Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Books of 2012: According to Better Read Than Dead

So...Kelly M and I got to thinking we should post our favorite books of 2012. Now, Kelly M is much better at this than I am, so we'll start with her list.

Kelly M's List
These are in NO particular order

  • Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
  • City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
  • Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
  • Ceaseless by Abbi Glines
  • While it Lasts by Abbi Glines
  • The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
  • Rapture by Lauren Kate
  • Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

Kristin's List
Again, no particular order - and I'm sure some will be repititous, sorry about that!

  • Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle
  • Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
  • The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
  • Deity by Jennifer L Armentrout
  • Rapture by Lauren Kate
  • Easy by Tamara Webber
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
  • City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Hmmm...not near as many duplicates as I would have thought. Amazing. But...there's not a book on Kelly's list that I don't think belongs there. So many awesome choices for 2012. I'm certain 2013 will be just a blessed. Drop us a comment and let us know what your favorite books of 2012 were.

{Music Monday} Rapture by Lauren Kate

Title: Rapture
Series: Fallen #4
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Delacorte Press; Random House Inc.
Publishing Date: June 12, 2012


The sky is dark with wings . . . .

Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again.

Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen.

For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

Arise by Flyleaf

Evil Angel by Breaking Benjamin
A look at Lucifer's feelings for Luce

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

{Waiting on Wednesday} Double Edition

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are dying to read but they haven't been released yet!

Kristin's Choice

Title: Chosen at Nightfall
Series: Shadow Falls #5
Author: C.C. Hunter


Kylie Galen's life hasn't been the same since her world was turned upside-down in Born at Midnight, Shadow Falls #1, and now an epic conclusion to her journey—not to mention a tough choice between two guys!—is brewing in Chosen at Nightfall:

When Kylie Galen left Shadow Falls, she thought it was the hardest decision of her life. Heartbroken and separated from everyone she loves, she has to embrace her abilities and what it means to be a chameleon. But as Kylie's journey comes to a close, she must return to the camp that started it all...and she must finally chose between the two boys who love her. The werewolf who broke her heart when he chose his pack over her, and the half-fae who ran from their intense attraction before they ever really had a chance. For Kylie, everything will finally be revealed and nothing will ever be the same.

***I have loved this series and Ms. Hunter's ability to integrate multiple types of fantastical creatures and lore into a single series.***


Kelly M's Choice

Title: Boundless
Series: Unearthly #3
Author: Cynthia Hand


The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

***I'm with Kelly M on this one too...I cannot wait to get my hands on this one! Too many good books coming out. ***

{Teaser Tuesday} Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Title: Iron Queen
Series: Iron Fey #3
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Fantasy YA
Publisher: Harlequin Teen


The "New York Times" Bestseller My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

TEASER:  “One more thing,” Ash said in his dangerous, soft voice as we turned away, and Glitch shot him a wary look. “If you do not return with her,” Ash continued, staring him down, “if she comes to any harm while she is with you, I will turn this entire camp into a bloodbath. That is my promise, lieutenant.” “I’ll bring her back, prince,” Glitch snapped, and there was the faintest hint of fear in his voice now.

Monday, December 24, 2012

{Music Monday} Passion by Lauren Kate

Ok guys I have a question. Do you guys enjoy the Music Mondays or not? We are trying to find new ways to make the blog stand out more and if you guys don't like this I will try to find something else in it's place even though I enjoy it very much hehe. We want you all to enjoy the blog and not see the same stuff over and over again. Teaser Tuesday and Waiting on Wednesday will stay, don't worry about that. If you guys have any suggestions don't hesitate to tell us please!

Title: Passion
Series: Fallen #3
Author: Lauren Kate
Genre: Paranormal YA Romance
Publisher: Delacorte Press


Luce would die for Daniel.
And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn't need to be that way... Luce is certain that something - or someone - in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of thislifetime...going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel...and finally unlock the key to making their love last. Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history. Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames...forever. Sweeping across centuries, PASSION is the third novel in the unforgettably epic FALLEN series.

Ok the song I have chosen is Awake and Alive by Skillet, it shows how Luce is finally finding herself in this book and how she realises that it is her life and no one will tell her how to live it or map out her destiny for her.

i hope you guys enjoy it and understand why i chose this song!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Merriest of Holidays to You

All of us at Better Read Than Dead want to wish you a Merry Holiday season. No matter what holiday you celebrate, or if you celebrate none, enjoy the festivities, your family and friends, and don't forget to pick up a book or two.

Over the next couple of weeks things here might be a little sporadic as we all have families flying in and vacations to enjoy. Kids will be home from school and up my, well, you know, for the next two weeks. We'll be visiting and playing games and over-stuffing ourselves. I can only speak for myself on this one, but I will have very, very little free time to be on the computer, though I hope to get a couple reviews written so we're not just dead space!

Starting at the first of the year, we'll have some new additions to the blog we hope you'll love and participate in. While Kelly M, Kelly C, and myself continue to work to make this blog better, we're always open to suggestions! We love comments, so if you read a review you love or a review you hate, leave a comment. We just ask that you always be tasteful in anything you have to say.

With that...we wish you the Happiest of Holidays!

Live, Love, and Read
Because when you read, you learn,
and when you learn, your mind opens
and the things you were once scared of, scamper off into the night,
leaving you a wiser, more tolerant person!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway - Who Knows What Goodies You Might Win

Well, it's that time of year again! Kathy at  I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Oasis for YA have joined together to host the Mid-winter's Eve Blog Hop.

These hops are so fun because attached to the bottom of this post (and every stop involved) you'll find a list of the blogs participating. Jump through as many as you can, who knows what you might win. I'm having a hard time deciding what to give away! So...I'm thinking this one's all on you. There are a lot of amazing books being released in January and so many were released this fall, SO...


a Rafflecopter giveaway

{A Kelly M Post} My Top 10 Book Boyfriends of All Time

Ok so I'm bored and I thought I'd do a top 10 book boyfriends post because I like to know who other people love and how they differ from my tastes! So give me the list of your top 10 and if you want you can give the reasons why you love them. This will be fun!!

Here is my list:

1.Jace Wayland, why because the guy is perfection personified
2.Will Herondale, he is British, tortured and loves books and poetry, the guy is the whole package
3.Irial (Wicked Lovely Series), he is the Dark King of Faeries, yeah enough said
4.Daemon Black, he looks like a God and he is so sweet and romantic and he is just so powerful, I love it!
5.Cole (Alice in Zombieland), he is my type down to the last tattoo. That is all
6.Seth (Covenant), he is a badass and misunderstood and fiercely protective. I will always be team Seth
7.Dank (Existence trilogy), he is Death, cant get more forbidden than that.
8.Ash (Iron Fey), HE IS THE ICE PRINCE!!!! and he is so dangerous and deadly and yum
9.Adrian Ivashkov, he has always been the underdog and honestly he breaks my heart. I just want him to                find love or i will kidnap him and love him!
10.Kaiden (Sweet Evil), Demon of lust, he is the boy that you shouldn't be with at all and that's why i want him!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

{Waiting on Wednesday} Everbound by Brodi Ashton

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are dying to read but they haven't been released yet!

Title: Everbound
Series: An Everneath Novel #2
Author: Brodi Ashton
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: January 22, 2012


Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity—a debt that should've been hers. Now she is living a borrowed life, and she doesn't know what to do with the guilt. And every night, Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away. No matter how she tries to reach for his hand, she can never find it.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen—and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to help in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole, along with Cole's bandmate Max, descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they'd anticipated—and more deadly. From a Lake of Blood and Guilt to Sirens' alluring tricks to insurmountable walls of rock and flame, the trio is given every reason to turn back and give up. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack—even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

In this breathtaking sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we'll go to for the ones we love. (*Summary taken from Barnes & Noble as Goodreads was down for maintenance.)
I for one am really looking forward to Everbound! I mean that cliffhanger was brutal. One of the worst in the history of cliffhangers. I'm interested to learn more about Cole because I think there is so much more to him. What do you guys think? What book are you waiting for?

Monday, December 17, 2012

{Teaser Tuesday} Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill & The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Title: Meant to Be
Author: Lauren Morill
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publishing Date: November 13, 2012
YA Contemporary

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.


It takes me a full minute to realize it's Jason Lippincott standing outside my door and not some bellboy named Jason or the hockey mask-wearing psycho killer from the movies (who, honestly, is a more likely candidate to be standing outside my door than Jason Lippincott.). I turn off the water and grab my robe. I can't imagine what he wants, which means I have to open the door to find out.

Title: The Lost Prince
Series: The Iron Fey: The Call of the Forgotten #1
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Publication Date: October 23, 2012
YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.


I closed the letter, put it on the desk, and turned the envelope upside down. A small silver coin rolled into my open palm, and I closed my fingers around it, thinking.

We love comments here at Better Read Than Dead. Let us know if you are a new follower so we can return the favor and we'll be dropping by several of the Teaser Tuesday blogs throughout the day.

{Music Monday} Torment by Lauren Kate

Title: Torment
Series: Fallen #2
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publishing Date: September 28, 2012
YA Paranormal Romance


Hell on earth.

That's what it's like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.

It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts - immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn't told her everything. He's hiding something - something dangerous.

What if Daniel's version of the past isn't actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series...where love never dies.

Kelly M, who was unable to make this post earlier today felt like this song portrayed the essence of Torment perfectly. I have to admit I completely agree...but the important thing is, what do you think. We love comments around leave one, please! They're like pretty little Christmas presents given to us a wee bit early.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

{Series Sunday} Xenofreak Nation by Melissa Conway

Series: Xenofreak Nation
Author: Melissa Conway
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: YA dystopian


Twenty years into the future, bioengineered animals provide organs for human transplantation. Grafts of animal skin have replaced tattoos in popularity, which gives rise to a unique new demographic: xenofreaks. 

Meet our heroes: Bryn Vega and Scott Harding. Bryn is the sheltered daughter of the head of the Pure Human Society, a small but fanatical purist group that wants to outlaw xenoalteration. Scott Harding is a xenofreak also known as Cougar, a member of the xenofreak gang, XBestia. When Bryn is kidnapped by the Bestia Butcher and given an extreme xenoalteration against her will, her world changes dramatically. The series follows Bryn as she adjusts to her xenoalteration and gets a front row seat for the social and political changes the world is going through with the advent of xenofreaks and all of its potential repercussions.

So, I did a review for a stand alone novel by Melissa Conway earlier this week that made me wonder if the second book of Xenofreak Nation, which introduced me to the author, was out yet. Upon realizing it was, I immediately got my copy and charged through it. But when I sat down to write this review, I wasn't quite sure how to do it. For one, it's the second book of a series, which is kind of weird as a first review for the series (at least while writing for the blog). Secondly, because I don't like to include summaries in my reviews, I didn't really know what to say that I hadn't already said in my review for the first book. Yet at two books, it doesn't really qualify for a Series Sunday, does it?

So, I'm taking a middle road and reviewing the series, because if everyone should read this. Period. And because I can't think of a better way to say it, here's what I said in my review of XBestia, the first Xenofreak Nation book:

"When I read the premise of Xenofreak Nation, I thought, 'huh, that's interesting.' What I didn't expect was to be drawn, almost instantaneously, into a well-developed world that is believably what we could be in the near future. The characters are dense, multifaceted, all individuals who make you feel as though they could each have their own books written about them. And the centerpiece of this cast is a keystone. Sheltered, but neither stupid nor spineless, Bryn is the backbone of the story. Her growth, her understanding of the world around her, that the people in it are all people, and her acceptance of her own mutilation are masterfully done.

But although the plot is fantastic, the characters engaging, the premise original, the most subtle and crucial bit that makes this book a true 5-star is Conway's writing. She gives hints, she shows, she alludes to, then delivers later with explanations. But she doesn't bog you down, just offers moments of clarification and certainty amid an environment where so much is guarded and uncertain. Her writing made me think about her book, her characters and her world when I couldn't read, and helped me re-immerse immediately each time I picked it back up. Conway delivers little bits that are subtle, but stayed with me."

And everything I said in my first review holds true for the second installment. I'm a little less satisfied with the end because, unlike XBestia, which is entirely self-contained, Mad Eye has an unresolved plot line which will obviously be continued in the next book due out in Summer 2013. But what this really means is that I just wanted more. Her characters are still awesome, I want more. I care about Bryn, like her and admire her inner strength. I'm curious about what may or may not come of the attraction between her and Scott... there's just so much in this world that only has a paltry two books to its claim thus far. The sense of scope, the breadth and depth of the world this series is set in is a little mind-boggling for me (in a good way).

