February 28, 2013

February's New Releases

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February 5th

Etiquette & Espionage
Gail Carriger

Marissa Meyer

Unravel Me
Tahereh Mafi

Lauren Destefano

February 12th

The Indigo Spell
Rachelle Mead

Breaking Point
Kristen Simmons

Heather Anastasiu

Pivot Point
Kasie Rush

Notes From Ghost Town
Kate Ellison

Dance of Shadows
Yelena Black

The Mirrored Shard
Caitlin Kittdredge

Maurissa Guibord

February 19th

Neferet's Curse
PC & Kristen Cast

Shards & Ashes
Melissa Marr & Kelley Armstrong

Mind Games
Kiersten White

February 21st

The Different Girl
Gordon Dahlquist

February 23rd

The Goddess Inheritance
Aimee Carter

Dan Wells

February 26th

Wicked Kiss
Michelle Rowen

Lauren Kunze & Rina Onur

Patrick Carman

Elsie Chapman


February 27, 2013

Impatiently Waiting! Parallel by Lauren Miller


Expected publish date:
May 14, 2013

Publisher's summary: Abby Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She'd go to Northwestern, major in journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice—taking a drama class her senior year of high school—changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, miles from where she wants to be, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she's in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. Overnight, it's as if her past has been rewritten.

With the help of Caitlin, her science-savvy BFF, Abby discovers that this new reality is the result of a cosmic collision of parallel universes that has Abby living an alternate version of her life. And not only that: Abby's life changes every time her parallel self makes a new choice. Meanwhile, her parallel is living out Abby's senior year of high school and falling for someone Abby's never even met.

As she struggles to navigate her ever-shifting existence, forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn't choose, Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might just be her soul mate, and the destiny that's finally within reach.



Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.


February 26, 2013

Teaser - Silver by Talia Vance


Available NOW!
Summary: Brianna Paxton has been invisible to guys since the eighth grade. She's pretty enough, it's just that no one bothers to look. There's almost nothing that can't be explained with science, and Brianna has a theory: she's missing the pheromone that attracts people to one another. Brianna's theory is shot to hell in one frozen, silver moment, when time stops and Blake Williams not only sees her, he recognizes something inside her that she's been hiding from even herself. Before Brianna fully understands who and what she is, she accidentally binds her soul to Blake. Forced to find a way to reconcile forbidden love and her bloody heritage, Brianna discovers that there's nothing pointless about her, and Blake may be in the most danger of all.

The Teaser!

When he kisses me, I'm completely lost. Nothing matters except his lips on mine. His fingers moving along my back. His chest pressing into mine.

He brakes the kiss abruptly. "Damn it."

Page 153


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.


February 23, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


Publisher’s summary: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

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My take: Oh! Em! Gee!!! I blew through this book! It was a very quick read and it was amazing! So this is my first dive into YA contemporary, and I’m so unbelievably happy that I picked The Fault in Our Stars to be my first in this genre because it was freakin’ awesome!

So, first of all, I read The Fault in Our Stars in audio. But I was so caught up in the story that for the last few hours I listened to the book, I also followed along in my signed hardcover (thanks to Kristina.) The audio was fabulous, and the audio reader really did this book justice!!!

The one thing I have to say for sure is that I was a major hot mess while reading this dang book. I was like full on ugly crying for the last TWO HOURS of reading this freakin’ book. Yep, I was sobbing so much that I had to blow my nose more than a few times. I actually had to have a full roll of toilet paper sitting with me on my bed, and I even had to use an empty box next to my bed as a trash can. Yeah, there were a few moments where I was only just tearing up a little, but once I got to this one particular, DANG part, I was full on sobbing! And then I just couldn’t stop! It was bad! Like really, Really, REALLY bad. And, then, even when there were really funny parts in the book after that (and there were a LOT of funny parts!) I would be laughing while I was STILL crying. Thank goodness that no one was watching! I can honestly say that I’ve never been that emotional over a book before. I think the only movie/book I’ve ever cried that hard over is the movie A Beautiful Mind, but that’s only because the story to A Beautiful Mind hits me really close to home.

In fact, The Fault in Our Stars made such an emotional impact on me that, at one point (when I was feeling awful over the realization that Grace wouldn’t be a qualified candidate to receive a lung transplant because she was too sick), I thought that when I die I want to make sure I donate my lungs ONLY to someone who’s too sick to be a transplant candidate!

