Monday, January 31, 2011

January Confessions

What can I say? This month was a series of ups and downs for me personally. I am very happy to say goodbye to the roller coaster that was January. On a positive note, one thing I enjoyed this month-- SNOW DAYS!  I loved to sit inside by the fire enjoying my hot chocolate while the snow comes down outside.  I know I'll hate to make up the snow days come June, but for now, it's a much appreciated break. I am definitely not a fan of winter and neither is my car!  I'm looking forward to February and have some fun things planned. I hope everyone had a better month than I did.  If I could sum up my month with a quote, it would be one of my favorites from Gilda Radner:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.  Delicious ambiguity." 


Books Read in January:
1.  Charmed Thirds (Jessica Darling #3) by Megan McCafferty
2.  Divergent by Veronica Roth
3.  Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
4.  The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver
5.  Fourth Comings (Jessica Darling #4) by Megan McCafferty
6.  To Serve a King by Donna Russo Morin
7.  Timeless by Alexandra Monir (Review to come!)




My January Top Five:


1.  Favorite Book:  Timeless by Alexandra Monir- Keep your eye out for my review of this fantastic debut as well as a giveaway. I'll be posting about it this week!


2.  Biggest Surprise: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready- I LOVED this book; it was so much more than the usual paranormal.


3.  Biggest Letdown: A tie between Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty and The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver - Simply put, I was disappointed by both.


4.  Favorite Post: Taking My Dream Trip 


5.  Favorite Part of January: My favorite part of January would have to be the many snow days and the party we threw for friends and family on New Year's Eve.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

In My Mailbox #45

Sophia's Secret by Susanna Kearsley
*Thanks to the fabulous blog Historical Tapestry, I won the UK edition of this book.  I think it is called The Winter Sea over here.  I love historical fiction, especially when it takes place in Scotland.  
Goodreads says, "When bestselling author Carrie McClelland visits the windswept ruins of Slains Castle, she is enchanted by the stark and beautiful Scottish landscape. The area is strangely familiar to her but she puts aside her faint sense of unease to begin her new novel, using the castle as her setting, and one of her own ancestors, Sophia, as her heroine. Then Carrie realises her writing is taking on a life of its own and the lines between fact and fiction become increasingly blurred. As Sophia's memories draw Carrie more deeply into the intrigue of 1708, she discovers a captivating love story lost in time. After three hundred years, Sophia's Secret must be told."
Exit the Actress by Priya Parmar
*Thanks to Kaitlyn at Touchstone for sending me this one to review.  I've been on a real historical fiction kick lately.  This novel comes out next week and Philippa Gregory, one of my favorite authors, says that this book is "a real triumph."  Enough said.
Goodreads says, "While selling oranges in the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, sweet and sprightly Ellen "Nell" Gwyn impresses the theater’s proprietors with a wit and sparkle that belie her youth and poverty. She quickly earns a place in the company, narrowly avoiding the life of prostitution to which her sister has already succumbed. As her roles evolve from supporting to starring, the scope of her life broadens as well. Soon Ellen is dressed in the finest fashions, charming the theatrical, literary, and royal luminaries of Restoration England. Ellen grows up on the stage, experiencing first love and heartbreak and eventually becoming the mistress of Charles II. Despite his reputation as a libertine, Ellen wholly captures his heart—and he hers—but even the most powerful love isn’t enough to stave off the gossip and bitter court politics that accompany a royal romance. Telling the story through a collection of vibrant seventeenth-century voices ranging from Ellen’s diary to playbills, letters, gossip columns, and home remedies, Priya Parmar brings to life the story of an endearing and delightful heroine."
The Clearing by Heather Davis
*I got this novel through Net Galley some time ago, but never could get it from my computer to my Nook. I finally figured out how and can't wait to read this one!
Goodreads says, "In this bittersweet romance, two teens living decades apart form a bond that will change their lives forever.  Amy is drawn to the misty, mysterious clearing behind her Aunt Mae’s place because it looks like the perfect place to hide from life. A place to block out the pain of her last relationship, to avoid the kids in her new town, to stop dwelling on what her future holds after high school. Then, she meets a boy lurking in the mist—Henry. Henry is different from any other guy Amy has ever known. And after several meetings in the clearing, she’s starting to fall for him. But Amy is stunned when she finds out just how different Henry really is. Because on his side of the clearing, it’s still 1944. By some miracle, Henry and his family are stuck in the past, staving off the tragedy that will strike them in the future. Amy’s crossing over to Henry’s side brings him more happiness than he’s ever known—but her presence also threatens to destroy his safe existence.   In The Clearing, author Heather Davis crafts a tender and poignant tale about falling in love, finding strength, and having the courage to make your own destiny—a perfect book to slip into and hide away for awhile."
The Bad Queen by Carolyn Meyer
*I've been reading a lot of historical fiction lately. I think I do that a lot in the winter, especially when I am snowed in.  This novel sounds like a lot of fun and I'm glad I downloaded it to my Nook. Carolyn Meyer is a fantastic YA author of memorable historical fiction.
Goodreads says, "History paints her as a shallow party girl, a spoiled fashionista, a callous ruler. Perhaps no other royal has been so maligned—and so misunderstood—as Marie-Antoinette. From the moment she was betrothed to the dauphin of France at age fourteen, perfection was demanded of Marie-Antoinette. She tried to please everyone—courtiers, her young husband, the king, the French people—but often fell short of their expectations. Desperate for affection and subjected to constant scrutiny, this spirited young woman can’t help but want to let loose with elaborate parties, scandalous fashions, and unimaginable luxuries. But as Marie-Antoinette’s lifestyle gets ever-more recklessly extravagant, the peasants of France are suffering from increasing poverty—and becoming outraged. They want to make the queen pay.  In this latest installment of her acclaimed Young Royals series, Carolyn Meyer reveals the dizzying rise and horrific downfall of the last queen of France."

