Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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.

Pretty Dark Nothing
Heather L. Reid

hitting shelves April 23, 2013 form Month9Books

Seventeen-year-old Quinn hadn’t slept a full night in twenty-three days. She’s terrified of the demons that stalk her dreams, pull her into a deep dark nothingness and whisper hauntingly of her death. Exhausted, Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, and Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. If Quinn can learn to trust her heart, and Aaron can discover the secret locked away in his fragile memory, their combined power could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.

My thoughts: STUNNING cover...that is what draws me to this first. Then the synopsis wows me with talk of dreams and demons, a psychic amnesiac (??), secrets and powers. Sounds awesome.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Giveaway: Glow & Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Thanks to the amazingly generous people at St. Martin's Griffin, I have a set of the Sky Chasers series to give away to one lucky reader!

The Prize: One paperback copy of Glow + One Hardcover copy of Spark

Glow - book 1
What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon.
On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

Spark - book 2
Waverly and Kieran are finally reunited on the Empyrean. Kieran has led the boys safely up to this point, and now that the girls are back, their mission seems slightly less impossible: to chase down the New Horizon, and save their parents from the enemy ship. But nothing is truly as it seems…Kieran’s leadership methods have raised Seth’s hackles— and Waverly’s suspicions. Is this really her fiancé? The handsome, loving boy she was torn from just a short time before? More and more, she finds her thoughts aligned with Seth’s. But if Seth is Kieran’s Enemy No. 1, what does that make her?

In one night, a strange explosion rocks the Empyrean—shooting them off course and delaying their pursuit of the New Horizon—and Seth is mysteriously released from the brig. Seth is the most obvious suspect for the explosion, and Waverly the most obvious suspect for releasing him. As the tension reaches a boiling point, will Seth be able to find the true culprit before Kieran locks them both away—or worse? Will Waverly follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk? With the balance of power precarious and the clock ticking, every decision counts… every step brings them closer to a new beginning, or a sudden end...

To Enter:
•Must be 13 or older
•US mailing address required
•Contest ends August 20th, 2012
Fill out Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 28, 2012

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {12}

For New Shelf Goodies, I'll be showing you what lovely books I acquired this week, whether from publishers, or the library, or from whatever half-crazed book-buying binge I happened to go on. :D (Inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie's This Week in Books & Tynga's Stacking the Shelves) The Weekly Nutshell will be just that...my week here at Stories & Sweeties, in a nutshell. (inspired by Ginger @ GReads and her recaps at the end of the TGIF posts) Note: This is not a meme, but I'll be hopping around to any other book haul-sharing posts I come across!

Here's my haul for the week:
For review:
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Second copy, so I'll be passing this one on! Can't wait to read it though!
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Second copy, see my giveaway for a chance to win it!
Advent by James Treadwell
The description of this one makes it sound awesome. Hope it is! :)

For Darkness Shows The Star by Diana Peterfreund
So many great reviews, I had to grab myself a copy! :)

Huge thanks to HarperTeen, Scholastic, & Atria Books!

The Weekly Nutshell:
{Monday} Book Trailers: Defiance, Forsaken, & Waking Storms
{Tuesday} Whispers in Autumn: Interview with Trish Leigh & Giveaway!
{Wednesday} Waiting on Wednesday: Hollow by Richard Denney
{Thursday} Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop!
{Friday} Review: Endlessly by Kiersten White

Happy reading to all! :D

Friday, July 27, 2012

Becky's View: Endlessly by Kiersten White

Endlessly by Kiersten White
♦publisher: HarperTeen
♦release date: July 24, 2012
♦hardcover, 400 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Paranormalcy, book 3 
  review of Paranormalcy (book 1)
  review of Supernaturally (book 2)

Evie's paranormal past keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants to drag her back to headquarters. The Dark Faerie Queen is torturing humans in her poisonous realm. And supernatural creatures keep insisting that Evie is the only one who can save them from a mysterious, perilous fate.

