Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Review : Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Release Date : May 1st 2012
Synopsis: What if there were teens whose lives depended on being bad influences? This is life for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil

Tenderhearted Southern girl, Anna Whitt, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna. 

Sweet Evil is a provocative paranormal romance with angels, demons and a sinful twist.

The paranormal concept behind this novel is  something different than what I have encountered while reading paranormal romance. In the novel Nephilim, the children of fallen angels, live on Earth and  embody a sin. Their most important work is to pull humans into sin. Sweet Evil  explores the concepts of nature versus nurture ideas of sin. The book made me think about how we make sense of the bad things that others do.

Higgins writing is fun and addicting, and will appeal to teens and YA readers. However I did feel  like some parts of the plot were spoon fed, we are told too much instead of being shown and allowed to create our own opinions.

I didn't really connect with the female protagonist Anna Whitt. As she goes through her journey of figuring out what she is, I found her to be a little too naive and too trusting. Something about her relationship with her Dad irked me and I can't figure out what is is. While I sympathized with her situation, I couldn't always agree with her choices.

The male protagonist, Kaiden Rowe is your typical YA paranormal romance male protagonist. He's angsty, attractive and acts like LMFAO's I'm Sexy and I Know It should play in the background when he walks into a room. I find him to be somewhat of an anti-hero, while he is helpful to Anna you can't help but to raise eyebrows at his actions.

This novel has an insta-love plotline that is pretty typical of the paranormal genre. There is a mild love triangle with Anna, Kaiden and another Nephilim, Kopano. I think the love traingle introduces interesting dynamics between the two male characters and their decesions.

I will say this novel gets darker as it goes along and has some nightmare fuel momentsIf you are a fan of paranormal romance, I think  you will enjoy this novel. It hits all the marks in a dark, sexy and exciting way.

*Thanks to Susan from Wastepaper Prose for gifting this !

Introducing Books and Sensibility's 25 Authors Published Under 25

This week Books and Sensibility will be showcasing our favorite 25 Authors Published Under 25. We want to highlight the accomplishments of young authors and give a little inspiration to young (and  young at heart) writers.

The authors we are going to highlight include New York Times Bestsellers, award winners and fan favorites.

 The week will culminate with a giveaway. Join us every other day from May 1-May 6th as we showcase 25 authors published under 25 !

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Sense List Vol.7

Welcome to The Sense List ! A feature on Books and Sensibility where we wrap up current YA news and events. This feature was inspired by YA Highway's Field Trip Friday and Novel Thoughts This Week In YA 

Book News

  • What if Elizabeth Bennett was a 21st century grad student  ?  The YouTube webseries, The Lizzie Bennett Diaries premiered this week. It's a fun, quirky vlog that retells the classic tale of Pride and Prejudice.

Blog News

  • The YA book blogging community was rocked this week when a plagiarism accusation involving YA book blogger The Story Siren broke on April 23rd. The Story Siren issued an apology, but  everyone in the book blogging community has their opinions. The question is;  What does this mean for  In My Mail Box and the  The Debut Author Challenge ?

Cover Reveals

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book Review : Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

“A world of nevers under a never sky." 
                         - Veronica Rossi, Under The Never Sky

Synopsis : EXILED from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland--known as The Death Shop--are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild--a savage--and her only hope of staying alive.

Under The Never Sky is a post-apocalpytic road story sprinkled with  dystopian elements. The female protagonist, Aria lives a safe and secure life in underground pods, spending her days in vitural realms. Perry lives on the outside or "The Death Shop" a world filled with tribal warfare, Aether storms and savagery.When their worlds collide they learn they may not be as different as they thought.

The novel starts out a little shaky to me, almost everything in the story is told or explained immediately, in an almost checklist like fashion. There is very little mystery and I would have liked to slide easier into the story. Once we get past the introduction the writing does get better and the story begins to take shape.

