Monday, April 30, 2012

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

By: Lauren DeStefano
Published By: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Series: The Chemical Garden (#1)
Pages: 358
Genre: Dystopian
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon

Summary: By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape–before her time runs out? (From Author's Website)

For a long time I heard great things about Wither, but for some reason I still didn't pick it up until recently. I don't know what I was waiting for! Wither is an original and compelling dystopian novel that had me intrigued at the very beginning with its premise but kept me reading for the characters.

A genetic experiment gone awry resulted in all women dying at age 20 and men at 25. The first generation, the first attempt to make a perfect race, will live for a long time, but each subsequent generation suffers from early mortality. Because of this, young women are kidnapped or taken from orphanages and sold as brides to wealthy young men, in the hopes that a new generation will produce a cure. When Rhine is kidnapped, she and two other girls all become brides for the rich young Linden. Rhine immediately resents Linden and longs to escape and find her way back to her brother Rowan. Yet with Housemaster Vaughn controlling everything, escape seems improbable. As Rhine continues to search for an opportunity, she grows closer to her sister wives and to the servant Gabriel. And eventually Rhine comes to learn that not everything is as black and white as she thought.

Even though dystopian novels seem to be filling the market, so many of them manage to stand out because of their excellent writing and compelling story or characters. And Wither was no exception. Even though there was not always much action in this book, I loved watching the different relationships develop. Rhine becomes friends with her sister wives, and I think that Jenna's strength was something to be admired. I think this strength helped Rhine as well, and it was touching to see the ways they could help each other. Then there was Gabriel, the servant that Rhine comes to like. I wish they had had more time to be together - they had some sweet moments and there is much more to be told here. Finally, there is Linden. I have to admit that I am intrigued by where his part of the story will go. He seems to be a victim as well and I cannot help but wonder what will happen if he ever learns the truth of everything.

This book was tough to read at times because of the situation Rhine, Jenna, and Cecily found themselves in. I wasn't spared feeling for them at all, nor are we spared the evilness of the man that is Housemaster Vaughn. Wither is emotional to say the least. Because of that, although at times I wanted the plot to move forward a bit or wanted even more from the characters, I stayed completely invested in the story.

Wither may have have the same action-driven story of other dystopians, but don't let that stop you from reading it. With Rhine close to her twentieth birthday and with Housemaster Vaughn being who he is, I can only imagine what is in store for Fever. The Chemical Garden will be a trilogy not to be missed!

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by One Person's Journey Through a World of Books. Each week we will share the books we have just finished reading, are currently reading, and are planning to read.

Just Finished Reading:
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Perception by Kim Harrinton

Currently Reading:
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Planning To Read:
Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

What are you reading this week?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Follow Friday (37)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Allison Can Read. Visit either of their blogs for complete rules of the following fun!

This week's question:

"Have you had a character that disappointed you? One that you fell in love with and then “broke up” with later on in either the series or a stand-alone book? Tell us about him or her."

I am having such a hard time thinking of an answer to this question! After wracking my brain and looking through books on Goodreads, I'll have to say Michael from Hourglass by Myra McEntire. I suppose I expected more from his character. I wanted to love him, but I found myself falling for Kaleb instead.

What are your answers? Please leave a comment or a link to your blog!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review and Giveaway: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

By: Julie Kagawa
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Series: Blood of Eden (#1)
Pages: 485
Genre: Paranormal / Dystopian
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

The Immortal Rules in one word: Unputdownable. Everything about the story left me dying to know what would happen next. I am ashamed to admit that I haven't read Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series, but after reading this book you can bet that I will be remedying that very soon.

The world may be run by vampires, but Allison Sekemoto refuses to let them control her. Rather than be a Registered who gives blood twice a month, she chooses to be Unregistered and live in the Fringe, banding together with other Unregistereds to scrounge for food and eke out what living they can. But all of that changes one night in an instant. Soon Allie is faced with a choice: Die or become a vampire. Determined to stay alive however she can, Allie becomes a vampire. Under the tutelage of her maker, she learns the rules and laws of her new existence. Yet not even Kanin could truly prepare Allie for what she would eventually face. Allie has always been used to fending for herself, never forming true relationships with others. But when she finds herself joined together with a group of humans, Allie will learn that, no matter what Kanin might have said, sometimes you have to throw out the rulebook and follow your heart...

