Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hooked by Catherine Greenman

Hooked by Catherine Greenman
Reviewed by: Baby Sister Brittany
Review copy received from: Tandem Literary
The Sisters say: Heart-warming, Hopeful, and Honest

Thea Galehouse has always known how to take care of herself. With a flighty club-owner mom and a standoffish, recovering-alcoholic dad, Thea has made her own way in her hometown of New York, attending the prestigious and competitive Stuyvesant High School. But one chat with Will, a handsome and witty senior, and she's a goner—completely hooked on him and unable to concentrate on anything else.
Always worried that she loves Will more than he loves her, Thea is pleasantly surprised when their romance weathers his move to college and Will goes out of his way to involve her in his life. But then, Thea misses a period. And that starts Thea and Will on a wild ride that neither of them could have possibly prepared for. When they decide to keep the baby, their concerned parents chip in what they can to keep Will in school and give both teenagers a comfortable place to raise their child. But when a freak accident leaves Thea shaken and threatens to upend their little family altogether, Thea is forced to turn to the last place she would have chosen for comfort: her stiff, uncompromising father.
This smart, touching first novel brims with realistic, beautifully drawn characters, and reminds us that love is never as easy or predictable as we might like it to be.

This book was so different than any contemporary YA book I’ve ever read. There are certain character archetypes that we see repeated again and again in literature (especially YA lit), but Thea and Will both felt like very fresh, unique characters. They were different enough to be interesting, but not so different that I gave up on figuring them out. They were realistic teenagers who were fueled and driven by their fears, their passions, their insecurities, their parents, and their feelings for each other.

I worried that when the pregnancy hit, all these flaws and character quirks would be lost, and the story would become a lifetime special about two teenagers beating the odds and making it work. I am so very glad that I was wrong!

Perhaps I’m too cynical, but as soon as I saw it wasn’t going to go the lifetime special route, I worried it would go the complete opposite,  and everything would fall to pieces, and I would be left a mangled and devastated reader at the end.

Once again—I WAS WRONG. (It’s very rare that I admit to this, let alone, am glad about it. Feel free to ask my sisters).

The thing that I applaud the most in this book is its balance.

Hooked had just the right balance of hope and despair. Strength and weakness. Love and hate. Humor and grief.

Greenman shows us all the extreme difficulties that teenage parents face, but she doesn’t neglect to show the small moments of happiness and hope that new life can bring. There is a feeling buried somewhere between the sleepless nights and that first smile, the emotional exhaustion and those tiny fingers curled around your own; it is a feeling that is hard to describe, but if there is a definition for Parenthood—it is that feeling.

I know that some parents (be they teenagers or adults) are either less or more successful than Thea and Will. But—I feel like the way Thea’s story unfolded is probably exactly how I would have handled myself if something similar had happened to me when I was a teenager. This makes me think (and hope) that teenagers will identify with Thea and her struggles. Her story will comfort and strengthen girls with similar struggles, and it will educate those without them.

However—this book was not without it’s issues. Some of the language choice was off-putting. Though I bought that Will and Thea weren’t your average teenagers, there were moments when the voice didn’t feel completely authentic. This made it a little hard to get into the book, but I stuck with it, and once I hit the end of part one I was hooked. (Bah-dum-ching!)

I also had some trouble with the timeline. The book was written in first person past tense. There were a few moments  when the author jumped around instead of moving chronologically, but because the book was already in past tense, I often missed the jump, and had to go back and re-read to figure out what had happened.

And last, even though I praised the balance in this book (and I stand by that praise), I think at a few choice moments the book could have used some imbalance.  It stayed in the middle the entire book, never straying too far to any extreme, so that it felt a little too safe.

All in all, this wasn’t the easiest read, but if you stick with it, I think you’ll find it well worth your time. I think teens as well as adults will enjoy it! Just like Thea and Will—this book has it’s faults,  but there is just so much heart in it as well, that I can't help but love it.

And last, but definitely not least… Crocheting, FTW!

Warning: I would recommend this book for the Upper-YA age range, partly because of content, but also just because I think the subject matter will appeal more to older teens


Friday, October 28, 2011

Covers to Die For

I LOVE LOVE LOVE book covers!!!  A lot of times, I pick my books just by the covers!  If it has an amazing cover, I'm game!  These are some amazing ones I've come across lately!  What are some great covers you've run across recently?  Feel free to link them in the comments or do a post of your own!


