June 30, 2012

Abandon by Meg Cabot {Review}

Publisher: Point
Publish Date: April 26, 2011
Source: Library
Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone...because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.
But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.
Only she can't. because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away...especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.
But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

When I started reading Abandon, I wasn't quite feeling it. It kept jumping around from the past to the present to the past again and it was kind of hard to keep up. The transitions weren't at all obvious and a lot of the times I'd have to flip back to check where in the timeline I was. In the end, though, I was devouring it.

I thought I might have a problem with the relationship between Pierce and John because the whole we-barely-know-each-other-but-it's-love paranormal romance thing doesn't usually appeal to me, but I ended up really rooting for them to be together. I'm not sure what it was about John, but he's quite swoony. And once again, the typical paranormal bad boy is not at all my thing. In fact, I'm more of cute-and-sweet-nerd love kind of gal. Maybe it's that John may have been kind of grumpy sometimes but he also just seemed kind of innocent. Like he has no idea why a girl would be terrified at the thought of spending forever in some strange guys room.

I liked that there was a lot of setup in Abandon, but it didn't feel like there was. A lot of the side story-lines will carry into the next book, but I didn't even realize they weren't going to be tied up until I turned the last page. Also, for all you cliffhanger haters, I didn't feel like the end was that much of a cliffhanger. Sure, it's not all tied up with a pretty little bow but it's not like "will Pierce make it out of the River Styx alive or will she DROWN?! Find out next time!" And no, that's not a spoiler.

One minor little gripe I had was with the way the dialogue was broken up. I don't like when it looks like this: "What," Alex asked while turning around from his post at the dishes, "do you think you are doing?" It just feels so unnatural and it happened SO many times.

The Nutshell: Abandon started out a little rocky for me, but I ended up loving it. I mean, if paper burns were possible, I would probably have had them from flipping pages so fast. If you like variations of Greek mythology then this is definitely a book for you. If you like Meg Cabot with a dash (and then some) of paranormal, then give Abandon a try. If you like the wounded-bad-boy thing then what are you waiting for?

Pages: 304
Series: Abandon Trilogy #1
Rating: Hit

June 28, 2012

Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell {Review}

Publisher: Amulet Books
Publish Date: May 1, 2012
Source: Publisher for honest review
Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school's struggling radio station, where the other students don't find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Gram's mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and and helps others to find the fun and joy in every day life. 

Looking at Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe, one would probably think it’s all fluff, but that’s definitely not the case. Throughout the course of the story Chloe has to deal with some pretty hard stuff from cruel ex-best friends to feuding relatives.

I love the way Coriell wrote a story that defied expectations. Chloe defied my expectations as well. I didn’t really think she’d change in the end, but she did and it was awesome. In the beginning I could kind of see where her friends were coming from. Chloe did seem a little self-centered, but at the same time she has a huge heart that wants to take care of everyone she loves. Despite the fact that Chloe’s personality is basically the polar opposite of mine, I ended up really loving her and being able to connect with her.

I loved the radio station and all its inhabitants. Even though there were quite a few different characters at the radio Coriell managed to make them all completely unique. I loved reading about them and seeing Chloe find a family with them. Chloe’s talk-shows were super duper fun too :]

Though she doesn’t delve into the complete complexities of it, I really appreciated that Coriell touched on the idea that just because your problems are different than someone else’s doesn’t make them any less painful or difficult. This is something I often think about and I love that Chloe dealt with it a little too. Sure, a broken family and divorce really sucks, but that doesn’t mean that a whole, “picture-perfect” family doesn’t have problems that are just as bad for the person dealing with them.

Duncan was kind of infuriating at times, but I did like him overall, though I didn’t fall head over heels for him. But not every (fictional) guy is for every girl ;]

The Nutshell: If you’re expecting a cute read from Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe, you’ll certainly get that, but you’ll come away with something else as well. This read isn’t all fluff, there’s family problems, friend issues, and even some fiery troubles. If you want a cute read that’s also rounded out with some problems (in the story not because of it) then you should definitely give Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe a chance.

Pages: 299
Series: No
Rating: Hit

June 25, 2012

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman {Review}

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publish Date: July 8, 2010
Source: Library
Elizabeth has a new job at an unusual library: a lending library of objects, not books. In a secret room in the basement lies the Grimm Collection. That's where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales: seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White's stepmother's sinister mirror that talks in riddles.
When the magical objects start to disappear, Elizabeth embarks on a dangerous quest to catch the thief before she can be accused of the crime or captured by the thief. 

The Grimm Legacy was a really fun read. I loved learning little things about the Grimm fairy tales and the “magical” items from them.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about Elizabeth. She certainly stood up to the difficult tasks when it was necessary, but she was just so easily swayed by everyone. Now that I think of it, in the end she was open-minded about everyone and gave them the benefit of the doubt in a good way when I certainly hadn’t. While I was reading, though, it just made her seem like she was blind in her beliefs of people which was a tad annoying. Overall, I think I lean on the side of liking her more.
I was never really a fan of Marc. Despite how everything turned out, he still seemed a little shifty to me.
I actually quite liked Aaron and was kind of rooting for him from the beginning. He was just so awkward that it was cute and endearing, even if he covered it up with anger.

I sadly haven’t read any of the original Grimm fairy tales, but I’ll definitely be fixing that soon. All the stories and the objects from them were mixed into The Grimm Legacy in such a fantastic way that despite the fact that I’ve never read them, I still understood everything perfectly.

I love the idea of an object lending library. Especially one with magical Grimm objects! I’m sad we never got to visit some of the other special rooms, but I suppose there’s only so much one can do with a standalone.

The Nutshell: Though I found some of the characters to be a tad annoying at times, I rather enjoyed the overall story. The Grimm stories are worked into The Grimm Legacy in such a way that you can appreciate them whether you’ve read the originals or not, which I really liked. Overall, if you’re a lover of fairy tales and crazy adventures with just a sprinkle of romance, then you should definitely give this book a try.

Pages: 325
Series: No
Rating: Hit

June 24, 2012

In My Mailbox {47}

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Fullmetal Alchemist manga 2&3

For Review:
Broken City by D.D. Chant
Envy by Gregg Olsen
Betrayal by Gregg Olsen

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

June 22, 2012

Another Pan by Daniel & Dina Nayeri {Review}

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publish Date: September 14, 2010
Source: Library
Sixteen-year-old Wendy and her insecure freshman brother, John are hitting the books at the Marlowe School. But one tome consumes their attention: The Book of Gates, a coveted Egyptian artifact that their professor father believes has magical powers. Soon Wendy and John discover that the legend is real -- when they recite from its pages and descend into a snaking realm beneath the Manhattan school. As the hallways darken, and dead moths cake the floor, a charismatic new RA named Peter reveals that their actions have unleashed a terrible consequence: the underworld and all its evil is now seeping into Marlowe. 

The best descriptor I can think of when it comes to the Another books is strange. It’s a good kind of strange that makes me keep reading to find out what crazy odd-ball thing will be thrown at me next, though. This one, for instance, Another Pan is obviously a Peter Pan spin-off/retelling, but it’s also about an old Egyptian curse. I certainly never would have put those two things together, but it works.

I loved drawing the connections between the original Pan story (well, at least the Disney version that I know) and this one. The Nayeri’s definitely had some ingenious tricks for the correlations. Pointing them out wouldn’t necessarily be spoilers, but I think it takes a little of the fun away, so I’ll just say that my favorite one was their reimagining of the crocodile.

I found some of the characters to be absolutely infuriating, but I’m pretty sure that’s the way I was meant to feel and it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the story. Plus, a few of them even had redeeming moments. I’m starting to think Peter is a terrible boy after all the versions of the story that I’ve read, though.
I really appreciated Wendy’s internal struggles. At times I wanted to pull her aside and knock some sense into her, but it felt genuine.

The Nutshell: If you’re a fan of retellings with a little strange thrown into the mix, then you should probably give Another Pan a try as well as its predecessor. They can easily be read separately without missing a thing, but if you like one, it’s highly likely that you’ll enjoy the other as well.

Pages: 393
Series: Another #2
Rating: Hit 

June 21, 2012

Today I am...One Year Old!


I can hardly believe it's been one whole year since I started A Room with Books. Then again, with everything that's happened sometimes it's hard to believe it's only been a year. Let's go over some of the highlights:

--I went from having about 5 books of my own to needing to acquire a new bookcase because they were overflowing
And the new one's almost full now :P
-- Gotten introduced to the idea of ARCs and have actually been lucky enough to receive a few :]

-- I've discovered tons of new blogs and made quite a few awesome bloggy friends including:
- Erika of Rescue Reads
- Erica of The Book Cellar
- Katie of Katie's Book Blog
- Heidi of Bunbury in the Stacks
- Meredith of Mint Tea and a Good Book
- The Ladies of Read. Write. Ramble.
and so many more that I couldn't possibly ever list them all :P

-- I've gotten over 150 GFC followers, 150 RSS followers, and 240 some Twitter followers :D
Chibird says it perfectly
-- Gotten a blog look I adore courtesy of Husband.

-- Attended my first signing (Kimberly Derting) and book launch (for Revived by Cat Patrick).
Me and Cat Patrick :]
-- Received signed books straight from one Miss Jennifer Echols (totally made my entire month when she sent me those).

-- Gotten @s from authors on Twitter that thank me for reviewing their books (I know, surreal, right?!)

-- Was featured on Blogger Behind the Book at Greads
You can go here if you want to
check it out :]

10) Reignited my Middle Grade love.

11) Participated in my first readathon (and discovered I'm and even slower reader than I thought).

...I should probably stop listing now since I could keep going :P Plus, that's only strictly blogging stuff. That's not to mention all the crazy things that have happened in my personal life this past year!

And now you guys are probably wanting to just get right down to the good stuff, so let's do that. I have a box full of mix-n-match ARCs and finished copies that I want to give away. It's completely random, but I figure that makes it all the more fun :]
Here's a pic:
There's a box of books (I won't list them all, but hopefully when you click and see the bigger image you can tell what they are) a kitten bookmark, magnetic cupcake bookmarks, and a print by the illustrator who did the artwork in The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls.
The box of stuff is US only, but if you're international we can work something out. Maybe a Book Depository book?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 20, 2012

Cover Lover {46}

Of course we all know you should never judge a book by its cover, but do we ever really listen to that?
Cover Lover showcases eye catching, intriguing, and beautiful covers.

This week's Cover Lover goes to Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
Publish Date: March 19, 2013
How gorgeous is this cover?! I'm loving the contrast of the bright pink and green. The text has a fun retro-y feel that seems to go with the theme. I love that even though there's a girl on the cover she doesn't have the mopey-brooding vibe coming off of her. Instead, she's sitting there in cool vintage clothes with awesome headphones going through her records.

June 19, 2012

Top Ten on my Summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week there's a category and everyone participating lists their "Top Ten" in that category.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR List

1. Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
What's better for a summery read than mermaids? Killer mermaids!

2. Reunited by Hilary Graham
Road trips make for perfect summer books and this one not only has the promise of a fun road trip, but also an interesting ex-best-friends dynamic :]

3. Endlessly by Kiersten White
Paranormalcy and Supernaturally were both super-freaking-fantastically-awesome and I can't wait to see how Kiersten ends the series!

4. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
I've already heard fantastic things, but even before that I was excited since it sounds like a cute contemp. Quite honestly, I think the cover is what draws me in and makes it feel summery :P

5. 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody
Daughter of a rich-daddy forced to take on a new "crappy" job every week for a year to learn some humility? Yeah, I'm betting there'll be a fair amount of laughs ;]

6. Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams
I've said it once and I'll say it again: it's like this book was written for me. Before I no longer had cable, Food Network was on basically 24/7. I love food and tv shows about food. And then Williams here decided to write a book with two of my favorite things AND teens and romance. I seriously cannot wait for this book!

7. The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando
Am I the only one who feels like scavenger hunts just scream summer? ....Yes? Well, fine then :P

8. Monument 14 to Emmy Laybourne
Okay, so maybe it's not some light, summery read, but I need my dose of dystopian/apocalyptic fiction. It fuels my reading fire :P

9. This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Once again, I know this isn't exactly a feel-good summer book, but ever since I learned the publish date was sometime in June I've been thinking of it as a summer book. Yes, I know I'm strange.

10. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Look, more mermaids! Is there really anything better than mermaids to get into the summer mood?

Bonus! An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Since reading Looking for Alaska last month I've decided to slowly work my way chronologically through JG's book and Katherines is next up :]

June 18, 2012

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick {Review}

Publisher: Scholastic
Publish Date: March 2007
Source: Library
Caldecott Honor artist Brian Selznick has 284 pencil drawings and actual photos (an old train engine falling from an upper story to the street below, Harold Loyd in "Safety Lost", film stills) basing his story on facts. Automatons who could draw pictures, write poems, and sign the maker's name Maillardet, really existed, neglected in a museum. George  Melies, 1861 magician turned film-maker, son of shomeker-magnate, built his own camera Kinetographe, and was rediscovered in  1926 working at his Gare Montparness railroad station toy kiosk. Fiction: orphan clock-winder 1931 lad Hugo steals to eat an repair a robot from his father's notebook, until he meets Melies' pretty god-daughter Isabelle accompanied by helpful film student Etienne. An unusual blend of graphic novel and history lesson results.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a magical story told through pictures as well as words. And I don’t just mean that there are pictures added in with the story, I mean the pictures mixed in actually tell parts of the story. Say Hugo is following somebody home and there are pictures of that happening, when the words pick up again they start where the picture left off, possibly at said person’s house.

Yes, I have seen the movie and honestly, I’d rather not compare the two. The movie is fantastic all by itself and the same goes for the book. You get a little more of what Hugo is thinking and feeling with the book which I appreciated. It was interesting to hear his thoughts and hopes and dreams.

I love that the story is part adventure, part mystery, part heart-warming, and part boy-learning-to-grow-up-without-a-family. It’s amazing how Selznick weaved all those elements into one beautiful story. Well, two actually, but you’ll have to read the book to know what I mean.

The Nutshell: Despite The Invention of Hugo Cabret’s enormous size, I finished it within a couple hours, so don’t let that scare you. The drawings are beautiful and the story is just as lovely. I don’t think one outshines the other, they both work together seamlessly to tell a magical story of a boy who gets to experience love, hope, and adventure.

Pages: 534
Series: No
Rating: Direct Hit

June 15, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness info.

So a while back I did a post about how to get books when you're flat broke. You can check it out here. At the time I didn't know much about Random Acts of Kindness and what I did know I didn't understand, so I didn't include it. I've since learned about it and I've been happily doing it for months so I thought I'd share it with you guys here (especially since I'm terrible at making my recap posts :P).

RAK is this awesome thing hosted by Book Soulmates which makes a giant list of bloggers who want to participate. In order to participate and be included on the list everyone must have a wishlist (but, I mean come on, who doesn't have a wishlist?). From there, people can decide to send you books using your wishlist or you can decide to send someone a book using theirs. Nothing is required of anyone, but in my personal opinion, it's just as fun to send books as it is to get them.

I have a whole box of books I've gotten from trips to Half Price and thrift stores for the sole use of RAK and trades. I figure what's $5 to me when it could totally make someone's day :D

For a more in depth description or the to sign up for June, you can go here.

June 14, 2012

Partials by Dan Wells {Review}

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publish Date: February 28, 2012
Source: Library
Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials -- engineered organic beings identical to humans -- has decimated the world's population. Reduced to only tends of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together in Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity's time is running out.
When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend's pregnancy, she's determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war's origin that she never knew to ask.

Sometimes when I read a book I can kind of predict what comes next or at least the ultimate outcome. Well, that certainly wasn’t the case with Partials. Just when I thought I had everything figured out Wells threw something at me that took me completely by surprise. It’s safe to say that I didn’t find Partials the least bit predictable.

I’m not going to lie, sometimes I found myself wishing Kira would make the easy decision, but I can ultimately appreciate that it was a part of her personality. You’re probably thinking that sounds bad, but someone would fall down dead in a battle and she’d be all “I need to help them!” and I’m sitting there thinking “He’s dead! Run! Save yourself!” But like I said, I can appreciate that it’s just a flaw of her character.

I quite liked Samm and was incredibly surprised when a love triangle didn’t sprout up because of him. Marcus was a fantastic guy, but I’m not going to lie, if a love triangle were to pop up I’d be all about the Samm. I mean, this is a guy who saved Kira instead of himself (I won’t say any more than that for fear of spoiling).

The storyline of Partials was fantastic. I was a little bored in the beginning. It’s not that it was really going too slowly, but it just took a bit for me to get immersed into the story, but once I did I was never bored. Don’t let the size scare you off because once you get into the story you won’t even realize how quickly you’re turning the pages.

I also really appreciated that we got a few answers, but enough questions were left to leave me wanting more.

The Nutshell: Though it might take a little bit to get fully immersed in the story, Partials is definitely worth the read. There are plot twists and turns that Wells throws at the reader out of the blue and plenty of action but still enough down time to appreciate the finer aspects of the story. If you love dystopian and having your mind blown multiple times, read Partials.

Pages: 468
Series: Partials #1
Rating: Hit

June 13, 2012

Cover Lover {45}

Of course we all know you should never judge a book by its cover, but do we ever really listen to that?
Cover Lover showcases eye catching, intriguing, and beautiful covers.

This week's Cover Lover goes to Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Publish Date: September 13, 2011
I believe this is the UK cover, but it's so much more beautiful than the US hardcover. I mean, her face is the sky. How cool is this that?!

June 11, 2012

Love? Maybe by Heather Hepler {Review}

Publisher: Dial 
Publish Date: January 5, 2012
Source: Library
Just because Piper's birthday is on Valentine's Day does not mean she's a romantic. In fact, after watching her father and then her stepfather leave, she's pretty sure she doesn't believe in love at all. The her friends concoct a plan to find them all Valentine's dates, and somehow Piper find herself with the most popular guy in school. But true love never follows a plan, and a string of heartfelt gifts from a secret admirer has Piper wondering if she might be with the wrong guy.

I’m sad to say I didn’t enjoy Love? Maybe as much as I’d hoped. It’s still a cute read, but I never really connected with any of the characters. I’m not usually a character person as long as the plot sucks me in, but I found this plot to be a bit predictable. In fact, I’m not even sure what’s a spoiler since the storyline seemed a bit obvious to me. I’ll do my best to keep it spoiler-free, though.

Claire’s cynicism didn’t actually bother me, because if I’m honest, I was pretty cynical of Valentine’s during my middle and high school years as well. My cynical nature was due to not having my own Valentine rather than being hurt too many times like it was for Claire. From an older, outside point of view sometimes I felt like saying “Come on, Claire, it’s not ALL that bad” but I know a younger me would have been right there with her.

I basically called all the relationships from a mile away with one exception and that’s because he wasn’t really in the story. It was difficult watching all the characters be so oblivious to what was happening around them.

My favorite character of all was definitely Jan. He was just really cool in the way that he was somewhat of a father-figure for Claire but he wasn’t pushy or anything. He was just there to tell Claire the truth when she was willing to listen.
I also quite liked Lucy and Dom. They were a fun little addition to the story.

The Nutshell: Overall Love? Maybe was a cute read, but rather predictable. I wasn’t romanced off my feet by any of the characters but none of them bothered me either. I’d say it was a pretty middle-of-the-road read, but if you’re looking for a cute quick pick-me-up, this could definitely do the trick.

Pages: 272
Series: No
Rating: Near Miss

June 10, 2012

In My Mailbox {46}

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Seven Sorcerers by Caro King
Once Dead Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
A Whole latte Cute kitten bookmark

For Review:
My Friends Are Dead People by Tony J. Ortiz
(I was completely wrong about what I thought it was about in the video, by the way :P)

Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts
Ghost Flower by Michele Jaffe
Dark Parties by Sara Grant
Thumped by Megan MacCafferty
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
A Hero for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

June 9, 2012

Most Anticipated BEA Books Part 2

Design credit: Emily of Emily's Reading Room
Yesterday I did my most anticipated BEA debuts and non-sequel books so today it's all about the sequels! And once again, this is a very incomplete list since I got bored with Edelweiss and there's only so much room in one post/people's attention span. So without further ado, here's my (abbreviated) Most Anticipated BEA Sequel Books.

