Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Review + Giveaway: Auracle by Gina Rosati

Title: Auracle
Author: Gina Rosati
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
ARC, 298 pages
Date Published: August 7, 2012
Source: Publisher
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
16 year old Anna Rogan has a secret she's only shared with her best friend, Rei; she can astrally project out of her body, allowing her spirit to explore the world and the far reaches of the universe.

When there's a fatal accident and her classmate Taylor takes over Anna's body, what was an exhilarating distraction from her repressive home life threatens to become a permanent state. Faced with a future trapped in another dimension, Anna turns to Rei for help. Now the two of them must find a way to get Anna back into her body and stop Taylor from accusing an innocent friend of murder. Together Anna and Rei form a plan but it doesn't take into account the deeper feelings that are beginning to grow between them.
Are you looking for a book that has the precisely perfect combination of snarky, sweet, and just a tad paranormal? If you are, or if you’re just looking for some phenomenal YA, then Auracle is the book to pick up.

Anna’s strange power to pull herself out of her body and travel anywhere she wants would seem impossible, but she accepts it and loves it. Rei Ellis, here best friend, accepts it to, but doesn’t necessarily love it that much. With good reason too, because she uses just that power one night and finds herself locked out of her body when evil high school classmate Taylor meets her untimely death, but instead of going into the bright white light, she goes straight into Anna’s body.

Hilarity ensues. Along with a good amount of snark, mean girl-ness, and some seriously sweet Rei and astral projection/sorta-not-really-there Anna. The funny seems strange because a girl did really die and a good guy is really on the run because of it, but Taylor is so genuinely horrible that it makes it a little easier to laugh throughout the book. Taylor and Anna square off more than once, leading to some great scenes.

The story unfolds quickly, with a good mix of humor, serious scenes, and the blossoms of romance. Anna is undeniably easy to relate to. She comes off as real and has a great sense of humor. The story, the characters, and the dialogue are fresh and exciting, making Auracle both incredibly fun to read and impossible to put down.

Opening line: Rei Ellis whispers to me as the light goes dark. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines/passages: I know I feel like nothing more than a gentle vibration beneath his fingers, but I can feel him, so gloriously solid.
I feel like a dream sitting next to reality. ~ pg. 233

*This is the ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy  
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Two lucky people will win an Auracle swag pack, pictured below:

The dirty details:
Open to US only
One entry per person
Normal contest policy applies
Ends August 6, 2012

To enter:
leave a comment with a way to contact you
Find Gina Rosati online:

Buy it online:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Mortal Instruments Cast Thus Far

Casting for The Mortal Instruments first book-to-movie adaptation, City of Bones, is well under way. So far, we have a good chunk of the main characters cast and more keep on rolling in each day. 

Here's a list of the cast thus far:
Lily Collins as Clary Fray (still not 100% sold on this one)

Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace Wayland (he's growing on me, sorta)

Robert Sheehan as Simon Lewis (OMG love this!!)

Jemima West as Isabelle Lightwood

Godfrey Gao as Magnus Bane (I could get behind this casting)

Lena Headey as Jocelyn Fray (I'm liking this one)

Jared Harris as Hodge Starkweather (OMG could he be more perfect?!)

Kevin Durand as Pangborn (He's so good at playing bad)

Robert Maillet as Blackwell

*Will update as more cast members are revealed

Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Title: Pushing the Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ARC, 392 pages
Date Published: July 31, 2012
Source: BEA
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

"An edgy romance that pulls you in and never lets go. I was hooked!"-Gena Showalter, New York Times bestselling author of the Intertwined series.
Do you ever feel like you’ve come across the most perfectly perfect book? Like a book that you cannot put down, that you do not want to put down, and something that just kills you in the best ways? That’s exactly how I felt with Pushing the Limits. Katie McGarry writes from the alternating perspectives of good girl with serious family issues, Echo, and seemingly bad boy also with serious family issues, Noah. And each of their voices are so true and the entire tone of the book is absolutely genuine.

Readers will feel Echo and Noah; their every emotion, their spark, their despair. The book will make you smile, fan yourself with the smexiness, and yes, cry. I cried my eyes out at certain points.

Echo is kind, and damaged, and so trapped in her loneliness. She experienced a trauma, but she cannot remember any of it. All she knows is that her father remains overbearing, she’s left with scars littering her arms, and her mother isn’t allowed to see her. But she doesn’t know why. The aftermath of whatever has shut down her memory has left her isolated.

Enter Noah. He comes off as a bad boy, but he has his own hidden issues. And with very good reason, having lost both his parents in a house fire, and only barely managing to get his younger brothers out. Now Noah has to contend with the foster care system and try to get his life together to gain custody of his brothers. Noah and Echo seem like complete opposites, but they’re really the only ones who can understand each other. The spark they share is incredible. Any scene with the two absolutely explodes with tension.

McGarry skillfully tells each character’s own story, and then ties Echo and Noah together. I loved that. Not only is there a well-developed and slowly unfolding relationship, but both characters can stand up individually as well. Echo’s disconnect from her father is so sad, it made my heart hurt. Her pain is evident throughout every page of the book, but her surprising happiness with Noah makes you root for them. I wanted to see them both break free from their pain, all the while knowing how difficult it would be.

Noah’s storyline in the book hit a little closer to home for me, just because I have younger brothers, so I know how I’d feel if I was in his position. Noah is a truly good guy. He’s messed up in the past, but when we see him with his brothers, we get to look past the guy that slacks off in school and smokes pot; we see a guy who loves completely. And then we see him begin to share that side of himself with Echo as well.

Pushing the Limits is easily one of the best contemporary stories I’ve ever read, and by far one of my favorite reads this year. It had a little bit of everything and YA readers will eat it up and beg for more. I know I did.

Opening line: “My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has. . .well. . .issues. How do you think I’m doing?” ~ pg. 7

Favorite lines/passages: The worst type of crying wasn’t the kind everyone could see – the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life. ~ pg. 278

*This is the ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy  
This deserves like a gazillion stars!!!
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Katie McGarry online:

Buy it online:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

In My Mailbox - (7/22/12)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at the The Story Siren. It is a list of any of the books you may have received in the past week from bookstores, libraries, authors/publishers, trades, etc.

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I meant to. Really. I was going to post some reviews (I have 7 or so pending) or do a little blogging world drama post (I've stayed out of it), but instead I've been reading a ton (woo!) and watching A LOT of Doctor Who. 

All that aside, here are the books I've picked up in the last few weeks:
For Review:
The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein
This Dark Endeavor by Kennenth Oppel
Never Enough by Denise Jaden
Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan

*Special thanks to Scholastic!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Book Review + Giveaway: Mothership by Martin Leicht & Isla Neal

Title: Mothership
Authors: Martin Leicht & Islan Neal
Reading Level: Older Young Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hardcover, 308 pages
Date Published: July 10, 2012
Source: Marketing/Publisher
Description (Taken from Big Honcho Media):
Pregnant. In space. Yeah, things are really looking up.

It’s 2074 and Elvie’s unplanned pregnancy (with Cole Archer, who bolted out of town half a millisecond after hearing the news, not that Elvie’s bitter about it or anything) forces her to leave her best bud back on Earth and spend her junior year aboard a corny old space cruiser with forty-five other hormonal teen girls (one of whom just happens to be her arch-nemesis). Getting shipped off to the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers was not how Elvie imagined spending her junior year, but she can go with the flow. That is, until a team of hot commandos hijacks the ship—and one of them turns out to be Cole.

Mothership is the first installment in a new trilogy from Martin Leicht and Isla Neal that has been described as Juno meets Pretty In Pink…but in space.
Mothership is absolutely insane. Absolutely insane and full of witty one-liners and crazy, hormonal preggo girls. I was delighted with the perfectly placed foul-mouthery and the hilarious, ridiculous, ruckus of a plot kept my eyes glued to the pages.

Elvie Nara is certainly a new kind of heroine for readers to cheer for. And the authors are pro at keeping the girl on her toes and likable. She’s a spitfire with quite the attitude, but a brain to back it up. Despite the fact that she’s living on a ship of pregnant teens, and despite the fact that her baby daddy left her, and despite the fact that he shows up all gung-ho and gun-wielding with lots of fighting and death, Elvie is pretty bomb.

She’s my kind of girl because she’s quick-witted and sarcastic. Oh the sarcasm!! It made my sarcastic little heart go all pitter patter. Mothership is beautifully sarcastic, but it’s also wonderfully funny. Sure, if cracking jokes about pregnant teens isn’t your thing, then I understand that, but I loved it. Seriously loved it. The sci-fi-ness was also a nice touch, as the alien races were well-explained and kind of made sense in the grand scheme of things. And hello, they’re in space! So awesomeness is sure to abound.

So there are a lot of dumb. preggo girls running around? So what. They help make the book awesome. And I totes enjoyed the flashbacks to pre-pregnant days with Elvie and her best friend Ducky and her cluelessly awesome and has a drawer full of ‘in case of crisis’ folders, dad. Even Cole – the not-so-boyfriend who took off at the mention of pregnancy – makes for a good character.

So yeah, Mothership is pretty flipping cool, yo! Elvie and the Goober baby, and the alien races up to who knows what is beyond entertaining. Fans of slightly inappropriate humor will eat this up, but I have a feeling so many others will love this book, if they give it a shot. I know I did!

Opening line: As far as scientists have been able to determine, the primary function of the human coccyx, or tailbone, is to remind us that once upon a time we were all monkeys or something. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines/passages: Honestly, part of me feels sorry for Cole. The guy looks like he wants to drop a smoke bomb and ninja vanish. ~ pg. 82 (Freakin’ Ninja Turtles reference FTW!!!!!!)
And some foul language, but I love it anyway:
Man, this shit just got ominous. ~ pg. 113

4.5 all the way baby! ALL. THE. WAY.

*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

 Now for the giveaway:
*Two (2) lucky readers will win their own copy of Mothership

The dirty details:
Open to US only
One entry per person
Normal contest policy applies
 Ends July 23, 2012

To enter:
leave a comment with a way to contact you
That's it. Nice and simple.

*S&S is providing prizes and will do all mailings

Find Martin Leicht online:
S&S Author Page | Twitter

Find Isla Neal online:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

In My Mailbox - (7/15/12)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at the The Story Siren. It is a list of any of the books you may have received in the past week from bookstores, libraries, authors/publishers, trades, etc.

I've been trying to read a lot, instead of buying a lot more, since BEA. Thus far it has been fairly successful, though there are several books I realllllllly want, so I'll probably be caving and buying some soon. For now though:
For Review:
White Lines by Jennifer Banash
Mothership by Martin Leicht & Isla Neal

Awesome Doctor Who Postcards in a cool little TARDIS box!!

*Special thanks to Penguin & Big Honcho/S&S!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Never Enough Is Finally Out!!

Last year I read and loved Losing Faith by Denise Jaden, and today, her sophomore novel Never Enough is finally out. I've yet to read it, but I have no doubt I'll love it.

Description (Taken from Goodreads):
From the author of Losing Faith, a novel about two sisters and the eating disorder that threatens to destroy their family.

Loann’s always wanted to be popular and pretty like her sister, Claire. So when Claire’s ex-boyfriend starts flirting with her, Loann is willing to do whatever it takes to feel special… even if that means betraying her sister.

But as Loann slips inside Claire’s world, she discovers that everything is not as it seems. Claire’s quest for perfection is all-consuming, and comes at a dangerous price. As Claire increasingly withdraws from friends and family, Loann struggles to understand her and make amends. Can she heal their relationship —and her sister—before it’s too late?
So now you have an idea what the book is about...Having a title like Never Enough makes it obvious that self-esteem will play a role here. Denise, along with several other authors, came together to make a video highlighting how they, like everyone else, can feel like they're never enough. I hope you'll take a few minutes to check it out!

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