Monday, February 28, 2011

Top Ten Books I Just HAD To Buy...But Are Still Sitting On My Bookshelf


Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week they post a top ten list related, of course, to books.

1. Crescendo by Becca Fitspatrick, I read Hush Hush, enjoyed it quite a bit, but haven’t gotten more than 40 pages into the sequel which has been on my shelf since it’s release.

2. Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima, Okay, I’m cheating a bit on this one.  I just read this last week, after it had sat on my shelf for over a year.  My cousin recommended it, and I wish now that I’d picked it up sooner.  It was awesome.

3. Party by Tom Leveen, he was at a book signing I went to last year, and it was the first time I’d heard the magic letters ARC.  They were giving his out.  I think I ordered my copy later because I was connecting it with the joy of learning that they make ARCs.

4. Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder, finally read last week after 5 months on the shelf.

5. Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt, I got pulled in by the “princess” bit, but it’s a younger protagonist than I’d been picturing.

6. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

7. Percy Jackson and the Olympians (books 4 and 5)

9. The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowery, loved The Giver!

10. Incarceron by Catherine Fischer

Review of False Princess by Eilis O’Neal

False Princess

Released: January 25, 2011

Hardcover, 336 pages

Interest: Debut Author Challenge, plus it had the word princess in the title!

Summary from

Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia's led a privileged life at court.  But everything changes when it's revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection.  Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she's ever known.

Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks.  But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins - long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control - she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl.

Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor's history, forever.

A dazzling first novel, The False Princess is an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance.


The False Princess was originally slated to be released last summer, and it was on my debut author list back then.  By the time it was released this January, all I remembered was that it was about a princess.  Which is usually enough to interest me.  This book was so much more than a princess story though.  It was about finding out who you truly are, court intrigue, mystery, and yes, a little romance.

Sinda got the raw end of the deal.  She was raised as Princess Nalia, only to find out at the age of sixteen that she’s not the princess after all.  She was only a stand-in for the real princess who was prophesied to die by her sixteenth birthday.  Now, Sinda gets sent off to her only living relative with an education, but no practical skills.  What’s a girl to do?

Sinda is a strong female lead.  I enjoyed watching her grow from the timid Princess to “someone to be reckoned with.” 

I would recommend this book to fans of fairytales, historical fiction, or a combination thereof.

Book Pairings

For another false princess situation, try Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix

For more court drama try, Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith


Cover: 9/10 Fits the book well

Plot: 9/10

Characters: 9/10

Ending: 9/10

Overall Enjoyment: 9/10

No swearing that I can recall, nice and clean.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Can’t Hardly Wait (4)

This will be my weekly post, similar to Waiting on Wednesdays done Jill at Breaking the Spine.  I will be showcasing a book that I am wildly anticipating, and have most-likely already pre-ordered on

Clarity by Kim Harrington (debut author)


Clarity comes out on March 1, 2011.

The nitty gritty: A girl, Claire, who has the gift of clairvoyance, a murder, and Claire’s brother who might just be the main suspect.  There’s also a “smoldering” detective’s son.  Oh, yeah!

What are you looking forward to?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Can’t Hardly Wait (3)

This will be my weekly post, similar to Waiting on Wednesdays done Jill at Breaking the Spine.  I will be showcasing a book that I am wildly anticipating, and have most-likely already pre-ordered on 

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Uncommon Criminals 

I just found this on a friend’s Goodreads shelf, and then on Amazon today.  It’s a sequel to Heist Society involving the same old crew.  The target this time is Cleopatra’s Emerald which may or may not have a curse on it.

Releases on June 21, 2011

What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Review of Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

UnearthlyPublished: January 4, 2011

Hardcover, 435 pages

Interest: Debut Author Challenge, Angels

Summary (from

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

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.


Can I just say that I loved this book.  I wasn’t sure how I would feel about another angel book, but I was pleasantly impressed.  Clara Gardner is sixteen, and has known that she’s an angel for two years.  We don’t experience her angst as her world is turned upside down, and for that I’m kind of relieved.  We start with Clara and her “purpose”.  It’s apparently her reason for being here on Earth, her task to complete.  She has visions: a forest fire, and a boy.

Clara and her family move to Wyoming to meet this boy, and prepare Clara for her purpose.  Christian is the typical popular guy, good looking, yet still somehow lacking.  Tucker on the other hand, is Clara’s best friend’s brother.  From their first encounter they seem to hate each other, and never miss a chance to match wits.  Of course, this is the guy I’m rooting for.  I don’t encourage snarkiness, but I do love wit and playful banter, and they have it. 

Now Clara has to figure out what her purpose is, develop her powers, and hopefully complete it when the time comes.  Her mother won’t tell her what happens if she doesn’t.  But Clara can tell that it isn’t good.

Book Recommendations

Forgive my Fins by Tera Lynn Childs, Clara and Tucker’s relationship reminded me fondly of Lily and Quince

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, another girl angel with a human boyfriend

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, a “bad” angel


Cover 9/10

Plot 10/10

Characters 10/10

Ending 10/10

Overall Enjoyment 10/10

98% A+

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jessie’s Top Ten Favorite Love Stories

top10tuesdays I just discovered a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week they post a top ten list related, of course, to books.

1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

3. Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

4. Anne of Green Gables series

5. My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

6. Timeless by Alexandra Monir

7. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

8. Cheating at Solitaire by Ally Carter

9. The Season by Sarah MacLean

10. Revenge of the Cheerleaders by Janette Rallison

Sweet Venom Cover Reveal

After reading Forgive my Fins this summer, Tera Lynn Childs quickly went up toward the top of my favorite authors list.  Since then, I’ve also enjoyed Oh. My. Gods. and Goddess Boot Camp.  Along with Fins are Forever (which comes out in July), Tera has also started a new series, which for now she’s calling the Medusa Girls series.  The first of which will be coming out in October and be called, you guessed it: Sweet Venom.  Without further ado, here is the beautiful cover! 

Sweet Venom

Three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in a world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

I’m already tingling with excitement: snake-like hair, the “true story” of a beautiful Medusa, and some kick-butt monster slaying action.  For more information on Tera Lynn Child’s website, click the link.  To add Sweet Venom to your goodreads shelf, click on the cover.

What do you think?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Can’t Hardly Wait (2)

This will be my weekly post, similar to Waiting on Wednesdays done Jill at Breaking the Spine.  I will be showcasing a book that I am wildly anticipating, and have most-likely already pre-ordered on  I’ll try to post “I Can’t Hardly Wait” posts on Fridays.  Thanks, and feel free to tell me what you’re excited about :)

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Desires of the Dead   Sequel to the Body Finder, releases on February 15th.  This time as Violet uses her skills to help find a boys killer, the FBI becomes involved.

I loved The Body Finder, and can’t wait to see if Desires of the Dead lives up to it.

Anything you’re looking forward to?

Review of Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakely-Cartwright

Red Riding Hood

Released: January 21, 2011

Paperback, 329 pages

Interest: Debut author, upcoming movie release


The body of a young girl is discovered in a field of wheat. Her flesh mutilated by telltale claw marks. The Wolf has broken the peace.

When Valerie learns that her sister has been killed by the legendary creature, she finds herself at the center of a dark mystery, one that has plagued her village for generations. It is revealed that the werewolf lives among them, and everyone in the village immediately becomes a suspect. Could her secret love Peter be behind the attacks on her town? Is it her betrothed, Henry? Or someone even closer to her?

As the men in the village hunt for the beast, Valerie turns to her grandmother for help. She gives Valerie a handmade red riding cloak, and guides her through the web of lies and deception that has held her town together for so long. Will Valerie discover the werewolf's identity before the town is ripped apart?

This is a dangerous new vision of a classic fairy tale, the happy ending could be hard to find.

Summary from


I'm a little upset at this book, in more ways than one:

1. We don't actually find out who the werewolf is! There's a website listed at the end that we can read at, but the ending won't be posted until March 10th or so. I don't know about you, but I like having my endings printed in the book, not hanging around online. I also appreciate that they're trying to save it for the movie, but why release the book in January if you don't want to end it till March. Those of us who bought the book paid just as much as we would for a movie ticket, I think we deserved an ending.

2. The romance was not there. Valerie meets Peter, who used to be her best friend when she was seven. He and his father were kicked out of the village ten years ago, we're not completely sure why. Now, when he's returned, they're in love: they were apparently in love as children.

Now, really?! She was in love with him as a seven year old?! Go, get married on the playground then!

So, they see each other, they're in love, Valerie asks 'Do you remember me?' Peter says 'How could I forget you?' and she agrees to run away with him. So really, she's agreeing to run off with someone who she hasn't talked to in ten years, and has spoken less than 10 words with now? Smart...

The rest of their "romance" is heavy on the lust, non-existent on the love.

That being said, the wolf elements of the story, and the psychology of their village life was very intriguing to me. A werewolf hunter, Father Solomon, comes to the village and tells the villagers that the werewolf lives among them. Between their paranoia, the actual werewolf killing spree, and the hunt for it, there is some serious evil going on.

My final recommendation would be to just see the movie if you're already interested. If you're still interested then borrow or buy the book.


Cover 8/10 I love the wolf shadow across the bottom, and the red contrasts really well with the black/white scheme

Plot 8/10

Characters 7/10 We didn’t truly get to know them

Ending 6/10 As mentioned above

Overall enjoyment 7/10

72% C-

PG-13 Some violence, and a heavy make-out scene

Sunday, February 6, 2011

In My Mailbox (6)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme started by The Story Siren. It gives people a chance to share what they got in the mail, in a shopping bag, from the library, or from a friend. You can get more information, or share your posts here.

This week I got a lot of the books I’d ordered for my birthday.  I loved all of my Amazon gift cards :)

Non-Blonde Cheerleader  I got the Non-Blonde Cheerleader series: I Was a Non-Blonde Cheerleader, Brunettes Strike Back, and A Non-Blonde Cheerleader in Love by Kieran Scott

Red Riding Hood Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakely-Cartwright

Goddess Boot Camp Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs

Be Mine Be Mine by Sabrina James

Demon Trapper's Daughter Demon Trapper’s Daughter by Jana Oliver

I Am Number 4 I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Friday, February 4, 2011

I Can’t Hardly Wait (1)

This will be my weekly post, similar to Waiting on Wednesdays done Jill at Breaking the Spine.  I will be showcasing a book that I am wildly anticipating, and have most-likely already pre-ordered on  I’ll try to post “I Can’t Hardly Wait” posts on Fridays.  Thanks, and feel free to tell me what you’re excited about :)

Cloaked by Alex Flinn

CloakedReleases on February 8, 2011


A retelling of The Frog Prince, the Elves and the Shoemaker, and several other fairytales.  I do love how Alex Flinn blends her fairytales with a modern setting and characters.  I can’t wait to read this.

Anything you’re looking forward to?

Review of Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe

Interest: Debut Author Challenge, storyline: people frozen on a spaceship

Released: January 11, 2011

398 Pages, hardcover

Summary: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.

Summary from

Alright, I held off on reviewing Across the Universe for a few weeks because I did not know what to think.  It was hyped to be one of the best books out this year, the storyline was really intriguing, but I found myself disappointed by the story.  Time has helped me sort out why.  For me, it was the romance.  I love good YA romances.  In Across the Universe, I am sorry to say, there was not a romance.  Normally, I would not be too upset about this, but the blurb led me to believe there would be: “A love out of time.  A spaceship built of secrets and murder.”  I felt misled, and let down when there was not a love story.

Now, if I take those emotions out of the equation, AtU was a great story!  It was science fiction meets dystopian literature.  The world that Revis created (right down to a ship map inside the dust cover) was impressive.  That is one thing I love about dystopian books: the new world, presumably created based on our actions and/or mistakes.  The world on Godspeed is one that will make you cringe.  People are docile and vacant.  Those who are not are considered crazy.  Children aren’t born out of love, but because it is “the season”, and people mate like animals in the middle of the sidewalk. 

It’s a strange new world.  It grows even stranger when cryogenically frozen people are being taken out early: to awaken or die.  Amy wakes up.  Elder (the teenaged future leader of Godspeed) is immediately drawn to her.  As he watches her reactions to his society he starts to actually question how and why things are done on the ship.  He also works with Amy in a race to protect the other “frozens” and discover who is trying to kill them.

Overall, Across the Universe was very well done.  Just think don’t think of it as a romance, and you should be satisfied :)

Cover: 10/10 Love the colors, the contrast, the faces, the stars.  It fits for the book too.

Plot: 9/10

Characters: 8/10

Ending: 9/10

Overall Enjoyment: 7/10

Score: 84% B

PG-13 Not much language as the characters use future curses, sexuality described in terms of human “mating” on the ship, and a near rape