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Monday, July 21, 2014

YOLO by Lauren Myracle

YOLO by Lauren Myracle
"Through texts and messages, the mega-bestselling, beloved Internet Girls series followed the ups and downs of school for three very different, very close friends. Now it’s freshman year of college for the winsome threesome, and *everything* is different. For one, the best friends are facing their first semester apart. Way, way apart. Maddie’s in California, Zoe’s in Ohio, and Angela’s back in Georgia. And it’s not just the girls who are separated. Zoe’s worried that Doug wants to break up now that they’re at different schools, and Maddie’s boyfriend, Ian, is on the other side of the country.

In the face of change and diverging paths, Maddie’s got a plan to keep the friends close, and it involves embracing the present, making memories, and . . . roller derby! Using of-the-moment technology, Lauren Myracle brings her groundbreaking series into the brave new virtual world of texting and tweets."- summary from Amazon

I absolutely adore Myracle's books, and particularly her Internet Girls series. TTYL was the first book by her that I read, as I was really intrigued by the idea of a book told completely in IMs. I bought the hardcover knowing virtually nothing else about it, and I loved it. This is the fourth book in that series, being released 10 years after the publication of the first book (and 7 years after the previous book, L8R G8R).

For fans of the series, don't let the last sentence of the summary above fool you- this is still just told through IMs (or at least, there's no change in the format of the book). But a lot of their conversations bring up other social media, such as "I saw your tweet/Facebook status. Is everything ok?" or "Loved your Instagram pics!" (not direct quotes by the way, lol).

I really enjoyed being back with the girls (they're so hilarious!) and Myracle touches on a lot of issues that college freshmen deal with- joining frats/sororities, date rape (though this can happen to anyone at any age), being apart from friends/family for the first time, having to make new friends, and so much more. I can also say that if anyone was offended by the first three books (which were set in high school), you don't want to see what these girls get up to in their first semester of college. But personally, I love it and it's extremely realistic.

Now, there are a LOT of issues covered in this book, and unfortunately with the size of the book (only about 200 pages), some of those issues felt very rushed or glossed over. I wish the book had been longer to give the issues more room to breathe (and so I could spend more time with the girls) and perhaps then it wouldn't necessarily feel as shoehorned in as it felt at times.

Overall, I really loved reading this new book and getting back together with these three awesome friends, and I hope Myracle writes a fifth (and more!) book soon!

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Game Over, Pete Watson by Joe Schreiber

Game Over, Pete Watson by Joe Schreiber
"When videogame obsessed Pete Watson discovers his dad is not only a super-spy but has been kidnapped and is now trapped inside a video game, he has to use his super gaming skills and enter the game to rescue him. Will he be able to save his friends and family and the entire world from giant mechanical cockroaches and a massive cyber attack set to take down the world's network? And if he succeeds, who will save Pete from his massive crush on Callie Midwood?"- summary from Amazon

I absolutely loved Schreiber's previous YA efforts and was excited to read this middle-grade debut. It was a very quick read and I went through it in one afternoon. The illustrations in it were funny and really added to the story. It's very similar to his YA books which also feature a spy and a mission but this is definitely more funny than those. The focus on video games too make this an ideal read for young boys; Pete's voice too is very conversational and easy to read, which definitely helps as well.

Overall, a highly recommended read and I cannot wait for more from Schreiber.

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore
"People are disappearing. Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder hears the rumors, but she can barely make ends meet, let alone worry about strangers who've gone missing. Her mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. Thea must make a living for both of them in this sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.

Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club, attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even as he hides secrets of his own.

Together, they discover a new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if Thea and Freddy aren't careful, the masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too."- summary from Amazon

I have been so excited to read this book since it was first announced. I'm a huge fan of Dolamore's and am always happy to hear about new books from her. The long wait for this one wasn't fun but the book is definitely worth the wait. Dolamore does a great job setting up this magical 1920s-ish city and creating the world. The prose is very atmospheric and it really pulls you into the world. Thea is a great main character but what I loved about this book is that Dolamore spends time with a lot of different characters by using third person omniscient. The main action too is centered on the missing people and the sinister underground of the city but there's a cute little romance between Thea and Freddy throughout the book which I absolutely loved.

Overall, this new offering from Dolamore is just as fantastic, if not more so, than her previous books and I cannot wait to read the sequel!!

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
"Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined."- summary from Amazon

I absolutely loved this book by Rutkoski (I keep forgetting it's not her debut, lol); I had heard and seen a lot of hype around it (there's 5 pages of blurbs in the ARC!) and was curious about it. I definitely think it lives up to the hype and I highly recommend it. Rutkoski did a good job going back and forth between Kestrel and Arin, and really making that sexual tension work. They match wits throughout the book and constantly surprise each other; it made the book such a treat to read. There's a lot of action in the book too, especially in the latter half of the book.

Overall, a fantastic start to a new trilogy and I cannot wait to read the next book!

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Darkbound by Scott Tracey

Darkbound by Scott Tracey
"Malcolm Denton wants to be free . . .

. . . of the unbreakable coven bond that ties him to his siblings, of his life as a witch in the hated Moonset coven, and of everything magical.

His longing attracts the attention of a demonic Abyssal Prince who offers Malcolm a deal: uncover the truth about a twenty-year-old murder and the Prince can sever the coven bond.

If only it were that simple. Malcolm soon realizes that working with the Prince means getting everything he ever wanted. But it also means betraying his siblings, condemning the teens of Carrow Mill to the Prince’s dark agenda, and learning that the Moonset orphans’ special bond goes deeper than he ever imagined."- summary from Amazon

In this sequel to Moonset, Tracey switches perspectives to Malcolm, and what I love about him is that while he's gay, it's such a small, accepted fact in the storyline. It's handled in that perfect way- it's not ignored, but it's not a focal point.

Moving on from that though, I also love the witchy world that Tracey has set up. There's communities, rules, a crazy backstory, extremely fleshed-out characters. Even though we've only been in two POVs, the reader really gets a sense of all 5 siblings. The sarcasm present in a lot of Tracey's novels is also welcome because that is my preferred sense of humor, and it's always nice to have that balance of dark and humorous, especially in a paranormal book.

There's some great stakes here in the book, and I'm interested to see where Tracey takes this series next (no new books are announced yet, but I am hoping!). This series is highly recommended!

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.