Saturday, April 28, 2012 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Blog Tour: SocialPunk by Monica Leonelle


Summary:

Ima would give anything to escape The Dome and learn what’s beyond its barriers, but the Chicago government has kept all its citizens on lockdown ever since the Scorched Years left most of the world a desert wasteland. When a mysterious group of hooded figures enters the city unexpectedly, Ima uncovers a plot to destroy The Dome and is given the choice between escaping to a new, dangerous city or staying behind and fighting a battle she can never win.

Excert:
After playing God for six years with the world he created, he couldn’t control any of his subjects, none at all. Over the years, he had watched them evolve and become the sum of their own choices rather than the sum of his; and for that, he regretted ever giving them life.

A small, blinking red light from just inside his eyelid reminded him of the news they sent him earlier that morning. The company had cancelled his funding and would shut down his project within three months. According to them, the project cost too much and took up too much space, and the inconclusive results couldn’t be published reputably, now or in the future.

Six years of his work, tens of thousands of lives at stake—and he could do nothing to save any of it. He bowed his head, letting his chin rest on the rim of his breakfast smoothie. The smoothie reeked of powder—crushed pills—but he supposed he had better get used to it. He wouldn’t be able to afford the luxury of real food after they canned him.

He closed his eyes and called up the camera view of one of his favorites, number 3281. She fascinated him; he couldn’t deny it. When he had designed her, her pre-teen rebelliousness lit fire in her eyes. A survivor, he’d thought. He’d meant for her to have it all—to grow up, to get married to the love of her life, and to have a beautiful family of her own someday.

But he had only given her sadness so far. Instead of creating a strict father, he had given her an abusive one. Instead of creating a loving boyfriend, he had given her a friend who could never love her. And instead of creating a strong, proud mother, he had given her a meek one, who watched the whole thing unfold and did nothing about it.

He looked at his last and final creation sitting in the chair across from him—his own son, not awakened yet. The law forbade him to have any children of his own, so this boy would substitute.

But he had done the unthinkable with this creation—he had bestowed on it his own thoughts, emotions, and decision-making processes. He’d given the boy his own mind, his own physical characteristics, his own wants and desires.

He had never done so with any of the others because of the dangers of investing too heavily in any one of his subjects. But who could he kid? He had not stayed objective thus far, watching some of his subjects more closely than others, wishing for the happiness of some at the expense of others. He had become an abomination, a monster of his own doing, who had created subjects only to watch them suffer.

He couldn’t forgive himself; not now, not ever. His eyes lingered on the vial that sat next to his breakfast smoothie, that he’d stowed away for the day when they destroyed all his work, his entire world. He would save it, tuck it away for now, for as long as he could protect them. When things spun out of his control, he would drink it and end himself the way he had ended them.

In the ancient stories, gods frequently gave their sons as gifts. Now, he would give his son as a gift to her, number 3281. So she could be happy in her last months on earth, before they destroyed her with the rest of them.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Review: Endure by Carrie Jones

Title:  Endure
Author:  Carrie Jones
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Genre: YA
Main Themes:  Pixies, Death, War, Shape shifters, and Romance
Pages: 272
Plot: (From Goodreads)

“It’s all-out war (and no-holds-barred romance) in the climactic conclusion to Carrie Jones’s bestselling series.

Zara is at the center of an impending apocalypse.  True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough.  Evil pixies are ravaging Bedford, and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army.  Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore.  She’s not just fighting for her friends; she’s also a pixie queen.  And to align her team of pixies with humans she loves will be one of
Her greatest battles yet.  Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king…

Unexpected turns, surprising revelations, and one utterly satisfying romantic finale make Endure a thrilling end to this series of bestsellers.”

First thing I have to say is Thank you NetGalley and Bloomsbury for allowing me a copy for review!  I have been waiting so long to get my hands on a copy of Endure and I really can’t thank you enough for giving me the honor of getting an early copy!  I was literally jumping up and down when I got the conformation Email!  

Endure was menacingly passionate, stunningly fierce, and resolutely enduring!  You better buckle up and hold on because this daunting close will take you for the rollercoaster ride of your life; with mouth dropping corners, breath-stealing drops, and dizzying twists… you won’t know what hit you until that last page is flipped and you slowly realize that the ride is over.

Carrie Jones concludes Zara’s tale as the end of the world approaches and Doom’s Day is banging on her front door.  Carrie has really done it again as her creative and imaginative world are thrust into a war that very few want to see.  With more modern mythology threading its way into the tale the plot gets so thick and sticky, you would swear the pages were stuck together!

The apocalypse is vastly approaching, her love life is in shambles, her family is still missing, and she still has to rule over her pixies; Zara has a lot left on her plate and the world seems to be pressing her for answers.  But as many of you already know Zara will never give up, it’s never even a thought for her- she always presses on and fights for what she believes in.  And as this marvelous tale concludes Zara continues to hold strong as she always has. 

I know many of you are wondering if Nick can forgive her or if she chooses to be with Astley.  I actually don’t feel that I can comment on that topic without spoiling something for you. 

I felt that Endure, earned itself an A+, as this tantalizing and captivating novel will grab hold of your heart strings and play a beautiful melody before it lets go and says goodbye.  I want to say that I loved this series and I’m truly sad to see it come to an end but it was an exquisitely perilous journey!

My Rating: 20/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5

The Endure Trailer

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LeFevers

Title: Grave Mercy
Author: Robin LeFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Assassins, Death, Romance, Politics, & Gods
Pages: 549
Plot: (From Goodreads)

“Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old.  Here she learns that the god of Death Himslef has blessed her with dangerous gifts- and a violent destiny.  If she chooses to stay at the convert, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death.  To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany- where she finds herself woefully under prepared- not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make.  For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?”

Again I would like to thank Netgalley and Harcourt for allowing me a copy for review!  Thanks again for allowing me to review another wonderful and compelling read!

From the very first chapter I was hooked, I sat up half the night reading and hoping that I could finish it all before I went to bed.  Sadly I'm not that fast of a reader and I couldn’t complete it before I really had to get some sleep.  But all throughout the next day I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I came home from work and went straight to the couch to finish reading the tale.

 Grave mercy was viciously sinister, brutally ruthless, and strangely merciful.  This gripping read pulled on my heart strings and just kept on going- not giving me time to catch my breath.  I was literally crying, laughing, and mumbling all at the same time.  This is one that will keep you guessing, once you have an idea of who might be the so called bad guy, you will be thrown through another loop and left baffled.

Robin LeFevers built a strange and world that takes you back in time to old Europe and filled it with old gods, royalty, assassin nuns, war, and a lot of death dealing.  She has created her own dark and wicked tale and gave it some intriguing twists.

Ismae was someone that many readers will be able to connect with on many different levels.  She grows so much in this novel from start to end that it is astonishing.  In the beginning I found Ismae to be broken, eager, caged, guarded, and wary; but after struggling through so many hardships and learning a little about life she became trusting, secured, sincere, compassionate, and open.  But of course throughout it all she was persevering and resolute because without that she wouldn’t make a great heronine.  The man who steals her heart is exactly what you would call a good man; as he is loyal, protective, earnest, and honest.  Together they find that there perilous journey will not prove to be an easy task.

I felt that Grave Mercy was worthy of an A+, as this captivating read left me awestruck and mesmerized!  I already can’t wait until 2013 for the second His Fair Assassins novel, Dark Triump!  I have a feeling that if you’re a Kristin Cashore fan then you will definitely be a Robin LeFevers fan!

My Rating: 20/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5

Grave Mercy Book Trailer