What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (68)

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 Waiting on Wednesday is.........

School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: May 14th, 2013

I loved Rachel Hawkins' Hex Hall series. It had a great mystery but was so comical that I laughed my way through it. So I'm definitely excited to see what she's going to do with this spin-off!

Here is the summary from Goodreads: Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break. Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush. Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?

What so you think? Anyone else excited for this one? What are y'all waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

So I danced all my life. Since before I can remember. So I will almost always pick up a dance book when I come across one. I was so excited when I was approved for this one on Netgalley that I started reading it almost immediately.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Dancing with someone is an act of trust. Elegant and intimate; you're close enough to kiss, close enough to feel your partner's heartbeat. But for Vanessa, dance is deadly – and she must be very careful who she trusts . . . Vanessa Adler attends an elite ballet school – the same one her older sister, Margaret, attended before she disappeared. Vanessa feels she can never live up to her sister's shining reputation. But Vanessa, with her glorious red hair and fair skin, has a kind of power when she dances – she loses herself in the music, breathes different air, and the world around her turns to flames . . . Soon she attracts the attention of three men: gorgeous Zep, mysterious Josh, and the great, enigmatic choreographer Josef Zhalkovsky. When Josef asks Vanessa to dance the lead in the Firebird, she has little idea of the danger that lies ahead – and the burning forces about to be unleashed...

What I Liked: 1) This was kind of...Center Stage meets...I don't know, 666 Park Avenue maybe? I loved how all of the elements of dance, plus the horror side of it came together. 2) The creepy mystery. It starts off being Vanessa's search to find out what happened to her sister, but it gets darker and darker. The twists and turns keep you going and I had no idea who was good and who was bad. 3) The pacing. For me, I thought the pacing, as far as how much was being revealed at what times, was perfect. There were times when I was literally holding my breath and didn't even realize it until I let it out, because I was so enthralled with what was happening. The writing comes to life so vividly that I had to pull myself back into reality to put the book down. 4) The ending. It gets right on the brink of spinning out of control...and then reels everything back in for a wonderfully satisfying end and a great set up for another book. The next book in the series is going to the top of my TBR list, and this one only comes out tomorrow. 5) The characters. I want to talk about the characters for a minute, because you all know how I feel about characters. Usually, the more I get to know them, the better I like the story. Well, Vanessa is an easy character to get to know here. It's her story, and as the MC, we get a lot of information about what's going on inside her head. But she's the only one we really get to know here. Almost everyone surrounding her is so shrouded in mystery that I'm surprised it didn't bother me. But it's completely necessary. Now that I've finished the book, I know that it was so much better that way, because it enabled me to be surprised by all the twists.

What I Didn't Like: It was hard to remember that our MC was only 15. She acted and sounded older than that to me. But that was the only thing.

Overall Thoughts: Prepare yourself for a lot of mystery as you dive into Yelena Black's Dance of Shadows. She's put the world of dance in a whole new light by bringing in a scary occult legend, and packs so much action and drama into it that it's easy to find yourself wandering the halls of the New York Ballet Academy instead of lying on your couch (or wherever you choose to read). Mystery and intrigue abound in this new story from Yelena Black, and I can't wait to pick up my hard copy!

My Rating: 5 shots
Galley provided by NetGalley and Bloomsbury Children's Books in exchange for an honest review!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

This one has been on my radar for a while, so I was very excited to receive an Egalley from NetGalley. It is being released tomorrow, so get those pre-orders in!

Here's the summary from Goodreads: You or your Alt? Only one will survive. The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life. Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

What I Liked: 1) I loved the idea behind this story. Okay...that sounds weird to say I loved it. I loved how original it was. Two of everyone, and both cannot survive to age 20, so they each have to try and take their "ALT" out. From the summary, this idea fascinated me because I wanted to know first, why? Why are there duplicates of everyone? And why do they have to kill each other? So many questions pop up when reading this book, so you can't help but get dragged into the story. 2) West. West was an interesting character to get to know. She's loyal to her family, but she's also stand-offish, after the tragedies she's suffered in her life, it's understandable why she is hesitant to get close to anyone. So you have to watch for some of the things that she does, rather than the things that she says in order to get to know her true feelings. 3) Chord. I actually would have liked to get to know him a little better, but he was a great addition to the story. West needed someone in her life to bring her back down to humanity. She spend so much of the book thinking about killing, that he is a necessity in her life to even make her relateable as a character.

