Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (#3)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book blog meme hosted by Breaking the Spine

"Trix can deal with being an orphan charity case at a snotty boarding school. She can hold her own when everyone else tells her not to dream big dreams. She can even fight back against the mysterious stranger in a silver mask who tries to steal the meteorite her parents trusted her to protect. 

But her life is about to change forever. The Circus Galacticus has come to town, bringing acts to amaze, delight, and terrify. And now the dazzling but enigmatic young Ringmaster has offered Trix the chance to be a part of it. Soon Trix discovers an entire universe full of deadly enemies and potential friends, not to mention space leeches, ancient alien artifacts, and exploding chocolate desserts. And she just might unravel the secrets of her own past—if she can survive long enough."
-Synopsis by Goodreads

A space circus? Say no more, I must read it.The book trailer is a little cheesy, but I think this book has potential. Check it out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (#1)

Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

 This weeks Top Ten is Top Ten Books I Want to Reread

    1) Birthmarked by Caragh O’Brien I first read Birthmarked over a year ago, and really liked it. And with the sequel coming up I have to get caught up.                                                                                             
2) Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray I loved this series when I first read it, and want to see if it’s still just as good the first time around.

3) Test by William Sleator
One of the first dystopian books I ever read.  

4) A Fast and Brutal Wing by Jeffrie Kathleen Johnson Again I read this one long ago and loved it.

5) Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan I absolutely fell head over heels in love with book when I read the ARC in January. I must read this one again. 

6) Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith I can’t remember much about reading this one, and recently found out Tantalize is a series. I definitely want to check this one out again.

7) Al Capone Does My Shirts I really loved this book when I first read it, and found out recently it has a sequel.

8) A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket Another beloved series from my childhood.

9) Pirates! By Celia Rees Yet another childhood favorite.

10) Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard  I recently took up watching the TV series and I only ever got through 4 of the books. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (#2)

Waiting on Wednesday is an internet meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine.

 "Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget."

-picture and synopsis provided by

I'm really excited for this post-apocolyptic novel. It's suposed to be published October 11th 2011 by Tanglewood Press.  I have the ARC waiting to be read, so stay tuned for the review!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Review: Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Title: Rot & Ruin
Author: Jonathan Maberry site
Format: Hardcover, 458
Published: 10/05/2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Library
“In the zombie-infested world Benny has grown up in, teenagers must work once they turn fifteen- or they’ll lose their food rations. Benny isn’t interested in taking on the family business, but he reluctantly agrees to train as a zombie killer with his boring big brother, Tom. He expects a dull job, whacking zombies for cash. What he discovers is a vocation that will teach him what it really means to be human.
As his world view is challenged again and again by the lessons he learns from Tom, Benny is forced to confront another horrifying reality: Sometimes the most terrifying monsters are human.”
-Synopsis from cover
In Rot & Ruin, zombies are very slow rotting dead that eat flesh and are easily avoidable. Bringing a pitying view to them as opposed to viewing them as flesh hungry monsters, something I’ve never seen before.
At first, I found Benny (protagonist) to be whinny, lazy, rude, and self-centered. Thankfully though as the book goes on, little Benny grows up some and eventually becomes likeable. I think my favorite character was Tom. He’s compassionate, loving, and completely badass. Obviously he’s the best bounty hunter (zombie killer) around. And Charlie Pink-eye and The Hammer were perfectly cast villains. There are plenty of people you love to hate in this book.
Above all else, Rot & Ruin is the first book in a very long time that moved me to tears. There are moments in this book that really tug on your heart strings. Even the driest of eyes will tear up at the end.
The only “hole” I found was the EMP that wiped out the electronics. I don’t remember an explanation for why there was an EMP after “First Night”. If I missed it, please let me know.
I was blown away by how much I loved this book.  I knew that Rot & Ruin was about zombies, and that most book blogs had reviewed it. I figured I’d at least like it (my somewhat anti-romance point of view is very hard to please these days), but never dreamed I’d fall in love with it. The sequel, Dust & Decay, is definitely on my “to read” list. Five stars.

As always. I'd love to hear what you thought of the book. Please comment.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cover News: Insurgent

Hey guys, I was on goodreads (as usual) and guess what I saw. The new Insurgent by Veronica Roth cover! It looks like the symbol from the faction Amity, my personal faction of choice.

- photo by
Please comment to tell me what you think.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (#1)

Waiting on Wednesday is an internet meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This weeks pick is The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker  

"Sherry and her family have lived sealed in a bunker in the garden since things went wrong up above. Her grandfather has been in the freezer for the last three months, her parents are at each other’s throats and two minutes ago they ran out of food.

Sherry and her father leave the safety of the bunker and find a devastated and empty LA, smashed to pieces by bombs and haunted by ‘Weepers’ - rabid humans infected with a weaponized rabies virus.

While searching for food in a supermarket, Sherry’s father disappears and Sherry is saved by Joshua, a boy-hunter. He takes her to Safe-haven, a tumble-down vineyard in the hills outside LA, where a handful of other survivors are picking up the pieces of their ‘other lives’. As she falls in love for the first time, Sherry must save her father, stay alive and keep Joshua safe when his desire for vengeance threatens them all."

As a lover of dystopian fiction, this one is definitely on my "to read" list. Unfortunately I can't read it until February 1st next year.  For more information on The Other Life, follow the link.

Review: Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Title: Crank
Author: Ellen Hopkins site
Pages: 537
Released: 10/05/2004
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

“Life was good before I met the monster. After, life was great, At least for a little while.
Kristina is the perfect daughter; gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. Then she meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild ride turns into a struggle for her mind, her soul-her life.”
-from cover
It all began when Kristina (protagonist) went to visit her long absent father. It’s not the heartwarming, reunion she was hoping for. Going to the bowling alley every night, watching her father follow around drug dealers and “partying” isn’t exactly her idea of fun. She meets the “hot” boy next door, Adam, and introduces herself as Bree. Bree becomes an alter ego for Kristina to blame her destructive behavior on. They play boyfriend girlfriend for a week, then he introduces her to drugs. Everything goes downhill from there. Soon enough she’s hooked. Though her little fling doesn’t follow her home, the monster does. The “monster” is Kritina/Bree’s addiction. Crank basically follows Kristina’s downward spiral into drugs, and all kinds of other trouble.
Crank is a New York Times Bestseller and has plenty of hype surrounding it. If you haven’t heard about it by now, you’ve probably been living under a rock, or illiterate.  So is Crank deserving of the hype? Absolutely.  It is unique in many ways. The writing style   is definitely very creative.  Written in poems with more than one way to read its pages, and discover hidden meanings. 
This book is definitely a good to turn you off of drugs. There is one thing that doesn’t make sense to me; why does she get into drugs in the first place? I don’t find the explanation in the book satisfactory. It revolves around her getting together with Adam in the first place. Even though he already has a girlfriend, he basically makes a grab for her and she lets him. Her physical attraction shouldn’t be enough to make Kristina go along with all the things Adam has her do. And claiming “Bree made me do it” doesn’t sound very convincing.
The other thing that bugs me in this book is that it makes it seem as if 90% of the population is doing some sort of drugs. I find that very hard to believe
My misgivings aside I really did enjoy this book. It really is a books that anyone and their sister should read. This book is very thick, but very fast moving, a real page turner. And I liked that all the “cute” boys weren’t perfect. In fact, some of them were downright horrific.  It has certainly earned it’s praise.  


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Review: You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

Title: You Are My Only    
Author: Beth Kephart site
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release/Published: 10/25/2011
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley

It book is definitely very unique. You Are My Only is written from the perspective of two people.
Sophie is homeschooled and moves around a lot. Her mother is very strict and doesn’t want her out of the house. However, Sophie begins to break the rules. She leaves their house and meets the boy next door, Joey. As Joey and Sophie become friends, Sophie begins to see how strange her life really is. Not being able to go outside, her mother wanting her to be perfect, them moving around all the time. At home the only books she’s allowed to read are books on advanced subjects like Archimedean solids. But at Joey’s house, thing are so different. Joey’s aunts are so loving. They read Willa Cather and bake cookies; Sophie’s even encouraged to think creatively. Why are Sophie and her mother running? What is her mother hiding?
Emmy is a new mother that has just discovered her baby’s missing, taken in broad daylight from her front lawn. All that’s left of her is one yellow sock. The police haven’t had any luck and her abusive husband, Peter, is furious. Emmy goes off on her own to look for Baby. She meets a nice man named Arlen whom saves her life and helps her look for Baby.  However, the police find this behavior very suspicious and consider her a suspect. After a mental breakdown, a judge deems Emmy incompetent to stand trial. She is then sent to a mental institution. How will she find Baby now?
You are My Only’s rhythmic and poetic style was kind of confusing at first. It was hard to follow in the beginning. But I kept on, and I’m glad I did! After my brain got used to the writing style, I couldn’t put it down. The plot paired with the unique prose writing makes this book both simple and eloquent. Even though I guessed what the connection was between Emmy and Sophie, I liked that that’s one of the big mysteries of the book. If you find it kind of obvious, not to worry: there are other surprises. I wish it was slightly longer though. But overall, I’d give this book 3.5/5 stars. It’s definitely worth reading.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Review: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Title: Ashes
Author: Ilsa J. Bick site
Release Date: 9/06/2011
Format: ARC
Publisher: Egmont USA
Source: Won in raffle

"It could happen tomorrow...
A cataclysmic event. An army of "The Changed."
Can one teen really survive on her own?
An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky, destroying every electronic device and killing billions. For those spared, it's a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human...
Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the Changed, Alex meets up with Tom---a young army veteran---and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse.
This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to survive."

Synopsis by
Ashes had me hook, line, and sinker after the first chapter. This book is completely action packed. It’s a fast paced, page turner that will have you up until 2 in the morning. There’s never a dull moment. Not to mention this book is scary as all hell; as the back cover entails, it really could happen tomorrow. You’ve got a girl, secluded in the woods, and out of nowhere birds start falling from the sky, people dropping dead, and if that weren’t enough you have to worry about fast, smart, flesh hungry, zombies. The descriptions in this book are great, completely sucked me into Alex’s world. Ashes as ambiguous a read as the main characters name, perfect for action seeking male audiences as well. And the cliff hanger ending will leave you begging for more.
**SPOILER ALERT** The only problem I had with this book is the darn love triangle. I mean come on; do we really need another one of those in YA fiction today? But mostly that’s just me. I’m a bit of a hater of the ever cliché, love triangle. I’m sick and tired of them!
But that point aside, I think that Ashes may be the YA book to read this year. “The Hunger Games” may finally have a rival.  Yep, it’s that good. 

If you liked Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick, you might also enjoy…
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Gone by Michael Grant
  • Life as We Knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  • Blood Red Road by Moira Young
  • Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Coming Soon!

Coming soon on Novel Minded...

I'm just getting started so I haven't any reviews yet. But not to worry, very soon I will be posting a review for "Ashes" by Ilisa J. Bick.

Then soon after, I'll post a review for "Triangles" by Ellen Hopkins that was graciously provided by Simon and Shuster Publishers.
Stay Tuned!