Monday, August 20, 2012

Small News: Small Hiatus

Lately things on the small home front have been...stressful. I was sick (and still am sorta sick), and I've spread my disease to my fiance (who is a much bigger baby about being sick than I am, I swear), AND work has been totally crazy busy. 

If I listed all the things I want to whine about, my post would start to look like an issues book, and you all know how I feel about those kinds of books so I'll just leave it at that (though, thankfully, no dead mothers or neglectful foster parents!) 

So I'm taking a small hiatus to catch up on things (HOW does laundry pile up so quickly??) and find time to write some reviews. I will also be forcing myself to ignore my email, so I will not be checking my email until after my break.

I will be back again in September!

Why did the pony go to the doctor?

Because she was a little hoarse!

(I thought that was doubly appropriate because I'm both small AND hoarse! Yes, yes, my cheesiness knows no bounds)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Addendum: How to Get ARCs

How to Get ARCs

The Edelweiss Addendum

What You Will Learn

A little while back I wrote a step-by-step guide on how to get ARCs. Since that post, the website Edelweiss has become a new way to get e-ARCs!

Let's Do This!

What is Edelweiss: 

Edelweiss is basically a giant collection of publisher catalogs that now also offers e-galleys on an individual approval basis (like NetGalley). Edelweiss offers publishing professionals, booksellers, librarians, reviewers, bloggers, etc. the ability to get interactive with the catalogs.

What does this mean exactly?  I'm not really sure. I never used Edelweiss at my library and I haven't explored the site that thoroughly. I feel mostly lost when it comes to utilizing all of the interactive stuff, but I do like it for what I DO use it for, which is mostly for two things:
  • Browsing through publisher catalogs. This helps me add to my TBR and get an idea of what books are going to be published soon. It's so much easier to go straight to Edelweiss and browse through their publisher list rather than tracking down the catalogs on each individual publisher's website (which is what I used to do pre-Edelweiss)
  • Getting e-galleys. I haven't done this much yet, but it seems to me like it's very similar to NetGalley. So far I've requested four galleys and been approved for three. As with all of my experiences requesting review copies, I have NO CLUE why I get the responses I get. To add even more confusion, the publisher who approved me (HarperTeen) rarely approved my NetGalley requests, but the publisher who denied me (Random House) almost always approved my NetGalley requests. So, yeah, don't take it personally.

How do you request e-galleys?

Normally I'd write up a tutorial here, but Miss Remmers from Miss Remmers' Reviews has already written a fantastic tutorial (complete with screen caps) so I'm just going to direct you to her post.

Some things to keep in mind: 

You need to provide the publisher with a profile of your blog. This is where you'd write things like your stats and reach. This is pretty similar to your bio in NetGalley or what you'd include in an email request.

You need to provide the publisher with a reason for why you're requesting. This is different from NetGalley, but you probably include something along these lines when you write an email request. You need to go beyond your stats and say why you're requesting this specific title and make a little case for why you should get it. I think. I'm not 100% clear on this part, but you need to write something for every book you request.

You do NOT get an email notifying you if you've been approved or denied. You need to give Edelweiss lots of page refresh hits by checking back periodically to see if you've been approved or not (go to the tab "Review Copies" then click on the subtab "Requests"). This is annoying and I wish they'd send you an email giving you a heads up. *Edited: It seems this may not be the case as most, though not all, other bloggers have received notification emails. Another puzzle!

It took between one and two weeks for my requests to be approved/denied, but I haven't requested enough to get a gauge on how long this process can take. *Edit: Based on blogger feedback, the time it takes seems to vary.

If you get approved for the book, you can go back to your "Requests" page and download the book. Click on the title and it will bring you to a page for the book. You'll see a button on the right side of the page that's green and says "Download Review Copy" Click that and download your book. I don't know what formats the e-galleys come in, but I've read them in Adobe Digital Editions, same as my NetGalley books.

