Summer Giveaway Hop: Want me to Pre-Order your favorite YA book?

[This giveaway hop is hosted by I Am a Reader, Not A Writer and BookHounds.]

 

I have so many books that I’ve been dying to pre-order from The Book Depository.

Do you want them, too?!??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If YES, then ENTER my giveaway! If you win, choose ONE of these books and I will pre-order it for you!

RULES:

  • Must be a follower / blog email subscriber (You will find the subscribe button on topmost left sidebar of my blog – click the SIGN ME UP! button)
  • Follower on Twitter (+1 entry)

 

NOTES:

  • Opens Internationally, as long as The Book Depository ships to your country
  • You don’t have to own a blog site to enter
  • Contests ends August 7th, ONE winner will be drawn via Random.Org

 

SOUNDS EASY? Well, Fill out the form below to enter this fabulous giveaway!!!

And don’t forget to spread the word. 😉

Click [HERE] to hop away to other giveaways! List is at the bottom of the blog post.

In My Mailbox [9]

Hosted by The Story Siren

 

 HB/PB Grabs

 

Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto

She’s a Filipino author so we at Goodreads – The Filipinos Group showed some support by going to her book lanuch and buying our copies!

Did you like the ending of The Time Traveler’s Wife? If not, then take time to read Before Ever After.

 

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

 

Ebook Grabs

 

 Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen

 

Have you read some of them? Which do you recommend i read first? 🙂

 

SHOUTOUT!

I just wanna let you know that i join this giveaway hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & BookHounds.

HINT: Can’t wait to pre-order (from The Book Depository) that YA book you are wildly anticipating?

I am waiting on some books too, perhaps you want a clue? 🙂

  • Luis Fuentes is coming
  • Number Seven is ready to fight
  • Dmitri is telling his story
  • Patch. ’nuff said
  • the next Hero of Olympus
  • Ethan and his best friend, Link
  • Cassia is now a rebel

 

Do you know which books i’m talking about???

If yes, then make sure you drop by my site on Monday, Aug 1st to join my giveaway (International)!

 

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Solstice by P.J. Hoover

Rating: StarStarStar

Piper’s world is dying. Global warming kills every living thing on Earth, and each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles which threaten to destroy humanity. Amid this Global Heating Crisis, Piper lives with her mother who suffocates her more than the chaotic climate. When her mother is called away to meet the father Piper has been running from her entire life, Piper seizes an opportunity for freedom.

But when Piper discovers a world of mythology she never knew existed, she realizes her world is not the only one in crisis. While Gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals into turmoil, and she struggles to find answers to secrets kept from her since birth. And though she’s drawn to her classmate Shayne, he may be more than he claims. Piper has to choose whom she can trust and how she can save the people she loves even if it means the end of everything she’s ever known.

*****

DIFFERENT.

I wanted to love Solstice (because P.J. Hoover is very nice!) mainly because I devour Mythology and Dystopia books – but I didn’t, and that saddened me. If I were to sum it up, Solstice is 3 parts mythology and 1 part dystopia. The mythology is very refreshing, especially since Hoover related it to a dystopian setting. The story itself is stunning, but the female lead failed me big time.

Piper is smothered by her overprotective mother. Could this be the reason why she turned selfish, hypocritical, and gullible? I found her selfish because she thought only of herself when she saved Chloe. I found her a hypocrite when she demands the truth from her mom and Shayne but she keeps secrets herself. I found her gullible because she can barely contain herself with Reese (and his powers) but claims she only wants Shayne. Piper is a weak heroine – not worth rooting for. However, i really like her conviction and indifference about judgements (saying more would lead me to spoilers!). This is the one trait that showed she is who she is.

Shayne is by far the hottest H**** i’ve read (compared to Henry of The Goddess Test and John of Abandon) and the one who wielded most his power in its all brutal glory. He’s secretive (that’s a given for his character), compassionate, and definitely smoldering! His character is as strong as Piper’s is weak. Shayne is the reason that i keep on reading Solstice. He was the drug that calms me when Piper’s antics irritates the crap out of me. Reese is a force to be reckoned with but Shayne proved to be worthy of the upper hand. Piper’s mom and her overwhelming love to Piper is creepy that bordered to extreme.

First half of Solstice is confusing, but read on and you’ll be rewarded with astounding answers to those questions that lingered at the beginning. The climax barely give me the high i was hoping for. The conflict was not ended, only escaped from that led to a forgettable ending. But with Hoover painting a very different yet appreciative Underworld that i came to love, Solstice is bearable. If it wasn’t for my love-hate relationship with Piper, Solstice would’ve have been a great read.

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: The Body Finder #2: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Rating: StarStar

(The Body Finder #2)

Violet can sense the echoes of those who’ve been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she’d turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike’s tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

Book 1: The Body Finder review

*****

BLAND.

This is a sore follow-up to the one of the most unique stories I’ve read in YA genre. Despite the beautiful writing of Derting, Desires of the Dead failed to stick to the paranormal feel and delved more on teenage drama. Sigh. I was so looking forward to more sickening and morbid theme of serial killers that Derting adapted fo her series.

Apparently, Violet‘s power is heightening – into the realm of the subsconscious. But that didn’t stop her to savor her new found relationship with Jay and to try to stay as normal as possible. Violet’s character grated on me most of the time. She became aloof, secretive and suspicious of everyone. That kind of attitude doesn’t help her if she wants to catch a stalker or a killer. Jay became annoying – sappy and corny. Violet and Jay’s  relationship shoved the mysterious edge of the story under the rug. The only thing that reminds me that i am reading a suspenseful book is the POV (in each chapter end) of someone who wants Violet… well, dead.

New characters are introduced but it only added unnecessary weight to the Violet’s dramatic tendencies. I found Chelsea more intriguing than Violet, and Rafe! Despite being thrown in just a few scenes, he made his presence felt. This is the one to watch out for! Oh yeah, i’m crossing over to Team Rafe 😀 It doesn’t matter if Violet ends up with Jay in the end. Rafe’s character is strong enough to stand on its own.

Overall, the story inside Desires of the Dead felt forced. This sequel did not actually reach the suspense part, because it became a boring guessing game. I did love Violet’s realization that she no longer wants to be normal. Because she’s not – Violet is special and should act like one. How? by helping other people that needs her gift the most.

Will i read the next book, The Last Echo?… Yes. because of RAFE. 😉

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

The Wrong Path, Ebook Giveaway Winners!

First, let me thank everyone who took their time to enter this giveaway. YOU GUYS ROCK!

Unfortunately, only two entries can win and they are selected via Random.Org!

International: Ioana Lacatusu @ Umbra Dragostei from Romania
Philippines: Dianne Cruz @ Siren in Distress

CONGRATULATIONS!

I have sent individual emails to you so please check your email addresses.

Thank you Vivian for sponsoring this giveaway 🙂

 

Can’t get enough of giveaways? Well, next week I have another one line up for you guys.

How about that book that you can’t wait to pre-order, huh? *hint hint*

So come back and visit my site regularly!

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

*****

 FEVER.

 Kody Keplinger fearlessly wrote about something that is almost always cloaked by taboo: teenage sex. Reading about Bianca’s and Wesley’s sexscapades made me feverish! But it didn’t lack the constant reminder of what sex should really be about: a relationship between two people who care enough for each other and mature enough to share this intimacy responsibly.

Bianca is as real as it gets. A broken heart made her smart but cynical and sarcastic. Bianca’s reaction to her problems is totally relatable that I can’t help but think, Yes, I would’ve have done just the same. Escaping the ugly realities of her life by hooking up with the biggest, baddest man-wh*re in her school is just the right drug. But Bianca started to get irritating in the end. After realizing how strongly she felt for Wesley, she is the still the b*tchy, snarky, and rude girl that I met at the start of the book. Ms. Keplinger, it wouldn’t hurt if Bianca showed some gentleness to Wesley when they finally got together – for real.

I can only have lots of love for Wesley Rush! At first, I was kinda hoping that Keplinger wrote also in Wesley’s POV because I wanna know him aside from the jerk that he is. But later I realized it wouldn’t have worked. Reading the DUFF in Bianca’s POV and no one else’s only solidifies Wesley’s one-dimensional character that Bianca hates: his famous wild reputation with girls. But oh, how I love Wesley’s character being flipped on the other side! He was definitely swoon-worthy and (I can’t believe this at first but it’s true) boyfriend-material. Did I mention he is super funny in his own cocky way? 😉 I have lots of laugh-out-loud moments because of his witty remarks and sexy comebacks to Bianca’s cynicism.

I love Bianca’s and Wesley’s story because it is so refreshing and brutally frank! Bianca’s friends Jessica and Casey are commendable characters that shone on their own. I don’t like Bianca’s mom, more so when Bianca easily forgave her after leaving her and her dad.

I found The DUFF unputdownable. The story pretty much embodies the all-too-real facts of teenage life: family letdowns, peer pressure, and the consequence of sex. Let me tell you something Bianca’s mom told her. No matter how far and how often you escape, reality catches up on you, eventually. It did catch Bianca eventually, but when Wesley’s the one doing the catching, she’s on for a happy ending.

Are you a DUFF? I’m sure you are, even once in your life. If yes, then this is your story – so read it.

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

In My Mailbox [8]

Hosted by The Story Siren

 

 HB/PB Grabs

 

Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon, I got this in Hardbound format for only $3 🙂

   Ebook Grabs

 

 

Many thanks to Gabby @ The Y.A. Bookworm. 😉 You’re the best, Gabby!  

 NetGalley Grabs

  

Have you read some of them? Which do you recommend i read first? 🙂

 

Don’t forget to join my current giveaway!

The Wrong Path e-book by Vivian Marie Aubin Du Paris

Contemporary Romance/Realistic Teen Fiction, 2 winners will be picked!

Enter [here]!

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar

(The Body Finder #1)

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world… and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer… and becoming his prey herself.all of them.

*****

She didn’t entirely understand the sense of loss she felt about something that she’d never really had in the first place.

INTENSE.

Who would’ve have thought that i will find a YA book with serial killings as the main plot?!! I’m a big fan of Dexter and Criminal Minds so it wouldn’t be a surprise if i loved The Body Finder. Not only did i thoroughly enjoyed it, i was stunned by the quality of the story. It was built solidly so yeah, i am now a fan of Kimberly Derting. 🙂

Violet is the kind of girl who doesn’t let her ability locating dead people to cripple her life.  And she felt responsible in a sense that she put her gift into good use. With just the right amount of teenage defiance, Derting delivers a heroine worth rooting for against a menacing serial killer.

I found Jay’s description a little vague ( i don’t know the color of his eyes; is his hair brown or black?) but that doesn’t mean i did not became his groupie! His carefree and light character almost made up the lack of physical description (c’mon, how can i gush over someone that vague?). There’s something about Jay that makes me smile and swoon over him just like Violet does. *blushes* His overprotectiveness irked me at times, but I can’t blame him – a serial killer is on the loose kidnapping teenage girls!

Derting tackled the issue of serial killing with such finess that I thought i was reading a Lisa Gardner or Julie Garwood book. The steamy scenes she concocted has just the right touch that I get lost in the emotions (just like Violet) but not totally forgetting the dangerous time I am in (err, I mean Violet’s dangerous time). and ooh, how i revel on those moments! Jay, gosh, don’t do this to me! The teen romance Derting cooked up did not overshadowed the suspense part of the story and that made me really happy.

The Body Finder is one heck of a mystery ride. Do you like catching serial killers? Then, you’ll definitely love this book.

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman

Rating: StarStarStar

When high school junior Natalie – or Dr. Aphrodite, as she calls herself when writing the relationship column for her school paper – is accused of knowing nothing about guys and giving girls bad relationship advice, she decides to investigate what guys really think and want. But the guys in her class won’t give her straight or serious answers. The only solution? Disguising herself as a guy and spending a week at Underwood Academy, the private all-boy boarding school in town. There she learns a lot about guys and girls in ways she never expected – especially when she falls for her dreamy roommate, Emilio. How can she show him she likes him without blowing her cover?

*****

This is one funny read! I always came out somber (but satisfied) after reading a dystopian novel. So almost always, i follow it up with a light (and sometimes humorous) read to get me out of the book dump. Babe in Boyland was the perfect laugh trip that i need!

Natalie is a girlie-girl – loves dressing up, makeup, boys, flirting. So imagine her distress when she needed to disguise as a boy to get straight answers for her column/write up. She has 7 questions and they are fairly common. Her friends Darcy and Chloe (i love her) helped her with the plan. Unfortunately, she didn’t count on sticking it up for the dweebs or worse, falling in love with her roommate.

The plot was fairly simple but Gehrman’s narrative through Natalie is insightful, relatable, and often funny. I especially like the POKSI part. 😀 Emilio is likeable enough but i find him too soft for a male lead. He did make me smile with his ‘sexual orientation’ comment. heehee.

In the end, Natalie did not just get most of the answers she’s looking for. She realized that her own reactions to those questions count, too.

Babe in Boyland is a breezy read. Perfect for the summer. 😉

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Rating: StarStarStarStar

(Dustlands #1)

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she’s a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

*****

IMPECCABLE. Almost.

Minus my intense dislike for Emmi’s stubborness & stupidity and my raised eyebrows over Jack being high and mighty to Saba (“Yer sister’ll be safer with me than she could ever be with you.”), Blood Red Road is one heck of a dystopian adventure.

Being out of her twin brother’s shadow definitely showcased Saba’s strength, both inner and outer. Her devotion to Lugh is creepy, but hey they’re twin’s right? Maybe Saba really just can’t deal without him. But i still think she’s devoted that borders on obssession. Saba’s relationship with her younger sister is complicated but understandable. She doesn’t know it yet, but Saba’s strength came in her independence, her need of survival, and her sense of family. Trust doesn’t come naturally to her, so she did things on her own. But in the end, her sole quest to save his brother was only remotely possible because of her new friends, her new family. Saba is a headstrong and kick-ass heroine worthy of my worship. *Hail, Saba! The Angel of Death!*

Jack hypnotized me with his charm, his ideals, and his sweetness. He’s also quite perceptive and smart.I found it funny that Saba is totally clueless about what he feels, so Jack’s frustration over that charmed me even more.  Behind the daredevil facade lies the ‘calm’ that Saba so loves but denies often.

I love the Hopetown scenes especially the Cage fights and their daring escape from that horrible place. I’m mesmerized with DeMalo! He is such an intriguing character. I cannot wait to know his story in the sequel (I hope Young will capitalize on him!). I love Nero! I believe there’s more to him than meets the eye. I also love Ike, he’s so funny. I even liked the mad King, how sick is that? 😀

I just didn’t like the ‘it’s all written in the stars’ crap. The ‘fate’ element just seemed off in a dystopian setting and it doesn’t click with me. The heartstone? Forget it – i don’t buy it for one bit.

Saba’s story is unforgettable: from the grieving girl who left Silverlake, to being the most celebrated female fighter in the Cage, to recognizing other people’s care for her besides Hugh when travelling through the Dark Mountains, to saving an enemy-turned-friend in the most horrifying way possible in the Freedom Fields, to finding love during the most desperate times.

Blood Red Road is action-packed and adventure-filled with just the right amount of witty, soft, and warm romance on the side.

#5 Off-the-Shelf Reading Challenge 2011

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”