Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (58): Wayfarer by Lili St. Crow

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, in which bloggers talk about the books they are most eager for!

This Week's Pick: Wayfarer (Tales of Beauty and Madness #2) by Lili St. Crow
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: March 6th, 2014

New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow thrilled legions of fans with her dark paranormal series Strange Angels. Now she has created a stirringly romantic, deliciously spooky update of Cinderella, the alluring second volume in her trilogy Tales of Beauty and Madness.

Ellie Sinder is a Charmer—the most powerful of her age that St. Juno’s Academy has ever seen. But Ellie’s stepmother, Laurissa, wields manipulation and abuse to force Ellie to work her spells ever more intensely, for Laurissa’s profit.

Then a train from over the Wastelands arrives in New Haven, bearing on it golden boy Avery Fletcher, newly returned from prep school, wearing a sweater Ellie’d love to bury her face in and a smile as bright as his blond hair. Avery’s arrival sets Laurissa off on a dark and dangerous scheme—and this time the soul up for grabs is Ellie’s.

New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow has created a stirringly romantic, deliciously spooky update of Cinderella, the alluring second volume in her trilogy Tales of Beauty and Madness.

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Nameless last year and my goodness, did I enjoy it! Lili St. Crow, once again, dazzled with a creative and wholly original world that had me fascinated. I am so excited to learn more about it and these awesome characters! Although it's more of a companion novel, I'm really hoping for a Cammie and Nico cameo! 

If you want to know more about Nameless, check out my review here! Wayfarer is out in March!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (1): Top Ten Worlds I'd Never Want to Live In

Hi all!

I've decided that this year, I'm going to participate in one of my favourite memes: Top Ten Tuesday! I always check out the posts, so I figured I might as well start doing them myself! I probably won't end up participating every week, but I'll try and post them frequently.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which bloggers post their "Top Ten" of whatever that week's theme is! This week's theme:

Top Ten Worlds I'd Never Want to Live In

Honorable Mention: The Promises of Dr. Sigmundus trilogy by Brian Keaney
- I just had to include The Hollow People on this list, even though my memory is vague on a lot of the events. This was one of the first (if not THE first) dystopian series I ever read, back when I was fourteen. And it was disturbing. And frightening. And had me both repelled and completely fascinated. This was a world I had zero desire to ever live in, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it

10. Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld 
- A world where you have an operation to make you pretty? Well, that's not disturbing or anything. Scott Westerfeld is a master story-teller and his classic sci-fi tale had me examining the world I live in. 

9. Masque of the Red Death duology by Bethany Griffin
- A world where you have to wear masks all the time because the air you breathe is toxic? I'll pass on that one, thank you very much.

8. Blood Red Road trilogy by Moira Young
- The thing I love about the Blood Red Road world is how desolate it is. This is a post-apocalyptic world. This is destruction. Throw in the Ton Ton and some distorted "monarchy" and you've got a creepy, broken world that I would probably not last long in.

7. The Chemical Garden series by Lauren DeStefano
- A world where lifespans are cut short, women are kidnapped and married against their will, and life is basically falling apart at the seams. If I lived in this world, my life would be over (for reals, girls only live til they're twenty!) which is something I would not be okay with.

6. Delirium series by Lauren Oliver
- To quote one of my favourite movies, Moulin Rouge "But, a life without love, that's terrible!" Its a pretty disturbing word where parents don't even love their own children. And it's a world I couldn't stand to live in. 

5. The Devouring series by Simon Holt
- Okay, I am easily scared. So having my body possibly taken over and having my mind trapped in a living nightmare? Not my cup of tea. Makes for one terrifying book, though.

4. Gone series by Michael Grant
- Although, heck yes to the cool powers aspect of this book, hell to the no to the Gaiaphage. And Drake. And the dome. AND EVERYTHING ELSE IN THIS BOOK. I mean, these poor characters have gone through unimaginable horrors again and again. I would never, ever, want to enter the FAYZ.

3. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
- This book freaked me right out, and had be nervous about going outside for awhile! Disturbing waves of plague, destruction, all topped off by an alien invasion! Fun times. 

2. Unwind dystology by Neal Shusterman
- This. Book. Petrifies. Me. A world where children can be "unwound" (AKA taken apart bit by bit) if their parents can't deal with them anymore? UM NO THANKS. This is such an amazing book though, guys. Disturbing, but amazing.

1. Dark Inside/Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts

- This post-apocalyptic world faces the worst, most terrifying enemy of all: the darkness inside you. You can't trust anyone, not even yourself, from turning into a blood-thirsty savage intent on destroying everything in sight. Without a doubt, the scariest future I could imagine.

What are your top ten this week?

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review: Smoke by Ellen Hopkins

Title: Smoke
Series: Burned (#2)
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: September 10th, 2013
Source: ARC received from publisher for an honest review

Rating: 3.5/5

Pattyn Von Stratten’s father is dead, and Pattyn is on the run. After far too many years of abuse at the hands of her father, and after the tragic loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn is desperate for peace. Only her sister Jackie knows what happened that night, but she is stuck at home with their mother, who clings to normalcy by allowing the truth to be covered up by their domineering community leaders. Her father might be finally gone, but without Pattyn, Jackie is desperately isolated. Alone and in disguise, Pattyn starts a new life, but is it even possible to rebuild a life when everything you’ve known has burned to ash and lies seem far safer than the truth?

I read my first Ellen Hopkins book when I was 14-years-old. At that time, I had just gotten back into reading and had never really picked up a book with such heavy subject matter. It was also my first verse book. And I loved it. The verse was stunning and the story was intense. It was unlike anything I'd ever read and it was so good. I haven't read any Ellen Hopkins' books in recent years, but was looking forward to picking up Smoke. Having read Burned almost six years ago, I was happy to finally get to see how Pattyn's story would come to an end.

This book was one heck of an emotional roller-coaster. Smoke starts off intense and it stays that way until the very last page. The story was thick with tension, and coated in fear, and I kept flipping the pages hoping it would all end okay. Pattyn's journey to find hope and Jackie's quest for growth were captivating. There was a lot going on in this story, especially with the dual plot lines. I'm normally not a fan of sequels that suddenly have dual POVs when the first book was only one. I find it jarring and changes the tone of the store. In the case of Smoke though, I thought it was the perfect avenue to tell the story. We got to see how both Pattyn and Jackie dealt with their father's death and how they coped with the aftermath. It also made Smoke kind of well-rounded. We got to really explore the dynamics of this family and how they both learn to heal in different ways. There were heart-warming moments, heart-breaking ones, and a constant urge to make sure these characters found hope. Because after all they had been through, they deserved a happy ending.   

The only issue I had with Smoke, and really with Hopkins' books in general, is the constant need for something bad to happen. Sometimes, it feels like the events of the book are just there for shock factor; to make something intense and painful happen. Her more recent books, Smoke included, felt forced at times to me. I personally loved the parts that were just about Pattyn and Jackie learning to love, live, and how to move on with their lives after all the horror's they had faced. What I didn't love, and what took away from the story for me, was the knowledge that it wouldn't last and that there would be some big event that changed everything (again).

Although I was a bit skeptical about parts of the plot, Ellen Hopkins is definitely a very talented writer. I'm always amazed by her gorgeous poetry, and how it all seems to flow so well. I often worry that there will be something missing with verse work (description or otherwise), but Ellen Hopkins constantly draws me right into the story and makes me feel like I'm there. I never feel confused or lost (which can happen with such sparse language) and I found the writing really got to the heart of the story. 

Overall, I did enjoy Smoke. It was good to get some closure to Pattyn's story and I think it was the follow up she deserved. I was intrigued the whole way through, and very invested in the characters well being. Smoke was just the book I was hoping it would be.

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Most Anticipated Books of 2014

So, 2014 is basically the Year All The Series Will End. I mean, really, I have NINE books on this list that are series enders! That's crazy! Also extremely sad. There are so many extraordinary books coming out and I can't wait to read them all!

28th: Infinite (Newsoul #3) by Jodi Meadows
- I can't believe that in just twenty short days, I will be holding this in my hand. There will be lots of tears. And lots of squeezy-book-hugs. This will forever be one of my favourite series and I can't wait to see how it will all end. (Also WOW WHAT A COVER)


4th: Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi
-I'm either going to absolutely love this book or be angry at it (probably both) but either way, I'm so looking forward to reading it and enjoying Tahereh Mafi's beautiful prose.
18th: Perfect Lies (Mind Games #2) by Kiersten White
- Technically, this isn't on my Most Anticipated list, cause I've already read it! But, it would have been and, really, it should be on all of your lists cause it's incredible. If I can ever get my thoughts straight about it, I'll review it but until then all I have to say is: READ IT! (And bring a box of tissues)
25th: Killer Frost (Mythos Academy #6) by Jennifer Estep
- *cue the weepy Mythos feels* *sniffles* I discovered this series in 2012 and I've been obsessed ever since. It's witty and intriguing and I simply love the characters. It's going to be really hard to let them go come February! 

18th: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
- I have to say, I am SO SO EXCITED for this book. It sounds like one of those novels that I'm going to fall head-over-heels in love with! It also sounds like a novel that's going to have me weeping. I can't wait to find out.


8th: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
- Y'all, if you haven't read Rachel Hawkins, you need to read her books RIGHT NOW. They are clever, and hilarious, and lovable. I've been looking forward to Rebel Belle for ages and I can't believe it's almost here! *GRABBY HANDS*
29th: Sweet Reckoning (Sweet Trilogy #3) by Wendy Higgins
- *clings to Kai* I'LL NEVER LET GO! I can't bear it that this series is ending! I will miss it terribly.


29th: The Treatment (The Program #2) by Suzanne Young
- Despite having my reservations, The Program became one of my favourite books of last year! It was such a interesting (yet horrifying) story and it made me crazy emotional. I'll be a mess reading this book but I'll love every second of it.
29th: In the Shadows by Kiersten White & Jim Di Bartolo
- Besides the fact that it's a Kiersten White book which means auto-buy, this sounds like such a cool book! It's told both in words AND in pictures! How awesome is that? It's so unique for a YA book and the story itself looks to be so intriguing. I'm buying this book day of and can't wait to look at it's gorgeousness in person!


13th: Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
- You can't see me, but I'm bouncing in excitement over this book. I loooove books with this kind of idea, and it kind of reminds me of PostSecret (aka one of the most amazing blogs to ever exist) which makes me DOUBLY excited!
13th: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
- I've been wanting to read this book for awhile, although I know it's going to be one of those gut-wrenching life-ruining books. I just need it in my hands as soon as humanly possible. 
(I believe this is still a placeholder date but, anyways) This has been the book everyone has been waiting for with crazy anticipation. Stephanie Perkins is extraordinary and hilarious and her first two novels were so so good. I know Isla will be just as fantastic.  
20th: Take Me On (Pushing the Limits #4) by Katie McGarry
- After reading Crash Into You I basically just need all the stories from these characters. Katie McGarry just gets better and better! I need Take Me On ASAP!
- I've committed about six years of my reading life to this book and I reeeeeally hope this book gives the series the ending it deserves.


1st: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater
- COLE AND ISABEL. I REPEAT. COLE. AND. ISABEL. I may have had a minor freakout when this book was announced cause AH COLE AND ISABEL. July 1st cannot come soon enough for me.
29th: Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5) by Richelle Mead
- Um, after the heart-stomping-life-ruining book called The Fiery Heart I need this Silver Shadows in my life like nobody's business.

5th: Opposition (Lux #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- Oh man, I just got into this series and now it's ending?! *weeps* This book will no doubt be fantastic, but I will be sobbing when I get to the end because I don't want it to be over!

No Release Date
Raven Boys 3 by Maggie Stiefvater
- This series means so much to me, and I feel so physically happy just thinking about reading the next book.

I'm getting excited just looking at this list! So many good books this year. Tell me which ones you're looking forward to!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight) 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Most Anticipated: Contemporary

Hello, lovely people!

Here's part two of my Most Anticipated list! On this one, I have a bunch of the my most anticipated contemporary books! I guarantee you, I missed some. (About an hour after I posted my supernatural list, I realized, life, five books missing from it!) But, here's a bunch and whatever I missed will be on my monthly books lists!


7th: No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
- I've heard nothing but good things about this one and I'm really excited to read it for myself!
7th: The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
- Although I've never read anything by Laurie Halse Anderson, I've heard how amazing she is. This book seems a bit out of my comfort zone but I'm willing to give it a try!
28th: And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard
- I was a big fan of Jenny Hubbard's novel Paper Covers Rock. It was unique and interesting and that end was really impacting. Although I usually don't read books about this topic, I think Jenny Hubbard could do it well!


4th: Panic by Lauren Oliver
- Although I've been disappointed with Lauren Oliver books in the past, I adored Before I Fall and hope her new stand-alone lives up to my expectations! 


1st: This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready
- Jeri Smith-Ready is such an incredible storyteller. This book sounds like its going to be gut-wrenching but I seriously can't wait to read it.  
1st: Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell
- I don't even know if I would call this contemporary exactly, but it sure sounds intriguing. And ever so slightly disturbing. 
15th: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
- I absolutely adore Jennifer E. Smith's books and I am so so so excited to read her new one!

15th: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
- I finally read My Life Next Door over the summer and it put Huntley Fitzpatrick on my auto-read list!
- Doesn't this book just sound so dang good? It's also by Jenny Han which means it's going to be fantastic.


6th: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
- I've heard such good things about Morgan Matson, and this book description sounds awesome. I'm looking forward to diving into it!
13th: The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer
- This sounds like a really interesting novel and I can't wait to unravel in mystery!


1st: On the Fence by Kasie West
- This just sounds like the perfect summer book!
8th: Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt
- I loveeeeee Lauren Barnholdt! She's so much fun and her characters are so great. I'll read anything she writes!
17th: #scandal by Sarah Ockler
- Despite being told numerous times that I need to read her books, I still haven't read any of Sarah Ockler's! This one sounds so good and I'm thinking an Ockler binge read will be in order this summer!

7th: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
- This one sounds thrilling and intriguing! 

No Release Date
Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn #3) by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
- I still haven't read Fire with Fire with I need to remedy ASAP but I'm really looking forward to seeing how it all wraps up! Burn for Burn was fantastic!

It looks like it's going to be a great year for contemporaries!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Most Anticipated: Supernatural

Hi all!

On Friday, I put out my Best Books of 2013 post and decided to follow it up with a three-day look at my most anticipated books of 2014. Since I have SO MANY I'm separating them into categories. Today is supernatural (paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, etc.), tomorrow will be contemporary, and Tuesday will be my top anticipated books of the year! Here's my list by month:


Avalon (Avalon #1) by Mindee Arnett - 21st
- This one looks like a great sci-fi and I'll be picking up my ARC very soon!
Secret (Elementals #4) by Brigid Kemmerer - 28th
- I haven't had a chance to read Spirit yet, but I'm really looking forward to reading more of this series!
Up from the Grave (Night Huntress #7) by Jeaniene Frost - 28th (ADULT)
- *weeps* I can't believe it's all coming to an end! *clings to Cat and Bones*

Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer - 4th
- This series is so unique and these characters are fantastic. Really excited for this one!
-  The Chicagoland Vampires series is so much fun and has such phenomenal characters! It may be at the 9th book, but each one is fresh and interesting.


Steadfast (Spellcaster #2) by Claudia Gray - 4th
- I reeeally liked Spellcaster when I read it last year and I'm looking forward to its follow up!
- This has to be one of my FAVOURITE covers of 2014. I just love it. I am so so so excited for this book. I adored Nameless and can't wait for more books in this world!


- Everyone has been buzzing about this one! Looks really cool!
Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1) by Kelley Armstrong - 8th
- I adore Kelley Armstrong and will read whatever she writes!
- Although I still need to read the second one, I'm really looking forward to seeing how this series comes to an end! 
The Taking (The Taking #1) by Kimberley Derting - 29th
- Aliens, need I say more?
- Sounds like a really good dystopian! 
Raging Star (Dust Lands #3) by Moira Young - 13th
- I was solidly NOT A FAN of Rebel Heart but I'm hoping Raging Star will redeem the series for me!

The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #3) by Michelle Hodkin - 10th (placeholder date)
- This WOULD be on my absolutely most anticipated list but because it only has a placeholder date, I'm not sure if it's actually going to be coming out this year. Either way, whenever I get my hands on it, I'll be so happy! Also this cover is incredible. One of my favourite book covers ever.

The Defiant (The Forsaken #3) by Lisa M. Stasse - 8th
- Action-packed and an awesome romance, this series rocks my socks. Can't wait to see how it all ends!

The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) by Rick Yancey - 16th
- I reallllly enjoyed The 5th Wave and I'm interested to see where the follow-up takes us!

Talon (Talon #1) by Julie Kagawa - 28th

Phew! That's a LOT of awesome sounded books! What paranormal, etc. books are you looking forward to?

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)