Waiting on Wednesday: The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Title: The Eye of Minds
Author: James Dashner
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian
Pages: Hardcover, 320
Publication: October 8th, 2013
Synopsis:
                An all-new, edge-of-your seat adventure from James Dashner, the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, The Eye of Minds is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine, a series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares.

Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.

The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.
And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team.
But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.



              I had never really been into the Sci-fi side of the YA Fiction world, but after reading titles like, Ready Player One and Enders Games, I have a whole new found love for this side of young adult literature! So, I will definitely be picking up a copy of this when it comes out on October 8th! 

Top Ten Tuesday: Beginnings/Endings

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s TTT, was both my favorite AND most challenging. I had to pull my co-blogger, Haylie, to come and help me. All of these beginnings and endings we chose made us laugh, cry, and possibly throw the book into the corner of the room. (WE KEPT THEM AS SPOILER FREE AS POSSIBLE.)
Beginnings:

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: “Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted a lot of free time to thinking about death.”

2. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hopkins: “My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something. a pseudonym. a nom de plume, for all of us studying for the SAT’s. I know that having a fake name is strange, but trust me – it’s the most normal thing about my life right now.”

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: “Sitting at Prim’s knee, guarding her, is the worlds ugliest cat. Mashed-in nose, one ear missing, eyes the color of rotting squash. Prim named him Buttercup, insisting that his muddy yellow coat matched the bright flower. He hates me.”

4. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: “‘Meanwhile,'” Simon added, ‘I wanted to tell you that lately I’ve been cross-dressing. Also, I’m sleeping with your mom. I thought you should know.'”

5. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi: “I’ve been locked up for 264 days. I have nothing but a small notebook and a broken pen and the numbers in my head to keep me company. 1 window, 4 walls, 144 square feet of space, 26 letters in an alphabet I haven’t spoken in 264 days of isolation. 6336 hours since I’ve touched another human being.”

Endings:

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.” (Gah. So many feels)

2. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan: “‘You are so going to lose.’ She took off down Half-Blood Hill and I sprinted after her. For once, I didn’t look back.” (Oh Percy Jackson nostalgia, you are making a comeback.)

3. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare: “And if the Thames that ran beside them, sure and silver in the afternoon light, recalled a night long ago when the moon shone as brightly as a shilling on this same boy and girl, or if the stones of Blackfriars knew the tread of their feet and thought to themselves” At last, the wheel comes full circle, they kept their silence.” (*forever sobs*)

4. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins: “(insert major spoiler here)  END OF BOOK TWO” (This. Ending. What. The. Hell)

5. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare: “She looked as the fireworks exploded in a shower of sparks– sparks that painted the clouds overhead as they fell, one by one, in streaking lines of golden fire, like angels falling from the sky.”

Blog Tour + Guest Post: Even In Darkness by Cyndi Tefft

Today, Cyndi Tefft, the author of the Between series, has provided us with a guest post as a part of her Even in Darkness blog tour!

Writing: It’s a process
When Halee asked me to do a guest post on my writing process, I’ll admit I was stumped for a bit. I’ve always thought my “process” was pretty unexciting: I take my laptop to Panera every Saturday morning and, after eating a scrumptious breakfast sandwich, I work away for a few hours until I either hit a wall or lunchtime rolls around and I have to pack it up in order to go home to my family.

Kinda boring, am I right?

But something happened yesterday that put her question of my writing process in a whole new light for me: I was almost killed in a car accident.

While driving home from my day job, I went through a tunnel. For some reason, the left lane was backed up, but my lane was cruising along nicely. A white car in the other lane decided to make a break for it, so they hit the gas and cut over right in front of me. I didn’t see them coming. I had no time to mentally process what was happening or what could happen. Instinct took over and I slammed on my brakes, wrenching my steering wheel so that my car was poised to kiss the wall of the tunnel. The screeching of my tires echoed around us like harpies. The white car missed me by inches and thankfully, the person behind me was paying attention and didn’t ram into me.

Massive, probably-would-have-squished-me-like-bug crash averted.

Tears streamed down my face as I made my way home. My whole body shook with the force of the adrenaline rush and the horror of what might have been. When I finally got home, I curled into my husband’s arms and sobbed. Even though technically nothing had happened—I didn’t even have a scratch—I was overcome with shock and the recognition that I could have died. My mind circled the drain, imagining my family getting the news, rushing to the scene, asking for others to pray because they didn’t know then that it was already too late. My car wasn’t wrecked, but I was.

My brain was going through a slow-motion reel, swimming in a pool of emotion and terror, and examining the pain from every angle so that I could process what had happened—and what COULD have happened—and finally let it go.

And it struck me that THIS is actually my writing process.

If we were to make a movie of our lives, it would be pretty dang boring. We spend a great deal of time fixing food, eating, sleeping, going to the bathroom, working… Blah, blah, blah. There’s a reason why stories skip over all that, even though we spend the bulk of our day doing these things. We want to get to the good stuff, the exciting stuff, the stuff that matters, that moves the story forward.

