What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Monday, December 31, 2012

Splintered by A.G. Howard

Happy New Year's Eve! Have y'all got fun plans for tonight? Have fun and stay safe!

The first time I came across this book, I was enchanted by the cover. Those vivid colors just make it so intriguing. But then on top of that, it's an Alice in Wonderland story? What? I've been looking forward to this book for a long time! Now, Splintered is being released tomorrow (Jan.1), so make sure you look out for it!

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now. When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse and the whispers grow too strong to bear, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own. Unless she fixes the things her great-great-great grandmother Alice put wrong, Wonderland will have her head.

What I Liked: 1) This story just leaps off the page and comes to life. Much like the cover, the details are vivid and lush, creating a lifelike setting both above and below the rabbit hole. Once I was in it, I felt almost resentful of the things that made me come back to reality. It's the descriptions that drew me in more than anything. 2) Jeb. Heh. Jeb was awesome. As Alyssa's best friend, Jeb has a huge role to fill, and he does it really well. He's a sweet guy, but he also doesn't hesitate to be honest with Alyssa, which is a refreshing thing in a guy/love interest/what have you. I also liked how protective he was. 3) The Mysterious Mister Morpheus. There were a lot of things I liked about Morpheus, but the main thing is who he represents from the traditional Alice story. And no, I won't tell you. You'll have to read it to find out. But it's not who I would have expected, though once I figured it out, I could see the subtle hints leading up to it. I also liked how everything was a riddle to him. Though, this isn't necessarily specific to Morpheus, it's more a Wonderland thing. It's easy to see what it is about him that draws Alyssa in, because he's dark and mysterious, and even left me wanting more. 4) The connections to Lewis Carroll's story. This isn't a retelling, and I've been careful not to categorize it as such. Instead it's more of an...expansion. An addition. Or, even an exploration of the original narrative. But for anyone who is loyal to the original story, don't worry. So much of what I loved appeared here, for Alyssa to experience just as Alice had.

What I Didn't Like: Nothing. Loved it all!

Overall Thoughts: I was completely enchanted by Splintered. It completely epitomized Book Love for me, that giddy, happy feeling that I get when I fall in love with a book! As a result, I think I talked about it for days. But I digress. The beautifully lush details, it's loyalty to the original story, the mystery and creativity all come together to make this a MUST READ. Trust me when I say you don't want to miss this one!

My Rating: 5 shots

I received a copy of this from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas + Christmas Trivia Question #12

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to my wonderful friends and followers here on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books! Did Santa visit any of you? I hope you were good this year!

Today is the last and final trivia question of our 12 Days of Christmas Trivia countdown and giveaway. I imagine some of you have racked up quite a few entries for the giveaway, and I can't wait to choose a winner and start talking about what new releases he or she would like to receive. Here is the answer to yesterday's trivia question:

Q11) What brought Frosty the Snowman to life in the popular song?

A) An old silk hat (..."there must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found...for when they placed it on his head, he began to dance around!")

And for your last trivia question:

Q12) What beverage company was the first to use Santa Claus in an advertisement?

I'll reveal the answer and the winner in the next few days. Until then, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a Good Night!



.............and a Partridge in a Pear Tree!!!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Trivia Question #11

Christmas Eve! It is officially the last shopping day until Christmas! Who still have shopping to do? I'm not sure I would want to battle those crowds! I'm all for it when it's Black Friday, but not Christmas Eve. I just want to relax by the fire, watch Christmas movies, and drink hot chocolate. And that's my plan! I'm lucky that my office is closed today, so I have the opportunity to do that. Is anyone working today? I'm very sorry if you are. Just to make your day a little bearable...more trivia!

Yesterday's Question:
Q10) What country did the song "Silent Night" originate from?

A) Austria - written by a young priest named Joesph Mohr, supposedly written to be accompanied specifically by guitar because the church's organ was broken and could not be repaired in time for Christmas Eve Mass.

Today's Question:
Q11) What brought Frosty the Snowman to life?

I'll post the answer tomorrow, along with the final question of our trivia game. Remember, tomorrow is the last day to get entered into the giveaway, so make sure that you get your answer entries in by visiting the entry form!

Two Turtledoves.......

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Trivia Question #10

Happy Christmas Eve Eve! We're celebrating Christmas tonight with my Dad's side of the family. This is the big side with lots of cousins and aunt and uncles. In a break from the tradition that has been around for as long as I can remember, everyone is going to my parents' house this year, instead of my Grandmother's. My parents have been building a house since April of this year, and moved in right before Thanksgiving. Now they are all moved in, they're ready to show everyone, so they decided to host our Christmas get-together. We always play games and have trivia questions, so I guarantee my list of trivia questions that I've been asking y'all will be making an appearance. Speaking of trivia...

Yesterday's Question:
Q9) In "The Santa Clause" starring Tim Allen, what did the elves use to cut the prison bars?

A) Tinsel!

Today's Question:
Q10) What country does that song "Silent Night" originate from?

Stay tuned for the answer! And after you guess, make sure you visit the entry form to get today's entry!

Three French Hens.......

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Trivia Question #9

It's the last weekend before Christmas? Who is shopping today? I'm all done, thankfully. A few of my family members didn't make it easy though. It's always my Grandfather. Every year I'm like, "Gran, what do you want for Christmas?" and every year he's like, "I don't want anything. Please don't get me anything." I'm all, I'm going to get you something whether you tell me something you'd like to have, or not! There will be a present under the tree for you, so stop making this more difficult for me! Ah, that man. *Shakes head* Oh well. Who is the hardest person in your family to buy for?

Ready for some more trivia? First, here's the answer to yesterday's Question:
Q8) "Good King Wenceslas" was the King of what country?

A) Bohemia - although he was actually not a king, he was Duke of Bohemia from 907-935 AD, and the title of "King" was conferred to him posthumously by the Holy Roman Emporer Otto 1. 

Today's Question:
Q9) In "The Santa Clause" starring Tim Allen, what did the elves use to cut the prison bars?

Make sure you visit the entry form to get your entries for answering today's question!

Four calling birds....

Friday, December 21, 2012

Witch World by Christopher Pike

Have y'all been playing along with my Christmas Trivia game, and collecting those entries to win a year's worth of new releases? It's a pretty good deal, if you haven't started playing yet, you ought to get started! Anyway, today's review is of Christopher Pike's Witch World. I'm not the biggest Christopher Pike fan. In fact, I really haven't cared for anything I've read by him. But I knew that before I went into Witch World, and was determined to give this one a fair shake. It's a completely new series, so maybe I'd find something to enjoy.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Heading off for a weekend in Las Vegas with her friends, Jessie Ralle has only one worry—how to make it through the road trip in the same car with her Ex, Jimmy Kelter. The guy who broke her heart five months ago when he dumped her for no reason. The guy who’s finally ready to tell her why he did it, because he wants her back. But what Jessie doesn’t realize is that Jimmy is the least of her problems. In Las Vegas she meets Russ, a mesmerizing stranger who shows her how to gamble, and who never seems to lose. Curious, Jessie wants to know his secret, and in response, alone in his hotel room, he teaches her a game that opens a door to another reality. To Witch World. Suddenly Jessie discovers that she’s stumbled into a world where some people can do the impossible, and others may not even be human. For a time she fears she’s lost her mind. Are there really witches? Is she one of them?

What I Liked: 1) Las Vegas. This was a great setting for a story like this. The city that never sleeps? Yes. It added a really interesting dimension to everything that was happening. 2) I liked Jessie. She was a person who knew what she wanted, and did what she needed to go after it. Kind of a, won't take no for an answer kind of person. I wasn't sure from the beginning if she was going to turn out that way, but she really did. 3) I really loved the concept. Walking through two different worlds between wake and sleep...it's actually a little confusing if you stop at all to think about it. But like it's setting, the book tends to go a mile a minute and in this case it worked in it's favor. Because the longer I think about how Witch World and...non-witch world worked, the more confusing it becomes. But it was completely unique and 100% interesting to me. 4) There is a phrase that pops up more than once. It's not exactly a code phrase, but it kind of clues you in on who is who. The phrase is "Are you connected." Well, it takes a while for the full meaning behind this to really come out, but once it does and you learn what it means to be "connected," the way they become "connected" is totally freaky. And to believe that as many people "are connected" as in this book, it's kind of astounding. There is a lot more to it, but I just don't want to give anything away, so that's all I'm going to say about it. But that alone just gives you a little taste of all the mystery wrapped up in this new book. 5) The ending broke my heart. I literally had tears in my eyes when I found out how the ending came to be. It's bittersweet for everyone involved, myself included.

What I Didn't Like: I had no complaints. I really enjoyed all of it!

Overall Thoughts: I wonder if this is going to be a series, or a one-shot. There isn't anything online about there being more books, but something on the inside flap of the hardback copy just made me believe that there might be another book. Either way, I know I'll enjoy reading this book again. It's the kind of book that because of the pacing, you can read it again and again, and discover something new every time. Christopher Pike (Kevin McFadden) has finally won me over with his Witch World series, and I know that fans of his will find this to be mysterious and intriguing with epic twists right up until the very end.

My Rating: 5 shots

Christmas Trivia Question #8

Today is my last day of work before my holiday vacation starts! I'm counting down til' 5pm! Anyone else as excited as me? Well, lets start the day with another trivia question!

Yesterday's Question:
Q7) What American Presidents barred the Christmas Tree from the White House?

A) Ever the environmentalist, Theodore Roosevelt thought that trees should not be cut down for decoration, and he banned them from being displayed in the White House.

And here is today's question!
Q8) "Good King Wenceslas" was King of what country?

After you guess, make sure you visit the first page and get today's entry counted!

Fiiiiiiiiiiiiive golden rings.........

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

There were not a lot of new releases on my schedule in December, so I decided to take the time to catch up on some books that have been out for a while but I didn't get around to reading. That's how I landed on Under the Never Sky. I'd seen this one around for a while, but thought now was a good time to check out out.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse. Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive. A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

What I Liked: 1) Aria. I thought Aria was a great example of character development, and of an author being in tune with reality and knowing how certain age groups of kids would and wouldn't act. I have pretty much accepted the fact that everyone thinks something different when it comes to writing teens, but my thoughts seem to be in line with Miz Rossi's when it comes to Aria. In addition to her being written so realistically, I just liked her. She was the kind of person I would be friends with. 2) Perry. How to describe Perry...well, he's older, not by much, but older than Aria, but he's been forced into a much more mature role because of his lifestyle. Out in the wild he's had to grow up much faster and learn how to survive of his own volition. But just when you think he's so tough that he just has no emotions, you get to see him with his nephew. That's when Perry's squishy insides start showing. I loved both parts of him equally, and thought that (because it's pretty obvious) he and Aria complement each other nicely (although it takes them a while to figure it out). 3) The descriptions. I'm a very visual reader, I think we've covered that pretty well in the year and a half you and I have been discussing books. So naturally I love when a world I'm dropped into is described with a vividness that puts you right there in the middle of it. Veronica Rossi managed to do that in a vast place such as the outer wasteland where Aria and Perry are roaming. You experience every terrain change, every awkward or maddening silence between Aria and Perry, it's all described so perfectly that you could almost be a third wheel on their journey. 4) The five senses are a very important part of this book, and in going back to what I said about the descriptions, you can get so deep into the story that you feel like your senses are engaged too. I found myself straining to listen for what Aria was hearing, or to see what Perry saw. Truly awesome writing here.

What I Didn't Like: I mention this only because I actually listened to the audiobook instead of reading it, but I thought the narrator was a poor choice. I have no idea who she was or how old she was, but she sounded like she could be a grandma, trying to be a teenager. It bothered me how disconnected her voice was from the person that Aria was. Other than that, I have no complaints about the actual story.

Overall Thoughts: Part of me is bummed that it took me so long to read this book, because I could have enjoyed it a lot sooner. But at the same time, I don't have to wait as long to get the next part of Aria and Perry's story, since the next book comes out in less than a month! Seriously, Under the Never Sky has all the elements I love about books: great characters, fascinating plot, and details that pull you deep into their world. If you are late to this party (like me!) and haven't gotten around to reading this one yet, I highly, highly recommend it. I'm now officially counting the days until the release of the next book, Through The Ever Night, set to release Jan. 8th, 2013!

My Rating: 5 shots

Christmas Trivia Question #7

It's December 20th, which happens to be my Dad's birthday! Happy Birthday, Papa FCB! So glad to celebrate another year with you! As a lot of you know, my Dad had quite a health scare around the 4th of July, a massive heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery. His life was saved by quick-thinking healthcare professionals. So forgive me a moment of thankfulness today, but I am so grateful that he is here with us to celebrate another birthday.

On to business!
Yesterday's Question:
Q6) The real St. Nicholas was born in what is now what country?

A) Turkey (formerly Lycia)

Today's Question:
Q7) What American President barred the Christmas tree from being displayed in the White House?

Stop by the first giveaway page to make sure today's answer gets entered!

6 Geese a-laying

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Trivia Question #6

Hi friends! Ready for some more Christmas trivia? Who is keeping score? How many have you gotten correct so far? Let's check out the answer to yesterday's question! And remember after you answer this one to stop by and fill out that entry form to get today's trivia answer counted!