What I Didn't Like: 1) Well, first of all, I think that there is supposed to be some sort of love, romantic love between Chord and West. I didn't find it. Or, I think the romance felt forced. I think that their relationship would have made more sense as a brother/sister type than a romantic one, at least in the way it was written. 2) I was missing the depth that I had expected to find. The book was very straightforward about kids being charged with killing each other. Very "what you see is what you get." There was potential for something more, but it just wasn't there.

Overall Thoughts: I was a little disappointed in this book. Maybe my expectations had been a little too high, but I was hoping for some more depth. With the idea, there was so much potential for a huge story, and rebellion and lots of girl-power. But all of that was missing. Additionally, the emotions felt a little forced between some of the characters, not written to really speak to the reader. On that note, I will definitely be looking forward to reading the next book in the series, because Elsie Chapman's imagination - to come up with this idea - fascinates me, and I can't wait to see how she develops her talent.

My Rating: 2 shots
I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Also Known As by Robin Benway

I saw this book on NetGalley, and I thought it sounded like fun. I enjoy Ally Carter's Heist Society books, so this one sounded like it would appeal to me. It's being released next Tuesday, so make sure it's on my list!
Here's the summary from Goodreads: Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.

What I Liked: 1) Loved the lightness of this story. While I was in the middle of some other, hard core books, it was nice to get a break with this one that was pretty fluffy. It's nice to have something every once in a while that you can just read to get away from everything for a while, and don't have to pick apart every little thing to try and decide what it means. 2) The humor. This is one of my favorite parts of "light and fluffies." They almost always have great humor. And this one was no different. The funniest parts are where you just have to laugh at Maggie. She isn't used to normal teenspeak, or the ways that teens act around other teens, and it is soooooo funny to watch her adapt. 3) Jesse. Hard not to like Jesse, he's sweet and funny, and obviously cares about Maggie. And naturally, she's Maggie's mark, when it comes to her spy stuff. 4) I also really liked Maggie. She's just funny because she is so smart about some things, all of her spy tactics, but that she is in the dark about everything else, since she wasn't raised in a normal way.

What I Didn't Like: No complaints about this one!

Overall Thoughts: Fans of Ally Carter's books should get ready. You will love the humor of Robin Benway's Also Known As. For every spy skill MC Maggie has, she has no idea how to live and act like a normal school kid. Get ready to laugh along with Maggie as she tries to navigate her toughest assignment yet. The plot and characters are so light and fluffy that it won't take you long to get through this one, enjoying it all the way.

My Rating: 5 shots

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sever by Lauren DeStefano

The Chemical Gardens trilogy is one I have definitely enjoyed reading. You can read my reviews of both Wither and Fever here on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books. Fever wasn't quite as good as Wither, but it still left me wondering just how the characters would survive. So I was excited for Sever to finally hit shelves.
Here's the summary from Goodreads: With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them. Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

What I Liked: 1) Reed. Reed was a great addition to this series. It's about time we met someone from First Generation that was an actual parental figure for Rhine, Cecily, and Linden. I finally got a chance to see that not everyone from the First Generation was not just worried about finding a cure, but worried about the quality of life for them while they were living. He was gruff but likeable, and his interactions with the main characters really allowed them to let someone take care of them. 2) Cecily. I really enjoyed getting to know Cecily better in this book. She seems to have grown up a lot in Sever, both as a person, and as a mom. She gets a lot stronger in her character, and she finally became someone I really liked. 3) The emotions. Sever really drug me over the coals, emotionally. I don't want to give anything away, but there are so many times when I was just breathless with anticipation. I think you'll be surprised at some of the events that happen, but pleased with the overall outcome. 4) The ending. Sometimes I'll finish a series and be somewhat pleased with the outcome, but wish parts of it had ended differently. That was not the case with this one. Despite the fact that some things happen that just break your heart, I was excited to see that Rhine's ending was going to be a happy one. All of the questions (and there are some huge ones in this series) that started way back in Wither, finally come to a satisfying conclusion.

What I Didn't Like: Loved it. This series is one I will enjoy over and over again.

Overall Thoughts: Sever was a captivating conclusion to a unique and intriguing series. The character growth that began in Wither continues throughout the series, endearing each of the main characters, and several of the supporting characters to the reader. The plot flows with uninterrupted ease, and the overlapping story arcs never compete for top billing. If you haven't had the chance to start this series, I highly recommend it. If you've started it, know that Sever was worth the wait.

 My Rating: 5 shots

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (67)

Welcome to my Waiting on Wednesday post! Is everyone having a nice day? We've been having some particularly nice and sunny days, and it's definitely given me a cheery outlook. Anyway, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It highlights the upcoming books that we are anxiously awaiting.

 This week my WoW is....


Nameless by Lili St. Crow 
Release Date: April 4th, 2013 

Here's the summary from Goodreads: When Camille was six years old, she was discovered alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven—the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopted the mute, scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill alongside his own son, Nico. Now Cami is turning sixteen. She’s no longer mute, though she keeps her faded scars hidden under her school uniform, and though she opens up only to her two best friends, Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered Vultusino heiress, she knows that she is not really Family. Unlike them, she is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. And it’s not until she meets the mysterious Tor, who reveals scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth…to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.

Snow White? Yes please! What are y'all waiting on this sunny Wednesday?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Beautiful Creatures, the movie

My friends, I hope you've come to know me as a pretty positive reviewer, not overly critical, but honest with my thoughts. I try very hard to make sure that y'all know when I don't care for something, it doesn't necessarily mean that no one will.

That being said, please allow me a few minutes to rant.

Beautiful Creatures tops my list of favorite YA paranormal series. According to my Itunes account, I've listened to the audiobook of Beautiful Creatures, book 1, 10 times, and I've read it at least twice. I've read the other books as well, and reviewed both Beautiful Chaos and Beautiful Redemption here on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books. And if you saw my Valentine's Day post last week, you'll notice that Ethan was first on my YA book boyfriends list. So I clearly love the series, and know it pretty well.

So you can imagine that I was excited to finally get to the movie theater and see how they brought one of my favorite books to life on the big screen.

Now I understand that every single little detail of a book cannot be included in a two and a half hour movie. I always try to keep an open mind when going into a movie being made from a book.

This was bad. When the movie was over I walked out of the theater shaking my head and wondering if the screenwriters had actually ever read the book. Again, I understand that not every part of a book can be included in a movie. But instead of working to include as much as they could, they invented new parts of the story that never happened, and even went so far as to change the plot lines and relationships.

If you are planning on seeing the movie, you might not want to go any further, because I am about to start discussing some specifics.

First things first:

1) Why was Ethan making breakfast? If you've read the book, you'll know it's repetitively stressed to us that Amma has been feeding the Wate boys since Ethan's dad was a boy. And the bigger the breakfast, the bigger the day. What was Amma doing? Amma is supposed to have much more important role in the story than she did in the book.

2) Well, we found out later that Amma was working at the library ever since Ethan's mother died. WRONG! Where was Marion Ashcroft? This is a serious faux pas if they are planning on making the second movie. Marion plays a huge role later on, so I don't know how they are going to explain that one.

3) Why did she erase his memory? That wasn't anywhere in the book. In fact, that's not supposed to happen at all. Did the screenwriters just get too lazy to finish reading the book? That's literally what it seemed like. Oh, all this other stuff is supposed to happen, but we're tired of working on it, so let's just erase his memory. SCORE! Um, no. Try again.

4) Can we talk about the fact that in the book, Ethan and Lena have a conversation where they discuss why neither of them have southern accents? Lena has lived everywhere, so, no accent. Ethan has been raised by professors, so he makes some cute comment about being taught not to drop his g's. So why did they BOTH have southern accents in the movie? That isn't even like an event that would make it longer?

5) Link doesn't shoot Ethan at the end!!! In fact, no one shoots Ethan! Ethan doesn't get shot. He gets stabbed. By Seraphine. Uh, why was that changed? And the whole Book of Moons, Lena bringing Ethan back, where was all that? It's a completely different ending than the book. Once again, they didn't even read it!

And those are only a few of my biggest issues with this movie. I am sorely disappointed in just how far it deviated from the original story, and how easily some of that could have been avoided. I think, for those of you who have read and loved the story as much as I, you'll be disappointed, but maybe not as much now that I've warned you about some of the biggest differences.

The movie itself was well done. Both Jeremy Irons (Macon Ravenwood) and Emma Thompson (Seraphine Duchanes) were excellent in their roles, and if you haven't read the book (and therefore have nothing to compare it to) it might be pretty good.

Ah.....it feels good to get that all off my chest. Thanks for listening to my rant, and I appreciate y'all sticking with me. I'll be back to my normal positive self with my reviews on Thursday!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

I came across Out of the Easy when browsing on Goodreads. I haven't read Between Shades of Gray, so I was not familiar at all with Miz Sepetys's writing style. But I thought that a book set in New Orleans in the 1950s had promise, so I jumped into it.

Here is the summary from Goodreads: It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

What I Liked: 1) First, I have to say I loved her writing style. Everything about it was great, her sentence structure, her plot and character development, even using language skills to develop different characters. Thought it was great. 2) Willie. She was brass and demanding, but also very caring in her own way. She was one of my favorite characters because of the way she talked about her girls, and the way she was helping Josie. 3) New Orleans in the 1950s. I loved seeing this city, in the 1950s it represented in this book. The details made the scenes come alive. Something about New Orleans and it's history has always fascinated me, so for Miz Sepetys to bring it to life the way she did in Out of the Easy captivated me from the beginning. 4) Josie. As a main character, Josie was well-developed, emotional, and smart. With everything she has dealt with her whole life, for her to grow up with the goals that she has, her story is great. 5) It takes a village - Have y'all heard that phrase, it takes a village to raise a child? This was definitely true of this book, and it was great to see this community who loved Josie and were all fighting for her to achieve a better life than they were all living.

What I Didn't Like: Nothing. I thought it was wonderful.

Overall Thoughts: Out of the Easy was a fabulous piece of historical fiction, with a compelling story, well-developed characters, and even an intriguing mystery. Miz Sepetys writing style was fluid and emotional, keeping me deep in the story until I finished the book. I'm looking forward to reading more by her!

My Rating: 5 shots

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Ruining by Anna Collomore

I added The Ruining to my TBR list a while ago. The psychological mystery part of it is what interested me first, but I was also curious how Miz Collomore would bring in a love story too.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Annie Phillips is thrilled to leave her past behind and begin a shiny new life on Belvedere Island, as a nanny for the picture-perfect Cohen family. In no time at all, she falls in love with the Cohens, especially with Libby, the beautiful young matriarch of the family. Life is better than she ever imagined. She even finds romance with the boy next door. All too soon cracks appear in Annie's seemingly perfect world. She's blamed for mistakes she doesn't remember making. Her bedroom door comes unhinged, and she feels like she's always being watched. Libby, who once felt like a big sister, is suddenly cold and unforgiving. As she struggles to keep up with the demands of her new life, Annie's fear gives way to frightening hallucinations. Is she tumbling into madness, or is something sinister at play?

What I Liked: 1) I really liked the psychological part of it. I could never predict where it was going to go, and our poor MC, whom I grew to like, just got raked over the coals. There are a number of times where the plot gets yanked in one direction that I just wasn't expecting at all. That is one of my favorite things about psychological thrillers like this one. Their unpredictability. 2) Annie. I was on the fence for a while about Annie. I appreciated her desire to get out of the household she was in how she was able to find a way to get to college and have a job. But there in the middle...she started seeming a little needy. Well, once you read it and you find out the details, it makes more sense, and I was able to feel more of a connection. 3) Zoe. Annie's young charge is a sweetheart. Since I read a lot of YA, there are not a lot of kids present in the books I read. But she's a welcome addition to the insanity of some of this novel. 4) Walker. As a secondary character, I thought Walker was a nice addition to the story. He didn't have a major part, but when he needed to take charge, he did. The ending would have never come to be had Walker not intervened, so despite his status as secondary, he was well-developed and likeable. 5) The ending. After everything that went on, I was very pleased by this ending. It seems like every question had a satisfying answer, with very good explanations.

What I Didn't Like: I wouldn't put too much stock in the love story. Have you ever watched two really bad actors try to pull off a love scene? That's what Annie and Owen reminded me of. Like two people who had no chemistry being forced into a relationship. I missed the chemistry.

Overall Thoughts: The Ruining is a twisty and complicated psychological thriller with plenty of plot turns to keep you interested. Most of the characters are well-developed, as is the mysterious plot line. Unpredictability will keep you guessing. The love story definitely leaves something to be desired, but since it isn't the focus of the story, it doesn't hinder it too bad. This one was just released, so if psych thrillers are you thing, add it to your TBR!

My Rating: 3.5 shots

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, my Fuzzy.Coffee.Friends!

Since it's Valentine's Day, instead of a review today, I thought I would invite my sister Kelsey to guest blog with me and we could talk about our favorite boys of YA lit! So we decided to (independently) create our top ten Book Boyfriends lists, and then compare! See what you think:

Courtney's List
10)  Four - Divergent - I can't believe he is 10th on the list. But when you see the other guys coming up, you'll probably see why.

9) Tucker Avery - the Unearthly trilogy - A cowboy. Be still my southern girl heart.

8) Ash - the Iron Fey series - The Ice Prince's cool demeanor definitely makes me swoon.

7) Adrian Ivashkov - the Bloodlines and Vampire Academy series - Bad boy turned softie all because of a girl. Awe.....

6) Jace Wayland - The Mortal Instruments - Do I really need to explain this one?

5) Shay Doran - the Nightshade trilogy - This guy reminds me of a sweet puppy dog. A big, strong, manly one.

4) Gabriel - The Phantom Island series - Hot, with a fiery attitude, and a sunkissed 6-pack (at least in my imagination!)

3) Ky Markham - the Matched trilogy - Ky is strong and sensitive, and pretty quiet. I like that in a guy!

2) Jackson Meyer - the Tempest series - Though he starts off being kind of arrogant, I love the way Jackson cares about his family and friends, and the lengths he is willing to go for them.

1) Ethan Wate - the Beautiful Creatures series - I love Ethan. I've read this series nearly a dozen times. He is so smart and takes everything that this series throws at him in stride, like a gentleman.

Kelsey's List
10) Peeta Mellark - The Hunger Games trilogy - The chef in me loves a fellow baker! Love me some hot buns!

9) Ash - the Iron Fey series - I like 'em broody.

8) Travis Maddox - Beautiful Disaster - Playboy turned loyal sweetheart

7) Giovanni Vecchio - Elemental Mystery series - Sophisticated and passionate, with an air of mystery (Note from Court: Sister Mine, this is not a YA series, but I know how much you love him, so I'll allow it!)

6) Etienne St. Clair - Anna and the French Kiss - British boys get me every time (okay, so maybe he's French/American, but he grew up in London, so in my head, he has the ACCENT)

5) Lucas Deluse - the Starcrossed trilogy - Nothing will keep him away from the girl he loves

4) Jace Wayland - The Mortal Instruments - He ranks higher for me than for Courtney, so clearly I win.

3) Alex Fuentes - Perfect Chemisty - He's the guy from the wrong side of the tracks who turns his life around

2) Kaiden Rowe - Sweet Evil series - He's a musician. Hot and artistic? Yes, please!

1) Patch - the Hush, Hush series - Cause dark and mysterious turned loving and protective. Who doesn't want a guy like that?

I for one am surprised that we only chose two of the same boys! Kelsey and I read almost all of the same books, but clearly we have different taste in book boyfriends! What do y'all think? Whose list looks more like yours? And who would be your #1?

I hope you all have an awesome Valentine's Day! And big thanks to my sis, Kelsey for joining my in my YA boy fest!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (66)

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 Program by Suzanne Young
Release Date: April 30th, 2013 from Simon Pulse
Check out this summary from Goodreads: In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program. Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories. Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

Sounds kinda strange, doesn't it? I have to read it! Make sure you add it to your TBR if it sounds like it's your kind of book. What are y'all waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Override by Heather Anastasiu

Back in August, I read and reviewed Glitch, the first book in this series, and I enjoyed it pretty well. You can read that review here. So when I was approved for the second book, Override on NetGalley, I was pretty excited to jump in.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Zoe is free. She has escaped the enslavement of the Community, disconnected from the hardware that had controlled her every thought and emotion, and evaded capture by the Chancellor intent on killing her. She is finally free, but she is far from safe. Zoe and Adrien hide themselves from detection at the Foundation, an academy that trains teen glitchers to fight in the Resistance movement. Together, Zoe and her new team of superhuman fighters must risk their lives to rescue other glitchers and humans from the Chancellor's control. Challenges abound at every turn, and Adrien, who has become silent, distant, and tormented by his visions of the future, only adds to the growing certainty of defeat. But worst of all, as Zoe's team fights against impossible odds, distrust and betrayal leads to the terrible discovery that their greatest threat could already be lurking behind the safe walls of the Foundation.

What I Liked: 1) The training sessions for the teen glitchers. There are some interesting powers that the teenagers are throwing around. Superhuman (from the summary) is definitely an accurate description of Zoe and her friends. 2) I mentioned in my review for Glitch that the pacing was excellent, and it is no different this time around. Plot elements are released with just the right pacing to keep the story moving.

What I Didn't Like: I wish I could say there was more that I liked about this book. I don't like to be negative, but do you know the feeling of your feet, or shoes being stuck in the mud? You are just dragging them through the mud? That's how I felt when I was reading this one. After everything I enjoyed about Glitch, I was disappointed in this follow up. The action was there but felt very disconnected from the characters. Actually, the whole book felt disconnected. The depth of the characters just wasn't there, and there was very little detail in any descriptions.

Overall Thoughts: Book 2, Override did not hold up to the expectations that I had after reading Glitch. There was too little flow and too much disconnect between plot, characters, and action. While the overall story arc that began in Glitch is still an intriguing idea, but Override just didn't add much to it. I probably will check out the next book when it comes out, because I still think the idea is interesting.

My Rating: 2 shots

Monday, February 11, 2013

Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy C. Bennett

A Rapunzel retelling! Rapunzel is one of my favorite stories so I was very eager to get into it when I was approved by NetGalley.

Here is the summary from Goodreads: Rapunzel is not your average teenager. For one thing, she has a serious illness that keeps her inside the mysterious Gothel Mansion. And for another, her hair is 15 feet long. Not to mention that she’s also the key to ultimately saving the world from certain destruction. But then she meets a boy named Fane, who changes all she has ever known, and she decides to risk everything familiar to find out who she really is. Filled with romance, adventure, and mystery, Rapunzel Untangled is one story you won’t want to put down. Discover the true meaning of love and friendship in this modern twist to the classic fairytale.

What I Liked: 1) Well, I personally loved the retelling. It was hard for me to imagine bringing the story of Rapunzel into the modern world, but Miz Bennett did it very well, adhering to the original story and allowing some more modern aspects to seep in through some cracks, as well as adding a new dimension to the story when she explored Gothel's back story. 2) Gothel Manor. There is something great about old houses and how they are brought to life in books. And as Rapunzel has been locked in a tower for her life, we get to explore it through her fresh eyes. Because it is new to both Rapunzel and Fane, they don't leave many stones unturned. We get many details because everything is new to them as well. Details about settings always brings the story to life. 3) Rapunzel's discover of things that we use everyday. It cracks me up how she talks about Facebook and how she begins using it. Her gradual exposure to the outside world is a source of humor throughout the whole book, and makes the book even more enjoyable.

What I Didn't Like: Nothing. I thought it was great!

Overall Thoughts: Cindy Bennett's Rapunzel Untangled is a great modernized retelling of a classic fairy tale. Her mix of old and new creates an enjoyable and funny story. The humor is the strongest point of this story, but don't discount the amount of the original story that the author was able to retain in bringing Rapunzel into the modern world. Rapunzel Untangled is releasing tomorrow, Feb. 12th, 2013. If you like fairy tale retellings, make sure you add this one to your TBR list!

My Rating: 4 shots

Friday, February 8, 2013

Boundless by Cynthia Hand

I fell in love with this series in the first book, Unearthly, and you can read that review here. And then of course, my heart was broken for Clara and her family in Hallowed. So I was anxious and a little sad to know that this story was coming to an end. I will recommend not reading review if you haven't read the first two books. No spoilers for book three, but there are things that will allude to the first two books.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life. Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place. As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

What I Liked: 1) We had a big time change of setting, as Clara heads off to college at Stanford. I don't read a lot of books where the main character transitions from high school student to college student, where we get to see how they react to that kind of change. Maybe it happens in other books, but it made a big impression in this one. 2) More action. There was more action in this book than we found in the first two books. And that's saying something, because there were some epic battle scenes, especially in the second book. But everything had a ring of finality to it in this book. There was more power behind the words in this book. I really enjoyed that part of it. 3) Clara and Tucker. This is one of my favorite book couples. I love cowboy Tucker. And, even after everything that happened in Hallowed, I was pleased to see how their relationship continued to change and develop. 4) The epilogue. It's rare that a book gives you a glimpse into the future (I'm talking, 5, 10 years) of the characters, but this one did, and I was happy to see how everything turned out.

What I Didn't Like: 1)I know not everyone's ending could have been a happy one, but I was still hoping for this one in particular. It saddened me a little how one of them didn't seem to be happy, even in the epilogue. 2) I was also disappointed in the direction Angela's character took. It was a huge part of the storyline, so it couldn't be changed without affecting the story, but I was still disappointed.

Overall Thoughts: As sad as I am to see this series end, I was pretty happy with the way everything turned out. There were a few things that disappointed me about the direction everything went, but there were definitely some surprises. Fans of the series will be particularly happy to get some extra information from the epilogue.

 My Rating: 4 shots

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

I thought Laini Taylor's debut, Daughter of Smoke and Bone was an interested series opener. The cover certainly had me intrigued, and I ended up giving the first book 4 of 5 espresso shots. You can read that review here. So I was on board for book two when it was released.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war. This is not that world. Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it. In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life. While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope. But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

What I Liked: 1) Love the cover. Both The Daughter of Smoke and Bone and The Days of Blood and Starlight have some of the most beautiful covers. 2) Karou was a new person in this book, she has new responsibilities, new fears, and new needs. It makes her even more as intriguing than she was in the first book.

What I Didn't Like: This part of the story has become a little bland. I know I was interested in the plot the first time around, and the whole, part of two worlds idea that was going on with Marigold/Karou. But the story became very bland in The Days of Blood and Starlight. Very little action, and what there was seemed to be over in an instant. The strength that I admired about the characters from book one failed in The Days of Blood and Starlight.

Overall Thoughts: I found myself just counting down the pages until this book was over. I don't like to leave books unread, so I stuck it out through to the end. I found this book fell flat in comparison to the first book. While I did like to see how Karou changed from book 1 to book 2, there was nothing that pulled me into the story, nothing that kept me hooked. I hate to say it, but I think this is probably the end of this series for me. But please don't just take my word for it, check the Goodreads page for other, often more favorable reviews!

My Rating: 2 shots

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (65)

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...

When We Wake by Karen Healey
Release Date: March 5th, 2013
The title of this one caught my attention, but it was the summary that pulled me in! Here is the summary from Goodreads: My name is Tegan Oglietti, and on the last day of my first lifetime, I was so, so happy. Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027--she's happiest when playing the guitar, she's falling in love for the first time, and she's joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice. But on what should have been the best day of Tegan's life, she dies--and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened. Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived, which makes her an instant celebrity--even though all she wants to do is try to rebuild some semblance of a normal life. But the future isn't all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

It took my a long time to get this book on my list. The whole, space aspect of it has never really appealed to me. But I've heard so many good things about the series, especially since the last book came out just a few weeks ago, so I finally decided to get into it.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder. Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules. Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next. Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

What I Liked: 1) The setting. It's funny what I thought would be one of my least favorite things about the story ended up being one of my favorite things. Have any of you seen the Disney movie Wall - E? I could help but picture their ship when I was envisioning the Godspeed (the ship) from Across the Universe. Of course the more I learned about the Godspeed, the more it becomes clear how different it was from the ship on Wall-E, but I still couldn't help but think of it. The descriptions of the ship were very detailed, and made it very easy for me to visualize and feel like I was actually there. It was very unique and interesting. 2) The plot. Miz Revis has a talent for making a mystery humorous without being cheesy. I loved that it was a murder mystery with some random funny parts. Like the way some of the people were being murdered. I mean, it's not funny, because it's murder, but it is funny. Know what I'm saying? 3) Amy. I thought Amy was a great main character. Funny, personable, curious, and not too trusting to jump into anything that's been happening on the ship. Sometimes I find in a book that an MC will be thrust into a new scenario and will just accept everything as gospel. I thought Amy's suspicion was refreshing and necessary! 4) I love how unique this story was. It was so different than anything I've ever read, between the setting, and the MC being shoved into a new world with people that were born hundreds of years after her.

What I Didn't Like: Well, I wish Elder had a name other than one that sounded like a title. But that's really nothing.

Overall Thoughts: Across the Universe blew my expectations out of the water. I was hesitant because I'm not much into books set in space, but I am so glad I decided to give it a chance. The setting was well-written with excellent details, the main characters are very personable, and it was so unique. Since all three books of this trilogy are on the shelves, you can bet I'll be picking the next two up soon, so I can figure out where this series goes!

My Rating: 5 shots

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hysteria by Megan Miranda

After reading Megan Miranda's debut, Fracture last year, I was thrilled to read her next stand-alone novel. And just one look at that cover led me to believe that it was going to be just as eerie as the first one was.

Hysteria hits shelves tomorrow, February 5th!

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Mallory killed her boyfriend, Brian. She can't remember the details of that night but everyone knows it was self-defense, so she isn't charged. But Mallory still feels Brian's presence in her life. Is it all in her head? Or is it something more? In desperate need of a fresh start, Mallory is sent to Monroe, a fancy prep school where no one knows her . . . or anything about her past. But the feeling follows her, as do her secrets. Then, one of her new classmates turns up dead. As suspicion falls on Mallory, she must find a way to remember the details of both deadly nights so she can prove her innocence-to herself and others.

What I Liked: 1) The premise. A great murder mystery always intrigues me, and this one, because Mallory couldn't remember what exactly went on, was especially interesting. 2) Reid. Of course I liked the nice guy who befriends Mallory as she begins her first year at Monroe. He's sweet and charming, any girl will like him. And there was more depth to him than any of the other characters in the book. 3) Mallory's trip to CrazyTown. Okay, I know it sounds a little strange, but honestly, if she hadn't gone a little nuts after what she went through and what she was going through throughout the book, I would have been concerned. But these were some of the most telling parts of the story. 4) The action sequences at the end. So Miz Miranda combined the mysterious circumstances of the death of Mallory's boyfriend's death (well, what she can and can't remember) and the urban legend surrounding Mallory's new school to get some crazy action sequences at the end.

What I Didn't Like: It was hard to connect with the story and with the characters. At least for me. It was a little jumpy, because we were experiencing Mallory's flashbacks, but I don't think that was the problem. I wanted more substance from the story as a whole. Reid was the deepest of the characters, every one else was pretty surface level.

Overall Thoughts: I hate to compare, but I don't think Hysteria lived up to how good I thought Fracture was. It's an interesting story, a good mystery, and an decent way to spend a few hours, but not one I think I'll read again. If it sounds intriguing to you, I still recommend that you check it out after it's released. Don't just take my word for it! Megan Miranda is a great writer, and I can't wait to see what she'll come up with next.

My Rating: 3 shots

I received a Galley copy of this from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Friday, February 1, 2013

January Wrap-Up

Happy February! I can't believe we are a full month into 2013, and I am still having to correct myself when I write the date on things. Anyway, let's play a little catch up and see what all was reviewed here on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books during January!

5 shots 
Vortex by Julie Cross
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier

4 shots 
Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Venom by Fiona Paul
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

3 shots
Crown of Embers by Rae Carson (3.5 shots)
Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Burned by Sara Shepard

2 shots 
Rise by Andrea Cremer
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Broken by A.E. Rought

In addition this month I've read:
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Boundless by Cynthia Hand
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Dualed by Elsie Chapman
Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

So you can be looking forward to those reviews that will be coming up in the next few weeks! Except the Harry Potter books, I'm not reviewing those. Just re-reading because I like them. :)