Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Review: Challenger Deep

Challenger Deep
By: Neal Shusterman
Published by: HarperCollins
Release date: 4/21/15
Genre: YA contemporary
320 pages
Source: ARC kindly provided by publisher

I think I know why I didn't absolutely adore this book, even though it's a brilliant concept that is well-executed: this is not a for-fun book. This is a book that you'll need to think about, a character for whom you will ache, and a story that will hit just a little too close to home for this to be an enjoyable fictional snack. This is a serious literary meal, and you'll need to bring your appetite to be ready to handle it. I wasn't in the right frame of mind for reading something this weighty. I think a reader who goes in knowing that they'll need to give the book some real energy would probably appreciate it better than I was able to.

Teaser Tuesday: The Diabolical Miss Hyde, The Fifth Vertex, & Challenger Deep

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

On New Oxford Street, the traffic closed in around her. Clanking metal and whirring gears, brass wheels turning and blue sparks showering. Hansom cabs pulled like rickshaws by frantic two-legged clockwork runners careered madly between top-hatted gents and ladies in crinolines and corsets. Black was the predominant color. Mad Queen Victoria had put on mourning for her beloved Prince Consort (murdered by sorcerers, indeed; more likely the poor man died of typhoid fever, but hunt for witches and witches are what you'll find), and fashionable ladies liked to follow suit.

~ The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr, pg. 22

Urus stood up to look at the slab, but his eye was immediately drawn to a shelf carved into the stone wall at the back of the chamber, a shelf filled with thick, leather-bound books. Urus stood up to look at the slab, but his eye was immediately drawn to a shelf carved into the stone wall at the back of the chamber, a shelf filled with thick, leather-bound books. “Books,” Urus gasped and ran for the shelf, plucking the first book off like ripe fruit dangling from a low tree branch. He held it in his hands and turned it over, taking in that wonderful musky smell of old hide.

~ The Fifth Vertex by Kevin Hoffman, Kindle Location 956

Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Review: Trouble From the Start

Trouble From the Start
Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Page Count: 400
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

Avery is your typical good girl character. She makes good grades, makes decisions that would make any parent proud, and has plans to become a doctor. Avery is a wonderful daughter and the sort of friend all of us deserve. In spite of all of her amazing qualities, Avery is also a unsure of herself and she allows what others want to drive her decisions. In many ways, I saw a lot of my high school self reflected in Avery.

The one high school experience that seems to be beyond Avery's reach is romance. She craves the experience of having a boyfriend, but she doesn't want to settle for someone who isn't worthy of her affection. Avery wants what most teen girls want - the fairy tale romance - but it seems to evade her. Everything begins to change when Avery shakes free of the rules and attends a party towards the end of her Senior year. Too much drinking leads her to accept a ride home with bad boy, Fletcher. This moment will send Avery's life down a course she never could have planned for herself.

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Evening Chorus

Top 5 Reasons This Novel Sounds Intriguing:
1. I love historical fiction. 
2. This seems like an intriguing take on the experiences of WWII.
3. The blurbs make this one sound like it is beautifully written.
4. I like the European setting.
5. The story is influenced by real events.

Downed during his first mission, James Hunter is taken captive as a German POW. To bide the time, he studies a nest of redstarts at the edge of camp. Some prisoners plot escape; some are shot. And then, one day, James is called to the Kommandant’s office.

Cover Crazy: The Witch of Painted Sorrows

The purpose of Cover Crazy is to feature a cover each week for us to admire its beauty. I really like this idea since there are so many great covers out there! Cover Crazy is a feature that was started by The Book Worms.

This cover is beautiful. I love the green and blue coloring scheme; it's magical and mysterious. I also love how the Paris landscape is printed on the woman's dress as if the city is entwined with the woman in such a way that it drives her choices. The fonts are also eye catching. I find the overall effect of this one to be breathtaking. I'd read it based on the cover alone. What do you think of this cover?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Magic Lamp Sunday 3/29/15

We discovered this feature at Ya-Aholic, where it ran on Fridays. It sounded like a fun addition to our lineup, but fits better here on Sundays. It's based on the basic Magic Lamp = 3 wishes idea. Since there are so many of us, though, we're just taking one wish each per week. 

If we had a Magic Lamp, we'd wish:  

Paula: I wish for an adventure in a skyship, and enough bravery to come home. Inspired by Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley. 

Aimee: I wish I could write as cleverly as Katherine Howe. Inspired by her novel Conversion

Michele: I wish I had the gracefulness of a dancer like Avery and Cam's sister, Teresa. Inspired by Trust In Me by J. Lynn.  

Julie: I wish I had time to read books. Inspired by state championships, grades being due, looking for jobs, and a struggling student teacher. (I hear ya, Julie!) 

Andrea: I wish that I could do Yoga as well as Madison and her mom. Inspired by The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine.   

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Book Review: Avery

Avery (The Chronicles of Kaya #1)
Published By: Random House Australia
Publication Date: February 2, 2015
Page Count: 384
Buy it at Amazon 
Source: Kindly Provided by Publisher
New Adult - Fantasy

Kayans die in pairs, so when Ava watches her bondmate, Avery, die she knows that she will be next. Only she isn’t. The first person known to have survived the death of a bondmate, Ava is shunned by the people of Kaya. Determined to seek revenge for Avery’s death, she’s poses as a boy and travels to Parenti to assassinate the brutal queen who was responsible for killing Avery.  

Ambrose is second in line to the throne of Parenti. When he’s given the job of transporting a Kayan prisoner to the prison isle, he’s not pleased about it, but he’s soon surprised by the boy’s hidden strength. 

What's Your Status? 3/28/15

Check back each Saturday to find out what's been keeping the Larks busy this week.

Reading Lark's Review Status:

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Review: Seeker

Seeker (Seeker #1)
Published By: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Page Count: 448
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Science Fiction, Fantasy

Seeker is the story of Quin, John and Shinobu who have trained for years to become Seekers. They have become fighters of considerable strength and prowess in the belief that they will use those skills to help right the wrongs of the world. On the eve of taking their formal vows and entering the world of the Seekers, John is kicked out of training. Then, Quin and Shinobu take on their first mission as Seekers and find they’ve been betrayed into becoming assassins by those who should have had their best interests at heart. 

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Boy in Her Dreams

Heather's Favorite Thing About This Book: "Roman and Bryn's realization that this was all much bigger than just them and the dream world they met in. Realizing how much deeper the story goes, transcending the dream world into the real one."

When Roman wakes from a six month coma, the first thing he sees is the girl of his dreams. Except Bryn isn’t confined to the dream-state anymore and neither is he. He’s awake and alive and as the memories of how he and Bryn fell in love come rushing back, so do the memories of why he’s lying in that hospital bed in the first place.
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