Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Contest Winners!

It's time to announce a few winners from recent contests. Right now we've got two that need winners. The contest for The Lost Saint, and also for Dark Days.

(Winners are chosen randomly - my random of choice? Scrabble tiles!)

The Lost Saint has two winners... Congratulations to Danielle Gorman and to Jennie Englund! You each get an ARC copy of The Lost Saint and a bottle of fun, blue nail polish.

The winner of the five books in our Dark Days of Supernatural giveaway is... donnas!

I need all of you to email blogger@yaliteraturereview.com with your addresses. Thanks so much for reading and playing!


~ Vilate

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dark Days of Supernatural

You may have heard about the exciting tour Harper Collins has had going around - The Dark Days of Supernatural Tour. They were nice enough to allow me to host a contest, in honor of this awesome event. (Please check out both links.)

The contest is to win a full set of five books:

- Once in a Full Moon, by Ellen Schreiber (released 12/28/2010)
- Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand (on sale 1/4/2011)
- Angelfire, by Courtney Allison Moulton (on sale 2/15/2011)
- Afterlife, by Claudia Gray (on sale 3/8/2011)
- Desire of the Dead, by Kimberly Derting (on sale 2/15/2011)

This contest is only open to US citizens. To enter, you need to be a blog follower, tweet or blog about this contest, and comment on this post with links to your tweets/blogs. Deadline is February 15, 2011.

You can find info and excerpts below for all the books offered in this giveaway. Good luck!!


ONCE IN A FULL MOON

Author: Ellen Schreiber

Synopsis: An accessible and clean paranormal series about werewolves—and the popular girl who loves one.

Celeste hangs with the popular crowd at Legend’s Run High and is being wooed by Nash Hunter, the football quarterback, but doesn’t really feel that she belongs. She only comes in contact with the new and enigmatic student, Brandon Maddox, when she passes him in classes, the hallway, and at lunch, but she suspects there is something different about him other than that he is a Westsider and comes from the wrong side of town.

On a dare, Celeste and her friends go to a psychic’s shop for a reading. When it is Celeste’s turn for a fortune, the psychic grabs Celeste’s hands and warns, “Beware of a kiss under the full moon.” Celeste and her friends laugh and mock the fortune teller. But on her way home from their outing, Celeste is blinded by a blizzard. Disoriented, she finds herself deep in the woods bordering town. She is overcome by snowfall and unable to see anything. Above her hovers the glow of a full moon. Just then, she sees beady eyes staring back through the falling flakes. She finds herself in the midst of a pack of hungry wolves. The wolves begin to howl. She can’t outrun them, and the shortest tree branch is out of reach. They slowly approach her. At the last moment, a stranger pulls her from the hungry pack. He grabs a branch and fights the pack of wolves until they retreat. In the scuffle the stranger is bitten. It is Brandon Maddox.

Celeste is enamored by her hero and can’t get him out of her mind. Where Nash is a hero on the field and court, Brandon is a hero in reality. Celeste steals away from her friends to find Brandon, and they meet on a hilltop near his home. A cloudy sky lingers above them, and Celeste realizes she has fallen in love with a Westsider. But in the next few moments, Celeste will face an even bigger challenge than falling for a guy from the wrong side of town. As the two lean in to kiss, the clouds pass, exposing the glow of a full moon. Brandon feels strange and pulls away. Something is about to change—him.


UNEARTHLY

Author: Cynthia Hand

Synopsis: Clara has known she was part–angel ever since she turned fourteen two years ago. But now she is finally getting visions of what her Purpose—a rite of passage for every part–angel—is to be, and it happens to involve a gorgeous guy. Of course, there is the raging forest fire surrounding them, too. When Clara’s Purpose leads her family to Wyoming, Clara finds the boy of her visions, Christian, but complicating her mission are her growing feelings for another guy, Tucker. As the day in her visions draws closer, Clara discovers that her Purpose may play into a larger struggle between angels and Black Wings—fallen angels who spread sadness and misery wherever they go. But when the fire erupts and both Christian and Tucker are in danger, who will she choose to save?

From debut novelist Cynthia Hand comes a riveting tale full of supernatural powers, forbidden romance, and the choice between fulfilling your destiny or following your heart.

ANGELFIRE

Author: Courtney Allison Moulton

Synopsis: When ordinary seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers—monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell—she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between Angels and the Fallen, and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will, who has been waiting sixty years for her return, reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one armed with angelfire, and capable of fighting the reapers. He is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Her soul has been reborn again and again over the centuries to fight the reapers, and he’s been there for five hundred years to protect and fight alongside her. Now that Ellie’s powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her—an assassin who has already killed her once. At the same time, Ellie is falling in love with Will, even though they know their relationship should be impossible.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper–hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to destroy Ellie’s soul forever, not to mention the devastating ramifications for human souls. Now she must face an army of Bastian’s most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives—including truths that may be too frightening to remember.