What did you get in your mailbox?  Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you think.   This meme is hosted by The Story Siren. 


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Taking My Dream Trip

Piazza di Spagna, Spanish Steps
Photo from Freedigitalphotos.net
Hi, guys! I could use some advice, especially from my international friends and avid travelers.  I am planning a trip to Italy, which has been one of my top travel destinations for the past ten years pretty much my whole life. Unfortunately, I only can go for nine days, not two weeks like every recommends, but I figure it's better than nothing.  


We are going to stay in Rome, but want to visit some other cities as well.  We are having a hard time deciding upon which ones to visit though and this is where you come in. If you have traveled to Italy, please let me know what I MUST NOT miss.  I don't think we will make it to Venice, Sorrento, Tuscany or Pisa this time around, but we have our sights set on a few possible excursions to Florence, Naples/Pompeii, Frascati (for wine tasting) and the island of Capri.  I am not sure we can do all of those excursions, so which places do you recommend? Capri over Naples/Pompeii? Florence over Venice? Or is Tuscany a must? HELP! 


Trevi Fountain
Photo from Freedigitalphotos.net
Also, which places in Rome must I absolutely see? Rome will be our home base so I plan to hit up the usual tourist attractions, but is there anything that I should visit that is off the beaten path?  I don't want to fill this vacation up with too much running around; I just want to hit up what is essential. I still want to have time to sit at Piazza Navona, eat some gelato, drink some wine and marvel at the beauty of Italy. The Italians call it the sweetness of doing nothing....."
il dolce far niente."




Let me know what you think, friends! I could really use your advice and guidance.  I need to start brushing up on my Italian now. Good thing I took a few years of it in high school, so at least I can ask the basics like "dove è il vino."  :) Thanks in advance for your help!


Let me know what you think and have a great weekend,

Friday, January 28, 2011

Book Review: To Serve a King by Donna Russo Morin

Pages: 384
Genre: Adult-Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: February 1, 2011
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "From her earliest days, Genevieve Gravois has known one fact above all: Francis I, king of France, is her enemy. Raised by her embittered aunt after her parents' deaths, Genevieve has been schooled in things no woman should know: how to decipher codes, how to use a dagger and a bow, and how to kill. For Henry VIII has a destiny in mind for the young girl--as his most powerful and dangerous spy. When the time is ripe, Genevieve enters the magnificent world of the French court. With grace to match her ambition, she becomes maid of honor to Anne de Pisseleau, King Francis's mistress. Yet neither the court--which teems with artistry and enlightenment as well as intrigue--nor Francis himself are at all what Genevieve expected. And with her mission, her life, and the fate of two kingdoms at stake, she will be forced to make deadly decisions about where her heart and her ultimate loyalties lie."


As a child, Genevieve learned that her enemy is Francois, the King of France.  She has been told that he is responsible for her parents' death and in turn, she make it her life's work to avenge their death.  Her aunt raises her to be unconventional.  She learns how to read and decipher codes, how to hunt and kill, and how to shoot an arrow expertly all while masking these talents with innocence, charm, and beauty.  Henry VIII enlists her as a spy in the French Court and she becomes a maid of honor to the King's mistress.  During her time at the French Court, she is put into many compromising situations and difficult circumstances; however, she must remember why she is there in the first place.  Donna Russo Morin's To Serve a King is an exciting tale that transports readers to a world full of opulence, deception, and suspense.  Fans of historical fiction will love living in this exciting world!


The heroine of the story, Genevieve, is before her time.  She possesses the ability to shoot an arrow with the best of them and also exude charm like the other courtiers.  Clearly, she is the perfect combination of feistiness and beauty.  She is not just a pretty face at court and part of the fun is how, initially, many people underestimate her. 


Also, Russo Morin brings the time period to life through her her descriptions, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Whether she was describing a fancy dress, a specific setting, or the furniture in a particular room, it was extremely vivid. 


I am mostly familiar with stories involving the Tudors, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn more about the French Court.  Russo Morin recreates the French Court, which is just as fascinating as the Tudor Court.  I really liked how she incorporated many famous figures into the plot, such as Nostradamus, which made it even more historically accurate.  Being familiar with Tudor history and lately, a bit bored by many books focusing on Henry VIII, To Serve a King was an interesting and a welcomed change.


Fans of historical fiction will love To Serve a King, because it has historical settings that truly come to life, it has a nest of intrigue, exciting romance and a lot of suspense.  Donna Russo Morin is a "new-to-me" author and I plan on checking out her other novels--The Courtier's Secret, which also takes place in France and The Secret of the Glass, which takes place in 17th century Venice. Yes, please!  There's nothing like curling up with a fascinating historical fiction when it's cold outside. It's the perfect escape!


*Pre-order To Serve a King

*Thank you to Donna Russo Morin for sending me the ARC in exchange for a review.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Review: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Pages: 386
Genre: YA Mystery/Paranormal
Pub. Date: February 15, 2011
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.  When Violet Ambrose's morbid ability to sense the echoes of those who've been murdered leads her to the body of a young boy, she draws the attention of the FBI. She is reluctantly pulled into an investigation that will endanger more than just her secret...but her relationship and possibly her life as well."


Violet lives everyday with a disturbing ability-- she can sense the dead, specifically those who have been murdered.  Desires of the Dead picks up a few months after the ending of The Body Finder and Violet is trying to get her life back to normal.  She is still dating her perfect boyfriend, Jay, and still has the same reliable friends and family.  All is well until she is suddenly led to a body of a young boy who has been murdered and places what she thought was an anonymous phone call to the police about his location.  The FBI find out it was her who placed the call and now the FBI want to know how she found the body. Violet isn't sure what to tell them as this puts her in a tough place.  Kimberly Derting's Desires of the Dead will have readers on the edge of their seats and fans of The Body Finder won't be disappointed by this engrossing sequel. 


After reading The Body Finder, many readers, including myself, became fans of Violet's best friend turned boyfriend, Jay. He really is swoon-worthy in this book, too. I love how their relationship is based on friendship and how Violet can really count on him.  He's always got her back, which is rare in YA, but explains why I adore this character!


Just as in The Body Finder, the narrator switches point of view in this book as well.  Derting does a great job with this and it definitely builds suspense as readers aren't sure who the other narrator is at first.  I love how this series includes some criminal elements mixed with paranormal elements. It's the perfect combination to get me completely anxious, especially with the "stalker' like moments throughout the novel.  


Without giving too much away, I want to point out that in Desires of the Dead there are some new characters that definitely have readers curious about their history. Some are students and others are characters met through Violet's interaction with the FBI.  Either way, the new characters were engaging, especially one in particular met through the FBI.  Also, I love how in this book Violet starts to see that her "special gift" can be used for good.


My only pet peeve, and it is slight, is the fact that Violet kept putting herself in crazy situations and not telling anyone. I have issues with this often in YA.  I was confused why Violet wouldn't let Jay in on a few things and tell him what's going on. Or what about her uncle? Her parents? I kept yelling at the book wondering why Violet would travel alone to a scary location by herself without letting anyone know where she was going or why she would go outside in the middle of the night alone, especially after what happened in book one. 


All in all, Desires of the Dead was an outstanding read.  I am such a fan of this series and cannot wait to see what Derting has in store next for Violet.  This book comes out in a few weeks and if you are a fan of The Body Finder, you must get your hands on a copy!


*A BIG thank you to HarperTeen for providing me with this ARC

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Paris Wife


This is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. "Waiting on Wednesday" spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Pub. Date: February 22, 2011



Goodreads says, "No twentieth-century American writer has captured the popular imagination as much as Ernest Heminway. This novel tells his story from a unique point of view — that of his first wife, Hadley. Through her eyes and voice, we experience Paris of the Lost Generation and meet fascinating characters such as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Gerald and Sara Murphy. The city and its inhabitants provide a vivid backdrop to this engrossing and wrenching story of love and betrayal that is made all the more poignant knowing that, in the end, Hemingway would write of his first wife, "I wish I had died before I loved anyone but her."


Me at Hemingway's House in Key West
*Ernest Hemingway is one of my favorite authors and when I heard this book was coming out, I was immediately intrigued.  I read A Moveable Feast many years ago, which is a memoir about their life together in Paris and I found it to be extremely captivating.  After reading it, I was inspired to take a literature course in college on the Lost Generation, which ended up being one of my favorite classes.  I'm curious to see where McLain will take this story, especially since it's from Hadley's point of view. 


Saturday, January 22, 2011

In My Mailbox #44

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
*I was having a horrid week but after receiving this ARC in the mail, it definitely made me smile. This is one of my most anticipated books of 2011 and thanks to LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program, I am able to read it early.
Goodreads says, "It's been three years since the devastating accident ... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other. Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance."




Timeless by Alexandra Monir
*This is another book that I am excited to read in 2011.  Time travel, romance and the Gilded Age? Yes, please!
Goodreads says, "When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance. Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives."




The Darlings are Forever by Melissa Kantor
*Thanks to Disney Publishing for sending me this one to review. I can't wait to read it!
Goodreads says, "Jane, Victoria, and Natalya. Together, they are the Darlings. Best friends forever. They have matching necklaces, their own table at Ga Ga Noodle, and even a shared motto: May you always do what you’re afraid of doing. When the friends begin freshman year at three different high schools in distant corners of New York City, they promise to live by their motto and stay as close as ever. The Darlings know they can get through anything as long as they have each other. But doing scary new things is a lot easier with your friends beside you. And now that the girls aren’t spending all their time together, everything they took for granted about their friendship starts to feel less certain. They can’t help but wonder, will they really be the Darlings forever?"


Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
*I immediately downloaded this book to my Nook. Anything that deals with P&P always peaks my interest. Plus, I enjoyed her last novel, The Lonely Hearts Club, which was fun chick-lit at its best.
Goodreads says, "After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn’t interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be — especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London. Lizzie is happy about her friend’s burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles’s friend, Will Darcy, who’s snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn’t seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it’s because her family doesn’t have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk — so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway? Will Lizzie’s pride and Will’s prejudice keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? Whatever the result, Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club, has concocted a very funny, completely stylish delight for any season — prom or otherwise."

What did you get in your mailbox?  Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you think.   This meme is hosted by The Story Siren.



Friday, January 21, 2011

Book Review: Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty

Pages: 304
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: August 7, 2007
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

*If you haven't read this series, check out my review of Sloppy Firsts, Second Helpings, or Charmed Thirds.  
Goodreads says, "Is the real world ready for Jessica Darling? At first it seems she’s living the New York City dream. She’s subletting an apartment with her best friend, working for a magazine that actually cares about her psychology degree, and still deeply in love with the charismatic Marcus Flutie. But reality is more complicated than dreamy clichés. When Marcus proposes—giving her only one week to answer—Jessica must decide if she’s ready to give up a world of late-night literary soirees, art openings, and downtown drunken karaoke to move back to New Jersey and be with the one man who’s gripped her heart for years. Jessica ponders this and other life choices with her signature snark and hyper-intense insight, making it the most tumultuous and memorable week of her twenty-something life."


In the fourth book in the Jessica Darling series, readers find her living in New York city with Hope and two other roommates.  She is still with Marcus, despite their drastic ups and downs; in fact, he even proposes in his usual non-conventional way.  She loves Marcus, but that would mean giving up New York City to go back to Princeton as he is enrolled there as a freshman, which is another hard fact that she must come to terms with.  Jessica doesn't have long to decide and recognizes that this is a monumental life choice.  Megan McCafferty's Fourth Comings is an insightful read that many can relate to, but in comparison to the other Jessica Darling novels, this one lacked that something special that I've come to expect from this series..


I loved how things have come full circle for Jessica in Fourth Comings as Hope is one of her roommates in her New York City apartment.  I liked getting to know Hope better as she was a focal point in the other novels in the series, but the readers would rarely hear from her directly.  Also, my heart nearly skipped a beat when Marcus proposed to Jessica, but I could see why she would struggle with this decision as she needs to get her life on track before she up and leaves everything for him.  It's a tough and real decision. I liked following Jessica through this journey and watching her navigate through uncharted territory.  Readers can always count on her hilarious commentary.


For me, this one lacked a lot of plot. It was mostly Jessica journaling about her feelings, which I liked, but it got old after awhile, because not a lot was happening.  Don't get me wrong, it was extremely realistic, but I was hoping for more.  On the other hand, I liked the whole "what now?" feelings that Jessica had after college.  It's a hard time in any college graduate's life and I think McCafferty does a wonderful job capturing those mixed emotions.


I know I said I am obsessed with this series and I still am, but I'd have to say that Fourth Comings is my least favorite.  That doesn't mean I won't be picking up the final book, Perfect Fifths, as McCafferty left me hanging at the end of this one and I need to know what happens next, because after following Jessica from high school to college to post college life, readers are bound to become truly invested.  I'm holding out for a happy ending.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Instructions for a Broken Heart

This is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. "Waiting on Wednesday" spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson
Pub. Date: May 1, 2011


Goodreads says, "Three days before her drama club's trip to Italy, Jessa Gardner discovers her boyfriend in the costume barn with another girl. Jessa is left with a care package from her best friend titled "Top Twenty Reasons He's a Slimy Jerk Bastard," instructing her to do one un-Jessa-like thing each day of the trip. At turns hilarious and heartwrenching, Instructions for a Broken Heart paints a magical Italy in which Jessa learns she must figure out life-and romance-for herself."


*This book sounds perfect for me. I love books involving traveling to incredible cities and while traveling the characters learn and grow.  Italy seems like the perfect setting for that. I hope she eats a lot of gelato--that's another way to get over a lousy boyfriend.  Ciao!  :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Pages: 496
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopia
Pub. Date: May 3, 2011
ARC received through Book It Forward Tours
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "One choice. One choice decides your friends, defines your beliefs, and determines your loyalties . . . forever. Or, one choice can transform you. In Veronica Roth's debut novel, Divergent, a perfect society unfolds into a dystopian world of electrifying decisions, stunning consequences, heartbreaking betrayals, and unexpected romance."

Beatrice, or Tris, is sixteen years old and at this age all members of her community must decide who they are and where they fit in society as this choice defines them in many ways.  There's factions: Abnegation, which is the faction she grew up in, Dauntless, Amity, Candor, and Erudite.  Being raised in Abnegation was challenging as it's a selfless faction and Tris never really felt good enough and self-sacrificing enough to fully fit into this community; however, she doesn't necessarily want to leave her family behind.  Because if and when you choose a new faction at sixteen, you rarely, if ever, get to see your parents again and this is a decision that Tris doesn't take lightly. One the most important days for Tris occurs when her community makes their faction recommendation.  Tris makes a startling discovery.  After the simulation, it is reported to her that she is a Divergent, meaning she falls in more than one faction, which is considered extremely dangerous.  Veronica Roth's spine-tingling debut, Divergent, is a roller coaster ride of emotions as readers follow Tris's whirlwind decision as well as journey that undoubtedly changed her life forever.   

Roth's world is so unique and terrifying at the same time. It takes place in Chicago, one of my favorite cities, and her descriptions of what the once beautiful city has come to was startling.  I wish she had given the readers more background on how the factions came about, but perhaps she will in the next book.  Nonetheless, Roth creates an unforgettable and eerie world that truly stayed with me.

The character of Tris was pretty intense as well.  I can see why many people are saying that this book is along the same lines as Hunger Games as Kantiss and Tris both have many similarities.  However, for me, there was something missing in Tris. I enjoyed her and I was most definitely rooting for her, but I couldn't connect with her as much as I did with some other heroines out there.  

One thing I wasn't really prepared for was all the violence, which sounds silly, I know. I mean Hunger Games was violent as well as Maze Runner, which are two of my favorite books, but the violence in Divergent felt different to me. There was a lot of bloodshed, death and fighting; this book was definitely action packed. I didn't mind it, but it took me by surprise. 

The writing was captivating and quite impressive, I might add, as Roth was only twenty-one when she wrote this book.  My only complaint regarding the writing was towards the end, it felt rushed.  Without giving anything away, there's a horrific event that occurred and I feel like it was a bit brushed over by Tris.  On the other hand, one thing is for sure: Roth knows how to keep her readers in suspense.  This book is one of the most suspenseful books that I've read in a long time and I'm not talking edge of your seat....I'm talking gripping the book while my knuckles turn white, cringing at every page turn, anger boiling over, my heart pounding and racing a mile a minute...you get the idea.  This book was intense. Seriously intense. 

Fans of The Uglies, Hunger Games, Maze Runner, Delirium and Matched will enjoy Divergent. I realize it doesn't come out until May, but this is definitely a book you want to pre-order if you can't get enough of dystopian literature.  I'm going to be honest....I don't think this book will give Hunger Games a run for its money, but I think that it will fill a void for many fans out there who need their Katniss fix.  I can see many of my students enjoying this one!  As for me, I will be taking a break from dystopian thrillers--I think my blood pressure will thank me!


*Pre-order Divergent

Saturday, January 15, 2011

In My Mailbox #43

Divergent by Veronica Roth
*I received this ARC through Book It Forward Tours. I am definitely excited for this one and although it doesn't come out till May, expect an early review from me since I am part of the ARC tour.
Goodreads says, "One choice. One choice decides your friends, defines your beliefs, and determines your loyalties . . . forever. Or, one choice can transform you. In Veronica Roth's debut novel, Divergent, a perfect society unfolds into a dystopian world of electrifying decisions, stunning consequences, heartbreaking betrayals, and unexpected romance."






Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
*I got this one through NetGalley. I finally joined even though I've had my Nook for awhile.  I can't wait to read this historical fiction.
Goodreads says, "It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him. When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

Fourth Comings (Jessica Darling #4) by Megan McCafferty
*All I can say is that I am pretty much obsessed with this series. It's an addiction. :)
Goodreads says, "At first it seems she’s living the New York City dream. She’s subletting an apartment with her best friend, working for a magazine that actually cares about her psychology degree, and still deeply in love with the charismatic Marcus Flutie. But reality is more complicated than dreamy clichés. When Marcus proposes—giving her only one week to answer—Jessica must decide if she’s ready to give up a world of late-night literary soirees, art openings, and downtown drunken karaoke to move back to New Jersey and be with the one man who’s gripped her heart for years. Jessica ponders this and other life choices with her signature snark and hyper-intense insight, making it the most tumultuous and memorable week of her twenty-something life."


Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
*How could I not have picked up this book, especially after so many great reviews? I moved it right up to the top of my TBR pile.
Goodreads says, "Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy. Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side. As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny? Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart."


Iron Daughter (Iron Fey #2)  by Julie Kagawa
*I read The Iron King last year and really enjoyed it. I've been meaning to pick up the next book in the series.
Goodreads says, "Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart."


What did you get in your mailbox?  Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you think.   This meme is hosted by The Story Siren.



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