And if the facts that the characters are phenomenally developed, the world massive and well-conceived, the idea original, and the plots intricate weren't enough for you, there's the added bonus that Conway is just a really good writer. While reading her books, I have instances where I read something, pause, am struck by it, then read it again. Then I sit back and go "wow, she can write." She has a knack for giving you just the right amount of detail, phrasing things exactly right that really blew me away, taking a story that has everything going for it to another level.

Go, read this series. You will not regret it.

A Toast to a Story Better than the One Before...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

{A Kelly M Review} Opal by Jennifer L Armentrout

Title: Opal
Series: Lux #3
Author: Jennifer L Armentrout
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Entangled


No one is like Daemon Black. When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on. But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love. After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

Holy freaking HELLL!!!!!!! Can I just say HOW COULD YOU MS ARMENTROUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think this woman lives to torment and destroy our souls because honestly the ending of Opal was brutal to put it mildly. My jaw hit the floor when it ended like I honestly couldn’t believe that this is the cliffhanger she went with. It’s terrible and now I have to wait until JULY FOR ORIGIN?????? Yeah I’m not gonna make it. Be prepared to plan my funeral people because I’m gonna shrivel up and die while waiting for this book.
This is by far my absolute favourite JLA book ever! Three reasons why that is.

Reason 1: DAEMON DAEMON DAEMON DAEMOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!!!!!!!! The dude steps up his game in a huge way. Here we see his romantic side and boy what a romancer he is. The guy made my insides all gooey and I melted so many times I have no idea how I am still fully functional. He and Katy are the perfect couple and he does everything to show her he loves her, even though he doesn’t say it till later. He is a tad over protective of Katy during times where she calls him a he-man (giggles) but I loved his over protectiveness. Rather have a guy who cares too much, than a guy who cares too little is what I always say.
Reason 2: This reason might be a bit spoilery if you haven’t read Onyx so If you don’t want the spoiler skip over this reason!!!!!!!!!!

I must say that I completely love Dawson just as much as I love Daemon. It was a bit sad that he was so distant from his sibs but I loved the fact that he felt so comfortable with Katy and that he would mostly talk to her and stay close to her side. Like at least he approves ya know? Dawson isn’t as screwed in the head as I feared he would be. I think that he will actually really recover.

Reason 3: Katy! I love this girl so much. She is so funny and I really love that she is as much of a book freak as I am. She goes through so much crap but she still keeps her wits about her. She is so stong and admirable. She always puts everybody else’s needs before her own. She really is just an amazing person.
What I disliked about this book is Dee. I had a huge problem with her attitude and how she acted. I know she lost Adam but seriously? She didn’t have to make Katy feel worse than she already does. It may have been her fault but it’s not like she did it on purpose.  I really wanted to slap her most of the time. 

Other than that this book was CRAZY GOOD IN EPIC PROPORTIONS!!!! It’s a bone-chilling, toe-curling, inside-melting, arms-flailing and bouts of rageful screaming read. If you haven’t read this series yet I am ordering you to drop everything you are doing, run to the bookstore, or drive you know whatever, screaming with your arms flailing above your head until you have it. People might think you are weird OR they could join you and you would have started a mass trend in buying the book!

Random Wondering on Thursday - Help Me With Some Much Needed Advice/Reasearch

Thursday Wonderings
Photo Credits to Mouseshadows

Okay...I'm bored, I could write a review, but my head hurts and honestly, I'm more interested in hearing from my lovely followers today. I want to talk a bit about books, the characters, and some technical stuff...but we'll have fun.

Let's say I know someone who's writing a book, who knows, I might. And they were curious about what readers like and dislike, would you be willing to help them out? Or possibly I was visiting with one of my bloggers and just wanted your opinion? 

Here's what I want to know...
  • What your favorite genre is to read?
  • One or two of your favorite books. I get it, you can't pick one.
  • What makes a book amazing for you?
  • Do you prefer first person, third limited, or third omniscient the best? If you even have an opinion.
  • What makes an amazing character for you?
  • What qualities must an amazing character possess?
  • Are there flaws you can overlook for the right price (ie...great world-building, complex characters, raw & edgy content)
  • Now, for the hard one...what is the single thing that causes you to despise a book, to put it down and not pick it back up, ever? Something you loathe so bad you would like to claw your eyes out.
Answer one, answer some, answer all, then on Thursday December 20, 2012, I will use to choose a winner for some awesome swag. Some of it is even signed. I'll post a photo tomorrow, but it's a bunch of stuff. Please place all your answers in one comment and LEAVE ME AN EMAIL OR TWITTER ADDRESS!

As always...all hateful or bashing comments will be removed. I've never had to do this because I have the most awesome followers ever, but if you have an example of something you don't like, you're welcome to tell us about it, just don't bash, PRETTY PLEASE!

{Giveaway & Excerpt} Shadow Slayer by Laura A.H. Elliot

Welcome to Better Read Than Dead's tour stop for Shadow Slayer by Laura A.H. Elliot! We're excited to offer you a teaser or two and an excerpt for Shadow Slayer!

Title: Shadow Slayer
Series: Shadow Series #2
Author: Laura A.H. Elliot
September 2012


Shadows will do anything to become human.
You see their influence everyday.
You say things you don’t mean or do things that aren’t like you.
You look, different.
Friends you’ve known forever suddenly never call.

As a freshman, Roxie just wants to fit in which is impossible because she barely runs into her friends at her huge high school. Adrianne’s disappearance and Hayden’s attention rock Roxie’s world. But nothing rocks it like the most gorgeous guy at school, Drew. And nothing is more important to Roxie than astral projecting back to Planet Popular to solve the mystery of the map. But that changes when Drew invites Roxie to homecoming. Hayden warns her that something’s wrong. Why would a guy like Drew like Roxie anyway? Drew must want something. Hayden’s right. Drew is…different. Planet Popular was just the beginning. Part of a bigger world, the Shadow World. There’s a war brewing between the world of humans and the world of shadows. When the shadow invasion begins at Roxie’s high school, she’ll not only fight for her life but the lives of her family and friends, when she discovers she’s the Shadow Slayer, the one human who can save Earth from the shadow onslaught. But, Roxie can’t even kill a spider. Oh yeah, there’s an evil English teacher, an enchanted play, a sword of Sandonian steel, a homecoming of horrors, and seven magic words too.

Review Coming Soon!


Tempest Teaser:

I pull some blush and mascara out of my makeup bag. I’m late, as usual. No one else is in here with me and it’s too quiet, too quiet for opening night. I try extra hard to keep the makeup off my dress, wedging scratchy brown paper towels all along my shoulder strap to protect it.

I glance over at one of the open, empty lockers. My sword hides in locker number 316, a row away from me. I thought about slaying every one of the shadows that had invaded in dress rehearsal but there was no way for me to ride the bus and sneak my sword in to school without a million eyes on me. Without getting noticed by some teacher who’d confiscate it and expel me for bringing a weapon to school. I had so much stuff to take for the play that Mom offered to give me a ride at the crack of dawn this morning. I hid my sword under my dress. Mom was so scattered because of her big meeting she didn’t notice anything and since it was so early no one was in the halls to give me a second look when I hid my sword in my locker. 

Note to self: early morning is a good time to hide stuff at school.

I stroke one cheek and then the other with blush and remember standing with Drew at the bonfire. The last night we went out as boyfriend and girlfriend. The last night he was human.

On your 13th birthday, you get the call. By your 14th birthday you find out what the call is.  

Everyone I know is in the audience tonight. Ally, Mom, Dad, Brian, even Mitch because he came home for my birthday. We’re having our family dinner tomorrow night since tonight the cast party’s at Drew’s house, unless I decapitate him first.

“Roxie five minutes!” Hayden yells into the girl’s locker room. As usual I’m the last one out. I sweep my hair up to the side and try to remember my first line. For some reason it’s the one I always forget.

All hail, great master! grave sir, hail! I come
To answer thy best pleasure...

I open locker 316, grab my sword and just as I step outside of the locker room Wanda runs up to me and starts talking non-stop about her nerves and how they’re getting worse and worse.

“What’s that?” she asks. I stop cold in my tracks at the backstage door.

“There are lots of words for things that don’t exist––the unseen. Like monsters and aliens and dragons and vampires and ghosts,” I say sort of in a trance.

“Yeah, so?” Wanda says, wringing her hands.

“If they don’t exist, why are there words for them? All the stuff I thought was crazy really isn’t crazy at all,” I say, finally getting what Drew was trying to tell me at the bonfire at the estate at homecoming. What the human Drew said before I danced with his shadow. My role in the unseen, the shadow world. Still, I don’t know so many things. Like, what happens to a shadow once I slay it? And where do humans go when their shadows invade? How can I save my human friends?

“Roxie, I caught you! I was so late because Brian’s car got a flat. He fixed it so great, I couldn’t believe it. It’s like he went to bad ass school or something,” Ally says, laughing.

“Ally. Finally!” We hug. I swallow hard. Brian. Fixed. A. Flat. I mean it’s not brain surgery but believe me, if it doesn’t have an LCD screen Brian doesn’t think it exists. He doesn’t know how to fix a flat. O.M.G. Brian is probably a shadow too. 

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

{A Kelly Coffee Review} SelfSame by Melissa Conway

Title: SelfSame
Author: Melissa Conway
Genre: YA History/ Paranormal
Publisher: Self-Published


A stillborn child revived. The past and the future intertwined. One girl lives two very different lives.

By all appearances, Sorcha Sloane is a typical small-town teen taking twenty-first century life for granted. While two centuries in the past, Enid Thompson is a poor farmer’s daughter in colonial New England. But Enid and Sorcha are the selfsame girl – one soul split between two bodies in a link that stretches across time. Every night while Enid’s body is sleeping, she wakes in the future as Sorcha, just as the old medicine man prophesied at her birth. And every night when Sorcha sleeps, she wakes in the past as Enid, in a frontier world on the brink of war. She only trusts a chosen few with the truth, until Ben Webster comes into Sorcha’s life and tells her his family has been desperately searching for her for over two hundred years…

 As you've probably noticed, I've had a bit more time to read lately, and today was the sort of day made for curling up with a book, blanket and cup of something warm. So I finally sat down and decided to get through a book I've been meaning to get to for months. 

I received this book after reading another one by the author (Xenofreak Nation) and being wowed by it. Still, despite being enthralled by the author, I just wasn't quite sure that the premise was for me. I should have known better. 

SelfSame is a wonderful, original book. The way she integrates Enid and Sorcha's lives, integrates the people in them, just the way she develops the characters, they're all just fantastically done. The realities of a Colonial life, the disparity between social norms, the way that Sorcha and Enid are the same girl, but different, they're all masterfully crafted. And in Conway's books, I'm finding that everything is connected.

There is a supreme subtlety to Conway's writing that just draws you effortlessly into her books, her world. She hints and alludes before delivering with the promised secrets (the great "ah" moments when everything makes perfect sense), but she walks a fine line that is delivering the payout without dwelling on it or beating the reader over the head with it.

Although the point-of-view changes between Enid and Sorcha, they are basically the same mind in different bodies. This means that although the setting changes, there isn't that jarring cut-off that is usually found in a changing POV. The transitions are virtually seamless. It makes for a quick and absorbing read. 

I don't know why I waited so long to find time to read this one, but you shouldn't. It's an entirely immersing and satisfying read. And I anxiously look forward to more from this author. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

{A Kelly Coffee Review} Puppet Parade by Zeinab Alayan

Title: Puppet Parade
Author: Zeinab Alayan
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Lulu/Self-Published


The life of a puppet master is never ordinary. Oliver Deere knew this when he ran away from home to take up the trade of puppetry, but he had no idea just how much his life would change. After his puppets come to life and flee town, Oliver meets up with a masked girl who hides a mysterious past.

As they travel together in search for Oliver's lost puppets, they find that the line between puppet and master is becoming much less clear - and much more deadly.

When Oliver and his companion enter the strange world of The Parade, they begin to realise that their journey will lead them to discover the truth behind a dangerous villain's path, and in the end, discover more about each other.

While not my typical cup of tea (I do find puppets sort of creepy), I have to admit, this book surprised me. It was far less about the puppets and far more about the characters and their relationship as it evolves. The idea of the Parade was fantastical, original and I totally loved it. 

Both Oliver and Sophie were interesting, multidimensional characters who evolved as individuals as well as in their relationship as they travel the Parade, searching for Oliver's lost puppets. Throughout the first 90% or so of the book, there is a great layering of world, hints, allusions and explanation that I found myself really enjoying. I even grew very attached to the puppets as I found each one of them very well developed. 

I had two hang ups about the book that keeps it from being a 5-star, one was occasionally odd dialogue and a lack of developed setting (outside the Parade) that, for me, was really irritating. I'm not sure if it was meant to feel like it could take place anywhere, but I couldn't tell if it was Anywhere, England or Anytown, USA, or even Whoknows, Germany. There was just enough detail for me to start feeling like I had an idea of where it took place, then it pulled back or alluded to something that really messed me up. This was particularly irritating at the end of the book. I also had difficulty placing the time--whether it was 1950s or 1800s, I just couldn't quite figure it out.

The second one was that the last 10% or so, for me, lost all of the mystery and the layering. It may even be the last 7% or so, but I went from watching the story unravel and being lead to connections and conclusions to info-dump after info-dump. The subtleties and details were handled so beautifully through the course of the novel that the end, to me, felt like it almost belonged in another book or was written by another person. Disappointing when the bulk was so beautifully handled. 

It may be of interest that the book is apparently meant to be an allegory (as evidenced by an analysis included in the back). Since I have zero interest in allegory and political commentary, I didn't pay it any attention, but if that's your thing, it could definitely add a whole new dimension to the novel.

On the whole, though, Puppet Parade is an admirable premier and one that any fantasy-lover should pick up. The characters and the writing as whole have me looking forward to the next thing the author produces. 

{Music Monday} Fallen By Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen
Series: Fallen #1
Author: Lauren Kate
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Delacorte Press


There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.Even Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce – he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret...even if it kills her.Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, FALLEN is a page-turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

Ok I'm going to post a Music Monday for every book in this series. So the next four weeks are going to be Fallen related. If you have suggestions for a series you want me to post music about let me know or if you have music that you feel fit a series send that to me as well. You can either comment your suggestions or email us. No suggestion will be deemed as stupid. I will post every single one!

The song I chose is Angels by Within Temptation for obvious reasons but you can apply it to Luce and Daniel or to Luce and Luce and Cam. Whichever. Enjoy


2012 YA Story Scavenger Hunt - Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Looking for this, hunters? I have today's trivia questions from Fiction Fervor's 2012 YA Story Scavenger Hunt here for you. 2012YASSH challenges you with your knowledge of young adult books published this year, and if you enter, you might win a prize! Check it out here for more info. And be sure to read the rules!

Without further ado, today's questions come from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.

Easy: What color are the Darkling's robes?
Medium: What creature's powers does the Darkling tell Alina she needs to harness?
Hard: What color robes are the three visitors wearing in the prologue?

Enter your answers in the form below!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

{A Kelly Coffee Review} Shadow Sight by E.J. Stevens

Title: Shadow Sight
Series: Ivy Granger #1
Author: E.J. Stevens
Genre: Supernatural/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Sacred Oak Press

Synopsis: Some things are best left unseen...

Ivy Granger's second sight is finally giving her life purpose. Ivy and her best friend Jinx may not be raking in the dough, but their psychic detective agency pays the bills--most of the time. Their only worry is the boredom of a slow day and the occasional crazy client--until a demon walks through their door.

Demons are never a good sign...

A demon attorney representing the water fae? Stranger things have happened. And things are about to get very, very strange as a bloodthirsty nightmare hunts the city of Harborsmouth.

There's blood in the water...

Kelpies have a reputation for eating humans. Unfortunately, Kelpies are the clients. When an Unseelie faerie this evil stalks the waterways of your city, you have to make hard choices.

The lesser of two evils...

For a book that I thought would be right in my wheelhouse, this was not what I expected. There is incredible potential in this book/series, because there are actually a number of interesting ideas and takes on familiar concepts that I appreciated.

To start, she has a world that includes demons, witches, vampires and faeries, and I think she does a reasonably good job balancing all of those magical and supernatural mega-powers.  Just the variety in the base gives the world a lot of places to go and a lot of angles to consider. Second, her main character, Ivy, is psychometric--she gets visions from touching emotionally charged objects/people. That is a tetchy ability to land your main character with because it could be so socially detrimental, and I think that the realities and practicalities of living with a powerful (and uncontrolled) ability like Ivy's are very well addressed and represented. The consequences and hazards of living with psychometry are treated realistically, and Ivy has issues because of it.

I have to say, for such a short book, I really struggled with this one. I liked her take on vampires, couldn't decide how I felt about the demon, and was touch-and-go on her treatment of the fae. I almost feel like the shortness of the novel does it a disservice, because there just isn't that much time allotted to really sink into the world before it's falling apart around the reader. Ivy was an interesting character, but no one really jumped to life for me.

For some reason, it just didn't hold my attention. I was never sucked in, never felt like I couldn't walk away from it, was never emotionally invested. I don't know why, but for me, there was no connect. My overall impression of the book is that it's strangely forgettable. I was left with no strong impression or feeling about it, vaguely annoyed at the love element thrown in at the very end. My suspension of disbelief was stretched to its very limits and I wasn't even annoyed by it. I just didn't get any emotional investment. It's as if the bubble that Ivy tries so hard to live in, to keep herself separate (with good reason, mind) has saturated the story, so that there's a layer of fuzz between the reader and the action. Something about it made me feel like I was reading a premise or an outline--all the big stuff is there, now fill it out and don't forget the emotion.

That being said, I am intrigued enough by the world and the concept that I would read the next one, just to see if it fills out better, if I can sink into her world more and connect. The base its solid. I just need to feel the story, not read the outline.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

2012 YA Story Scavenger Hunt - Sons by Lois Lowry

Looking for this, hunters? I have today's trivia questions from Fiction Fervor's 2012 YA Story Scavenger Hunt here for you. 2012YASSH challenges you with your knowledge of young adult books published this year, and if you enter, you might win a prize! Check it out here for more info. And be sure to read the rules!

Without further ado, today's questions come from Son by Lois Lowry.

Easy: Who is Jonas’s wife?
Medium: Where is Claire assigned after she gives birth to Gabe?
Hard: What did the committee select for Claire’s brother?

Enter your answers in the form below!

{Cover Reveal} Wolf Spell by M.R. Polish

This cover is simply amazing. I love all the bright colors against the dark background. I can't wait to read this one.


With a death starts a new beginning...

Eighteen-year-old Esmerelda thinks she’s just a normal girl, but all of that changes the day of her mom’s funeral, when a warlock, intent on using her special powers, kidnaps her. Powers she didn’t know existed. Thrown in the middle of a magical battle, Es struggles to learn her magic while fleeing both vampires and warlocks, at the same time, hunting for the witches that can help defeat her advisory. The only problem is that they are dead.

Thankfully, she has the help of Jarak—her Guardian—who quickly captures her heart, but she wonders if she can win his? Just when she thinks Jarak is the one for her, Ian appears with daggers drawn to save Es from a vampire attack. Ian is cocky and rude, but there is something magnetic about him—something that attracts her to him. With her heart torn between two men, she faces the foes that are out for her blood. Can Es do the unthinkable and awaken them from their graves before time runs out?

About the Author:

 If I am not producing magic potions, traveling to far off lands and falling in love with mythical creatures, then I am awake - tripping over toys, chasing my kids and conjuring ways to unknowingly booby trap our house for my husband. (Yes its unknowingly, I swear I never placed the tiny plastic army man in his path for him to find in the dark of midnight!) I love my husband and my four wonderful children (all of whom help with the booby traps!) We are Nevadians and are happy, although I envy and miss the beautiful mountains of Idaho. I love writing Young Adult and Adult, Fantasy and Paranormal with Romance, although you never know what could show up in my books!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

2012YASSH Stop and Giveaway - Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Looking for this, hunters? I have today's trivia questions from Fiction Fervor's 2012 YA Story Scavenger Hunt here for you. 2012YASSH challenges you with your knowledge of young adult books published this year, and if you enter, you might win a prize! Check it out here for more info. And be sure to read the rules!

Without further ado, today's questions come from Hallowed by Cynthia Hand.

Easy: What is Jeffrey's purpose?
Medium: What is the name of the book that Angela is reading to learn more about angels?
Hard: When asked where she imagines herself in 10 years, what does Clara daydream?

Enter your answers in the form below! Then jump down to the Rafflecopter and enter for your chance to win Unearthly or Hallowed by Cynthia Hand - this giveaway is blog sponsored!

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