AFTERLIFE

Author: Claudia Gray

Synopsis: In AFTERLIFE, having become what they feared most, Bianca and Lucas face a scary new reality. They must return to Evernight Academy, Lucas as a vampire and Bianca as a wraith. But Lucas is haunted by demons, both personal and supernatural. Bianca must help him fight the evil inside him-and find the power to claim her destiny at last. Readers have fallen in love with Bianca and Lucas, and they will be thrilled to read this exciting conclusion to their romantic adventure.

DESIRES OF THE DEAD

Author: Kimberly Derting

Synopsis: Violet and Jay are finally dating, but adjusting to the new relationship is not as easy as Violet anticipated. Especially when she has to split Jay’s time and attention with his new best friend, Mike, and Mike’s pesky younger sister—who happens to be obsessed with Jay. Meanwhile, when Violet’s special abilities lead her to the body of a young boy, her tip to the police puts her on the radar of the FBI. Violet tries to fend off the FBI’s questions while maintaining the semblance of a normal life, but somebody’s leaving her threatening notes and an echo around Mike’s house reinforces that all is not right. Violet is forced to admit that perhaps the only people who can help her figure it out are the very people she’s desperate to avoid—the FBI.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Teen Fiction Tuesday: Matched

Matched, by Ally Condie

Publisher: Dutton Books
Pages: 366 (hardcover)
Reading Level: 14 and up
Enjoyment Level: Very High


The cover of this book caught my eye first (thanks, GoodReads). It’s gorgeous, and simple – it reminds me a little of the cover for Girl Parts, by John Cusick. Anyway, after the cover got my attention, I read the blurb and decided I had to read the whole thing.

From GoodReads:

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

I love this book! Ally Condie has a beautiful way of writing. I flowed into the story seamlessly, and enjoyed getting to know Cassia and the rest of the characters. But I especially loved the way the poetry is woven into the plot and the development of Cassia. From the opening paragraph to the end, I felt like there was a poetic flow to the writing, and especially to Cassia’s thoughts and voice.

I could say a lot about how I loved watching Cassia grow from na├»ve Society member to rebel… I could talk about how I loved Xander and Ky. There are so many great things to say about this book – but I think the best way for me to review this is to compare it to a couple of my other favorite novels.

This sort of dystopia reminds me of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series. Tally, from Uglies, and Cassia aren’t exactly the same, however, they both were perfectly happy in their respective societies until someone else gave them a reason to become something more. Neither of these characters showed much potential for rebellion early on, but the spark was there enough that when the right situation came up, they took the path of resistance. It’s refreshing for me to read characters like that.

I also thought a lot about A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle as I read about the Society. To me, the dystopias which portray “perfect” societies where everyone is the same and everthing is “fair” are far more frightening than those that are more post-Apocalyptic. So just like Camazotz, the Society chilled me, and I hoped that Cassia would be strong enough to see that the world she lived in looked perfect on the outside, but was far from it.

I cannot wait to read the second book in this series. Just one more to add to my to-read shelf!

Until next time, go read something!

~ Vilate

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Teen Fiction Tuesday: Delirium

Delirium, by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: Harper
Pages: 441 (ARC)
Reading Level: 14 and up
Enjoyment Level: Medium/High


In honor of Delirium's release, and the Lauren Oliver event this week at Blue Willow Bookshop, it's time to read and review the book. I enjoyed Before I Fall, and I really looked forward to Delirium. WARNING: spoilers may be contained in this review!

From GoodReads:

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love - the deliria - blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

I've classified this as literary fiction for teens. It definitely has the feel of literary fiction, which I don't normally like, but it has the twist of also being written for teens. Somehow, that balances out the pretense of lit fic somehow.

I'll try not to get into too much detail, since this book has just come out. I can say that I liked the characters in this quite a bit. I liked that Lena's transformation happened slowly. It happened naturally, with the seeds of ideas and love growing, instead of just springing up out of nowhere.

Lena's relationship with Alex worked for me, as did her relationship with her best friend, Hana. The characters meshed so well together, and it helped the pacing along - if they hadn't been so interesting, I might've taken much longer to read the book... The pacing jives with the pacing one might find in a literary fiction novel, so the characters saved me from being bored.

As much as I'm glad this is going to be a trilogy, I have to admit that I'm disappointed in the ending. I found it to be too fraught with drama. I realize that the ending is the impetus for the next two books, but it felt like the author forced Delirium to have this ending simply because it tied up the mentions of Romeo and Juliet. It could just as easily have gone a different way and still give the right punch to the storyline.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the series, because, despite the ending, I really did enjoy the story. Lena is a great character, full of fire, and I want to see where she goes from here.

Until next time, go read something!


~ Vilate