Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)

Synopsis:
"In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one except the "thing" inside her.
  When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch...
  Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits. Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
  Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help-and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
  But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on, even if it seems no one believes her."


________________________
My thoughts:
The Girl in the Steel Corset is my new--no ONLY--favorite steampunk novel.
  Really, what is steampunk? My dad and I were trying to figure out why it's called steampunk (we weren't near a computer at the time), and pretty much devised that it's "steam" for the past. You know, steam powered a bunch of junk in "the old days" and now we have "punk" (kids, people, teens? which one?) in our current day-and-age.
  Pretty much, if you like historic technology/junk to be mixed with future technology/junk, you're going to love this book. (I sound like I'm dissing this book. I'm not, I just suck at summarizing/defining anything.)
  Moving on...
  The year is 1897 and we're in England (I mean, where the hell else do great steampunks take place? Hmm?) meeting a really interesting "band of horses" as I refer to them as. First you have our heroine, Finley Jayne who seems to have a tad bit of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing going on.  We have Sam, who is part robot (or you know, cyborg for us geeky people who know that kind of stuff), Emily who is a freakin' genius who can--wait for it--communicate with robots (!!) and Jasper, who...well, I really don't know what his purpose is, aside from he's like, Edward Cullen fast and a cowboy from America. Oh, and we have Griffin King, the dude who ties them all together. (18 and runnin' his own household. Dude has the life.)
  Now that we've got those character profiles established, let me shut up and move the heck on.
  The point of the book is that they're trying to track down this criminal called (smartly, really) "The Machinist". Griffin is hellbent on finding this dude and stopping him, so of course, everyone else must be too.
  I'm trying not to be cynical, because I freakin' loved this damn book. The title alone makes me think "ohh, awesome!" and that cover is perfection of like, epic proportions. But really, this book was predictable. I knew what was going on (small spoiler) with Sam the entire book and I wanted to slap that idjit. Not only because he's a bit of an asshole, but because he's such a damn idiot to Emily, who is like, so freakin' adorable it's disgusting. (Maybe because she's a nerd who knows technology really well. It resonates, okay? Don't ask me the heck why.)
  I am seriously making myself sick with all this rambling. Damn.
  Anyways, Finley is a really interesting character. I LOVED that she could stand the heck up for herself, unlike a lot of YA's heroines who are either (a) in need of rescuing, or (b) passing out more than is probably good for your brain. There's this part in the book when Finley picks up Griffin and I was just so humored that I literally couldn't stop laughing. (Though I laugh at stupid things, so maybe I'm biased.)
  As a character, also, Griffin was cool. He wasn't annoying, at least. (Like Sam and whatever that other dude's name was that Finley was like, spending time with. I legit can't remember his name, and I'm too lazy to look it up.)
  All in all, I did enjoy the book. I'm surprised a little bit, though, because I normally loathe history-related crap in YA (it's much better in adult), but this book kept me entertained throughout.
  Wait! There's more! (I know, you're seriously considering reaching into your computer and smacking me upside the head.) Can I just take a moment to repeat myself and reiterate how awesome that cover is? (I'm done. Promise.) 4/5 stars.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

This Week in Books (28)

A few great releases this week, and since I have the worse headache known to man, I'm just going to get right to it!
  Hope y'all find a new read to pick up at your store/library of choice this week! :D
  Just so you know, the releases pictured come out between today (February 26) through next Sunday (March 4).


Thursday, February 23, 2012

INSURGENT by Veronica Roth: SNEAK PEEK!


Entertainment Weekly posted a sneek peek of Veronica Roth's INSURGENT on Tuesday. Check out a teaser from chapter two below!

Insurgent releases on May 1, 2012.




Insurgent Excerpt

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cover Reveal: WHAT'S LEFT OF ME by Kat Zhang


Maybe you've seen this...Maybe not? I haven't, so hey, it's getting posted ;)

Wouldn't you love to know more about it? (Because if we're being lame (I confess I am such) and judging books by covers, then SHAZAM! You're reading this. Which I've gone ahead and decided for you, based on the cover, btw. I mean, look at it. The simplicity yet complexity alone renders me speechless...Then again, I could be speechless because of my lame-o retainer that renders me *literally* speechless. Bleck. I hate orthodontia!)