E-galleys have EXPIRATION dates. If you go to your "Requests" page, you'll see a column for this and there will be a date listed next to the books you've been approved for. Download the book before this date or you won't get to read it. I'm not sure if that date is the last date to download or the last date to read. 

Have you used Edelweiss?
What has your experience been like?
Do you have any advice to offer about using Edelweiss? 
Do you have any questions about using Edelweiss?


Click here to read previous Tips & Tricks Posts 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Pages: 384
Received: ARC from publisher, via NetGalley
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars


From Goodreads:

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.


There are two people talking!

Pushing the Limits is one of those dual narrator books where the narrators alternate by chapter. Usually, I love that...if done right. I like to do the Who's Talking Test to determine how well an author pulled off this narrative style, and unfortunately Pushing the Limits failed the test.

Outside of plot clues, the only way I could tell who was talking was when Noah would refer to Echo as "baby," "siren," and "nymph," (like, enough times to rival Edward's bronze hair) but since that also made me cringe, I'm not counting it as a positive.

I think I would have liked this a lot more if it has been just Echo narrating. Echo's characterization is strong and her voice came across clearly. She's pretty typical for this type of book and her score on the WWMCD Test is only higher because she's such a stock character (bright, troubled, perfectionist, good girl), but she's a stock character done well. I almost kind of felt for her.

But Noah. Oh Noah, I was supposed to fall for you! What happened?! Noah's storyline always felt like an afterthought to me, and one that made me cringe with embarrassment. Ok, I mean, sure, he gets brownie points for wanting to look after his brothers and all, but a BLIND man could have seen how that storyline was going to play out and yet Noah kept barreling down full steam into stupid and it was painful to watch. Especially since we rehashed it about twenty million times more than we needed to.

The fact that his voice and personality also sounded pretty much like Echo didn't help, AT ALL. Between that and the skin-crawly "babies," "sirens," and "nymphs" my swoon was totally killed. I can't swoon over a guy who sounds like a girl. I just, I can't.

Yeah, I'm not an issues book reader, but I can deal with some issues when they're done with a light hand and take a backseat to tension-filled swoon (I'm looking at YOU Going Too Far). But, oh my gosh, Pushing the Limits was like a million parts heavy-handed issue-fest, zero tension, and, ok, a decent bit of swoon (but I couldn't actually get into any of the swooning parts because, ugh, issue overload!) 

Let's see, if I were to make a list of all the issue topics covered in this 400-page tome, you'd have:

  • The mentally ill mother
  • The angsty fear that the MC will develop mom's mental illness because they're SO alike (and, totally creative!)
  • Dead brother
  • Dead parents
  • Drug use
  • Overachiever perfectionism
  • Insomnia
  • Scars
  • Social ostracism
  • Repressed memories
  • Foster care and requisite rage against the system
  • Unfit foster parents
  • Angst against parent who just doesn't get it
  • Teen parenthood
  • Anger against pretty and SO young new step-mom
  • Therapist/mentor who is amazing, quirky, and filled with the power of Therapeutic Awesome—they can break through issue barriers that have thwarted all mere mortals thus far
Aaaaand that's only a partial list. For an already iffy-issue-reader like myself, this was all TOO MUCH. I was ready for the book to be over about 200 pages before it actually ended, but it kept going. I think I could have handled 200 pages and been good. But 400? Not a chance.

And, also, way too predictable. I've read this all already!

Two more swoon reducing things

What happened to my romantic tension?! I thought this was supposed to be a story about two people who totally could NOT be together and who maybe wouldn't even like each other much at first. That's not what happened.

THIS is what happened: Noah is a BAD guy because he...because he just is (even though he's really a GOOD guy and he got a bad rep for punching an abusive foster parent. Except, he didn't get a bad rep for that because most people don't know about that. So, yeah).

Really though, Noah is awesome and everyone approves of him and thinks he's good for Echo (except maybe one girl who isn't very nice anyway and we don't care about her opinion). Even Echo's hardass dad loves Noah and lets Echo sleep over in Noah's bed because Noah is Pure Perfection and he's good for her.

Echo likes him too, and she doesn't waste much time about it. Noah loves Echo almost immediately. Mostly this is because they're both ungodly HOTT, but also because they probably have nice personalities and are going through a lot of issues. They're dating by the midpoint of the book.

The second Swoon-Killer was the issue overload. It's hard to watch a character have a traumatic flashback, barf, cry and shake uncontrollably......aaaand then get it on? I need, erm, a different kind of foreplay please.

Bottom line

This was really not the book for me. When I was a teen and I loved issue books, then this totally would have been the book for me though. But not now. Now, I wanted the book to end sooner. Now, I wanted something different than the same old issue book with the same stock characters and same stock plot progression.

But, sometimes predictability is what you're looking for (give me a predictable romantic comedy any day!), and if you're looking for a standard issue book with a predictable storyline then Pushing the Limits is a good pick. Everything might be "been there, done that" but it's SOLID. Be sure to grab a copy if you're a Simone Elkeles fan.

This is a standalone.

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

Do you have any questions about Pushing the Limits that I haven't addressed?
Feel free to ask in the comments!

Add it on Goodreads
Buy it on Amazon

Looking for another book like this?
You might like:

 Click on the pictures to go to my reviews.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury 
Pages: 416
Received: ARC from publisher, via NetGalley AND from RUBY who growled at BEA people for me
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, Special Shelf


From Goodreads:

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.


It's like all of my favorite books wrapped into one package of awesome

Sarah J. Maas must love every book *I* love, because reading Throne of Glass was like taking all the best bits of all my favorite books ever and rolling them all together to create a gigantic homage of love to such epically awesome series like The Banned and the Banished, The Queen's Thief, and The Black Jewels.

Yet it STILL felt totally original and not at all like a rip off. It was like, when you read a fairy tale retelling and you get to spot all of the little references back to the original. Like that, but it was like a personal scavenger hunt of all my favorite books.

Usually, for me, it's all about the book. But every once in a while an author gives me such a spectacular gift that my feelings go beyond the text and I want to bestow the author with lots of hugs and thank yous. If I ever meet Sarah J. Maas in person, lord help me, the squees will be epically, embarrassingly loud.

Apparently, I'm a total sexist

It took me a little while to warm up to Celaena. I read the first novella and I thought, with no small degree of horror and shame, that, "Oh my, I'm not sure if I can like her." She was brash, arrogant, lazy, crude and, really, arrogant needs to be mentioned again.

It wasn't until a few chapters into Throne of Glass that I had a light bulb moment: If Celaena was a guy, I would be completely in love with her.

And then it clicked. Celaena is Eugenides. Celaena is Lucivar. Celaena is Han freaking Solo! I may not be able to swoon over her the same way, and she may not be the typical sleepover party friend, but, you know what? I can totally get on board with a female Han. I mean, can you imagine the sleepover hijinks possibilities with the Millennium Falcon?! 

Plus, on second thought, Celaena also kind of IS a typical sleepover party friend. She might be a tough as nails assassin, but she thankfully doesn't shun girly things. You know in the sleepover party movies how they have the fashion montage where they all try on lots of pretty clothes and make funny faces? Celaena would totally do that. She appreciates important things in life like sparkly dresses and candy, and that's a girl I can get along with.

The love triangle I actually didn't hate

Yes, there is a love triangle. But NOOO, I didn't hate it! It's not really a triangle in the sense that Celaena has two equally awesome stereotypical guys and she's too indecisive to choose between them. If it were like that, then I would have hated it.

It's more like, she has two different relationships with two very different guys (neither of which fall into the "good guy/bad guy" mold) and her feelings for them progress in logical ways given the circumstances throughout the book. Vague? I know, I'm sorry. I don't want to spoil it.

Plus, I'm TOTALLY biased. There's one guy I'm rooting for and he'd BETTER WIN IN THE END. He's just, oh swoon. He's stoic and has a strong sense of responsibility. He has Sherlockian powers of observation, and he's also steadfast, loyal, and he has a soft spot the size of an elephant (even though he'd be aghast to admit that). His awkward attempts to show he cared about Celaena were heart-meltingly aww-inducing and fit in perfectly with their combative hate-turning-to-love relationship. I spent the better part of the book twisted up in *THAT* kiss anticipation.

I'll tolerate the other guy because he's nice and all, but he's so young and he has a lot of growing up to do. BUT, that growth will happen and I'm curious to see how he develops (and he may very well become a real contender for my heart then). His path and position make him more than just a pretty face and I'm looking forward to seeing how his character develops across the series—not just as a love interest for Celaena, but as a full character in his own right.

And that's what I love about this series. The secondary characters could all easily become main characters themselves (like the warrior princess? SO cool!) They have history and arcs and secrets and growth and personality that are all detailed and strong enough to command Main Character status. Their paths intertwine now, but they each have journeys they need to take separately as well, and I'm very curious to see how Sarah J. Maas develops them in the sequels. 

But what about the plot?

Oh, right, the plot. I'm a character girl, and clearly I'm in love with these characters enough that the plot doesn't really matter to me much. But, I was still pretty invested.

First off, there's a contest between the assassins to see who is the assassiniest assassin of them all. Is there any question who will win? Erm, no, not really. But that doesn't matter. It was still fun watching the contestants compete and, for me, the competition plotline never gets old even though it's always pretty darn predictable. Also, that fight scene at the end? Talk about nail-biting!

THEN there's the mystery of what or who is killing the contestants, because, yeah, something is turning them into pretty grotesque corpses and while this is great from the whittle-down-the-competition angle, the fact that something is killing contestants and Celaena IS a contestant is a little troubling.

So she sleuths, and I love her for it. She utilizes both the library AND secret passageways, two things that are near and dear to my heart. And, in this case, both lead her to buried secrets from the past, which pretty much makes the whole scenario explode with win. There are also red herrings and side reveals that were fun and definitely had me barking up the wrong tree once or twice.

And, while I wasn't totally in love with the Big Reveal and the eventual villain reveal was a little, erm, deflating, it also didn't really matter much because the journey was so much fun. Plus, this is only part one of a series, so I know there's more to it all than I'm learning right now so I'm ok with suspending judgement for now. (Also, honestly, I don't really care because I'm a character girl).

Bottom line

Throne of Glass is not a perfect book. But it IS a perfect book for me. The characters make me smile, the romance gives me that prickly anticipatory tension I love, and the 416 pages and promise of sequels makes me think, "Hm, I'm not sure if that's going to be enough for me." Because I want more. Now, please?

And that's not because the story ends mid-way through. Granted there are loose ends that need wrapping up and there is now the entire chapter of Celaena's new life that's been opened wide, and, most importantly, I still need to witness *THAT* kiss, but I'm not dangling from any cliffs here.  I want more simply because I love these people and this world and the fact that everything is dripping with vibes of all my favorite books.

Simply put, Sarah J. Maas is now one of my very few auto-buy authors.

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

Do you have any questions about Throne of Glass that I haven't addressed?
Feel free to ask in the comments!

Add it on Goodreads
Buy it on Amazon

Looking for another book like this?
You might like:

 Click on the pictures to go to my reviews.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Books I got this week (5)

It's been established so clearly that I can't even lie about it: I have no self-control when it comes to books. I acquire them at a much faster rate than I can actually read and review them, but hopefully these posts will help those books get some exposure NOW instead of waiting until I actually manage to find time to, you know, read them.

This post is for the past week or so.

For Review

Girl of Nightmares
by Kendare Blake

Release Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 336
Goodreads Page

I loved the first book, and I loved the sequel just as much! It was like reading a mash up of Buffy and Supernatural, but somehow it still felt original.

Requested and received from the publisher.

