Incarnate Theatre Treasure Hunt Activity!

So I didn't keep it a secret how much I LOVED Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, but now I'm going to shout it to the world!

Welcome to the INCARNATE Theater Treasure Hunt!

This week, 48 bloggers are celebrating the release of Incarnate by Jodi Meadows by participating in a treasure hunt with clues, activities, and lots of prizes including signed books and handknit fingerless mitts. You've reached an ACTIVITY blog, which means on this page, you can gain extra entries for Jodi's grand prize drawing by completing my activity and filling out the accompanying form. Then head to the next activity for more Incarnate fun! There are over twenty Incarnate activities around. The more you do, the better your chances of winning the grand prize.

For more information on the INCARNATE Theater Treasure Hunt, check out Jodi's post. The Grand Prize gets you: A signed, annotated hardcover of INCARNATE; handknit fingerless mittens; a first-edition hardcover of one of my favorite books; a (possibly dead) character named after you in Incarnate 3 (spelling adjusted for worldbuilding); a handful of INCARNATE stickers.
Two runners up will get: A signed hardcover of INCARNATE; handknit fingerless mittens; a handful of INCARNATE stickers.

My activity is similar to the "guess the cover" contests I do, but in this case there's a butterfly theme! I found 12 covers that have butterflies on them (most are YA, by the way). I'll show you the entire cover, with the title and author blurred, and you just need to tell me the title! Each one you get right will give you an entry into the GRAND PRIZE giveaway!

But I'm also doing a separate giveaway of a finished copy of INCARNATE. If you get AT LEAST TEN (10) of the covers correct you will be entered to win a copy of Incarnate just from me. Cool beans, eh? OPEN INTERNATIONAL!

All right, so here are your covers. You can fill out the form here or below the image. And below the form are some links to MORE activity bloggers! Good luck!



Other Activity Bloggers:
(Go to their blogs to get even MORE links!)



All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Pandemonium-- Lauren Oliver

Release Date: February 28th, 2012
Genre:  Dystopia, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 375
Rating:
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Summary:
I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
push,
push,
push,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.
Blurb: Hard to follow and connect to, Pandemonium falls far short of the bar set by Delirium.

Review: I spent a lot of time debating whether to give this book 3 or 2.5 stars. There were so many things that bothered me. I loved Delirium, and I don't think this one is just suffering from "second-book syndrome." It's more than that. I just honestly didn't like it.

For one thing, each chapter changes flips back and forth six months. This made it pretty impossible for me to connect to the story. Every time I started to feel for the characters in one timeline, I'd be pushed into another and it just frustrated me. I think that if this story had been linear, I would have liked it A LOT more. I feel like she was trying to put two separate books into one, and she didn't need to.

Next was the "love" part of the story. This series is based on the idea of love being a disease, so you know somebody's going to fall in love. I won't tell you who for risks of spoilers. But I will tell you that their "falling in love" seemed trite, rushed, and was clearly just something to create tension that didn't really need to be there. I didn't understand why the girl was falling in love with this guy, and vice versa. It was a very... hormonal love, I think. Desperate, almost. Blah.

And there's a "twist" at the end that I totally saw coming, even though as I read the book I kept saying "no. Please no. Not that." Because it was CHEAP! I found myself saying "Oh puh-lease!" I had hoped this series would be more original than that. Not to say that it won't cause some interesting conflict in book 3, but I would have been MORE interested to see how the author had moved on WITHOUT this choice.

And just as a side note, these characters don't know the following words: poop, crap, dung, feces, droppings, excrement, etc. The only word they know is s***. And that drove me nutso. And there was one (maybe two) f-bombs.

So all-in-all, not much love. Definitely fell short of Delirium. Will I read the third one? No. This book kind of killed any love I had for the characters.


All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.

Hypothetical Beta Readers

I would like to pose a question purely hypothetically. Let's say (hypothetically, remember) that a certain person would like to start writing again. But that certain person knows she/he would need a beta reader who would motivate, support, and question her/him in her/his writing. How would she/he find such a beta reader?

Writer friends, discuss.


All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

**Cinder-- Marissa Meyer

Release Date: January 3rd, 2012
Genre:  Fantasy, Sci-fi, Romance
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 390
Rating:
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Summary:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
Blurb: Totally unique, and totally awesome

Review: WOW! This book was GOOD! For some reason, when I first read the summary I was turned off. I don't know why. But when I had the chance to go to a private Q&A with the author, I figured I should probably read her book. I'm so glad I did!

An upfront warning: this book is totally predictable. Totally. As in, you'll see the major twist coming pretty much from the beginning. Does that take away from the good-ness of the book? Not at all!

One of the things I loved about this book is that, even aside from being sci-fi, Marissa wasn't afraid to make the fairy-tale her own. This book isn't predictable because it follows the original/Disney Cinderella. She has so many more things that make it unique. Moon-people with "magic" powers, a robot helper (instead of mice), and a stepsister who actually likes her! So fun! One of my pet-peeves is when fairy-tale "retellings" are SO close to the original story that it's a stretch to call them a "retelling."

Marissa does a great job incorporating the sci-fi elements into the story. She doesn't bog you down with egregious details on how the different mechanics work, but I believe all the tech she does describe. It was also easy to like the prince. There was no insta-love, and Cinder certainly isn't one to swoon, but there certainly was some chemistry going on there. Literally.

All-in-all a really great read, and I'm so excited that the next three books already have titles and release dates! All of the books will star Cinder as the main character, but will also share a POV with another fairy-tale heroine. Scarlet (2013) will take place in France with Little Red Riding Hood, Cress (2014) will take place ON THE MOON with Rapunzel, and Winter (2015) will take place in the Sahara Desert with Snow White. Cool, eh? Clearly the publisher sees some pretty serious talent in Marissa if they've already taken her on for FOUR books in FOUR years. And I don't blame them. She rocks, and so does Cinder.


All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.

**A Million Suns-- Beth Revis

Release Date: January 10th, 2012
Genre:  Sci-fi, Romance
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 386
Rating:
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Series: Across the Universe #2 (Review of #1)
Summary (Spoilers, highlight to view):
Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.
It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies.


But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.


In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.
Blurb: Just when you thought this series couldn't get any better.

Review: So I was totally in love with the first book in this series, but if I could go back I would give it less stars just so you would know exactly how awesome this book is.

Yup. That's right. The second book is better than the first. Almost NEVER is the second book in a trilogy better than the first. But boy howdy, this book is.

So many twists, turns, personal turmoil, and more! There is some sequel-phase going on, but it didn't take away from the book. I loved watching Amy discover herself, and Elder's fine and dandy too, but the best part of this book is definitely the mystery. And when you find out the mystery... woah. Hold on to your hats, folks.

But that ending... yeesh. Here's the warning label I made up for it:

*Warning: the end of this book will leave you so far off the edge of your seat that falling is a serious danger. Beware injury.*

I wish I could say more, but unfortunately I was dumb and let myself get trapped by finals week before writing my review. So all of this that I'm telling you is what stuck with me even 2-months after finishing the book.
I stayed up until 1am to finish, and I wish I could scrub my brain clean of this book just so I could read it again for the first time.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.

In My Mailbox: HAPPY new year

I usually am not very political in my song choice, but this one just seemed too apropos to ignore what with all the crazy things happening on the internet lately. I did edit the song a little, because even though I looked up the lyrics before I bought it and it does say "The ship going down" it certainly doesn't SOUND like that's what she's saying. Enjoy! Links below.



Library:
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness (Goodreads | Amazon)
This Dark Endeavor, by Kenneth Oppel (Goodreads | Amazon)
Department Nineteen, by Will Hill (Goodreads | Amazon)

Purchased:
Seriously… I'm Kidding, by Ellen Degeneres (Goodreads | Amazon)
Sisters Red, by Jackson Pearce (Goodreads | Amazon)
Cinder, by Marissa Meyer (Goodreads | Amazon)
The Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale (Goodreads | Amazon)

Review (from Amazon Vine):
Partials, by Dan Wells (Goodreads | Amazon)

Christmas:
The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern (Goodreads | Amazon) Recommended by Suey
Shadowcry, by Jenna Burtenshaw (Goodreads | Amazon)
DeathWatch, by Ari Berk (Goodreads | Amazon)
Witchlanders, by Lena Coakley (Goodreads | Amazon)


All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Fear-- Michael Grant

Release Date: April 3rd, 2012
Genre:  Horror, Dystopia, Sci-fi
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 576
Rating:
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Series: Gone #5 (Review of #1, #2, #3, #4)
Summary:
This is a blood-pumping, white-knuckle sci-fi thriller of epic proportions. Night is falling in the FAYZ. Even though it's been nearly a year since everyone over the age of fifteen disappeared, the sun has continued to shine on the kids of Perdido Beach. Now, though, the gaiaphage has blotted out the sun and plunged the FAYZ into perpetual gloom. Divided and dispirited, the survivors face their greatest enemy yet - the darkness of their own minds...
Blurb: Fear crosses the invisible line in more ways than one

Review: I've always loved this series. They're almost a guilty pleasure of mine. They are so gripping. They certainly don't feel like nearly 600 pages each.

If you haven't read this series, then you probably won't care much about this review. And if you have read the series, then you know a lot about it already, so I'll keep it brief.

I think this book crosses the line in some places. This series has always been disturbing, but I felt like this one was SO disturbing that it made me enjoy it less.

And that's all I'm gonna say. Seriously. If you are familiar with the series and would like more information, feel free to e-mail me.


All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.

What should I review next?

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with all the reviews I have to write, so what would YOU like to see first? It'll help me put some order to my life. Answer in this poll!




All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Discussion post: is objectivity important to you?

Okay, I was thinking about this the other day when I was writing my Midnight in Austenland review. It was hard for me to write my review because I didn't love the book as much as her others(But that's not saying a ton. I still loved it), but that's not because the book wasn't good, it's because I wasn't good for the book.

And then I thought to myself, "This would be easy to write if you were an objective reviewer." (p.s. I'm really hoping I'm using "objective" correctly in this post, otherwise... well, I hope you know what I mean)

If I had left all my personal stuff out of my review, it would have looked like this (cliff notes version):
This book is hilarious. This book has a great mystery. This book shows wonderful growth in the self-confidence of a woman.
And now that I've biased you enough with that terrible example, I have a question:

How important is objectivity to you in a book blogger?

By that I mean, do you want book bloggers to take their personal feelings OUT of their reviews? Do you want me to just analyze the book as a work of fiction; or do you like knowing that I, as someone with no experience with divorce, wasn't able to connect with it?

And is there a spectrum? Do you think that sometimes it's good to bring personal stuff into a review, and other times it's unnecessary/inappropriate?

I want to know! I can't say that your answers will make me change how I review, but it might make me change how I think.

And feel free to leave a comment anonymously, just so long as you remain courteous.

And I wrote this before you lovely people commented with your "great review!"s and Bloomsbury retweeted my review. So maybe my question is already answered. But I still want to hear from you!


All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

**Under the Never Sky-- Veronica Rossi

Release Date: January 3rd, 2012
Genre:  Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 384
Rating:
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Summary:
Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live under the never sky.
Blurb: A perfect balance of action, intrigue, and romance. Simply magical.

Review: This book is something magical. Unlike most paranormal romances now where two people automatically love each other and we read 300 pages of them and their issues, in this book you get to watch two people FALL in love. Really fall in love. And in the meantime we get to see a wonderfully rich and detailed world, experience heart racing adventures, and go through heartbreaking tragedies.

This book perfectly balances action and intrigue, love and plot. I found myself on the edge of my seat at some parts, and melting into a puddle at others. She's been able to mix the romance into the story in such a way that the storyline is still pure. There are no cheap shots or "oh geez" moments.

About 90% into this book I was thinking, "Wow! This is such an amazing action story!"

At 100% I had tears in my eyes and thought, "Wow. What an amazing love story."

Now I'm just thinking, "Wow. What an amazing book."

If you'd like to see a review of someone who DIDN'T like this book, check it out here: Emily's Reading Room. She has some really valid points about things that usually bug me, but didn't in this book. So check it out!


All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.

Do you hate embedded comments as much as I do?

EDIT: Apparently custom blog designs need to do an extra step in order to get threaded comments (Click here for instructions) and when I do it it makes my fonts and format go wackado. So until this issue is fixed, I'll be going without threaded comments.

So, some of you may not know that blogger now does threaded comments! This means that we can reply to individual comments. Cool eh? And ABOUT TIME! But here's the thing, it requires embedded comments, which look like this:

I've always HATED embedded comments. They're so buggy. But is it worth having embedded comments in order to be able to reply to individual comments? I want your opinion. PLEASE let me know either in the comments or just by answering this poll:






All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Midnight in Austenland-- Shannon Hale

Release Date: January 31st, 2012
Genre:  Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 423
Rating:
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Series: Companion to Austenland
Summary:
When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.

Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love?
Blurb: Shannon is as hilarious as ever, but Midnight in Austenland lives up to its name in that it's certainly darker than its predecessor.

Review: This book had everything I love about Shannon's books. It was witty, hilariously funny, and the personal growth that Charlotte experiences was even more wonderful than Jane's in the first Austenland. Seriously, at the end I think I loved Charlotte 10 million times more than Jane, and I love Jane to pieces!

I especially loved how this book had so much meat! If you're a big Shan-fan like me, then you know that Austenland is (quite-lovingly) described as froth. Well this book is the big dense whipped-cream froth on top of hot chocolate with cinnamon! Austenland is primarily a romance, but this book is most certainly a mystery first and foremost which adds fabulous spice to the romance. How cool is that?!  I didn't go in expecting a mystery, so it was fun to really get sucked into it. It was a cool mystery too. I loved who the villain ended up being, and who Charlotte ended up being with. What an AWESOME twist!

However, this is the first time I haven't given a Shannon book 5 flowers, that's because this was the first time that I've felt like I couldn't fully appreciate one of Shannon's adult books. With Austenland it was easy to forget how old Jane was because she was still single and dating, and I'm still single and dating. With The Actor and the Housewife the characters were literally IN MY WORLD (or state at least), and it was easy to relate to Becky and everything that happened around her because they were things I was familiar with.

In this book... I don't know. Maybe a teen of divorced parents might relate to it better? I've always counted myself lucky to have almost NO experience with divorce. And Charlotte's back stories just made me sad, unlike Jane's which just made me laugh. So even though I LOVED it, there were times where I thought the real meat of the story was going over my head. I really felt like it's meant for adults or those with some experience with divorce. Not single 20-somethings living in a happy bubble. Perhaps I shall try it again when I'm an adult. What's that? 20-somethings are technically adults? Pish posh.

Oh! Disclaimer! When I say "meant for adults" I don't mean there's any "graphic" content. There's very minimal profanity, and it never goes beyond kissing. A teen definitely could read this.

But I must admit. I think my favorite line was (some profanity, highlight to view) "I will go mama bear on your ass." I don't like profanity, but this made me do a breakfast club fist-pump into the air. Go Charlotte! I truly loved her, even if I couldn't relate to her.

P.S. If you'd like a review from someone who wasn't bothered by this un-relate-ability thing, you should check out Emily's review here. I especially love (and totally agree) with this part of her review:
If you are a fan of the first novel, you'll really enjoy this one. However, I doubt that this companion will persuade any non-believers. Nor do I think it is meant to. ... Charlotte's story begins sadly, but in a very honest way that I think many women will relate with. And though there is fun and frivolity, I was also pleased that Charlotte grew very significantly as a character throughout the book.

~From Emily's review of Midnight In Austenland on Emily's Reading Room

Man. This is one of those moments where I get super-jealous of other reviewers and their ability to articulate things far better than me. Because GAH! this review was hard to write. I hope I made it clear that my issues with the book are because of PERSONAL things, not because of the book itself. I still believe that Shannon can do no wrong. This book just showed me that she isn't just writing books for me (I know, shocker, right?).


All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.

January's Featured Upcoming Releases

It's finally back! Each and every month on Squeaky Books I feature 6-8 upcoming releases. You vote for the ones you are excited about via this form. At the beginning of the next month, the novel with the greatest amount of votes will be given away. Fun times, eh? You can vote for the January books from January 10th – January 31st at 7:59pm MST. On February 1st I'll post the giveaway of the book with the most votes!

Feel free to ask questions in the comments or e-mail me. Now go forth and vote!

Is there a book you'd like to be featured? Click here to fill out the form and nominate it. If it's picked as the book of the month you'll get 5 extra entries to win it!

Cinder
by Marissa Meyer

Release Date: January 3rd, 2012

Summary:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Under the Never Sky
by Veronica Rossi

Release Date: January 3rd, 2012

Summary:
Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live under the never sky.

Dragonswood
by Janet Lee Carey

Release Date: January 5th, 2012

Summary:
Wilde Island is in an uproar after the recent death of its king. The uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is fraying, and a bloodthirsty witch hunter with a hidden agenda whips villages into frenzies with wild accusations. Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter from a tiny hamlet near the mysterious Dragonswood, finds herself caught in the crosshairs of fate when she is accused of witchery and has to flee for her life along with her two best friends.

Not even Tess’s power to see the future can help the girls as they set off on their desperate journey, but she keeps having visions of a man wielding a sword. And when she finally meets him, Tess has no idea how to handle the magnetic attraction she feels for him, or the elusive call she hears from the heart of the Dragonswood.

Everneath
by Brodi Ashton

Release Date: January 24th, 2012

Summary:
ast spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

Incarnate
by Jodi Meadows

Release Date: January 31st, 2012

Summary:
NEWSOUL
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

NOSOUL
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

HEART
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Midnight in Austenland
by Shannon Hale

Release Date:January 31st, 2012

Summary:
When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.

Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love?

Partials
Dan Wells

Release Date:February 28th, 2012

Summary:
he human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic in training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws threaten to launch what’s left of humanity into civil war, and she’s not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will discover that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.


Now you've seen them all, so vote! Vote for any and all that you're excited about!



All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Discussion post: the royal "we"

All right, I answered your questions so I hope you don't mind answering one of mine. If you don't know what the royal "we" is, click here.

I don't understand when bloggers call themselves "we." I mean, it makes sense if your blog has more than one author and you share an account. For example, I have a blog reader who comments under the name "We Heart YA." And if you go to their blog you can see that "We Heart YA" is actually four people. So that makes sense.

But explain to me why some bloggers (who are the ONLY authors on their blogs) call themselves "we." Is it some kind of subliminal thing? If people read that a blogger is a "we" will they like them more? That doesn't make sense to me, but I don't know! It's like how "Five for Fighting" is actually just one dude. But calling himselves "Five for Fighting" makes people think he's a band.

Any insights? Did you even know this was happening? Am I making things up? Does it bother you? I promise that tomorrow I'll have some legitimate content on my blog (I'm so behind in reviews) but right now I'M SO CONFUSED!!


All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Enna Answers Everything! (1)

WOW! I got a lot more questions than I expected. I've sorted them into four categories: Blogging, Reading, Personal, and Writing. Sorry that I have a tendancy to be long winded. But this was such fun!

BLOGGING

How did you decide that you wanted to be a book-blogger?
  • To be honest, I wish I could tell you that I don’t remember. But I do. The reason I become a book blogger was to get free books. Which is COMPLETELY THE WRONG REASON. You’ll see in a later question that getting free books is HARD and UNPREDICTABLE. What’s more important is why I chose to STAY a book-blogger. If I wasn’t a book-blogger, I probably wouldn’t read half as much as I do. I’m not very good at internal motivation. But if I know someone, somewhere wants to read my review, then I’m going to read more. Also, reviewing helps me organize my thoughts and remember how I felt about a book long after I’ve finished.
How did you make your blog so well known?
  • “Well known” is a relative term. I still think this same thing about many other blogs. The simple answer is networking. Get to know other bloggers, host multi-blog contests, and just be persistent. It didn’t happen overnight. I was blogging for about 2 years before people actually started to notice me. A pretty blog design helps. *wink*
Who volunteered to sponsor your international contests? I mean, I don't want to know the person's name, but how it happened and how you know them and stuff.  I assume someone didn't just come up to you on the street... :)
  • Actually… that’s kind of how it happened. Of course, it wasn’t a stranger. That would be crazy. I can’t say much for fear of giving away HER secret identity, but my international contest “sponsor” isn’t really a sponsor. I still pay for the books. But instead of ME buying them from the Book Depository, I pay HER and then SHE buys them. That way her name is on the packages instead of mine, thus protecting my secret identity. She’s someone I’ve known… forever, really. And not on the internet, in real life. And she has always been very supportive of my blog ‘cause she’s a fellow bibliophile. And… that’s the whole story.
How do you get ARCs? Every time I ask a blogger I get vague answers. "There's lots of different ways..." What ways do YOU know of? Especially getting ARCs in the mail.  That one seems the most mysterious to me.  A step by step process of your experience would be immensely helpful to me.
  • Oh boy. I asked this question a MILLION times when I first started blogging, and the sad fact is that it’s really vague. But I’m going to be as specific as I can here. I can’t tell you how EVERYONE gets ARCs, but I will tell you the various ways I get mine:
  • The #1 way I get ARCs is from TOURS. Namely, Around the World Tours. I don’t get to keep them, but I do get to read them pretty far in advance. Any blogger who meets the requirements can join tours.
  • #2 The next most lucrative way is through Amazon Vine. This is Amazon.com’s reviewer program. Every month they send out a list of things and you can choose 4. They usually have some big-name books as well as smaller ones. Vine is invitation only. I found out about vine about 3 years ago and have just been DROOLING to get in ever since. People gave me tips, but nothing worked. I couldn’t get that stupid invite! Fast forward 3 years. This summer I got an invite. Just out of the blue. It might be because e have Amazon Prime. It might be because I post reviews on Amazon. It might be because I buy a TON of books through Amazon. Or all of the above. I don’t know! I really don’t!
  • #3 The next way I get books is directly from publishers. I’m currently on the mailing list for Bloomsbury, Macmillan, and Tor. By mailing list I mean THEY send ME lists of books sometimes and let me choose what I want. How did this happen? I’m not entirely sure… I know Bloomsbury heard of me because I always sent them requests for Shannon Hale’s books, and I’m kind of a Hale super-fan. I was part of Macmillan’s “In Group” back when it still existed, and when it went away I guess I stayed on their list. Tor just randomly sent me an e-mail one day and asked if I’d like to be on their mailing list.
  • #4 DUMB LUCK. In case it isn’t clear that most of this is dumb luck anyway, I’ll say it again. It’s DUMB LUCK. Some of my ARCs I get because I’m lucky enough to actually know the authors. Sometimes, though, they really do just show up. When A Million Suns showed up I TOTALLY wasn’t expecting it. Sometimes Candlewick just surprises me with books in the mail (which is awesome. I love everything from Candlewick). I’ve never gotten a Harper book for review from Harper. Never.
  • So what’s my advice? BE LOUD. Tweet your reviews and include the publisher’s tag. E-mail them your reviews (do this for at least a few MONTHS before you request books). And then cross your fingers. Do I tweet at publishers? Nope. Do I e-mail them? Nope. But remember that it’s taken me over FOUR YEARS to get where I am. If you want to speed up the process, BE LOUD.
  • But my even BETTER advice is to be happy with just blogging. If the only thing making you blog is getting ARCs, you should just stop now. You’re gonna end up being super-jealous of everybody all the time, and jealousy does not breed happiness. Just saying.
Do you ever give away the ARC's you get once you've read them? I've always wanted to have one, even if it's super old.
  • Usually if I LIKED a book then I keep the ARC and don’t buy a finished copy. If I LOVED the book then I keep the ARC and buy a finished copy. But if I DON’T LIKE a book then things get hairy. I have a policy where I don’t ever give away anything I wouldn’t want to win. It drives me NUTSO when there are those blogs who have a MILLION contests but all they give away is crap they don’t want. If I’m going to hold a contest, it’s going to be for something that I think is worth winning. This usually means that I host all of my contests. I can’t remember the last contest I had that was publisher-hosted. So, I have a bunch of ARCs that I don’t want, but I don’t give them away. When they really build up then I usually put them up for trade or “pay shipping and it’s yours” or give away a “box of ARCs.” Some of my ARCs, though (like the ones I get from Amazon Vine) cannot be traded or given away. Either I have to keep them, or I have to destroy them. It’s in the Vine agreement. Kinda annoying.
READING

I've always wanted to know what was the thing you had with bad language in books.
  • I’ve talked about this before. The simple answer is that it just bothers me. Plain and simple. Call it a pet peeve. I grew up being told that profanity is what people used when they weren’t smart enough to fully express themselves. (I know that’s kind of extreme and not entirely true, but that’s what you get for growing up around a bunch of public schoolteachers). (You also asked about A Touch Mortal. To be honest, I can’t even remember what it was about. So sorry. Can’t answer you!)
How many hours per week do you spend reading YA novels?
  • This is a hard question because it totally depends on the week. Do I have a test this week? Any required reading? Did a new Zelda game just come out? Are my friends in town? Am I in a reading slump? If you were to average my total reading throughout the year, then I read about 7 hours a week. But that’s an average. If you’re a math person you know that averages are not always super-reliable. The median is probably closer to… 12? In the summer I can read up to 20-30 hours a week.
Have you ever read any adult novels that you like, or do you ONLY like YA novels? (If you do like any adult novels, please list them! We'd like to know!)
  • Um… usually I read adult books on accident (as in, I thought they were YA). Technically Maria V. Snyder’s books are adult books, and I love those. I also love Shannon Hale’s adult books. But… I think that’s it. I just think that YA novels are usually much more interesting, and they have less questionable content on average (in my brain at least), and they usually aren’t as preachy or fluffy. But this is coming from someone who has almost no experience with adult lit. I still don’t really consider myself an adult.
What's the most overrated YA book you've ever read? By that I mean: is there a book that everyone and their brother raved about, couldn't gush enough about, etc....but you didn't like it?
  • Hm… I’m going to briefly mention Twilight, only because I read it before it was cool. I read it only a few months after it came out after the insistence of all my friends and neighbors and I thought it was SUPER lame. But, for a more modern example? Um… there are loads. I’ll just list some of them: Criss Cross, The Scorpio Races, Carrier of the Mark, The Replacement, Crown Duel (which I liked, but everyone promised me I’d LOVE).
What book from 2011 surprised you the most? By that I mean perhaps you thought you'd dislike it but wound up truly loving it.
  • Aha! An easy question! Blood Red Road. I didn’t even really want it, but Amazon offered it to me and I wasn’t gonna say no to a free book. Then I got it and saw that it was HUGE and without quotation marks AND written phonetically and I was like “NOOOOOO!!!!!!” It ended up being my favorite book of 2011.
I love the fairy tale type of books. I also hate ANY profanity or sex scenes at all. What book like that is your absolute favorite that you would recommend?
  • If you’re looking for totally clean, and AMAZING books then you must read Shannon Hale’s books (though Book of a Thousand Days and Enna Burning do have very, very slight nudity[and they tie for my favorite book of all time]). Others would be Heather Tomlinson’s books, The Swan Kingdom by Zoe Marriott (but if you’re that sensitive then avoid Shadows on the Moon), Beauty by Robin McKinley, Sun & Moon, Ice & Snow by Jessica Day George, Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George, and… oh. I could go on for hours.
If you owned only copy of your all time favorite book left in the world and someone came up to you offering you ten thousand dollars for it, would you sell it?
  • WHAT KIND OF TERRORIST ARE YOU!? This is hard for me to imagine because I have about 6 copies each of my favorite books (Book of a Thousand Days and Enna Burning). To be honest… I’d probably find some way to contact Shannon. I do know someone who can contact her directly. :) Maybe if I gave Shannon $5,000 then she could write me a new one.
Thoughts on Mockingjay?
  • All I’ve ever said and all I’m ever going to say is that it was a necessary evil. She couldn’t make everyone happy, so she decided to make no one happy, and it kinda worked. In a crappy, necessary-evil way.
PERSONAL

How hard is it juggling blogging and college AND reading?
  • Ugh. Hard. I’m not very good at it. My problem is that I always let reading suffer the most. If I have a ton of homework, then I feel like I can’t read for pleasure, but I don’t want to do my homework, so I’ll waste time online or something. I need to be better than that.
Are you going to see the Austenland movie?
  • Nah. It sounds super-lame. I mean, Keri Russell? Fer real? Psh. She’s not in ANYTHING. And she’s certainly not in Waitress which is certainly not my FAVORITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME. And Shannon Hale isn’t all that great. I mean, it’s not like she’s my favorite author and actually co-wrote the screenplay or anything. What kind of question is this? *wink*
What size are your feet?
  • This is actually a crazy story. My feet USED to be a size 9, but now I can wear as low as a size 7 and prefer and 8. What’s up with that?!
What are some of your favorite movies?
  • My favorite movie of all time is Waitress with Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion. I also love Baby Mama, anything by Hayao Miyazaki, Jean De Florette, and Inception. Let’s see… am I missing anything big? I don’t think so.
Do you like proofs?
  • NO! BIG FAT NO! For one thing, no one actually does proof like it’s meant to be done! For another, at my school the proofs professors are all codgerly old men who love math more than people and are very nice but have no idea how to teach it. It’s hard to love proofs when you don’t know what you’re proving.
What is one unusual trait you would like to find in a husband?
  • I’ve been musing over this one ALL DAY. Unusual trait? He has to be tall enough so I can wear heels (Thank you Shannon Hale for making me realize how important this was). I’m not a big fan of freckles. He has to care about how he looks, but not be vain. And, oh yeah, he has to EXIST. That’s pretty unusual for me.
What classes are you taking this semester?
  • Mathematical task design (I love this class already, seriously), Theoretical Literary Analysis (everything I hate about English in one class. Blah!), multicultural education, theatre teaching strategies, a religion class, and… one other that starts in second block. I can’t remember. My last semester was so crazy, and I’m taking spring semester classes this year, so this semester is pretty light.
How did that job at the library work out? Are you still stocking shelves or are you a librarian?
  • I’ve never wanted to be a librarian (well, not professionally). I’m technically still employed at the library, but when school got to be too crazy I went from part-time to on-call. So they only call me in if they need me.
You've said that you're a Christian, but I was wondering what type and how much does it play into what you will and will not read?
  • I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don’t mention this specifically very often because I don’t feel like it’s very important to my blog. It doesn’t matter what religion I am or you are if you read my blog. And does it play into what I will and will not read? Um… not directly. I’ve NEVER said “I won’t read this because my religion tells me not to.” That’s a silly thing to say. I also don’t read LDS fiction because it’s usually so cheesy I want to gag.
  • However, my religion has definitely affected my life and my life affects what I read. For example, I don’t hate swearing because Mormons don’t swear (and sometimes we do. Hey! We aren’t perfect!). I hate swearing because I was raised to believe that profanity is what people used when they weren’t smart enough to fully express themselves. I don’t like explicit sex in books because I think that intercourse is a very private act. Do I still read books with pre-martial sex? Absolutely! You can’t escape it. And I’m not na├»ve enough to think that grit doesn’t exist in the real world. I have no problem reading books with witchcraft or devils, BECAUSE IT’S FICTION. Silly goose. But I know some people do, and that’s fine!
  • I don’t believe in “blind faith.” I think that you should always find the truth for yourself. If my religion has an effect on what I read, it’s because I really believe in what it tells me. Not just because it tells it to me.
WRITING
Are you ever going to write a book? I'd love to read it when you do!
Have you ever tried to write a book?
Have you ever written a book? If so, would you ever consider publishing it or sharing it? If not, would you ever consider writing a book?
  • When I was in high school I KNEW I wanted to be an author when I grew up. I idolized them. They were my heroes. And they still are. But writing… has become less important to me. I don’t “write” per say, but I do have a TON of ideas. My longest attempt at a novel before I stopped ended up around 20,000 words. I’ve already mentioned that I have a hard time with internal motivation. If I had a critique group, I could probably write a book. Because I would know that there were people counting on me to keep writing. But I don’t know how to find a good critique group, and as I am now, I just don’t have the motivation. There is something I want to be more than a writer, and that’s a teacher. I’m working toward that goal right now. But writing might happen someday.

WOW! That was FUN! I've gotta do this more often. I LOVE talking about myself! And this was a great writing exercise. Excuse me while I go find a quiet place to pop my ego.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*Hallowed-- Cynthia Hand

Release Date: January 17th, 2011
Genre:  Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 423
Rating:
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Series: Unearthly #2 (Review of #1)
Summary(Spoilers, highlight to view):
For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.
Blurb: Only someone with steel skin wouldn't be touched by this book.

Review: This book hit my Achilles heel: mother-daughter relationships. Ah! I LOVED this book. It is written so magically and wonderfully. I even cried at the end. Seriously cried. It broke my heart.

I said I would read this book because I loved the romance in Unearthly. Unfortunately, this book suffers from quite a bit of sequel-phase and love-triangleness. So the romance wasn't doing it for me in this one.

BUT, the main reason I'm only giving it 4 flowers is because... well... nothing really happened. There was one BIG (and heartbreaking) event that the book focused on; and while I loved it, it wasn't exciting. This is really common with the second book in a series. Everything is set up for where it needs to be in book 3, but the set up made this book very... simple. Almost no action at all except for one intense car-crash scene. But that was over in a couple pages.

All in all this book didn't have the WOW factor of Unearthly, though it was still touching, and I'm really excited to see what Cynthia does with everything she's built up.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.
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