Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (35): Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, in which bloggers talk about the books they are most eager for!
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: March 19th, 2013

If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?

The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.

Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

As I will say in my review should I ever actually write it (and as no doubt a huge number of you reading this know from experience) Clockwork Prince put my heart through the emotional wringer. I still don't think I've recovered from it, and I'm not sure I ever will. Although I'm absolutely desperate to know what will happen in the end, I feel like this book will be even more emotional than the last. I feel really committed to these characters and their well being and just want a semi-happy ending for them! Regardless, I know it'll be an awesome book filled with heartache, smart dialogue, creative world-building and just about every other awesome thing Cassandra Clare brings to the table. And I cannot wait.

Also, before I get asked: I am Team Someone-Needs-To-Clone-Tessa-So-She-Can-Be-With-Both-Will-and-Jem. Just so we're clear.

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight) 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cover Reveal: STAINED by Cheryl Rainfield

Hi everyone!

I'm really excited today because I get to participate in an awesome cover reveal! It's for Stained the new novel from Cheryl Rainfield! Without further ado, here it is!

Sometimes you have to be your own hero. In this heart-wrenching and suspenseful teen thriller, sixteen-year-old Sarah Meadows longs for "normal." Born with a port-wine stain covering half her face, all her life she’s been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. But when she’s abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had, become a hero rather than a victim, and learn to look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside. It’s that—or succumb to a killer. (Summary provided by the author)

STAINED will be published on November 19th, 2013 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt! Here's a little paragraph from the author herself!

Like I did with SCARS and HUNTED, I drew on some of my own experiences of bullying, abuse, and trauma to write STAINED and to give it greater emotional depth. Like Sarah in STAINED, I experienced abduction, imprisonment, periods of forced starvation, mind control, and having my life threatened. And like Sarah, I tried hard to fight against my abuser, keep my own sense of self, and escape. I hope readers will see Sarah's strength and courage, and appreciate her emotional growth as she reclaims herself. - Cheryl Rainfield

Seems like it's going to be a very suspenseful and heart-wrenching novel! If it sounds like your type of book, the pre-order links are below! And be sure to check out the trailer as well!

Pre-Order Here:

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (34): Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, in which bloggers talk about the books they are most eager for! 

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 26th, 2013

You or your Alt? Only one will survive.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.

I think it's that last sentence in the summary that really got me. That really makes me want to read this book and dive right into the distorted morals and twisted logic. Dualed could really mess with my mind which, in my opinion, is the sign of a fantastic book. I mean, everyone has a twin, every adult has committed the ultimate sin, and you are destined to murder yourself. What. In. The. World.

I think this book could be done really well but it could also go south. But this book could win me over. I could love this book. I really hope I do! And I'm really looking forward to finding out.

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Title: Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2)
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: August 7th, 2012
Source: Gifted (Thanks, Lucy!)

My Rating: 5/5

*WARNING: Summary contains spoilers for the previous novel. My review is spoiler free though!*

It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.

Guys, I really really love these books. I love the concept, I love the characters, I love the dialogue and I love the covers. There's just so much to love! It took me a little while to read Girl of Nightmares because the idea of not having new Cas and Anna stories to look forward to was heartbreaking. I just adore the two of them. They are such unique characters, and I really enjoy reading about them.

Cas, the broken, determined, and powerful young ghost hunter captured my heart in the first book, and broke it to pieces in the second. Watching him grow as a person and watching his quest to *this would be a spoiler if I said it* made me so proud of him. I loved his spirit, and that he refused to ever give up even when it seemed impossible. He was hurting, he was haunted, but he was ready to stand up and fight. Also, he happens to be a very funny guy, which is always an awesome thing. Anna Korlov will forever be one of my favorite characters. Although we didn't get to see a ton of her in the books, the parts we did she was her strong, feisty self and she just made me love her even more (which I didn't think was possible!) The two of them together make one dynamic pair that I will love to read about again and again. Thomas and Carmel were also spectacular in this book. Their just two crazy adorable people thrown into a situation they never expected. They're loyal, smart and lovable. Two people you would be glad to have as your friends.

The story itself had me absolutely addicted. I was terrified by bits, flipping the pages frantically at points, and was generally desperate to find out how this would all come to a close. There were lots of twists and turns, and even some new and interesting characters! We got to find about a bit more about this crazy world, and explore some new places as well! The scene in Suicide Forest had me honest to goodness petrified. Kendare Blake wrote it so I could visualize every ghost amidst the gorgeous landscape perfectly and I was intensely scared by it. And when it came to the end, I was not ready.