Yesterday's Question
Q5) In what year did the US Postal Service issue it's first Christmas stamp?

A) 1962

And of course we have another question!

Today's Question:
Q6) The real St. Nicholas was born in what is now what country?

7 swans a-swimming........

Waiting on Wednesday (60)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It highlights the books that we are most anxiously awaiting!


This week, my WoW is.... 


Rise by Andrea Cremer 
Release Date: January 8th, 2012 

I'm listening to Andrea Cremer's Nightshade as I write this. The Nightshade series is one of my favorite YA series to date, and I was thrilled to find out that she was writing a duo of prequal books where we could learn more about how they all came to be. I thought Rift was pretty good (read that review here) and I am looking forward to more Ember and Barrow! What are you looking forward to this December Wednesday?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

I can't even tell you how many times I've picked up Shadow and Bone, and then put it back down when I've been in the bookstore. I don't know why I was hesitating so much. Then I went to Austin Teen Book Fest, and heard Leigh speak. I decided that I was going to check out this book one way or another. Well, "another" turned out to be in audiobook form.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

What I Liked: 1) Alina's relationship with Mal. I love their friendship, as it progresses from childhood as it gets to what it is now. You get that even though they are only friends, they are willing to do anything for each other. This relationship was very well written and even thought we don't really see how it begins, it's easy to imagine how these two grew up together. And even beyond that, the development throughout the book is very well done. 2) Mal. I just liked Malyen. He was very...real. Such a guy in the way he acted and the way he was clueless about certain things, but also strong and confident in a way that brought a lot to the story. His flaws make him very human, and I just thought he was an awesome character. 3) The setting. Ravka is a fantastical place to visit, imaginative and creative. It was truly the star of this story, because every inch of it was something new.

What I Didn't Like: The plot. Oooo...that's a big one. I won't say I didn't like the story, because it was intriguing. But it was very...event driven. Something big would happen, and then the next 30 pages would be full of boring drivel. Then there was another EVENT. Then more smoke that added nothing to the story. It was similar to a stop/start plot line, but different in that things kept flowing, without much direction or point. I found myself having to force myself to get through the next pages, just waiting for the next big thing to happen.

Overall Thoughts: If you love exploring fantasy worlds, Shadow and Bone has quite a place for you. There are some well-developed characters, and explosive events that drive the plot. However, if you pulled out everything that was distracting and unnecessary, you'd whittle a 358 page book down to about 98 pages. This one wasn't for me, and I will not be continuing with the series, but I wish everyone well who truly does love it, and would recommend you looking this on up on Goodreads to read some other more positive commentary on Shadow and Bone!

My Rating: 2 shots

Christmas Trivia Question #5

Well, we are one week away from Christmas? Are y'all ready? Who has travel plans? I'm lucky enough to have all of my family close, so I don't do a lot of traveling this time of year. From town to town, maybe, but never farther than an hour.

Everyone having fun with the questions so far? I like to share y'all's questions with other friends and family who don't visit Fuzzy.Coffee.Books very often, and they seem to like learning new things about this holiday!

Yesterday's Question:
Q4) What were the first artificial Christmas trees made from?

A) Goose feathers (or, wooden tree shaped pyramids - these two came around about the same time!)

Today's Question:
Q5) In what year did the US Postal Service issue its first Christmas stamp?

As always, don't forget to visit the entry page to get your entries for answering today's question!

8 maids a-milking

Monday, December 17, 2012

Struck by Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal by Chris Colfer

I didn't just read this because Chris Colfer from Glee was the author. Actually, I didn't read it at all, I listened to the audiobook. (That was a choice made because he was the narrator - I can't help it, Kurt is my favorite!) But after seeing the movie trailer and reading the summary, I knew I wanted to read this one.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips, who blackmails the most popular students in his school into contributing to his literary journal to bolster his college application; his goal in life is to get into Northwestern and eventually become the editor of The New Yorker. At once laugh-out-loud funny, deliciously dark, and remarkably smart, Struck By Lightning unearths the dirt that lies just below the surface of high school. At a time when bullying torments so many young people today, this unique and important novel sheds light with humor and wit on an issue that deeply resonates with countless teens and readers.

What I Liked: 1) I loved the style in which it was written. Because it is a journal, we are hearing it read aloud from Carson's journal after everything happened. So not only are we hearing what went on during the day, but Carson gets to add his own commentary, and think about what went on and what he did or could have done differently. It's a rare thing to find in books, at least among the books I read, and I really enjoyed that voice. 2) The humor. I found myself laughing out loud at many parts of this story, and going back and repeating some of the funnier parts to other people. For a story that has a rather dramatic twist, the humor breaks up the monotony and hardships that Carson is experiencing throughout his senior year of high school. This alone is reason enough to read Struck by Lightening. 3) Malerie. Carson's...best friend. I say that hesitantly because Carson really acts as if he has no friends, yet Malerie is by his side pretty much every step of the way. Knowing that Rebel Wilson plays this role in the movie makes it even better. It was really easy to picture her doing and saying some of the things that Malerie says in the book. 4) This is the first and probably only time I'll ever say this: The Unreliable Narrator. How much stock can you put in a journal? Do you think he doesn't add his own embellishments in his journal? Or remember things the way he wanted to remember them? But it made the story seem all the more real, just knowing that we were only getting a skewed version of the story. I'll likely never say that again, but it worked in this instance.

What I Didn't Like: Okay, who actually curses that much? Especially in a journal? I know that people use curse words, but isn't the whole point kind of to make a point? Like, you feel so strongly about something that regular words just won't do? I personally would prefer no cursing in books, but that's probably never going to happen. But why did he have to use it as often as he did in his journal? For a kid who was as smart as he was, I think it was unnecessary, and untrue to who his character was. Hey Carson, you want to be a writer? You need a stronger vocabulary.

 Overall Thoughts: Struck by Lightning is one of those books that everyone should read once. There was a great message (no, not the one about blackmailing your peers), but about making the best out of life no matter what its thrown at you. The comedic relief was awesome, and the ending was heartbreaking. If you are bothered by curse words, you should be prepared for a lot, but if that isn't something that is an issue, then don't worry. Chris Colfer's first foray into young adult fiction is a success, and I can't wait to see it on the big screen!

My Rating: 4 shots

Christmas Trivia Question #4

Let the countdown continue! Anyone having any holiday-ish weather? We were still in the 70s over the weekend, so I'm hoping we'll cool down before Christmas gets here.

In case you are just joining us, here on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books we are counting down to Christmas with a giveaway and some trivia! For each trivia question you guess (it doesn't have to be correct), you get an extra entry!

Make sure you visit the first page of the giveaway to enter, and add your trivia question entries!