Basically, Aria and Perry each have their own plot MacGuffin that propels them to journey together in search of what they are looking for. While this jump starts the plot it isn't my favorite set up.

 Aria has to adapt to the outside world and dangerous Aether storms with Perry's help. The novel has a steady pace and as more about their worlds are revealed the more intense the story becomes.

Narration switches from Aria to Perry, which is a bit of a bother for me because they are always together in the story. I found myself more interested in  learning more about Perry's life, living in the post-apocalyptic world where people gain increased senses from the dangerous Aether storms.

As I was reading I really though this was a stand-alone novel and I really want to see how this will turn into an overarching series

While it wasn't my favorite,Under The Never Sky has an orginal concept and will appeal to people who enjoy a more apocaplyptic/survivalist tales as oppsed to a dystopian.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Book Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

“I like how you're neither here nor there. And how there's nowhere else you're meant to be while waiting. You're just sort of suspended.”
                                                                                                 - Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A. 

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it

This has to be one of the most unique and heartfelt contemporary YA books I have read in a while. With a title containing the words 'love at first sight' I was afraid it was going to run into insta-love category, but I found it far from it. It's not so much about love at first sight, but the possibility of love at first sight and other things.

 The story follows roughly 24 hours of the life of Hadley Sullivan as she catches a plane to London to attend her father's wedding to a woman she has never met. Along the way she meets Oliver and through the story she  is trying to learn how to reconcile her feelings with her father and his new marriage. 

Smith uses  an excellent writing style that is sparse and simple, but still tells you so much. She is an excellent storyteller--I felt sympathy with the characters and connected through the use of retrospective story telling.  

We don't get to know much about Oliver and Hadley outside of their conversations, but  sacrificing these details is what makes this book so wonderful. I did kind of want it to be more . . . quirkier if that's possible. 

My only complaint is the ending was a little to saccharine sweet and tied everything into a neat bow a little too neatly. 

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is  the perfect book to read in one sitting and makes you want to hop to the nearest airport to battle chance and probability for yourself.  There is also this wonderful title drop that is also kind of a  Book Ends

 This book takes off the minute you open it and lands with little to no turbulence. I am peaked to read more Jennifer E. Smith. This story was good for me and I enjoyed it.

Jess won this from Felicia at The Geeky Blogger, thanks !

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Shower of Books Giveaway Hop !

Hi ! For this hop we are giving away a paperback copy of Hope's Journey by Stephanie Worlton. To see more about it, check out our stop on the Spring Blog Tour here. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below ! Don't forget to hop along to the next blog.

1 Paperback Copy !!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring into The Future D.C Stop with Tahereh Mafi, Anna Carey and Veronica Rossi

Jess and I were super excited to see the Spring Into The Future Tour come through our area. We had read/listened to these books and had no idea we'd ever get the chance to meet the authors. There were so many book bloggers in attendance and we even had the chance to briefly say hi to Sash of Sash and Em

Like idiots, we thought the event started at 12:30 when it really started at 3:30 so, we were 4 hours early ! We'd already driven 1 hour and a half to get to the store, so we walked to the waterfront, ate some seafood and browsed a nearby bookstore.

Once we arrived at the store, it got packed pretty quickly. We were lucky to get front row seats. As the event began the authors sipped on tea and let us in on all the inside of writing, publishing and their inspirations.They all had great chemisty and I felt like I could listen to them for hours. It was a great signing. Here are some highlights:

Anna Carey
- Looking forward to reading Shatter Me and Under The Never Sky once she finishes The Eve trilogy
- She wanted to explore stength and how it relates to women in the Eve trilogy
- Best advice to writers: good criticism should feel like an arrow hitting it's mark

Veronica Rossi
- Looking foward to reading Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore
- Cited "The Gift of Fear" as part of her research
- Best advice to writers : Read your work out loud

Tahereh Mafi
- Looking forward to reading Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
- Was locked in a deprivation chamber as research for the character of Juliette
- Best advice to writers: It only takes one yes

They were all so patient with readers, talking to everyone and being so personable. Anna asked Jess's opinion on the audiobook narrator and when the found out we were bloggers they signed extra posters ! We'll be giving those away soon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sense List Vol.6

Welcome to The Sense List ! A feature on Books and Sensibility where we wrap up current YA news and events. This feature was inspired by YA Highway's Field Trip Friday and Novel Thoughts This Week In YA 

The Sense List was MIA last week so this week's Sense List is a mix of the first two weeks of April.

Cover Reveals

Alice In Zombieland by Gena Showalter

The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

On Books and Sensibility
Book Review : Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Hope's Journey Spring Tour
Book Review : Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Saturday, April 14, 2012

In My Mailbox Vol. 19

Books & Sensibility is taking part in the In My Mailbox meme started by The Story Siren. Each week bloggers post books that have arrived in their mailbox, picked up from the bookstore or purchased. Here are some books we are getting ready to read.

This week's IMM covers two weeks. 

TOR/Forge Books

Thanks to TOR/Forge books for this finished copy of Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson ! This book has really pulled me in.

2nd and Charles, Used Book Store

This weekend all books are an additional 10% off, each of these books was between 2-6 dollars.

Fire by Kirsten Cashore
Graceling by Kirsten Chashore
Switched by Amanda Hocking
What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen (Original 99' cover in mint condition)
That Summer by Sarah Dessen (Another original cover !!!!)
Article 5 by Kristin Simmons (I spotted this on a rack off to the side !)

Other Used Bookstores

Keeping The Moon by Sarah Dessen (I'm really not a fan of this cover.)
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney ( I saw this on Nova Ren Suma's blog and it peaked my interest)


These were purchased for yesterday's Spring Into The Future tour stop

Eve by Anna Carey
Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

What did you get in your mailbox ? leave links !

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

If These Books Were Judged By Their Covers: Back to Paperback

I may be in the minority, but I love paperbacks !They are easy to fit in your purse or hold in one hand while enjoying a reading snack. Lately, I've noticed  some books get a little make over when they become paperback

The Text Change 



The Color Change


The Lose The Face


The Complete 360

What are some of your paperback to hardcover conversions ?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Book Review : Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

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

Synopsis : 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. 

In the late 15th century the nation of Brittany is entrenched in mysticism, war, and treason. Ismae, a simple pig farmer's daughter, is plucked from a life of hardship to serve Death as an assassin. In the midst of her training, she becomes involved in a clandestine plot and must serve the royal family and her country

Ismae is in charge of her story and her destiny.  Rescued from abuse and given the chance to become more than a mother and wife, she holds her position as an assassin at a high value. I'll just say she knows her way around weapons and poison.

With most YA historicals taking place in the 19th century this was a nice change of pace. LaFevers mixes fact and fantasy seamlessly making Grave Mercy into quite an addictive blend. The novel even features a slow-burning romance that will leave you on edge.

Grave Mercy doesn't seem like the kind of novel that was written but more like it was "created", LaFevers writing is immersive and flows so well that the 500 + page book seemed to go way too fast for me.

 I went into this book knowing nothing anything about 15th century Brittany or British history except for what I learned from watching Showtime's The Tudors, so I felt like I was missing something when it came to contextualizing the story, but since it is a mix of fact and fiction you won't need to do much research.

Like with most historicals the cadences of the language seemed to come and go a lot which took me a  out of the story. This book features a slew few political goings-ons which take up a large amount of the novel. While I enjoyed the subtly of politics , it might not be for someone looking for a strictly action/romance plot.

Grave Mercy is a stand out in the YA historical genre. You learn a little about history with a bit of intrigue, betrayl and passion thrown into the mix.While I'm tempted to say this book is so good you would never guess it is YA, the truth is I think it's good because it shows how awesome YA can be .

received this e-galley through a NetGalley Special Offer,, but I would buy this for my library. The sequel comes out next year I don't know if I can wait that long  ! !


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