Top Ten Tuesday #1 (2/25/14)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, and for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday Rewind I've chosen Books I Can't Believe I've Never Read.

(Special Shout out to Mo Books for the inspiration)

I currently have 329 books on my Goodreads TBR shelf and that number grows everyday, on top of that I have quite the LONG mental list of books that people have recommended to me and I simply haven't gotten to.

So, here it is, a list of Books I Can't Believe I've Never Read (I don't want to say that they are the TOP ten, because I'm sure I've forgotten something)
(to visit the books' Goodreads page, click the cover)
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)The Pact
The Fault in Our StarsGone GirlThe Handmaid's Tale
The Demon King (Seven Realms, #1)VelveteenThe Book Thief
DraculaCity of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
What books can't you believe you haven't read yet?

Ethereal Underground

Ethereal Underground

Authors: Briana Gaitan and Brooke Kennedy

Publication Date: November 15, 2013

Summary: Can the person who was sent to steal your soul, be the same person who steals your heart? 

The keepers are protectors of the planet Cabalin, charged with defeating identified enemies and preventing other planets from waging war on their dying planet. They are expected to keep their emotions in check and do as they are told no matter what the consequences. One of their rising warriors, however, has been placed on sabbatical for reasons unknown to those around him. Rebellious, impulsive, and moody, Ash has continued to break the rules by frequenting the Ethereal Underground, the seedy hang out in the eighth layer of the planet. Ash has always believed in the keeper’s cause, but his taste for adventure always seems to get him in trouble. 

The seraphs live on a different plane of existence. They watch over the mortals and reap their souls when it is time for them to depart to the afterlife, but do not associate with the beings otherwise. They are duty bound and loyal creatures, each of them having an affinity for a force of nature that they can use when needed. When a seraph breaks the rules, they are banished and stripped of their affinity. These evil creatures are named the fallen. Annalise, a reaper seraph blessed with an affinity for water, has always followed the rules until she is called to reap Ash’s soul and take it to the afterlife. This time, however, she finds it difficult to take the soul. 

Their worlds were never supposed to meet. Now everyone’s future is in jeopardy, their lives turned upside down as they find themselves on the run from the very people they thought they could count on. The two of them must search for a way to clear their names and hunt down the evil forces of the fallen, without losing themselves or those they hold dearest. This epic fantasy will take you on an exhilarating quest for love, truth, and revenge. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Source: Won in a giveaway

Rating: 4 stars 
Review: First of all, the summary makes this book sound like a romance, but I would say it's closer to a fantasy/adventure. 
I struggled with this book a bit at first. It felt like so much information was thrown at me in such a short amount of time. There was a lot to keep track of. I’m glad that I didn’t let that turn me away, eventually the pieces fell into place and I found myself sucked into this strange planet. Annalise is a so-so character. I found her a bit annoying. Ash was a bit more solid and well developed. I’m hoping to see more character development and growth with these two in the next book. Finlay is by far my favorite character, he is definitely the most consistent and he is quite funny.
The action and adventure in this book really drives the plot. The writing was descriptive and I found myself transported into Cabalin and desperate to see our protagonists succeed. The ending wasn’t what I wanted, but I am hopeful that this ending is setting us up for something exciting in book two (since it’s clearly not over). 


Firebolt (The Dragonian, #1)

Author: Adrienne Woods

Publication Date: November 17, 2013

Summary: Dragons. Right. Teenage girls don’t believe in fairy tales, and sixteen-year old Elena Watkins was no different.

Until the night a fairy tale killed her father.

Now Elena’s in a new world, and a new school. The cutest guy around may be an evil dragon, a Prince wants Elena’s heart, and a long dead sorcerer may be waking up to kill her. Oh. And the only way Elena’s going to graduate is on the back of a dragon of her own.

Teenage girls don’t believe in fairy tales. Now it’s time for Elena to believe – in herself. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Source: Author in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 4 Stars 
Review: I was sucked into this book within the first few sentences. It started out with action and adventure, and did not disappoint. I am really excited about this series, because it is the first series about dragons to totally enchant me – I loved this book and had a really hard time putting it down. 
I really loved the world that this book takes place in. I like how we learn the history as if we too are new students in Paegeia along with Elena. The characters are pretty well-developed, there are a few I feel like I need to know more about, but I have a feeling that will come in later books. I like Elena, and I am truly invested in her story.  
The romance was typical for teen novels, and I thought for sure that a love triangle was coming, but thankfully it never blossomed. While the relationship felt rushed and like it didn’t have a strong foundation to me, I really think it represents the typical high school “love”. 
I have to admit, while I loved this book and read it quickly; I did feel a bit disappointed at the end. First, I felt like the book was too short. Second, I have SO many unanswered questions. I assume that I will get my answers in the next book, but to wait a year kinda stinks. Finally, there is a big action scene that I felt we didn’t get enough details of. 
But the sense of action and adventure has won out. I truly enjoyed reading this book and I am looking forward to getting the answers to my questions as soon as possible.

I read this book in December 2013. I received a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Stacking the Shelves #5 (2/22/2014)

Stacking the Shelves
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Here is my haul for the week:

Click on the Book Cover to check out the book on Goodreads

Ethereal Underground

Amazon Freebies
Coven (Elise Michaels, #1)Wilde's Fire (Darkness Falls, #1)

WWW #3 (2/19/2014)

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

To participate, just answer the following questions.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?

Currently Reading
Ethereal Underground

Recently Finished
External Forces (The Laws of Motion #1)

Up Next

Me Since You

External Forces

External Forces (The Laws of Motion #1)
Author: Deborah Rix
Publication Date: September 13, 2013
Source: NetGalley
Summary: It’s 100 years since the Genetic Integrity Act was passed and America closed its borders to prevent genetic contamination. Now only the enemy, dysgenic Deviants, remain beyond the heavily guarded border. The Department of Evolution carefully guides the creation of each generation and deviations from the divine plan are not permitted.
When 16-year-old Jess begins to show signs of deviance she enlists in the Special Forces, with her best friend Jay, in a desperate bid to evade detection by the Devotees. Jess is good with data, not so good with a knife. So when the handsome and secretive Sergeant Matt Anderson selects her for his Black Ops squad, Jess is determined to figure out why.
As her deviance continues to change her, Jess is forced to decide who to trust with her deadly secret. Jess needs to know what’s really out there, in the Deviant wasteland over the border, if she has any hope of making it to her 17th birthday. Because if the enemy doesn’t kill her first, the Department of Evolution probably will. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Rating: 3 Stars

Review: Hmm… I’m confused about how I feel about this one.

First of all, it’s a little too reminiscent of Divergent (it eventually takes a turn and becomes it’s own story but still it felt a little too much like Divergent). Second of all, there was some strange God stuff going on. I’m not quite sure if there was a religious undertone the book (like preaching that maybe I missed) to or perhaps a warning about following blindly?
But, there was plenty of action, excitement, and suspense; and I did enjoy reading the book.

The world building at the beginning was pretty good. I had a solid understanding of the world that Jess lives in and the events that led up to this dystopia. I really like Jess as the narrator and as the main character. I love her friendship with Jay. Matt grew on me. And Sheree is just awesome. The character development was good.

The plot moves quickly. Maybe a little too quickly; there were a couple of times that I felt like I missed a transition. The ending felt abrupt. The series is clearly not over, but it didn’t really feel like the story of this book had been completed.

But, like I said, I enjoyed the book. It kept me interested and I do want to see where things go from here.

Love for Books Readathon Sign Up


I haven't participated in a readathon since elementary school. I remember coloring a sneaker for every book that I read and there was some sort of competition for the class with the most colored sneakers and prizes. I will have to ask my mom about the details.

Anyways, I've never participated in a blog-based readathon and since I am a teacher on February vacation, I figure what better time to give it a try?!

Jessi at Novel Heartbeat and Amanda at Confessions of a Bookie Monster are hosting The Love For Books Readathon. Here are the rules from Novel Heartbeat:
  • The Love for Books Readathon runs from Monday, February 17th at 12:01 am through Sunday, February 23rd at 11:59 pm.
  • We will have at least one mini challenge sometime during the week for you to participate in!
  • There will be a giveaway at the end of the readathon for all participants.
  • Sign up at Novel Heartbeat or Confessions of a Bookie Monster. You may join whenever you like, but to be eligible for our grand prize giveaway, you must sign up by February 18th.
  • To join, all you have to do is make a sign-up post and add your post URL to the linky below! You can put your goals and progress (will be required for the final giveaway) in your sign-up post, or you can make it separate. Totally up to you!
  • In order to enter for the grand prize, you must have a post to keep track of your progress so we can see that you participated.

My reading goal is 2 books.

My Reading Progress:

External Forces (The Laws of Motion #1)

Monday (2/17)
Reading: External Forces
Progress: 15%
Time Spent Reading: approximately 2 hours
Books Completed: none

Tuesday (2/18)
Reading: External Forces
Progress: Completed
Time Spent Reading: approximately 4 hours
Books Completed: External Forces

Wednesday (2/19)
No Progress :(

Ethereal Underground by Briana Gaitan

Thursday (2/20)
Reading: Ethereal Underground
Progress: 1 Chapter
Time Spent Reading: Less than one hour
Books Completed: none today

Friday (2/21)
Reading: Ethereal Underground 
Progress: 30% complete
Time Spent Reading: approximately 3 hours
Books Completed: none today

Saturday (2/22)
Reading: Ethereal Underground
Progress: 60% complete
Time Spent Reading: approximately 3 hours
Books Completed: none today

Sunday (2/23)
Reading: Ethereal Underground
Progress: Completed
Time Spent Reading: approximately 3 hours
Books Completed: Ethereal Underground

2 books completed: External Forces and Ethereal Underground. Goal Achieved!

Stacking the Shelves #4 (2/15/2014)

Stacking the Shelves

Hosted By: Tynga's Reviews
Description: Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

(click the book cover to visit the book's Goodreads page)

This week's Haul:

Received for Review:
Me Since YouEndless

The Key (True Reign, #1)Boy Swap

Don't Even Think About It

Don't Even Think About It
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Source: NetGalley
Summary: 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. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Rating: 2 Stars

Review: This was a pretty light read that is perfect for 8th to 10th graders.

As an adult I found the writing a bit elementary, but I can easily see a teen enjoying it. The point of view was unique, switching from character to character to the group as a whole and back. It was a bit confusing at first but it worked and helped me to understand the connection between the characters.

The characters are ok, given that there were so many of them, they weren't entirely developed it seemed like each character had just a few traits.

The plot felt a bit slow for me; the day to day events were pretty typical for teens, I think, at least for teens in this type of community. There was one serious issue that I think was included in order to make the character relatable, but I wish it was dealt with me and maybe even overcome.

Overall it was ok, and I think that its intended audience will enjoy it.

I received a copy of this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Stolen Songbird

Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Source: NetGalley

Summary: For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...
For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.
Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.
But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.
As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Review: The first few pages were slow, but before I knew it I was at the 50% mark and asking myself how that happened.

I loved this book. The summary does not do it justice. The world building in this book was excellent, I felt like I could easily envision everything. I’m not really familiar with trolls, but I loved the way the author wrote them.

I love Cecile, she is unlike most female characters in YA novels. She is stronger and smart. Tristan was a bit more difficult for me at first, but he grew on me and I came to understand him. The secondary characters were also well developed and most were likable.

The plot moves at a great pace. There are a few twists and a few scenes that made my heart race. There are some complex plot lines being laid as the foundation for a fun series. I enjoyed the romance, especially because there was no insta-love.

The writing was excellent; there were times that I felt some strong emotions. I was definitely not ready for this book to end and was disappointed when I noticed I was at the 98% mark. That being said, with the way the book ended there is clearly more to come and I absolutely cannot wait.

I received a copy of this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

WWW #2 (2/12/2014)

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

To participate, just answer the following questions.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?
Currently Reading
Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)
Recently Finished
Braedric's Bane
Up Next
I'm not really sure what I'll pick up next, I'm thinking one of the following:
External Forces (The Laws of Motion #1)     OR     Don't Even Think About It     
What about you? Please share your WWW links with me in the comments

Braedric's Bane

Braedric's Bane
Author: A.J. Nuest

Author Website/Blog:

Publication Date: February 13, 2014

Summary: To escape the clutches of the evil Wizard Gaelleod, Rowena and Caedmon flee to the future. With her memories in tact and the help of her dear friends, Rowena is confident they can uncover the clues behind her connection to the key.

Yet Violet's dire prophecy does more than detail their history. Caedmon's worst fears are confirmed. Though they must return to his realm, everything he loves stands to be ripped from his grasp.

Join Caedmon and Rowena as they embark on an epic battle to protect the Austiere Kingdom and fight to safeguard their love in Braedric's Bane, Book IV of The Golden Key Chronicles. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Source: author in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars 
Review:An epic, fantasy, adventure and romance, with a dash of comedy, rolled into one fabulous book. I literally read it in one sitting. 
Everything comes together in this final installment of The Golden Key Chronicles. Questions are answered and plot lines weave together to reveal the big picture. The plot moved at a comfortable pace, with a clear climax and resolution, the action in this book was well developed. 
I was happy to see that Rowena and Caedmon had the opportunity to go to Rowena’s realm – it was so nice to see Oliver again. I also enjoyed the fact that Caedmon got to experience Rowena’s realm – it only feels fair for him to have a slight taste of Rowena’s experience in a new realm. 
The characters are wonderful. Rowena is a strong, feisty, fearless female and I love her slightly feminist thinking. She is consistently true to herself. Caedmon is the perfect complement to her and they just fit. The romance, the love, and the ecstasy that makes up Rowena and Caedmon’s relationship is toe-curling steamy, and beautifully written. 
In terms of the ending, I feel satisfied – like the story was told, and is complete. Without giving too much away, the very last line of the epilogue made me smile and chuckle – it was perfect. 
I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

More about this series:
The Golden Key ChroniclesThe key would unlock his future and the safety of his kingdom, but he never imagined the sorceress would unlock his heart…Antiques restorer, Rowena Lindstrom, finds herself the owner of an ancestral armoire containing a hidden key and a magic mirror leading to another realm!
But the handsome warrior prince waiting on the other side is truly the final straw. This must be an elaborate joke, right? As she struggles to discover the truth, Rowena learns Prince Caedmon Austiere needs the key to save his kingdom. In the end, she cannot deny him anything. Including her heart.

Rowena's KeyCandra's FreedomCaedmon's Curse

The Shadow Throne

The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy, #3)
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Source: NetGalley

Summary: One war.
Too many deadly battles.
Can a king save his kingdom, when his own survival seems unlikely?
War has come to Carthya. It knocks at every door and window in the land. And when Jaron learns that King Vargan of Avenia has kidnapped Imogen in a plot to bring Carthya to its knees, Jaron knows it is up to him to embark on a daring rescue mission. But everything that can go wrong does.
His friends are flung far and wide across Carthya and its neighbouring lands. In a last-ditch effort to stave off what looks to be a devastating loss for the kingdom, Jaron undertakes what may be his last journey to save everything and everyone he loves. But even with his lightning-quick wit, Jaron cannot forestall the terrible danger that descends on him and his country. Along the way, will he lose what matters most? And in the end, who will sit on Carthya's throne?
Rousing and affecting, Jaron's adventures have thrilled and moved readers in The False Prince and The Runaway King. Journey once again with the Ascendant King of Carthya, as New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen brings his story to a stunning conclusion withThe Shadow Throne. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)
Rating: 5 Stars

Review: My heart is still racing…HOLY MOLY!

The action started immediately and never let up. I was completely engrossed in this book – I was dying to know what happened next and at the same time trying to savor every moment of the final installment in this wonderful series.

I love Jaron. He is one of my all time favorite characters. He is young, lives in the moment, and is absolutely, consistently true to himself. The other characters in the book are equally likeable. You can’t help but love each of Jaron’s (somewhat motley crew of) friends.

The plot moves at an incredible pace and kept me guessing at all times. I was blown away by the cleverness of Jaron’s actions and decisions. This book is more than fantasy and adventure – it was suspenseful and action-packed. There were times that I felt Jaron had worked himself into an impossible situation and I thought for sure the book was heading towards a very specific ending; thank goodness Ms. Neilsen has better writing skills and more imagination than me!

The ending feels right. I don’t want to say more than that and give it away, but I will say it’s very rare that I am happy with the way the last book in a series ends.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book and highly recommend it!

I received a copy of this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Other Books In This Series:
The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy, #2)

Stacking the Shelves #3 (2/8/2014)

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Here is my haul for the week:

Click on the Book Cover to check out the book on Goodreads

Received for review:
Don't Even Think About ItBranded (Sinners, #1)The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy, #3)Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)

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