Yesterday's Question:
Q3) In what country did the tradition of making gingerbread houses at Christmas time originate?

A) In Germany, shortly after the Brothers Grimm published their collection of German Fairy Tales including the story of Hansel and Gretel, in the early 1800s.

Today's Question:
Q4) What were the first artificial Christmas trees made from?


9 ladies dancing....

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Trivia Question #3

Ready for some more Christmas trivia? I hope y'all are having fun with our little game, because I sure am!

Yesterday's Question:
Q2) How much did Lucy charge for a psychiatric session on "A Charlie Brown Christmas?"

A) 5 cents

I love "A Charlie Brown Christmas," we watch it every year.

Today's Question:
Q3) In what country did the tradition of making gingerbread houses at Christmas time originate?

This one's a little harder than the first few! Good luck, and visit the first Q page to make sure your entry gets counted!

10 Lords a-leaping.....

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Trivia Question #2

Good morning! Everyone having a fabulous Saturday so far? What are you spending your day doing? Shopping? Wrapping? Baking cookies? I plan on doing all of the above today. Well, I'm glad you decided to stop by today, because remember, for every trivia question you guess, you get another entry to win a year of new releases! There are some awesome books coming out next year, so it sounds like a great deal to me!

Now, for those of you who participated last year, I'm doing this a little differently by using Rafflecopter. When you leave your answer below, make sure you leave that entry on the rafflecopter entry form too. I will go back and make sure everything lines up, I just want to make sure you get all your entries!

On to the fun!

Yesterday's Question:
Q1) Who was Ebenezer Scrooge's business partner in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol?

A) Jacob Marley

Nice job to those of you who got it right!

Today's Question:
Q2) How much did Lucy charge for a psychiatric session on "A Charlie Brown Christmas?"

Now, don't forget to visit the first page of the giveaway to record your entry for answering today's question!

11 Pipers Piping...... 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett

I didn't know what to expect when I started reading Degrees of Wrong. Samhain Publishing is a new-to-me publishing house in that I don't know that I've read anything else on their docket. And the cover, I'll admit is very misleading. Does it not look like a mermaid to you? Because it does to me. And this book has nothing to do with mermaids.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: This time, the straight-and-narrow path could be the road to ruin. Dr. Elyse Morgan’s mission: find the cure to the HTN4 virus. The compensation, courtesy of the United Nations: a lab stocked with hi-tech goodies, limitless resources and enough chocolate to make her rear look like a cellulite farm. Bonus: she gets to live. Rescued (kidnapped) and secreted (imprisoned) on an undersea warship, Elyse adjusts to her assumed identity as a cadet with the finesse of a toeless ballerina. Her sulfuric temper and blatant insubordination capture the unwanted attention of the ship’s captain, the gorgeous, infuriating, engaged Nicoli Marek. Elyse would rather perform her own autopsy than become the other woman, but Nicoli—who’s as full of himself as he is of secrets—regards his impending marriage as a mere political transaction. And Elyse as fair game. As Elyse’s suspicions about the UN’s true agenda mount along with her attraction to the relentless, chronically shirtless captain, she must choose between the murky path to everything she’s ever wanted, or the squeaky-clean path of self-sacrifice—which could mean taking the secrets of the virus with her to the grave.

Okay, in reading the summary it doesn't seem like it's about mermaids, I'll give you that, but I still think that cover says mermaids.

What I Liked: 1) Elyse. Dr. Elyse Morgan is very willful, and also a very caring person. I particularly enjoyed how she stood up to Lt. Horan, whom she called "Pretty Princess" and I think it's very funny. She has learned how to stand up for herself and others, but she is also very caring, which makes her a good doctor. 2) Nikoli. Here's a guy who isn't shy about what he wants. It was almost comical how forward he was with Elyse. But I like a guy with confidence, so I definitely was able to see why he was the male MC of the story, and why a lot of people will be drawn to him. 3) Elyse was on this military submarine researching a cure for this virus that is responsible for a lot of death and tragedy. While new epidemics are not new in the dystopian books, it was Dr. Morgan's main purpose for her lifestyle. This one uniquely focused on the kind of research she was doing in order to stop cure the virus.

What I Didn't Like: 1) At first, I loved the fact that it was set on a submarine. Or, something like a submarine. But once we got further into the book, the parts that were set on the submarine seemed to completely ignore that fact. Maybe it's because this vessel is supposed to be so...large that other than not being able to go outside, there are no differences, but I felt there was something missing from that fact. 2) I also started to get a little worried about the virus. The further we got into it, the more Elyse was paying attention to Nikoli instead of working towards her goal. It got a little too confusing for me to figure out what exactly was important to her.

Overall Thoughts: Degrees of Wrong was an interesting, New Adult (I guess this is considered new adult, Elyse is 24 years old, but I am very unfamiliar with what classifies it as such) book. It is a relatively short story that can be read in only a few hours. The characters are very likeable, and readers will find themselves rooting for them to work out there differences. Author Anna Scarlett also has a gift for humor, as this dramatic story is often broken up by comic relief. There are some missing elements, pieces of the story that weren't given the attention that they deserved, but nothing that just drags you down. Don't be mislead by the cover of this book, it isn't a mermaid story. Take a few hours and check out this one, and be prepared to laugh and sigh as you try to save the world with Dr. Elyse!

My Rating: 3 shots

12 Days of Christmas Trivia + Giveaway


 *Remember, you'll find links to every question at the bottom of this post!

Hello, my FuzzyCoffee Friends! We are officially twelve days away from Christmas, and if you were here last year you know what that means! Christmas Trivia time!!! I love me some Christmas trivia. But I also love to give stuff away. So in the spirit of the season, I have made this giveaway a little game!

First the giveaway: One winner will win a year's worth of new releases. That's one new release, once a month for the whole year. Sounds like a pretty great deal, huh? And yes, this is international, so long as Amazon or Book Depository delivers to you!

Now the game: You can enter by filling out the form below, and in addition to those entries, there is an option for you to answer a trivia question every day! From now until Christmas Day (how long the giveaway runs) I will be posting a Christmas trivia question, and you will get an extra entry for each trivia question you answer! You don't even have to get it correct, just a guess will count! Sounds easy and fun, right? I did this last year, and I think people enjoyed it! In fact, here is a picture of all of the books that last year's winner Amber received throughout the year!



Just enter the form below and this time next year, you can have a stack just like that (only your choices!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Okay, after all that, here is today's trivia question:

Q1) Who was Ebenezer Scrooge's deceased business partner in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol?

Leave the answer below and I'll reveal the answer tomorrow!

