Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blogger Spotlight: Desert Island Books

Welcome to our blogger spotlight week!!! We have some new bloggers that have joined us recently and are wanting all of you to get to know them better! Plus, we've been asked several times for recommendations on what people should be reading! Therefore, new bloggers + recommendation requests = Blogger Spotlight: Desert Island! (dun, dun, dun)
If you want to join in on the fun-- blog your top 5 YA books (and feel free to add 5 adult if you want). Then comment with your link, and we will repost it!

Hello friends! I'm Brittany (the baby sister). I'm in my early twenties, a theatre artist by trade, teacher by day, and writer by night. I'm obsessive, loud (like... could be considered a super power loud), addicted to reading, and a world class procrastinator. Things I love besides YA books: Harry Potter, So You Think You Can Dance, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy, Musicals, Nickel Creek, Parachute, all things Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman, basketball, and lanterns. If you want to know more about me (or my writing), visit my website (and explore my other blog, twitter, facebook, etc). Now it's time to get to know me via my desert island book picks. If I were stranded on an island, and could have 5 YA books, they would be: 

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Close Runner ups

Heist Society by Ally Carter
Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Adult Fiction Desert Island Books

The Awakening             Demian               Water for Elephants 
by Kate Chopin              by Herman Hesse          by Sara Gruen

If you enjoyed this edition of Desert Island Books, check out the Desert Island on the blog of YA Sisterhood bestie-- Brooke of Brooke Reports! 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Blogger Spotlight: Desert Island Books

Welcome to our blogger spotlight week!!! We have some new bloggers that have joined us recently and are wanting all of you to get to know them better! Plus, we've been asked several times for recommendations on what people should be reading! Therefore, new bloggers + recommendation requests = Blogger Spotlight: Desert Island! (dun, dun, dun)
Hello everyone! My name is Beth and I am one of the newbies to the YA-Sisterhood blog. I am so excited to be a part of this blog and especially with my dear dear friend AmyG. Here's a little info about me. I am the proud stay-at-home mother of three beautiful and very busy girls and wife to the most amazing husband ever. Last summer, I was bed-ridden due to a serious injury. After watching too much TV, our nanny gave me Twilight and told me to read it. At that moment, I was hooked on YA books! So now that I am back at full capacity, I am still reading everything I can get my hands on and having way too much fun drooling over all these sexy fictional boys!

I'm sure all of you know how to play Desert Island Books. Basically, what are the 10 books or series you would bring with you were to live out the rest of your life on a desert island! Here are my obsessive favorites! Warning!!! All of these books may cause crazy obsessions, drooling, swooning, and/or rapid heart rate!

Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
Specificially books 1-3; Book 4 I would use as kindling to start the campfire!

Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Tempus by Tyra Lynn
(look for my review of this amazing book next week)

Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon (not YA, but LOVE this series)

Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough (not YA, but a must-read)

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (not YA)

I would want to bring the motion picture version of this book so I could dream of Robert Pattinson while on my island!

Finally, I would bring the book I have read so many times that I have lost count. In fact, I have the whole thing memorized..... Mr. Brown can Moo can You? by Dr. Seuss

As you can tell, I am a sucker for books with a totally hot irresistable guy....especially if he's "off limits"! I hope you all enjoyed my list; it has been fun coming up with my favorite books! Don't forget, we would love to hear your thoughts on these books. Also, if you are going to do a Desert Island Books list, please leave the list and/or the link to your blog in the comments section. 

Blogger Spotlight: Desert Island Books

Welcome to our blogger spotlight week!!!  We have some new bloggers that have joined us recently and are wanting all of you to get to know them better!  Plus, we've been asked several times for recommendations on what people should be reading!  Therefore, new bloggers + recommendation requests = Blogger Spotlight: Desert Island! (dun, dun, dun)

So, since I'm a veteran on the YA-Sisterhood, I'll kick this week off!  My name is Amy.  I'm the oldest sister that actually sadly looks like the youngest!  I get weird looks all the time when I'm out shopping because I look like a 16 year old that has 3 kids!  Everyone wants to look 25, but you never hear anyone say, I wish I looked like I was 16!  I tend to get obsessed with things easily which does runs in our family hence the YA book blog!  Blogging gives me a great outlet for my obsession, and lets my husband have a break from hearing how amazing all these fictional boys are!

