Waiting on Wednesday: Beautiful Curse by Jen McConnel

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Title: Beautiful Curse
Author: Jen McConnel
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Release Date: December 2014
Genre: YA Retelling

Sixteen-year-old Mya Jones is cursed.

She is, hands down, the most beautiful creature on earth. But beauty can wound, and Mya finds herself reviled and shunned by her peers. If there is even a chance that she could start over, Mya longs to take it, no matter the risks.

So when the strange Mr. Merk offers her a new life away from home, Mya is hesitant but hopeful. Only she didn’t count on the mysterious Ross, or her feelings for him.

BEAUTIFUL CURSE is a contemporary retelling of the myth of Psyche and Cupid.

 


 

This is a Waiting on Wednesday which I first saw at Breaking the Spine. The goal is to post a yet-to-be-published book that we are waiting to read. If you’d like to see more, go to http://breakingthespine.blogspot.com/to see the whole list. We’ll be posting one each week from now on, so if you have a book you think we should check out, feel free to contact us and let us know!

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Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto

19486754Title: Ghost House

Author: Alexandra Adornetto

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Publication Date: August 2014

Pages: 312

Genre: YA Horror

Book Summary (from Goodreads)

From the New York Times bestselling author of Halo comes the start of a beautiful and powerful new series.

After the loss of her mother, Chloe Kennedy starts seeing the ghosts that haunted her as a young girl again. Spending time at her grandmother’s country estate in the south of England is her chance to get away from her grief and the spirits that haunt her. Until she meets a mysterious stranger…

Alexander Reade is 157 years dead, with secrets darker than the lake surrounding Grange Hall and a lifelike presence that draws Chloe more strongly than any ghost before. But the bond between them awakens the vengeful spirit of Alexander’s past love, Isobel. And she will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him from her.

To stop Isobel, Chloe must push her developing abilities to their most dangerous limits, even if it means losing Alex forever… and giving the hungry dead a chance to claim her for their own

Review

This was one of the books I’ve got on my list for my Halloween read. It is, after all, October and Fall and whenever the weather finally turns a bit cool and the leaves hint at a change, I feel the need to read more horror than normal. So when I saw this in Barnes & Noble the other day, it seemed like the perfect choice!

I enjoyed the main charater, Chloe, and the fact that while she does grow over the course of the book, she never solves all her problems or resolves everything. The changes that happen in the book, from her mother’s death to the ghosts and their drama, aren’t really things that you just bounce back quickly from. I also enjoyed the feeling of being a fish out of water that she has in the end.

The storyline with Chloe and the ghosts and her family problems are good. The backstory of Alex and Isabelle are also really well done and well thought out. The author does well at explaining why they are acting they way they are, for the most part. There are some discrepancies that I wondered at – Isabelle’s reasons for taking Benjamin, for instance, are a bit much for me. While they sort of fit in with her character, there’s something about it that also seems flimsy. I also think Chloe’s jump from liking Alex to being head over heels in love is a bit sudden. I loved Joe’s character, and wanted to see more about him and his connection to everything.

Overall, the ghost story is intriguing, and I love the tidbits you’re given – the author does a great job of feeding you just enough information to keep you guessing, but not enough to get the whole picture too early. The romance is good, but I must admit, I have no idea what will happen next. This book is the first in a series, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for the others.

If you enjoy ghost stories, this is a good one to pick!

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Where to Find the Book

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19486754-ghost-house

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0373211309/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0373211309&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ghost-house-alexandra-adornetto/1117716181?ean=9780373211302&itm=1&usri=9780373211302&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10:1&r=1,%201

Book was purchased by the reviewer.

Thorn by Intisar Khanani

20558124Title: Thorn

Author: Intisar Khanani

Publisher: Self Published

Publication Date: May 2012

Pages: 246

Genre: YA Fantasy

Book Summary (from Goodreads)

For Princess Alyrra, choice is a luxury she’s never had … until she’s betrayed.

Princess Alyrra has never enjoyed the security or power of her rank. Between her family’s cruelty and the court’s contempt, she has spent her life in the shadows. Forced to marry a powerful foreign prince, Alyrra embarks on a journey to meet her betrothed with little hope for a better future.

But powerful men have powerful enemies–and now, so does Alyrra. Betrayed during a magical attack, her identity is switched with another woman’s, giving Alyrra the first choice she’s ever had: to start a new life for herself or fight for a prince she’s never met. But Alyrra soon finds that Prince Kestrin is not at all what she expected. While walking away will cost Kestrin his life, returning to the court may cost Alyrra her own. As Alyrra is coming to realize, sometime the hardest choice means learning to trust herself.

Thorn has received a Badge of Approval from Awesome Indies.

Review

First of all, I LOVE this cover. I also love the story of the Goose Girl, so the combination alone had me picking this up. It didn’t disappoint!

I really enjoy the backstory that the author has given Alyrra. She’s created a complete world, and her attention to detail was very well done. I liked Alyrra’s relationships and the way that the author created a life that made the reader believe she wouldn’t mind being sent to another land. I also really loved that Alyrra, while angry at first about the change in fortune, comes to see it as an opportunity rather than a curse. The way she handles the switch between handmaiden and princess also works well, as does the inclusion of the villain. It helps to carry the story further than just a jealous maid.

The prince and the supporting characters are well done, though I must admit that I wanted to know more about the Snatchers, as well as the Red Hawk and his place in Alyrra’s life. I wanted to see what she would have done in the end about the things she saw as a commoner, and I wanted to see how she handles the transition back into her own face. After all that’s happened, I imagine it would be difficult.

I had some moments where I wished for a little less whining and avoiding the subject from Alyrra as she decided what to do, esepcially since she spends most of her time professing that she doesn’t understand court politics, but she obviously does. I suppose it could be said that she learned them gradually, but it didn’t seem that way to me. First they weren’t obvious, then they were there. I also wanted to see her reach out to her friends at the stables more quickly and with more feeling than she did at the end.

If you like retellings, especially of the Goose Girl, then you’ll really enjoy this one. I look forward to seeing what else the author puts out.

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Where to Find the Book

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20558124-thorn?from_search=true

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Thorn-Intisar-Khanani-ebook/dp/B00869SADQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412285263&sr=8-1&keywords=Thorn

Book was purchased by the reviewer.

Daughter of Nothing by Eric Kent Edstrom

jack6.000x9.000.inddTitle: Daughter of Nothing

Author: Eric Kent Edstrom

Publisher: Under Mountain Books

Publication Date: October 2013

Pages: 328

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Book Summary (from Goodreads)

The orphans at the Scion School believe they are being trained for a great destiny, to bring humanity back from the brink of extinction. They live a regimented existence, studying math, literature, and the martial arts. But when Jacey, seventeen, is caught alone with a boy-a severe infraction of the rules-she becomes an outcast among her classmates and the object of unwanted attention by the drug addicted headmaster, Dr. Carlhagen. Aided by Socrates, the school’s AI professor, Jacey must piece together the clues of who she is and take control of her own destiny.

Review

I struggled with this book. Not because it wasn’t well done – it was – but because I wasn’t sure how to review it. I enjoyed the book. It was a quick read, and it kept me interested. But I must admit, on page 13 I turned to my husband and said, “this sounds just like that movie, The Island.”

The book does follow similar themes. (If you aren’t wanting spoilers, quit reading here.) What makes us “us”, what makes us human, etc. The orphaned children are really clones… sort of. They are being prepped for their Progenitors to take over their bodies by way of a mind transfer when they hit eighteen. Jacey, however, is an anomaly. I won’t say why, as the reasons are very central to the plot. Dr. Carlhagen, the fatherly figure who owns/runs the Scion school, is a character that at first you think might have a sympathetic reason for all this, but quickly descends into madness. I liked Jacey’s character. I liked that the supporting characters were given separate personalities. I even enjoyed the way that Dr. Carlhagen is written. He makes a very good villain, and his madness is a gradual thing that is realistic. Most of my issues with the novel were that I could see what was coming so early that I grew frustrated. That being said, the twist at the end with the Scion and Dr. Carlhagen (vague on purpose) was one I hadn’t seen, and which I enjoyed. The book was a good read, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes science fiction novels.

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Where to Find the Book

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18601754-daughter-of-nothing?from_search=true

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0989901009/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0989901009&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/daughter-of-nothing-eric-kent-edstrom/1116993152?ean=9780989901000&itm=1&usri=9780989901000&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10:1&r=1,%201

Book provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Waiting on Wednesday: Beware the Wild

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Title: Beware the Wild
Author: Natalie C. Parker
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Genre: YA Horror

 

 

It’s an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp — the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn’t return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp’s done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance — and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.

This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.

 


 

This is a Waiting on Wednesday which I first saw at Breaking the Spine. The goal is to post a yet-to-be-published book that we are waiting to read. If you’d like to see more, go to http://breakingthespine.blogspot.com/to see the whole list. We’ll be posting one each week from now on, so if you have a book you think we should check out, feel free to contact us and let us know!

 

Waiting on Wednesday: Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie

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Title: Creed
Author: Trisha Leaver & Lindsay Currie
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: November 8, 2014
Genre: YA Horror
Blurb (from Goodreads):

Three went in. Three came out. None even a shadow of who they once were.

When their car breaks down, Dee, her boyfriend Luke, and his brother Mike walk through a winter storm to take refuge in a nearby town called Purity Springs. When they arrive, the emergency sirens are blaring and the small farming town seems abandoned. With no other shelter, they spend the night in an empty house.

But they soon discover that not everything in Purity Springs is as it seems. When the town’s inhabitants suddenly appear the next morning, Dee, Luke, and Mike find themselves at the mercy of the charismatic leader, Elijah Hawkins, who plans to make Dee his new wife. Elijah’s son, Joseph, offers to help them escape . . . but the price of his help may be more than Dee and her friends can bear.

 


 

This is a Waiting on Wednesday which I first saw at Breaking the Spine. The goal is to post a yet-to-be-published book that we are waiting to read. If you’d like to see more, go to http://breakingthespine.blogspot.com/to see the whole list. We’ll be posting one each week from now on, so if you have a book you think we should check out, feel free to contact us and let us know!

 

Book Highlight: The Winter People by Rebekah Purdy

So, this particular book highlight is near and dear to me – I got to read this before it was published, and its a fabulous book. I can’t wait for the others to come out!

 

TheWinterPeople500

Blurb (from Goodreads):

An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.

Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn’t forgotten their warning to “stay away.” For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the “special gifts” that must be left at the back of the property.

Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she’ll have to decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.

About the Author

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Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. She’s lived in Michigan most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army. At which time she got a chance to experience Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, and California. Rebekah has a business degree from University of Phoenix and currently works full time for the court system. In her free time she writes YA stories, anything from YA Fantasy to YA Contemporary Romance. Rebekah also has a big family (6 kids) she likes to consider her family as the modern day Brady Bunch complete with crazy road trips and game nights. When not hiding at her computer, Rebekah enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games, traveling, and hanging out with her family and gazillion pets.

 

 

 

 

 

Links:

Websitehttp://rebekahlpurdy.wordpress.com/

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18630479-the-winter-people?from_search=true

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1622663683/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1622663683&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Barnes & Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-winter-people-rebekah-l-purdy/1117058087?ean=9781622663682&itm=1&usri=9781622663682&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10:1&r=1,%201