Girl of Nightmares did not play out as excepted. It wasn't a picture perfect end but rather a little twisted, a little heart broken and exactly the story the characters would have. Kendare Blake didn't push her characters into boxes but let them be their unsure, fierce, and brilliant selves. Sometimes they didn't act like we would have wanted them to, they didn't act like what we hoped they would be like. They acted human. They acted like their imperfect selves. The ending, the final story was their final story. It wasn't a perfect one, but it wouldn't be right or true if it we're. And I loved it.

I was so so happy with Girl of Nightmares. My heart hasn't entirely recovered from it, and I already feel the ache of missing Cas and Anna, but it was better than I could have hoped for. Check out this series. Guys, it's so insanely awesome.

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Find This Book: Amazon | Chapters | Goodreads | Kendare Blake's Website

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (33): Oath Bound by Rachel Vincent

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, in which bloggers talk about the books they are most eager for! 

Publisher: Mira
Release Date: April 23rd, 2013
*Note: This is an ADULT novel*

The Tower Syndicate will fall...

The secret daughter of the head of an infamous Skilled crime family, Sera Brandt has hidden her past, her potential and especially her powers. But when a tragedy strikes her other family, Sera needs justice. And the only way to get it is to reveal her heritage– including a rare Skill– and take the reins of the Tower Syndicate from her cunning and malicious aunt.

if he can figure out how...

Kristopher Daniels might have the answer. He's fought the syndicate to protect his sisters, but he'd never realized just how close to the new heir he needed to get....

And if they can survive.

Neither is used to trusting. But there's something between them that can't be ignored. And so Sera is on the run with a man she can't figure out, a target on her back and the new knowledge of just how powerful she really is....

Normally I only feature YA books here on the blog, but I'm making an exception for Oath Bound and for Rachel Vincent. She happens to be one of my all-time favorite authors and I have fiercely loved every single book she's published. She has two series coming to an end this year and I'm sure I'll be crying fat ugly tears at the end of both of them (seriously, guys, you should have seen me when I finished Alpha. It was not a pretty sight). 

What I particularly love about the Unbound series (actually, what I think is so fantastic about Rachel Vincent books in general) is how original it is. Such an interesting and intriguing concept, with messed up, hilarious characters to boot. Throw in some organized crime and crazy supernatural powers and you have a unique and captivating series. I'm very excited to see how it will all come to an end (especially after some of the things were learned in Shadow Bound. Jake Tower, I'm ready to see you taken down). I'm sure there will be lots of twists, turns, heart break and humor all wrapped up in a gorgeous package. Oath Bound? I'm ready for you!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight) 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Beautiful Creatures Series Challenge (3): Beautiful Chaos

Hey guys!

Can you believe it's month three already?! The time has absolutely flown past! I sadly did not manage to finish Beautiful Darkness last month (the holidays were too crazy!) but I'm in the middle of reading it and will have it (and Beautiful Chaos) done for this month! If you guys are behind in the challenge like me, fear not! We have tons of time to catch up. Let's do it together!

Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What — or who — will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?

For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself — forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.

Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending. (Summary from Goodreads)

Let's go, month three!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Review: Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine

Title: Bitter Blood (Morganville #13)
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL
Release Date: November 6th, 2012
Source: Borrowed from friend

My Rating: 5/5

*WARNING: Summary contains spoilers for previous novels. My review is completely spoiler-free though!*

For years, the human and vampire residents of Morganville, Texas, have managed to co-exist in peace. But now that the threat to the vampires has been defeated, the human residents are learning that the gravest danger they face is the enemy within…

Thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town’s human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. But college student Claire Danvers isn’t about to take sides, considering she has ties to both the humans and the vampires.

To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville looking for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news… or worse. (Summary from Goodreads)

So, I've read every Morganville book out there and yet, I've never once reviewed one! One of the reasons why is because simply shouting "I LOVE YOU MORGANVILLE. YAY SHANE!" is more of a reaction as opposed to a review. But, I knew I had to review this one because it made me have the FEELS in every way possible.

