Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - The Angel Edition

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It lets us all gush about what soon-to-be released books we are jumping-up-and-down excited for.

Ok, this week, I just couldn't pare it down. So I thought I would go with a theme instead. I am loving all the Angel books coming out. So here is a few upcoming releases that I just can't wait to get my hands on:

Torment by Lauren Kate

releasing: September 28, 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

No description yet, but I can't wait!!!

Knight Angels by Abra Ebner

releasing: May 1st 2010 by Crimson Oak Publishing

When I think of death, I don’t see what everyone else does. There’s a soft whisper when you find it, and a voice telling us that everything will be okay.

We never die alone, because they are always there watching over us, protecting us, and guiding us. They are s
ilent, like a simple gust of wind, but it is in that wind that our world can change.

Mine did.

When the accident hap
pened, and my father died, I was there. I saw them. I can’t remember their faces, but I know they weren’t human.

There were two—one
was the murderer, and one was my knight. I was spared. Ever since, the nightmares of death haunt me.

Somewhere deep inside, I know that I should have died.

Halo by Alexandra Adornello

releasing: September 14, 2010 by St. Martin's Press

description for goodreads:
Nothing much happens in Tallow Beach. But when three mysterious teens enrol in the local high school, everything changes. Nobody knows the truth: that they are angels on a mission to save a world on the brink of destruction. When Beth, the youngest, falls for her classmate Xavier, she faces a frightening decision: will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize that they are not they only supernatural power in Tallow Beach. The unscrupulous Jack Thorn sees Beth as the easiest target to further his own dark ambitions. The angels and Xavier must use their powers to overcome darkness - but will Beth survive the battle?

Monday, March 29, 2010

First Chapter of Burned revealed!

How cool is this?? I found this at PC Cast's blog---the first chapter of 'Burned" has just been released to read online! I have been meaning to read this series for a year now, but my best friend LOVES this series (Hi, Amy!!). This one is for you, sweetie!! :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

In My Mailbox (10)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we all share what we got during the week!

I love my library. I really do. I love working there. I love that all these books are free for the taking. Love love love. So I went alittle overboard this week. As usual. :)

~I first spotted Sixty -Eight Rooms at Barnes, it looked like such a neat story. My hubby will probably be reading this one first!
~After finishing Broken Soup by Jennifer Valentine last week, I RAN out to the shelves to snatch her debut novel, Me, the Missing, and the Dead. I hope it makes me love it as much as Broken Soup.
~As for What I Wore to Save the World---I was excited to see this one on the shelf! BUT after reading the first page, I realized it was the third in a series. So what did I do?? Well, I jumped online and ordered the first two, of course!! :) Unfortunately, this was the only title in the series at the library. It looks like such a fun, quirky series and I can't wait for it to get here!
~Beautiful Dead was at Walmart for a measly 7 bucks...I couldn't pass that up.
~And the other two..well, what can I say...just can't help myself when something interesting passes through check-in. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Beautiful Creatures Review & Beautiful Darkness News!!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Released: December 1, 2009

Hardcover, 576 pages


Description from
There were no surprises in GatlinCounty.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Review: Ok, I realise I've been giving out the 5-cupcake rating like candy lately, but I'd have to say...LUCKY ME for picking up such fabulous books! :) This one is very deserving of my highest rating! I loved this books. It's a hefty book---at a whopping 576 pages, any book that long has the danger of dragging in parts. Not this one. Almost every chapter captivates, while others quietly and satisfyingly fill in little bits of story. Now, I have never been to the south except for a very short stay in Florida, but this book put you right into the whole southern experience. The sounds of the night, the culture, the looks and smells; I felt completely submerged. I could hear each characters heavy and charming drawl.
The story itself was amazing, it felt epic and magical, like Gone with the Wind written as a paranormal teen romance. The historical parts added just the right touch and were smoothly transitioned into. I loved the characters, the family dynamics (although it took me a bit to distinguish whether Amma was a grandmother or a nanny!), especially Lena's Uncle Macon and Ethan's aunts. I loved that your were constantly second-guessing which side certain characters were on. The romance between Lena and Ethan was sweet. It made me wonder what it would be like to have your feelings constantly displayed like "writing on the wall" (read the book---you'll understand this reference!) I admired that although Lena knew she was powerful and strong, she always had integrity when her name was being dragged through the mud and got her small revenges in funny yet harmless ways.

I don't want to give away too much. It was wonderful---if you haven't yet, read it!

And while I'm sure you've seen this over and over again around the blogosphere, I want to have it gracing my blog with loveliness as well!! The cover and synopsis to the next installment in this series were recently revealed and its gorgeous! I can't wait for this to release on October 26th, 2010!
Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

75 Followers Giveaway!!!


I am so excited to announce the very first contest here at Stories & Sweeties! I've reached 75 fabulous followers---thanks to everyone who is reading and following here!! I really appreciate it!!

So here are the details:
Up for grabs are three fabulous new April releases! There will be 2 winners:

~First place will get their choice of two books
~Second place winner will get the remaining title

This contest is open to any and all who live where Book Depository will deliver!!

Now for the PRIZES!!

click on each cover photo to get details from

Last day to enter will be April 20th.
Fill out the form below to apply!

Winner will be selected by a random generator.

Good luck, Everyone!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review: Broken Soup

publisher: HarperTeen

release date: March 24, 2009

hardcover, 224 pages

intended audience: Young Adult


Description from


It's how you look at it. . . .

Someone shoves a photo negative into Rowan's hands. She is distracted but, frankly, she has larger problems to worry about. Her brother is dead. Her father has left. Her mother won't get out of bed. She has to take care of her younger sister. And keep it all together . . .

But Rowan is curious about the mysterious boy and the negative. Who is he? Why did he give it to her? The mystery only deepens when the photo is developed and the inconceivable appears.

Everything is about to change for Rowan. . . . Finally, something positive is in her life.

Review: This is the heart-wrenching story of a teenage girl who is desperately struggling to keep her life and the life of her little sister going after the death of her older brother tears her family apart. It took me a few chapters to really get used to Ms. Valentine's style of writing, but once you dive in, it really starts to feel almost like someone standing front of you telling you their story. I fell in love with this story and all of its characters. The mystery of the negative and the mysterious boy who insists that it's her's unfolds beautifully. The people that happen into Rowan's life are amazing, the warmth and support they gave her was enough to bring me to tears at times. There are a few of the those gasp-out-loud moments that completely threw me. There are laugh aloud moments and those moments that just tear your heart out. The story and writing are as near flawless as can be. Read this definitely won't regret it.

I plan to read this one again soon, and have already got her debut novel, Me, the Missing, and the Dead check out from the library to read as soon as I can. I'll be waiting for more from this author for sure!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sweetness on Sunday

Ok, I am hoping "Sweetness on Sunday" will be a semi-regular weekly post here on my blog. I did promise a few sweeties with the stories, didn't I? Sunday my family and I get together for dinner, and I am often Dessert Girl. :) So it's the perfect day for me to share what lovlies I have cookin' up. Not always cupcakes, of course, though they are my favorite. Sometimes I make up my own recipes, sometimes I cook from one of my huge collection of cookbooks. So here we go!

This week I made Peach Vanilla Bean Cupcakes. They turned out quite lovely, I love the way you can see little flecks of vanilla bean in the light fluffy frosting (though you can't see them in the photo! bummer...)Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with liners for 12-15 cupcakes.

1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Whisk these three ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.

1 cup sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp.
1 egg and 1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1 cup diced fresh or canned peaches, well drained

In a larger bowl, mix the sugar and butter with an electic mixer on med-high speed until fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Mix in egg, egg white and vanilla one at a time.

Add in dry ingredients then milk, alternately adding half at a time of these. Mix on low speed just until flour is all mixed in. Carefully fold in diced peaches until spread evenly though batter.

Spoon out batter into prepared cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes. Test with toothpick, it should come out clean when they are done. Place cupcakes on a cooling rack for an hour.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting:

3 egg whites at room temp
3/4 sugar
dash of salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
vanilla bean
Place egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Place on top of a saucepan of simmering water (the bowl should not be touching the water). Whisk the sugar and egg continuously until dissolved- about 2 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the heat, and with an electric mixer on high speed, beat the mixture until it is fluffy and holds stiff peaks, 6-7 minutes.
Turn the mixer down to med-low speed and add butter a small amounts at a time. Add the salt.
Slice the vanilla bean length-wise and fold it open. Scrape out the insides of the bean and add to frosting mixture. Mix on medium speed until fluffy.

Frost the cupcakes when they are cooled and enjoy!! :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

In My Mailbox (9)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we all share what we got during the week!

Ok, here's what I got this week. Everything here is from the library EXCEPT for the bit of awesomeness is the middle...which was gifted to me from sweet Rachael of Book Love: Teen !! Thank you so much, hon! Everyone remember she is having a fabulous 50 follower giveaway at her blog with some great prize books, so go enter!!

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
The Fetch by Laura Whitcomb
The Morganville Vampires: Glass Houses by Rachel Vincent

I have to admit now...the book at the bottom, Glass Houses...I only brought this home so I could test run a few chapter to see if I want to read more. I have to fess up to being a huge "Cover" girl and the US covers of these books compared to the UK covers, well, its just no contest, the UK covers win. So, if I like the first couple of chapters, I am going to order the UK editions of the first few books from Book Depository. Am I crazy? Hope not :)

The Fetch is from author Laura Whitcomb, whose book "A Certain Slant of Light" I read and loved last year. If you haven't read that one, I highly recommend it!!

Ok, what did you get??

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Review: Shiver

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
publisher: Scholastic, Inc.

released: August 2009

hardcover, 400 pages

intended audience: Young Adult


description from
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human ... until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Review: Where do I even start with this one? It was a beautiful story: haunting, romantic, suspenseful, captivating from the very first chapter, and written with an amazing amount of realism for a book about werewolves. Maggie Stiefvater created werewolves like they've never been written before, made them more human than I've even seen them portrayed. Sam's constant struggle to remain human so he could stay longer with Grace despite the oncoming winter is heartwrenching---my stomach flipped everytime he ran from a car to a front door, just waiting for the inevitable to happen! It was also nice to see a departure from the love stories where the two characters are constantly going "I'm so bad for you/I can't stay away from you/I must stay away from you/ no, I must have you...etc, and so on". Grace and Sam just let themselves be in love, enjoying the short time they had together. It was a joy to read!
Every character was written so you could see them clearly in your head, even hear their voices. So many interesting subplots going on and each one felt complete by the end. It was definitely a satisfying story---no open-ending left for a second book...I even wonder if a second one was planned when this one was completed.

But, of course, the second installment is on it's way! I am so excited to read Linger, hitting shelves in July!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday : Guardian of the Gate

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It lets us all gush about what soon-to-be released books we are jumping-up-and-down excited for.

Guardian of the Gate (Prophecy of the Sisters #2)
by Michelle Zink

release date: August 1st
by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

I am so excited for the second in this series. You can see my review of the first book here. It seems this new cover has just been revealed---I looked this one up just a few days ago and it wasn't there so that is my assumption. I do have to admit, I'm not horribly fond of this cover. It WON'T stop me from grabbing this book in the least, but I really loved the style of the cover of Prophecy of the Sisters, beautiful and gothic,... and was hoping it would be something along the same line. Besides that, I really love when I can buy a whole set of books and they actually look like a set when they are perched lovingly on my bookshelves! But, like I said, I'll still be hitting the bookstore on Aug 1st and snatching this off the shelves!

Description from
The ultimate battle between sisters is nearing, and its outcome could have catastrophic consequences. As sixteen year-old Lia Milthorpe searches for a way to end the prophecy, her twin sister Alice hones the skills she'll need to defeat Lia. Alice will stop at nothing to reclaim her sister's role in the prophecy, and that's not the only thing she wants: There's also Lia's boyfriend James.

Lia and Alice always knew the Prophecy would turn those closest to them against them. But they didn't know what betrayal could lead them to do. In the end, only one sister will be left standing.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we all share what we got during the week! remember my little mantra from last week's IMM post? See here. Well...FAIL. Massive fail on my part. Barnes and Noble, you are my downfall everytime. Ah, well, maybe this week. Maybe.

Ok, here's what I got this week:
The Sight by Jude Watson (My first fail--bought a Barnes)
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (library)
Mirrorscape by Mike Wilkes (library)
Bonechiller by Graham McNamee (Rachael, you instigator, you!)
Soulless by Gail Carriger (my second fail---bought a Barnes)

I also have a super awesome book waiting for me at the post office (Thanks Rachael!!! You are wonderful!) I can't get it until Monday because the mail guy missed me today and the office is closed all weekend. Ah, small town livin'..gotta love it. Except when I can't get my book! Anyhow, I'll be showing it off in next weeks IMM!! :)

And I have one word to leave everyone with this week...hopefully somebody gets it.

Ok, show me whats in your mailbox!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cover Story

Holy wow..I've just completely got stars in my eyes over these two covers. The first, I saw over at Undercover Book Lover. The sequel to Fallen, Torment by Lauren Kate, has just been revealed!!! It's even more gorgeous than the first one!! I still haven't read Fallen (seriously it's next on my TBR pile...or maybe next after that. Gah!! Too many books!) , but I'm already excited for the second book! I wonder if it will be made of the same luscious, velvety paper as the first one. If you haven't experienced that..go, find a copy of Fallen and feel it up. Seriously.

Another drool-factor cover, the brand new series by author Abra Ebner, The Knight Angels. This one looks so intriguing...pop on over to the book site and check them out. So cool. As for the cover...breathtaking. Love how they cropped the image and that font is to die for. Yeah, being a digital scrapbooker (another of my fun little hobbies!), I definitely have a thing for cool fonts.
That's all for now!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Sleepless

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It lets us all gush about what soon-to-be released books we are jumping-up-and-down excited for.

Sleepless by Cyn Balog

release date: July 13, 2009
by Delacorte Press

The Sandman! That is one supernatural being I've never seen a book about before (unless I've just missed them, but this is new and exciting to me!). Plus I love the cover of this one---so simple, and peonies are my favorite flower.

description from
Eron De Marchelle isn't supposed to feel a connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce human charges to sleep. While he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn't encouraged to--after all, getting too involved in one human's life would prevent him helping his other charges get their needed rest. But he can't deny that he feels something for Julia. Julia, with her fiery red hair and her sad dreams. Just weeks ago, her boyfriend died in a car accident, and Eron can tell that she feels more alone than ever. Eron was human once too, many years ago, and he remembers how it felt to lose the one he loved. Eron has always felt protective of Julia . . . but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can't seem to reach her . . . Sandmen are forbidden from communicating with humans outside their dreams. But will Eron be willing to risk everything for a chance to be with the person he loves?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Review: The Dust of 100 Dogs

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A. S. King
publisher: Flux

released: February 2009

paperback, 330 pages

intended audience: Young Adult
(my recommended audience: 16 and up---the content of this one is alittle too graphic for the "younger" young adult, in my opinion.)


description from
In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with the dust of one hundred dogs, dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body -- with her memories intact.

Now she's a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.

Review: What an amazing adventure story! The story actually starts at the end, with the death of teenage pirate, Emer Morrisey, so you get alittle glimpse of her love, her enemies, and the curse being cast. It immediately shoots off into a few chaptes of her "dog lives", and then these are thrown in throughout the story, at times when these dog facts pertain loosely to what's going on in the main thread of the story. The book is told from a few different perspectives: Emer's whole story is told from her childhood to her death. And then there is Emer as Saffron, the teenage girl she has reincarnated into. Through Saffron, we get to see what it would be like to be someone who has seen and learned of the world a hundred times over, and now has to deal with a (somewhat) normal family in the 1980s. It's absolutely hilarious to hear what is going on in her head when she gets frustrated or angry with the people around her. She talks nice enough on the outside, but in her thoughts she is slicing off their kneecaps and tearing out their eyeballs.
We also get the perspective of a disgusting middle aged jerk of a man, whom, for awhile of reading, I really had no idea why I was being subjected to the vile things going on in his head. While I have to say, these chapters were the least enjoyable and I hated this guy (as is only right to feel that way about a villian!), it all made sense in the end and pulled the story together beautifully!
The one thing I didn't like about this story, is that in the beginning I thought of Saffron as just Emer reincarnated, Emer the pirate having to deal with the challenges of modern daily teenage life. Toward the end, they were written as two seperate people, almost like Emer's soul was inhabiting the body of a teenager named Saffron, like a split personality almost. The "spirit of Emer" would even disappear sometimes. To me, this one little detail didn't flow with the way the character was written from the beginning.
Still, this story had it all---adventure, true love, international chases, torture, treasure, magic, adventure on the high seas! It's all in there. Highly recommend this one!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we all share what we got during the week!

All of this fun stuff is from the library--except for Firespell, which after a few weeks of picking it up off the Barnes shelf and putting it back down, I finally bought it :)

Prophecy of the Stones by Flavia Bujor
Frozen Fire by Tim Bowler
Angel by Cliff McNish
All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
Firespell by Chloe Neill

I will stay away from Book Depository and Barnes this week.
I will stay away from Book Depository and Barnes this week.
I will stay away from Book Depository and Barnes this week.

Before I Fall, Forget-Her-Nots, & Aries Rising are reeeeally calling my name.
Wish me luck in fighting the temptation :)

So what's everyone got in their mailboxes and library bags this week??

Friday, March 5, 2010

Review: Prophecy of the Sisters

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

publisher: Little, Brown and Company

released: August 2009

hardcover, 352 pages

intended audience: Young Adult


Description from inside flap:
An ancient prophecy divides two sisters. One good. One evil. Who will prevail?

Twin sisters, Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other. the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents' deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.

Lia and Alice don't know whom they can trust.

They just know they can't trust eachother.

Review: The cover of this immediately caught my eye. Two stone statues stand side by side with heads bowed with a bright red rose curled around them . So eerie. I knew I had to read this one, just based on the cover and the description on the front flap. So I crack this one open and begin---and get a nice little surprise! I had no idea from anything that I had read or seen that it would be set in the Victorian era! Love that! This was a perfect setting for this story, haunting and intriguing, and I immediately pictured them in a "Wuthering Heights"-style manor with sweeping grounds and grey skies overhead. You are introduced to the two sixteen-year-old twins and their family in the somberest setting possible, at their father's funeral, and go on to learn more about how they are intertwined in an ancient prophecy that will place the two girls against each other in a fight against good and evil. The plot is amazing and creeps out at a nice pace, with some amazing twists that suddenly turn everything you are assuming on its head! I absolutely love the characters, Lia and the friends she makes, their sweet brother Henry, Alice, who is a great puzzle in herself to figure out if she is truly bad or if she is under the control of some other evil force. The amazing story continues to unfold until the very last page and beyond...

The second book in this series, Guardian of the Gate, comes out in August 2010. It's definitely at the top of my wish list!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Waiting on Wedneday - Siren

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It lets us all gush about what soon-to-be released books we are jumping-up-and-down excited for.

Siren by Tricia Rayburn
release date: June 8th, 2010 by EgmontUSA

This one sounds so eerie---and the cover is fantastic--her look is so intense!

description from
Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything—the dark, heights, the ocean—but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is, until Justine goes cliff-diving one night near the family’s vacation house in Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

Though her parents hope that they’ll be able to find closure back in Boston, Vanessa can’t help feeling that her sister’s death wasn’t an accident. After discovering that Justine was keeping a lot of secrets, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor, hoping that Justine’s boyfriend might know more. But Caleb has been missing since Justine’s death.

Soon, it’s not just Vanessa who’s afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes host to a string of fatal, water-related accidents in which all the victims are found, horrifically, grinning from ear to ear.

Vanessa turns to Caleb’s brother, Simon, for help, and begins to find herself drawn to him. As the pair try to understand the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance—and will change her life forever.

A seductive paranormal romance full of unexpected twists, Siren is certain to make a big summer splash.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday, Sweet Tuesday...

a.k.a. books that came out today that I am really excited to read!!
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White

Something—some power—is blooming inside Laurel. She can use flowers to do things. Like bringing back lost memories. Or helping her friends ace tests. Or making people fall in love.

Laurel suspects her newfound ability has something to do with an ancient family secret, one that her mother meant to share with Laurel when the time was right. But then time ran out.

Clues and signs and secret messages seem to be all around Laurel at Avondale School, where her mother had also boarded as a student. Can Laurel piece everything together quickly enough to control her power, which is growing more potent every day? Or will she set the stage for the most lovestruck, infamous prom in the history of the school?

Aries Rising by Bonnie Hearn Hill

Aquarius Logan McRae is a high school sophomore in Terra Bella Beach, CA and has been working all semester to impress her teachers in order to get into the summer writing camp she desperately wants to attend. But when this ordinary girl finds an extraordinary book, Fearless Astrology, her life is changed forever. Applying what she’s learned about the zodiac, she lands her own column in the school paper and a date with the hottest guy in school!

But when Logan threatens to catch the members of a secret society called The Gears, who have been vandalizing school property by reading the stars, she quickly learns that she is in over her head. Will Logan be able to catch The Gears, save her love life, keep her newspaper column, and get into the writing camp of her dreams all through the use of astrology?

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

The Returners by Gemma Malley

London teenager Will Hodge is miserable. His mother is dead, his father's political leanings have grown radical, and his friends barely talk to him. To top it off, he's having nightmares about things like concentration camps. Then Will notices he's being followed by a group of people who claim to know him from another time in history. It turns out they are Returners, reincarnated people who carry with them the memory of atrocities they have witnessed in the past. Will realizes that he, too, is a Returner. But something about his memories is different, and with dawning horror, Will suspects that he wasn't just a witness to the events, he was instrumental in making them happen. Set in the near future, with the world on the verge of a new wave of ethnic cleansing, Will must choose to confront the cruelty he's known in his past lives, or be doomed to repeat it…

Review: Ash by Malindo Lo

Ash by Malinda Lo

publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

released: September 2009

hardcover, 272 pages

intended audience: Young Adult


Description from

In the wake of her father's death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash's capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

Review: When I had finished the last page of this book and let the whole story sink in, it instantly become one of my favorites. One of the best stories I've read in a long time. Dear Miss Lo: please write more books so I can devour them all! This was written in a beautiful style that, to me, made it feel like a classic fairy tale. In this wonderful retelling of Cinderella, the old story becomes even more literally a "fairy tale", with some very interesting twists thrown in. I love how the author took a tale that has been rehashed again and again (and again!) and made it fully original and personal to herself, and in doing so, showed her readers that love comes in so many shapes and forms, from the love of a mother, to otherworldly and sometimes completely unexpected places. I also found the character of Ash (Aislynn--I loved her name!) to be very courageous and independent, despite being forced to serve her stepmother and awful stepsister, while dealing with grief and many unexpected emotions. She was written as a girl who could really hold her own and think for herself, and I love that little twist. The copy I read was from the library, but without a doubt, I will be purchasing a copy to add to my personal collection very soon!