Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cover Reveal: Hover by Melissa West + Giveaway!

Hey everyone! I hope you all have had a lovely start to December. Where did November go?! 2012 is almost over! Wow. I can't believe this year has gone by so fast!
Today, I have a cover reveal for Hover (The Taking, #2) by Melissa West! Hover is the
sequel to Gravity, which I have yet to read, but I'm hoping to start soon!

So, without further ado...

Isn't it gorgeous?!



Book two in the heart-stopping new series by Melissa West. The follow-up to the acclaimed Gravity, Hover is another thrilling dystopian romance and is perfect for fans of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games, Veronica Roth's Divergent, and Marie Lu's Legend.
Pre-Order links: Amazon Chapters Book Depository


I've heard nothing but wonderful things about book one, Gravity, so I CANNOT wait to get my hands on a copy! I'm more than sure I'm going to love this series!
Bloggers! In addition to the HOVER (The Taking #2) cover reveal, there will be an exclusive excerpt and official blurb for all participating bloggers closer to HOVER’s release date on August 6, 2013. Watch Melissa’s blog for details on how to participate!

Gravity summary: 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.

Doesn't that just sound amazing? Ugh. I need this book in my life.



Melissa's bio: Melissa lives in a tiny suburb of Atlanta, GA with her husband and daughter. She pretends to like yoga, actually likes shoes, and could not live without coffee. Her writing heroes include greats like Jane Austen and Madeleine L'Engle. She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.


 Melissa's links:
Website Blog Twitter Facebook Goodreads




 
Please enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a signed paperback copy of Melissa's first book, Gravity. The giveaway will run from Dec. 3-14, 2012.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ARC Book Review: Tempestuous by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes!


.5
Author(s):  Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
Author(s) Online: Kim: Twitter Goodreads Website Twitter Goodreads Website
Publisher: Merit Press
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Format: Hardback 224 pages
How I got it: I was provided a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 3.5/5 
Buy It: Amazon Barnes and Noble
Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)
Recently banished, unfairly, by the school’s popular crowd, former “it girl,” Miranda Prospero, finds herself in a brave new world: holding dominion amongst a rag-tag crew of geeks and misfits where she works at the Hot-Dog Kabob in the food court of her local mall. When the worst winter storm of the season causes mall workers and last-minute shoppers to be snowed-in for the night, Miranda seizes the opportunity to get revenge against the catty clique behind her social exile. With help from her delightfully dweeby coworker, Ariel, and a sullen loner named Caleb who works at the mall’s nearby gaming and magic shop, Miranda uses charm and trickery to set things to right during this spirited take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Tempestuous was such a fun, cute read!

The main character, Miranda, started out as a very self-obsessed, shallow girl. She saw the errors of her ways, and she tried to overcome them, but she still thought other people beneath her, which was annoying at times. But toward the end of the book, she realizes that about herself, and she truly changes her ways of thinking and the way she treats others. She truly developed as a character and I really enjoyed watching her grow as a character.
Caleb, Miranda's not-quite-love-interest was also very cute. He was your typical tall, dark, handsome and brooding type, and I found myself slowly liking him more and more.
He comes off as indifferent and a bit of a jerk throughout most of the book, but he had this certain air about him that just made you want to know more about him, and read more into the little smiles he would share, however rare they were. He has a good heart though, and you see that as the story goes on. All of the characters were very funny and had their own voices. I loved meeting all of the secondary characters and I found most of them enjoyable.
The plot of this novel, while not terribly strong, was enjoyable, and the mystery in this kept me guessing at times, which I loved. While Tempestuous is a modern-day spin on The Tempest by William Shakespeare, I often forgot this fact and barely saw any resemblance between the two other than the main characters name. That could just be me, though.
The added theme of mystery also had me on edge, and I loved trying to solve the mystery of who the thief was! It added in an extra layer of fun and I was thankful for this.
The only downfall I felt this story had was the selfish unawareness of some of the characters.
I get that these kids are locked in a mall, full of endless possibilities and fun, but some of the extremes some of these characters went to have 'fun' or 'get even' with their foes were really unlikely.
They took things that did not belong to them (namely food, since that is the only thing they could not return the next day) without thought or consequence; without so much as a penny for payment. That was the only thing that had me shaking my head while reading this. A small thing to call out, I agree—but still. It annoyed me, and I found all of the destruction unnecessary. They did return most of the things they 'borrowed' from the shops in the mall, though, so I can't complain about that.
Other than that, this story was nonstop fun and often had me laughing out loud at some of the ridiculous pranks they pull and funny dialog between the characters.
This is definitely a feel-good read full of comedy, action, mystery and just the right amount of romance.
 Give this one a shot! You won't be sorry!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

IMM (In My Mailbox) 18 + Giveaways!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren to showcase all of the awesome books you've gotten in the last week! So go on over there and see how you can become part of this great meme! :) Also, I would LOVE to know what you got this week, so leave your link to your IMM and I'll check it out and follow your blog! I follow back, by the way. :) Here we go!

Hey everyone! It's been a while! I think I haven't done IMM in around five weeks! AHHH! I'm so behind! :(
Anyway, here's some books that I've gotten in the last month and a half. :)

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatirck
by

by








Next, books for review!
Broken by A.E. Rought (Thanks NetGalley! I'll have a review for all of you lovely people soon!)


Tempestuous by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

 

 

 

 

 Entangled by Nikki Jefford



And All the Stars by Andrea K Höst

 

 

 

 

 

Moonset by Scott Tracey

 

 

Lichgates Book One of the Grimoire Trilogy by S. M. Boyce

 

 

 

 

Persephone byKaitlin Bevis

 

 

      by    

 

 


Thank you to NetGalley for most of these lovely books! 

Next, the books that I downloaded for my eReaders! :)


by

 

by

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Author Interview: Catherine Stine + Giveaway!

Today I am excited to have the author of Fireseed One, Catherine Stine, on the blog for an interview and giveaway! Fireseed One is a wonderful YA futuristic thriller and you should all check it out and enter to win a copy below! You can find my review of Fireseed One by clicking here!
With that said, please welcome Catherine Stine!


Catherine Stine’s new YA futuristic thriller, Fireseed One launched on December 2nd, 2011, with nine original illustrations by the author. Her first YA novel, Refugees, earned a New York Public Library Best Book and a featured review and interview in Booklist. Middle grade novels include The End of the Race in the Wild at Heart series and A Girl’s Best Friend in the Innerstar University series. She is also an illustrator and painter, whose work has been exhibited in New York, Philadelphia and Miami. Stine hails from Philadelphia, and lives in New York City.
 Where you can find her: Website Blog Goodreads


909 Reviews: 
How did you come up with the concept for Fireseed One?

Catherine Stine:
I first imagined this world through drawings I did of floating ocean farms, an army of dolphins and a psychic scientist! I was fascinated with the idea of living on an island you could power up and move. BTW, that idea came to me way before JJ Abrams thought up floating islands for LOST. Just goes to show that if you have a good idea for a novel, you’d best get started on it before your coffee gets cold, because ideas float in the wind.
After my initial concept, what pushed me on was a combination of cool and sad things. The cool: my continued fascination with new plant hybrids, deep ocean life and the future of farming. The sad: I was very affected by the murder of an old friend, who loved the sea, and was murdered while snorkeling. I wanted to pay homage to her memory, and as you know, there’s a questionable drowning death in Fireseed One that Varik works hard to avenge.

909 Reviews:
Can you tell us about the sequel to Fireseed One you’re working on? It stars a young girl from the Fireseed cult and Armonk, a boy from the Hotzone. Why did you choose them to focus on?

Catherine Stine:
The sequel’s called Scarlet’s Fire. It takes place eight years after Fireseed One, and the main character is Scarlet, a fifteen year-old girl from the Fireseed cult. If you’ve read Fireseed One, she’s the girl with three missing fingers. Armonk’s the boy from Black Hill Sector who Varik ends up making a prosthetic leg and bow and arrows for. Readers were very taken by these characters and I wanted to follow them forward too. I also wanted to write from a girl’s POV this time. Varik, from book one, does come down to the Hotzone as a doctor. A sneak peek:

If everything about you changes, what remains?
Fifteen year-old Scarlet, long-pledged to the much older Stiles from the Fireseed desert cult, escapes with only a change of clothes, a pouch of Oblivion Powder and her mute little brother, Thorn. Arriving at the Greening, a boarding school for orphaned refugees, she can finally stop running. Or can she? The Greening is not what it seems to be, and as the students care for its secret Fireseed crop, they experience frightening physical changes. When George Axiom, of Vegas-by-the-Sea offers a huge cash prize for the winner of a student contest, Scarlet and Armonk are hopeful they can finally help their families back in the struggling sectors, but when Stiles comes to reclaim Scarlet, and Thorn disappears, the world as Scarlet knows it, is changed forever.

909 Reviews:
Are you currently working on any new material? I read something about a paranormal novel with an edge of horror... Sounds exciting!

Catherine Stine:
Yes, you’ve heard correctly. I can’t say too much about it yet, other than it’s a modern twist on a horror classic, and it stars a very troubled teen who plays with fire. It has an explosive love triangle in it, and certainly the quirkiest, most charismatic villain I’ve written. He’s a fancy dresser who favors capes, spats and spooky-face necklaces. Stay tuned!

909 Reviews:
What is one thing you want readers to take with them from your writing?  

Catherine Stine:
Wow, good question! I want them to be fully entertained! I want to give them a scary, edge-of-the-seat roller-coaster ride, while really caring about the characters. I think I deliver that in Fireseed One, and I am working hard to deliver that in Scarlet’s Fire!

909 Reviews:
All of your characters are so different and unique. How do you come up with their personalities? Their backgrounds?

Catherine Stine:
They are bits and pieces of types that fascinate me, and I have big fun crafting them. Varik has wit and steady strength, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s tall, blond and ruddy from the northern sun. His challenge is to get out of his head and take physical action to save the day. Marisa fascinates me because she starts out cocky and arrogant but she goes through a wrenching transformation. She’s not evil, just terribly impulsive. I admit, the trope for her dad is a Donald Trump type. I love my comic players, Shin Kaskade with his trendy dragon embed that spouts smoke, and Audun, who’s a complete lady’s man with a golden tongue.

909 Reviews:
Can you tell us about your writing process? Your routines?  

Catherine Stine:
I like to write in the afternoon. If I had a totally clear schedule, I could write from 2 to 9 pm. This is not always possible, as I teach part-time. I have a home studio, with photos of my characters, and I also belong to a writers’ space. Hearing people typing provides extra motivation!

909 Reviews:
What is something that you want your readers to know?

Catherine Stine:
I love my readers! It’s my job to keep them engrossed and amused. I like hearing which characters they liked and what plot points were most satisfying, most shocking. They helped choose my sequel title, Scarlet’s Fire in a poll on my blog.

FIVE QUESTION DASH:  

909 Reviews:
If you could only read one book over and over, which book would it be and why?

Catherine Stine:
1984 by George Orwell has everything: edgy plot, quirky characters, tension, and important subtext. I study it over and over.

909 Reviews:
Favorite movie?

Catherine Stine:
Eastern Promises.
909 Reviews:
Favorite famous last words?

Catherine Stine:
Well, Oscar Wilde’s is the funniest: “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do!”

909 Reviews:
What author would you say has inspired you the most?

Catherine Stine:
It’s a toss up between Don DeLillo and Lewis Carroll.

909 Reviews:
If you had to live with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

Catherine Stine:
Marisa Baron from Fireseed One. Never a dull moment, and many impulsive forays into mischief!

Thanks for interviewing me, Angel!

*****
Thanks for taking the time to answer all of my stalker-like questions, Catherine! It was fun! :)
Catherine has been kind enough to send me a SIGNED copy of Fireseed One for a giveaway that all of you lovely people can enter! Isn't she nice? 

 Fireseed One summary:
What if Only Your Worst Enemy Could Help You Save the World? Fireseed One, a YA futuristic thriller, is set on earth in 2089 where people ride tricked-out amphibious vehicles over toxic waters, dance in ice-themed clubs and eat fish that grow up on vines in floating warehouses. Varik Teitur inherits a vast sea farm after the mysterious drowning of his marine biologist father. When Marisa Baron, a beautiful and shrewd terrorist, who knows way, way too much about Varik's father's work, tries to steal seed disks from the world's food bank, Varik is forced to put his dreams of becoming a doctor on hold and venture with her, into a hot zone teeming with treacherous nomads and a Fireseed cult who worships his dead father, in order to search for a magical hybrid plant that may not even exist. Illustrated by the author! Recommended for those who like a dash of romance with their thrillers.

Giveaway rules/details:
To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified on December 24th (Christmas Eve).
The first place winner will win one (1) SIGNED paperback copy of Fireseed One by Catherine Stine.
This giveaway is open internationally! Come one, come all! Good luck! :)
RULES:
Must be 13 years of age or older to enter.
MUST be a follower of 909 Reviews.
MUST 'Like' Catherine's Fireseed One page on Facebook (here)
The winner will have 48 hours to reply to the email that I will send them, letting them know they have won or else a new winner will be chosen.
Giveaway ends December 24th at 12:00 AM. :)
Thank you! All entries will be verified to make sure you are following the rules. Please don’t leave out any information if the form asks for it: it’s there for a reason. :)
Thanks, and good luck! 
NOTE: Hi! Please ignore the second 'Like 909 Reviews on Facebook' in the Rafflecopter form below. Rafflecopter has been acting up and it won't let me delete the repeat. If you choose to, you only need to say that you 'Liked' the page once. Only one entry will be counted. Thank you!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 23, 2012

Book Review: There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones!

 
Author: Jenny B. Jones
Author Online: Twitter Goodreads Website
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Format: Paperback 320 pages
My Rating: 5/5 
Buy It: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository 
Summary: (Taken from Goodreads) Grief brought Finley to Ireland. Love will lead her home. Finley Sinclair is not your typical eighteen-year-old. She's witty, tough, and driven. With an upcoming interview at the Manhattan music conservatory, Finley needs to compose her audition piece. But her creativity disappeared with the death of her older brother, Will. She decides to study abroad in Ireland so she can follow Will's travel journal. It's the place he felt closest to God, and she's hopeful being there will help her make peace over losing him. So she agrees to an exchange program and boards the plane. Beckett Rush, teen heartthrob and Hollywood bad boy, is flying to Ireland to finish filming his latest vampire movie. On the flight, he meets Finley. She's the one girl who seems immune to his charm. Undeterred, Beckett convinces her to be his assistant in exchange for his help as a tour guide. Once in Ireland, Finley starts to break down. The loss of her brother and the pressure of school, her audition, and whatever it is that is happening between her and Beckett, leads her to a new and dangerous vice. When is God going to show up for her in this emerald paradise? Then she experiences something that radically changes her perspective on life. Could it be God convincing her that everything she's been looking for has been with her all along?


There You’ll Find Me was simply breathtaking. Heartbreaking, heartwarming and touching--it was just what I needed to read lately. 
Finley Sinclair was one of the most complex characters I have come across in the YA genre. She was such an amazing character to read about. She was strong, kind, loyal and caring. There was never a dull moment with her and she truly is one of my favorite heroine’s in YA. 

Finley, still grief-sicken with the tragic death of her older beloved brother, Will, decides to study abroad in Ireland—a place Will loved and also study abroad years earlier. It was also the place that Will felt most connected to God. Once in Ireland, Finley is met with a great cast of characters; the O’Callaghan family (who will be housing her), the school’s mean girl, and, of course, the one and only teen heartthrob, Beckett Rush.

 Beckett Rush is, in one word, perfect. I loved him as a character. He was sweet, adorable, kind, and just a little bit cocky. But I loved it. He had his moments of celebrity arrogance, being one of the biggest young actors in Hollywood, but he always came down from his high horse and showed his heart of gold. He and Finley were just adorable together. 
Their quick and easy banter really made me smile, and my heart was always so full when these two were together. I really like the fact that Finley and Beckett’s relationship wasn’t rushed. They start out as acquaintances, then friends, and then finally something more. Beckett helps Finley to come alive again—to see that there’s life after Will’s death—and Finley helps Beckett see that there’s so much more to life than just doing what you’re told; to follow your own dreams, no matter how hard that may be.

Reading about Finley’s inner struggle with her faith ever since her brother’s death was truly heartbreaking; you could feel her pain and anger mixed in with confusion and loneliness, and how it was slowly swallowing her whole. Her relationship with God wasn’t as strong as it was when her brother was still alive, and she was just trying to find a way back to God and her faith. Since Will's death, Finley has developed a mild case of obsessive-compulsive disorder; counting calories to an extreme, it starts to take over her everyday life, and starts to become dangerous. 
I couldn’t tell you the number of times I was nearly brought to tears, and how often I had to stop to take a breath while reading this story. Jones’ writing is beautiful and strong—demanding to be heard and leaving you breathless. 

With all of that said, please don’t be scared to read this book. Jenny B. Jones won’t preach religion at you. She never throws these characters’ faith in your face; never demands that you have believe something, or feel a certain way.
This is a story of a girl finding faith again; faith in God, faith in the world, and faith in herself. It’s the story of a girl overcoming grief, an eating disorder, and trying to find hope, above all else. Please read this book. 
It’s truly amazing and Jenny B. Jones is an author that takes you into the story, and doesn’t let you go until the last page. You'll lose yourself to these characters, the beautiful scenery of Ireland, and the story that will break your heart, warm your heart, and have you cheering for Finley and Beckett every step of the way.


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