in my mailbox (33)

In My Mailbox, hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, allows us to share our
current reads, and books we've received/checked out/purchased over the course of the week.

From the publisher:

Shine, Jeri Smith-Ready

This one appears in this week's IMM though I've already read it and started the review. My favorite installment of the trilogy. Before I even opened the book I just took a look at the thickness of it from the outside and maybe it's because my copy is paperback, but it's definitely seems like the longest story of the lot. The new cover design is gorgeous in person; I can definitely appreciate both styles of art direction. Thanks so, so kindly to Simon Pulse for sending this along. It was fabulous!

sneak peek of 'the raven boys'

I wasn't immediately sold on the name Blue, but, really, Maggie can make just about anything work. The way she has of supplying all of the necessary information without force feeding it directly to the reader always, always puts me a bit in awe. In just two chapters the story has a strong presence and the characters are people I want to know more about. Thanks to Entertainment Weekly for having the exclusive and to Maggie for the glimpse.

'Ravenboys' by Maggie Stiefvater - Chapter tease

Q: What is one book that you would be nervous to see a movie adaptation of because you think the movie could never live up to the book?

It's funny, because the last FF that I participated in, the question was which film would I like to see a film version of. I'll mirror that answer here in part, because while I think The Night Circus would be an amazing film, it's such a book that is unique to each person who reads it. My mental Marco, Celia, and Prospero and how I envisioned all the moments as they unfurled are so ingrained in my reading of the novel that it's hard to separate the two.

I'm also rather nervous about The Scorpio Races*. By now you probably know how much I adore this book and if Sean Kendrick becomes a lean-y, glare-y emo stablehand I'd probably just burst into tears. (Or if Puck is any less amazing than she inherently is.) This is a book that's so close to my heart that I   almost prefer that it stick to the black and white rather than any attempt at being further fleshed out. And then I think of the horses and water.

*TSR is currently on sale via Amazon as an e-book for $3. If you haven't read it, here's the perfect opportunity to give it a shot. You can find reviews of The Night Circus (here) and The Scorpio Races (here).

waiting on wednesday (34)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event courtesy of Breaking the Spine
that showcases much anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: Level Two
Author: Lenore Appelhans

from lenore's website: autumn 2012
In Level Two, the liminal place between our world (Level One) and heaven, Seventeen-year-old Felicia Ward spends her days in her pod reliving her favorite memories - until she gets broken out by Julian, a boy she knew when she was still alive. There’s about to be an uprising in Level Two, and Julian wants to recruit her to the cause. But unsure whether she can trust Julian, and still in love with her boyfriend Neil on Earth, she finds herself torn between two loves—and two worlds.
I've been excited about this one since it was announced early last year. Excited for Lenore that her story is getting a chance to come out and play and that we will all have a chance to read it. There's no cover available yet, but my mind has already created fairly epic designs highlighting an in-between. I'm very curious about a society that is able to separate in this fashion and about what the existence of a level two entails - this is one I'm rather looking forward to. :)

top ten tuesdays! (15)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. If you love lists
and wracking your brain for answers, then this is the meme for you!

Top Ten Books That Were Totally Deceiving: (in no particular order - 'r' denotes review)

pleasantly surprised:
01. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: For the longest time I couldn't get past the title and the cover. I love YA, but this one was screaming out 'much younger!' to me every time I looked at it on the shelf. And yet tons of friends and bloggers loved and raved about it, so one day I caved. I didn't read it until last year when trapped indoors during Hurricane Irene, and boy - fabulous! Don't wait until inclement weather comes! Read this book!

02. Vampire Academy (series) by Richelle Mead: After Twilight (which I don't care for) I was a bit hesitant for anything vaguely vampire. I couldn't deal with another simpering female MC, and, boy, was I surprised when I eventually picked this up. Rose Hathaway, simpering? She'd thunk me on the head for the mere implication. This series is YA vampires done absolutely right. 

03. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready: Girl's with boyfriend, boyfriend dies, but girl can still see him? Intriguing, but perhaps with the chance that this premise can be handled unfortunately. In this case it isn't, and the idea of a "post-shift" society where a generation of people are able to see ghosts is incredibly interesting and done so well. (I'm reading the last book in the trilogy now, so I can't wait to see how it ends!)

04. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (r): Don't like werewolves? That's okay, neither do I, really, but this book was absolutely gorgeous with prose that matches the quietly haunting feel of the cover. To be fair, I've read this one as a standalone, though I do own Linger and Forever. One day I'll read them, I promise.

05. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi: The cover and title are actually what pulled me in, but I can see how it might be off-putting to some people. And don't let that happen to you as there is so much more within this book: the world-building is extraordinary and it's a story I didn't want to end. (Its sequel will be out May 1st; the title is potentially spoilery so don't look at that first!)

(un)pleasantly surprised:
06. Outside In by Maria V. Snyder: I loved Inside Out and so getting my hands on this one was exciting. And then it wasn't. The two main characters had too much to deal with here and were difficult to digest more than they were easier to empathise with. The ending, for me, was a huge disappointment.

07. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher: Gorgeous cover, amazing idea for a story but poor execution. The characters were all over the place and there were plenty of spots where the reader was assumed to know integral plot pieces that we didn't.

08. Possession by Elana Johnson (r): Fantastic cover art. Tricky, blink-you'll-miss-it ending (loved that), but everything in-between didn't work. Having a female MC called 'babe' on a consistent basis made everything else questionable.

09. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston: This was a story that I wanted very much to like, and, to be fair, the story itself was interesting. But the writing was also all over the place and that threw everything else off for me. The pace too slow in some parts, rushed in others - especially where the relationship of the main character was concerned. Taken in by the curious title and lovely cover.

10. Abandon by Meg Cabot (r): That cover. A Persephone myth. Except nothing about it worked for me aside from the premise.

review: fever by lauren destefano

Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publication Date: 02/21/2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 341
Source: Purchased
Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.

 Rhine Ellery has escaped from the House Governor's mansion in Florida, and together with Gabriel, is en route to Manhattan to find her twin brother Rowan. Life on the outside is much different from the too-convenient mansion, and Rhine finds herself in the uncomfortable place of occasionally comparing her life within to the everyday struggles of the real world. Vacillating between anger at having been Gathered, being separated from her brother, and at the world for giving her this disease in the first place, Rhine learns that wanting something is important, but in this uncertain world where parents outlive their children, is that enough?

Fever starts almost immediately after the end of Wither, with Rhine and Gabriel on the run. The book begins with an exploratory feel, and I found myself having to reel back a bit after remembering the frenzied events at the end of the previous book. This hesitant tone fits well within Rhine's mindset as she reacclimatises to being on the outside. However, the two aren't alone for long before they find themselves ensnared in another situation of entrapment. I love what Lauren does with words - and what she isn't afraid to do with them - in order to convey Rhine's feelings of being caged and frustrated. (This is done at times to, what I feel, is the detriment of Gabriel - though he is always with Rhine, sometimes I don't get the feeling that he's there at all, a lack of presence.) The pacing of Fever runs parallel to Rhine figuring out her situation and how she's going to deal with it.

The issue for me, again, is that there's not enough information. I still don't know why this is happening, and that lack makes it difficult for me to suspend disbelief as much as I would like. We know there is a disease that affects all newly conceived children, and we know from haunting descriptions (the disappearance of the outer boroughs to the Atlantic is chilling for me as a New Yorker) that the Eastern seaboard and Europe are vastly redefined. These subtle descriptions do much in the way of setting the feeling for Rhine's America, but I still need to know how this disease came about. In order to affect children but not the parental hosts it has to be incredibly specific genetically. I also have difficulty accepting that people would readily embrace this new world instead of fighting and doing everything they can to find a cure.

We're introduced to a handful of new characters in this book, though I almost feel as if the characters were more inherent to the setting. Maddie, a physically handicapped child who does not speak, is perhaps the most telling. In Rhine's society such a child is dubbed 'malformed' and would ordinarily be killed. It continues to highlight what I found strange about Wither; that people would kill children when the existence of these children, even with their shortened lifespans, is all the human race has. Girls who aren't considered beautiful enough are killed by Gatherers and children who don't have ten fingers and ten toes are similarly considered disposable.

The main thing, aside from the lack of why, is that very little happens plot-wise here. I enjoyed the descriptions and the character movement, but I'm unsure as to how the series, with only one book left, will be able to tie everything together in a way that's going to be satisfying as a reader. Fever is a great development upon the first installment in that we get to see what exactly makes Rhine tick, and I'm curious to see how everything will unfold in the final book; curious enough that I'll pick it up when it's released.


I am presently on hiatus into the foreseeable future. You can find me on twitter, tumblr, or my writing website,

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