Thursday, May 31, 2012

Trailer Thursday: Struck

Happy Thursday! Thursday is one of my favorite days because it means almost Friday! Today I'm sharing the trailer of a book that I want to read! (Whether it's already been published or not.)
StruckMia Price is a lightning addict. She's survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn't who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.
HOLY POOP YOU GUYS. That is seriously one of the most awesome, if not the most awesome, trailers I have ever seen!!!

So... what do you think of the trailer?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Trailer Thursday: Throne of Glass

Happy Thursday! Thursday is one of my favorite days because it means almost Friday! Today I'm sharing the trailer of a book that I want to read! (Whether it's already been published or not.)
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
What a gorgeous cover and intriguing blurb! I'm currently reading this book and already lovin' it, you guys.

So... what do you think of the trailer?

Masters of the Veil BookBlast Feature and Giveaway

Welcome to BookBlast, brought to you by your favorite authors and bloggers! Today's feature is Masters of the Veil by Daniel Cohen. Read on about this teen fantasy novel, and be sure to enter the giveaway below!
Life can't get much better for Sam Lock. Popular, good-looking, and with a future as a professional football player. every guy at Stanton High School wishes he were Sam. That is, until his championship football game, when Sam accidentally links with an ancient source of energy known as the Veil and reveals his potential to become a powerful sorcerer. Sam is whisked off to Atlas Crown, a community of sorcerers who utilize the Veil as a part of everyday life. Once there, he trains beside a mute boy who speaks through music, an eternal sage who's the eyes and ears of the Veil, and a beautiful girl who's pretty sure Sam's an idiot. As it becomes clear Sam's meant for power magic-the most feared and misunderstood form of sorcery-people beyond Atlas Crown learn of his dangerous potential. An exiled group of power sorcerers are eager to recruit Sam, believing that he is destined to help them achieve their long-held goal. If they succeed, they could bring about the downfall of not only Atlas Crown. but all humankind.
Praise for Masters of the Veil:
"Move over Harry Potter, there's a new kid on the block and he's wicked cool." ~Michelle from Goodreads
"Oh. My. Gosh. I think I am an official fan-girl of the Veil trilogy, this book was brilliant." ~Julia on Goodreads
"A funny, imaginative, and delightful read!" ~Author Kate Kaynak
"Come along on a ride of a lifetime and learn some magic and meet some great friends." ~Tee from Goodreads
To learn more about Masters of the Veil and Daniel Cohen, stalk the author on:

Check out a previous interview I had with Daniel Cohen here!
Thanks to the author, we have an awesome $100 Amazon gift card giveaway! Just fill out the Rafflecopter below. For bonus entries, be sure to Tweet about the giveaway and follow me on Twitter!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway: C.W. Nash

