Archive | June 2013

June Purchases

June purchases has arrived!

This month I bought a book as a High School Graduation gift:

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It’s the notorious Flowers in the Attic by the beloved V. C. Andrews (original, not the ghost writer).

Why? Because I told the graduate, “There’s a time and place for everything, and it’s called college!”

I really, really hope her mum doesn’t judge me too harshly, but she’s eighteen! 

My other purchase was in support of a local bookstore in Yakima during a weekend visit:(Stay tuned as it’s one of the bookstores on my Washington Bookstore tour!)

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As I have friends that worked on the marketing in London and I do ever so love Stephen, it’s such a a natural choice to go for his latest horror novel. I’m hoping to get to it next month. 

Hail to the book! 

Later,

Ashleyisee

xx

Freshly Published: June 2013

How did we get to June already? Half the year gone and more books just begging to be read! (photos and summaries are from Goodreads)

The Impossibility of Tomorrow by Avery Williams (Incarnation #2)

Check out my review for the first book – The Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation #1)

Impossibility of tomorrow cover

The immortal Seraphina is forced to face the darkness of her past—and risk losing the love of her life—in this second novel in the Incarnation series.

Seraphina has been living for centuries, thanks to a special method of alchemy, but only recently has she really felt alive. She’s finally broken free from her controlling boyfriend, Cyrus, and after years of swapping bodies to preserve her immortality, is happily settled into a life worth sticking with. Because in this life, she has Noah.

But Noah might not be as trustworthy as he seems. After he delivers an ominous message that could only come from Cyrus, Sera is worried that her new friends and family will find out her secret. And as her suspicions extend beyond Noah, Sera is forced to wonder about her new friends as well: Could her old coven be disguising themselves right under her nose?

Will Sera have to move to another body—and take another life—or can she find a way to keep what she’s got, forever?

The wait is over!

Insomnia by J.R. Johansson (The Night Walkers #1)

Check out my review

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It’s been four years since I slept, and I suspect it is killing me.

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp enters the dream of the last person he’s had eye contact with. He spends his nights crushed by other people’s fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets—and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing psychosis and even death.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. Parker starts going to bizarre lengths to catch Mia’s eye every day. Everyone at school thinks he’s gone over the edge, even his best friend. And when Mia is threatened by a true stalker, everyone thinks it’s Parker.

Suffering blackouts, Parker begins to wonder if he is turning into someone dangerous. What if the monster stalking Mia is him after all?

Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff (Boy Nobody #1)

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Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school, in a new town, under a new name, makes few friends and doesn’t stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend’s family to die — of “natural causes.” Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, and moves on to the next target. 

When his own parents died of not-so-natural causes at the age of eleven, Boy Nobody found himself under the control of The Program, a shadowy government organization that uses brainwashed kids as counter-espionage operatives. But somewhere, deep inside Boy Nobody, is somebody: the boy he once was, the boy who wants normal things (like a real home, his parents back), a boy who wants out. And he just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program’s next mission.

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

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Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo’s sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline’s mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he’s convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going?

Sarah Dessen’s devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.

In the After by Demitria Lunetta

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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.

Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta.

I’m way excited for summer reading! How about you?

Ashleyisee

xx

Book Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

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Angels. They’re supposed to be something believed in, heavenly creatures that act as guardians. What about those who fall?

Nora Grey is your average sixteen-year-old. With her best friend Vee, they go through the motions of high school. That is, until chemistry class takes a realistic turn when the handsome but mysterious Patch shows up and is paired as Nora’s partner. He’s smoking hot and irritating in all the wrong ways. As Nora tries to push him away he only succeeds in getting closer to her heart.

Then Nora runs into many just of luck chances. She has feelings of being followed and hears voices in her head. Others begin to warn her of Patch, but yet, she can’t stay away. As the danger lurks closer, Nora is going to have to make a choice to trust the voices of others or go with her heart. In the end it’s not just her life that will be on the line.

I’m such a huge fan of the covers. Terrible I know, but I am quite the sucker for a well-marketed book.

For the romance/series readers, this first book won’t disappoint. There’s thrill, sizzling, romance tension and lots of mystery. Nothing is really answered in this book, and as there are three more I’m happy with that. I was engaged and intrigued through every chapter, which is a rarity for me with romance.

I really liked Nora Grey as a character. I mean she’s got a great name. Due to family reasons’ dating wasn’t on her table until other characters come into play. I feel she’s relatively normal and relatable. She’s not blonde with blue eyes but has unruly curly hair and doesn’t wear makeup. I’m so curious to know more. There are nearly 400 pages and still I can’t wait to learn more in the next book!

Even the romance bit didn’t make me gag, which again is hard to do. I’m pleased with the beginning of the series, not overly sucked in, but pleased and happy to continue. 

Book Review: The Island by Jen Minkman

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Leia and her twin brother Luc have been living on the compound for six years after leaving home at the age of the ten. They must fend for themselves under the harsh ruling of Sol. Yet there are secrets that Sol is hiding from the group and unrest continues to build.