I'm going to stop doing that babbling thing and start doing that 'stfu' thing. ;D

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang (Hybrid, #1)
Releases: September 18, 2012

Description:
"NEVER LET ME GO meets HIS DARK MATERIALS in a beautiful, haunting YA debut, the first book in The Hybrid Trilogy.
  Eva and Addie live in a world where everyone is born with two souls, but where only the dominant one is allowed to survive childhood. Fifteen years old, and closer even than twins, the girls are keeping Eva, the ‘second soul’, a secret. They know that it’s forbidden to be hybrid, but how could they ever be apart?
  When a dramatic event reveals what really happens to hybrids if they are discovered, Eva and Addie face a dangerous fight for survival, neither wanting to be the one left behind..."


Happy reading, everyone! :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

This Week in Books (27)

How was your week? Mine was good...At least until Friday when the CW dude said that Supernatural will be off until March 6! BUT in the preview, I so totally saw my favorite character, Castiel, who died earlier on in the season...If these dudes are messing with me, by showing me Cass then making it like, some weird-ass memory, I'm going to be hella mad. He needs to come back, with his angel-awesomeness and kill some nasty-ass leviathan (who overtook his body and killed him...urggg)!
  If you're a fan, you understand. If not...well, please ignore me :D
  I had a nice week, as I said. I finally dragged my eyes away from a book long enough to hit up some stores and buy a much-needed new bookshelf, which has yet to be put together, because the last time I tried putting something together (with the aid of my sister, Julie) it got kind of ruined. My sister and I tried putting her desk together, and while we succeeded, we kind of screwed the screws in wrong, and my sister ended up having to paint (with nail polish!) over the cracked wood before our parents noticed...Yeah, it was bad. (And now she wants to put my shelf together, just so we can mess up something of mine this time! HA! You're funny, sis. NOT.)
  I (again) tried making homemade batter last night...And if my last failure didn't teach me anything, this time it did. My new Betty Crocker cookbook (The Big Book of Cupcakes) all but laughed at me when my cupcakes...exploded in the oven, and overflowed all over the place. The good news is that I changed the yellow-cupcake mix into a strudel like thing with cinnamon & nutmeg, and mixed cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar into the icing and piped it all over the ugly things and they taste amazing...But let's just say I deemed them the "Epic-Fail Cupcakes". They're ugly as all sin, but delicious (as all sin, too...or does that sound dirty? Gah! Sorry!)  :D

I understand you're here for books, right?


  Happy reading, everyone!
I, on the other hand, am stuck reading some strange (read: boring!) YA titles before I can read some more historical romances (adult, not YA. YA historical is bad...like, really bad) ...which are now my favorite thing to read. (Maybe if I hated history a little more, I wouldn't like these things so damn much!)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Winner of ARC Giveaway--Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter


The random-number-generator has spoken...Number 22 is the winner, so...
  The winner of the ARC copy of Aimee Carter's GODDESS INTERRUPTED is Christina B.!
  Christina, you've been notified, so please reply within 48 hours. :)
  Thanks to everyone for participating!
:D

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Synopsis:
"Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
  The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
  The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.
  Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
  In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel."

_________________
My thoughts:
Shatter Me is my new favorite dystopian!
  Juliette is one of the most real, feeling characters I've ever had the pleasure of being introduced to, and I thank Tahereh Mafi for that.
  Juliette's touch is lethal. Literally. She can touch someone (or thing) and either harm or kill them.
  Now, take a moment to tell me where you've ever read a YA book like that.
  Um, no where, because this novel is completely unconsecrated ground. It's original, thrilling and exhilarating.
  I LOVED this book. The beginning of the novel drew me in so much I was shocked, scared and thrilled by the fourth chapter. I was instantly drawn into Juliette's life, and her awful memories. Adam, the male lead is just...swoon worthy. He has tattoos, people. SLEEVES! And he has an eyebrow ring...though he obviously can't wear it in the psych-ward and stuff, but this guy...ah!
  The romance between Juliette and Adam is enough to make you fan yourself. I was totally fanning myself a few times, and I've read some heady shit. This book is an instant thrill ride, and if you don't like it, and you don't enjoy it...don't bother even talking to me.
  I was so amazed that a new author managed to make me fall in love (uh, that sounds creepy. With the BOOK! The book, people). I'm just...lost for words to describe how amazing this book is.
  I realize I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but my mind is stuck on "awesome, amazing, beautiful". Sorry.
  I loved this book so much I'm considering buying every copy in the stores, just so I can give out copies and give my friends the gift of awesome.
  Amazing idea, beautiful characters, and it's written (like David Levithan's Every You, Every Me, with the words crossed out) in a style that I'm really beginning to love in YA. I'm dying for the sequels, because I love these characters so much. 5/5 stars.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars, Safe and Sound

