06 March 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: When We Wake by Karen Healey

This is Breaking the Spine's Waiting for Wednesday, where bloggers post about a book they just can't wait to get their hands on! 


  When We Wake by Karen Healey

February 21st 2013

My name is Tegan Oglietti, and on the last day of my first lifetime, I was so, so happy.

Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027--she's happiest when playing the guitar, she's falling in love for the first time, and she's joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice.
But on what should have been the best day of Tegan's life, she dies--and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.

Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived, which makes her an instant celebrity--even though all she wants to do is try to rebuild some semblance of a normal life. But the future isn't all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future?

Award-winning author Karen Healey has created a haunting, cautionary tale of an inspiring protagonist living in a not-so-distant future that could easily be our own.

Kinda sounds like Pearson's Fox series crossed with Revis' Universe series.  I think it sounds like a good combination!

27 February 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

This is Breaking the Spine's Waiting for Wednesday, where bloggers post about a book they just can't wait to get their hands on! 


  The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

February 26th 2013

Love or life.
Henry or their child.
The end of her family or the end of the world.
Kate must choose.

During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can't stop her--until Cronus offers a deal.

In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he'll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.

With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.

Even if it costs her eternity.

I can't wait for the conclusion of this great series!

20 February 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist

This is Breaking the Spine's Waiting for Wednesday, where bloggers post about a book they just can't wait to get their hands on! 


  The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist

February 21st 2013

Four nearly identical girls on a desert island. An unexpected new arrival. A gently warped near future where nothing is quite as it seems.

Veronika. Caroline. Isobel. Eleanor. One blond, one brunette, one redhead, one with hair black as tar. Four otherwise identical girls who spend their days in sync, tasked to learn. But when May, a very different kind of girl—the lone survivor of a recent shipwreck—suddenly and mysteriously arrives on the island, an unsettling mirror is about to be held up to the life the girls have never before questioned.

Sly and unsettling, Gordon Dahlquist’s timeless and evocative storytelling blurs the lines between contemporary and sci-fi with a story that is sure to linger in readers’ minds long after the final page has been turned.

An interesting premise and a great girls' book, reminds me of Beauty Queens!

11 February 2013

The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

This was one of the big surprises for me out of the Cybils.  I'm not big into Amish stories and I hate horror, so the combination sounded really distasteful.  And, I have to say, on some level it was.  My horror hate did come through a bit.  However, it really stuck with me as a good read, and I was still having nightmares a week later through all the other books I was reading so my subconscious really latched onto it as a chilling thing!

The concept of this book is great: what happens to Amish society during the apocalypse?  And what happens to a smart Amish girl who is questioning her faith and her elders?  Katie is a great narrator and a very well-built character, showing us her humanity and her faith at the same time.  Katie is very conflicted between preserving her way of life by not going against the elders and preserving her way of life by learning what's out there and how to keep it away from their community.  This conflict is great, and serves as a driving plot that really kicks up the drama, especially for such a short read.  The pacing is good, and although the romance seems very fast and a little forced, I went with it because Alex is such a well-rounded character.  The mechanics of the apocalypse are really well done (and I really want to say more about how awesome they are, but I can't without spoiling you!).  I was so enchanted and scared out of my pants that I read this book all in one sitting and then couldn't sleep.  I think any horror fan will find it as wonderful as I did.

08 February 2013

Guest Post: Liesel Hill

Look guys, it's my first guest post, and it's by the wonderful Liesel Hill!

Bookish Inspiration

Hello Everyone! A big thank you to Aurora for hosting me here today. She’s asked me to talk about a few books that inspired me during the writing of my debut novel, Persistence of Vision.

Persistence of Vision is a dystopian fantasy with elements of sci-fi. So, there were some books that just inspired my writing in general, and others that specifically inspired me while writing my dystopia.

1.      Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I talk about this one a lot because it’s influenced me so much as a writer. I learned so much about the craft from this long-running series. Most books I’ve read combined cannot equal it.
2.      The Road by Cormac McCarthy. To me, this is the ultimate dystopia. It’s dark and bleak and brutal, but beautifully written and tragically ended. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that McCarthy won a Pulitzer for it. It was just that awesome and, in my humble opinion, you haven’t read dystopian until you’ve read The Road.
3.      Foundations and Earth by Isaac Asimov. Okay, I tend to be inspired by all of Asimov’s work, but I read this one just prior to writing Persistence of Vision and was totally enthralled by it. Unfortunately, it ends with a promise of a sequel that Asimov never got around to writing, so I don’t often recommend it because it’s just so disappointing not to have a sequel. (Don’t worry. I don’t plan on doing that to my readers.)

Of course there are hundreds of books and authors that have inspired me over the years, but these three have had particular relevance in recent years. So how about everyone else? What books inspire all of you?

Thanks to Liesel for her great post!  And stay tuned, I'll be reviewing Persistence of Vision next week, along with some other books.  I'm going to get back into the swing of things after the Cybils, I promise!

30 January 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

This is Breaking the Spine's Waiting for Wednesday, where bloggers post about a book they just can't wait to get their hands on! 


  Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

February 5th 2013

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

I loved Cinder, and the future adventures of our Cyborg Cinderella are certainly on top of my to-read list!

25 January 2013

YA Books for Adult Readers panet at Arisia 2013 Notes

Links lead to Goodreads

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Ratters by Daniel Krause
Nicholas Flamel series
Seraphina by Rachel Hartmann
Tales from the Sinister Cities by Higgins
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Justine Larbalestier
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lainey Taylor
Flora's Fury by Ysabeau Wilce
Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
Jumper by Stephen Gould
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
Ready Player One by Ernst Kline
Dresden Files
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Dragonriders of Pern
Gilman - Lunabooks
CE. Murphy - Lunabooks
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Incarceron by Katherine Fisher
Gregory the Overlander by Collins
The Shattering by Karen Healey
Planesrunner by Ian McDonald
Wolfmark by Bruchae
Pseudonymous Bosch
Terry Pratchett
Mothership by Leicht and Neal
The Dead Trilogy  by LeGuin
Patricia McKillip
Don Kurtz
Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Demon Trappers by Jana Oliver
Of Blood and Honey by Steina Leicht
And All the Stars by Andrea K. Host
Kronos Chronicles - Ursu
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standoferd

YA You Want To Read panel at Arisia 2013 Notes

Links go to Goodreads

Enclave byAnn Aguirre

23 January 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Homeland by Cory Doctorow

This is Breaking the Spine's Waiting for Wednesday, where bloggers post about a book they just can't wait to get their hands on! 


  Homeland by Cory Doctorow

February 5th 2013

In Cory Doctorow’s wildly successful Little Brother, young Marcus Yallow was arbitrarily detained and brutalized by the government in the wake of a terrorist attack on San Francisco—an experience that led him to become a leader of the whole movement of technologically clued-in teenagers, fighting back against the tyrannical security state.

A few years later, California's economy collapses, but Marcus’s hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a crusading politician who promises reform. Soon his onetime girlfriend Masha emerges from the political underground to gift him with a thumbdrive containing a Wikileaks-style cable-dump of hard evidence of corporate and governmental perfidy. It’s incendiary stuff—and if Masha goes missing, Marcus is supposed to release it to the world. Then Marcus sees Masha being kidnapped by the same government agents who detained and tortured Marcus years earlier.

Marcus can leak the archive Masha gave him—but he can’t admit to being the leaker, because that will cost his employer the election. He’s surrounded by friends who remember what he did a few years ago and regard him as a hacker hero. He can’t even attend a demonstration without being dragged onstage and handed a mike. He’s not at all sure that just dumping the archive onto the Internet, before he’s gone through its millions of words, is the right thing to do.

Meanwhile, people are beginning to shadow him, people who look like they’re used to inflicting pain until they get the answers they want.

Fast-moving, passionate, and as current as next week, Homeland is every bit the equal of Little Brother—a paean to activism, to courage, to the drive to make the world a better place.

This sounds even more complicated and deadly than Little Brother!

16 January 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Prodigy by Marie Lu

This is Breaking the Spine's Waiting for Wednesday, where bloggers post about a book they just can't wait to get their hands on! 


 Prodigy by Marie Lu

January 29th 2013

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

I loved Legend, and I hope this book takes just as many risks and is just as good!

11 January 2013

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

Sixteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured and brought before him. Eager to hide her own canny skill—a uniquely powerful ability to communicate with the fairy-like Good Folk—Neryn sets out for the legendary Shadowfell, a home and training ground for a secret rebel group determined to overthrow the evil King Keldec.

During her dangerous journey, she receives aid from the Good Folk, who tell her she must pass a series of tests in order to recognize her full potential. She also finds help from a handsome young man, Flint, who rescues her from certain death—but whose motives in doing so remain unclear. Neryn struggles to trust her only allies. They both hint that she alone may be the key to Alban’s release from Keldec’s rule.

Homeless, unsure of who to trust, and trapped in an empire determined to crush her, Neryn must make it to Shadowfell not only to save herself, but to save Alban.

It's odd, because I usually adore Juliet Marillier's books, and yet this one wasn't a slam dunk for me.  It was certainly better than most, but it just didn't have that absorbing quality I've come to expect.  Perhaps that's from the romance.  It hung on such tenuous assumptions I often wanted to shake Neryn and say "Just talk to each other darnit!"  I mean, I know Neryn is young, but you'd think after a few times she'd get the point.  She just kept making the same dumb mistake, though, while skating through all the other challenges presented to her (another slight problem, she seemed a little overpowered in the virtue department, her 'tests' didn't give her much problem).  This was really the only character issue I could see.  The other characters we meet are well developed for their time on stage.  The pacing was slow in spots, but not too bad.  I could probably have overlooked the pacing issues if it weren't for the repetitiveness of the plot.  Neryn's relationship I trust him / I don't trust him / I trust him flip-flops probably accounted for a lot of that feeling.  It got a little better towards the end when there were new characters other than Flint to interact with, but the issues were still there.  I think the biggest problem, though, is that Marillier is too used to writing for adults.  The book felt like a good START to a great novel, but it didn't really have time to develop into something really juicy, and it didn't tighten up like a YA usually does.  I think fans of epic fantasy will like this one, especially if they can read the whole series at once.  As for me, I'll pick up the next book in the series to see if the spark of promise pays off.

09 January 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

This is Breaking the Spine's Waiting for Wednesday, where bloggers post about a book they just can't wait to get their hands on! 


 Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

January 15th 2013

Three levels. Two loves. One choice. Debut novelist, Lenore Appelhans has written a thrilling otherworldly young adult novel about a place that exists between our world (Level 1) and what comes after life (Level 2).

'I pause to look around the hive - all the podlike chambers are lit up as the drones shoot up on memories ... I've wanted to get out of here before, but now the tight quarters start to choke me. There has to be more to death than this.'

Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend ... and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her.

Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.

Afterlife as a gaming metaphor?  Sounds intriguing!  I look forward to this debut novel!

05 January 2013

Top 10 TBRs

I have a TON of TBRs left over, especially from the Cybils.  I've also been pushing away some really good books because of Cybils reading.  I can't wait to get back to some of these books:


I love anthologies, and this one about dystopians has been calling my name for quite a while.  I hope to get to it today!


 I was so heartbroken when this book came out in the middle of Cybils because I wanted to read it SO BAD!!!  Now I get to :D


This one has come out very recently, but it's still tops on my list because the Mythos Academy books are so fun!


