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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A New Rick Riordan Book!! #ReadRiordan

My dearest Percy Jackson fanatics. We have news!! 

There's a new Rick Riordan eBook!!

And it's interactive!

And customizable! 

Are you ready?

Here it is! 

Title: The Demigods of Olympus: An Interactive Adventure
Price: $8.99 / $7.99
On-Sale: July 14, 2015 

Your quest begins! Use your demigod skills in this interactive and customizable adventure story written by New York Times #1 best-selling author Rick Riordan. Combining four short stories, The Two-Headed Guidance Counselor, The Library of Deadly Weapons, My Demon Satyr Tea Party, and My Personal Zombie Apocalypse, your choices will have consequences in this first interactive demigod adventure.

Are you excited? Because we're freaking out!
*clicks pre-order immediately*

CELEBRATE PERCY'S 10TH ANNIVERSARY with The Lightning Thief, the book that started the internationally best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

THE LIGHTNING THIEF has sold millions of copies worldwide, appears on school reading lists nationwide, and inspired a major motion picture. Accolades include:

· Included in Time Magazine’s 2014 List of 100 best Young-Adult Books of All Times
· A New York Times Notable Book of 20015
· A Child Magazine Best Book of the Year
· A School Library Journal Best Book of 2005
· More than 6 year on the New York Times Best Sellers List (and counting!)

Visit the Official Website
Follow Rick Riordan on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter #ReadRiordan

*As part of the Percy Pack we are receiving books, merchandise and prizing from Disney-Hyperion. This in no way changes our opinion of the Percy Jackson series, but it makes us like Disney a whole lot. 

Why I Can't Wait To Get My Hands on When We Collided by Emery Lord...

From Becca's Sleep-Deprived Brain...

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where you can spotlight an upcoming release you're eagerly anticipating!

This week I'm itching to read:

by Emery Lord
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury 
Releases on: April 5th, 2016

Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

Vivi and Jonah couldn't be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi's zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there's something important Vivi hasn't told him.

Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Jandy Nelson, When We Collided is a powerful story of two teens whose love is put to the test by forces beyond their control.
Why I'm Waiting: 

1. DAT COVER. This is always a reason for me. If a cover really catches my eye, I need it in my life. I need it to sparkle right along all of my other sparkly book covers (even if the sparkles are imaginary). I love the paint splatters, and I cannot wait to see how that connects with the story!

2. It's Emery Lord. Hi, my name is Becca, and I'm addicted to Emery's books. I reread them all of the time. I save them first when tornadoes are touching down near my house.

3. I mean, I think the first two reasons are pretty great, but I figure I need to elaborate a bit more on why this particular Emery book is high on my highly anticipated releases list. The first line in the synopsis just grabs me. Why does their love have the power to save or destroy them? Is it because it's first love? Is there a deeper reason? (Probably because Emery's characters are pretty well-rounded.)

4. It's a summer-y book. I love books that are set during the summer, and this particular summer, I'm craving one like crazy. WHY DOES APRIL 2016 HAVE TO BE SO FAR AWAY FROM THIS SUMMER?!

5. I can understand why Jonah feels like his days are brighter and better by Vivi. Not particularly because I've been changed by Vivi (haha), but because I've been in that position before. Sometimes people walk into your lives, and it feels like every single day is a dream. They make each day so much brighter and better, simply by being in your life. Then there's Vivi who sees a project in Jonah. Been there too. What girl hasn't? I cannot wait to see how their love story unfolds. My heart is pitter-pattering just thinking about it.

So what book are you itching to get your claws on this week? Are you as excited for When We Collided as I am? Let's discuss!


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Alive by Chandler Baker // Heart-Pounding Excitement

Reviewed by Rachel 

Alive by Chandler Baker
Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (June 9, 2015)
Goodreads | Amazon
Stella Cross's heart is poisoned. After years on the transplant waiting list, she's running out of hope that she'll ever see her eighteenth birthday. Then, miraculously, Stella receives the transplant she needs to survive.

Determined to embrace everything she came so close to losing, Stella throws herself into her new life. But her recovery is marred with strange side effects: Nightmares. Hallucinations. A recurring pain that flares every day at the exact same moment. Then Stella meets Levi Zin, the new boy on everyone's radar at her Seattle prep school. Stella has never felt more drawn to anyone in her life, and soon she and Levi can barely stand to be apart.

Stella is convinced that Levi is her soul mate. Why else would she literally ache for him when they are apart?

After all, the heart never lies...does it?
There's something utterly captivating about this book that kept my eyes glued to the pages. I must admit that the synopsis is a bit misleading. This book starts off contemporary and then does a 180 switch to paranormal/thriller. I enjoyed this, but it might annoy others who don't know this ahead of time.

Stella Cross has a heart condition that she'll die from if she doesn't get a heart transplant. It's highly unlikely that she'll find a donor match, so everyone is thrilled when a match miraculously turns up and Stella gets a second chance at life. Soon after her transplant though, she struggles to readjust to school life and ride out the crazy side effects of her operation. I really liked Stella's character. She's got varied interests, she's funny, and she doesn't pity herself.

Eventually the stunningly attractive new kid Levi Zinn appears and shows a keen interest in Stella. When she's around him her new heart hurts less. She feels alive when she's with Levi. The romance in this one was a bit tricky. I'm not sure if I'd call it insta-love, and it's a bit hard to explain without spoiling anything. It felt a tad rushed, but maybe it was just lust at first sight between Stella and Levi. There's also another love interest involved, but that didn't bother me too much. Besides that she starts to have psychotic hallucinations. These hallucinations are so messed up and scary at times. My one problem with the hallucinations is that after the first time or two, you can easily tell what's real and what's not even if Stella can't.

Stella has some wonderful friends too. Brynn is the brash and honest one who you can always count on to tell it to you straight. Stella becomes pretty dependent on Levi and turns away from her friends. She starts blowing them off, especially her friend (and former crush) Henry. Stella and Levi's relationship is sooo unhealthy, and I really hated Stella's behavioral shift towards her friends after she started dating Levi. Henry is sweet and forgiving and a great guy!! I really liked him much more than Levi. Levi's mysterious and dark, the guy who does all the crazy things in life just for the thrills.

Just as I mentioned before, this book warps from a contemporary novel into a horror/mystery/thriller story. I found it highly entertaining as the story got spookier and spookier and the mystery evolved. My heart started racing, and I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and I'd recommend it to you!

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2015

Becca Speaks...

Oh, hey, look. It's my very first Top Ten Tuesday post! 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke & The Bookish

This week's topic is Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2015, and you wouldn't believe how terribly difficult it was to narrow my choices down to TEN (cough, I mean, eleven, because I'm a rule-breaker). The following books are listed in no particular order, because I already had a hard enough time just picking them. There's no possible way for me to number them from most fave to least!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas - I mean, this is SJM we're talking about so OF COURSE I LOVED ACOTAR! *le sigh*

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan - I just finished reading The Royal We, which is basically fan fiction of William & Kate. It's not a typical "Becca Book", (which is funny considering the main character's name is Rebecca/Becca/Bex) but oh dear, I am so glad that I listened to all the hype surrounding this one, because it was perfection!

Under A Painted Sky by Stacey Lee - A historical western + gender bending + COWBOYS + AMAZING friendship = a very happy Becca indeed.

Violent Ends by Shaun Hutchison - another recent read for me, but what stood out to me was how completely engrossed I was. I've been working 17-18 hour shifts each day these past few weeks, but I gave up an entire night's sleep to finish this book. Each chapter is written by a different author, kind of like an anthology but it's all connected like an actual book. It's about a school shooting, but not the actual event, and it is  SO phenomenal! Pre-order this one! I simply cannot say that enough!!

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows  - There is so much hype about this book, and at first, I wasn't sure why, because the beginning is pretty slow, but once I hit about halfway through, I was HOOKED. I cannot wait for The Mirror King. PLUS DAT COVER! 

The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh  - I savored The Wrath & The Dawn, because it is a book that is meant to be savored and salivated over. I miss that world so much already! 

