Waiting on Wednesday: Taken by Erin Bowman

Well hello there!

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s time to spotlight an upcoming new release that I’m waiting on! Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine and I like to participate in it every week. This week I am waiting on Taken by Erin Bowman.

Taken by Erin BowmanThere are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone. They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive. Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

I think this book sounds super interesting! People vanishing upon reaching a certain age?! Whoa!! I’m also excited about a male main character too! In this female dominated YA world we need more male characters!  Also, I’m always up for a good dystopia!

Taken is scheduled to be released on April 16 by HarperTeen, so we do have a few more months to wait.  So, what do ya think?!  Are you waiting on Taken too?


Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever

Happy Tuesday BookTasty readers! It’s nice to have you back!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. This week’s theme is Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever. Now, let me say that I’m sure there are tons of obnoxious or frustrating characters that I just can’t remember, so the ones on my list today are not necessarily the most frustrating, they’re just some of those that fit the bill.

Heist Society by Ally Carter1. Bella from the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer.  Okay. No Twilight bashing. I don’t think I need to say anymore about this!

2. Katarina Bishop from the Heist Society series by Ally Carter. I love these books and I love Katarina, but I really don’t understand why Kat pushes people away and thinks she doesn’t need help from people. I know she does it…but why?

3. Jane from My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison. She steals her sister’s boyfriend and then gets annoyed when her sister wont speak with her. Uh..duh!

4. Conrad from The Summer I Turned Pretty series by Jenny Han. Now, I have only read the first two books in this trilogy so I may not have the whole picture here, but Conrad! ARRRGGHHH You love Belly so just be nice to her and let her know how you reallyThe Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han feel.

5. Charlie Joe Jackson from Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald. Seriously, just read the darn book Charlie Joe! Seriously.

6. The Capital from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  Yes. The entire capital.  For the love of all things holy, just leave the districts alone!

7. Greg Heffley from The Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. Greg, you are super hilarious, but you’re not a really nice person.  Stop being rude to your loyal friend Rowley!

8. Lexi Smart from Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella. This one is not YA, and I didn’t really like it. I think Lexi is selfish and obnoxious. I can’t really find anything redeemable in her at all. Wow that was harsh.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney9. Ruby Oliver from the Ruby Oliver series by E. Lockhart. I adore Ruby! She is one of my favorite characters ever, but sometimes she is sooo darn frustrating! But I really do love her so much despite this!

10. Gale from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Okay, so I love these books. A lot. But Gale! You can’t get so upset at Katniss for being interested in Peeta if you never once told her you loved her! Plus it was a classic case of “don’t know what you got ’till it’s gone”. For reals.

So there you have it! That is a list of some of the fictional characters that frustrate me the most. Which characters just really get to you? Go ahead and share in the comments :)


More Miri! Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale

Hi there!

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale was one of the first books that got me hooked into YA and MG fiction and it is still one of my favorites ever. So you couldn’t believe how excited I was to find out that there was going to be a sequel! Yay! More Miri!! Kyle over at A Reader’s Pensieve was so nice (as usual!) and loaned me her copy of the ARC of Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale! THANK YOU Kyle!! Now, ideally I would havPalace of Stone by Shannon Halee had time to read it before the release, but life happens.

Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city is a thrill to Miri. She and her princess academy friends have been brought to Asland to help the future princess Britta prepare for her wedding.There, Miri also has a chance to attend school-at the Queen’s Castle. But as Miri befriends students who seem sophisticated and exciting she also learns that they have some frightening plans. Torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends’ ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city, Miri looks to find her own way in this new place. Picking up where “Princess Academy” left off, and celebrating the joys of friendship, romance and the fate of fairy tale kingdoms, this new book delivers the completely delightful new story that fans have been waiting for.

Shannon Hale never lets me down. However, readers need to know that Palace of Stone is a very different book from Princess Academy. Things in book one were more innocent and more fairy tale-like, but thats what happens when one gets older: You grow, you learn new things, your eyes are open to differences etc… With Miri’s first trip away from Mount Eskel into the busy and sophisticated culture of Asland, Miri begins to see the world anew. As her eyes are opened to new ideas and new ways of living Miri becomes caught between simplicity and complexity.

Miri is just as she always was bright, brave and a little out spoken but in this book we see her grappling with far more serious issues (revolution!) than she dealt with in the first part of her story. She makes some mistakes, but pushes through to do what is right. I love Miri and would be totally fine is Shannon Hale gave us even more Miri! I enjoyed the little love triangle between Miri, Peder and Timon because it does actually move the story along. Miri’s relationship with Timon is what allows Miri to see things differently in the first place.

I will say that the world building in Palace of Stone isn’t as good as in Princess Academy. Of course authors would do most of that in their first book, but in this one we have Miri traveling to Asland, a city Miri has never been before, and I felt like I didn’t really get to know the city at all. It seemed like Asland was just a backdrop for the action to take place and it really could have been any city. Additionally, I felt like the supporting characters weren’t as fleshed out as they could have been (like they’d been in the first book). I only got to see Miri, and maybe a little bit of Britta, as multi-dimensional characters, but I would have liked to see more life in the others.

So, yeah, I had a few small complaints, but overall I really enjoyed Palace of Stone and think that it was an interesting continuation to Miri’s story. I’d honestly like to know what happens next for Miri and Peder, but I can’t get my hopes up for a third Princess Academy novel! ;p I do, of course, recommend this series to any middle grade reader looking for a good read!

Author: Shannon Hale

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (August 21, 2012)

Format: paperback (ARC)

Length: 223 pages

Series: sequel to Princess Academy


Buy the Book: Princess Academy: Palace of Stone


Waiting on Wednesday: The Nightmare Affair

Hi there everyone!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week I am particular excited about The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett.  So, let me tell you about it!

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a The Nightmare Affair by Mindee ArnettNightmare. Literally.

Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder. Then Eli’s dream comes true. Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

Oh my gosh. I think this cover is absolutely beautiful! I love the  silhouettes and the font is so elegant yet chilling at once. Also, the fact that you cannot tell the ethnicity of the girl is awesome and might help with its appeal to my students.

Also, I love the way this sounds like it could be a mix between serious thriller and silly teen girl fun!  I have such high hopes, but The Nightmare Affair wont be released until March 5, so there is still some time to wait.

So, what do ya think?!


Top Ten Tuesday: Settings I Want More Of

Well hello there! Welcome back!

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, which is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and Bookish that I participate in on a weekly basis. This week the theme is Top Ten Settings I’d Like to Read More Of.  I’m not sure why, but this was a difficult list for me to create. But I did finally manage it! There are probably tons of books with these settings out there but I just need to find and read them!

So here we go:

1. London: Be it historical or contemporary I love books set in London. Really, I’ll take stories set anywhere in the UK! I’m a total Anglophile and proud of it!London

2. Boarding Schools: If your book is set in a boarding school chances are I’ll pick it up. I just love the idea of being away from home and kind of on your own in a new place.

3. Under the sea: I’ve only read a few mermaid novels, but I think I could really get used to this genre.

4. Amish Country: The Amish are completely fascinating and I am always up for a story set in this community.AmishCountry

5. Colonial America: As a history major in college American colonial history has always intrigued me.  Give me more of this!

6. Florida: Who doesn’t want more books set where they live? It’s fun to read about places you’re familiar with!

7. Wild West Space: Like my beloved Firefly. I like to believe that the future is actually more like the wild west with space travel and Chinese curse words.

Firefly8. Fairy Tale Lands: Fairy tale retellings are one of my favorite genres so I will gladly accept any novels set in fairy tale lands!

9. Steampunk worlds: I think I just need to read more YA steampunk novels because I know they’re out there. Although I love this genre I think I prefer a mild steampunk setting to a high one.

10. Futuristic dystopian societies: I know this sounds super trendy, and some people may be over dystopian fiction, but I sincerely love this setting and have since I read A Handmaid’s Tale in high school. More YA dystopia!

So there you have it! My nerdiness has been revealed now that you know I want more Amish, steampunk and mermaid themed settings in books! My husband will laugh at me if he reads this post…haha

Am I the only nerd out there or are some of these settings that you’d like to read more of?


Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart


Holy junk! With this review I am finally up to date with my reviews! It is an amazing feeling! Whoot!

Today’s review is of the fourth and last book in E. Lockhart’s Ruby Oliver series, Real Live Boyfriends.

Ruby Oliver is in love. Or it would be love, if Noel, her real live boyfriend, would call her back. But Noel seems to have turned into a pod-robot lobotomy patient, and Ruby can’t figure out why.

Real Live Boyfriends by E. LockhartNot only is her romantic life a shambles:
Her dad is eating nothing but Cheetos,
Her mother’s got a piglet head in the refrigerator,
Hutch has gone to Paris to play baguette air guitar,
Gideon shows up shirtless,
And the pygmy goat Robespierre is no help whatsoever.
Will Ruby ever control her panic attacks?
Will she ever understand boys?
Will she ever stop making lists?
(No to that last one.)

Roo has lost most of her friends. She’s lost her true love, more than once. She’s lost her grandmother, her job, her reputation, and possibly her mind. But she’s never lost her sense of humor. The Ruby Oliver books are the record of her survival.

If you’ve read any of my other reviews on this series, you’ll know that Ruby is one of my favorite characters.  Throughout this whole series Ruby is struggling with change and acceptance and how to take care of herself while also taking care of her friends.  And in Real Live Boyfriends you see Ruby finally get it. It seems like things finally click into place. Not that Ruby is perfect, she’s still far from it, but she now knows how to work with what she has. She is just so relateable and I know that I second guessed everything like Roo does in high school!

I normally like Ruby’s parents a lot. They’re also incredibly imperfect and hilarious making them easily to love. But in this book Ruby’s mother drove me crazy! It seemed like she was acting like a whiny baby who couldn’t handle it when things weren’t easy for her.

This series is just one of the best in contemporary YA (definitely YA!).  They are realistic without taking themselves too seriously and just an all around fun series to read. If you’re interested, just know that Real Live Boyfriends is the fourth and last book in this series, so start with number one The Boyfriend List, you won’t be sorry!

Author: E. Lockhart

Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers (Dec. 28, 2010)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 225 pages

Series: Final book in The Ruby Oliver quartet


Buy the Book:  Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, plural. If my life weren’t complicated, I wouldn’t be Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver Quartet)


I Like Dragons! Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Well hi there!

Have I told you how much I love audiobooks? Well, I do! So, let’s talk about an audiobook I recently finished, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, because it’s really stinkin’ good!Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

So, I love fantasy but when I first read the summary for Seraphina I thought, “Dragons? Hmmm….not really my thing…”. So, I hesitated and didn’t read it. Then, I heard great things from other book bloggers and decided that it was time to read it, dragons and all.

I am so glad I did! I think I like dragons! Seraphina was a beautiful story of a girl with great talent but also a potentially dangerous secret. Hartman is definitely skilled at building a fantasy world. Everything from the society’s history, religion, customs, philosophy, fashion and music was so richly constructed. Seraphina’s world draws you in and quickly engulfs you.

I was attached to and loved Seraphina as a heroine. She is intelligent, brave, determined, sensitive, kindhearted, witty and easily able to connect with. If I lived in this made up fantasy land I think we’d hit it off pretty well. :) Her growth as a character comes with learning to accept her whole self and trust those who love her. All the supporting characters are three-dimensional as well, in the beginning I wasn’t sure if I liked Princess Glisselda, for example, but she greatly evolves throughout the story from a giddy princess to a mature young woman.

And there is romance. Yes…that’s right. *winks*

I didn’t realize until I finished reading that Seraphina is the first book in a series and that Dracomachia, book two, is slated to be released this coming July! YAY!!!

I feel like Seraphina is a little bit of a mix between Libba Bray’s The Gemma Doyle trilogy and Fire by Kristin Cashore – it just has similarities while also being its own story. So, if you were a fan of either books mentioned above, or you’re just a fantasy fan you’ll probably love Seraphina like I did!

Author: Rachel Hartman

Publisher: Listening Library (July 10, 2012)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins

Narrator(s): Many Williams and Justine Eyre

Series: First in the Seraphina series


Buy the Book: Seraphina


Waiting on Wednesday: The Archived

Hi there!

Waiting on Wednesday (hosted by Breaking the Spine) is a weekly meme where I  get to share an upcoming title that I’m waiting on to be released. This week I’m interested in The Archived by Victoria Schwab.The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive. Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous – it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

This book has been incredibly popular on book blogs for a while now. It seems everyone is eagerly anticipating it! I’m really fond of the idea of librarians having special powers or abilities that no one else does. I think its pretty close to reality and it sounds like Victoria Schwab is a fan of librarians!

The Archived is scheduled to be released next week January 22 so we don’t have long to wait.


Top Ten Tuesday: 2013 Debuts I’m Excited About

Good morning!

As you may know, every week I participate in Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and Bookish) which is an event involving creating bookish lists.  This week the theme is Top Ten 2013 Debuts I’m Excited About!

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed1. Cinders & Sapphire by Leila Rasheed (Jan. 22)

For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name—but it would mean giving up her one true love . . . someone she could never persuade her father to accept.

City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster2. City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster (Feb. 5)

Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson3. Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson (March 12)

When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi. Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.

Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield 4. Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield (May 7)

Sing, and the darkness will find you.” This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy’s guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now it is 1667, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows’ Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can’t help but sing—and she is swept into darkness.

