Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ten Books I Recently Added To My To-Be-Read List

Monday, March 30, 2015

I Heart Robot by Suzanne von Rooyen Blog Tour

Check out all the stops on the tour here!

I Heart Robot
Author: Suzanne van Rooyen 
Publisher: Month 9 Books
Publication Date: March 31, 2015

Sixteen-year-old Tyri wants to be a musician and wants to be with someone who won't belittle her musical aspirations.
Q-I-99 aka 'Quinn' lives in a scrap metal sanctuary with other rogue droids. While some use violence to make their voices heard, demanding equal rights for AI enhanced robots, Quinn just wants a moment on stage with his violin to show the humans that androids like him have more to offer than their processing power.
Tyri and Quinn's worlds collide when they're accepted by the Baldur Junior Philharmonic Orchestra. As the rift between robots and humans deepens, Tyri and Quinn's love of music brings them closer together, making Tyri question where her loyalties lie and Quinn question his place in the world. With the city on the brink of civil war, Tyri and Quinn make a shocking discovery that turns their world inside out. Will their passion for music be enough to hold them together while everything else crumbles down around them, or will the truth of who they are tear them apart?
Chapters Indigo  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Kobo  TBD  iBooks ♥ Goodreads 

 What inspired you to write I Heart Robot?
A combination of things. There was a scene in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles which had a huge impact me on the time – when the android, Cameron, starts doing ballet – and that idea of humans having art, of making art for art's sake made me wonder how or if a robot could be a musician. I've also always wanted to write specifically about classical musicians so my own passion for music inspired these characters as well. And lastly, the seminal works by Asimov made me wonder what would happen if robots didn't have to abide by Asimov's laws and what the consequences might be for society if there was a sort of robot liberation movement.

What were your three favorite things about writing I Heart Robot?
Firstly, the music for sure. Getting to draw from my own experiences playing in orchestras and writing about pieces of music I personally love was definitely on of my favourite things about I Heart Robot. I also really enjoyed the setting, creating a futuristic Scandinavia after having lived in Finland and visiting the other Nordic countries. And lastly, my favourite thing about I Heart Robot was creating my androids and getting to tell the story from Quinn's perspective, really exploring what it means to be human.

What was the most challenging part about writing I Heart Robot?
Remembering the tech aspect especially when writing from Quinn's perspective. Showing emotion when your character doesn't have a stomach that can fill with butterflies or breath that can be held was a challenge simply because all those go-to phrases weren't going to work. This challenged to find new and different ways to convey emotion.
If I Heart Robot had a theme song what would it be?
Human by Civil Twilight, especially because of the chorus:

It's only love, it's only pain
It's only fear that runs through my veins
It's all the things you can't explain
That make us human

What was the last book you read and loved?
Sing Me Your Scars, a speculative short story collection by Damien Angelica Walters – it's macabre but brilliant.

About The Author
Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Sweden and is busy making friends with the ghosts of her Viking ancestors. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) wall climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Stacking The Shelves 136

Week in Review
Review: The Sculptor by Scott McCloud
Top 10 Books on my Spring To Be Read List 
Review: Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole
Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop. Enter to win a book from you shelf!
Review: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Waiting on Wednesday: Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios
Review: The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer
New on the Shelf
The Devil You Know by Trish Dollar (Thanks Bloomsbury!)
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield
Graceling by Kristin Carshore

The Sound by Sarah Alderson (Library)
Death Sworn by Leah Cypress
Eartbthbound by Aprilynne Pike

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer

The Cemetery Boys
Author: Heather Brewer
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: March 30, 2015
Goodreads ♥ Amazon ♥ BookOutlet

Allow me to begin this review by telling you, in no uncertain terms, that I adored The Cemetery Boys. Every now and then I will come across a book that is just a very Emily book. The Cemetery Boys was one of those books! It had all the things I like: a great sense of place, realistic characters, a group of bad boys, mental health issues and surprises I didn’t see coming.

