Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Spotlight: Control by Lydia Kang

Author: Lydia Kang
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: December 26, 2013

An un-putdownable thriller for fans of Uglies
When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn't even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.
A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.

Author Interview

What were your three favorite things about writing Control?
1. Letting my imagination go totally out there.
2. Creating the mutant characters in Carus House
3. Writing the club scene (I'm not really a party girl so it was fun to live vicariously through the characters!)

What was your least favorite?
Doing revisions. There were a lot! I love first drafts, but revisions sort of kill me.

If Control had a theme song what would it be?
Waiting for the End, by Linkin Park. The lyrics could easily have been said by Zelia, the main character. Especially this part:
"This is not what I had planned
It's out of my control"

Do you have a favorite line or quote you'd like to share from Control?
From Zel's father's poem:
Remember kindness.
Warmth should be shared,
For a hoard does not make a home.
Life without kindness
Is darkness itself.

What was the last book you read and loved?
Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell.

About The Author
Lydia Kang is an author of young adult fiction, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, completing her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve medical accuracy in fiction. Her poetry and non-fiction have been published in JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Great Weather for Media. She believes in science and knocking on wood, and currently lives in Omaha with her husband, three children, and a terrarium full of stick bugs.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Unhinged by AG Howard

Title: Unhinged
Author: AG Howard
Publisher: Amulet
Publication Date: Jan 7, 2014

I absolutely adored Splintered. It was a wildly imaginative take on the Alice in Wonderland story and I loved Howard’s vivid imagery and characterization. Not to mention Morpheus who was totally swoony! While I enjoyed the sequel, Unhinged, I did not love it as much as Splintered. For me, the setting in the human world made the story lose some of its magic.

Unhinged begins a year after the events in Splintered. Jeb has graduated and Alyssa is almost finished with her senior year. Everything seems to be going well which is immediately crushed when a mysterious art collector and Morpheus come to town. 

Jeb and Alyssa have been together for a year now but I found myself disliking their relationship. I think they were both going through the motions of saying they love each other but that love never translated to the page. Alyssa got jealous of the art collector and felt unsure of her and Jeb’s relationship. It’s kind of a bummer too because while I prefer Morpheus I actually liked Jeb in the first book. He seemed to be exactly what Alyssa needed. 

While, I do believe the setting in the human world took away some of the magic that was in the first book; Morpheus in the human world was hilarious! He is by far my favorite character in the series and I would love a novella from his perspective! He is the same dark, shady, wonderlandian we’ve come to know and love! He totally stole every scene he was in.

I did like that this sequel delved further in to Wonderland’s back story and the relationship between Alyssa and her mother. I was surprised by some of the revelations Alyssa has in this novel and expect even more in the third book. While the relationship between Alyssa and her mother was greatly improved I didn’t like the way Alyssa treated her father. I understand the need to hide things from him but it felt like she was treating him like a child when he’s done nothing but be supportive.

Overall, I enjoyed Unhinged, just not as much as Splintered, which totally blew my mind. I have very high hopes for the third book Ensnared though. It looks like the crew will be returning to Wonderland and I can’t wait for high jinks to ensue!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Stacking The Shelves 90

Week In Review
Top 10 of 2013: Books I Read in 2013
Top 10 of 2013: Best Book Covers
Top 10 of 2013: Best Debuts
Top 10 of 2013: Book Boyfriends (complete w/ gifs and pics of swoony boys!)
Top 10 of 2013: 2014 Releases

Inferno by Dan Brown
Talented by Sophie Davis
Witch Song by Amber Argyle

Stalk Me by Jillian Dodd
The Fine Line by Alicia Kobishop

Friday, December 27, 2013

Top 10 of 2013: 2014 Releases

Top 10 2014 Releases I Can't Wait To Read!

There is a lighthouse on the cover of this novel! I must love it! Also the synopsis sounds right up my alley.

I loved the last two books in this series (but mostly the Darkling) and I can not wait to read the final book in the series! (Also can't wait to see Strumhound!) 

A girl jumps in to the pages of books, pitched as The Matrix meets Inkheart, get on my shelf now!

I really like Lauren Oliver's writing style and I'm excited to learn what the panic is.

5 A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier
Not to sound weird or anything but I find the Spanish Influenza so interesting and have high hopes for this novel!

This series is so original and I need to know how it ends! 

