Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Daring Young Man by Jane George - Waiting on Wednesday

The Daring Young Man by Jane George
The Mumbo Jumbo Circus, Book #2
Expected publication: December 10, 2012
by Paper Grove Publishing 

Once, sixteen year-old Dante Delgado dreamed of being one of the few trapecistas able to do a quadruple somersault in the air. Then a tragic accident took his parents, their circus, and his ability to fly.
Circus is one big family all over the world, and Dante hates everything to do with it.

But to survive, he must choose between joining the ranks of the tiny, yet magical Mumbo Jumbo Circus or its nemesis, the Las Vegas spectacular, Cirque Patron. And it doesn't help that two very different girls are confusing the situation.

If he makes the wrong choice, he won't have a future to worry about.

Add on Goodreads. 

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Everbound by Brodi Ashton - Waiting on Wednesday

Everbound by Brodi Ashton
Everneath #2
Expected publication: January 22, 2013

Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.

Add on Goodreads.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

After the Snow Falls by Carey Jane Clark - Review

After the Snow Falls
by Carey Jane Clark
December 9, 2011
Trestle Press

In the middle of a soccer drill, in an awful, awkward moment, Celia Bennett's eight-year-old son Caleb lands on his face and chest in the grass. The diagnosis blindsides her, bringing her face-to-face with every parent's worst nightmare.

Desperate to save her son’s life, Celia pursues a cure through alternative medicine, but her quest ends in frustration and disappointment. Facing despair, hope walks in on the most unlikely set of legs, when her father returns after a 30-year absence. Can she release pain to embrace hope? Will it make a difference, or is it too late?

Add on Goodreads. 

Darian's Review:
After the Snow Falls is the story of a family suddenly struck with the news that Celia’s son has cancer. As if this isn’t enough to tear a family apart, Celia’s father, who deserted her, comes back into her life. The trials the family faces begins to claw at Celia’s marriage, and her faith. Celia grasps at anything she can to save her son, and keep the family together.

This was a very emotional read, coming from someone who’s family has been struck with cancer many times; it was more than difficult to get through. In an odd sense that’s good and means the emotions were very well portrayed. If this were poorly written, I would be able to zip through it just fine. But the fear, anger, hurt, and love shown in this story are so real, I had to set the book down several times to gain control of my own emotions to be able to continue reading.

The author does a good job of establishing a true bond between the family members, and the pain and powerlessness they feel from their sons diagnoses. Desperate for a cure, Celia takes it upon herself to go to Mexico to seek an alterative therapy to save her son. Here is where it got a little tricky for me. The fact that Celia would do this is no stretch of the imagination. A mother will do just about anything to save their child. But it was Celia’s time in Mexico and the experiences, I thought, could have been a tad more fleshed out than they were. Granted, it was still a great aspect as far as plot twists. But as-is it fell a little shy of the ‘bang’ affected it could have had, had it been a little less rushed.

The book shifts between Celia’s viewpoint and Alfie’s, her father. I wondered at first why the author would do such a wonderful job of pulling us into Celia’s life, only then to pull us out and stick us in Alfie’s. But, as you delve deeper into Alfie’s you begin to see, and appreciate, the connections between the two stories.

Overall this was a very good read for me. It’s an emotional journey, much like real life. The author did a fine job of creating characters that felt true to the story, and ones you feel connected to. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good, heartwarming, emotional read.

About the author:
Carey Jane Clark writes to inspire courage, hope and conviction. She is a homeschool mother by day, writer by night. The writing bug afflicted her early in life. The first two stories she recalls writing were about kidnapped insects and dancing pumpkins. (It has been a few years since those stories were penned.) After the Snow Falls is her first novel.

She shares the adventure of her life with her husband and three children. She and her family are expatriates living in China.

Find out more at, on Twitter, and Facebook.   

Maddie World by Kimberly Kinrade - Review

Maddie World 
by Kimberly Kinrade
The Three Lost Kids Trilogy, #3
June 26, 2012
Evolved Publishing

Too scared to stand up to the bullies or tell her teachers, 9-year-old Maddie decides she's never going to school again. Too bad her parents don't agree.

Depressed and feeling hopeless, she doesn't expect to discover the secret door to her magical world in an old box in her bedroom. Only Maddie World isn't the beautiful paradise she's always imagined. When Maddie, her two sisters and her dog TayTay are thrown into the middle of a Fairy War, Maddie has to learn to stand up for herself and face her fears, or her sisters will be stuck in a Fairy dungeon forever!

Will Maddie find the courage to do what she must, without becoming a bully herself? Find out with the this third book in the The Three Lost Kids Special Edition Trilogy.

Add on Goodreads.

Darian's Review:
Maddie World is the third book in the series, and I’ve had the privilege of reading them all. Kinrade is a talented writer, and this last book didn’t fall short of the high expectations I’ve come to have when reading her work. True to her style, Kinrade has again painted a vivid picture of an amazing world for kids to become a part of.

Maddie is being bullied at school, and she decides the best solution is to never go to school again. While her sisters try to cheer her up, the girls are once again pulled into a magical world; a world that’s in trouble. The world is at war, and it’s up to Maddie to stop it. In this book, Maddie is faced with a choice, become a bully, or fight the bully. It’s a story of bravery and standing up for yourself (in the right way).

Again, like the other two books in the series, Kinrade has weaved a good lesson into wonderful story. While kids read, they’re shown good ideas on how to deal with a big problem they face in their own lives; bullies. It’s a tough subject to tackle on any level, kids can be so easily swayed, and saying “just ignore it” doesn’t work today. I think it’s the way in which Kinrade approaches the tough subjects the series handles that I appreciate the most. While most books give cut and dry, “Do this…” advice, Kinrade doesn’t. Like the old saying goes, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. And how Kinrade shows solid advice, is through a fun adventure kids will enjoy reading.

Overall, this was a great finish to an already strong series. Kinrade is a very talented author who tackles issues on a level kids not only will understand, but a way in which they’ll enjoy. I would recommend this series to any child who loves the chance for adventure, and any parent looking for a way to help their kids understand, and deal with tough emotions.

Also see Darian's reviews on the first books in the series, Lexie World and Bella World.

About the author:
Kimberly Kinrade was born with ink in her veins and magic in her heart. She writes fantasy and paranormal stories for children, YA and adults and still believes in magic worlds. Check out her YA paranormal novels Forbidden Mind and Forbidden Fire and her illustrated children's fantasy chapter books Lexie World, and Bella World, all on Amazon.

She lives with her three little girls who think they're ninja princesses with super powers, her two dogs who think they're humans and her husband, also known as the sexy Russian Prince, who is the love of her life and writing partner. 

Find out more at,, on Twitter, and Facebook.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi - Waiting on Wednesday

Through the Ever Night
by Veronica Rossi
Under the Never Sky #2
Expected publication: January 8, 2013
by Harper Collins

It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.

Add on Goodreads. 

See Kayla's review of Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski - Review

The Shadow Society
by Marie Rutkoski
October 2012
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Darcy Jones doesn’t remember anything before the day she was abandoned as a child outside a Chicago firehouse. She has never really belonged anywhere—but she couldn’t have guessed that she comes from an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire didn’t happen and deadly creatures called Shades terrorize the human population.

Memories begin to haunt Darcy when a new boy arrives at her high school, and he makes her feel both desire and desired in a way she hadn’t thought possible. But Conn’s interest in her is confusing. It doesn’t line up with the way he first looked at her.

As if she were his enemy.

When Conn betrays Darcy, she realizes that she can’t rely on anything—not herself, not the laws of nature, and certainly not him. Darcy decides to infiltrate the Shadow Society and uncover the Shades’ latest terrorist plot. What she finds out will change her world forever . . .

Add on Goodreads. 

Guest Review by Sarah:
I chose this book for two reasons:
1) The opening line of the Prologue: "Knowing what I know now, I'd say my foster mother had her reasons for throwing a kitchen knife at me."

I mean, come on! How could I not want to know what that was all about?


2) The girl's boots on the cover. I have serious boot envy.

When I started "The Shadow Society," I was worried it was going to be a rehash quite a few Young Adult novels I've read over the past few years:

We have a girl, Darcy Jones, who feels like she doesn't really belong anywhere.

Cue the arrival of a mysterious new guy at school, Connor McCrea, who apparently either likes or loathes our heroine. It's surprising how many books for teens have this, "I am irresistibly drawn to this guy who is either really into me too, or quite possibly wants to kill me" dynamic going on.

They're paired together for a class project.

Wait, haven't I read this book before? I didn't have high hopes.

And then Rutkoski hit me with the poetry, specifically T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." Conn and Darcy work together on an English assignment based on this poem.

Y'all, I have a deep and abiding love for Prufrock. There was no way I was going to give up on the book after that sad little man showed up. Plus, the writing style was lyrical without being flowery and I was enjoying it.

I'm really glad I kept reading, because after a slow start, the book started to grow on me. The characters started to grow on me. Darcy is a pretty angsty girl, and hard to warm up to at first. But she is also fiercely loyal to her friends, passionate about her art, and determined to find out about her past and figure out exactly who she is.

Conn turns out to be a more complicated character than we first believe, too. As Darcy's best friend Lily puts it, "You two sound like a pair of misfit toys who are going to end up breaking each other."

The secondary characters had some of the best lines, especially Jims, who serves up the comic relief. And every now and then, there would be a funny sentence that made me smile. Like this one by Darcy's friend Raphael, talking about Conn: "And, speaking of putting on acts, how's Mr. I Wear A Cologne and It's Called Mysterious?"

There are some things that did nag at me a bit. The way the Great Chicago Fire caused the dimensional rift between our world and the reality in which Conn and the Shades live is never really explained.

Another thing that didn't exactly ring true for me was the outcome of the big climatic scene. It was a little Breaking Dawn-ish, since the climax was pretty anticlimactic. However, I do appreciate Rutkoski giving us characters who solved problems with words and not violence.

And since I only read books without strong language and sexual content, I also liked that this was a "clean" read.

If you go into the book ready to push past the slow start and not expecting lots of wham-bang action Shade vs. human action (there's not any), I think you'll enjoy this book. It's a well-written novel with a vividly described setting and characters discovering who they are, where they came from, what they want, and what matters most in their lives.

There was a lot to enjoy, and despite my initial misgivings, I found myself thinking about the book for days after I finished it. For me, that's always the sign of a worthwhile read.

About the author:
Marie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Societyabout a girl who discovers that she’s not human and that her kind are terrorists in an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire never happened. The Shadow Society will be published October 30, 2012. Marie has also written the children’s fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of WondersThe Celestial Globeand The Jewel of the KalderashThe Cabinet of Wonders, her debut novel, was named an Indie Next Kids’ List Great Read and a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, among other honors. 

Rutkoski grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She attended the University of Iowa. After graduating, she lived in Moscow and Prague. Upon receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard University, she held dual appointments as a lecturer there in both English and American Literature and Language, and History and Literature. Rutkoski is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and creative writing. She usually lives in New York City with her husband and two sons, but she and her family are now living in Paris for the 2012-2013 academic year.
Find out more at

About the guest reviewer, Sarah:
Sarah reviews YA novels at the cleverly titled Sarah's YA Blog. She freely admits she doesn't quite fit the profile of a "young" reader, and the "adult" part is also questionable. :) She lives in Arkansas and chases/chauffers/wrangles her kids, and is always looking for the next great book to obsess over. 


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