Weekly wrap-up: November 23 - December 27

As I'm sure you've all noticed, I took a bit of a blogging break in December. Now that I'm working six days a week between two jobs, I needed some chill time this last month. However, the new year brings another opportunity to start off fresh in all regards so here I am, getting back into the swing of things.

Oh, and since I missed celebrating my blogiversary in December, I'm just going to move the festivities (aka giveaways) to January. Hope you don't mind. :P

Gone Too Far - Natalie D. Richards: 5 stars. Intriguing and thought-provoking, which is just how I like my NDR books. Full review to come shortly.
Rebound (Boomerang #2) - Noelle August: 4 stars. I was concerned about this book because Allison is so unlikeable in Boomerang, but she and Adam work, ahem, quite well together.
Talon (Talon #1) - Julie Kagawa: 5 stars. Love love love love this. While Blood of Eden is still my favorite series of Julie's, Talon is fresh and exiting, and I love how her passion for dragons really shines in this book. I can't wait for book 2!
"From Me to You" (Lonely Hearts Club #1.3) - Elizabeth Eulberg: 3 stars. These Lonely Hearts Club novellas were sweet, but I wanted just a bit more length and substance for them. I wanted them to have a little more story to them, but their purpose seems to be primarily to reintroduce readers to Penny Lane, her budding relationship with Ryan, and, of course, the Lonely Hearts Club. Clearly the main conflict in We Can Work It Out is going to be Penny trying to balance the club and her relationship.
Inspire (The Muse #1) - Cora Carmack: 3.5 stars. I love that Cora is trying something new with a paranormal romance, and I like using Greek mythology-inspired muses for the paranormal because while Greek mythology is not very new to fiction, muses are. I really like the characters in Inspire, but I want more of the paranormal and more conflict. Full review here.
Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits #1.5) - Katie McGarry: 2.5 stars. This was not quite what I expected, and thus, Breaking the Rules is not what I wanted. I was just so frustrated that Echo and Noah couldn't talk to each other. This is my least favorite in the series.
Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1) - Jennifer L. Armentrout: 4/4.5 stars. Really, REALLY like this book. The characters are so much fun, the world is interesting and alive, and the story is fully-fleshed and un-put-downable. There were a few details that I guessed early on, but Jennifer threw in enough surprises that I didn't feel cheated. So excited for book two! Full review to come.
"Until Midnight" (Alienated #1.5) - Melissa Landers: 4 stars. Very sweet novella about Cara and Aelyx's Christmas in space on the eve of their separation. I love these two together! My one complaint is that I could have done with more kissing because reasons.

Along for the Ride audiobook - Sarah Dessen & Rachel Botchan: 3 stars. Nice audio, but nothing super special. Rachel's voice actually sounded a lot like Idina Menzel's, which was interesting.

Currently Reading:
Graceling audiobook - Kristin Cashore. This is interesting because they have a full cast for the audio in addition to some background music. It's working for me so far.
My True Love Gave to Me audiobook - Stephanie Perkins et co. Each story is read by a different narrator, which I like. So far I've listened to Rainbow's, which is narrated by the amazing Rebecca Lohman, Kelly Link's, whose narrator really brings this quirky paranormal-ish story to life, and most of Matt de la Pena's. I'm in love! 

New to my bookshelf this week:
Now that I work in a library, it's suuuuper easy for me to check stuff out myself!
My True Love Gave to Me audiobook - Stephanie Perkins et co
Graceling audiobook - Kristin Cashore
Anna & the French Kiss audiobook - Stephanie Perkins
Landline - Rainbow Rowell
Even In Paradise - Chesey Philpot
They All Fall Down - Roxanne St. Claire
Scarlet (Scarlet #1) - A.C. Gaughen
The Girl with the Windup Heart (Steampunk Chronicles #4) - Kady Cross