How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvator Doktorski5. How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski (May 7)

Rosie’s always been impulsive. She didn’t intend to set her cheating ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. And she never thought her attempts to make amends could be considered stalking. So when she’s served with a temporary restraining order on the first day of summer vacation, she’s heartbroken—and furious. To put distance between Rosie and her ex, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with responsible, reliable neighbor Matty and his two friends. Forget freedom of the road, Rosie just wants to hitchhike home and win back her ex. But with every mile marker that passes, Rosie discovers a new sense of self…and that sometimes the best revenge is moving on.

Starglass by Pheobe North6. Starglass by Pheobe North (July 7)

The generation ship Asherah coasts through space, bound for a planet its passengers have never even seen. On the eve of their arrival, sixteen-year-old botanist Terra discovers that her orderly society has fractured. Walking home one night through the long-abandoned engine rooms, she witnesses the murder of an innocent man. Now, called on by the Children of Abel, a group of rebels intent on destroying the High Council, Terra must prove her mettle–assassinate the ship’s rising captain. In order to carry out her task, Terra must betray her father, deceive her teacher, and challenge everything the Council has ever taught her was true.

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross7. Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross (June 11)

When Maude Pichon runs away from provincial Brittany to Paris, her romantic dreams vanish as quickly as her savings. Desperate for work, she answers an unusual ad. The Durandeau Agency provides its clients with a unique service—the beauty foil. Hire a plain friend and become instantly more attractive. Monsieur Durandeau has made a fortune from wealthy socialites, and when the Countess Dubern needs a companion for her headstrong daughter, Isabelle, Maude is deemed the perfect foil. But Isabelle has no idea her new “friend” is the hired help, and Maude’s very existence among the aristocracy hinges on her keeping the truth a secret. Yet the more she learns about Isabelle, the more her loyalty is tested. And the longer her deception continues, the more she has to lose.

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar8. The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar (March 23)

Margo McKenna has a plan of attack for everything, from landing the lead in her high school musical to dealing with her increasingly absent parents. But when she finds herself in possession of a genie’s ring and the opportunity to make three wishes, she doesn’t know what to do. Especially since Oliver–not blue-skinned, not bottle-dwelling, but a genie nonetheless–can see more than what she’s willing to show him. With one peek into her mind, he can see the wishes that even Margo herself doesn’t know she wants. But Oliver comes with more than just mind-reading abilities, a flair for magic, and the prettiest eyes Margo’s ever seen. Someone from his past is hunting him–someone bent on killing him, along with all the other genies in the world, for the sake of honor. And as Margo soon discovers, it will take more than three wishes to save him.

Legacy of the ClockWork Key by Kristen Bailey9. Legacy of the Clockwork Key by Kristin Bailey (March 5)

When a fire consumes Meg’s home, killing her parents and destroying both her fortune and her future, all she has left is the tarnished pocket watch she rescued from the ashes. But this is no ordinary timepiece. The clock turns out to be a mechanical key—a key that only Meg can use—that unlocks a series of deadly secrets and intricate clues that Meg is compelled to follow. Meg has uncovered evidence of an elite secret society and a dangerous invention that some will stop at nothing to protect—and that Meg alone can destroy. Together with the handsome stable hand she barely knows but hopes she can trust, Meg is swept into a hidden world of deception, betrayal, and revenge.

Poison by Bridget Zinn10. Poison by Bridget Zinn (March 12)

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend. But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Don’t these sound amazing?! I want them all right now! Of course there are tons of other debuts being released this year and I plan on reading them as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge.

Happy reading!


Tasty Treats (7)

Hi there! Happy Sunday!

Recently, I received two gift cards to Barnes and Noble as Christmas gifts!  One from my brother-in-law (thanks Ray!) and the other from my Secret Santa at school (Thanks Dep!).

You can imagine how excited I was upon receiving these gift cards! I immediately started dreaming out what titles I’d buy. I spent some time reviewing my Waiting on Wednesday posts and my TBR list on Goodreads to refresh my memory on books I’d been wanting for a while.  Well, I ended up purchasing four books with those gift cards and they all finally came in this week (SO EXCITED!). Shall we take a looksy?!

Look at these tasty treats! Yum!

Look at these tasty treats! Yum!

I love looking at them all lined up, but let’s get a better look at each of those pretty covers!

My Life Next Door by Huntley FitzpatrickDelirium by Lauren Oliver

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Grave Mercy by Robin LeFeversThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Mass

Grave Mercy by Robin LeFevers
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Man, I’m a sucker for brand new books! Is it weird that I kind of want to caress them all? You know what…just don’t answer that!

Each of these books are ones that initially drew my attention, but then I kept hearing such fabulous reviews I knew I had to read them. So yes! I think I spent my gift cards pretty wisely, don’t you?!