Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (18)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking The Spine!

This week I have picked a book that I've seen making the WoW rounds. ARTICLE 5 joins the dystopian crowd and gives me so many vibes of the awesome movie EQUILIBRIUM (if you haven't watched it, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy NOW). I think for that reason alone I'd love to check this book out. "Compliance is mandatory" is a great tagline IMO, and even if I think the cover is a bit mundane, I still want to add this one to my shelf!

ARTICLE 5 by Kristen Simmons
Releases February 14, 2012 from Tor Teen (hey, two days after my birthday!) from Tor Teen
368 Pages
Preorder from Amazon

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.
Let me know what you're waiting on Wednesday in the comments! I'd love to see what else people are looking forward to this week!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (12)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

 Grab your current read
 Open to a random page
 Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

 Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


This week I am teasing EVERY OTHER DAY by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, which releases December 27th from Egmont USA. I am not very far in yet and I'm having some Netgalley formatting issues, but the book itself is pretty good so far. It is about a girl that becomes a bloodthirsty demon hunter every other day, and the one day she needs her powers, it turns out she's only human and left without her talents. My teaser is from Location 303 (9%) of the Netgalley edition.

"I tried to work myself up to a good hair toss, but failed, because I couldn't take my eyes off the tattoo, which looked an awful lot like a serpent eating its own tail. Which meant that there was a distinct possibility that it wasn't a tattoo."
 Intriguing, no? I'd love to see what you are teasing this week!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel (REVIEW)

Zombies, science fiction, steampunk, AND Victorian you say? DEARLY, DEPARTED delivers in some of these areas, but falls short of really delivering on all its promises.

Published October 18, 2011 by Del Rey
480 Pages
eARC received via NetGalley
Order from Amazon
Lia Habel's website

Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

When I saw DEARLY, DEPARTED by Lia Habel on NetGalley, it automatically became my first request. Science fiction-meets-steampunk-meets-zombies?! You had me at hello! My own hype for this book became an undeniable and overwhelming force in my head. When I dug into the book and started reading, I found myself growing disappointed. The writing is nice and the plot is very original and unique, but there was just something…missing, I guess you could say. Or maybe it just had way too much to deal with.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

In My Mailbox (13)

Welcome to another installment of In My Mailbox, a meme hosted by The Story Siren where you can show off what you've gotten in your mailbox this week!

This week I once again mostly bought stuff. Thank goodness for the Goodwill and trade credit at my local independent used book store!  I also got a few things for review that you will be seeing in the coming weeks on the blog. I will just warn you in advance that this IMM will be very chick lit-focused, LOL. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep (REVIEW) + GIVEAWAY!

In the market for a fun, quick read filled with romance, intrigue, and lots of awesome fight scenes? Jennifer Estep's TOUCH OF FROST might be right up your alley!

TOUCH OF FROST by Jennifer Estep
Published August 1st, 2010 by K-Teen
350 Pages
Order from Amazon
Follow Jennifer Estep on Twitter

My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.

 But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why—especially since I should have been the one who died. . .
Sometimes there are things where you read them or watch them or listen to them and you cannot quite figure out why you liked it as much as you did. For me, TOUCH OF FROST is one of those books. Many of my fellow bloggers had issues with this book. Several did not finish it. Meanwhile, I loved it. I know where people are coming from when they cite several issues with the book – an unclear plot, choppy dialogue, cliché characters and settings. For some reason, my love of this book and the fact I find it an ooey gooey fluffy pile of goodness transcended those issues and I came away from reading Jennifer Estep’s first foray into young adult fiction feeling very, very happy.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Feature and Follow Friday (9...ish?)

Hello everyone for another week of Feature and Follow Friday! I actually have not kept up with how many of these I have done, so let's assume this is the 9th one for our purposes.

Firstly, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I had a great friend of mine over along with a lot of relatives, so we will now be having leftovers for years. I took a 3.5 hour nap afterwards so I will be awake until next week. But enough about that and all the pie. Three types! And cookies. And pudding. BANANA pudding. I'm serious now. Oh, and sweet potato casserole and...