Forbidden by Syrie James and Ryan James
Published by:  HarperTeen
Release date:  January 24th, 2012


Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey
Published by:  Penguin
Release date:  January 5th, 2012


Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Published by:  HarperCollins
Release date:  January 31st, 2012


Aren't these all just stunning?!?!  I love them! Click on the covers to find out more information on each book.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
Release date:  October 25, 2011
Published by:  Harlequin Teen
Received from: Netgalley
Reviewed by:  AmyG (big sis)
Sister's Say:  Icy, Irresistible, Illustrious


My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn'darkmyr Tallyn.
I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her.
My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…


I read this book a couple months back, but I just hadn't been able to write a review of it.  It's sometimes hard to put into words how you feel about the last book of a series that you adore!  I went back earlier this week to look for a good Teaser Tuesday and was blown away again by just looking through this book.  I will say, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series!!!  Our love for this series is evident all over this blog, from the Crush Tourney, our background, to our reviews.  And, Julie has done it again with part 4.  Her language is so rich, dark, beautiful, and haunting.  She has a great talent for words that make the novel come to life before your eyes.

The ending of Iron Queen was heart-wrenching, but with The Iron Knight comes new hope. Ash's words at the end of IQ will stick with me forever. They are some of the most beautiful words that I have ever read,
"I will always be your knight, Meghan Chase," he whispered in a strained voice, as if every moment he remained was painful to him. "And I swear, if there is a way for us to be together, I will find it. No matter how long it takes. If I have to chase your soul to the ends of eternity, I won't stop until I find you, I promise." (Iron Queen, 338)
 And here is our hope.  This is what Iron Knight is all about, Ash's quest to find a way to be with Meghan.  Its an amazing feat, tragic, dangerous, and frightening, and if Ash can pull it off, it will be a miracle.  Its truly an epic tale that reminds me a little of Frodo's and his fellowship's quest with the ring.  Along the way to "The End of the World" he faces trials, demons, ghosts, and struggles that I don't think anyone saw coming.  Some of it was very painful and downright tormenting!

As they travel through the Nevernever, trolls, the big bad wolf, ghosts, and pretty much every other fairytale or legend lingering in the corners of your mind will make an appearance.  Some of them I was happy to see, others not so much, and yet one in particular (without getting too spoilery) left me torn and confused.  Once you get to this particular part, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.  Julie took the idea of a love triangle and flipped it in a way that I have yet to see in a book.  I will say that it was brilliant, but not easy to read. (hence the torment mentioned above.)

Even though we think, that the true purpose of this book is to find a way for Ash to be with Meghan without dying from the iron, Julie definitely drops some twists, turns, and huge, gigantic, phenomenal surprises in the mix that will make you and not to mention Ash question if it is all really worth it.  Ash is ultimately left with some harrowing decisions.  More than just his life will be effected by his choices.  Being with Meghan comes at great costs, and I struggled right along with Ash as his options played before him.  Through it all, Ash fans get everything they could ever desire out of this book. Ms. Kagawa flays him open emotionally for all of us to see.  This adventure brings out Ash's hopes, fears, loves, and dreams.  He matures from the beginning of the book until the end, making Ash even a more perfect knight than he was before!  I think this was the actual purpose of this book, not for Ash to find a way to be with Meghan, but for Ash to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, what he truly desires.

When all is said and done, this was an amazing conclusion to an epic love story!  It has it all, love, jealousy, pain, torment, heartache, happiness, and joy!  One of my favorite series of all time!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Until I Die by Amy Plum

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.  It spotlights books that have not yet been released, but ones that you should pre-order today!  This weeks book that we are anxiously awaiting is: Until I Die. It's written by Amy Plum, and its release date is May 3rd, 2012!


Kate has chosen to leave the comfort and safety of her human world in order to join Vincent in the dangerous supernatural universe he inhabits. For his part, he has sworn to go against his very nature and resist the repeated deaths that are his fate as a revenant—even though it will bring him immeasurable suffering.

Heady with romance and rife with danger, the second book of the DIE FOR ME trilogy follows Vincent and Kate as they search—separately—for a solution to their plight, pursuing their quest from the glamorous streets of Paris to the city’s squalid underbelly. Although the experiment that Vincent attempts is progressively destroying him, he insists on seeing it through to the end. This prompts Kate to strike out on her own into the dangerous world of the revenants to find another way. But she unwittingly puts everyone she loves at risk when she discovers a family of ancient healers who hold the key to a secret that could help the bardia—the good revenants—overthrow their murderous enemies, the numa, forever.

And while the lovers search for something they have little chance of finding, a new threat arises among the numa. Kate finds herself in the midst of an ancient and deadly war, not as a bystander...but as a target.


For the love of all gorgeous is that cover!?!?!  I am DYING to read this book!!!  Why oh why does it have to be half a year away!?!?  Plus, a few days back, Amy Plum tweeted that Jules's full story would be revealed in this book!  EEK, so excited...Jules Rules!!!  (but I love Vincent too, oh yeah and Ambrose, well really, all the revenants!!!)  We have to support our YA Crush Tourney boys!  BTW- This is the UK cover, HarperCollins will release the American cover soon!  So, keep a look out here, as soon as it's released we'll be posting it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!
To participate all you have to do is:

•Grab 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 teasers!


In honor of Iron Knight being released TODAY, here is a little teaser:

          "Name one,"  I scoffed.  "Give me one instance where you haven't--"

          "Meghan Chase!"  Puck roared, startling me into silence.  I blinked, and he sneered at me.  "Yeah your highness, I know what loss is.  I've loved that girl since before she knew me." (ARC, 79)


Okay, picking only one teaser was almost as excruciating as that little exchange above.  Stay tuned later in the week for a review of the 4th installment in the Iron Fey Series, The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Timepiece by Myra McEntire Cover to Die For

OH MY WORD!!!!!  I literally screamed or more of a really loud EEEEEKED, when I saw this cover was out!!!!  This is absolutely breathtaking!  AND, Timepiece (Hourglass #2) comes out just in time for the 2nd Annual YA Crush Tourney!!!  I have a feeling McMelty Michael and McHotty Kaleb are going to be front runners!  They are just so dang wonderful!!!  Right now, its scheduled to be released by EgmontUSA on June 12.  Summer CANNOT come soon enough!  Congrats Ms. Myra on another amazing cover and I can't wait devour this book!!!



Sophie and Carter by Chelsea Fine

Sophie and Carter by Chelsea Fine
Published by:  Acacia Publishing
Reviewed by:  AmyG (big sis)
Sister's say:  Sad, Short, and Sweet


While other high school seniors are dreaming about their futures, Sophie and Carter are just trying to make it through each day. Carter is overwhelmed by issues at home as he struggles to support his mother. Meanwhile, next door neighbour Sophie is left to care for her three younger siblings in place of their absent and troubled mother. All that holds these two best friends together is each other, and knowing that each night they'll sit together on Sophie's front porch swing and escape from reality, if just for awhile. But as their relationship reaches a turning point and high school graduation nears, will their friendship become something more?  


Sophie and Carter is a very sweet book that revolves around 2 teenagers that have both been dealt a very rough hand in life.  Sophie and Carter have grown up living next door to each other watching each other be forced to deal with things that no teenagers or kids should ever have to deal with.  They were required at a very young age to become adults.  In a way, they became to each other what the other was lacking, whether that be brother, sister, mother, father, friend, or something more.  The book is very short just a little over 100 pages, but Ms. Fine gives you glimpses of Sophie and Carter's entire lives.  At times the book is heart-wrenching, but by the time the book winds down, your heart will be satisfied.

Most of the concerns I had in the book were related to the length.  I wanted to see more of their lives instead of just being told about it through memories or flashbacks.  I also wanted to see more of their romance.  However, I will say that-that is not necessarily a bad problem to have, someone wanting you to write a longer book!  Some phrases in the book were a little repetitive, and I found myself falling out of the rhythm of the book when I read them.  All that to say, I think this would be a great book to use to encourage those young adults who don't read, to start to read.  It has a nice love story, but its not daunting with it's length.  It would be a great segue into longer books.  Both Sophie and Carter are respectable teenagers that have made lemonade out of their lemons.  If you're looking for a short, sweet book that will leave you satisfied and wanting a front porch swing, then be sure to pick up Sophie and Carter by Chelsea Fine!  And, check out this great trailer for the book:   

Be on the look out in the near future for a giveaway of a paperback copy of Sophie and Carter.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lifethread by L.J. Charles

Lifethread by L.J. Charles
Publish Date: March 18, 2011
Reviewed by Honorary Sis Beth
Sister says: Complicated, Confusing, but Creative


McKenna Fin is armed, dangerous, and in love for the first time. She'll do anything to earn her humanity... except the one thing the Fate's require.
Stuck in her senior year of high school until she earns her humanity, McKenna Fin is responsible for cutting the lifethread of demons, and protecting teens from being possessed. To celebrate her fiftieth year of apprenticeship to the Fate Atropos, McKenna is given a new responsibility, and possibly a quick way to earn her humanity—severing the lifethread of deserving humans. Her first assignment: Nathan Quinn.

When Nathan becomes a primary demon target and gets sucked into Tartania, McKenna’s duty as a Fated priestess demands she follow. McKenna can rescue him, no problem, but then she’d have to cut his lifethread. And he’s the one and only guy she’s been attracted to since forever.

The demons consider Nathan one of their own and fight to keep him. The time limit on Nathan's life is about to run out, and McKenna has to make the decision: sever his lifethread, or battle demons, defy the Fates, and keep him for her own. (Summary from


The summary of this book really intrigued me. I am always a sucker for a forbidden romance and a teenage rebel defying authority figures by being together....Romeo and Juliet complex, I guess. So, when I read this summary, I thought, this will be perfect for me: action, adventure, rebellion, romance, and fates. But, unfortunately, for me, it did not live up to all that.

First of all, I should preface this by saying, I am not a big fan of big world set ups, so a majority of this is just personal preference. The world, in my opinion, was too complicated and confusing. I had to go back multiple times to previous chapters to figure out what I had missed. The concept of "time" worked different in Tartania (where the demons lived) and then on earth, but there was not an explanation as to why or how. One of the priestess has the "gift" of "spinning time". But, if she spun time on earth to go back to Tartania they were able to go back, but the people weren't back on earth; to me, this did not make sense. The world required a lot explanation than was given and it still leaves me scratching my head.

However, if you are a fan of fantasy, I think you would appreciate the world a lot more than I did. I am able to appreciate the art and creativity of the world that L.J. Charles developed and can see it appealing to a certain sect of readers. My husband, for instance, loves fantasy so I could see him appreciating this book.

My other issue I had with the book is I am a hopeless romantic and love a good love story. Although this book had a love story, there was no "love triangle" and it definitely was not a major theme for the book. The love story develops quickly, is very predictable, and under-developed. Let me put it this way, although I like Nathan's character for other reasons, I don't see him being nominated for the crush tourney next year....sorry Nathan. :-(

The characters were interesting and complicated. The author did a great job establishing the sister-like connection between the priestesses and adding an interesting twist on Nathan's character (I'm not going to say because I don't want to spoil it, but, trust me, it's good).

If you like more action, complicated worlds, and fantasy over romance, this is the book for you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Flame of Surrender

Flame of Surrender (The Ferryman and the Flame Book One)
By: Rhiannon Paille
Expected Publication: November 1, 2011
Reviewed by: Marylee
This sister says: Interesting, Original, Great Potential

Summary from The boy who follows death meets the girl who could cause the apocalypse.

Krishani thinks he’s doomed until he meets Kaliel, the one girl on the island of Avristar who isn’t afraid of him. She’s unlike the other girls, she swims with merfolk, talks to trees and blooms flowers with her touch. What he doesn’t know is that she’s a flame, one of nine individually hand crafted weapons, hidden in the body of a seemingly harmless girl.

Nobody has fallen in love with a flame until now. She becomes Krishani’s refuge from the dreams of death and the weather abilities he can’t control. Striking down thousand year old trees with lightning isn’t something he tries to do, it just happens. When the Ferryman dies, Krishani knows that he’s the next and that a lifetime of following death is his destiny.

And Kaliel can’t come with him. The Valtanyana are hunting the flames, the safest place for her is Avristar. Krishani can’t bear to leave her, and one innocent mistake grants the Valtanyana access to their mystical island. They’re coming for Kaliel, and they won’t stop until every last living creature on Avristar is dead. She has to choose, hide, face them, or awaken the flame and potentially destroy herself.

“Bloom the weed of temptation, and expire the great garden of life. Bloom the flower of sacrifice, and sustain the great garden in strife.”

This book is brimming with potential. I don’t know if I’ve ever read something so original (although to be fair I don’t read a lot of high fantasy, which this most definitely is) and I love the idea of this book so much! A beautiful and very well-developed world, powers you don’t read about in other books, a trio of “witches” that remind me of the Weird Sisters from Macbeth, a love story, and an ending that will blow you away are all here. However, this book has me in a bind, because although there is so much to like about this book, there are also several things that kept me from loving it.

I did receive an ARC, so the typos I found that greatly distracted me (I’m a huge spelling/grammar Nazi) and the several editing issues that I had with the book, such as the lack of clarity when changing character POV’s, the “dragging” feeling through some of the non-integral parts of the book and a rushed or glossed-over feeling during what should be huge moments/revelations in the story may be addressed before the book is officially released. But I also had problems connecting to the characters, I felt that the villain(s) weren’t explained thoroughly enough for me to be frightened, and I also think that the description of the book gives away too much of the story. Sometimes it’s good to know something integral about a character that he/she doesn’t and watch them figure it out for themselves, but that did not work for me with this story. I found it tedious to go along with and then I couldn’t believe how quickly she “got it” and accepted it with such ease. Her grappling with the discovery should’ve been the reward for waiting on her to figure it out, but instead we missed that struggle completely which caused me to feel less connected to Kaliel than I already was.

But with all the things that kept me from falling in love with this novel, I still plan to and am excited about reading the next book in this series. Like I stated earlier, this series is choc-full of potential. I believe the author is only going to get better and that Kaliel and Krishani’s journey is going to get more interesting and awe-inspiring as it continues. I have read several very positive reviews of this book, so it’s quite possible that I’m in the minority of people who weren’t particularly thrilled by it. Despite all of its flaws, I would still recommend this book to anyone who is in the mood for something completely original and I will leave you with two of my favorite quotes from the book (besides the one from the top) as my personal reasons why.

“I want more than this but I don’t want to lose all that I have.” ~ Story. Of. My. Life.

“I would do anything to know you were safe and happy. Even if I wasn’t sure it would help, I would still do it. Is that what love is?” ~ *Heart breaks*

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Power of Six by Pittacus Lore

Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
Published by: HarperCollins
Publish date: August 23rd, 2011
Reviewed by: Honarary Sis Beth
Sister says: Powerful, Plot-thickening, and (somewhat) Predictable

summary by

I've seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he's a mystery. But to me...he's one of us.

Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us-if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We're hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with on another...but our Legacies are developing, and soon we'll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I've been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio-and failed.

I am Number Seven. One of six still alive.

And I'm ready to fight.

What a sequel! I really enjoyed I am Number Four so I had high hopes for the sequel and let me say, they were met. At first, I was a bit leary of the introduction of the storyline of Number Seven and even had a bit of a hard time adjusting, but within a few chapters, I was hooked. So much so that when the narrative came back to John, Six, and Sam, I was anxious to get back to Seven and get more of her story.

Speaking of the narrative, this book is written in split narrative between John and Seven. I have mixed feelings in general about split narratives, but, in this book, it works. In fact, it allows you to get a different perspective on what is going on and learn how they are all inter-connected.

Seven is a great character; I love her sassiness, spunky, and no-holds barred attitude toward those around her. Seven is the character that the series had been missing. Not only does she add much information about Lorien and legacies, but she also has an interesting backstory and life on earth.

My favorite character in the book is Sam. What a great guy! He is so dorky and geeky that he is just endearing. Many questions about him and his history get answered and my respect and love for Sam just grows and grows. If you didn't just absolutely love him in the first book, you definitely will in the second! He is proof that NERDS RULE!!!!! Love you, Sam!

Of course, more develops with John. He is still hot and sexy, but, I have to admit, a bit whiny and flakey. Without being too spoilery......but warning *******possible spoiler ahead******* the best part of John's arc is the love triangle that develops. But, I am a sucker for love triangles! :-) His role in the book does help a lot when I am picturing Alex Pettyfer.....HELLO HOTNESS!

All in all, I would have to say, Power of Six is a book that is worth reading. Although, some of the storyline is somewhat expected, it is a powerful sequel that perfectly sets up for book number three. Power of Six.......definitely a success!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.  It spotlights books that have not yet been released, but ones that you should pre-order today!  This weeks book that we are anxiously awaiting is: Incarnate. It's written by Jodi Meadows, and its release date is January 31st 2012!

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

I still remember seeing the sale announcement for this book last year, and I've been dying to read it ever since. I was so struck by the idea of an entirely new soul in a world where all souls are reincarnated. The idea alone is killer. Match it with that gorgeous cover and what I've heard is gorgeous writing-- I don't know how much longer I can wait for this book! Luckily, we're supposed to be getting an ARC soon. We'll let you know just how awesome it is when we can! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Legend by Marie Lu

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!
To participate all you have to do is:

•Grab 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 teasers!


           "Money is the most important thing in the world, you know.  Money can buy you happiness, and I don't care what anyone thinks.  It'll buy you relief, status, friends, safety...all sorts of things." (ARC, 132)

         "I ALMOST KISSED THE GIRL LAST NIGHT.  But nothing good can come out of falling for someone on the streets.  That's the worst weakness you can have, right up there with having a family stuck in a quarantined zone or a street orphan needing you." (ARC, 129)


Okay, I know I kind of cheated a little.  This is more than 2 sentences.  However, I am enjoying this book so much that I needed to share a little more with you!  Keep your eyes peeled for this one luvies!  So far, it is blowing me away!  Stay tuned for the review coming soon!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Winner of Clockwork Angel Giveaway

And the winner is...

drumroll please...
Kelly S. @k3lly_br00k3
Congratulations Kelly!  We've emailed and tweeted you!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tempus by Tyra Lynn ebook Giveaway and Author Interview

Tempus by Tyra Lynn

According to Albert Einstein, the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion. He might have been right.

Seventeen-year-old Jessie McLeod is used to getting glimpses of the past when she touches objects in her dads antique shop, but she's not used to the past looking back. Especially when the past is a gorgeous guy and she is dressed like a slob.

Shocked and intrigued, Jessie becomes obsessed with trying to catch another glimpse of that perfect face. When thoughts of him invade her sleep, the dreams seem so real that she wakes with the feel of his lips lingering on her skin. Soon after, however, the one guy she thought she’d never date suddenly asks her out. Either something strange is going on, or all those years of using furniture cleaner finally caused brain damage.

Brain damage is easy enough to believe—until the day she turns around and looks straight into the face from her dreams. Completely unaware, Jessie is now in a race against time to remember something important, something life-changing, and the one person who can tell her the truth doesn’t dare to—she must remember on her own.

With only a week before senior year, the once self-assured Jessie is now sure of nothing. Well, maybe one thing. Everything’s been turned upside down, and it's all because of that stupid mirror she found in the shop on Monday and the glimpse that changed her future—maybe even her past. (summary from

Click here for our review of Tempus.

Interview with Author Tyra Lynn

YA-Sisterhood: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where do you live, are you married, etc....

Tyra Lynn: I am married to my barely-out-of-high-school-sweetheart and we have two kids: a boy and a girl. We live in Texas, just north of Dallas. I LOVE North Texas, and I can't imagine living anywhere else. Fun littlehousehold factoid - We have a house full of beasties: a dog, a cat, twoferrets, a snake and a fish.

YA-Sisterhood: What inspired you to be a writer?

Tyra Lynn: I have been writing as long as I can remember, even prior to starting Kindergarten, so the desire to write has always been there. I wrote poems and stories all the time and shared them with family and friends. I never took it too seriously until Tempus. I knew it was different from the very first line. Jessie was a real person in my head, and she was urgently telling me her story. She sounded desperate to get it all out, would even wake me from sleep, so when I started writing I began to feel like her story was meant to reach beyond my personal little group. I guess to answer your question, Jessie inspired me to be a 'writer,' lol.

YA-Sisterhood: How long did it take you to write Tempus and what kind of research did you do to prepare for it?

Tyra Lynn: Writing the first draft of Tempus took around three months and the word count ended up being over 120k. That's a LOT of words. Revisions, editing,etc. took twice as long. As far as research goes, the final story is nothing like my full original concept. The only thing that stayed the same was Jessie's glimpses, the mirror, and who Gabriel was/is. Once I started actually writing, Jessie told me the 'real' story. I would research what she told me to see if it were even possible, or what existing theories might explain things. Both Gödel and Einstein were invaluable in that aspect. I was shocked at how much knowledge 'I' had that I was unaware of, because all these crazy ideas that popped into my head had some actual basis in scientific fact. It was so awesome.

YA-Sisterhood: I love the idea of the "glimpses", how did you think up that plot line?

Tyra Lynn: I have always had 'glimpses' myself, though not like Jessie does (but I wish!) I love history. I love antiques and old houses, and it's very easy for me to picture the past in my head when I look at those things, or am surrounded by them. Pictures pop into my head or I get this interesting sensation of being in another time, and it seems very real for brief moments. I just took that idea to the next level, beyond imagining.

YA-Sisterhood: What character in the book do you relate to the most and why?

Tyra Lynn: That would have to be Jessie. Her love of antiques, her love of family and friends, and her hyperactive brain - those are all things I solidly relate to. Plus she is just slightly 'off,' and that has ALWAYS been me, lol.

YA-Sisterhood: I felt like the end of Tempus wrapped up everything nicely, what can we expect from a sequel?

Tyra Lynn: We will definitely learn more about Jessie's powers, and about who/what she and her mother are. It's really hard to say what else is coming, though. Arcanus is still unfinished, and even though I know where it is supposed to go, my characters don't always cooperate. Not only that, but sometimes people I don't even know pop into the picture and leave me scratching my head and saying "Now who the hell was that and what the hell do they want?!" It's crazy.

YA-Sisterhood: Any other comments you would like to leave for our followers?

Tyra Lynn: I have been so pleased by the positive reviews and interest that Tempush as received. That has been the greatest reward by far, and I am so thankful to everyone who has taken the time to review it, or send me encouraging messages, or interview me! (*grins*) Thank you, thank you, thank you! Muah!

I also had the opportunity to ask Gabiel, the super HOT guy from Tempus a few questions: 

YA-Sisterhood: You are a chef, how did you learn to cook? If you were going to cook Jessie a romantic dinner what would it be?

Gabriel: My mother taught me the basics early on, but much more than that, she instilled in me a true love of the culinary arts. She experienced such joy preparing meals for the family or for good friends. Her smile while in the kitchen is one of my fondest memories. Following her passing, and in honor of her memory, I attended classes at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in the early1900's, and Le Cordon Bleu in London in the early 2000's, among other prestigious schools. I was one of the youngest ever there, as you can no doubt calculate. I have honed my skills in two centuries; There are distinct advantages to having two lifetimes with which to work. For a romantic dinner for Jessie? I suppose I would begin with a smallhearts-of-romaine Caesar salad with sun dried amorosa tomatoes and shaved parmigiano reggiano. For the entrée, I would prepare wood grilled Scottish salmon over a purée of charred sweet corn and roasted scallion, crumbled applewood bacon and garlic vinaigrette with sides of black truffle whippedp otatoes and hickory roasted wild mushrooms. If it were not inappropriate, I would serve a glass of chilled Liger-Belair Chambolle Musigny Premier Cru Les Greunchers. For dessert, my special chocolate mousse cake. I think the appropriate current expression would be "It is to die for." That is right, isn't it? Then, considering setting would be as important to me as food selection, I should like very much to serve her in the gazebo by candle light, though it would not be at all practical, would it? Perhaps I could fill the formal dining room with flowers, hire a violinist and... I am so sorry.When it comes to Jessie and her potential delectation I've a tendency toward excesses, don't I? My apologies.

YA-Sisterhood: We have an annual crush tournament at the ya-sisterhood blog, who do you think your biggest competition would be if you were nominated for the next tourney?

Gabriel: Hmmm. I've been told a little about this 'tourney' of which you speak and I've heard the runner up was a young, green-eyed Scottish lad named Zachary. I confess that green is not my favorite eye color, but that's neither here nor there. I can't imagine why anyone would nominate me for such a thing since I'm a rather quiet and private sort, but I suppose for anyone, myself included, he would be the one to beat.

A big THANK YOU to Tyra for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions and for providing us with 5 yes 5, ebooks to giveaway to our readers!!!  This contest is open to anyone that is able to receive a gift through amazon for a kindle ebook.  The contest will run from Sunday, October 16 to midnight CST on Saturday, October 29th.  Good luck!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees

The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees
Release Date: September 27th, 2011
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Reviewed by: Honarary Sis Beth
Sister says: Enchanting, Endearing, Enjoyable

Summary by

I wanted the role of Juliet more than anything. I studied hard. I gave a great reading for it—even with Bobby checking me out the whole time. I deserved the part.
I didn't get it. So I decided to level the playing field, though I actually might have leveled the whole play. You see, since there aren't any Success in Getting to Be Juliet in Your High School Play spells, I thought I'd cast the next best—a Fame spell. Good idea, right?
Yeah. Instead of bringing me a little fame, it brought me someone a little famous. Shakespeare. Well, Edmund Shakespeare. William's younger brother.
Good thing he's sweet and enthusiastic about helping me with the play...and—ahem—maybe a little bit hot. But he's from the past. Way past. Cars amaze him—cars! And cell phones? Ugh.
Still, there's something about him that's making my eyes go star-crossed....

Theater lovers and drama majors, look out! This book will warm your heart. I'm not even an actress and it made me fall in love with acting....and, of course, the leading man. Shakespeare fans....what can I say? You all will definitely appreciate this book and Douglas Rees' ingenious way of incorporating quotes and theories from many of Shakespeare's works.

As far as the book itself, I felt like it was cute....sweet. I went in with little expectations, so the fact that I enjoyed the book very much exceeded my expectations. The main character, Miranda was a typical high school girl; although I liked her, I did not relate to her and felt her character lacked depth.

Edmund, on the other hand, was an 18th century sweetie who struggled with living in his brother's shadow and finding his role in society. My favorite part of this book was Douglas Rees' descriptions of Edmund seeing modern day conveniences. The first time he rode in a car made me laugh very hard. If you like the movie Kate and Leopold, then you will appreciate this book

The relationship between the two characters was a bit confusing. At times, I could not differentiate whether they liked each other or each other's acting skills. But, I did find the story enchanting and entertaining. It kept my attention and I wanted to know how it was going to end.

All in all, I felt like it was an endearing, easy read; although it lacked some depth, it was refreshing to sit down and read a sweet story, especially one with lots of Shakespeare quotes in it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Flashback Friday: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Flashback Friday is weekly posting started by Mundie Mom's and another separate FF was started on Clean Teen Fiction.  The purpose is to highlight books you read a long time ago, but never reviewed or one that's been sitting on the shelf that we finally picked up to read.  Our Flashback Friday for this week is Stephanie Perkin's first novel, Anna and the French Kiss.  Lola and the Boy Next Door is the companion novel to this book!  It happens to also be unFREAKINbelievable!!!  You can check out our review of it here.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Published by: Dutton
Date Published: December 2, 2010
Reviewed by: Honorary Sis Beth
Sister Says: Fun, Flirty, and Fabulous


Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost - relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited? (-Goodreads)

(((((Squeals))))) Anna and the French Kiss.....where have you been all my life!??!!? Just thinking about writing this review makes me giggle like a school girl.

First, I am going to start with the setting of the book. Ahhhhh....Paris. Stephanie Perkins does an unbelievable job navigating through the streets of Paris. I felt like I was Anna experiencing the places for the first time. It is the perfect setting for a lost girl to find herself and a Parisian/English/American hottie! Many times, I almost bought a one-way to Paris because of this book.

Speaking of hottie....St. Clair! ((((Big Sigh)))) Please don't get mad at me, but to be honest, I could not figure out why he made the crush tournament, but after reading this book....omigosh....definitely crush-worthy!!!! Broken, smart, smooth, sexy, and foreign....he has stolen my heart! In all seriousness though, I felt like his character was really well developed and executed perfectly. His struggles were palpable, his problems realistic (mostly), and his relationships deep. My only problem with him is I have a hard time pronouncing is name, Etienne, but I can deal with that!

Anna was so great. I can totally see some of myself in her. Not the obsessively compulsive clean part, but the totally neurotic and over-thinking part. In fact, some of her antics hit a little close to home

*****warning spoiler alert******
ahem.....Dave. *****end of spoiler*****

 But, Anna was so likable and frustrating at the same time; that is what I loved about her. Seeing her step out on her own for the first time and navigate Paris, was just fun. I enjoyed seeing Paris through her eyes. Her growth throughout the book is just incredible to see. Not to mention her coffee connoisseur attitude after a few months in it! :-)

This book was so much fun to read, I just want to read it over and over. It was flirty, fun, and definitely, bloody fantastic!!!! If you haven't had the chance to read it yet, move it high on you TBR self because it is worth every minute!

Buy it.....Read it......Love it!!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dearly, Departed

Dearly, Departed
By: Lia Habel
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Reviewed by: Marylee
This Sister Says: Suspenseful, Romantic, Un-put-down-able, AMAZING

Love can never die... Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune, and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, steampunk meets romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love. (-Goodreads)

This is gonna be like a Waiting on Wednesday, Covers to Die For, and a gushing review of what may very well be my favorite book of the year all rolled into one. There is so much to love about this book I hardly know where to begin. I mean, where do I start? The gorgeous cover (ain’t it purty!)? The amazing characters? Brilliant writing? The comedy and the macabre? … Maybe the original and fascinating take on zombies? Captivating setting? The complete and mesmerizing world-building? – This book contains all of that and more, and the worst part about it was having to put it down to do basic things like bathe, use the restroom, eat, and go to work (the most torturous work day ever). I (already) cannot wait to reread it and I hope the author doesn’t get tired of my (what I’m sure will be incessant) “Are you done with the sequel yet” tweets.

The world-building in this book was so in-depth and absorbing, I felt like I could actually walk out of my house, onto the street and go down to Nora’s house or down to Pam’s father’s bakery. The vivid description just made me feel like I was right there and the backstory and history of why the people chose to revert to Victorian dress and mannerisms is actually very compelling and believable. But they also developed very advanced technology that they also use! So we get a Victorian setting with technological “improvements” such as holographs as the backdrop of this amazing epic!

Characters are usually what make or break a book for me, and Nora, Bram, and Pamela are some of the most intriguing characters I’ve read recently. And one of the things I love most about this book is that we get to see the story through several points of view. It’s always written in first person but alternates between these three and a couple of others. It’s a brilliant way to flesh these characters out and give us perspective to all sides of the story. I cannot count the amount of times I literally laughed out loud at their wittiness, and I fell in love with them so deeply that their triumphs and heartbreak became mine as well.

I just finished reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy (very good!) so I thought I might be zombie-d out when I started reading this book, but Habel’s take on them was so fresh it was like I was reading about different creatures than Ryan’s zombies. The Laz (as in Lazarus… brilliant name for the disease) reanimates the dead so they come back, but some of them don’t automatically go the limb-ripping, brain-eating route. Some of them (like Bram) retain their humanity after death… for a while. The disease always eventually progresses into your typical zombie nightmare, but with the proper help from doctors and meds, the Laz is slowed down a great deal and can actually be put at bay for a few years and give the undead a relatively normal (after)life. The ones we meet are in a company that is devoted to the take-down of the “bad” zombies, the ones who couldn’t or didn’t maintain their sanity and became the flesh-eating monsters we all have nightmares about. And I love them. I can’t go into to much detail about it because I do not want to be spoilery, but they are simply fascinating and amazing and I am completely captivated by them. The history and science of the disease is explained thoroughly and makes the Laz seem like a scarily realistic problem. I loved (and was terrified by) that so much, because in no other book or movie I’ve seen or read about zombies have they explained exactly how the disease works. I feel like I understand it better and that connected me to the world of the story even more than I already was.

I think what I love most about this novel is that it’s not one that is just about star-crossed lovers and zombies. Sprinkled among the romance (which will make you squee) and the intense action (which will make you feel like fist-pumping) is an often hilarious story that gently asks questions about real bravery, true love, and what it means to live. I love stories with meaning and Dearly, Departed is full of it. As corny as it makes me sound, it made me think on what a treasure life truly is and makes me want to really LIVE every minute of it and not take it for granted. And love. Habel shows us that no matter how scary or potentially heart-breaking it can be, love is always worth the risk.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, the book's prologue is available to read on Amazon.  I hope that you read it and fall for it as hard as I did, then order the book and be even more blown away by its amazingness!  I have never read anything classified as steampunk before, but if they’re all similar to this I have a new favorite genre.  I clearly loved it and am planning on encouraging (by force if necessary) my other book-loving friends to read it as well.