05/31/12



Blog Tour, Giveaway

Blog Tour: Fated by Alyson Noel

Alyson Noel

Books (YA):

The Soul Seekers:

  • Fated

The Immortals Series:

  • Evermore | 2009
  • Blue Moon | 2009
  • Shadowland | 2009
  • Dark Flame | 2010
  • Night Star | 2010
  • Everlasting | 2011

Riley Bloom Series

  • Radiance | 2010
  • Shimmer | 2011
  • Dreamland | 2011
  • Whisper | 2012

Other YA Titles:

  • Faking 19 | 2005
  • Art Geeks and Prom Queens |2005
  • Laguna Cove | 2006
  • Kiss & Blog | 2007
  • Saving Zoë | 2007
  • Cruel Summer | 2008

Website | Twitter | Facebook

The first book in a magnificent new series about a girl who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead by #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël.

Lately strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear out of nowhere. Worried that Daire is having a nervous breakdown, her mother packs her off to stay in the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico with a grandmother she’s never met.

There she crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes who she’s encountered before…but only in her dreams. And she’ll get to know her grandmother—a woman who recognizes Daire’s bizarre episodes for what they are. A call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her grandmother immediately begins teaching her to harness her powers—but it’s an art that must be mastered quickly. Because Dace’s brother is an evil shape-shifter who’s out to steal her powers. Now Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and find out if Dace is one guy she’s meant to be with…or if he’s allied with the enemy she’s destined to destroy.

DAIRE MEETS EVER

a short story by Alyson Noël

When she’s not crossing and uncrossing her legs, fussing with her cuticles, and/or riffling through her bag, Jennika tries to engage me in a conversation I’d rather not have. A wad of gum smacking between her back teeth when she says, “Reminds me of Vegas.”

I survey the place. Taking in walls glossed with pale green paint—the color of cucumber meat—the color of calm—along with worn linoleum grey tiled floors left to bubble in the places where they’re not already torn. Her assessment so far off the mark, so opposite the seedy glitz and glam of Vegas, I don’t even respond.

I just close my eyes and slide toward the edge of the curved plastic seat that’s attached to both the floor and the wall. Everything in this place is bolted to something. It’s an attempt to keep the crazies from hurling the furniture at the white-coated doctors prowling the halls.

This is the house of crazy. A place to contain the insane. “Doesn’t it remind you of Vegas?” Jennika’s tone grows louder, more insistent.

More than anything, my mom hates to be ignored, especially by me. So I throw her a bone, decide to play along.

“You mean because of all the slot machines? Or is it the ridiculously long line for the all-you-can-eat prime rib buffet?” I prop an eye open, watching as her eyes roll in their sockets, her brow shooting well past her platinum blond bangs with the chunky pink stripe. Then I close my eyes again, try to focus on something more pleasant, try to conjure the beautiful boy from my dreams. But the drugs they’ve been feeding me, only serve to keep him at bay.

“I meant the absence of windows. And, if you’ll notice, there’s not one single clock—not anywhere!” She shakes her head and scowls, annoyed with the decor as much as the predicament I’ve sunk us both into.

“What’d you expect? Ocean views and whirlpools? It’s a mental ward, Jennika.” My voice sounds listless and bored—as though I can barely drum up the energy to participate. “Best not to keep track of how many days they lock you away.”

Jennika sighs, and leans toward me. Her fingers fussing at my long dark hair, arranging it around my shoulders as though it’ll make some kind of difference to anyone other than her. “It’s not a mental ward, Daire—it’s . . .”

I slant my gaze toward hers, waiting to see where her hunt for the perfect euphemism will end.

“It’s a hospital.” She huffs. “A renowned research center. Nothing more, nothing less. Besides, it’s not like you haven’t been here before.”

When she starts to dig through the contents of her purse, searching for some blush to brighten my cheeks, I know it’s time to flee.

