Archive | October, 2014

Review: LOOP by Karen Akins (+ Giveaway!)

At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.

I am so picky about my time travel books, it’s not even funny. Time travel with all its paradoxes is such a tricky subject that it’s rare to find a book that doesn’t bog me down with doubt. As a kid, I loved the Time Navigator series by Gilbert Morris (which only made it to three books—sad), and as an adult blogger, I became obsessed with All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill. That’s it. That’s the extent of time travel books that haven’t made me cranky. Somewhere back in time, Past Shae is still hunting for a time travel book that doesn’t make her want to pull her hair out. Well, Past Shae, to you I say:

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Cover Love #78


Grave robbing is a messy business. A bad business.

And for Thomas Marsden, on what was an unremarkable spring night in London, it becomes a very spooky business. For lying in an unmarked grave and half covered with dirt is a boy the spitting image of Thomas himself.

This is only the first clue that something very strange is happening. Others follow, but it is a fortune teller’s frightened screams that lead Thomas into a strange world of spiritualists, death, and faery folk.

Faery folk with whom Thomas’s life is bizarrely linked. Faery folk who need his help.

Desperate to unearth the truth about himself and where he comes from, Thomas is about to discover magic, and ritual, and that sometimes, just sometimes, the things that make a boy ordinary are what make him extraordinary.

Ah, middle grades. I love you and your adorable illustrated covers. They’re such a refreshing change of pace from YA’s photo covers with their faces and ballgowns. This one is especially cute, which I suspect may be due to the jolt of eeriness provided by wee Thomas Marsden’s dead (?) doppelganger. Tell me you aren’t curious about what’s going on here.

What do you think of this cover?



Top 10 Tuesday – Book Character Halloween Costumes

Ordinarily, Halloween-themed posts raise nothing more in me than a shrug and a “Meh.” I like candy, but otherwise my family’s never really gotten into the Halloween thing. (I only just watched A Nightmare Before Christmas for the first time ever.) But this TTT made me really excited because I actually have a bookish costume I’ve been DYING to do! (And you better believe I’m putting it last on the list, bwahaha.) Continue Reading →


Review: H2O by Virginia Bergin

It’s in the rain…and just one drop will kill you.

They don’t believe it at first. Crowded in Zach’s kitchen, Ruby and the rest of the partygoers laugh at Zach’s parents’ frenzied push to get them all inside as it starts to drizzle. But then the radio comes on with the warning, “It’s in the rain! It’s fatal, it’s contagious, and there’s no cure.”

Two weeks later, Ruby is alone. Anyone who’s been touched by rain or washed their hands with tap water is dead. The only drinkable water is quickly running out. Ruby’s only chance for survival is a treacherous hike across the country to find her father-if he’s even still alive.

Oh guys. I have been dying to write this review for WEEKS, but now that it’s time, I’m not sure how to begin. I ran through a gamut of emotions from contempt to fascination and admiration, terror to giggles, and hope to despair and back again. This book was worlds away from what I had anticipated, and I couldn’t be happier. Continue Reading →


Rewind & Review (69)

Rewind & Review


Blog Posts You Might Have Missed

This week was an… interesting week, fantasy-wise, but it also brought a fun tag post, a pretty cover, and a #RBWL update. Check them out!

Stuff I Bought

A photo posted by Shaelit (@shaelit) on

  • Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell
  • Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
  • Isabel: Taking Wing by Annie Dalton
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  • How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
  • Feed by M.T. Anderson

Stuff I Received

A photo posted by Shaelit (@shaelit) on

      • The Start of You and Me by Emery Lord (from Bloomsbury)
      • SIGNED Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (US and Canadian paperbacks) and a lovely card (from the author)


      Thank you, Bloomsbury! Thank you, Ms. Elizabeth!  

What I Read

      • A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons by Cressida Cowell audiobook – The Hairy Scary Librarian gives me the creeps! This one felt shorter and less involved than the others, though.
      • Love by the Morning Star by Laura L. Sullivan – Not what I was expecting. Both flippant and filled with innuendos. Review to come.
      • Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis – So much fun! A boxing, mechanic Snow White! Drones as dwarves! Review to come.
      • Mockinjay by Suzanne Collins audiobook – I’m rereading via audiobook to prepare for the first movie. I AM NOT READY.
      • Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst – Surprisingly fun. Not perfect, but fun. Review to come.

Event of the Week

Well, my spider died. I’ve had Rosie for two years and planned to have her for much longer, but (as far as I can tell) she got herself trapped mid-molt and expired. No more Rosie.

A photo posted by Shaelit (@shaelit) on


Review: WINTERSPELL by Claire Legrand

The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor’s ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother’s murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted–by beings distinctly nothuman. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they’re to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets–and a need she can’t define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won’t leave Cane unscathed–if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.

Full disclosure: I am an ardent Claire Legrand fangirl. I adore her middle grade books and shove them into my TTT lists whenever I can. I converse with her often online and have even met her in person. She’s wonderfully kind and funny, and I was so looking forward to her first foray into YA. Mechanical dragons! A Nutcracker retelling! Girls with knives! I was ready to love this book. It was a Shae book. I could feel it in my BONES.

Unfortunately, my bones are liar mcliarpants. I honestly can’t remember the last time I mourned over a negative review like this. I’ve avoided even thinking about this book for over a month just so I wouldn’t have to write this review. And now I just want to rip the band-aid off and be done with it, so buckle up. Continue Reading →


Cover Love #77



The signs are everywhere, Jory’s stepfather, Caleb, says. Red leaves in the springtime. Pages torn from a library book. All the fish in an aquarium facing the same way. A cracked egg with twin yolks. Everywhere and anywhere. And because of them, Jory’s life is far from ordinary. He must follow a very specific set of rules: don’t trust anyone outside the family, have your work boots at the ready just in case, and always, always watch out for the signs. The end is coming, and they must be prepared.

School is Jory’s only escape from Caleb’s tight grasp. With the help of new friends, he begins to explore a world beyond his family’s farm. Then Caleb notifies the family that the time has come for final preparations: digging in their backyard canyon at night. Every night.

As the hole gets deeper, so does Jory’s doubt about whether Caleb’s prophecy is true. When the real reason for their digging becomes clear, Jory must choose between living his own life or following behind Caleb, shutting his eyes to the bright world he’s just begun to see.

I have no idea what’s going on in this cover, but it’s awfully pretty. I’m a sucker for a night sky full of stars. Also, what’s the glow? Fire? Encroaching devastation? The little house is so mysterious, and I want to know what the items inside represent. The shovel makes sense, but the red bike? The blue bird? No idea!

What do you think of this cover?


Book Tag: The TBR Tag

I’ve been tagged by Brittany at The Book Addict’s Guide for The TBR Tag! Yay!

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Depends how you define TBR, to be honest. Usually, TBR means my to-read list for me, and for that I use Goodreads. Any time I see a book that interests me, I stick it on my TBR (and very rarely prune the list down.) I also keep track of my DNFs, my need-to-reads (own them, need to read them even if I may not WANT to), and DNFs I might want to retry someday.

When it comes to books I can actually get my hands on, I keep my unread books separate from my read books, and I keep track of my ARCs in Evernote by release date.

Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

Print. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of eARCs, but my physical shelf is overflowing with things I need to enjoy. Honestly, the only time I’ll buy an e-copy of a finished book is if it’s 1) super cheap, 2) something I’ve already read, and 3) one of my absolute favorites.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I’ve actually talked about this before. ARCs get top priority and I read those based on release date, then I fit in my finished physical copies as I have time and based on my mood.

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

Oh gosh. I’ve had books on my shelf foreeeeeeeever. Like, I’ve owned Jurassic Park for forever and a day.

A book that you recently added to your TBR?

My latest addition to my physical shelf is an ARC of I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios. My latest addition to my Goodreads to-read shelf is The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman.

A book on your TBR strictly because it has a beautiful cover?

I do my best to avoid adding books solely because of pretty covers (see: the size of my TBR) but I can’t help staring at Deception’s Princess every time I see it. She looks like Merida!

A book on your TBR that you NEVER plan on actually reading?

I don’t think I’ll ever actually read Num8ers by Rachel Ward. I mean, I own a physical copy (from a giveaway) and it’s on my Goodreads list, but I can’t muster any enthusiasm.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

SO MANY OPTIONS!! I mean, there are books by Leigh Bardugo, Rae Carson, Robin LaFevers, Rachel Hartman, and SO MANY OTHERS lurking on my list and my heart can’t handle it.

A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read except you?

Ermmmm… I actually haven’t read past book 3 of the Harry Potter series yet. I’m going to, don’t get me wrong, but I just haven’t made time yet.

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

See above. *covers face in shame*

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

I really want to read The Walled City by Ryan Graudin. The ARC is waiting on my ereader, but it’s too far from the pub date. On my physical shelf, Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay has been making eyes at me.

The number of books on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

1348 “to-read” books and 124 “need-to-read” books. -_-

I’m going to do like Brittany did and say that anyone reading this post can consider themselves tagged, but I’ll also specifically tag Gillian, Summer, and The Bookish Broads (Gaby and Lisa).


Review: SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Oh, SNA, how ever am I going to give you a rating? You’re such a prickly mix of good elements and not-so-good elements, pieces that kept me hanging on every word and pieces that made me roll my eyes, fantastic moments and scoff-inducing scenes. WHAT AM I TO DO WITH YOU?! I’ll admit, I had a great time mocking parts of you, and yet I’m looking forward to your sequel.

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