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Review: Dance of the Red Death

Dance of the Red Death

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DANCE OF THE RED DEATH by Bethany Griffin was released in the U.S. on June 11, 2013, in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

Published by Greenwillow Books, the print edition is 336.

DANCE OF THE RED DEATH is the second and final full-length book in author Bethany Griffin’s Masque of the Red Death series.

NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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Description…

Bethany Griffin continues the journey of Araby Worth in Dance of the Red Death—the sequel to her teen novel Masque of the Red Death.

In Dance of the Red Death, Araby’s world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city.

Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though it could destroy her and everyone she loves…or it could turn her into a hero.

With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death series with a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.

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Dark, richly detailed and beautifully written, DANCE OF THE RED DEATH is a riveting conclusion to author Bethany Griffin’s Masque of the Red Death series. This story captivates as it takes readers from a city on the verge of collapse to the plague-ridden swamps on its outskirts to the opulent but deadly palace of Prince Prospero for a sinister and macabre masked ball.

This second and final book in the series will keep readers on edge as they follow along with Araby in her pursuit to find her father, save her friend, save her city and defeat the two rivals who wish to see its destruction. It is a haunting story filled with heartbreak and loss, a heroine who is faced with difficult decisions and an ending that is bittersweet.

With the Red Death taking lives faster than the Weeping Sickness ever did, with two madmen on a collision course that will leave the city and its citizens in ruins and with two boys who hold a piece of her heart awaiting her decision, Araby Worth’s time is running out.

But unless she can find her father, discover a cure for this deadliest of diseases, emerge victorious from Prospero’s latest game and stop Malcontent from achieving his goal of total annihilation, there will be no reason for her to choose between a future with Elliott or one with Will. Because there will be no future. Not for her. Not for her friends. Not for anyone.

Beautiful even at its most horrifying, DANCE OF THE RED DEATH weaves its magic and draws readers into its darkly alluring world full of twists and turns, shocks and surprises, with its flawed, damaged, despairing but not defeated, maniacal, malevolent, determined and hopeful characters. All of whom are incredibly fascinating. All of whom serve to make this story one that is memorable.

Author Bethany Griffin gives readers another unique look at a story that has Poe’s as its inspiration. She builds the suspense in this sequel, making this a nail-biter, and gives her once directionless protagonist a purpose, turning her into a heroine that is strong, determined and one worth rooting for.

DANCE OF THE RED DEATH is an immensely entertaining finish to this two-book series. With its battle of good versus evil times two, its triangle-shaped love story, its chilling setting, its intriguing characters and the surprises it delivers along the way, it is a story not to be missed.

Reviewer gives this book…

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On a personal note…

I knew this series-ending book wasn’t going to be an easy read. I was filled with dread about what was going to happen to the characters from the second I began reading. I knew that something was going to happen that would break my heart. I just wasn’t sure how badly broken it would be.

But I can’t reveal the level of heartbreak I felt. I can’t reveal whether or not I’ve recovered from said heartbreak weeks after having read DANCE OF THE RED DEATH. Because then I would have to say why my heart was broken. And that answer is all sorts of spoiler-y.

What I can say is that I thought this book was amazing. The writing was every bit as gorgeous as it was in the first book in the series. It pulled me so deeply into the story that Araby’s reality became my own. And the world she saw through her eyes was the one I saw with mine.

And it was a chilling world. One filled with danger and death and disappointment and disease. But it wasn’t one that gave in to despair. It wasn’t one without hope. It wasn’t one without the possibility of something more.

I absolutely loved the direction this story took. I hadn’t thought beyond Prospero’s party when anticipating this book’s release. I hadn’t wondered what else this story might contain. And I hadn’t thought about what fate might await any or all of its characters.

And I want so badly to talk about their fates. I want to talk about everything in this book, from what went down at the party, to whether Prospero or Malcontent were victorious, to whether the victor was someone else entirely, to whether all of the main characters made it to the story’s end or whether none of them did.

I didn’t think it would be possible to successfully wrap up this series in just two books. It felt like there was too much story left to tell to be able to condense everything into just the one. But the author did an amazing job of bringing the story arc to its conclusion, tying up any and all loose ends and answering the question once and for all about Will and Elliott.

While I would have loved to see a third book, to see the party scene expanded upon, to have a happily ever after for each and every character I adore, this final book in the series was awesome exactly as it was. Even though not everyone got the ending I imagined for them.

