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Annabelle Marie Veronica has read 11 books toward her goal of 100 books.

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Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed, #1)
Page Morgan
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 14, 2013
After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.
In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.
And Grayson has gone missing.
No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.
Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.


Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)
Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.


Icons (Icons, #1)
Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Your heart beats only with their permission.
Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.
Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.
She's different. She survived. Why?
When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.
Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions -- which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses -- may actually be their greatest strengths.
Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts -- in order to save the future.



Thursday, March 28, 2013
Hi everyone! How are you all?

Oh, I'm all right. Exhausted, but all right, and I'm under a lot of stress right now. So I've decided to take a very VERY brief blogging hiatus of three days. Like, some sort of mini-break thing. I'm not going to disappear entirely, but there won't be any new blog posts for the until Sunday's Covermance post. Basically, I just need to take a little step back, relax, and gather myself.

And hey, the three days will be up before we even notice!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy Wednesday, everyone! We're halfway through the week! We can totally do this! We've got this! The week is like, halfway over!

Yeah, I don't think I'm convincing anyone. So anyway, moving on. Wednesdays in the book blogging world mean that it's time to participate in the popular meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's super fun. we get to gush over covers and whine about how books take so long to be released.

Unbreakable (Unraveling, #2)
Elizabeth Norris
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 23, 2013

Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.
And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

So, there it is. My gorgeous, gorgeous pick of the week. I love this cover, and I love that it matches the first one so beautifully. Also, the colors are perfect. The background is absolutely lovely and the models are flawless.

And of course, I loved Unraveling. Even though it made me cry my eyes out. So of course I'm looking forward to having my emotions messed with again. Awesome stuff, that.


What are you waiting on this Wednesday?
Link me up! :)
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Mystic City (Mystic City, #1)
Theo Lawrence
Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Source: Purchased
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever. Book One of the Mystic City Novels.
Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

So, despite all the mixed reviews I saw this book getting, I was reasonably certain that I'd love it. I was so, so wrong. Obviously I need to stop being shallow and being drawn in by tempting blurbs and shiny, shiny covers that look like tiny pieces of heaven. I even read the first fifty pages in the bookstore and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, that was pretty much the best part of the book. Unfortunately, it was downhill from there.

Aria has got to be one of the most irritating heroines in the history of YA. She's constantly doing stupid things even though she knows she shouldn't, and she's possibly one of the densest people ever. She doesn't notice all these obvious clues around her, and when she does she completely misinterprets them. She just doesn't go about things in a smart way at all and she also seems to have split personality, sometimes the perfect daughter and others the daring rebel. No in between. It's really not charming.

I don't hate Hunter, but that's probably because there's nothing to hate. He's a very flat character who lacks substance and there just isn't much to him at all. He's a rebel. He has a ton of secrets. Other than that, he basically just exists. It's fascinating stuff.

Now, don't get me wrong: I liked Mystic City. However, I also like rainbows and colorful butterflies. "Like" isn't a word I apply a ton of value to. It could have been interesting, but the execution was just embarrassing.

It's so predictable. From almost the very beginning, I could tell you exactly where the story was going. Sure, I didn't get every detail. But the main plot? Way. Too. Predictable. I don't want to know the ending before I even get halfway through the book. It's annoying.

There are lots of "subtle hints" dropped throughout the book that–you guessed it–are in fact not subtle at all. It was a huge disappointment, and I seriously did not understand how anyone could have thought that they weren't glaringly obvious.

Plot holes. Oh my god, plot holes everywhere. And please don't get me started on Aria's stupid decisions. I swear at least half of the book is Hunter saving her from her own idiocy. That's all right to a point but it quickly became old.

The story was, however, entertaining. I'm not a liar, and that's a fact. But that doesn't change the fact that it was still faulty in too many areas to overlook.

The romance in this book depended waaay too much on a past that Aria has no memory of and Hunter never mentions. Then near the end of the novel it suddenly implodes and everything is revealed at once and I just felt totally and utterly confused. You can't just do things like that. It throws people off!

