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?

08 March 2012

Cover Reveal Thursday: Beta by Rachel Cohn

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 4:04 PM 2 comments

I've decided to make Thursday my official cover reveal day, if there are covers to reveal, so I'm not posting all these cover reveals randomly. I hope you enjoy :).

  Title: Beta
  Author: Rachel Cohn
  Published: October 16, 2012
  Publisher: Disney Hyperion
In a world constructed to absolute perfection, imperfection is difficult to understand—and impossible to hide.

Elysia is a clone, created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen year old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of teenaged clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to be created.

Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air there induces a strange, euphoric high that only the island's workers—soulless clones like Elysia—are immune to.

At first, Elysia's new life on this island paradise is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, the most privileged people in the world who should want for nothing, yearn. And, she comes to realize that beneath its flawless exterior, there is an undercurrent of discontent amongst Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care—so why are overpowering sensations clouding Elysia's mind?

If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When Elysia's one chance at happiness is ripped away from her with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.

I really love the colors of this one. The fonts are also fantastic! I also love how the girl's eyes are a bit blank, because the clones are supposed to be "unfeeling" with no soul. What do you think? Will you be reading Beta?

06 March 2012

Book Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood (Luxury Reading review)

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 7:42 PM 0 comments

  Title: Born Wicked                                             Pages: 330
  Author: Jessica Spotswood                            Source: Luxury Reading
  Publisher: Putnam Juvenile                            Published: Feb 7, 2012
  Series: The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1        Purchase: Amazon
Cate Cahill has a secret. Her and her two sisters are witches. She promised her mother she would protect Maura and Tess, so she’s doing everything in her power to keep this a secret from her nosy neighbors and the terrifying Brotherhood, who ship girls like the Cahill sisters off to the prison ship or Harwood, the mental asylum.

But with the days counting down quickly to the time she has to announce either a marriage or joining the Sisterhood, Cate struggles even more with keeping her and her sisters’ secrets locked away. And when she finds her mother’s diary, she uncovers the biggest secret yet – one that could mean the destruction of her family.

Cate has to learn exactly whom she can trust, including her very own sisters.

Born Wicked had one of those synopses that stand out and make you want to read that novel. The plot inside was even better.

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

Cover thoughts: This cover is gorgeous!! I also love how the model is upside down, it gives it a bit of a uniqueness to it. I love everything about this cover!

04 March 2012

Book Review: Casey Barnes Eponymous by E.A. Rigg

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 4:05 PM 0 comments

  Title: Casey Barnes Eponymous                              Pages: 220
  Author: E.A. Rigg                                                          Source: Author
  Publisher: Self Published                                          Published: January 1, 2012
  Series: Standalone                                                      Purchase: Amazon
It's three weeks into the school year when music junkie Casey Barnes gets a second chance with her mysterious, heartbreaking ex-boyfriend. She comes up with a plan to win him back, but it soon spins out of control as rivalries, revelations about him, and music itself all start to collide. For Casey the newfound attention means learning the difference between wanting center stage and actually being on it.
Casey Barnes Eponymous is an awesome music lover read with talk about various bands big and small, rocker clothing, and a talent show. Being a music lover myself, I of course enjoyed this novel.

Casey was a great character. She's such a refreshing, snarky, out of the box character. I enjoyed her character immensely and found myself laughing out loud at some of the things she would say. That being said, she was also incredibly naive about things, especially when it came to Alex and sex.

Being a female rocker, she assumes she must lose her virginity to be an "official" rocker. She doesn't see it as a precious thing you don't give away to just anyone. This was a flaw I enjoyed reading, though, because you got to read about her growing more mature.

The plot was better than I expected. Casey forms a band to try out for the talent show (gone by as just "talent show" instead of "the talent show" which bugged me BIG TIME, for some reason) to make Alex jealous/like her. This provided for even more laughs, with some of the songs her band came up with.

The writing was simple and had surprisingly good grammar and spelling. Sometimes it would get confusing, though, like when there was a flash back, it would take me a second to realize that what was going on wasn't currently happening. This could be fixed if some things were moved around a bit or even taken out, but it wasn't that much of an issue for me.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Casey Barnes Eponymous. It was a very quick read, only about 3 hours, so I'd say give it a shot, especially if you love music!

Pass or Read? If you don't mind self published novels and like music, you should read this!

Cover thoughts: I really like the coloring of the picture. I wish there was a drop shadow or a stroke around the font, as it makes it stand out more and looks more professional, in my opinion.

01 March 2012

Cover Reveals (2)

Posted by Meghan @ Books and a Cup of Tea at 9:30 AM 0 comments

  Title: The Darkest Minds
  Author: Alexandra Bracken
  Published: December 18, 2012
  Publisher: Disney Hyperion
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have been cursed with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby has spent nearly half her life desperately trying to hide the fact that she’s outwitted the camp’s sorting system—that she isn’t powerless, or safe. She’s one of the dangerous ones… and everyone knows what happens to them.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of teens who escaped their own camp, pursued along the way by terrifying bounty hunters. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close to him. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Before the end, Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

  Title: Breathe
  Author: Sarah Crossan
  Published: October 2, 2012
  Publisher: Greenwillow
Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe...

The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.

should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

What do you think of these covers? Which is your favorite? I like them both, because they both have bright colors that pop, so it seems like they'd stand out in a bookstore. The Darkest Mind's cover looks a bit familiar though and it seems like a cover for a high fantasy novel? I guess that's what it makes me think of, though I cannot put my finger on it exactly. And Breathe's cover looks familiar, too, and you can immediately tell it's a dystopian novel.

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