Most of these were gifts, but the last two are mine.
Champion (Legend #3) - Marie Lu
Play (Stage Dive #2) - Kylie Scott
Shape of My Heart (2B #3) - Ann Aguirre
Unraveled (Crewel World #1) - Gennifer Albin
The Polar Express - Chris Van Allsberg
Bitterblue (Graceling #3) - Kristin Cashore
A Mad Wicked Folly - Sharon Biggs Waller
A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) - Claudia Gray
*buys ALL the novellas* No, really. I also pre-ordered a ton of stuff.
Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys - Kate Brian. I love this book dearly so when I saw it was a Kindle deal of the day, I had to snag an ecopy!
"Outcast" (Defiance #0.5) - C.J. Redwine. I haven't read this trilogy yet, but I want to binge it soon!
The Outlanders (Fulfillment Saga #2) - Erin Rhew
"Until Midnight" (Alienated #1.5) - Melissa Landers. LOVE this series!
"The Queen" (Selection #0.4) - Kiera Cass
"From Me to You" (Lonely Hearts Club #1.3) - Elizabeth Eulberg
Kiro's Emily (Rosemary Beach #10) - Abbi Glines
Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1) - Jennifer L. Armentrout (ebook & paperback)

Half Price Books:
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
Earthbound (Earthbound #1) - Aprilynne Pike
Die for Me, Until I Die, If I Should Die (Revenants #1-3) - Amy Plum
Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) - Rachel Hawkins
The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton
All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1) - Gabrielle Zevin
Proxy (Proxy #1) - Alex London
A Wirld Without Princes (The School for Good and Evil #2) - Soman Chainani
Hallowed (Unearthly #2) - Cynthia Hand

Book Outlet:
The Winner's Curse (Winner's Trilogy #1) - Marie Rutkoski
Sekret (Sekret #1) - Lindsay Smith
Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend (Broken Hearts & Revenge #1) - Katie Finn
Something Real - Heather Demetrios
Nil (Nil #1) - Lynne Matson
(and more Book Outlet books coming because BOXING DAY SALE!)


The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #3) - Michelle Hodkin. Thanks to my BFF Maura of The Whimsical Mama for this beautiful book + loaning me Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano + my awesome MTSU-inspired hat & scarf PLUS a surprise Epic Reads *book shimmy* tote signed by Laini Taylor and Jim di Bartolo (I ship them so hard)! <3
A Little Something Different - Sandy Hall. This one is thanks to my dear friend Lili of Lili's Reflections!
A Little Something Different - Sandy Hall. This copy is thanks to the lovely Kelly of Effortlessly Reading aka whatisakelly.
Five Flavors of Dumb - Antony John & The Pout-Pout Fish - Deborah Diesen & Dan Hanna. Both of these are from Christina of Ensconced in Lit, who is absolutely darling. I forgot to add these to my book haul picture! :(
Many thanks to Diamond of Dee's Reads for my TBTBSanta package, which held Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski, A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall, and Storm Born by Richelle Mead plus two gorgeous nail polishes and a book light!
On the Fence - Kasie West & A Little Something Different - Sandy Hall. I'm not quite sure who this package is from because I haven't figured it out yet, but this is another Secret Santa I participated in. Thank you, mystery Santa!
Spells (Wings #2) - Aprilynne Pike, The Reckoning (The Taker Trilogy #2) - Alma Katsu & The Rogue (Traitor Spy Trilogy #2) - Trudi Canavan. These are from my sister, who read the descriptions and thought they sounded like books I'd like.
Altered Perceptions  - Dan Wells (plus BrandSand, Ally Condie, Lauren Oliver, Claudia Gray, Aprilynne Pike, Kiersten White, Shannon Hale, and more!). My brother supported the Indiegogo campaign for this anthology, and he gave me both his rewards: this and a 20 minute phone call with Lauren Oliver (which happened about 3 months ago, but it deserves a second mention because duh)!
Looking for Alaska - John Green (signed). My new boss Kristin gave me this. I LOVE working in a library!
Slow Cooker Quickfixes & Cooking Light Complete Cookbook. I am quite the hopeless cook so my mom keeps throwing cookbooks at me in the hopes that I will figure what the heck I'm doing in the kitchen.

For the record, I think it is ironic and awesome that I ended up with four copies of the same book. I mean, this is me we're talking about. I have duplicates of everything! Thank you all for your generosity and friendship! <3

Book Blitz: Until Midnight by Melissa Landers

Happy Holidays, everyone! I’m Melissa Landers, author of the Alienated series, and I have a present for you—a brand new e-short from Disney Hyperion!

UNTIL MIDNIGHT takes place onboard an intergalactic transport, soon after Alienated ends and before the sequel Invaded begins. The story details Aelyx and Cara’s last day together before he returns to Earth to mend the alliance and she continues to his home planet. It’s sweet and romantic, and as a bonus, it includes a four-chapter preview of the sequel, which releases February 3rd.

Oh, and did I mention the best part? IT’S FREE!

Pub Date: December 23, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: young adult, sci-fi, romance
Format/Source: ebook
Status: Book 1.5 of the Alienated series


Cara and Aelyx only have one day to spend together before he returns to earth and she travels to Aelyx's home planet, L'eihr. Homesick and worried about the upcoming year apart, Cara is desperate to make these final hours count. Worst of all, Cara is missing Christmas, stuck on board an alien spaceship. When Aelyx learns that Cara is forgoing her favorite holiday, he tries to recreate Christmas in space by researching traditional earth customs…but a few things get lost in translation.

Book Links:
For international readers, Melissa has put "Until Midnight" on Scribd!

Cara & Aelyx's story begins in Alienated!
Check out my 4 star review here!

Pub Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: young adult, sci-fi, romance
Status: Book 1 of the Alienated series
Summary: Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

Book Buy Links:

Coming soon!
17316770  Pub Date: February 3, 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: young adult, sci-fi, romance
Format/Source: ARC, TLA conference
Status: Book 2 of the Alienated series
Summary: Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.

Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life.

The Way clearly needs humans’ help . . . but with what? And what will they ask for in return?

Book Pre-Order Links:

About the Author:
Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives just outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, "Sweetheart of Ohio" and writes adult contemporary romance as Macy Beckett. For more information, or just to say hello, visit www.melissa-landers.com.

Author Links:

To celebrate this new release, Melissa is offering TWO lucky winners an autographed swag pack complete with a personalized bookplate, mini-poster, bookmarks, and stickers—open internationally! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below. Best of luck, and happy reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NTTBFest author lineup - EDITED!

WHO: Irving Public Library

WHAT: North Texas Teen Book Festival

WHERE: Irving, Texas

WHEN: March 7, 2015

WHY: to INSPIRE lifelong readers 
to CULTIVATE a love of reading
to CELEBRATE teen literature

to CONNECT our reading community

As you guys may know (because I won't shut up about it), the Irving Public Library (aka my place of employment) is hosting the North Texas Teen Book Festival in March. I have been excited about this festival for a VERY long time, much longer than I've been working at the library. I'm thrilled for this opportunity to connect readers with authors, and I hope you are too, especially because last week, we announced the author lineup for the festival. What originally started out as a 25 author festival quickly blossomed, and now that the details are finalized, the festival will actually be featuring FIFTY FIFTY-ONE ya and mg authors! Check out the full lineup right here, along with the adorable clues the festival's social media team created for readers to decode! Those of you who prefer an actual list can check that out after the break, or you can go to the festival's website where you can get an alphabetical list (which can be filtered by genre), author bios, bibliographies, and social media links.

ETA: April Genevieve Tucholke was added to the lineup after the reveals, which brings the author total to 51!








Blog Tour: Inspire by Cora Carmack

Rating: 3.5 stars
Pub Date: December 15, 2014
Genre: new adult paranormal romance
Format/Source: DRC provided by the author
Status: Book 1 of The Muse series

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour, which was organized & hosted by Ink Slinger PR.

Kalliope lives with one purpose: to inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius... but it breeds madness, too.