A wall to keep out the Fools, people that know nothing and are dangerous, surrounds the island. As Leia tries to escape the compound with the scared book of her people she accidently runs into a Fool! Suddenly everything Leia believes in comes into questions as she sorts through her world’s true history.

I have to say that I completely disliked the whole novella until I got to the ending.

Honestly, I feel that this piece should have been included in a short story collection. There isn’t enough for it to be a stand-alone book.

The author does have the disclaimer that there are Star Wars influences in the book, and I know what you’re thinking; I felt the same way after the first couple of chapters. It didn’t work for me; I felt it was lazy and that without the references the novella would have been stronger.

That is until I got to the ending. In a matter of pages everything made sense and it all came to together in a cute way. Overall it works, just not on it’s own. I mean there was so much potential that was lost by using material that’s already been crafted.

I think Star Wars fans will find the tale entertaining. (I’m a huge fan of the movies myself.) It is labelled as ‘dystopian’, but it’s not your typical type within the genre. Remember, it’s only 80 pages.

Overall I was annoyed whilst reading the book, but truly the ending saved it.

Netgalley provided this novella in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the publisher Patchwork Press and to the author Jen Minkman.

The Island is available now! Give it a shot and tell me what you think, but only if you’re up for it!

Washington State Bookshops: Island Books in Mercer Island

Last month I talked about how Redmond, WA is lacking an independent bookstore. After a lovely weekend of travel, I discovered some lovely bookshops across my state! Rather than focus only on Seattle bookshops, my tour will include all bookshops that reside in the State of Washington. Let me tell you we’re a pretty big state and I can’t wait to discover more bookshops in Washington!

In May I traveled to Mercer Island. It really is an island just off of the city of Seattle. Tucked away and only accessible by wheels, this island holds prime real estate and gorgeous views of the water and forest.

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Among the homes and businesses is the lovely Island Books, the only bookshop to inhabit the land. 

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This large bookshop caters to the residents of Mercer Island, but they also serve a greater community of book lovers. This independent bookshop doesn’t just sell books, but seeks to continue the love of reading and word related arts to anyone that enjoys them. 

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There are old typewriters everywhere.

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As well as beautiful displays of well loved books. 

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Along with selling other knickknacks among the books, I really enjoyed seeing a special games section that caters to local geography.

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With an excellent children’s and teen’s section, there is something for everyone. The staff are friendly and knowledgable. There are loads of different areas that the books are grouped into making finding something a treat. The shop even has its own ‘store journal called Message in a Bottle via Tumblr. 

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It’s a great little stop off when venturing outside of the city and I was very pleased to support such a fine bookshop! 

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The details:

3014 78th Ave. SE 
Mercer Island WA 98040

206.232.6920

info@mercerislandbooks.com

Store Hours

Mon-Wed: 9:30 – 7:00
Thurs: 9:30 – 8:00
Fri: 9:30 – 7:00
Sat: 9:30 – 6:00
Sun: 11:00 – 5:00

Book Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

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Pande Info

Please note this is the second book in the Delirium Series.

Find my review for the first Delirium.

THEN: Lena has escaped her life. Over the fence she has crawled, leaving Alex behind to trek through the Wilds into the unknown. Now Lena has been born anew. As apart of a group of those that wander the Wilds fighting for survival, Lena tries to move forward, grieving for Alex. The ways of her old life are long forgotten. Her body and mind shift to withstand the harsh reality of living beyond the wall.

NOW: Together with her group Lena tries to gather more information as she lives undetected within society. When she gets caught up in the kidnapping of Julian Fineman, the son of the Mayor and symbol of a Deliria Free America. She’s going to have to use everything she learned out in the Wilds to insure their existence.

Throughout everything, the struggle, tears death and hunger, Lena pushes more. Alex died to give her a real chance at life. But in a world where feeling love is outlawed, what’s the point in living when that love is gone?

I really liked the format of this book. Switching between THEN and NOW, as readers we learn how Lena has evolved as a character and she does not disappoint! Multi layered and tough, I have loved to see how Lena has grown into a strong female character. Her heartbreak is also all too real and relatable. The grief within this book is harsh but realistic. I praise Oliver for taking her world to the limits and not backing down from anything uncomfortable.

I was also pleased to read how much more complex this world became. There are more adult themes present. The more I think about it, it’s a standout sequel that does a 180 from its debut. Lena has woken up from the false reality that her government has been controlling and as it’s weaknesses become more apparent the future for everyone looks bleak. It’s a terrifying reality.

Yet throughout Lena never losses hope nor determination. It made me feel as if this world environment was the starting catalyst for The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Humans always want power and control, but a small group will never win over the population thus chaos is inevitable. This is book has hints on that power and it was a pleasure to read something that speaks lightly about the world around us now. Gritty and well paced this second book is a great revelation.