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Jenna Black

    Top 10 of 2015: Best Books I’ve Read in 2015 + Giveaway


    Welcome to Day One of the Top 10 of 2105

    A Week of Looking Back…

    …and Looking Forward

    This is my fifth year co-hosting this event with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books, my fourth year co-hosting with Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and my second year co-hosting with Nancy of Tales of a Ravenous Reader. Wow that’s a lot of years. But this event is so much fun, that I’m thrilled to be able to do it again in 2015.

    If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2015 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    Once again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on four of the five days of this challenge – I’m hosting today’s Day One giveaway, Two Chicks on Books is hosting Day Two’s giveaway, Tales of a Ravenous Reading is hosting Day Three’s giveaway, and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads is hosting Day Four’s giveaway. So be sure to check in with each of our blogs this week.

    Best Books I’ve Read in 2015

    Today’s topic is:


    I’ve read so many seriously amazing books this year, that picking just ten was a dreadfully impossible task. I’m just glad I read THE STARS NEVER RISE by Rachel Vincent in 2014 or it would have made narrowing down my list that much more horrendous. It also didn’t help that I read more books this year than last, that I’ve been in an eclectic reading mood, and that there were just so many incredible books written.


    Why? Because it’s unique, it’s hard-hitting, the writing is beautiful, the story is phenomenal, the series potential has me desperate for the next installment.


    Why? Because this series is an all-time favorite, because the ending is abso-freaking-lutely killer, because it’s dark and gorgeous and the waiting is exquisite torture.


    Why? Because the story is epic, the world-building incredible, the writing gorgeous, the detail impeccable.


    Why? Because the writing is stunning, the world expansive and fascinating, the series riveting.

    #5 BRUTAL YOUTH by Anthony Breznican – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s dark and gritty and edgy and shocking and disturbing, the writing brilliant, the story unforgettable.


    Why? Because it’s complex and interesting and fascinating. The world is chilling and still amazing. The characters sympathetic and scary. The story compelling.


    Why? Because it’s thrilling and epic and gripping and unputdownable. The dual POV makes it edge-of-your-seat exciting.


    Why? Because it’s so wicked and dark and wildly entertaining. It’s about villains. Nothing more needs to be said.

    #9 ROOK by Sharon Cameron – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s action-packed, nerve-wracking, suspenseful. There are twists and turns. There’s romance, betrayal and heartbreak. What’s not to love?

    #10 SALT & STONE by Victoria Scott – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s awesome and amazing and adorable and nail-biting. The characters are ones you can’t help but love, love, love. Though the possibility that there might not be a next book in the series is heartbreaking.

    Honorable Mentions

    I really wanted to limit honorable mentions to just five, but I couldn’t do it. Limiting it to 15 was hard enough as it was.

    So those are my favorite reads for 2015. What are yours?

    The Giveaway


    I’m offering up for giveaway…

    • Books of Your Choice (up to $30 US) open internationally to anywhere The Book Depository ships

    ***The giveaway is ONLY open to those participating in the Top 10 of 2015 event***

    • Must be 13 or older to enter
    • There will be ONE winner
    • Giveaway ends on December 31st at 11:59 PM Pacific
    • Giveaway is open ONLY to those participating in the Top 10 of 2015 event
    • Giveaway is open internationally to anywhere The Book Depository ships
    • Prize will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
    • Winner will be chosen by and announced in the Rafflecopter
    • Winner will be contacted by email and have 72 hours to respond

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Leave a link to your Best Books I’ve Read in 2015 posts in the Linky List below…


    Review: SCHISM


    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: SCHISM (Gifted #2)
    Author: Jenna Black
    Release date: November 18, 2015
    Publisher: IGLA
    Pages: 346
    Formats: eBook


    As his power grows, so does his malice.
    No one is safe. No one can fight back …
    …But they can die trying.

    Unforgiving and power-maddened Alberto di Tommaso threatens to take over all of Europe with his iron fist and sinister magic, endangering the very existence of the Gifted. As Alberto’s influence and his vile agenda spread, the rebel Patriarch, Matt Landy, and some unlikely allies must stop him before he provokes a war the Gifted cannot win. But with Congress and Homeland Security starting to turn against the American Gifted, the conflict is destined to be greater than any of them imagines. This time, good may not stand a chance against an evil so toxic.

    But they will fight.


    NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.

    The Review

    SCHISM is dark, intense, intriguing, chilling. It is not a story for the faint of heart. It is at times harsh, brutal, shocking. It has aspects that mirror both the frightening reality of today’s world and the one of the past. It is an exceptionally well-crafted and well-written story that will give you a lot to think about and a lot to hope for.

    With a number of interesting and compelling characters, all with differing agendas, motivations, and abilities, it is guaranteed to keep you captivated. Its fascinating and intricate plot will keep you on edge, keep you guessing, keep your curiosity piqued. And its killer cliffhanger ending will leave you desperate for the next installment even while you’re nervous about what is to come.

    The schism that divided the Order between the more moderate Gifted and those wishing for a return to the old ways was only just the beginning of the end to their way of life. Patriarch Alberto di Tommaso’s radical and ruthless actions not only created an even bigger rift but served to put each and every one of the Gifted under a microscope. He single-handedly managed to rapidly destroy the fragile acceptance by the unGifted that took years to achieve. And he cared not one iota about the repercussions.

    Not when it was nearly impossible to kill a Patriarch. Not when he had an entire country under his control. Not when Gifted and unGifted alike quaked in fear of him. Not when he felt invincible even in the face of so many new enemies and potential threats.

    Jenna Black has created a remarkable story and series. It is complex and exciting and richly detailed. She combines elements of the paranormal with those of a political thriller. She incorporates spirituality and morality into this provocative and thought-provoking tale.

    She doesn’t soften the barbarity of her character’s actions, decisions, orders, to make for an easier, more pleasant read. She paints a violent and disturbing picture at times, but not one that is unnecessarily so. There are no holds barred. It is raw and real and completely unvarnished. It is an absolutely incredible sequel.

    A cruel, megalomaniac of a ruler, a country in turmoil, a people divided, a faith put to the test, unfair and unjust punishments meted out, fear running rampant, SCHISM promises to take you on one heck of a wild ride. And with unexpected alliances, dangerous manipulations, deadly schemes, powerful gifts, and characters to love and hate, it will be a ride you won’t want to see end.

    The Rating


    Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

    About Jenna Black


    Jenna Black is your typical writer. Which means she’s an “experience junkie.” She got her BA in physical anthropology and French from Duke University.

    Once upon a time, she dreamed she would be the next Jane Goodall, camping in the bush making fabulous discoveries about primate behavior. Then, during her senior year at Duke, she did some actual research in the field and made this shocking discovery: primates spend something like 80% of their time doing such exciting things as sleeping and eating.

    Concluding that this discovery was her life’s work in the field of primatology, she then moved on to such varied pastimes as grooming dogs and writing technical documentation. Among her other experiences . . .

    • Ballroom dancing.
    • Traveling all seven continents. Yes, even Antarctica.
    • Becoming a Life Master in Bridge.
    • Singing in a barbershop chorus.

    Read the true story of Jenna’s first trip out of the country by herself at the age of 16: Jenna’s Zaire Adventure. And remember, insanity is a good thing for a writer.

    She’s also a proud member of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, and would love for her readers to support her fellow authors!

    Jenna is represented by Miriam Kriss, of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.


    Other Books in the Series


    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: THE GIFTED DEAD (Gifted #1)
    Author: Jenna Black
    Release date: September 23, 2014
    Publisher: Aardwolf Press
    Pages: 410
    Formats: Paperback, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT


    They have all the power.
    They make all the decisions.
    But now, corruption is blazing through the Order…
    …and nobody is safe.

    With three European families and an American maverick plotting to seize control of the Order, a power struggle breaks out, creating deception and distrust among the Gifted.  A cutthroat game of political intrigue will decide the winner. The stakes couldn’t be higher as the Order carries with it the power to grant—or deny—an afterlife.

    On the cusp of an all-out war for power, magic could suddenly prove deadlier than any missile.



    THE GIFTED DEAD Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway


    I am so excited to be kicking off the tour for Jenna Black’s THE GIFTED DEAD presented by Kismet Book Touring. I am a huge fan of the author and this new book of hers sounds utterly intriguing – magic and politics, a secret society, incredibly high stakes, a fight for control, and the potential for it to escalate into a deadly battle. I cannot wait to see where it leads.

    I am currently reading – and loving – this awesome book, which grabbed me right from the start. There’s something about a story that begins at a cemetery, in the pouring rain, with a character whose behavior is not entirely honorable. So far I’ve had the pleasure of being introduced to Sergei Romanov, Isabelle Montplaisir, Lynda Powell and Jonas Farraday, all of whom are very different and completely fascinating. And I can’t wait to learn how each of their stories intertwine.

    But more than that, I can’t wait to share the excerpt for my stop today, which will introduce you to Sergei, a character who may not at first glance appear to be someone particularly likable but who may just be redeemable, and who has a pretty amazing Gift. Of course it’s just a tease, and ends at a place in the story that will leave you wanting to know what happens next.

    And maybe, just maybe, one of the other stops on tour will circle back to Sergei’s story so that you can find out. Or maybe you’ll have to grab a copy of the book when it releases on the 23rd to find out.

    Anyway… if you’d like to know just a bit more about the book before diving into the excerpt from the first chapter, the description follows immediately below. And if you’d like to get more peeks into THE GIFTED DEAD, be sure to follow the tour. Each stop will reveal more from this exciting new book from this amazing author. The schedule is at the bottom of the post, or you can simply click the banner above for more information on the book’s tour page at Kismet.

    And if you want the chance to win an eCopy of the book, be sure to enter in the Rafflecopter.


    About The Gifted Dead


    Add to Goodreads

    Release date: September 23, 2014
    Publisher: Aardwolf Press
    Pages: 410
    Formats: Paperback, eBook


    Politics and magic make dangerous bedfellows.

    Deep within the Order, the seeds of corruption have taken root. While younger generations of the Gifted have embraced modern democratic values, a secret society of old-guard zealots seek a return to the past, when only European men of distinguished bloodlines held power.

    Now, three venerable European families and a maverick American each plot to seize control of the Order and shape it to their will. A cutthroat game of political intrigue will decide the winner; and the stakes couldn’t be higher, for ruling the Order carries with it the power to grant—or deny—an afterlife.

    What begins as a battle of wills could turn into an all-out war. And magic could prove deadlier than any missile.


    About Jenna Black


    Jenna Black is your typical writer. Which means she’s an “experience junkie.” She got her BA in physical anthropology and French from Duke University.

    Once upon a time, she dreamed she would be the next Jane Goodall, camping in the bush making fabulous discoveries about primate behavior. Then, during her senior year at Duke, she did some actual research in the field and made this shocking discovery: primates spend something like eighty percent of their time doing such exciting things as sleeping and eating.

    Concluding that this discovery was her life’s work in the field of primatology, she then moved on to such varied pastimes as grooming dogs and writing technical documentation. She is now a full-time author of fantasy, young adult, and romance novels.


    The Excerpt

    Chapter One

    [Excerpt 1—intro to Sergei Romanov]

    Cary, NC

    The cemetery gates were locked at this time of night, so Sergei Romanov pulled his rental onto the patchy grass of the shoulder and put it in park.

    His passenger looked out the window doubtfully. “You sure we ain’t gonna get stuck here?” he asked—the first words that had left his mouth since they’d gotten into the car together. The man was trying to remain cool and casual, as if he dealt with the Gifted on a regular basis here in this backwater little town, but his body language said he was scared, which was fine with Sergei. The less Sergei had to talk to him, the better.

    Da,” Sergei said as he turned off the wipers. Not because he couldn’t speak English—the Anima Mundi had Gifted him with the ability to speak and understand any language with the facility of a native when he wanted to—but because it further discouraged any unnecessary conversation. Sergei’s research had revealed Randy to be a drug dealer who liked beating up his wife—and his girlfriend. Just being in the same car with him made Sergei feel dirty, and he had no interest in anything the lowlife had to say.

    Rain thumped relentlessly on the windshield and roof Maybe Randy-the-wife-beater was right and parking on the grass was a bad idea. It had been raining for hours already, and the soil was bound to be soft, almost swampy. But he had to park somewhere, and his aggressive time-line didn’t allow him the option of waiting for better weather.

    Sergei stepped out into the downpour, his hair getting drenched in the few moments it took to raise his umbrella. The ground squished unpleasantly under his feet, and the humid air felt like a hot, wet blanket against his skin. It wouldn’t surprise him if it was snowing back home in Kiev. He’d hated the cold and snow all of his life, couldn’t wait to move somewhere warm, but now that he knew he might never see home again, he found he missed it.

    Randy climbed out the other side with a resigned sigh, hunching his shoulders as if that might protect him from the rain. Sergei had paid him extra on account of the weather, so the sigh was his only expression of complaint.

    The price tag was still glued to the handle of the shovel Sergei had thrown into the trunk. Shovels were inconvenient to transport when traveling by commercial airline, and so far Sergei had bought a new one at each of his stops. Randy peeled the label off and dropped it carelessly on the ground.

    “Pick it up,” Sergei ordered. “We leave nothing behind.”

    Not that he thought a soggy piece of paper on the side of the road would serve as evidence, especially when there would be no sign that a crime had even been committed. But there was too much at risk not to be careful.

    Randy muttered something under his breath too softly for Sergei to hear, but he picked up the crumpled label and shoved it in the pocket of his jeans. Together, they hopped over the short stone wall that bordered the cemetery.

    The systematic persecution of the Gifted had ended long ago, but the Bible Belt of the US South didn’t exactly receive their Gifted brethren with open arms. In such inhospitable regions, Gifted parishes were small and young, their cemeteries sized accordingly. Even on this dark and rainy night, it wasn’t hard to find the grave they sought, with its freshly tilled earth barely hidden beneath squares of sod.

    Roberta Quinn’s grave was on the outermost edge of the cemetery, uncomfortably close to the low retaining wall and the prying eyes of passersby. Luckily, the time of night and the weather meant passersby would be few and far between. Sergei wondered if she’d been buried there on purpose to keep her away from the less controversial occupants of the cemetery. Quinn’s family had fought a long, hard battle before her admittance to the Anima Mundi was reluctantly approved by the local Parish Board. Those who had been outvoted would probably stand up and cheer Sergei’s actions. But of course they would never know.

    “Dig here,” he instructed Randy.

    Randy shrugged his oversize shoulders and got to work, carefully removing the carpet of sod before stabbing his shovel blade into the ground. The sod wasn’t faring well in the deluge. Sergei hoped they’d be able to put it back cleanly.

    The scent of wet earth filled Sergei’s nose, and the pounding of the rain neatly covered the sound of the shovel digging into the grave. Rain soaked through the legs of his jeans, and his feet were swimming in his Nikes.

    He hated this. Hated it with a passion. Bad enough that Pietro di Tommaso had turned him into a murderer, but he was now a destroyer of souls as well.

    If it weren’t for Sergei’s interference, the Anima Mundi—the Soul of the World—would absorb Roberta’s soul just like the Earth absorbed her body. She would forever influence the Anima, becoming part of the great being that granted magic to the Gifted and shaped their lives and their society. She might even someday become someone’s spirit guide, helping her charge communicate with the Anima and know its wishes. The Order had deemed her worthy of that honor, had eased her family’s grief by assuring them her soul would live on in the afterlife. And in one night, Sergei would take all of that away from them.

    Roberta Quinn’s family will never know, he reminded himself, but the words were a hollow comfort. The family might never know what he had done, but he would know, and he would have to live with it.

    The guilt of it all had nearly crippled him in the beginning, but it was becoming easier to bear as little by little he resigned himself to his fate. His conscience had almost given up on him, putting up only a token protest. His heart was growing harder, building armor to protect him from what he had to do to keep his little sister, Anna, safe. If he failed Pietro di Tommaso, it was Anna who would suffer for it, and that he couldn’t allow, no matter the cost to his own soul.

    Randy made steady progress, his broad shoulders and beefy arms perfectly suited to the task. When he wasn’t dealing drugs or beating up women, he was a construction worker. If Sergei did the digging himself, he would still be laboring when the sun came up, his unfortunately scrawny physique not suited to the task. Even di Tommaso had agreed that hiring someone else to do the digging was a regrettable necessity.

    Sergei knew they were almost to their goal when the sickly sweet smell of decay wafted from the grave.

    “Jesus Christ!” Randy cried, standing back and covering his mouth and nose with his arm.

    “I warned you she was not embalmed,” Sergei said mildly. A soul that was bound for the Anima was buried unembalmed in the earth in a simple white shroud marked with the symbol of the Gifted—the Ouroboros, rendered as a dragon biting its tail. The embalming process would contaminate the body and prevent the soul from being properly absorbed into the Anima. “Keep digging.”

    Randy grumbled some more, probably under the impression that Sergei didn’t understand the foul language being used to describe him and his ancestors, which would have been the case if Sergei hadn’t invoked his Gift for languages, fearing he might miss something important. Besides, he deserved every one of Randy’s insults and more.

    The smell became stronger, almost overpowering. Randy had to pause and climb out of the grave a couple of times for a whiff of fresh air, but eventually, his shovel had uncovered most of the shroud. Sergei shone his flashlight into the hole to assure himself enough of the body had been revealed for his purposes.

    “Climb out,” he told Randy.

    The big man eagerly complied, his face a ghoulish green as he tried to escape the stench by breathing through his mouth. Mud caked his work boots and smeared his clothing, the red tinge of the clay-rich soil a stark contrast to the sickly pallor of his skin.

    “How ya gonna get it to burn in this weather?” he asked through his shallow breaths.

    Grimly, Sergei held out his hand and called upon his other Gift, the one that had first brought him to the attention of the di Tommasos, dooming him and Anna to their current circumstances.

    A ball of blue fire gathered in Sergei’s palm, but it did not burn him.

    “Holy shit!” Randy squealed, then backed up so fast he tripped over the handle of his shovel and landed on his seat in the mud. Sergei didn’t think Randy was a particularly religious man, but he made a clumsy attempt to cross himself anyway. As if his God had any more use for a drug-dealing wife-beater than Sergei did.

    In the past, the Doctrine had strictly forbidden the Gifted from revealing their abilities to the unGifted public, but that injunction had changed over time, and now it only gently discouraged the revelation of the more frightening Gifts. Healing magic and innocuous survival magic didn’t scare people, didn’t bring out the witch hunters with their torches and pitchforks—or in these days, the congressmen with their modest proposals and grass roots campaigns. Magic like Sergei’s fireball was another story altogether—which was one reason Randy would meet an untimely end when he’d outlived his usefulness. The fact that Sergei felt only mildly regretful about his plan to murder a human being showed how low he had sunk. Pietro di Tommaso considered the unGifted lesser beings, going so far as to declare they had no souls. Sergei had never shared the sentiment; he knew that even though Randy was the scum of the earth, killing him would be wrong. Just as he knew he would do it anyway.

    While Randy sprawled on the ground, Sergei stepped to the edge of the grave and tipped his hand, letting the fireball drop in. Instantly, the wet shroud caught, blue fire spreading then turning white with the intensity of its heat, forcing him to take a hasty step back. It would consume the body as thoroughly as any cremation, preventing the soul’s absorption into the Anima. And then Randy would fill the grave back in, and no one would ever know that Roberta Quinn’s soul was no more.

    Sergei was too busy wallowing in his own misery to be as vigilant as he should. He didn’t notice the sound of the approaching police car, nor did he see the flash of the headlights as he squinted in the light from the consuming fire.

    It wasn’t until he heard the shout that he realized there was a witness and that Roberta Quinn’s family might learn what he’d done after all.

    The Giveaway

    The tour includes the following amazing giveaway…

    • 10 eBook copies of THE GIFTED DEAD
    • 1 Grand Prize Package including a $100 Gift Card from either Amazon, iTunes or Barnes & Noble

    Giveaway is International. Prizes are sent by the author.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Monday, September 8th – Fiktshun

    Tuesday, September 9th – Books and Things

    Wednesday, September 10th – Xpresso Reads

    Thursday, September 11th – Addicted 2 Heroines

    Friday, September 12th – Gizmo’s Reviews

    Week Two

    Monday, September 15th – The Book Swarm

    Tuesday, September 16th – Jessabella Reads

    Wednesday, September 17th – Romancing the Dark Side

    Thursday, September 18th – Literary Escapism

    Friday, September 19th – Bookish



    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #167


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

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




    RUINS by Dan Wells will be released in the U.S. on March 11, 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 464 pages.

    RUINS is the third and final full-length novel in the Partials Sequence.


    I have had RUINS pre-ordered since last summer, even though I hadn’t at that time read the first two books in the series. I owned them both, but I just hadn’t gotten the chance to get them on the pile. But I did get the chance to do so very recently.

    And while I haven’t yet finished FRAGMENTS, because I didn’t want to be left hanging while waiting the couple of weeks for the release of RUINS, I plan on finishing that book tonight and possibly sneaking RUINS onto the pile once it downloads to my Kindle on Tuesday.

    While I may have read the description for RUINS when putting together my post for the tour the other week, I’ve purposely tried to forget what I’ve read so that whatever happens at the end of FRAGMENTS won’t be spoiled. But I’m pretty sure that war is on the horizon and I’m both totally nervous and super stoked to find out how everything ends.

    If I don’t get the chance to read it on Tuesday, I will definitely be reading this next weekend. Because, while it’s a series ending book, I really want to discover that ending before it has the potential to be… ruined.


    Kira, Samm, and Marcus fight to prevent a final war between Partials and humans in the gripping final installment in the Partials Sequence, a series that combines the thrilling action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Blade Runner and The Stand.

    There is no avoiding it—the war to decide the fate of both humans and Partials is at hand. Both sides hold in their possession a weapon that could destroy the other, and Kira Walker has precious little time to prevent that from happening. She has one chance to save both species and the world with them, but it will only come at great personal cost.


    The Shadow Prince


    THE SHADOW PRINCE by Bree Despain will be released in the U.S. on March 11, 2014 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 496 pages.

    THE SHADOW PRINCE is the first book in Author Bree Despain’s Into the Dark series. The second and third books in the series, currently untitled, release in 2015 and 2016 respectively.


    I cannot believe that THE SHADOW PRINCE is releasing on Tuesday and I’ll have the finished copy on my Kindle in just a matter of hours. When I first learned of this book’s release on Edelweiss I immediately requested it for review and added it to my TBR. And I’m heartbroken that I wasn’t able to read it prior to its release.

    But I definitely plan on reading it in the next couple of weeks because it’s by an author whose books I love, the story is a modern interpretation of Greek myths, the description sounds amazing, and it is the book I’ve been most anticipating this week. Which is why I spotlighted it for my Book Watch post a few weeks back.

    As I have already rambled on about how excited I am for THE SHADOW PRINCE, I won’t continue to blather on about it here. But I am so thrilled that I’ll have the finished copy in my collection, which will definitely prompt me to move this to the top of the pile next week.


    Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

    Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

    Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.




    RESISTANCE by Jenna Black will be released in the U.S. on March 11, 2014 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Tor Teen, the print edition is 368 pages.

    RESISTANCE is the second book in Jenna Black’s Replica Trilogy. The third book in the series, REVOLUTION, is slated for release on November 11, 2014.


    I am totally stoked for the release of RESISTANCE. I read the first book in the series and with the way things ended I had a feeling that this sequel would be even more exciting. I’ve avoided reading the description until now, but now that I have, it sounds like I was not at all wrong.

    I am curious to find out why Nate and Nadia don’t really have the power they think they do. I’m eager to find out how big the conspiracy is. And I’m even more interested in learning just why this sequel is entitled RESISTANCE.

    I’m also curious to see if there will be more of a sci-fi bent to the story than the first.

    While I won’t be able to add this to the pile this month, I am really hopeful of reading it in April and can’t wait for my Kindle copy to download so I can add it to the queue.


    Resistance is the second installment in acclaimed author Jenna Black’s YA SF romance series.

    Nate Hayes is a Replica.

    The real Nate was viciously murdered, but thanks to Paxco’s groundbreaking human replication technology, a duplicate was created that holds all of the personality and the memories of the original. Or…almost all. Nate’s backup didn’t extend to the days preceding his murder, leaving him searching for answers about who would kill him, and why. Now, after weeks spent attempting to solve his own murder with the help of his best friend and betrothed, Nadia Lake, Nate has found the answers he was seeking…and he doesn’t like what he’s discovered.

    The original Nate was killed because he knew a secret that could change everything. Thanks to Nadia’s quick thinking, the two of them hold the cards now—or think they do.

    Unfortunately, neither of them fully understands just how deep the conspiracy runs.


    Don't Even Think About It


    DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT by Sarah Mlynowski will be released in the U.S. on March 11, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Delacorte Press, the print edition is 336 pages.


    I am really excited for the release of DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT on Tuesday. I’d first heard of this book when I received the invitation to review it via NetGalley a few weeks back and after reading the description I just had to add it to my list of pre-orders.

    While I didn’t get the chance to read it pre-release, I definitely plan on reading it soon. It sounds like so much fun and I am definitely in the mood for this type of read right now.

    I am curious to see whether having telepathic powers will be more of a negative than a positive. I’m super curious to see how everyone will get along after they are all able to hear what one another is thinking and know how they’re feeling. It sounds like it will be hilarious, disastrous and potentially a little bit sad for not only those with the ability, but everyone in this story. And I can’t wait to find out.


    Contemporary teen fiction with romance, secrets, scandals, and ESP from the author of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have).

    We weren’t always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn’t expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

    Since we’ve kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what’s coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.

    So stop obsessing about your ex. We’re always listening.



    DestinedDESTINED (A Fates Story) by Lanie Bross

    Pub. Date: March 11, 2014

    Publisher: Delacorte Press



    In this beautiful, romantic prequel to FATES, Corinthe attends a beachside party at a glamorous mansion on Point Reyes, where she must help fulfill a mysterious–and potentially deadly–destiny. There she gets her first taste of the strangest human emotion of all: love.

    This urban fantasy short story is set in the world of FATES, Lanie Bross’s riveting new series about a girl who is not human who must bring about the death of the boy she loves, or risk banishment from her home forever.

    Gunner SkaleGUNNER SKALE (An Eye of Minds Story) by James Dashner

    Pub. Date: March 11, 2014

    Publisher: Delacorte Press



    From James Dashner, the New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series, comes an original thirty-page e-short returning fans to the fast-paced, high-tech world from The Eye of Minds, the first book in the Mortality Doctrine series.

    Find out how Gunner Skale, the best gamer on the VirtNet, becomes a legend in this story available exclusively online. Read it before book two in the series, The Rule of Thoughts, hits shelves in fall 2014.


    Other Books of Note

    BrokenBROKEN (Avena #2) by Marianne Curley

    Pub. Date: March 13, 2014

    Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens

    Find It: AMAZON


    Ebony is not quite human. She’s descended from Avena, an otherworldly realm caught between warring light and dark forces. But she doesn’t feel like she’s in danger . . . until her boyfriend Nathaneal almost dies protecting her. Now Nathaneal is in jail for revealing his powers to the enemy, and Ebony’s only ally is jealous Jordan, who’d love to break her and Nathaneal up.

    But when Jordan announces he has a connection to Ebony’s missing birth father, she can’t help but be intrigued. The two make a plan to find him, but it quickly goes awry, and Ebony finds herself in the treacherous heart of Avena. She has no choice but to navigate this perilous world—or die trying.

    Fantastical and emotionally powerful, this epic inter-world romance series will appeal to fans of Laini Taylor and Cynthia Hand.

    The Edge of WaterTHE EDGE OF THE WATER (Saratoga Woods #2) by Elizabeth George

    Pub. Date: March 11, 2014

    Publisher: Viking Juvenile



    A mysterious girl who won’t speak; a coal black seal named Nera that returns to the same place very year; a bitter feud of unknown origin—strange things are happening on Whidbey Island, and Becca King, is drawn into the maelstrom of events.

    But Becca, first met in The Edge of Nowhere, has her own secrets to hide. Still on the run from her criminal stepfather,  Becca is living in a secret location. Even Derric, the Ugandan orphan with whom Becca shares a close, romantic relationship, can’t be allowed to know her whereabouts.

    As secrets of past and present are revealed,  Becca becomes aware of her growing paranormal powers,  and events build to a shocking climax anticipated by no one.

    Acclaimed author Elizabeth George brings her extraordinary talents to this intriguing story that blends mystery and  myth.

    Promise of ShadowsPROMISE OF SHADOWS by Justina Ireland

    Pub. Date: March 11, 2014

    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers



    Zephyr Mourning has never been very good at being a Harpy. She’d rather watch reality TV than learn forty-seven ways to kill a man, and she pretty much sucks at wielding magic. Zephyr was ready for a future pretending to be a normal human instead of a half-god assassin. But all that changes when her sister is murdered—and she uses a forbidden dark power to save herself from the same fate.

    Zephyr is on the run from a punishment worse than death when an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend (a surprisingly HOT friend) changes everything. Because it seems like Zephyr might just be the Nyx, a dark goddess made flesh that is prophesied to change the power balance. For hundreds of years the half-gods have lived in fear, and Zephyr is supposed to change that.

    But how is she supposed to save everyone when she can’t even save herself?

    AcidACID by Emma Pass

    Pub. Date: March 11, 2014

    Publisher: Delacorte Press



    The year is 2113. In Jenna Strong’s world, ACID—the most brutal controlling police force in history—rule supreme. No throwaway comment or whispered dissent goes unnoticed—or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a horrendous crime she struggles to remember. But Jenna’s violent prison time has taught her how to survive by any means necessary.

    When a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed, and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID, and try to uncover the truth about what really happened on that terrible night two years ago. They have taken her life, her freedom, and her true memories away from her. How can she reclaim anything when she doesn’t know who to trust?

    Strong, gritty writing, irresistible psychological suspense, and action consume the novel as Jenna struggles to survive against the all-controlling ACID. Seriously sinister stuff.

    The Voice Inside My HeadTHE VOICE INSIDE MY HEAD by S.J. Laidlaw

    Pub. Date: March 11, 2014

    Publisher: Tundra Books



    A fast-paced mystery, The Voice inside My Head is expected to be a commercial success and a hit with teens.

    Seventeen-year-old Luke’s older sister, Pat, has always been his moral compass, like a voice inside his head, every time he has a decision to make. So when Pat disappears on a tiny island off the coast of Honduras and the authorities claim she’s drowned – despite the fact that they can’t produce a body – Luke heads to Honduras to find her because he knows something the authorities don’t. From the moment of her disappearance, Pat’s voice has become real, guiding him to Utila, where she had accepted a summer internship to study whale sharks. Once there, he meets several characters who describe his sister as a very different girl from the one he knows.

    Does someone have a motive for wanting her dead? Determined to get to the bottom of Pat’s disappearance, Luke risks everything, including his own life, to find the answer.

    Kissing in ItalianKISSING IN ITALIAN by Lauren Henderson

    Pub. Date: March 11, 2014

    Publisher: Delacorte Press



    In addition to her studies, Violet loves the arts, the shopping, and the friendships she’s found in Italy. But secretly, her main objective is to learn about her true identity and family history. She never imagined she would fall in love with handsome Italian Luca. And he feels the same about her.

    But there are certain rumors circulating, that if proven to be true will forbid that they end up together. They need answers, but are they prepared for the truth?

    Ask Again LaterASK AGAIN LATER by Liz Czukas

    Pub. Date: March 11, 2014

    Publisher: HarperTeen



    Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there’s only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.

    Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother’s best friend really be?

    Tails: The theater geek…with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart’s interests–even if he wants to share all his feelings?

    Heart’s simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all…

    Liv ForeverLIV, FOREVER by Amy Talkington

    Pub. Date: March 11, 2014

    Publisher: Soho Teen



    When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. Liv isn’t sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier. For the first time ever, she has her own studio, her own supply of paints. Everything she could want.

    Then she meets Malcolm Astor, a legacy student, a fellow artist, and the one person who’s ever been able to melt her defenses. Liv’s only friend at Wickham, fellow scholarship kid Gabe Nichols, warns her not to get involved, but life is finally going Liv’s way, and all she wants to do is enjoy the ride.

    But Liv’s bliss is doomed. Weeks after arriving, she is viciously murdered and, in death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that has claimed many lives. Cursed with the ability to see the many ghosts on Wickham’s campus, Gabe is now Liv’s only link to the world of the living. To Malcolm.

    Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham. But Liv must fight alone to come to grips with the ultimate star-crossed love.

    The Mirk and Midnight HourTHE MIRK AND MIDNIGHT HOUR by Jane Nickerson

    Pub. Date: March 11, 2014

    Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers



    A Southern girl. A wounded soldier. A chilling force deep in the forest.

    All collide at night’s darkest hour.

    Seventeen-year-old Violet Dancey has been left at home in Mississippi with a laudanum-addicted stepmother and love-crazed stepsister while her father fights in the war—a war that has already claimed her twin brother.

    When she comes across a severely injured Union soldier lying in an abandoned lodge deep in the woods, things begin to change. Thomas is the enemy—one of the men who might have killed her own brother—and yet she’s drawn to him. But Violet isn’t Thomas’s only visitor; someone has been tending to his wounds—keeping him alive—and it becomes chillingly clear that this care hasn’t been out of compassion.

    Against the dangers of war and ominous powers of voodoo, Violet must fight to protect her home and the people she loves.

    From the author of Strands of Bronze and Gold comes a haunting love story and suspenseful thriller based on the ancient fairy tale of “Tam Lin.”

    Strange Sweet SongSTRANGE SWEET SONG by Adi Rule

    Pub. Date: March 11, 2014

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin



    A young soprano enrolls in a remote music academy where nothing, not even her mysterious young vocal coach, is as it seems

    Outside Dunhammond Conservatory, there lies a dark forest. And in the forest, they say, lives a great beast called the Felix. But Sing da Navelli never put much faith in the rumors and myths surrounding the school; music flows in her blood, and she is there to sing for real. This prestigious academy will finally give her the chance to prove her worth—not as the daughter of world-renowned musicians—but as an artist and leading lady in her own right.

    Yet despite her best efforts, there seems to be something missing from her voice. Her doubts about her own talent are underscored by the fact that she is cast as the understudy in the school’s production of her favorite opera, Angelique. Angelique was written at Dunhammond, and the legend says that the composer was inspired by forest surrounding the school, a place steeped in history, magic, and danger. But was it all a figment of his imagination, or are the fantastic figures in the opera more than imaginary?

    Sing must work with the mysterious Apprentice Nathan Daysmoor as her vocal coach, who is both her harshest critic and staunchest advocate. But Nathan has secrets of his own, secrets that are entwined with the myths and legends surrounding Dunhammond, and the great creature they say lives there.

    Lyrical, gothic, and magical, Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule will captivate and enchant readers.
    The Secret Side of EmptyTHE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY by Maria E. Andreu

    Pub. Date: March 11, 2014

    Publisher: Running Press Kids



    As a straight-A student with a budding romance and loyal best friend, M.T.’s life seems as apple-pie American as her blondish hair and pale skin. But M.T. hides two facts to the contrary: her full name of Monserrat Thalia and her status as an undocumented immigrant.

    But it’s harder to hide now that M.T.’s a senior. Her school’s National Honor Society wants her to plan their trip abroad, her best friend won’t stop bugging her to get her driver’s license, and all everyone talks about is where they want to go to college. M.T. is pretty sure she can’t go to college, and with high school ending and her family life unraveling, she’s staring down a future that just seems empty. In the end, M.T. will need to trust herself and others to stake a claim in the life that she wants.

    Author Maria E. Andreu draws from her personal experience as a (formerly) undocumented immigrant to explore an issue that affects over one million children in the U.S. But while the subject matter is timely, it is M.T.’s sharp, darkly funny voice and longing for a future that makes this story universally poignant.

    Dead and BuriedDEAD AND BURIED (The Murder Notebooks #4) by Anne Cassidy

    Pub. Date: March 13, 2014

    Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens



    It’s been five years since Rose’s mother Kathy went missing and, after recent events, all Rose wants to do is get on with her life. Which means taking a break from her complicated stepbrother, Joshua.

    Then police officer Henry Thompson comes calling with bad news: a body has been found buried in the garden of Rose’s old house. A body that has lain undiscovered for five years. The body of a missing teenage girl.

    With Kathy and Brendan implicated in her death, Rose and Joshua have one last chance to clear their parents’ names. But if they fail, the consequences will be deadly . . .

    Never EndingNEVER ENDING by Martyn Bedford

    Pub. Date: March 11, 2014

    Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books



    Shiv’s best mate, her brother Declan, is dead. It’s been all over the news. Consumed by grief and guilt, she agrees to become an inpatient at the Korsakoff Clinic. There she meets Mikey. Caron. The others. They share a similar torment. And there, subjected to the clinic’s unconventional therapy, they must face what they can’t bear to see.

    Shiv is flooded with flashbacks, nightmares, haunting visions of Declan on their last, fateful family vacation in Greece. And with memories of Nikos, the beautiful young man on the tour boat. It started there, with him, beside the glittering sea . . . the beginning of the end.


    Other Releases

    THE ADVENTURES OF JILLIAN SPECTRE (Jillian Spectre #1) by Nic Tatano

    THE WILDERNESS (The Disappeared #2) by C.J. Harper

    HURRICANE BOY by Laura Dragon


    Things are a bit quieter for me this week in terms of book pre-orders, but I have my eye on a number of the other books of note I listed, such as BROKEN, PROMISE OF SHADOWS and ACID. So I’m not entirely sure how well I’ll be able to resist the temptation to click to buy at least one or two of them.

    I think next week is fairly quiet in terms of books releasing that I have on order, but maybe not… I suppose I’ll find out next Tuesday. In the meantime I’m so excited to be able to read RUINS, though I’m starting to feel my “don’t let it end” problem kicking in. And I’m curious to see where Jenna Black’s series goes in this sequel.

    I’d planned on reading both THE SHADOW PRINCE and DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT prior to their release, but as I ran out of time I’ll just have to dive into the finished copies instead. Which I can’t wait to do in the next couple of weeks.

    Anyway… I don’t think I missed one of this week’s new releases, but if you happen to know of a book or two releasing that I should have spotted, please let me know! I do not like to miss out on awesome new books, even if I don’t always get the chance to read them right away.

    Happy release week!


    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!


    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #133

    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 July 16th-July 22nd that I have pre-ordered.


    Dirty Little Secret


    DIRTY LITTLE SECRET by Jennifer Echols will be released in the U.S. on July 16, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by MTV Books, the print edition is 288 pages.


    I am super excited to be able to add DIRTY LITTLE SECRET to my collection this week. I have been waiting ages for its release and with just a couple of days left before it will reside on my Kindle, the wait is almost over. And I’m stoked.

    The description promises that this book will be an “unforgettable” story about “friends-turned-lovers” and I can’t wait to meet Bailey, Julie and Sam and find out what happens with each of them and with their dreams for success.

    Bailey’s story sounds more than a little heartbreaking. Julie’s sounds like a dream-come-true. And I’m curious to see whether Sam will be able to help Bailey achieve her dreams and whether she will be able to help him, too.

    I hope to be able to sneak this onto the pile later this week. But if not, I will definitely try to get it on the pile next week.




    REPLICA by Jenna Black will be released in the U.S. on July 16, 2013 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Tor Teen, the print edition is 368 pages.

    REPLICA is the first book in a new trilogy of the same name by author Jenna Black. The second book in the series, RESISTANCE, is slated for release on March 11, 2014.


    I was so thrilled to get an early copy of REPLICA through a trade. It was the book I spotlighted for my Book Watch post a few weeks back, and getting the chance to read and review it early was awesome.

    I’ve had this on my wish list for months and have had it pre-ordered for almost as long. So I’m totally stoked that the wait is finally almost over and that on Monday Midnight it will download to my Kindle and become part of my permanent collection. Even if I did read it already. Because its release means that the sequel’s release is getting closer. And I’m dying to read RESISTANCE.

    As I have read REPLICA and have already talked about it on the blog quite a bit, I’ll keep things brief. Nadia is awesome. The world is intriguing and one I can’t wait to get back to in the sequel. The mystery of Nate’s death is exciting. And I’m fascinated by the idea of the replicas and curious to learn more about them in subsequent books.

    And I probably shouldn’t say any more. Because it would be just too easy to reveal spoilers.




    BELLADONNA by Fiona Paul will be released in the U.S. on July 16, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Philomel, the print edition is 352 pages.

    BELLADONNA is the second book in author Fiona Paul’s Secrets of the Eternal Rose series. The third and final book in the series, STARLING, is slated for release on March 20, 2014.


    I have not yet had the chance to read the first book in this series, VENOM. But I own it, know I’m going to love it, and had to pre-order BELLADONNA so that it could be added to my collection on its release day.

    I did end up peeking at the first few sentences of this book’s description before I stopped myself. Because it is totally spoiler-y for that first book. And now I get the gist of what happens with Cassandra, Falco and Luca. And I don’t want to know anything more.

    Because I do plan on reading both books back-to-back in August. I desperately want to head to Renaissance Italy and get lost in this fascinating world of “love, lust, intrigue and secret societies.” I want to meet and get to know Cassandra Caravello and find out just why things ended up the way they did with Falco and Luca.

    But I will read no further into the description for BELLADONNA to see what else I might be curious about. I’ve already read too much. So now I’m going to have to try and forget just what I discovered, and hope it works, so that VENOM will be every bit as nerve-wracking and tension-filled as I anticipate it to be.

    Even still, I’m so glad BELLADONNA is releasing this week and that it will be mine to read whenever I want.

    Other Books of Note

    Imperfect Spiral

    IMPERFECT SPIRAL by Debbie Levy

    Pub. Date: July 16, 2013

    Publisher: Walker Children’s



    Left Drowning

    LEFT DROWNING by Jessica Park

    Pub. Date: July 16, 2013

    Publisher: Skyscape



    Dangerous Girls

    DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas

    Pub. Date: July 16, 2013

    Publisher: Simon Pulse



    I plan on purchasing once it becomes available as an eBook!

    UPDATE: Apparently the publisher switched release dates for WARD AGAINST DARKNESS. Again. So while it still shows as releasing July 16th, it’s also still showing as available to pre-order. END OF UPDATE.

    Ward Against Darkness

    WARD AGAINST DARKNESS (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #2) by Melanie Card

    Pub. Date: July 16, 2013

    Publisher: Entangled Teen



    No Easy Way Out

    NO EASY WAY OUT (No Safety In Numbers #2) by Dayna Lorentz

    Pub. Date: July 16, 2013

    Publisher: Dial




    PERFECTION by J.L. Spelbring

    Pub. Date: July 16, 2013

    Publisher: Spencer Hill Press



    It is a very quiet week for book releases. Like last week, I only have three books pre-ordered. At least I think so…. But this week there weren’t nearly the number of “of note” books that there were last week. Not much more than a handful.

    Though I am planning on buying one of them – Melanie Card’s WARD AGAINST DARKNESS, once it’s available in eBook format – and I will definitely be checking out NO SAFETY IN NUMBERS by Dayna Lorentz and IMPERFECT SPIRAL by Debbie Levy.

    So maybe it’s not that quiet. Still…

    I have a feeling that next week and the week of July 30th are going to be absolutely insane. So it’s nice to have some quiet before that storm. And maybe save a few dollars, too.

    And while I am pre-ordering three books this week, at least I’ve already read one of them. Which means that there are only two books going on the TBR pile. I just hope I can read both of them really, really soon.

    But what about you? Are there any interesting titles releasing this week that you’re just dying to have? Any I’ve forgotten to include? Leave a comment. I’d love to know!

    Happy book buying and 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!


    Review: Replica



    REPLICA by Jenna Black will be released in the U.S. on July 16, 2013 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Tor Teen, the print edition is 368 pages.

    REPLICA is the first book in a new YA SciFi series by author Jenna Black. The second book in the trilogy, RESISTANCE, is slated for release on March 11, 2014.



    Breathtaking new YA SF from the author of the Faeriewalker series

    Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake comes from a high-class Executive family in the Corporate States. Her marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family in her state, which means she lives a life of privilege but also of public scrutiny, followed everywhere by photographers, every detail of her private life tabloid fodder. But her future is assured, as long as she can maintain her flawless public image — no easy feat when your betrothed is a notorious playboy.

    Nathan Hayes is the heir of Paxco — controller of the former state of New York, and creator of human replication technology, science that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Though Nadia and Nate aren’t in love, they’ve grown up close, and they (and the world) are happy enough with their match.

    Until Nate turns up dead, and as far as everyone knows, Nadia was the last person to see him alive.

    When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows he must have died, but with a memory that only reaches to his last memory backup, he doesn’t know what killed him. Together, Nadia and Nate must discover what really happened without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect.


    REPLICA is the first book in a promising new series by author Jenna Black. A story that combines a futuristic, dystopian setting and a murder mystery with elements of science fiction, make for an incredibly engaging read.

    Told from the dual perspectives of Nadia, a member of Paxco’s Executive class and Nate, the Chairman Heir of Paxco, the plot centers around Nate’s murder and his and Nadia’s attempt to solve the crime.

    As Nadia tries to come to grips with her future husband’s death and his rebirth as a Replica, she is forced to decide whether to become a spy and betray him or risk her future and her family’s lives. While the choice should be an easy one, as the risk to Nate would be small, she doesn’t want to lose the only real friend she has. And if she gives in to Mosely’s threats, she knows that Nate would never forgive her and her future with him would be over. It’s a lose-lose no matter what she decides.

    When Nate wakes as a Replica and discovers that he has been murdered, he can hardly believe it. Aside from the missing two weeks of memories that led up to his death, he feels exactly like himself. At least he thinks he does. What’s even more of a shock is that the person he loves has been accused of the crime. And with the overwhelming evidence against him, it seems Bishop may actually be guilty.

    But even if he isn’t, he was the last person to see Nate. He is the only one that could have answers about what happened. And finding those answers is the only way that Nate will be able to move on. He just has to find Bishop before Mosely does. And in a city where every move he makes is monitored it might prove impossible.

    Jenna Black sets her story in a city that is set up like a corporation, with a Chairman, Executives, Employees and those in the Basement not deemed worthy to exist. In her future society those at the top struggle for power and those at the bottom struggle to survive. All of which provides an interesting backdrop to this story and sets the stage for future conflict in this series.

    While REPLICA is billed as science fiction, the story itself does not delve too deeply into the genre. The science of replication is only briefly touched upon as are the moral and philosophical issues it presents. And despite its futuristic setting in what was once New York City, it feels very much a story set in the present day. From the characters’ clothing to the methods of transportation to the technology, the society’s advancements seem to mirror today’s.

    As this is just the first book in a series and other elements germane to the genre present themselves at the story’s end, it is likely there will be more of a science-fiction focus in future books.

    But for those readers who enjoy a mystery, a story told in alternating points of view, a city whose citizens are on the verge of rebellion, characters who run the gamut from brave and loyal, to timid and subservient, to arrogant and self-centered, to power-hungry and malicious, and for those who aren’t in need of a love story, REPLICA delivers a captivating read.

    Reviewer gives this book…


    On a personal note…

    I really liked REPLICA by author Jenna Black. Then again I’m not sure there is anything she could write that I wouldn’t like. She creates stories that are just so easy to get caught up in and the same was true for this first book in her new series.

    I am not a science fiction fan when it comes to books so I liked that this story wasn’t heavily sci-fi based. I did think there would have been a little bit more of the science when it came to the Replicas so I was somewhat surprised that the scientific aspect only played a small part in this story.

    I think I actually would have enjoyed reading a bit more about their creation. Though I did like the moral aspects that were lightly touched upon in this first book. I also liked the somewhat dystopian feel to the setting with the elitist ruling class, the working class and those in the Basement.

    The disparity between classes seems like it will continue to be a major factor as the series progresses, given the title of the next book. But even though each of these elements played a part, most of this story revolved around solving a murder.

    I don’t want to go into too many details about that, as I’d be revealing some fairly significant spoilers if I did. But I enjoyed following along as Nadia and Nate searched for the one person who could have answers about what happened.

    Nadia was a likable character who grew even more likable as the story progressed. She might not have been so likable if Nate’s murder had never happened. But it did and she rose to the challenge, becoming an incredibly strong character.

    I was not a fan of Nate until the very end. He was so unbelievably self-centered that it was hard for me to connect with the story at times when it switched to his point of view. I liked him so little that I didn’t sympathize with his plight and I found his actions frustrated me to no end one moment and disinterested me at another.

    And while he may have started taking baby steps toward being a decent person, I still wonder if that was due to some Replica programming and that had the “real” Nate survived, he would have been the complete jerk introduced briefly at the beginning.

    What I liked most about this story, aside from what was touched upon at the end that the sequel promises, is the fact that Jenna Black didn’t add in a love story to fulfill some expectation. I was glad that their arranged marriage didn’t become one from a fairytale. Though I wish the description had been bold enough to reveal who Nate was in love with and why he and Nadia would never be more than just friends.

    But that aside, I thought the author touched upon some interesting topics like mortality and immortality, morality and science, abuses of power and a society living under a classist regime.

    REPLICA was a very quick read with a female protagonist that I adored, a male protagonist that I grudgingly tolerated by the story’s end, a couple secondary characters who I’m still debating as to whether they are trustworthy and a couple who are just plain evil. The mystery is engaging, the premise is fascinating, the ending is all sorts of exciting and the epilogue makes me anxious as to what lies ahead.


    Favorite passage…

    There are a couple passages that I absolutely loved, but as they reveal something about the direction the story is headed, I thought it would be wise to keep those to myself. This early passage is one that makes me smile….

    “You looked like you could use a rescue, “Nate said, and Nadia felt a flash of gratitude. “Besides,” he continued, “I don’t need an ulterior motive to dance with the most beautiful girl in the room.”

    Nadia snorted, an undignified sound she was glad no one but Nate could hear. “Yeah, because you’re such a ladies’ man.”

    Nate laughed, and she smiled at him ruefully.


    Book Trailer…

    This review is based on an ARC I received through a trade.


    My Reading Pile #120

    I did not expect to receive a book in the mail this week so I was totally surprise when one showed up on my doorstep on Thursday.

    I wasn’t even planning on checking the mail at all until Jaime of Two Chicks on Books told me to because she sent me some awesome swag, a signed extra content booklet from Elizabeth Norris’ UNBREAKABLE and a tote bag.

    But aside from that I don’t think that any books are waiting for me, because I have no trades in the works and I don’t have any requests out for new books.


    [Credit for mailbox sharing goes to The Story Siren]

    The book that was waiting for me outside my door was an ARC of FLICKER & BURN (Cold Fury #2) by T.M. Goeglein thanks to the folks at Putnam Juvenile. I am super excited to read this book, though I had been fortunate enough to receive a copy a couple of months back.

    I also received an eARC of CONSUME (The Clann #3) by Melissa Darnell for the upcoming blog tour for the book. I’d requested it on NetGalley but received the ARC for the tour before my request was approved or denied. And I can’t wait to see what happens in this third book in the series with Tristan and Savannah. I have no idea if it’s the final book in the series but I’m dying to check it out.

    Though it won’t be this week, as I have a couple other books ahead of it that I can’t wait to read. So….

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.
    (June 30, 2013 – July 6, 2013)




    First up on the pile is EARTHBOUND by Aprilynne Pike. I received an ARC for review from Razorbill and I’ve been staring at it, desperately wishing I could get it on the pile. Well, the wait is finally over because I can’t resist any longer.

    I love Aprilynne Pike’s writing and after hearing this book is an awesome read I just have to find out for myself. I want to meet Tavia and learn what being an Earthbound entails. I want to see what she does with her abilities. And I’m super curious about her visions of a boy she’s never spoken to before.

    The description mentions “love” and “fate” and a choice that has to be made. Add to that an evil society intent on manipulating global events and I am even more excited to dive into this new series.

    If it’s anywhere close to as amazing as her Wings series was, I will be a very, very happy reader.




    Next up on the pile is REPLICA by Jenna Black. I received an ARC through a trade because I didn’t want to have to wait for its release. This book sounds ahhhh-mazing and even though I have a few review books I should be reading, I couldn’t wait another week to get this on the pile.

    As I’ve already spoken about this book just yesterday in my Book Watch post, I won’t rehash the same things I talked about in that post. So I’ll talk instead about how this cover alone makes me want to dive in right now, the fact that the description calls it “breathtaking” makes me want to have mine taken, and that I’m really curious as to whether Nate’s replica is the same “notorious playboy” that he was.

    Even with the holiday week this week and an uncertain amount of time on the schedule for reading, there is no way that I won’t devour REPLICA before the week’s end.


    Wishful Thinking Reads:

    While I have a ton of books I wish I could be reading, I don’t have a wishful thinking read this week because the books I wish I could read are ones I don’t currently have. Books like ENDLESS KNIGHT, INDEPENDENT STUDY, CRASH INTO YOU.

    So I think I’ll just have to stick with last week’s wish to read PROXY by Alex London. Because that is definitely a book I wish I could squeeze in this week. And maybe, just maybe, I will.


    Those Left Behind:

    I went a little bit off pile this past week and ended up reading PUSHING THE LIMITS, CROSSING THE LINE and DARE YOU TO. But I also managed to finish my re-read of ASHES ON THE WAVES and I am currently reading DEFIANCE which I will definitely finish before it’s time to start this week’s pile on Sunday.

    Of course I didn’t get caught up on reviews and didn’t get a chance to review all of this week’s reads – I still need to try and write my review for ASHES ON THE WAVES and I need to edit and proofread my review for DARE YOU TO.

    But I also still need to review THE TESTING, INDELIBLE and IF I SHOULD DIE and maybe just maybe finish and post that review for GODDESS. But with the two books I have on the pile this week, I don’t know if I’ll find the time to do so. Though I am, as always, ever hopeful.

    Anyway… as bummed as I am about not getting caught up on all my reviews I am happy that at least I’ve had a few more reviews on the blog and a few less promotional posts these past couple of weeks.

    I hope that will continue throughout the summer. But only time will tell….


    NetGalley Pile Adds & Finds:

    I put in one request on NetGalley this week, but I am still awaiting approval or denial. Of course I’m hoping for an approval but I am not holding my breath. Because the book looks awesome and I’m sure everyone requested it. And it is….

    The Waking Dark

    THE WAKING DARK by Robin Wasserman (Random House Children’s, Sep 10 2013)


    But that was my only request this week. Though I did see a couple other books that looked interesting…

    GOODBYE, REBEL BLUE by Shelley Coriell (ABRAMS, Oct 1 2013)

    SILENCE OF THE WOLVES by Hannah Pole (Harlequin UK Limited, Jun 26 2013) **Not YA**


    I’m not sure how I found time to read three-and-a-half full-length books and one novella this past week. I even managed to review said novella and one of the novels. It wasn’t a quiet week at work and I did manage to get some sleep, so I’m not sure. I’m guessing there wasn’t much on the telly.

    It’s more likely that the books were just that good.

    Chances are I’ll be able to read more than the two books I have listed above. Actually I’m counting on it because I have a SECRET book I’ll be reading on Monday. But if I’m smart – not saying that I am – I’ll spend some of the time writing reviews. Because falling behind on reviews makes it that much harder to write them.

    I don’t expect much to happen on the blog this week, given the holiday. I will be offline for a couple of the days and I don’t have any tours scheduled, so I’m hoping it will be a nice quiet week to post reviews. Fingers are most definitely crossed for all of that.

    And I still really, really want to read WILD CARDS this week, so hopefully I’ll be able to find some time in the early a.m. later this week to do so.

    I know for certain, though, that I won’t be going off pile, even though there are a few other books I’d love to read. Because the two books I have on pile this week are ones I’ve been desperate to read for a long, long, long time.


    If you are in the U.S. and have the holiday to celebrate, I hope you’re able to spend some of that time off with an amazing book in hand. And for those that don’t celebrate this particular day in your country’s history, I still wish you a terrific bookish week ahead.

    And if you are hanging out near a computer and want to share your thoughts about the books you’re planning on checking out, just leave a comment. I’d love to know!


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



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