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord - I mean, it's Emery Lord aka BECCA'S TOP FAVE CONTEMPORARY AUTHOR, so of course, I adored this one. I didn't think it would be possible to top Open Road Summer, but I was wrong to doubt Emery. She topped ORS times a billion with The Start of Me and You. So quotable. So cute. So nerdy. LOVELOVELOVELOVE. 

Shutter by Courtney Alameda - I like to describe Shutter as Vampire Academy/Ghostbusters. The writing is full of snark, creepy monster ghosts, ghostbusters, swoony boys, and an action-packed plot. I NEED A SEQUEL, COURTNEY!!!!!!!!!

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski - The sequel to The Winner's Curse. If you haven't started this series, WHY NOT?! I can't even with how much I love it. 

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab - Another surprise book that I loved. I picked it up due to hype, and holy crap! It is so worth the hype. It's like Harry Potter for adults. Lots of magic, fantastic world-building, a GIRL PIRATE, and amazing fashion! Yup, I said fashion. Where can I get one of those coats? Anybody know? :P

So what are some of your top favorite books of 2015 so far? Are any of my faves some of yours too? Let's discuss!


Monday, June 29, 2015

TANGLED WEBS \\ A Tangled Mess

Reviewer: Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books 

by Lee Bross
Series: Tangled Webs
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (June 23, 2015)
Goodreads | Amazon

Lady A is the most notorious blackmailer in the city. With just a mask and a gown to disguise her, she sweeps into lavish balls and exclusive events collecting the most valuable currency in 1725 London-secrets.

But leading a double life isn't easy. By day Lady A is just a seventeen-year-old girl named Arista who lives in fear of her abusive master,Bones, and passes herself off as a boy to move safely through the squalor of London's slums. When Bones attempts to dispose of his pawn forever, Arista is rescued by the last person she expects: Jonathan Wild, an infamous thief who moves seamlessly between the city's criminal underworld and its most elite circles. Arista partners with Wild on her own terms in order to save enough money to buy passage out of London.

Everything changes when she meets Grae Sinclair, the son of a wealthy merchant. Grae has traveled the world, seen the exotic lands Arista has longed to escape to her whole life, and he loves Arista for who she is-not for what she can do for him. Being with Grae gives something Arista something precious that she swore off long ago: hope. He has promised to help Arista escape the life of crime that has claimed her since she was a child. But can you ever truly escape the past?
Nothing beats the crushing disappointment you feel when one of your most anticipated books falls flat. Tangled Webs had lots of promise yet failed to deliver all that it promised to give. The synopsis has everything I'd love to see in a book! The story hardly matches all that the synopsis claims.

To start, the setting of this novel is London in 1725. London is a fascinating city in my opinion. Send me to London in any book in any year, and I'll be pleased. The one stipulation is that you develop the story around the setting a bit or at least describe the setting! This book gives some references to London sights and places and talks a little about London society and fashion, but there's nothing to match this story with what's going on in London at the time. I feel like this book lacked any possible research to make the setting and story blossom. This book literally could have taken place anywhere at any time and still have the same exact story. 

I couldn't connect to Lady A/Arista at all. The poor girl has an identity crisis throughout this book. She doesn't know who she wants to be. She struggles to cut ties from the evil people who shackle her to a life of crime. Her flat character continued to beguile and charm others in the novel, and I just didn't understand it, neither do I understand how she managed to stay alive so long. Her naiveté and poor decision-making would led to an untimely demise. She's hypocritical at every turn, and it was grating on my patience, 

I love romance that has wonderful development and sparks. This book contained neither. We're told repeatedly about the sparks between Arista and Grae and how they're drawn to each other. I didn't feel nor see any of this though. The romance was more of the author convincing us of the romance's genuineness than actually showing it. This book contains insta-love as well. I couldn't get on board with this romance. It was lackluster and dull. The romance was cringe-worthy and shoved down our throats.

Not much happened in this book. I didn't need action particularly, I just wanted something to hold my attention. I had to force myself to continue reading after each chapter. Overall this one was not my cup of tea. Perhaps you'll have better luck! 

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