House of Shadows
by Rachel Nuemeier

Release Date: July 2012
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 342
Goodreads Page

This is one of those "under the radar" books that has been floating at the edges of my awareness but somehow never made it to the forefront. But, how can that be when it sounds so perfect?!

Two sisters, orphaned, find themselves on two very different paths. One sister becomes tangled in a Named House (!) where she can have glitz and glamor, but she needs to "play by their rules." The other sister becomes an apprentice to a mysterious mage! But both sisters' paths are threatened by dangerous secrets and a hidden plot that also threatens their kingdom.

I mean, I just, that sounds PERFECT! 

Requested and received via NetGalley.

The Kindling
by Braden Bell

Release Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Pages: 304
Goodreads Page

Billed as a fast-paced action adventure great for middle grade boys, I'm hoping I enjoy this one. I have to admit, the opening line is catchy ("Connor Dell didn't mean to set anyone's gym shorts on fire.")

Pitched for review by publisher.


The Last Romanov
by Dora Levy Mossanen

Release Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 333
Goodreads Page

This is adult historical fiction, and I'm pretty sure it's from the perspective of someone close to, but not a part of, the Romanov family. What can I say, this is another slice of history I can't read enough of!
Was available for free download through Amazon.

A Fistful of Collars
by Spencer Quinn

Release Date: September 11, 2011
Publisher: Atria
Pages: 320
Goodreads Page

This is the fifth book in the series, but I don't think you have to read them all to get the story. They seem like cozy mysteries with a man-his-dog detective team....told from the perspective of the dog. Sounds cute and light, which is usually how I like my murder mysteries. Plus, it's already starting out of my good side with that play on words title.

Received as part of Atria's Galley Alley giveaway.

What did you get this week? Are you interested in reading any 
of these books? What did you think of them if you've read them already?


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Small News: *Cough*

If only I looked as perky as my flame-haired alter-ego. Alas, I do not. I look, well, definitely not good. Because I'm sick! And, lucky me, I get to work a six day week. Yay!

So when I'm not working this weekend, I'll probably be sleeping and not answering all of those awesome emails you sent about books to trade (fyi, if you sent an email, the answer is YES and we'll swap info soon). There are also still some books available to trade (like Soulbound by Heather Brewer) if you're interested. Also, no posts for a few days.

BUT, guess what I'll be wearing in all my coughing working-on-the-weekend misery?

Since I have no brilliant posts for you now, I'll leave you with a fantastic joke that will keep you laughing until I get back. Ready?

Did you hear the rumor about butter? 

Oh, I can't tell you. You'll spread it. 

HA! Get it? Spread it! Yep, that's how I roll. How about you? Have any good jokes to keep me going? Hope you're having a great weekend!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Discussion: Are you addicted to books?

There are certain events that are so important or well known that they can be referenced and pretty much everyone knows what you're talking about.

The main character was about as honest as Bill Clinton here.
That plotline floats about as well as the Titanic!
If the author gives me *THAT* kiss it will be as awesome as having Christmas every day!

You understood what I was saying, right? 

But for book obsessed people, we have our own set of shared memories.

The romantic lead doesn't give the MC bread or anything, but he'll still appeal to Sensitive Guy fans.

The scene was almost as devastating as when Dumbledore, well, you know what.

I'm not even going to try to pick ONE reference...

Now, WE all get these references, but how many non-book people would? (Ok, ok, maybe I could throw out a "One does not simply walk into Mordor" and people would get that...probably...some people). But, yeah, not everyone would get what you're saying.

And every once in a while I slip and make a book reference to a non-book person and the resulting blank stare usually leads to an at least somewhat awkward situation.

And just such an event happened to me the other day!

I came home from buying clothes and was showing my fiance what I bought. I got to this jacket:

and he looked at me and said (and I paraphrase):

"Meh, it looks nice, but the sleeves are kind of puffy and that's weird."

To which my jaw dropped to the ground and I struggled to inhale a proper breath in the face of this SERIOUS affront! Because, PUFFED SLEEVES ARE SACRED!

That's right, feel the awesome.

You do NOT diss puffed sleeves. You just don't. Even if you don't particularly like puffed sleeves (blasphemer), it is imperative that they are still treated with the reverence they deserve. 

But, of course he had no clue why I was reacting as if he had stomped on a puppy AND insulted my mother. My eventual explanation of the severity of his offense, which I could coherently (ok, semi-coherently) explain only after multiple deep breaths, did nothing to help my "try not to look crazy" cause.

But, whatever, *I* respect the importance of puffed sleeves, and I know my fellow Anne of Green Gables fans will have my back on this one. 

So, there you have it—how my book obsession manifests itself. How about you? 

How do you know you're addicted to books? But wait! Don't tell ME. Tell Alison at Alison Can Read for a chance to win a bookish prize!
Do you reference or incorporate important book events into your daily speech? (You can tell me that one)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Books I got this week + Books to Trade

It's been established so clearly that I can't even lie about it: I have no self-control when it comes to books. I acquire them at a much faster rate than I can actually read and review them, but hopefully these posts will help those books get some exposure NOW instead of waiting until I actually manage to find time to, you know, read them.

This post is for the past week or so.

For Review

I got...a lot of books this week. Most of them came unsolicited from Scholastic. After all my happy dancing, I realized I don't think I'll be able to read and review all of these books in time (just got a new job! Crazy busy!), and I feel badly about that.

So, would anyone like to trade? I'm looking for a lot of different books, and most of them are NOT ARCs (though some are). Since the books I have are ARCs, I'd prefer to send them to a blogger, librarian, or bookseller so they can serve their ARC-ish purpose. I also have Soulbound and Scary School to trade, but since those are already published I'll trade them with anyone.

I loved Jody's book Babe in Boyland (I'm still cracking up about that basketball scene), so I jumped at the chance to read Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft when Jody offered to send a copy for review.

All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin

I'm not an issues book reader at all, but Adele Griffin makes me one. I love her books, and All You Never Wanted is no exception. I requested this from the publisher and read it as soon as I got it from my mailbox.  


I am definitely looking forward to reading this! It has a snarky talking cat, and I have a weakness for snarky talking cats. 

The Dark Unwinding

Steampunk, I think. I read the first page and the narrator's voice has a very "historical" feel in that Libba Bray-ish way. I like that.

The Encyclopedia of Me *

This sounds very cute and in the vein of books like Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters. Light, funny, but with heart. It's written kind of like a diary or epistolary novel, but the narrator is going through the alphabet and writing entries about herself.


I didn't realize this is the same author as that Eleventh Plague book. So, it seems like the author has the dystopia thing down pat, which works for me!

Amber House *

I am so excited to read this book! I'm offering it up for trade because I already directly requested a copy and so now I have two. It has a named house! And there's a family tree in the front that already seems like it's hiding fishy generational secrets. Squeee!!!!

Rain & Fire *

This book looks great (dragons!), but I'm pretty sure it's a guide book and since I haven't read the series yet I'm not sure how well I'd be able to read and review it.

*If anyone wants to trade for one of the starred books, shoot me an email! (smallreview at yahoo dot com)

The Dogs of Winter *

I liked Bobbie Pyron's book A Dog's Way Home, so I'm looking forward to reading this book. It's about a boy in what sounds like Soviet Russia who ends up living with a pack of dogs and then later reintegrating with human society, which sounds fascinating. But, I'm not sure if I'll be able to get to it in time, so that's why I'm happy to trade with someone who can get to it before I could. 

Rootless *

I'm not sure what to make of this blurb, but it sounds like a dystopia that somehow has to do with trees, poachers, and pirates. So, pretty cool!  

Undead *

Zombies! I'm really looking forward to this one! It looks like it will be fluffy and filled with funny zombie slaying. I'm thinking along the lines of Zombie Queen of Newbury High, which I liked a lot.

Free-Fire Zone *

I love the concept for this series. Basically it sounds like there were four friends and each enlisted in different branches of the military during the Vietnam war and each book follows one of the friends. This is the third book in the series, but it doesn't sound like you have to read them in order.

The Savage Fortress

I read the first book in this author's YA series (Devil's Kiss), and while I wasn't in love with it (the MC kind of bugged me), I enjoyed it a lot. So I'm really looking forward to trying out his foray into MG fantasy. Doesn't the cover make it look exciting?

Skinny *

I'm kind of interested in this one since it looks like a different take on eating disorders, but, yeah, eating disorders. It's an issues book.  So I'm not sure.

*If anyone would like to trade for one of the starred books, shoot me an email! (smallreview at yahoo dot com)

Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities *

This book sounds perfect for fans of superhero comic books. I can't even begin to try to summarize the blurb, but there are nemeses, a character named Professor Mayhem, and it's supposed to be super funny. So, sounds pretty fun!

Floors: 3 Below *

An adventure/mystery MG series set in a pretty cool sounding hotel (which is almost as cool as a Named House). I think each book can be read separately, but I'm not positive and I haven't read the first book yet. 

Drama *

This sounds like the typical (and that's a good thing) MG contemporary novel with equal doses of humor and heartwarming interpersonal moments. What sets this one apart is that it's a graphic novel, and even though that's not really my thing, I think a lot of kids will love it.

Third Grade Angels*

I hear the first book Fourth Grade Rats is fantastic and I know Jerry Spinelli is a solid author, but I haven't read the first book (Third Grade Angels is a prequel). The synopsis sounds beyond cute though (contest to see which student can be the most angelic, but does a good deed count if the teacher doesn't see it?) 

*If anyone would like to trade for one of the starred books, shoot me an email! (smallreview at yahoo dot com)

Just a Dog

I'm a sucker for dog stories, and this one sounds like it's written by someone who fully understands the importance of dogs. I'm sensing "heartwarming" and "funny" vibes. 

Legend of the Ghost Dog

Set in Alaska (!) and following kids as they puzzle out the mystery and legend of a ghost dog! Ghosts are fun, mysteries are fun, I like the legend of Balto, and the setting sounds fun. So, basically, I like the sound of this one. 

The Bar Code Prophecy *

This is another dystopian series that I'm pretty sure you can read out of order. At least, I hope, because I haven't read the first two books yet. Anyone know? If I can't read them out of order, then I'd definitely like to trade because I won't be able to get my hands on the first two in time. 

The Golden Door

Fantasy! I love fantasy, and this one has the added bonus of dragons. I read the first page and it definitely has that "fantasy writing" that I love so much. 

*If anyone would like to trade for one of the starred books, shoot me an email! (smallreview at yahoo dot com)

Amulet: Prince of the Elves *

This is a graphic novel and I'm pretty sure it's number four or five in the series. Graphic novels aren't really my thing though, so I'd love to pass this on to someone who enjoys them and can review it better than I can. 

The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano *

Perfect for people looking for People of Color books. I think I read somewhere that this is written by Maria from Sesame Street, but I'm not positive. It's a little too serious contemporary for my tastes though.

Pinned *

This is also too serious contemporary for me. It's told it alternating perspectives and I think it's an contemporary issues romance book. 

Endangered *

This looks pretty cool. Something about a girl in the Congo (her mom works as an environmentalist...zoologist? Erm, something like that) when revolution breaks out and they need to flee into the jungle. They hide out with the monkeys her mom studies and try to survive in the wilderness and get to safety. 

Stealing Air *

Three boys come together to build a plane. Um, how cool is that?? When I made things with my friends, we worked on stuff like lanyard bracelets and glitter bookmarks. A plane definitely trumps arts and crafts.

*If anyone would like to trade for one of the starred books, shoot me an email! (smallreview at yahoo dot com)

What did you get this week? Are you interested in reading any of these books? What did you think of them if you've read them already?

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