Monday, November 25, 2013


I just wanted to apologize for my absence this month. I've been doing NaNoWriMo which has made blogging and reading a little difficult. I've got a ton of posts up coming for December. Sorry all!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Raven Rise (Pendragon #9)

Author: D. J. MacHale 
Goodreads Rating: 4.25
Pages: 560
Format: Finished Copy
This is where it begins. The showdown for Halla. At stake is nothing less than all that ever was and all that will be.There's only one thing missing--Bobby Pendragon.

While Bobby remains trapped on Ibara, the battle moves to his home territory: Second Earth. Mark Dimond and Courtney Chetwynde are left on their own to defend Second Earth agsinst the forces of Saint Dane. They must face off against a charismatic cult leader who has risen to power by revealing a shattering truth to the people of Earth: They are not alone.

The Convergence has broken down the walls. The territories are on a collision course. The final phase of Saint Dane's quest to rule Halla is under way.

And Bobby Pendragon is nowhere to be found.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Author: Jenna Black
Goodreads Rating: 3.64
Pages: 368
Format: ARC from ALA13
Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake comes from a high-class Executive family in the Corporate States. Her marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family in her state, which means she lives a life of privilege but also of public scrutiny, followed everywhere by photographers, every detail of her private life tabloid fodder. But her future is assured, as long as she can maintain her flawless public image — no easy feat when your betrothed is a notorious playboy.
Nathan Hayes is the heir of Paxco — controller of the former state of New York, and creator of human replication technology, science that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Though Nadia and Nate aren’t in love, they’ve grown up close, and they (and the world) are happy enough with their match.
Until Nate turns up dead, and as far as everyone knows, Nadia was the last person to see him alive.
When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows he must have died, but with a memory that only reaches to his last memory backup, he doesn’t know what killed him. Together, Nadia and Nate must discover what really happened without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Princess In the Opal Mask: Interview with Jenny Lundquist

Earlier this morning, I posted my review of The Princess in the Opal Mask, I really enjoyed it, and my excitement got to go a little further when I was able to interview the author, Jenny Lunquist. If you don't know Jenny, you can read a little bit more about her here.

Jenny Lundquist grew up in Huntington Beach, California, wearing glasses and wishing they had magic powers. They didn't, but they did help her earn a degree in intercultural studies at Biola University. Jenny has painted an orphanage in Mexico, taught English at a university in Russia, and hopes one day to write a book at a café in Paris. Jenny and her husband live in northern California with their two sons and Rambo, the world's whiniest cat.

You can find her on Facebook or Twitter or her Blog!

Without further adieu, onto the interview!

Which sister do you relate to more?

I relate to both sisters, but I suppose Wilha is a little bit more like me. In high school I was really insecure and somewhat fearful. While I admire Elara’s grit and toughness, I am not like her at all. Originally, I was only going to tell the story from Elara’s perspective, but as I got to know Wilha more, I really liked her, and wondered if the story should be told from her POV instead. Ultimately I decided that the best way to do justice to the book was to split the narrative between both girls, a decision I am so happy with, as I feel like it’s given more depth to the story as a whole.

What would your mask look like?

If I was stuck wearing a mask on my face day in and day out, you can bet that, like Wilha’s, it would have a ton of bling. Opals, diamonds, gold and gilt, you name it. Who would actually be paying for me to have this ultra expensive mask, I have no idea, but that’s the type I’d be hoping for.

When writing the book, did you draw your own Map? If so do you care to share?

Sure! I did a rough sketch of the map that existed in my head and handed it in to my illustrator, the talented Teresa Bonaddio, at Running Press. It’s incredibly difficult for me to even draw stick people, so it took several tries for me to even get the simple sketch down. After I sent it to Teresa, she drafted up the fantastic version that made it into the book (and, unlike mine, doesn’t look like a kindergartener drew it). And, because I’m working on the sequel, I needed them to add in extra places that did not appear in my original sketch or in The Princess in the Opal Mask. Spoiler alert for the sequel: It’s possible that one or both of the girls just might find themselves back in Galandria at some point and journeying to new places!

When did The Princess in the Opal Mask become an idea for a book?

That’s a difficult question to answer, as the story came to me in pieces over a period of almost ten years. I think the precise moment when I knew I had a story I needed to tell was one night when an image just “jumped” into my head: Of a dirty, neglected teenage girl sitting on a wooden stool. A door opened in front of her, and whatever she saw caused her features to twist with shock and horror. The writer in me wondered what could surprise her so much. So I swung my “mental POV camera” around, and when I saw what was behind the door, I was shocked, too. I think that’s when I knew I absolutely had a story. Chapters 16-18 of the finished book are a direct result of that image.

Even though this is your third book, how did it feel knowing that you were going to be published again?

It felt just as exciting as the first time, particularly since this is my first YA book. And it’s particularly sweet since these characters have been with me for so long. After so many years, Elara and Wilha seem like real people to me, and I’m hoping others will like them just as much as I do.

What sort of research went into this book?

Although this book is set in a fictional kingdom, there’s a bit of seventeenth and eighteenth century French history that have slightly influenced elements of the story, so I did a little reading on that time period. Also, does Googling pictures of masquerade masks qualify as research? Because I did a whole lot of that. I keep a board here on Pinterest of images that inspired me while I was writing the book, and I pinned some of the more colorful masks I drooled over.
In the course of looking at all the masks I found out about The Carnival of Venice, a festival held in—you guessed it!—Venice, wherein people wear masks and make merry. It’s now on my bucket list to attend that event. One day, I’m going to rock a Venetian mask and costume!

How many books do you have planned for this world?

I’m currently working on the sequel, which is the final book in the series. I’m having a blast writing it, and while I don’t want to give anything specific away, I’ll just say that readers can expect more in the second book. More romance, more adventure, more fun!

You can find more tour stops here!

The Princess in the Opal Mask

Author: Jenny Lunquist
Goodreads Rating: 3.67
Pages: 352
Format: ARC from ALA 

Every Fairy-Tale Ending Has a Price. . . .
Orphaned as a child in the crumbling village of Tulan, Elara is determined to learn her true identity, even if it means wielding a dagger. Meanwhile, in Galandria's royal capital, Princess Wilha stands out as someone to either worship or fear. Though no one knows why the king has always made her conceal her face--including Wilha herself.
When an assassination attempt threatens the peace of neighboring kingdoms, Elara and Wilha are brought face to face . . . with a chance at claiming new identities. However, with dark revelations now surfacing, both girls will need to decide if brighter futures are worth the binding risks.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Champion (Legend #3)

Author: Marie Lu
Goodreads Rating: 4.65
Pages: 384
Format: Finished Copy

The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!
He is a Legend.She is a Prodigy.Who will be Champion? 
June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.


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