REQUIEM Cover REVEALED!

9:30 PM Posted by Bonnie @ A Backwards Story

It's here, it's here, it's finally here!

The cover for the final book in Lauren Oliver's stunning DELIRIUM trilogy now has a gorgeous cover.

Personally, I think this is my favorite of the three!

Are you ready?
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What are your thoughts?

You're Gonna LOVE Me: WHAT'S LEFT OF ME by Kat Zhang

11:19 AM Posted by Bonnie @ A Backwards Story


A sneak peek at another HarperTeen author, debuting this fall!



I've been anxious to get my hands on WHAT'S LEFT OF ME since THRONE OF GLASS author Sarah J. Maas blogged about her friend Kat Zhang's publication deal last year.  I was so excited when HarperCollins sent me a review copy, and while I have to sit on the full review until closer to release, I wanted to whet your appetite now.

Zhang's world reminds me in the best possible way of Phillip Pullman's DARK MATERIALS Trilogy in that the dæmons we're introduced to and the way they're severed reminds me very much of the way recessive souls can be removed in WHAT'S LEFT OF ME.  HIS DARK MATERIALS was read repeatedly growing up and is still an all-time favorite of mine.

In Zhang's world, every person is born with two twin souls that inhabit one body.  The two take turns controlling the body, and over time, one soul becomes dominant and takes over while the other becomes recessive and fades away.  With Addie and Eva, however, the recessive Eva never completely fades away.  The girls' body never settles the way it should, and Addie isn't deemed alone in her body until she's ten, which is on the cusp-line of being "too long."  If a body never settles, the government looks that person up.  Eva has no control over her and Addie's body, but can still think and have conversations with Addie, a fact that the girls want to hide at all costs.

I loved the fact that Eva is the narrator as the recessive soul, rather than seeing everything through Addie's eyes.  It creates so many more layers because Eva struggles more.  I also liked the way it's always "we" and "us" and "our" when narrating instead of "me" and "I" and "mine," which takes some getting used to, but makes complete sense.  I wouldn't have it any other way!

WHAT'S LEFT OF ME doesn't have a cliffhanger and wraps in a way that could make it a one-off, but has enough loose threads that make a sequel imminent--and I, for one, will be glad to return to this world!  

Title: WHAT'S LEFT OF ME
Author: Kat Zhang
Release Date: Out Sept. 18 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Received: ARC for Review

SUMMARY:

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t…



For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable–hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet…for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.


Cover Reveal: LIESL & PO...in paperback!

3:38 PM Posted by Bonnie @ A Backwards Story

Lauren Oliver's first middle-grade novel, LIESL & PO, will feature a fancy new cover when it releases on August 28, 2012 in paperback!

Are you ready for the big reveal?
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What are your thoughts?  I think the new cover looks great!  It will definitely get a lot of attention and have kids picking it up off the shelf to look at!


At the same time, I do like the hardcover design better.  It looks older and more elegant, more like a book worthy of sitting on a shelf alongside gilded classics.

Plus, if you take off the dustjacket, you get a SECOND cover, which is like an extra treat!

I can see why it might not resonate with as many of today's kids, though, and think the new cover will bring more awareness to the title.



What are your thoughts?  Which cover do you like the best?

The Best & Most Anticipated Novels of 2012!

4:52 PM Posted by Bonnie @ A Backwards Story

Lauren Oliver is at BEA today signing ARCs of her upcoming middle-grade novel THE SPINDLERS.

If you're not lucky enough to get to NYC and meet here, there's a wonderful online event running this week called Armchair BEA.

Today, we're looking at the best books of 2012 and previewing the most-anticipated books to come this year!  These are my selections!


~*~

Armchair BEA is the site to be at this week if you aren't able to get into NYC for BEA!


Day II is for The Best Books of 2012 (So Far!)


Don't forget to check out my interview answers from yesterday or enter today's Triple Giveaway if you haven't done so already! 

What, to me, are the best books of 2012 so far? 
(that I've actually read, of course...There are some books that I hear are AMAZING still waiting TBR...er...such as THE FAULT IN OUR STARS...)


Sorry for all the extra spaces...it doesn't look like that as I type and I don't know why Blogger's adding in all these spaces!!



What sequels did I love the most?

A lot of sequels and companion novels have come out recently, especially second books.


Reviewing these can be hard because they're SO full of spoilers.  I've decided to hold off a few months before reviewing any sequel in order to give people time to read the book and form an opinion first!


But my favorites would HAVE to be...


BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore   *  WAKING STORMS by Sarah Porter
INSURGENT by Veronica Roth  *  HALLOWED by Cynthia Hand   


Three of those titles are Second Books.  Often times, second books aren't the best book in the series, and a lot of the time, if you adore the first book, you may not like the second one as much.  I think WAKING STORMS and INSURGENT are both better than the first book in their respective series.


I did a You're Gonna Love Me post on WAKING STORMS for anyone who can't wait another month to read this amazing sequel!  I'll do a full review during Splash into Summer!  Sarah Porter has hands-down written my favorite mermaid series to-date.  


I wouldn't have said this last year, but after re-reading DIVERGENT and reading INSURGENT, I'm currently liking this series better than THE HUNGER GAMES and think it's the best in the genre.  We'll see what I think next year after the final book comes out!  (And everyone who loves Lauren Oliver's DELIRIUM trilogy should definitely be checking this one out!)


While I didn't love HALLOWED as much as I did UNEARTHLY (There's just something about falling in love for the first time!  I think that's also why I enjoyed ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS more than LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR!), I still thought it was a great sequel.  I had three theories going into it (and two of them were complete surprises to most people, but I also didn't have the theories until re-reading UNEARTHLY, so there is that!), and can't wait to see if my third theory comes true in the final book or not!


And BITTERBLUE.... Ahh, the wait for BITTERBLUE has been torture!  While the book wasn't what I'd expected it to be, it was still a tremendous offering that will win Kristin Cashore even more acclaim.  It's brilliantly layered and much darker than Cashore's previous novels.  I love that each of her novels so far deals with a different type of person living in the same world, from Gracelings to monsters to ordinary people.


What stand-alone or "first" novels did I love the most?


INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows is my favorite book of 2012 so far.  

I technically read it in 2011 as an ARC, but I'll be re-reading it later this year as the release date of ASUNDER grows closer, so it still counts, especially since the book officially came out this year and all that jazzy stuff.

I managed to forget about reviewing this book after my computer crashed in January, so I'll rectify that sometime this month!

I think the reason I love INCARNATE so much is because of Jodi Meadows' way with words.  Some passages are so beautiful, and they make my writer's heart weep because I can't write like that.  I actually mentioned this to Jodi on Twitter earlier and she shared a link where she wrote a feature about writing like other authors recently!

SHADOWS ON THE MOON by Zoë Marriott was another amazing read.


This one came out in the UK last July, but it released in the USA this past April.  I read and reviewed the book in January during my event A Week of Cinderella, then re-reviewed it in April for Fairy Tale Fortnight.  Check out the review along with a guest post from Zoë!


If you've never read anything by her before and love fairy tales, you've been missing out!  So far, SHADOWS is my favorite Zoë Marriott book.  I love how she infused Japanese culture into it.  It's spot-on, too, and really made me miss Japan and want to go back!  It's also a very dark version of Cinderella, and was refreshingly different to read!

ORDINARY MAGIC by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway is my top middle-grade read of the year so far.

This should be obvious by now, right?  Last week I reviewed the book, shared a guest post on World Building from Caitlen, and posted an interview with Bloomsbury Art Director Donna Mark.  This week, I'm giving away a copy in celebration of Armchair BEA!

The world building is fabulous, and I love that it takes the "typical magical person" story and turns everything upside down!  The voice is spot-on, amusing, and easy to read, which is a huge plus in my book.  Plus, I love the family unit in this one!



GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers is a book I've been coveting since the moment Enchanted Inkpot posted the publishing deal in 2010.  



Usually when I wait so long for a book, I'm disappointed because I've built it up so much in my head, but not this time.  



If you recall from my review, I LOVED it! Assassins and a God of Death and historical fantasy paired with an amazing cover of a kick-ass girl holding a crossbow?  This book exceeded my expectations in the best possible way!





ENCHANTED by Alethea Kontis was another book I was really looking forward to!   

This was another one that I read in 2011, but am still counting for 2012 because it officially came out in April.  Plus, I've already re-read it once this year!

I loved sharing my love of this novel with all of you during Fairy Tale Fortnight!  I reviewed the book and interviewed Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Art Director Christine Kettner!

SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo is a book I never expected to enjoy and only read this past weekend, but I love it already!  


I reviewed the novel earlier this afternoon in celebration of the book's birthday being today!



I loved the imagery and the way Leigh Bardugo unfurled her world the more we read.  Her descriptions made me feel as though I was freezing my arse off in Ravka along with the characters!  The book captivated me in ways I never thought it could and I'm eager to read the rest of the series!



What books being promoted at BEA am I most excited about?


(Some of these may  not be making a BEA appearance, but they'll be out later this year and I want them desperately!)


THE SPINDLERS by Lauren Oliver   *  THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas
THE CROWN OF EMBERS by Rae Carson   *  ELEMENTAL by Antony John
THE EVOLUTION OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin  *  DEFIANCE by C.J. Redwine   

STORMDANCER by Jay Kristoff   *  FATHOMLESS by Jackson Pearce
VESSEL by Sarah Beth Durst  *  IRON-HEARTED VIOLET by Kelly Barnhill 

CURSED by Jennifer Armentrout   *  DEITY by Jennifer Armentrout
THE DARKEST MINDS by Alexandra Bracken  *  WHAT'S LEFT OF ME by Kat Zhang  

PRODIGY by Marie Lu   *  THE ESSENCE by Kimberly Derting
SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard  *  THE ARCHIVED by Victoria Schwab

FALLING KINGDOMS by Morgan Rhodes   *  BECAUSE IT IS MY BLOOD by Gabrielle Zevin
ONE BREATH AWAY by Heather Gudenkauf  *  PALACE OF STONE by Shannon Hale

What 2012 releases are you most looking forward to?
What are your favorites of the year so far?