Q: It’s Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. so we want to know what you are Thankful for – blogging related of course! Who has helped you out along the way? What books are you thankful for reading?
 Damn you, question! I was trying to make everyone drool. Firstly, I am thankful for the lovely Jenny of Books to the Sky for putting up with my crap on a daily basis and Andi at Rywn for helping me procrastinate on weekdays until 6 PM. I am thankful for my awesome critique partners/beta readers who know who they are, LOL. Totally not blogging related really, except most of them are bloggers and aspiring authors like me! Namely the hours long ramblings that are sarcastic meets weird meets extremely weird. I am thankful for everyone who has welcomed me to the blogging community, because I know I am a strange creature. I am thankful for my READERS (yes, kind of like that TIME Person of the Year where it was the mirror and you were the person of the year and I'm rambling aren't I?). You guys have made this possible! Really, I love you. A lot.

Books wise? That's hard. Harry Potter. Animorphs (being 12, a girl, and kickass is totally possible). Confessions of a Shopaholic (that book has brought so many laughs to my life, and told me that yes, I do have a shopping problem). China Mieville's The Scar for teaching me that thinking outside the box is preferable to thinking inside of it. James Alan Gardner's Expendable for teaching me that anyone is capable of saving the day. And Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's The Strain for scaring the pants off me when I needed a good scare.

Thanks again to everyone that has made Book Brats possible, even despite my recent slacking thanks to NaNoWriMo. I've hit 50,000 words, but this thing still has life left in it and I'd like to get as much done before my brain liquefies. I promise a review ASAP, though. I am almost done with several books so you guys will not be waiting for much longer. Until then, enjoy Black Friday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (17)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking The Spine!

This week I am going a bit far into the future to pick out a book I can't wait to read. How far? September 2012. Well, if there is SOMETHING of a synopsis and a drop dead cover like this one, of course I am going to be a giddy goat and get excited!

For my WoW this week, I have picked Sarah Beth Durst's VESSEL. It looks very Middle East kinda, which sounds pretty weird, but having taken Middle Eastern history classes and had a roommate who went to Egypt and brought me back tons of postcards (somehow an 8 hour layover on a trip to Ethiopia means pyramids trip!), I'm totally psyched by the topic. VESSEL comes out September 12th, 2012 from Margaret McElderry Books.

In a desert land where serpents made of unbreakable glass fly through the sky and wolves made of only sand hunt within storms, Liyana is destined to be a vessel, to sacrifice herself so that her clan's goddess can inhabit her body... but her goddess never comes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Love Begins on DVD Giveaway WINNERS!

Thanks to everyone who entered the LOVE BEGINS on DVD giveaway! We received 286 entries to the contests from dozens of great people. Thanks to everyone who entered, and remember to enter our 200 Followers Giveaway ending on December 7th! But I think you are all wondering, WHO WON?!

Well, that is what I am here to announce. Congratulations to...

Shannon and Heather!

The winners have been contacted and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Thanks again to everyone who entered and supported Book Brats! Stay tuned for more giveaways, reviews, events, and other great things. You won't want to miss it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Audiobook Alert! Tempest by Julie Cross

Welcome to AUDIOBOOK ALERT, a very sporadic feature on Book Brats. In fact, this is the first entry and the only one I have planned for...ever, but maybe I will find more reasons to use that graphic above that I made in 30 seconds!

Thanks to our friends at Macmillan Audio, Book Brats is proud to bring you a special clip of the upcoming audiobook of TEMPEST by Julie Cross. You can preorder it from Amazon before it's release January 17th, 2012. Check out my review of the ARC here. So check out behind the cut for a special 7:22 preview of the audiobook and then be sure to go and place your preorder! TEMPEST is not a book - or audiobook - to be missed.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

In My Mailbox (12)

Welcome to another installment of In My Mailbox, a meme hosted by The Story Siren where you can show off what you've gotten in your mailbox this week!
This week was one of those few weeks where most of the stuff I acquired was via my own wallet - or, more appropriately, my father's wallet and a bucket load of trade credit at the used bookstore. I did get a few things actually in my mailbox(es) for review or as prizes. Actually, this week it was mostly review or Amazon! If I got anything from contests, I have apparently now forgot and I am so apologetic! Okay, back to the topic. Check out what I got behind the cut!

Friday, November 18, 2011

2012 TBR Reading Challenge

Hello guys! No NaNo post today - I am going to save the final one for the day when I finish, which should be within the next few days! Stay tuned for that. Instead, I am going to announce that I am joining the 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge, hosted by Evie at Bookish! Go over to Bookish and check out the challenge and, if you are a blogger, join up! If you're like me and have dozens of unread books that need to be read, then this is a great chance to get those read - and win PRIZES! Everyone loves a good prize, don't they?

I am going to enter at first into the 11-20 - A Friendly Hug category. Hopefully that won't be too hard to achieve, eh? Here are the first 15 books I will be saving and hope to read! Look behind the cut to see what I've picked out!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Feature and Follow Friday and TGIF!

You read the title of this post right. Book Brats is back in the Feature and Follow Friday and TGIF fun! Wow, I bet you never saw this one coming, mwahaha. Just kidding. It's just that I've been busy with writing and editing and reading and applying for jobs that I haven't had time to dedicate to F&FF and TGIF and many of the other blog hop follow things. But at least for this week, I am back. Click READ MORE below to find out my answers to this week's questions and to catch up on all the fun stuff that I have posted this week! PS, it includes contests!

200 Followers Appreciation Giveaway!

All my wonderful followers, you might have noticed that I got to 200 followers this week. Without you guys, I would be nowhere. I'm so excited to have hit that plateau, so of course that means I am having a giveaway. Since this is a big celebration for me, I will be giving away my biggest prize yet - $11 for you to buy one book of your choice from Book Depository or Amazon (for US people). If Book Depository ships to you, you're welcome to enter and spread the word!

And as a special extra, if we hit 300 followers by December 7th, I will add in a second prize - an ARC of Erin Duffy's awesome debut novel, BOND GIRL. Trust me, if you like chick lit, you want this book. It's amazing. And the ARC will come with some awesome swag.

So please enter. If you're so inclined, add our giveaway button to your blog or post about it! You will get extra entries. And the entry form along with the button will be behind the cut. Just click Read More below! Thanks for supporting Book Brats and entering in our contest! And yay flamingos!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (16)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking The Spine!

For once I am scheduling this post long in advance. Well, a week, but anything longer than 12 hours for me is an eternity. This week I am waiting on Robin LaFevers' GRAVE MERCY. I mean, it has everything a girl could ask for. Great cover, butt-kicking heroine, assassin nuns, Gods of Death. Okay, I might be jealous I didn't write this synopsis myself because it seems so up my alley. Well, the cover almost does suffer from pretty girl in a prom dress syndrome, but I can overlook that. It has a castle, too. And a crossbow. Okay, I need to stop, but I'm excited for this book. It sounds pretty awesome, no?

GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers comes out March 7th from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It's 528 pages long.

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (11)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

 Grab your current read
 Open to a random page
 Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

 Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


This week I am reading Joseph Nassise's EYES TO SEE, which came out last month from Tor. It's pretty damn fascinating so far, and I am down with all things weird and unusual. I'd suggest you guys go check it out and see for yourself.

From page 45...

"While we certainly weren't friends, I couldn't say we were enemies, either. That would require us to see each other as equals, something neither of us was willing to do."

So share your teasers with me! I'd love to see what everyone is teasing this week!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Hunger Games Trailer - Thoughts?


Good morning all my lovelies! As you might know, the trailer for THE HUNGER GAMES premiered today on Good Morning America. I never reviewed THE HUNGER GAMES on my blog but I am not the biggest fan of the series. I liked them, yes, but they're not my favorite books of all time, especially not MOCKINGJAY. I have a special interest in this movie because it was filmed in my state near where I went to college (Western Carolina University, just FYI). That and I love Stanley Tucci. He can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. Besides Liam Hemsworth's bad acting, the Peacekeepers looking like jockeys, and Woody Harrelson's horrible hair, I think it looks better than I was expecting. And yeah, I'm a perennial pessimist. I'm actually holding out hope now that this movie might be half decent unlike a large number of YA adaptations.

It comes out in March. See you on opening night!

Author Interview with Kristy Berridge

This week Book Brats is proud to present our first author interview with Kristy Berridge, author of THE HUNTED (available from Amazon and Book Depository and many other websites). Be sure to check out Kristy's website - she is having a fabulous giveaway that I'm sure all of you will be interested in!

BB: Hi Kristy! Thanks for letting me interview you for Book Brats. I've been looking to do more things besides memes and reviews and discussions where I argue with myself about silly subjects. And since this is my first interview, trust that it will be awkward.

Let's start with an easy question. Why did you become a writer?

KB: I'll be honest and say boredom. Yes, as terrible as it is to say that, I was sitting in my office about four years ago thinking, what the hell can I do today?

I'd always had a great love for the paranormal, books, film and television, so I thought, why don't I write my own story? I mean, why not, right? So I did, but I made a promise to myself not to sacrifice on violence, romance and cuss words. I think I did okay on all three accounts. Now as it turns out, I can't imagine doing anything else. I've fallen in love with this world of make believe and seriously wish I could obliterate reality's obligation to pay my bills and just write full time!

BB: Ugh, bills, don't mention them around me, LOL. So now that you are a writer and in love with the world of make believe, have any weird and confusing things inspired you?

KB: When I'm writing inspiration usually comes from late nights staring up at the ceiling trying to iron out the wrinkles in my story lines. I also have a lot of weird dreams, many too creepy to speak of, so lets just say I have a vivid imagination. However, when it comes to my blog, I use my everyday life as inspiration. Apparently I'm a bit of a disaster.

BB: If you had to cast the movie adaptation of THE HUNTED and you could get anyone to play Elena and William, who would you cast? And speaking of casting choices... Any role for Karl Urban? Wink wink.

KB: Karl Urban is an Uber Spunk, and I think he could play one of the mains that comes into Book two 'The Damned'. I can't say too much though or I'll spoil the story!
As for Elena, it's hard to say, maybe someone like Ellen Page's attitude with Emma Robert's spunk. And I think William would have to be played by someone like Robbie Amell - hot bod with that sexy smile.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Love Begins on DVD Giveaway!


Win a copy of LOVE BEGINS, out on DVD November 22

Based on the novel, Love Finds a Home, discover how Janette Oke’s touching “Love Comes Softly” series began in LOVE BEGINS, arriving on DVD November 22 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

After their father passes away, Ellen Barlow (Julie Mond) and her sister Cassie (Abigail Mavity) struggle to maintain their family’s farm. When Clark Davis (Wes Brown) finds trouble in their town on his way to California, Ellen agrees to hire him at the farm to work off his debts.  Before long, Clark and Ellen unexpectedly develop feelings for each other. Ultimately, the pair begins a legacy of love and faith together in this heartwarming family drama.

For your chance to win a copy of LOVE BEGINS on DVD, simply answer the following question:

 What is the name of the character who has to work off his debts in LOVE BEGINS
·         Wes Brown
·         Clark Davis
·         Ellen Barlow

Follow Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on: Twitter @FoxHomeEnt

(Also appearing on Online Sweepstakes and Free Sweepstakes and Contests

In My Mailbox (11)

Welcome to another installment of In My Mailbox, a meme hosted by The Story Siren where you can show off what you've gotten in your mailbox this week!

This week I've gotten a few things. I hope to get to reading them soon, but if you saw my bookshelves right now and knew how little I've been reading thanks to the dreaded NaNoWriMo (DAMN YOU WRITING), you would be concerned for my sanity. Or else you might just point and laugh at me. Either one is understandable and I wouldn't blame you.

So this week I received/bought/acquired/killed for...

DAIMON (Covenant #0.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (thanks Shellie of Creative Reads)
SOULLESS (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger (thanks Patricia of Book Exhibitionism)
SLICE OF CHERRY by Dia Reeves (thanks Katie of Katie's Book Blog)
QUEEN OF BABBLE (Queen of Babble #1) by Meg Cabot (thanks Goodwill of Central NC)
MARKED (House of Night #1) by PC Cast and Kristin Cast (thanks Goodwill of Central NC)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

2012 Debut Authors Challenge

It's that time of the year again! Or for me, the first time. The Story Siren is hosting the 2012 Debut Author Challenge, where your objective is to read and review a minimum of 12 young adult or middle grade debut novels between January 1st, 2012 and January 31, 2013 (if the world doesn't end first). This will be my first official challenge even though I do plan on ATTEMPTING a classics challenge. If you're a blogger or just a casual reader who has a Goodreads account, I suggest you pop over to The Story Siren and sign up! This might just be the fun you're looking for.

So I've put together a preliminary list of what I plan on picking up and checking out and reviewing next year. Note the word preliminary, though! We'll see when we actually get to January.

1.) When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen
2.) The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
3.) Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
4.) Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
5.) Everneath by Brodi Ashton
6.) Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
7.) Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
8.) Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
9.) Above by Leah Bobet
10.) Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield
11.) The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze
12.) The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long

When we hit January I will add this to my lovely header bar of fun so you can keep track of my progress. And good luck everyone who is attempting the challenge!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tempest by Julie Cross (REVIEW)

Fans of THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE and JAMES BOND (weird combination, I know) might find a lot to love about this action-packed book - if they can get past some shoddy characterization and slow spots.

TEMPEST by Julie Cross
January 17, 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Griffin
352 Pages
ARC Received via LibraryThing
Preorder via Amazon

The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.


When I first heard about TEMPEST and the hype surrounded it, I was conflicted. On one hand, I do love a good male POV drama. On the other, I hate hype. I will admit it, I’m such a pessimist that I don’t know what to do with myself. Thanks to LibraryThing I won a copy of TEMPEST and eventually got around to reading it.

I’m still conflicted. Part of me thought that it was awesome and action packed and original, and then the other part of me thinks it wasn’t worth any of the hype surrounding it. The story follows Jackson Meyer, a 19 year old with the power to time travel (a very different sort of time travel than you might expect), as he is forced two years back in time after witnessing the death of his girlfriend, Holly. Jackson is honestly not a character I really liked. I mean, he was a stereotypical teenager guided by his manhood instead of his head, but I never got the impression that he really loved the girl the cover promised us he loved until he just suddenly declared his love. Their relationship seemed much more casual than anything, giving me pause in wondering why he was going through all the hoops to save her. I had a hard time connecting with him and his motivation, or getting past the fact I thought he came off as a huge jerk VERY early in the novel.

So the characterization in the novel is rather flat otherwise. The plausibility factor is also rather low. For example, Jackson’s friend Adam has way too many connections and his knowledge level in stuff like hacking and DNA labs and mathematics is way too high for me to believe him for an instant. Why am I giving this book four stars? What this novel had going for it was action, intrigue, and a science fiction element that made me want to know more. It was very reminiscent of THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE in a sense, and since I love that book so much, I couldn’t help but enjoy TEMPEST’s take on the situation. Cross’s take is definitely different, and for that she definitely gets some kudos.

There were a few points in the book where I got somewhat bored, parts that were reiterations or needless aspects that could have easily been cut, but the book definitely did not suffer from a lack of excitement. From gunfights to time traveling to mystery elements, there is little to keep you bored for long. But action packed stuff only makes up a little of the characterization problems that keep this book from getting what it could have gotten. I wanted more, so the hype for me once again fell sadly flat. I’ll still check out book 2!

VERDICT: With characterization issues that plague the story and a lack of plausibility at times, TEMPEST has a strong redeeming aspect – great action and a strong mythos – but is not fully redeemed. More of a 3.5/5 than anything.


NaNoWriMo Week 2 Update!

Hello my lovelies! As you might remember from last Friday, I am indeed attempting NaNoWriMo for the millionth time. Well, it's actually the seventh, but it feels like many more. Last week during my check in I promised an excerpt from what I was working on. But first, the update itself.

Day 11 - 11/11/11

Word Count: 29023

Which means I'm ahead of schedule! I want to finish by the 20th so I can work on editing one of my other manuscripts and prepare for querying. Wish me luck on that! Anyway, a very short excerpt from IN THE GARDEN OF DEMONS.


Groaning, he leaned back and peered up at the ceiling. “I read Romeo and Juliet, and I can safely assure you that we’re not going to end up like some starcrossed lovers who kill themselves because they wanted to teach their stupid parents a lesson.”
“You say that like you already know we’ll fall in love.”
A wry smile crossed his face. “I’m not saying that,” he told her. “I’m just saying we won’t end up like that. Those kind of romances are always cruddy anyway."
“I think they’re romantic.”
“Being too wrapped up in love to function is romantic?
She laughed, her giggles resonating across the room. “Having someone who cares about you enough to give up the world is romantic. Well, if you don’t think too hard about it.”

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Giveaway Alert! Happy 1000 Followers, LC's Adventures in Libraryland!

Hello, my lovelies! I normally don't advertise giveaways on other blogs, but when a blogger reaches 1,000 followers I think that's a reason to celebrate them, right? Actually, she's reached 1203 now so that's even a bigger win. In celebration of this milestone, Lea of LC's Adventures in Libraryland is hosting a wonderful giveaway. Win your choice of prize pack! I mean, that's a great prize and I'd sure like to get my hands on that dystopian pack since I admittedly haven't read any of them yet.

The giveaway ends on December 1st so I suggest you get over there and congratulate her and enter!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (15)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking The Spine!

While this book is being described as THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO for teens, and while I didn't like that book, William Richter's upcoming DARK EYES has a cover that I'm lusting after. Most people can tell you that I never have judged books by their covers and covers more often than not don't factor into my book decisions in the slightest. In fact, pretty girls in prom dresses have stopped me from buying books. I think it's font lust here. The font on this cover is amazing.

DARK EYES by William Richter comes out March 15th, 2012 from Razorbill.

Get ready for the vigilante girl detective of the next generation.

Wally was adopted from a Russian orphanage as a child and grew up in a wealthy New York City family. At fifteen, her obsessive need to rebel led her to life on the streets.

Now the sixteen-year-old is beautiful and hardened, and she's just stumbled across the possibility of discovering who she really is. She'll stop at nothing to find her birth mother before Klesko—her darkeyed father—finds her. Because Klesko will stop at nothing to reclaim the fortune Wally's mother stole from him long ago. Even if that means murdering his own blood. But Wally's had her own killer training, and she's hungry for justice.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for teens, this debut thriller introduces our next big series heroine!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (10)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

 Grab your current read
 Open to a random page
 Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

 Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


I thought that for this Teaser Tuesday instead of posting a teaser from TEMPEST, a book that you will see a LOT of teasers from, I would post something a bit more lighthearted and fun. Or at least bad for the sake of being bad. I found this for $1.00 at the thrift store today so I HAD to buy it. Please forgive me and this sin against books and authors and everything. This week's teaser is from Paris Hilton's infamous CONFESSIONS OF AN HEIRESS. And this is the entire page.

From page 97...

  • Anywhere with humid weather. I hate to be anyplace my hair frizzes.
  • The Hamptons: it's SO tired
  • The nudist colony where Nicole and I had to stay on THE SIMPLE LIFE 2. Some people should never voluntarily go without clothes.
  • Maine: I went there once. Good lobster, but there's nothing to do.
  • Anywhere there's a lot of insects.
  • Anywhere with bad cell phone reception.
Paris also suggests you stay at the Four Seasons when visiting Maui. Hawaii is the best place to get a real tan.

CONFESSIONS OF AN HEIRESS is NOT a Book Brats recommendation, unless you want to roll your eyes for 192 pages of photographs and shopping advice. It was published May 23rd, 2006 by Fireside.

So what are you teasing this Tuesday?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan (GUEST REVIEW)

Thanks to NaNoWriMo, please be advised that Book Brats might have a few more guest reviews than normal. Please welcome back UK Correspondent Rebecca (follower on Twitter @mephster) and check out her review of JL Bryan's JENNY POX, book one in the Jenny Pox series!

Jenny's touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague. She can't control her power, so she devotes her life to avoiding contact with other people in her small Southern town. Her senior year of high school, she meets the one boy she can touch...but if she's going to be with him, Jenny must learn to use the "Jenny pox" inside her to survive his devious, manipulative girlfriend, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.

Published July 24th, 2009 by CreateSpace
292 Pages

Jenny Pox is another one of those novels I downloaded to my kindle because it was free, which I am fully happy to admit. The blurb really didn’t inspire too much hope in me, but I picked it for something to read in the afternoon with a nice cuppa and possibly replace with another after the first few pages because I can’t stand the writing. For once, I am glad to have been proven wrong. Perhaps the old adage ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ should begin to be adapted to ‘don’t judge a book by its badly written description’. 

At first, I was convinced that Jenny Pox would be another one of those novels jumping on the bandwagon of ‘Rogue-esque’ powers, wherein they are unable to touch anybody. I was pleasantly surprised to find a very dark novel, with well-developed and believable characters with all the flaws and back handed arseyness of real teenagers. The plot itself isn’t the strongest and is in fact a bit clichéd (girl has problem, girl meets unattainable boy with a bitch/popular girlfriend, bitch/popular girlfriend attempts vengeance, girl kills everything in her path…mostly cliché, then) but it’s a very easy read and the violence isn’t as overwhelming as might be expected. 

I felt the religious slant of the antagonistic Ashleigh was a little heavy handed but I’m really putting that down to my contact with religion being limited to being stopped in the street and told I’m going to burn in hell for my lack of belief…but in a polite way. I’d normally give the writer the benefit of the doubt, seeing as the character in question (to my eyes at least) was using the religion bent for the power and little else. At least to me, the angle works. It gives what would otherwise be a run of the mill YA novel standard bitch archetype a more sinister edge. Maybe I’m reading a little too much into it, but hey, it added something and I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

All in all, I’d give Jenny Pox 4*. It’s not perfect, but few novels are. The characters are flawed and human, with complexities that are rarely found in YA fiction. 


Saturday, November 5, 2011

In My Mailbox (10)

Welcome to the tenth installment of In My Mailbox, a meme hosted by The Story Siren. This week I got something interesting that I hope to dig into soon!

TRANCE by Kelly Meding (thanks Pocket After Dark!)

So that's it! Thanks to Pocket After Dark for the great book and bookmark. Can't wait to get a chance to read it! Hope everyone else had a wonderful book week and I can't wait to see what you got.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Book Brats On... NaNoWriMo

As many of my fellow bloggers can tell you, it’s that time of year – National Novel Writing Month is upon us. And if you know me or read my blog, you probably know that yes, I am an aspiring author. I have of decided to tackle NaNoWriMo once again for attempt number six, and hopefully this will be victory number five for me, but what does that mean for Book Brats?

Well, it means I probably won’t be posting as many reviews. I will try and keep up with my memes and attempt to get a few guest posts to make up for the lack of activity. And look out for the return of our Guest Correspondents if I can get them to review something for me. I can see my best friend squirming right now as I beg her to help me out. Or maybe she can do a guest post about librarians, I don’t know. We’ll see.

And expect to see a few writing updates from my progress! I am actually hoping to finish by the 18th or so. I mean, in 3 days I did write 12,500 words, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. Writing job applications and manuscripts at the same time has become my life.

But the first Book Brats NaNo teaser – the working title! Coming soon maybe to a bookstore near you…


Next Friday I will post a short synopsis. If I remember. But trust me when I say it has demons. Lots of demons.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming already in progress!