I need to confess my love, heart and soul to Augustus Waters! I’m not a poem writer or even a poem reader, but he makes me want to write poetry dedicated only to him! I love you Augustus Waters. LOL!

I guess I should talk about all the other awesome characters, other than Augustus Waters. I love Hazel Grace Lancaster as well! Reading from the first-person POV of Hazel was perfect! Her thought process kept the story extremely entertaining. And another one of my fave characters is, of course, Isaac. He adds just the right touch to the story. All of the characters in this book were very well developed…to the point where, even if we got to see a character only briefly, their character was very vividly developed in my mind.

This is a book I would highly recommend to anyone, but make sure you keep more than a few tissues handy.


February 22, 2013

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

Publisher’s summary: She does not know what awaits her at the enemy's gate.

Elisa is a hero.

She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country's ruler should be secure. But it isn't.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trail of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.

If she's lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.


My take: Yep! Rae Carson did it again! She’s written another phenomenal book in her Fire and Thorns trilogy. I can’t say that The Crown of Embers was better than The Girl of Fire and Thorns because TGoFaT first introduced me to this fascinating fantasy world Rae Carson created with all of its exciting and crazy things, but there were some things about TCoE that I did like better than TGoFaT.

First of all, the ending to The Crown of Embers sucks! Hardcore!!! But at the same time, there is something else entirely that Elisa does in the end that totally rocks! What an ending!

I feel like this is going to be a really short review because I think pretty much anything I’d say would be a spoiler. One of the things I especially loved about this book was trying to discover who Elisa can trust and who she couldn’t. There were also some really hard decisions that Elisa had to make in this book, decisions that both horrified me and delighted me. There is one particular decision that Elisa makes that totally horrified me, but I was even more shocked that the other characters around her were actually supportive of her decision…like she made the right one! But then I found this other really tough, pressing decision Elisa has to make quite funny…even though it’s completely obvious (at least to me!) what particular decision Elisa just needs to make, without question!

Do I sound like I’m talking in riddles? This is the only way I feel like I can express my thoughts while doing my best to refrain from revealing spoilers.

I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to read more about the little prince in this book because he is one of my favorite characters in this series. But we do get some more of Hector in this book and I’m swooning hardcore!

The end has a pretty SUCKY, awesome cliffhanger but I wasn’t very surprised. And I just know that the last book in Rae’s Fire and Thorns trilogy The Bitter Kingdom will be fabulous because TCoE ended in a way that the last book in the series can only be amazing! TCoE is a book I’m for sure going to be pimping to everyone.

OH! And BTW…I listened to both The Girl of Fire and Thorns and The Crown of Embers on audio, and the audios are fabulous! I’ve already recommended them to a few friends and they also loved the audios too.


February 21, 2013

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Publisher’s summary: Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa has always felt powerless, useless. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could save his people. And he looks at her in a way no man has ever looked at her before. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn't die young.

Most of the chosen do.


My take: This book totally rocked! And also sucked (in a good way)! I know, that doesn’t sound right…but it does in my head.

When I first started reading The Girl of Fire and Thorns, I was shocked to discover pretty much in the very beginning of the book that the main character Elisa is getting married…like literally getting dressed for the big matrimonial event! I’ve read books where a girl was going to get married, or gets married later on, or even gets married in the beginning but quickly thereafter the marriage ends, but Elisa actually gets married in the very beginning of a YA book! Like for real! And it was an arranged marriage because of her royal status. I was shocked! Can you tell? And I was immediately so intrigued about where this story was going to go, that I was stuck!

But it wasn’t just the beginning of the book that had me intrigued to keep on reading; I also think Rae Carson did a fabulous job creating a totally compelling main character, Elisa. We are basically informed in the very first scene of The Girl of Fire and Thorns that Elisa is overweight. But I was determined to discover “how” overweight she was. And being in Elisa’s head was very entertaining. Her whole thought process and her perception of everything going on around her was very fun. It was a lot of fun watching Elisa grow on the inside and shrink on the outside. Wait…did I say that? Spoiler! And then her obsession with food and all the times she would get hungry was just hilarious! OH! And the one thing that I discuss the most with everyone after I read this book is…the Godstone! I had a really hard time picturing this stone that’s imbedded into Elisa’s stomach, and all I kept thinking about was those Troll Dolls that have a jewel in their stomach. Boy was that distracting. Oh! And I can't forget that kick butt scene her nurse did out of no where! You've got to read it to see what I mean.

I’m not even going to dive in to the whole love interest thing because that could possibly be a major spoiler! Or maybe not…

Not only was this book fun and entertaining to read, but there were some pretty crazy things happening throughout the book as well. It’s not very far into the story when there is a big plot twist and then everything changes in Elisa’s life. It was awesome! And then there is the tragedy(ies)! Yep!!! I cried a couple times in this book.

Pretty much everything that happened in this book was unexpected, but I for sure didn’t expect that it would end the way it did, and I started The Crown of Embers the very moment I finished The Girl of Fire and Thorns.


February 20, 2013

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Publisher’s summary: Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?


My take: This book is phenomenal! The moment I started reading Grave Mercy I knew that it was a lot different than anything I’ve ever read before. It’s set in a different time era (more than a few hundred years ago) and it starts out with a really horrible scene. In fact, the scene was so horrible and I felt so bad for the main character (Ismae) after that opening scene, that when Ismae is then taken to a sanctuary and discovers that she will become a trained assassin, I was absolutely thrilled! Isn’t that weird? That I should be happy that a character will be killing people? And thrilled that the character is the daughter of Death Himself?

I absolutely adored Ismae. She’s a very well developed character, and I loved every moment when she’d excitedly start looking for the first sign that would tell her when and who she could kill next. I actually caught myself giggling a couple times over these moments. And she is one kick butt heroine! There were quite a few characters that I also grew to care for or admire later on, but I don’t want to talk about them to avoid spoilers.

The romance in this book was very well developed. And I think it was developed in a way that is just right for Ismae because of all the horrible experiences she’s had with men in the past. And the way the romance was intertwined throughout the story was just the perfect touch.

I do want to touch on the writing in this book! Robin LaFevers writes beautifully! The whole story flowed very well, and I was easily sucked into the world Robin created in Grave Mercy.

The way the story ended was fabulously done and the whole book (and ending) have me craving for more. But I’m even more thrilled that we will be getting the story of a girl-character named Sybella in the sequel Dark Triumph. She was only briefly introduced in Grave Mercy and each moment she pops up in the story is so brief that I’m craving to know what the heck she’s up to.


Impatiently Waiting! Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis


Expected publish date:
September 9, 2013

Publisher's summary: Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.



Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

February 18, 2013

Revelations by J.A. Souders Cover Reveal!

The Cover!
Elysium Chronicles (Book 2)

GoodreadsAmazonThe Book Depository
Blurb to come!
★ ★ ★

Elysium Chronicles (Book 1)

Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie.

Her memories have been altered.

Her mind and body aren’t under her own control.

And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

★ ★ ★

Elysium Chronicles (Book 0.5)

An Elysium Chronicles short story: the beginning.

There is only one place forbidden to the people of Gavin's village; the island just off the shore, rumored to be haunted. Cursed.

All who venture to the island disappear.

But Gavin doesn't believe in such things. He is a hunter; since his father's death, he is the only one who can provide for the family. Silly rumors of ghosts aren't going to stop him from crossing the dark waters to the island in search of fresh game...


★ ★ ★

About J.A. Souders

J.A. Souders was born in the heartland with an overactive imagination and an overabundance of curiosity that was always getting her into trouble. She first began writing at the age of 13, when she moved to Florida and not only befriended the monsters under the bed, but created worlds for them to play together.

Because she never grew up, she decided she’d put her imaginary friends to work and started writing. She still lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and their two children.

Where you can find J.A.


J.A is hosting a giveaway of a signed hard copy of Renegade, an e-copy of A Dark Grave (for those that don't have it, of course.) and signed copies of Article 5 and Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons.

Giveaway Open for US and Canada Shipping Only!

Dear followers, fans and peeps! Some of the books I review on Magical Urban Fantasy Reads are provided to me for free by either the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. Please know that I am in NO WAY compensated for my reviews. All opinions are mine and I am not required to give a positive review in exchange for a free book! But some of the purchase links on my blog are monetized through places like Amazon, Book Depository or Barnes & Noble.