Please give a warm welcome to C.W. Nash, author of the upcoming Custodiae series!
Thank you for inviting me to iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books! It is great to be able to speak to you. I am currently in Maryland working with my own business as a pet sitter in the day and a writer by night. I hope that all of my fans who have been with me from the beginning and the ones joining in the journey will like what comes out on May 11th. Thanks, guys! 
3LB: Who or what inspired you to write? Do you have any role models, whether in writing or life in general?
In high school, I had two amazing teachers: Mrs. Hutton and Mrs. Simon (both English teachers). Being a high school guy, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. In my English classes, I enjoyed the authors who took the time to really get into their characters. I thought ‘I could do that.’ For an assignment, I wrote a short story called “London Fog” which focused on the protagonist and it was all psychological. I loved being able to manipulate characters into what I thought they should be. That’s the beauty of writing: You get to do what you want and it is okay.
3LB: Create a haiku about Hunter.
That’s a great question. Poetry is not my strongest but here is my best.
Standing on the edge
I see my self in the dark
Time to make a move
3LB: Do you have a book playlist? If so, how did these songs inspire your writing/book/ characters?
Yes. I live by music. I tended to listen to more of Linkin Park, Nine Inch Nails, and Foo Fighters when I write about Cole. The aggression in the music drives me but I like the emotion that it brings forth. Cole is not just a typical guy. He gets angry, yes, but he is also sensitive and worried about how others view him. With Leila, on the other hand, I tended to listen to U2, Paramore, and Adele. She is a strong woman but is just as worried as Cole. She is not in the teenager stage anymore so she was often inspired by music that represents those college years.
3LB: What’s next for you? What other books have you written?
Since Hunter is one of three novels, I am currently finishing the last novel. I want it to be on point and so I am taking my time with it. I wrote Hunter in 4 weeks which was insane. The last novel has taken longer but there is so much I have to get right. This is my debut novel and I am proud of it. It has the depth in characters that makes them realistic.
3LB: What do you like to read when you're not working on your own stuff?
Currently, I am reading “Unholy Night” by Seth Grahame-Smith. That guy is great! I am also reading “The Count of Monte Cristo”, again. I know, two books at one is crazy but I love them both. I have been reading a lot of YA fiction for a while. There are some really good stories out there. Really, anything with good plot I will read, old or new.
3LB: Time travel: Future or past? And where and when would you go to?
I would definitely travel to the past. Europe has been around for so long that I would probably go to somewhere like Great Britain. I would just want to go around London in a horse and buggy and see the sights. Life was simple. You could get on a train and go to Scotland in a day’s. I like the idea of traveling with ease and seeing things that don’t always get explored.
3LB: Favorite movie of all time?
“The Shawshank Redemption” by far. I could watch that movie over and over again. It is awesome. Right next to that would be “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars”. They have changed the way that the audience experiences stories and movies.
3LB: You’ve been selected to be on the realty show of your choice! Which show do you wish would make that offer? (If it’s one of the competition shows, do you think you’d win?)
My wife and I joke that we should go on The Amazing Race. Since she is afraid of doing things outside of her norm, our mantra would be “It is for a million dollars!” That could be sky diving, eating something gross, walking across an old bridge, or speaking to other people. We would be the couple that people would watch just to see her freak out at each task and me tell what its worth! We would so win because we would be friends with everyone.
3LB: If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be?
Treat everyday as a gift. Don’t waste time or the opportunity that you have been given.
3LB: Tell us five interesting things about yourself.
  1. I changed my major purposefully in college so that I could travel to Japan. Absolutely loved it! That was years ago so my Japanese is rusty.
  2. I have lived in Alaska, Florida, Delaware, Maryland, the Dominican Republic and was almost born in Iran.
  3. I have trained in multiple forms of martial arts for over 15 years.
  4. I have eaten crocodile before. It was okay. It tasted like chicken to me.
  5. I would love to one day travel to New Zealand. It would be great to celebrate Christmas in 80 degree weather!
Thank you, C.W.! For more information about Mr. Nash and his books, visit:

Purchase his books:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Book Booty (37) and the Week in Review

Ahoy, me hearties! Book Booty is a weekly feature on iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books that showcases the bookish loot or "booty" that I have received throughout the week. Be sure to comment and leave a link below to share your treasure haul for the week!

We are SO CLOSE to summer!! But not there yet, which is why I've been a little slow with tweeting/blogging if you've noticed. This is a few weeks of booty put together. :) I hope you guys like my new feature name, hurhur. I don't want to get into all that The Story Siren drama, but I do not support plagiarism, and have thus separated myself from anything associated with that blog.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (won from giveaway)
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter (for review)
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (purchased... reading and loving it already!)
The Invention of Hugo Cabret (purchased... my sister is so jealous! Mwahahaha.)
Bitteblue by Kristin Cashore (purchased... well, this was for my sister.)
The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan (purchased... I LOVE this guy. And his books.)
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (purchased... CoFA fell a little flat for me. Hope this will redeem it!)
Dark CompanionShadowfell (Shadowfell Trilogy, #1)The Opposite of HallelujahFlirting in ItalianTouchedKissing Shakespeare

Thanks to Novel Novice, Harlequin Teen, Macmillan, Random House, and Netgalley!


(This is also a compilation of several weeks.)

I reviewed the recent release Purity by Jackson Pearce. It was okay for me, not as good as I had hoped.
I had the privilege of interviewing NYT-bestselling author Lauren Oliver. Yes, Lauren Oliver!! AKA the author of the super awesome Delirium and Pandemonium.
Lauren Oliver
Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith is a high fantasy novel filled with witty narration, deadly court intrigue, fights-to-the-death, and a swooning romance. Want to know more? Check out my review!
Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1)
The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightThe Summer My Life Began
Another awesome interview I had was with international authors Javi Araguz and Isabel Hierro. Their novel, La Estrella (The Star in Spanish) has been published in multiple languages... except maybe English. Learn more about the authors and their quest to being published in English!
I found a sneak peek of The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan online. Boy, oh boy, I just can't wait for this book!! (Hint: There are also pictures of Logan Lerman... just sayin'.)
Author Graham Parke celebrates his newest release of Unspent Time with a Kindle giveaway. It is definitely worth checking out (the book and the giveaway!)!
And finally... Followers (you know, you guys...) this one is for you. In appreciation of your following me, I am hosting a pretty awesome giveaway (if I do say so myself). International followers, I've included you guys! <3

iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books
Upcoming Song of the Week:

Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Unspent Time Launch Party and Giveaway

Congrats to author Graham Parke and his success with No Hope for Gomez! His newest novel Unspent Time is out! Read below for an excerpt and an awesome giveaway!

Unspent Time Launch Party

Get free books and win a Kindle Fire or a Kindle Touch

Warning: reading this novel may make you more attractive and elevate
your random luck by about 9.332%*
(* These statements have not been evaluated by any person of consequence!)

From the award winning author of ‘No Hope for Gomez!’ comes a collection of impossible tales. Permeating the cracks between the past and the present is the realm of Unspent Time; time that was allotted but never spent. This is where we find the stories that could have been true.
Read how to enter below.
Kiala really didn’t want to open her front door. There were no signs that anything was lurking around out there, but she knew she couldn’t be alone. Not on a day like today. She’d thought about sneaking a peek through the blinds, checking the tree line that marked the edge of the village, but realized it wouldn’t do her any good. Sooner or later she’d have to step out. There was little point in making it more difficult for herself.She took the magic rod from its encasement by the door and tested it out. It was a heavily carved piece of petrified wood that had been handed down by the women of her family for generations. It had many splendid and remarkable properties but it was not, she knew for a fact, in any way magical. It could cast no spells, ward off no evil, and it enchanted exactly nothing. It wasn’t even magical in the way that sunsets and sunrises were said to be magical. It was just an odd looking branch that had beads and feathers and sharp bits stuck to it.
In any other situation, a girl wouldn’t be caught dead carrying around something so flamboyant and so obviously manufactured to look mysterious. As situations went, however, today’s really wasn’t like any other.No, sir.But the rod was surprisingly sturdy for its weight. It barely topped half a coin sack and that was the one thing Kiala appreciated about it. Her tiny frame wouldn’t carry a rod of similar proportions if it were made of actual wood. Not for long anyway. Not long enough to cut through the forest that separated the village from the edge of the world.
A deep breath, a hand on the door handle, then a quick, strong tug. Like ripping off a band-aid, she told herself.What she found outside was bad. Of course it was. It was as bad as she had expected, and then a little worse. But what should a girl expect on the day she’d been chosen to die?... continued in Unspent Time
How to enter:
For the launch of the new novel I decided to discount it to $0.99 for today (PC and eBook), give away some exclusive content, and raffle off two Kindles. All entrants will get:

  • An exclusive spin-off novelette (not available for purchase anywhere!)
  • Making of Gomez: behind the scenes eBook
  • Signature for their paperback or kindle edition
  • Chance to win a Kindle Fire or a Kindle Touch

(Prizes can be traded for Amazon gift certificates if you already own them.)
Just email your receipt to nohopeforgomez [@] gmail [.] com to enter.
Each purchase counts, so stock up on birthday presents (for people you don't like that much, for instance) The discount ends today, but be sure to send the receipts no later than June 1st.
(Or order the books from any bookstore.)
Coupon code for today: ZB77D

And then get by tweeting about your purchase: 

Sound bites from Unspent Time:

“I'm looking into my past lives. I'm convinced some of them still owe me money.”

“I'm very polite by nature, even the voices in my head let each other finish their sentences.”

“I didn’t actually want to do it,” Kiala told the boy. “The universe just kind of conspired to force me to make a fool of myself. It does that quite a lot, actually.”

“Sadly, my socks are like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike.”

Here's what reviewers had to say:
"A veritable page turner of nonstop laughs!" -- Reader Views
"An unputdownable read. a Coens Brothers' film in book form." --
“Extremely witty and clever writing.” -- California Chronicle
"A Party for your Brain!" -- Warren Baxter

Graham Parke is responsible for a number of technical publications and has recently patented a self-folding map. He has been described as both a humanitarian and a pathological liar. Convincing evidence to support either allegation has yet to be produced.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Chapter One of Mark of Athena

Hot Hades, yes. I absolutely cannot wait for this book. For reals. And this hardly sated my thirst. GAH TOO EXCITED. *head explodes*
Here's the video:
And the transcribed version is HERE.

If you haven't read Rick Riordan's The Son of Neptune or, heck, the freaking Percy Jackson series, what in the name of flaming Greek warships are you waiting for?

My non-spoilery review of The Son of Neptune: It's basically more ranting about how awesome this series is. Check it out for yourself. (Scroll down!)
The Son of Neptune  (Heroes of Olympus, #2)

AND OH MY GOD(S). Set pictures from The Sea of Monsters movie!! (Does anybody want to tell me who that crazy-haired dude is? It's been a while since I've read the book, but seriously, who the heck is he?)

*After five minutes of research/stalking...* OH IT'S TYSON. YAY.

So yes. You are very welcome. *bows*

Happy reading!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Author Interview: Javi Araguz and Isabel Hierro

Please give a warm welcome to international authors Javi Araguz and Isabel Hierro. They hope to get their novel La Estrella published in English!
Hello to everyone! We are Javi Araguz and Isabel Hierro, YA authors from Spain. We love to read, write, draw, film and all other creative things!

3LB: Who or what inspired you to write? Do you have any role models, whether in writing or life in general?
Javi: I think our inspiration is the big mountain of books, movies and comic-books that we read and collect! We always read a lot of stories and one day we decided to create one, too.
Isabel: In my case (The Star is my first novel) Javi was my role model. I’m a huge fan of his work. Also what inspired me was the atmosphere of the world where the story occurs, I think we are very influenced by movies like Blade Runner or a lot of mangas and animes we read.
3LB: Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Javi: You must read The Star because is different, we tried to write an original novel.
Isabel: It is a beautiful book with drama, action and romance, set in a steampunk world.
3LB: Are any of your characters or scenes based on people/events in your own life?
Javi: I don’t remember if in The Star I put a definite personal experience, but in my other books a lot of characters are based on me and my friends.
Isabel: Yes, I think that in characters an essence of someone always exists. Sometimes the protagonist seems like somebody you know and others inspire details in the book. For example, I was inspired by a friend for the little tattoo of the Kidnapper (this is an important detail of the story) but in other cases, like action scenes or all the survivor stuff, it’s all fantasy… we don’t know anybody who has suffered all these dangerous situations!
3LB: Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Javi: At the beginning, I thought my job was not important because… well, I’m just trying to entertain, but later I met awesome people who thanked me for my books. Some of those readers told me about how I made a small impact on their lives and I finally understood that my job can really be important. This is a pretty good feeling for me, to know I’m making other people a little happier.
Isabel: It's very exciting seeing my book published at last! It is a rewarding experience when the first readers tell you what they've felt reading your work. At that point, the story you've created takes life and exists outside of your mind.
3LB: What’s next for you? What other books have you written?
Javi: I have published five books now. The first is a fantasy trilogy called Komori's World about a teenage witch with very odd friends (a pumpkin-head boy, a foxkid and a guy who can dismantle his limbs) and one game-book for kids called Underground Mysteries. I’m always working on a lot of projects at the same time, but, when talking only about literature, I can mention two novels: one in solitary, called La Letter Rogue (The Red Letter), a very personal story, and another with Isabel whose title is top secret! I’m sure you will enjoy a lot.
Isabel: This secret novel has a steampunk touch. It will also be a story with a special atmosphere (we love to create entire worlds) and the characters will have to fight against many difficulties… of all types. This book has a lot of action and romance. We are writing it now and we hope to finish in a couple of months.
3LB: What three people/characters would you love to meet? (They can be fictional, dead, or real and very much alive!)
Javi: This is a hard question for me. Maybe Akira Toriyama (my favorite manga creator, I've loved his works since when I was a child… ok, and now, too!), Steven Spielberg and someone from the future!
Isabel: Only three? Tutankhamen, Michael Jackson and Hayao Miyazaki from Studio Ghibli.
3LB: You get three wishes, what are they?
Javi: Three in one: eternal youth with health (I want to do many things but do not have the time for all of them)
Isabel: Eternity, to live in a green and perfect planet, and to travel around the galaxies.
3LB: Favorite...
     Color: #ff4f01 or orange
     Food: Katsudon
     TV Show: I’m a TV series freak! 24, Entourage, Game of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory
     Ice cream flavor: Lemon sorbet with melon. Yummy!
     Place to travel to: Japan