The Immortal Rules is anything but your typical vampire book; instead, it is a compelling blend of paranormal creatures with a dystopian world. Allie is everything that you could want in a heroine. She is strong but compassionate, a good fighter (with a little help from Kanin), and she isn't afraid to take risks. Her journey wasn't an easy one, but I think she found her way quite admirably. Her time with Kanin was very interesting. I loved learning about the vampire hierarchy that Julie created, and the addition of rabids brought yet another dimension to the story. I will be interested to see what else Kanin knows in future books. When Allie leaves her home and journeys beyond the city and into unfamiliar lands, she is constantly confronted with the disparity between who she is and who she can pretend to be. Allie's internal struggle was just as gripping as the external one. Her constant fight to control the Hunger, especially around the group of humans she comes to join, is incredibly tough. With Zeke, however, if she can control her Hunger, she might finally have a chance to learn what relationships based on something more than just convenience mean.

One of the best things about the characters in this book is that they are always more than they seem. With every page there was something new to discover. I said earlier that this book was unputdownable, but the last 100 pages were especially so. With so many confrontations and revelations, it was almost cruel and unusual punishment for this book to be over when it was.

The Immortal Rules is the thrilling start to a new series from Julie Kagawa. I can't wait to read the next installment!


I am very excited to have one copy of The Immortal Rules to give away! Please note that the book will be coming directly from the publisher; please allow ample time for the book to arrive if you win.

The contest is open to residents of the US and Canada only. Must be 13 to enter. Please see my Contest Policy for more information.

This contest will close on Friday, May 4 at midnight CST.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Waiting on" Wednesday

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's selection is:

By: Deborah Heiligman
Published By: Random House Children's Books
Release Date: Aug. 14, 2012
Preorder the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: Rachel thought she was grown up enough to accept that no one is perfect. Her parents argue, her grandmother has been acting strangely, and her best friend doesn’t want to talk to her. But none of that could have prepared her for what she overheard in her synagogue’s sanctuary.
Now Rachel’s trust in the people she loves is shattered, and her newfound cynicism leads to reckless rebellion. Her friends and family hardly recognize her, and worse, she can hardly recognize herself. But how can the adults in her life lecture her about acting with kevanah, intention, when they are constantly making such horribly wrong decisions themselves? This is a witty, honest account of navigating the daunting line between losing innocence and entering adulthood—all while figuring out who you really want to be.

Why it's wanted:

First of all, I love this cover! I'd want to read it without knowing anything about it. But the summary suggests that this is a really good story, and I'm curious to see what happens in Rachel's life.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (37)

I'm very excited to be one of the many blogs participating in Teaser Tuesdays! TT is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To participate:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

In honor of the release day of The Immortal Rules, I'm sharing another teaser from this book:

"I could hear him now, his deep voice echoing in my head, as clearly as if her were standing beside me. Make your choice, Allison, he would say, calm and unruffled. Will you prey on those you consider friends and companions, or a stranger who already owes you his life? Know that each path is evil; you must decide which one is the lesser of the two."

p. 320 (ARC) from THE IMMORTAL RULES by Julie Kagawa

Please share your teasers - post them or link to your blog!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Follow Friday (36)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Allison Can Read. Visit either of their blogs for complete rules of the following fun!

This week's question:

"Fight! Fight! If you could have two fictional characters battle it out (preferably from books), who would they be and who do you think would win?"

I think it would be awesome to see the Brothers of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and the Dark-Hunters battle it out. As for who would win...well...that's a tough call, but I'd have to hope for the Brothers winning. I couldn't stand to see any of them taken out!

What are your answers? Please leave a comment or a link to your blog!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

In My Mailbox (36)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that was started by Kristi at The Story Siren with some inspiration from Alea at Pop Culture Junkie. It features books or book-related things that have been bought, borrowed, won, or received in the mail. Be sure to check out The Story Siren for a list of all the other blogs participating!

For Review:

The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers
Received courtesy of Bloomsbury

The List by Siobhan Vivian
Received courtesy of Scholastic


This may be the BEST thing that has ever come in my mailbox. And yes, I definitely did some fangirl squeeing and some hugging of the book when it arrived. So without further ado, I give you...

Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

PS: If you read BDB and have not finished Lover Reborn, which tells Tohr (aka my hellren's) story, get off your computer and go read. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. It is an amazing book and you will not be disappointed!

Weekly Recap:

Recently, I've had to post less due to a hectic school schedule. As I prepare for my comprehensive exams and graduate recital, my posts will probably continue to be limited. But after graduation, I will be back in full force! In the meantime, don't miss this giveaway:

March Book Portrait: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard (Includes International Giveaway!)

What books did you get this week? Please leave a comment or link to your own IMM post!
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