Friday, July 31, 2015

Book Review: The Veil

The Veil (Devil's Isle #1)
Published By: NAL Trade
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Page Count: 336
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Adult - Paranormal

I adore Chloe Neill's writing; her Chicagoland Vampires series is one of my favorites. I was beyond ecstatic to find that she had a new series that was set in New Orleans. There is something magical about NOLA - as you walk the streets its easy to believe that paranormal beings do exist. I wanted to see how Neill would attack such a well known southern city and put her own spin on it. 

As with the Chicagoland series, the sense of place in this one is strong and true, but this isn't the New Orleans of my memory. Everything is different in this imagining as a war between the Paras (supernatural beings who lived in the Beyond) have waged war on the humans of the southern United States. While the culture and terrain of New Orleans have changed fairly drastically, there are some traditional elements and landmarks that remain, but sadly there was not a beignet in sight. I was fascinated by this reimagined version of NOLA and the intricate supernatural details.

The Shopping Lark #180

Each Friday, Reading Lark is going to feature some new releases each week to help give you some ideas of what to buy next. This is not an exhaustive list of this week's releases - just some novels that caught our eye. Feel free to share what books you're excited about that came out this week in our comments section.

YA Releases for the week of 7/27-8/2:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Book Review: Illusive

Illusive (Illusive Series #1)
Published By: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: 15 July 2014 
Page Count: 416 
Buy it at Barnes & Noble or Amazon 
Source: ebook purchased from 
Audience: Young Adult – Dystopian, Science Fiction, Adventure

Every dystopian author has a different view of what could happen to the world's population in the future. The only similarity is that a lot of the population dies and the ones who don't are left to pick up the pieces and learn how to survive in a strange new world. Emily Lloyd-Jones has created just such a world with her novel, Illusive.

Illusive is set in 2034, seventeen years after a plague threatened to wipe out the planet. A vaccine was created which had “adverse effects” on 0.003% of the people who received it. Those adverse effects were telepathy, perfect recall, increased intuition, the ability to create illusions, levitation, body manipulation, and hypnosis. In other words, super powers. After that, the world went a bit crazy. The government tried to round up all the “immunes” and recruit them, killing or imprisoning those who wouldn't go quietly. Those not wanting recruited had to turn to crime to survive, hiding who they really were. Ciere is one of the latter. She uses her gift of illusion to commit thefts. Her life, though not easy, is normal until she and her crew take on a job bigger than they could have ever imagined. Soon, she is running for her life from not only the police, but also the FEDs and the local mob.

Guest Post & Giveaway: The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak

A Playlist For A Broken Heart by Ali Novak

The Heartbreakers centers around Stella Samuel, an aspiring photographer who is a triplet. While on a road trip to Chicago, she bumps into a guy with a killer smile and gorgeous blue eyes. His name is Oliver Perry, and he’s the lead singer of the Heartbreakers, a four piece boy band from Portland, Oregon who were discovered on YouTube. But Stella has no clue who Oliver really is, and this is where my story begins: two strangers—a seemingly normal boy and spirited girl—meeting in a coffee shop.

Throwback Thursday: Time at the Top


Throwback Thursday is a new feature at Reading Lark. We'll still be doing some Book Boyfriend Posts and Book BFF Posts on Thursdays as well, but the Larks wanted a little variety on Thursdays. Throwback Thursday will allow us to throwback to some of the reads we've loved -- whether it's a book reviewed last year, a book we hid under the covers to read as a teen, or a picture book from our childhood -- we hope you'll enjoy reliving the memories as much as we do!

Time at the Top
By: Edward Ormondroyd
Published: 1963 

This was a book I read over and over and over again as a child. Time travel combined with the Victorian era was pretty much perfect for a young Julie. I loved the idea of living double lives and keeping secrets. Susan had to convince her father that the elevator in their apartment building was actually a time machine; she had to solve mysteries in the present and the past. Such a great book!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Book Review: Legacy of Kings

Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods & Royals #1)
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: August 25, 2015
Page Count: 384
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy

Alexander the Great is one of those historical figures we all have heard of, but can you truly explain his role in history aside from knowing he conquered vast amounts of territory? What truly made him great? Sadly, even as a history nerd, my understanding of Alexander's contributions to history is superficial at best. I jumped at the chance to dive into this fictitious rendering of his rise to power.

One thing I noticed right away was the beautiful way that Herman's prose ties together history and the mystical. Magic plays a significant role in this tale, but it is done in a way that seems plausible for the time period. People still worshipped the Greek Gods and Goddesses. I have often imagined that time to be an intriguing one to live in as there was a blurring between the lines of reality and magic. It seems like a time period when things like a Pegasus existing where not only probable, but likely. Granted, I would want a time machine to bring me back to modern times ASAP when diseases, war, and ridiculous gender expectations reared their ugly heads.

Waiting on Wednesday: Lock & Mori

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where she spotlights upcoming releases.

This week I am waiting on. . . 

Lock & Mori
By: Heather W. Petty
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 15, 2015

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Book Review: Violent Ends

Violent Ends
By: Shaun David Hutchinson
Published by: Simon Pulse
Release date: September 1, 2015
Genre: YA contemporary, short story collection
384 pages
Source: ARC kindly provided by publisher

This is a collection of short stories, with the common theme of a boy who takes a gun to school and causes chaos and destruction. Each of the stories is from a different point of view, and by a different author. I loved the premise, so I decided to give it a try.

Author Interview: Avery Hastings

We're excited to welcome Avery Hastings to Reading Lark today to discuss her latest novel, Torn.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What kind of research did you do for this novel? 

Avery: The majority of research I did involved places—specifically Durham, which I’d visited before but not for many years. Of course, Mercer’s Durham is futuristic and very different from the Durham we know today; but I wanted to be sure to give it an atmosphere that was very distinct and separate from Columbus. 

Teaser Tuesday: Legacy of Kings, Dumplin', & The Bit in Between

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm.

According to Audata, her mother, most magic of the blood was inherited. It came down through generations, like eye or hair color. But not Smoke Blood. Smoke Blood was earned. It allowed a person to triumph over pain - over death, even. That power could be found. Could be made - with an act of great betrayal, the blood of someone turned against his child or beloved friend.

~ Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman, Kindle Location 389 (ARC)

"Your parents are divorced?" 

 He shakes his head, but says nothing. 

"I- I'm sorry for asking. I have the manners of a cat in a box of bubble wrap. Like, it's a problem." 

"No," he says. "It's not that. I don't mind talking to you. So don't apologize for it, okay? I just don't do much talking. It takes getting used to."

~ Dumplin' by Julie Murphy, Kindle Location 623 (ARC)

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