Highly Anticipated 2012 Releases

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Splash Into Summer Hop!

Hey, everyone! How is the hopping going?! In case you haven't noticed yet, this is my Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop post!




That means, I am giving ONE lucky subscriber the choice of ONE prize listed below!

(Autographed by Cassie herself!)

 

(Soft cover, autographed!)

   

 

Okay, so you have PLENTY of choices! :) I'm also going to throw in some SWAG that I got at the RT convention this year! How does that sound?!

To enter: 
You must be a GFC follower! That is the only requirement!

This contest is only open to those residing in the United States, as I have to ship it myself.

Other entries include: Following on twitter, posting a blog comment, or tweeting about the giveaway. 

So you can earn a total of FOUR entries!

The contest is open until May 31. 







Thursday, May 17, 2012


Okay, everyone. So it turns out that TODAY is actually my stop in the blog hop. I got confused, and I posted on the wrong day! I've been so busy (and I've been excited waiting for this day) that I got ahead of myself. 

So....since I've already posted my review of Underworld, as well as the giveaway of my ARC, I thought I would dedicate this post to Meg herself. 

First, let me start with the question.........HOW did I find Meg Cabot?

As a younger child, I was very sick. I really couldn't do much. I could barely walk. I spent my time studying and reading, since I couldn't do many physical activities. I grew up being treated in a children's hospital for physical therapy (and so many other treatments). 

Since I couldn't do much else, I was ALWAYS reading. However, I had never really found a single author that I enjoyed. I would read books here and there, but that was about it. 

As I grew up, I enjoyed reading. After all, it was the only haven I had. Still, though, I never felt like I had found something that really, really caused me to LOVE reading. 

Finally, in junior high, I found the first book in the series Sweet Valley Junior High, and I devoured the book. After that, I found myself reading novel after novel in this series by Francine Pascal. It was AMAZING. 

However, as I grew, the series was coming to an end, and I had lost interest. It was a great series, but it just wasn't enough for me. 

Still, that was the first series I had ever read. I remember thinking how different of an experience it was to read books in a series. You grow so much more attached to the characters than you do with single standalone novels. I wanted another series, one that would peak my interest. I also wanted one that would keep me reading it all the way until the end. 

As I was wandering through the aisle of Borders (which I know miss sooo much. Why did you have to close down?!), I remember spotting a book called Princess Diaries. I was curious. Wasn't that a Disney movie?! One that I had enjoyed and probably watched at least 10 times? I could probably quote half of the lines in the movie, and I hadn't even known that it was a novel. 

So I looked at the shelf and saw that a few stories had already been released. I squealed with excitement! I KNEW this was going to be good!

I made one mistake though. This was at a point in my life where I had no idea that movie adaptations did not follow the books. So what did I do? I bought book # 2, Princess in the Spotlight. 



Imagine my surprise as I opened the novel! I had so many thoughts running through my head. What? Mia's father is ALIVE?! And she and Michael are not together?!!!!! and Who is Boris? and Lars?! And why is Grandmere so MEAN?!!

Even without these answers, the book was still amazing. I just HAD to finish it. I caught on right away, and instead of buying book 3, I went back and bought the first book. Then, after reading that, I went and grabbed the third. It was definitely a fun experience, trying to piece together the story. I mean, I wouldn't recommend reading out of order intentionally, but it was definitely exciting!

After opening the first cover alone, I was hooked. I read every book that was out at the time, which I believe was up to the fourth novel. You can imagine my impatience, when I realized that I had to wait for the next amazing piece in this series! And since that day, I pre-ordered EVERY book in the entire series. I would go pick it up the DAY it came out and finish it in one sitting. It was just THAT good!

I read the series throughout highschool and even into college. I fell in love with Mia and Michael (and Lars! hehe). I devoured these novels. I can honestly say that I never once got tired of this story. It moved at a perfect pace, and it was so realistic. Things were perfect, just like they aren't in real life. You lose friends, break up, make new friends, get used by other people, experience loss and hardship. This series really helped me through life.

I remember one particular time in my life when I actually went through a depression. It was very similar to Mia's, except I never received therapy. Instead, my physician gave me antidepressant medication to take. It was a very dark time in my life. Thankfully, I had God to help me through it. Finally, after treatment, I recovered and I felt brand new. However, I can still remember reading Mia's story and crying along with her. The descriptions of her feelings and that bottomless pit were feelings I knew all too well! I was touched to see them written out so clearly in a novel. I knew that anyone who is experiencing those feelings can read this novel and feel supported. They can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Meg used Mia's story to not only bring entertainment into my life, but she really connected with the difficulties that I faced (and many others face) in every day life. 

Mia's story is my own story in a way. I don't have to be a princess to have a happy ending! That's what Mia taught me! :)

Since that time, I have read almost EVERY Meg Cabot book that exists. I have a whole bookshelf dedicated only to Meg's books. I have read EVERY single one of the young adult novels, and I am currently working on reading the adult series and then the Allie Finkle series. I have also bought most of her anthologies and joint works and even some old novels written by Patricia Cabot. I adore Meg's work, and I cannot wait to get through every last one of them!

One important moment of my life that I remember was reading the 1-800 series. 



By this time, I had read all of the Princess Diaries series (that was released at the time) and all of the standalones that had been released (ie: American Girl, Avalon High, How to be popular, etc.) So I knew that I had to read another one of her series. I decided to read the 1-800 series. Since I knew that I loved Meg, I didn't even bother buying only one book. Instead, I purchased the entire series at once, knowing I would love every minute of it!

The day I began to read the first novel, my sister became very ill, and she was taken to the emergency room. I remembering throwing together a bag of emergency stuff (novels, an ipod, snacks, a blanket), knowing a long night in the waiting room was ahead of me. I remember grabbing the first two novels of the 1-800 series, knowing that I would be there a long time. As I sat there, waiting for news, the stress and worry began to eat away at me. So, instead of focusing on that, I picked up When Lightning Strikes and began to read. Finally, after I was halfway finished, I was able to go and see my sister. Luckily, she was okay. They needed to run more tests, but they thought everything would be fine. Sighing with relief, and heading back out into the waiting room, I began to read again. I actually finished the ENTIRE first novel in that one sitting and I moved on to the next, Code Name Cassandra. 

 <---version I read

The new cover-->



The novels really helped keep my mind off of everything that was going on. It calmed me and gave me a distraction from all of the worry.

Luckily, the healthcare team was able to care for my sister, and everything was fixed and taken care of. 

But I will never forget the relief that I felt knowing that I could drift away from my troubles into Jess' world. 

Meg is not only a talented author, she is also an incredible person. I  have met Meg twice, and both times, she was funny and sweet and caring. Plus, she signed like 25 of my books (which was super sweet!)

(This is also my profile picture, since it was one of the best days ever!)


(All of my Meg Cabot books at the time that she signed. And don't worry, I had 5 people go with me, so the line moved fairly and she didn't sign this many for each person.) 

I even won a contest on her page before, revolving around Airhead. She asked a question about who's life we would like to have for a day, and I chose Gisele (the model). It was a long story as to why I chose her, but Meg sent me this AMAZING Airhead shirt (which I still own to this day!)

(Modeling my Airhead shirt with the AMAZING book!)

*******

Thank you, Meg, for creating your novels to help individuals like me. You've helped bring me joy and entertainment, you've brought me comfort in my times of stress, and you brought understanding to me in a time when I felt alone. 

You are truly an exceptional author. You are my FAVORITE author. You have inspired me and brought life to reading in a way that I have never experienced before. and I thank you so much for all that you have done!

*********

So, now I just want to say that I hope all of you will check out the other stops on the Meg-A Readers Blog Hop. They're also giving away a copy of Underworld and some awesome swag from Meg!

and, you can read my review of Underworld and win my copy HERE!



Thanks so much for stopping by! I'd love it if you left me a comment letting me know what YOU love about 
the

author, Meg! :)









Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review and Giveaway: Underworld by Meg Cabot

Welcome to one of the stops in the amazing......


********************

Underworld by Meg Cabot
(Abandon #2)
Publisher: Point
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Pages: 336


— Book Two: Underworld —

Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible
when someone there wants you back.
Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead. Not this time.
But she’s been taken by John Hayden, lord of the Underworld, to the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.
John claims it’s for her own safety, to protect her from the Furies who yearn for vengeance against him. But John may have reasons of his own for wanting to keep Pierce close…
And soon Pierce learns that while she might be safe from the wrath of the Furies in the Underworld, the people she loves back on earth are not. Can she convince John to release her in order to save the life of someone in her family? Or will the price he asks her to pay for her freedom turn out to be too high? 
*********
Summary provided by Meg Cabot @ megcabot.com
************
This book begins right where the previous left off; Pierce has just been taken "captive" to the Underworld by John in order to protect her from her from the Furies, and specifically, a fury that happens to be part of her family. 

This is all fine and dandy, except Pierce didn't CHOOSE to go. She had no choice, and she's not happy about it. Although, surprisingly, I find that she adjusts fairly well. Until, she somehow receives a video on her cell phone of her cousin Alex and harm that is going to come to him. Once this happens, she'll do everything she can to escape again, in order to save her family. 

That about sums up as much as I can give away, without ruining any plot. 

Now, on to my review.....

I want to start out by letting you know that I am a HUGE Meg Cabot fan. Her Princess Diaries series (as well as Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley Jr. High series) was the reason I really began reading in the first place. I LOVE Meg. She has been a hero in literature for me, and her novels have really touched me in ways that others have not. She is a magnificent, creative, and funny author (both in writing and in person!)

Now, that being said, I want to move on to this specific novel. 

The novel began a little slow for my taste. Granted, the opening scene was intense and intriguing, but after that, I felt that it died down quite a bit. For a while, I sat there wondering when the action and romance was going to begin. However, I didn't have to wait too long. The novel definitely picked up pace, and by the end, I found myself craving more and more!!

As for the romance, I thought it was cute and believable. I mean, I guess the point is that Pierce and John are meant to be together, due to all of their history. Other than that, however, I didn't feel that their relationship developed much. I mean, you can see how he feels about Pierce (by trying to protect her by being a little possessive), but it just didn't click for me. I cannot believe that Pierce would not mind spending the rest of eternity with this guy, when she barely even develops her feelings for him much. Maybe that's just me, though. He's definitely a likeable guy. Granted, he's a little controlling for my taste. But, after all, he is just trying to keep the one he loves safe. And he ends up sacrificing so much for her. I definitely enjoy their relationship. I just feel that it could have been developed a bit more. 

As for the supporting cast, I LOVE LOVE LOVE them! Her cousin Alex and uncle Chris are just so wonderfully adorable. Their back story and all of the challenges they've faced really touch me. I adore them! I also really like Mr. Smith, the cemetery saxton. He is just so concerned for doing what's best for Pierce and keeping her safe. He's a wonderful addition to the story. Kayla, however, is my favorite!! She is so fun and sassy. I absolutely adore her spunk and the spark that she adds to this novel, especially when you throw Frank into the mix. It's wayyy too cute, I can't help but giggle at them. I adore this supporting cast. Developing incredible supporting characters has ALWAYS been one of Meg's specialties. She does it well, and she makes you love each and every one of them. That is one of the qualities I love most about her!

My absolute FAVORITE thing about this novel was the cliffhanger at the end. Part of me saw it coming (slightly), but not in the way it happened. I was shocked, and I am so excited to see where it goes from here! I am just dying to read the final book in the trilogy already! Hurry it up, Meg. Don't keep your lovely readers waiting any longer! To be honest, I like Pierce and John's relationship. But I'm much more interested in seeing what happens between Frank and Kayla!!!

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book. It has a creative and intriguing plot, great supporting cast members, very descriptive scenery, and a BEAUTIFUL cover!

I give it 4.5/5 cupcakes! I just couldn't bear to give it only four :P

 
and a 

 

A delicious plot,
A tantalizingly amazing supportive cast
and a
cliffhanger of an ending!

***********

So what wants to win my ARC of this AMAZING book?!

I'm giving it away as part of the Meg-A Reader's Blog Hop! Check out the rest of the stops and giveaways here!

To enter: 
You must be a GFC follower and leave me your GFC name and email!

This contest is only open to those residing in the United States, as I have to ship it myself.

Other entries include: Following on twitter, posting a blog comment, blogging about this contest, etc. 

The contest is open until midnight on May 24!

a Rafflecopter giveaway








Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review: Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Pages: 485


Summary provided by Goodreads

******

In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for

*****

Okay, so this story begins with Allison, as she struggles to survive, both by scavenging for food and avoiding the night, to avoid risking a vampire attack. In this world, vampires rule, and humans are forced to register and donate blood to the vamps or to remain unregistered and learn to scavenge for food on their own. 

One night, as Allie is scavenging once again, she ends up being attacked, and she must choose between death or becoming one of the creatures that she despises most. In the end, she could not choose death, and she chooses to become a vampire. 

This book follows Allie as she learns what it truly means to be a vampire and how to learn to feed while still retaining her humanity. 

It is a wild ride filled with suspense, mystery, romance, death, and tragedy.

Now, on to my opinion.....

Let me begin by saying, honestly, I am not a fan of vampire books. I never really have been. Yes, I have read Twilight, because there was so much hype about it, and I wanted to know if it was really that great. And I also read Insatiable and Overbite by Meg Cabot, because she's my favorite author. 

Other than that, I don't know why, but I'm just not a vampire fan. I love all other types of paranormal fantasy, other than vampires. 

However, I LOVE Julie Kagawa's work. I loved her Iron Fey series. She has such a talent at writing, I just had to try this as well.

That being said, I am so glad I gave this book a chance. I LOVED this novel!

The beginning of the novel started off a little slow for my taste. I definitely thought there would be a lot more action at first. However, the build up was definitely worth it!

Not that I have read many vampire novels, but I felt that this one was completely original. A paranormal romance AND a dystopian?! Can you even DO that?!

The answer is YES! If your name is Julie Kagawa, you can pull off just about anything!

The one most interesting aspect of this novel is the fact that it truly deals with the issues of humanity. When you have a "monster" living inside of you, it is so hard to do the right thing. This book really depicts Allie's struggle as she does her best to be the person she wants to be, rather than the monster that she feels like inside. 

The journey she experiences is both beautiful and heart-wrenching. It is definitely a challenge to read this book, because you find yourself seeing yourself in the situation. You get to really understand the struggle that Allie faces in trying to make the right decisions, while trying to avoid the hunger that constantly eats at her. 

This book is absolutely incredible. If all vampire novels were more like this, I wouldn't really have a problem reading any of them. I definitely recommend this novel. I couldn't put it down. Once you get past the slow beginning, the action picks up, and you are taken on a wild journey. 

Just an FYI, if you can't stand gore, violence, and death, then this may not be the novel for you. This is definitely no Twilight. There's plenty of death and lots of blood. Sometimes, it may leave you a little "queasy" but it's impossible to put down. 

******

Overall, I would give this book
5/5 Wickedly Sweet Cupcakes!


One wild journey,
Intense action,
Beautiful storytelling
and the struggles of humanity
all packed into one


novel!

Oh, and if that's NOT enough, the book even comes with a preview of her upcoming spinoff of the Iron Fey series, The Lost Prince. 

and check out it's enchanting cover...


I cannot wait for October to get my hands on this incredible novel! *Squeal!* I'm so excited!


Lastly, but DEFINITELY not least, I want to thank Harlequin for providing me with an ARC for review via Netgalley! Thanks for the incredible journey!




Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review: Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Pages: 294


Summary taken from Goodreads

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan--an ancient terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and the dirt under her nails, and all she wants is to go home. 

Once she returns to school, however, Cammie realizes that even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers. Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach must face their most difficult challenge yet as they travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind. It’s a race against time. The Circle is hot on their trail and willing stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer

*********

This is the 5th book in the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter. I have to begin by saying that Ally Carter is my sister's absolute FAVORITE author. My sister is also the reason I began reading this series in the beginning. So I have my sister to think to discovering this adorable series!

Basically, the premise of the entire series is a secret "boarding" school for female spies. Obviously, the plot becomes much deeper than that, but I can't say much more without giving everything away!

In this particular novel, Cammie develops amnesia. She has been missing for months, and no one knows where she was. But it is suspected that she may have been abducted by a menacing group that would have loved nothing more than to torture her.  As we travel through the novel, we experience Cammie's world, and relearn memories along with her. We experience every moment at her side, and I have to say, it is quite the journey!

I definitely enjoy this series, in general. However, I do feel that the majority of the stories were meant towards younger teenagers. I cannot say that, however, with this final book.

This book is definitely the darkest, most mysterious, and most intriguing of the series.

One major aspect I look at in an author is to see that their writing is improving with each novel, and I can honestly say that I see this trait in Ally's novels.

While the other novels were still enjoyable, this novel was absolutely breathtaking! I was unable to put it down. I absolutely love the way this novel was written. I really enjoyed "seeing" and "experiencing" the world through Cammie's eyes. I felt as though I was right there beside her. I felt my heart break when Cammie experienced heartache. I felt fear, as she felt fear. I felt enlightened as we experienced her "memories" with her.  Parts of this story were even unpredictable, and I found myself surprised at that. I'm not usually one to feel surprise in novels, but this was an exception!

This is definitely Ally Carter's best novel to date, and I cannot wait for the final installment in the series!

I definitely recommend this novel to fans of Ally Carter and the Gallagher Girls. And if you don't read the Gallagher Girls, I would definitely recommend starting now, especially after the exciting journey I experienced while reading this novel. 

~~~*~~~

While I may have given the other novels in the series a 4/5 cupcakes, this one definitely deserves

5/5 wickedly sweet cupcakes!

One amazing, mysterious journey, 
Unpredictable moments, and the


POV of an amnesiac!

******
And, I just have to add that Ally Carter is so sweet in person. It's one thing to be talented, but to be so nice too! She's definitely an author you want to meet if you get the chance! (And my sister was SO EXCITED because she remembered her from the last time we met!)





Tuesday, April 17, 2012

RT Convention Giveaway

As a thanks to all my followers, and since I've gotten SO MANY free books at RT this past week, I wanted to share the wealth with you!

So I'm hosting a giveaway with some AWESOME books!

One person will win their choice of a book listed below! 


Plus, I'll throw in some free autographed swag! I have TONS of Swag. Some Matched posters from Ally Condie, posters from Richelle Mead, signed bookmarks by Amy Plum, Josephine Angelini, Kiera Cass, Stephanie Perkins, Michele Jaffe, Beth Revis, and much, much more! If you have a specific author you might want some swag from, just leave me a comment below, and I'll try to throw that in if you win!

AND if I reach 200 followers, I'll choose 2 winners!

Here's the books you can choose from:




 


To enter: 
You must be a GFC follower and let me know which prize you would like! Also, this contest is only open to those residing in the United States, as I have to ship it myself.

Other optional entries include: Following me on Twitter, Tweeting about this giveaway, Blogging about this giveaway, Commenting on this blog spot, and supporting the INCREDIBLE Team Amity!

Oh, and I also have an ARC of Underworld by Meg Cabot I'll be giving away some time in the near future! As well as some other autographed novels (like Anna and the French Kiss, etc.) So stay tuned!


Enjoy this 
giveaway! 

and don't forget to support Team Amity (by clicking the buttons on my sidebar --->)







a Rafflecopter giveaway