Betwixt the Books Discuss: Money Talks?

Wherein we talk about how Amazon is changing the discourse we use to talk about ARCS and Review Copies, Goodreads changing their Giveaway Function, and YouTube changing the rules around partnership.

There is also an issue with my audio. Sorry! I’m trying to figure out why it is happening but I’m technologically illiterate.

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From the Notebook: Back to School Book Haul

Now that Amazon/Chegg have finally delivered all my school books for the year, I thought that it might be cool to do a book haul! Don’t worry: not a text book in sight. In fact, these books are all either fantasy/scifi short story collections, memoirs or–okay–some really strange philosophy texts. Some of them you’ll see on the blog … some of them you won’t. Either way, here’s a really cool 16 book haul for you guys!

ARC Review: “Eve and Adam” by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant

Eve and Adam by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant

Goodreads | Amazon

In the beginning, there was an apple—

And then there was a car crash, a horrible injury, and a hospital. But before Evening Spiker’s head clears a strange boy named Solo is rushing her to her mother’s research facility. There, under the best care available, Eve is left alone to heal.

Just when Eve thinks she will die—not from her injuries, but from boredom—her mother gives her a special project: Create the perfect boy.

Using an amazingly detailed simulation, Eve starts building a boy from the ground up. Eve is creating Adam. And he will be just perfect… won’t he?

3 1/2 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Feiwel and Friends for this eARC! You can get a copy for yourself on October 2nd, 2012!

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure at all how Eve and Adam was going to turn out. I was only lukewarm about the concept, but requested it in a slew of requests from Macmillan publishing (which owns F&F). I then proceeded to read the entire book in two days.

Actually, the entire first half of the book didn’t sell me too strongly. The apple thing–which is, in fact, in the beginning–doesn’t seem to have a point except for being thrown in there as an obvious allusion (she also loses a rib for no reason except for this, I’m guessing). It seemed to detract from the fact that Evening is being HIT by a VEHICLE and having her LEG RIPPED OFF. (Graphic imagery not included.)

I was, entirely through the book, lukewarm about the characters of Evening and Solo. I honestly did not understand why the for the life of me Evening and Solo were splitting the narrating, besides the fact that this is written by a male-female team. Evening does most of the narrating because even the authors seem to subconsciously know that this is Evening’s story and Solo is just kind of there. Evening’s mother is just kind of there and stereotypically evil, but PROPS for the character of Evening’s best friend. Now SHE was fun.

You know what? For the first half of the book I was just entirely lukewarm about everything.

And then the second half happened.

The action? Kicked up SEVERAL notches. All of the sudden we went from not much happening to EVERYTHING HAPPENING. Upon rereading the Goodreads synopsis, I can’t help be realize how much of the story isn’t in it. But you wouldn’t know it until the second half of the book.

Alright, I still wasn’t in love with the characters, but FINALLY the multiple points of view had purpose. The romance was particularly awkward and I didn’t find it that believable or real, but the way it’s handled was really sweet. I honestly have to be that vague because otherwise I’d reveal a MAJOR plot point, so … don’t hurt me. Trying to be non-spoiler here. 😛

The plot also never hit a point of entire believability with me, especially the plot twist at the end. The character in the plot twist was far too one-dimensional for the entire book, and there were absolutely no hints that this was coming. All of the sudden there’s just this HAHAHA, GOTCHA moment that I still honestly don’t believe.

All and all, the three and half star rating is perfect for me and this book. I liked it a lot, but I certainly didn’t love it. Though the end did a great deal to redeem the first half, I was just never really engaged with the characters or the plot. The action was great, and so was the subplots, but the overarching concepts just didn’t fit for me.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Spring To-Be-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Okay, I have to face it, my to-be-read list is SKY HIGH. Picking ten for the spring is going to be … death defying. Let’s give it a try! (All links will go to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.)

1. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

In case you missed my Waiting on Wednesday post last week, I WANT THIS BOOK. If Amazon’s shipping department wasn’t the worst, I’D HAVE IT BY NOW. But I don’t. And the wait is KILLER.

2. The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

Really, as far as I’m concerned, you can’t go wrong with this book. It’s historical fiction in the fact that it takes place in Russia circa 1888. It’s fantasy because the main character is both a Duchess and a necromancer. This book’s blurb caught me on the first look, and I can’t wait to read it.

3. Die for Me by Amy Plum

Okay, Anna and the French Kiss maaaay have made me have an instant love of books set in Paris, which I discovered at line 2 of the blurb. Then I read the REST of the blurb and went DUDE. Let’s see if the plotline is cool enough to overcome the star-crossed lovers thing! You can bet you’ll hear which way this one goes as soon as I get my hands on it.

4. Balthazar by Claudia Gray

I’ll admit, my interest in the Evernight series continued to wane as the books went on, but it seems that this one is completley unrelated to the Evernight books and characters except for Balthazar, so sign me up! I was a huge sucker for this guy, and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

5. The Selection by Kiera Cass

Okay, this is one book where I read the blurb and I went I WANT NOW. NOW. I have no idea why, but I just fell in love right there. Plus, the CW is making it into a TV series so DUDE. I have to at least read the book so I can watch how much the series messes with the plot line. 😛

6. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

GUYS. GUYS. CASSANDRA CLARE. THAT IS ALL.

7. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

This is the sequel to Divergent, which I thought actually lived up to a lot of the hype it got. Enough is said.

8. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

MORE VAMPIRE ACADEMY WORLD. MORE ADRIAN. GIVE ME NOW. If you don’t believe the CAPS is pertinent, read my review of Bloodlines!

9. Grave Mercy by R. L. LaFevers

Girl escapes arranged marriage, becomes assassin. Seriously, do I need to tell you anymore? Also, for the life of me I can’t get this cover to actually show up here, so you’re just going to have to click the link to check it out. 😛

10. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

I am a horrible person who judges books by their cover–only literally, I swear! However, CHECK OUT THIS COVER. Then CHECK OUT THE BLURB. Really interested in getting my hands on this one!

Waiting on Wednesday: “Spell Bound” by Rachel Hawkins

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Waiting on Wednesday is a feature hosted over at Breaking the Spine that highlights upcoming releases that we really, really can’t wait to read!

Title: Spell Bound

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Publication Date: March 13, 2012 (Yes, I know this was yesterday and this is a little bit cheating BUT, read on for me to make sense.)

Summary from Goodreads: Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.
Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.
Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

Why I’m Waiting: BECAUSE I HAD TO ORDER FROM AMAZON. Anything other than that, you guys clearly haven’t lived life correctly because you haven’t read these books. These books have EVERYTHING, I love to read. Great plot? Check. Great main character who also happens to be a real teen girl who’s not afraid to stand up for herself? Check. Hot guy(s)? Check check. Humor that STILL makes me laugh out loud, multiple rereads later? Check. This is a third in a series and the end of a trilogy, and AMAZON NEEDS TO MOVE FASTER BECAUSE AAGGGHHHH!!

Ahem. I’m … I’m going to move away from my keyboard slowly now. If you want to see me making MORE of a fool of myself about these books and others, the Hex Hall series was also mentioned in my Books are the Best Medicine – Here’s My Preferred Prescription! post a while back, and Spell Bound made my list of Books I Can’t Wait to Read in 2012.