I loved Little Brother so much that this was pushed to the top of my list.


I don't know how I skipped over this book in my Cybils reading, but I can't wait to get back to it!


Another Cybils book I just didn't get around to.  I love the Asian lead and the cover is beautiful!


Libba Bray and a 20's theme?  I'm so in!


Another book that has been sitting on my shelf for way too long.


I love short story anthologies because you get to sample so many different authors and styles.   With these authors how could I resist


Another anthology, this time about paranormal love.  More great names that I love, too :D

Runners up:

04 January 2013

Top 10 Most Anticipated 2013 New Authors


I know it's hard to believe, but I've never read any of Brenna's books even though I own all of them.  I see a reading marathon in my future!


It's "Survivor" on a new planet!

 Prophecy Of Oz by Megan Shan

This one doesn't have a cover yet, but I can't resist Wizard of Oz books!


A generation ship story with a rebellion and a romance!  I know it sounds like a lot of books already out there, but there's just something about the genre that draws me in.


Alternate Universes is going to be big this year.  This is a great one about a girl who switches universes every time she makes a decision.  Sounds intriguing!


Sounds like a new take on The Fox trilogy, but I'm willing to give another perspective a go, especially when it's about a girl on the run from the law just because she's AI.


A neat tale about a girl who is the first to be cryogenically frozen and then successfully reanimated.


A select group of people are chosen to be saved from a deadly disease by sequestering themselves in PODs.  However, they emerge to find a nightmare world.


 In a future where teen suicide is considered a disease and the cure is having your memories wiped Sloane and James struggle to express feelings without being thought of as "depressed" and having to go through treatment that will leave them as zombies.


 A Dashner-like plot where boys are playing a deadly "game".

Runners up:

03 January 2013

Oppression by Jessica Therrien

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable--except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning--and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

I think the best word I can choose to describe this book is "standard".  Elyse was ok as a developed character, but she kept acting out in the most ridiculous ways, especially for someone that's almost into triple digits in age.  The Twilight-esque romance felt forced and the stalkerish abuse of the boyfriend really bugged me.  The plot was mainly based on exposition of the secret world of the descendants and their powers, and it often felt as if the author was reveling in her cleverness over the worldbuilding instead of just showing it to us.  In all the book felt like a Twilight re-read.  If you're into that kind of thing I think you would love this book, but as for me I'll give it and its sequels a pass.

Top 10 Most Anticipated Books of 2013

This list is authors I already know, tomorrow will be debut authors.


Of course, Tamora Pierce is always my most anticipated book.  This one is a circle book, telling of Briar and Rosethorn in Gyongxi.  It'll probably be dark, which I'll love :D


 I love this series so much!  After dealing with anorexia, cutting, alzheimer's, and bullying the series is about to take on a new problem.  They're being mysterious as to what it is, but I'm sure I'll love it like the rest!


Although it didn't make my top lists Shadow and Bone was still a really great read this last year.  I love the Russian influences and the unique magic system.  The sequel promises to be more of the same!


This cover is a placeholder for the sequel Drachomachia.  I liked Seraphina a lot, and this promises to show Seraphina dealing with the consequences of her actions in the climax of the first book, which should be really fun!


This picture is a placeholder because her new book, The Lost Sun, doesn't have a cover released yet.  The book is the start of a new series about an alternate reality where Norse Gods influenced America.  Sounds great!


I can't wait to finally finish this series!  I love the unique plotting and great world of Amy and Elder and the Godspeed, and I really want to see where they end up!


 Although the first book functioned as a good stand-alone, I'm delighted that Doctorow decided to give us another book about Marcus!


I can't wait to see what happens to my favorite cyborg Cinderella!


Blake is starting a totally new world about Greek Gods and Goddesses and the war that is about to break out among them!


 Legend was one of last year's debut gems.  I can't wait to see where it goes!

Runners up: