Thursday, July 26, 2012

Endlessly (Paranormalcy #3) by Kiersten White

Add it on goodreads

Ta-da!! It's out!

The blurb:

Evie's paranormal past keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants to drag her back to headquarters. The Dark Faerie Queen is torturing humans in her poisonous realm. And supernatural creatures keep insisting that Evie is the only one who can save them from a mysterious, perilous fate. 
The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its fate rests solely in Evie's hands. 
So much for normal.

The Afterglow:

HarperTeen does this thing where they let people read the first seventy-or-so pages of an upcoming new release online -- in order to whet our appetites and boost sales. When I first get notice in my email about these deals, I LOVE HarperTeen.

But when I hit the end of the sample... Boo HarperTeen! It's almost torture to get so far into a story only to have to wait for release day! Because I'm such a Kiersten White fan girl, I've begun all of her books this way. So last week some time I was exactly 80 pages into Endlessly, the third and final book in the Paranormalcy trilogy, and craving more. Needless to say, when my book arrived the afternoon of July24th (Happy Pioneer Day to me!), I gobbled it up.

The first book redefined my expectations for the paranormal genre. The middle book served its purpose as a bridge, but left me wanting so much more of Lend, Reth, and Evie. But this last book...

It fulfilled all the promises of the story. It's superb! It's exciting and epic and well-crafted. I never could have imagined it would end the way it did. Somehow all the loose ends I'd been worrying about throughout the series got tied off in a gorgeous, complicated bow.

It's one of those endings that delivers exactly what you didn't know you were hoping for all along.

As in the first and second books, Evie's voice is endearing and funny. The theme of being true to yourself and not allowing yourself to be absorbed in someone else was as striking as ever as Reth - the gorgeous golden trickster - continues to guide Evie as best he can toward the choice he believes is best. In a moment of exasperation, he says, "You take a tremendous amount of leading to make the correct choices."

Reth's story arc was surprising to me, as we are given to understand the fey are eternal and changeless. Shallow, scary Jack's transformation, too, was unexpected and satisfying.

Reading this last book was for me like spending time with old friends. The humor, sarcasm, and wit in each character's unique voice made this book a pleasure, and the spot-on pacing made it unputdownable.

I highly recommend this trilogy to anyone, but especially teen readers who love all things paranormal. They'll find a feast of magic in Paranormalcy, Supernaturally, and now Endlessly.

Happy Reading!

Have you read any of this trilogy yet? Join my lovefest in the comments.

(p.s. For Operation Awesome readers, Kell Andrews just posted her COVER REVEAL for DEADWOOD!!!!!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

The Forsaken (The Forsaken, #1)The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this book! It's sort of a cross between Hunger Games, Divergent, and Lord of the Flies. Great characters, plenty of twists, and a satisfying ending that still leaves me dying with impatience for the sequel. I didn't love the cover, and the romance in the book could have been played out a little better, but over all, it was a very enjoyable reading experience. If you liked any of the books I mentioned above, you'll enjoy The Forsaken. (Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher.)

Here's the Amazon blurb:

As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Grasping at Eternity, by Karen Amanda Hooper

I just finished this book last night, so I technically can't tell you exactly how long the afterglow lasts, but I was so surprised by how much I liked this book, I wanted to write about it right away. That sounds weird, so let me clarify. Karen is a friend of mine. We blog together at YA Confidential. I went into this book knowing I would at least enjoy it a little bit, because I know Karen's a fine writer, but to be honest, I was under the assumption that I wasn't going to like it as much as her last book, Tangled Tides. I don't know why, exactly, but I expect it had to do with my own preference for Fantasy over Paranormal/Supernatural.

Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that either of these books fits neatly into those categories, because they don't, but I will admit that I started reading Grasping at Eternity with the misguided assumption that I wasn't going to like it as much as I had liked Tangled Tides.

So, now that I've gone on rambling for a few hundred words about all the hang-ups I brought into reading this book, let me just say: I really enjoyed it. I don't know what the marketing experts would call it, but they might say it's a YA Paranormal Romance, and while I wouldn't completely agree, I also wouldn't be able to prove them wrong.

What I really loved about this book was the unique scenario Karen set up to provide the utmost tension between her two main (which are also both POV) characters. I don't want to give too much away, but suffice to say both Nathan and Maryah are more than just your average human teenagers. But, the cool thing is that Karen created a dynamic in which Nathan is aware of their ... special status, and Maryah is not. I can see how this could have easily led to some cringe worthy writing (and I don't mean awkward moments between characters), but it was done so well it left me rooting for both of them the entire way.

Sure, Maryah makes some poor decisions, but you can't even begin to blame her because she is basically 95% ignorant of the truth for 80% of the book. Anyway, I could go on in more detail, but it's easier to just recommend this book as a great YA PNR.

Both Karen Hooper's novels are the first in a series, so be sure to keep an eye on her as her career continues. You can find more of Karen:

At her blog
On Twitter
At her website
On Goodreads

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

The Blurb:

For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.

Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.

The Afterglow:

Expect unbreathable, pee a little, hysterical laughter when you open this book.

You've been warned.

Though I implore you to dig into the world of Jenny Lawson. Not many have so many weird moments in their life (without a few white lies) but I can assure you, this shit is real... or, at least I think it is. Then again she does warn you it's a 'mostly true' memoir.

I enjoyed every page of fabulous goodness that Jenny Lawson delivered and I only hope more crazy crap happens so that there is a part two to all this madness.

The Deliciousness:

If you want to see if this book is for you and don't want to make the leap of faith stop by her amazing blog... The Bloggess. You won't regret me introducing you to the INSANITY she calls a life.