The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its fate rests solely in Evie's hands.

So much for normal.

Review: So, it's farewell to another great YA series.  In this final installment to the Paranormalcy trilogy, Evie faces her biggest challenges, temptations,  and fate-changing decisions yet.  She is the Empty One, made to draw in souls and open the gates between the mortal world and the world where all the paranormal beings came from.  But will she do it? Does she want to? Is she even able to? 

As much as I've always loved Evie and her rambunctious spirit, this was first time where she had her moments of getting on my nerves.  She still has one of the funniest inner dialogues of any YA heroine I've come across, but there were times in this one where she acted like a petulant child---she has the fate of thousands of innocent beings in her hands and she doesn't want to cooperate because she feels like she's being told what to do or because she might lose her boyfriend.  I totally get the whole "making your own decisions" thing, but at times it seemed like she was willing to put everyone in danger just to have it her way.

Evie is just as fierce as always, taking on werewolves, curses, a malicious new head of IPCA,  and the Dark Queen herself {spoiler-highlight to read: OH what she does to the dark queen is priceless. That is one bad-ass way to rescue your boyfriend!}.  On a side note, as much as I've always loved Evie and her rambunctious spirit, this was first time where she had her moments of getting on my nerves.  She still has one of the funniest inner dialogues of any YA heroine I've come across, but there were times in this one where she acted like a petulant child---she has the fate of thousands of innocent beings in her hands and she doesn't want to cooperate because she feels like she's being told what to do or because she might lose her boyfriend.  I totally get the whole "making your own decisions" thing, but at times it seemed like she was willing to put everyone in danger just to have it her way.

The story was fantastic and the plot was wild and twisting and dangerous. Much like a ticking time bomb, you start off thinking time is running out---and then that time bomb is meddled with and suddenly time is running out even faster than you thought!  There are so many great characters in this one, it will be hard to say good-bye to them for good!  Jack is back and once again, the exchanges between him and Evie are hilarious.  Reth is a big part of this one, we really get to see a whole new side of the beautiful mysterious faerie.  Lend is great once again, but because of one important plot twist, he's not in this one as much. Arianna, I think she was one of my favorites this time around.  Still tough and sharp-tongued as ever, but she had a great inner struggle going on that I loved. 

All in all, a great ending to a seriously fun series.  I'm looking forward to the next fantastic series from Kiersten White!

Visit Kiersten White:  Website  •  Facebook   •  Twitter

Purchase Endlessly at:  Amazon  •  BN.com  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop!

How's everyone's summer going---hot enough out there for you?
I'm happy to be participating in the Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop, hosted by I'm a Reader, Not a Writer & Colorimetry!

So...on to the prize. :)
The lucky winner will get to choose ONE of these awesome ARCs:

Enter below!
•must be 13 or older
•must have a US mailing address
•following by GFC or Twitter (@storiesweeties) is not require, but always appreciated!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don't forget to visit the rest of the participants in the Lazy Days of Summer Hop!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

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 Richard Denney

hitting shelves November 2012

Welcome to the house of Hollow.

In a dystopian future, sixteen year old Leah Munro has been sold to a rich woman in a crippling mansion. And soon Leah discovers that there is something eerie and mysterious going on around the home, and with the help of three other girls, she attempts to uncover what is truly happening... what is behind all of the plexiglass windows and the hideous screams in the middle of the night? Leah will soon find out.

My thoughts: Creepy old woman...mysterious mansion...hideous screams? Looks like a cool, spine-chilling dystopian all wrapped up in a gorgeous cover.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Whispers in Autumn - Interview with Trisha Leigh & Giveaway!

There is a book hitting shelves today that I've been excited about for awhile! Happy Book Birthday to Whispers in Autumn by Trisha Leigh!

Today I'm happy to have author Trisha Leigh visiting Stories & Sweeties for an interview!
Welcome, Trisha!

