DAEMON INVASION!!

We’ve been forbidden to tell you … until now!! Here’s the secret revealed:

Over the last couple of weeks, you’ve heard us talking about the upcoming #daemoninvasion and we’re so excited to finally share with you what is going on.

Really excited.

The beautiful and uber cool models, Pepe Toth and Sztella Tziotziosz, who grace the Lux covers, will be joining us in the United States! You heard right. They are flying here from Hungary to spend a few days as Daemon and Katy! While they are here, they will be working with Vania, from VLC Productions (the team behind Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments, Melissa de La Cruz, Kimberly Derting, Moira Young, Kami Garcia and Margret Stohl, Hillary Duff, Lauren Destefano, and many, many more authors’ book trailers), to film book trailers for the Lux Series.

During the filming in Atlanta, they will be accompanying us on tour! What does that mean? You get to meet them. In the flesh. They will be participating in the signings and events. At those signings, we’ll be giving away signed posters, photos, and other swag. There will also be meet and greet events you can join in on.

At each signing, there will be advanced copies of Onyx given away!

And to top things off (as if this isn’t enough, but we don’t do anything small), there’s something very, very exciting in the works! It involves advanced copies of Opal, water, and a little destination known as the Bahamas.

I am not kidding.

This will be epic.

Are you excited? I am! This tour is going to be so, so much fun, and I’m so thrilled that Pepe and Sztella are a part of it. We owe them a huge thank you and a giant welcome making the 16 hour flight to meet the readers of the Lux Series. You!

Daemon Invasion Signing and Event Schedule

June 8th
FoxTale Book Shoppe
Woodstock, GA
3:00pm

June 10th
Barnes and Noble
St Johns Town Center
Jacksonville, FL
3:00pm

June 13th
Barnes and Noble
Waterford Lakes Town Center
Orlando, FL
3:00pm

June 14th
Barnes and Noble
The Palladium at City Place
West Palm Beach, FL
4:00pm

There are several #daemoninvasion street teamers out there, and if you want to join a team to win exclusive prizes, search down the #daemoninvasion hashtag to join one of the teams!

Don’t forget to visit Jennifer L. Armentrout’s blog to win a signed set of Half-Blood and Pure in celebration of her adult romance release, Tempting the Best Man, under her pen name J. Lynn. It can be purchased here.

So, what do you say?! Get going guys! Support JLA in every way you can, and help spread the exciting news by joining up with a street team! (I’m running one – so excited for this, but I NEED HELP GUYS!!! I need ten people – that’s right, TEN – to join my street team. Only requirements: 1. LOVE Jennifer Armentrout, 2. LOVE Obsidian and the rest of the Lux series, and 3. Be completely nuts about the Daemon Invasion!!!) There’s also memes you can take part in, including Dani’s new memes at Refracted Light called “Hey Kitten.” Check them out – they’re great! Alright then – spread the word! Because Daemon and Katy are coming to YOU!!

~Yours Truly

Advertisements

The Unwanteds

Title: The Unwanteds (Book 1 in The Unwanteds)
Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Aladdin – Simon and Schuster, Inc.
Release Date: August 30, 2011
ARC

Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories. The strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the sensitive, artistic Unwanteds are sent to their death. On the day of the Purge, twins Alex and Aaron Stowe await their fate. While Aaron is hopeful of becoming a Wanted, Alex knows his own chances are slim. He’s been caught drawing with a stick in the dirt – and in the stark gray land of Quill, being creative is a death sentence.
But when Alex and the other Unwanteds arrrive at the Death Farm, they discover an eccentric magician named Mr. Today and his hidden world that exists to save the condemned children. Artimé is a colorful place of talking statues, uncommon creatures, and artistic magic, where creativity is a gift … and a weapon.

I was about to start this review with the words “this book,” like I do with so many other of my reviews, when I realized how repetetive and common that is to my blog, while this book? It was unlike any other dystopian novel I’ve read. The idea of killing off creativity is atrocious, and at such a young age! Even though, I suppose, the idea of a society in a dystopian is grotesque anyway, this story in particular really made me realize the true horror of it. Whether it was the very strong voices of the characters, the wording of the story that allowed me to really experience the world of Quill and Artimé, or the simple fact that this book was written for MG readers, I don’t know. But everything pulled me in and kept my attention riveted to the pages.

I loved the characters, especially. Alex was extremely relatable, and his voice through McMann’s words made my heart ache. I think I cried for four chapters straight, just because I wanted him to succeed so badly, and I just knew that he was special. He was also a very admirable person. While he endured the torture and bullying and pranks, he never gave up, even when he came awfully close. And when he finally succeeded? While I would have stewed and been angry and plotted vengeance, he forgave his friends and playfully returned the favor with a prank of his own, no hard feelings. And other than the simply stupidity and carelessness of his friends during those couple of chapters, I grew to love them as well.

Possibly my favorite scene was when Samheed, Alex, and Lani are asked to demonstrate their skills, and Alex turns invisible on Lani. I certainly enjoyed her confusion – serves her right, for once!

The entire thing was very enjoyable, with several surprises in store, both happy and sad. I can’t wait for the sequel, Island of Silence, to see what adventures await everyone in Quill!

~Yours Truly

My Name Is Olivia and I Can’t Do Anything About It

Title: My Name is Olivia and I Can’t Do Anything About It
Author: Jowi Schmitz
Translator: Dave Cooper and Vincent Janssen Steenberg
Publisher: Lemniscaat – NY
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Netgalley ARC

Olivia is ten years old. Her first big problem is that her mother has died. The second big problem is that her father doesn’t really know how to go on living.
Olivia and her father’s home is a small boat sitting in the garden of a barbershop. “Temporarily,” says her dad. But how long is “temporarily?”  Olivia is in a new community, going to a new school, and has to figure out on her own how to grow up with the new normal of no mother and a father who is physically present but psychologically distant. Olivia is strong, though, and shores up both her home and her family with an incontrovertible sense of humor. 
Smart for her age and vulnerable, brave and funny – Olivia will steal your heart.

Even though the book’s grammar was sometimes difficult to understand, (something I attribute to the translation), the story itself was intriguing. The little girl’s attitude and courage and confusion as she learns about life and people and relationships pulled me in. There was something in the defiant, brave Olivia that kept me reading even when the grammar was becoming distracting, or the story was getting boring.

I didn’t pity Olivia, which was another thing I liked about the book. Instead, I felt solidarity towards her because of how the situation was portrayed through her voice. Her misunderstandings, her ignorance, and yet her utter stubborn determination to live and to remember and still be okay, and to get her father to do the same, made me love her character and helped me in understanding her plight better – after all, I’ve never had a parent die on me, so how could I claim to truly understand?

Also, Olivia’s confusion made me angry at her father. He was so lost in his own grief, he couldn’t bother to see Olivia’s, or the fact that she only had one friend, or that she didn’t understand exactly what was going on and he couldn’t find the time to help her. I mean, the fact that he thought Olivia was ready for a new mother showed just how stupid and blind he was to his own daughter. Sasha, however, was probably my favorite character. Even though he was Olivia’s age, he seemed to understand better the depth of the situation with her father, and to know that her father would be important, even if Olivia couldn’t see it blinded by anger and grief. His role in Olivia’s recovery was great, and I loved him for it.

All in all, it was a good book. It definitely wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it’s a good MG/elementary read. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy! I really did enjoy it.

~Yours Truly

Out of Sight, Out of Time

Title: Out of Sight, Out of Time (Book 5 in The Gallagher Girls)
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: March 13, 2012

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan–an ancient terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole.  The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and dirt under her nails, and all she wants is to go home.
Once she returns to school, however, Cammie realizes that even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers.  Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach must face their most difficult challenge yet as they travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind.   It’s a race against time.  The Circle is hot on their trail and willing stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.

This series started off great, but now? It’s freaking amazing! I’m even more in love with the characters (um, Zach and Cammie? I want you married. Soon.) There’s so much suspense, I literally felt like crying until halfway through the book – because this time, the threat is still there, but Cammie feels more trapped by her own mind than anything else. Not remembering, not realizing what she’s doing, acting on instinct, and then not having her best friends around to help her through it? Anyone would go insane, let alone a TEENAGE girl SPY with freaking TERRORISTS trying to KILL her. Or at least kidnap her.

Ally did a great job putting Cammie’s emotions on the page. I was just as lost as she was, which allowed me to identify with her. The entire beginning, all I wanted to do was crawl into bed (while I was reading), and cry (because what I was reading was terribly sad). Meanwhile, Cammie is 1. distrusted by the entire school, 2. believes her friends hate her, 3. is being basically ignored by Zach, 4. is being told that maybe she shouldn’t remember what happened. So, she pretty much feels like crap. And then everything is cleared up in one HUGE TWIST at the end. OMG I couldn’t have seen that coming with a million hints. I mean, just, WOW. With that ending, I’m sort of angry that she’s writing other books before finishing the series. Apparently, the next one won’t come out until I’m in college. That’s about a year and a half. Seriously authors, could you take pity on a reader once in a while?!

My two favorite scenes in this book were the two with the guns – the one in the CoveOps room, because it gives a hint into the summer and some things she learned on her own, and the one on Mr. Solomon’s property, because it helps with the whole friendship thing. Plus, they both add a lot of drama to the pot, and they were both so well written! Honestly though, if haven’t read the series, this book is PLENTY reason to start from the beginning. It is well worth it. Tiny details come back to haunt the characters (and the reader) from previous books.

SPOILER HINT:

Pay special attention to Cammie’s memories and the actual CoveOps reports she does!

SPOILER OVER

Another reason to finish the series? You learn more about – dare I say it – Cammie’s dad. And let me tell you, that is HUGE!!!!! I can’t even express how well this book was written to capture the readers and make them feel like part of the book, almost as if theywereCammie. And how figuring things out with the characters just makes reading the series all the more enjoyable.

SO GO PICK UP THE SERIES!! NOW!! I’m not kidding, you won’t regret it.

~Yours Truly

Only the Good Spy Young

Title: Only the Good Spy Young (Book 4 in The Gallagher Girls)
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: June 29, 2010

When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn’t know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. But that’s exactly what happened two months ago when she faced off against an ancient terrorist organization dead set on kidnapping her.
Now the danger follows her everywhere and even Cammie “The Chameleon” can’t hide.  When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most-trusted allies is actually a rogue double-agent Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers—or even her own heart.
In this fourth installment of the New York Times best-selling series, the Gallagher Girls must hack, spy, steal, and lie their way to the truth as they go searching for answers, recognizing that the key to Cammie’s future may lie deep in the past….

With the Circle of Cavan chasing Cammie, she’s not safe at all – not with her pavement artist skills, not with her friends, not even the best spies in the CIA and MI6 protecting her. And now, even her most trusted teacher seems to have deserted her and the rest of the school. Cammie’s faith, skills, and camouflage are verily tested throughout this part of her story.

There are a lot of secrets in this book, and Cammie learns a lot about something called a “need-to-know” basis. There are some secrets that are meant to be kept, and others that she needs to discover for herself, and yet others that she needs help to find. That’s where her friends and Zach usually come in. However, at the end, Cammie goes and tries something on her own – talk about a cliffhanger! It nearly killed me, having to wait for the next book.

The fact that her friendships stay strong throughout the whole ordeal, though, is amazing. That her trust in her friends, and even Zach, is still intact after everything she’s endured is amazing. If she didn’t have Bex, Liz, and Macey, Cammie definitely would have gone insane. You can’t be a teenage girl spy without at least one friend to help get some weight off your shoulders every once in a while.

I really appreciated the conflict in the book, and then waiting for the next book? TORTURE!! So, I’ll go review that one now!

~Yours Truly

Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover

Title: Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Book 3 in The Gallagher Girls)
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: June 9, 2009

When Cammie “the Chameleon” Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston, she thinks she’s in for an exciting end to her summer break. After all, she’s there to watch Macey’s father accept a nomination for vice president of the United States. But when you go to the world’s best school (for spies), “exciting” and “deadly” are never far apart. Cammie and Macey soon find themselves trapped in a kidnapper’s dangerous plot, with only their espionage skills to save them.
As her junior year begins, Cammie can’t shake the memory of what happened in Boston, and even the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women doesn’t feel like the safe haven it once did.
Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one of the mansion’s corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer the questions, Who is after Macey? And how can they keep her safe?
Soon Cammie is joining Bex and Liz as Macey’s private security team on the campaign trail. The girls must use their spy training at every turn as the stakes are raised, and Cammie gets closer and closer to the shocking truth…

This installment really focuses a lot more on Macey, for the most part. It was really nice to learn more about her, and to see her and Cammie grow a lot closer. She’s already been accepted into the group, and by the rest of the juniors (who still never fail to crack me up), but now you get a real inside look into her life and her emotions.

And then there’s Sublevel 2! If only I could be a spy! Ahhh, that would be so cool! But I digress yet again. Mr. Solomon really puts the now-junior class to the test. And there’s that dang terrorist group that Cammie is so shook up about, which certainly lends to the suspenseful and action side of the plot. Every time Macey had to leave, I was worried. I waited with bated breath for news of what was going on. I definitely couldn’t blame Cammie for not paying attention to her classes while Macey was gone. And then, almost to the end? And then, the actual end? I mean really! What a twist!! I know that’s really vague, but there’s not really much I can say without giving it away! Just go read it.

The covers, too, just get better and better. I love the color scheme the whole series has, and these covers are so much better than the ones for other countries (in my opinion, at least). The cover model is sassy and mysterious, and the skirts with the matching spines, and the Gallagher Acadmey logo and everything is just really cool.

Of course, I didn’t forget Zach. His role is so strange in this book. He is so mysterious, but you can’t help but hope, pray, even, that he is one of the good guys. I worry constantly about Cammie, how she’s practically going insane, and then at the end …. well, that just keeps popping up, doesn’t it? I guess you should stop reading and go pick up a copy of the book! I promise, it’s amazing! And you won’t regret it! (At least, not until you finish the fifth and find out that the sixth doesn’t come out for more than a year!)

~Yours Truly

Cross My Heart, Hope to Spy

Title: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Book 2 in The Gallagher Girls)
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: October 7, 2007

Cammie Morgan may have a genius IQ and attend the best school in the country, but as she starts the spring semester of her sophomore year there are a lot of things she doesn’t know. Like will her ex-boyfriend even remember she exists? And how much trouble did she really get in last semester? And, most of all, exactly why is her mother acting so strangely?
All Cammie wants is a nice, normal semester, but she’s about to learn her greatest lesson yet—that when you go to a school for spies, nothing is ever as it seems.

I liked this book a lot, probably even more than the first, but it’s pretty close. You learn a lot more about Cammie and her past in this book. Plus, you meet Zach – ooh la la!! I swear, if I were Cammie … (well, actually, I’d probably be dead if I were Cammie. Let’s leave it at that.) But still, you get what I mean.

There’s a lot more to this story, though. I enjoyed Cammie’s frustration with her new goal to be “good” and to be “herself.” What the people who told her that don’t realize is that she’s trying to not be herself because of that command. Cammie isn’t just nicknamed Chameleon. She is a Chameleon. She’s a pavement artist. Telling her to not get into mischief is like forbidding a person who habitually eats chocolate to give it up for life. Her internal struggle was great to watch – she really grew up a lot in this book. She also realized that there’s a lot more that she didn’t know she didn’t know.

I loved how the two schools came together, though. The whole adventure, and CoveOps in general, was fun to read. The CoveOps final was the best part of the book, but my favorite couple of lines, however, were in the very beginning, when Cammie is introduced to Zach for the very first time. SLIGHT SPOILER!!!!

Her response to Gallagher Girl, when she’s not supposed to know there’s a school for boys? “Hey, Blackthorne Boy.” And the looks on Mr. Solomon and Zach’s faces? I wasn’t even there, and I could practically see them! I was cracking up!

SPOILER OVER

By the way, I SOOOOO hope that this series is made into a movie. Agoodmovie, mind you. But I digress. Basically, the book is awesome. Ally Carter is awesome. And I wish I were a Gallagher Girl.

~Yours Truly