Stephen is forced to move from Denver to the painfully small town of Spencer, Michigan after his mother is committed to a mental institution and his father goes broke. Living with his grandmother that hates him, Stephen begins to explore his father’s hometown and learns about the town’s urban legend…that during the “bad times” nightmare-esque creatures require a human sacrifice. At first, Stephen doesn’t believe, but after hanging out with twins Cara and Devon he starts to question whether the bad times are an urban legend or if the creatures are real.

My favorite thing about The Cemetery Boys was Devon and his crew of bad boys. Every night they get drunk in the town cemetery, aptly called the playground, and break a few laws. My favorite types of characters are those that live in the moral gray area and all of these boys, especially Devon, do. The boys in this story reminded me a little bit of Kavinsky and his gang in The Dream Thieves, one of my all time favorite books, so I loved them all the more.

This novel also deals with mental illness. Not only is Stephen’s mom in a mental institution. Cara and Devon’s mother is the town crazy and Stephen questions his sanity because he can’t figure out if the “bad times” creatures are real or not.

I really enjoyed that this novel always kept me on my toes! I was never sure if the urban legend of the “bad times,” and the nightmarish creatures, were real or not real. I was surprised right up until the last page.

Overall, The Cemetery Boys was my kind of book. From the subject matter, to the characters, to the setting I was completely immersed in this story. Do yourself a favor and grab yourself a copy of this novel now, I have a feeling it’s going to be a on a lot of 2015 favorites lists!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Blood Passage

Blood Passage
Author: Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: October 6, 2015


A jinni who's lost everything.
A master with nothing to lose.
A revolutionary with everything to gain.
When Nalia arrives in Morocco to fulfil Malek's third and final wish she's not expecting it to be easy. Though Nalia is free from the shackles that once bound her to Malek as his slave, she's in more danger than ever before.
Meanwhile, Malek's past returns with a vengeance as he confronts the darkness within himself, and Raif must decide what's more important: his love for Nalia, or his devotion to the cause of Arjinnan freedom.
Set upon by powerful forces that threaten to break her, Nalia encounters unexpected allies and discovers that her survival depends on the very things she thought made her weak. From the souks of Marrakech to the dunes of the Sahara, The Arabian Nights come to life in this dazzling second instalment of the Dark Passage Cycle.
My Thoughts: I loved the first book in this series, Exquisite Captive, and I can not wait to return to the world Demetrios created in this sequel! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

Series: The Lynburn Legacy #3
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Goodreads ♥ Amazon ♥ BookOutlet

Unspoken is one of my all time favorite books. I love the characters and the way Sarah Rees Brennan introduces the reader to the Lynburn family. Unspoken is pure perfection and if you haven’t read it yet I suggest you stop reading this (I don’t know why you’d be reading a review for the 3rd book if you haven’t read the first anyway, but you might’ve come here on accident) and get yourself a copy!

I’ll be the first to admit that Untold wasn’t my favorite, but I was still very excited for Unmade. I needed to know what was going to happen to Kami, Jared, Ash, Rusty, and all of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Unmade begins shortly after the events of Untold. The crew is trying to figure out a way to defeat Rob Lynburn, and Kami doesn’t want to believe that Jared could be dead.

My favorite thing about this novel was the characters. Unfortunately, the plot was a little slow, and at times, I thought it was being drawn out. There was a lot of researching and sitting around when I wanted more of Kami’s headstrong running in to danger without thinking. Luckily, the characters saved this novel and I loved all the interactions between Kami, Ash, and Jared and also between Holly and Angie. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that the dialogue between Kami’s Dad and Mrs. Lynburn was hilarious! Sarah Rees Brennan excels are writing funny and relatable dialogue.

Sarah Rees Brennan also excels at writing scenes that tug at my heartstrings. There is one scene involving Rusty that I was not prepared for and I’m still not ready to talk about. Maybe later, maybe someday, but not today.

Overall, I enjoyed this conclusion to the Lynburn Legacy series but I didn’t love it. At times it lagged and I had trouble seeing Rob’s evil motivations. Still, it was a satisfying ending to a series I enjoyed.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop

Hello and welcome to my stop on the spring cleaning giveaway hop! The lucky winner will get to choose one of the books pictured below. All you have to do to enter is fill out the rafflecopter and make sure to keep hopping!

Adrenaline Crush by Lauri Boyle Crompton
Salvation by Anne Osterlund
On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane
Killer Instinct by S.E. Green
Arclight by Joslin L. McQuien
The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole

Dead of Winter
Author: Kresley Cole
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: January 6, 2015

I make no secret of my love of Kresley Cole. There is something about her writing that sucks me in and forces me to keep reading. I felt that keenly in Endless Knight but when it came to reading Dead of Winter something was missing. That usual ‘suck me in’ feeling wasn’t there and I found myself fighting to get through this novel.

Dead of Winter begins where Endless Knight left off. Jack has been kidnapped by The Twins (The Lover Card) and Evie is riding from Death’s house to save him. Evie still isn’t sure who she wants to be with and for some reason everyone is calling Jack, J.D. I don’t know if I missed it in the last book but I couldn’t remember anyone calling him that and it detracted from my reading of the story.

My least favorite thing about this novel was the fact that everything revolved around the Love Triangle. While the last two novels dealt with love triangle-y stuff there was enough other plot that it wasn’t all about that. Unfortunately, the love triangle took center stage here and was all the story ended up being about. Also, fair warning, whatever ship you are on you won’t be happy.

Because the entire story was based around the love triangle the plot was really predicable. You knew exactly what was going to happen until the very end, which was a surprising cliffhanger.

Overall, despite not really enjoying this installment I’m still looking forward to the next book in the series. I want to know what’s going to happen with all the Arcana, and if they will be able to stop the game. And yeah, a secret part of me wants to know what's going to happen between Jack, Death, and Evie.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top 10 Books On My Spring To Be Read List

This was a hard list to make because there are so many fabulous books coming out this spring but, after much consideration, these are the 10 that I am most excited to finally read!

1 Lion Heart by AC Gaughen
2 Novice by Taran Matharu
3 The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

4 Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff
5 The Duff by Kody Keplinger

6 Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
7 Paradise City by CJ Duggan
8 Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz

9 The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
10 Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

The Sculptor
Author: Scott McCloud
Publisher: First Second

Publication Date: February 3, 2015
Goodreads ♥ Amazon ♥ Book Outlet

The Sculptor showed up on my doorstep, from the publisher, and honestly I didn’t know what to make of it. I have never reviewed a graphic novel. The last one I read was Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi back in 2008. Needless to say I was skeptical, but I shouldn’t have been! The Sculptor is a interesting, well rounded story, with the added bonus of wonderful art.

The Sculptor is about David Smith, a formerly famous sculptor, who trades his life for his art. This graphic novel follows David’s struggle to survive in New York, his difficulty in creating sculptors that find commercial success, and him finding love in the year he has left.

Initially, I had a hard time relating to David, he was so focused on his sculptor’s that everything else was pushed to the back. He ignored the few friends he had and treated them poorly. I did feel bad for the guy though; he lost his apartment and was wandering the streets before Meg entered his life. It was Meg that became his muse and forced him to look outside of himself, despite her own problems.

I was honestly surprised by how deep and introspective The Sculptor was. I expected something lighter and instead discovered this great story about art, the creative process, living and dying in New York. This would have been a story I enjoyed if it hadn’t been a graphic novel. The fact that McCloud’s art was lovely was an added bonus. I especially liked seeing what David’s sculptors looked it.

Overall, The Sculptor was a wonderful read. I appreciated its depth and beautiful artwork. I’m looking forward to reading more of McCloud’s work.

*Quick note to my YA readers: This is a review for an adult book.