I was utterly fascinated by every moment spent at Prospero’s. I was anxious while I awaited Malcontent’s next move. I was torn between wishing for Elliott and wishing for Will. And I was afraid to hope that things might turn out okay in the end.

An ending that came all too quickly. An ending I never wanted to have to reach. Because I did not want to say goodbye to the characters. I did want to leave this dark and disease-ridden world. I did not want to find out who Araby chose or if she survived to have that choice to make. And I did not want to find out what characters may have fallen along the way.

I fell madly in love with the characters in the first book in the series and I loved them no less in this final one. I only wish I had more time to spend with each of them, in this story, in this world. Saying my goodbyes to Araby, Will, Elliott, April, and even Malcontent and Prospero wasn’t easy. I’m still not certain I’m ready to bid them farewell. I’m still holding out a thread of hope for another story. Even if it is a short one.

And even though DANCE OF THE RED DEATH broke my heart, even though it made it impossible to say goodbye, even though it’s a story that didn’t always bring a smile to my face, it is one that I will love forever.

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Favorite passage…

I have so many favorite passages. So, so many. And I’d love to share them all, but that would require pretty much reprinting the entire book. Which is a “no no.”

So, I thought I’d share this one, which may be just a little bit spoiler-y. But it is one of my very most favorites.

Will’s voice is soft. “Lie on your stomach, sweetheart. I want to get a good look at the stitches.”

The throwaway endearment takes me back to the Debauchery Club. A simpler time when I didn’t know dark secrets and wasn’t trying to help save the world. But it doesn’t wipe away his betrayal. He touches my good shoulder to try to help me, and I brush him off.

Elliott sits up, scooting down to the foot of the bed. He doesn’t even try to hide his smirk from Will.

This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


Quickie Review: Glitter & Doom

Glitter and Doom

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GLITTER & DOOM by Bethany Griffin was released in the U.S. on March 26, 2013 in eBook format only. It is currently available to order online at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

Published by Greenwillow Books, the story is 44 pages.

GLITTER & DOOM is a novella in the author’s Masque of the Red Death series set between MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH and DANCE OF THE RED DEATH.

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Description…

A 50-page, digital-only novella set in the world of Bethany Griffin’s dark and haunting retelling of the classic Edgar Allan Poe story Masque of the Red Death. When a rich teenage girl who spends her nights in the most desirable club and a smart, young inventor meet, they might have more in common than they know.

April, niece to the dying city’s cruel dictator, is Araby Worth’s glittery and frivolous best friend. But she’s more than she appears. And when she disappeared in Masque of the Red Death, where did she go? This short novella answers that question, taking us deep underneath the crumbling city, where April crosses paths with Kent, the serious young inventor who is key to rebellion. Glitter & Doom is a story of chilling action, of spies, and of surprising love. Can love be anything but doomed is a city that’s burning down around its survivors?

A dark, unnerving story about two of the most fascinating characters from Masque of the Red Death.

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GLITTER & DOOM is a captivating short novella told in two parts – Glitter, from April’s point of view and Doom, from Kent’s. It offers readers a peek at the world from two characters who play an important role in the series’ outcome and gives insight into events that take place outside of the main story but are integral to it.

This story allows readers to get to know both characters a little bit more, to see how they first met and to see just what parts they played in the events leading up to the climactic conclusion at the end of the first book, MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH. And it gives them a few more reasons to detest both Prospero and Malcontent.

Glitter let’s readers see how April and Elliott became the people they were when they are first introduced in book one. It reveals a moment from their earlier lives that is both horrifying and heartbreaking. It shows a different side of April than the one most often seen through Araby’s point of view. And it doing so, it makes her a much more relatable character.

Doom gives readers Kent’s backstory and let’s them make a stronger connection to a character who only plays a supporting role in the novels. It let’s readers see what his motivations are and why he feels the way he does. And by getting this short peek at his history and his early encounters with April, he becomes a much more three-dimensional character than he is in the novels.

GLITTER & DOOM is a quick but riveting read that will offer up a different reading experience depending upon whether it is read prior to the final book in the series or after, though it can be read either before or after DANCE OF THE RED DEATH. It is both a heartwarming and bittersweet story that delivers danger, excitement, suspense and romance in each of its two parts.

And while not essential to an overall enjoyment of the series, the stories and characters in GLITTER & DOOM add quite a bit to it, making it a must read for fans.

This novella also includes a short excerpt of Chapter One from DANCE OF THE RED DEATH.

Reviewer gives this novella…

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On a personal note…

I had no idea when I picked up GLITTER & DOOM that it was two short stories from April and Kent’s points of view. I thought it was only April’s story. When I found out that it was both of their stories I was even more eager… and anxious… to read it.

Though I can’t say why that is. But those who read DANCE OF THE RED DEATH will know exactly what I’m talking about… or why I can’t say anything about how I felt when reading this novella.

I have always thought April was awesome. And reading her short story and reading about her in Kent’s made her even more so. She was brave. Fearless. Clever. And seeing her with Kent in the scenes in this novella makes me wish for an entire novel from her point of view.

And I loved seeing a younger Elliott, even though what happened was absolutely devastating. I loved getting to see those tiny glimpses of Will. I loved getting to see what April thought of Araby. And I loved the fact that this novella made me absolutely adore a character I hadn’t paid much attention to in the novels – Kent.

What I most loved, however, is the thing I can’t talk about. Though I suppose it wouldn’t be too revealing to say that because I read this after the series ended, I made a much stronger emotional connection to the story than I would have had I read it prior to reading DANCE OF THE RED DEATH.

While I normally am a proponent of reading things in order, I’m glad I read it out of sequence. It felt like a much more important story than it might have if I hadn’t known how things ended for all this series’ main characters.

Even though this was such a short novella, the author managed to break my heart a couple of times. Once in Glitter and once in Doom. And she made me fall in love with her series all over again.

I cannot recommend GLITTER & DOOM enough. This is a must, must, must read and a short story I must, must, must read again.


Novella Reading Week Wraps Up!

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Novella Reading Week has ended. Wow that went fast! I’d been debating making it a two-week event, but it seems that one week was the perfect length in order to get a few of those novellas read and not cause too much of a backup for those review books.

And I cannot thank Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads enough for co-hosting this event with me. It was nice to know that even if no one else took part in the challenge this past week, she was joining me in my quest to clear a few novellas off my TBR pile.

But she wasn’t the only one participating in Novella Reading Week! I am totally stoked that there were so many awesome readers joining us this past week. And I cannot wait to check out each and every one of the reviews.

Mindy and I will be gathering all the participants entries – from the Linky List and from the comments on our posts – and we’ll throw them into Random to choose the winners, which will be announced in our Novella Reading Week Begins posts on Tuesday.

I hope that you got a few novellas cleared off your piles and that at the one, or ones, you did read made it worth your while. And I can’t thank you all enough for joining this event and for sharing your thoughts about those novellas you did read.

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My Novella Reading Week…

While I didn’t get every novella read that I wanted to read, I did reach my goal of reading seven novellas for this challenge. I’d originally chosen five books to read for the challenge, but decided to aim for seven and I managed to read them all.

Though I would have liked to read the other five novellas I’d earmarked, I wouldn’t have been able to read all those stories and have any time left over to write reviews. So I stuck with just my seven initial picks.

And while I only posted reviews for four of the novellas I read, I did end up writing six reviews before the challenge officially ended and hope to finish writing the last one momentarily. The three remaining reviews will be posted on Tuesday and Wednesday as I have a blog tour scheduled for today.

The novellas I read for the challenge were…

UNDONE (Unbreakable #1.5) by Elizabeth Norris. (Review)

GLITTER & DOOM (Masque of the Red Death #1.5) by Bethany Griffin. (Review to post Tuesday)

DIE FOR HER (Die for Me #2.5) by Amy Plum. (Review)

RADIANT (Unearthly #2.5) by Cynthia Hand. (Review)

DESTROY ME (Shatter Me #1.5) by Tahereh Mafi. (Review in progress)

FLIRTING WITH MAYBE by Wendy Higgins (Review to post Wednesday)

ORIGINS: THE FIRE (Mila 2.0 #0.5) by Debra Driza. (Review)

So while it wasn’t a complete success, I do consider this past week a success. I read seven novellas I’ve been wanting to read – some for quite some time. I managed to fall in love with some of my favorite series all over again. And reading a couple of the novellas gave me the push I needed to finally be willing to say goodbye to those series. Which, for me, is a win.

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Your Novella Reading Week…

But enough about me. What about your novella reading week?

Did you read all the novellas you wanted to read this week? Did you read more than you’d planned? Or did you read fewer than anticipated?

Were the novellas you did read ones that you absolutely adored or were some more of a miss than a hit?

And, whether you read one or twenty-one, do you consider this a successful novella reading week for you?

If you’d like to share your thoughts, I’d love to know!


Book Watch: Releasing This Week #128

Below are the YA books releasing this week that I am spotlighting for my “Book Watch: Releasing This Week” post.

These are books for the week of June 11th-June 17th that I have pre-ordered.

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Another Little Piece

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ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE by Kate Karyus Quinn will be released in the U.S. on June 11, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 432 pages.

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I am so excited for the release of ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE on Tuesday. I’ve had it pre-ordered ever since I stumbled upon it a few months ago and I cannot believe that release day is finally almost here.

I did get an eARC for review but was having a bit of an issue with the formatting, so I decided to wait to finish it when my Kindle edition downloads. But it hasn’t been easy… the wait has been killer.

This book is so completely different from any of those I’ve read in recent years. The author’s voice and the way the story presents itself is quite unique. And the story is most definitely “haunting,” as the description so aptly calls it.

While I haven’t yet finished reading it, I have read enough to know that this is my kind of book. And I cannot wait to see how it all ends next week, just as soon as Novella Reading Week ends.

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Dance of the Red Death

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DANCE OF THE RED DEATH by Bethany Griffin will be released in the U.S. on June 11, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

Published by Greenwillow Books, the print edition is 336 pages.

DANCE OF THE RED DEATH is the second and final full-length book in author Bethany Griffin’s Masque of the Red Death series.

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I cannot wait for both my eBook to download and my print copy, with its beautiful deckle edge, to arrive on Tuesday. DANCE OF THE RED DEATH was an amazing follow-up to the first book in the series. And as sad as I am that the series has ended, I am so unbelievably stoked to have had the chance to read it early.

As it was my Book Watch pick a few weeks ago, and I plan on posting my review on Tuesday, I won’t go rambling on and on about this sequel. I’m also just a little bit afraid that I might reveal too much, like why certain events broke my heart, why I was fascinated with what happened at the party, why I couldn’t decide between Will and Elliott.

I probably should stop now…. Though I just have to add that things are even more dire in DANCE OF THE RED DEATH, things do get resolved by the story’s end, and there are things in this book that made me cheer, things that made me tear up and many, many things that made me so very, very nervous.

While I won’t be re-reading it this week, I will be reading the novella, GLITTER & DOOM, and I hope to be able to read both books in this series again this summer.

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Rush

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RUSH by Eve Silver will be released in the U.S. on June 11, 2013 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and in hardcover and eBook formats at BARNES & NOBLE.

Published by Katherine Tegen Books, the print edition is 368 pages.

RUSH is the first book in author Eve Silver’s The Game series. The second book in the series, PUSH, is slated for release in 2014 and the third book in the series, CRASH, will be releasing in 2015.

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I hadn’t heard much about RUSH until I saw the cover pop up all across the blogosphere a few months ago. The cover was awesome and the title grabbed me so I decided to pre-order it for my Kindle without having actually read the description.

And if I had realized I had an early copy thanks to Jaime of Two Chicks on Books, I would have checked it out a bit more before its release. But as release day is just about here, I’m a little too late to do that.

But now that I have taken a peek at the description, I’m totally intrigued. Is it a game? Is it reality? And just what is the “deadly turn” the description mentions? I want to know.

While I can’t check it out this week, I think I’m going to have to add it to the pile in the next few weeks, because it sounds just a bit different than the books I normally read.

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Spies and Prejudice

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SPIES AND PREJUDICE by Talia Vance will be released in the U.S. on June 11, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

Published by EgmontUSA, the print edition is 304 pages.

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I love author Talia Vance’s writing. And I’m totally stoked to be able to add SPIES AND PREJUDICE to my collection this week. While I’m not exactly an Austen fan, I do think the framework of her story is interesting and I love the idea that this story gives that one a nod.

Even if I hadn’t read a book by the author before, I would have pre-ordered this book for my Kindle based on the first line in the description – “Fields’ Rule #1: Don’t fall for the enemy.” Because it tells me two things about the book – one that Fields is going to be a character I like and, two, she is going to fall for the enemy.

But the rest of the description also makes me excited to read this book. It sounds like a lot of fun with a bit of a mystery and two characters I can’t wait to meet. And I cannot wait to get this on my reading pile. Which I definitely plan to do after the challenge.

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TheImmortalCircusActTwo_COVER

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THE IMMORTAL CIRCUS: ACT TWO by A.R. Kahler will be released in the U.S. on June 11, 2013 in Kindle serial book format only. A paperback edition will be released in August.

Published by 47North, it is currently available to pre-order online at AMAZON.

THE IMMORTAL CIRCUS: ACT TWO is the second book in author A.R. Kahler’s The Immortal Circus series.

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I am so in love with this series and I’m so glad that it was brought to my attention this past winter. I loved reading the first book in the series in serial format and I’m totally thrilled to be able to add THE IMMORTAL CIRCUS: ACT TWO to my collection this week. Well… episode one, that is.

Though I actually got the chance to read this just a bit early. And so I got to experience this second book in its entirety, in one sitting, instead of in serial format. Which makes me happy and sad. Happy because I don’t have to wait between reads. But sad because I know exactly where each episode ends and begins and just how deliciously torturous it would have been to experience as a serial.

Even though I have read ACT TWO already, I think I am going to re-read each Episode as they release, to experience it that way again. While it won’t be quite as torturous, I think I still will be anxiously awaiting the next episode’s release. And given all the stuff that happens in the Cirque des Immortels and all that is revealed about Vivienne, I just know it will be every bit as exciting a read as it was the first time.

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Born of Illusion

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BORN OF ILLUSION by Teri Brown will be released in the U.S. on June 11, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

Published by Balzer + Bray, the print edition is 384 pages.

BORN OF ILLUSION is the first book in author Teri Brown’s series of the same name. The second book in the series, BORN OF DECEPTION, is expected in 2014.

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I am devastated that I didn’t get the chance to finish reading BORN OF ILLUSION before its release. I’d received an early copy from Jaime of Two Chicks on Books and read about one-fourth before I was forced to set it aside to read the books I needed to read for review.

But I have had it pre-ordered for my Kindle and I cannot wait until it downloads so I can read the finished version. And I think I’m going to end up purchasing the print edition which has a deckle edge, because the cover is gorgeous. I’m just waiting to see if it has a matte or glossy finish first.

I love the time period the story is set in – the 1920s. I love that it’s set in New York and involves illusionists and real magic. And I cannot wait to continue this story and find out just what happens with Anna Van Housen and whether she is related to the “greatest magician of all.”

If I can get it on the pile again before the end of the month I will be a very happy girl.

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A Matter of Days

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A MATTER OF DAYS by Amber Kizer will be released in the U.S. on June 11, 2013 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

Published by Delacorte Press, the print edition is 288 pages.

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When I saw that author Amber Kizer had a new book releasing last month I instantly added it to my pre-orders. I hadn’t heard of A MATTER OF DAYS until I was searching for June releases for my Book Watch post last month.

I immediately added it to buy, but didn’t actually read the description until I was creating this post. But now that I have, I think it sounds totally cool – the world sounds wonderfully dark and the journey sounds like it will be fraught with danger.

Traveling across the country in the hope of finding a survivalist compound through a world that has been decimated by the BluStar pandemic sounds like it will be incredibly exciting. And with no promise that this destination will even exist makes it sound that much more of a nerve-wracking adventure.

I can’t wait to find out what happens to Nadia, Rabbit and the rest of the kids on this journey and whether their trip was in vain. And I hope to do so early next month during the holiday.

Other Books of Note

Linked

LINKED (Linked #1) by Imogen Howson

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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Burning

BURNING by Elana K. Arnold

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Delacorte Press

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

THE GIRL WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO DIE by April Henry

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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Infamous

INFAMOUS (Fame Game #3) by Lauren Conrad

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Harper Collins

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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Mortal Fire

MORTAL FIRE  by Elizabeth Knox

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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The Secret Ingredient

THE SECRET INGREDIENT by Stewart Lewis

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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Boy Nobody

BOY NOBODY (Boy Nobody #1) by Allen Zadoff

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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Plague in the Mirror

PLAGUE IN THE MIRROR by Deborah Noyes

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Candlewick

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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Belle Epoque

BELLE EPOQUE by Elizabeth Ross

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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Ghost Time

GHOST TIME by Courtney Eldridge

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Skyscape

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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Charm and Strange

CHARM & STRANGE by Stephanie Kuehn

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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Far Far Away

FAR FAR AWAY by Tom McNeal

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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My Chemical Mountain

MY CHEMICAL MOUNTAIN by Corina Vacco

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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The Siren's Secret

THE SIREN’S SECRET (The Shapeshifter’s Secret #2) by Heather Ostler

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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Deviant

DEVIANT by Helen FitzGerald

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Soho Teen

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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Reprint edition

The Sacrifice

THE SACRIFICE (The Enemy #4) by Charlie Higson

Pub. Date: June 11, 2013

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

(AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

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Once again this week there are a ton of new books releasing. While I only have seven books pre-ordered, there are a few of the books of note that I’m definitely interested in taking a longer look at, including LINKED and BURNING. But for now I’m going to stick with pre-ordering just the seven.

Fortunately not all seven are being added to the pile – I did finish two of them – though both read books are ones I plan on re-reading….

But hopefully I’ll get a chance to read a few more of the new additions to my collection before the month is out – ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE, SPIES AND PREJUDICE, BORN OF ILLUSION – and the remainder I’ll get to finish next month. But, I suppose, that shall remain to be determined.

Anyway…

As this is such a long post, with all the new releases this week, I’ll stop rambling and just say that I hope you have some amazing new books getting added to your collection this week. And if I missed something in my searches, please let me know! As I never, ever, want to miss an awesome title that should be in my permanent collection.

As always, happy book acquiring and happy reading!

As always, I would love to hear what you’re hoping to add to your collection this week!

And if you have any great suggestions of “must read” books to buy that are releasing this week, please let me know!


My Reading Pile #117

It was a fairly quiet week at the mailbox this week. Granted, I didn’t check my mailbox since Tuesday. But aside from a few books I’d traded for that won’t be here until next week, I wasn’t expecting anything.

Which is why the one book that showed up on my doorstep on Tuesday night was a complete and total surprise.

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[Credit for mailbox sharing goes to The Story Siren]

I was ecstatic when I opened the package late Tuesday night and inside was a copy of EARTHBOUND (Earthbound #1) by Aprilynne Pike thanks to the amazing folks at Razorbill. It was completely unexpected. I may have tried to request the eARC ages ago from either NetGalley or Edelweiss but I was too late to the party and quotas were reached.

I love, love, loved the author’s Wings series and I’m so unbelievably stoked to be able to read the first book in this new series just a little bit early. I’m actually so very tempted to try and squeeze it in before Novella Reading Week, but if not, it will be the first book on the pile next week.

I didn’t put in any new requests this past week at Edelweiss. Sadly I did not get approved for Holly Black’s novel. But I did get approved for two amazing titles from NetGalley, both of which I’m anxious to get on the pile really soon.

But this week, my pile is going to be just a little bit different. And so…

Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.
(June 9, 2013 – June 15, 2013)

05

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In last week’s post I may have mentioned that I, along with Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, have decided to challenge ourselves (and anyone who wants to join in) to read as many novellas as we possibly can. So, from June 10th through June 16th (Monday through Sunday) I will be reading only those novellas I have on my eReader.

Which means that My Reading Pile this week is going to be a little bit different.

And while I may not stick to the list of novellas I currently have on the pile, these are the five books I am hoping to read this week….

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Glitter and Doom

GLITTER & DOOM (Masque of the Red Death #1.5) by Bethany Griffin

I read DANCE OF THE RED DEATH a couple of weeks ago and I still can’t believe I had to say goodbye to this amazing series. And with everything that happened in that book, diving back into the series with this novella will be bittersweet.

And I’m so curious how much of a difference it would have made to both reads had I read this novella before I read the final book….

Either way, I’m totally stoked to be able to dive into this short story which sounds absolutely ahhhh-mazing!

A 50-page, digital-only novella set in the world of Bethany Griffin’s dark and haunting retelling of the classic Edgar Allan Poe story Masque of the Red Death. When a rich teenage girl who spends her nights in the most desirable club and a smart, young inventor meet, they might have more in common than they know.

April, niece to the dying city’s cruel dictator, is Araby Worth’s glittery and frivolous best friend. But she’s more than she appears. And when she disappeared in Masque of the Red Death, where did she go? This short novella answers that question, taking us deep underneath the crumbling city, where April crosses paths with Kent, the serious young inventor who is key to rebellion. Glitter & Doom is a story of chilling action, of spies, and of surprising love. Can love be anything but doomed is a city that’s burning down around its survivors?

A dark, unnerving story about two of the most fascinating characters from Masque of the Red Death.

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Destroy Me

DESTROY ME (Shatter Me #1.5) by Tahereh Mafi

I had DESTROY ME on the reading pile months ago. I even started it. Warner is my favorite character in the series so I was totally stoked when he got a novella all to himself.

And yet I still haven’t actually read it….

But that will change this week. And while I am reading it out of order, as I’ve already read UNRAVEL ME, it would have been the same no matter what, because I’d received an early copy of UNRAVEL ME and read it before this novella was released.

Perfect for the fans of Shatter Me who are desperately awaiting the release of Unravel Me, this novella-length digital original will bridge the gap between these two novels from the perspective of the villain we all love to hate, Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me,Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

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MILA 2 Origins of Fire

ORIGINS: The Fire (Mila 2.0 #0.5) by Debra Driza

I wanted to read this the moment I finished MILA 2.0 but my schedule just wouldn’t allow. But now that I have a little time I’m super curious as to just what Mila would see if she did relive the fire.

I believe this came out before the first book in the series, so I’m curious as to just how much detail they go into about who and what Mila is. And it will be interesting to see how it might have changed my perception of those early chapters if I had read it first.

Heart-stopping and electric, MILA 2.0: Origins: The Fire contains a short prequel story and an excerpt to MILA 2.0, the first book in a riveting Bourne Identity–style trilogy by Debra Driza.Mila can’t remember anything before the fire that took her father’s life. It’s normal to have some memory loss after traumatic events, but Mila doesn’t remember if she’s ever learned to ride a bike, or if she’s ever been in love. Nothing.What she doesn’t know is that she isn’t supposed to remember—that she was built in a computer science lab and programmed to forget. Because if she remembers, she might discover her true identity.The question is: If she relived the fire, what would she see?

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Die for Her

DIE FOR HER (Die for Me #2.5) by Amy Plum

I haven’t yet read the final book in the series, so I’m so thrilled to be able to read this novella in the correct order in which it was released. I have a feeling that IF I SHOULD DIE is going to have a lot to do with Jules and so I’m glad to be able to read this now, before whatever happens in that book happens.

I love this author’s series and Jules is one of my favorite characters. He might even be my favorite. So I’m totally excited to get the chance to read this novella this week.

Set in the romantic and death-defying world of the international bestselling Die for Me trilogy, this digital original novella follows Jules, a brooding, immortal French artist who has fallen in love with his best friend’s girlfriend.

Jules Marchenoir is a revenant-an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save human lives. He’s spent the better part of the last century flirting his way through Paris, but when he met Kate Mercier, the heroine from Amy Plum’s Die for Me trilogy, he knew his afterlife had changed forever and he had found the love of his life. Until Kate fell for his best friend, Vincent. Now Jules is faced with an impossible decision: choosing between his loyal friend and a love truly worth dying for.

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Flirting with Maybe

FLIRTING WITH MAYBE by Wendy Higgins

I am a huge fan of author Wendy Higgins. And while this novella isn’t one that’s connected with her Sweet Trilogy, I’m super excited to read another story penned by her.

I haven’t read a contemporary story in awhile, but I’m really excited to read one that sounds sweet, fun and swoon-y.

And as the author is one whose writing I absolutely adore, I just know it’s going to be awesome.

He was fifteen and she was seventeen. 

When sophomore Ryan “The Kid” McPhearson makes the Varsity baseball team, he finds himself submersed into the life of upperclassmen, and falling in love with senior Brooke Bennet. To Ryan she’s his dream girl, perfect. Maybe to the outside world a two-year age difference doesn’t matter, but this is high school. Everything matters.

Ryan soon realizes Brooke’s life is not so perfect. He becomes her closest friend, her safe place to fall when she needs to escape. Ryan seems to be benched in the friend zone with no chance to bat.

Time is both a curse and a blessing. It ushers Brooke away to college, and Ryan into the arms of his first girlfriend. It alters Ryan from a kid to a high school graduate, ready to venture to college himself. But when Ryan sees Brooke again he realizes there are some things even time can’t touch.

Though much has changed, one question still remains. Will the things that mattered in high school always stand between them?

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And if I have just a bit of extra time – if I manage to read one novella a day – I’m going to pick two of these…

UNDONE (Unraveling #1.5) by Elizabeth Norris

RADIANT (Unearthly #2.5) by Cynthia Hand

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN PERU (The Bane Chronicles Part #1) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

THE ASSASSIN AND THE PIRATE LORD (Throne of Glass #0.1) by Sarah J. Maas

… though I have a feeling that I’ll be reading UNDONE even before I read all five of my chosen reads.

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Wishful Thinking Reads:

EARTHBOUND by Aprilynne Pike. The book I received for review this week. It’s sitting right next to me, begging to be read. And I really want to give in to temptation. But I do have a bit of a reading challenge that I’m hosting and I really need to stick to plan. So I think that EARTHBOUND will have to remain a wishful thinking read. At least for another week.

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Those Left Behind:

I didn’t really get any reading done this past week, except to finish STAR CURSED, which took an extra day or two due to my crazy schedule this past week. And while I started reading OF POSEIDON, I won’t get to finish it before I have to start reading this week’s reads on Monday. And as I want to be able to read that book and OF TRITON back-to-back, I’m going to wait to read them until after Novella Reading Week.

But I also ended up putting PHOENIX back on the pile and I did start reading that book from the beginning, too. So I will likely end up finishing that book tomorrow and will hopefully have time to sneak in a review this week.

I ended up writing and posting three reviews this week, so I’m starting to get caught up. But I still have to finish my review for GODDESS, which I hope to post this week, write my review for DANCE OF THE RED DEATH, which I plan to post on Tuesday and maybe, just maybe, write a review for INDELIBLE, which I won’t be posting until July.

But that remains to be determined.

Taking the week to read novellas is going to put me a bit further behind on books I should be reading now, but I’ve wanted to do this for ages. So I am. I can’t only be reading for review or to try and complete those other reading challenges I’m doing, can I? I say, “No!”

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NetGalley Pile Adds & Finds:

I did not request any new books on NetGalley this week. but I did get approved for the two books I requested last week, CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by Sarah J. Maas and WILD CARDS by Simone Elkeles. Which was a huge – and awesome – surprise.

They’re both books I want to get on the pile really, really soon, even though neither book is releasing for awhile.

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Although I haven’t requested any of these titles, there are a few I’m definitely interested in. But as I’m really trying to finish reading the eARCs and printed ARCs I already have for review, I am going to try and refrain.

NEVER FADE (The Darkest Minds #2) by Alexandra Bracken (Disney Book Group, Oct 15 2013)

QUARANTINE: THE SAINTS (Quarantine #2) by Lex Thomas (Egmont USA, Jul 9 2013)

THE ENCHANTER HEIR (Heir Chronicles #4) by Cinda Williams Chima (Disney Book Group, Oct 1 2013)

SOMETIMES NEVER, SOMETIMES ALWAYS by Elissa Janine Hoole (Flux, Nov 8 2013)

PIROUETTE by Robyn Bavati (Flux, Nov 8 2013)

… Well that didn’t last long. I did end up clicking to request NEVER FADE by Alexandra Bracken. I’m not certain I’ll be approved, but I would love to be able to read the two books in that series back-to-back and requesting it for review will give me the added incentive to get them both on the pile.

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I think I’m out of my reading slump. There’s always something wonderful about reading books outside of what you’d normally read and then being completely surprised by them that helps bring back the happy feels. There’s also just something so lovely about reading a physical book now and then. Even if it means clamping on a book light to read in the dark.

I am looking forward to this week’s reads, although they are all in electronic format. But the idea of short forays into the worlds I know and love holds such an appeal at the moment.

And while I have many, many, many more novellas on my Kindle begging to be read, even if I do I think I’m going to be able to read more than one a day, I may just stop at seven. I want to be able to enjoy them a little bit and not turn this week into a read-a-thon.

Anyway…

I think I was actually in more of a reviewing slump than a reading slump. I just couldn’t find the words to convey my thoughts. But after having read both BORN WICKED and STAR CURSED, they reappeared. As if by magic. And so I am very, very hopeful I’ll have reviews done for GODDESS and DANCE OF THE RED DEATH this week.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll write quickie/mini/micro reviews for the novellas I’m reading. Fingers crossed.

But what about you? Did your books arrive safely from BEA? Have you started reading any of those books yet? If you didn’t attend the event, did you get some exciting new books in the mail or did you buy a few that you’ve already added the pile?

I’d love to know what you received and are reading this week!

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Do you create a reading pile?
If so, what’s in your pile this week?


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