12 Drummers Drumming....

Question 2
Question 3
Question 4
Question 5
Question 6
Question 7
Question 8
Question 9
Question 10
Question 11
Question 12

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin

I wasn't sure I was going to read this one. I didn't review book 1, All These Things I've Done here on FCB, but I did give it three stars on Goodreads. I just didn't get into it, and I remember thinking it felt too jumpy. But I love the look of the new covers for both ATTID and this second book, I thought that I might give them another shot.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Since her release from Liberty Children's Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship. But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve--and her heart--will be tested as never before.

What I Liked: 1) I finally started to understand Anya. I think that's what was missing from All These Things I've Done, that I simply didn't understand why she was the way she was. She's closed off and very wary of everything. But, since the Balanchine Family is like, a mob family, I suppose she has every right to feel very wary of everyone. I think this finally sunk in this time, because it hadn't really occurred to me in the first book. 2) Mexico. This was my favorite part of the book. Anya was able to get out of the city and out on to a cacao plantation. This whole part of the book was so interesting, because of the information Anya gets about chocolate, how it's grown, and what it's for. She's really started to hate chocolate because of all the trouble it's caused her and her family and you see her gain a new and different kind of appreciation for it as she spends time with Theo and his family on their chocolate plantation. In addition to what it did for Anya, I think it changed the pace of the story. I've talked before about colors that go with certain books. Well, Anya's life seems to be all gray and black, and white and red. Those are the colors that I envision for everything as I read. But suddenly she arrives in Mexico, and things get brighter, or warmer. The colder parts of the story melt away. This was what really helped me get into it more. 3) Bold choices. I think when you read enough books, you start to get a feel for the patterns that books of certain genres take. I'm not saying that all books are the same, just that there are directions that books take, and often times that formula, the one that makes for a good book, is the same for one as it is for the other. But I noticed a lot of deviation from natural patterns with Because It Is My Blood. When it would feel natural for the story to go one way, author Gabrielle Zevin chose to yank you in the opposite direction. That is what made this book fun and unpredictable, that you really couldn't ever guess where she was going to take you next. I appreciated these bold choices. 4) Theo. I got really attached to this guy. He was goofy and outspoken, and was just the kind of guy you can't help but like.

What I Didn't Like: I still am having trouble connecting with some of the characters. Anya's family and friends aren't being developed as well as she is, or with the same pace that she is, and that is why I am struggling so with these characters.

Overall Thoughts: This was a nice continuation of a series that got off to a rocky start for me. Bringing some warmth into what seemed to be a dark and cold world was an excellent decision from Miz Zevin. I also love her ability to shock me with her literary choices, and the up and down in the pacing. I've become a big fan of Theo, and hope to find out more about this sweetheart in the next book. There are still some plot and character development issues, but they are getting better! For fans of All These Things I've Done, this one will not disappoint, and for those of you who haven't started the series yet - a world where chocolate is banned? What's stopping you?

My Rating: 3.5 shots

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (59)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It highlights the books that we are most anxiously awaiting!


This week my WoW is...........


The Collector by Victoria Scott 
Release Date: April 2nd, 2013 

Here's the summary from Goodreads: He makes good girls...bad. Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag. Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment: Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days. Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.

Well, I'm pretty sure Dante is a badass, so that equals a WIN for me! Also, I've had the pleasure of meeting Tori and talking to her a bit about the book, so that makes me even more excited. Plus, we shopped for books together, and you know what that means: BESTIES FOR LIFE! Add this one to your TBR list if it isn't already there folks! It's gonna be great!

What are y'all waiting on this Holiday Wednesday?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Flock by Wendy Delsol

Flock is the final in the Stork trilogy from Wendy Delsol. I've enjoyed this series so far, and was anxious to see how the story would end. Here are my reviews of books 1 (Stork) and 2 (Frost). There was a lot of suspense wrapped up in the second book, so I knew it was going to take a lot to resolve everything and end happily (not that we're ever guaranteed a happy ending!).

Here's the summary from Goodreads: After surviving her (shall we say) intense adventure in Iceland, Katla is psyched to be back for a blissfully uneventful senior year of homecoming and fashion explorations. But her hopes of dodging unfinished business are dashed by the arrival of two Icelandic exchange students: Marik, an oddly alluring merman-in-disguise, and Jinky, a tough gypsy girl. It seems Katla not only enraged the Snow Queen by rescuing her boyfriend, Jack, she also was tricked into promising her frail baby sister to the water queen — and Marik has come to collect. What’s worse, Katla doesn’t dare confide in anyone lest she endanger them, so even her soul mate, Jack, is growing suspicious. And now Katla’s stork dreams, her guide for matching babies with mothers, have become strange and menacing as well. Hold on for a thrilling finale as the heroine of Stork and Frost calls on her wits (and her wit) to protect those she loves and face a final mythic disaster.

What I Liked: 1) Well, the first two books have focused a lot of their energies (or plotlines) on some of the Nordic legends, of which were all unknown to me. And I loved that about it. But this one focused more on how those legends were being rewoven into today's time period, and what effects they were having on Katla and her generation. I really love how Miz Delsol took her story a step beyond just retelling these somewhat obscure legends. 2) This is kind of an extension of the first thing I mentioned, but I like how well Flock brought Stork and Frost together. The story continues from where we left off in Frost, but instead of feeling linear, it felt more like....well, I don't know if I can accurately describe it, but this is how I see it in my head.

Instead of this (which I find most often with series):
It was this:

That may not make any sense to anyone, but it was as if she took the legend from book 1, and the legend from book 2, and brought them together to create a new story. I hope my visual aids depict that! (I'm quite the graphic artist, can't you tell? ;-)) 3) Complications. I enjoy fluff pieces of literature as much as the next person, especially when I don't want to think about anything. But I always appreciate complicated story lines with many twists and tangles, so I loved that part of this conclusion. Everyone's lives were all tangled around everyone else's, so the consequences of different actions were widespread. It wasn't just Katla and her decisions anymore. 4) The ending. It was a little bittersweet, which is always nice. Everything comes with a price, and Katla and Jack have to learn that. I'm glad for the ending that they received, it fit with the complexity of the story and felt very natural to the progression.

What I Didn't Like: There are a couple of things that I mentioned being a little disappointed in with the first two books, and I'm glad to see that all of those were cleared up with this final piece of the puzzle. As for this one, nothing sticks out at me that I just didn't like about the story.

Overall Thoughts: Flock is the perfect ending to this trilogy. I absolutely love that Miz Delsol was able to bring the conclusion to life in a way that didn't just follow a linear pattern. It's such a refreshing way to read a series. That was awesome. Katla and Jack are characters that I'll continue to root for the in the future, and will definitely take the time to go back and reread their story, because it was a lot of fun! If you have yet to get into this one, it's highly recommended!

My Rating: 5 shots

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gravity by Melissa West

I was really excited about this one leading up to the release, and then the date kept getting changed, so it kind of fell by the wayside for a little while. But once I cleared a few more things off the TBR list, I was able to get to it!

Here's the summary from Goodreads: In the future, only one rule will matter: Don’t. Ever. Peek. Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die. Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

What I Liked: 1) This is the first book I've read about beings from other planets coming to Earth. Aliens, I guess, although they're never referred to as such in Gravity. And I really liked how it all came together. I'm usually pretty hesitant when it comes to things like that, because it just seems so far outside my wheelhouse, but author Melissa West managed to do it so creatively that she gave my imagination ample room to explore. 2) There are things about the way the Earth is now (post-WWIV) that I loved hating. Like Ari, for example. She is the only child of Commander Alexander, which means she was born to fill his role. It's like, society took 2 steps forward in technology and science, and 97 steps back in personal freedoms. The way these parts of the story are described and included just made it that much easier for me to understand and have an automatic distaste for the way the world was being run. 3) The writing style. I was particularly impressed with Miz West's writing style. One of my all-time favorite authors once said that the best advice she ever got as a writer was to make sure that she was showing her readers what she wanted them to know, and not just telling them. Melissa really was able to do that, so as a reader I felt like I was experiencing the book, instead of just reading it. 4) Loved how much history we got. Being able to see how the world got to be in the position it was in now really enriched the story. Miz West gives us a full back story so you aren't left questioning why things are this way in the first place, and because of this you are able to see a natural progression for the future. I was very pleased by all of that!

What I Didn't Like: Well, there were a few times when things were a little too easy. Not too easy as in for the characters. No, nothing was ever easy for Jackson and Ari. But where it seemed like an unnatural ending to a scene, because it was going somewhere difficult and the author just didn't want to go into it. Of course, who knows how that happened, it could have all been cut out during the editing process. It doesn't detract from the story in anyway, there were just a few times when it hit me like, whoa, that was a cop-out.

Overall Thoughts: Gravity is a book that I know I'll enjoy reading again. With a compelling plot, and lots of detail, readers of a wide variety of genres will find something to like in this debut. There are a few abrupt scene changes that may pull you out of the moment, but nothing that really breaks up the flow of the book. I'm really interested to see where this story will take us next!

My Rating: 4 shots

Friday, December 7, 2012

Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Crewel: a loosely twisted worsted yarn, used in fancy work and embroidery.(definition from dictionary.com) I had no idea what this word meant when I picked up the book. I don't really do a lot of crafts like that, my crafts are more like paint and glitter. Anyway, I had to look it up to understand what exactly they were talking about here. But that didn't stop me from wanting to read this book! That cover is so gorgeous, and makes a lot of sense now that I've read it!

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl is in charge of other’s destinies, but not her own. Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become a Spinster — one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die. Thrust into the opulent Western Coventry, Adelice will be tried, tested and tempted as she navigates the deadly politics at play behind its walls. Now caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power. Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it — or destroy it.

What I Liked: 1) The complexity of the story is the first thing that strikes me about the book in thinking it over after I finished it. I think when you broach a topic like this where the very world can be altered, it has to be complex. It gives people a lot of power, but yet somehow in this story, even those who could manipulate the world like this didn't hold all the power. There are some very complex and unique social hierarchies in this world (Arras) that were very interesting. 2) Adelice. I liked Adelice as the MC more than I thought I was going to in the beginning. There is a fierceness about her that I didn't recognize in the beginning. I've seen in the past few years a lot of what I think of as "accidental heroines." Katniss (The Hunger Games), Cassia (Matched), and Gaia (Birthmarked) are the first few that come to mind. You know the ones I'm talking about, the ones who are kind of thrust into a position of being a symbol or even a leader of revolution in their world, without even really realizing it was happening. Well, Adelice is not what I'd call an "accidental heroine." Her parents raised her to be against everything the Coventry stands for, so you know from the very beginning not to expect her to roll over and play lapdog. She's not afraid, or, she is, but she doesn't let fear stop her. I loved this part about her, that she isn't reluctant or hesitant to be in the middle of everything. 3) The idea. Upon finishing the book, my best friend (who hasn't had the opportunity to read it yet) and I had a long discussion about altering realities and what we would and wouldn't do. It really came down to we'd enjoy the power (I mean, I'd totally alter Ryan Reynolds' reality into believing I was his wife), but not the responsibility that comes with it. This is one of the biggest lessons in the book that Adelice and her supporting characters have to learn, that with power comes responsibility. The fact that this idea, the idea of the whole world being woven together by tiny threads that can be altered to change the perception or reality of the people involved was very intriguing, and had led me to have some interesting conversations with the people around me. I love it when a book is able to do something like that. 4) The ending. First of all, there was one thing that happened in the end of the book that made my jaw drop. It completely surprised me, but not in a, throw you off guard kind of way. Of all the things I had been expecting, this certainly was not it, but it excited me. And then as for the very end (like, the last 2 pages), I loved it. It answered a lot of the open questions raised throughout the story, and then just hit you in the face with a whole new world full of them right at the close. A fabulous set up for book 2!

What I Didn't Like: I would have liked to hear more from some of the secondary characters, although after that ending, I'm not sure how important that would have been.

Overall Thoughts: Creative and complex, Crewel is more than a book, it is an adventure into a world where government control is as strong as it is terrifying. Main character Adelice, who has a talent few possess, finds herself in the middle of a power struggle that is both intriguing and excruciating to be a part of. My emotions ran high as Adelice got deeper and deeper into Coventry's darker side. And if the story itself isn't enough, it gives the reader a lot to take away and think about. I won't soon forget this ingenious story, and am anxiously awaiting the next installment of the series!

 My Rating: 5 shots

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Author Jessica Shirvington was so cute at Austin Teen Book Festival that I knew I had to start her series. The first two books of the Violet Eden series are both out, so I picked up the first one to read. I go back and forth on angel books. The more I think about it, the more there are out there. Cynthia Hand's books, Lauren Kate's books, there are many more, but those are two of my favorites.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: It starts with a whisper: "It's time for you to know who you are..." On her 17th birthday, everything will change for Violet Eden. The boy she loves will betray her. Her enemy will save her. She will have to decide just how much she's willing to sacrifice. Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, EMBRACE is a compelling novel of good and evil, seductive desires and impossible choices. A centuries old war between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity chooses a new fighter. It's a battle Violet doesn't want, but she lives her life by two rules: don't run and don't quit. If angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden. LINCOLN: He's been Violet's one anchor, her running partner and kickboxing trainer. Only he never told her he's Grigori--part human, part angel--and that he was training her for an ancient battle between Angels and Exiles. PHOENIX: No one knows where his loyalties lie, yet he's the only one there to pick up the pieces and protect her after Lincoln's lies. In a world of dark and light, he is all shades of gray. Two sides: Angel or Exile. Two guys: Lincoln or Phoenix. The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity...

What I Liked: 1) Lincoln. Surprisingly, when it came to the option between Lincoln and Phoenix, Lincoln would be my preference. He's sweet, and strong. I think Violet lays a bit too much blame on him when things come crashing down too. She needs to lighten up a bit. 2) The premise. Seems like a lot of angel stories all come down to a battle between the Angels and some sort of banished angel, in this case, the Exiles. But there is a great build up for a new kind of this story. And in several cases it delivers. Like the idea of the Embrace, and and angel partners and their enhanced senses (these are not spoilers by the way). I liked those unique bits of the story.

What I Didn't Like: Sadly for me, after the first 80 pages or so...everything just got kind of...blah. Emotions ran high in the beginning, powerful, and almost tangible. But then things just kind of fell apart. It seemed as if there were too many storylines and too many characters to keep control of, so they started spinning out of control.

Overall Thoughts: Embrace started off strong, with compelling characters and an interesting storyline. As the story progressed, however, things became less and less intriguing, as if the emotional parts of the story just dissolved. As much as I thought I was going to love this story, I just think it wasn't for me. I probably won't be reading the rest of the series, but I've seen a great many others who have enjoyed it, so consider checking out some of the other reviews on Goodreads!

My Rating: 2 shots

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (57)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, dedicated to the books that we just cannot wait for!


This week my WoW is.........


Hysteria by Megan Miranda
Release Date: February 5th, 2013 (or possibly Feb. 14th, it's unclear at the moment)

Here's the summary I pulled from Goodreads: Mallory's life is falling apart. Her boyfriend was stabbed. He bled to death in her kitchen. Mallory was the one who stabbed him. But she can't remember what happened that night. She only remembers the fear ...When Mallory's parents send her away to a boarding school, she thinks she can escape the gossip and the threats. But someone, or something, has followed her. There's the hand that touches her shoulder when she's drifting off to sleep. A voice whispering her name. And everyone knows what happened. So when a pupil is found dead, Mallory's name is on their lips. Her past can be forgotten but it's never gone. Can Mallory live with that?

Megan Miranda's debut, Fracture, came out early in 2012. If you haven't checked it out yet, you can read my review here. Her writing style is fresh and fun, and since Fracture was a one-shot, I'm looking forward to something new from her in Hysteria. Don't forget to add it to your TBR lists!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Black City wasn't one of those, OMG, I can't wait to read it books for me. I'd seen it around, and I definitely thought the cover looked cool, but after I downloaded it on my Nook I was just kind of like, oh, I'll read it when I get around to it. Well, "getting around to it" seemed to be Thanksgiving Day when the menfolk were watching football. So I pulled out the nook and started reading.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

What I Liked: 1) The first person alternating POV. I waver on this writing technique a lot because often it isn't done well. But in this case, it was exactly what this story needed. It wasn't Natalie's story, or Ash's story, but it was their story and if we hadn't been able to see what was going on from both perspectives, a lot would have been missing. 2) Ash. Poor guy was kind of an emotional wreck, and he was being torn in a million pieces. He became very real with all of this raw emotion and he was one of those characters that you can just sink into. 3) It was the same way with Natalie. She had some flaws, but at the same time author Elizabeth Richards has managed to turn those into a very personable character. It was easy to root for these two as they fight their battles, both separate and together. 4) The way the love story comes to be. That's a weird way to say it, but there are new ideas and traditions brought into play here, new in the sense that I haven't read about them in any other story. I can't say much about them, because it will give a lot away, but it brought the story together in a nice package. 5) The political aspect. You find this a lot in dystopian stories, though I don't think I'd call Black City a dystopian. I think of it more as paranormal, because of the race of Darklings (a strain of vampire). But the political battles being fought between the different races were very intriguing and will lead to some new developments in the next book.

What I Didn't Like: The first 40 pages of this book are it's downfall. I wasn't sure I'd make it to the rest of the book because I just wasn't getting into it. The action needed to pick up a little sooner, for someone who may not be as patient as me. There was a lot of back and forth with the POVs in the beginning, switching too often to let you really get a feel for the characters. It got a lot better once they started figuring each other out, because it let me as the reader figure it out as well.

 Overall Thoughts: Black City is a crazy mix of paranormal and dystopian worlds with some really fantastic characters, both the MCs and the secondary. And if you don't get swept up in the characters, the political unrest and racial discord provide plenty of plot twists and action that any reader can find intriguing. Make sure you don't get discouraged by the slow beginning, it only gets better!

 My Rating: 4 shots

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cover Reveal: Hover by Melissa West

I just finished reading Gravity by Melissa West last week, so I was super pumped to be able to participate in the cover reveal for book 2 in the series, Hover! If you haven't read Gravity yet, I definitely recommend it, but you'll get my full review next week. For now, here's the cover of HOVER!


The release date is set for August 6th, 2013 (which is one of my best friends' birthdays!) and there isn't a summary released yet, but if it moves with the same consistency of Gravity, I know it will be exciting! You can find out more information about Gravity and Hover by visiting Melissa's website here! Visit Goodreads now to add it to your TBR!

Other info:
Pre-order Buy links:
Amazon
Book Depository

Melissa’s links:
Blog
Twitter
Facebook

November Wrap-Up

Christmas has come to Fuzzy.Coffee.Books! What do you think? I love that it's snowing here on FCB, because it's obviously not going to be snowing in Texas anytime soon. At least not where I am, given that we're still having 70 degree weather. But still, I can enjoy it here! Have y'all started on your shopping yet? I'm about...halfway done, which is awesome for it only being December 3rd! This is what comes from Thanksgiving being so early this year! Well, since it is December, before we move on to the rest of the December festivities, I thought we'd wrap up November really quickly! Here's what I read and reviewed during November 2012:

5 Shots
Reached by Ally Condie
The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
False Memory by Dan Krokos
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
Son by Lois Lowry
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobahn Vivian
Promised by Caragh M. O'Brien

4 Shots
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
Beta by Rachel Cohn
Bad Hair Day by Carrie Harris

3 Shots
Ashes of Twilight by Kassy Tayler (3.5)
Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate
Breathe by Sarah Crossan (3.5)
The School for Dangerous Girls by Eliot Schrefer (3.5)
Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

2 Shots
The Innocents by Lili Peloquin

So there is the list from last month, in case you missed anything. I actually didn't read as much as I normally do, it's been a busy month! But maybe if I can finish the Christmas shopping and wrapping (I'm already done decorating!) then I can just sit down on the couch and enjoy a few books by the light of the Christmas tree. Sounds like a good plan to me!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Cover Reveal

Did y'all know that Rachel Hawkins was writing a spin-off of her Hex Hall series? I had no idea until she posted on Twitter today that they had the cover done! Hex Hall was hilarious, and I can't wait to see what's going to happen in her new series! But like I said, she revealed the cover today so I am super excited to share it with y'all!


Don't you just love it? I really like how it sort of resembles the Hex Hall covers, but is still different in it's own right! What do y'all think? Excited or what? Right now according to Goodreads the expected release is May 2013. No summary revealed yet.

Ashes of Twilight by Kassy Tayler

This one was my WoW pick a while back, and I've finally gotten the chance to read it. Apparently I'm on this kick with books that have people living in domes, because the outside world is too dangerous. I mean, this one, and Breathe at least, which I reviewed last week.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Wren MacAvoy works as a coal miner for a domed city that was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century to protect the royal blood line of England when astronomers spotted a comet on a collision course with Earth. Humanity would be saved by the most groundbreaking technology of the time. But after nearly 200 years of life beneath the dome, society has become complacent and the coal is running out. Plus there are those who wonder, is there life outside the dome or is the world still consumed by fire? When one of Wren's friends escapes the confines of the dome, he is burned alive and put on display as a warning to those seeking to disrupt the dome’s way of life. But Alex’s final words are haunting. “The sky is blue.” What happens next is a whirlwind of adventure, romance, conspiracy and the struggle to stay alive in a world where nothing is as it seems. Wren unwittingly becomes a catalyst for a revolution that destroys the dome and the only way to survive might be to embrace what the entire society has feared their entire existence.
I didn't understand this cover for a very long time. But I do now. So...yeah. I felt like that was important for you all to know.

What I Liked: 1) Wren. I always like defiant heroines, and she is defiant from the very beginning. Even when we first meet her she is breaking one of the cardinal rules of her world. She's very strong in that she knows not to just accept what is expected of her, because there is something better out there. 2) I liked Pace a lot. It's hard not to like this guy. He kind of reminds me of a puppy dog. He's a little helpless when he is in Wren's world, but he's got a lot of strength to him too. Especially when they are "above." 3) "The Sky Is Blue." This is the mantra that seems to keep Wren and her friends going after Alex's death. There is something so simple in that phrase, yet when you are in the book, it's very powerful. I love how it brought everything together and became such an important piece of the story. 4) Two worlds. There are two very distinct worlds within this book. There is that of the shiners, who live below in the tunnels, and that of the people who live above. Author Kassy Tayler did a very good job in making this two places so different, yet showing both the reader and the characters how the spirit of the people can be the same. I thought this was one of the best parts of the story.

What I Didn't Like: Just a few little things here and there: there are some things about Wren that I didn't understand. She is a Shiner, which is someone who lives underground and mines for coal. And there is a very obvious physical distinction between the shiners and other people, that had to do with their eyes. I don't know if maybe my imagination just wasn't working properly, but I can't figure out what that was supposed to be. I know it's supposed to be there, but I had a hard time visualizing it and that really messes me up when I'm reading. Also, there was an unnecessary death that made me quite angry. This isn't so much a complaint about the writing of the story, but I just can't believe she did that to her characters.

Overall Thoughts: Steampunk meets Dystopia in this new YA from author Cindy Holby (pen name, Kassy Tayler). I'm not the biggest steampunk fan, but the dystopian side of the story appealed to me. Heroine Wren takes a Katniss-esque step into the spotlight when she unwillingly becomes the leader of a band of "Seekers" who aim to learn the truth about the world outside the dome. Between the characters and the plot, there is a lot to enjoy about Ashes of Twilight. I had a hard time connecting with some of the details, and it made the visualization a little difficult, but other that I think Ashes of Twilight was an interesting story that will intrigue fans of the steampunk genre.

My Rating: 3.5 shots

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate

I think I wanted to read this book mainly because of the cover. And the title. The story of Adam and Eve is hardly an unknown story, so I was interested to see if this was borrowing that theme, or actually pulling in some sort of re-telling element. I'll have to go with a theme here, after having read it. I wouldn't say there is a religious element to the story, more a scientific one.

Here is the summary from Goodreads: And girl created boy… In the beginning, there was an apple— And then there was a car crash, a horrible injury, and a hospital. But before Evening Spiker’s head clears a strange boy named Solo is rushing her to her mother’s research facility. There, under the best care available, Eve is left alone to heal. Just when Eve thinks she will die—not from her injuries, but from boredom—her mother gives her a special project: Create the perfect boy. Using an amazingly detailed simulation, Eve starts building a boy from the ground up. Eve is creating Adam. And he will be just perfect... won’t he?

What I Liked: 1) I said this on twitter as well, but Evening Spiker has got to be one of the coolest names I've come across in YA fiction. I know that sounds like a strange thing to point out, but it stuck with me after I read the book, so I figure it was worth throwing in here. 2) The idea. The idea that someone has developed this program where you can create actual, human people was interesting, and a little scary. I was interested to see what EV would perceive as the perfect guy, because I think all girls sort of have that vision in our heads as to what he would be, so its kind of cool to see what EV's was. 3) Sharp turns. I'm not going to say plot twists, because really, they weren't plot twists. They were more like sharp angles that you don't see until you are right up on them. Random pieces of action that I didn't think had any bearing on the overall story, but made it better just the same. A lot of this had to do with EV's best friend.

What I Didn't Like: Well...there was really no depth to the story. Other than being a cautionary tale about how far science is willing to go, it was lacking anything deep or emotional. Not that all books have to be deep and meaningful, but this coupled with a lot of unnecessary drama, it was a little more...rough draft-ish than it could have been. Also, I expected a lot more of the whole, creating of the perfect guy, part. For that being the inspiration for the title, it was sorely lacking in that department. I get that the whole idea was "perfect isn't really perfect" but the lack of details bothered me alot.

Overall Thoughts: Eve and Adam is a cautionary tale of what could happen when scientists try to "play God." The characters keep the plot afloat as they revolve around each other in interesting fashions, but the plot is interrupted a few too many times with unnecessary drama, and because of a lack of detail, it was hard to know just where we picked back up. For light reading, this one may be fun for a lot of people, but don't go into it expecting a lot of depth.

 My Rating: 3 shots

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (56)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It highlights the books that we are most anxiously awaiting!


Today, the final Wednesday of November, my WoW is..........


Sever by Lauren DeStefano 
Release Date: February 12th, 2013 

I'm going to have to reread Wither and Fever before this one comes out, because it seems like it has been soooo long since Fever! But just a few more months until we get the conclusion to Rhine's story!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?