Posted on Jul 1st, 2013 by audra
In these categories Review, Society's Bookshelf

Disneylanders cover

Book Title: Disneylanders
Author: Kate Abbott
Release Date: May 12, 2013
Publisher: Theme Park Press

In DISNEYLANDERS, 14-year-old Casey Allison, on the brink of starting high school, struggles to find a new identity on her family’s annual summer vacation, but with the help of an outgoing boy she meets while waiting in line, she discovers that Disneyland is the one place where her overprotective parents let her have the freedom to grow up.

As someone who became a massive fan of Disneyland a bit later in life, I knew I had to read this book as soon as I heard about it. Acacia, Casey for short, is on her annual summer vacation to Disneyland with a couple of big differences. This is her first Disneyland trip before high school. This is her first Disneyland trip without her former bff. This is also her first Disneyland trip where she meets a boy!

Overall this was a magical read that gave me everything I wanted and more. I used to live a mere 20 minutes from Disneyland and was an annual passholder. Getting to visit the parks weekly was an adventure. Now that I live over 1,000 miles from it, I treasure our yearly trips to the park dearly. And getting to read Disneylanders felt like getting to experience one of those trips all over again.

It was easy to get swept up in this book as it flooded back all of my wonderful memories of being at Disneyland. I can’t imagine anything more magical than what happens to Casey. Her adventures on this particular trip to Disneyland was a bit of a life changer for her. She was able to grow up a bit, and get to live outside her parent’s protective bubble.

There were a few things that were a bit irritating. I’ve said before that for some reason I get irritated when every book character has a nickname. For me, it doesn’t really sound realistic. If the character spends 95% of the book going by Casey, why not just have her name be Casey? Also, as a bit of a Disney aficionado, the book was dated slightly due to changes that Disneyland has gone through. Of course this is bound to happen, but it’s been years since the McDonalds fry cart has been there. Finally, as romantic a notion of meeting a boy at Disneyland and flitting about the parks with him on a family vacation, it didn’t feel realistic. I can’t see a mother letting her 13 year old go around unsupervised with a boy she had just met.

Disneylanders was truly a magical read. I loved the cover design and loved getting to reminiscence of my past trips to Disney, and feel hopeful for the next ones to come.

Posted on Jun 26th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Society's Bookshelf

 

Disneylanders cover

 

In Disneylanders, 14-year-old Casey Allison, on the brink of starting high school, struggles to find a new identity on her family’s annual summer vacation, but with the help of an outgoing boy she meets while waiting in line, she discovers that Disneyland is the one place where her overprotective parents let her have the freedom to grow up.

Enter to win a Disneylanders prize pack!

prize pack
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

kate abbot
Disneylanders is Kate Abbott’s first novel. She received an MFA in creative writing from UC Riverside, Palm Desert. Kate lives in Northern California with her husband, son, terrier, and tiny parrots.

Check out the Book Trailer here!

Add on Goodreads
Purchase on Amazon

Follow Kate on twitter!

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Posted on Jun 25th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Society's Bookshelf, Top Ten Tuesdays

top ten tuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books I’ve read so far in 2013. I challenged myself to reading 75 books this year, and I’m shocked that I’m already at 50! So it was very hard to pick only ten. My top ten, in no particular order:


Eleanor and Park
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The 5th Wave5thwave
In the Shadow of Blackbirds

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The Selection

selection
Taken

taken
Out of the Easy

out of the easy
Scarlet

Scarlet
Born Wicked

born wicked cover
Unravel Me

unravel me
Tiger Lily

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Posted on Jun 25th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Review, Society's Bookshelf

intheafter

Book Title: In the After
Author: Demitria Lunetta
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen

They hear the most silent of footsteps.
They are faster than anything you’ve ever seen.
And They won’t stop chasing you…until you are dead.

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.

Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta.

In the After, the debut novel, by Demitria Lunetta is stunning, terrifying and completely thrilling. Amy is stuck at home while both her parents are out when the world is attacked and her life is turned upside down. She has to learn how to relive her life so she can survive these new beings. At first, she has glimpses to the outside world and then the television goes. And then she runs out of food, and has to make changes to the life she knew without being killed by Them.

The suspense in this book felt real. At first, I thought things would be super cheesy- especially with a character named Baby. But no, I was genuinely intrigued and pulled into the world Demitria created. Every scene felt so believable, so much that I was there. Until Amy came to New Hope. I had SO many questions. I needed to more about the background of this place. This could be a great stand alone, but I’m hoping there’s more. I need more answers as to how things got the way they did. I need to know more about Amy’s mom and Baby too!

Overall, this was a great debut book and even though it left me thirsty for more, it was a satisfying read filled with all the great elements of a dystopian.

Posted on Jun 24th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Contest, Society's Bookshelf

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We recently went to a fantastic book event with Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi and were able to get a signed copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children AND a special Peculiar t-shirt  just for on of you lucky fans!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted on Jun 23rd, 2013 by audra
In these categories Review, Society's Bookshelf

star cursed

Book Title: Star Cursed
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate’s friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn’t want to be a weapon, and she doesn’t want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood’s schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she’ll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess’s quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.

Star Cursed is the second book in the Cahill Witch Chronicles and was as magical to read as the first, Born Wicked. We see Cate’s new life in New London with the Sisterhood, and the ever tightening control the Brotherhood is releasing on its people. Cate and the other witches find themselves with limited time and resources on their hand.

Cate reunites with her friends, her sisters and even boys in New London as she tries to reconcile her place in the magical world. Star Cursed is a fantastic follow up to Born Wicked, with a great mix of action, love and wonderful storytelling. I love all the turns that this book took us on, and after the ending I feel even more excited for the next book in the series.

We learn more about the Sisterhood in this book, as well as the three sisters we follow: Cate, Maura and Tess. Maura is just as spiteful as ever, Tess just as sweet and Cate is stuck somewhere in the middle trying to play peacemaker for everyone. You can tell that she is getting stretched too thin and it’s interesting how that works into the favors of others.

It’s hard to say what I love about this book without spoiling anything and everything, but it was an absolute pleasure to read. When I read Born Wicked, it was the first witchy book I’d ever read, and now I’ve read a total of two. I so love these books and can’t help but actually feel emotionally attached to these characters- especially Cate!

Star Cursed was a perfect sequel. It gave us enough to keep us going, but also didn’t fall into the sequel trap. One of the only things I found disappointing was the cover. I’m not a fan of the redesign, and would have loved to have seen what this cover could have looked like with the old treatment. (To be fair, I don’t feel like the first cover did a great job portraying the book, but was a bit better than this one) I’ll be eagerly awaiting the final book, currently untitled.

Posted on Jun 19th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Society's Bookshelf

15829686

We’ve featured Tandem by Anna Jarzab as one of our Waiting on Wednesday books and we’re so excited to see that Ally Condie’s one of two authors blurbing it’s awesomness!

“Clever and exhilarating–each page is a pleasure. I loved the romance and adventure of Sasha’s story, and I can’t wait for the sequel.” – Ally Condie, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the MATCHED Trilogy

If we weren’t excited already, now we’re even more excited for October 8th to roll around!

Add Tandem to your Goodreads
Pre-Order: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indie Bound

Posted on Jun 12th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Society's Bookshelf, Waiting on Wednesday

waiting
Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and gives us a chance to feature a book we’re waiting to read.

YA Books Central recently debuted the cover for Megan Shepherd’s follow up to the amazing Madman’s Daughter (hint: we loved it!) and it was crystal clear which book we were waiting on this week: Her Dark Curiosity!

b2ap3_thumbnail_HER-DARK-CURIOSITY-cover
Visit YA Bound and you can enter for a chance to win this bad boy, I know I will be entering!

Posted on Jun 11th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Review, Society's Bookshelf

13000748
Book Title: Born of Illusion
Author: Teri Brown
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Anna Van Housen is thirteen the first time she breaks her mother out of jail. By sixteen she’s street smart and savvy, assisting her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, and easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums and mentalists in 1920’s New York City. Handcuffs and sleight of hand illusions have never been much of a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her true gifts secret from her opportunistic mother, who will stop at nothing to gain her ambition of becoming the most famous medium who ever lived. But when a strange, serious young man moves into the flat downstairs, introducing her to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, he threatens to reveal the secrets Anna has fought so hard to keep, forcing her to face the truth about her past. Could the stories her mother has told her really be true? Could she really be the illegitimate daughter of the greatest magician of all?

After a recent visit to the Magic Castle, I’ve kind of been obsessed with magic. A simple visit to this place made me feel like a kid again even though I was never one to love magic. After reading Born of Illusion, I feel like I’m back into that space, reveling in the magic and mystic of every nook and cranny.

After a life of travels, Anna and her mother have settled down for a bit in NYC for their headlining magic show and secretive seances at their home. Anna’s struggles are evident from the very beginning. She is more or less stuck in her mother’s shadows, and while Anna actually has magical talent and visions that show the future, her mother makes up for her lack of talent with schemes and scams. The magic unravels in this story for Anna as she tries to figure out what her recurring vision means, while at the same time trying to avoid people that might be bad for her. We learn more about Anna’s past, while also learning about the people trying to get closer to her.

Danger, mystery and magic combine for this great historical young adult story. I feel like Born of Illusion did for New York City what Ruta Septey’s Out of the Easy did for New Orleans. I loved the period touches of this book- the clothes, the clubs, the slang. I just wanted to revel in it all and immediately go out and buy some vintage jewelry and clothes. And that cover! LOVE LOVE LOVE. The font is fabulous, as is the simple image of the girl.

I really loved seeing this setting and the characters we meet through Anna’s eyes. Cole was just the kind of guy I thought he would be, but I felt like we get stringed a long a bit too long with him and his story. Owen and Jacques were an odd ball set of characters and I loved the drama they added to the mix. With everything, it turned out to be a magical story indeed, and I can’t wait to see where Anna ends up next.

Posted on Jun 9th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Ally Condie

From the Victory Tour 2013 website:

We are extremely excited to announce that Lauren Oliver, author of the Delirium trilogy, and Ally Condie, author of the Matched Trilogy, will be joining us at the online convention!

Both world-renowned authors will host keynote sessions and and take audience questions via webcam, making these keynotes excitingly interactive. This is the perfect opportunity to get your questions answered and continue discussion about these trilogies in breakout sessions that follow!

Register for Victory Tour 2013 today to join the conversation! Registration for the online convention is only $10!!

Will you be going? This looks awesome and we love that it’s virtual so anyone can attend!