Monday, October 27, 2014

Cover Concepts: October 26 - November 1

Happy Monday! Welcome to the feature Cover Concepts on my blog. Every Monday I am going to create a post with all of the young adult book covers that are releasing within the week. I will then tell you all what I think about the covers; If I love them, or if I think that they could be better. At the end of the post, I will give you all a chance to vote on your favorite cover of the week. As I pick a lot of my reads based on their covers, this seemed like the perfect feature for me to begin on the blog. Feel free to leave comments with your opinions of the covers as well, and we can discuss them! :]

This Week: I took the week off from Cover Concepts last week because I felt like I needed a break from it. Since it's something that is usually fun for me, when it felt like a chore I decided a break was in order. I am back to it now, though. Here are the YA releases for the week!

1. Waterfall by Lauren Kate - October 28
Teardrop #2
 Thoughts: I am a bit confused by this cover because it does not match the first book in the series at all. On Goodreads it shows a different cover that would match, but that release date shows November 3rd, so I don't know what's going on there. The other cover is much better because I do not like this one at all. I hate that the model's face takes up the whole background, and I do not like the title across her face either. I do think that the title font would be cool if it was done differently.

2. Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid - October 28
Insignia #3
Thoughts: This cover certainly matches the other ones in the series, so that is great. I don't mind it too much, though it is kind of simple. I like the font and that the series title is much smaller than the actual title. I do like the design on the background, and the color is pretty nice as well. It's fine, but I'm not excited about it or anything.

3. Compulsion by Martina Boone - October 28
The Heirs of Watson Island #1
Thoughts: I am pretty intrigued by this cover, actually. I do appreciate when models are smaller and not the whole focus like this, though at first it did take me a moment to make sure that it was people in the middle of the pathway. I think that the background is beautiful and I like the design around the title. I like how everything is the sepia tint as well.

4. Get Happy by Mary Amato - October 28
Thoughts: This is a really poorly done, stereotypical contemporary cover. That is about all I have to say about it. Clearly I am not a fan.

5. Resisting Ruby Rose by Jessie Humphries - October 28
Ruby Rose #2
Thoughts: It definitely matches the cover of the first book, though I am not sure if that is a good thing or not. I like the colors and the dress on the model much better on the first book, too. I feel like they could have gotten much more creative instead of sticking with the same exact thing.

6. Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe - October 28
Earth & Sky #1
Thoughts: I like the illustrated effect of this cover. It seems like a mix of techniques and textures, which is intriguing. I am a HUGE fan of purple on a normal basis, but I do wish that they would have picked a different color to be the main focus as I do not love it here. I think it would have looked even better with a red.

7. Atlantia by Ally Condie - October 28
Thoughts: I know Condie from the Matched series, I own them though I have yet to read them. This cover reminds me a lot of those books, even though they are not related. It has some picture in the middle, a solid color background, and text. Yup, this is pretty much the Matched cover just with a shell instead of a girl in a bubble...

Which cover is your favorite this week? Don't forget to vote!

Which is Your Favorite Cover This Week? free polls

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Stacking the Shelves [24]

I am joining in on Stacking The Shelves, a weekly meme hosted over at Tynga's Reviews. It is an easy way to share what books you picked up that week, and to see what other people have picked up to read themselves.

How to Participate?
  • Create your own Stacking The Shelves post. You can use my official graphic or your own, but please link back to Tynga’s Reviews so more people can join the fun!
  • You can set your post any way you want, simple book list, covers, pictures, vlog, sky is the limit!
  • I am posting Stacking The Shelves on Saturdays, but feel free to post yours any day that fits you.
  • Visit Tynga’s Reviews on Saturday and add your link so others can visit you!


I took a trip to Barnes and Noble yesterday while I was out with a friend, and naturally I could not leave without picking up a couple of new releases. I am very excited to read these two, as I have heard such great things about them both already.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

 Winterspell by Claire Legrand 

The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.

Along with the two books that I purchased, I also received a book in the mail from Merit Press. I absolutely love this publishing company, and they always send me finished hardcovers instead of ARCs, which I think is absolutely amazing. I am so excited to read the one they just sent as well!

How We Fall from Kate Brauning 

Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle's sleepy farming town, she's been flirting way too much--and with her own cousin, Marcus.

Her friendship with him has turned into something she can't control, and he's the reason Jackie lost track of her best friend, Ellie, who left one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst, are searching for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that acting on her love for Marcus would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes her cousin away. The plan is to fall out of love, and, just as she hoped he would, Marcus falls for the new girl in town. But something isn't right about this stranger, and Jackie's suspicions about the new girl's secrets only drive the wedge deeper between Jackie and Marcus--and deepens Jackie's despair.

Then Marcus is forced to pay the price for someone else's lies as the mystery around Ellie's disappearance starts to become horribly clear. Jackie has to face terrible choices. Can she leave her first love behind, and can she go on living with the fact that she failed her best friend?

What did you add to your shelves this week?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Review: Jex Malone by C.L. Gaber & V.C. Stanley

Category: Young Adult
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Merit Press
Publication Date: June 18th, 2014
Page Count: 303
Format: Hardback
Source: via the publisher (thank you!)

Goodreads Synopsis: A famous case. A missing girl. If they find her, will they be heroes? Or dead?

Bored out of her mind during a summer with her police detective father in Las Vegas, Jessica (aka "Jex") Malone starts doing what she does best--snooping. When she meets three new friends who share her passion for crime, from the geek to the fashionista, suddenly, the stifling desert days don't seem so long.

Her dad is never around, just like when her parents were married. But Jex's crew, the Drew-Ids, take the pledge of eternal secrecy and then get down to the good stuff--digging through the cold-case files in Dad's home office.

One of them, the thirteen-year-old case of Patty Matthews, is still a mystery. Finding Patty, who vanished into thin air, became such an obsession for Jex's father that it destroyed the Malones' marriage. So not only is this a big deal, it's personal.

Jex is determined to find out what really happened, and her excitement is contagious. Soon her friends are all on board and so is the missing girl's brother, the hunky Cooper Matthews.

But as they dig up more and more troubling information--more than the cops ever did--they also get the clear message that someone out there wants to prevent the truth from coming out. That somebody is also prepared to do anything, absolutely anything, to prevent it.

Jex isn't afraid; after all, she's a cop's daughter. But maybe she should be.

Laced with humor, toughness, and real CSI investigation techniques, Jex Malone could be the Nancy Drew for a new generation--but with a chilling twist. These wannabe detectives are on the brink of finding out the fate of poor missing Patty. But will they disappear without a trace, too?


Review: It has been far too long since I have written an adequate book review here. I guess a lot of that has to do with the fact that I was in a reading slump for quite some time. While a ton of books have sounded great, and I've even purchased some of them, I just did not feel like actually opening a book and reading anything. I was finally able to change that and read several books that I have received in the mail from Merit Press over the past couple of months. After reading these books (the reviews for the others will come next week), I have quickly decided that Merit Press publishes some really, really good YA books. You should all check them out, they are worth it. 

This was the first book that I received from them, something that was super exciting, and the synopsis was something that seemed likely to pull me out of my slump. I am so glad that I was right about that, too. I am definitely into several crime shows; Law & Order: SVU, Cold Case, Criminal Minds, and the new one Stalker, just to name a few. I was excited about reading a book that seemed like it would be very similar to these shows, and to have a teenage girl in the action trying to solve the crime seemed even better. 

I felt pretty bad for Jex at first. She has to travel to Las Vegas to spend a summer with her dad, who can't even bother to take some time off work to actually spend time with her. Instead, he continues to constantly work, which is what led to his failed marriage to begin with. While Jex is snooping around the house with some new friends, they discover her father's cold case files, one of which is one her father focused on so much that it tore their family apart. Needless to say, Jex could not just put the file away, and instead focused her attention on trying to solve the case once and for all. 

This book had so many wonderful things going for it. I have to admit that I have not read a lot of mystery recently, but this one definitely makes me want to pick some more up. The book was thrilling and had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I never wanted to put it down, always wanting to know what was going to happen next. I also absolutely loved that I could not actually figure the whole thing out. Every time I thought I had it solved, I ended up being wrong. The resolution ended up being a surprise to me, which is something I love when it comes to books like this. It kept me intrigued, and that is very important in a mystery book. 

The authors did a wonderful job building interesting, complex characters as well. Jex had tendencies to be very self-centered, and I loved seeing this flaw in the main character as it is something that everyone struggles with at some point or another in reality. Aside from Jex, the friends had background information and strong personalities as well. They weren't just friends who were thrown into the story and used as pawns when needed, they were developed and played an important roll in the story. After all, they stuck beside Jex when she decided she wanted to solve the crime, so I think that says something about their friendship, even if it was quickly developed. 

As I said earlier, this book was definitely a page turner. The plot was well-thought out and interesting, and it was certainly fast paced. There was no point in the book where I got bored or was not interested in what was happening. I do hope to see more of these characters in future books, as I do think that this wonderful book could turn into an amazing series.

Rating: 4.0/5.0


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Blogger Spotlight: Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

Hello everyone! Welcome back to another Blogger Spotlight. Please say a big hello to Missie from A Flurry of Ponderings. I have been following Missie's blog for some time now, and I absolutely love it! She is also one of the sweetest people around. Once again, I have asked her some questions, and I am going to share her answers so that we can all get to know her better! Make sure to also go by her blog and leave a comment saying hello.

1. Tell us a little about yourself; nicknames, occupation, pets, family 
My name is Missie. I live in Moorhead, MN and work as a mortgage loan processor. I have been married for 5 years and live with my husband and two large fish tanks! 

2. How long have you been blogging?  
I have been blogging on A Flurry of Ponderings since December. This book blog has been such an awesome experience and I plan on keeping it up for a long time!

3. How did you decide on your blog name?
I actually put it into a generator and fell in love with the name. It encompassed so many things that I blog about!

4. What is your favorite type of post? (review, meme, feature, etc) 
I love doing reviews, Top Ten Tuesday and Waiting on Wednesday

5. What 3 books would you recommend to everyone?   
The Hunger Games, Harry Potter series and Throne of Glass

6. What author are you dying to meet?   
Rainbow Rowell, Veronica Roth, Leigh Bardugo, and Laini Taylor just to name a few!

7. What Hogwarts house would you be in? (Or Divergent faction)   
Let’s do both! I would probably be a Hufflepuff at Hogwarts and Amity in Divergent!

8. Favorite Quote?
“He made her feel like more than the sum of her parts.” 
Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park

Tell us 10 random facts about yourself:

1. My favorite place in the world is my bed
2. I would love it if it were summer all year around in Minnesota
3. I get anxiety if I don’t have a book with me at all times
4. I am 31 years old but don’t feel like an adult
5. I love Disney channel shows
6. I hold my breath when I do sit-ups
7. I sleep with a frog I have had for over 10 years
8. My husband and I got married on a whim while on vacation in Vegas
9. I was told I could make friends with anyone, even a bar tap
10. My dream is to write a novel someday
Thanks so much for allowing me to host you on the blog, Missie! It was so much fun to get to know more about you, and it sounds like we have a few things in common, so I look forward to talking even more in the future! Everyone else should stop by Missie's blog and say a big hello, as well! 
If you would like to be showcased on a future Blogger Spotlight, please go fill out the form HERE.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Universal Studios Flordia Vacation - Part 1

I have FINALLY had time to write up part one of our vacation (it's been a month, oops!). You can check out our first day of the trip at my personal blog HERE. Enjoy! :]

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Ten New Series I Want To Start

It's Top Ten Tuesday time! I'm linking up over at The Broke and The Bookish. I am going to try to be better about doing these posts every week if I am able to. At least, I will really try to do them when I like the prompt for the week. It just so happens that I really LOVE the plot for this week. There are SO many recent/semi-recent series that I really need to begin reading. For real, I am way behind! Maybe putting them down in list form like this will help motivate me to get started. Without further ado, the Top Ten Series I Want to Start (that have been released in the past couple of years). 

 1. The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

 2. The Shatter Me Trilogy by Tahereh Mafi

 3. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy Laini Taylor

 4. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

5. The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski 

6. The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

 7. Fire and Thorns Series by Rae Carson

8. Let the Sky Fall Trilogy by Shannon Messenger

 9. The Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger 

 10. The Darkest Minds Trilogy by Alexandra Bracken 

I really need to start reading these strategies if I have a chance of getting to all of them anytime soon! Are any of these series on your list? Have you read any of them already?


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