In “The World According to Jennika” there’s nothing a good make-over can’t cure. As one of Hollywood’s most sought-after make-up artists, she’s seen first hand the kind of magick a little spackle and glitter can work. But no amount of fluffing and shading is going to change the fact that this place is, indeed, a mental ward—and that we’re here because of my recent diagnosis as crazy.

I push off, eager to leave Jennika in her happy place of denial. Eager to get as far from her and these “mental health experts” as I possibly can.

“Where you going?” she asks, her voice rising and anxious. Calling after my retreating back when she adds, “Don’t go to far—the doctor will call for you soon . . .” I flee down the hall in search of an exit. Needing to fill my lungs with fresh air.

Needing to remember a time when my life consisted of something more than a never-ending series of mind-altering drugs and mental evaluations.

Needing to get far away from here.

I pick up the pace. Following the lighted signs with green arrows, I round the next corner, and plow smack into a girl so beautiful, so radiant and luminous, I can’t help but wonder if she’s one of the glowing people who stalk me.

If so, it’s just a matter of time before the place floods with crows. And once that happens, they’ll be shoving me into a straight jacket and a padded white room where I’ll live out my life.

“You okay?” The girl places a hand on each of my shoulders in an attempt to steady me. “I’m so sorry—I wasn’t even looking, and . . .”

She tilts her head in a way that allows a stream of golden blond hair to spill down her side as her bright blue eyes narrow on mine. And though I try to pull away, try to tell her I’m perfectly fine, I’m far too startled by the jolt of her touch to do either one of those things.

It’s like her fingers are streaming with electricity that wraps all around me.

She grips my shoulders tighter and lowers her voice to a whisper. “Don’t let them tell you you’re crazy,” she says, glancing all around, as though afraid of being overheard. “Don’t let them tell you the glowing people don’t exist, because they do. The crows too. It’s all real, you’re not imagining any of it.”

I jerk back as though I’ve been shocked. Yanking free of her grip as my mind reels with questions.

Who the heck is she? And how could she possibly know about the visions? Has she read my case file? Is she some crazy escapee impersonating a staff member?

She smiles, standing steadily before me as she says, “I’m none of those things. My name’s Ever. Ever Bloom. I’m psychic, telepathic, but as far as I know I’m not crazy. Nor am I a patient impersonating a staff member. And though I’m probably the only person willing to believe you—trust me when I say, you won’t always feel so alone. There are plenty of us who realize the world isn’t anything like we’ve been trained to believe.”

“What are you doing here?” I ask, well aware how I just skipped over her more outrageous claims, only to focus on the benign.

“I’m taking part in a study on NDEs.” Fielding my blank look when she adds, “People who have had a near death experience.”

“You died?” My gaze flies down the length of her, thinking she is surely the strangest girl I’ve ever met, and yet there’s something about her that’s so calming, I have no desire to flee.

“More than once.” She lifts her shoulders, her eyes glinting with mischief when she says, “As will you.”

I shift from foot to foot, not really knowing how to respond.

“Listen,” she says, checking her watch and glancing toward the door just behind her. “All you need to know is that you’re not crazy. Not by a long shot. So please don’t believe them. Listen to your heart, it’ll never steer you wrong.”

I nod, sensing the truth behind her words.

“I wish we had more time to talk but—” She turns, smiling as the absolute personification of Tall, Dark, and Handsome pushes through the door and stands right beside her. “We’re late,” she says.
“That’s what happens when you won’t let me manifest a parking space.” He hands her an unopened bottle of water, grinning in a way so heart-melting, I have to force myself to look away.

Remembering too late how she claims to read minds, and the knowing smile she gives me, pretty much proves she just caught me mentally ogling her boyfriend.

“This is Damen. Damen Auguste,” she says, leaning against him and fitting into his side so easily, they’re like puzzle pieces—book ends—made to be together.

“I’m Daire,” I say, realizing I hadn’t gotten around to introducing myself earlier.

“Looks like your mom’s looking for you.” Damen gestures at a point just beyond my shoulder, where, sure enough, Jennika waits with a scowl on her face and a hand on each hip.

