Friday, October 31, 2014

Book Review: The Brides of Rollrock Island

The Brides of Rollrock Island
Published By: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 11, 2012
Page Count: 305
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Genre: Young Adult - Fantasy

Selkies are fascinating creatures that should have more stories written about them. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not only a well written Selkie driven story, but that it was more literary than I typically expect in the land of young adult novels. 

The novel's structure is one of the things that makes it so appealing. It's more like a series of short stories that ties together to tell the larger story of the inhabitants of Rollrock Island. My favorite segment was the one that detailed the childhood of Misskaella. This sweeping tale is one to be savored. I loved the magic and lore that swirls throughout this one. I will say that because of the literary feel this one did have some slow moments. This is not the sort of novel that you can devour in one sitting.

The Shopping Lark #141

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 10/27-11/2:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Book Review: The Revenge of Seven

The Revenge of Seven (Lorien Legacies #5)
Published By: HarperCollins
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Page Count: 371
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Science Fiction

I found the title of this book a little misleading... Number Seven, Marina, doesn't get a lot of revenge for the death of Eight. She spends a lot of time moping about and giving off a serious chill to those around her as she loses her temper. She isn't that exciting or militant in this book at all. Thank goodness then for the others! The Garde begin the book immediately after the showdown with Setrakus Ra, split up and more than a little lost... betrayed by Five, with Ella (Ten for all intents and purposes) kidnapped, and Eight dead... they need to regroup. This is the story of The Revenge of Seven. It isn't as full of action as any of the previous installments, but I still enjoyed it. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Review: Dead Over Heels

Dead Over Heels
Published By: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: September 29, 2014
Page Count: 269
Source: Kindly Provided by Publisher
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal

Ava would much rather be at the mall with her friends, back in Florida, than stuck in a run-down holiday house with her parents in the North Carolina wilderness. Allergic to pretty much everything, she's not exactly the outdoors type. So when the boy next door appears at her door yelling about zombies and making her leave the house, she's not entirely thrilled about heading out into the forest. Nor is she convinced about her chances of survival. If the zombies don't get her, Banjo Boy, also known as Cole, might just annoy her to death. 

 With no supplies or food, hiking the 40 miles to Glenview without getting eaten will be a challenge. Two teenagers, no food, no shelter and ravenous zombies. The perfect setting for a love story. 

Waiting on Wednesday: This Shattered World

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. . . 

This Shattered World (Starbound #2)
By: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: December 23, 2014

The second installment in our epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

The stunning second novel in the Starbound trilogy is an unforgettable story of love and forgiveness in a world torn apart by war.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Review: Wicked As They Come

Wicked As They Come (Blud #1)
Published By: Pocket Books
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
Page Count: 395
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Genre: Adult - Paranormal, Steampunk

I'm guilty. I admit it. I totally judged this one based on the cover. It screams paranormal romance so I didn't even bother giving this one a second glance. Fate intervened when I went to a panel at DragonCon a few months ago and heard Delilah S. Dawson speak about this series. I was intrigued by the world of Sang. Who doesn't want to read about a world full of vampire like beings and animals that thirst for blood? Seriously, how was I supposed to resist a book in which cute fluffy bunnies are something to be feared? You heard me - they're called bludbunnies and they could pick your bones clean in a matter of seconds. I also liked that Dawson mentioned that she used history and turned it on its head to help create Sang and its inhabitants. As someone who loves paranormal novels and history, I couldn't avoid this one any longer. I did purchase the kindle copy so people didn't judge me based on the ridiculous cheesy cover.

Author Interview & Giveaway: Karen Ann Hopkins

We're excited to welcome one of our favorite authors, Karen Ann Hopkins, back to Reading Lark today. She's here to dish on her latest release, Embers, and offer up a giveaway for our lovely followers.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Your other YA series is contemporary so I was excited to see you try the paranormal genre. What inspired you to write a paranormal story?

Karen Ann Hopkins: Actually, Embers was my very first writing project. I switched to contemporary when I moved into an Amish community seven years ago and was inspired to write the Temptation series. I went back to Embers last year and rewrote much of it, keeping my favorite aspects, such as the Tennessee Mountain setting, the walled compound and the kick-butt heroine. 

Teaser Tuesday: The Brides of Rollrock Island & Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

"I used to come here as a girl," Mam cried to me, "and walk about, and dream of running away. I thought I could make anything of myself, back then. Rollrock felt so puny! I was after something bigger and brighter." Her teeth flashed in the moonlight.

The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan, pg. 111

Ronan had only just begun to whistle once more when Gansey disappeared. "What?" said Adam. Then he was snatched from his feet. He slammed the ground and skidded away on his side, fingers trailing.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater, pg. 21

Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Review: Masquerade

Published By: Penguin Australia
Publication Date: July 23, 2014
Page Count: 304
Buy it at Amazon
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Genre: Young Adult - Historical Fiction

Masquerade is the masterful debut from Australian author Kylie Fornasier. It starts, Shakespeare style, with the list of characters, and the Shakespearean theme runs quite heavily through the book. Elements of The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew and others are present in the story. I loved picking out these elements, it felt like an inside joke between the author and me. If you’re not familiar with Shakespeare, then it won’t detract from your enjoyment of the novel, but understanding those nuances really added an extra level of enjoyment for me. 

Pre-Order Giveaway: Forbidden

Forbidden is a great read. I loved this desert adventure. Be sure to check out my review. 

On November 4th, HarperCollins unveils Forbidden, a seductive YA debut from award-winning middle grade author Kimberley Griffiths Little. Forbidden transports readers back in time to the deadly deserts and sweltering heat of Ancient Mesopotamia for a tale of danger, duty, and forbidden love. Jayden is on the brink of womanhood and betrothed to her tribe’s prince, cold-hearted Horeb. But when tragedy strikes, Jayden meets Kadesh, a mysterious visitor from the south who makes Jayden doubt everything she knows. Torn between loyalty to her tribe and the chance to escape her fate, Jayden must make a choice that will change her life forever.

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