11 September 2012

Book Review: Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 12:00 AM 27 comments

  Title: Hanging by a Thread                                             Pages: 288
  Author: Sophie Littlefield                                                Source: Netgalley
  Publisher: Random House Children's Books           Published: September 11, 2012
  Series: N/A                                                                        Purchase: Amazon
Summer is the best part of the year in Winston, California, and the Fourth of July is the highlight of the season. But the perfect town Clare remembers has changed, and everyone is praying that this summer will be different from the last two—that this year's Fourth of July festival won't see one of their own vanish without a trace, leaving no leads and no suspects. The media are in a frenzy predicting a third disappearance, but the town depends on tourist dollars, so the residents of Winston are trying desperately to pretend nothing's wrong.

And they're not the only ones hiding something.

Clare, a seamstress who redesigns vintage clothing, has been blessed—or perhaps cursed—with a gift: she can see people's pasts when she touches their clothes. When she stumbles across a denim jacket that once belonged to Amanda Stavros, last year's Fourth of July victim, Clare sees her perfect town begin to come apart at the seams.

In a town where appearance means everything, how deep beneath the surface will Clare dig to uncover a murderer?
I started Hanging by a Thread not knowing what to expect and came out pleasantly surprised. While there are some flaws that kept me from loving it, I did enjoy Hanging by a Thread.

I couldn't really connect with Clare. She seemed a bit bland to me, not nearly as crazy and carefree as her fashion sense claimed she was. I would have liked a bit more to her personality, but I did enjoy her nonetheless.

I loved how detailed and in depth Sophie Littlefield went into her hobby of making clothes. In a lot of novels, the author will state a hobby the main character has, but never goes in depth with it, never mentions it beyond that one sentence. I really enjoyed Clare's hobby and was glad how much depth there was to it.

There wasn't as much romance as I was expecting, but I was surprisingly happy about this. So many young adult novels out there right now are focused mainly on the romance aspects of the plot so Hanging by a Thread was a breath of fresh air, giving focus on the mystery instead of the romance. That being said, I did enjoy what romance there was.

The writing was a bit hard for me to get into. Some paragraphs, especially when they were of Clare having a vision, were confusing and almost muddled. The dialogue also seemed forced some of the time and the mystery seemed rushed. There is a conclusion to the mystery, but I'm still semi-unsatisfied, because everything was laid out super fast at the end.

Despite that, I did really enjoy the mystery. It was somewhat surprising and I kind of enjoyed the fact that it wasn't dragged out. The plot kept me pretty interested until the end and that's all that matters to me.

Overall, despite some flaws to Hanging by a Thread, I did come out liking it. It's not one of the best novels I've ever read, but I do not regret reading it. I recommend to fans of the paranormal or mystery genre, as long as you like a mystery that's not drawn out and don't care if it's not focused on romance.

Pass or Read? Maybe read depending on if you like mysteries and if you don't care if there isn't a lot of romance.

Cover thoughts: I love this cover! It's so gorgeous and delicate, even with the blood at the top. The font could stick out a bit more, but I like the font used, it's so simple and pretty. I would definitely be drawn to this in a bookstore!

10 July 2012

Review: Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 12:00 AM 8 comments

  Title: Don't You Wish                               Pages: 368
  Author: Roxanne St. Claire                    Source: Netgalley
  Publisher: Delacorte Books                  Published: July 10, 2012
  Series: N/A                                                Purchase: Amazon
When plain and unpopular Annie Nutter gets zapped by one of her dad's whacked-out inventions, she lands in a parallel universe where her life becomes picture-perfect. Now she's Ayla Monroe, daughter of the same mother but a different father—and she's the gorgeous, rich queen bee of her high school.

In this universe, Ayla lives in glitzy Miami instead of dreary Pittsburgh and has beaucoup bucks, courtesy of her billionaire—if usually absent—father. Her friends hit the clubs, party backstage at concerts, and take risks that are exhilarating... and illegal. Here she's got a date to lose her V-card with the hottest guy she's ever seen.

But on the inside, Ayla is still Annie.

So when she's offered the chance to leave the dream life and head home to Pittsburgh, will she take it?

The choice isn't as simple as you think.
I don't usually like contemporary novels, simply because I prefer the excitement of paranormal or dystopian novels. Don't You Wish was plenty full of excitement, however, and I loved it.

I really liked Annie. She was so nice and seemed like someone I would hang out with. The only time she annoyed me, though, was when she tried to act like Ayla - stuck up and bitchy. She only did this, though, because she thought she was going to wake up and find it was all a dream, and she does make up for it later, so I totally forgive her for this.

I really enjoyed witnessing Annie grow up and realize she was taking her family and friends for granted. She thought this new dream family was perfect at first and then realized what she had was so much better, even if she didn't have all the money in the world like Ayla. Unlike Ayla, she had a family that loved and cared about her.

I loved Charlie. He was such a good person and such a great brother. Roxanne St. Claire wrote their romance with ease and it left me feeling giddy.

The writing was pretty simple, but the plot was not. In a good way, of course. How Annie's switching of bodies was explained was incredibly brilliant and not something I would have guessed in a million years and when it was all said and done, I was not left confused.

Which brings me to the ending. The ending was absolutely incredible. It was so adorable and I may or may not have let out a squeal at the utter cuteness of it.

Overall, Don't You Wish was a fun and fast read. I loved the story and message Roxanne St. Claire came up with and I would recommend to any fans of the contemporary genre.

Pass or Read? I would definitely say try this one out!

Cover thoughts: I quite like this cover. Of course, it doesn't have much to do with the story, as it's just a girl, but it appeals to me and I really like the font.

12 June 2012

Book Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 12:00 AM 14 comments

  Title: Lies Beneath                                                           Pages: 303
  Author: Anne Greenwood Brown                                   Source: Netgalley
  Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers        Published: June 12, 2012
  Series: Lies Beneath #1                                                 Purchase: Amazon
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake.

Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough - especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistible good looks and charm on unsuspecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.
Lies Beneath stood out to me immediately when I read the synopsis. The mermaid genre is a neglected paranormal creature in young adult literature, so any mermaid book I come across, I snap it up. And Lies Beneath did not disappoint.

Calder's quick and sarcastic wit provides for an entertaining male point of view, and I'm usually not a fan of male points of view in young adult novels. I just cannot connect with them and find myself getting bored of the book. Calder, however, was a different story. He kept me interested and biting my nails, hoping everything would work out for him.

His sisters all had their own unique personalities, too, and I loved the tension between them all.

The romance was fantastic, though I would have liked a bit more of it. The romance/kissing scenes were fantastically written, though, which made up for the fact that there weren't as many as I wanted.

I loved the idea that mermaids are monsters and that they need positive human emotions to stay alive. That's what I love about mermaid novels, each one seems so incredibly unique from the last one. Unlike other paranormal creature (vampire, werewolf, witches) novels, which all seem like copies of one another.

While the plot wasn't entirely surprising, I enjoyed it immensely and it kept me hooked from page one, all the way until the end. A slight negative, though, is that I was expecting a bit darker of a novel. Although Lies Beneath isn't exactly rainbows and lollipops, it isn't all blood and blackness either.

Overall, I would highly recommend Lies Beneath to mermaid and paranormal romance fans. This book is a must read if you like either genre.

Pass or Read? Read if you love the mermaid or paranormal romance genres!

Cover thoughts: This cover is awesome. There's really no words to describe how incredibly awesome it is! And it's soo gorgeous, too!

30 May 2012

Quick post..

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 1:51 PM 7 comments

I just wanted to post a quick post saying I will still be updating the blog, just life has gotten a bit hectic and I've been in a major reading slump. Lately I'd rather watch One Tree Hill or Supernatural than read :P.

Have you ever been in a reading slump? If so, what gets you out of it? :)

13 May 2012

In My Mailbox (31)

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 6:29 PM 7 comments

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and is a weekly meme to showcase what you got over the week by buying, receiving, borrowing, stealing from a friend etc.

The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze - Pretty excited for this one, it sounds really good and different than what I normally read.
Revived by Cat Patrick - Loved this! I love Cat Patrick and the ideas she comes up with! Expect a review soon.
The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi - I received the first one a while ago, but haven't had a chance to read it. This series sounds so good, though!

Divergent by Veronica Roth - Everyone has been raving so much about this series, I cannot wait to start it! Thank you, Kassiah! :)
A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink - This one isn't pictured up top because 1. It's an ebook and 2. I got lazy :P. Thank you, Lori!
Thank you Little, Brown, Kassiah, and Lori!

Sorry for not posting for a while, I had my birthday weekend the 27th-29th and was just plain busy after that. And very lazy :P. Expect more consistent posting again soon! That's all I got this week or so, what did you get in your mailbox?

27 April 2012

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass (Luxury Reading review)

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 12:00 AM 6 comments

  Title: The Selection                                                          Pages: 327
  Author: Kiera Cass                                                          Source: Luxury Reading
  Publisher: HarperTeen                                                   Published: April 24, 2012
  Series: The Selection #1                                                Purchase: Amazon
merica Singer is content with her life. Although her boyfriend, Aspen, is in a lower caste, to America, he’s perfect. So when he urges her to join The Selection, an opportunity for one of thirty-five girls to become the wife of Prince Maxon, she is surprised. She’s even more surprised when she’s picked.

Wanting to be with Aspen, but needing the checks that The Selection provides her family with more, America sets off to the palace, heart closed off from the snobby Prince.

But when America meets Maxon, she realizes he’s not who she thought he was. He’s kind and sweet and she realizes that marrying Aspen might not be the best choice she has – and wants.

Plagued by these new found feelings, America has a big decision to make. Will it be Aspen or Prince Maxon?

After hearing about The Selection being compared to The Bachelor, I immediately wanted to read it. Being an unashamed fan of The Bachelor and all the juicy drama it provides, I knew I couldn’t go wrong with The Selection. And it didn’t disappoint.

To read the rest of my review, please go to Luxury Reading!

Pass or Read? If you love the Bachelor, definitely give this one a read!

Cover thoughts: The cover is so pretty. Of course it's just another pretty girl in a pretty dress, but with the other girls around her in the same dress, it is a bit more unique and reminds me of a forest in the winter. So pretty.

23 April 2012

Book Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 12:00 AM 2 comments

  Title: The Immortal Rules                                             Pages: 504
  Author: Julie Kagawa                                                     Source: Netgalley
  Publisher: Harlequin Teen                                            Published: April 24, 2012
  Series: Blood of Eden #1                                              Purchase: Amazon
In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

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

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

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

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

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for
The Immortal Rules has an amazing synopsis - one that immediately grabs your attention despite the fact that it's just another vampire novel. It's not, though. It's so much more than all the vampire novels out there. It has heart and passion and an amazing plot.

Allison Sekemoto captured my heart. She is such a tough girl, constantly putting herself on the line for the Unregistereds in her group, especially for Stick. She does everything in her power to keep her and her group alive, even when she's trying to distance herself from them so she won't get hurt if one of them dies. I love how much heart she has!

Even though there wasn't a lot of romance, it was still wonderfully written. There isn't really a love triangle, but I could see one happening if Julie Kagawa wants to write one. It'd be a heck of a love triangle, too.

The writing is amazing. It's so straight forward, but it has so much passion and realism behind it, even though it's in the paranormal genre. Kagawa's world-building is amazing and I realize now why her Iron Fey series is so popular. She has that certain something that makes the characters and world come to life.

And boy, does Kagawa know how to write a plot. Much like the amazing Suzanne Collins and Carrie Ryan, she doesn't hold back. You grow attached to characters and then they're killed off, but at the same time it's amazing because it's so realistic. On top of that, the plot is so unique. Dystopian meets paranormal? Sign me up any day. Especially if it's Kagawa writing it.

Overall, I loved The Immortal Rules. It grabbed my interest and held it for all 504 pages (which is no easy feat!) and I would highly recommend it to any vampire, paranormal, or dystopian lover. I would recommend it to anyone actually.

Pass or Read? Read right now!

Cover thoughts: Not a terribly unique cover, but I'd totally pick it up in a bookstore. I love how she's crying blood, but I wish she look just a tad bit more Asian, or her face was shorter or something, as that's how I pictured Allison. I really like the colors as well on this one!

16 April 2012

In My Mailbox 30: Late/Purple Edition

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 12:52 PM 3 comments

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and is a weekly meme to showcase what you got over the week by buying, receiving, borrowing, stealing from a friend etc.

Luxury Reading:
Endlessly by Kiersten White - I am so excited I get to review this! I love the Paranormalcy series so much and I can't wait to find out what happens to Evie next!
Fated by Alyson Noel - Started this but I'm only on page 40 or something. So far it's very interesting and different than I thought it was going to be by reading the synopsis.

Purity by Jackson Pearce - This one sounds amazing! I'll definitely be reading this one as soon as I have the chance.

Thank you Little, Brown and Vera at Luxury Reading!

That's all I got this week or so, what did you get in your mailbox?

07 April 2012

Book Review: Starters by Lissa Price

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 4:50 PM 1 comments

  Title: Starters                                                                 Pages: 368
  Author: Lissa Price                                                       Source: Netgalley
  Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers    Published: June 12, 2012
  Series: Starters #1                                                       Purchase: Amazon

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined...
Starters is a great example of the wonderful dystopian novels that are coming out lately. It has heart, action, incredible sci-fi moments and an awesome, brave heroine.

I loved Callie. She had so much of her heart to give, especially to her brother. She loved him unconditionally and did anything it took to keep him alive, including selling her body to the Body Bank and the Enders that rented her. I loved how much she cared about everyone and how much ambition she had!

If you're looking for a highly romantic book, you will not find it with Starters. While it has romance in it, it is not in the forefront as most other novels. This did not bother me in the least and I thought Lissa Price did a fabulous job writing the romance.

The plot is really fast paced and just plain great. I loved it from the minute I started and did not once lose interest. Some of the twists I saw ahead of time, but there are a few that just blew me away.

While the ending was not totally wrapped up (because of there being a sequel!), I was greatly satisfied and I felt like it was partly resolved. To me, this is how all great dystopian novels are: book one introduces a "big problem" and a "smaller problem" that gets resolved by the ending, book two keeps the "big problem" going and introduces another "smaller problem" and depending on if this is the final book, both big and small problems get resolved. If a novel does not follow this formula, I am usually left feeling unsatisfied with the first book of the series.

Overall, I loved Starters and would definitely recommend it to any dystopian or light sci-fi fans. I will definitely be reading the sequel, Enders!

Pass or Read? Read right now!

Cover thoughts: This is by far one of the most unique covers I've seen. I mean, the girl is completely white except for her eyes! I've never seen that before and since it's so bright and unique, it can definitely attract attention in a book store!

05 April 2012

Cover Reveal Thursday: Sacred and League of Strays

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 12:00 AM 1 comments

  Title: Sacred
  Author: Elana K. Arnold
  Published: November 13, 2012
  Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Growing up on Catalina Island, off the California coast, Scarlett Wenderoth has led a fairly isolated life. After her brother dies, her isolation deepens as she withdraws into herself, shutting out her friends and boyfriend. Her parents, shattered by their own sorrow, fail to notice Scarlett's pain and sudden alarming thinness. Scarlett finds pleasure only on her horse, escaping to the heart of the island on long, solitary rides. One day, as she races around a bend, Scarlett is startled by a boy who raises his hand in warning and says one word: "Stop."

The boy—intense, beautiful—is Will Cohen, a newcomer to the island. For reasons he can't or won't explain, he's drawn to Scarlett and feels compelled to keep her safe. To keep her from wasting away. His meddling irritates Scarlett, though she can't deny her attraction to him. As their relationship blossoms into love, Scarlett's body slowly awakens at Will's touch. But just when her grief begins to ebb, she makes a startling discovery about Will, a discovery he's been grappling with himself. A discovery that threatens to force them apart. And if it does, Scarlett fears she will unravel all over again.

  Title: League of Strays
  Author: L.B. Schulman
  Published: October 1, 2012
  Publisher: Amulet
When Charlotte Brody, a lonely 17-year-old student at a new school, receives an invitation to join The League of Strays, she's intrigued by the group's promise of "instant friendship." The League does provide companionship--and even a love interest--but Charlotte grows increasingly uncomfortable with its sinister mission to seek revenge against the bullies of Kennedy High. When escalating acts of vengeance threaten to hurl her down a path of remorse, Charlotte must choose between her new friends and the direction of a future she's never fully considered.

What do you think of these covers? Which is your favorite? Mine is Sacred's cover, because it seems so unique and once again, we have a cover with a "hot couple" on it. I'm getting kind of tired of these covers :P.

Will you be reading these?

02 April 2012

Author Interview: Jessica Spotswood

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 4:26 PM 0 comments

Today I am interviewing Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked.

Here's my review of Born Wicked.

Find Jessica Spotswood on:
Website | Twitter | Goodreads

What was your inspiration behind writing about witches? What about your inspiration for the time period?

Well, I wanted to write about strong, independent, clever girls in a society that doesn’t respect or value them. Making them witches in a world where only women can use magic gave the men a reason to fear them. As for the alternate 1890s world I built, I love the idea of writing letters by candlelight and having teas and wearing incredible dresses. It seems so lush and sexy, though I’m sure it was less so in reality. Things were changing rapidly in terms of industry and technology and growing freedoms, but that era was still awfully repressive for women. I shifted things to make it even more so in Cate’s society. I suppose I wanted to play with that contradiction – the sensuousness of the high society dress and rituals with the rigid social expectations for women.

Would you ever consider writing in another genre, or do you think you'll stick to historical and/or paranormal romance?

I’ve tried to write a few straight contemporary YAs and I never got more than fifty pages, so I suspect I will stick with paranormal or fantasy elements. Who knows, though? I’m not ruling anything out. Some of my favorite books are contemporary (like LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, IF I STAY, THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE, and THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS).

If you can incite one emotion in readers as they read Born Wicked, what would that emotion be?

Swooning? I love writing the kissing scenes!

What is your strategy on dealing with negative reviews? Do you ignore them, or try to use them as constructive criticism?

A little of both? I've read enough reviews now that I have a sense of what people love about the book, what works, and what perhaps could have used some improvement. The really harsh reviews still sting a little, but I know now that they are outliers, so I can sort of shrug them off.

Can you tell me a little bit about the challenges on getting Born Wicked published? Have you ever tried getting another novel published, or is Born Wicked your first?

This book had a very quick path to publication – it took me about a year to write and revise it, and then it sold in a week. But it wasn’t my first manuscript – that was called INHERITING GAROLASS. After two years of writing and revising, it got me an agent, but it was shelved after nine months on submission, which was a little soul-crushing at the time!

How did you come to realize that you wanted to write? Is writing your only job?

I’ve been writing since I was a wee Jess. I wrote three books in high school, but then I fell in love with theatre and went to grad school for that. By the end of grad school, I was working as a dramaturg, helping playwrights develop their new scripts, and I was miserable. I really missed writing. That’s when I started working on INHERITING GAROLASS – about five years ago. I’m really lucky in that I do write full-time since last summer.

How do you go about writing a new book/sequel? Do you just start writing? Take a million notes?

My editor makes me outline! With the sequel, we spent several weeks brainstorming, emailing and talking on the phone almost every day until we had a solid outline. With a new book, though, the first thing that tends to come to me is a character and a few lines in her voice. With Cate, it was the first two lines of BORN WICKED: Our mother was a witch too, but she hid it better. I miss her.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I love tea! My favorite is Earl Grey in the afternoon/evening and green ginger late at night. Thank you for having me! This was fun!

I want to thank Jessica for taking the time to answer my questions!

Buy Born Wicked on Amazon!

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

01 April 2012

In My Mailbox (29)

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 12:00 AM 4 comments

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and is a weekly meme to showcase what you got over the week by buying, receiving, borrowing, stealing from a friend etc.

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga - This one is not something I'd normally read I don't think, but it sounds amazing!! I hope it doesn't disappoint.
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad and Tara Chace - This one sounds very interesting and is another one that I don't think I'd normally read. Hopefully this one is good as well!

Random Buzzers:
Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould - I've gotten into historical romances a lot more and this one sounds soo good.

Thank you Little, Brown and Random Buzzers!

That's all I got this week or so, what did you get in your mailbox?

31 March 2012

Book Review: Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler (Luxury Reading review)

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 3:47 PM 1 comments

  Title: Where It Began                                 Pages: 384
  Author: Ann Redisch Stampler                Source: Luxury Reading
  Publisher: Simon Pulse                            Published: March 6, 2012
  Series: N/A                                                   Purchase: Amazon
Gabby Gardiner started her senior year off with a bang. She spent the summer getting made over from head to toe and her new look caught the eye of one of Winston School's most popular guys - Billy Nash.

So when Gabby wakes up on the ground to find Billy's car wrapped around a tree and the car keys in her hands, she's terrified. She'd do anything to make Billy stay with her and she may have ruined her whole life in a night that left her battered, bruised, and an amnesiac.

Now faced with the possibility of juvie, rehab, and Billy not being able to talk to her for fear of violating his parole, Gabby has to do everything she can to keep herself out of trouble and get her life back the way it was: perfect.

But when Gabby learns the truth about something big, she finds it may be impossible to get back to perfect.

Where It Began's synopsis stood out to me and it sounded like a terrific read. After getting my hopes up, I was honestly left very disappointed.

To read the rest of my review, please go to Luxury Reading!

Pass or Read? I'd say pass on this.

Cover thoughts: Meh. That's pretty much all I have to say about it. I mean, the girl's gorgeous and all, but it has nothing to do with the story.

23 March 2012

Book Review: Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 12:00 AM 2 comments

  Title: Deadly Cool                                                        Pages: 303
  Author: Gemma Halliday                                            Source: Library
  Publisher: HarperTeen                                               Published: October 11, 2011
  Series: Deadly Cool #1                                              Purchase: Amazon
Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren’t enough, now he’s depending on Hartley to clear his name.

But as much as Hartley wouldn’t mind seeing him squirm, she knows he’s innocent, and she’s the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school’s resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer’s next victim.
Deadly Cool was a spectacular read and perfect for mystery junkies like me. It was light-hearted and chilling at the same time and is a must read for fans of the contemporary and mystery thriller genres.

Hartley is my kind of gal. She's so spunky and so sarcastic that you can't help but laugh at some of the stuff to come out of her mouth. I fell in love with her as a character and am excited to read about more adventures with her.

I also loved that she had a soft side, even if she only broke down once or twice. I mean, if my boyfriend cheated on me, he would be the one dead (maybe not literally dead, but dead to me anyway) and I certainly wouldn't be helping him out of a mess!

One of the first things that pops to mind when I think of the minor characters: they were actually present! Her mother and her best friend were actually present, which hardly happens in young adult novels anymore. And while her mom was quite.. eclectic, I'm so happy she was present and worried about her daughter.

The plot was very fast paced and very refreshing to have in a young adult murder mystery novel. I felt like I was given information and clues and decent intervals throughout the novel, instead of everything coming crashing down at the end. While it wasn't entirely a surprise to me, it was certainly enjoyable!

Overall, if you're in the market for a hilarious murder mystery, look no further because you've found it. I would highly recommend Deadly Cool to anyone, not just fans of the genre.

Pass or Read? Definitely read, especially if you like snarky heroines and murder mysteries.

Cover thoughts: I lovelovelove that "Cool" is made of iPod earbuds. It fits perfectly with the story. Otherwise, it's pretty but I don't really get what the girl's face has to do with the story. She looks like Hartley I guess?

22 March 2012

Cover Reveal Thursday: Various

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 7:51 PM 0 comments

  Title: Crewel
  Author: Gennifer Albin
  Published: October 16, 2012
  Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers
Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.

  Title: The Forsaken
  Author: Lisa M. Stasse
  Published: July 10, 2012
A thought-provoking and exciting start to a riveting new dystopian trilogy.

As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.

  Title: The Poison Princess
  Author: Kresley Cole
  Published: October 2, 2012
  Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Poison Princess centers on 16-year-old Evangeline "Evie" Greene, a privileged teenager from Louisiana.

When an apocalyptic event decimates her hometown, killing everyone she loves, Evie realizes the hallucinations she'd been having for the past year were actually visions of the future — and they're still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophecy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of teens have been chosen to re-enact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it's not always clear who is on which side…

  Title: Burn For Burn
  Author: Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
  Published: September 18, 2012
The start of a brand-new young adult trilogy about three very different girls who overcome their differences and band together to seek revenge on those who have wronged them, uncovering a supernatural secret about what brought them together and why in the process. Each book will rotate back and forth between the perspectives of all three characters.

What do you think of these covers? Which is your favorite? I really like Crewel's cover. The colors are gorgeous and it looks very unique. The Poison Princess' is probably the least unique out of the three, as once again pretty couple + pretty dress. Come on cover designers, be more creative!! Also, The Forsaken's and Burn For Burn's covers looks awesome!!

Will you be reading these?

21 March 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (23)

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 12:00 AM 3 comments

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's can't-wait-to-read selection is..

  Title: One Moment
  Author: Kristina McBride
  Publisher: EgmontUSA
  Published: June 26, 2012
  Pages: 272
This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it's the one she'd do anything to forget.

Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below – dead?

As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?

The latest novel from the author of The Tension of Opposites, One Moment is a mysterious, searing look at how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you.
I love mystery thrillers. They're my favorite YA genre. My favorite genre in general probably, so it's safe to say I'll probably love this one!

What are you waiting on?

18 March 2012

In My Mailbox (28)

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 3:29 PM 3 comments

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and is a weekly meme to showcase what you got over the week by buying, receiving, borrowing, stealing from a friend etc.

Luxury Reading:
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund - This one kinda sounds a little bit like Cinder because Lunar/Luddite and of course Kai. If it's half as good as Cinder, I'm sure to love this one.

A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford - Thank you Sara @ Just Another Story! Excited to read this one.

That's all I got this week or so, what did you get in your mailbox?

15 March 2012

Cover Reveal Thursday: Velveteen and The Gathering Dark

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 12:00 AM 1 comments

  Title: The Gathering Dark
  Author: Leigh Bardugo
  Published: June 7, 2012
  Publisher: Indigo
Sweeping, glorious fantasy romance about an orphan who must save her kingdom from the seductive and terrifying Darkling. The most compelling romance since Twilight.

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unraveling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

  Title: Velveteen
  Author: Daniel Marks
  Published: October 9, 2012
Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that's not the problem.

The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it's not a fiery inferno, it's certainly no heaven. It's gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn't leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what's really on her mind.


Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she's figured out just how to do it. She'll haunt him for the rest of his days. It'll be brutal... and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen's obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she's willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can't help herself when it comes to breaking rules... or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

What do you think of these covers? Which is your favorite? I definitely like The Gathering Dark's cover better. At first I didn't, but then I had a close look at it and fell in love. It looks like a children's fairy tale book, which can be a good or bad thing.

Velveteen's just doesn't seem very unique. I mean there's a hot couple AND a girl in a pretty dress. Way to be different! (/sarcasm) Now what I do like are the colors and the font. I like how everything is grey, it seems to coincide with the story. And the pink of the font provides a nice pop of color to let you know it's not incredibly boring :P.

Will you be reading these?

14 March 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (22)

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 1:43 PM 5 comments

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's can't-wait-to-read selection is..

  Title: Lucid
  Author: Adrienne Stoltz and Ron Bass
  Publisher: Razorbill
  Published: October 2, 2012
  Pages: ??
What if you could dream your way into a different life? What if you could choose to live that life forever?

Sloane and Maggie have never met. Sloane is a straight-A student with a big and loving family. Maggie lives a glamorously independent life as an up-and-coming actress in New York. The two girls couldn’t be more different—except for one thing. They share a secret that they can’t tell a soul. At night, they dream that they’re each other.

The deeper they’re pulled into the promise of their own lives, the more their worlds begin to blur dangerously together. Before long, Sloane and Maggie can no longer tell which life is real and which is just a dream. They realize that eventually they will have to choose one life to wake up to, or risk spiraling into insanity. But that means giving up one world, one love, and one self, forever.

This is a dazzling debut that will still readers’ hearts.
This one seems like my cup of tea. Doesn't it just sound amazing? No words!

What are you waiting on?

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