“Here.” Ever places her bottle of water into my hand. “Tell her you went to get something to drink. Don’t let her know you were about to run away. It’ll only make her mad, and that’s the last thing you need. Besides, you’re ready to face them now, right?”

I start to return the water, but it’s only a second later when a new one just appears in her hand. And I’m so busy blinking and gaping, I almost miss it when she says, “Remember what I told you: Believe what you see—what you know in your heart to be true—and discard everything else they try to tell you.”

I nod, taking one last look at Ever and Damen, hoping I can carry some of their optimism and magick with me wherever I go. About to make for Jennika now calling to me from her end of the hall, when Ever says, “You’re headed for great things, Daire Santos. You just have to believe in yourself.”

I stop, shoot her a quizzical look. About to tell her that my last name is Lyons, not Santos, when she smiles and nods and urges me on.

I hurry toward Jennika, allowing her to wrap an arm around me and lead me away as I cling to Ever’s assurance that the glowing people are real. The crows too. And the fact that I’m the only one who can see them doesn’t mean I’m insane, but rather that I’m headed for something extraordinary.

I can only hope that it’s true.

The End.

Giveaway:

Win a signed copy of Fate!

Official Contest information:

  • to enter please follow the instructions in the rafflecopter form
  • entrants must be 13 years of age or have parental permission
  • this giveaway is open to US residents only
  • the winner will be announced on this page in the rafflecopter form shortly after the conclusion of the giveaway
  • the winner will be notified by email and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen
  • as to protect your privacy and prevent spam mail, please DO NOT leave your email address in the comments section
  • for official giveaway rules and guidelines please consult the contest policy
  • for privacy information please consult the privacy policy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

05/31/12



Book Review

Fated by Alyson Noel

Fated by Alyson NoelRelease Date: May 22, 2012
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Shelfability: Acquire/Borrow
Pages: 352
Format: Advance Reader Copy
Source: Publisher
Interest: Author
Challenge: None
Buy the Book: Amazon
Get the Audiobook: Audible

Another captivating series from Alyson Noel!

Daire has the best life ever! She gets to travel all over the world and hang out with cute self indulged celebrities! Well it’s the best life every until she starts having crazy visions with severed heads and insane breakdown. They kind of put a damper on everything.

Unsure of what to do for her daughter, Daire’s mom sends her off to Enchantment, New Mexico to live with her estranged grandmother. In Enchantment, Daire meets two gorgeous brothers, discovers that she comes from a long line of Seekers, and that she has to save the world!

I didn’t like Daire so much at the beginning of the novel. Perhaps it wasn’t Daire so much that I didn’t like, but her relationship with her mother. Young mother or not, if I talked to my mom the way that she did, she would have slapped me silly! But once Daire was settled in Enchantment, she started growing on me.

I liked that the story was more about Daire and her developing her abilities than it was about the two boys. I was a little worried that part would overshadow everything, but it didn’t! It was a nice progression toward the end where the boys really come to play in the story.

I felt like this was a first in a series. And yes, I realize it was! There was just a lot of information that we are presented with. But that often happens with a first in a series. That being said, it didn’t make me enjoy it any less. If anything, it did an excellent job setting up everything for the next books in the series.

I really loved the Soul Seeker aspect of the novel, with the Spirit Guides and the portals to the different worlds. I’d love to hear about the research that Noel did for this series. I was able to hear a little bit about some she did, with taking Shaman classes, but I’m sure the entire thing was very complex!

I’m really looking forward to seeing where this series goes!

05/30/12



Giveaway

Giveaway: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Win a copy of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern!

Enter the world of The Night Circus through this magical hidden path to receive a special treat to take with you as you explore the online world of the circus. Visit the hidden path, HERE

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. 

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. 

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Find out more information about The Night Circus!!