I kind of want to live in Morganville, despite the whole "run-by-vampires-people-die-A-LOT" thing. I just love it so much. Rachel Caine takes the classic vampire idea and puts her own crazy interesting twist on it. She doesn't glamorize immortality or vampirism but shows how dark and disturbing it can be. In Bitter Blood, the vampires in Morganville are at their most terrifying and their deadliest. The delicate balance Morganville thrived on was tipping, and I was terrified to see who would fall.

One of the best parts of the Morganville series is the characters. Their personalities are all so distinct and they've been artfully developed over the these last thirteen books. As readers, we've seen them go through just about everything possible and we've watched them grow as people. I feel like their old friends and I'm always happy to get to hang out with them again. Claire Danvers, the fierce genuis, Shane Collins, the tough guy with a soft heart, Michael Glass, the musical sweetie, and Eve Rosser, the Goth-girl rebel. The four of them never fail to make me smile and to warm my heart with their love for each other. Bitter Blood saw them go through tremendous heart-break and had them questioning their own loyalty. It killed me to read some scenes and I was near-tears for many parts of the book. There was one scene which had me shaking and made me want to punch the book in hopes that a certain character could feel it. Bitter Blood was an extremely emotional book, one of the most emotional of the series.

It was also a very intense book. Edge-of-your-seat intense. We had to watch Morganville essentially deteriorate from the inside out and some of the best characters (Amelie in particular) lose themselves. Everything was being destroyed and I wanted desperately to see it fixed. There was a lot going on in this novel, and I was rooting for Morganville to survive it. The consequences of its survival, though, look to be trying. No one came out unscathed in this book, myself included.

Bitter Blood just proves that, even thirteen books in, Morganville is still a spectacular and intriguing series. Never repeative, always fresh. Rachel Caine knows her Morganville well, and I cannot wait to see just what she does with it next.

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Find This Book: | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Rachel Caine's Website

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Books of 2013, Part 1: January

Hi all!

So, I've decided to feature the books I'm most looking forward to monthly! I've seen lots of bloggers do it (I particularly like Midnight Bloom Reads lists) and I've been making these list on the Chapters Community for years! I figured, why not at it to my blog? Now, I have a very long lists of books coming out but here I've put the ones I'm most looking forward to!

January 8th

- Crash (Visions #1) by Lisa McMann

- Paper Valentine by Breanna Yovanoff
- Shadowlands by Kate Brian
January 15th

January 22nd

- The Archived (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab 
- Boundless (Unearthly #3) by Cynthia Hand

- Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

January 29th

- Asunder (Newsoul #2) by Jodi Meadows

- Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
- Shadowhunters and Downworlders edited by Cassandra Clare

Lots of amazing books coming out this month! What are your most anticipated January releases?

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 YA Contemporary Challenge!

Hi, everyone!

So, I kind of failed at Challenges last year. Seriously, failed hard. And with the two challenges I'm hosting this year, I decided to really cut back on signing up this year. But, I did sign up for one and it's the YA Contemporary Challenge hosted by Katie's Book Blog

I love contemporary novels, but I do not read enough of them! I thought this would be a fantastic challenge to get me back into the genre I love so much! Here's my list of the books I'm hoping to read this year! I'm setting my goal at ten (although my list has way more than ten)!

The Grass Is Always Greener by Jen Calonita

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

You Look Different In Real Life by Jennifer Castle

Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Goldfish by Kody Keplinger

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Shadowlands by Kate Brian

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt

How I Lost You by Janet Gurtler

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Golden by Jessi Kirby

Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally

Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith

Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Ilsa and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler (Edit: Out in 2014 not 2013!)

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Fire With Fire by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma

Let's see how many contemporary books I can read!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Series Catch Up Challenge: Month 1!

Hello all you awesome people!

Today marks the start of the Series Catch Up Challenge! I'm insanely pumped to kick off this awesome challenge and hope all you guys are too! At the bottom of the post is where you link-up your reviews for this month! You can post as many reviews as you'd like (just make sure to tag each review with either a number or the title)! So get those series tackled and enjoy this month of catching up!

And if you haven't signed up for the challenge yet, what are you waiting for? There's no minimum number to read and everyone has a series to catch up on! SIGN UP HERE!

Happy January all!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Bring YA 2 Ottawa!

Hi everyone!

So you may have seen the website Bringing YA to YOU! in which five spectacular authors (Beth Revis, Marissa Meyer, Marie Lu, Victoria Schwab, and Megan Shepard) are holding a contest to bring a big YA event to the city of OUR (the readers and fans) choosing! I'm going to repost what the authors' themselves have said which will sum it up much better than I can!

"Have you ever wished that a big YA book tour would make a stop in your
hometown? Well, here's your chance for that wish to come true! YA2U is a
program that features five award-winning and best-selling authors who are
holding a contest to see what city they should visit in an exclusive tour stop!

The authors are collecting votes from January 1 to February 15, and any city
in the continental US or any Canadian city that has an international airport
can win an exclusive visit from all five authors, including an author panel and
book signing! Entering is super easy--and if you help spread the word about the
contest, you can also enter win a signed copy of all of their books (TEN signed
books in total!)--and the book contest is open internationally!"

I absolutely love this idea and am so excited to participate. It gives all us crazy book lovers the chance to say why our city rocks and deserves an amazing event like this!
Today, I'm going to make my pitch for why the YA to YOU tour should come to Ottawa! (And, if you read this, like what I have to say, please please share this, spread the word, link up, etc.!)

I work at a bookstore and I absolutely love my job. I most often get to work in the teen department where I meet all manner of people. From mom's looking for books for their kids, to teens wanting something new, to guys trying to find a "guy book" there are so many people interested in teen books. Almost every single day I get people asking me for teen book recommendations. There are TONS of people here in Ottawa who love teen books and who would gladly attend a teen author event like this! It would be a huge success and a chance for Ottawa to show it's YA book love! Here in Ottawa, there's a group of "Ottawa Bloggettes" as we've been called. Although there's only five of us that hang out on a regular basis, we've had a chance to meet a bunch of others and I'm sure there's more out there as well! Something like this would bring us all together AND convince more people to read YA.

As I said, I work at a bookstore (Chapters to be specific). At work, I also get people asking me why they should read teen books, and sometimes scoffing at my love of teen books. Each time I explain the merits of YA books and the beautiful books in the teen section and ask people to just give it a chance. If we had a big tour come to Ottawa, those skeptics could be won over! I've seen it happen. At the Apocalypse Tour signing in Belleville, I watched as five crazy awesome authors convinced random patrons walking by to pick up a teen book. And many of them did. Many people just need that extra push to be convinced to pick up a book. This event could be that push people need!  There are so many potential book lovers, teen book lovers here in Ottawa! If we had a big, multi-author tour here not only would it be absolutely fan-freakin-tastic but it could get more people into YA.

Another reason why we could really use an awesome event like this is simple: we never get any events like this. It's surprising, considering the whole being the CAPITAL OF CANADA thing (and having almost a million people in the city) but we never get book events here (or concerts for that matter but don't get me started on that one). We're too big a city to be considered for those "let's go to the lesser known cities!" tours and we're too small to be considered for a big national tour. We're stuck in the middle, causing us to constantly be overlooked. Us Ottawa folks have to either make the four-five hour trek to Toronto or miss out on the event (and with gas prices and bus fares we usually end up missing out). This is a chance for the event to come to us, and man, would we be excited about it! Us Ottawa book lovers are a seriously passionate bunch. Nervous and timid around authors but very very passionate (okay, maybe the first part is just me but still!)

For some non-book related reasons to come to Ottawa: it is the capital of Canada! Check that off your bucket list! We have some fantastic sites like Parliament Hills, Rideau Canal, the War Museum...okay. Those are cool, but they're very historical and political. The things I love about Ottawa are smaller. Like warm cheese pies from the local corner store, the street artists in the downtown core, the market on a busy summer day, lazing on Major's Hill Park, running through the fountains at City Hall, and even grabbing a Beaver Tail on the Canal (you can't get more Canadian than that). Ottawa has it's flaws (OC Transpo being a major one) but it's also a great city that would welcome with open arms a YA event like this. Seriously, authors, if you're reading this, I will PERSONALLY buy you all beaver tails and/or cheese pies should you come to Ottawa. I'm not below bribery :D 

SO. To put it in short:
1. TONS of YA book lovers here in Ottawa
2. TONS of would-be YA book lovers here in Ottawa
3. We are constantly overlooked for book tours and always have to travel
4. Ottawa is awesome! (Just don't ride the transit system!)

That's why I think this event should come to Ottawa! And I really really hope it does. BUT it can't if you guys don't VOTE. SO GET YOUR VOTE ON. BRING YA 2 OTTAWA! AND GO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! (It's pretty freaking awesome so you should do it!)

Happy day, YA lovers!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)