September 29, 2014

Fierce Reads Interview + Giveaway!

I love when the Fierce Reads tour comes to town, so when I was asked to be the designated tour stop blogger, I was over the moon! Why wouldn't I want to interview the incredibly talented Ann Aguirre, Caragh M. O'Brien and Marie Rutkoski?

Of course, the event itself was brilliant, as well. Books of Wonder brought Emmy Laybourne (author of yet another brilliant Macmillan title, Monument 14) in to moderate and, as always, she brought the laughs. There was a quiz and those who took part in the quiz won ARCs. There was also the one prepared participant who asked a question with the word "moth" in it, and she won a coveted ARC of The Winner's Crime, the sequel to Marie Rutkoski's The Winner's Curse

But let's circle back to the interview I did with the lovely Fierce Read ladies. We had such a great time and everyone gave such fantastic answers... 

September 23, 2014

Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read List (63)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
So this week I went through my stacks of ARCs, expired and unexpired and was like, hey, maybe if I moved the ones I really, really want to read ASAP off the spare bookshelf in my older sister's now-empty room (some people have the smarts to get married and, y'know, have a new home with their spouse) to my nightstand. Of course, this has led to a tower of books on my nightstand, but this move forced me to clean off the stuff that was there before? Y'know, just a little bonus. 

Anyway, here are the books I intend to read this fall. It's more than 10 but less than 20 so let's call it a wash. And let's hope that their presence on my nightstand will help make sure I get through each and everyone. (Everyone, form a prayer circle now. Maybe that'll help.)

September 22, 2014

Blog Tour Review + Interview: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Title: Rooms
Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: September 23rd, 2014 
Page Count: 320
Source: ARC from the Publisher
(I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest
review. No favors were exchanged, my opinions are my own.)
Target Audience: Adults/Lauren Oliver fans/People who like good (slightly more mature) fiction
Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository  
The New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy makes her brilliant adult debut with this mesmerizing story in the tradition ofThe Lovely Bones, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane—a tale of family, ghosts, secrets, and mystery, in which the lives of the living and the dead intersect in shocking, surprising, and moving ways.

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.

But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.

The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.

September 19, 2014

Blog Tour + Excerpt: Hook's Revenge by Heidi Schulz


Welcome to (Pirate) Queen Ella Bee Reads' day on the HOOK'S REVENGE blog tour!

Title: Hook's Revenge (Hook's Revenge #1)
Author: Heidi Schulz
Release Date: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Powell’s | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon
Twelve-year-old Jocelyn dreams of becoming every bit as daring as her infamous father, Captain James Hook. Her grandfather, on the other hand, intends to see her starched and pressed into a fine society lady. When she’s sent to Miss Eliza Crumb-Biddlecomb’s Finishing School for Young Ladies, Jocelyn’s hopes of following in her father’s fearsome footsteps are lost in a heap of dance lessons, white gloves, and way too much pink.

So when Jocelyn receives a letter from her father challenging her to avenge his untimely demise at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile, she doesn’t hesitate-here at last is the adventure she has been waiting for. But Jocelyn finds that being a pirate is a bit more difficult than she’d bargained for. As if attempting to defeat the Neverland’s most fearsome beast isn’t enough to deal with, she’s tasked with captaining a crew of woefully untrained pirates, outwitting cannibals wild for English cuisine, and rescuing her best friend from a certain pack of lost children, not to mention that pesky Peter Pan who keeps barging in uninvited.

The crocodile’s clock is always ticking in Heidi Schulz’s debut novel, a story told by an irascible narrator who is both dazzlingly witty and sharp as a sword. Will Jocelyn find the courage to beat the incessant monster before time runs out?
Heidi Schulz sent me an excerpt (message in a bottle style, of course) to share with all of you, but FIRST I have to tell you why I'm SO EXCITED today.

September 18, 2014

Review by Alex: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Page Count: 565
Source: Purchased
First Reaction: You'll have to ask Alex, my guest reviewer for the day!
Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

September 17, 2014

Review by Alex: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)
Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: August 27th, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Page Count: 420
Source: Purchased
First Reaction: You'll have to ask Alex, my guest reviewer for the day!
Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository 

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie...and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

September 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday by Alex: Throne of Glass Edition (62)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Gaby has given me the opportunity to do this week’s top ten, and since I’m guest blogging on behalf of the Throne of Glass series, guess what this week is going to be about! Yes, my fangirling and how/why you should fangirl with me! YAAAAAAYYY

Actually, Gaby gave me a couple of suggestions on what to do and I’m stealing them. Instead of a traditional 10, today I am going to split it up and do TWO Top 5s!

First of all, a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Sarah for the Throne of Glass series landing at #4 on the New York Times Best Seller List!

Which is a perfect segue into...

September 15, 2014

Review by Alex: The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Title: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Page Count: 448
Source: Purchased
First Reaction: You'll have to ask Alex, my guest reviewer for the day!
Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

September 14, 2014

Review by Alex: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: August 7th, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Page Count: 404
Source: Purchased
First Reaction: You'll have to ask Alex, my guest reviewer for the day!
Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another.
Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

September 9, 2014

Top Ten Underrated Contemporary Books (61)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week's Top Ten Tuesday is "Top Ten Underrated Contemporary Books." Or, at least for me it is. The actual topic is "Top Ten Underrated Authors or Books in X Genre." I chose the easy way out on this one: Went through my bookshelves and picked up the books I don't see enough on the interwebs and loved a lot and also happen to all fit in the same genre.

So, if you haven't read a contemporary novel in this stack, you probably should, because I liked them a lot.

September 8, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (18)

"Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews
Okay. It's not Stacking the Shelves day. And I haven't done one of these forever. But I bought/received a lot of very, very good things this summer and I thought I'd share as much as I can with you guys. And when I say "as much as I can" I mean I went over my shelves and if I remembered I got it in the last couple of months, I pulled it and took a picture of it.

I'm really sophisticated.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the many, many books.

September 5, 2014

Review: Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Title: Falling Into Place
Author: Amy Zhang
Release Date: September 9th, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Page Count: 304
Source: ARC from BEA
(I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest
review. No favors were exchanged, my opinions are my own.)

First Reaction: I... have a lot of feels...
Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository
On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect?

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

September 4, 2014

Review: The Only Thing Worse Than Witches by Lauren Magaziner

Title: The Only Thing Worse Than Witches
Release Date: August 14th, 2014
Publisher: Dial
Page Count: 272
Source: Purchased
Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository
Rupert Campbell is fascinated by the witches who live nearby. He dreams of broomstick tours and souvenir potions, but Rupert’s mother forbids him from even looking at that part of town. The closest he can get to a witchy experience is sitting in class with his awful teacher Mrs. Frabbleknacker, who smells like bellybutton lint and forbids Rupert’s classmates from talking to each other before, during, and after class. So when he sees an ad to become a witch’s apprentice, Rupert simply can’t resist applying.

But Witchling Two isn’t exactly what Rupert expected. With a hankering for lollipops and the magical aptitude of a toad, she needs all the help she can get to pass her exams and become a full-fledged witch. She’s determined to help Rupert stand up to dreadful Mrs. Frabbleknacker too, but the witchling's magic will be as useful as a clump of seaweed unless Rupert can figure out a way to help her improve her spellcasting—and fast!

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

September 1, 2014

Bout of Books 11.0: Wrap Up

 So Bout of Books 11.0 is OVER.


I am sad.

But I have lots and lots of books to console myself with, so I'll just go do that.

Now, enough of my blabbering, I should probably just wrap up Bout of Books 11.0 (because I've been dragging my feet for long enough about all of this - it's been a week since the whole thing ended!)

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team