As many of us reading nerds know, Taylor Swift teamed up with The Civil Wars to write a beautiful song for The Hunger Games. The vid's out, and I want you to see it. :D
  Unlike Paramore's Decode, which was written for the Twilight Soundtrack, this video doesn't contain snippet scenes (boo!), but does show Taylor picking up a pin similar to the one Katniss wears throughout the book and movie.
  Take a look!



What do you think? I love how eerie and ethereal this vid looks! :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cover/Description Reveal: DESTINED by Aprilynne Pike



This is probably old news to some, though I'm slow on the uptake when it comes to covers (who knew junior year could be so time consuming?). Anyways, what do you think of the cover for the FINAL Wings novel? Hmm? If you're wondering, I like all the covers, but only because there are no overly-Photoshopped girls, and people who are so perfect you just wanna muss them up to see if they get...well, mussed up.

Details, please. And don't be stingy!

Destined by Aprilynne Pike (Wings #4)
Release Date: May 1, 2012

Description:
"Laurel now knows the truth: Yuki is a rare Winter faerie, the most powerful—and deadly—of all, and she is working with Klea to conquer and destroy Avalon. With Tamani, David, and Chelsea by her side, Laurel prepares for a fight she never thought she would have to face.

Filled with heart-pounding action, sweeping romance, and higher stakes at every turn, Destined is the series conclusion that readers have been clamoring for—with a twist that will leave them breathless.

Tamani looked at her gravely, and reached up to touch her hair behind her ear. He hesitated for an instant, then his hands found the sides of her face, pulling her to him. He didn't kiss her, just held her face to his, their foreheads resting together, their noses almost touching.

She hated how much it felt like good-bye."

This Week in Books (26)

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope your week was to your liking...Though are they ever? Nah... (Wait. Does that imply that my week sucked? Well, it didn't. For once this month my week was pretty okay. And it helps that Criminal Minds came back on this week, and I ended my week with a hilarious episode of my favorite show, Supernatural! *Jensen, Jared, you're invited to dinner anytime. Misha, you too. Even though they so cruelly killed your oh-so awesome character, you're always welcome. Like...anytime. Clothes are optional. Just sayin'.*) Just kidding. Or am I...?
  Anyways (moving on from that awkward confession...), we have a few fab releases this week, with one (the first one pictured) that finally came to our humble little country, all the way from Australia! Can't wait for this one. Oh, and look at the cover for Arcadia Awakens! Hello, can you say GORGEOUS?!
  Shutting up, so you may look at the wonder that is new releases!



Oh, and be sure to enter for a chance to win an ARC of Aimee Carter's Goddess Interrupted! (All you need to do to enter is put your name & email. It's so easy a caveman can do it! ...though why the hell a caveman would have an email is beyond me. My logic is flawed...)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Giveaway: ARC of GODDESS INTERRUPTED by Aimee Carter

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter (Goddess Test, #2)

Book Release Date: March 27, 2012

Synopsis:
"Kate Winters has won immortality.
  But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it.
  Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.
  As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.
  Henry’s first wife, Persephone..."

Want to enter for a chance to win?
Rules/information for entering:
*Must be 13 years of age or older to enter
*Must be a resident of the United States of America
*Contest runs from February 9 to February 16 @ midnight. Winner will be randomly chosen on February 17 and contacted via email.

Entering to win is easy! Just fill out the form below (or click here for live form to fill out in a new window), and after one week a winner will be drawn at random. Winner will be contacted via email, and will have 48-hours to respond before a new winner is drawn.

