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review 2014-10-09 19:33

As seems custom with me as of late, I've got a bunch of reviews to share with y'all. Still trying to catch up, but these are a batch of really good reads that I hope you get a chance to try for yourself (all their release dates have now passed!). In the Shadows written by Kiersten White and illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo, The Young Elites by Marie Lu, The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas, and Don't Touch by Rachel Wilson are all highly recommended.


Check the link for more! Too much formatting to post here.

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url 2014-06-27 16:29

Hello, friends! I already wrote about attending BEA here and here, if you're curious. Some of the samplers I am about to review I received from BEA. Others have been online and are available for your perusal as well. And I have two extra ARCs from BEA (a mistake, as I will explain below) as well as others that I have finished and would like to pass onto y'all. Please join me in getting excited for these novels!

Isla and the Happily Ever After - Stephanie Perkins | Goodreads
Release Date: August 14, 2014
Published by: Dutton

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

You can actually read the 50 page sampler for yourself here. I read the sampler upon the recommendation of Blythe from Finding Bliss in Books and !!! I am now so much more excited for Isla. Isla, half out of her mind on Vicodin, stumbles upon her crush, Josh, in a New York cafe and social awkwardness + hilarity ensues. Then Isla begins to worry about what Josh thinks of her after that -- will she run into him? Can she explain herself? The tension builds between them until she realizes that he has a crush on her too. Perkins successfully portrays that moment of waiting, wondering what your crush thinks of you and whether it's all just a dream or something could actually happen, with her signature charm and humor. You really ought to read the sampler; I don't regret it because Isla is competing for my favorite Stephanie Perkins heroine (socially awkward, capable, fiercely passionate in her own right). I don't know enough yet about artist and senator's son Josh to judge whether he'll match up to the wonderfulness that is Cricket Bell, but I trust Stephanie Perkins and... get excited with me for another wonderful Perkins contemporary romance! Pre-order time!

The Mime Order - Samantha Shannon | Goodreads
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Published by: Bloomsbury

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London.

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.

Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.

The Bone Season was one of those books that despite its technical issues, remained utterly compelling and became a book I reread over and over again. I loved stepping into the clairvoyent world that Shannon had imagined and I felt like Shannon had a lot of potential not only in her world, but also in her writing, her characters, her. After reading this ~150 page sampler, I get the sense that Shannon has everything controlled, if not planned, in this series, and I look forward to seeing her evolve as a writer over the coming novels. I saw quite a few reviews complain about Shannon's writing in The Bone Season: too short, too much like The Hunger Games, etc. Fear not, readers: in this small sampler, Shannon has already evolved as a writer. The writing feels cleaner to me. The book starts with action from the very first chapter - no info dump a la The Bone Season - and I would definitely recommend visiting Shannon's recap of the some of the magic workings in the first novel (I think she said she might post a full recap later; there is also a Recaptains recap here). For all of you who wanted more of Scion London and less of Sheol, you'll find that brilliance in The Mime Order. Shannon's imagination continues to astonish me. Her vision of syndicate-ruled London is an absolute treat to read, especially since she added a lot of depth to her characters and history of the world with just this sampler. I'm looking forward to reading more. Apparently the book will be available for request on Netgalley in July, so get ready to read and get ready to pre-order!


Atlantia - Ally Condie | Goodreads
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Published by: Dutton

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

You can also read the sampler for yourself here. Although I have yet to finish theMatched trilogy (Reached! I will get to you one day!), I have always admired Ally Condie's poetic writing style. That continues with Atlantia. Based on the sampler, it would not surprise me if Condie drew fans of her Matched trilogy; it's not just her writing that's similar... there's a sort of similar feel and style to the story. The inciting incident, how the main character reacts. Which is really good, as Condie's trilogy drew in a lot of fans. If you're a fan of Condie's work, there's a good chance you'll like this one too. (P.S. - should also draw in Divergent fans; the first chapter has a similar sort of Choosing Ceremony between Above and Below and plays on those destiny v. choice; parental beliefs vs. your own themes from that series).

Let's Get Lost - Adi Alsaid | Goodreads
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Published by: Harlequin Teen

Five strangers. Countless adventures.One epic way to get lost. 

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most. 

There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love. 

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.

This seemed to be Harlequin Teen's main title at BEA and they are pumping it hard for good reason: this story is told from the perspective of the people that struggling Leila meets. The question of why Leila is going on this road trip fuels an undercurrent of tension in addition to the tension already present whenever she meets these new characters, who have their own lives and struggles. The set-up for this story allows the side characters to shine with their own conflict. Hudson, for instance, starts off the story, caught somewhere between college interviews and working at his dad's garage; future or past? And then Leila comes marching into his life like a too bright present he can't ignore, and she can't but help love his kindness and humor. I'm really intrigued by Alsaid's choice to use the perspectives of the people Leila meets on her road trip to shape the portrayal of her character, and I hope to read more soon enough.

The Young Elites - Marie Lu | Goodreads
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Published by: Putnam

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

You can also read the sampler for yourself here. I've been anticipating this book ever since I first heard about it. I'm a big fan of the Legend trilogy; it's a great, solid YA dystopian series that I can recommend to everyone... and so Marie Lu writing my favorite genre? And Game of Thrones meets Assassin's Creed meets X-men? Heck yes, sign me up for that. I'm also intrigued by how Lu has said in interviews (especially in the interview at the back of the sampler) that she enjoyed writing from a darker perspective, as shown in the synopsis (Adelina wanting to hurt people). Not many YA books feature anti-heroes or even villains at the forefront, and having read the sampler... well, yes, I am on Adelina's side and I look forward to sticking with her even when she starts her spiral downwards. Her father was terrible, what happened to her afterwards even worse. Lu does a great job building the anticipation for the powers these Young Elites have and hinting at what's to come re: their end goals. I can't wait to read more!

Are you waiting on any of these titles? Which ones are you most excited for?

Others up for grabs below:

Ghost House - Alexandra Adornetto | Goodreads
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Published by: Harlequin Teen

From the New York Times bestselling author of Halo comes the start of a beautiful and powerful new series.

After the loss of her mother, Chloe Kennedy starts seeing the ghosts that haunted her as a young girl again. Spending time at her grandmother's country estate in the south of England is her chance to get away from her grief and the spirits that haunt her. Until she meets a mysterious stranger…

Alexander Reade is 157 years dead, with secrets darker than the lake surrounding Grange Hall and a lifelike presence that draws Chloe more strongly than any ghost before. But the bond between them awakens the vengeful spirit of Alexander's past love, Isobel. And she will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him from her.

To stop Isobel, Chloe must push her developing abilities to their most dangerous limits, even if it means losing Alex forever… and giving the hungry dead a chance to claim her for their own.

Trial by Fire - Josephine Angelini | Goodreads
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Published by: Feiwel and Friends

Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted...which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily's life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem - one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily's identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn't understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

The Vault of Dreamers - Caragh O'Brien | Goodreads
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Published by: Roaring Brook Press

From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.

The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success: every moment of the students' lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students' schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What's worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

When I went to BEA, I had not yet received copies of Vault of Dreamers and Trial by Fire, so I wrongly assumed that I would not receive anything (limited copy #, etc.). Lo and behold, I returned home to find Trial by Fire on my desk and The Vault of Dreamers arriving within the week. Therefore you lucky readers may win a copy along with these other BEA grabs.


++ Rafflecopter widgets for giveaways.

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