Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (42)

What's Left of Me - Kat Zhang
*September 18th, 2012 HarperCollins
Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t…
For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable–hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet…for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything. 
Doesn't this sound like an enticing read? There's something really striking about the cover image (really digging the double face effect as well), and the synopsis sounds fascinating! Definitely really interested to delve into this one.

What's your pick this Wednesday?

*WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Writers: Mac or PC?

From Goodreads
So I was on Goodreads just now, when I spotted this photo of J.K. Rowling with the caption "J.K. Rowling at her laptop", holding what is clearly a white Sony VAIO (aka a PC). I mentioned this to a friend, and he immediately commented that "that is rare; nearly every writer uses a Mac these days." 

Now, I'm wondering how valid of a claim this is. So let's have a poll. Chime in, writers, aspiring writers, agents, publishers, bloggers - anyone in the book industry - what do you use, Mac or PC?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (41)

Alice in Zombieland - Gena Showalter
*September 25th, 2012 Harlequin Teen
She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.
Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.
Her father was right. The monsters are real….
To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….
There's something very haunting about that cover, don't you think? The contrast between the dark grays and the light blues carries a certain air of allure. And the whole play-on with the title has me interested! Sounds like an interesting paranormal story.

Your turn now - what're you waiting on this Wednesday?

*WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Shift Review

Shift (Shade #2) - Jeri Smith-Ready
*May 3rd, 2011 Simon Pulse

Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.
Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.
As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.
Shift is a worthy follow-up to Shade (review here). The sequel hits just the right tone of continuing the story without too much rehashing of events. A lot of the positive comments I made regarding Shade still apply here - the originality, the charisma, the likeable characters.

Smith-Ready's characters aren't always prim and proper - Aura, Zachary, Logan and the crew get mad. They show emotion. They say harsh things, lash out and act less than perfect at times. And that's what makes them so much more real.

The mystery surrounding the Shift is explored further in this installment, and explored well! Shift has great pacing, an intriguing plot, action, romance... Like Shade, it has a little bit of something for everyone. A great progression for a great YA trilogy.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (40)

Breathe - Sarah Crossan
*October 2nd, 2012 Greenwillow
Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . .
The world is dead. 
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air. 
has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.
should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her. 
wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.
And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?
Really digging the synopsis for this! The structure of the teaser is very enticing - the opening sentence has a beautiful rhythm, and the context of the built world sounds fascinating and the three characters are introduced nicely. 

A fan of dystopian fiction, that's already +1 right there. Also really like the name 'Quinn.' This one has certainly piqued my interest!

What about you, what're you waiting on this Wednesday?

*WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Promo

A little over two years ago, I first blogged about The Vampire Diaries shortly after the first season finale. (I totally called that Tyler/werewolf thing, by the way :P)Well, two seasons later, I'm still watching the show. (It's actually really good, okay?) 

So anyway - the fourth season is set to premiere on Thursday, October 11th. A promo was recently released at Comic Con (see video above). By the looks of it, it's definitely going to be an action-packed season. Who else is excited for it?! Any predictions on what's going to happen?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (39)

Nerve - Jeanne Ryan
*September 13th, 2012 Dial
A high-stakes online game of dares turns deadly  
When Vee is picked to be a player in NERVE, an anonymous game of dares broadcast live online, she discovers that the game "knows" her. They tempt her with prizes taken from her ThisIsMe page and team her up with the perfect boy, sizzling-hot Ian. At first it's exhilarating--Vee and Ian's fans cheer them on to riskier dares with higher stakes. But the game takes a twisted turn when they're directed to a secret location with five other players for the Grand Prize round. Suddenly they're playing all or nothing, with their lives on the line. Just how far will Vee go before she loses NERVE?  
Debut author Jeanne Ryan delivers an un-putdownable suspense thriller.
This sounds like all sorts of eerie and awesome. Eerie because the whole thing about the game "knowing" her? That's pretty applicable to optimized search engines and social media and the whole internet shabang these days. Awesome because the premise sounds really cool - an anonymous game of dares? Suspense and thrills? Intrigued to check this one out!

What're you waiting on this Wednesday?!

*WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine

Friday, July 27, 2012

Go-To Books

There are a few books/authors whose work I tend to find myself drawn back to, time and again. Books that I'll re-read (although rarely from cover to cover again, mind you), flipping open to any page or to a particularly memorable scene. Sometimes just for fun, sometimes when I'm bored, sometimes when I need a bit of comfort. Does anyone else do that, re-read segments of books?

Off the top of my head, some that are among the more frequently revisited: the Harry Potter series, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, Crimson Hero, Little Women, The Hunger Games series... 

The photo above was taken earlier this summer at a hostel in London, England. There was a book exchange bookshelf in the lobby, and it was kind of cool to see all the well-traveled books there, left behind by unknown travelers. Browsed through Catching Fire as I charged my phone for a bit - it was a bit surreal, to be engrossed in a familiar book with a very different packaging. 

How about you, what're your go-to reads whose worlds you visit again and again?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (38)

Ten - Gretchen McNeil
*September 18th, 2012 Balzer + Bray
And their doom comes swiftly. 
It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.
But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.
Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?
A murder mystery! This seems like an enticing read because the synopsis sounds unique and different from a lot of the other current offerings in the YA genre. And it's slightly reminiscent of Agatha Christie. 

What're you waiting on this Wednesday?!

*WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wanted: Book Recommendations

Hello there, Blogosphere! It's been a while, hasn't it? The past couple of months have been insane, from finishing up the semester to exploring a foreign continent. It's been a grand adventure for sure.

Looking back at my Top 10 of 2011 and Top 10 of 2010 posts recently, I realized that, as sad as it sounds, as of right now I haven't read enough books for pleasure this year to do such a post. So - since I'm heading home for a bit of a break soon, I'm hoping to get in some quality reading time.

But looking at all the offerings available, I'm at a bit of a loss - where should I start? What books (recent or classics) should I devour this upcoming month? Which novels have been absolutely standout and really resonated with you? What stories have kept you up into the wee hours of night, unable to leave the fictional world the words created?


Sunday, February 5, 2012

In My Mailbox [54]

Wow, haven't done one of these posts in over half a year - crazy! So anyway - today was the launch party for The Way We Fall, Megan Crewe's latest release. Unfortunately I was only able to drop by for a little bit, so I missed the reading/speech at the beginning. I did manage to pick up a copy of the book and get it signed though! Megan was very nice, and it was great to meet her in person.

The book cover is very striking, and the texture of it is pretty cool. Megan also brought some really cool swag to the signing, like pens, hand sanitizer and magnets.

A couple years ago, back in 2009 when Megan's debut Give up the Ghost was released, I posted a review & an interview here on Lucid Conspiracy, in case anyone wants to check those out.

What was in your mailbox this week?

*In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren

Monday, January 16, 2012

Giveaway: Cinder

Happy 2012! It's so hard to believe that we're already halfway through January. But what better way to kick off the new year than to celebrate it with a giveaway? Up for grabs is a copy of hot new release Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

Cinder was just released on January 3rd. The striking trailer was shared on Lucid Conspiracy just last week.
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
Now, the contest:
- runs until January 26th, 2012, 11:59pm EST
- open to mailing addresses in the US & Canada
- enter here

Share your thoughts on the book, the trailer, the synopsis, etc. below! Good luck, and here's to 2012 being absolutely epic!

*Contest hosted in collaboration with Zeitghost Media & St. Martin's Press.

Tempest Trailer

Another trailer to share! This one is for Tempest by Julie Cross, which will be released tomorrow (January 17th, 2012) by St. Martin's Press.

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– 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.

Tempest has already been pre-empted by Summit Entertainment (producers of Twilight), and is the first book in a series. Another time travel story, so it'll be cool to see how it plays out!

What're your thoughts on the trailer?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Harbinger Trailer

Another awesome book trailer to share! Tonight the selection is a live action trailer for Sara Wilson Etienne's Harbinger, which will be published by Penguin on February 2nd, 2012.

Set in a world in which a diminishing oil supply has lead to chaos and mass rioting, sixteen year old Faye is plagued by waking visions and nightmares. Her parents think the only solution is to send her to Holbrook Academy, the creepy prison-like school for disturbed teenagers. When she and her friends wake up on the floor with their hands stained red, Faye has no idea what it means, but fears she may be the cause. But despite the strangeness of Holbrook and the island on which it sits, Faye feels oddly connected to the place. The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain he is trying to kill her –and the rest of the world too.
The trailer is very well done, and definitely very intriguing! Sara has a blog entry about the making of the trailer, which has some really interesting information and behind-the-scenes footage, so be sure to check that out.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cinder Trailer

Today, I want to share the awesome book trailer for Cinder by Marissa Meyer, which was just released a few days ago on January 3rd by Feiwel & Friends.

Cinder: Book One in The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Even in the future, the story begins with Once Upon a Time…. Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl. . . . Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.

Doesn't the book description sound awesome?! Modified humans, fractured fairy tale, science fiction... sounds like great fun!

The dates for Marissa Meyer's extensive author tour can be found on her blog and if you're unable to attend, there will be an author event/party on January 9th on Facebook/Twitter at 7:00 EST.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (37)

The Selection - Kiera Cass
*April 24th, 2012 HarperTeen
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
First WoW post of 2012 :) This week's feature is The Selection by Kiera Cass. There's something very striking about the cover, all the feathers and gowns and fractured reflections. A little reminiscent of Black Swan. And in light of the recent royal wedding, princes and princesses and weddings are certainly very much in society's mind currently.

The synopsis sounds great too. America sounds like a very intriguing leading lady, to find something so coveted by others a nightmare.

What're you waiting on this Wednesday?!
*WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine

Monday, January 2, 2012

Essay Contest for Aspiring Writers of YA/MG

Happy New Year! Hope 2012 has been going well for everyone so far :)

Today, I just wanted to quickly help share a writing contest for the Book Wish Foundation:

Win a literary agent or acclaimed author's feedback on your unpublished manuscript for young adult or middle grade readers. This rare opportunity is being offered to the six winners of an essay contest recently announced by the literacy charity Book Wish Foundation. See for full details.

You could win a manuscript critique from:

  • Laura Langlie, literary agent for Meg Cabot
  • Nancy Gallt, literary agent for Jeanne DuPrau
  • Brenda Bowen, literary agent and editor of Karen Hesse's Newbery Medal winner Out of the Dust
  • Ann M. Martin, winner of the Newbery Honor for A Corner of the Universe
  • Francisco X. Stork, winner of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award for The Last Summer of the Death Warriors
  • Cynthia Voigt, winner of the Newbery Medal for Dicey's Song and the Newbery Honor for A Solitary Blue

All that separates you from this prize is a 500-word essay about a short story in Book Wish Foundation's new anthology, What You Wish For. Essays are due Feb. 1, 2012 and winners will be announced around Mar. 1, 2012. If you win, you will have six months to submit the first 50 pages of your manuscript for critique (which means you can enter the contest even if you haven't finished, or started, your manuscript). You can even enter multiple times, with essays about more than one of the contest stories, for a chance to win up to six critiques.

If you dream of being a published author, this is an opportunity you should not miss. To enter, follow the instructions at

Good luck and best wishes,

Logan Kleinwaks
President, Book Wish Foundation

What You Wish For (ISBN 9780399254543, Putnam Juvenile, Sep. 15, 2011) is a collection of short stories and poems about wishes from 18 all-star writers: Meg Cabot, Jeanne DuPrau, Cornelia Funke, Nikki Giovanni, John Green, Karen Hesse, Ann M. Martin, Alexander McCall Smith, Marilyn Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Joyce Carol Oates, Nate Powell, Sofia Quintero, Gary Soto, R.L. Stine, Francisco X. Stork, Cynthia Voigt, Jane Yolen. With a Foreword by Mia Farrow. Book Wish Foundation is donating 100% of its proceeds from the book to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, to fund the development of libraries in Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad.

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