Friday, October 25, 2013

Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)Title: The Dream Thieves(Click Title for Synopsis)
Source/Format: Borrowed from library, Hardcover
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: Scholastic Press, September 17, 2013




My Thoughts:

     Books and hype just don’t seem to be my cup of tea as of late.  It’s like a bad combination of food.  Like, would you ever eat tuna on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with cheese?  I don’t think so—that sounds gross even in writing. 

     I honestly wanted to give Maggie Stiefvater another chance, since sometimes sequels happen to be better than the first book in the series.  After reading The Raven Boys I thought that the series was relatively ok, and I was curious to know more about Ronan.  So I gave the Raven Cycle Series another try.  And I have to say I’m disappointed, I was expecting something I didn’t really get.  Since this is a DNF post, it shouldn’t be hard to guess that I didn’t finish The Dream Thieves.  While the ideas surrounding the events in the book were interesting enough, I had a hard time getting into the story.  While the writing wasn’t the worst I’ve read this year, some of the sentences left me a little perplexed—some just didn’t really fit at all.  And some of the scenes could have been left out altogether.  So in the end, will I be continuing this series?  No, sorry.  This book just didn’t fit for me, but if you want to give it a go, be my guest.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway: Scintillate by Tracy Clark

Today Tracy Clark and Entangled Teen  are revealing the cover for book 1 in The Key of Light Trilogy, SCINTILLATE. Coming out February 2014!  Now, on to the reveal!


 
Wow, it has been some time since I used these arrows. I think they've gone a little rusty from disuse!  Anyway, keep scrolling you're almost to the cover....
 
 



About the Book
SCINTILLATE
Author: Tracy Clark
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1622661459
Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble

Cora Sandoval’s mother disappeared when she was five and living in Ireland. Since then, Dad has been more than overprotective and Cora is beginning to chafe under his confines. But even more troubling is the colorful light she is suddenly seeing around people. Everyone, that is, except herself—she glows a brilliant, sparkling silver.

Troubled by these strange flickerings and fearing she is being stalked, Cora is inexplicably drawn to Finn, a gorgeous Irish exchange student who makes her feel safe. Their attraction is instant, magnetic, and primal—but her father disapproves and Finn’s mother orders him home to Ireland upon hearing he’s fallen in love. After a fight with her father, Cora flees to Ireland, both to follow Finn and to look for her missing mother.

There she meets another silver-haloed person and discovers the meaning of her newfound powers and their role in a conspiracy spanning centuries—a conspiracy that could end her life and change mankind forever.

Scintillate is the first book in this lush and exciting new trilogy, full of romance, adventure and metaphysical mystery.

                                      Exclusive Excerpt 

Finn began to play. Voices descended into a respectful hush. Soft strums of the guitar lifted and fell on shafts of daylight from the windows. A small patch of sun warmed my exposed neck as I listened. The orange beads of his bracelet flashed as he plucked the strings with slender fingers. His head hung over the guitar in reverent concentration.
His playing was amazing, sweet and peaceful. For a while I let go of how bizarre my life had become. I was entranced long before Finn closed his eyes and opened his mouth to sing. His voice was rich, smooth suede, perfectly suited for the blues: soulful and vulnerable. The kind of voice that reaches inside and squeezes what’s tender.
When he sang an Irish bar song called “The Wild Rover,” he got the entire crowd to join in on the chorus. A couple of times during his performance, his gaze fell on me and lingered as if he sang directly to me. I rested my chin on my hand, hiding my smile behind my fingers. The last song was in a language I didn’t understand, but my soul spoke that language. Deep inside, something cracked open so that a bit of my truest self could peek out. His music was bluesy and mournful, eerily familiar, and it opened my heart in locked places. A tear landed on my wrist.
When the final chord of the last song reverberated through the coffeehouse, the audience jumped to its feet and applauded wildly. The force of energy from the crowd knocked the breath out of me, making me dizzy. I dared a look at the people in the room. The colors were unbelievable! Such power. It rolled toward Finn in a wave, a tsunami in slow motion. I had the impulse to leap in front of him, to protect him from it.
My body jerked in response to the thought, and I squeezed the sides of the wooden chair, willing myself to sit still. I couldn’t trust myself and the strong urge to protect him. But from what? The big, bad colors I could see but that were invisible to everyone else? He’d think I was crazy.
Maybe I was.
A chill spidered up my spine. The man with the crazy eyes and pure white aura leaned against the brick wall a couple feet away, staring intently at me. Icy fear spiked through me, making my fingers tingle and my breath come in quick bursts. The sounds of the room fell away. My heart sped and my aura sparked as I saw the roiling ball of the crowd’s energy pass over the man and collide with Finn. But rather than crush him, the energy crashed and blended with his own bright aura, making it grow and pulse fiercely. He seemed to absorb the light until the room grew dim to my eyes.
Untouched by the energy, the strange man moved closer and closer to me. I called out to Dun, but he couldn’t hear me over the shouts and clapping. I was so small in my chair amid the standing crowd. The man and his dark eyes were all I could see. I tried to leap up to run, to grab Dun’s arm, to call for help, but my chest jerked toward the stranger as if I’d been punched in the spine. I couldn’t draw breath, couldn’t move through the thick ice of my draining energy and rising panic. I was hit in the face with a blast of air. Then, a sudden flash of white.
The world tilted sideways, and I slid off.


About Tracy:

Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they're going through, they aren't alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self.
She grew up a "valley girl" in Southern California but now resides in her home state of Nevada with her daughter and son. She's an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat. She is the recipient of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant and a two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program.
Her debut novel, SCINTILLATE, was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. Tracy is a part-time college student, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer.


Below you'll find a rafflecopter giveaway for 1 ebook copy of SCINTILLATE & a charm key US Only, and 1 eBook copy for International readers.  Now, go forth, enter away, because just look at that key, it's gorgeous!  You know you want it....

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ARC Review: Double Vision: Code Name 711 by F.T. Bradley

Double Vision: Code Name 711Title: Double Vision: Code Name 711 (Click Title for Synopsis)
Author: F.T. Bradley
Source/ Format: From Author, Bound ARC
Age Range: Middle Grade
Publisher/ Publication Date: HarperCollins, October 15, 2013
Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble


My Thoughts:

     F.T. Bradley has done it again, presenting us with yet another thrilling Linc Baker adventure!  This is one of those cases where the sequel lives up to the hype of the first book. With the perfect blend of mystery, spies, and a plot so big you’ll have a hard time figuring out who-is-who.  Double Vision: Code Name 711 is definitely one of my favorite books this year.

     Linc, Lincoln, Baker is back for his second mission from Pandora.  This time, he’s headed for D.C. to uncover a plot that has higher stakes than the one from the previous book.  Of course, Benjamin Green is back, sticking his nose into Linc’s plans, or what he thought was his.  One of my favorite characters was also back, Henry, the tech guy and his wacky, but useful inventions.  Henry is always a great addition to Linc’s adventures, and some of his antics in Code Name 711 had me laughing out loud.  Along the way, Linc met some interesting characters, who essentially proved vital to uncovering Dagger’s plot.

    It shouldn’t be hard to guess that I absolutely loved the way the story was executed.  In my eyes, this book had something about it—an appeal almost—that’s sure to grab the attention of children of all ages.  From nearly the first page, we were immediately given the details—that were a little sketchy—of Linc’s newest mission.  As the story progressed, we also found out a little more about Pandora and its iffy origins.  And by the time the book ended, there were still questions lingering in the air.  Needless to say I need the next book.  So five birdcages because not only did I absolutely love it, I also recommend this one to everyone!


ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ARC Review: Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman

Sky Jumpers (Sky Jumpers, #1)Title:  Sky Jumpers (Sky Jumpers #1)
Author:  Peggy Eddleman
Publisher/Publication Date: Random House Children's, September 24, 2014
Format/Source:  E-ARC, Publisher/NetGalley
Age Range:  8-12
Amazon     Barnes & Noble

Summary  From Goodreads

What happens when you can’t do the one thing that matters most?
12-year-old Hope lives in White Rock, a town struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. The bombs destroyed almost everything that came before, so the skill that matters most in White Rock—sometimes it feels like the only thing that matters—is the ability to invent so that the world can regain some of what it’s lost. Read More
My Thoughts
Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman is a post-apocalyptic debut novel that’s full of awesomeness, action, and adventure and is sure to captivate readers. 
Since I was unfamiliar with this author’s work, I was unsure of what to expect from Sky Jumpers. The synopsis piqued my interest. The first thing that caught my attention was the 12 year old female protagonist, trying to find her place in a post-apocalyptic society in which inventing is the most important skill; yet, it’s the very thing that Hope is bad at.
Sky Jumpers is a new family favorite. After I read the first few pages, I was so excited about the storyline that I had to share it with my middle grade (MG) reader. My MG reader enjoyed the book and indicated that, “The book had perfect pacing and kept me interested.” From my point of view, Sky Jumpers is a must read. It will keep you on the edge of your seat as Hope and her friends race against time and set out on a dangerous journey in an effort to save the townspeople. We are definitely looking forward to the second book in the series.

I received an E-ARC of Sky Jumpers from the Publisher/NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, Thank you.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)Title:The Raven Boys (Click Title for Synopsis)
Source/Format: Purchased, Paperback
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: Scholastic, September 18, 2012




My Thoughts:

     It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’ve been in a pretty bad reading slump as of late, which is evident in the lack of reviews showing up on the blog.  So, I’ve been searching around for a book to get me interested in reading again.  In the end I decided to give something that a lot of people seemed to love, a try.  That’s how I ended up buying The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.

     The Raven Boys, for me, teetered on the edge between just ok and absolutely spectacular, but just couldn’t tip the scales in its favor.  Don’t get me wrong.  The Raven Boys by far is not the worst book I’ve read this year, but it just didn’t wow me.  I liked it well enough, but the first half of the story felt a little slow and the descriptions just weren’t there for me.  I had a hard time visualizing what was going on and where it was happening. 

     Now on to what I did like about The Raven Boys.  Stiefvater did a nice job with the characterization, and I was immediately interested in finding out more about Gansey and his friends.  Noah was mysterious to say the least, Ronan was just angry about something we seemingly know nothing about yet, and Adam, well his life is less than exultant.  Blue’s family was also a nice addition to the story, and I liked seeing the way they conducted themselves…as psychics.  But by far, my favorite character in the story was Chainsaw, she was adorable.

     There were a few twists, but nothing that I wasn’t already suspicious of.  I think the overall idea surrounding the events in The Raven Boys was ok.  Would I read the sequel The Dream Thieves?  Hmm I’m not sure, possibly, but only because I want to know more about Ronan and how Chainsaw fits into all of this. {Actual rating is 3.5}
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