I'm sure all of you know how to play Desert Island Books.  Basically, what are the 5 YA books or series you would bring with you were to live out the rest of your life on a desert island!  Here are my obsessive favorites!  Warning!!!  All of these books may cause crazy obsessions, drooling, swooning, and/or rapid heart rate!
The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare
The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
Divergent by Veronica Roth
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Very close Honorable Mentions:

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

However, because there are some amazing books that I love dearly that are not YA, I must represent them here with another list!  Here are my 5 Adult Desert Island Books.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
especially books 1-4
Into the Wilderness Series by Sara Donati
especially books 1, 2 and 6

***Be sure to go check out more "Desert Island Books" today over at our good friend Rachel's Blog, Fiktshun!***

***Please leave a comment telling us about your Desert Island books or do a post of your own and leave a link!***

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Book in Quotes: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Perhaps one of my favorite things about Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly is her masterful manipulation of language. This book is teeming with fantastic quotes. Here are a few of my favorites. I’ve divided them into quotes by Andi (the present day Narrator) and Alexandrine (the narrator during the French Revolution scenes) and a few miscellaneous:


"She's got a big belt around her hips. It has a shiny buckle with PRADA on it, which is Italian for insecure."

"I don't like hope very much. In fact, I hate it. It's the crystal meth of emotions. It hooks you fast and kills you hard.”

“Why is it that weeks and months and years go by so quickly, all in a blur, but moments last forever.”

“If I could only go back… All I’d need is a minute. Not major time. Not the kind of time it takes to compose a symphony. Build a palace. Fight a war. Just a few crappy seconds. The kind of time it takes to tie a shoe. Peel a banana. Blow your nose. But I haven’t got it. And I never will.”

"It's a good thing you and your pills weren't around a few hundred years ago or there never would have been a Vermeer or a Caravaggio. You'd have drugged "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and "The Taking of Christ" right the hell out of them."

“No one will tell me music’s not enough, when music’s the only thing I’ve got.”

"I play until my fingers are blue and stiff from the cold, and then I keep on playing. Until I'm lost in the music. Until I am the music--notes and chords, the melody and harmony. It hurts, but it's okay because when I'm the music, I'm not me. Not sad. Not afraid. Not desperate. Not guilty"

“What is it that mends broken people? Jesus? Chocolate? New Shoes? I wish someone could tell me. I wish I had an answer.”

"I have done this--made the sad prince laugh. Made his grieving parents smile. None but me. Think you only kings have power? Stand on a stage and hold the hearts of men in your hands. Make them laugh with a gesture, cry with a word. Make them love you. And you will know what power is." –Alexandrine
"There were nights when I got nothing, [but] I still played. With no one to hear me and no one to pay me, and it did not matter.

"On those nights, the words were for me alone. They came up unbidden from my heart. They slipped over my tongue and spilled from my mouth. And because of them I, who was nothing and nobody, was a prince of Denmark, a maid of Verona, a queen of Egypt. I was a sour misanthrope, a beetling hypocrite, a conjurer's daughter, a mad and murderous king.” –Alexandrine

“Be careful what you show the world. You never know when the wolf is watching.”

"Cry your grief to God. Howl to the heavens. Tear your shirt. Your hair. Your flesh. Gouge out your eyes. Carve out your heart. And what will you get from Him? Only silence. Indifference. But merely stand looking at the playbills, sighing because your name is not on them, and the devil himself appears at your elbow full of sympathy and suggestions. And that's why I did it....Because God loves us, but the devil takes an interest." –Alexandrine

“Poor Ophelia. She was the smartest of them all… She alone knew that one must meet the world’s madness with more madness… For mad I may be, but I will never be convenient.”

"One expects decent people to stand up for the good of all. Decent people shut their doors and hide behind them as decent people do. Massacres could never happen if it weren't for decent people." –Alexandrine

“I am not afraid of beatings or blood anymore. I’m not afraid of guards or guillotines.

There is only one thing I fear now—love.

For I have seen it and I have felt it and I know that it is love, not death, that undoes us.”

“It goes on, this world, stupid and brutal.
But I do not.
I do not.” –Both Andi and Alexandrine

"Life’s all about the revolution, isn’t it? The one inside, I mean.” -Virgil

Want to know more about Revolution? See our Review here. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Reviewed by: Baby Sister Brittany
The Sisters say: Remarkable, Rewarding, READ IT!!!!

Summary (from goodreads):
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break. 

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape. 

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present. 

Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

You must give me a second to collect my thoughts, friends. I have so many feelings about this book that are honestly inexpressible.

Do you know that feeling you get when you read a book so fantastic and so moving that it makes you want to do something crazy or amazing and just experience life to it’s fullest? Or for those of you who are writers—a story that is so captivating that the desire to find a similar story that is your own is completely overpowering.

The first time I read Revolution, I simultaneously wanted to read it again, write non-stop until I was done with a book of my own, and drop everything and move to Paris.

The second time I read it—I felt all the same things. That to me is the mark of a truly great book. There are books that are just okay, others that are entertaining, some that are addicting, and a few that stay with you constantly like an imprint on your heart. This is one of those books!

Andi might put some readers off at first. She’s been through a lot—she’s disillusioned, abrasive, and reckless. I tend to be a bit pessimistic and bitter (what can I say—it’s my own brand of humor), and I latched on to Andi like a kindred spirit. But if she’s not your type of character—PLEASE, PLEASE STICK WITH HER!

Jennifer Donnelly’s writing is superb—truly beautiful, imaginative, and humorous. When I read the book the second time—I marked all of my favorite lines. Let’s just say it looks like a five year old tried to cover all the pages in my book.

The setting was gorgeous. I mean, it’s Paris!!! But more than that… it’s a very realistic Paris. It doesn’t feel like a tourist visit. You’ll see Paris—good, bad, high, and low. Virgil, Andi’s love interest, is from a really rough neighborhood, and his frustration, sadness, anger, desperation, and hope are almost palpable. This is very much so a book about music, and Virgil’s raps were one of my favorite parts. I’m dying for someone to actually record the original music in this book because I WANT IT!!!! The romance, while not the center focus of this book, was addicting. I adore Virgil. He was just so different than most YA boys. He was mature and driven and stuck in a terrible situation. Please—I need some fanfiction writer out there to write me some Virgil/Andi fanfic because one book just wasn’t enough.

This novel is really set in two times—present day and the French Revolution. The story of Alexandrine set in the past was so fascinating. She’s just a girl who wants to be an actress, but she finds herself at the center of one of the bloodiest periods in history.

Most of the time when I read a book with more than one narrator, I tend to prefer one narrator over the other, and I find myself flipping forward in the book to see how much I have to read until I get back to the “good story.” I know you all have done this—don’t lie! But with Revolution—I LOVE BOTH STORIES. I was excited to read them both, and I can’t imagine the story without either of them.

I loved the character, the romance, the history, the setting, the language. I loved it all.

I’m not even sure this review is coherent. This book just makes me feel so much, that I have trouble putting it into words. It’s one of those books that I would honestly call life-changing. I’m sure I will continue to read it for much of my life. It is engraved on my memory (and it’s quotes are tacked on my wall).

I will end with a final, bold comparison. If you’ve read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and you loved it—read this book. They both have a slight historical setting, but other than that there is no real resemblance other than the feelings they inspired in me. I finished both of those books and thought, “I’m going to write a book that good some day, or I will die trying.”

I hope you read this book, and love it. If you do, please come back and comment and tell me what you think! And if this review hasn’t convinced you—come back tomorrow for another post entitled “Book in Quotes: Revolution!” Where I’ll be posting some of my favorite quotes from the book!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Weekend Spotlight: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

In the future weeks we have some special plans coming up on the blog.  We'll have some spotlight weekends where we are going to spotlight particular books in hopes that are readers will pick up these amazing books!  We are also planning some other features that will let you get to know each of our bloggers a little better and maybe some of our blogger friends!  Not to mention we will be apart of the Banned Books Week Hop AND, AND, AND COMING IN OCTOBER WE WILL HAVE OUR NEXT YA SISTERHOOD TOURANMENT!!!!  You still have time to vote here or on the side bar of our blog for which tournament you would like to see next on the YA Sisterhood.  So please stay tuned for all the great things we have coming!

Our first weekend spotlight will be of Jennifer Donnelly's Revolution.  We will have posts all weekend highlighting this amazing book.  If you are looking for amazing weekend read, we encourage you to pick up this life-changing book!  Be prepared to not leave your house until you are finished!!!   

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Pick up your copy today!

Summary from

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break. 

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape. 

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present. 

Come back tomorrow for more on Revolution!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Reviewed by: Baby Sister Brittany
Release Date: Already on the shelves! 
The Sisters say: Puzzling, Worrisome, but Readable

Gosh, I think I might be actually incapable of writing this review. Does anyone else find it hard to write a review for a book that you’re really really addicted to? I feel like I’m so obsessed that I might not have the clearest opinion, but I've tried.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Covers to Die For

Covers to Die For is back!!!!  Now that our Crush Tourney has come to an end, we suddenly find more time on our hands!  What are we to do with that time, you ask?  Well, spend our days coveting books not yet released or ones that we don't have and drooling over the amazing covers!  Wow, have I found a lot recently!  Check these brilliant covers out!!!

Tempest by Julie Cross
Release date:  January 3, 2012
Summary from

The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
Already available
Summary from

"These violent delights have violent ends And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
The most tragic love story in history . . .
Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.
The Willows: Haven
by Hope Collier
Release date: sometime in 2011
Summary from

When tragedy strikes, seventeen year-old Ashton Blake sets out on a cross-country road trip, leaving the comforts of Malibu for the mountains of Kentucky. Along the way, she encounters Gabe Willoughby—the mysterious drifter with eyes like the sea and a knowing smile. Getting to know Gabe raises questions about her past. But no secret can be buried forever, and Ashton soon finders herself in a world where water is air and myth becomes reality.

Just as Ashton comes to accept her newfound heritage, she’s summoned to fulfill a treaty laid down centuries before — a treaty that will divide her love and test her loyalty. In the end, her future isn’t her biggest concern, her humanity is. To run may mean war, but is she strong enough to stay?

All 3 of these look amazing!!!  Go add them to your TBR pile!  I can't wait to read them!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along. Here's what you do:

Pick up your current read

Open to a random page

Share two (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others) Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser!

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Published date: July 26, 2011

"Staring at Connor's puckish smile, I knew I'd seen it before-even if the memory was fuzzy. He returned my gaze, eyes sparkling with mischief. I balled my fist, gauging whether I'd get the most satisfaction out of hitting him in the gut-or just a bit lower. If he wanted to avoid a fight, he'd need to bite his tongue around me." (page 21)

"The sound of his voice drew me from dreams haunted by cries of anguish and slithering shadows that threatened to engulf me. For a moment I couldn't remember where I was. I only heard the warmth of Shay's voice and caught the subtle allure of his scent. I started to lean forward, aching for his closeness." (page 247)

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
Release date: September 27, 2011
Published by: Harper Collins
Received from: Netgalley

On the night of Skye's seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites--like fire and ice--Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye's life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move--only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can't help falling for, and Devin, who she can't stay away from, the consequences of Skye's choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

Summary from

Yes, another fallen angel book. You might be thinking right now, "Been there, done that!" WAIT! This takes the whole fallen angel thing to a completely different level! I really enjoyed Davies' take on angels. She kinda leaves the whole God/heaven/hell thing out of it and just takes angels and expounds on their beauty, strength, and power. Seriously...these angels will make you want one all for yourself! I'd love to curl up in some feather-winged boy of my own!

A few things I loved about this book:
-It's set in gorgeous Colorado. it's like 110 degrees at my house right now. I totally felt like I got to go on vacation to the snowy Rockies where you have to layer your clothes and wear boots and drink coffee and hot chocolate to keep warm! This was a welcome relief from the heat!!!
-No lie...I wanted to squeeze the secondary characters. I know Twilight is, but remember how you felt about Bella's friends at school...that's how I felt about these characters.  Oblivious to what's going on around them...but awesome all the same.
-The love triangle rocks.  Okay, at first I kinda felt like...these guys are really weird.  But they grew on me!!! And just when I felt like I loved one of them more, the other would do something that had me melting!  And their hatred for each other makes it all the more juicy!
-The ending puts the shock in shocking...that's all I'll say about that...

I definitely recommend this book. It's a nice easy read that will make you wish you were snowed-in so no one could stop you from reading beginning to end in one sitting!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Descended by Blood by Angeline Kace

Descended by Blood (Vampire Born #1)
by Angeline Kace
Release date:  August 26, 2011
Published by: Accendo Press
Received: from the author for review
Reviewed by: AmyG (big sis)

Summary from

Brooke Keller is a high school junior who has never spent much time living in one place. She is finally in a town long enough to almost snag the boy of her dreams, until her life is threatened after killing a fanged man in his attempt to kidnap her. Brooke begins a dangerous journey in an effort to find out who is after her and how to stop them. In a world with powerful and prejudiced vampires, Brooke must tap into the side of her that she never knew existed at the risk of losing her life in order to save it.

I must say that ever since the big Twilight craze I have shied away from vampire books.  Not that I didn't like them, I was just vamp'd out!  However, after reading this book, I realized that maybe I need to start giving Vampires a 2nd chance!  If you are a fan of Morganville Vampires series, Bluebloods, and the Evernight series then this will be right up your alley!

Descended by Blood has it all, teenage drama, steamy love triangle, supernatural powers, paranormal beings, lots of action, and big mysteries!  The characters in the book are actually real teenagers.  In many of the YA novels, the characters seem more like 30 year olds trapped in a teenage body.  They are dealing with real adolescent issues and crazy teen emotions.  With that, they can be aggravating  at times, but it was refreshing to see a correct portrayal of the teenage mind.  I kept thinking, "I remember feeling just like this when I was a teenager!"

The love triangle has that impossible choice between the hunky, sweet jock or the new, mysterious paranormal guy that swoops in to save the day.  Honestly the best of both worlds!  Even after reading the book, I honestly don't know who she will pick!  I definitely have my favorite, but my lips are sealed!  You'll have to read the book!

This book has a very interesting story and back story.  At points I got a little bogged down in the back story and the terminology, but the story is worth it if you keep going.  I'm anxious to see what happens in the coming books.  The world is interesting and has some of the same old vampire adages, but also many new aspects that kept me wanting more.  It has a crazy, killer of an ending!  Angeline left me satisfied with a few of my questions answered, but enough mystery to keep me wanting more!  Why oh why do we always have to wait for the 2nd novel!!!  I guess good things come to those who wait!!!  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Reviewed by: Baby Sister Brittany
The Sisters say: Addicting, Adventurous, Awesome

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear…

Thanks to the girls at Two Chicks on Books for recommending this to me.


Yelena’s story captured me from the very first moment. The author’s language is so vivid and sensory-based that I could really feel the environment in the dungeons. I could feel the grime on her skin, the smell that clung to her, the weakness in her muscles. There wasn't a moment that I wasn’t rooting for her to survive. Even though you know she did something to earn her a death sentence, you don’t care. I felt for her so intensely that I wanted her to survive.

And when she takes the chance to be a food taster, risking death by poison rather than the noose, the story completely swept me away.

Yelena is both a meek and strong character, which makes her immediately likeable. There’s just enough introspection to allow you to connect to her and to her past, without getting bogged down in her inner monologue. The action continued to pull me along (and I do mean pull, I couldn’t put this book down!!!)

There is a gorgeous romance at the heart of this book, but it’s budding is slow and realistic. Despite the slow pace, I never once wanted the book to hurry up. I trusted Snyder’s story telling completely, and was willing to go with her wherever she took me. I knew it would be worth the wait (and it was)!

This book is a fantasy set in another world, but it’s a land that is easy to connect to, easy to follow, and easy to understand. It’s a great fantasy for people who don’t normally like high fantasy.

There were so many secondary characters that I loved, as well. People just seem naturally drawn in by Yelena, and they become like the family she never had. Some of my favorite moments were when Yelena decides to learn self-defense from a few soldiers. She’s determined, and the soldiers are hilarious.

I could go on and on about this book, but the truth is that I pretty much loved all of it. It’s part of a finished trilogy (so there’s three books for you to read). Book two was great too, though I think I still like this one more. I’m in the middle of Book Three now, and it’s taking all my strength to write this review instead of finishing it.

Heck, who am I kidding?

I’m off to finish it right now! Toodle-loo!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Publish Date: Out of the shelves!

Reviewed by: Honorary Sister Beth

Sister says: Fun, Feral, and "Fang"tastic!

Summary by:

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

I had so much fun reading this book! It was fun; it was entertaining; and it was just bloody "fang"tastic! OK, I know that was cheesy, but, trust me, the book is good. There were so many things I liked about this book that it is hard to know where to even begin....

The book starts off with Calla, an alpha werewolf on her "protection" duty, saving a human boy named Shay. Personally, I do not like "world" set-ups; I loved that, as the reader, I was just dropped into the story and had to learn the "rules" of the society as I went along. Andrea Cremer is able ease you into the life of the "Guardians" and slowly peel back and expose the secrets of the society.

I love the setting of this book.....It is set just outside Vail, Colorado. I actually just got back from near Vail for vacation and am now wondering if I walked by a werewolf!!!!! Seriously, though, as I read the book, I could picture the backdrop which made the story come alive.

When Calla saves the human, it is not hard to figure out that what Calla is doing is "against the rules", but who doesn't like a little rebellion in a heroine?!?! Throughout the book, it was easy to relate to her as she is torn between duty and desire. I am not one who likes to told what to do, so I was at one point screaming at the book when her mother told she need to start dressing nicer. I kid you not, I walked around in shorts and a tee-shirt with my hair in a ponytail for three days just to show solidarity with Calla. (that is until my mom asked me why I was dressing like a slob and told me start looking more presentable!) She's an interesting character who has to deal with the pressures of leadership, societal expectations, and an arranged marriage. I definitely felt her inner turmoil and dilemma and completely sympathized with her.

One of my favorite characters in the book is Calla's best friend and Beta of her pack....Bryn. Throughout the whole book, you see her loyalty, her friendship, and her love for Calla and Calla's family. *****SPOILER***** I also really appreciated the secondary love story of Bryn and Calla's brother. It really helped put in perspective the "rules" of love and courting within the pack.

*********WARNING*******SPOILER ALERT************

But, I have to say, OMIGOSH, if I was told I had to marry Ren......sign me up!!!! He is HOTTT!!!! He is all tough on the exterior, but just a broken boy who wants to be loved at the heart of it. And, I am sorry, but if I was kissed like Calla was in the bathroom scene.......sorry, I just fainted for minute there.....well, let's just say, I would be RUNNING to the alter! Ok, so at the beginning of the book, I thought he was a male chauvinist pig, but then we peel the onion and find out that he is sweet, he is sensitive, and he is just down right wonderful! It is no wonder Ren was one of the top 25 crushes for our crush tournament.

Then, there is the human boy, Shay. First, I have to say that I absolutely cannot take a male character named Shay seriously. The only Shay's that I know are girls! So, it was a little difficult for me to take a boy named Shay serious as a love interest. But, I do realize that is my own issue that I must get over. At first, when Calla saves him, I absolutely loved him and could not figure out why some of my friends did not like him. But, as the book goes on, I start liking him less and less. It is hard to put a finger on it, but it just seems like he a bit immature and hasty, and likes to unnecessarily push people's buttons. There is also a scene where he just walks up to Calla and asks to sit at her lunch table with her pack mates and Ren (who Shay's knows she's engaged to); what is that about!?!?!? It is like he is just asking for Ren to be the crap out of him!

**********WARNING MORE SPOILERS**********

Speaking of which, when the two guys got in a huge fight over her......totally sexy! I'll take two HOT guys who are amazing kissers fighting over me any day!

***********END OF SPOILERS************

Speaking of kissing, this book has some sexy make out scenes!!! Some of them made me blush they were so good! Deep down I am a sappy romantic, so give me stolen kisses in the night any day!

Sometimes, I feel like all I talk about is hot boys and kissing. Well, that is because mostly that is all I talk about. But, this book has action too and plenty of it. Andrea Cremer leaves you no room to relax. There is action and adventure with each new chapter. So much so, one night, I had to force myself to put the book down so I could go to bed. Cremer throws curve balls and fights to leave you unable to stop until everything is resolved. What an adventure!!!

Finally, the villains....oh, the villains. I don't know who I hate more....Bosque, Efron, or Logan. They are all part of the "Keepers" who are enslaving the "Guardians" and forcing them to abide by their every command. About the time, I said, "Come on, just stand up to them", the book explains why they can't and I am left speechless. So good, it gets me mad as I am writing this!

All in all, I would have to definitely recommend this book. I was a bit "werey" of a book about werewolves. Personally, I have NEVER been "Team Jacob" (Edward will always hold my heart....well, besides my husband, of course) so I did not want to start to like werewolves, but I really liked it. It is a different twist on an old folklore and refreshing to see it presented in a different light.

If you are looking for a good book to finish out your summer with, pick up Nightshade. It will be the perfect book to read on the beach by the light of the full moon!

Be looking for our teaser and review of the second book in this series, Wolfsbane. The teaser will be on Tuesday and the full review will be sometime next week.

If you have read the book, I'd like to know.......are you Team Ren or Team Shay?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

1st Annual YA Crush Tourney Awards Blog-emony

First off let me start by saying thank you, thank you, thank you to all our wonderful advocates!  You were UN-FREAKIN-BELIEVABLE!!!  You guys turned this tourney it to something we could have never dreamed up in our wildest imaginations!!!  You sacrificed sleep, time, money, your book collections, and so much more, all for the love of these amazing characters!  We love you and are counting down the days until the next tourney starts!  We can't wait to spend another month and a half with all of you!  Anyone want to meet for a YA Crush Tourney reunion?!?!?

We love our advocates, but not one of us would be here if it wasn't for our amazing authors!!!  Every author in this tourney has created characters that are so much more than fictional!  If only there was a spell to make them literally step off of the page!  Between teasers, deleted scenes, dirty sexy scenes not just from Cassandra Clare (I seem to remember reading a certain shower scene), donations to charities, donating books and other swag, signing books, staying up all night, and crazy other incentives, the authors brought this tournament to a whole new level!  Words simply cannot express how thankful we all are!

Now onto to the awards!  We have collected quite a little stash of amazing gifts!  Some of these are from us, others from advocates and some from the authors!  Thank you to everyone who donated these wonderful prizes!  This is what we have for the advocates:

A signed Mortal Instruments Boxed Set (1st 3 books) donated by YA-Sisterhood & Cassandra Clare
Signed Copies of Shade and Shift donated by Jeri Smith-Ready
Signed set of Soul Screamers (1st 4 books) donated by Fiktshun & Rachel Vincent
Signed copy of Iron King by Julie Kagawa donated by Julie Kagawa
Signed copy of Hourglass by Myra McEntire donated by Myra McEntire
Signed copy of Die for Me by Amy Plum donated by YA-Sisterhood
Signed copy of Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer donated by Brooke Reports
2 ARCs of Until I Die by Amy Plum when they come out donated by Amy Plum
Arc of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi donated by Fiktshun
Arc of Eve by Anna Carey donated by Fiktshun
Arc of Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday donated by Fiktshun
Arc of Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupalla donated by Fiktshun
Plus a whole slew of signed posters, buttons, bookmarks and reading guides which were donated by Cassandra Clare, Jeri Smith-Ready, Becca Fitzpatrick, Myra McEntire, Amy Plum, and Veronica Roth

All of our Tournament advocates will be receiving a little something, though we do have some larger, more significant prizes for the standouts!  Be on the lookout for our email!

Without further ado, we'd like to honor first the advocates of our Elite 8 characters! 

Amy Green- Jace's Advocate- Amy (YA-Sisterhood) was not only an advocate for Jace, but was constantly spreading the word about each and every match via twitter.

Fictitious Delicious - Zachary's Advocate- Amy and Jen were goddesses of Rhyme, foreign language tweets, creative voting techniques, and the fearless leaders of Team Kilt!  They took their lastly seated Zach all the way to the finals!!!

Fiktshun-Tod's Advocate-Rachel was a force to be reckoned with!  Tod was seed 20, and she brought him all the way to the final 4!  That is such an amazing feat!  And, and big thank you to her for donating so many books for prizes!

Two Chicks on Books- Ash's Advocate- Jaime and Patricia were freezing out the competition with their boy Ash!  They also were crazy twitterers (is that a word) staying up all night cheering on Team Kilt!

Bookish Bethie- Kaleb's Advocate- Bethany L led her "sexy pirate" all the way to the elite 8!  Plus, Kaleb does not even show up in the book until half way through it!  Pretty dang impressive!

Bethany S (YA-Sisterhood)-Michael's Advocate- Anyone who compares Michael with Mr. Darcy in their defense definitely gets to be in the top 8!  I need a fan just thinking about both of them!  (Also a big congrats to Myra McEntire for having 2 crushes in the Excellent 8!)

Books over Boys- Patch's Advocate- Momo is the General of all Armies especially Patch's Army!  Plus, between videos, photoshopped pics, live actions pics, Momo also gets the Multimedia award!  You are definitely the most tech-savy of us all!

Deanne-W.W. Hale V's advocate- Deanne wins the coolest librarian I've ever met award!  Seriously, what other librarian do you know that would be in the YA Crush Tourney?  Greatness!!!

***All of our Elite 8 advocates will be receiving an email about your prize, so be on the lookout!

And now for a few miscellaneous awards: 

The Numb Thumbs Award- For the voting machine that is Brooke Reports (Jule's advocate)!

The Incentive Queen Award- In a true act of sacrifice for Team Kilt, Melissa (St. Clair's advocate) (@3fixedhearts) offered to wash cars in a bikini in exchange for guy votes! Now that is commitment!

Award with
Marylee Carney represented FOUR with a series of Acrostic Poems! She basically defended her guy, but only with words that started with F, O, U, or R. Talk about working within confined limits!

The Articulate Advocate Award goes to Claire, Will Herondale's advocate! Despite losing out in the first round to Zachary (the 2nd place winner), Claire's defense was well-written, simple, and convincing! Bravo!

The Author Appreciation Award goes to Carli, (@Emberchyld)! Amy Plum herself was so pleased with her defense of Vincent that she is offering up an ARC of Until I Die for Carli's excellent defense!

The Verbose Advocate Award for the lengthiest defense goes to Alice, Peeta's Advocate!

The Pinch Hitter Homerun Award goes to Amanda, Jack's Advocate. She stepped in at the last minute, delivered a defense that was just as strong as those who had days and weeks to prepare, and led Jack to a victory!

The Buffy Award goes to Amy D-- Tucker's Advocate! She took a relative unknown, and helped him to slay the famous sparkling vampire that is Edward.

Award Winners-- you'll be receiving an email soon about your prizes! Congratulations!

***Also, be sure to check back often!  We will be posting an interview with Jace soon, speaking with him about winning the YA Crush Tourney!  You know that you don't want to miss that!!!