Writing a book is a bit like watching life with a super speed remote control. We fast forward through the unexciting stuff with lightning speed, barely registering the day-to-day minutia, but then when we get to the good parts, we slow everything down to a frame-by-frame, thought-by-thought speed so we can extract every little emotion from that critical moment.

When a hero and heroine first kiss, that scene should take ten times longer than any other scene because it matters that much. We should know what’s going on in her head, how she feels, what she’s afraid of, what she’s excited about… It’s more than lips touching. It’s a pivotal scene.

When my near-accident happened, I didn’t have time to think at all. That came later. But in a story, you are immersed in a character’s thoughts and emotions at the time the action is happening, which makes the experience that much more powerful.
So my writing process is to hit fast-forward on the less exciting stuff and to spend hours crafting those crucial moments so that the reader feels every breath, every thought, and every touch as if they were there. And there’s nothing like the high I get from seeing that come to life on the page!


Between (Between 1)
It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water’s life isn’t alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile and Scottish accent. 

After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates. 

Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven’s siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries.

Hell Transporter (Between 2)

Aiden MacRae has been given a new life after being stuck transporting souls to heaven for the last three hundred years. He doesn’t know the culture, the times or the slang, but there is one thing he does know: he didn’t come forward alone. 

The master of hell has other plans for the Scottish Highlander and has sent a transporter of his own to get the deed done. Will Lindsey be able to save him or get caught in the crossfire?


Even in Darkness (Between 3)
I thought it was over, that all our troubles were behind us.

We had a fairytale castle wedding surrounded by family and friends. Aiden wore a dress kilt, looking so handsome it made my heart squeeze, and I floated on air in a white version of the ball gown he’d cast for me in Versailles. Flower girl, ring bearer, Scottish ceilidh afterward—check, check, and check. It was perfect.

We were supposed to live happily ever after.

But that was before I walked in to find another woman in his bed, a demon with blood red eyes who’d disguised herself as me in order to get what she wanted most: a child from a heaven transporter.

And it was in that moment—watching my entire world crumble to the ground—that I knew.

This was not over. Not by a long shot.


About the author:
Cyndi Tefft lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest where the weather is overcast and rainy, much like the Highlands of Scotland. So she was right at home when she got the chance to visit Eilean Donan Castle.

A self-proclaimed Scot freak, she loved every bit about the trip to Scotland: the people, the kilts, the accents, the fish & chips, the haggis…well okay, not the haggis.


Giveaway:

The Sunday Post #2

The Sunday Post is a weekly wrap-up post hosted by Kimba at The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

This week has been slightly less busy than last. My family and I have finally started settling in our new house, and WE FINALLY HAVE WIFI THAT WORKS. I’ve been able to start working on some new projects for the blog that I’ve been wanting to do for a LONG time. It’s fun being able to get back to blogging. I’ve missed it. Also, I GOT A LIBRARY CARD THIS WEEK! So, I can get those new books that I’ve wanted to read forever, but never have the money for.

The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

 
Defiance by C.J. Redwine
The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan
Her Mad Hatter by Marie Hall
Blogging Chair of Awesome!

Last Week
Next week
Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Even In Darkness Blog Tour

YA/ Adult Crossovers

This Wednesday on Tea Time, hosted by Epic Reads, the girls discussed a very interesting topic that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately: YA/Adult crossover books. Basically, it’s books that are written for the young adult audience, but could be read by adults and vice versa. I think anyone who loves YA fiction can agree that there are some books that are timeless and can be read by anybody, no matter their age. So, I compiled a list of a few of my all time favorite books that can be read by both adults and teens.

The Fault in Our Stars1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green– Most everyone can agree that John Green’s books can be read by any age, but this one in particular caught my attention. This book is beautifully written with a story that everyone needs to read. John Green writes experiences that pertain to everybody: first love, heartbreak, disease, death, and he does so brilliantly and seamlessly.

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: When I first read it, I didn’t believe it was a young adult book. It felt like a classic book that can stand the test of time. It tells us so much about human nature and what it means to be human.
Into the Wild

3. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer– This book is an adult book based on the real life story of Chris McCandless. The man who walked into the wilds of Alaska and never looked back. I had to read this as my summer reading assignment last year and it really struck me. I don’t know why, but this book has really stuck with me over the past year, and I love it. Young adults and adults who have a taste for adventure and have ever been misunderstood can relate to this story.

4. Divergent by Veronica Roth– I’m including this one because this story is written amazingly. The story is fast paced and very entertaining, and I think anyone can appreciate a story like that.
Night  (The Night Trilogy, #1)

5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling– I think this one speaks for itself. The Harry Potter series is and always will remain timeless. It speaks to everyone no matter what age they are. Whether someone is 10, 16, 50, or 97, they will fall in love with the story.

The Outsiders6. Night by Elie Wiesel– When I read this story, it was eye opening. It opened me up to the cruelties and the realism of human nature and its tendencies. While incredibly sad, it’s amazing. It’s abrupt, shocking, and horrific, but real and emotional. I think everyone needs to read this book.

7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky- This book is literally one of the best and most beautiful coming-of-age stories. 

8. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton– I honestly don’t know what to say about this book. It’s amazing in every single way. The characters, the story, the themes- all wonderful. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and be forever in love with this book.


Watch the episode of Tea Time that inspired this post:


Fangirl Friday: Let’s Take a Ride on the Chariot of Damnation

I think this week it just kind of hit me that we are ELEVEN DAYS away from the Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters movie!!!!! Not only have we been getting all sorts of stills, but this past week, we’ve gotten tons of new TV spots and even CLIPS. My favorite clip that’s been released this week has been the Chariot of Damnation with the Gray sisters. Not only is it as funny as I imagined in the book, the special effects look AMAZING.



While the first Percy Jackson movie, The Lightning Thief, was a total bust, I can’t help but get excited for it. It’s been three years since the first film, so I’m hoping with a new director and screenwriter at the helm, things will be a lot better this time around. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters comes out in theaters on August 7.

What are you guys fangirling over this week?

To stay up to date on all the latest Percy Jackson news, head over to another site I post on, PercyJacksonFandom.net.

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: Hardcover, 404
Publication: August 7, 2012

Synopsis:
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 king’s 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.


Every once in a while, you find a book that is absolutely AMAZING in every conceivable way. For me, that book was Throne of Glass. The author, Sarah J. Maas has a way of creating such a terrible, wonderful world and story that makes you want to live in the book until you have turned the last page.

The protagonist of the story, Celaena Sardothien, is everything that you would want to have in a strong heroine. This character is compassionate, yet unforgiving, which is what I absolutely love about her. She is a powerful woman, and she exudes that power on every page. She’s one of the many reasons that this book was so enjoyable. In fact, the whole cast of characters was phenomenal: everyone from Chaol, the commander of the king’s guard to Dorian, the crown prince.

The idea of teen assassins in YA literature is a fairly new trend that’s starting to catch on. This book made me love that sub-genre even more. It made assassins and high fantasy fun and exciting again. Not only that, but it pulled me back into the fantasy genre like no other book has been able to do.

I LOVED the writing style in this book. It was both straightforward and beautifully written. Also, you get to see the story from more than one person (I won’t say who these people are), and I love that so much. It gives the story more perspective and depth.

Throne of Glass is fresh and original and definitely worth anyone’s time to read. I don’t care if you like sci-fi, contemporary, romance or any other genre that isn’t fantasy, you need to get your hands on this book because it is BRILLIANT. And I don’t use that word lightly. I loved this book and CANNOT wait until the second book in the series, Crown of Midnight comes out next month.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

http://www.goodreads.com/book/add_to_books_widget_frame/1599906953?atmb_widget%5Bbutton%5D=atmb_widget_1.png

Waiting on Wednesday: How To Love by Katie Cotugno

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.
How to Love
Title: How To Love
Author: Katie Cotugno
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: Hardcover, 389
Publication: October 1, 2013

Synopsis:
Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.
Recently, I haven’t found a lot of really great contemporary novels. But after hearing about this novel, I can’t wait to get my hands on it. The story sounds both beautiful and heartbreaking, something that I haven’t read since The Fault in Our Stars. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book, and I’m excited to read it when it comes out in October. 

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic was actually really hard for me. There aren’t many words or topics that make me not want to try out a book. I like a bunch of different things and genres, so there isn’t really ten things that really bother me when I read. It all depends on the writing, characters, and plot in a book. But I did manage to think of a few things.

1. Erotica: I think that this speaks for itself. I don’t want a book where its entire plot is sex or characters having sex. I like to have actual characters and an actual story. If the book with a good plot has some sexy times it’s whatever. But erotica… ew.

2. Vampires: BLAME TWILIGHT FOR THIS ONE. I’m so sick of vampires. With so much hype around the Twilight movies and the million other vampire books and TV shows, I just get kind of tired of those damn bloodsuckers.

3. Animals: I know, I know. You’re probably thinking, “How can she be so souless?” There’s just something about books like The Guardians series and Marley & Me that I’m not into. I like people.

4. Zombies: Those things are freaking creepy. 

5. Politics: Eww…

The Sunday Post #1

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

This week’s been super busy! My family and I have been moving to a new house, so I haven’t had much time to read, which kind of sucks. What also sucks is that I’m reading a really good book right now. All I want to do is sit down and read the book all day. I’m currently reading The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson, which is absolutely fantastic. If you haven’t checked out The Girl of Fire and Thorns series, you really need to.


While reading hasn’t really been an option this week, I have been able to get some books.
            Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
                                 Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo