Friday, November 30, 2012

The Grand Finale! Thanksgiving-Away #16 - ARC of Poison by Bridget Zinn! International!

This is it, guys! The final giveaway in my Thanksgiving-Away event!  Thanks to all of you who've been visiting and participating!  For the last giveaway, I'm offering one that's not coming out until March of 2013, but I read my copy nice and early so I could pass it on to one of you! It's an amazing and super fun story--I loved it!

Also, just FYI, the first six giveaways have winners!  The winners are announced on each rafflecopter form, and I'll be contacting the winners later today!

Come one, come all---this one's open INTERNATIONALLY!
ARC of Poison by Bridget Zinn!

(see event kick-off post for more details!) 
• Must be 13 or older
• Last day to enter: December 8, 2012
Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Becky's View: Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini


Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini
♦publisher: Simon Pulse
♦release date: October 30, 2012
♦hardcover, 352 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: from publisher for honest review
Experience the afterlife in this lyrical, paranormal debut novel that will send your heart soaring.When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she knows she must have messed up, big-time. She doesn’t remember how she landed in the afterlife again, but she knows this is her last chance to get things right.

     Elliot just wants to move on, but first she will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she’d rather keep buried. Memories of people she’s hurt, people she’s betrayed…and people she’s killed.

     As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of her past, Elliot must find a way to earn the forgiveness of the person she’s hurt most, and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves…even if it means losing them both forever.

 Review: Kimberly Sabatini uses her beautiful writing style and takes full advantage of the unknown nature of the afterlife.  She gives us a completely free-range world where each individual builds the world around them to what they want or what they need, where you can see someone and get to know someone by the places they surround themselves with,  and where characters know each other by the scent and feel of their soul rather than their outward appearances.  This place is called the Obmil, where a soul goes after each death to learn what lessons they need to from the lives they've left behind through a process called "delving".   It was a fascinating concept, and Sabatini has an undeniably striking writing style.  However,  I found myself really liking parts of this, and really disliking others.

All of the characters in this book had stories and dilemmas that kept me compelled to keep reading, though to be honest, I didn't really connect with or like any of them.  The main character, Elliot, while being outspoken, strong-willed, and passionate, was a bit rash and selfish, and several times her emotional reactions to situations seemed inexplicably dramatic or over-acted.  She is hurting from being rejected by Julia, who is a sort of constant soul mate to Elliot with three lifetimes-full of history between them, but they both seemed to treat eachother with back-stabbing and petty jealousy.  Oliver and Trevor are brothers, but both before and after they know what happened to them in their lives, they are pretty spiteful toward eachother, no loyalty between them. There is a bit of a love triangle here, but I never really got into the connection between Oliver and Elliot as there was nothing behind it.  It was very instalove-y...they literally claim to be in love after the first time they see each other in the hallway and, honestly, I always found Oliver to be a bit "sappy". Elliot and Trevor start out hating eachother and are slowly pulled together by their past connection, so I enjoyed their story much more, but also disliked how easily they disregarded how Oliver and Julia might feel about it.   It isn't until the very end that we start to see these characters soften and grow and let go of some their anger and angst.

Still, whether you like the characters or not, their stories and the lessons they learn feel genuine and heartfelt and hard-earned. The delves into their earthly lives, while at times became a little repetitive, where also where I felt the most compassion for them and what they were going through.  It's a very unique story, lots of emotions flying, and a wholly original take on the concepts of the afterlife, second chances, forgiveness, and redemption.

Find Kimberly Sabatini online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Touching the Surface:  Amazon  •  BN.com  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

Thanksgiving-Away #15 - Win Asunder!

Time for giveaway #15!  This is another one that I ended up with a double of, so I'm passing it on to my lovely blog friends!

ARC of Asunder by Jodi Meadows

(see event kick-off post for more details!) 
•US mailing addresses only
• Must be 13 or older
• Last day to enter: December 9, 2012
Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving-Away #14 - International!

It's time for giveaway #14 in my Thanksgiving-away event!! 
Open INTERNATIONALLY! The prize is one book, ordered or pre-ordered, up to $10.
(see event kick-off post for more details!) 
• Must be 13 or older
• Last day to enter: December 8, 2012
Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting on Wednesay

"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.
Some Quiet Place 
by Kelsey Sutton

hitting shelves July 8th, 2013 from Flux

description: Elizabeth Caldwell has perfected the art of pretending to feel emotion, but it’s always a lie. After a near-fatal car accident when she was a small child, Elizabeth lost the ability to feel any emotion, but along with that loss she gained bizarre abilities: she can see the personified Emotions she cannot feel. Fury, Resentment, Longing—they’ve all given up on her, because she doesn't succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one. Fear. He’s consumed by the mystery of Elizabeth’s past, consumed by her.

And then there are Elizabeth's cryptic, recurring dreams, in which there’s always love, and there’s always death. Haunted by these dreams, Elizabeth paints them, knowing that they somehow hold the key to the mystery of her past.

But a shadowy menace is stalking Elizabeth. Her survival depends on uncovering the truth about herself. And when it matters most, she won’t be able to rely on Fear to save her.
 


My thoughts: First off, I'm not even going to pretend that I wasn't initially drawn in by this gorgeous cover.  Love it so much.  But then I read the synopsis; personified emotions?? I can't wait to see how that is done.  And haunting dreams of love and death?  I'm sold.  Sounds like something I would love. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving-Away #13 - Fallen World Series by Megan Crewe!

Time for the 13th giveaway!  Today I'm offering up the first two books in the Fallen World series by Megan Crewe, The Way We Fall and The Lives We Lost (which isn't out until Feb 2013!)


ARC of The Way We Fall* + ARC of The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe

*FYI: ARCs of book one did not have final cover art. The one I'm giving away has the art shown above.)
(see event kick-off post for more details!) 
•US mailing addresses only
• Must be 13 or older
• Last day to enter: December 7, 2012
Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Amy's View: Amber House


Amber House by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed
♦publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
♦release date: October 1st, 2012
♦hardcover, 368 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: ALA
"I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died . . ."

Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.

But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.


Review: Mind blowing! Captivating! This book leaves you breathless with vacant space in your chest needed to be filled.  Everything an amazing story should have. An amazing story, richly thought out.  A beautiful house filled with rich history and southern charm, ancient family secrets, ghosts of the past, blossoming love, and an enchanting masquerade ball.  I was pleasantly delighted with Amber House and all of its many marvelous mysteries waiting to be discovered just behind the threshold. 
 
Sarah Parsons is thrust into a new and delicate world in her family’s grand Maryland estate that dates back three centuries. And with it comes three centuries of ghosts and mysteries that are waiting to be discovered and solved. Sarah is caught between her old life in Seattle where she find herself ready to go running back to the comfort of the familiar and that of the new intriguing life that awaits for her at Amber house.  Not only does Sarah have to deal with an ancient house and all of its mysteries but she has her icy mother who doesn’t want to deal with the death of her grandmother or the newly inherited house. She just wants to sell the house, forget her childhood and all its pain and go back to the west coast. But Sarah isn’t so sure. The temptation of a treasure hunt for lost diamonds and the allure of the attention from two boys are enough to make her want to stay and see what Amber House has to offer. But what the house has in store for Sarah is more than she is ready for. 


Sarah learns of a new and powerful gift that is passed down to every generation of Amber house woman.  Just when Sarah is ready to leave it all behind, handsome wealthy Richard, his father, and his sailboat launch into Sarah life leaving her struggling between her feelings for him and for Jackson, the boy who lives on the grounds. And not only has Richard left Sarah questioning, but his father has charmed Sarah’s mother just enough to make her want to stay and throw the most elaborate sweet 16 masquerade ball for Sarah at Amber house to woo potential buyers into its magical web. Now Sarah truly is trapped, leaving it up to her to weave through the maze of the house mysteries, watch her little brother and prepare for the daunting and horrible ball. Not one part if this story is predictable or leaves you for a moment to catch your breath. Just when you think Sarah will figure it all out one more twist spins you to a dead end and sends you doubling back through the maze of secrets.
 
Amber House is magnificent and rich in storytelling with a new concept that blew me away. I am left eagerly waiting for the next book in this trilogy.  

 
Yep, you guessed it: 5 wonderfully lavish cupcakes.  Sparkling champagne and Vanilla bean cupcakes, heaping mountains of golden rich buttercream frosting dusted in gold glitter dust. Yummy. 


Visit the gorgeous Amber House Trilogy website!

Or find the authors online: Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Amber HouseAmazon  •  BN.com  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving-Away #11 -Win Silver (signed) and Glass Heart!

Here comes giveaway #11 in my Thanksgiving-Away event!! You can win these:

ARC of Glass Heart by Amy Garvey 
+
 SIGNED ARC of Silver by Talia Vance!

(see event kick-off post for more details!) 
•US mailing addresses only
• Must be 13 or older
• Last day to enter: December 4, 2012
Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Shelf Goodies + The Weekly Nutshell {27}

For New Shelf Goodies, I'll be showing you what lovely books I acquired this week, whether from publishers, or the library, or from whatever half-crazed book-buying binge I happened to go on. :D (Inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie's This Week in Books & Tynga's Stacking the Shelves) The Weekly Nutshell will be just that...my week here at Stories & Sweeties, in a nutshell. (inspired by Ginger @ GReads and her recaps at the end of the TGIF posts) Note: This is not a meme, but I'll be hopping around to any other book haul-sharing posts I come across!

My lovely week in books:
 For Review: 
(Second copy-giving this away here!)
 Very excited for this one! Sounds a bit like a retelling of Turn of the Screw!
 Murder and ghosts and mystery...really looking forward to this one!
Teen Sherlock!! :D  

Many thanks to Macmillan, Penguin, and Scholastic for these! 

The Weekly Nutshell: 

It was a wonderful holiday week with my family---I feel like I've been eating continuously since Thursday! I saw Breaking Dawn 2 again with my sisters, my daughter, and my niece and it was just as fantastic the second time around!  I hope you all have been enjoying the giveaways in my Thanksgiving-Away event!! Just a few more days left! And then it's December--Wow!  Just amazes me how this year flew by!!

Have a great week, everyone. Happy reading!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving-Away #10 - Win After and Angelfall!



It's time for Thanksgiving-Away #10! I have two post-apocalyptic ARCs up for grabs!
ARC of After (this is an anthology that includes stories by Sarah Rees Brennan, Carrie Ryan, Gregory Maguire, Jane Yolen, and more!)
 ARC of Angelfall by Susan Ee

(see event kick-off post for more details!) 
•US mailing addresses only
• Must be 13 or older
• Last day to enter: December 3, 2012
Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving-Away #9 - Win Origin and Nerve!

It's giveaway #9 time!  Here's the prizes: 

1 ARC of Nerve and 1 ARC of Origin

(see event kick-off post for more details!) 
•US mailing addresses only
• Must be 13 or older
• Last day to enter: December 2, 2012
Enter below:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving-Away #8 - Win an ARC of The Dead and Buried!

Happy Thanksgiving Day, Everyone!! 
Today's giveaway is a bit of a surprise last minute prize---I just received a double copy of this in the mail yesterday, so I just had to pass it on to one of you!!

Who wants it?
1 ARC of The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington! 

(see event kick-off post for more details!) 
•US mailing addresses only
• Must be 13 or older
• Last day to enter: November 29, 2012
Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  

This little blog will be quiet for the next few days while I spend Thanksgiving with my family and friends while we are all in the same town and off from work!  The Thanksgiving-Away Giveaway posts are scheduled, so be sure to visit and enter, but other than that, I'll be away from the computer, baking and eating and relaxing, eating again, enjoying my family, remembering how immensely grateful I am for my life and all that fills it...and eating some more. :D  

Have a wonderful holiday!  And for those of you traveling or braving the Black Friday chaos, be safe out there!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving-away #7 - Win Endlessly & Sweet Shadows!

Time for giveaway #7 in my Thanksgiving-Away event!! Two fantastic Harper titles! 
ARC of Endlessly + ARC of Sweet Shadows

(see event kick-off post for more details!) 
•US mailing addresses only
• Must be 13 or older
• Last day to enter: November 29, 2012
Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting on Wednesday

"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.

Under the Light
by Laura Whitcomb

hitting shelves May 14, 2013 from Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt

description:
Helen needed a body to be with her beloved and Jenny needed to escape from hers before her spirit was broken. It was wicked, borrowing it, but love drives even the gentlest soul to desperate acts.

When Jenny returns to her body, she finds that someone has been living her life while she was away. She doesn’t remember being Billy’s lover or defying her family. But now she is faced with the consequences. And Helen, who has returned to warn Jenny—to help her—finds herself trapped, haunting the girl she wished to save.

In this captivating companion novel to A Certain Slant of Light, the love story between Jenny and Billy begins out-of-body—where they can fly and move the stars--and continues into the tumultuous realm of the living, where they are torn away from each other even as they slowly remember their spirits falling in love.


My thoughts: I loved A Certain Slant of Light, so I was very excited to hear there would be a companion novel.  If you haven't read that one, I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving-Away #6 - One for the MG fans out there!

Here's giveaway #6 in my Thanksgiving-Away event!! It's one for the MG-lovers out there:

ARC of The Wishing Spell + ARC of Iron Hearted Violet!

(see event kick-off post for more details!) 
•US mailing addresses only
• Must be 13 or older
• Last day to enter: November 29, 2012
Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving-Away #5 - Win Falling Kingdoms!

Here's the 5th giveaway in my Thanksgiving-away event!! Who wants a copy of:
 1-ARC of Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

(see event kick-off post for more details!) 
•US mailing addresses only
• Must be 13 or older
• Last day to enter: November 28, 2012
Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Amy's View: Ten by Gretchen McNeil


Ten by Gretchen McNeil
♦publisher: Balzer & Bray
♦released: September 18th, 2012
♦hardcover, 294 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: ALA
SHHHH!
Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. House party.
White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.


It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Review:
Once again I find myself loving a book that has very mixed reviews. I will tell you I mainly picked up this book to read next because of the reviews that it got. I was shocked to see a book receive 1 star and then on the next review receive 5 stars with nothing in between. A love it or hate it dilemma. So off I went to my bookshelf picked it up and dove right in. And I am happy to report that I really enjoyed TEN by Gretchen McNeil. A captivating YA thriller. Yes folks, it’s a YA book.  It was written with young adults specifically in mind. So if you are an adult reading this keep in mind before you review that this wasn’t written for your generation. The reading community can be harsh out there.  I give Gretchen McNeil huge credit and a huge virtual hug because you have to be strong to weather the opinions of others.

Now to the book. Ten was an entertaining and mesmerizing thriller. It can hold its own on a shelf next to a Christopher Pike book any day. The book was extremely well thought out and even left me surprised with the twists and turns that it took. I was even pleasantly surprised that late at night when I was finishing this book I caught my heart racing for the main character Meg. I was so wrapped up in the book I almost jumped at a few parts. I couldn’t put it down for hours even as darkness crept into the late hours of the night setting the scene perfectly to finish this chilling book.  The plot was a realistic set up of scenes, 10 teenagers all lying to their parents to have a weekend party at a friend’s summer house. Maybe not one that all teenagers can pull off but there defiantly are those few who would take any opportunity to have a party like this. However this weekend doesn’t turn out to be the party of the decade everyone planned it to be--- instead it turns out to be reminiscent of a classic 90’s horror movie. Ten teenagers trapped in a house on an island, a wicked storm trapping them there and each one falling to death one by one. It sounds cliché, but surprisingly it’s very well done. Some murders I didn’t even see coming even though I was waiting for it.  And to all those doubters out there, the story does have a plot and a reason behind why each person is murdered. It just goes to show how fragile a teenager’s life is and how one night's choices can change your life forever. Definitely a good read. Fast, entertaining and definitely a thriller. Just don’t read this one if your alone in a house along the ocean…. unless you want to set yourself up for the perfect reading scene.
Find Gretchen McNeil online: Website  •  Facebook  •  Twitter

Purchase Ten:  Amazon  •  BN.com  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving-Away #4 - Win The Innocents & Middle Ground

It's time for giveaway #4!! Today I'm giving away these lovelies!
ARC of The Innocents by Lili Peloquin
+
ARC of Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky

(see event kick-off post for more details!) 
•US mailing addresses only
• Must be 13 or older
• Last day to enter: November 26, 2012
Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving-Away #3 - International!

It's time for giveaway #3 in my Thanksgiving-away event!! This one is the first open INTERNATIONALLY! I'm giving away one book, ordered or pre-ordered, up to $15.
(see event kick-off post for more details!) 
• Must be 13 or older
• Last day to enter: November 26, 2012
Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {26}

For New Shelf Goodies, I'll be showing you what lovely books I acquired this week, whether from publishers, or the library, or from whatever half-crazed book-buying binge I happened to go on. :D (Inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie's This Week in Books & Tynga's Stacking the Shelves) The Weekly Nutshell will be just that...my week here at Stories & Sweeties, in a nutshell. (inspired by Ginger @ GReads and her recaps at the end of the TGIF posts) Note: This is not a meme, but I'll be hopping around to any other book haul-sharing posts I come across!

I had a pretty great book week!

 HUGE thanks to Berkeley Press, Scholastic, HarperTeen, Strange Chemistry, and Simon & Schuster!!

The Weekly Nutshell:

As you can see, my Thangsgiving-Away event has begun!! Just a little something I wanted to do this holiday to show my gratitude for all my blog friends and visitors!! Visit everyday for a new giveaway until the end of November!  Also, our reviews of Deity and A Witch in Love are very lonely--they could use a little love...if you have a second, please stop by and leave some comment love.  I love comments like I love pumpkin pie and stuffing with gravy!!!
 
 Happy Reading, everyone! :D  
And for all my US friends, have a wonderful Thanksgiving this Thursday!  Enjoy the food coma!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving-Away #2: Win Adaptation and Crewel!

It's time for giveaway #2 in my Thanksgiving-away!! Today I've got two titles up for grabs:
(see event kick-off post for more details!)

 ARC of Crewel by Gennifer Albin
+
ARC of Adaptation by Malinda Lo
•US mailing addresses only
• Must be 13 or older
• Last day to enter: November 25, 2012
Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway