Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

Title: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
Publisher: SimonPulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Dystopian
Release date: April 30th, 2013
Pages: 408 (eGalley)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Pulse It
Goodreads | Amazon | Author
In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program. 

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories. 

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

Sloane has had to deal with a lot so far in her lifetime, and she's only 17.  First she lost her brother and now all of her friends and classmates are either taking their own lives or being taken into The Program to get cured, which means erasing everything that makes them themselves.  No matter how much she tries, she can't seem to hide her emotions well enough, and when her boyfriend gets taken away, there's nothing to keep her on the right track.  Just a few more months and she'll be 18.  Just a few more months and she could beat the program.  Will she be able to hold on, or will they get to her memories too?

The idea for this story is genius.  I've noticed that when one person commits suicide, there are usually more to follow, so I found The Program to be very believable.  I could see something like this happening in the near future, even though the idea of having to use something like The Program to keep people safe scares me.  Sloane is very lost, and you can tell throughout the book that she's just trying to hold on to what little she has left- hope, memories, her friends and family.  Everything proves to be a struggle, but there is always that tiny light to push through all of the bad things for.  I loved this about her, and although the story wasn't always fast-paced, it was filled with a lot of meaning.

I loved reading about the relationships in this story, because it was easy to see that Sloane had quite a few people who cared for her.  There was James, her boyfriend, who constantly promised that he would keep her safe, her parents, who only wanted the best for their last living child, and even Realm who looks after her while she's in the facility and is left on her own.  Speaking of Realm, despite his apparent feelings for Sloane, he gave me creepy feelings and in the end, I was left feeling uneasy and confused.  Unfortunately, the story dragged on a little for me, but the emotion and general idea behind the book made up for that.

The Program is original and filled with heartbreak, love, and hope.  After Sloane has everything taken away from her, she finds a way to get it all back.  True love wins, which is always a story I love to read about, but we're also left on quite a bit of a cliffhanger.  The ending is slightly frustrating and filled with many questions and confusion, so I know that I will be continuing the series when the sequel is released.

Armchair BEA Day 4: Blogging Ethics

I've been apart of the book blogging community long enough to see both the good and the bad side of it.  Most days are amazing, where everyone gets along and the only comments you receive are encouraging.  Then there are the days where you want to give up altogether, because it's ridiculous how inconsiderate and small-minded some people can be...but that's life, right?

The first thing that I wanted to mention seems to be the largest part of becoming a book blogger.  Plagiarism.  I don't know why it happens as often as it does, but there's no denying that the chance of being plagiarized will be there from the moment you hit "publish".  What fun is blogging when you steal someone else's thoughts?  My favorite thing about being a blogger is getting to share what made me feel so connected (or not) to a book.  In my opinion, if you plagiarize, you're hurting that person you stole from as well as yourself. Nothing good can come from it, and chances are if you get caught, you're going lose a majority of your following.  If you want to share something you read somewhere else, all you have to do is ask the creator and source it!

That being said, blogging can be hard.  If reading is something you're passionate about, you're in the right place, but if it's not, your will to blog won't last very long.  Over the past couple years, I've been learning how to prioritize, and while I still don't have everything figured out, I know that I'm willing to do whatever I can to make this blog better.  Your posts are just a fraction of what it takes to make blogging work, so be prepared to put many hours, days, weeks, even years into it.

Be honest.  I don't care what you have to say, just share your honest opinion.  If you receive a review copy for free, don't feel obligated to give the book a bad rating if you feel it deserved one.  Your honesty may help someone who is looking into buying that book, and as we all know by now, books are expensive.  I love having bloggers that I can trust the opinions of when it comes down to choosing which books to buy next!

Also, do not feel entitled to review copies because you hit a certain number of followers or pageviews.  There are only so many copies to go around.  If you are lucky enough to receive some, make sure to review it on or around the release date of the book or the date that the publicist/author specified.  If you can't read it in that time span, for whatever reason, pass it along to someone who can!