This is a re-telling of The Nutcracker! I love love that ballet and have really high hopes for this novel.

I was enraptured with the gothic creepiness of Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (also River)! Hopefully the second half of the story is just as good.

A Sarah Rees Brennan re-telling of A Tale of Two Cities, I'm not sure my heart will be able to stand this.

I loved the first book in this series and can't wait to go back to the world of the Twixt

Honorable Mention
11 Forget Me by KA Harrington
This sounds awesome! Is her boyfriend really dead? Did he move? What's with his look alike. I need to know and August is very far away.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Top 10 of 2013: Book Boyfriends

Ladies and gentleman after much consideration and google image searching of hot guys. I present to you, the much anticipated, Top 10 Book Boyfriends of 2013!

You said it, Abby Lee Miller, but these guys made the cut!

1. River West- Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
Oh River! I never trusted you but you were still oh so swoony! He has that rich, east coast prepster thing going for him. I just can't resist that as evidenced by Gansey on last years list. At least I know my type rich, dark, and slightly crazy.
Death- Endless Knight by Kresley Cole
I love me a doomed ship and this looks like one of those. Death and Evie have this epic shared history, and he is so lonely. I just want it to work out for him. For my fancast I picked Freddie Stroma best know ,probably, for playing McClaggen in Harry Potter. "I wouldn't mind getting on a first name basis with him, if you know what I mean". 10 Points for Gryffindor if you recognized that quote.
 3 Ink - Indelible by Dawn Metcalf
Despite a borderline cliche entrance I knew I was going to love Ink! He has that distant, not quite brooding, air about him and I just couldn't get enough of it! I need the sequel now.
4 Adrian Ivashkov - The Indigo Spell & The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead
I hadn't seen Douglas Booth fan cast as Adrian Ivashkov before, but I can totally see it! He's got that effortless hot thing going on. Also I'm digging the 5 'o clock shadow *swoons*

I also wanted to congratulate Adrian on being the only book boyfriend to make it on the list 2 years in a row! Lets take a moment to celebrate that.

5 Warner - Unravel Me by Tahreh Mafi
All of the Chapter 62 hype was accurate and the man that made it all possible was Warner! There was no way we wouldn't be on this years list!
6 Jackson Tate - Rush by Eve Silver
I was hesitant about reading Rush because it had aliens. I should not have been concerned! It was an all round awesome read. And Jackson Tate made it all the better. He was secretive, a bad boy, brooding... meaning he was exactly my type!
7 Isaiah - Crash Into You by Katie McGarry
I think the guy on the book cover is perfect for Isaiah; but whoever that CW hottie on the right is...yum! He is also a great cast! He's pulling off the shaved head and tattoo's without coming off as scary.
8 Ethan Landry- The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston
Ethan is a Louisiana farm boy. I have learned living in SD that farm boys never look like this guy! But a girl can dream! Out of everyone on my list Ethan was genuinely the best boyfriend out of the lot! Supportive, kind, and willing to do anything to help Meg.
9 Naji - The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke 
Naji is an assassin so the entire time I was reading I pictured him like this. lol. Not exactly swoony but I love the way he treats Ananna! And his character development made him a great male lead.
10 Chris Henderson - That One Summer by CJ Duggan
 I just love the Onslow boys I wish I could scoop them up and put them all on the list. After That One Summer though, Chris is my favorite! As CJ put it male model Adam Cowie is wickedly handsome and beautifully broody. The perfect Chris Henderson!

Honorable Mention
The Darkling - Siege & Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Okay, I know I said Adrian was the only book boyfriend to make it on the list two years in a row; but I would be remiss if The Darkling wasn't on here somewhere! Afterall, I did represent him in the Summer Crush Tournament! After Siege and Storm my feels are all muddled but he is still definitely one of my favorites and after the spoiler Leigh gave us (look below) I have high hopes he will make a comeback in Ruin and Rising! Plus, I do love a doomed ship!

A Darkling/Alina snippet from Ruin and Rising courtesy of Leigh for the holidays!
“Why waste my anger on you when the fault is mine? I should have anticipated another betrayal from you, one more mad grasp at some kind of childish ideal. But I seem to be a victim of my own wishes where you are concerned.” His expression hardened. “What have you come here for, Alina?”
I answered him honestly. “I wanted to see you.”
I caught the briefest glimpse of surprise before his face shuttered again. “There are two thrones on that dais. You could see me any time you liked.”