Wednesday, August 31, 2011

RAK: August 2011 Wrap Up

I received a fantastic book this month! Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to send one out but the job search continues and it is something I am looking forward to doing. I have been scouring the wishlists for books I may be able to pass on though!

This month I recieved:

Gathering Blue

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Thank you Amanda!!

Since I read The Giver years ago, with a plan to re-read, I found out from Goodreads that Gathering Blue is the sequel and it has been on my wishlist since! Thank you again!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mini-Review: The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross
**Free eBook

Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises (May 1, 2011)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (eBook): 78
Series: The Steampunk Chronicles (Prequel)
Read Next: The Girl in the Steel Corset
Source: Bought
ISBN-13: 9781459204140
Genre: Steampunk

Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined…

An eBook exclusive prequel to The Steampunk Chronicles by Kady Cross.

Novella Mini Review:

This book maintains a great balance in introducing the character, Finley Jayne, and maintaining enough mystery to avoid any hints to the rest of the series. Kady Cross has done a wonderful job a providing intense action in such a small amount of pages. I thought that all the characters were riveting and that it was excellently paced.

Having read it first, it has set a wonderful precedent for The Girl in the Steel Corset. We have a small window into Finley and I cannot wait to reveal more of her and her monster. There was such a deeper introduction for steampunk in this book; a great collaboration between mechanics and humans. 

While this book provides great introduction to Finley, I have been told that reading it after The Girl in the Steel Corset, it illustrates a different side to Finley, which (if possible) helps create even more depth. Wonderful job, Ms. Cross!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In My Mailbox (20)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren; here we share with you, the lovely readers, what books came to us this week whether it be in the mail, from the library, purchased or borrowed.

The Girl in the Steel Corset (The Steampunk Chronicles)

From the library...

I wish I had gotten more but at least this selection is something I have been dieing to read! What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Review: XVI by Julia Karr

XVI by Julia Karr

Publisher: Puffin/Speak (January 6, 2011)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Paperback): 325
Series: XVI (Book 1)
Source: Library
ISBN-13: 9780142417713
Genre: Dystopia

Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls, she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world-even the most predatory of men-that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past-one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.


After spending some time reading this book, I was disappointed in the writing style and abandoned the selection. As a dystopian world, I didn't feel like I was being introduced into the world at all and there was a LOT of jargon and situations that left me confused and upset. There are simple things about this world that shouldn't be left to be explained later like the explanation on acronyms like FELS, PAV, AV, or terms like NonCon and verts and why they are so pivotal. I also didn't feel like the book was taking one the unique theme that I was expecting given the concept of XVI and the sex-teen.


This book is the first in a long time that left me disappointed. The first impression that I got was overwhelming; the world, I assume, had been like this for a while and for Nina to understand everything that was going on, I as a reader had no clue. There was so much that was thrown at me in the very beginning that I didn't understand that I didn't really even feel connected to the world or the characters.

This book had a unique concept and the idea of the exploitation of women is real; it was for this reason that I even picked up the book to begin with. But within the first 60 pages the concept wasn't appropriately executed and was nearly irrevelant to the story. Nina is seemingly afraid of sex, boys, and being a sex-teen. The impression I got from her friend is the opposite; at the mention of a boy, she gets overly excited and can't get sex off the brain.

I understand that each character is an individual but the extremities here made it hard to like either of the girls. The immediate introduction to them puts them at the forefront and to dislike Nina from the beginning means the book have to work even harder.

There may have been a deeper connection to the idea of the sex-teen and the exploitation that was revealed later in the book, but I couldn't sift through the jargon, the unexplained, and the characters to finish. I have chosen to supply this book with a rating because of the reasons I did not finish. It is in the interest of balance that readers get all opinions.

Rating out of 5:

I know this week has sucked....

What better way to get your attention then to tell the truth in the title?

I know that I haven't posted anything this week, unless you really count IMM, but I promise I have a good reason. I'm not one that usually feels the necessity for explaining a few days without posts but I have something to share.

You see, I have spent the last hour venting in my personal blog about the very reason I haven't posted here. I won't get into it much, that isn't what this blog is for. Just know that after five and a half years, my boyfriend and I decided that a break up was for the best. It is a long and unique situation that I encourage you to read about at the other blog if you want to know it all.

I am getting caught up on the reviews that need to be finished this month and I hope to return to your regularly scheduled programming soon.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

In My Mailbox (19)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren; here we share with you, the lovely readers, what books came to us this week whether it be in the mail, from the library, purchased or borrowed.

Shatter Me   Starcrossed  Supernaturally (Paranormalcy)

Traded for...
Shatter Me (ARC) by Tahereh Mafi

From the library...
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Not a lot this week but a very lovely ARC and two books I am so excited to read! What did you get in your mailbox?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mini-Review: Summer's Crossing by Julie Kagawa

Summer's Crossing by Julie Kagawa
**Free eBook

Publisher: HarlequinTEEN (June 1, 2011)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (eBook): 72
Series: The Iron Fey (Book 3.5)
Source: Bought
ISBN-13: 9781459206403
Genre: Fantasy (Faeries)
Author: Website | Twitter | Blog
Series Reviews: Book 1 (4.5★) Book 2 (5★) Book 3 (5★)

A Midsummer's Nightmare? Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Summer Court prankster, King Oberon's right hand, bane of many a faery queen's existence—and secret friend to Prince Ash of the Winter Court. Until one girl's death came between them, and another girl stole both their hearts.

Now Ash has granted one favor too many and someone's come to collect, forcing the prince to a place he cannot go without Puck's help—into the heart of the Summer Court. And Puck faces the ultimate choice—betray Ash and possibly win the girl they both love, or help his former friend turned bitter enemy pull off a deception that no true faery prankster could possibly resist.

An ebook exclusive novella from Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series.

Novella Mini-Review: 

To be a short novella, this book is a great read. It has just the proper amount of action and even the slightest bit of heartache. It takes place between The Iron Queen and The Iron Knight and does not effect the story as it serves to be more of a side quest for Ash and Puck. Giving insight into the dynamics that exist between the two boys, this book also provides a more intimate view of the workings of the Seelie (Summer) Court. It illustrates that the cruelty isn't limited to the Queen of Unseelie Courts and that the feud between the two courts runs deep. 

This book is from the POV of Puck; while this gives great insight into the character that he is, it gave more of an arrogant tone to the carefree Puck we have come to know. There are twists, turns, and times we aren't even sure we know who he really is.

A great, action-packed way to hold us over from June to October!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review: The Iron Queen

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Publisher: HarlequinTEEN (February 1, 2011)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Paperback): 358
Series: The Iron Fey (Book 3)
Source: Library
ISBN-13: 9780373210183
Genre: Fantasy (Faeries)
Author: Website | Twitter | Blog
Series Reviews: Book 1 (4.5★) Book 2 (5★)

My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

This review & overview may contain spoilers for previous books.


Compiling the events and excitement from the previous books, this book book picks up at the exact point the other ends. It is compelling to watch the series of events unfold as we watch Meghan and Ash get pulled back into world of Faery and Iron. The introduction of interesting characters is a bonus and the level of mystery increases as the False King tries harder to crush the Nevernever. The book is riveting and full of intensity and romance that will make your heart ache.


Yet again, Julie Kagawa has produced a riveting fairy tale that has won my heart. In this third installment in The Iron Fey, we find ourselves back in the land of the Nevernever and war has gripped this magical land. Meghan and Ash have been ripped back into the world of the faeries and now have the belief of the courts on their side.

With the fate of Faery on her shoulders, we have been able to witness Meghan as she grows through each book. In The Iron Queen, she isn't as whiney and confused as she was in the previous books and it is in this book that she fully embraces who she is. Stuck in the throws of denial, Meghan must quickly learn to accept her destiny if she is too save anyone, including herself. In this book, the concept of sacrifice is lurking around every corner. When to fight, who to fight for, and when it is over are all important questions that Meghan and her allies find themselves asking.

In this book, Meghan isn't the only one taking the forefront. In a daring act of unconditional love and devotion, we get to know Ash in an intimate way. Deep and rich in the lore of truenames, Ash has been deeply developed as a strong protagonistic character. If he had been construed as a heartless ice prince, this book changes it all.

In a tragic, yet empowering, ending we come to understand the finality that lies behind the love that Meghan and Ash share. In a gripping turn of events, we come to the end of Meghan's story, only to be set up for the journey that Ash will continue to take in The Iron Knight; Julie Kagawa has yet to disappoint.

Rating out of 5:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

In My Mailbox (18)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren; here we share with you, the lovely readers, what books came to us this week whether it be in the mail, from the library, purchased or borrowed.

Gathering Blue  Demon King, The (A Seven Realms Novel)

Random Acts of Kindness
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
Thank you Amanda!

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

I know I am on a book buying ban, but I found $5 I wasn't expecting and didn't know I had; spending it doesn't count. Right?!

For Review
Flame of Surrender by Rhiannon Paille (Goodreads)
Thanks to the author for an advanced eBook copy!

Friday, August 12, 2011

First Impressions Friday (13)

First Impressions is a meme hosted here at Within Pages where we take a look at all things, mostly booky, and reflect on our initial thoughts. Non-bloggers, non-book bloggers, and everyone alike can participate on any topic you'd like. Feel free to drop your links or thoughts in the comments!

The Barnes & Noble Nook

Barnes & Noble NOOK Touch eBook Reader (NEWEST model, WIFI Only)

I had been trying desperately to save up and buy myself and eReader, and a couple of weeks ago I was able to do just that. I purchased the new Nook Touch Reader. It is very light-weight and relatively small. It possesses the E-ink technology so there is no backlight but it is perfect for reading in bright light settings.

Since I have had it for a while, I have had the opportunity to fully gain the reading experience having read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and The Strange Case of Finley Jayne on the device. I have to say I do like reading the books on the nook. I miss the feel and the appearance of the real books but eReading isn't as terrible as I expected. It is very similar to reading any other book; at least on this device. I can imagine it might suck with a backlight.

I have a lovely cover for it so it opens like a portfolio, like I am really reading a book. The best part is access to exclusive eBooks like the novellas for The Iron Fey series. I also have the ability to join NetGalley and the Simon & Schuester Galley Grab supports Nook. I am very happy with my decision to go with the Nook. It si working out wonderfully!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Goodreads | Amazon

Publisher: HarlequinTEEN (January 25, 2011) 
Age Group: Young Adult 
Pages (Paperback): 363 
Series: The Iron Fey (Book 2) 
Read Next: The Iron Queen
Source: Library 
ISBN-13: 9780373210138
Genre: Fantasy (Faeries) 
Author: Website | Twitter | Blog
Series Reviews: Book 1 (4.5★)

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.


This book was better than the first. It was so full of deceit, betrayal and delicious evil. We are introduced into the reality that is the world of Faery and the hatred between Winter and Summer. The story is full of what it means to be faery and make the hard choices. There is a subtle change about Meghan that we learn throughout the course of the book that is finally revealed in an inspiring moment of power and loyalty. Battle in this book is more intense and more life-threateningly real for Meghan, Ash, and Puck which adds a whole new aspect to the world. It also has a solid, unrevealing, setup for The Iron Queen (Iron Fey #3).


This review may contains spoilers for previous books and/or very slightly, this book.

Picking up in a perfect continuance from The Iron King, this book starts in a land of unbridled cruelty and selfishness. As promised in The Iron King, Meghan is being held within the Unseelie Court by Queen Mab. Having spent most of the first book in the land of summer or iron, the beginning of this book rounds out the world, giving us a since of completion.

In the harsh coldness that is the land of Winter, Meghan finds herself confused, alone, and untrusted. Again, the saftey of the Nevernever is at stake and only she knows the full force of what is occuring. The interaction with our favorite scores of support characters lead Meghan on a confusing chase, always questioning who to trust while we unravel a new change the has come about in Meghan.

I was pleased at the mystery surrounding the re-introduction of Ironhorse and the depths to which this character has been created. I love Ash and Grimalken, maybe Puck too, but the addition of Ironhorse was so solid and pivotal to the story; it was extremely well written.

The plot for this book takes us across many lands while Meghan battles for her life and struggles, yet again, to save the people who do not believe her. The battle in this book was considerbly more well-written than in the first and had us on the edge of the seat, waiting to see who lived or died. Battles were never set up with a tone that hinted the outcome before it happened.

Julie Kagawa has again, crafted an incredible faery tale with a mythical level of magic and understanding. Through the span of two books, we have seen the characters grow and change in remarkable ways and we have been on the adventure of several lifetimes. I strongly encourage having The Iron Queen on stand-by in the hopes that you can continue Meghan's tale.

Rating out of 5:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Publisher: HarlequinTEEN (February 1, 2010)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Paperback): 363
Series: The Iron Fey (Book 1)
Read Next: The Iron Daughter
Source: Library
ISBN-13: 9780373210084
Genre: Fantasy (Faeries)

Author: Website | Twitter | Blog

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined. 

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home. 

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. 

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.



This book was an excellent read. It had every aspect of a great fairy tale and the action was riveting. Meghan is a likeable character that is supported by a strong cast of well rounded and developed characters like Ash, Grimalkin, and Puck. The book was full of relevant and shocking action with a believable and thorough ending! It was a great read and a great setup for the second book in the series.


The Iron King is a brilliant debut from author Julie Kagawa; it is a mystifying start to a fantastic series. There is so much to be said about this book that I am not sure where to begin.

The hardest part about reading this book was the speed at which we were introduced into the world. It is always a unique experience to learn things about the world (i.e. The World of Fey in this case) as the character(s) learn about them. I understand that Meghan is a strong, dedicated heroine but it is hard to believe she is as successful as she, given the speed and haste at which everything about Nevernever is thrown at her. There were times, in the begining, it was hard for me to keep up and I wasn't fighting for my life.

But that doesn't erase the magnetism this book holds over me. The character introductions were smooth and transistioned with great detail.

"...tall and lean, garbed in silver and black. A dark cape fluttered from its shoulders. Through the rain, I caught the barest glimpse of a face: young, pale, strikingly handsome..."

Julie Kagawa has a way with words and in my heart and mind, has created a wonderful male support lead when she developed Prince Ash. Dark and brooding, the iciness of his heart melts away in his obvious desire for the lovely Meghan. But the fragile companionship that Meghan, Puck, and Ash all share is tried and tested in the action and adventure the small group encounters in their haste to save the Nevernever and her brother.

Magical and entrancing, The Iron King, has a well rounded cast of characters with a well-paced action, albeit a hasrh introduction to the world. Within this one book, Meghan risks it all and makes the sacrifices that win her a place in my heart as a wonderful heroine.

Rating out of 5: