{this is me messing around}
{end of messing around}

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cover Reveal: Persistence of Vision by Liesel Hill

"In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.

After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can't explain. When she's attacked by a creep with a spider's web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she's never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives.

In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way.

If Maggie can't fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away..."
Futuristic! Dystopia! Time traveling! Gah! Too much awesome stuff! My head's exploding!

Where do I even begin? This book definitely sounds like something I would read; not only does it sound original (Hives? Must find out more!), but I also expect that it'll be full of adventure, which is what I think a lot of fiction is lacking these days. It's categorized as New Adult, meaning it reads like a YA novel but features slightly older characters. 

And yet another gorgeous cover. Very dark, very mysterious, very eye-catching. Especially the spiderweb design on that dude's face. 

I wish I had that on my face. (Haha, just kidding.) 

Persistence of Vision is slated for release before the end of the year, so make sure you keep an eye out for it! 

While you're at it, check out author Liesel K. Hill here:

Blog: Musings on Fantasia : musingsonfantasia.blogspot.com
Twitter account: twitter.com/lkhillbooks

Happy reading, booknerds! ^.^

Friday, September 14, 2012

Review: Purity by Jackson Pearce


Author: Jackson Pearce
Released: April 14, 2012
Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 218 (hardcover)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
"A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order.
Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity."

There's a plethora of YA books centered on a teenage girl's quest to lose her virginity. This teenage girl's quest is a little bit different.

On her deathbed, Shelby's mother made Shelby promise three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. As Shelby grows into teenagehood, her life is taken over by trying to keep the Promises: accomplishing the liberating acts on her "life list", and "obeying" her father by finding loopholes to his rules. Things take a twist for the worse when Shelby's father signs her up for the Princess Ball, a father-daughter dance in which the daughter must make a purity vow--meaning no sex until marriage. Completely freaking out (like any teenager would), Shelby discovers a loophole to the vow: lose her virginity before she takes the vow, and the vow becomes void.

As far as losing-virginity stories go, Purity's synopsis is a breath of fresh air. Purposefully losing your virginity as a promise to your mother? It's original, completely nutty, and totally hilarious. Unfortunately, the book itself is disappointing compared to the premise.

Many aspects of the story were cute, although be warned: despite the fluffy synopsis, this book covers some pretty heavy subjects. Shelby's strained relationship with her father rang true to many parent-teenager relationships out in the real world, and the father-daughter journey was, although difficult, very real and very hopeful. The book also deals with Shelby's struggles with living without a mother, God, faith, the meaning of love, and what feels like dozens of other themes at the same time. And for me, the was the problem. There are so many themes that force their way into the story that they become jumbled, and in the end, miss their points.

The character development wasn't the best for me, either. While I can understand that Shelby's life is ruled by the Promises, I just couldn't completely connect with her. It was almost as if she was just a character who played her part for this book and this book alone; I can't really imagine her life before Purity, and I certainly can't imagine it after. Same with Shelby's friends; Jonas just fell completely flat for me, and Ruby, while interesting, wasn't that interesting. And Jackson Pearce can write interesting characters, I know she can! Sisters Red and Sweetly proved that. The characters in Purity just somehow missed their marks.

But no need to completely give up hope. The story itself is quite sweet and does have a healthy dose of humour. And in the end, it's not about the sex; it's just a teenage girl's quest to find herself, and there isn't any teenager who can't relate to it. For a short and sweet story, this book is definitely an option. Just don't expect to find something too amazing.

My Rating:
3 Brains.

P.S. High school. No time to read. No time to blog. I is very confuzzled. Expect fewer weekly posts from now on, fellow booknerds, but fear not and stick around! ^.^

Friday, September 7, 2012

Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)

Seraphina (Seraphina #1)
Author: Rachel Hartman
Released: July 10, 2012
Genre: YA fantasy
Pages: 467 (hardcover)
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
"Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life."


Fans of epic fantasy: looking for the story that can compare to the fantastical worlds of say, Graceling or Eragon?. This is it, booknerds. This is that book that meets your high demands of:

  • dragons
  • a medieval/Renaissance setting
  • long and foreign-sounding names 
  • enough historical background to fill a textbook
  • a trillion bajillion characters
  • royal/political intrigue
I had you at the dragons, didn't I?

Seraphina takes place in that oh-so-familiar medieval fantasy world, yet manages to be both deeply original and interesting. But the dragons of this world have a unique twist: they are highly intelligent. In this world, dragons are the leaders of mathematical and scientific advances.  However, their rational, mechanical minds are completely incapable of understanding human emotion and art. At the beginning of our story, the dragons and humans have been bound by a peace treaty with the kingdom of Goredd for 40 years. Dragons have been taking form as humans in order to walk among the people and study their perplexing ways, but an intense hatred for dragons still lives among humans. Meanwhile, Seraphina Dombegh is a seemingly impossible monstrosity: half-human, half dragon. After spending a lifetime hiding her secret, she joins the royal court as a musician and gets herself wrapped in a draconion/royal murder mystery, along with the curious Prince Kiggs. As the political plots thicken, Seraphina is dragged into a situation where the two sides she belongs to, the dragons and the humans, are pitted against each other. 

The setting of this book is absolutely fabulous. I'm pretty much blown away at Rachel Hartman's world-building in her debut (DEBUT!) novel. The kingdom of Goredd and the surrounding kingdoms of this fictional world come to life as if they actually exist, because the amount of detail put into this book is amazing. Fictional neighbourhoods, religions, holidays and cultures all pop out of the book as if they're coming into existence right before our eyes. 

Same with the mythology; the dragonlore is fresh and unique and fleshed out. Instead of being the animalistic beasts they usually are, these dragons are logical, highly intelligent, and to be honest, a heck of a lot more interesting than their counterparts. The other characters are similarly unique: Princess Glisselda is giggly but regal, Orma is an imperfect (but improving) father figure, and Kiggs is sharp and highly likable. 

Seraphina, on the other hand, I found hard to connect to at first. I don't really know what it was that made her seem so generic to me. Perhaps it was the fact that she is so similar to so many "strong" female YA characters: because she's so protective of her half-dragon self, she appears closed off and prickly and lonely. A very Katniss-like character (forgive me for the comparison) that feels a little overdone. BUT, as the book went on, Seraphina grew on me a lot and I found that her character definitely made sense for her predicament. I could empathize with her loneliness, plus, she's more likable once she begins making friends with Kiggs, Glisselda, Lars, etc. As this is going to be the first in a series, there's a lot of room for character growth, and hopefully by the end, Seraphina will be a little more sympathy-worthy but just as badass.

Rachel Hartman's debut novel is fantastically fantastical and wonderfully unique, and I'm sure that future books in the series will reveal an all-in-all epic and wonderfully crafted story. 

My Rating:
4.5 Brains.

Recommended if:
-you are a fan of epic fantasy (comme moi!)
-you liked Graceling or similar books set in a medieval/Renaissance time
-you like a little bit of mystery
-you have a thing for dragon/monster/mythical creature mythology

P.S. School started. Less time to blog. Less time to read. More time to study. I is confuzzled and sad.

P.P.S. If you have read Seraphina already (ONLY IF YOU'VE READ IT!) and haven't checked out the Seraphina Wiki yet, do! It's pretty fantabulous. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Released: October 18, 2011
Genre: YA fantasy
Pages: 409 (first edition hardcover)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
"It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen."

After reading this novel, I have decided that I've seriously underestimated Maggie Stiefvater.

The Scorpio Races is not a novel; it is an experience full of emotional ups and downs. It is a visit to the breathtaking world of the deadly creatures known as capaill uisce--by far the most fascinating creatures I've read in YA in a long time.

The novel takes place on the fictional Irish island of Thisby, mysterious place known to be the home of the capaill uisce--flesh-eating horse monsters that emerge from the sea every fall. For as long as anybody remembers, the men of Thisby have captured these deadly creatures from the sea and  trained them for riding in the annual competition: the Scorpio Races.

The novel comes from two perspectives. One is the perspective of Kate Connolly, known as Puck, who is racing to win her family the prize money--and is the first female ever to compete. The other is the perspective of the well-respected Sean Kendrick, four-time champion of the races. He's independent, talented, and seemingly fearless--but only seemingly.

The thing I loved most about this story was the setting. Maggie Stiefvater's world-building really impressed me; the island of Thisby is a seemingly quiet place that in reality, breathes danger and magic.  The capaill uisce (that's CAP-ple ISH-ka) are based off the water horses of Irish legend and are by far the most unique and fascinating creatures I've read about in a YA novel in a long, long time. Vampires, werewolves, and angels? Overdone. Flesh-eating horse monsters? Yes please!

Maggie Stiefvater's imagery is absolutely gorgeous. Her writing style is fluid and vivid and entrancing, and is number two on the things that made this book so great to me. Her descriptions during action scenes are sharp and capture the book's fast-paced violence well.

The narrators Puck and Sean are both good characters, but Sean especially. As somebody who is closed-off to everybody around him, it's truly interesting to be able to see inside Sean's mind as he reveals himself to be a multi-layered character. Puck, although she doesn't quite have the engaging quality that Sean does, is certainly a strong heroine, and is definitely likable.

Now, I have a few warnings for you.

This is not a romance novel.


While the novel's romance is definitely there, it's quite subtle, and instead of being a huge factor into the story, it's more of a subplot that doesn't show up until halfway through the book. Despite the subtlety, Puck and Sean have a chemistry that only makes the story that much better.


Whatever you do, please don't give up during the first 100 pages!

For me, this was the book's worst flaw: pacing. The first hundred pages were absolutely brutal for me. While I was blown away by Stiefvater's amazing writing, nothing important happened in the beginning; it was all an intro to the characters and the world of Thisby. In fact, WARNING: the actual Scorpio Races only take up around 10 pages toward the end of the book. That's right, The Scorpio Races is one of those buildup books: it's about the journey rather than the main event itself. Once you accept this fact,  you can appreciate the suspense and buildup properly, and the story becomes infinitely better.

If you are looking for something similar to Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, this isn't it. While this book has similar pacing problems, it is not focused on romance like Shiver, is far more violent, and is far more original. So, while this book isn't for everybody, those who have the patience are in for something amazing.

My Rating:
4 Brains.

Recommended if:
-you are looking for a YA novel with originality. Yes, I'm looking at you, vampire and dystopian books.
-you enjoy books that involve a lot of buildup.
-you like fantastic imagery.
-you don't mind quite a bit of violence. 

Until next time!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cover Reveal: Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

This cover reveal is presented by the fantastic AToMR Tours


"The Goddess Test meets Dexter in an edgy, compelling debut about one teen’s quest for revenge…no matter how far it takes her.

"Cory Graff is not alone in her head. Bound to a deal of desperation made when she was a child, Cory’s mind houses the Furies—the hawk and the serpent—lingering always, waiting for her to satisfy their bloodlust. After escaping the asylum where she was trapped for years, Cory knows how to keep the Furies quiet. By day, she lives a normal life, but by night, she tracks down targets the Furies send her way. And she brings down Justice upon them.

Cory’s perfected her system of survival, but when she meets a mysterious boy named Niko at her new school, she can’t figure out how she feels about him. For the first time, the Furies are quiet in her head around a guy. But does this mean that Cory’s finally found someone who she can trust, or are there greater factors at work?

As Cory’s mind becomes a battlefield, with the Furies fighting for control, Cory will have to put everything on the line to hold on to what she’s worked so hard to build."

I'm kinda blown away by this cover.

Just look at it! The title font is epic, especially the red. The cover model is pretty badass, and so is the gorgeous white background with the Greek columns. All in all, awesome. 

I'm definitely giving a huge THUMBS UP to all the Greek mythology-type YA fiction coming out recently, and judging from the synopsis, this is gonna be a good one. 

Must read!

Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland comes out April 2, 2013. 

Be sure to find out more about Vengeance Bound here: 

And don't forget to check out Justina Ireland's blog here: http://www.justinaireland.com/

Tell me whatcha think! 

Happy reading, booknerds!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Feature and Follow #2: Worst Cover?

Bonjour mes amis! Once again it is the stupendous, fantastical, and all-around coolest day of the week: FRIDAY! Woot woot! Time to celebrate...with a Follow Friday! The Feature & Follow Hop is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. You can click here or here to learn how to participate.Bring on the question! 

Q: Worst cover? What is the worst cover of a book that you've read and loved?

This question is quite tough, but if I had to choose, it would have to be the cover of a book I absolutely adore: Where She Went by Gayle Forman. The book is sweet and a perfect sequel to If I Stay. But the cover. Oh , the cover. The grayish-blue theme is kinda strange looking and depressing. And the girl is just so...random. Her expression is...random. I is confused. 

The worst part is that the version of If I Stay I read had such a simple and pretty cover, which looked like this:

Why, publishing company, why?!

Hope you enjoyed! Link me up to your post in the comments and I would love to check it out!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #2!

Hello there, lovely readers! It is a gorgeous summer day in this here city, and a perfect day for reading, or better yet, staying indoors and blogging. (Y'all book bloggers can relate, admit it. *winks*) As many of you know, Waiting on Wednesday is a lovely meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine that allows book bloggers to share an upcoming release they are jumping-off-the-walls excited for!

This week's choice, which I've been waiting on forever, is *drumroll*....

UnWholly (Unwind, #2)
Unwholly (Unwind Trilogy #2)
Author: Neal Shusterman
To Be Released: August 28, 2012
Genre: YA science fiction, dystopian

This synopsis contains very slight spoilers of Unwind, the first novel in the series. 

"Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simltaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished."

Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.

Rife with action and suspense, this riveting companion to the perennially popular Unwind challenges assumptions about where life begins and ends—and what it means to live."

When I say I've been waiting for this book forever, I mean it. Well, actually, no, what I really mean is that I've been waiting for it for 2 years. I read Unwind by Neal Shusterman in 2010 and it completely blew my mind. Yes, it was that good. The book takes place in a future not too different from our present, but in which parents are legally allowed to "abort" their children post-birth. This process is called "unwinding", in which the child/teenager's body is taken apart and their organs are transplanted into other humans. The book is disturbing and creepy and awful andsaldkfjasldkfjas. But so good.

Unwind is a great stand-alone novel, which is why I was so surprised to hear that it would be a trilogy. Nonetheless, I'm very curious and SUPER EXCITED! 

And it comes out in less than 2 weeks! Woooooooooooooot!

By the way, Unwind is not well-known enough in the YA world and totally underrated. Go read it and spread the word! 

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