Coming Attractions: The Art of Lainey

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Coming Attractions is inspired by The Perpetual Page Turner's Save The Date. Coming Attractions showcases a book that is not released for a while that I've read, and gives you a sneak peek (like a pre-review, if you will) as to what I thought about the book, since I can't post the review until closer to the release date.



The Art of Lainey
Paula Stokes
Series: Standalone
Release Date: May 20th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 3.5 stars
Word rating: surprising and impressive
Reviewed by: Ellis

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Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is used to getting what she wants, and when her boyfriend Jason breaks up with her for no reason, what she wants is to win him back before the start of their senior year. Lainey and her friend Bianca check the interwebz for tips and tricks, but the online dating advice is all pretty lame.

Then the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. Didn't someone once say that love is a battlefield? Jason isn't going to stand a chance once Lainey and Bee go all Zhou Dynasty on him...

Old school strategy and subterfuge meet modern-day dramarama in the story of a girl who sets out to win at all costs and ends up discovering what's really worth fighting for.

Coming Attractions: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

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Coming Attractions is inspired by The Perpetual Page Turner's Save The Date. Coming Attractions showcases a book that is not released for a while that I've read, and gives you a sneak peek (like a pre-review, if you will) as to what I thought about the book, since I can't post the review until closer to the release date.



Fan Art
Sarah Tregay
Series: Standalone
Release Date: June 17th, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Rating: DNF - 2 stars
Word rating: *anguished cries*
Full review to come in May!
Reviewed by: Blythe

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When the picture tells the story…

Senior year is almost over, and Jamie Peterson has a big problem. Not college—that’s all set. Not prom—he’ll find a date somehow. No, it’s the worst problem of all: he’s fallen for his best friend.

As much as Jamie tries to keep it under wraps, everyone seems to know where his affections lie, and the giggling girls in art class are determined to help Jamie get together with Mason. But Jamie isn’t sure if that’s what he wants—because as much as Jamie would like to come clean to Mason, what if the truth ruins everything? What if there are no more road trips, taco dinners, or movie nights? Does he dare risk a childhood friendship for romance?

This book is about what happens when a picture reveals what we can’t say, when art is truer than life, and how falling in love is easy, except when it’s not. Fan Art explores the joys and pains of friendship, of pressing boundaries, and how facing our worst fears can sometimes lead us to what we want most.

VITRO Blog Tour: "Vitros Unveiled" Guest Post

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Vitro
Jessica Khoury
Series: Vitro (Companion)
Publisher: Razorbill
Buy: Amazon / Book Depository

You can read my review here!

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When Sophie is summoned by her long-absent mother, a scientist who works in a classified lab, Sophie throws caution to the wind and heads to the South Pacific. She sweet-talks her way onto a tiny supply plane piloted by Jim Julien, who lives on Guam with his alcoholic father. Jim is captivated by Sophie and against his better judgement agrees to take Sophie to the secretive and tropical Skin Island where her mom has been working for so many years.

There Sophie and Jim are met not by her mother but instead by Nicholas, a handsome, brilliant boy who leads them to Lux--a girl who looks exactly like Sophie. Lux is Sophie's genetic twin and was bred using in vitro fertilization. But why? And just what have the scientists created Lux to be capable of?

With lyrical writing and ever-increasing tension, Jessica Khoury draws out the explosive answers in her much-anticipated followup to Origin.

Welcome to the VITRO blog tour! Jessica Khoury, the talented author of Origin, is back with a death-defying tropical adventure. Follow along over the next two weeks as Jessica takes readers behind the scenes of her latest novel.

VITROS UNVEILED

Showcase Sunday (44): The One with All of Us

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Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicki at Books, Biscuits, and Tea, where we showcase what books we've gotten over the course of the week, whether it be bought, received from the library, from the publishers for review, etc. 

Alternate titles: The One in Which I Go Overboard Just a Little; The One Where Mel Proves Why Australia is Awesome; The One Where Ellis Finally Gets Pivot Point. (Also: this post is really long. I was going to name this The Really Long One but come on, that's just asking for penis jokes from you guys in the comments.)

Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

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Scarlet
A.C. Gaughen
Series: Scarlet, #1
Released: February 14th, 2012
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: I should have read this sooner.
Reviewed by: Ellis

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Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.


Review: After Eden by Helen Douglas

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After Eden
Helen Douglas
Series: After Eden, #1
Released: November 5th, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Rating: 1.5 stars
Word Rating: Why do I never learn from my mistakes?
Reviewed by: Mel

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The day Eden met Ryan changed her world forever. Actually, not just her world. Ryan has time traveled from the future to save the world. In a few weeks, Eden’s best friend Connor will discover a new planet—one where human life is possible. The discovery will make him famous. It will also ruin the world as we know it. When Ryan asks Eden for help, she must choose between saving the world and saving her best friend’s greatest achievement. And a crush on Ryan complicates things more than she could have imagined. Because Connor is due to make the discovery after the girl he loves breaks his heart. That girl is Eden.

Grounded in a realistic teen world with fascinating sci-fi elements, After Eden is a heart-pounding love triangle that’s perfect for dystopian fans looking for something new to devour.


Review: Timestorm by Julie Cross

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Timestorm
Julie Cross
Series: Tempest, #3
Released: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: Truly awesome
Reviewed by: Blythe

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The battle between the Tempest division and Eyewall comes to a shocking conclusion in this final installment of the Tempest trilogy, where the need for survival stretches the boundaries of history, both past and future, and the world Jackson once knew is a place forever marked by the detrimental effects of time travel.

As Jackson recovers from his brush with death, he’s surrounded not only by the people he loves most—his dad, Courtney, and Holly—he’s also amongst a few of the original time travelers. As he learns more about their life and how this world began, it becomes apparent that they need to put a stop to Thomas and Doctor Ludwig’s experimenting at Eyewall Headquarters. What starts out as an escape plan becomes a war between time and humanity, between freewill and peace. It’s the battle Jackson was born to fight and he’s not about to back down. Not for anything. Not for anyone.

Waiting on Wednesday - The Merciless

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where we post upcoming releases we're highly anticipating. My pre-publication selection for this week's Waiting on Wednesday is  The Merciless by Danielle Vega.


The Merciless
Danielle Vega
Series: Standalone
Released: August 7th, 2014
Publisher: Razorbill
Waited by: Blythe

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Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned

Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream. 

Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.

Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls . . . unless she wants to be next. . . . 

In this chilling debut, Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page. By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?

New Feature Announcement!

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Today we are EXCITED to announce a new weekly feature every Tuesday! We all gathered to brainstorm for some ideas on the blog, and something we wanted to have more of on the blog this year was discussion reviews. So we thought to incorporate that into our blog weekly! But to make it more fun and interactive with you, you're going to be choosing the topics we discuss each week (like the wonderful Book Girls Don't Cry at Xpresso Reads and Book Loving Mom). Each topic will be chosen at random and discussed by all three of us, unless the topic is addressed to specifically one of us. 

We don't have a name for this feature yet, but if you have any ideas, let us know in the comments! Also fill out the form below with topics you'd like to see us cover for our first post next Tuesday, and your submission may be chosen! And even if it's not at first, odds are it will be eventually. 

Review: Perfect Lies by Kiersten White

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Perfect Lies
Kiersten White
Series: Mind Games, #2
Released: February 18th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 3.5 stars
Word Rating: Surprising!
Reviewed by: Blythe

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Annie and Fia are ready to fight back.

The sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.

But Annie's visions of the future can't show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia's first love, Fia knows he's hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other - but that may not be enough to save them.


Welcome Ellis to Finding Bliss in Books!

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Oh, hi! (Notice how casual I am about this.) This Ellis person the title mentions? That's me. Shocking, I know. I think I might still be in shock, though. When Blythe asked me to join her and Mel for snarkfests and shenanigans on Finding Bliss in Books, I jumped off my bed, fell, and bruised my butt. It is the Belgian way. It is also my way of saying how incredibly excited I am to become part of the team. I'M IN. YEAH.


Special shout-out to the Swag Bird! I do believe that was the deciding factor. 

Some of you might already know me from my ramblings over at The Random Transliterator or the even weirder things that come out of my mouth (well, technically, fingers) on the tweeteur. For those who have managed to steer clear of my face, allow me to make a somewhat good decent impression. Oh, this is (part of) my face, by the way:


I am a 21-year-old language student from Belgium. It is that tiny dot above France that's mostly known for its production of chocolate, beer and rain. Now you will also know it as The Land of Ellis. (Please don't make this a thing. It was a joke.) As far as the interest in languages goes, nowadays that mostly consists of my making up very ridiculous words and teaching people how to swear in Dutch. It is a very lucrative business.

I am in a very serious relationship with books, but it gets frustrating sometimes. Some books just won't let me love them. While I am a critical reader, I always try to look at a situation from as many angles as possible. I also consider myself a slow reader. It probably takes me so long to get through a book because I tend to reread my favourite passages until I have them memorised. I can recall certain parts of Finnikin of the Rock, Bitterblue, Stealing Parker (WILL WHITFIELD) and the Fever series word for word. Also a very specific page from The Falconer. It's how I lull myself to sleep sometimes.

As for reading tastes, I like to read both adult and young adult fiction, but I gravitate more towards YA because reasons. Feels reasons. While I'm currently trying to read more contemporary fiction, fantasy is  - and always will be - my first love, whether it is of the high, low, epic, or urban variety. I used to be big on dystopian.

There is probably more I can say, but this was supposed to be a quick intro. I have a problem with words, in that I use too many of them. I'm just REALLY FREAKING EXCITED TO BE HERE.

So, any questions?

Discussion Review: All That Glows by Ryan Graudin

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All That Glows
Ryan Graudin
Series: All That Glows, #1
Released: February 11th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 1.5 stars
Word Rating: LOLOLOL
Reviewed by: Blythe and Mel

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Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

Waiting on Wednesday - Half Bad by Sally Green

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine where we post upcoming releases we're highly anticipating. My pre-publication selection for this week's Waiting on Wednesday is Half Bad by Sally Green.


Half Bad
Sally Green
Series: Half Life Trilogy, #1
Release Date: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Waited on by: Mel

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A stunning, magical debut. An international sensation.

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.


Review: Split Second by Kasie West

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Split Second
Kasie West
Series: Pivot Point, #2
Released: February 11th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: TREVOR
Reviewed by: Blythe

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Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.


Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

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Heartbeat
Elizabeth Scott
Series: Standalone
Released: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Rating: 3.5 stars
Word Rating: I haz angzer issuez
Reviewed by: Mel

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Life. Death. And...Love?

Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.

But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.

Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.

Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?

Grief holds you tight. It holds you forever.


Showcase Sunday - Yeah, I'm Too Lazy for This

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Hey, so, as you may or may not have already noticed, a Showcase Sunday hasn't been posted in quite a while (months). Hence the name of this post, because no, I am absolutely not posting every single book I received since the last Showcase Sunday post. One, because I'm far too lazy for that (as you all should know by now), and two, because it's 1 AM on Saturday, and I'm getting to this just now because I'd forgotten, since I started Sherlock. So instead, here are the books I've received in the past two weeks, more or less. And since Mel just got home from China and I want her to have fun at home and relax, this will just be my haul for the past two weeks. Okay, enough introduction. Sorry. Let's go. 

Review: Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

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Into the Still Blue
Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky, #3
Released: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: Mostly satisfied
Reviewed by: Mel

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Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.


Review: Avalon by Mindee Arnett

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Avalon
Mindee Arnett
Series: Avalon, #1
Released: January 21st, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Rating: 3.5 stars
Word Rating: Slooooow build
Reviewed by: Blythe

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Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.

Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly.

Review: See Jane Run by Hannah Jayne

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See Jane Run
Hannah Jayne
Series: None
Released: January 7th, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: 1.5 stars
Word Rating: *rips hair out*
Reviewed by: Mel

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I know who you are.

When Riley first gets the postcard tucked into her bag, she thinks it's a joke. Then she finds a birth certificate for a girl named Jane Elizabeth O'Leary hidden inside her baby book.

Riley's parents have always been pretty overprotective. What if it wasn't for her safety...but fear of her finding out their secret? What have they been hiding? The more Riley digs for answers, the more questions she has.

The only way to know the truth? Find out what happened to Jane O'Leary.


Review: Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

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Evertrue
Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath, #3
Released: January 21st, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Rating: 4.5 stars
Word Rating: Feelsplosion
Reviewed by: Blythe

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Now that Nikki has rescued Jack, all she wants is to be with him and graduate high school. But Cole tricked Nikki into feeding off him, and she’s begun the process of turning into an Everliving herself... which means she must feed on a Forfeit soon — or die.

Terrified for her survival, Nikki and Jack begin a desperate attempt to reverse the process using any means possible. Even Cole, who they expected to fight them at every turn, has become an unlikely ally — but how long can it last? Nikki needs to feed on Cole to survive, Cole needs Nikki to gain the throne in the Everneath, Jack needs Nikki because she is everything to him — and together, they must travel back to the Underworld to undo Nikki’s fate and make her mortal once more. But Cole isn’t the only one with plans for Nikki: the Queen has not forgotten Nikki’s treachery, and she wants her destroyed for good. Will Nikki be forced to spend eternity in the Underworld, or does she have what it takes to bring down the Everneath once and for all?

In this stunning conclusion to the Everneath trilogy, Brodi Ashton evokes the resiliency of the human spirit and the indomitable power of true love.


Review: Fake ID by Lamar Giles

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Fake ID
Lamar Giles
Series: None
Released: January 21st, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: 3.5 stars
Word Rating: More than I had expected
Reviewed by: Mel

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Nick Pearson is hiding in plain sight…

My name isn’t really Nick Pearson.

I shouldn’t tell you where I’m from or why my family moved to Stepton, Virginia.

I shouldn’t tell you who I really am, or my hair, eye, and skin color.

And I definitely shouldn’t tell you about my friend Eli Cruz and the major conspiracy he was about to uncover when he died—right after I moved to town. About how I had to choose between solving his murder with his hot sister, Reya, and “staying low-key” like the Program has taught me. About how moving to Stepon changed my life forever.

But I’m going to.


Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

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Cruel Beauty
Rosamund Hodge
Series: None
Released: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Rating: 5 GLOWING STARS
Word Rating: BURNING LOVE
Reviewed by: Blythe

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Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.


Reflecting on 2013 and looking forward to 2014!

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AH! Happy New Year! I've been waiting for this day--well, year--for quite a while; I mean, just look at all of the awesome books coming out this year! (Which you will, because we'll be showcasing some 2014 books we've read that are certified awesome, and ones we will do almost anything to read.) But 2013 was a pretty awesome year for books, too. I mean, for the most part. But to celebrate the awesomeness that will be 2014, we're giving away some Winter 2014 ARCs! (Most if not all of which I, Blythe, have read, and are awesome.) We'll be giving away each of the Winter ARCs sporadically throughout the next few weeks when the book's review is posted, so be sure to keep your eyes open for that! And, to celebrate both 2013 and the great year that will be 2014, Mel and I have compiled a list. 

Yes, a list! I asked on Twitter what you guys wanted to see, and practically everyone answered that they want to see our bests and worsts of 2013. And here they are! (Note: the best and worst of 2013 lists are only of 2013 releases; we've both definitely read some 2014 releases in 2013 that would make our best/worst list, but this part is about 2013!)