about politics, social issues, racial issues, and reference Zaphod Beeblebrox all on the same album.

11) Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend– Mr. T Experience. Still one of the best band names out there. Plus the singer (Doctor Frank) wrote a kid’s book. You should check it out.

12) No More Mr. Nice Guy– There is something so…awesome about Alice Cooper. Is it that he wears makeup, a lot of black, and golfs? Perhaps. I do love people that challenge social norms. Goth, metal, awesome, funny, and good at golf. Mr. Cooper, you are a Renaissance Man.

13) Summertime, and the Living is Easy– from Porgy & Bess. Though I think I love Sam Cooke’s version best (mostly because I love Sam Cooke) I also enjoy the Me First and the Gimmie Gimmie’s cover of this song. And the Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Louis Armstong versions…you know what? It’s just a good song.

14) Turn and Face the Strange (Ch-ch-changes)– Even pure evil loves David Bowie.

15) Take it easy, Don’t Let the Sound of Your Own Wheels Make You Crazy– The Eagles

16) I Remember You– Ah, Skid Row, you brought us such glorious hair metal.

17) Hello, is it Me You’re Looking For?– You have to love any list that goes from Skid Row to Lionel Richie.

18) Mr. Sandman, Bring Me a Dream– This song was originally sung by the Chordettes, but I also like the version Pomplamoose sings. This song also makes a great cameo in the movie Cry Baby.

19) Our House, is a Very, Very, Very Fine House– Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

20) I Feel the Earth Move Under my Feet– Carole King

21) I Got Cat Class and I Got Cat Style– The Stray Cats

22) Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car– Billy Ocean. I used to have to do a five minute run to this song in gym class in junior high. Always this song. No variation. To this day when I hear it I break into a sweat and my sides hurt.

23) San Dimas High School Football Rules– The Ataris. Not only did I like this song a lot, but it’s also a reference to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, which has a lot of meaning for one of my characters…

24) I’m a Soul Man– Sam & Dave, though this song also has a lot of great versions.

25) Stand By Your Man– Tammy Wynette, though the Blues Brothers did a great cover of this in the movie…

26) I Hear You Knockin’, But You Can’t Come In– Fats Domino originally performed this song and I love it, but I also enjoy the version that Dave Edmunds did.

27) Love is a Battlefield– Pat Benatar. I still remember this music video. So much spandex and 80’s eyeshadow…a dance fight…I love it so much.

28) Your Turquoise and Silver Won’t Weaken this Old Heart– Cake. I like this song because turquoise and silver come up a lot it mythology, and some of the lines really remind my of Douglas. Take a listen to the song “Pentagram” and I think you’ll see why.

29) Take Me Home Tonight– Eddie Money

30) Papa Don’t Preach– Madonna

31) We Are Family– Sister Sledge

32) I Never Promised You a Rose Garden– Lynn Anderson, though I quite like the version by the Suicide Machines.

And there you go! A very lengthy playlist!

Listen to Playlist Here!

Get the Scoop on all Fierce Reads!

—Lish McBride is part of our Fall 2012 Fierce Reads campaign and she will be going on a multi-city and multi-author tour this month, 9/18 thru 9/23. Details can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/FierceReads/events
—Check out the new Fall Fierce Reads trailer which Necromancing the Stone is included in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiSWgzz9dJU
—A chapter excerpt of Necromancing the Stone can be read on the Fierce Reads Fan Page: https://apps.facebook.com/fiercereads/Exclusives
—A free Fall 2012 Fierce Reads chapter sampler for e-readers is available for download, which includes Necromancing the Stone: http://us.macmillan.com/fiercereadsfall2012chaptersampler/GenniferAlbin
—Last year, Lish McBride wrote a free e-short story, entitled Necromancer: http://us.macmillan.com/necromancer-1/LishMcBride
—Lish McBride’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeamDamnation
—Lish McBride’s Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lish-McBride/164438753667937

Check out the other stops on the tour!

Monday 9/17 http://www.laurasreviewbookshelf.com/
Tuesday 9/18 http://janasbooklist.blogspot.com/
Wednesday 9/19 http://www.sithereandread.com/
Thursday 9/20 http://www.kidlitfrenzy.com/
Friday 9/21 http://www.gonewiththewords.com/

Monday 9/24 http://www.themidnightgarden.net
Tuesday 9/25 http://www.goodbooksandgoodwine.com/
Wednesday 9/26 www.katiesbookblog.com
Thursday 9/27 http://www.almostgrownup.net/

Enter the Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

20th Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Embrace by Jessica ShirvingtonEmbrace by Jessica Shirvington
Series: The Violet Eden Chapters #1
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: March 6th 2012
Pages: 369
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are...”

Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.

Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.

A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden...

Embrace is definitely a different take on angels and grigori lore. But there were more things I found irritating than things I liked.

For one, our main character, Violet, acted really irrational most of the book. She started out really likeable but certain things happened that ended up making her, at times, completely annoying. DO NOT WORRY THOUGH! There’s a reason for all the crazyness. It’s just that at times I wanted to give up on her because I felt it lasted waaaaay too long. Practically to the end of the book. The main problem is that what may seem obvious to us, isn’t so to her.

There are two guys vying for Violet’s affections. One is a no-brainer and the other is more of a you-cannot-be-buying-his-BS type. Lincoln is our no-brainer. Violet loves him. She’s loved him since he walked into her kicking-butt class and asked her to train with him solo. He’s older than her, which was different from other YA books, but he never crossed the line with her, which is another reason why he’s a no-brainer. He has his reasons, and maybe those reasons aren’t going to hold him back much longer. Especially when a certain dark character comes into play.

Enter Phoenix. Even his name is dark. I guess Phoenix is supposed to come off as the dark, brooding, sexy type…but to me he was just a creeper. He is also older than Vi, and he has no qualms about taking things way past the line with her. He made it really hard for me to feel anything else for him, especially when he always acted so possessive and angry. So yeah, I didn’t really care for him much.

One thing I thought was done well was the intimacy aspect. Sometimes a girl’s first time isn’t perfect, whether it’d be the wrong person, time, or place. And sometimes afterwards, they question why they did it, why they fell into the heat of the moment. It happens! I appreciate Jessica Shirvington for writing something realistic in this.

Embrace, despite some of my irritations with some characters, did in fact have me turning the pages non-stop. I was into it! And it was also sometimes funny. Violet and her best friend had some great one liners that had me laughing out loud!

So if you’re a fan of angel books, I recommend adding this one to your TBR list. I’m looking forward to continuing the series with Entice, which was just released September 4th!

Check out the trailer!

 

About Jessica Shirvington

Jessica Shirvington is the author of THE VIOLET EDEN CHAPTERS also known as THE EMBRACE SERIES, stand alone novel, BETWEEN THE LIVES and has an exciting new duology called DISRUPTION on the way in 2014.

An entrepreneur, author, and mother living in Sydney, Australia, Jessica is also a 2011 & 2012 finalist for Cosmopolitan’s annual Fun, Fearless Female Award. She’s also one of the lucky few who met the love of her life at age seventeen: Matt Shirvington, a former Olympian and current sports broadcaster for Foxtel and Fox Sports. Married for twleve years with two beautiful daughters, Sienna and Winter, Jessica knows her early age romance and its longevity has definitely contributed to how she tackles relationships in her YA novels.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Waiting on Wednesday: White Lines

19th Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday: White Lines

Waiting on Wednesday: White LinesWhite Lines by Jennifer Banash
Published by Putnam Juvenile
Pub Date: April 4th 2013
Buy the book! | Goodreads

A gritty, atmospheric coming of age tale set in 1980s New York City

Seventeen-year-old Cat is living every teenager's dream—she has her own apartment on the Lower East Side and at night she's club kid royalty, guarding the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. The night with its crazy, frenetic, high-inducing energy—the pulsing beat of the music, the radiant, joyful people and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain—is when Cat truly lives. But her daytime, when real life occurs, is more nightmare than dream.

Having spent years suffering her mother's emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father, Cat is terrified and alone—unable to connect to anyone or anything. But when someone comes along who makes her want to truly live, she'll need to summon the courage to confront her demons and take control of a life already spinning dangerously out of control.

Both poignant and raw, White Lines is a gripping tale and the reader won't want to look away.

 

Why aren’t there more books today set in the 80s?! This needs to be a thing! “Poignant and raw” – SOLD! Plus the 80s thing.

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish People I Want To Meet

18th Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish People I Want To Meet

I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve been able to meet lots of book bloggers and authors I love. This mainly happened by living in a city that gets lots of great author events and by being able to attending book conventions where other bloggers congregate. Meeting people you interact with a lot, either on Twitter (which is my #1) or on your blog, is the best feeling.

There are still a few people I love that I have yet to meet and I REALLY hope I get to someday soon. Hre are just ten of them:

1. Amanda (On a Book Bender) – I love this girl. I mean it! Any time I’m twittering with her, she makes me laugh. It’s like we’re old friends already!

2. Estelle (Rather Be Reading) – I’ve been getting to know Estelle recently, and we gchat pretty often. I love how we just clicked and it was like we’d known each other forever. That’s probably more to her credit than mine, lol. Also? I want her to take me beer drinking!! She knows where it’s at!! UPDATE: Met in 2015!

3. Jacinda (The Reading Housewives of Indiana) – Jacinda and I just clicked. We have a lot of the same reading tastes and we’ve bonded over a lot of them.

4. Jeri Smith-Ready & Team Kilt – All of them. Yes, all. But most especially author Jeri Smith-Ready and Jen and Amy of Fictitious Delicious, who also run the fansite Kilt & Keeley. The community they’ve all created surrounding the Shade characters is just beyond incredible. And I just KNOW good times would be had in their company. :D

5. Carrie (Stalking the Bookshelves) – Carrie is a person who I constantly talk to on twitter. She can always make me laugh. And I really loved getting to know her over the summer, when we were  doing the Outlander read-along.

6. Ash (Smash Attack Ash) – Ash is one of the people I’ve known longest on this list. I love her enthusiasm on books and some of my favorite tv shows, which is actually how I discovered her fabulousness…So You Think You Can Dance tweet chats!!!

7. Asheley (Into the Hall of Books) – Asheley can make me excited about ANYTHING! I just know that a lot of fangirlness would happen over ALL THE THINGS if we ever met. And we’d wear all of our Batman gear. It’s only right. We also have a few fave bands in common and I’d love to go to a show with her. UPDATE: Met in 2015!

8. Lisa (lisa is busy nerding) – Lisa would round out the Batman outfitted trio, along with me and Asheley. I love her nerdiness and I think Lisa would be a perfect friend to take to a midnight screening of any nerdy movie out there. :D

9. Alexa (Alexa Loves Books) – Alexa is one of the sweetest people out there and I just know that we would have great conversations about our favorite books if we ever met. UPDATE: Met in 2015!

10. April (Good Books and Good Wine) – April was one of the first book bloggers I started following on twitter. She has strong opinions on a lot of things and I’d love to meet her and chat with her in person. I’d also love to have a few drinks with her because she seems to be really fun, even though I probably wouldn’t be able to hang, haha.

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Carnival of Souls (Carnival of Secrets) by Melissa Marr

17th Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Carnival of Souls (Carnival of Secrets) by Melissa MarrCarnival of Souls (Secrets) by Melissa Marr
Series: Untamed City #1
Published by HarperCollins
Pub Date: September 4th 2012
Pages: 306
Format: ARC | Source: Gifted
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures--if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.

All Mallory knows of The City is that her father--and every other witch there--fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it's only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.

From Melissa Marr, bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series and Graveminder, comes a brand-new tale of lush secrets, dark love, and the struggle to forge one's own destiny.

Carnival of Souls is one of the most unique stories I’ve read this year so far. Melissa Marr has created this imaginative realm of daimons and witches, fights to the death, and so many secrets. It was amazinnnnnnnng!!

One of the things I loved about Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series was how many characters and love stories were in those books. In Carnival of Souls, we get the same thing. There isn’t just one boy and one girl, there’s two!! And their relationships are far beyond the normal romances in YA. There’s love, but there’s secrets too. So many that I know I’ll be in heart-wrenching pain when the truth comes out, because it cannot end well for any of them.

Out of our two heroines, Mallory and Aya, I liked Aya most. Nothing against Mallory, but the problem with her character is that she’s pretty much in the dark about who she is throughout most of the book. She’s always being watched out for, and even though she’s more than capable of kicking someone’s ass, she’s almost babied the whole time. I actually fist-pumped at the end when she finally took control and started acting fierce.

Now Aya, started out fierce. The lengths she goes to to win a spot as a ruler of The City so that she doesn’t have to become just a wife and a mother with the daimon she loves are beyond most anyone’s capabilities, physically and emotionally. Aya is probably the one hiding the biggest secret of all, but you don’t have to wait long to learn what it is. I have my theories about her…parentage wise. But that’s all I’ll say about that because I don’t want to spoil anything.

Melissa Marr has a gift for creating male characters I instantly fall for, inspite of their flaws. Take Seth, Niall, Irial, and Keenan from Wicked Lovely for example. I LOVE ALL OF THEM! Ok, maybe not Keenan so much, lol, though I did feel for him. Here we have two new characters that had me swooning, Kaleb and Belias. I can’t help it..I love them already. And they couldn’t be more different from each other! Kaleb comes from the slums of The City. He’s a strong fighter and will do anything to protect and take care of his family. His heart is what really drew me to him. In turn, Belias is just a strong a fighter, but he is also high caste, meaning he’s practically royalty. What I found irresistible in him was his passion and devotion.

I loved the way they all had a voice in this book. I always want to hear what all the characters are going through and thinking. It makes the story so much more engrossing. Especially in one with so much depth. This book was also really bloody. It’s graphic, but not gross, which I really appreciated. I really loved the masks concept, that each color represented a service. That was really interesting and I hope we see more of it in future books.

Carnival of Souls swept me away into a realm that was terrifying and beautiful at the same time. Its intricacies left me in awe and in wanting for it to continue beyond the last page.

Check out the awesome trailer!

Update On This Series

Since posting this review, the name of the book and cover have changed as follows…

Carnival of Secrets

About Melissa Marr

Melissa Marr is the author of the bestselling Wicked Lovely series as well as the adult fantasy novels Graveminder and The Arrivals. When not writing, editing, or traveling, Melissa is buried under a plethora of books, dogs, and children in Virginia or online at www.melissa-marr.com.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Sweet Talk by Julie Garwood

13th Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Sweet Talk by Julie GarwoodSweet Talk by Julie Garwood
Series: Buchanan-Renard #10
Published by Dutton Adult
Pub Date: August 7th 2012
Pages: 366
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

In the new contemporary romance from #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood, a detective and a lawyer are falling in love— and making a federal case out of it.

When FBI agent Grayson Kincaid first encounters Olivia MacKenzie, she makes quite an impression.

The beautiful, tough, young attorney has stumbled into the middle of an FBI sting operation and has reduced it to chaos. Months of surveillance and careful planning down the drain, Kincaid’s partner is furious and lets Olivia know that she’s ticked off the wrong guy. After all, he’s FBI.

Olivia isn’t intimidated by his partner’s bullying because she’s something even scarier . . . she’s IRS.

And working for the IRS isn’t for the faint of heart. She’s on the trail of an elaborate Ponzi scheme, one that threatens to ruin the lives of naive and unsuspecting victims, and one she has personal reasons to be angry about. But after she asks questions of the wrong people, her life is suddenly endangered. She’s accustomed to fighting for the underdog but being vulnerable herself is a very different story. Smart enough to know when to call for reinforcements, she contacts Grayson Kincaid.

Together they make an excellent team to fight corruption but Olivia is also fighting the immediate and intense attraction she feels for Agent Kincaid, and that may be a battle she is bound to lose.

I’m always up for a good contemporary romance novel that features a sexy law enforcement guy, so of course I’d be all over Sweet Talk. Plus, that cover is sexy to me. FBI Agent Grayson Kincaid did not let me down. Intelligent and fierce, with a gold, tender heart. Yup, dream guy. I was really surprised that Olivia hadn’t been in many relationships, considering she was pretty much drop dead gorgeous with a kind, generous heart, and a fun sense of humor. She did have a couple of hang ups which I guess did lend a hand to her single status. I loved how Olivia and Grayson couldn’t keep their hands of each other though! It certainly made for sexy and steamy scenes.

Sweet Talk did have a lot of story to tell, that’s for sure. It was like one thing lead to another, then led to another, giving us a whole lot of bad guys, all connected to one another somehow. It definitely made for an interesting plot, but there was a few chapters at about the halfway point where I kind of lost interest for a while. I think it was because the story kind of stalled and was at a point where they were playing a sort of waiting game. Soon things did pick up again, once the unravelings began, and I was back in it for good. So that small lull is the reason why this book, while steamy and with really great characters, is a three star book instead of four for me.

There were other characters, friends of Olivia and Grayson, who I can see getting their own stories, and I hope I get to read about them soon. I also plan to add a few more Julie Garwood titles to my library since I did really enjoy Sweet Talk for the most part.

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Waiting on Wednesday: Paradise

12th Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday: Paradise

Waiting on Wednesday: ParadiseParadise by Joanna Nadin
Published by Candlewick Press
Pub Date: October 9th 2012
Buy the book! | Goodreads

A move to a small seaside town gives Billie a chance at a new lifand new love — until the underof the past pulls her toward a shocking secret.

When sixteen-year-old Billie Paradise unexpectedly inherits her grandmother’s house, it couldn’t come at a better time. With her stepdad abroad and her mom starting to lose it, moving from their cramped London apartment to an old house by the sea seems serendipitous. Maybe Billie, as she navigates the small-town social scene and falls for a certain intriguing older boy, can even find the father she never met. But her mom’s remote childhood home, which she left in haste before Billie was born, harbors hints of suspicious long-ago deaths and family secrets. As Billie’s story unfolds, flowing back and forth in time and through alternate points of view, it becomes clear that while people may die, the past lives forever.

This book sounds like it’s going to take you on a twisty ride! I want it to surprise me! And maybe leave me with my mouth hanging open when I learn the shocking secret.

Trailer

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Tune in Tuesday: Believe

11th Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Tune In Tuesday

Tune in Tuesday: Believe

Today is a day of remembrance…and I wanted to share a song about the brave people who were there that day.

Also…I love Yellowcard. This song makes me teary-eyed every time.

ALSO! In case you didn’t know, Tune in Tuesday is currently hosted by Kate of Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands so that Ginger can focus on school right now, so go link up on her blog if you have a Tune up today! :)

Believe by Yellowcard

Think about the love inside the strength of heart
Think about the heroes saving life in the dark
Climbing higher through the fire, time was running out
Never knowing you weren’t going to be coming down alive
But you still came back for me
You were strong and you believed

Everything is gonna be alright (x3)
Be strong. Believe. (x2)

Think about the chance I never had to say
Thank you for giving up your life that day
Never fearing, only hearing voices calling out
Let it all go, the life that you know,
just to bring it down alive
And you still came back for me
You were strong and you believed

Everything is gonna be alright (x3)
Be strong. Believe.

(Again today, we take into our hearts and minds
those who perished on this site one year ago,
and also those who came to toil in the rubble
to bring order out of chaos,
to help us make sense of our despair)

Wanna hold my wife when I get home
Wanna tell the kids they’ll never know
how much I love to see them smile
Wanna make a change or two right now
Wanna live a life like you somehow
Wanna make your sacrifice worthwhile

Everything is gonna be alright (x3)
Be strong. Believe.

Everything is gonna be alright (x3)
Be strong. Believe.

Think about the love inside the strength of heart
Think about the heroes saving life in the dark
Think about the chance I never had to say
Thank you for giving up your life that day

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Think…

11th Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Think…

About Life…

lookingforalaskaperksofbeingawallflowerthefaultinourstarsifistay

Looking For Alaska by John Green – What are we doing with our lives?! This book made me consider a great perhaps… ;)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – Made me think about how many moments I chose not to participate in my own life. CHOOSE TO PARTICIPATE, PEOPLE! :)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Gosh…this book made me think about how we should love the people in our lives with our every breathe, because there are people whose lives get cut too short.

If I Stay (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman – All I could think about was how life can be over in the blink of an eye….seriously. Besides making me cry, it made me want to hug everyone I love.

 

About People…

thirteenreasonswhysendwhatisawandhowilied

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – Reading what it could be like for a kid who is constantly tormented, sometimes unintentionally, really made me think about how I treat others. You never know what someone’s already going through, so why add on to that.

Send by Patty Blount – I turn, I never considered a book from the point of view of the bully would be so emphatic. It really made me think how it’s not always good vs. evil…sometimes it’s just a mistake.

What I Saw And How I Lied by Judy Blundell – What would you do for your family? How far would you go? I really can’t say too much without spoiling it for you, but I see a lot of true crime shows on tv that always make me think of this book…and it always enrages me.

 

About the World…

thehungergamesdelirium-newwither

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins – Need I say more?!

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver – A world without love is no world for me!!

Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano – In this world, I’d be dead already since I’m way past the life expectancy, but it made me think how awful it could be to always live in fear of being kidnapped, killed, or married off for breeding purposes. *shudders*

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

10th Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Published by Little, Brown BfYR
Pub Date: September 27th 2011
Pages: 418
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Once upon a time,
an angel and a devil fell in love.
It did not end well.

That is the epigraph. Just those three lines cemented one thing for me: it would be impossible to not devour Daughter of Smoke & Bone.

The moment you turn to the first page you realize that you’re in for something good. The intricate way the story unfolds. The rich descriptions, the imaginative characters, the love story….goodness, the love story!! So, so much….

I loved the way Karou’s story unfolds; little by little, clue by clue, piece by piece. Each chapter was a complete surprise and a revelation. I think the best surprise was when I discovered Karou wouldn’t be our only narrator. Oh, yes. Akiva shares his side of the story, his thoughts, and his ever-palpable feelings. Laini Taylor made sure Karou and Akiva would make us FEEL their every word. The words just felt so rich!

I can’t remember the last time I read characters so unique and imaginative. Especially those from Karous world. I would definitely do them a disservice trying to describe them to you. Just trust me when I say your mind will have a field day picture them all! Even after putting the book down, I found myself thinking about them, trying to perfectly capture their likeness in my mind. In kind, the world Laini’s created, and the lore to go along with it, is not what you find in typical angel and demon books.

And don’t even try to make up your mind on who the good guys and bad guys are. There is no black and white in this book. So much gray.

Akiva and Karou. *sigh* You think you know…but you have no idea. These two are the definition of forbidden love. And I loved every word of it!!

Laini Taylor had people adding Daughter of Smoke & Bone to dozens of Favorites lists in 2011. Yet, I just now got around to reading it. If you are another one who has not yet picked up this book, go now. Run! Get your hands on a copy and get enraptured by this incredible book.

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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