This is probably what saved the novel from getting a single rating. Theo's writing is actually really gorgeous, and even if Aria's voice was annoying, I cannot deny his talent. His words actually kind of flow off the page, and though his world-building is weak you can see his effort and that he really tried. His descriptions of Manhattan are gorgeous as well, and I really enjoyed the way he used his words.

Well, see, this really wasn't a surprise at all, though something tells me it was supposed to be. It was also probably supposed to be a cliffhanger, but since I didn't care for this book all that much I found myself really only mildly interested in what was going to happen next. It wasn't an awful ending, but the fact that I'd known what it was for so long really ruined it.

I will be reading the next book, although I have no idea why. Don't ask. As to would I recommend this? Honestly, no. Some people I know did love this, and I have no doubt that some of you will love it, but it just was not for me.



Monday, March 25, 2013

Hello, fabulous people! I'm hosting yet another giveaway hop today. I just couldn't resist. I love fairy tales and princess books, so I just had to participate. And I knew right away what I was going to give away. Hint: I've given these books away before because I love them so darn much. Hint 2: I'm pretty sure you can already see the covers.

What am I giving away?

Yeah, I know, I tend to give a set of these books away every time the word "fairy tale" comes up. But I just love them that much and think that everyone should own them. So I'm giving all three books in hardcover to one lucky, lucky winner.

Please read my giveaway rules before entering.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!


Happy Monday, everyone! I hope everyone's March is going fabulously. Mine has been awesome in some ways and yet majorly awful in others, so I guess it mostly balances out in the end. But enough about me. I'd rather spotlight and give away a book I loved!

The Ward
Jordana Frankel
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Forget him, I tell myself, even though telling yourself to forget something is the quickest way to make sure you remember it.

Oh yes, I loved this book very, very much. And I fell so, so hard for both Callum and Derek. My life is hard. Anyway, I want to share the love, so I thought this would make a great book to give away this week.

And you know, the only thing I ever ask is that you read my giveaway rules. Please, please, please. I am not an idiot and I can totally tell when people don't.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, I want to wish the best of luck to all of you. And, of course, have a lovely lovely week.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tumble & Fall
Alexandra Coutts
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Release Date: September 17, 2013
A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings
The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand.
Alexandra Coutts's TUMBLE & FALL is a powerful story of courage, love, and hope at the end of the world.


Unbreakable (Legion, #1)
Kami Garcia
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 1, 2013
I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.
When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.
Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.
Suspense, romance, and the paranormal meet in this chilling urban fantasy, the first book in a new series from Kami Garcia, bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels.


Fault Line
Christa Desir
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 12, 2013
Ben could date anyone he wants, but he only has eyes for the new girl — sarcastic free-spirit, Ani. Luckily for Ben, Ani wants him too. She’s everything Ben could ever imagine. Everything he could ever want.
But that all changes after the party. The one Ben misses. The one Ani goes to alone.
Now Ani isn’t the girl she used to be, and Ben can’t sort out the truth from the lies. What really happened, and who is to blame?
Ben wants to help her, but she refuses to be helped. The more she pushes Ben away, the more he wonders if there’s anything he can do to save the girl he loves.



Saturday, March 23, 2013
Rapunzel Untangled
Cindy C. Bennett
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
Rapunzel is not your average teenager.
For one thing, she has a serious illness that keeps her inside the mysterious Gothel Mansion. And for another, her hair is 15 feet long. Not to mention that she’s also the key to ultimately saving the world from certain destruction. But then she meets a boy named Fane, who changes all she has ever known, and she decides to risk everything familiar to find out who she really is.
Filled with romance, adventure, and mystery, Rapunzel Untangled is one story you won’t want to put down. Discover the true meaning of love and friendship in this modern twist to the classic fairytale.

I had absolutely no expectations going into this book. I hadn't really heard anything about it, and just decided to take a random chance on it because I wanted a light, fun read after some of the heavier stuff I'd been shouldering. I never, never expected to love it so much. Rapunzel is one of my favorite, if not my actual favorite, fairytale, so of course I was interested to see how it was retold in this book. The result was something I haven't seen before, and I loved the way it turned out.

Rapunzel annoyed me at times, but on the other hand I could hardly blame her for some things. She was lied to her entire life, but for so long she had no reason to not believe it. And anyway, Rapunzel is no damsel is distress. She takes care of herself and though she gets help she ultimately makes her own decisions. Even though I didn't always agree with her decisions I could understand why she made them.

(Irrelevantly, why does spell check say "Rapunzel" isn't a word? It's the name of a classic freaking fairytale character. Ugh, whatever.)

Well, hello there. From the very beginning Fane is an intriguing character. Even though he's a perfectly ordinary human being he has an air of otherworldliness about him or something. He says what he thinks, he's funny, and he's not afraid to face the truth. He takes care of Rapunzel and takes several risks for her, even when she tries to push him away. From the very beginning, he tries to protect her, and he's so fabulous and so sweet and so loyal.

In the author's letter, she says that although this story is set in the modern world, there's one difference: in the world this book takes place in, there's no such thing as the fairytale Rapunzel. It has never been told, never existed. It's a small change but an important one.

At the beginning of this book, Rapunzel has everything she could possible want. Everything, that is, except for freedom. Luckily for her, her mother has no real idea of how to work the internet. So when Rapunzel claims to use it for school, she leaves her alone. Rapunzel proceeds to discover Facebook and friends some random cute guy from a nearby school. While not recommended for obvious reasons, it works out pretty well for her.

There are definitely basic elements of the classic fairy tale. Rapunzel's blonde hair is ridiculously long, and though she doesn't know it yet, the woman who claims to be her mother of course is not. Oh, and she lives shut in in a tower. It's a modern Rapunzel, but it is still recognizable.

I loved the way the story unfolded. At first, it just seems like it's all for fun. But eventually, as everything starts to unravel, it grows more serious. Rapunzel was comfortable in her life before, but after meeting Fane, she can't go back and she doesn't want to. She fights back for the first time.

Even though I loved this book, I can't ignore the randomness or the inconsistencies, though. I can't say exactly what they are without being spoilery, but let's just say that not everything fits together. Furthermore, there are just some random paranormal elements thrown in that aren't really ever explained and never really go anywhere and yeah. Felt kind of pointless.

Still, that didn't keep me from loving this book. Those errors were fairly minor and didn't ruin the book for me. I love Rapunzel's story from beginning to end. It was fun, yes, but there was more to it than that too.

From the very beginning, Rapunzel and Fane have chemistry that eventually builds into something greater. Rapunzel has absolutely no romantic experience, but that doesn't stop her from learning. It is a cute and sweet romance, but it's also strong because of how it develops as the pair piece together Rapunzel's mysterious past and find out who she really is. I love their interactions, and their first kiss is absolutely perfect. He takes care of her, and she trusts him.

Somehow, I really clicked with this writing even though it's not usually the type of style I like. Despite my initial frustrations with Rapunzel the writing really allowed me to understand her thoughts and connect with her character. I loved the way the words were used, and how she put in modern lingo without doing what I secretly call "over-teenagerisation." (Oh, shut up.) The descriptions were a bit lacking and I would have liked more imagery but other than that it was fantastic.

The ending was so sweet and so perfect. I mean, yeah, it worked out almost a little too ideally. But honestly, I didn't care. I was so, so happy with the ending. I adore HEAs, and though this book suffered from at least one fairly major inconsistency near the end I still managed to get past that. I was really impressed with the way everything came together, and though a lot of the truth seemed to take forever to come out I was still mostly satisfied.

I truly enjoyed this book, and I loved it so much more than I would have expected to. It was fun, but it also contained some darker stuff which I loved. I'm definitely going to start keeping an eye on Cindy's work and hope she more fun fairytale retellings like this. I'd love to see Cinderella. Anyway, would I recommend this? You bet. If you're a fairytale or even just a modern contemporary lover, this book is definitely for you.



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Welcome to my young adult reading blog! Sparkles and Lightning has young adult book reviews with the occasional children's or adult's book review sprinkled in. It will also be totally and completely fun :) Have a look around, have some laughs, and most of all, have a perfectly sparkly, electric time!

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