Saturday, July 30, 2011

In My Mailbox {77}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we all share what we got during the week!

Here's what I got this week!

For review:
Dark Souls by Paula Morris
If you stopped in for IMM last week, you'll know this is a duplicate for me. Anyone have anything interesting to trade? :)

Bought: (Yay for half-price books!)
The Foretelling by Alice Hoffman
Have always been a huge fan of Alice Hoffman. :)

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
This one sounds so fun. I've never read this author before but I've heard good things about her recent work.

Walk of the Spirits by Richie Tankersley Cusick
Ghost stories and creepy historic houses..never heard of this one, but I couldn't pass it up.

Mercy by Rebecca Lim
Thanks to Jen @ A Book and a Latte!! I've been wanting to read this one!

Audiobook of Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
This story sounds amazing, I love fairy tale retellings!

Look at this amazing RAK I got from Amelia @ The Authoress. An awesome copy of Ascendant, lots of fun swag, and the coolest little cupcake friendship bracelet ever!! Thanks so much, Amelia!!

Don't forget, tomorrow is the LAST DAY to get entries in for both the giveaways going on here right now! Check the upper right hand sidebar for more info!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Supernaturally by Kiersten White

publisher: HarperTeen

release date: July 26th, 2011

hardcover, 352 pages

intended audience: Young adult

sequel to: Paranormalcy (my review)


source: from publisher for honest review

Warning! Description and review may contain slight spoilers for book 1, Paranormalcy. If you haven't started this series, stop reading now!

description: Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal.

Review: What on earth is that breath of fresh air in the YA section? Why, it's Supernaturally---one of the only books that is the second in a series and doesn't end with a break-neck cliffhanger!! Not that I hate cliffhangers, it's just that after coming across so many first and second books that practically left me with vertigo, I read the ending of Supernaturally with a sign of relieved satisfaction.

But I'm started backwards. Actually, this one got off to a bit of a slow start for me. Evie has finally gotten her wish and is getting a taste of normal teenage life: high school, gym class, and, yes, Evie finally has her own locker. Unfortunately, she is finding out that real high school is nothing like her favorite high school TV drama, Easton Heights. She's having a hard time fitting in, has found her way onto the gym teacher's torment list, and is pretty bored with the rest of it. After the first book with Evie's fun, sometimes naive, spirit and all the paranormal craziness---reading about her being bored and mundane was just not as fun. The story really picked up further in though.

This one is a little darker than the first---Evie is going through some pretty big emotional conflicts with Lend, leaving and being drawn back into what used to be home to her at the IPCA, worrying about her future, and her in-dream relationship with her new-found sister, Vivian. She's torn in trying to decide how she feels about what Lend's dad does to protect paranormal compared to what the IPCA does to monitor them. We get to find out some pretty juicy bits of info about where she came from, what she is, and what she was "created" for. There's a new face, Jack, who is even more playful than Evie herself. While he was fun sometimes, his actions were just a little too childlike and I kept picturing him as a hyper 11-year-old, jumping on the bed, and pulling silly pranks. Still, an entertaining addition and he's an important part of the story!

On the whole, another great adventure for Evie! Even though the villain was not a huge surprise to me, I still enjoyed the ride very much. With a good amount of closure on most of the storylines that were introduced in book two, the next book can basically go anywhere it wants! I can't wait to see what's next for Evie and Lend in Endlessly!

Visit Kiersten's site here. (Her blog is one of my favorite author blogs---she is so funny!)

Purchase Supernaturally at: AmazonBN.comBookDepositoryIndiebound


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cool trailer contest from Kersten Hamilton!

Ok, guys, this is awesome. I came across this at Tyger, Tyger author, Kersten Hamilton's website while looking for news about the second book.

I'm sure we all know how threatened our libraries are with all the budget cuts going on. I've seen jobs lost, materials and programming budgets cut severely, and even seen libraries forced to close for months at time. Every little bit helps, and Kersten came up with a fantastic idea to give back. She is holding a trailer contest for Book 2, In the Forest of the Night. The first prize winner will win a very generous $1000 to be donated to the library of their choice, plus two second place prizes of $500 each donated to a library of choice. Wow..that is so cool. My love for this author just quadrupled. For all of you amazing trailer creators out there, go for it!

Find out more details at Kersten's site.
Check it out:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It lets us all gush about what soon-to-be released books we are jumping-up-and-down excited for.

by Megan Miranda

hitting shelves January 3rd, 2012 from Walker Books

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine—despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?
Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she’s reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy’s motives aren’t quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature—or something much more frightening?
For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death.

My thoughts: This one looks fascinating and eerie. A little scientific, a little paranormal..a lot spooky!! Definitely one that is going on my to-read list!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Spotted in the Wild!!

Check out all the lovely new releases that I spotted being released into the wild early!!
Some of them aren't due out for a week yet! I snagged a copy of Dark Souls right off the shelf when I saw it! :D

Saturday, July 23, 2011

In My Mailbox {76}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we all share what we got during the week!

For Review:
Swear by Nina Malkin
I've been planning to read Swoon soon, so very excited to get this one! That cover is to die for!

The Secret Prince by Violet Haberdasher
I do plan on reading this series, but this purchase was actually for my hubby, who loved The Knightley Academy.

Dark Souls by Paula Morris
So excited for this one. Ruined was one of the books that got me started reading YA, so I'm ecstatic to see another from Paula Morris!

Gimme A Call by Sarah Mlynowski
I admit it...I bought this one for the cover :) Well, that, and the story sounds super cute, too.

New On My Nook!!
This looks like another cool dystopian!

All in all, another good book week!

Hey, don't forget, I've got two giveaways ending next Sunday, so get those entries in!! I know you don't want to miss you're chance to win the Mystery Box O' Books!!

Review: Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

publisher: Simon & Schuster

release date: July 26, 2011

hardcover, 400 pages

intended audience: Young adult


source: from publisher for honest review

Every flame begins with a spark.

Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

Review: Wildefire is a great debut and the beginning of a new series that I have really high hopes for. I was drawn into this story and fascinated by it's characters from the beginning. This first book really concentrates on letting us get to know Ash and her new friends at school. The thick of the action doesn't really start up until the last half of the book---you literally don't even get into Ash discovering which goddess she is until very near the end. As it goes with some series, the first book is all about introduction and building the story. If I didn't know it was a series, I might have been disappointed---but the stage has been set, I know the juicy bits are coming! And just the story of Ash and her friends discovering their powers, Ash dealing with her scary sister (understatement!), of course, a little romance on the side, was enough to keep me intrigued through this first installment.

Not in a long time have I come across a villain that was so easy to hate. Eve was diabolical, heartless, and violent from the very beginning---and it made it even worse that she was Ash's sister. In the few instances that are put in try to give the reader pause on whether she really is as evil as she seems, I just kept thinking she was faking it, that she was reeling Ash in just to bite her head off again. There is some really heavy violence in this one, from all sides, so be prepared!

The dialogue in this book is so funny. Everything that comes out of Ash's mouth, and most of her friends' mouths, for that matter is dripping with sarcasm and witty comebacks. However, there were, at times, SO much sarcasm that it felt a little overdone and forced. After all, I don't think anyone can realistically be ready with the perfect zingers all the time. Still, it was hilarious and entertaining to read.

The ending is heart-stopping! If I had any doubt about how much I enjoyed this one, the ending blew that all away. My reaction was literally this: "What??? NOOOO!"

After that, all I could think was getting to the next book in this series!

Visit Karsten Knight's website here. (No, really, you MUST check it out, his vlogs are absolutely hilarious!)

Purchase Wildefire at: Amazon ~ ~ BookDepository ~ Indiebound

Karsten recently announced the titles for the rest of the series:
Book 2: Embers and Echoes (2012)
Book 3: Afterglow (2013)

I'll definitely be looking forward to these!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cover Story: Spellbound (Hex Hall #3)!!!

Today Rachel Hawkins revealed the cover for the final book of the Hex Hall trilogy, Spellbound!

This one is bittersweet for me---means the end of this awesome series is in sight, to which I say: "Noooooooooo!"

While I'll be so sad to say goodbye to Sophie, Archer, Cal, & Jenna, I can't wait to read this to find out what happens next!!

What do you think of this cover? Not my favorite of the three (that would be Demonglass) but I still love it, and I love how the three of them go together so well! :D Awesome job, Hyperion!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It lets us all gush about what soon-to-be released books we are jumping-up-and-down excited for.

by Anya Parrish

hitting shelves September 8th, 2011 by Flux

When Dani was eight, she fell from a building. No one believed her claim that she was pushed by Rachel . . . her imaginary friend. It took years of therapy to convince Dani that Rachel wasn't real.

Now fifteen, Dani wants to make it as a dancer. But a deadly freak accident sends Dani a terrifying message: Rachel is back, she's real, and she'll stop at nothing to kill Dani.

Complicating matters is Jesse, the school bad boy who's being stalked by his own invisible childhood nemesis. Dani and Jesse join forces to learn why their astral tormenters are back. Their investigation leads to a horrifying discovery—and the terrible experiment that binds them to each other.

My thoughts: While the cover is creepy in it's own right, what really freaks me out is the subject. Demented imaginary friends??? This sounds like it's going to be nightmare-inducing, for sure. So of course, I can't wait to read it! :D

Saturday, July 16, 2011

In My Mailbox {75}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we all share what we got during the week!

Lots of fun stuff this week!!

Forever by Maggie Steifvater
Thank you SO MUCH, Christina @ Reading Extensively!!

Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott
Angel Kiss by Laura Jane Cassidy
All I can say is thank goodness for Book Depository! These both look like amazing stories and are only available in UK so far!

For Review:
Wildefire by Karsten Knight
I got an ARC of this one previously, but I was so ecstatic to get this gorgeous hardcover copy in the mail today!!

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
I've been looking forward to reading this one! Sounds pretty creepy!

Whoopsie!! This one's not pictured:
Twisted (Pretty Little Liars #9) by Sara Shepard
I haven't read any of these!! I guess I've got some catching up to do! :D

For review (cont.)
Welcome to Bordertown
Some incredible author contributed to this one..Neil Gaiman!! Cassie Clare, Holly Black and Charles De Lint...just to name a few!!

You Don't Know About Me by Brian Meehl
I hadn't heard of this one before, but it's supposedly a retelling of Huck Finn. So we'll see!

Tighter by Adele Griffin
(my review)
This is a duplicate copy for me, so you may see this one in a giveaway soon! I loved this one!

My Not-So-Still Life by Liz Gallagher
Don't know much about this one either...anyone read it that can recommend??

Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever by Caissie St. Onge
A vampire with a blood allergy :) Sounds like a cute story.

Many thanks to Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperTeen, Christina, and Book Depository for offering free shipping around the world!!!

New On My Nook!

Vanish by Sophie Jordan
The Hidden by Jessica Verday

Thank you, HarperTeen, Netgalley, and S&S Galley Grab!

Review: Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

release date: July 12, 2011

hardcover, 416 pages

intended audience: Young adult


source: from publisher for review

description: Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.

Review: What is with this tiny synopsis? It doesn't begin to encompass what goes on in this crazy, wonderful, creepy, mysterious book! I've had high hopes for this one since discovering it's beautiful cover and hearing that it would be about witches, ghosts, and cowboys---and it did not let me down. Some highlights:

One of the best first lines I've seen in a long time:
"The goat was in the tree again. " (pg. 1)

One of the most spot-on explanations of the appeal of cowboys:
"It wasn't just that he was muscular and tan, with broad shoulders and big, long-fingered hands. It was that I'd seen him ride that horse, and I knew his brawn wasn't just for show. There was something practical and capable about that strength that made my insides flutter in an extremely galling way." (pg. 80).

And the absolute best first-meeting scene of the main character and the love interest. Read it---I almost guarantee you'll agree with me on this point. The scene where they first meet is so awkwardly hilarious.

Texas Gothic was chock full of great characters. Amy is smart, sharp-witted, and downright ballsy at times. She has grown up in her eccentric family of witches and magic and come to a point in her life where she is just grasping on to "normal" with all her might. Her older sister, Phin, is so much more quirky and accepting of their family's eccentricities, but just as intelligent. I loved the family dynamic---along with their cousin, their aunt, and their mom, they were the kind of family I love to read: sometimes they are embarrassing, sometimes they get under each other's skin, but they're always there for each other when it counts. I really liked Ben. He and Amy had no shortage of bickering matches, and some of his judgements seemed a little harsh at first, but there was a lot more to him: protectiveness, integrity, sadness, and sacrifice. It had me constantly rooting for the two of them to take off the boxing gloves and get together! I loved Grandpa Mac! Such a character---some of my favorites scenes were his interactions with Phin.

This is a fun mystery, with the classic feel of a modern Nancy Drew who-done-it. There were clues and suspicions and motives all around! There were some genuinely creepy moments in this one---the kinds that make you check the shadows the next time you walk outside at night. One or two tiny drags in the pacing for me within the first 100 pages, but altogether, a fantastic story. This was, as far as I can tell, a stand-alone book, so I may have to read it again sometimes because I know I will miss these characters!

Check out Rosemary's site here.

Purchase Texas Gothic at: AmazonBN.comBookDepositoryIndiebound

Final note: Oh, what I wouldn't give to try some of Aunt Hyacinths secretly magical shampoos and lotions! :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It lets us all gush about what soon-to-be released books we are jumping-up-and-down excited for.

by Brenda Pandos

hitting shelves July 31st, 2011 from Obsidian Mountain Publishing

Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.

Ashlyn is about to discover what she’d thought to be true her whole life, wasn’t, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.

My thoughts: I've never read this author before, but some of my favorite book bloggers rave about her work. This looks like a good time to start! I love a good mystery and have a special place in my heart for beautiful Lake Tahoe (I was married there!)---so I'll definitely be picking this one up as soon as it comes out!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review: Dreams of Significant Girls

Dreams of Significant Girls by Cristina Garcia

publisher: Simon & Schuster

release date: July 12, 2011

hardcover, 256 pages

intended audience: Young adult (my recommendation: 15+)


source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

Brought together each summer at a boarding school in Switzerland, three girls learn a lot more than just French and European culture. Shirin, an Iranian princess; Ingrid, a German-Canadian eccentric; and Vivien, a Cuban-Jewish New Yorker culinary phenom, are thrown into each other's lives when they become roommates.

This is a story of 3 paths slowly beginning to cross and merge as they spend the year apart, but the summers together. Through navigating the social-cultural shoals of the school, developing their adolescence, and learning the confusing and conflicting legacies of their families' past, Shirin, Ingrid, and Vivien form an unbreakable bond.

Review: While I didn't absolutely love this one, Dreams of Significant Girls had a strange way of keeping me captive for the few days it took to read it. Watching these three girls from completely different walks of life interact with each other was somehow completely fascinating. The story went along at a bit of a steady, quiet pace. This had a lot to do with the way it was told---alternating perspectives of the three girls and with a journal entry-style tense. Much like you would if you were reading someone's journal, there is a bit of exciting build up as events are anticipated, and then the next paragraph, the event has already happened and you're getting a recap of what went on. It places the reader a little outside of the story, but it was still interesting.

It seemed to make it more realistic to me that I would have moments of really liking and really hating each of the three main characters. Very few people in real life are loveable 100% of the time or always make the right decisions, and in that way, the story was really brought to life. These girls faced difficult situations and decision of all kinds---sometimes they looked to each other, sometimes they dealt with inner-struggles, sometimes they went off the deep end. Much like real life. :) Sometimes I felt the girls acted a little too old for their age, especially Shirin, the Iranian Princess, but that also could have been explained away by her social upbringing. There are some really profound moments throughout the story, but also some really baffling moments as well (the fake fight in the art gallery?) I did love the fact that despite their acute difference, they still managed to bond together and form a strong friendship. On the whole, I enjoyed this one. Despite its few faults, it still comes off as a really fascinating story. It was definitely an interesting book to experience at least once.

Visit Cristina's website here.

Purchase Dreams of Significant Girls at: AmazonBN.comBookDepository Indiebound

Monday, July 11, 2011

Old Books, New Looks {2}

It's about time for another round of Old Books, New Looks, where we take at look at books that have already been released and their redesigned paperback counterpart! :) Sometimes I like the new better, sometimes I like the old. Here's a few that I've come across lately:


Here's where my votes lie:
~ Torn on The Grimm Legacy, love all the purple in the new one, though.
~ Torn on Elixir, too. I really like them both.
~ Just slightly more drawn to the new cover of Birthmarked.
~ LOVE the new cover of Gimme a Call. Old one was boring, to me.
~ Revolution: NO. The original cover was perfection. Why change it??

How about you? Like the old or the new?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

In My Mailbox {74}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we all share what we got during the week!

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Recommendation after recommendation of this finally wore me down, had to grab myself a copy!

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann (my review)
Finally got myself my own copy of this, I read it already on an ARC tour. SO good!

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Finally found this in the original hardcover edition! GUYS, this book is one of my favorites. It's amazing. If you haven't done so, read it.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
So, I recently passed up a review pitch for this one (like an idiot!) because my tbr pile was and is just insanely large. But after hearing so many amazing things, I couldn't pass it up at Half Price Books today. So I bought it :)

The Revenant by Sonia Gensler
The wonderfully sweet Shannon @ Stalking the Bookshelves gifted me this awesome signed, personalized copy! So excited---this one sounds so creepy and amazing!! Thanks so much, again, Shannon!! Love the pretty bookmark, too!

New On My Nook...

From Netgalley:
The Sleepwalkers by J. Gabriel Gates
This one sounds beyond creepy. Like I-might-have-nightmares-creepy. Sleepwalking in general creeps me out, but the synopsis along gives me goosebumps! So...excited to read this!

Beautifully Broken by Sherry Soule
Witches, spooky manors, and a ghost with a vengeful agenda? Sounds amazing and yet another spooky one for this weeks IMM!

So, that's what I got this week! What was in your mailbox? :D

Friday, July 8, 2011

The 19 Dragons Release Date and Review

19 Dragons by S.M. Reine

release date: July 8th, 2011

ebook, Novella (apx 80 pages)

recommended for: all fans of Steampunk & Dragons!


source: from author for honest review

There are nineteen provinces in the Land held aloft by nineteen pillars. Above the earth there is sky, and nobody knows what goes below except the Nineteen Dragons.

That is all you need to know, but that is not all there is to be known.

The Device has been stolen and the godlike Dragons have been rendered mortal. Someone is murdering them one by one, and each death brings the world closer to its end. Unless the the Device is somehow restored to its deceased owner, the Dragons are doomed to destruction-- and the human world will go with them.

Review: This was a fascinating short story, very entertaining. I don't read many short stories unless they are off-shoots of full books that I enjoyed, but I 'm really glad I gave this one a try. The authors writing style and the tense that the story was written in, was almost like standing on the sidewalk in the futuristic, elegant world it's set in, while someone stands beside you saying, "Look, there goes the First Dragon!" The story was exciting and fast paced and although you don't have a chance to really get to know any one character, that same fact adds to their mystery, and I found myself quickly drawn into the lives that each Dragon had built for him or herself in the mortal world. There are 19 of them, and each one is being hunted down by one of their own who has stolen the device that allows them to still be immortal in their human forms. The Dragons are in charge of keeping the natural order of things and if they disappear, the human world will disappear with them into a void. The Second Dragon is on a desperate race to track down the murderer and restore the device before everything is lost. Set in a beautifully imagined steampunk world of dirigibles, magic, and robotic beings, I would love to read more of this world in the future!

The 19 Dragons is currently available at Amazon and will be available at Barnes & Noble for the Nook soon!

Visit SM Reine's site here.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Review: Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell

Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell by Crickett Rumley

publisher: EgmontUSA

released: June 14th, 2011

paperback, 288 pages

intended audience: Young Adult


source: from publisher for honest review

description: Expelled from thirteen boarding schools in the past five years, seventeen-year-old Jane Fontaine Ventouras is returning to her Southern roots, and the small town of Bienville, Alabama, where ladies always wear pearls, nothing says hospitality like sweet tea and pimento cheese sandwiches, and competing in the annual Magnolia Maid Pageant is every girl’s dream. But Jane is what you might call an anti-belle—more fishnets and tattoos than sugar and spice. The last thing on her mind is joining the Magnolia Maid brigade and parading around town in a dress so big she can’t even fit through doors. So when she finds herself up to her ears in ruffles and etiquette lessons, she’s got one mission: Escape.

What’s a hipster to do? Will Jane survive Bienville boot camp intact or will they—gasp!—make a Southern belle out of her yet?

Review: First off, I have to say: the title and cover of this book crack me up. Everytime I look at this one it makes me smile---the whimsical cartoon style, the look on that poor girl's face, the gigantic hoopskirt flipping up, and, my favorite part...the punky fishnets and converse underneath!

Inside, the story is just as fun. Jane Fontaine Ventouras has just been plopped back into the small southern town she grew up in. Thirteen boarding school expulsions and one fed-up non-present father later, she is back at her grandmother's house, being guilted into entering the Magnolia Maids pageant. Jane has this wonderful spark about her, and a smart-ass attitude like they've never seen in Biensville, Alabama---and certainly not in one of their Magnolia Maids. She smokes, she drinks, she says what's on her mind, she sasses like nobody's business,...and yet she still wins one of the coveted spots on the Magnolia Court. I love how she seems to have a perfect balance between putting everyone off and sticking up for people when they need it most. The hilarity ensues as she battles the insane Mizz Upton, advisor to the Maids, Ashley LaFleur, snob extraordinaire, and the rest of the town as they pull out the sweetness to her face and save the harsh judgement and gossip for when her back is turned. One of the funniest parts of this story is hearing about all the details and customs of the Magnolia Court---and Jane's thoughts on them! Crickett Rumley really brought this experience to life!

Of course, this is not all fun and cat-fights. Returning to Biensville, Jane also faces some pretty emotional memories of her mother who passed away, and deals with her feelings about her father who has since had almost nothing to do with her. There is also Luke Churchville, her childhood best friend...what happened between them was the reason she was sent away. So where does that leave them now? Personally, I would have loved to see more about Luke and Jane in this story, but it really is just a side plot. A little more romance might have made this a 5-rated book for me.

Along the way, Jane learns that a situation is what you make of it, that people have a way of changing right before your eyes, and that even though it's good to be yourself, think independently, and speak your mind, sometimes doing just whatever suits you, regardless of how it effects others, might not always be the best way to go.

Definitely a recommended read!

Visit Crickett Rumley's website here.

Purchase Never Sit Amazon BookDepository Indiebound

Check out the super cute trailer!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It lets us all gush about what soon-to-be released books we are jumping-up-and-down excited for.

by Cat Clarke

hitting shelves January 2012 from Quercus

Four girls. One dead body. A whole lot of guilt.

Alice King isn’t expecting the holiday of a lifetime when she sets off with her classmates on a trip to the Scottish wilderness, but she’s not exactly prepared for an experience beyond her darkest nightmares…

Alice and her best friend Cass are stuck in a cabin with Polly, the social outcast, and Rae, the moody emo-girl. Then there’s Tara – queen of mean. Powerful, beautiful and cruel, she likes nothing better than putting people down.

Cass decides it’s time to teach Tara a lesson she’ll never forget. And so begins a series of events that will change the lives of these girls forever...

A compelling story of guilty secrets, troubled friendship and burgeoning love.

My thoughts: I was so incredibly impress with Cat Clarke's debut, Entangled (see my review here). I can't wait to read more of her work! This looks like another intensely emotional read---not to mention another awesome cover.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

1010 Follower Giveaway!!

What??? 1000 Followers?? When I first started this little blog, I never would have thought that I would have ever had 1000 people even visit, let alone like what they see enough to become followers!! And yet, here we are 1010 followers later. Wow, guys---thank you so incredibly much!
And I think this calls for a...

SO...I have a box. A good size box. I'm going to fill that box with as many YA books as I can (probably 8-10 of them, depending on the books!). All of them will be 2010/2011 books that either got a 4+ rating from me or have several 4+ star ratings at Goodreads. Some will be ARCs, some hardcover, some paperback, but ALL will be in nice condition. :)

So you want it?? One lucky winner is going to have this land on their doorstep!
Here's how to enter:
• Fill out the FORM HERE!
• Extra points will be give for:
~Being a follower
~tweeting about the contest
~linking to the contest from your blog

Contest is open internationally and will close on July 31st, 2011.

Good luck, everyone! And thanks to all my wonderful followers for supporting Stories & Sweeties!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

In My Mailbox {73}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we all share what we got during the week!

We'll just call this one IMM {73} -OR- "How to lose weight using the Happy Dance Workout".
I had an awesome book week! Here's what I got:

For Review:
Texas Gothis by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Reading this one now,---so far, so good! Duplicate copy, so look for the arc in a giveaway soon!

Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris
Wasn't so sure about this one (not a big fan of zombie books), but when I got it in my hands, read the back, and the first couple pages, I was sold! Can't wait to read it now!

Wildcat Fireflies by Amber Kizer
This is the second to Meridian, which I loved. Plus I just like the word "Fenestra". :D

Starstruck by Cyn Balog
Love Cyn Balog! I've heard mixed stuff about this one, but I don't care---still excited to read this!

(for review...cont.)
Amen, L.A. by Cherie Bennett & Jeff Gottesfeld
I've heard this compared to series like the Gossip Girl, and that's not really my thing, so we'll have to see what I make of this one!

Sass & Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler
Love this cover and also really excited to read a retelling of Sense and Sensability!

The Other Countess by Eve Edwards
A historical that takes place in the court of Queen Elizabeth I...sounds like a good one!

The Summer I learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt
I'd never heard of this one before it showed up! Looks like a good story---lots of quirk to it!

(for review..cont.)
Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon (!!)
I cannot even play it cool or try to pretend I'm not freaking out excited to receive this one!!

Won from Genna @ Reading, Writing, and the World of Words
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
Eeep!! Love Lauren Oliver!! And the illustrations in this are so cool! Hubby and I are both excited to read this one! (He reads more MG than I do!)

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Hearing such amazing things about this one, plus that cover is so amazing!

Graveminder by Melissa Marr
This one looks so eerie!! Definitely excited to have won a copy!!

Mara Dyer was signed! ♥

So that was my book week! Thanks so much to Genna, HarperTeen, & Random House for all these wonderful books!