Be considerate and polite.  It's common courtesy.  Would you walk up to a stranger and say something deliberately rude?  I'm always appalled by some of the nasty comments I see on certain blog posts.  Another thing that fits well here is if you have a problem with someone else, try and message them about it privately.  Calling them out in one of your blog posts draws SO much negative attention, and I hate to say it, but most people can be drama llamas.  I've seen too many things blown way out of proportion just because one blogger decided to rant publicly about someone else. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Let me know if you're participating in Armchair BEA this week so I can check out your posts!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Armchair BEA Day 3: Giveaway

Welcome back!  Today I'd like to share a giveaway for a hardcover copy of my favorite book of the year so far!  If you read my review of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park, you'd see that it was an incredibly well-written story that hits readers hard with emotion.  I wish I could read it again for the first time, but since I can't, I wanted to give you the opportunity to!

Open internationally, as long as The Book Depository ships to you!

Thanks for stopping by!  Let me know if you're participating in Armchair BEA this week so I can check out your posts!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Armchair BEA Day 2: Becoming a Better Blogger

I've been blogging for just over two years, but I still feel as though I have a lot to learn.  I've had so many great moments so far and I know that even more opportunities will come from this!

My greatest accomplishment, by far, has been attending my first author event as a live blogger for HarperCollins, which meant that I was able to interview Elizabeth Norris, Kiera Cass, Aprilynne Pike, and Amy Tintera.  I still feel like my blog is a lot smaller than it is, so I feel incredibly honored that the publisher asked me to do this.

As a blogger, I've come to realize that this hobby can feel like a full time job if you do it enough.  If you don't give yourself breaks every so often, you will burn yourself out.  Reading is something we all love, and that's why we like to share our thoughts through reviews, discussion posts, and weekly memes.  Not only does reading take up quite a bit of time, but having a constant flow of content can prove to be challenging.  One thing that helps many people is to schedule ahead of time (which I still have yet to master).  Another thing I want to stress is to share your own opinion, no matter what it is.  

So maybe you have all of these things down, but your pageviews aren't growing... A great way to get your blog out there is to socialize!  There are SO many great blogs (a few of my favorites, too!) that I've come across just by visiting their pages after they left a comment on one of my posts. Introduce yourself to people, make things a little more personal (imagine talking to a friend...but don't get too personal!), be yourself!  I love getting to know my blogger friends more, and that connection between people from all over the world is one of my absolute favorite things about blogging.

Always, always be open to learning new things!

Thanks for stopping by my post today!  If you're participating in Armchair BEA, let me know so I can check out your posts this week!

Waiting on Wednesday #82

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on! 

Title: In The After
Author: Demitria Lunetta
Release Date: June 25th, 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen

They hear the most silent of footsteps. 
They are faster than anything you've ever seen. 
And They won't stop chasing you...until you are dead. 

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs. 

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.

I don't know why it took me until yesterday to add this one to my wishlist!  In The After sounds exactly like the type of heart-pounding thriller I've been craving lately and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Armchair BEA Day 1: Introduction

Ahh, the week of BEA.  So exciting for those who are going and slightly depressing for those who can't.  Thankfully with the help of Armchair BEA, anyone anywhere can participate in some fun activities and discussions of their own!  I hope to go to BEA one year in the future, but this year it looks like I'll just be participating from my couch.

That being said, I think it's time to introduce myself!  Some of you may already know a little bit about me, but I'm willing to bet that a majority of you just know my name (hopefully you do, at least!)

Let's start off with a few questions!

Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? 

 Well, my name is Chey and I'm a 20-year-old barista and aspiring author.  I've been blogging for over two years now, and I discovered it by looking for book recommendation videos on youtube.  When I came across The Story Siren's channel, I was thrown into this whole new community of people with a HUGE love of books, so I knew I had to join as soon as possible!  As it turns out, doing something as simple as sharing my opinion has opened me up to so many great opportunities.

Where in the world are you blogging from?

I've spent my entire life in the same house located in Milwaukee, WI.  While most people I know want to get out, I'm not so sure I could.  It's always been my home and I know that I have so much left to discover about it yet.  There are so many places that I feel like I'd never be able to part with, from the museums, the restaurants (such as my favorites, Comet Cafe and Botanas), the summer festivals (mainly Summerfest and the WI State's also not too long of a drive to the Bristol Renaissance Faire, which is one of my absolute favorite places to go.  Ever.)

This is a picture I took of the Milwaukee Public Art Museum, which is one of more famous landmarks in Milwaukee.  Fun fact: scenes of Transformers 3 and a Victoria's Secret commercial were shot here.  Johnny Depp also filmed Public Enemies in downtown Milwaukee, not even 15 miles away from me. *dreamy sigh*

What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013?
I am currently in the middle of The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston and The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.  My favorite book of the year has been Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.

Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you. 
I am in a long, long distance relationship and have been since I was 17.  He lives in Colombia, which is approximately 2,650 miles away.  I occasionally mention his name on the blog, which some of you may have noticed...he's also done a few guest reviews for me in the past!

What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? 
I've never had many friends who enjoy reading.  When I was younger, we'd all borrow each other's books and discuss them, but over the years, life just got in the way and most people I know dropped reading altogether..  Book blogging gives me a way to keep that up and constantly reminds me why I love to read.  I also love how accepting and genuine most bloggers are and I'd say that definitely helps encourage those who are looking to join the community.

Well, I guess that's it for now!  I tried to keep it short and sweet, but if anyone has any more questions for me, feel free to leave them in the comments or tweet me (@ohaiitschey)!  If you're participating in Armchair BEA, let me know so I can check out your posts this week!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

In My Mailbox #82

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Gabrielle Carolina from The Mod Podge Bookshelf, originally created by Kristi from The Story Siren.

This was one epic week of ebooks!  On Monday I found out that I was auto-approved for all HarperTeen titles on Edelweiss, so naturally I downloaded as many books that appealed to me.  Thankfully a majority of them come out in the late summer/early fall, so I have quite a bit of time to read them!

-Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
-Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
-Once We Were by Kat Zhang
-Resist by Sarah Crossan
-The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
-The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney
-The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
-How To Love by Katie Cotugno
-Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
-Twinmaker by Sean Williams

I am especially excited for Dance of the Red Death, The Chaos of Stars, The Beginning of Everything, and How To Love!

Thanks for stopping by!  What have you received in your mailbox?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Review: Enchantment by Nikki Jefford

Title: Enchantment (Spellbound #3)
Author: Nikki Jefford
Publisher: Caffeinated Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Paranormal Romance
Release date: April 5th, 2013
Pages: 269 (eGalley)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Author
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Barcelona. Summer escape. Or so Graylee Perez thought until her old adversary, Adrian Montez, brings his magic show to Spain. 

Gray seeks out a Spanish wizard to help banish Adrian from her life once and for all. Instead, she tumbles headfirst into a love spell with the arrogant warlock. 

After Gray follows Adrian to Paris, she must face her true feelings and decide if Adrian’s worth fighting for.  

When Gray chose to spend her summer in Europe, she didn't think that she'd run into anyone she knew from her life back home.  It was supposed to be a new start.  Unfortunately, she comes face-to-face with an old nemesis who just won't leave her alone.  Things get sticky when she tries to banish him from her life, but ends up falling head-over-heels for him instead.  Will she be able to walk away from her feelings, or will she give in and allow herself to have the love she's been longing for?

If you've read my reviews of the previous books in the series, Entangled and Duplicity, you'd know that I was completely blown away by the story.  Of course, when I was approached to review the final book, I didn't hesitate.  I wanted to see where each of the characters would end up!  Gray has left home in order to attend a school in Barcelona where she is prohibited to use her powers.  After all, magic has done nothing good for her.  This installment seemed to be the perfect way to end such an amazing story with so many surprises.

Honestly, I wasn't sure about Adrian when we first met him, but that quickly changed once he was reintroduced in Enchantment.  We got to see a whole new side of him, even getting a glimpse into his heartbreaking past.  That little bit of information definitely changed the feelings that I originally had about his character.  In fact, the more I saw of him, the more I hoped that he and Gray would end up together.  That being said, the romance was done perfectly, and I know that I'll be rereading this book just for that.

Overall, the author did an incredible job wrapping up the series I've grown to love.  The story was full of twists, excitement, familiar faces and even a few new ones.  The setting couldn't have been more perfect, and each way that Nikki describes Barcelona and Paris makes me want to pack my bags immediately.  I will be sad to see this story end, but I find comfort in knowing that this isn't the last time that I will be able to read about these characters.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Enchantment Blog Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway

 Nikki Jefford's Spellbound trilogy is all about magic, betrayal, danger and mystery mixed with the perfect amount of romance and excitement.  When Enchantment- the third and final book in the series- was nearing its release, Nikki contacted me once again to be a part of her blog tour!  How could I say no?  I love this author and her way with words, so today I'm going to share a guest post, a short excerpt and a giveaway!

Guest Post
Take a Trip to Paris Without Leaving Home
Nikki’s Book, Movie & Music Recommendations

Paris Hangover by Kirsten Lobe
A touch trashy, but so much fun! This book made me feel like a sexy young single-woman living in the city of light, getting into mischief.

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
(Gray and Adrian visit Notre-Dame in Enchantment and make a reference to this book.) 

French Lessons: A Memoir by Alice Kaplan
 (not set in Paris, but an engaging memoir for anyone who loves the language, country, and people – that would be me!) 

(Couldn’t resist. There is a French and Spain section. Many of the French and Italian recipes have received my French husband’s stamp of approval. It’s all in the sauce!)

One of my favorite films of all-time! If you haven’t seen it you must. Right now! 

Another favorite. This is one I watch over and over because the musical dance scenes lift me up where I belong. 

Hilarious! It doesn’t get any more real than this if you want a taste of French social culture. If you think “Meet the Parents” is a hoot, try being an American meeting your French partner’s family. I have personal experience in this department! All I can say is that the French have no boundaries when it comes to nudity and sex. This film so nailed it!

This is one of those songs I can listen to over and over again (for 10 years now) and never get tired of. I cue it up on my iPod when I’m speed walking, doing dishes, or just need a pick-me-up. 

Come on! This song is fun, fun, fun! (That’s triple fun!)

Thank you for sharing, Nikki!  I just adore Paris and hope to visit some day!  Amelie and Moulin Rouge also happen to be two of my favorite movies!

Waiting on Wednesday #81

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on! 

Title: Wild Cards
Author: Simone Elkeles
Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: Walker Children's

Another year, another move—with a Dad in the military, starting a new school in the middle of the year doesn’t faze Derek. But moving with his new step-mother to live with the father and sister she hasn’t seen in seven years? Awkward. Even worse—his new step-aunt, Ashtyn, is seventeen, hot—and the kicker for the high school’s football team. A football prodigy, Derek has stayed as far as possible from the field since his mom’s death—and not even an infuriatingly sexy housemate who talks stats and dreams of a Division I scholarship can change his mind. But when Ashtyn’s quarterback boyfriend backs out of their road trip to a prestigious summer football camp run by top recruiters, Derek and his car become Ashtyn’s only route to making her dreams of playing college ball come true. Four nights. Multiple state lines. Football. Secrets. Sex. This is one road trip neither of them will forget.

This book jumped to the top of my wishlist from the first moment I heard of it.  Being a fan of the author's Perfect Chemistry series, I know what steamy romance she's capable of creating.  Even though the cover isn't as appealing to me now as it would have been a few years back, I have no doubt that I'll pick this book up as soon as it comes out!

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Two Year Blogoversary- eBooks & Giveaway #2!

In 2011, I received my first eReader, courtesy of Santi's parents, who were sweet enough to send it to me as a surprise after I expressed my intense jealousy when he received his in the mail.  (I would also like to mention that he's probably used it a total of 10 times to do anything but play games on, but I digress...)

Having this Kindle has changed my reading experience, because now I feel as though I'm not as limited when it comes to receiving books for review.  While I still prefer physical books for my collection and use my Kindle primarily for review books, I've found that I actually tend to get through eBooks at a faster pace.  Maybe it has to do with not being able to see how many pages I have left in a chapter, or maybe it's because an eReader is a lot easier to take on the go, I don't know, but it's something I've grown to appreciate when I become overwhelmed with the amount of books I have to read.

Since eBooks have made my life a LOT easier when it comes to blogging, I would like to share my love of them with all of you!  I am going to giveaway any eBook of your choice as long as it's under $10...and this giveaway is open internationally, so anyone can enter!

Having a tough time deciding?  I'll list some of the best eBooks I've read over the past year and some of the eBooks I'm most looking forward to reading over the next few weeks!


Of course, if none of these excite you, you have to option to choose any book you want!
Just fill out the Rafflecopter below!
Good luck and don't forget to return for more blogoversary fun!
P.S. I'm still giving away 6 Contemporary ARCs!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

In My Mailbox #81

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Gabrielle Carolina from The Mod Podge Bookshelf, originally created by Kristi from The Story Siren.

Man, I have been failing at this month when it comes to blogging.  So far I've read two books...only one of those being for review.  While I miss getting physical books in the mail, maybe it's better that I haven't gotten too many within the past few weeks!  This week I'll be sharing the ebooks I've gotten but keep forgetting to add to my IMM posts!

-Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
(from Netgalley and St. Martin's Press)

-OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
(from Edelweiss and Simon Pulse)

-All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry
(from Netgalley and St. Martin's Griffin)

-Truly Madly Deadly by Hannah Jayne
(from Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire)

After reading Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park, I am especially excited to read Fangirl!  As a girl who wrote TONS of fanfiction throughout her teen years, I'm hoping I'll be able to relate!

Thanks for stopping by!  What have you received in your mailbox?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review: Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

Title: Nantucket Blue
Author: Leila Howland
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary Romance
Release date: May 7th, 2013
Pages: 304 (ARC)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Author
For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams. 

Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t. 

When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working on her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer. 

But it’s the things Cricket hadn’t counted on--most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits--that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality. 

A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucket blue.

For Cricket Thompson, the Clayton's home had always been more like her own.  It was warm, inviting, and she always felt like Mr. and Mrs. Clayton's second daughter.  She even made plans to join them on their annual summer vacation to Nantucket this year!  Unfortunately, that all changed due to Nora Clayton's untimely passing.  Though her invitation had been revoked, Cricket decides that she's going to find her own way to Nantucket so she can still be there for her best friend if she needs her.  There proves to be a few roadblocks and the last thing she thought would ever happen does, but for Cricket Thompson, this is the summer that could change it all.

Nantucket Blue is your typical fun summer story filled with emotion and adventure.  Cricket is obviously reliable and constantly proves to be a great friend, but she also doesn't understand that Jules needs to deal with her mother's death in her own way.  Sadly, for her, that way is to push away her loved ones and rebel.  For most of the book, Jules is seen as the enemy, but it's very clear that she's just dealing with tragedy the best way she knows how.  I did enjoy the writing though, and the fact that the author made Nantucket seem like the perfect summer vacation destination.

The romance was exactly as I expected it to be, though I wish there had been more of it.  As a fair warning, if you go into this book seeking a romance that will sweep you off your feet, that's not what you're going to get.  Nantucket Blue focuses more on Cricket's friends, her broken family and her mom's old secret relationship with an anonymous gentleman known as Lover Boy.  What little romance scenes that did occur throughout the book were enough to fill that craving, though.

Overall, while Nantucket Blue isn't my favorite summer read, I can't deny that it was a good one.  The characters are just trying to find where they belong, and it may take longer than others, but by the end of the book, everything seems to fall into place.  If you enjoy The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, I recommend that you give this one a try!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #80

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on! 

Title: Unhinged
Author: A.G. Howard
Release Date: January 7th, 2014
Publisher: Amulet

Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of. 

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs. 

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind. 

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.

I loved Splintered! Such an amazing retelling of Alice in Wonderland.  Of course, I was ready for its sequel about 20 seconds after finishing the first book, but I still have quite a while to wait until it comes out.  Also, while I like the colors on the cover of Unhinged, that's not at all what I pictured Morpheus to look like...this Morpheus resembles Edward Cullen in a wig...but I digress.  I'm so, so excited to read this one nonetheless.

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Two Year Blogoversary and Giveaway #1!

Happy blogoversary to me!  On May 8th, The Hollow Cupboards turned two years old, but the idea of it had been forming in my brain long before that!  I can hardly believe that some of you have stuck with me this long and continue to enjoy the content!  To celebrate, I've planned a month-long event where I'll be posting a new giveaway every week!  I'm planning for this celebration to last until my 21st birthday on June 16th, so it's a double celebration!

I don't want to take up too much time, but I did want to thank my readers, authors, blogging friends and publishers for constantly investing in my opinion.  I never knew how important blogging would be to me and I surely didn't think that it would become a regular thing when I started, but now I can't see myself without it!

Here's a list of what you can expect to see throughout the celebration:

May 14th- Kickoff & Giveaway #1
May 21st- Why I Love eBooks & Giveaway #2
May 28th- Being Thankful & Giveaway #3
June 4th- Guessing Game Giveaway #4
June 11th- Pick & Choose Giveaway #5
June 16th- 21st Birthday, Wrap-Up and Giveaway #6

Each giveaway will last two weeks.  I'm also going to try and rotate so every other giveaway will be INT so my friends who don't live in the US or Canada won't miss out on the fun!

So I suppose you're wondering what I have in store for the first giveaway?

Well, you guys know how I love contemporary, so I've piled up 6 ARCs to give to one winner!  This giveaway will be open to US/CAN, but don't fret...that means that the next giveaway will be INT!  

To win...
-My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
-Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg
-The Summer I Learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt
-Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
-The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

all you need to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck and don't forget to return for more blogoversary fun!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pitch Dark Days Event Recap- Milwaukee, May 8th, 2013

In April I was contacted by HarperTeen to be the official live blogger for the Dark Days of Summer event in Milwaukee, WI.  This was my first author event, so I had no idea how it would turn out and I was pretty nervous, but that quickly disappeared upon arrival.  Here's how my night went...

A pretty decent crowd showed up to meet the authors, which was awesome!  I even got to meet a few other bloggers, like Jaime & Erin from Fic Fare, Heidi from YA Bibliophile, Rachel from Rachel Reads, and Liza from WhoRuBlog.  I got settled in my seat and talked to a few Kiera Cass fans before the authors arrived, and when they did, the publicist took me to meet them and I began the interview.  
I also filmed it so all of you can watch!

When the event officially began, each of the authors introduced themselves and answered a few questions that Alison asked, before turning to me to ask a few questions that some of you guys threw at me!

Here are a few interesting facts-
  • Kiera says that in high school, she was exactly the same, just with bigger hair.  While Elizabeth and Amy were painfully shy, Aprilynne was an overachiever.
  • Elizabeth comes up with her character names by going through her friends list on Facebook!  Kiera chose America to be the name of her main character because her husband didn't like it for one of their children's names.
  • Aprilynne explained that Kimberlee's voice came to her from the moment she began writing Life After Theft.  She told her "My name is Kimberlee with two Es and don't you forget it!"  Jeff's voice also came to her naturally, and she says that the story would have been completely different if he and Kimberlee swapped roles.
  • Amy told us that her favorite and most rewarding part about being an author was writing the kissing scenes!  Kiera said that she wrote The Selection for herself and can hardly believe that other people love it as much as she does!
After the Q&A, we were able to get our books signed, and as if my night couldn't get any more awesome, my name was drawn for a free book!  I chose Spells by Aprilynne Pike, since the only book I have in that series is Wings, and got all 9 of my books signed by each of the authors.  I also picked up a bit of signed swag to give away!

Three winners will get a signed extra content booklet for Unbreakable and various swag, such as bookmarks, postcards, tattoos and stickers from each of the authors.  Giveaway is open internationally and will close on June 8th, 2013.

Overall, I have to say that my first author event turned out to be better than I expected.  Each of the authors were incredibly sweet and a pleasure to talk to...they even thanked me for all that I was doing for them...Whaaaa??  I still feel starstruck and I definitely can't wait to attend another author event!

A HUGE thanks to Harper Teen for contacting me to be the live blogger for the Milwaukee stop!  It was an honor.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

In My Mailbox #80

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Gabrielle Carolina from The Mod Podge Bookshelf, originally created by Kristi from The Story Siren.

-Splintered by A.G. Howard
(audiobook from Jennifer Archer)

-Spells by Aprilynne Pike
(signed paperback from Boswell Books)

-Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
(signed and doodled in from the author)

-Reboot by Amy Tintera

This week I got a chance to meet and interview Kiera Cass, Aprilynne Pike, Elizabeth Norris and Amy Tintera!  The event recap should be up soon, but I had an amazing time and each of the authors ended up being incredibly sweet.  While I was at the event, I even got my name drawn for a free book of my choice, so I chose Spells to match my paperback of Wings!  Now maybe I'll finally start the series???

Thanks for stopping by!  What have you received in your mailbox?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #79

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on! 

Title: Fire with Fire
Author: Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Release Date: September 3rd,  2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance. 

Not even close. 

For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before. 

And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him. 

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn. It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn...

I read Burn for Burn when it came out last year and really enjoyed it.   The plot was intriguing and the book kept me hanging, so I can't wait to continue the series!

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary Romance
Release date: February 26th, 2013
Pages: 325 (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Won
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says. 
"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers. 
"I’m not kidding," he says. 
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen." 
"What about Romeo and Juliet?" 
"Shallow, confused, then dead." 
''I love you," Park says. 
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers. 
"I’m not kidding," he says. 
"You should be." 

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

Eleanor is a big girl who wears strange clothes and has flaming red hair. Park is the exact opposite of that, but you know what they say...opposites attract.  The two went from barely even acknowledging each other to bonding over music, comic books, and everything else inbetween.  Over the course of Eleanor & Park, the reader gets a glimpse of each of their lives, what makes them who they are, and shows you exactly why they're perfect each other.

This book grabbed me from the first moment I opened it, which is something that I wasn't expecting.  Needless to say, I finished the book in a little over a day and I already wish I could read it again.  I loved it all, from the writing to the realistic feel of the characters and the situations that each of them are thrown in.  Eleanor especially hit close to home, because she's one of the very few heavy girls in YA that I could see myself in.  There are too many stories that focus on looks, beauty, and perfection, that they all start to bleed together in my mind.  So right off of the bat, this is the first thing that caught my attention and undoubtedly, it's going to be one of the many things that I'm reminded of when I look at this book on my shelf.

Park is just a normal teenage boy, except he's part Asian, which is unusual where they live.  When everyone else, even his friends, are too busy picking on the "weird new girl", he's the only one who stands up for her.  Over the course of the book, we come to find that Park is a little different than most guys.  Though Eleanor has doubts about their relationship, he holds onto what they have and truly believes that they could be together forever.  Eleanor, on the other hand, is skeptical.  I loved and hated this, because I saw so much of myself in her, a girl who has been hurt too many times to believe that someone like Park would truly love her for who she is.

Eleanor & Park is sweet, romantic, heartbreaking and full of flashbacks from the 80's.  Sometimes you'll fall in love with the person you're least likely to suspect and if you're lucky, they'll become the love of your life.  Rainbow Rowell tells an incredibly realistic story that will fill you with emotion and tear you to pieces at the same time.