Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (63)





"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!





This week I'm waiting on some Fall 2012 debuts!


Gravity by Melissa West
Publication date: October 30, 2012

Synopsis:
In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.


Why I want it: I feel like aliens are the big up-and-coming, and this one's got it all: dystopian, paranormal, spies, romance, tough decisions, and more. Also: "Don't. Ever. Peek."


Black City by Elizabeth Richards
Publication date: November 13, 2012

Synopsis:
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.


Why I want it: *Sigh* Forbidden love. It makes my heart beat. This sounds like a fantastic story. And I LOVE the cover.


Mystic City by Theo Lawrence
Publication date: October 9, 2012

Synopsis:
For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever. Book One of the Mystic City Novels.

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

Why I want it: Stories in which the main character looses their memory really interest me. I know that there's so much for them to discover, and I get to do it with them. Also, I'm kind of a sucker for the love triangle. And HELLO COVER LOVE.

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Review: Falling by J. Bennett

Title: Falling
Author: J. Bennett
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: January 1, 2012
Genre: YA, paranormal
Pages: 286 (ebook)
Source: From author for review
Series: Girl With Broken Wings #1
1. Falling
1 ½. Coping (June 24, 2012)
2. Landing (expected pub January 2013)
Synopsis:
The intellectual challenge of college and the warm embrace of a serious boyfriend have given Maya the wings she needs to break away from her bookish and shy reserve. Her ideal life comes crashing down when she and her boyfriend are accosted by a stranger. A stranger with glowing hands.

Maya's boyfriend is killed. She is kidnapped. Changed.
A rescue comes, but not soon enough.

Maya’s senses sharpen, her body becomes strong and agile, and she develops the ability to visually see the emotions of those around her as colorful auras... beautiful auras... tempting auras.

And then there’s the song...

Now, Maya must struggle to control the murderous appetite that fuels her new abilities, accept her altered condition and learn to trust two vigilante half-brothers she never knew she had. As she joins the battle against a secret network of powerful and destructive beings that call themselves "Angels", Maya vows to find and destroy the one who changed her.

On the bright side, at least Maya's oldest half-brother has stopped trying to kill her.


There were things I really liked about this book, and then things that I wasn’t so crazy about. I loved how fast-paced it was and really exciting as well, so I got through it pretty quickly.

The writing wasn’t my favourite though. It was lacking something at times. I was also confused a few times by the language. There were some really obscure words, and it made me feel like the author was trying too hard to seem impressive with her vocabulary. There was also this thing that she called the ‘song’. It took me a long time to figure out exactly what this meant. Basically, it’s the pull Maya feels to take people’s lives by absorbing their auras. It was just odd the way that it was described as a song and never really explained.

I loved the dynamic between the characters in this story. The individual relationships Maya had with her brothers, Gabe and Tarren, were so unique in and of themselves. Gabe was so thrilled to have a sister and was never willing to give up on her, even though she was something he’d been fighting all his life - an Angel. He accepted her for what she was, and Angel and his sister. Tarren, on the other hand, never forgot what she really was, was never willing to trust her and give her a chance. So their relationship was always stilted by this fact, and the tension between the two of them was thick.

I was disappointed that the main issue in this book wasn’t resolved. I understand that it’s a series, but the thing that was focused on in the end didn’t really seem like the thing that was focused on throughout the story. It was there and still one of the things that Maya had to overcome, but to me it seemed like an undercurrent, not the main problem to be resolved by the end.

I still enjoyed the story enough that I’m planning to read the next book when it comes out. That’s the thing about series’, you have to tune in to find out if everything works out in the end. And that’s what I’ll be doing.

Thanks to the author for the review ebook copy!

Unannounced Hiatus

Some people may have noticed that I've been MIA around here. I suppose my blog's been on an unannounced hiatus. Once I finally got settled here in Australia, I got started working and blogging really took a back seat. I'm sorry for that!

I really love blogging. And although I haven't had time for it, I don't think it's time for me to quit yet. So hopefully in the next little while, you'll see more posts, whether I'm participating in memes again or posting reviews and other book news. I'm not done with this awesome community!

So make sure you check back, because I promise I will try my hardest to update as much as I can and not neglect my blog!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Judging a Book by Its Cover (11)

I do Judging a Book by Its Cover randomly, when I collect several book covers that I think are worthy of being judged as awesome! You can see all my Judging a Book by Its Cover posts here.

Links will direct you to the corresponding Goodreads pages.

Tides by Betsy Cornwell | June 4, 2013
Altered by Jennifer Rush | January 2, 2013



Furious by Jill Wolfson | April 16, 2013
Unremembered by Jessica Brody | March 5, 2013



Be sure to click on the covers to see them bigger!

What do you think of these covers? Which ones are you anticipating the most? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (63)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.
Here's what you do:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two sentences from somewhere on that page
Share the title and author
Try not to include spoilers!

I've just started reading the final book in S.M. Reine's Seasons of the Moon series, Gray Moon Rising. This is my favourite self-published series, so here's a teaser from the prelude for you:





"Rylie! Don't do it!"

Seth scrambled over icy rocks, struggling to reach her at the peak.

A crack rang out as a rifle connected with the back of his skull. He collapsed at his mother's feet. Eleanor shouldered her gun again and aimed.



I'm literally just about to start this book, so I'm freaking out that Eleanor is back. I knew she would be, but she's a scary threat to Rylie and Seth and I don't want her near them!

If you haven't read this series, you seriously need to do so. Like, yesterday. Check out all my posts tagged "S.M. Reine" to see past reviews, teasers, and cover reveals. I'd suggest starting here.

Feel free to share your teasers with me. I'd love to see what you're reading!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Guest Post: Author J. Bennett

We Hurt Them Because We Love Them
Why Making Characters Suffer Is A Good Thing

Thank you to Pamela for hosting me and for supporting so many talented authors.

***

I would hazard to guess that most authors love their characters, even the bad guys. And yet, we put them through hell. We kill off their parents, drop high school bullies in their path, break their hearts, betray them, occasionally even kidnap, torture and kill them.

It’s an odd way to show love, but here’s the reason why: a happy protagonist is a boring protagonist.

There are only two real places in a novel where a protagonist is allowed to be happy – in the beginning when their world has yet to rocked by the coming storm and at the end when they’ve overcome whatever it is they had to overcome. Sure, the protagonist might experience a few instances of fleeting joy throughout the story, but in most cases, that happiness is planted by the author for the express purpose of snatching it away.

There are always exceptions. I’m sure there are books where characters are happy the entire way through. Kudos to the author who can write an active, enjoyable story without a lot of suffering along the way.

For the rest of us, however, suffering not only makes our characters interesting, it’s a great motivator. In order for a story to exist, a protagonist must go on a journey. This journey often combines spiritual, physical and emotional components. The best kick start to a journey is a traumatizing event that forces the protagonist to react.

My debut novel, Falling – Girl With Broken Wings, is no exception. The beginning of the novel features Maya, a college sophomore who has finally established a comfortable routine. She has a doting boyfriend, loves her classes, and is starting to break out of her shell.

Well, well, this can’t last at all, can it?

The trauma that throws Maya into a major tailspin comes in the form of a stranger with glowing hands. He uses those hands to murder Maya’s boyfriend, kidnap her, and to begin changing her into something other than human. A timely rescue from two vigilante half-brothers she never knew she had saves Maya’s life but not her humanity.

See? Suffering. It’s interesting, and in Maya’s case, very motivating indeed. As she begins to come to terms with her new abilities and the murderous hunger that fuels them, she’s got vengeance on her mind in a big way.

I can’t speak for other authors, but for myself, I have to admit I have conflicting feelings when it comes to making my characters suffer. I feel a very close bond with Maya and her brothers. A part of me wants nothing more than to swaddle them in allergen-free, organic cotton blankets and hug them all day long. But then there’s that other part of me that takes a perverse pleasure in pushing each character to their physical and emotional limit. I like seeing how much they can take and – just as they start to crack – throwing a big monster in their path or revealing another dark secret.

Suffering isn’t only interesting; it can lead to incredible character growth. Tragedy holds many lessons, and from it characters can choose a path toward healing and redemption (though they don’t always take it).

We authors make our characters suffer, but we do it out of love, so they’ll grow, so they’ll learn to fight, so that when they finally achieve happiness, it will be a well-earned reward.

For Maya and her brothers, their journey is just beginning. Falling is book one in the Girl With Broken Wings series. My poor protagonist has many burdens yet to bear, but with each she overcomes, she grows stronger and wiser.

***

Falling is J Bennett’s debut novel and the first book in the Girl With Broken Wings series. It is currently available as an ebook for $2.99 on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. Learn more and read a free sample at www.GirlWithBrokenWings.com. J Bennett is a professional copywriter and copyeditor. She also writes the blog www.ShyWriter.com. Her Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/jbennettwrites.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Review: Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

Title: Glitch
Author: Heather Anastasiu
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Genre: YA, dystopian
Pages: 371
Source: NetGalley
Series: Glitch #1
1. Glitch
2. Override (February 19, 2013)
3. Untitled
Synopsis:
In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.

In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.


This review will be a fight for me. A fight between what I want to write and avoiding spoilers. It’s definitely a story that’s stuck with me, and the things that I want to talk about include all the fancy little twists and speculations for the next book. Which I won’t talk about because I don’t spoil books for my followers.

Zoe is a really strong character. She knows what she believes in, and she is unwilling to throw away her morals. She’s not someone who takes advantage of glitching by being selfish or high-and-mighty. She wants to help the people, to free them, to give everyone the opportunity to see and feel things the way she now can. Adrien is the knight in shining armour. He figuratively rides in on a white horse to save Zoe. He shows her the world, how things could be, that people are fighting for good. And she falls for him.

I found it really interesting the way Heather wrote this book. I’ve never read one with a twist like this, and it was great, but also frustrating as a reader because I knew things the characters didn’t. Big things, life changing things, and I wanted Zoe to know, too. Much of the book is a testosterone battle between Max and Adrien, both vying for Zoe’s attention and love. Although Max was a great friend, he harbours secrets and motives that Zoe doesn’t see. As someone who is new to emotions and independent thought, she doesn’t notice things like we do, and so I was able to see Max’s true colours, while Zoe didn’t understand.

This was a great introduction to a new series. I know it’ll be a popular one. There’s so much more to come for these characters, many more battles to fight and people to save. I’ll definitely be waiting for the next ones to come out. I have to know if Adrien’s visions come true.

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ebook review copy!

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery