Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (46): Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

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: Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: June 11th, 2013

The spine-tingling horror of Stephen King meets an eerie mystery worthy of Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars series in Kate Karyus Quinn's haunting debut.

On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.

A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.

Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese's fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past. (Summary from Goodreads)

Okay, is it just me or does this novel sound insanely disturbing and awesome? I feel it's going to be one of those books that will have me up into the wee hours of the morning, just desperate to know what's going to happen next. It looks dark, heart-breaking, and powerful, things I absolutely love in a novel. 

I am really looking forward to Another Little Piece which I'm sure will be a debut to remember!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (45): Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike

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: Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 30th 2013

Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto.

No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so--in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history--he agrees to help her complete her "unfinished business." But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff's new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he's made the right choice.

Clash meets sass in this uproarious modern-day retelling of Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel.

This sounds all kinds of adorable. And I totally love adorable books. Although I've only read the first book in the Wings series, I always watch out for Aprilynne Pike books. When I heard of Life After Theft I knew I had to have it ASAP. I really like the concept, and the characters sound fantastic. It looks like the kind of book that's going to keep me intrigued and smiling the whole way through. I cannot wait to get my copy!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight) 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepard

Title: The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter #1)
Author: Megan Shepard
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Release Date: January 29th, 2013
Source: Won (Thanks Kathy!)

My Rating: 3/5

In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.
I had been hearing lots about this book at the beginning of the year, and knew I would have to check it out for myself soon enough. When some book club members suggested it for our first pick I thought it was a great opportunity to check this book out. Sadly, though, it did not live up to my expectations. 

One of the problems I had with this story was a simple matter of believability. In every novel, especially in one with subject matter so far-fetched, you have to suspend disbelief somewhat. They should make sense, for sure, but if somethings are a little iffy you can let them go in favor of enjoying the overall story. In the case of The Madman's Daughter though, I could not look past some of the impossible features. The writing left me feeling very distanced from the story which caused me to question a lot of it. I could not picture these creatures whatsoever, and found there descriptions utterly confusing. There were parts of the story where I sat back and thought "How in the world would that work?" which had me pretty put off. I felt like things were told but not explained, and the overall plot suffered from that.

As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I felt completely disconnected from the story. I really think I could have enjoyed this story more had I been invested in the story. Instead, I felt I was watching the events from afar and had no real commitment to the outcome. The only time I felt a moment of emotion was with Balthazar. He was a character that surprised you. That made you love him in such a subtle but powerful way. I felt a huge commitment to his well being, where as the other characters I could take or leave. I liked that Juliet was a girl far ahead of her time. She was strong-willed and intelligent which are qualities I admire. I liked that she didn't take no for an answer, and didn't always make the right decision. She was probably my favorite part of the book.

The love triangle, on the other hand, I had no real attachment to. Juliet was fretting over who she should choose and I truly didn't care who it was that was chosen. I found Montgomery to be relatively flat as a character, and Edward to be just okay. I also found that the relationships almost seemed rushed. Juliet went from being completely undecided to picking one in a matter of pages. It didn't seem entirely genuine to me. 

Something I cannot handle in books, or in anything really, is animal cruelty. I can't fault the book for having it considering that was a main plot point, but it was still too much for me. I skimmed portions, hid my eyes at others, and had to even put the book down once. It was too much and affected my ability to like the book. It did give a creepy and foreboding atmosphere to the book that I could feel until the very last page. It was not my cup of tea, but it was a true component to the story.

I really did love the themes and questions Megan Shepard wove throughout the book. The "monsters" who acted with such humanity contrasted starkly with the cruel humans in the novel. It made you question the definition of humanity, and had me completely intrigued. I also loved the setting, which gave a mysterious and almost savage edge to the story. Shepard created a dark and twisted story, set in a dark and twisted land.

Although the book had some fantastic moments and very interesting themes, the novel as a whole fell flat for me. A combination of unclear writing, and uncomfortable subject matter, The Madman's Daughter just wasn't the book for me.

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Find This Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Megan Shepard's Website

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (44): Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer

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!

Publisher: Kensington Teen
Release Date: May 28th 2013

With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…

My friend and fellow Ottawa Blogger Emilie was the first to mention the Elementals series to me. It sounded right up my alley, and the kind of series I would love. And I do. The Merrick brothers are such awesome guys and I have loved getting to know them over the last two books. I really like the concept of these books as well, and think Brigid Kemmerer has created a fantastic series. Spirit looks like it's going to be a bit different from the other two because it's about Hunter, not one of the Merricks. I am really interested to see how his story plays out!

This books are pure addicting fun and I'm so excited for May when I get to dive right back in!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Review: Nameless by Lili St. Crow

Title: Nameless (Tales of Beauty & Madness #1)
Author: Lili St. Crow
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: April 9th (Canadian)
Source: ARC received from Razorbill for an honest review

My Rating: 4/5

When Camille was six years old, she was discovered alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven—the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopted the mute, scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill alongside his own son, Nico.

Now Cami is turning sixteen. She’s no longer mute, though she keeps her faded scars hidden under her school uniform, and though she opens up only to her two best friends, Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered Vultusino heiress, she knows that she is not really Family. Unlike them, she is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. And it’s not until she meets the mysterious Tor, who reveals scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth…to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.

New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow thrilled legions of fans with her dark paranormal series Strange Angels. Now she has crafted an evocative update of Snow White, set in a vividly imagined world and populated by unforgettable new characters. (Summary from Goodreads)

When I read a Lili St. Crow book, I expect a few things. Things like a new and original concept, interesting and complex characters, and a story that is going to have me desperate to know what happens next. Nameless had all of that in spades.

There have been a lot of re-tellings in the YA genre recently, but Nameless surpasses most in pure creativity. There are jacks and Twists and charms and Potential, and a whole number of other things in this crazy world. At first, it was a bit overwhelming. The reader is thrown head first into this brand new world with no explanation. For the first few chapters I was trying to figure out just what the heck was going on. After some much needed back story though, I found myself immersed in this world and able to follow along with the lingo. And my goodness, was I into this book. I could not wait to figure out what was happening and found myself flipping pages like a madwoman. This world was so intriguing and complex, I wanted to unravel all the different layers. I was also so invested in the characters, I just wanted to make sure they got their happy ending!
Cami, though, I went back and forth with. At the beginning, I adored her. She was quiet, but strong, a girl not really in her element but trying hard to make it her own. Her relationship with Nico, which I'll gush about later, was both heart-warming and heart-wrenching. As the novel progressed though, I found her to be a bit lacking. I expected a lot from her, and I wasn't entirely sold on how she handled the last half of the book. The last few scenes had me smiling again, and I have hope that she'll be awesome in the next books. Tor, on the other hand, I could not stand. I know, he's supposed to be mysterious and likable. But, to me, he was simply irritating and irrational. Eventually, he came around, but I still could not shake my initial dislike of him.

And now onto the love interest. Oh, dear Nico. Now HERE is a couple that was giving me feels left and right. They were so compatible, so caring of one another. They just seemed to match. Cami with her quiet perseverance was the perfect balance for Nico's quick temper. They knew how to help each other, calm each other, and work together. Every time they had a scene together, my heart was give off these little squeezes. I cannot wait for more of them!

Although Lili St. Crow re-imagined this classic tale and made it all her own, it was still really cool to notice all those subtle hints of Snow White in Nameless. And Snow White wasn't the only fairy tale represented in this novel. There are hints of many others woven into the story, and I'm very excited to see if they're explored more in detail in the next two books!

Nameless was exactly what I was hoping it would be: imaginative, consuming, and heart-pounding. I am desperately awaiting the next installment in this brilliant new trilogy!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Find This Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Lili St. Crow's Website

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Series Catch-Up Challenge Month Four!

Okay, Emilie and I totally dropped the ball this month. Here's the link-up for the fourth month of the series catch-up challenge! I've been making some progress on my list, which I'm pretty happy about. Hope you guys have too!

Happy April!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (23)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which bloggers share the books they stacked their shelves with during the week!

I've been having a very mixed couple of weeks. Lots of ups and downs which is making it hard to blog. I'm slowly catching up and getting myself back into the groove, but it's going to take some time. As a note on this post, my laptop is basically dying. Keeps shutting down, mouse and track pad are failing, and all three of my USB ports aren't connecting. Which means I am unable to download pictures from my camera and have had to use strictly cover images on this post. Sigh. Oh well. Here is my stack for the last few weeks!

Borrowed From Work:


- Wasteland by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan
- Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys (Thanks for the these books Meaghan!)
- Opal (Lux #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Thanks for lending this out Emilie!)


- Light (Gone #6) by Michael Grant
- Every Never After (Never #2) by Lesley Livingston

- That Summer by Sarah Dessen


- The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter #1) by Megan Shepard (Thank you Kathy for the prize!)

Well that's all for this week!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (43): Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

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!

Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 30th 2013

Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?
If you read my gushing-love-filled review of Sweet Evil, you'll know that I am a huge fan of this series. There's been a lot of fallen angels books out there, but Sweet Evil has such an original take on it. And these characters! Oh man, these characters are just fantastic. I actually pre-ordered this book, something I never do, because I'm really just that excited about it. 

Sweet Evil was addicting and I cannot wait to get my next fix with Sweet Peril!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Books of 2013, Part 4: April

Hello, all!

Well, what is this? It's April? Where in the world did March go? I feel like it went by way too fast. A new month does me lots of new books coming out and April is no exception! Here are the books I'm most looking forward to this month!

April 2nd

- The Rising (Darkness Rising #3) by Kelley Armstrong: I am a huge Kelley Armstrong fan, but I haven't actually read the Darkness Rising series! Now that they're all out, I think it's time to dive right in!
- Light (Gone #6) by Michael Grant: My heart is already broken knowing the final book is here. I have loved this series since it first came out, and I will be a mess when it ends.
- This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith: This book just looks so insanely adorable. And exactly the kind of book to ring in spring with!
- Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by R. L. LaFevers: Grave Mercy has been sitting on my shelf for almost a year, and I know I really need to start it soon!

April 9th

- Nameless (Tales of Beauty & Madness #1) by Lili St. Crow: I am really lucky to have an ARC of this because I am so crazy excited for this book! It sounds so interesting, and I can't wait to read more of it.

April 16th

- Taken (Taken #1) by Erin Bowman: This book has me so intrigued. As soon as I read the summary I knew I needed to read this book ASAP. I'm glad I will be able too in just a few short weeks!

April 23rd

- Game (Jasper Dent #2) by Barry Lyga: I Hunt Killers petrified me, but was also one of the most interesting books I read in 2012. The sequel will no doubt scare me to my bones, but I'll love every second of it.

April 30th

- Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike: This book just sounds really really awesome. The kind of book that will have me flipping pages to see what will happen next!
- Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins: IS IT APRIL 30TH YET? NO? WELL, CAN IT BE. I kind of need this book like as soon as humanly possible. I love this series something fierce and the wait for Sweet Peril has been slowly killing me!
- Oath Bound (Unbound #3) by Rachel Vincent: Oh, Rachel Vincent. How I said today how awesome you are? I'm very excited to have the final installment in this creative and twisted series although I will totally miss this series!

That's all for this month! What are your most anticipated releases?

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)