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Showing posts from June, 2013

Feature and Follow #1

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Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! The Feature & Follow is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee's View

This week's question: What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback etc?  I prefer to read paperback books, especially the kinds with the matte finish covers - not the glossy ones! I usually don't like hardcovers because they are large and hard to hold, and I never know what to do with the dust jacket.  Although I prefer reading paper books to ebooks, lately I've been reading a lot more books on my phone during those awkward gaps between classes or when I'm waiting in line for something (which happens quite often. Oh the life of a college student...)

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Waiting on Wednesday 2 - Vortex

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Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where bloggers pick a book that hasn't been published yet that they are excited to read.

This week's pick is Vortex by S.J. Kincaid, the second book in the Insignia trilogy. It's coming out next week!


Title: Vortex (Insignia, book 2)
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Genre: Science fiction, YA
Date published: July 2, 2013


Goodreads summary:

The impossible was just the beginning. Now in their second year as superhuman government weapons-in-training at the Pentagonal Spire, Tom Raines and his friends are mid-level cadets in the elite combat corps known as the Intrasolar Forces. But as training intensifies and a moment arrives that could make or break his entire career, Tom’s loyalties are again put to the test.

Encouraged to betray his ideals and friendships for the sake of his country, Tom is convinced there must be another way. And the more aware he becomes of the corruption surrounding him, the more determined he becomes to fight it…

Review: Dance of Shadows

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Title:Dance of Shadows
Author: Yelena Black
Genre: YA, paranormal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a haunting, fascinating book.

I haven't read many novels that center around dance, but after reading this book and The Cranes Dance, I think I will keep an eye out for more of these books. I'm a dancer too, so I can relate to how dance lets the characters both find themselves and lose themselves. It's so lovely to read about the grace and power that comes from dance.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this book. It started out with a contemporary feel, and seemed more like a coming-of-age story than a supernatural story. Yet despite the account of day-to-day life at the New York Ballet Academy and the friendly banter and rivalries between the dancers, there was a sense of something strange and dark hovering in the background. Vanessa arrives at the academy in search of her sister Margaret, who mysteriously disappeared a few years ago. In her search for her sister, Vaness…

If you liked Shadow and Bone...

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A Reading Nurse is hosting a giveaway of signed copies of Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, as well as Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. They're all great books, and who doesn't love shiny new books (especially signed ones!)?

You can find the giveaway here.

Here are my reviews of these books on Goodreads:
Grave Mercy
Shadow and Bone




Review: Shadow and Bone

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Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA, fantasy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a pretty entertaining book! The cover captures the mood of it perfectly - a little dark and mysterious, a little exotic, a little magical. The story centers around Alina Starkov, an orphan girl who suddenly finds herself at the center of attention after an incident where she uses powers she didn't know she had. Whether she is the bringer of the world's salvation or destruction remains to be seen...

I really enjoyed the shadowy, mysterious atmosphere that Leigh Bardugo sustained throughout the book. Ravka is loosely based on Russia, so there are a few (pseudo-)Russian words thrown in. The mythology and hierarchy in Ravka, with its white stags and robed Grisha, was very intriguing. I thought it was interesting how the Grisha were color coded according to their power and their role, and how certain powers were considered superior to others. It was also interesting to see how non-magic…

Waiting on Wednesday 1 - Rose Under Fire

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I've decided to join in on the Waiting on Wednesday meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, where bloggers pick a book that hasn't been published yet that they are excited to read!



My first pick is Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. It will be published September 10, 2013.


Goodreads Summary: While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?
Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.

I absolutely loved Elizabeth Wein…

Review: Red Rising

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Title: Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Genre: Science fiction, dystopia

Rating: 4.5/5 stars




Everything that everyone else has said about Red Rising is true. It really is as gritty, dark, and horrifying as people say. It is quite accurate to describe it as a cross between The Hunger Games and Ender's Game; it has young people doing atrocious things in an attempt to not just survive but win. Although superficially more similar to The Hunger Games and Battle Royale, I think Red Rising is more on par with Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl. People go through horrific situations, and some people are seen as less than others; this is a story about resilience and fighting for a voice and freedom.

Darrow is a Red, part of the lowest class of the hierarchy on Mars. As a helldiver, he risks his life every day to pave the way for the future grand cities of Mars. Or so he is told. When his wife, Eo, is executed, Darrow is recruited by a group that wants to give the Reds and lower classes of pe…

Some rearrangement...