•Describe Whispers in Autumn in your own words.
At its core, Whispers in Autumn is a story about figuring out who you are. It’s also about fighting for survival, questioning what you’re told, realizing emotions don’t make a person weak, and learning to be unafraid of connecting with those around you. And kissing.
•Can you tell a little about how you got interested in writing?
Movies and television. I have a degree in Film, and began writing screenplays in college. The visual mediums inspired me to try creating my own stories, even though I’d been an avid reader my entire life.
•What do you hope readers walk away from your story with---what do you hope stays with them long after the last pages?
The idea that being different doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wrong, so never be afraid to be exactly who you were born to be—even if people think you’re weird.
•For lots of YA readers, characters can be the most important part. What are some of Althea & Lucas’s best qualities?
First and foremost, their loyalty and intelligence. Althea is more guarded and harder to crack open, I think, but she’s a fighter and she’s passionate. Lucas’s sense of humor and his protective nature.
• Who are your all-time favorite authors? What are you reading right now?
Whew, that’s a hard question. Sara Zarr, JK Rowling, Francine Rivers, John Green, Bill Cameron, Rachel Hawkins, Madeleine L’Engle, Phillip Pullman, Carrie Ryan…and the list goes on and on.
Right now I’m reading The Man in the Empty Suit by Sean Ferrell and Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Mayberry.
•What kind of books did you love to read as a teenager?
My favorite books as a kid were The Babysitters Club, The Wrinkle in Time series, Christopher Pike, and The Nancy Drew Files. In high school I got into the classics and devoured pretty much everything Dean Koontz wrote (even though I had to sleep with the light on afterward).
•Favorite snack while writing?
Hershey’s Kisses.
Favorite movie?
It’s A Wonderful Life.
•Favorite color?
•Favorite band and song right now?
Hrm. Matchbox Twenty, She’s So Mean
Favorite teacher from your school years?
My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Walters (with my 3rd grade teacher Mr. Helling running a tight second).
•And everyone who visits Stories & Sweeties answers this one: Do you like cupcakes? ;D Frosting or cake better?
I’m not sure I would trust a person who doesn’t like cupcakes. I mean, seriously. They’re probably aliens.
And cake. Unless it’s buttercream frosting.
A very good answer, indeed. :)

Visit Trisha at: website / facebook / twitter

* * * * *
Soooo...one lucky commenter is going to win an E-book of
Whispers in Autumn!

To be entered, you can:
Tell me one thing you have in common with Trisha
Tell me why you want to read Whispers in Autumn

(must be 13 or older to enter, contest ends August 10th, 2012)

**Update: Winner announced!**

Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Trailers: Defiance, Forsaken, & Waking Storms

A few cool new book trailers hit the web recently! Take a look:

Defiance by C.J. Redwine (Balzer & Bray)

The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse (Simon & Schuster)

Waking Storms by Sarah Porter (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

What do you think? Will you be reading these? Do the trailers make you more excited for them?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {11}

For New Shelf Goodies, I'll be showing you what lovely books I acquired this week, whether from publishers, or the library, or from whatever half-crazed book-buying binge I happened to go on. :D (Inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie's This Week in Books & Tynga's Stacking the Shelves) The Weekly Nutshell will be just that...my week here at Stories & Sweeties, in a nutshell. (inspired by Ginger @ GReads and her recaps at the end of the TGIF posts) Note: This is not a meme, but I'll be hopping around to any other book haul-sharing posts I come across!

It was a very happy book week!

For Review:
Destiny by Gillian Shields
I may be passing this one on to some lucky fan of this series---its a fourth of a series I haven't read yet!
Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs
This is my second copy so I'll be passing this one on, too!
Drain You by M. Beth Bloom
This sounds like a fun read! Vampire story with a bit of humour :)
Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
Eeeeep! Happy Dance! :D
Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini
Happy dancing for this one, too! So very excited!
Blood Fever by Veronica Wolff
I've heard this is a good series and that it's easy to follow even if you have read the others! Yay!

Huge thanks to HarperTeen, Simon & Schuster, & Penguin for sending these for review!

The Weekly Nutshell:
{Monday} Cover Reveal: Inbetween by Tara Fuller
{Monday} Review: Vanish & Hidden by Sophie Jordan
{Tuesday} Waiting on Wednesday: Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore
{Wednesday} Review: Rapture by Lauren Kate
{Friday} Review: This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers
{Saturday} Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Have a great week, everyone! :D

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Becky's View: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death
by Bethany Griffin
♦publisher: Greenwillow Books
♦release date: April 24th, 2012
♦hardcover, 319 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Masque of the Red Death, book 1
Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

Source: from publisher for honest review 

Review: Masque of the Red Death was one of those books that I loved but had such a hard time pinpointing what it was about it for this review.  It was surprisingly beautiful for a book about a terrifying plague that is ravaging humanity and everyone lives in fear of the very air they breathe.  The word that comes to mind the most is "atmospheric".  From the very beginning, it pulls you into this haunting, dark, toxic, and wild atmosphere.  The descriptions are fantastic, from the steam-run carriages, the girls in their fancy dresses and glittery eyes,  the sinister nightclubs, and the gritty and gruesome descriptions of the plague.  People who can afford it wear eerie masks every moment to keep out the plague-poisoned air, while the poor have to take their chances every time they step out their doors. It's a world of airships and clockwork and a heartless prince who lords over it all.  

Araby is the daughter of the inventor of the masks.  Her and her parents live precarious lives because the prince will not allow them to make the masks available to everyone---only those who can afford the high price.  And there are those who are very unhappy about this, and plans to rebel are brewing.

Araby is willful, but broken and hurting from the death of her twin brother, who was taken by the plague.  She has always blamed herself for this and was almost suicidal before she met April.  She does not allow herself to feel anything that her brother has missed out on, so not only does she stay away from love, intimacy, and happiness, she further dulls her pain with drugs.  Then Will comes into her life, and she can't help but begin to care for him and his young brother and sister.   Will is a fantastic character---I loved his story and his strong family bond with his siblings and the way he encourages Araby to live her life again.  The romance is this book is unique because of the masks---anyone can touch and dance, etc., but the most intimate thing of all is a kiss because a person would have to remove their mask. There is a bit of a love triangle here, and even to the very end, there is no clear choice. 

So many intriguing characters throughout this entire story---Araby's parents, April and her brother, Elliot, Will and his sweet little siblings, and little glimpses of Araby's brother, Finn, through her memories of him.  I loved them all and can't wait to continue this dark adventure!

 Visit Bethany Griffin:  Website  •  Facebook  •   Twitter

Purchase Masque of the Red Death:  Amazon  •  BN.com  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

Friday, July 20, 2012

Amy's View: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers
♦publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
release date: June 19th, 2012
♦paperback, 323 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside.

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

Reviewer: Amy
Source: ALA

All is can say is this book is hauntingly horriffic in the best way possible. If you're a zombie lover in any way, this book is a must read! This is not a Test is a very imaginitive and thoroughly thought out story of teens fighting to stay alive in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.

Slone Price is one of those characters that grabs you in the first sentence and leaves you hanging on her every action. Not a character that everyone can identify with, but her emotions are so honest you can't help but to respect her. I found myself gripping onto the book as I read not knowing if I was brave enough to turn the page but also not being able to resist. I flew through this book waiting and waiting for that time when they are rescued and found myself fearing that they might just all perish and return as the walking dead.

The story weaves you through the perils of survival and the breakdown of finding these teens in a no-win situation.... Alone, no adults, no help, and trapped. What would you do if you found yourself trying to survive, running and running, only to find yourself alone with a group of kids you barely know, trapped in a high school surrounded by flesh-eating zombies? It does make you sit back and wonder.

I love the true grit that this story is told in. Courtney Summers doesnt tip-toe through the daisies. This is written so realistically it makes you look out the window and double check for walkers. I loved the story---it is not predictible in anyway, nor are the characters. This is a group of happenstance, not the group of best friends braving it together through thick and thin. No, it's the oddest group of kids forced to stick together to survive. And don't fear, the ending does not disappoint. It will leave you breathless. A definite recommendation.
5 cupcakes and 2 zombie thumb ups!

Visit Courtney Summers: WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Purchase This Is Not A Test: AmazonBN.comBookDepositoryIndiebound
Trailer: (just a warning---its a bit disturbing!)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Becky's View: Rapture by Lauren Kate

Rapture by Lauren Kate
♦publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
♦release date: June 14, 2012
hardcover, 432 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
series: Fallen, book 4
(my reviews for Fallen, Torment, & Passion)

(spoiler warning: description & review may contain slight spoilers for previous books in the series!)
The sky is dark with wings . . . .

Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again.

Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen.

For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

Review: Writing this review is feeling very bittersweet. I have enjoyed this series all the way through and I am so sad to see it end. But WOW...did it end with a bang. I finished last night and I think I am still trying to catch my breath. The entire series was a whirlwind metamorphosis---from the boarding school dark romance, to a mystery about an otherworldly curse, to a time travel epic through thousands of years, and now this: a journey of timeless love and a girl trying to find out who she is and why these incredible occurances have happened to her and her true love, the angel Daniel.

There was literally not a moment's pause in the adventure of this final installment. Daniel, Luce, and their friends are in a race against time to find the artifacts that, when brought together, will show them how to stop Lucifer from erasing thousands of years of earth's history. Rapture has a completely different feel and seemed much darker than any of the other books in the series. Emotions run deep, there are lots of surprises, and definitely some tears. If you love this series like I do, {spoiler! highlight to read:} you know there is definitely a connection to so many of the main characters and to lose any of them was devastating! The plot wraps itself up in twists and turns, groups change sides, new dangers present themselves---and the things that come to light in Rapture completely blew me away. There were things that maybe I should have seen coming, but they never even crossed my mind until I read them, gasping in shock! It was an astounding and wholly satisfying finale. I know people seem to either love this series or dislike it---but if you are one who loves it and has become completely wrapped up in the fate of these wonderful characters, I'm sure Rapture will blow you away!

Miss Lauren Kate, I will miss Luce and Daniel, Cam and Arianne, Gabbe, Roland, Molly, and the rest of them. Thank you for giving them such an amazing story! I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

Visit Lauren Kate: WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Purchase Rapture at: AmazonBN.comBookDepositoryIndiebound


source: I purchased this one, then received an ARC for review from publisher.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

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.

Spirit and Dust
by Rosemary Clement-Moore

hitting shelves May 13, 2013 from Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Speaking to the dead is no new thing for Daisy Goodnight. The living, on the other hand, can occasionally be a problem. Especially when they knock you out, kidnap you, and force you to be their magical police dog.

Donald Maguire—mob boss, extraordinaire—has a missing daughter and Daisy is his first choice to track her down. But he didn't actually ask her for help. When she woke up in his guest bedroom, she was told. But why her? And who—or what—in the world is the Black Jackal?

My thoughts: Ok, so I know this almost a year away from coming out, but GUYS...It's Rosemary Clement-Moore. Did you read Texas Gothic? It was awesome. Once of my faves last year. So I am very excited to see more from this author. And this premise looks right up my alley. :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Amy's View: Vanish & early review of Hidden by Sophie Jordan

Vanish by Sophie Jordan
release date: September 6th, 2011
hardcover, 294 pages
intended audience: Young adult

An impossible romance.
Bitter rivalries.
Deadly choices.

To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

release date: September 11, 2012
hardcover, 272 pages
intended audience: Young adult
Jacinda was supposed to bond with Cassian, the "prince" of their pride. But she resisted long before she fell in love with Will—a human and, worse, a hunter. When she ran away with Will, it ended in disaster, with Cassian's sister, Miram, captured. Weighed down by guilt, Jacinda knows she must rescue her to set things right. Yet to do so she will have to venture deep into the heart of enemy territory.

The only way Jacinda can reach Miram is by posing as a prisoner herself, though once she assumes that disguise, things quickly spiral out of her control. As she learns more about her captors, she realizes that even if Will and Cassian can carry out their part of the plan, there's no guarantee they'll all make it out alive. But what Jacinda never could have foreseen is that escaping would be only the beginning....
Publisher: HarperTeen
Reviewer: Amy

Becky's view on Firelight, book 1

Spoiler warning! Descriptions and review may have slight spoilers for Firelight, book 1.

  I have decided to review both Vanish and Hidden together since I believe they were meant to be together. I feel like a magic book-splitting wand was waved and one potentially long book was made into two.  Hidden starts right where Vanish ends.  There is no recap in the beginning for anyone like me who reads so many books; I get a little confused and I sometimes need a bit of a refresher.  So I would suggest if you haven't read Vanish yet, wait until Hidden comes out (9/2012) and read them together.  On a bright note, these both don't disappoint from the first book Firelight. The author does a great job capturing you right away into the book and keeps your continual attention throughout. There isn't a lull in the book to be found. To tell you the truth I read both books in a matter of 3 days. Hidden in just one! I loved the fact that they were truly written for the young adult reader in mind. This book you can give to any junior high girl with no worries. And if you have read my reviews before I do truly appreciate a young adult book written for its target audience. And as a parent and an aunt that is always looking for an age appropriate book to give as a gift, these books hit the mark.
Vanish starts off right where Firelight ended. Jacinda is in even more hot water after exposing herself to her human love, Will, and she faces a shocking punishment for putting the tribe in danger. Vanish takes its time, building up and weaving in so many directions, your heart can't help but feel for Jacinda. Her love is torn in so many directions you don't know how she can possibly make a decision. And it's not just a decision of love, but which life she loves more. Does she choose to follow her duty to the tribe and her family and everything she holds dear and keep alive who she really is, a draki? What about her sister? What will they do to Tamra if she leaves? What about the draki Cassian can he fill her heart with enough love to stay? And then there is Will, the human boy who she casts everything aside for, threatening the life and safety of her whole tribe for a boy born to a family of Draki-hunters. How can she choose when her heart is split between duty and love?

Hidden continues on basically the next line where Vanish left off. It makes for a great continuation so I'm glad I read these books together. And don't fear, Hidden has almost more adventure thrown in it than Vanish did, as Jacinda's consequences for her decisions come to haunt her. This book not only throws you right into an action-packed mission but also has the undertone of Jacinda's heart-breaking decision. It is the ultimate battle of duty vs love. Jacinda has to make a choice of sacrificing her true love, Will, once again for the duty of freeing the draki she got captured. But her ultimate challenge is learning how to free herself. Throughout the whole book you find yourself routing for Jacinda---and at some points just routing for her to make a decision. A heart torn in two ways can only lead to despair. I can't go too much into Hidden without giving the plot away however it is filled with amazing adventure, heart wrenching love and of course a little bit of betrayal. This trilogy definitely doesn't disappoint. It will fill the adventure side, the love side and if you love dragons it will satisfy that part of you, too.
So I give both books 4 cupcakes, all red velvet with cream cheese frosting. No filling because these book were an easy, fast read. Add a few shimmering sprinkles on top and you have a Firelight cupcake.

Visit Sophie Jordan: Website  •  Facebook  •  Twitter

Purchase The Firelight series:  Amazon   •   BN.com   •   BookDepository   •   Indiebound

Vanish Trailer:

Cover Story & Book Trailer! Inbetween by Tara Fuller

Entangled Publisher has some pretty amazing books coming out this year and next, one of which is Inbetween by Tara Fuller. This one has recently gotten a new look and is all set for it's book birthday coming up in the month of August! Take a look:

Since the car crash that took her father’s life two years ago, Emma’s life has
been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken
priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking
pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the
plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an

It’s not easy being dead; especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate
has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about
spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about
to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally
unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left. His soul.

Publication Date: August, 2012
Entangled Teen
Novel length:
400 pages
Trade paperback and eBook

Read the prologue at Tara's site: www.TaraFuller.com


About The Author: Tara Fuller writes novels. Some about grim reapers​. Some about witches. All of course are delightfully full of teen angst and kissing. Tara grew up in a one stop light town in Oklahoma where once upon a time she stayed up with a flash light reading R.L. Stine novels and only dreamed of becoming a writer. She has a slight obsession with music and a shameless addiction for zombie fiction, Mystery Science Theater, and black and white mochas. Tara no longer lives in a one stop light town. Now she lives with her family in a slightly larger town in North Carolina where they have at least three stoplights.
Where you can find Tara:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {10}

For New Shelf Goodies, I'll be showing you what lovely books I acquired this week, whether from publishers, or the library, or from whatever half-crazed book-buying binge I happened to go on. :D (Inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie's This Week in Books & Tynga's Stacking the Shelves) The Weekly Nutshell will be just that...my week here at Stories & Sweeties, in a nutshell. (inspired by Ginger @ GReads and her recaps at the end of the TGIF posts) Note: This is not a meme, but I'll be hopping around to any other book haul-sharing posts I come across!

Just one lovely book this week!
Whispers in Autumn by Trisha Leigh
signed, and with a matching bookmark! :)

...and one fantastic e-book:

I haven't been accepting hardly any ebooks lately---for whatever reason, I just don't fall into the story the way I do with physical books, plus my nook is having some issues lately. But for Lucid, since it is the only form it will come in for awhile, I made an exception. I'll read it on my phone if I have to, but I adored Brightest Kind of Darkness so this was a must.

Many thanks to P.T. Michelle & Trisha Leigh for sending these for review!

The Weekly Nutshell:
{Sunday} Happy Book Birthday, Lucid by P.T. Michelle (and Giveaway!)
{Monday} Review: Dark Companion by Marta Acosta
{Tuesday} Waiting on Wednesday: Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
{Thursday} Book Trailers: Dark Companion, So Close to You, & Something Strange & Deadly

I went to an awesome event this week at Books, Inc in San Francisco. It was an absolute blast, and I got to meet one of my absolute favorite authors, Malinda Lo. Guys, I have to admit I had a bit of a fangirl spaz-out moment. Look out for a recap of the event this coming week!

Have a great week, everyone...and happy reading! :D

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

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.

Dance of Shadows
by Yelena Black

hitting shelves December 24, 2012 from Walker Books for Young Readers

Vanessa Adler isn’t so sure she really belongs at the School of American Ballet. But dance runs in her family. It’s been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. Her grandmother and mother were prima ballerinas, and her older sister Margaret was, too. That is, until Margaret mysteriously disappeared from school three years ago. Vanessa is heir to the family’s gift and the only person who can fulfill her sister’s destiny. She has no choice.

But she never could have guessed how dangerous the school is. The infamous choreographer, Josef, isn’t just ruthless with his pupils, he guards a sinister secret, one in which the school’s dancers—prized for their beauty, grace, and discipline—become pawns in a world of dark, deadly demons.

My thoughts: Not only am I drawn to this gorgeous cover, but I'm completely intrigued at the mix of ballet dance and demons. I can't wait to find out how the two come together!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

publisher: Tor Teen

release date: July 3rd, 2012

hardcover, 368 pages

intended audience: Young adult (I recommend 16+)


source: from publisher for honest review

description: Orphaned at the age of six, Jane Williams has grown up in a series of foster homes, learning to survive in the shadows of life. Through hard work and determination, she manages to win a scholarship to the exclusive Birch Grove Academy. There, for the first time, Jane finds herself accepted by a group of friends. She even starts tutoring the headmistress’s gorgeous son, Lucien. Things seem too good to be true.
They are.

The more she learns about Birch Grove’s recent past, the more Jane comes to suspect that there is something sinister going on. Why did the wife of a popular teacher kill herself? What happened to the former scholarship student, whose place Jane took? Why does Lucien’s brother, Jack, seem to dislike her so much?

As Jane begins to piece together the answers to the puzzle, she must find out why she was brought to Birch Grove—and what she would risk to stay there….

Review: Dark Companion is such a unique, dark, & mesmerizing story with lots of twists and plot surprises, some really hilarious quick-witted dialogue and fantastic characters, but also some really frustrating moments where I absolutely loathed what was happening. I think my opinion of this book changed a million times while reading, but looking back on the story as a whole after I'd turned the last page---all I could think was... 'Wow'. There were time I couldn't stand to watch the choices the main character was making and times that I wanted to cheer for her out loud. But, in hindsight, that's what made the story so great for me----it brought out so many strong emotions! Dark Companion is intense and dark and quite spooky---not really paranormal (even the "vampire" aspect is not presented as something paranormal, but more of a medical anomaly), but with a tiny hint of magic. More than that, it's about Jane. She's goes through quite an emotional journey, and I was glad to have come along for the ride.
Jane grew up being thrown from foster home to foster home, her mother brutally murdered when she was just a child and the trauma erased her memory of anything before that. She's pretty emotionally damaged, but she grew up with a foster brother, Hosea, who encouraged her to be the best and smartest person she could be---and when he dies suddenly, she decides to do just that. Her efforts pay off when she's invited to Birch Grove Academy on a scholarship, and that's where the real story begins. She is taken in by the headmistress and her family and meets new friends and starts to really thrive.

I loved Jane's strong determination to succeed,...that is, until things start to happen with Lucky Radcliffe. He is handsome, but spoiled and self-centered and can be cruel. Because of her past, Jane craves love and family, so when Lucky shows an interest, it leads to her to becoming self-deluded and almost obsessive. Even when she is shocked by the truth about what is really going on, her desperation to be needed causes her to make some awful choices. But, like I said before, this was one girl's journey, and there was no lack of character growth by the time the story ends.

I do have to mention my two favorite characters: Lucky's brother, Jack, and the hilarious Mary Violet. Both of these character stole the show for me. Jack is so great at bringing out the fiery side of Jane's character. Funny, snarky, and constantly teasing Jane---he was just fun to read. Mary Violet is a new friend to Jane, but she steals every single scene she is in. Her personality is just bursting at the seams and I laughed out loud at every single one of her quirky poems and "french translations".

There are a few places where it showed that the author is used to writing for adults. This is her first foray into YA fiction, and while it was an amazing, compelling story, there were a few parts that I thought were written a bit too erotically for a YA audience. There are also a lot of heavy adult concepts here: drugs and prostitution, domestic violence, and a situation that skirts on sexual fetishes. While it's fine for me, I don't think I would feel comfortable recommending this to anyone under 16.

Dark Companion was a dark, lush gothic story that grasped my attention with a death-grip the entire time. I definitely recommend it for older YA readers!

Visit Marta Acosta at her site: www.MartaAcosta.com

Purchase Dark Companion at: AmazonBN.comBookDepositoryIndiebound

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Book Birthday, Lucid by PT Michelle! (+ Giveaway!)

Just wanted to give a quick shout out for P.T. Michelle & Lucid, the next in the Brightest Kind of Darkness series! Happy Book Birthday!!

Brightest Kind of Darkness was one of my absolute favorite books of last year. You can check out my review here. If you've never heard of this series, you must track it down soon...you can find both books here. Amazing stuff, and I can't wait to get more of Inara & Ethan!!

So, in honor of the new release, I want to give away an e-copy of each book so someone new can discover this wonderful series!

a Rafflecopter giveaway