     Color: Purple
     Food: Maki sushi
     TV Show: Series like Game of Thrones, cartoons etc. I especially have fun with Sponge Bob!
     Ice cream flavor: Chocolate
     Place to travel to: Japan and Switzerland
3LB: Tell us five interesting things about yourselves.
  1. I can’t do only one thing. I love to write, draw, design, film and, at this moment, I’m learning to play the piano.
  2. I’m a huge fan of cinema… well, and comic-books, manga, anime etc.
  3. I enjoy cooking (and make weird experiments with food).
  4. I am very clumsy.
  5. I don't like my smile but I love to smile.
  1. I’m fascinated by trees and nature.
  2. I would like to learn something new every day.
  3. I wish I had a time machine to take the time to learn something new every day.
  4. I am a huge fan of Japan and its culture.
  5. I think I’m addicted to fantasy, whether in art, books, movies or in real life!
3LB: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
We would love to publish The Star into English for an audience like you. Using this link you can request it in your language: Thank you for your interest and all the support!
Thank you, Javi and Isabel! For more information about Mr. Araguz and Ms. Hierro and their books, visit:
The boy’s eyes glittered so strongly, presaging an imminent rupture of The Quietude. Lan was
perfectly aware of the prohibition of touching a Star Walker, but right now there was no
turning back as their fates had inevitably been sealed off.

Centuries ago a catastrophe turned Linde into a hostile place; since then, the survivors have
learned to live in isolation within the boundaries of the Safe Limits. But, the planet is
constantly subjected to a change in shape and people are lost, never return. After a violent
planetary transformation, Lan, a courageous girl from Salvia clan, wakes up in the middle of
the desert, only to be rescued by her worst enemy.

A young man marked by a curse.
A village hiding the biggest secret ever to be kept.
A love as dangerous as it is impossible.
A world whose surface is forever undergoing changes… when getting lost is the equivalent of death.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Review: The Summer My Life Began

The Summer My Life BeganThe Summer My Life Began

Standalone or Series: Standalone
Author: Shannon Greenland
Reading Level and Genre(s): MG Contemporary (Ages 12 up)
Publisher: Speak (Penguin)
Publication Date: May 10, 2012
Source: Unsolicited copy from publisher
*Note: The text featured in this post is from an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC). Changes may have been made in the final proof.
Elizabeth Margaret—better known as Em—has always known what life would contain: an internship at her father’s firm, a degree from Harvard and a career as a lawyer. The only problem is that it’s not what she wants. When she gets the opportunity to get away from it all and spend a month with the aunt she never knew, she jumps at the chance. While there, Em pursues her secret dream of being a chef, and she also learns that her family has kept some significant secrets from her, too. And then there’s Cade, the laid-back local surfer boy who seems to be everything Em isn't. Naturally, she can’t resist him, and as their romance blossoms, Em feels she is living on her own terms for the first time.
Have you been searching for the perfect, cute, beach read? Or something to brighten up those rainy, spring-summery-ish days? WELL SEARCH NO MORE, because you have come to the right place!


*steps off the ringmaster stand thing*

Elizabeth Margaret's life is structured, sheltered, and has pretty much been all figured out since Day 1. It looks perfect from the outside, but... I'd say it just isn't life. So Elizabeth Margaret (quite a mouthful) is finally done with high school. She has one last summer left to enjoy, until she goes to Harvard and then has to work in her dad's firm. Fun, right? Not quite. But then she receives a card from a long-lost aunt who invites her to hang out with her on her tropical-ish island resort. What does Em do? Well, to quote Drake, YOLO. (Yes, I had to put that in there.) Em hops onto a plane and lands in what is to her paradise/heaven, and life is wonderful. And the rest of the story, well you can find out for yourself.

As I said before, this book was cute and perfect as a light, easy read on a sunny day. There wasn't anything that I disliked about it, but there wasn't anything that really stood out to me, either. It's a book that is definitely targeted toward a younger audience (I seem to have been reading a lot of those recently... it's kind of boring.) and something that I think little girls would enjoy. I even teared up at the end, because I'm cheesy like that.

All in all, I don't really have much to say about this book. I read it and enjoyed it, although it did not make a huge impact on me since I'm just too old for this kind of stuff. Introduce this to your middle-schooler kid. Don't expect anything earth-shattering, but this book is quick, an easy read, and good.

First Line:

My sister and I had heard the same things our whole lives.

Random Quotes/Excerpts:
This was unbelievable. This place. Tilly. A B&B on an island. A cousin named Frederick. I wondered why my mom and grandmother had kept Aunt Tilly and my cousin a secret.

Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Standalone or Series: Standalone
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Poppy/Little, Brown
Publication Date: January 2, 2012
Source: Public Library
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.
The premise of this book was just too cute. A contemporary romance book, under the span of 24 hours and taking place on an airplane? Sign me up! This book consists largely of the present, but also many flashbacks into Hadley's past. I found it difficult to sink into the book in the beginning: the voice was kind of awkward and stilted, because I felt it was a strange way of writing third person. Not really to my taste.

After the initial stall, the book became much more interesting (especially at the end). Some of the flashbacks were boring, while others did a good job of enhancing the story and succeeded in making me cry or award it with some major "Awww" points. There were many flashbacks, as I seem to be noticing in books these days. But with this kind of book, it's inevitable. How else are you going to fill up a 24-hour (actually, 23 hour and 54 minute) long book?

This book was definitely cute and was well written enough to give me almost a full score of 5. It was an enjoyable read, and for being the type of book that it is (the delicious chick lit "fluff" I so adore), it's difficult for me to judge. It's either your type of book or not. If you're not into cliched romances, then avoid this one. But if you do like cute romance HEA books, then you should definitely give this book a shot.

First Line:
Airports are torture chambers if you're claustrophobic.

Quotes That Stood Out to Me:
"Those are cumulus clouds. Did you know that?"
"I'm sure I should."
"They're the best ones."
"How come?"
"Because they look the way clouds are supposed to look, the way you draw them when you're a kid.Which is nice, you know? I mean, the sun never looks the way you drew it."
"Like a wheel with spokes?"
"Exactly. And my family certainly never looked the way I drew them."
"Stick figures?"
"Come on now," he says. "Give me a little credit. They had hands and feet, too."
"That looked like mittens?"
"But it's nice, isn't it? When something matches up like that?" He bobs his head with a satisfied smile. "Cumulus clouds. Best clouds ever."

People talk about books being an escape, but here on the tube, this one feels more like a lifeline.

"Love isn't supposed to make sense. It's completely illogical."
Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review: Crown Duel

Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1)Crown Duel

Series: Crown and Court, #1 and 2
Author: Sherwood Smith
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Fantasy
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Firebird
Publication Date: March 1997, April 1998; June 10, 2002 (omnibus)
Source: Purchased for Kindle
Young Countess Meliara swears to her dying father that she and her brother will defend their people from the growing greed of the king. That promise leads them into a war for which they are ill-prepared, which threatens the very people they are trying to protect. But war is simple compared to what follows, in peacetime. Meliara is summoned to live at the royal palace, where friends and enemies look alike, and intrigue fills the dance halls and the drawing rooms. If she is to survive, Meliara must learn a whole new way of fighting-with wits and words and secret alliances.

In war, at least, she knew in whom she could trust. Now she can trust no one.
I loved the fantasy atmosphere around this book. At its heart, it's just another coming-of-age/find-your-path-in-life story, with one awesome, head-strong heroine at its prow. This girl, born into relative poverty (especially considering her title), is suddenly thrust into the dangerous world of politics and war with the death of her father and his final wish of dethroning the current king and finding a better one, even if it has to be her and her brother.

I really enjoyed the story, and I found myself aching for more books after finishing. The first book, which involved more adventure, kept me energized and focused. There wasn't any boring section. And the second book, which involved a much more dramatic setting at court, was definitely entertaining. What I really liked about it is that there wasn't any overload of romance, and the bit that was in there was definitely heart-pulling.

There were times when the book was a little confusing. There were many subplots in the second book. Meliara just had so many problems. She had a kingdom to take care of, and her own personal life wasn't exactly a smooth ride. She could also be a bit dense, which added to the mystery romance aspect of the novel, but I think we all figured it out early enough. I wasn't sure why she hated the Marquis of Shevraeth so much. It got a little annoying, and she had no real reasons to keep pushing him away. Clever device on the author's part? Eh, not really. It also seems she, although brave and well-intended, never really did much saving the world on her own. She herself was saved multiple times by aforementioned Marquis and a few others. There's a delicate balance between a heroine who is saved too much and one who saves too much (where the amount of strength and battle prowess just gets a little ridiculous... and convenient), and I'm not sure Smith quite hit the mark.

Another thing. The Fire Sticks gave an intriguing introduction at the beginning of the book, but never really play a major (if at all) role in the novel. The Covenant hardly seemed relevant in the story... except in the beginning.

As I said before, this book involves, fantasy, adventure, romance, and historical fiction, a brilliant combination that I devoured. The author's writing is skilled, although I felt like she felt the need to use as many SAT vocabulary words as possible, and attempted to never repeat the same verb twice. (Or maybe it's just because it's an older book and I'm a newbie?) Fantasy lovers should definitely give this book a short; it'll be worth it.

First Line:
I hope any of my descendants reading this know exactly what the Covenant and the Code of War are, but there is always the  chance that my story has been copied by the scribes and taken to another land that will consider Remalna distant and its customs strange.

Random Quotes/Excerpts:
"[Message] just arrived from Azmus... [King] Galdran has taken his cousin off the command. He'd apparently expected us to last two weeks at most."
     "Well, who is this new commander? Ought we to be afraid?"
     Bran's grain widened when he laughed. "Here's the jest: He's none other than the Marquis of Shevraeth, heir to the Renselaeus principality. Acccording to Azmus, all he ever thinks about are clothes, horse racing, and gambling. And did I mention clothes?"
     Everyone roared with laughter.
     "We'll give him two weeks," I crowed. "And then we'll send him scurrying back to his tailor."

Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

All Things Asian Giveaway Winners

YAAAAY WINNERSSSS! Okay, well, here you go. All of you will be contacted via email either by the sponsor of the giveaway, That Hapa Chick, My Words Ate Me, or me.

Opening Day Giveaway
Angie (The Book Depository Order)
Lilian C. (The Book Depository Order)
Ishita S. ($15 Barnes and Noble Gift Card)

Kristen Simmons Giveaway
Sarah A.

Pegi Deitz Shea Giveaway 
Alicia Marie E.

Confessions of a Vi3tBabe Giveaway
Vy L.

Books Over Boys Giveaway 
Sarah A. (ARC of Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare)

Gina D. (Signed Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr)

E.C. Myers Giveaway
Lexie H.

Julie Kagawa Giveaway
Lauren G.

Kristen Hoffman Giveaway
Ricki D.
Tabitha W.

Ellen Oh Giveaway
Sarah A.

Mary Ting Giveaway 

Refer to the All Things Asian event page for all giveaway posts. You can check out what you've won.

So, what did you guys think of the event? Should we make this an annual thing? :)


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