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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #161

    BookWatch_week

    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 January 28th-February 3rd that I have pre-ordered.

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    Up From the Grave

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    UP FROM THE GRAVE by Jeaniene Frost will be released in the U.S. on January 28, 2014 in paperback, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Avon, the print edition is 384 pages.

    UP FROM THE GRAVE is the seventh and final full-length novel in the Night Huntress series by Author Jeaniene Frost.

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    I am so excited and so terribly sad that UP FROM THE GRAVE is releasing this week. I’ve been waiting forever for its release and I can’t wait to see what this final installment holds for Cat and Bones. But I’m also heartbroken that it is the end for them.

    I may have only just met these characters in the past few years, but I instantly fell in love with them. I could read story after story about Cat and Bones and their adventures, which makes it even harder to let go.

    I refuse to read the description to see just how things might end. And I’m not sure if I’ll be devouring UP FROM THE GRAVE the instant it releases. I’m not entirely sure I’m ready to say goodbye. But I might just have to, or steer clear of Twitter for the next few weeks until the buzz dies down. We shall see.

    I don’t always root for a happy ending, but I am keeping my fingers crossed for Cat and Bones. And I’m keeping my ears covered and eyes closed until I discover the end for myself.

    Description…

    There’s always one more grave to dig.

    Lately, life has been unnaturally calm for vampires Cat Crawfield and her husband Bones. They should have known better than to relax their guard, because a shocking revelation sends them back into action to stop an all-out war…

    A rogue CIA agent is involved in horrifying secret activities that threaten to raise tensions between humans and the undead to dangerous heights. Now Cat and Bones are in a race against time to save their friends from a fate worse than death…because the more secrets they unravel, the deadlier the consequences. And if they fail, their lives—and those of everyone they hold dear— will be hovering on the edge of the grave.

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    Uninvited

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    UNINVITED by Sophie Jordan will be released in the U.S. on January 28, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 384 pages.

    UNINVITED is the first book in a new series by Author Sophie Jordan. A release date has not been set for the sequel.

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    I can’t wait for everyone to read UNINVITED by Sophie Jordan and I’m totally stoked that my finished copy will be downloading this week. I already read it and spotlighted it for my Book Watch post, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not just as anxious for it to hit shelves.

    I was totally surprised by how awesome this book was. Not because I thought the author wasn’t awesome already, but because I didn’t expect to love this story as much as I did based upon the description.

    It was amazing. And thought-provoking. And heartwarming. And nerve-wracking. And I am dying to get my hands on the sequel to see what happens next. Which is another reason why I’m anxious for its release. Because that means it’s one day closer to the sequel’s release.

    While I won’t be re-reading UNINVITED this week, I will definitely be re-reading it some time in the next month or two. It’s just that fantastic of a read and I’m curious to see what other chilling thoughts re-reading will bring to mind.

    Description…

    The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she’s destined to become a murderer.

    When Davy Hamilton’s tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn’t feel any different, but genes don’t lie. One day she will kill someone.

    Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he’s not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

    The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.

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    Cruel Beauty

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    CRUEL BEAUTY by Rosamund Hodge will be released in the U.S. on January 28, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Balzer + Bray, the print edition is 352 pages.

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    I can’t believe that release day is just about here for CRUEL BEAUTY and my Kindle copy will be downloading on Monday Midnight. I feel like it was just yesterday when I first learned about it and added it to my list of pre-orders.

    I am currently in the middle of reading this book and will hopefully be finished reading it tonight. And oh my gosh do I love it. I wasn’t entirely sure I would, as the Beauty and the Beast tale has been done quite well before. But this story is gorgeous and is surprisingly unique.

    What I’ve devoured already has gotten me hooked. The description wasn’t lying when it called it a “sweeping fantasy” and I definitely do feel a bit dazzled.

    As I haven’t yet reached the end, I don’t know how far it will deviate from the fairy tale’s ending. And even if I did know, I wouldn’t reveal that here. But I can’t wait to finish writing this post so I can get back to reading it. It’s wonderfully, deliciously addictive.

    Description…

    Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

    Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

    Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

    With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

    But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

    As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

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    Heartbeat_Elizabeth-Scott_cover

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    HEARTBEAT by Elizabeth Scott will be released in the U.S. on January 28, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Harlequin Teen, the print edition is 256 pages.

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    The instant I read the description for Elizabeth Scott’s HEARTBEAT I added it to my list of pre-orders, and I can’t believe its release is just about here. I have an early copy and have managed to read most of it and plan on finishing it tomorrow, but I am still just as excited for the finished copy to land on my Kindle.

    I don’t want to say too much about this story, in part because if I started rambling I might reveal too much, in part because this post is already super long, and in part because just thinking about it brings me to tears.

    So I will only just say that it’s heart-wrenching and beautiful. And I can’t wait for everyone to read it, bawl and fall in love with it.

    Description…

    Life. Death. And…Love?

    Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.

    But Emma can’t tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.

    Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn’t have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.

    Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?

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    Anything to Have You

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    ANYTHING TO HAVE YOU by Paige Harbison will be released in the U.S. on January 28, 2014 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Harlequin Teen, the print edition is 304 pages.

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    I love Paige Harbison’s writing and I’m totally stoked that ANYTHING TO HAVE YOU is releasing this week and the finished copy will be downloading to my Kindle on Tuesday. While I didn’t get the chance to read it early, I will definitely be reading it in the next couple of weeks.

    I can’t wait to meet Natalie and Brooke and find out what the repercussions will be for the night Natalie spent with Aiden. I am super curious to know whether their friendship will be strong enough to get past what happened or if Natalie’s actions will have destroyed what they had.

    The description gives absolutely no clue about just what direction this story will take, so I’m dying to find out what happens. And I hope to be able to do so in the next couple of weeks.

    Description…

    Nothing should come between best friends, not even boys. ESPECIALLY not boys.

    Natalie and Brooke have had each other’s backs forever. Natalie is the quiet one, college bound and happy to stay home and watch old movies. Brooke is the movie—the life of every party, the girl everyone wants to be.

    Then it happens—one crazy night that Natalie can’t remember and Brooke’s boyfriend, Aiden, can’t forget. Suddenly there’s a question mark in Natalie and Brooke’s friendship that tests everything they thought they knew about each other and has both girls discovering what true friendship really means.

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    And We Stay

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    AND WE STAY by Jenny Hubbard will be released in the U.S. on January 28, 2014 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 240 pages.

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    I only recently discovered AND WE STAY by Jenny Hubbard but I immediately added it to my list of pre-orders because the style the story was written in sounded incredibly intriguing. And the story itself sounded heartbreaking but hopeful.

    While I received an eARC for review, I haven’t had the chance to read it just yet, so I’ll likely be reading the finished copy when I do get it on the pile. But I did end up taking a peek at the first several pages and, as I hoped I would be, am intrigued by the style the story is told in.

    I can’t wait to see how the author presents this tragic but hopeful story. I can’t wait to see how the spirit of Emily Dickinson is able to help. And I hope to be able to do so in just a few weeks.

    Description…

    When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

    This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.

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    Manor of Secrets

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    MANOR OF SECRETS by Katherine Longshore will be released in the U.S. on January 28, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Point, the print edition is 320 pages.

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    I have been dying to read MANOR OF SECRETS but haven’t yet been able to get it on the pile, though I did read the first few chapters. I have an ARC, but as my finished copy will be landing on my Kindle on Tuesday I will likely be reading that version instead.

    I can’t wait to discover all of the Manor’s secrets, get to know Lady Charlotte and Janie even more, and find out just what happens when rules are broken. The description is rather vague about the details which piques my curiosity all the more.

    Katherine Longshore is a fantastic writer and I just know I’ll fall in love with her latest release. I am anticipating romance and mystery and a gorgeous setting and I can’t wait to dive back in.

    Description…

    The year is 1911. And at The Manor, nothing is as it seems . . .

    Lady Charlotte Edmonds: Beautiful, wealthy, and sheltered, Charlotte feels suffocated by the strictures of upper-crust society. She longs to see the world beyond The Manor, to seek out high adventure. And most of all, romance.

    Janie Seward: Fiery, hardworking, and clever, Janie knows she can be more than just a kitchen maid. But she isn’t sure she possesses the courage — or the means — to break free and follow her passions.

    Both Charlotte and Janie are ready for change. As their paths overlap in the gilded hallways and dark corridors of The Manor, rules are broken and secrets are revealed. Secrets that will alter the course of their lives. . . forever.

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    Her Dark Curiosity

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    HER DARK CURIOSITY by Megan Shepherd will be released in the U.S. on January 28, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Balzer + Bray, the print edition is 432 pages.

    HER DARK CURIOSITY is the second book in Megan Shepherd’s The Madman’s Daughter series. The third book in the series, currently untitled, is slated for release in 2015.

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    I did not read the first book in Megan Shepherd’s series, but I own it and just had to pre-order HER DARK CURIOSITY. I have heard such amazing things about that first book that I couldn’t resist adding this second book in the series to my collection.

    I don’t want to take a peek at the description for the sequel as I’m not sure what happened with Juliet Moreau in that first book and I don’t want to happen upon any spoilers. If it’s as amazing as everyone said it was, I can only imagine that I’ll be heartbroken if even a moment of it is spoiled.

    I recall the first book’s description giving me chills – Dr. Moreau’s experimentation is so unbelievably creepy – and I can only guess that this sequel’s description is just as chilling. But as I refuse to read it I don’t know for sure.

    As much as I’d love to dive into both books immediately, I’m wondering whether I should wait until closer to book three’s release. I guess it will depend upon just how long I’ll be able to live with being curious.

    Description…

    To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.

    Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father’s island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.

    As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.

    As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

    With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.

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    Into the Still Blue

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    INTO THE STILL BLUE by Veronica Rossi will be released in the U.S. on January 28, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by HarperCollins, the print edition is 400 pages.

    INTO THE STILL BLUE is the third and final full-length book in Author Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky series.

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    I cannot believe that this series is ending and I haven’t yet read the first book. I am absolutely heartbroken. I own each of the books in this series – including the novellas – and have INTO THE STILL BLUE pre-ordered.

    I just know I’m going to love this series madly. Everyone whose opinions I trust was crazy about this series. I’ve heard that many hearts were broken knowing this series was concluding. I imagine the same will be true for me when I devour it in its entirety.

    The description – yes I peeked just a tiny bit at the blurb – mentioned it was “earth-shattering” and I’m excited to find out just why that is. But I haven’t read beyond that blurb as I don’t want to know anything more.

    Now that the series will be available to read back-to-back-to-back, I do plan on reading it in the very near future. And by that I mean next month.

    Description…

    The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi’s “masterpiece” Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Times bestselling Through the Ever Night (Examiner.com).

    Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it’s time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

    The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

    Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won’t even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

    Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn’t just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he’s also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

    In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

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    The Unbound

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    THE UNBOUND by Victoria Schwab will be released in the U.S. on January 28, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Disney-Hyperion, the print edition is 368 pages.

    THE UNBOUND is the second book in Author Victoria Schwab’s The Archived series.

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    I love Victoria Schwab’s writing and while I haven’t finished reading THE ARCHIVED I just had to pre-order THE UNBOUND. I just can’t believe its release date is almost here. I really had hoped to get caught up before its release.

    I can’t wait to find out what happened to Mackenzie and see what happens to her in this sequel. The world the author created was so very different from any I’d read before and I’m curious to see whether this sequel takes readers back there.

    As I haven’t yet finished reading the first book, and I have a feeling this sequel’s description will be spoiler-y, I haven’t taken a peek. But I am dying to know whether this will be the final book in the series or if there is a third book planned. So if anyone knows, without revealing spoilers, I would love to know.

    Description…

    Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

    Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe.

    Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

    With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.

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    Infinite

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    INFINITE by Jodi Meadows will be released in the U.S. on January 28, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Katherine Tegen Books, the print edition is 432 pages.

    INFINITE is the third and final full-length book in Author Jodi Meadows’ Newsoul series.

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    I own both previous books in this series and have had INFINITE pre-ordered for ages, but I haven’t yet had the chance to dive into this series that had me captivated since before book one’s release. And it wasn’t just each book’s stunning cover that drew me in.

    I have wanted to meet newsoul Ana. I have been curious as to whether she has no soul. I’ve been hopeful that she doesn’t just have the one life to live. And I’ve been dying to find out whether Sam is willing to risk being with her even if she does.

    I don’t know what happened in INCARNATE or ASUNDER, but I hope to be able to find out everything that did. I hope to be able to devour all three books and the novella some time next month or the month after that. I kind of love the idea of getting to spend all this time with the characters in their world. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will happen as planned.

    Description…

    DESTRUCTION
    The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

    FLIGHT
    Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

    CHOICE
    The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

    With gorgeous romance and thrilling action, the final book in the Incarnate trilogy offers a brilliant conclusion to the compelling questions of this fascinating world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions.

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    Other Books of Note

    The Queen's ChoiceTHE QUEEN’S CHOICE (Heirs of Chrior #1) by Cayla Kluver

    Pub. Date: January 28, 2014

    Publisher: Harlequin Teen

    Find It: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Magic was seeping out of me, black and agonizing. I could see it drifting away. The magic that would let me pass the Road to reach home again.

    When sixteen-year-old Anya learns that her aunt, Queen of the Faerie Kingdom of Chrior, will soon die, her grief is equaled only by her despair for the future of the kingdom. Her young cousin, Illumina, is unfit to rule, and Anya is determined not to take up the queen’s mantle herself.

    Convinced that the only solution is to find Prince Zabriel, who long ago disappeared into the human realm of Warckum, and persuade him to take up his rightful crown, Anya journeys into the Warckum Territory to bring him home. But her journey is doomed to be more harrowing than she ever could have imagined….

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    TimestormTIMESTORM (Tempest #3) by Julie Cross

    Pub. Date: January 28, 2014

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

    Find It: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    The breathtaking conclusion to the time-travel trilogy that is “both tender and electric” (Publishers Weekly)

    The battle between the Tempest division and Eyewall comes to a shocking conclusion in this final installment of the Tempest trilogy, where the need for survival stretches the boundaries of history, both past and future, and the world Jackson once knew is a place forever marked by the detrimental effects of time travel.

    As Jackson recovers from his brush with death, he’s surrounded not only by the people he loves most—his dad, Courtney, and Holly—he’s also amongst a few of the original time travelers. As he learns more about their life and how this world began, it becomes apparent that they need to put a stop to Thomas and Doctor Ludwig’s experimenting at Eyewall Headquarters. What starts out as an escape plan becomes a war between time and humanity, between freewill and peace. It’s the battle Jackson was born to fight and he’s not about to back down. Not for anything. Not for anyone.

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    Forever coverFOREVER (Temptation #3) by Karen Ann Hopkins

    Pub. Date: January 28, 2014

    Publisher: Harlequin Teen

    Find It: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    All I want is my happily-ever-after.

    That’s all I’ve wanted since meeting Noah Miller.

    From the day we met, the world has tried to keep Noah and me from being together, but now that I’m carrying his child, no one will be able to tear us apart. Or so I hope. But Noah and I have made some mistakes along the way, and the consequences are impacting the people we love. Worse, there’s a storm on the horizon, and it’s sure to cause serious devastation.

    If we can get through this, we’ll finally be Rose and Noah; a family, forever.

    But first we have to survive the road ahead. And happily-ever-after is a long way off.

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    FireFIRE (The Englesfors Trilogy #2) by Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg

    Pub. Date: January 30, 2014

    Publisher: Overlook Juvenile

    Find It: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Praised by Lev Grossman as “stunning, …raw, real, smart, very thrilling and very, very wicked,” The Circle, the first book in the internationally bestselling Engelsfors Trilogy, introduced a group of high school girls with special powers who became the Chosen Ones. As book two, Fire, begins, Minoo, Vanessa, Linnéa, Anna-Karin and Ida have been struggling with their own demons all summer long. Now school is back in session, and whether they like it or not, the five Chosen Ones must stick together stronger than ever before.

    Evil is back in Engelsfors and it threatens to engulf everyone and everything—and only if the five girls accept their strengths and trust each other unconditionally will they have any chance of defeating it.

    The second installment of the Engelsfors Trilogy—an international sensation with rights sold in 26 countries—Fire sees the past woven together with the present, the living with the dead, our human world with demonic forces. This spellbinding novel takes the reader on a wild journey in a world where the stakes are higher than life-and-death.

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    MindersMINDERS by Michele Jaffe

    Pub. Date: January 30, 2014

    Publisher: Razorbill

    Find It: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    A high concept, cinematic read with a surprising twist,MINDERS asks the question: who is really watching whom?

    Q: If the boy you love commits a crime, would you turn him in?

    Sadie Ames is a type-A teenager from the wealthy suburbs. She’s been accepted to the prestigious Mind Corps Fellowship program, where she’ll spend six weeks as an observer inside the head of Ford, a troubled boy with a passion for the crumbling architecture of the inner city. There’s just one problem: Sadie’s fallen in love with him.

    Q: What if the crime is murder?

    Ford Winters is haunted by the murder of his older brother, James. As Sadie falls deeper into his world, dazzled by the shimmering pinpricks of color that form images in his mind, she begins to think she knows him. Then Ford does something unthinkable.

    Q: What if you saw it happen from inside his mind?

    Back in her own body, Sadie is faced with the ultimate dilemma. With Ford’s life in her hands, she must decide what is right and what is wrong. And how well she can really ever know someone, even someone she loves.

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    Face of DeathFACE OF DEATH (Touch of Death #3) by Kelly Hashway

    Pub. Date: January 28, 2014

    Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

    Find It: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Having fallen at the hands of Hades, Jodi’s enduring torture like she never imagined. Worse, she has to watch her Ophi friends suffer along with her–the punishment doled out by the very people she’d sentenced to life in Tartarus. Hell. This is one reunion Jodi hoped would never happen, but now she must find a way to free them all.

    Except the underworld is nearly impossible to escape.

    Jodi’s one chance may rest in raising the human soul she killed when she drank Medusa’s blood.

    But splitting her human soul from her Ophi soul means living a double life: One as an Ophi experiencing unspeakable torture and the other as the human she could have been if she never came into her powers. With her two worlds colliding, Jodi will have to make the toughest decision she’s faced yet.

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    No PlaceNO PLACE by Todd Strasser

    Pub. Date: January 28, 2014

    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

    Find It: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    When Dan and his family go from middle class to homeless, issues of injustice rise to the forefront in this relatable, timely novel from Todd Strasser.

    It seems like Dan has it all. He’s a baseball star who hangs with the popular crowd and dates the hottest girl in school. Then his family loses their home.

    Forced to move into the town’s Tent City, Dan feels his world shifting. His friends try to pretend that everything’s cool, but they’re not the ones living among the homeless. As Dan struggles to adjust to his new life, he gets involved with the people who are fighting for better conditions and services for the residents of Tent City. But someone wants Tent City gone, and will stop at nothing until it’s destroyed…

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    Secret coverSECRET (Elemental #4) by Brigid Kemmerer

    Pub. Date: January 8, 2014

    Publisher: K-Teen

    Find It: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    EARTH. FIRE. AIR. WATER.

    Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He’s trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won’t get in to college. He’s trying to keep his brother’s business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He’s trying to keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel – or he fears he’ll lose his family. And he’s trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his ‘girlfriend’s’ partner.

    And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.

    SECRETS IN THE WIND. DANGER IN THE AIR.

    dots

    TapeTAPE by Steven Camden

    Pub. Date: January 30, 2014

    Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books

    Find It: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Record a voice and it lasts forever…

    In 1993, Ryan records a diary on an old tape. He talks about his mother’s death, about his dreams, about his love for a new girl at school who doesn’t even know he exists.

    In 2013, Ameliah moves in with her grandmother after her parents die. There, she finds a tape in the spare room. A tape with a boy’s voice on it – a voice she can’t quite hear, but which seems to be speaking to her.

    Ryan and Ameliah are connected by more than just a tape.

    This is their story.

    dots

    Other Releases

    SOMEONE LIKE YOU (Someone to Love #2) by Addison Moore

    FIRSTBORN by Lorie Ann Grover

    BREATH OF YESTERDAY by Emily Bold

    THE ACCIDENTAL LIFE OF JESSIE JEFFERSON by Paige Toon

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    What an absolutely insane week for new releases this is. I have eleven books pre-ordered that I know about. It’s entirely possible there will be more downloads to my Kindle than just those eleven. *GULP.* I’m not even going to check to see if there are eNovellas releasing or this post might take me another few hours to complete.

    While I’ve managed to read a few of this week’s releases, there are so many releases that I haven’t read that are part of series that I’m behind on. I’m starting to think that I might never catch up.

    And while I would love to keep rambling about all the amazing books releasing this week, this post is long enough. And I really would like to try and actually read one more of the books I have the opportunity to read pre-release. So I’m going to run off and do that right now.

    I hope that I haven’t missed any of this week’s releases. I really, really, hope so. Because my wallet and my TBR pile couldn’t handle it if there were more. And I hope that a few of this week’s releases are books you’ve been anxiously awaiting, because it means the wait will soon be over.

    As ever, a happy book birthday to each of this week’s releases and happy bookish acquiring and reading in the week ahead.

    blue_green_line2

    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!

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    Book Buzz: Forever

    I’m doing another “Where are they now?” Book Buzz post for a book that was released just over three months ago. As it was the final book in the series, I didn’t want to wait too long after release to see what people are saying.

    If you’re like me and love to avoid series ending books, this is a tough one to see end, but at least Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races is out now to keep you entertained.

    The Book:

    Forever is the final book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, a paranormal young adult story written by Maggie Stiefvater. It was released on July 12, 2011.

    Loved it or Hated it?

    I loved it. Not the cuddly, happy smiles, warm fuzzies kind of love, but the haunted, pining, aching, hollowed-out kind of love. The kind of love where you feel like a part of you is torn away. Forever.

    The Early Buzz:

    I was definitely around for the early buzz, if not the earliest. But I was stalking this book long before it turned up at BEA, so I definitely feel like an early buzzer.

    Everyone was dying to find out just how the author would end this trilogy. Once the shock wore off that there would be no more Sam and Grace after this book’s release, people were desperate to find out if their story would have happy a ending or not. With the way Maggie Stiefvater wrote the previous two books, it was very much up in the air as to just how this book would end.

    Adding to the chatter was the book’s description. Talk about a teaser. Bigger stakes, wolves being hunted, lives in jeopardy and death right around the corner. That alone sent everyone into a mild panic.

    And when photographs from around BEA started showing up with those Forever ARCs in the hands of many a blogger, the excitement for this book and jealousy toward those who had one, grew pretty significantly.

    Fizzle or Sizzle:

    The overwhelming majority say “SIZZLE” with the biggest divide being about the ending.

    The Goodreads average comes in at 3.96 and Amazon comes in at 4 (since they don’t round).

    On Goodreads, 70% of the 10,265 people who rated the book were evenly split between 4 and 5 stars and 23% gave it 3 stars. Amazon had far fewer reviews, but the percentages pretty much broke down in the same way.

    Sizzle Buzz

    Beautiful writing. Poetic. Haunting. Realistic. Gut-wrenching. Heart-breaking. Bittersweet.

    Fizzle Buzz

    Slow pace. Anti-climactic. Character disconnect. Unresolved issues. Dissatisfying ending.

    What Happened?

    I hadn’t heard too much talk around the blogosphere about Forever, which has been out for just over three months, until the chatter started up for the recently released The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.

    As is inevitable with any new book by an author following a very popular series, comparisons will be made. Good or bad, they certainly help to bring the author’s writing into the spotlight. And so the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy is being talked about by bloggers once again.

    But the reviews have been consistently pouring in for Forever, even if the bloggers haven’t kept the chatter going. And the readers on Goodreads are still discussing that ending and the hopes for a Cole and Isabel spin-off.

    What’s Left to Buzz About?

    The ending. How can anyone who read this series not want to talk about the way the story ended. Whether you love it or hate it – and there were definitely a few who downright hated that ending – there’s a lot to talk about. And while the majority of people loved it, the detractors were right when they said there are things left unresolved.

    The characters. From the first book to the last, many readers fell in love with Sam and Grace. Their relationship was different, unusual and heartbreaking, but also filled with hope. Even for those who didn’t make that character connection, their relationship is still worth talking about, even if the conversation isn’t all positive.

    Then there’s Cole and Isabel, the secondary characters who play a large part in this last book. Whether readers love their story more than Sam and Grace’s or less, their story is one to buzz about.

    And of course there’s Beck. Throughout the series he was so deeply woven into the fabric of Sam’s life. And just as there was no Sam without Grace, there was no Sam without Beck, either. There are fans of the series who made their strongest connection with him and would love to keep the buzz on Beck still going.

    The writing. I don’t think there’s anyone who couldn’t continue the conversation about Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. Her writing is just that beautiful and different and haunting. Whether readers loved or hated the pace, they all are pretty clear in that they love her writing.

    Buzzworthy?

    Absolutely. Whether you loved or hated just how this series ended, there are still so many questions about the characters’ futures that will give readers plenty to buzz about.

    And the fact that this series was so unique – unlike any other werewolf tale – makes this truly stand out as a buzzworthy book.

    Buzz factors – A haunting and potentially heartbreaking love story. Beautiful, poetic writing. A tense build-up to a dramatic conclusion. And an end that isn’t quite “the end.”

    What do I say?

    This is a story and series that I loved. I am a huge fan of that ending, though at first I wasn’t. It took sitting with it for just awhile to make me fall in love. But regardless, I couldn’t wait to see what everyone thought of how it ended for Sam and Grace and for Cole and Isabel.

    The love-hate factor about that ending boils down to just how much unfinished business can the reader live with? As much as I hate incomplete endings, I don’t mind open endings. And this one, while for a moment it felt incomplete, it was actually simply just open-ended. As is life.

    Because, no matter how a series ends, even if it’s wrapped up in a perfect bow, once it ends there will always be things left up in the air. Unless the author writes more, we’ll never know what happens that next day to the characters. They could get trampled by a herd of elephants for all we know. Nothing is certain. But in Forever there was nothing so disquieting that readers will toss and turn and lose sleep. (Not like that ending to Demonglass.)

    I say this book, and especially this series, is one I will remember for a long, long time. And I can’t wait for the chance to read all three books in a row, to experience it without that long wait in between each read where I become distanced from the story and have to fall in love all over again.

    But if you’d like to know what I really thought, here’s my review for Forever.

    Buy it, borrow it, pass on it?

    For this book, I say it depends on whether you’ve started the series or not.

    If you have read only Shiver or both Shiver and Linger you have to follow this series to its end. And I say “BUY IT.” Complete that collection. Even if you may not end up loving the very end of this book, it is far more unfinished if you stop after book one or book two.

    If you haven’t started the series, go into it with the understanding that the word is unique, the writing is beautiful, the pace can be slower than in other stories, you may not make a connection with the characters and the series will have a somewhat open ending. So, for those of you who haven’t read the first book yet, I say “BORROW IT.” If you love the first book, then you have to read this story to its end and then I say “BUY IT.”

    But what do you think?

    ***

    Any item related to this book is up for discussion. Just because I haven’t mentioned it here doesn’t mean you can’t bring it up in the comments.

    And feel free to discuss any points of interest from reviews that you’ve seen and would like to talk about. But please talk about them in general terms and don’t point out specific reviews unless they are my reviews or your own.

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    The Extras: Teasers #7

    There are so many amazing books out there – released or soon-to-be-released – that have certain passages that just captivate.

    Here are just a few of those that caught my attention in the past month.

    ***

    There were a few passages with a lot more heat, but I thought this perfectly chaste one was absolutely delicious. It only hinted at what was to come for the characters, and did it in such a way that left you wanting more.

    Just like this kiss, this passage was such a tease.

    Emma and Brendan:

    Brendan’s eyes searched mine as he slipped his fingers around my palm and pulled my hand up to his mouth, pressing his lips to the back of my hand. His kiss was featherlight, but I felt the imprint of his lips as they scorched my skin.

    As always with Maggie Stiefvater, I could have probably filled just this one post with all the amazing passages from this book. As it is, I had to shrink this scene down a bit to still be able to call it a teaser.

    I had another one of my favorite passages included in my review post, but as this one was a bit longer I saved it until now.

    Isabel and Cole:

    This kiss was so soft that it was like a memory of a kiss, so careful on my lips that it was like someone running his fingers along them. My mouth parted and stilled; it was so quiet, a whisper, not a shout. Cole’s hand touched my neck, thumb pressed into the skin next to my jaw. It wasn’t a touch that said I need more. It was a touch that said I want this.

    It was all completely soundless. I didn’t think either of us was breathing.

    Cole sat back up, slowly, and I opened my eyes. His expression, as ever, was blank, the face he wore when something mattered.

    He said, “That’s how I would kiss you, if I loved you.”

    It was really tough to choose the teaser for this book. I had saved at least ten passages I called favorites, and one I used in my review, leaving nine to choose from.

    As most of the passages aren’t of the lovey-dovey variety, as I found the sarcasm and humor in this book very much to my liking, it made it all the more difficult to pick a favorite. So, I took the easy way out and chose the longest.

    Lenzi and Alden:

    He fidgeted and then ran his hands through his hair. “Okay. Your fear is a turn-on. Protectors are stimulated when their Speakers are afraid. It’s what makes it possible to put you in harm’s way. Otherwise, our instinct to protect would trump everything and we’d never allow you to do your job, which is to put yourself in danger in order to resolve the issues that keep the Hindered Earth-bound.”

    Well, that certainly wasn’t what I expected. “Get out! You’re turned on by fear?”

    “And pain to some extent.” He winked and pulled his hand away.

    Since this series isn’t all about the romance, and there were so many fantastic kick-a** teasers I could have chosen, I just thought I’d mix things up a bit and choose something a little more romantic.

    Besides, I already included quite a few of my favorite non-sexy and non-spoiler-y ones in the review.

    But I will keep this a teaser and only reveal who one of the two lip-lockers are.

    Riley and…

    He delicately tipped her chin up with a finger. His eyes told her what he intended. And then he kissed her, without waiting for her verdict on the subject. Like the wine and the watermelon and everything else around them, the kiss was beyond what it should be. Every nerve in Riley’s body tingled, a Simon-level kiss on steroids. They kissed again, this time more deeply. Her body began to hum, like it was lit from within by a strange erotic fire.

    I took this tidbit from the middle of one of my favorite scenes in this book. I will not reveal the entire scene as it heats up quite a bit. I am also keeping quiet on just who is in the room with Emma.

    For that you’ll have to read it yourself. But this is absolutely scrumptious.

    Emma and…

    His eyes are black in the low light of the room. “Do you surrender?”

    My heart is pounding and I’m tingling from head to toe. “Surrender to what?” I whisper, my chest rising and falling, my eyes locked on his.

    His gaze doesn’t waver. “A kiss.”

    When I read this book I made notes about a number of my favorite passages – and there were quite a few. As I don’t tend to use post-its or other ways of marking my pages, I use the notepad feature in my phone to write down page numbers and reference words to refresh my memory when I go back to capture those lovely passages.

    Well, just to give a hint about just a few of my favorites, because I can’t list them all, here are some of the words I used – “hamburgers,” “free rides,” “skank,” “hooks,” “scarlet accusation,” and “boys suck.”

    Yeah, I told you this was an awesome book.

    Braden to Lucien:

    I rolled my eyes, grabbing my bag and throwing it over my shoulder. “Just be sure to water your skank,” I said as I passed him. “She’s looking a little shallow.” It was a completely inappropriate thing to say, but I walked out of his office with a smile.

    While Evie’s sarcasm always makes me grin, instead of choosing one of those many, many passages, I thought I’d include one that was much more of a teaser. And hopefully not too much of a spoiler.

    And as Reth is my other favorite character in this series, I couldn’t choose one without him.

    Evie and Reth:

    Reth fixed his depthless eyes on mine and took my hand in his. There were none of the forced flames from before, just reassuring pressure, like he was trying to anchor me. “I suppose the idea for you started about twenty years ago.”

    He traced a finger tenderly down my cheek. “It was a very bad idea from the start.”

    I am so heartbroken that I can’t include my favorite passage from this book. In my attempt not to be spoiler-y I have to leave it off. And I’m devastated.

    Because it’s good. Sooooo good. So unbelievably…well, I better stop now or this might tease you more than the passage I am including.

    And, even the passage I did choose had to be slightly redacted – note the ellipses – so as not to reveal any secrets.

    Liv and Cam:

    No, Cam was neither gullible nor truly optimistic. He was desperate. He needed to believe that there was some kind of greater good out there to give his life meaning…. And that desperation—that need to believe—was what stared down at me, when I was ready to die for him, and he was ready to live for me.

    ***

    It’s taken me a bit longer to get my teasers post together this month, but I’ve still managed to squeeze it into August where it should be. I hope to be closer to on time next month.

    As I once again passed along my copy of an ARC before actually noting my favorite passages, I’ll have to include the teaser for Frost in next month’s post after I get my finished copy from Amazon.

    I haven’t included teasers from all the books I’ve read in the past month and a half, as I decided it would be better to save a couple for the next post, which will be out sooner than this last one.

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    Giveaway: Forever – Signed and Doodled

    Signed and Doodled Forever Giveaway

    Forever by Maggie Stiefvater has finally been released! And I have to thank the folks at Fountain Bookstore for getting my copies of the signed books mailed out so quickly. (In addition to the copy for giveaway, I ordered personally signed copies of the entire Wolves of Mercy Falls series. And they are gorgeous!)

    The above picture is the exact copy of the book that’s up for giveaway. And I love the eyes that the author drew in the book – gorgeous! (My copy has a howling/baying wolf and not those eyes. I wonder if the wolf in my copy is Grace or Sam…I hope it’s not Shelby! I’ll upload that snap to Facebook later.)

    So anyway, on to the giveaway, which I’ve been promising since I ordered this mid-May!

    What’s up for grabs?

    A signed and doodled copy of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater plus a The Scorpio Races post card, this Hunger Games bag clip which came in the box with my order and I have no idea what it is so I’m giving it away, and a few other random signed and unsigned swaggy items.

    Just a snap of some of the random swaggy items

    The Deets:

    * Only one entry per person.

    * Must be 13 or older to enter.

    * Contest is International where allowed by law.

    * Giveaway ends Saturday, July 23rd at 11:59 p.m.

    * Winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced on the blog on Sunday, July 24th.

    * Winner will have 48 hours after notification to respond.

    *Prize will be sent via U.S. mail.

    There is no requirement to follow, tweet or “like,” but following the blog is always appreciated.

    To enter, fill out the form below:

    The contest is now closed. Thanks everyone for entering. I will run all the names through Random and announce the winner here shortly. Stay tuned…

    And the winner is….

    Congratulations Nicci! I have notified you by email. You have 48 hours to send on your details or I will be forced to choose another winner.

    Thank you again to everyone for stopping by the blog to enter the giveaway. I’m sorry I only pre-ordered one signed copy for giveaway, but I had no idea the author would doodle in it or I might have ordered just a few others.

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    Review: Forever

    Forever by Maggie Stiefvater is the final book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. It was released in the U.S. on July 12, 2011 in hardcover, eBook and audio formats.

    It is currently available to order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Scholastic Press the print edition is 400 pages.

    Goodreads description:

    The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stiefvater

    then.

    When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their love moved from a curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.

    now.

    That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt.

    forever.

    Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment – a moment of death or life, farewell or forever.

    ***

    Time was running out for the wolves of Mercy Falls. Another person was killed and this time there would be nothing to stop the hunters from coming after them.

    So, unless Sam could figure out what to do, the wolves would all face extinction. And Grace would be lost to him. Forever. And if he couldn’t save her, he would be lost, too.

    But without Beck to lead them, and Sam in pieces without Grace, Cole was their only hope for survival. And a boy who at one point was ready to end his own life, and was barely hanging on to the one he had now, was not an ideal savior.

    How could Cole possibly lead the wolves to safety when he wasn’t even confident in himself? But without someone willing to take charge, the wolves would surely meet their end in Boundary Wood.

    And those left behind, trapped in their human form, would have to live forever with the knowledge that they did nothing to stop the mass murder that was masquerading as a hunt.

    ***

    Forever is the beautifully dramatic conclusion to the highly addictive Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. In this last installment in the series, a member of the wolf pack has killed a human girl and the people have reached their limit.

    While the specifics are still being decided, one thing is certain, the pack must be annihilated. And Tom Culpepper, Isabel’s father, is ready to lead the charge. But with Grace still not fully acclimated to the warmer weather, her safety is at even greater risk, leaving Sam and Cole with little time to figure out a solution.

    At the story’s end, some questions will be answered, but there will be many things that are left up in the air. Just because the story has ended for the reader, doesn’t mean it’s the end for the characters. And a story that’s open-ended leaves room for infinite possibilities.

    Author Maggie Stiefvater never ceases to amaze with her elegant and beautiful writing that just draws the reader into her story. The pace of the story is unhurried, which allows the reader to become slowly, but fully engaged with both the characters and the plot.

    Even as the clock is ticking down and the pace begins to escalate as the events unfold, the urgency does not overtake the story. Readers will still be captivated by passage after exquisite passage of the author’s remarkable writing.

    Although it’s sad to have reached the end of Sam and Grace’s story, as told by the author, Forever did give readers a longer look at Cole St. Clair. His character really grew in this last book in the series. Where he once appeared selfish and self-involved, he showed great strength and character in his desire to save the wolves and especially Sam and Grace.

    As the ending left much uncertain and unfinished, there may be readers who are dissatisfied, but not this reader. In many books, this type of an end would not fit. However, in a series like the Wolves of Mercy Falls, it just works.

    The future for the characters that remain at the end of this series offers hope and promise, but also leaves open the possibility that not everything will be a fairytale, which is just as it should be for them.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

    On a personal note:

    It has always taken me a long time to get absorbed into each of the books in this series. The pace is slow, but the writing is beautiful. And has a very haunting quality to it. I can’t explain it well – believe me, over the years that I’ve followed this series I’ve tried.

    I typically find myself about a third of the way through, wondering exactly what it was that got me so hooked on the series that I developed this connection with it and felt the need to read more. But then somewhere amidst the pages it just happens. I become glued to it.

    Whether it’s the wolves or just simply the stunning passages I gravitate toward, I just can’t stop coming back for more. Even with the desolate feeling that reading each story brings. And Forever is no exception.

    However, in this story, it was Cole that I felt more of a pull toward, rather than Sam or Grace. It seems like Forever was his story. While Sam and Grace were a part of this story – Sam more than Grace – it was Cole I felt like I got to know a lot more. His character grew, while Sam and Grace remained as they always had been – distant, strange, unique and intimately bonded in a way that didn’t welcome outsiders.

    But Cole, as flawed as he was, and as hard to comprehend, became so much more. He developed a new facet to his personality that made him almost lovable. He discovered himself in this book in a way he didn’t before, and it was wonderful to see.

    The ending is bound to upset some readers. Probably quite a few. For a few minutes after I finished reading, I was devastated. The not knowing can be hard to deal with. But it was the perfect end to the story.

    I’m not sure whether I’m glad that the author didn’t leave me hanging with another part of the story that I was so sure she would. I think I would have liked that one part to be open-ended. But I suppose with the other ending being unresolved, that might have been too cruel.

    Leaving everything up in the air seems somehow true to this series. As much as I’m one of those readers who enjoy everything wrapped up in a happy bow, I think this needed to end the way it did.

    I think, for this series, you absolutely have to be in the right frame of mind to read it. It’s not a snuggly series or one that you feel completely connected to the characters. They are outsiders. They don’t have personalities that immediately grab you. They are remote and damaged and different. And yet I love them just as much as the characters I’ve bonded with.

    I am definitely in a malaise after reading Forever and it’s taken days to get my thoughts in order to write this review. But the fact that I finished reading this days ago, and I’m still haunted by the book, tells me how much I loved it and how affected by it I was.

    ***

    I have a ton of favorite passages. Maggie Stiefvater is an amazing writer. My three favorites are from Cole’s viewpoint. As two of them are quite long, I thought I’d just choose the shortest.

    The thing I was beginning to figure out about Sam and Grace, the thing about Sam not being able to function without her, was that that sort of love only worked when you were sure both people would always be around for each other. If one half of the equation left, or died, or was slightly less perfect in their love, it became the most tragic, pathetic story invented, laughable in its absurdity. Without Grace, Sam was a joke without a punch line.

    Book trailer for Forever:

    This review is based on an ARC I received as a gift from another blogger.

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #28

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

    These are books for the week of July 12th-July 18th that I have pre-ordered.

    ***

    Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris will be released in the U.S. on July 12, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is available to pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 208 pages.

    Bad Taste in Boys is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

    When I first saw this cover a few months ago I thought it was really cool and added it to my pre-orders based solely on the cover. I then heard it was a debut book from some of the blogs I stalked, so I knew I’d definitely be reading it.

    I had no idea at the time this book was about zombies. I actually haven’t read too many books about zombies and I still need to finish the Carrie Ryan series. But this book sounds like a lot of fun. And as it’s just over 200 pages, it sounds like the perfect read to sneak in this week.

    I think the idea behind this story – that steroids have had an odd effect on the football team, turning them into zombies – is clever and imaginative. And I really can’t wait to see if the main character and her friends and family are able to save the town from the zombie menance.

    To read an excerpt from Chapter One, courtesy of Random House, CLICK HERE.

    Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore will be released in the U.S. on July 12, 1011 in hardcover and eBook formats.

    It is currently available online for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

    Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 416 pages.

    I mentioned this book in my “Extras” post last month and I’m so happy it’s finally coming out. This is another book I’ve had on pre-order for a long while. I fell in love with this cover last winter and couldn’t wait for the book’s release.

    I had the opportunity to meet the author at the RT convention in Los Angeles in April, so I am super excited to finally get my hands on a copy. It’s been a long wait.

    I read The Splendor Falls before I started blogging and knew I absolutely loved the author’s writing style. So adding Texas Gothic to the collection was a no brainer.

    Although I probably won’t be able to read it this week I can’t wait to find out if this story about the odd goings-on at the Goodnight Ranch, which include a ghost stalker and a number of bodies turning up, is just as spellbinding as the other book of the authors that I’d read.

    To read a short excerpt courtesy of Random House, CLICK HERE.

    Wildcat Firefies in the second book in the Meridian series by Amber Kizer. It will be released in the U.S. on July 12, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats.

    It is currently available for pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 528 pages.

    This sequel is long-awaited. I loved the first book, Meridian, and found the concept of Fenestras so captivating. I’ve been just dying to find out what happens next for Meridian Sozu.

    I know I’ve had an ARC from a trade for awhile, but as release date was so far off I had to put off reading it and then just never got the chance. Of course, it now releases in just a day and I still haven’t had the opportunity.

    But I have had this book on pre-order for my Kindle for a long time now and I’m excited to finally be getting the finished copy. I still haven’t decided whether to read the ARC or the final version, but either way I like having the option.

    In this follow-up to book one, Meridian and Tens begin to search for others like her – a half-human, half-angel who helps souls transition to the hereafter. According to the description they find someone named Juliet who needs their help. There’s also a hint that just maybe their relationship is in for some trouble. I really hope it’s nothing too serious.

    To read an excerpt from the prologue on the book’s website, CLICK HERE.

    The third book in the series, Speed of Light, is slated for release in the fall of 2012, and the fourth book, Counting Tens, will be releasing in the spring of 2013.

    Dragon’s Oath, a House of Night novella by authors P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, will be released in the U.S. on July 12, 2011 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats.

    It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, the print edition is 160 pages.

    I’ve had this on pre-order for a few months. I’m not sure how I became aware of the novella, but it was probably from discovering it on the blogs. I’ve been a long-time follower of this series, so I decided to add this novella to my collection.

    Until I created this post I wasn’t even sure just how it tied in with the series. It seems that the authors have decided to create a series of novellas about some of the other characters in the books and Dragon’s Oath is about Professor Lankford from before he was a professor at the House of Night.

    I’m trying this out because I have been a fan of the series and because I like Professor Lankford, but I’m not sure just how many of these I’ll be buying and reading going forward. It probably depends on the characters they choose to highlight. I have enjoyed the main series, but the past couple of books have begun to lose some of their charm for me.

    But I am really looking forward to learning more about Dragon Lankford.

    Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt will be released in the U.S. on July 12, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order in both formats online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Simon Pulse, a division of Simon & Schuster, the print edition is 320 pages.

    I first saw this book on Simon & Schuster’s Galley Grab, but I knew that I might not get a chance to read it prior to release so I added it to my pre-orders. Though I probably would have added it regardless, as I’ve read one or two things by this author and have several of her books on my eReader just waiting to be read.

    All I can say is this sounds like one contemporary young adult novel that will make me bite my nails the entire time I’m reading it. From the description, the four characters, Hannah, Ava, Sebastian and Noah, are all hiding something and whatever it is they are keeping secret from one another will all come to light at the start of their senior year in high school.

    The Goodreads description is such a tease and it’s made me just really want to know who ends up with who at the end of this story.

    Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, the final book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, will be released in the U.S. on July 12, 2011 in hardcover, eBook and audio formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Scholastic Press, the print edition is 400 pages.

    I haven’t had Forever on pre-order for too long for my Kindle as it wasn’t available in eBook format until fairly recently. But I also have two signed copies on pre-order from the independent bookstore the author partners with, one I’ve ordered specifically for a giveaway.

    I have been a huge fan of this series for so long. And at the time I’m writing this post, I am just about finished reading Forever, thanks to the signed ARC that Britney from I Eat Words sent me from BEA.

    I love Sam and Grace’s story. And it is definitely more the story and the writing, versus the characters, that I find enchanting about this series. Sam and Grace are two characters who have been very difficult for me to connect with, yet I so completely love their story and this series. I won’t continue to gush, as I’ve already spotlighted Forever in my Book Watch post.

    In this final installment in the series the entire wolf pack is in jeopardy of being hunted to extinction. And because a part of the description on Goodreads sums it up so well, I’ve decided to use that so as not to risk accidentally revealing any spoilers, which I know I’d do if I continue to ramble.

    The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment – a moment of death or life, farewell or forever. (From Goodreads)

    Maggie Stiefvater reads from Forever:

    Undercurrent by Tricia Rayburn is the second book in the Siren trilogy. It will be released in the U.S. on July 12, 2011 in hardcover, eBook and audio formats.

    It is currently available to pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in all formats.

    Published by EgmontUSA, the print edition is 352 pages.

    Okay, this is another book I pre-ordered solely based on cover love. I have not yet read the first book in the series, but I have had it on my Kindle for quite some time. Definitely before I started blogging.

    When they revealed the new covers for this series I was so excited and stalked the eBook release for this second book in the series even though I hadn’t even started to read book one. That’s how much cover love I had for these new covers.

    I have been too afraid to read the Goodreads description in case it will spoil my read for the first book in the series, but I’ll link it HERE in case anyone might want to know what happens in this book.

    I know this series is about sirens, which I haven’t read too many books about, so I am definitely excited to finally get a chance to start reading. There’s nothing like cover love and a second book to motivate me to get caught up on this trilogy.

    There are a couple posts on the author’s blog with teaser excerpts. CLICK HERE to check them out.

    ***

    When I started writing up this post I thought I didn’t have too many books on order releasing this week. I had checked out HarperTeen’s “Coming Soon” site and saw nothing releasing that I had on pre-order and only remembered two of the above books.

    Yeah, well apparently I have seven books on pre-order for this week. At least according to Amazon. And I won’t be surprised if I discover an eighth book downloading at Monday Midnight.

    I’ve read only one of the above books that I’m buying this week, so that’s six new books for the pile. Granted, I still haven’t read the first book in the Siren series, but I plan to, when I have a spare moment…

    I really want to read Wildcat Fireflies this week and Sometimes It Happens, but I’m not too hopeful. Perhaps next week.

    But either way, there are some fantastic new releases this week, and I’m excited to be adding them all to my collection.

    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!

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    My Reading Pile #16

    After last week I wasn’t sure I’d receive any books to snap a picture of this week. But a few books did arrive in the mail. I received a signed copy of Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson that I won from an online charitable auction.

    I also received an ARC of Shattered Souls from a trade with Alex of Electrifying Reviews. Of course, I am expecting another copy in the next week or two, I realize, as I am part of an ARC tour for this book, which I didn’t find out until after I had traded for a copy.

    And I received an ARC of The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson and Frost by Marianna Baer courtesy of Greenwillow Books and HarperTeen.

    Although I’m still waiting on quite a few books, I’m not sure they’ll be arriving next week, so there may just be a generic photo shown above.

    Anyway, onto the star of the show…

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

    (July 3-July 9, 2011)

    ***

    First up is Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers. I received an ARC of the book from a contest on the author’s blog. It was a DEAR (drop everything and read) book. I absolutely loved it, but I read it strictly for pleasure. And it was scrumptious.

    As I wasn’t clever enough to write a review at the time, I will need to read it again. Not that I’m complaining. Believe me. And I can’t believe it, but it’s finally coming out on Tuesday. Yay! I’m super excited because I just love this series.

    Next up is Supernaturally by Kiersten White. I received an ARC of this book through a trade. (Well, two actually.) And I need to pass this one along, so I’ve decided to move this up in the TBR pile and read it for review this week.

    I loved Paranormalcy and I love this series. I had some serious cover love for both books, but especially for this one.

    Evie is a lovable, if at times frustrating, main character and I can’t wait to see just what trouble she gets into in this second book in the series.

    Against popular opinion, I am a fan of Reth, he is the bad boy after all. And I’m dying to find out what happens with him and Evie in Supernaturally. I also love Lend, but Reth just makes my heart beat a little bit faster. Plus he makes this a pretty exciting love triangle.

    Last up is Forever by Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve had this for a few weeks now, thanks to Britney of I Eat Words who sent me a copy from BEA. And, as I plan on passing this one along as soon as I can, I added it to the pile this week.

    I’m not sure I’m ready to say goodby to Sam and Grace, so this is going to be a really tough read for me. I’ve managed to avoid final books for most of the series I’ve come to love. But the pressure to pass the ARC along is forcing my hand.

    And so I plan on biting the bullet and reading Forever to find out whether there is a happy ending for the characters. I really, really hope so.

    ***

    Last week was a really bad week for me. I only finished one book the entire week. I never should say I’m going to read during my time off, because something always seems to happen.

    Due to last week’s drama it took away my motivation to read and so I only managed to read one book. And that was Witch Eyes, which I definitely want to read again before I review it, as I’ve been completely scatterbrained all week and the notes I took to write up my review are a bit incoherent. So not good.

    I did not get any other books read during the week. Zero. I am deeply, deeply ashamed, but I did watch True Blood if that counts for anything.

    Wishful Thinking reads:

    My wishful thinking reads are all the books I didn’t get a chance to read last week – Spellbound, Forbidden, The Day Before – but as it’s going to be a busy week I will probably only get a chance to read Spellbound.

    And I would like to read Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey as the copy I received from the trade needs to be sent on to someone else for awhile so they can read it. I’ll eventually get it back in December, but for now I only have temporary custody of it. If I don’t get to it this week, then I’ll read it next week for sure.

    Those left behind:

    I left everything but Witch Eyes behind, so I added all my unread books from last week to my “Wishful Thinking Reads” list. I hope that I’ll be able to read at least one or two of them this week, especially Spellbound. And I did not get a chance to read any of my “fun” non-required reads. So much for vacation.

    My hopes at being successful this time around were an epic fail. I really should not cross my fingers. But this time it really wasn’t my doing. There are no excuses, but if you’re not just not in a place where you can enjoy reading, you’re just not. And believe me, if you read a book when you’re not in the mood, it’s not good for you or the book.

    I am feeling the bookish love again, so I imagine I’ll get at least a few books read and reviewed this week. Ever hopeful (as always)…

    ***

    Do you create a reading pile?

    If so, what’s in your pile this week?

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All reviews on this website are unbiased and reviewers are in no way compensated for their reviews by the author, publisher, or any other agencies. While some reviews may be based on receipt of ARC copies of an authors work, a fair and impartial review is always given by the reviewer. Most of the reviews, however, are based upon books purchased after publication date.