This is the UK cover.
I like it better :P
Envy by Elizabeth MilesPublish Date: September 4, 2012I really enjoyed Fury and after that ending I'm anxious to see what Miles does with Envy. I keep wondering if it'll be the same creepy style and whether there'll be some of the same characters, among other things.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revel There by Catherynne M. ValentePublish Date: October 7, 2012I just finished Fairyland #1 the other day and I absolutely adored it. I seriously can't wait to delve back into the story and revisit September and A-through-L and Saturday!

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle HodkinPublish Date: October 23,2012The ending of The Unbecoming was just too much and I seriously can't wait to find out what comes next. I just keep hoping the mystery of the first book will have transferred to the sequel.

Island of Silence by Lisa McMannPublish Date: September 4, 2012I think it's safe to say that The Unwateds was one of my favorite recent reads and I'll remember it for a long time, so you can imagine how excited I am fir the sequel.

The Kill Order by James DashnerPublish Date: September 4, 2012I LOVE The Maze Runner series. I quite liked the way The Death Cure ended off the series but I'm excited to jump back into the world and see how the before happened.

Enders by Lissa PricePublish Date: December 11, 2012Though I wasn't jump-up-and-down-crazy about Starters as everyone else seemed to be I still enjoyed it and am excited to see how Price closes out the duo(is that the term) since I still have plenty of questions that need answered.

Bad Hair Day by Carrie HarrisPublish Date: November 13, 2012I loved how quick and fun Bad Taste in Boys was and I'm looking forward to see what kind of crazy situation Kate will find herself in this time.

Waking Storms by Sarah PorterPublish Date: July 3, 2012I'll give you that I haven't read a lot of mermaid books, but Lost Voices is still one of my favorites anyway. It's not the fluff you'd expect from a mermaid book. It's raw and beautiful and amazing. I'm not even sure what I hope Waking Storms will be like. I'm just excited to dive into it. (Yeah, I went there with the pun.)
Endlessly by Kiersten WhitePublish Date:Eeeeeeep! Evie and Lend!! I'm sad it's the end, though :[
Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret StohlPublish Date: October 23,2012I can't believe it's the eeeeeennnndddd! I'm super looking forward to it even if it's the end. I don't even know if I'm ready for it, but I'll read it anyway :P

June 8, 2012

Most Anticipated BEA Books Part 1

Design credit: Sarah at Puss Reboots

Since I'm most certainly not an authority on the future of blogging (as I barely have a past with A Room with Books) I thought I'd do the most anticipated from BEA post that everyone else did on ABEA day #2 since I didn't get the chance.

Okay, I started going through the BEA catalogue on Edelweiss but after about 2 hours and 20 tabs on Chrome I decided that probably wasn't the best idea. So, I'll give you my Most Anticipated From BEA in a slightly more condensed and possibly incomplete list :P
...Is what I said before I put all the books into a draft in Blogger and discovered it wasn't nearly as short as I'd thought. So, since you guys don't have the patience to read mile long posts (don't try to fool me, I don't have the patience either :P) I decided to break it up a little. Today I'll do my most anticipated (still in the incomplete form) debuts/non-series books.
(All the titles link to Goodreads so you can read the real summaries :])

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
Publish Date: October 2, 2012
This looks like one seriously awesome middle grade and you guys know how much I love me some MG!
Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Publish Date: September 18, 2012
I still haven't read Possess, but I love spooky stories nonetheless and this sounds like a truly spooky story. Just in time for October, too :]
Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill
Publish Date: November 13, 2012
Besides the gorgeous cover (but really, it is gorgeous, isn't it?) this sounds like one seriously awesome contemp. I mean, we have the guy that was never meant to be AND London.

Behind the Bookcase by Mark Steensland and Kelly Murphy
Publish Date: October 9, 2012
First of all, it's middle grade. That's an awesome beginning, sure. BUT there's a secret world behind a bookcase. Can it possibly get better than that?!

The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
Publish Date: October 2, 2012
I'm fairly certain this needs no more explanation that Lauren Oliver + middle grade.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Publish Date: December 18, 2012
I'm probably the only person who hasn't read Brightly Woven, but "secret government 'rehabilitation camp'" piques my interest anyway.

Erasing Time by C.J. Hill
Publish Date: August 28, 2012
I loooooooove futuristic books and 400 years later is a lot of future to deal with. Especially if you're sent there from the past. 

Origin by Jessica Khoury
Publish Date: September 4, 2012
Secret laboratories are my jam.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Publish Date: September 4, 2012
Uhm, hello, people, it's Maggie Stiefvater.

June 6, 2012

Beyond the Blog

Design by: Nina Reads
Day four of Armchair BEA is upon us. I'm sad I haven't managed to get any of the other topic posts up, but I'm still glad to be a participant nonetheless. Without further ado, today's topic: Beyond Your Blog; Opportunities Provided to You Outside the Blogging World by Your Blog

To be quite honest, the combination of my blog being just shy of a year and my introvert tendencies means I haven't really gotten any "real-life" things out of my blog. That is to say, invitations to special events, other reviewing opportunities, etc. Don't take that to mean I've gotten nothing at all out of my blog, though. Nosiree, I promise I've gotten plenty :]

I never really knew about author signings or things like that so my blog introduced me to a whole new level of bookish love. Since I moved up to Seattle I've gotten the chance to attend a few signings which I'm really thankful for. I got to meet Cat Patrick and Kimberly Derting and this Saturday I'll get to attend the Fierce Reads Seattle tour stop. 
Which reminds me...
Sadly, I didn't really know much about John Green last January when him and Hank came through on the Tour De Nerdfighting, BUT I've now been introduced to the awesomeness that is Nerdfighteria and I never in a million years would have found that without blogging :D

Another major thing I've gleaned through blogging is more confidence in myself. Being able to put my thoughts and feelings out there and have people come and read them because they actually want to just blows my mind. In a good way, of course.

The mantra of an introvert.
The final thing that blogging has provided for me is friends. I'm just terrible at making friends in real life. I get all awkward and I say weird things so that people end up kind of edging away from me trying to politely escape my scariness (oh, the life of an introvert). The internet has helped me feel just a little less awkward and the mutual love of books has provided me with a great platform to meet other awesome bloggers. "Meet" being a relative term since I haven't actually met any of them in real life :P 

So, that's my poorly worded thanks to my blog and all it's given me. What kind of opportunities has your blog provided you? Or, if you're not a blogger, has your love of books gotten you anywhere?

June 4, 2012

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann {Review}

Publisher: Aladdin
Publish Date: August 30, 2011
Source: Library
Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths.
Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers the stunning secret behind the mirage of the "death farm": there is instead a place called  Artime.
In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it's a wondrous transformation.
But it's a rare, unique occurrence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron's bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle.

The Unwanteds was an absolutely fantastic read. It’s very, very rare that I want to flip back to the beginning of a book after finishing and start all over again, but that’s exactly how I felt with this one.

I loved the stark contrast of the dull, gray world of Quill compared to the vibrant, wonderful world of Artime. Honestly, I felt a little like one of the Unwanteds when I was first introduced to Artime. It was such a shock from the lifeless world of Quill. But, like the Unwanteds, I grew to love it. It was an amazingly beautiful and happy world that I started finding myself desperately wanting to live there as well!

All the characters are fantastic. Alex was especially amazing. He grew so much from the innocent little 13-year-old throughout the course of the story and he had some majorly tough life lessons to learn. I really respected the way he dealt with all the difficult things that were thrown at him.
All the other side characters were fantastic as well. Not only did they each have their own personalities, but they all had noticeable growth as well which I think is something you very rarely see.
I especially loved all the fantastical characters like Mrs. Octavia and Simber.

McMann does some seriously awesome world-building in The Unwanteds. Not only did she create to completely different worlds each with their own fantastical elements, but she also weaved multiple side-stories into the mix. Though I predicted a few of the outcomes, I was blindsided by many more.

The Nutshell: I was enthralled the entire time I was reading The Unwanteds. This is definitely one book you’re not going to want to miss. This book has everything from magic to squirrelicorns to mystery to a suppressed society. If even one small thing about this book intrigues you, pick it up. I can almost guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Pages: 390
Series: Unwanteds #1
Rating: Direct Hit 

June 3, 2012

Armchair BEA Introductions

Image created by Emily of Emily's Reading Room

This is my first year participating in Armchair BEA. Heck, it's the first year I even know what BEA is :P I'm excited to be joining in this year, though and hope to be able to participate to the fullest. To start out my participation this year, we have my introduction post :]

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
I think my About Me and sidebar description sum me up pretty well so I won't delve any further into the Who I Am bit. I've been blogging for a year on the 21st of this month. I started A Room with Books for two main reasons 1) I was starting to feel like I wasn't getting much out of my reading anymore and 2) I was lacking hobbies in my life and the blog helped clear up both problems nicely :]

2. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?
I'm currently reading Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (finally!). As for my favorite of 2012 so far? Well, I can't possibly choose :P

3. Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.
Hmm..good question. I love to freak myself out with thrillers and horror movies but I tend to jump at every little shadow. I don't even like doing laundry in my apartment building after dark :P

4. What is your favorite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)?
I love the My Current Obsession feature I do sporadically, because though I've only featured tv shows on it so far, it could be anything I want it to be. I like the freedom to share parts of my life that aren't necessarily bookish. 

5. Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?
I like to think that my Broke? Here's some tips for free books. could help some people out :]

6. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
To be quite honest, I'm not the best people person (I'm working on it). I always clam up and get all stuttery and never know what to say. That being said, I'd love to attend a dinner that had John & Hank Green, their wives, Stephanie Perkins, Tahereh Mafi, and Kiersten White in attendance. I'm pretty sure it'd be a riot.

7. What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?
That would be Artime from Lisa McMann's The Unwanteds which I happened to review on the blog today :]

8. What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?
I love the simple fact that it is a community. Even though we each have our own little corner of the internet, it's like we're a part of something bigger.
If I were to see anything, it would just be less drama. I know I can't expect it to ever completely disappear, but I've seen quite a bit of drama since I joined the community nearly a year ago.

9. Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?
My tastes haven't really changed all that much, but I do read more contemporary now :]

In My Mailbox {45}

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

This Sunday I'm just going to do my recent giveaway wins. Sorry for the crappy picture quality. My phone doesn't take the best pics and I'm frankly too lazy to use my real camera. Also, no video because I don't feel like :P

The Mapmaker and the Ghost by Sarvenaz Tash + buttons and cool bookmark
I was so super excited to win a finished copy of this book since I've been looking forward to it for ages.

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
(from Lauren @ 365 Days of Reading and Little Brown)
I'm pretty sure I squealed when I got the email that I'd won this contest. Despite the super creepy cover I've been absolutely DYING to get my hands on a copy of this one for ages.

Collision by Stefne Miller
(from Erica @ The Book Cellar)
I've been hearing good things from a few bloggers so I'm excited to get the chance to read it.

Born Wicked swag including bookmarks, stickers, a bookplate, and a magnet + other Apocolyspies swag
(from Jessica Spotswood)
I LOVED Born Wicked so I was super happy to get some swag from Jessica :]

The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova
(from Mundie Moms and Sourcebooks Fire)
Yay for mermaid books!

Reunited swag including magnet, bookmarks, Level3 postcard + Reunited road trip mix
(Hilary Graham)
I'm so super excited to read this one so I was happy to learn I'd won some swag for it :]

Ferocity Summer prize pack including a copy of Ferocity Summer, a pack of glow sticks, a green flip-flop keychain, lemonade Kool-Aid (YUM!), snazzy sunglasses, A&W popsicles, and a cute summery citrus bag.
(from Alissa Grosso)
This prize pack was completely adorable and I can't wait for it to actually warm up around here to I can get some use out of it!

Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe swag including postcard, bookmark, pink pen (I love pens!), bottlecap necklace + an Amulet books mouse pad (one of the most interesting pieces of swag ever)
(from Shelley Coriell)
I really enjoyed Welcome, Caller and this swag is super cute. I'm a lover of all things stationary so the pen was perfect :]