Official Contest information:

  • to enter please follow the instructions in the rafflecopter form
  • entrants must be 13 years of age or have parental permission
  • this giveaway is open to UK and Commonwealth residents only
  • the winner will be announced on this page in the rafflecopter form shortly after the conclusion of the giveaway
  • the winner will be notified by email and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen
  • as to protect your privacy and prevent spam mail, please DO NOT leave your email address in the comments section
  • for official giveaway rules and guidelines please consult the contest policy
  • for privacy information please consult the privacy policy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

05/30/12



Book Review

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Release Date: UK Paperback: May 24, 2012
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Harvill Secker (Random House UK)
Age Group: Adult
Shelfability: Acquire
Pages: 387
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Interest: Story
Challenge: None
Buy the Book: Amazon
Get the Audiobook: Audible

Although The Night Circus is typically shelved in “adult fiction” there is definitely cross-over appeal for young adult readers. Although, The Night Circus isn’t a fast paced action packed book and I can see that may deterring some young adult readers, but stay with it!

Celia and Marco may be the two prominent characters in this story, but it’s not their story alone. We are first introduced to Celia as a young girl. We watch as she is trained by her father, not in the way a loving father would. On the flip side, we meet Marco. And watch as he is trained, quite differently than Celia by his mentor. The two don’t know it, but they are bound together in a competition, pitted against each other by the two men who are training them.

We watch the two of them grow, and struggle. Watch as they meet and watch as they compete. All the while we are introduced to several other characters and their stories. And of course there is the Circus, which is just as much a character in itself.

And all the while we are left wondering…. what exactly is this duel and more importantly, who will win?

The one thing that hooked me in this novel was the atmosphere. It wasn’t so much the characters, I didn’t particularly feel like I knew anyone of them that well, but the atmosphere. Wow. Now that was captivating. I felt like I was at the circus myself. There is a part of the novel where one of the characters Bailey happens upon a tent containing various jars. When he opens a jar he is transported by his sense of smell and hearing to the sea. I felt like Morgenstern did that with her words. I felt like I was completely transported to the circus. Just beautiful writing.

The chapters skip through time, forward and backward. One chapter you might be dated in the late 1800′s the next might be dated to the early 1900′s at times it could be confusing, but once you understand who is telling this part of the story it makes more sense. It was amazing how all the stories came together in the end to make such a seamless ending. It was so good! So, so good!

I would definitely recommend this one for all types of readers! Especially the ones that loved to be engrossed in slow and beautiful story.

05/29/12



Real Teen Review

Review by a Real Teen: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica RothMeet Christina, a “real” teen, and her opinions on YA books!

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

I read Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I started this book on Thursday, (yes, 2 days after it came out) and finished it today, Saturday. I was going to get it Tuesday but they didn’t have it yet, so my grandma had to buy it for me at Barnes and Noble.

Well, if you’ve read Divergent you know that they are in the middle of a war. Abnegation vs. Erudite. Tris has decided to take matters into her own hands and has been very reckless. She risked her life about a dozen times and you just want to shake her and say “What is happening to you?!?!” Of course, you can’t do that. ☺ Jeanine wants all of the Divergent to come to Erudite so she can study them. Tris finds out that some of her closest friends are Divergent and she has to risk her life to save them.

I liked this book A LOT!! Some of the things I liked were that you got introduced to some new characters and most of them played a big part in the book. I also liked how you learned more about Tobias’s past. I also liked how they brought back most of the characters from Divergent. I also like how Tobias gets a backbone and stands up to his father in Candor. If you’ve read the book, you know what I’m talking about. ;)

Some of the things I didn’t like were how Tobias and Tris started to grow apart. Arguments become fights and then they don’t even talk to each other anymore. It makes you want to chuck the book at a wall and hide in a corner, which I refused to do until I finished the book. ☺ Another thing I didn’t like was that Tris let death overtake her. She wanted to die. I’m glad she got over it and just in time too or else she would have died. She was there in the book, but she wasn’t there all the way though. She was half in, half out like not paying attention to really anything, but still doing things like walking and talking.

The ending surprised me the most. I should have seen it coming, but I guess I didn’t. :D Now I can’t help but wonder what will happen in the third book, but I already have an idea.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!! A-ma-zing!!



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