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I have decided to split up my writing and reading/reviewing blogs. This one will continue to be a reviewing blog - a place where we can swap opinions and recommendations about books we've read. If you would like to keep up with my writing, please follow this blog: http://inspiyered.blogspot.com/

Thank you!

Review: If You Find Me

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Title: If You Find Me
Author: Emily Murdoch
Genre: YA, abuse

Rating: 4/5 stars



This is a very haunting book.

I read this a couple of weeks ago, but I can still hear Carey's voice in my head. That might be because whoever read the audiobook did a phenomenal job, but I felt like these were real people and I was getting to know their story.

The book opens with Carey and Jenessa in their little trailer in the woods, their bipolar and drug-addict mother AWOL as usual. They've been alone for a few months now, but Carey is very experienced at taking care of her little sister; after all, her mother is hardly ever around, and is drunk or stoned when she is. When Carey's father finds them in the woods, the two girls' lives turn upside down as they learn to deal with their traumatic past and adjust to their new home.

The characters in this novel were all so realistic. Emily Murdoch is a master at creating real people; not only where the characters very well fleshed-out, their bo…

Review: Skin

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Title: Skin
Author: Donna Jo Napoli
Genre: YA

Rating: 2/5 stars


This book is really hard for me to gather all my thoughts on, and I can't even really decide whether I like it or not. It had an interesting premise, and it wasn't what I expected it to be at all. When I say that it defied my expectations, there were some aspects I liked and some I really didn't.

 Sep is a very average teenager at an average high school. Then one day she wakes up and her lips are white. She has no idea why, and decides to cover it up with lipstick. But how long can she hide when the white begins to spread? The first part of the book made me think there was something supernatural or inexplicable going on with the white patches, and I was relieved that there was a perfectly good explanation for it. There were a lot of moments where Sep felt helpless and wretched because people would judge her for the white patches on her skin. At one point she asks her mother how she will ever get a job if peo…

Joined Bloglovin!

Now you can follow my blog on Bloglovin as well as Google Friend Connect :) Happy blogging!

Shiny New eGalleys :)

I finally got a couple of book requests approved on Netgalley, and I thought I'd share!

Right now I'm reading Skin by Donna Jo Napoli. I requested this book because I've read Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale by the same author; I enjoyed her spin on Irish legends and I was excited to see what she would do in a more contemporary novel. The basic storyline is that Sep wakes up one morning with white lips. Then white patches start appearing all over her body. She has to deal with the high school rumor mill and her own insecurities in order to learn to deal with her new body. At first I thought it was one of those books where everything is normal except for one unexplained supernatural/strange/quasi-magical occurence, but it turns out there is nothing supernatural or quasi-magical about it. I feel like it brings up interesting issues  about appearances and self-worth/identity, but I'll have to read the rest of the book before I can say more about it.

The other book I got…

Review: The Iron Knight

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Title: The Iron Knight
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA, fantasy, paranormal

Rating: 3/5 stars



In the interview at the end of the book, Kagawa explains that while she likes mysterious redemptive endings, her editor likes Happily-Ever-Afters, which led to the creation of this book. I'm with Kagawa - I preferred the ending of The Iron Queen to the all-loose-ends-tied-up ending in this book; as I read, I kept feeling like I was reading a companion novella or something instead of the final book of a series.

 I think part of why I didn't like this book as much as the others was that it was in Ash's point of view. After a whole series written from Meghan's perspective, it's jarring to have the last book written from another point of view. This guy is angsty and tormented, and it took a little getting used to. It seemed like this book focused less on the Iron Fey and more on Ash and his personal problems; Meghan was hardly in it except for a dream sequence and a few pages …

Review: MILA 2.0

Title: MILA 2.0
Author: Debra Driza
Genre: YA, science fiction

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

I was so excited for this - a girl android who thinks she's human? Think of all the possibilities! - but I didn't like it very much.

My main complaint is that the story seems very disjointed. The first bit is Mila being a normal human teenage girl going through high school drama. There's the super annoying "best friend" who has a crush on the same guy as Mila, and the guy just happens to be the super cute yet sensitive new kid at the school (I was trying very hard to restrain eyerolls. Very hard.). There's also the usual rumor mill going on about Mila and her family because her dad recently passed away in a fire. The next bit is where Mila discovers she is an android and freaks out as mysterious things keep happening to her. Much of this stage of the book involves Mila being in denial of the fact that she isn't human and being disgusted with her android capabilities. The n…

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