Good luck! :)
[If you have any issues with the form, send me an email at sierra.thebestwayoutisthrough@gmail.com and answer the questions with a subject line of 'Goddess Giveaway'.]

You may earn up to seven entries. One is automatic by simply entering your name/email address. You may earn one more by following this blog, two more by Tweeting about the giveaway, blog posting about the giveaway, or Facebooking about the giveaway. (These are not required.)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

This Week in Books (25)

Another week, another set of releases!
  How's your week been? Mine kind of sucked! I thought that my psychology class would be like, awesome, but for every unit I have to do like, three research papers! Arrgg. I hate this. I like writing and reading (obvi!) but dude, researching a bunch of stuff that I kind of think is utter CRAP? Nah...I'd rather read a nice, interesting YA novel...like the one I'm reading now! (Fracture by Megan Miranda.)
  Whatevs, let's get to the books! (Also, that giveaway for an ARC copy of Aimee Carter's Goddess Interrupted is coming up soon; I haven't had time to get it set up yet! The book is getting cold and lonely on my shelf; it needs a good home!)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wherever You Go by Heather Davis

Wherever You Go by Heather Davis

Synopsis:
"Seventeen-year-old Holly Mullen has felt lost and lonely ever since her boyfriend, Rob, died in a tragic accident. The fact that she has to spend most of her free time caring for her little sister and Alzheimer’s-stricken grandfather doesn’t help. But Holly has no idea that as she goes about her days, Rob’s ghost is watching over her. He isn’t happy when he sees his best friend, Jason, reach out to help Holly with her grandfather—but as a ghost, he can do nothing to stop it. Is his best friend really falling for his girlfriend?
     As Holly wonders whether to open her heart to Jason, the past comes back to haunt her. Her grandfather claims to be communicating with the ghost of Rob. Could the messages he has for Holly be real? And if so, how can the loved ones Rob left behind help his tortured soul make it to the other side?
     Told from the perspectives of Holly, Jason, and Rob,Wherever You Go is is a poignant story about making peace with the past, opening your heart to love, and finding the courage to move forward into the light."


_____________________
My thoughts:
Wherever You Go is a very beautiful novel, about loss, forgiveness, and love. It tugs at the heart strings with all of the emotional barriers going on, and never manages to bore.
  I love Heather Davis. Her books deal with such real, emotional rides that ring true with many teens. I love how she incorporates her characters into real, interesting story lines and plots.
  And now, she has something even better going for her.
  This book has a very unique writing style. Not only is Heather Davis awesome at writing, but in Wherever You Go, she manages to incorporate all THREE styles of points-of-view: first person, second person and third person. Now really, have you ever read a book in which second person is good? No? Well, you're about to!
  In first person, we listen and experience the novel through Holly.
  Holly is such an interesting character. She has so many layers about her, that each time you uncover something new, it's amazing. She's dealing with the loss of her boyfriend, Rob, all the while maintaining a life and caring for her family. I loved how she can cook--which I relate to--and I love how she's the dependable one in the family. She takes care of her little sister, and her grandfather, who's going through his own problems with dealing with his Alzheimer's disease.
  In second person we read about Rob through the 'you' terms (it gets confusing, but I promise it will become easier a few chapters in!).
  Rob's watching over Holly--watching her take care of her family and mourn him. He checks in on his friends--some of which aren't his friends at all--and follows his family around. He also has conversations with Holly's sick grandfather, because he can see him, which just surprises him, after not being seen by anyone for months. He needs to reach out to Holly...but how can he do that, when her grandfather is seen as sick and crazy?
  In third person, we listen to and learn more about Jason.
  Jason (Rob's best friend) starts showing an interest in Holly, and it's like things change. Of course, Holly is worried that he's helping her out of obligation to his friend--he isn't. She's also worried that she's going to lose him, or that she isn't respecting the memory of Rob by falling for his friend.
  I loved how, not only did we get to read in all of these points of views and styles, but we get to learn and experience each and every one of the characters. (Uh, that sounds weird, but...yeah.)
  This review is long and a little jumbled, so...let's wrap this up, shall we?
  Very interesting, what with the ghost talking to the adorable and hilarious grandfather! I loved Jason--he was cool for "the rich guy", and as mentioned above, Holly was such a fun character. 4/5 stars.
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