Vote Zachary Moore!

The Shade series is a fantastic book series that unfortunately is not widely enough known.  But within those readers who know and love it, a group known as TeamKilt has grown. It started with the YA Crush Tourney last year, and against all odds we brought Zachary Moore, the fabulous Scot who stars in the trilogy, to the final. There were close calls, but through the strength of TeamKilt, the last seeded crush was boosted to the top. And although we didn’t win the final (the Cassie Clare fandom was just too large) we brought glory to Zachary and the series. In the process, TeamKilt was formed. Throughout the year that followed, new members joined in with the shenanigans. TeamKilt is a family for me, and I love participating in the fun. A few weeks ago, Zachary won his first match in the YA Crush Tourney. But we need all the help we can get going up against one of Cassie’s boys again. So please, vote for Zachary, the underdog we all love. The match starts at midnight tonight over at the YA Sisterhood. Don’t forget to vote! 



Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Pub Date: September 4th, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Summary (from Goodreads): In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures--if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.

All Mallory knows of The City is that her father--and every other witch there--fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it's only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.

I got a galley of Carnival at ALA, and I was totally hyperventilating when I met Melissa Marr. She has been one of my favorite authors since Wicked Lovely was first published. It was a random encounter with the book in the store, but excuse me if I am ready to call it fate. I was completely enthralled and I read the series the whole way through many times. Her writing style speaks to me in a way that words can’t explain and her characters always draw me in. No matter what the content is, for me, her work will always shine. For me, she can do no wrong. So I had high expectations for this book. I’d been waiting, hoping for Melissa Marr to return to the YA scene, and she delivered this surprise novel. This year was supposed to pass without any new work being released by her, but thankfully that didn’t exactly pan out. Yay for unplanned books! 
Carnival is just as dark as the Wicked Lovely series. And it’s phenomenal. Between fights to the death and hot daimons, this book feeds to our darker sides. Between the mysteries and fights and twists and turns I found myself wholly enthralled. Everything there is to love about Melissa Marr’s writing style, great character development, perfect pacing, a rapturous plot, and wonderful characters each with elaborate backstories were to be seen in Carnival. But my favorite part of this book was the seeing pieces in this intricate puzzle being fit together with a satisfying “click.”  But Marr left us with numerous puzzle pieces scattered across the table. And I, for one, cannot wait to see how it all fits together. I know for some, Wicked Lovely left something to be desired, but this book is vastly different. Even if you didn’t like Wicked Lovely, I urge you to give this a try. Carnival of Souls is not a book to overlook! 

Rating: 5/5 Stars


Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Pub Date: October 2, 2012 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Summary (from Goodreads): In this riveting debut, a telepathic girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world--before the wrong person finds the answer first.

Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit into her life. She's skipped multiple grades and doesn't really connect with the older kids at school, but she's not comfortable with her family, either. And Sophie has a secret--she's a Telepath, someone who can read minds. But the day Sophie meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy, she learns she's not alone. He's a Telepath too, and it turns out the reason she has never felt at home is that, well...she isn't. Fitz opens Sophie's eyes to a shocking truth, and almost instantly she is forced to leave behind her family for a new life in a place that is vastly different from what she has ever known.

But Sophie still has secrets, and they're buried deep in her memory for good reason: The answers are dangerous and in high-demand. What is her true identity, and why was she hidden among humans? The truth could mean life or death--and time is running out.

There are so many things that go through my mind when I think of this book. I could go on and on about character development and pacing, but that’s not what the book is all about. Since this is one of the first MGs I’ve read in awhile, I can’t compare it to anything but what I remember of those experiences. But I will do my best to explain why this book is so freaking awesome. 
I had more fun reading Keeper than I have reading a book in awhile. I probably looked like a crazy person when I was reading because I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling and squealing. Although this book does not have magic in it, there are awesome fantasy components like elves and powers. There’s mystery and wonderful adventures. I did not want to put this book down for even a second. 
One of the reasons I adored Keeper so much was because even though Sophie was just a few years younger than most YA protagonists, her experiences were drastically different. She’s still a just girl, and this was so refreshing for me. I read mostly YA, and the protagonists are often struggling with impending adulthood and decisions that shape their lives. In this book, Sophie was experiencing being a teenager for the first time, and was just learning about love and loss and heartbreak. I loved experiencing so many firsts that aren’t always included within the YA genre. 
I fell in love with every character. Each had their own endearing traits. I loved all three potential crushes. And although Keefe and Dex were fabulous boys, my heart belongs to Fitz. He and Sophie just had this connection which intrigues me and draws me to him. Each of the boys were totally different, and that’s what makes me so interested in the romantic developments in the sequel. 
The plot was amazing, it had elements of mystery and fantasy. I was completely thrown by every twist and turn, and it contains an element of surprise that was unpredictable. The pacing was perfect and fast; I found I couldn’t flip the pages quick enough. I really felt an emotional tie to everything about Keeper. I absolutely fell in love with this book. I’d recommend this to fantasy lovers, though it is unfortunate that I haven’t read many in that genre. I’d even dare to say that this book is for fans of Harry Potter and Rick Riordan’s books. Keeper ties together with an epic explosion that settles to reveal five stars. So yeah, if you didn’t catch that, I’m giving this book five stars. I’m so happy to say that this book has opened my eyes to not just one, but two genres I have yet to really explore. Although I’m not sure if anything can really hold a candle to Keeper of the Lost Cities, I am ready to test the waters! Mark your calendars, you do not want to miss Shannon Messenger’s marvelous MG debut!

Rating: 5/5 stars

Note: This is one of the ARCs I brought home from ALA. 


Time Between Us by Tamara Stone

Pub Date: October 2012 
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Summary (from Goodreads): Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett’s unique ability to travel through time and space brings him into Anna’s life, and with him, a new world of adventure and possibility. 

As their relationship deepens, they face the reality that time might knock Bennett back where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate—and what consequences they can bear in order to stay together. 

Time Between Us was a perfect summer read! It’s a contemporary novel with time travel thrown in with the romance. I picked up an ARC on the first day of ALA, and had read it in time for the Monday signing. It was so much fun to read! I liked the romance, but never being in love I find it often astonishing that the characters can just know they love each other so quickly. I felt that there wasn’t enough of a build up, and that’s how I feel with a lot of books. Besides that, I loved everything. The witty banter, the adorable kissing scenes. I would give Time Between Us to fans of Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, as well as fans of Timepiece who want to read more timeslip. Everything considered, I am giving Time Between Us 4 of 5 stars. And I honestly can’t wait for the companion :)
PS Comment to tell me what you’re enjoying this summer! 


Cover Reveal: Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting

I saw the cover on Kimberly Derting’s website, and I had to share it. I haven’t posted anything recently, after all I was in California for ALA and VidCon and I only got back last night. Since I’m still recovering I decided to come back with an awesome cover reveal. New reviews will be up sometime this week. I know you probably just scrolled to see the cover. That’s what I’d do.
Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting

Wow! That is one gorgeous cover. I love the contrast of the black and red and the light patterns in the flower. And I also love Kimberly Derting’s books, so I can’t wait to read this one!