♦ I Become Very, Very Frightened (and Ready for a Sequel): Mini-Review of I Become Shadow, by Joe Shine

Do you read exciting YA novels and wish something similarly awesome would happen in your life? (Do not even pretend that you didn’t wait for your Hogwarts letter like you waited for Santa. Honesty is key, folks.) Well, I’ve done that almost every time I’ve read one–until I Become Shadow. Ren Sharpe might be the butt-kicking, smart-mouthing heroine I adore, but I don’t envy her life in even the smallest measurement. Dude–she gets a daily injection called fire. If you didn’t already have a fear of needles, this’ll give you one.

Buckle up, and let the review begin.


I Become Shadow

Publisher: Soho Teen
Pub Date: June 10, 2014
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher

I Become Shadow – Joe Shine

Ren Sharpe was your average (or possibly below average) fourteen-year-old girl with a loving family, a lively best friend, and a crush who didn’t know she existed. Overnight (no, literally–overnight) she is taken from her bed a dropped in a building filled with scores of other fourteen-year-olds similarly abducted. 

After four years training in their new prison/home, Ren, Junie (the boy who made life bearable and–dare she say it?–fun), and the others each receive their assignments–protecting someone important without that person even knowing they exist.

Ren is doing well enough until an attack on her assignment in broad daylight forces her to conclude that F.A.T.E., the organization that abducted her, trained her, and (for all intents and purposes) finished raising her, planned the attack. When Ren turns to Junie for help, she knows there is no middle ground: she has either saved them all or signed their death warrants.


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♦ Beach Reads Giveaway: The Darkest Minds, by Alexandra Bracken

July may be ending, but I refuse to let go of summer yet! I’m heading on vacay in just a few days, and taking with me the most important of all beachy supplies: a big stack of books. Book número uno? The Darkest Minds, by Alexandra Bracken. I’ve been dying to jump into this series for ages.

Want to jump in with me? Fancy that! I have a paperback copy of The Darkest Minds up for grabs in the Beach Reads Giveaway Hop!  Read on for more!


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♦ Official Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Girl from the Well, by Rin Chupeco

 Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Girl from the Well, by Rin Chupeco!

Check out my review and the giveaway at the end!

The Girl from the Well

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: August 5, 2014
Pages: 305

The Girl from the Well, by Rin Chupeco

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.


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♦ Feature & Follow Friday #20: Forget the Magic Schoolbus–Magic Armchair Time

Feature & Follow Friday is a blog hop–a way to find and follow new blogs–hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. For more information on how to participate, click the button below. Parajunkee explains it best. : )

This week’s activity:

Armchair Travel! Tell us about your favorite book in a setting you’d like to visit (a real place for this question).

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♦ Creepy and Captivating: Mini Review of Cruel Beauty, by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty was the perfect novel to introduce me to the audio book experience; yep, I’d never done it before. Then came the trip back from visiting family.

7 hour bus ride + book I’d been dying to get my hands on for free from audiosync’s summer program = the only proper way to pass the time on a Chinatown bus.

The reader was perfect for it, too. Wins all around.

Cruel Beauty

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pub Date: January 28, 2014

Cruel Beauty- Rosamund Hodge

Nyx Triskelion is one of two daughters of the noble family in her village. Before she was even born she was promised to Ignifex, the demon master of the land, as a bride when she came of age in exchange for safety for her people and a personal request from her father.

Growing up with this hanging over her head, Nyx is trained and prepared to kill the Ignifex, whom the villagers call the Gentle Lord, once inside, but no one–including Nyx–has ever believed she would survive.

When the inhabitants of the castle and the truths she always believed about herself, her life, and her world are all challenged by the castle’s mysterious inhabitants, for the first time in her preordained and settled life, Nyx suddenly has choices–and she doesn’t know how to make them.


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♦ #BlogBeat: Book Blog Pet Glees

I’ve read lots of lists of bloggers’ pet peeves, whether about books, blogging, or other bloggers. I love these lists; pet peeves are super easy for me to rattle off.

I’m going to try something new, though: pet glees. Wondering what that is? That’s because I made it up. My pet glees are the things I love about  book blogs and book blogging in general.

Just feeling like being positive today; must’ve been something in my morning java.

My Top Eleven (Because Ten Was So Last Week) Pet Glees of YA Book Blogging

1. CommentLuv – I love seeing this feature in other people’s blogs. I love being linked back to without that sleazy feeling that comes with linking to one of my own posts in a comment. Also: the icon is cute.

2. When Seasoned Bloggers Write Back – I have some blogging heroines / role models, etc., and when I comment on their posts, and they respond, I fist pump IRL, peeps. If authors are my rock stars, then book bloggers are my E! News Network, and it’s an awesome feeling when you hear back from your celebs.

3. Bookish Link Aggregations – I love collections of news and great posts for the week all in one place. I read Parajunkee’s Book Bloggerista News every Monday like clockwork, and ChapterBreak.net has Sharing the Bookish Love. <3

4. BEA – I had never heard of BookExpo America until I started blogging. Brittany from The Book Addict’s Guide was helpful in answering approximately a million questions, and the actual conference was helpful for 1) getting books 2) teaching me bloggish skills 3) helping me to meet bloggers for real, both in waiting lines and at the picnic! I will eventually put my totally unnecessary recap up.

5. Thoughtful Comments – When I read comments on non-giveaway reviews or posts and it shows that the person actually read my post I want to throw a fistful of glitter in the air–yes, like the P!nk song.

6. Blogger-made Info-graphics – Another thing that The Book Addict’s Guide does well! These are so neat to read.

7. Tweeting with Authors – Oh, no big. Just playin’ it cool, hanging out on Twitter with my world’s celebrities, and secretly fan-girling in the background. I may or may not have called my mother to squeal over one of more of these interactions.

8. Blog Tours – I do a little dance when I get on  the schedule for certain books. I’ve been privileged enough to be a part of the tours for some  I’d been really anticipating (like Dark Metropolis from Disney-Hyperion–thank you to Shane, from Itching for Books!), and as a new blogger, those opportunities were huge for me. I am grateful to the Tour Hosts who took me in, clothed me, sheltered me, and, you know, let me be on their tours. :)

9. Winning Giveaways – What’s not to like, exactly? I’ve won way more than I ever expected to. I have to give a shout-out here to Amanda from Stuck in YA Books, who hosted the first giveaway I ever won, and it was a monster: a hardcover set of the whole Divergent series. Still grateful!

10. That Feeling of Accomplishment from Learning Something New – Although Tagul just changed it so it no longer works for this, I had learned how to use it embed a Rafflecopter widget into a WordPress.com site, which, as some of you know, is supposed to be impossible. Bethany from Bethany the ngnrdgrl did a tutorial on the long-ish process, which I used for a while–and it made be feel like a total pro. Booyah!

11. Reviewing ARCs – Here’s the thing. I’ve always been an avid reader, but until book blogging, I didn’t know that civilians getting books to read before they came out was a thing. I’ve read a lot of different opinions about ARCs and bloggers, and here’s where I stand: it’s fun. There’s a responsibility there (to me at least) to read and review, but it doesn’t feel like a chore at all. Why? All of this comes down to one thing:

Book blogging is the best and most fun thing I’ve done for myself in years.

What about you? Any book blogging pet glees?