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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Blog tour: Farsighted by Emlyn Chand (excerpt + giveaway)

Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still "see" things others can't. When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider.

Alex Kosmitoras's life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.

Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival--an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to "see" the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

“Did Dad tell you? A new tenant moved into the old pharmacy next door.”
“Really?” I ask, not letting on I already know. If I feign ignorance, Mom’ll divulge all the details. “What is it?”
“It’s a psychic shop,” Her voice crackles with excitement like a fire that’s just beginning to burn. “The All-Seeing Miss Teak. Isn’t that cute? Miss Teak, Mystic. Ha, I wonder if that’s her real name.”
I laugh. “That is funny. Never had a psychic in town before. What’s she like?”
“Oh, she’s very friendly. Why don’t you go over and say ‘hi.’  I’m sure she’d like to meet you.”
“Okay, I think I will.” I’m incredibly intrigued, because first off, it’s a psychic shop—how weird is that?—and second, its presence made Dad super uncomfortable—also very cool. I waste no time heading next door to check out the scene.
As I step cautiously into the new shop, a recording of soft, instrumental music greets me. I can make out chimes and a string instrument I don’t recognize but for some reason reminds me of snake charmers. The smell of incense fills my nostrils, which explains the burning I detected earlier.
“Hello?” I call out into the otherwise quiet room.
Nobody answers. I walk in deeper, sweeping my cane out in front of me in a metronome fashion. This place is new to me, so I need to be especially careful while moving around.
Thump! Despite my precautions, I stub my toe on something hard, big, and made of wood. Just my luck to stub the same toe twice in one day. I reach down to press my fingers into my throbbing foot to alleviate some of the pain. Something teeters before rolling off of the chest and across the floor; the sound it makes indicates a curved path. Suddenly, the object stops. Somebody’s stopped it.
“Hello?” I call again.
“Hello,” a deep, feminine voice responds, placing more emphasis on the first syllable than the second.
“I- I’m sorry I knocked that thing over. I didn’t mean to…” I hope she’s not angry. Probably not a good idea to get on a psychic’s bad side.
“That wasn’t just a thing, it’s a crystal ball,” she says as she walks over, sending my blood pulsing through my veins. I sense her looking at me for a moment before she places the ball back on top of the chest.
“Can it see the future?” I ask, allowing my curiosity to outweigh my uneasiness.
“No.” After a pause lasting several beats, she continues. “But I can see the future sometimes when I look into it.”
“Oh, okay.” I tighten my hand around my cane and turn to leave. It may not be the most polite thing to do, but all of this hocus-pocus stuff is freaking me out more than I would’ve guessed.
The psychic lady speaks again, stopping me cold. “Don’t run away, Alex Kosmitoras.” She must’ve spoken to Mom earlier today. That must be how she knows my name.
“I’m not running away,” I say meekly. “I’m just going back over to Sweet Blossoms.”
“Don’t run away,” she repeats—this time she speaks louder and with more energy. “Don’t run away from your abilities. They are gifts.”
“What?” I ask in confusion. What abilities is she talking about?
“You already know. Watch. Listen. Be open to your gifts.”
I turn to face Miss Teak, but find she’s already gone, returning to wherever she was before I got there.
Is it safe to leave? I trail my fingers across the wooden box I ran into earlier; a thick coat of dust clings to the tips as I pull away. If this shop just opened, why is it already so dirty? I wipe my hands over my shirt to get the gritty substance off. Shivers rock my whole body. Something about this place is wrong, and I’m not sticking around to figure out what. Tapping my cane along the floor, I’m able to find the exit without knocking into anything else.

Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she's not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm,Novel Publicity.Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb.

Visitwww.emlynchand.comfor more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!
Thank you so much to Liz at CBLS Promotions for hosting this tour and allowing me a part of it, and thanks to Emlyn Chand, I have an ebook copy of Farsighted for one lucky winner! All you have to do to enter is answer the following question in the comments and leave a way to contact you if you win (email, twitter handle, etc.)
If you had to lose one of your senses (sight, hearing, smell, etc.) for the rest of your life and you got to choose which one you lost, which would you pick?  
Giveaway will end January 5th.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Book Review: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: ebook
Pages: 294
Source: PulseIt website

Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better?

Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.
Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall.... (

I'm sitting here trying to write this review, and all I can think to say is, "OMG THIS IS THE BEST EVER. READ IT NOW OR PREPARE TO FACE MY WRATH." But somehow I know that is not an acceptable review. So I'll do my best to put all of Virtuosity's awesomeness into words.

I'd been on a pretty bad reading streak, and Virtuosity was just what I needed to break through that. This book had its claws in me from the very beginning. The back and forth banter between Carmen and her best friend is comical and realistic and the whole first scene is just very funny and awkward. I LOVED IT! The writing is so friggin amazeballs, too. Carmen's voice comes through loud and clear and I was emotionally invested IMMEDIATELY. I didn't want to stop reading at all, which is rare when I am reading off of a computer screen.

I adored Carmen. She was a funny, sweet, and completely naive. All she ever really knew how to do was be the best at violin, and then here comes some guy from London who may possibly be better than her and ruin her career! Carmen began on a very, very short leash with her mother, and she had to learn to make it longer and become more independent. She had to learn that there was more to life than just violin and being the best. She has to learn to do what her conscience tells her, rather than what everyone else tells her, and she has to make some major sacrifices. She was so, so, so, so easy to relate to. Her competitive streak, her desire to be able to be who she wanted to be, her need to be loved, her struggle to do the right thing. She's human and flawed and so very real.

And then there's Jeremy. OMG JEREMYYYYY. This dude has problems to. He's not perfect. He;s obnoxious, super competitive, and his motives are questionable. But he's so wonderful. He makes a lot of mistakes. A LOT. Like begging Carmen for something he should never in a million years even think bout asking her. He really did surprise me. I figured he was going to be an arrogant asshole, but he had a side to him that I would have never guessed and I LOVED IT. Oh my gosh did I love it.

Carmen's mom was a bitch. END OF STORY.

This whole thing was just GAAAAHH MARVELOUS. One of those books, you know? I expected this to be a lot darker. I figured the drug addiction would be a prominent point in the plot, and that this would be about Carmen's downward spiral into all the negative aspects of performing. I'm so glad it wasn't. Instead, it was more about Carmen discovering who she is, learning how to be her own person, learning to grow up and make decisions, learning to love even when she shouldn't, learning that nobody and nothing is perfect, learning that her life needs to be revolved around more than one thing, and simply learning to be Carmen.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Book Review: On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane

On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane

Series: Standalone
Genre: YA paranormal
Publication Date: December 27, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: eARC
Pages: 315
Source: NetGalley

Five years ago, Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her "lucky" break came at the expense of her mother's life and changed everything. After she crossed paths with Death—by taking the hand of an ethereal boy made of clouds and sky—she would never be normal again.

Now she's the target of Death's ravens and an innocent boy's life is on the line. When Nate Holden—Abbey's secret crush—starts to climb Alaska's Denali, the Angel of Death stalks him because of her.

And Abbey finds out the hard way that Death never forgets. (

This book had so much promise! A unique concept, a beautiful setting, a creepy synopsis. I wish that I could say I loved this book, but the truth is that I didn't like it at all.

The writing was great. Jordan Dane included marvelous detail that painted vivid pictures in my head of the majestic scenery. Dane seemed to really have her facts straight and know what she was talking about when it came to the mountains and mountain climbing. Although I didn't enjoy this particular book, I'd certainly read more of Jordan Dane's work because of the writing.

However there were just too many things in this book that the fabulous writing couldn't redeem for me.

The book started out with a bang. We're put in a situation that immediately makes you sympathize for Abbey, the main character. It's sad and creepy and even though it's one of those prologues that nobody (myself included) can stand, it still hooked me in. Readers get a feel for Abbey. I thought that she had a very comical voice and awesome snark. But as the novel progresses, all of that gets flushed down the toilet. The plot begins dragging to agonizing slowness and Abbey's snark transforms into a lot of whining. She blames herself for the death of her mother and for making her father unhappy, but she is a total brat to him. Then there's her totally creepy and irrational obsession with Nate. She has never once even had a conversation with the dude, but she has all of these fantasies about him. Sometimes she'll pretend that she's out fishing with Nate rather than her own father. And, before she left for the cabin with her father, she planned on using a radio to listen in while he climbed Denali. It was weird and creepy and I just wanted to shake her and ask WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU!?

Nate, I didn't particularly care for, nor did I dislike him. He was just kind of there. Because even though a lot of this book centers around him and his well-being, we don't really know anything about him. Here is what we learn: he has a best friend named Josh, he likes climbing mountains, he loves his family and especially his little sister Zoey. That's all, really. I couldn't find a single fault with him.

Then there's Tanner, who was definitely my favorite character in the book. He's loyal and determined and so sweet and funny.

I hated how frequently the book would switch points of view. Not just between two characters, but five. Abbey, Nate, Tanner, Nate's mom, and Nate's dad. Five different points of view. And most of the switches came at horrible times and way too often. And, most of the time, it wasn't even important. To me, the majority of it just felt like filler information. I didn't care about Nate climbing the mountain. I didn't care about Nate's mom looking at her kids sleep! It was all irrelevant. That was one reason it was really difficult to connect to any of the characters and to get fully immersed in the plot. I'd be reading, it would get interesting, and then the book would switch to someone else's perspective. It was infuriating! When that happened during the climax, I would have thrown the book against a wall, had I not been reading it on my laptop. Some of the plot was kind of useless as well, such as the whole cyber bullying thing. I'm still not really sure how that contributed to the plot at all, aside from filling up pages.

I hate to say it, but the book was boring. It was slow and unexciting - even at the parts that were supposed to be exciting. I had to force myself to finish the entire thing. I was tempted to just stop reading it during the climax. That's not exactly a good sign. The solution to the problem seemed too quick and actually kind of confused me. The romance was rushed and unbelievable. And everyone's obsession with the fricking birds made me so frustrated. I understand that the birds were a large part of the story, but everyone in the book who saw the birds knew that something wasn't right. Really? Because when I see a bird, I think, Oh look! A birdddddy! Not, OHNOO! BAD OMEN. WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!

I wish I had more positive things to say about this book, because, as I said before, there was a lot of hope for it. But, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Favorite Books of 2011 (5)

Is it just me or were there a ton of awesomely wonderful fantabulous great books released in 2011? No, it wasn't just me. To express my immense love for the marvelous books I've read this year, I decided to start doing posts that each feature one of my favorite books if 2011. These posts will come at random times. The books that I choose to feature are in no particular order of how much I love them.

The book I chose this time is...

This is the third and last book in Jenny Han's Summer trilogy. I read this before I started bloggng and I loved it so much! This is one of my favorite contemp books.

Three words to describe it: MAKES YOU FEEL.

I couldn't find three individual adjectives that fit, so I just did three words that summarize the entire series. IT MAKES YOU FEEL.

So tell me, have you read this book/series? What did you think of it? Is it on your TBR pile? If not, then WHY NOT!!?!?!?!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cover Reveal: Sleepers by Megg Jensen

Introducing the new artwork for Megg Jensen’s bestselling novel SLEEPERS

To celebrate the re-launch of SLEEPERS in January of 2012, Megg is giving it a new cover with artwork from the incredible PhatPuppy.

Now, I present you with the NEW COVER:

 I definitely love this a lot more than the old cover!

Synopsis: An adoptee raised in a foreign land, sixteen-year-old Lianne was content with her life as handmaiden to the queen, until a spell cast on her at birth activated. Now she's filled with uncontrollable rage and access to magic she thought had been bled from her people years ago. Even her years of secret training in elite hand-to-hand combat and meditation can’t calm the fires raging inside her.

Her heart is torn between two boys, the one she’s always loved and the one who always ignored her. But when the kingdom threatens to tear itself apart due to rumors surrounding the queen’s alleged affair, who will Lianne protect and who will she destroy?

On sale now for only 99 cents!

Here's a picture of the old cover next to a picture of the new cover:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In My Mailbox (12)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren!
I didn't do my IMM last week because I was really busy. Here's what I got the last 2 weeks! All the book titles link to their goodreads profile. 
Human Blend and Earth Blend by Lori Pecatore - Signed and personalized. Thanks Lori!
~ Gyges the Terrible by Adam Wasserman - Thanks Adam! This is actually an adult book, but it's a futuristic world so I decided to give it a shot.

~ Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel - ebook, thanks NetGalley! I requested this forever before it came out, and I finally got approved. I'm really excited to read it!
~ Revealing Eden by Victoria Foyt - ebook, thanks NetGalley!


~ The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson - Audio book, won from Heidi at YA Bibliophile. This is the sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox, which I have not read. Also, I don't have much use for audiobooks. I may give this away, but at the same time I don't want to because if I get the first book soon, I'm going to want this. I've heard wonderful things about this series, soo...
~ Not pictured: 2 The Fox Inheritance bookmarks; a Lisa McMann bookmark; 2 Harry Potter tattoos; an 'escapee' wristband; and 1 poster from the Pen Fatale tour signed by Alyson Noel, Gabrielle Zevin, Jessica Brody, and Mary E. Pearson. Some of that swag I am giving away. The poster is the main reason I entered the contest :)

~ Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers - Signed, won from YA Confidential. This is a series I feel like everyone has read and adored except me. It has been on my TBR pile forevz, and I am so glad to finally have a copy, signed nonetheless!
~ Not pictured: 3 signed Original Sin bookmarks, and a bunch of 'Team Luc' and 'Team Gabe' tattoos. These were a total surprise, and I was really excited to get this swag. I am actually giving some of it away in my swag giveaway!


~ The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter - Thanks so much Harlequin! This is so awesome! I have had this book on my TBR pile for a while and I did a little happy dance when I discovered that the Teen Panel was sending it out. Then, I did a large happy dance when it arrived!
~ Not pictured: A cute little picture frame that says "Happy Holidays" that I have absolutely no use for!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cover Gush!

Battle Scars is a book by Cesya Marae Cuono. Apparently, it is an Elemental novel. I have no idea what the book is about or what number it is in the series, but that cover is mucho fabulosa!! I'm not even sure why I love it so much, because I'm not really a pink and purple kind of girl, but it is sooo gorgeous.

For Darkness Shows the Stars is a novel by Diana Peterfreund. Once again, I have no idea what it is about, but I looove the cover! I just want to stare at it. Is that strange?

 Embrace is a novel by Jessica Shirvington. I actually do know a little bit abou this one, and I'm pretty sure it's a debut. This is definitely a book I wanted to read before I saw the cover, now I'm just dying for it!! The mysterious tagline and the way her wings are smoke and the letters are turning into smoke....AH.

The Immortal Rules is the first novel in Julie Kagawa's new vampire series. If you don't know, Julie Kagawa wrote the Iron Fey series, which is mighty popular. I haven't read the series, but everybody I know loves it! Anyway, this cover is creepy and gorgeous. I like it a lot better than the Iron Fey covers. Something like this could easily look poorly edited, but it doesn't! It looks so dark and gorgeous!! I REALLY want to read this.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Swag Giveaway

A few weeks ago, I made a swag bag to keep all my swag in. Now, I've come to the realization that that sucker is full. I have so much swag and so little use for it. So, I've decided to share some of it with one lucky winner!

Here's what's up for grabs:

Some Pretty Tough stickers
2 signed Original Sin bookmarks
1 signed Pyxis bookmark
2 Team Gabe (Personal Demons) tattoos
3 Team Luc (Personal Demons) tattoos
2 Released bookmarks
1 Fox Inheritance bookmark
1 Harry Potter tattoo
1 Stealing Bases bookmark
and 1 'escapee' wristband (which I assume is from The Fox Inheritance).

All that can be yours! :) Just fill out the form below. There are no prerequisites, but tweeting about this giveaway or following is always appreciated.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Review: Gone by Michael Grant

Gone by Michael Grant
Series: Gone #1
Genre: YA
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Paperback
Pages: 558
Source: Borrowed from teacher

In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.
Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolersinternet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.
Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.
It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else... (

I tried so hard to like this book. Everywhere I went, people were all like, "THAT IS THE BEST BOOK EVER!" So, I continued to read on, hoping that I would miraculously fall in love with it. I couldn't. After three weeks, I still hadn't reached the middle and that was when I knew that it was time to give up. Here's the thing: It's just me. Everyone I know loves this book, and I couldn't finish it. That is a total rarity. I barely ever give up on books. But I had to.

The premise is completely intriguing. I love the idea. The book held my curiosity and intrigue, but it couldn't keep me interested. I couldn't connect with the characters at all. The whole thing just seemed detached. I also didn't like the frequent POV switching. Maybe I will retry this book in the future, because it's got a lot of wonderful things going for it. The writing is very well-done, the tension is electric, the pacing is excellent. I just couldn't stay hooked.

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading? (4)

This weekly meme is hosted by Book Journey.


I didn't finish anything last week! :'( I was super duper busy. EEP.


*Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
*Gone by Michael Grant
*Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Hopefull I'll actually read something this week!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Favorite Books of 2011 (4)

Is it just me or were there a ton of awesomely wonderful fantabulous great books released in 2011? No, it wasn't just me. To express my immense love for the marvelous books I've read this year, I decided to start doing posts that each feature one of my favorite books if 2011. These posts will come at random times. The books that I choose to feature are in no particular order of how much I love them.

The book I chose this time is...

Have you read this book? Did you LOVE it as much as I did? Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Include a link to your review if you have one so I can check it out :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Series: Shatter Me, #1
Genre: YA paranormal dystopian
Publication Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 338
Source: Purchased

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. (

This book is crazy. Absolutely freaking crazy in the best kind of way. This book has everything you could ask for: poignant writing, overflowing tension, and a stunning romance. I know there is a lot of hype surrounding this book, and while it was not as perfect as everyone says (at least, to me it isn't) it is definitely worth the read.

The writing style took a little while to adjust to. It was written in stream of consciousness, so it's a little frantic. A lack of commas, crazy metaphors. But after I got accustomed to it, the writing made the tension in this book more pronounced. It's unique and allowed me to imagine everything very vividly. Especially the fight scenes.

The plot for this book was pretty original. It's a dystopian, but it has paranormal aspects. Juliette is unable to touch anyone, and it's pretty obvious that her touch is dangerous, but it's sort of a mystery why she ended up in a cell, what she did that was so horrible. Once again, you get the gist, but once you figure out the truth, it's more shocking than you could have ever guessed. This book was incredibly intense. That, in my opinion, was the best part. Mafi did a fabulous job of piling on the Bad Times without making it seem overwhelming. She created a very good rise and fall. The book is full of nail-biting action. I also love that there is more than just one person who is immune to her touch, but I won't tell you who they are!

Juliette was really good. It was almost frustrating. But I liked her. And I pitied her. 3 years without human contact? No thanks! Adam was damn sexy. I loooooved him! And I both love and hate how his motives are questionable throughout the first half of the novel. Then there are the other characters like Kenji, who is hilarious. He added a rough sort of humor to a book where all the words and prose are elegant and beautiful. And finally, Warner. HOLY POO. That dude is messed up in so many ways. He makes an excellent villain, but something tells me he was picked on a lot when he was a wittle bitty child. Dude gave me the chills.

I found certain aspects of the romance a little unconvincing, but it wasn't necessarily instalove. It was just that fact that they knew each other beforehand and that they were already in's sort of weird and kind of comes out of nowhere. Aside from that, though, their romance was very steamy and adorable! And it makes sense that Juliette is filled with so much desire, even at the most ridiculous times. Technically, she has lived almost all of her life without touching another person. People were always afraid of her. Now, she's wanted and desired. I can definitely understand why she would want Adam to be touching her at all times.

I loved the ending! It indicated that there was so much to come in the next book. I can tell that lots of answers will be revealed and lots of action will ensue. I wish it came out yesterday.

This book was superbly awesome! I can't get over all the wonderful action and tense scenes. I'm so glad I have it on my shelf because I'm pretty sure I'm going to go back to it multiple times and re-read it for its awesomeness....and force all of my friends to read it.

And check out the AMAZING trailer. This is what made me REALLLLY want to read it.